Behold the best treat you'll have this week! Warm and fresh Cherry & Almond Crumble Bars...
Sweet cherries make the perfect filling for a chewy and soft oatmeal and almond cookie base. And these are ready for the oven in less than 10 minutes! Don't you love it when something so fabulous doesn't take a lot of time?
For today's trick, we are going to help everyone make up their minds! For every time that I have made a Carrot Cake and a cheesecake, only to have so many people say they don't know which to choose, or "Maybe I could just have a little slice of both?" This is the answer - plain and simple!
Simple and oh so good! Moist carrot cake spiced up just right...blended with swirls of creamy cheesecake. And topped with the lightest cream cheese glaze...we're talking perfection here folks! And the combination of luscious carrot cake and cream cheese? It's out of this world wonderful!
Every holiday it's always a struggle. Old family traditions or brave new introductions? I'd almost forgotten how easy it is to work with frozen bread dough, and I had a wildly excited six-year-old wearing a chef's hat that was BEYOND excited to make his own bread...and so the decision was easily made, and the adventure begun!
And because at our Easter stretches over from EARLY morning egg hunts, church services, thru Easter Brunch and lazily into Easter Dinner, this was perfect for our bunch to munch on!
This Caramel Pecan Praline French Toast Casserole is simple and elegant - and the recipe that I go back to over and over! Perfect for Easter brunch, holiday breakfast gatherings, or just a lazy morning with the family. So sinfully good that it should be outlawed!
The best part is that this can be made the night before and baked the next morning - no jumping out of bed early to get things ready! Now, if only I could sleep a little longer in the morning...
There is definitely starting to be a little Easter buzz going on around our home front! Spring cleaning is almost finished up and our Easter decorations are all in place. This spring has been so warm and sunny that there are even more blooming flowers around the house than usual - my tulips, daffodils and crocus are in full bloom, and even my lilacs are getting ready to make an appearance!
Speaking of lilacs, I've discovered my favorite new cleaning product - Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day in Lilac scent. I've been trying to steer away totally from harsh stinky chemicals in our house, and this stuff is CRAZY good! Aromatherapeutic essential oils and naturally-derived ingredients clean like the dickens and I can't believe how gentle they are on my skin! The scent is just out of this world - I feel like I'm standing in the middle of a lilac bush! The Lilac Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner, Dish Soap and Hand Soap are my definite favorites this spring! I've found the best selection and prices at Target.
And another family favorite is this Ham, Egg & Cheese Strata, which will be making its usual appearance at our Easter brunch.
DANG! If this doesn't get you out of bed in the morning, I'm not sure what will!
Skipper is currently enjoying the Atkins Diet. The rest of us, not at all! It makes for some interesting challenges for this food-blogging Mama, but I've learned to incorporate his protein and meat packed diet into everything that I can! And with the fresh smell of bacon and pints of the most beautiful fresh blueberries sitting before me, inspiration hit!
Some teenagers make midnight runs for burgers & fries, or ice cream - but not mine! They make secret stops for Chinese takeout! And one of their favorites is Chicken Fried Rice!
And if I told you that you can make the absolutely world's best Chicken Fried Rice at home in less than 30 minutes? We're saving gas and having lots of fun in the kitchen to boot!
Happy National Caramel Day! Who knew that was even a thing? We were busy this weekend making this special treat to celebrate today - and after teasing you with the photos, it's time to share the prize!
Now, if you don't like chocolate and caramel, you can just move along. This is serious business! And as our littlest one says, "Can I have some more of that Tiger Tart?" And dang it, when you look at it that way, it does kinda look like a tiger!
HERE COMES THE SUN! Since I was a little girl, one of my favorites at Easter was Sunshine Salad, which was also called California Salad or Ambrosia Salad, depending on who you asked! Easter was the only time of the year that we had this, so it was always a special treat. My sister and brothers loved mandarin oranges as much as I do, and today, our little ones love them too!
Mandarin oranges are a slightly smaller relative of a standard orange - did you know that tangerines and Clementines are both varieties of mandarin oranges? Cuties and Halos are also different types of mandarins depending on what time of year it is. Small, sweet and seedless, we love that these have no seeds and are so easy to peel that even the little ones can do it! And at only 50 calories each and with 2 grams of fiber and half a day's worth of vitamin C and other antioxidants, what's not to love about these little gems?
THE HUNT FOR EASTER RECIPES ENDS HERE!
When you're a little one, there isn't much more exciting than getting ready for the Easter Bunny! And today we may even spend some time in the backyard LOOKING for the bunny...he's got to be around here somewhere!
Starting today we're got so much to do! We've already started Spring cleaning for the bunny (any reason to get everyone involved!) but all the fun is still waiting for us - we've got to decorate for the bunny, dye eggs for the bunny, and especially make some BUNNY CORN for the bunny! Just one of the many family favorites that we make with our little ones for our Easter celebration!
You'll find links to our family-favorite Easter recipes by clicking on the photos above, or head on over to my "HOLIDAYS - EASTER" page for a complete listing of all our favorite Easter holiday foods. Now that it's April, its time to celebrate and there's still plenty of time to plan an easy and relaxing Easter brunch or dinner with some fabulous springtime treats!
Ahhhhh yes. It's true - these should come with a warning! IF YOU LOVE SNICKERS BARS, THESE ARE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!
Chewy, fudgy homemade brownies made fresh from scratch. These are good enough to eat alone - but truly decadent poked and filled with creamy salted caramel, roasted peanuts, glazed with dark chocolate ganache, and finally sprinkled with pieces of Snickers. SERIOUSLY!
What if I told you that you could be enjoying a homemade Italian Lasagna dinner in less than an hour - without boiling any water and cooking any noodles? And no one needs to know that you didn't slave in the kitchen for hours to prepare this...it will be our little secret!
CRAZY EASY, CRAZY GOOD! It doesn't get much easier than this, and to tell you the truth, I may never go back to the old-fashioned way of making Italian Lasagna!
It has been more than a little crazy at our house lately - everyone seems to be coming and going non-stop! For those types of days, this is a long-time family favorite that everyone loves. Whether it's a quick bite before they head out, or something to pack for a favorite lunch, or a late-night snack, I've given you five different ways to enjoy these wonderful Tuna, Egg & Cheese Melt Sandwiches!
Hold on to your party pants! These are SERIOUSLY the best appetizer ever!
It's no surprise that we love celebrating St. Patrick's Day! And to round out our "at home" party, I'm pulling out one of our favorite Irish Pub recipes to share with you - and bound to be famous from your kitchen as well! Who doesn't love tender roasted potato slices, studded with corned beef or bacon, cheddar cheese that has melted down through ever delicious layer, and served with chilled sour cream or onion & chive tater topping?
Ahhhhh....the Ides of March are upon us! We all survived the great blizzard of 2017 - it really has been much more of a non-event around here than what they were predicting. But with all the stocking up of bread and milk that took place before the storm hit, you would have thought the apocalypse was coming! They sent everyone home early yesterday to get ahead of the storm, and the kids had a snow day, so by the time I got home, the "what's for dinner" drum was beating.
Some days you want grilled cheese. Other days you want pizza. This is our recipe for the combined best of both - but be forewarned - these are gonna knock your socks off!
It's PI DAY! And this year I'm gonna shake it up a little bit!
I usually make one of our favorite bakery pies, or even pizza pie, on such a special day, but this year I wanted to try something different.
And I'm not going to tell a lie - these bakery-style Cherry Pie Bars are wicked good!
This is going to be my Vanilla Bean public service announcement! Each year I typically buy a couple of bottles of pure vanilla extract, a jar or two of vanilla bean paste, and more than a few vanilla beans. Scraping the seeds from fresh vanilla beans and using it for special baked goods, homemade ice cream or frosting is just such a treat, and the scraped pods are wonderful to infuse granulated sugar with real vanilla flavor for cooking and sprinkling.
I was starting to run low on the pure vanilla extract I use for everyday baking, and when I reached for a bottle today at Costco the price was $24.00 a bottle - up from the $8.99 price I paid for a 16 oz. bottle about the same time last year. Vanilla beans were priced at $40.00 for 10 beans - more than double what I paid just before the holidays. When I checked the price for a smaller bottle of pure vanilla extract at Market District, it was ON SALE for $3.99 for a one-ounce bottle. YIKES! I just about had a heart attack! And these aren't even the premium vanilla brands! To be truthful, I have never seen such a price increase before, so Mama had to do a little bit of research.
With St. Paddy's Day bearing down on us fast, I thought it was time to re-post a family favorite recipe for Mint Brownies with Mint Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Ganache.
These are a favorite at both Christmas time and St. Patrick's Day - chewy, fudgy brownies topped with the most light and fluffy Mint Buttercream Frosting, then glazed or drizzled with a Dark Chocolate Ganache.
Last week we were at a potluck, and I brought a big batch of my Barbeque Chicken & Bacon Dip and set it alongside a crockpot of Buffalo Chicken Dip and a macaroni & cheese casserole that someone else had brought, and you know how things start to "mingle" on your plate, unless you are a little bit obsessed with your food not touching?
And suddenly I had an EUREKA moment!
My little ones just love it when we have a "backward day" - which basically means that I'm making them breakfast for dinner! And when I tell them that it's okay to eat their dinner with their little hands? LOTS of smiles! Even better!
I've always been told that the best way to know if a pancake recipe is good is if it tastes good all by itself - no syrup, no fruit, no nothing. And sprinkled with a light dusting of powdered sugar, these delightful little Snowflake Pancakes are perfection!
Well, I promised you yesterday that I would post this family-favorite recipe today! Luckily there was some corned beef leftover from my Corned Beef with Blackberry Dijon Glaze, and I have to say, the little bit of glaze that carried over to this Corned Beef Hash was AHHMAZING! It added just a touch of sweet taste to the corned beef, and had people scratching their heads wondering just why these were even more wonderful than ever!
Prepare yourself for a fabulous Irish dinner! I don't know about you, but my family doesn't usually care for a "typical" corned beef dinner - the meat is too salty and stringy for them. But I have found the best method for cooking some of the saltiness out of the corned beef, and it cooks up so tender!
Topped with a delicious fresh Blackberry Dijon Glaze, which caramelizes to the most beautiful glaze ever, and you'll be enjoying the best corned beef dinner you have ever had in your life! Little ones and big ones were literally scooping this glaze up with their spoons and pouring over the corned beef, tender vegetables and licking their fingers!
Oh, how I love lazy Saturday mornings with all of my little ones! And this morning I wanted to whip up something a little bit special for them. This is really our last "quiet" month before the craziness of sailing, camping and warm-weather activities start to kick into high gear, so I want to make the most of any relaxing weekend that we can!
And nothing says loving as well as a stack of tender, warm pancakes on a cold morning! Banana in the batter, sweet sliced bananas all around, a sprinkle of Maple Glazed Pecans, and a drizzle of warm maple syrup - does it get any better than this?
WHEN IRISH TUMMIES ARE HAPPY, IRISH EYES ARE SMILING!
Treat your little Leprechauns to our favorite St. Patrick's Day Recipes!
It's your lucky day!
You'll find links to our family-favorite Irish recipes by clicking on the photos above, or head on over to my "HOLIDAYS - ST. PATRICK'S DAY" page for a complete listing of all our favorite St. Patrick's Day foods. Now that it's March, its time to celebrate and there's still plenty of time to plan your party with some fabulous Irish treats!
Now that winter has returned, there is nothing better than a home-cooked dinner...and nothing smells better than an Old Fashioned Pot Roast with Vegetables, cooking away in the slow cooker!
And there are only a few words necessary to describe this..."World's Best!"