Monthly Archives: April 2012

Orange Creamsicle Whoopie Pies Guest Post

I’m feeling all popular and stuff because I’m actually guest posting twice this week.  If we were in high school, I’d be sitting at the cool table right now.  I’m glad we’re not, though, because I’m wearing sweats and slippers and no make-up, which would definitely get me kicked off the cool table.

So today, my glass of orange soda is my only friend.

You heard me right.  For today only, I have traded my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper for sweet and simple orange soda.  Because it’s that kind of day.  And because last night, I made cookies with orange soda in them.  You’ve probably seen them on Pinterest.  Today, I’m seeing them live in my own kitchen.

Orange Whoopie Pie

My new blogging bud, Randee, asked me to tell her readers all about the easiest stinkin’ whoopie pie of all time.  I, of course, said yes.  So you can see these beauties live too, with one little click, at Randee’s Organized Chaos.

Coconut Cream Cookies on Measured By the Heart

I have a tendency to create a lot of coconut recipes.  It’s a disease.  I think there’s even a name for it in the official medical book of obscure diseases.  You can’t blame me, though.  I’m a product of my environment.  My family literally begged me to make Coconut Cream cookies this week.  It was an idea that came from the head of my oldest son, and all the kids backed him up.  Coconut Cream Cookies?  I’ve never heard of such a thing?  Exactly how am I supposed to make that?

I guess I’m more of a genius than I imagined, because I came up with a pretty tasty little creation, one that I’m pretty proud of.  One the family is thrilled with.  One that will stave off the coconut cravings in our house for at least a week.

Or, almost a week, anyway.

I feel super fortunate that Connie over at Measured by the Heart asked me to guest post today.  It was super nice of her!  If you click this link, you can get the full post complete with:

  • recipe
  • how this cookie inspired me to clean my hoarded office
  • some nice pics with my new favorite dish (I paid $3 for it at Ross)

I live a really exciting life, I know.

Girls Night Out: Instructional Chicken Dinner

One of the high points of my life has been working with the youth group at our church.  The girls are fantastic, and so fun!  It has been a couple years since I have been involved with them, and I was missing it.  So, naturally, I was thrilled when they asked me to come teach a class for the girls about cooking.  I wanted to create something they could enjoy, and something they could do easily enough that they could feel confidant cooking it again on their own.

We went to the local high school, since we are fortunate enough to have the home ec. teacher as one of our youth leaders.  We made a very basic dinner: chicken breast, spinach salad, rolls, and dessert.  We dressed up our meal with oranges.  Oranges were present in almost every part of the meal.  We also talked about different ways to dress up something so basic, to make the meal interesting and tasty.  The girls broke into four groups and started cooking.

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Red Velvet Sugar Cookies

red velvet cookiesA recipe for a soft, rolled red velvet sugar cookie with cream cheese frosting.

Source: I am Baker, who is obviously much more talented with a piping bag than I am.

Yield: this recipe is huge.  I ended up with around 5 dozen big 3″ cookies.

I kind of have a thing for red velvet.  I think it’s because it just comes with happy memories.  Red velvet cake has been a staple of our family birthday celebrations for decades.  It’s also tasty and pretty, so it’s no wonder I’ve developed this little obsession about it.  I have pinned several red velvet recipes, including red velvet whoopie pies, red velvet chocolate chip cookies, red velvet cupcakes, and of course, these red velvet sugar cookies.  Heaven.

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Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

A recipe for garbanzo beans coated in spices and roasted.

Source:  Our Best Bites, one of my favorite resources for fun snacks.

I’m trying to drop a few pounds.  Well, I’ve been trying that for years.  But this time I’m really serious.  I even bought myself a low-carb diet book, which by the way, is an awesome book and completely unlike any diet book I’ve ever read before.  This particular plan recommends very few sugars and carbs, and quite a bit of beans and other legumes, which I don’t mind telling you makes the afternoon snack routine pretty tough.  Garbanzo beans?  They’re a legume.  Totally acceptable on this diet (in small doses).  Since I eat an early lunch and a late dinner, that afternoon snack is critical to keeping my day moving.  I normally resort to this Chunky Guacamole or these Roasted Chickpeas.

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Iced Oatmeal Cookies

A recipe for a simple oatmeal cookie with vanilla icing.

Source:  Created by Diane, although hers are much more beautiful than mine.

Yield: 3-4 dozen

I had big plans for my weekend.  They involved spending a lazy morning in bed, doing some baking, playing a card game with the kids, and generally just taking it easy.  My husband also had plans, and his plans involved trips to the hardware store, heavy lifting, and the use of power tools.  I reluctantly (very reluctantly) gave up my lazy morning and my baking afternoon, and joined him.  Let me just tell you, the hardware store is not nearly as fun as the kitchen.  Not nearly.  I did get my revenge by insisting that he sit and chat with me while I baked these oatmeal cookies after dark. What can I say?  I just love company.

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Intense Dark Chocolate Cake

Chocoholic CakeA recipe for a dense chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

Source:  Adapted from Chocolate Armagnac Cake by Dorie Greenspan in her book, Baking: From My Home to Yours

I got such a sweet deal on these two Dorie Greenspan cookbooks recently.  I was beyond excited when Around My French Table and Baking arrived in an Amazon box on my front porch.  I spent days drooling over recipes, and trying to decide which to make first.  I changed my mind several times. Lemon Tart?  Basque Cake?  Devil’s Food?  Indecision haunted me… 

…until I found this Chocolate Armagnac Cake.

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The Versatile Blogger Award

One of my favorite new bloggy buddies, Lisa over at Sweet 2 Eat Baking, nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award!  Thanks, Lisa!  I’m super excited that you thought of me!

This award is basically a way for bloggers to get to know each other, and a way to introduce readers to some fantastic blogs out there.  I definitely recommend that you check out each and every one of the links below, to see some of my favorite blogs to follow.  Many of them are food blogs, but not all.

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Toffee Blondies

A recipe for a blonde brownie with butterscotch chips and toffee bits.

Yield: about 24 large or 48 small brownies

I love technology.  I’ve tried to be pretty forward-thinking and embrace new technologies as they surface.  I’m not always amazing at this, but I have a pretty good feel for a lot of it.  For instance, I love Pinterest.  It is my new go-to tool.  When I find a great recipe or idea, I just hit the “pin it” button, and the recipe is mine forever!  Brilliant!  The real problem is that in my non-virtual “real” life, there is no “pin it” button.  My sister-in-law used to be part of a recipe exchange group in her neighborhood, and she praised this recipe quite highly.  She opened her beautiful recipe book and started searching for a pen so I could copy it down.  I pulled out my phone and snapped a picture of the recipe.  It’s the equivalent of a real life “pin it” button. ‘Cuz I’m all cool and tech-savvy like that.

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Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies

A recipe for a crumbly grapefruit cookie sandwiched with grapefruit frosting.

Source:  Confections of a Foodie Bride.  Shawnda made them for a virtual baby shower, cute idea!

Yield: 15-30 cookies, depending on size

Late night baking is the curse of the food blogger.  I’ve been so busy blogging and keeping up with errands and my kids’ spring break and health concerns, it has been really hard to find time to bake.  I was determined to make these beautiful grapefruit cookies this week, so I started the batch about 11 pm.  I was fueled by a recent re-read through the recipe, which made me drool over the thought of grapefruit juice.  I pulled the grapefruits out of the fridge and smelled them.  Mmmm.  I can see why people want to do that grapefruit diet.

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Orange Ice Cream Freeze

A recipe for a flavored ice cream and soda drink.

Source: eYe Likes Food

My husband thought it would be a good idea to rent a video and have snacks Friday night.  And by snacks, he meant buttered popcorn and ice cream sodas. (ice cream + chocolate syrup + club soda)  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against buttered popcorn and ice cream sodas, but I really wanted to spice them up somehow.  It’s a disease.  I have this dream that if I just add or change one element of a recipe to make it a little better, my husband will magically fall in love with the food and ask for it over and over.  And tell me how great I am.  I always think I can do it just a little bit better. It’s a dream I really need to let go of.

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Easter Recipe Round-Up

By Easter, I am so ready to be outside.  It has a tendency to be very cold and gloomy here in the winter, and I’m just one of those people that craves sunlight.  Of course, it’s not unusual for us to have snow for Easter, but this week has been very sunny, so I have high hopes.  I’ve put together a collection of some favorite recipes that would be perfect for your Easter celebration!

Wherever you live, I hope you have perfect weather for an Easter egg hunt!

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Carrot Cookies

A crumbly carrot cake – like cookie with cream cheese frosting.

Source: Adapted from a recipe given to me by my neighbor, Cheryl, who says her grandmother has been making it for years.  

Yield: About 3-4 dozen

Carrot cake always seems like an autumn dessert to me.  I think it’s the cinnamon that does it.  But, with Easter and bunnies and eggs, a carrot-based dessert seemed appropriate.  My friend and neighbor Cheryl brought me a plate full of these cookies, along with a copy of the recipe, quite some time ago.  I stashed the recipe away in my files, and made a mental note to make my own batch sometime, but there always seemed to be something more… I don’t know… chocolate to make.  Thanks to the onset of Easter, I finally had a good excuse to mix up the cookie I have intended to bake for months now.

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Easter Snack Nests

Easter snacks; This edible nest is made with pretzels, cereal, and marshmallows, and is filled with Easter candy.  Recipe and instructions included for these easy Easter snack edible nests.

Source:  Adapted from Buns in My Oven

Yield:  about 20 large nests

For some reason, coming up with a good Easter recipe to make has been hurting my brain.  Nothing that I thought about really seemed to be a very good idea.  I bought these Reese’s Pieces Eggs, which are rather fantastic and hard to resist, and I knew I wanted to use them somehow.  Green colored coconut seemed like a good idea, but coconut with peanut butter eggs did not.  *sigh*  Back to the drawing board.

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