Recent Posts

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Springtime Granola

Ok.. who else out there has to have breakfast? Like if you don't have breakfast you become the crabbiest person ever. Yup that is me. My breakfast is never huge... but its something. One thing that we love to have is granola, especially with vanilla greek yogurt. Yum! Yum!

However making the same granola over and over again can get a little boring. So I like to change it up. One of my most popular fall recipes was this pumpkin granola. Today's granola screams springtime. I mean how can you not look at all of those colorful fruity pebbles and sprinkles and not think yeah Spring is here.

We don't have kids...but I'm sure that you could even get kids to be excited about this granola. I mean it includes FRUITY PEBBLES and SPRINKLES! Plus don't we all want to be a kid at heart. I'm totally the one that fights for the doughnut with sprinkles at work... I think its an unknown culinary law that everything is just better with SPRINKLES.

My tomato seeds came up. I saw the first sign of one on Thursday. By Friday morning that one had fully come up and the rest of the tomatoes were starting. Then I got home from work on Friday and they were all fully up and waiting for light.

We used my clothes drying rack and attached a shop light to it... so that we could get the light really close to the plants. They appear to be loving it. Well the tomatoes are at least. My pepper seeds have yet to make an appearance. However I think now its going to be about 15 days or more before they go to the next stage were they get their first "tomato" leaves.

See you later this week with another FRUITY PEBBLE recipe.

Springtime Granola


  • 2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup fruity pebbles cereal
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles
Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl: oats, cereal, and brown sugar.
  3. In a medium sized bowl mix together the wet ingredients applesauce, honey, and vanilla.
  4. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix them together.
  5. Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix again.
  6. Lay the granola out on a cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Flip the granola on the cookie sheet and bake for another 20 minutes.
  9. Let granola cool, and then add sprinkles.

Recipe Source: Laura's Baking Talent

You may also enjoy: 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Carrot Hummus

I've decided that I want to do a small garden this year. The "plan" for the garden has been evolving. It started out with being a pallet garden, then went to a regular raised bed garden. Then I switched to the idea of a wicking container garden.

I've had lots of fun looking up different ideas on the web. The garden started this weekend when I started to germinate some tomato and pepper seeds. I've been coming home each day for work, and hoping to see if  the seeds have started to sprout. This is kind of ridiculous I know since its suppose to take 5-10 days for this to happen.

I was telling someone this story at church, and they were like you know that you would most likely not see them till next Sunday...they are probably thinking... she's an engineer. I can do the math obviously I just want super growing seeds.

So I kind of accidentally feel into carrot week. I got back from vacation and I wanted to make the carrot cookies with orange frosting that I posted on Sunday.  I got done posting them and  was like what am I going to do for my second post? The idea of the garden got me into a "healthy" mood... so I really didn't want to not put the carrots into another dessert.

I was doing inventory in the cupboards and found a can of chickpeas... and I was like carrot hummus. I don't think you can get more healthy then that... so here you go. Easy, healthy, and tasty hummus... enjoy with crackers or more carrots. Me.. I will be off waiting for my seeds to sprout.

Carrot Hummus

  • 1 1/2 cups carrots
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 6 Tbsp cold water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Chop the carrots into small pieces.
  2. Put the carrots into a saucepan and cover them with water.
  3. Bring the carrots to a boil, then cover them and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain the carrots, mash them and set the aside to cool slightly.
  5. When cooled add the carrots to the food processor.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor: chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cold water, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and white pepper.
  7. Pulse the food processor 8-10 times. Check consistency of the hummus. Pulse more if needed.

Recipe Source: Laura's Baking Talent

You may also enjoy

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Carrot Cookies with Orange Frosting

Did you miss me? Sorry I just kind of disappeared on you guys for a couple of weeks. We went on vacation. Yeah for sunny Florida and a cruise to warmer climates. Pictures to come later. We got back last Tuesday and I was hoping to get a post in last week. However the inevitable work storm started brewing.  No worries though.. I'm now back on track.

The cookies I'm sharing today are one of my all time favorite cookie recipes. Its amazing I haven't made anything substantial for two weeks with all the traveling and work. So as I started to make these cookies I remembered why I love baking so much. Its so peaceful and its nice to mix together an old recipe and know that it will turn out and be scrumptious.

As I made these I realized that I have quite the history with these cookies. My mom led me to the recipe, but hadn't tried them yet. I made them for the first time for Easter. Jim's family was coming up for a visit, and I made these cookies for them. I was so relieved that they tasted so good.

I shared them again when we switched churches, and I was asked to bring a dessert to our first young couple potluck. Once again they were a hit. One of the guys actually followed us out of the party to see if he could have "one" more.

Last year I made them for my nephew's graduation party. It was a tradition for them to have cookie trays at their graduation party. I remember being worried about traveling from MI to PA with them. However once again they survived and were a huge hit.

These cookies are so moist, and the smell as you zest the orange is amazing. It will fill your kitchen and make you "believe" that spring has arrived.

Enjoy these cookies and come back later this week to see what else I have in store for carrot week!

Carrot Cookies with Orange Frosting

  • 2 cups Chopped Carrots
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp softened butter
  • 3 1/3 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 tsp orange zest, plus more for decoration
  • 4 Tbsp orange juice
Cooking Directions
  1. Put chopped carrots into a medium sized saucepan. Pour 1 cup of water over carrots.
  2. Heat carrots with medium heat until they are boiling. Then cook them covered for 20 minutes.
  3. Drain cooked carrots, and then mash them.
  4. Drain mashed carrots. Repeat several times, try to get as much water out as possible. Set the carrots aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Mix together the shortening and sugar.
  7. Add the mashed carrots and the egg. Mix until well combined.
  8. In a separate medium sized bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  9. Add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture, and combine with the mixer.
  10. Drop 1 Tbsp size balls onto the cookie sheet.
  11. Bake cookies for 10 minutes.
  12. Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes. Then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
  13. As the cookies cool start the frosting.
  14. Put the butter and 1 2/3 cups of powdered sugar into a large bowl. Beat them until the mixture is fluffy.
  15. Add in the full amount of orange zest and 1 2/3 Tbsp of orange juice.
  16. Beat until well combined.
  17. Then add in the remaining powdered sugar (1 2/3 cups) and the remaining orange juice (2 1/3 Tbsp).
  18. Beat again until well combined. Add more juice or powdered sugar until you get the consistency needed to frost the cookies.
  19. Frost the cooled cookies and sprinkle additional orange zest on top. 
Recipe adapted from Midwest Living

You may also enjoy

Key Lime Pudding Cookies

Banana Split Pudding Cookies

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Shamrock Shakes

I love March. There is my birthday (#1 for me), St Patty's Day, Final Four Basketball, and Shamrock Shakes. If you have never had a Shamrock Shake promise me this year that you will try one. You can go to McDonalds or make this at home version, but please try them. I know that you will love them.

Jim was in training all last week, so it was me and the menagerie of animals at home. Cooking at home for just me is never as much fun so I end up making tuna sandwiches or scrambled eggs for dinner. Not bad but it can get a little less than exciting. So on Wednesday last week I stopped on the way home and got a McDonalds shamrock shake.

When Jim got home for the weekend I was still living in post shake bliss. I was feeling a little guilty because Jim had not got his shake fix. So I made this at home version. It turned out perfectly and only took about 5 minutes to make.

I started a St Patty's Board on Pinterest with lots of fun ideas for the upcoming holiday. Remember if you want to stay updated on the latest posts, follow me by email, or on facebook, or on bloglovin

Shamrock Shake

Yield: 1 shake
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp mint extract
  • 7-8 drops green food coloring
Cooking Directions
  1. Place the ice cream, milk, mint extract and food coloring into a blender.
  2. Blend until a good consistency. About 4-5 pulses. 
Recipe Source: Laura's Baking Talent

You may also enjoy

Hot Chocolate Floats 

Traditional Banana Split

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Irish Coffee Cookies

I want to start out with a disclaimer that I don't think that Irish Coffee Cookies are a real thing. Well they are real in the fact that these cookies were made and they tasted absolutely fabulous. In fact I think I'm going to go get one to snack on right now. They are not real in the fact that they are an actual Irish Tradition.

These are basically my non alcoholic twisted version of  Irish Car Bomb cupcakes.

For those of you that know what Irish Car Bomb cupcakes are then you are probably really confused. If you don't know, they are a cupcake made with Guinness stout, filled with a whiskey ganache, and topped with a baileys frosting. I've had a version of these cupcakes before and they are tasty and yummy.

However you need three types of alcohol to make them. Jim and I have the occasional beer and love to share a good bottle of wine, but beyond that we don't stock anything else in the house. So every year I toy with making these and then give up because I know that the rest of the alcohol will sit there till St. Patty's day next year.

This year since its the first time I'm doing the blog I considered them...but there are so many versions that are excellent already out there. Plus if you haven't already figured this out I'm more of a cookie vs cupcake girl. Looking at all the recipes I've done there are 20 cookie recipes and 2 cupcakes. So I decided to morph this idea into a cookie.

Still confused? Yeah you should be the only real similarity is that I used Baileys Irish Cream Coffee Creamer for the frosting and the cupcakes have baileys frosting. However if these cookies were put to a taste test  against a car bomb cupcakes on St Patty's day then they would hold there own. I mean these cookies are thin MOCHA FLAVORED cookies with crisp edges and a FUDGEY center. Topped with BAILEY's FLAVORED frosting. On any day besides St Patty's day which is the other 364 days a year...I'm guessing these cookies would win! Just saying.

So welcome to Irish St Patty's Day week on the blog.

Irish Coffee Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 tsp boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 Tbsp Baileys Irish Cream Coffee creamer
  • 1 Tbsp coffee grounds
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the boiling water to the instant coffee in a small bowl or mug. Let the coffee dissolve while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, started out with 20 seconds. Stir the chips then put them in for 15 seconds and stir again. If needed cook for another 10 seconds and stir until the chips are smooth.
  4. In a large bowl cream together the softened butter, brown sugar, sugar and prepared coffee mixture.
  5. Next add in the egg and melted chocolate and mix everything together. 
  6. In a medium sized bowl mix together the remaining dry ingredients, flour, salt, and baking soda.
  7. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the main mixture. Mix until everything is well combined.
  8. Place 1 Tbsp size rounded balls onto the cookie sheets.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  10. Let cookies cool for 2-3 minutes on the pan before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. As the cookies cool make the frosting. 
  12. In a medium sized bowl mix together the butter at room temperature and the powdered sugar. When it started to combine in clumps add half of the Bailey Irish Cream Coffee Creamer.
  13. Mix again and when combined add the remaining creamer. Add more powdered sugar or creamer to get the texture that you want for easy spreading.
  14. Frost each cookie, and sprinkle with coffee grounds. 
Recipe Source: Laura's Baking Talent

You may also enjoy

Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

Chocolate Mint Pudding Cookies