Monday, November 25, 2013

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Some days I fail at life.  Last month Chase missed half his school Halloween party because he's on a year-round system and I forgot his track was on an early out schedule for the day.

 Never mind that the rest of the school and all of the buses were on a regular schedule for the day. (What!?)

This post is kind of like that. Today I'm posting an instagram photo to introduce you to these rolls.  That's right.  Instagram. They were SO good, gooey and nutty, that they were gone practically before I could blink.  Life fail.

Whatever though.  The point is that you need these in your life whether they were taken with a DSLR or a cell phone camera.  You won't judge me, right?

There is a TON of filling in these and that means that a lot of the brown sugar and nuts melts down to the bottom of the pan and makes the most delicious, sticky, toffee-like, mixture underneath.  Add the maple frosting and these rolls are a little piece of Autumn heaven.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

French Silk Coconut Cream Pie

Oops.  Sometimes I find pictures I took a few weeks a year ago and forgot to post.  This marriage of chocolate and coconut cream pies comes from Dorothy at Crazy for Crust, and was a big hit at our Thanksgiving table last year. 

If you have problems deciding what kind of pie to have, this recipe is for you.  Not that I'm limiting you to eating a single flavor of pie or anything.  But honestly, it's way easier if you can knock out two flavors in one pop. And then you have even more room for 5 other kinds of pie.

Thanksgiving is alllll about the pie.  Can I get an 'Amen'?

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Gooey Apple Coffee Cake

I may have to rename November "the season of brown".  I just noticed everything I've posted lately is BROWN.  It is the curse of Fall baking.  Usually I try to stagger my posts so that colors are equally distributed on the picture bar at the top of my blog, (I totally have problems), but this month is seems like everything I have is brown.

Brown can be delicious though right?  

Brownies.  Brown butter.

What about brown sugar glaze?  

This coffee cake is moist and gooey and has a delicious brown sugar glaze drizzled over the top.

Totally breakfast-worthy. 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Malted Chocolate Frosting

This.  Frosting.

Slather up a few layers of chocolate cake with this stuff and you have a little piece of heaven. You can even eat it on graham crackers if you can't wait long enough for a cake to bake.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

I've spent the last few days in bed with a huge box of tissues and my trusty little bottle of Nyquil.  I am dying to get up and bake, but baking is 95% less fun when you can't smell or taste, and also nobody wants a sick person to bake for them.  No one.

Luckily I have lot of recipes photographed just waiting to be edited and posted so hopefully there will be lots of action here this week. 

Also luckily, I just started watching Lie to Me on Netflix and while this is supposed to be treadmill material, this week I'm cheating.  So I have something to keep me company while I'm stuck in bed.  By the end of this week I'm going to be an expert on facial expressions and will probably be qualified to work for the FBI.  There are benefits to being sick after all.

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Snickerdoodle Bread

When I first made this bread, people kept asking me what in the world was in it.  And I was like, Ummm.  Cinnamon.  

And sugar...

And I didn't mean to look at them like they were idiots, but really, I couldn't figure out what they were asking.  Turns out I'm the idiot because it finally dawned on me that what they were wondering about is the cinnamon chips. 

Truly, the magic of this bread is found in those cinnamon chips.  You could put those things in mud pies and they'd taste good.  I am a total convert, and the possibilities are endless.  I love them in this moist bread but they are equally wonderful in cookies, mixed into hot chocolate, or eaten by the spoonful from the bag. 

Totally your choice. 

This bread is a great starting point though. 

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookies

A few weeks ago I made a bunch of pumpkin treats for the kids in Chase's class to sample.  These cookies were by far the hit.  They are soft and fluffy and the cinnamon cream cheese frosting puts them over the top. 

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Apple Pie Bread

The perfect way to celebrate the onset of the Thanksgiving season?  

Apple pie masquerading as bread. 

Usually I am weird about apples in baked goods, but they are amazing in this bread.  The caveat is that it needs to be eaten the day it's made.  Day-old baked goods made with apples taste like tin cans.

Sorry.  It's a fact.

Eating the loaf in one day won't be a problem, I promise. 

I love to use Braeburn apples for baking because they have a nice crisp apple flavor that really comes through.

Happy November!

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Caramel Apple Freeze

Happy Halloween!!

My kiddos are out of school today, so we are spending the day playing Halloween games, getting free Jamba juice and cupcakes, trick-or-treating at daddy's work, and generally causing havoc. 

Wish I could send them to school tomorrrrrrow...  (Dude.  Seriously the one day of the year I do NOT miss teaching.)

Since I am genuinely concerned you may not consume enough sugar today, I thought I'd introduce you to my friend, the caramel apple freeze today.  These taste just like those Caramel Apple lollipops that are popular this time of year.

Are you doing anything fun to celebrate Halloween today?

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Graveyard Grub

How is Halloween week treating everyone? We have been having a lot of fun carving pumpkins, watching Halloween movies, telling scary stories, and eating candy.  Last week I did a Fear Factor night with the youth at our church and it was awe.some. They bobbed for strawberries in a tub of water filled with live fish, dug through piles of worms in dirt, transported dog food with their mouths, ate sardines, and licked Nutella out of diapers. 

I LOVE teenagers.  Seriously they are hilarious.  Also they do chores for their parents which is kind of awesome.  I need to get me one of those.

In the meantime I am loving my little boys. This graveyard grub is a spooky spin-off of regular old muddy buddies, and my boys LOVE it.  It's creepy and gross, and looks like it came from underneath the ground.  Immediate hit, for sure.
{For regular old muddy buddies, you can omit the candies, and substitute 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar for the Oreo crumbs.}

Hope you love it as much as we do!
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Peach Crisp


It's not peach season.  It's pumpkin season.  I get it.  But this recipe can't go unposted.  This is one of those recipes that I've made 3 times intending to photograph it, but it always disappears before I can get my camera on it.  The bottom crust has a buttery toffee-like taste to it, and the peach layer is gooey and peachy and sweet.  Top this with vanilla bean ice cream and you have pretty much the perfect dessert.

This crisp is SWEET. I love it the way it is, if I just have a small bowl, but you can also cut the sugar down a bit if you prefer.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pooh Corner Peanut Butter Chocolate-dipped Sandwiches

October always makes me pine for Disneyland. Disneyland is just magical in October, completely decked out for Halloween and full of villains, pumpkins, and yummy treats.

I love Disneyland so much that our retirement plan currently consists of moving to a tiny house near the beach, hubby working the Jungle Cruise, and me working at Marceline's or Pooh Corner (my life's ambition, if we're being honest).

If you don't know these places of which I speak- click the links above.  And get a napkin for your drool.

Since we can't be at Disneyland right this second, I made this copycat of Pooh Corner's Peanut Butter Sandwiches.  I get one of these every time we visit and they are worth the 5 or 6 dollars they cost.

Looking for other Disneyland treats?  Check out these Tigger Tails or these Mickey Pops

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

The weather here has finally turned rainy and cold.  I hate the cold by itself, but I LOVE rainy days.  They remind me of living in Brussels and they make me so nostalgic for Europe.  Plus they are the best excuse for curling up by the fireplace with cocoa and a good book. 

And a cookie or two of course.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Blueberry Pie Muffins

The other day I bought my 3 year old boy a knight costume for Halloween.  This is a huge victory because his top two costume choices were:

a) corn


b) a ladybug.

Corn.  Seriously.

And while ladybugs are cute and all, I'm not sure he would ever live it down if that picture got shown to his prom date in 13 years.

My 5 year old on the other hand just wants whichever costume comes with the most weapons.

Go figure.

I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that it is October.  In my mind it's still summer.  And so, we eat muffins.

These are made with blueberry pie filling which makes them SO moist. I have tried 3 blueberry muffin recipes this month (including an incredibly popular one on pinterest), and this one is still my favorite. Frozen berries work great so you can make these year-round.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sweet Orange Butter

Ever crave an orange roll but you don't have hours to make them? This butter is orangey and perfect on a hot white roll. You can whip it up in 5 minutes!  I bet you could even mix in some mini chocolate chips if you love the combination of chocolate and orange as much as I do.

Knowing Walmart those Terry's chocolate oranges will probably be in stores any day now anyways.

Happy Wednesday!
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies


Awhile back I made thebestbrowniesever.  And then I made them even better.  And today I'm doing it again.  If you love peanut butter and chocolate you'll definitely want to try these. 

The frosting is not super peanut-buttery, but it complements these brownies perfectly.  They are pretty rich so you really can cut them into "small squares".

None of this "half-the-pan-qualifies-as-one-brownie, right?", necessary. 

Tell me you've done that too.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Milky Way Rice Krispy Treats

Have you seen all the Halloween candy appearing on store shelves?

Have you bought any yet?

Not me.

Once it's opened I can't stay away from it.

I always scoff at the price of the huge bag of candy at Costco, but by the time Halloween comes around I know I've already gone through at least that much.

It's too tempting!

If you got sucked into buying Halloween candy early, this is a great way to use it up and get it out of sight.  Normally I am not a huge Milky Way fan but I love these!  Gooey and caramely. 


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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

{Dirty Drinks} Dirty Diet Coke & Diet Raspberry Dr. Pepper

Have you heard of dirty drinks?  Soda with a shot of flavored syrup in them?

Dirty drinks are becoming increasingly popular where I live. The most famous being Dirty Diet Coke (Diet coke with lime and coconut).  However, there are so many yummy combinations!  I love raspberry in Diet Dr Pepper.  It has been my Sonic-drink-of-choice for awhile now.

My obscene collection of Torani syrups is due to dirty drinks. My husband laughs that I have a massive collection of "coffee syrups" when I don't even drink coffee.  Yes.  Hilarious.  I am fairly certain he thinks that if the apocalypse comes we will be surviving on sugar-free syrups.

I, personally, see no problem with this. 

What more could one want?

Oh right, bacon.  There is bacon syrup as well.

Major food groups?  Covered. 

Anyways, these drinks are my go-to solution when I am craving sweets and know I shouldn't have any.  Zero calories, but such a treat! They are so much cheaper to make at home and you can have a lot of fun customizing them to your liking.

Afraid you'll never use that great big bottle of Torani?  Here are some other things I've made with mine:

Blueberry Lemon Spritzer
Fresh Citrus Fresca
Berry Spritzer

You basically needs lots of bottles!  Plus... they double as food storage!  ;)

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Saturday, August 31, 2013

S'more Krispy Treats

Rice Krispy treats.

I used to not really get them.   I mean, I just never thought they were that good.  Most of the Rice Krispy treats I'd had were dry and boring. At least those were my feelings until I found this girl- Mallow & Co

Cute blog, right?  And her ratio of marshmallow to cereal is completely different from the recipe on the big blue box.  Guess what?  They're so much better this way!  Her recipes yield nice gooey substantial Rice Krispy treats.  These S'more Krispy treats are one of my favorites.  Lots of gooey marshmallows, chopped up Hershey's bars, and Golden Grahams cereal.  Nummmy.

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Friday, August 30, 2013

American Apple Pie

I used to think I didn't like apple pie.  Biting into a slice of pie and crunching down on an apple just sends shivers down my spine.  Recently it occurred to me that I don't actually hate apple pie.  I just hate the texture of most apple pies.  This pie is the result of some experimentation and results in a pie that does NOT have crunchy apples.  

This pie is amazing.  Double crust, or crumble topping- either way, it's delicious.  If it's not one of the best pies you've had in your life, I will eat it for you. ;)  If you want to make a crumble version see the notes at the bottom of the recipe- you'll need to omit some of the sugar in the pie recipe so it won't be too sweet.  I've included my favorite crumble recipe as well.

I know most people use Granny Smith apples for apple pie, but I love using Braeburn's.  They aren't quite as sour as Granny Smith but they are a tart apple and they don't turn to complete mush when baked like many other apples.  I think they have a better flavor as well. Give them a try!

All-American Apple Pie
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

-Double pie crust
-6 HUGE Braeburn apples (or 8 medium)
-2 Tbsp Minute tapioca granules.
-1/2 lemon (for squeezing)

-1/2 cup butter
-3 Tbsp flour
-1/4 cup water
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1 tsp vanilla

Peel and slice your apples. (After I peel mine, I use an apple cutter to cut them into thick slices.  Then I cut each of those slices very thinly into 4 pieces.  These thin slices cook fast and won't be so crunchy in the finished product.)

Toss minute tapioca and a couple of squeezes of lemon juice with the apples.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Press one pie crust into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.  Stir in vanilla. Reserve just enough of this mixture for glazing the top (Keep it in the saucepan, but remove it from the heat and put a lid on it).

Pour the rest of the mixture over the apples and toss to coat.

Pour apples into pie crust.

Top pie with the second pie crust.  Make sure to vent it well.

Brush reserved sugar mixture over the top of the lattice crust. If it has thickened too much, move it back over low heat (lid on) for a minute or two until you are able to work with it.

Place the pie on a cookie sheet in case it bubbles over while baking.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Lower heat to 350 and bake for 45 minutes more. Because I prefer an apple pie with NO crunch, I then turn the oven off, and leave the pie in the oven for another 30-60 minutes. It is done by now, so this step is totally up to you and how you prefer your pie. (Use a wooden skewer to test the firmness of the apples if you're not sure!)

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.  Allow to come to room temperature before serving. This will "set" the juices so it's not runny.

You can heat individual slices up in the microwave if you want hot apple pie!

Top with vanilla bean ice cream.

For Apple Crumble Pie:  Toss apples with all of the mixture (Do not reserve any for brushing.) Top with crumble topping and bake as usual.

Crumble Topping
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup butter, melted and COOLED

Whisk together dry ingredients.  Add cooled melted butter. Toss until chunks form.  Sprinkle topping evenly over pie.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fresh Peach Pie

My oldest started Kindergarten last week.  I didn't cry.  I know that probably makes me a bad mom, but it was a happy day for both of us. He has been so ready for so long and really it's only 3 hours a day so it's not real school anyways.  It is weird to drop him at school and have my other little one all to myself for a few hours.  When I say weird I do mean weird, but I also mean reallynice.  A piece of me is missing while he's gone but I find I'm also a better mom (and way more patient) with one kid rather than two. 

Being a mom of an elementary schooler is weird as well.  I have to do adulty things like fill out forms and go to back to school night. Don't they know I'm not old enough for that?

I worry about kids leaving him out, or hurting his feelings, or calling him a nerd.  When you become a parent you think the hard part is going to be waking up 9 times every night or hauling a car seat on vacation.  Turns out the hard part is so much more than that.  It's all those fears and worries and the realization that they will never go away and there will always be things you cannot fix.

On a completely different note- Peach is one of my favorite flavors of the summer. There is a little farm stand just down the street from my house and I can't help but overload on peaches, melons, and fresh corn.  I know it is almost time for pumpkin so I've gotta enjoy them while I can! This recipe is one to make as a last minute summer hurrah, or you can tuck away some peaches in the freezer and make this pretty pie for Thanksgiving.  

Happy Thursday!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Anybody craving cheesecake?  These bars are the perfect dessert for an end of summer picnic.  Smooth, creamy, cold, and delicious.

With their gorgeous ruby color, I think they would be perfect for Christmas as well.

You guys have started thinking about that little holiday right?  I already have a stash of Christmas gifts that is piling up.   (I have problems I know.)

I just have to find my five year old a venus flytrap and a declaration of independence.
Kids are weird.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

As far as I know, root beer float cupcakes came into being a few years ago.  To be honest, I always thought this was a completely bizarre cupcake flavor and never had any desire at all to try them.


I have a 5 year old who is obsessed with all things root beer. 

And he has these little.  pug.  stuffed animals.

They are family members.  They go everywhere with us.  They navigate in the car.  I like to hide them in odd places and play #hidethepugshideyowife

Anyways.  It turns out the pugs' birthday was a few weekends ago.  Want to guess what flavor of cupcakes they requested?

And so I strapped my old lady panties on and sucked it up and tried my hand at root beer float cupcakes.

I adapted the frosting from a fluffy vanilla frosting recipe, and it. was. AWESOME.

Seriously amazing.  It tasted just like root beer.  And it was light like whipped cream and full of flavor.

I tried flavoring some cupcakes with root beer extract, but honestly you couldn't really taste it, and I think I would have been happier with French Vanilla cupcakes so the recipe below reflects that.

The conclusion is that these cupcakes are fantastic, and not just for pugs.  It doesn't even have to be your birthday.

The frosting isn't the simplest recipe (yes, it does require you to put a pan on the stove), but it is one of my favorite frostings, because it is so light, and it is worth EVERY SECOND.

Please make these for your pugs.

Happy Tuesday!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Double Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Typically I'm not a huge cookie dough ice cream fan.  I mean it's mostly just vanilla anyways.  I don't even love the cookie dough bits that much because frozen chocolate chips don't melt in your mouth and that just takes away half of the magic of chocolate.

This ice cream, however is cookie dough flavored

An entirely different story altogether.

I really think the best part of homemade ice cream is the freedom to put in an appropriate amount of mix-ins. 

A 1:1 ratio, for example.

This recipe is one to try!
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Black Forest Cupcakes {Cherry Bomb Cupcakes}

Since Halloween costumes are starting to come out, I figured it was about time I posted this 4th of July treat. (Seriously- how is it August?  I am so disoriented!)

I don't know about you, but around here we celebrate America's birthday by blowing things up.  Nothing says the 4th like fireworks, smoke bombs, and sparklers.  These Cherry Bomb cupcakes therefore, are pretty patriotic, don't you think?

They are yummy any time of year, but if you want to make them for the 4th, the blue cherries make them extra cute. (Roland brand makes these.  You can find them at specialty shops or on the internet.)

Happy Super Ridiculously Late Birthday America!

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Boysenberry Crumble Bars

Sometimes you need a ridiculously easy recipe that you can put together in your sleep.  This is it.  4 ingredients people.  4 ingredients!!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Big Fat Chewy Triple Chocolate Cookies {Peanut Butter Triple Chocolate version included}

Because I bake a lot, I don't repeat recipes very often.  This Bakery Cookie recipe however, is one that I make over and over again.  It is my go-to cookie because it has the perfect taste and the perfect texture. The cookies are huge and substantial, chewy and chocolatey.

Lately I've started playing with the recipe and adapting it to different flavors.  I haven't nailed a peanut butter oatmeal version yet, but this Triple Chocolate cookie is perfect!  Add peanut butter chips for a Peanut Butter Chocolate version that will knock you over it's so good.

Cookies are absolutely my weakness, how about you?

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gooey Cinnamon Rolls {Breadmaker}

I have never been a great cinnamon roll maker.  I go a little crazy with the flour so they tend to come out too dry for my tastes.  This time I used a breadmaker to knead my dough, which kept me from adding too much flour and they came out perfectly!  If you have a breadmaker I highly recommend using it. I swear washing the breadpan by hand really isn't that bad.

(I wouldn't actually know because mine is still sitting in the sink from last week.  Ahem.)

Sweet rolls do not keep well, so if you can't polish off an entire pan, you can freeze the dough once you have cut it in slices  (Just place the slices on a cookie sheet.  Freeze completely.  Then throw them all in a ziploc freezer bag.)  Every time you want a cinnamon roll, just pull one of the frozen slices out.  Allow it to thaw and rise until doubled in size.  Then bake!)

You know you want a fresh cinnamon roll every day of your life.

This dough recipe would work well for orange rolls as well.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Banana Split Popsicles

I am camera shy. 

Come within 15 feet of me with a camera and I will probably drop-kick you or otherwise incapacitate most of your limbs.

It's not you, its me. 

Some of us just aren't meant to be captured on film.

These pops have that problem.  They're not super photogenic but they are so pretty in real life, so don't judge them too harshly. 

You're not tired of pops yet, are you?

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Fresh Citrus Fresca

I have another zero calorie drink for you today.  I'd be hard pressed to call this a recipe, but adding some fresh orange slices and orange juice puts a whole new twist on Fresca.

Try it out sometime!

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cookies N Cream Popsicles


I haven't been posting much lately because life has been so. flippin. busy.  With the kiddos out of school the days just fly by.  I spent last week camping in the mountains with the youth from my church and learned a few lessons.

First of all, teenage girls are hilarious.   Seriously.  Hil.Ar.i.ous.  Teenage girls usually get a bad rap for being catty and judgmental but in actuality they have great hearts and wicked senses of humor to boot.  Watching teenage girls is a comedy routine in itself.  Sucking down vinegar packets, popping bubblegum all over their faces, putting toothpaste on their noses to attract Snipes... I probably need to adopt a teenage girl just for the daily ab workout.  I have no idea how their minds work.  I really don't.  But they are always entertaining in a "What the crap is going on??"  sort of way.

Second of all, teenage girls have a ridiculous amount of energy.  I like to pretend that I am still young and energetic but this trip reminded me that I am in fact, old.  Teenagers can stay up all night and not act like zombies the next day.  Ok, actually some of them act like zombies. I brought my kids' very realistic, and very hairy, Halloween rat, up to camp with the intention of placing it in strategic places to scare the pants off of some of my girls.   I was so tired I completely forgot about that darn rat!  Wherever these girls get their energy from, I need some of it.

Also, teenage girls eat.  A lot.  It was insanely hot when we were up there and I so wished we could have had some popsicles.  These ones would have done it.  Actually any ones would have done it.  Also a swimming pool full of ice cubes, if we're not being picky.

I had a great time up there with those cute girls but I was not at all sad to come home to my nice soft bed and a hot bubble bath.

On to popsicles?

I love the sound of Cookies N Cream 'popsicles' but let's be honest, there's cream in these so really they're just ice cream bars.

I won't tell if you don't.

I'm hoping to be back posting regularly, now that the crazy bits of my summer are winding down.  I have missed posting but I certainly haven't slowed down in the baking department.  I have lots to share with you.

Have a popsicle and enjoy your weekend!

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

S'more Dip

We have a firepit in our backyard that our kids love to roast S'mores on.  It is a good alternative to dragging them into the woods every weekend to camp and having to listen to my 3 year olds "noises" all night. (I love him.  But not when I have to sleep 1 foot from him.) 

Some days though?  We are even too lazy to gather the wood and light up the firepit.  This snack is great for those times.  Just make sure you have lots of people to share it with, because it is dangerous and it disappears alarmingly fast.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cherry Cheesecake Popsicles

Last week I attempted baking some cherry pie filling into a box brownie mix.  The brownies tasted delicious but the texture was all wrong.  All that moisture turned those brownies into more of a heavy cake.  

For a whole week I wondered what to do with the other half a can of that pie filling.  As I was eating a cookie dough popsicle, these cherry cheesecake popsicles hit my brain and I started making them immediately.

In my baking stash I even found some leftover mini graham cracker pie crusts to use.  Cheesecake in any form is a good thing, right?

Please, have a pop.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cookie Dough Popsicles

I love to collect dessert cookbooks.  The ones with nice big pictures that leave my mouth hanging open and my brain in a diabetic coma.  In my collection is a book all about cookie dough.  Cookie dough donuts?  It's got them.  Cookie dough marshmallows?  Check.  Cookie dough granola bars, cookie dough S'mores, cookie dough EVERYTHING.  While I certainly haven't tried all the recipes yet, so far this is one of my favorites.

These pops really taste just like cookie dough.  We will make them again and again this summer. The original recipe doesn't call for any heavy cream, so if you don't have that and don't want to buy it, feel free to replace it with milk. One of the best things about these popsicles is that there are no weird ingredients in this recipe so you probably have everything you need to make them in your pantry right now.

If you're interested in the cookbook (which I have absolutely no affiliation with!) you can find it at

Happy Thursday!
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cinnamon Chip Scones

These sweet biscuits are crumbly and cinnamon-y and delicious.  Cinnamon chips used to be a seasonal item, but my local Walmart still carries them so maybe that has changed.  If you've never tried cinnamon chips, you need to, they are delicious! Find them with the regular chocolate chips on the baking aisle.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Berry Spritzer

Out here we have a casual soup and salad restaurant called Zupas.  It really is a wonderful place.  It makes salad haters like me love salad.  The 'Nuts about Berries' salad has sweet dressing, fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and nuts that are roasted in brown sugar and cinnamon.  I mean... even I can eat that kind of a salad.

Every meal comes with a fresh slice of French bread and a chocolate-dipped strawberry.

But my favorite part is the drinks.  Zupas actually has Sprite Zero in their soda fountains.  AND they have a whole bunch of flavored syrups so you can customize drinks to your liking.  This Berry Spritzer is a recipe from the back of a Zupas cup.  I love it so much I bought the syrups to make it at home.

ZERO calories people!!

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Deep Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Reputation is an important thing.  I always hoped to be known as the crazy cat lady who lived with too many animals to be allowed, but it seems my reputation is turning out to be the crazy cupcake lady instead.  I guess I'm fine with that.  I mean, it's better than being known as the lady who dumpster dives for birthday presents, or the lady who secretly has a tail.

The funny part is that I don't even like cupcakes that much.  Give me a cookie over a cupcake any day.

Anyway, these are deep dark chocolate cupcakes with caramel frosting, a caramel drizzle and a pinch of salt on top.  When I first tried one I thought it was just okay.  I had another about 6 hours later once the caramel flavor had really developed in the frosting and it was So.Yummy.  Make these at least a few hours in advance before serving.

The caramel frosting is only going to be as good as the caramel you use, so I highly recommend making your own (It's easy peasy, I promise.  Just follow the link in the recipe below).  If you are pressed for time, or are just really really afraid of caramel, you can use some store-bought caramel topping, but buy something good like Mrs. Richardson's Butterscotch Caramel.

Next time I make these I'm going to try a pretzel crust on the bottom like is used for Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad.

What's your reputation?  Is it what you wish it was?


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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Our kids are obsessed with animals.  Like, if we're walking through a parking lot and there is a dog in a car, we have to stop to look at it, and faun over it, and pretend to pet it through the window.  Every.single.time.  And inevitably the owners always walk up while we're peering through their windows and they're all: "Oh hey, Creepy. Get away from my car."


And if an animal wanders into our yard there is much hyperventilating and freaking out and attempts to name it, capture it, and keep it for our own.  (Usually sufficiently enough to scare said animals away for life.  Sometimes a good thing.)

For the record we do have pets.

Anyways, want to know what's cool?

When your kids chase a cat around your yard one night, except it turns out to be a skunk.

If you need me, I'll be buying four cases of tomato juice.

Just kidding.  My kids are really fast runners.  The neighborhood just smells like musky burnt rubber bands that have been decaying for a few years.

Also.  Skunk is a weird word.

These cookies are deliciously chewy and kind of addicting. The oatmeal is blended up before adding so you can't detect little oat pieces in these. These also have pecans but you can omit them if you need to.

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade

Now that summer has begun,  a pitcher of fresh-squeezed lemonade should pretty much be a staple in any refrigerator.

Just kidding.   Ain't nobody got time fo that.

Around here, the lemonade in my fridge usually consists of Crystal Light or Country Time (we're so refined it hurts), but every now and then I'll find the time & the mental brainpower to make some fresh-squeezed.

Really, it doesn't even compare, does it?

This is Chick Fil A's recipe for lemonade. I made mine diet using splenda, but you can use real sugar if you prefer.  I love this recipe because it doesn't taste like it's diet and you can have as much as you like.

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

German Chocolate Brownies

The brownie recipe I posted earlier this week was so good, I just couldn't stop there. I decided to make it again, and this time I topped the brownies with some homemade German Chocolate frosting.


Truly, these are incredible.  The sweetness of the frosting cuts the richness of the brownies perfectly and the pecans put these brownies over the top.  These are better brownies by FAR than I have ever purchased at a bakery or restaurant. 

The frosting is delicious on brownies, but it is equally wonderful on dark chocolate cupcakes as well.  Want to make a fantastic German Chocolate cake?  Use this frosting to top a Devil's Food cake.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Fudgy Homemade Brownies

I think we have discussed before my love of the Betty Crocker red box.  Betty's fudgy brownies always come out perfectly chewy and are only a buck a box.  Add in some chocolate chips and they are pretty close to perfect.

This is the first time I have made homemade brownies that came even close to Betty's chewy brownies.  And these babies blew me out of the water.  They are SO dark and so chocolaty.  Totally worth the effort of homemade brownies vs. the beloved box mix.

Make these now.


When the chocolate monster is raging inside of you- this is the recipe you need. 

Want to really take these over the top?  Add some german chocolate frosting to make German Chocolate Brownies

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Sunday, June 2, 2013


Because every now and then you have a peanut butter craving that must be satisfied-

These bars are crispy, rich, and peanut buttery.  The corn syrup makes them a little bit chewy so they have the perfect texture.

And the name?  It's just plain fun to say.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blueberry Lemon Spritzer

Let's address the elephant in the room, shall we?  The irony of the word 'elephant' here is hilarious. Summer is almost here, and chances are most of us are going to have to don swimsuits soon, at least every once in awhile.  While I never really stop making desserts, I do try to make some lower calorie options in the summer.  Everyone wants to feel good about themselves at the beach, and with so many fresh fruit options there are just so many yummy things you can make that aren't twelve million calories.

I have a little obsession with Torani syrups.  I probably have 12-15 flavors and I love to experiment with them and mix them in to drinks.

This drink in particular is delicious and it is 40 calories plus blueberries/lemon garnish.

(It's against my religion to count calories in fruit so if you really want to know exact calories, you may have to do a little math.) 

I hope you like these!

Looking for Torani syrups?  World Market has a limited selection.  Here in Utah I usually buy my syrups at Pirate O's in Draper; they have a huge selection!  Lollicup is a great online retailer for anyone living elsewhere.  The syrups are only about $5 at Lollicup and while shipping is $10, it doesn't change, even if you buy 6 bottles (which is a killer deal!).  So if you want to go that route, you might want to order a bunch of flavors, or get some friends to go in on an order with you.  Sugar Free Raspberry is my favorite!
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Friday, May 31, 2013

Frozen Cherry Garcia Brownie Squares

Up until this week I always thought I was a twelve year old at heart.  I would eat jelly beans for every meal if I could, and I refuse to talk to strangers on the phone unless dragged, kicking and screaming.  (Seriously.  Do not ask me to call someone I don't know.  Stranger Danger!)

Swim lessons started for my little this week, and after a week or so of people watching at the pool, I am fairly convinced that I am actually a grandmother at heart.

Water Aerobics? Coolest thing ever.  Unfortunately no one in the class is under the age of 70.  (And I mean that seriously because my parents are pretty close to being 60 and nobody in the class looks even close to being their age. There are walkers galore along the edge of the pool.)  I could probably sign up, but that might be all kinds of weird.  For all parties involved.

So instead I pine for the days I can take water aerobics classes every morning without looking like a freak, and hubby can retire so we can walk laps at the mall.  (Another old person activity I, personally, find enticing.)

Also I really like to feed children sweets and tell them to ignore the advice of their parents.

You can call me Grams if you feel so inclined.


There is a little bit of a story behind these brownies. Typically, when I cut bars, I freeze them first so I get nice clean lines, especially if there are lots of gooey toppings.  So it was quite by accident that I decided these bars should be frozen.

They are supposed to be refrigerated;  And they are alright out of the fridge.

But out of the freezer?  They taste like a brownie with a big scoop of Cherry Garcia ice cream on top.

Could.Not. Stop.Eating. 

For real.  I think I ate the weight of a small child in these brownies.  And I didn't even regret it when I had to wear yoga pants for a week.

(If you're thinking, "These are the only pants that fit right now..."  I love you.) 

Please. Please.  Freeze these.  Make them.  Eat them. Cherish them.  Ben & Jerry would approve. Nobody can judge you for eating the whole pan if you don't tell anybody.  ;)

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Coconut Syrup

 A lot of years back, A few years back, when I was in college I went to school in Hawaii for a summer.  You know, taking a serious course-load like Tennis and Principles of Education. (The tests were crossword puzzles.  Yes, there was a word box.  And we got cookies for finishing. Probably the most rigorous semester of my life.) 

Besides for going to the beach everyday, and legitimate Shave Ice, coconut syrup was one of the best things about living there.

Although I haven't found a dead ringer for real Hawaiian coconut syrup, this stuff is pretty darn close. We use it over french toast and pancakes, and I'm sure it would be great on waffles as well.  This is a great way to welcome summer.

Happy Wednesday! Thanks for visiting me today!

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