Book Review: How to Set A Table




I was so happy to receive a review copy of this petite, pretty book called How to Set A Table. I don't get to have sit down dinner parties with full place settings much anymore, but once-upon-a-time I loved having nice, grown-up dinner parties. I used to set up a table with real candles, schnapps glasses for toasting, linens napkins and the whole kit and kaboodle. Now that my kids are getting a bit bigger, maybe we can start to have some family-style sit down dinners with real place settings and linens and try to teach some true manners to these little minions and show the kids a nice dinner with style at home!

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Cappuccino Crinkles #SundaySupper




These cappuccino crinkles are just amazing little cookies.

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Coconut Joys with Almonds




These coconut joys are appropriately named and have definitely become source of happiness in our house lately. They are so easy to make and ridiculously delicious! Truth be told, I'm not sure if I should classify these as a no-bake cookie or a no-fuss candy, but we love them in either category. We made a batch of these simple treats over the weekend when a no-bake recipe for dessert was just what we needed.

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Spicy Tamale-Cornbread Dressing




My mother's cornbread dressing is the highlight of all holiday meals for me. It has always been my  favorite holiday dish she makes... besides her giblet gravy which, of course, gets slathered all over my plate every year!

I'm going to publish a general disclaimer here (before she reads this post and flips out) even without considering my special add-ins, this recipe is not my mom's cornbread dressing recipe exactly. She "eyeballs" most things and she uses a lot more dried sage (Southern tradition to use lots of sage in the dressing!) and she uses a combination of turkey drippings from the roasting pan and canned broth to moisten the dressing.

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Pumpkin Pancakes




Those of you that have followed me for a while now know that breakfast on the weekends at our place is kind of a big deal. My kids and I like to work (more like play!) to together and make something extra special to eat on our lazy weekend mornings. Some of our favorite, go-to family recipes are homemade cinnamon rolls, biscuits, waffles and pancakes! Yes, it's basically a total carb fest here on Saturday and Sunday and we love it!

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Spicy Sheet Pan Chicken & Chickpeas



I cannot say enough about this easy sheet pan dinner. 

No, really, I just love it.

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Fall Decorated Cookies: Simple Sunflowers, Apples and Pumpkins



Hi there. 

I have been so busy at home and at work, I've simply not had any time to take pictures for a new recipe post. I have three posts written and ready to roll...but all are still missing pictures! Sigh. But, I think this is the perfect opportunity for me to update my sorely neglected decorated cookie index with a recent cookie picture post! See how that works out for the best?! Perspective is so important during hectic times, y'all. 
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Slow Cooker Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding #SundaySupper




There are many recipes for bread pudding out there that (as with every dish ever made) range from really simple and to really elaborate. However, bread pudding is one of those classic dishes that is just seriously good stuff even in it's most simple form.  It's certainly a popular and versatile dish and in my little opinion, a good custard-y bread pudding is the quintessential comfort food dessert.

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Spiced Brown Sugar Apple Dip




Apples have been absolutely abundant in our house lately. The truth of the matter is that we accidentally doubled up on them when we made two separate grocery shopping trips last week. Yep, I grabbed a bag full of beautiful, organic Gala apples while I was at the store last Monday morning. (OMG they were so pretty!) Later the same day, Evan picked up a bag full of gorgeous, perfectly green Granny Smith apples as he made a quick stop by the market on his way home from work!
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Crispy Oven-Fried Cauliflower



Cauliflower is a vegetable that didn't seem to get a lot of love before the low-carb style lifestyles hit the scene. Now it's regularly served as the star of lots of delicious low-carb favorites, especially as a look-alike substitute for rice and potatoes. I've tried quite a few varieties of these popular low-carb cauliflower dishes and I've liked many of them a lot.

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Crispy Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders




New twists on old favorites don't always go over big here with my finicky crew.  Try as I might, I'm never really sure what will go over well when I put a spin on a family classic. So, it's truly a "hit or miss" kind of process when I'm feeling creative in the kitchen.

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Spiced Apple Quick Bread


Well, the first day of fall is almost here!! In fact, it's on the calendar for September 22, 2017.  I know that's still a month away, but based on the way this year is just flying by, that date will be here in no time at all!

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Corn & Black Bean Salad with Smoky Honey-Lime Dressing




Fresh corn on the cob has always been one of my favorite things and it’s one ingredient I don’t make time for nearly enough. I use canned or frozen corn as quick substitutions in lots of our family favorite recipes. Truthfully, no one seems to mind the shortcut, and the dishes typically turn out just fine and tasty. But, there's just something so satisfying about using fresh produce instead the easy alternatives every time I get the chance.  

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Monster Cookies and a Fun Staycation!



This summer has been a hectic one for my family. The big move and the seemingly never-ending packing and unpacking have been major consumers of our precious summer days.  It just doesn't seem like we been able to squeeze in as much fun as we normally do this go-around. 

Slowly, but surely, we are settling in and catching up. Thankfully, we've been able to get out and about some in these last few weeks. The kids got to do a terrific eight-morning session of swim lessons at a local university and they enjoyed that very much.

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Easy Sausage and Pepper Hoagies #SundaySupper



I have a special love for hearty meals that are fresh and yet super quick to put together. In fact, I'm pretty sure we all love meals that meet this general description:  quick, healthy, satisfying, and tasty!

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How to Make Glitter Slime




Well, this summer has had no shortage of ups and downs as I've got both kids home with me full-time.  I'm loving it, of course, but their five year age difference can make activity planning a challenge at times (perhaps that's the understatement of the season!).

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Iced Lemon Cookies

 

Lately, I have been all about bright colors and flavors of citrus fruit. It's safe to expect that I'm buying a bagful of limes, lemons, grapefruit, or oranges every time I head to the store. I simply can't get enough of it all!

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Banana-Oat Breakfast Smoothie



This quick and easy banana-oat smoothie has been my absolute favorite thing to make for breakfast lately. Not only is it really healthy, it's also really satisfying. I stay feeling full for at least a couple of hours after a drink this creamy treat and that's not normal for me when I've tried to get by on breakfast smoothies before. 
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Classic German Baking, A Cook Book Review


Well, you guys aren't going to believe this... or maybe you will (we have been going a little nuts around this house lately...well, for just like a short 12 months!) I just rediscovered the review copy Classic German Baking that was sent to me in November of 2016! (can you say "winning?") Yes, it's true. I'm not sure if simply stating "My bad" is sufficient here, but anyway I do feel just awful about this untimely review!

Allow me to explain, eh hem.  You see, we remodeled the small kitchen in our old house in early November of last year, right around the time I received this cookbook in the mail. When it arrived it was packed safely inside a cardboard box and it was set on the baker's rack in my kitchen. Unfortunately, it blended directly into the sea of several other cardboard boxes full of things we were packing up to empty out the cupboard, cabinets and shelves while we made over the kitchen and it ended up stored with the rest of them in our garage. 
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Orecchiette with Cherry Tomatoes and Shrimp



Oops, I did it again. Yep, I fell off the blogging map and for about three weeks this time!  It just seems like ever since we collected the keys for our new home back in the beginning of May, that time is just slipping away like sand... like the wind...like the waves...?? 

Wow, I'm not sure my attempt at conveying a sense of drama to you was truly effective in that last sentence and as I re-read it those words actually prompted mental images of the beach for me. How about you? Think those words might indicate a subconscious desire?! You bet. You know, I mean that the 'dreaming about the beach' part is probably, definitely, subconsciously true. And the 'time slipping away like sand' part? Wait, yes, it's definitely true! Anyhoo... 
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Cucumber Finger Sandwiches #SundaySupper



Those of you who know me personally know of my serious love for sandwiches. I will always like the idea of having sandwiches for any meal of the day.


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Ambrosia



When it comes to fruit salads, I'm not sure it gets more Southern than a big bowl of old-fashioned ambrosia. It's such a treat and my favorite version only requires the use of 5 ingredients: fresh orange sections, canned crushed pineapple, sweetened shredded coconut, almond extract and honey. 

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Classic Blondies



Whoever dreamed up these buttery blondies back in the day was a person after my own heart, that's for sure. Butter and brown sugar and are two of my favorite things on planet Earth and they are the star ingredients in these rich cookie bars

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Easy Veggie Noodle Salad with Hummus


Hi there! It's been a while, I know.

These last two weeks have been an absolute blur of working days, cookie orders through the night, (much dreaded) 4th grade math homework (bleh!!), ballet classes, and the husband being out of town and then on mandatory overtime at work when he is home.
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Creamy Vanilla-Orange Overnight Oats #SundaySupper



The first time I ever tried overnight oats for breakfast I was super skeptical about them, but after just one bite, I was a huge fan of this pre-prepped breakfast. I wrote a blog post that was all about my very first try at making Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats last year. Since then we have tried several more flavor combinations, but these Vanilla-Orange Overnight Oats are my current, absolute favorite!

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Irish Brown Soda Bread with Molasses




Here's a quick and easy recipe for St. Patrick's day that I'll bet you've got everything in your pantry to make: brown soda bread!

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Spicy Veggie Stew



A couple of weeks ago, I was taking inventory in our fridge and I realized there were a bunch of prepared, fresh veggies that needed to be used up in there. I had a container of leftover, cubed butternut squash, a sliced zucchini, half a bag of baby spinach, a red bell pepper and some chopped, sweet onion that needed some attention.

So, what was I to do with all those veggies?!


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How to Make Homemade Oat Flour


Lately, we've had an increase in people close to us who have developed a gluten sensitivity and that's left me (a.k.a. the friend/family member who loves to bake...a lot.) looking for flour substitutions that don't break the bank. So, before a few of my upcoming posts are published you all should meet my new friend, oat flour! Oat flour is made from ground rolled oats and is naturally gluten-free (gluten is only a component of wheat).

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Shrimp and Olive Spread



Lately, we have been all about the small bites at my house. Our schedules have been super hectic through the week and dinner just isn't ready as early as it used to be on weeknights. 

As tempting as it is, I refuse to fall back into the habit of regularly hitting the drive-thru windows! Ok, to be perfectly honest, some nights the crazy schedule wins and we grab a bucket of chicken or a bag of tacos. But, mostly I still make an honest effort to cook a healthy dinner for my family, even when we are short on time. 
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German Chocolate Cupcakes


As I write this post, I must admit I can't believe it's almost the end of January. Seriously, time is just whizzing by. But, I always look forward to Valentine's Day and planning fun treats for my cookie business (which I'm terribly behind on...just f.y.i.) and for my family and friends. Evan calls Valentine's day a "Hallmark Holiday" and doesn't get quite as giddy over it as I do, but we still celebrate in some small way nonetheless.

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Weekend Baked Macaroni and Cheese



We are macaroni and cheese lovers to the highest degree. My kids could eat any version of it as a side dish with everything or all on it's own as a main dish, every single day.

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Lightened-Up Waldorf Salad


Happy New Year!  

For the coming year, I've already prepared a long list of healthy, modern-style recipes I'm anxious to try like lentil salads, a few recipes with pomegranate seeds (a new love) and some easy sheet pan dinners. 

I also plan to post a healthy sprinkle of some really naughty desserts too...my sugar addiction is still very real and I'll definitely be sharing it with you!
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