DIY Magnetic Spice Containers

After we finished getting settled in our new home, one of projects on the top of my list was a more efficient way to store and access spices. We basically had one cabinet PACKED with spices and baking ingredients. It was impossible to find you were looking for without having to pull them all out of the shelf.

Looking around Pinterest, I found tons of ideas for spice containers and ways to store them. My favorite version was the magnetic containers on the wall. Most of the versions I found, though, were pretty pricey. Instead, I decided to create my own DIY version.

I was at a craft store and found a sale on small containers that looked perfect for a magnetic spice tins. I bought some scrapbooking stickers and a role of magnetic tape to complete the look.

This spice DIY project was super easy to make, pretty cheap since I found the containers on sale, and created exactly what I was looking for. I placed the spice containers on the fridge and now we have easy access to all our favorite spices!

Magnetic Spice Container materials:
  • Small tins 
  • Magnetic tape
  • Stickers
  • Pen
  • Spices
Magnetic Spice Container instructions:
  • Thoroughly wash and dry spice containers
  • Adhere two strips of magnetic tape to the back of the containers
  • Write spice name on the stickers
  • Add a sticker to the front of the container
  • Fill containers with spices

Orange Chicken

You may have heard this once or twice...but I'm a huge fan of the Pioneer Woman. I love watching her show and taste testing her recipes. Her site is one of my go to destinations for new recipes; they are consistently delicious and packed with flavor. A year ago, I was lucky enough to go to a live cooking demonstration and meet her at a book signing! 

Ever since she announced her new cookbook was coming out, I've been anticipating its arrival! The cookbook came out in October and I eagerly flipped through the pages and started marking all the recipes I couldn't wait to try. Among my favorites was an orange chicken recipe. We love Chinese food, but have never attempted an orange chicken before. 

This recipe also gave us a chance to try out our small deep fryer that we recently purchased. We do not fry very often, but this makes it easier. Also, since we have a glass flat top stove and didn't want to use our extremely heavy cast iron dutch oven for frying the chicken.

This dish is quite tasty! The sauce is full of citrus flavor, a hint of sweetness, and a slight kick of heat from the red pepper. I love the addition of orange zest along with the juice, it gave it a freshness and enhanced the flavor.

Orange Chicken ingredients:
  • Peanut oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 2 - 2 1/2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • Dash of Kosher salt
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbs of additional cornstarch for slurry
  • 1/4 cup water for slurry
  • 2 green onions
Orange Chicken instructions:
  • Heat oil at medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed pot (or in a deep fryer) until it registers 350F
  • Cut chicken breasts into bite sized pieces
  • Whisk together egg whites and 2 tbs of corn starch until foamy
  • Place chicken in egg mixture and sit for 5-10 minutes
  • Whisk together orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and orange zest in a skillet
  • Create a slurry with the 1 tbs of cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; place to the side
  • Heat orange juice mixture to a boil over medium-high heat
  • Add slurry mixture and combined
  • Cook sauce for 1 minute, or until thick (add water if it gets too thick)
  • Cook chicken in batches in the oil (don't clump together) for 2-2 1/2 minutes until light golden brown and cooked through
  • Remove chicken from oil and let drain on a paper towel
  • Cook the chicken for a second time for 1 minute per batch
  • Remove them and drain on another paper towel
  • Warm the sauce back up and add some water if too thick
  • Place chicken in sauce and toss it
  • Grate additional orange zest
  • Serve with rice and some green onions for garnish

Mummy Meatballs

Halloween is not my favorite holiday, but I've gotten into a bit more this year. We finally live in a neighborhood where we should get trick-or-treaters! We are also participating in our church's trunk or treat with our small group. Our group is doing a zoo themed trunk and all dressing up like animals and zookeepers. Here is my $3 giraffe costume:

Even our cat is getting into Halloween...sort of. I'm not sure Elphie is too thrilled to be dressing up as Elsa from Frozen.

This week we had a small group meeting and I decided to get festive with Halloween snacks. I made my favorite pumpkin treats and some mummy meatballs! 

I have seen the meatballs all over Pinterest and Facebook lately. I added my own twist for the eyes, though. There were so many versions of the eyes out there from a simple dot of marinara sauce, to a more complex cheese and olive creation. I decided to use mozzarella cheese for the eyes with a small dab of marinara sauce.

The mummy meatballs are actually much simpler to make than it looks! The meatballs were a hit with our group and would be a perfect addition to any Halloween get together or party.

Mummy Meatball ingredients:
  • 20 frozen cooked Italian meatballs
  • 1 roll of crescent dough
  • 1 slice of mozzarella cheese
  • Marinara sauce
Mummy Meatball instructions:
  • Roll out crescent dough and lightly press in where the perforations are
  • Cut the dough horizontally and vertically in the middle to create 4 rectangles
  • Cut each rectangle horizontally into 10 strips
  • Wrap 2 strips around each meatball to look like bandages
  • Make sure there is space on the front to add eyes
  • Bake per directions on the meatball package, around 15 minutes
  • While baking, punch out small circles of mozzarella cheese using a small straw
  • Let meatballs cool a few mins once taking them out of the oven
  • Pour some marinara sauce in a resealable bag and snip off a small bit of the corner
  • Pipe a dab of marinara sauce and place the mozzarella "eyes" on the meatballs
  • Pipe another dab of marinara sauce on each eye
  • Serve with warm marinara sauce

Spicy Rum Chicken

I was flipping through last month's Food Network magazine when today's delicious chicken dish caught my eye. This recipe is from Eddie Jackson, the latest winner of Food Network Star. We followed the show this year and I have to be honest...I was a bit bummed Jay Ducote didn't win. But, this recipe has me excited for Eddie's new show; I can't wait to see what other delicious recipes he will share!

Eddie's spicy rum recipe was actually a chicken wing recipe, but we decided to use the marinade for chicken tenders instead of wings. The marinade is full of big flavors with a kick of spice. I have several different spicy chicken recipes that I love, but this is definitely entering into our rotation!

Spicy Rum Chicken ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup rum
  • 3 tbs lime juice
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 habanero chile peppers (seeded and minced)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Spicy Rum Chicken instructions:
  • Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl
  • Place chicken in a resealable bag and pour in a majority of marinade, leaving some off to the side
  • Refrigerate chicken in marinade for 3-4 hours
  • Place chicken and marinade in a skillet over medium-high heat
  • Cook chicken for 4 minutes
  • Flip and cook on the other side for 4 additional minutes
  • Turn the heat down to low and pour in the remaining marinade
  • Let the chicken simmer in the liquid for an additional 4-5 minutes

Pumpkin Scones

I love this time of year - scarves, boots, apple cider, fall decor, and of course pumpkin! We recently visited a pumpkin patch and added some new fall decor to our home.

Here's how I decorated for Fall (so far) -

Outdoor pumpkin decor:

  • Used washi tape to decorate a white colored pumpkin
  • Glued buttons on and finished with a ribbon for extra detail
  • Still need to carve a pumpkin for this year!
Fall mantle decor:
  • Covered soda bottles with blue and tan twine and added button/twine letters 
  • Added ribbon to a small pumpkin
  • Finished off mantle with fall flowers in the soda bottle vases

Besides Fall decor, my other favorite aspect of the season are the flavors. Cinnamon, apples, nutmeg, and pumpkin (my personal favorite).

One of my favorite pumpkin treats has to be Starbucks' pumpkin scone. I recently ran across a copycat recipe for this treat and knew I had to try it out this Fall!

I made a couple minor tweaks to the recipe, and it is SO delicious! It's a new favorite recipe for my husband and I. One of the things I decided to change was the shape of the scone. You may recall when I made the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon chip scones I made them heart shaped. I decided for these pumpkin scones, I would make them pumpkin shaped! Instead of a random drizzle for the spiced glaze, I added the glaze to represent the ribs of the pumpkins.

Pumpkin Scone ingredients:

  • Scone ingredients:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
    • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
    • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    • 3 tbs milk
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Glaze
    • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 2 tbs milk
  • Spiced glaze
    • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • 2 tbs milk
Pumpkin Scone instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Link a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt
  • Add cold butter and combine with pastry blender until the consistency is similar to course crumbs
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, milk, egg, and vanilla
  • Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula until a soft dough forms
  • Flour surface and dump dough onto the surface
  • Roll the dough out to about 3/4 in thickness
  • Cut into triangles or use cookie cutter to cut out scone shape
  • Place on baking sheet 
  • Bake 10-12 minutes
  • Whisk together milk and confectioners' sugar in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, confectioners' sugar, and cinnamon/nutmeg
  • After scones have cooled for 10 minutes, cover the scones with the plain glaze
  • Top the scones by drizzling the spiced glaze
Enjoy these delicious (and adorable) pumpkin scones this Fall!

Sweet and Salty Trail Mix

It's just a couple more days until Fall - how is that possible?! This summer was a bit of a blur with work and getting all settled in our new house. Neither my husband or I have taken a vacation day since February... Thankfully it's just two weeks until we go on a week-long cruise. I am extremely ready for a bit of rest and relaxation!

We have a crazy early flight, so I'm planning to pack a tasty trail mix to snack on while I travel. There are so many delicious trail mixes out there, but I decided to make my own recipe with all my favorite snack components!

My trail mix begins with an oats and dark chocolate protein granola. I incorporated the same granola from my yogurt parfait recipe. I added in unsweetened coconut and sliced almonds. To complete the trail mix, I added my favorite salty component (pretzels) and of course something sweet (white chocolate)!

This trail mix is addicting, I love how all the flavors meld together into one amazing sweet and salty bite!

Sweet and Salty Trail Mix ingredients:
  • 2 cups of your favorite granola (I like honey dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup pretzel sticks
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
Sweet and Salty Trail Mix instructions:
  • Break up pretzel sticks
  • Mix together granola, pretzels, sliced almonds, and white chocolate chips
  • Enjoy!!

Crockpot Cajun Brisket

You may have noticed my blog has been a bit more on the savory side this summer. Recently I've made some spicy breakfast sandwiches, chicken salad croissants, spicy zucchini baked fries, and veggie teriyaki skewers. I have some ideas of sweets I plan to test out soon, but for now I'm sticking with the savory side of recipes.

Work has been very hectic lately, so crockpot meals are a must during the week. Whether its roast with potatoes and carrots, bbq chicken, or chicken tacos (sharing later this week), it's nice to have dinner ready whenever work is over.

Today's recipe is a flavorful brisket that tastes like it has been cooking in the oven all day, but without heating the house up! The brisket is a crockpot modified version of the Pioneer Woman's Cajun Brisket recipe. It starts with a spice rub that you put on the brisket and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. The spice rub adds a ton of flavor, but then you add even more dimension to the dish with veggies, tomato paste, and coffee. The brisket was tender, flavorful, and a new favorite for my husband and I!

Cajun Brisket ingredients:
  • Spice rub
    • 2 tbs kosher salt
    • 1 tbs seasoned salt
    • 1 tbs onion powder
    • 1 tbs garlic powder 
    • 1 tbs paprika
    • 1 tbs ground black pepper
    • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 2 tsp lemon pepper
    • 1 tsp ground thyme
    • 1 tsp ground oregano
    • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 6-8 lb beef brisket
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 green peppers, sliced
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes in liquid
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 cups strongly brewed coffee
  • Chopped parsley
Cajun Brisket instructions:
  • The night before cooking, mix together the spice rub
  • Cover the brisket with the spice rub on all sides
  • Wrap the brisket tightly with plastic wrap
  • Refrigerate overnight
  • Place in crockpot
  • Top with the chopped garlic and celery, and the sliced bell pepper and onion
  • Pour tomatoes and tomato paste over top and stir
  • Finish it off by pouring the coffee over the top
  • Heat on low for 6-7 hours
  • Serve with chopped fresh parsley
Enjoy this flavorful brisket!

Spicy Sausage and Biscuit Sandwich

During the busy work week, my typical breakfast consists of oatmeal, toast, or anything quick and easy! Whenever we have a lazy Saturday, though, we enjoy cooking a big breakfast. One of my favorite breakfast dishes are my lemon blueberry pancakes

We recently tried a spicy, cheesy twist on a sausage and biscuit sandwich that is delicious. It's based on a Pioneer Woman recipe, with a few modifications. The bread for the sandwich is a cheddar biscuit seasoned with cayenne - yum! These were my first attempt at making biscuits by scratch on my own, usually my husband takes care of the biscuits. It's another recipe I can mark off of my recipe bucket list!

The sandwiches have the flavor kicked up another notch by seasoning the sausage patties with cayenne.

Spicy Sausage and Biscuit Sandwich ingredients:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered milk
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your taste)
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into bits
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tbs melted butter
  • Breakfast sausage seasoned with cayenne pepper

    Spicy Sausage and Biscuit Sandwich instructions:
    • Preheat oven to 450F
    • Whisk together flour, powdered milk, sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and cayenne pepper
    • Use a pastry cutter to blend in butter bits and shortening, blend until combined
    • Mix in cheese
    • Fold in buttermilk
    • Flour a surface and turn dough out onto the surface
    • Fold dough and press into a circle around 1 inch thick
    • Cut out biscuits with biscuit cutter or glass
    • Place biscuits in cast iron skillet
    • Brush with butter
    • Bake 10-12 minutes
    • Fry sausage patties in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through
    • Season both sides of sausage patties with cayenne pepper
    • Create delicious spicy sandwich with biscuit and sausage

    Chicken Salad Croissant

    Chicken salad is one of my favorite sandwiches, especially when it comes on a flaky, buttery croissant. I love the tang and crunch of this classic dish! When you order it at a restaurant, though, you never know quite what to expect...there are so many versions. I've had so many different styles that I've enjoyed, but I do have a few preferences. For example, I really don't like grapes in my chicken salad. I don't know what it is, I enjoy snacking on grapes...but I am not a fan or them in my sandwich. Pecans and celery, though, are a must. The flavor and crunch makes the sandwich!

    I was craving chicken salad the other day, so I decided I would try and make my own so I could have it exactly the way I prefer! I have a bucket list of recipes I've been wanting to try or dishes that I wanted to try and make a homemade version of, chicken salad was on this list. I noticed a recipe in a cookbook my mom gave me recently for one of my favorite restaurants back home. This recipe is pretty basic, but it was delicious! I made a batch up and ate off of it all week for lunch. Next time, I'd like to experiment with some additional herbs to enhance the flavor, but this is a quick and easy version that still tastes great.

    I made a few changes to the recipe including leaving out the grapes, shredding the chicken rather than cubing, and using low-fat mayonnaise.

    Chicken Salad Croissant ingredients:

    • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (or cubed, I just prefer shredded in a sandwich)
    • 1/2 cup finely-chopped celery
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
    • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
    • 1 tsp salt
    • Dash of freshly cracked black pepper
    • Croissants
    Chicken Salad Croissant instructions:
    • Shred cooked chicken breast
    • Chop celery and pecans
    • Combine chicken, celery, pecan, mayonnaise in a bowl
    • Season with salt and pepper
    • Mix together to combined seasoning throughout
    • Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving
    • Using a bread knife, carefully slice croissants down the middle
    • Spoon chicken salad in croissants and enjoy!

    Spicy Baked Zucchini Fries with the Perfect Crunch

    It's only a few weeks until National Zucchini Day on August 8. Zucchini is a food that I used to dislike, but now I can't get enough of the delicious vegetable! I've featured zucchini in several of my favorite dishes:

    Today's zucchini dish tops my list of favorite recipes! I've been wanting to try the recipe out for a while, but I wasn't sure about the Parmesan cheese...I'm not a huge fan. But, I recently saw some hot pepper seasoned grated Parmesan cheese in the grocery and was intrigued! It inspired me to take a spicy twist on the baked fries. The black pepper, seasonings in the Parmesan cheese, and the red pepper flakes all contributed to a nice level of heat. I even added some red pepper flakes to the marinara sauce I dipped them in!

    Once I had the spices figured out, I still had some reservations. I love fried zucchini, but it's hard to replicate the delicious crispiness with baking. Amazingly, these zucchini zucchini fries have the PERFECT crunch, though! It's nice to have a healthier alternative to fried zucchini, without sacrificing flavor or crunch. The Panko breadcrumbs are the key to this texture. I use the breadcrumbs for my baked macaroni and the fake fried chicken recipe that I love!!

    Here's how I made the delicious, spicy zucchini fries -

    Spicy Baked Zucchini Fries ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
    • 1/4 cup hot pepper seasoned grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
    • Salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
    • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into fries
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 egg, beaten
    Spicy Baked Zucchini Fries instructions:
    • Preheat oven to 425F
    • Coat baking sheet with nonstick spray
    • Combine Panko, Parmesean, and seasonings
    • Dredge zucchini in flour, dip in egg, dredge in Panko mixture
    • Place on baking sheet
    • Bake 20 minutes
    • Cool for a few minutes
    • Dip in marinara sauce or your favorite dipping sauce

    Teriyaki Veggie Skewers

    Our house is pretty divided when it comes to vegetables. Potatoes and the occasional green bean are about the extent of my husband's vegetable intake. I, on the other hand, love a good veggie dish. Zucchini, carrots, peppers, onions, and even eggplant - all delicious in my book!

    The last time we grilled out, we definitely had a his/hers cookout. While my husband made hot dogs (I'm not a fan...), I made these teriyaki marinated veggie skewers. The sauce is based on the Pioneer Woman's Skewers of Glory recipe, but I decided to try them on veggies.  The marinade uses teriyaki sauce, but kicks up the flavor with lemon, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. The marinade is slightly smokey, sweet, and has a bit of a spicy kick...well at least when you triple the red pepper flake amount... I love a spicy kick!

    I smothered this amazing sauce on some of my favorite veggies - zucchini, onion, green pepper, and red pepper. I had a few red potatoes laying around and decided to try them out, but the pieces were a bit too big and didn't get cooked all the way through. I probably won't use them on the skewer again, but the other veggies were perfectly charred and had a nice crunch!

    If you love veggies, you will definitely want to try this recipe. I will be making these skewers again at our next cookout!

    Teriyaki Veggie Skewer ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 tbs ground ginger
    • 1 tbs sugar
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • Dash of kosher salt
    • 2 whole green onions
    • Your choice of veggies (zucchini, onion, green pepper, red pepper, mushroom, etc.)
    Teriyaki Veggie Skewer instructions:
    • Mix together all marinade ingredients (teriyaki sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, red pepper flakes, lemon, salt, green onion)
    • Cut veggies into small slices and pieces
    • Pour marinade in sealable bag and drop in veggies
    • Refrigerate marinade bag and let sit for 2-4 hours
    • Place veggies on a metal skewer
    • Place on grill and turn ever few minutes, cook for around 10 minutes total

    Indoor Peanut Butter S'mores

    What's better on a warm summer evening than the gooey goodness of s'mores?! The only downside is there's really no substitute for the toasted marshmallow, and it can be hard to do without a fire pit or bonfire. We've tried to use the microwave, but it's a mess and the marshmallows still don't get toasted. But, today's recipe is the perfect indoor version of the popular summer treat transforming it into a dip you can easily create in the oven.

    This recipe couldn't be simpler or quicker to make! It takes longer to preheat the oven than to actually cook it. I found a few different versions of this recipe online. One version I saw used Reese's in place of chocolate chips, which takes the s'mores to the next level!! Peanut butter s'mores - yum!!

    There's so much you could do with this recipe by replacing the chocolate chips or Reese's with another chocolate-y treat. Andes mint s'mores, Snickers s'mores, dark chocolate s'mores, caramel s'mores using Rolo's, etc. - so many possibilities!!

    The Reese's version is pretty great, though. The dip was a big hit with our friends at our cookout this past weekend.

    Here's the quick and easy way to make indoor s'mores dip.

    Peanut Butter S'mores Dip ingredients:

    • 1 bag of mini Reese's
    • 32 marshmallows
    • Graham crackers
    Peanut Butter S'mores Dip instructions:
    • Preheat the oven to 450F
    • Unwrap Reese's and place in the bottom of a baking dish
    • Top with marshmallows
    • Bake 8-10 minutes until marshmallows are golden brown on top
    • Let cool a few minutes
    • Dip graham crackers in the concoction and enjoy!

    American Flag Fruit Pizza

    Happy 4th of July!

    Hope you and your family had a safe and enjoyable 4th of July! My husband and I both had Friday off, so we started the festivities a little early. On Friday, we had a few friends over for a cookout. Our tiny grill got a workout as we made quite a few burgers and hot dogs. I also prepared some of the corn salsa I just shared and my favorite baked mac 'n cheese. For dessert, I created an American flag themed fruit pizza (shared below) and an amazingly delicious S'mores Dip (sharing next week)! All in all, I think our first cookout in our new home was a success. After having a small apartment for the past few years, it was nice to have a big enough space to entertain!

    After the cookout, we played a few outdoor games and then enjoyed music and dazzling fireworks at our church.

    Saturday was a bit more relaxed. We decided to grill out a second time as well as finish up the rest of our cookout leftovers. My husband cooked up the last few hot dogs, and I experimented with a new recipe for teriyaki veggies. Delicious! It's one of my favorite new savory recipes I've tried lately, I'll be sharing the recipe this week.

    The weekend was filled with quality time with friends and delicious food - a wonderful celebration of our nation's birthday!

    The fruit pizza I made for our cookout is similar to the fruit cookie cups I previously made, and based on a Pioneer Woman recipe. The sugar cookie crust is amazing with just a hint of orange. Our kitchen was filled with a delicious aroma of vanilla and orange zest...yum!

    American Flag Fruit Pizza ingredients:

    • Sugar cookie crust -
      • 1 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
      • 1 1/2 cup sugar
      • 1 tsp orange zest
      • 1 tsp vanilla
      • 2 eggs
      • 8 tsp whole milk
      • 4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 3 tsp baking powder
      • 1/2 tsp salt
    • Cream cheese topping - 
      • 1 jar (13 oz) marshmallow creme
      • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
    • Blueberries
    • Strawberries

    American Flag Fruit Pizza instructions:
    • Cream butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla
    • Beat in both eggs until light and fluffy
    • Mix in milk
    • Sift the remaining dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, salt
    • Slowly add the dry ingredients into butter mixture
    • Mix until fully combined
    • Flatten between two sheets of wax paper
    • Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze of 20 minutes
    • Flatten dough into cookie sheet, I used half of the dough in a small cookie sheet and saved the rest of the dough to make some cookies later!
    • Bake the dough 12-15 minutes
    • Cool completely
    • Whip the cream cheese and marshmallow creme together until smooth
    • Spread over the cookie crust
    • Decorate the top left corner with blueberries and then arrange slices of strawberries to make stripes

    Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

    It's summer, which means time for cookouts and barbecues. While I love cakes and cupcakes, nothing beats the summer heat like ice cream. Today's recipe combines both in a delicious frozen dish. A few years ago I had a similar version at a cookout with friends and was shocked to find out it was simply ice cream sandwiches and whipped topping. I like ice cream sandwiches well enough, but they are definitely transformed into a much tastier treat with this frozen cake.

    This recipe is quick and simple, but it's also easy to customize to your favorite tastes and flavors. I topped my cake off with caramel sauce and chopped Reese's. Yum! There are so many ways to top this cake - chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, peanut butter chips, chopped Andes mints, etc. You could even switch up the cake by using different flavored ice cream sandwiches, or even making homemade ones!

    Ice Cream Sandwich Cake ingredients:

    • Approximately 18 ice cream sandwiches
    • 16 oz whipped topping
    • Favorite ice cream sauce (caramel, chocolate, butterscotch, etc.)
    • Favorite chopping topping (nuts, candy bar, candy chips, mints, etc.)
    Ice Cream Sandwich Cake instructions:
    • Place a layer of ice cream sandwiches in the bottom of a 9x13 pan, you may need to break one in half to fit them in
    • Cover with half of the whipped topping
    • Top with another layer of ice cream sandwiches
    • Top with more whipped topping
    • Drizzle with ice cream sauce
    • Chop your favorite candy, nuts, etc.

    Enjoy this frozen, tasty treat. It's perfect for the 4th of July or your next summer potluck. In my experience, it's sure to be a hit!

    Southwestern Corn Salsa

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I've returned from a brief hiatus from blogging and I'm happy to be back in the kitchen. Earlier this week I shared a delicious french puff recipe that can be easily turned into strawberry shortcake, or a cinnamon sugar treat. Today I'm changing course and sharing a savory recipe. This southwestern inspired appetizer is perfect for a dinner party or summer barbecue.

    I try to limit my snacking, but one of my weaknesses is chips and salsa. I love almost any dish with peppers, onions, and spicy flavors! I previously shared a traditional tomato based salsa. This past week I decided to experiment with a different type of salsa. This corn based salsa is lighter than the traditional kind and perfect for summer. The salsa is packed with fresh veggies, delicious southwestern flavors, and it couldn't be easier or quicker to create.

    Rather than tomatoes, this salsa recipe base is a southwestern style corn. If you can't find this type of corn at your local grocery, try seasoning regular corn with red peppers and southwestern seasonings. Besides peppers and onions, the other star of this salsa is avocado. I've only recently jumped on the avocado bandwagon, I was reluctant to try it at first. A few months ago, though, I had some fresh avocado in California and discovered how much I enjoyed it! It's a great complement to the other flavors in the salsa.

    Southwestern Corn Salsa ingredients:
    • 1 can (~15 oz) southwestern style corn
    • 1/4 red onion, diced
    • 1/2 small avocado, cubed
    • 1/4 green pepper, diced
    • 1 tbs cilantro, chopped
    • Fresh lime juice
    • Dash of salt

    Southwestern Corn Salsa instructions:
    • Drain southwestern corn and place in bowl
    • Mix in onion, green pepper, and avocado
    • Add in cilantro, salt, and a few squeezes of lime juice
    • Mix thoroughly 
    • Refrigerate until serving

    French Breakfast Puffs Served Two Ways

    It's been crickets on my little corner of the web lately, but I'm back! Moving and work have kept me busy the past few months, but things have settled down and I'm breaking in our new kitchen with some delicious recipes.

    While I was on my blog hiatus, my Pinterest boards began filling up with new recipes I wanted to try. One in particular that caught my eye was a french breakfast pastry recipe I found from the Pioneer Woman. These delicious desserts are light, airy, and just the right amount of sweet. On their own, the breakfast puffs are the perfect blank canvas for spices and flavoring. 

    The Pioneer Woman's version was covered in cinnamon sugar, which sounded amazing. But then I was at the grocery and passed by some ripe, juicy strawberries that were screaming strawberry shortcake. I went back and forth a few times before I decided why not make some of both?!

    No matter what spices and flavors you accent the puffs with, these treats are sure to tickle your taste buds!

    Celebrating the Derby with Flavors of KY - Bourbon

    Saturday is the Kentucky Derby and I'm sharing recipes all week that celebrate the flavors of the beautiful Bluegrass state. I no longer live in Kentucky and definitely miss some of the sights, sounds, and flavors. I decided to pick a few of my favorite recipes that represent my home state.

    One of the first flavors that probably comes to mind when you think of Kentucky is of course bourbon. The whiskey can be used in so many recipes including main dishes, sauces, and desserts. I haven't ventured past savory dishes with my bourbon experimentation in the kitchen, but I've enjoyed all of the tasty recipes!

    I've used KY bourbon with burgers, pork chops, and salmon - each result was an equally scrumptious course. The vast flavor profile of bourbon pairs nicely with spicy BBQ flavors, as well as sweet maple sauces.

    Bourbon Ancho Chile Pork Chops - Pork chops seasoned with an ancho chile rub and covered in a bourbon ancho chile sauce - slightly sweet and perfectly spicy!

    Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders - Mini burgers soaked in a sweet and spicy sauce.

    Bourbon-Maple Pork Chops with Apples - The flavor of the pork chops and apples are enhanced with this sweet sauce starring bourbon and maple.

    Maple Bourbon Salmon - Another bourbon and maple sauce that complements salmon with a bit of crunch from pecans.

    I can't choose my favorite among these recipes...they are all so different but equally tasty! Check back tomorrow for a round-up of my favorite Southern dishes that you will most likely find at any KY potluck.

    Pies for Pi Day

    Anyone know what holiday is tomorrow (March 14)? It's one of my favorite holidays - Pi Day! Pi is a mathematical constant that represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. It's been determined to over a trillion places without ending or repeating digits. You can learn more about pi and Pi day here.

    The first few digits of pi are 3.14159265358, hence the reason 3/14 is Pi Day. The holiday is extra special this year since the next two digits in pi are '15' and tomorrow is 3/14/15! Only every hundred years does that happen. I've always been a bit of a math nerd and even kept a journal when I was little to try to see how many digits of pi I could calculate. Even if you aren't a math nerd like me, Pi Day is a great excuse to enjoy another one of my favorites - pie!

    Check out some of my favorite pie recipes from the last few years and celebrate tomorrow with  slice of pie! The recipes include fruit pies, quick and simple sweet pies, a savory pot pie, and pie inspired cupcakes.

    Banana Caramel Pie - delicious pie filled with banana and caramel goodness!

    KY Pie Cupcakes - cupcake with all the flavors of a KY pie!