Black and White Brownie Bars

Black and White Brownie Bars

A dark chocolate layer tops a white chocolate layer, all topped with a candy drizzle. Perfect for cutting into hearts or squares!  A wonderful Valentine's Day treat, or perfect for any time you're craving dark and white chocolate together. Looking back on Valentine's Day as a kid always makes me smile.  Putting together your Valentine's for your classmates, and decorating a shoe-box clad with construction paper and glitter for receiving Valentines from your friends, to proudly display at school.  Sometimes were even able to sneak in a hand-made sugar cookie or popcorn ball colored brightly with pink and red frosting. Unfortunately, the last couple years, due to allergy and dietary restrictions, my son's school has asked that no food be included with Valentine's.  I do Continue Reading...

Red Velvet Cake Parfaits

Red Velvet Cake Parfaits

Over a year ago, I was making a lovely bundt cake to take to a baby shower.  It was going to be so pretty!  I took it out of the oven, let it cool slightly, just like you're supposed to.  I ran my knife around the edges to loosen the cake - so far so good.  And then the moment of truth...I invert the cake and hear the "plop" onto the cake plate.  I turn the bundt pan right side up, to realize only half the cake came out of the pan.  Nooooo!!! After learning from this experience, I now ALWAYS grease and flour my bundt pan.  Non-stick baking spray did not cut it on the day of the baby shower.  However, I was now faced with the dilemma of what to take to the baby shower, as I was supposed to bring a dessert.  The cake was perfectly edible (although quite ugly!) as it was in multiple pieces Continue Reading...

Cherry Almond Breakfast Bread

Cherry Almond Breakfast Bread

Every year at Christmas time I say to myself, "I going to start earlier next year."  Meaning, start the holiday shopping, baking, card-making and all the other stuff that goes along with Christmas.  I truly enjoy doing these things, and I would certainly cut back and eliminate if things got too crazy.  But putting these things off until the month of December, when I know I could at least start in say, October, would certainly make things less stressful come 13 days until Christmas. I always enjoy giving friends and neighbors some goodies during the holidays.  I always feel its a nice way of expressing your gratitude and truly giving thanks for having them in our lives.  This year, I'm planning on giving some loaves of these pretty Cherry Almond Breakfast Bread.  They are perfect for Continue Reading...

Snowday Sledding and Reindeer Pretzel Snacks

Snowday Sledding and Reindeer Pretzel Snacks

As many of you know,  I grew up in the great planes of South Dakota.  Winters there were fierce, with lots of snow, ice and frigid temperatures.  As a kid, we often had days off from school due to the treacherous winter weather.  If the temp was above zero (many times it was not), we would suit up and go play outside - making snow forts and lots of sledding. Now that me and my family live in Northern Virginia, winters are much more mild, but we still get a few snow days now and again.  Yesterday, was one of those days where winter memories are made.  My son Harrison and many of his neighborhood friends gathered at our neighborhood sledding hill and had an absolute blast.  We froze our keesters off as we were out in the snow and sleet for over four hours.  But when your a kid, frozen Continue Reading...

Pecan Praline Bars

Pecan Praline Bars

Cross between pecan pie and pecan sandies, these buttery, delicious Pecan Praline Bars are perfect any time you're in the mood for something sweet! An amazing pecan shortbread crust, a delicious caramel filling and topped with brown sugar toasted pecans, these bars are incredible! The perfect addition to your holiday cookie trays! As a kid, I wasn't always the biggest fan of pecans - any nuts, really.   I didn't like many foods - tomatoes, nuts, some types of meats - all of these things kinda grossed me out.  Its funny, as we get older, our really palates change and evolve.  I've come to really love all of these foods that I despised as a kid.  I especially have grown to love pecans. My adoration for pecans has really come full circle - I now love both cooking and baking with this Continue Reading...

Peppermint Bark Brownie Bites

Peppermint Bark Brownie Bites

Its the Monday after Thanksgiving, and I'm still in a bit of a food coma.  We had family here over the holiday weekend, and still have some turkey to get through.  A bit sick of looking at it, I decided that the holiday baking needs to commence.  I wanted to try something new this year.  After a few test batches, I think I've come up with the PERFECT chocolate/peppermint combo - Peppermint Bark Brownie Bites! These brownie bites are very easy to make, as the recipe utilizes a brownie mix.  Another key component is the Hershey's Peppermint Bark Belles, which are sold at Target.  The belles fit perfectly in the brownie cups, and make for a tasty little bite sized goodie. One of my favorite things about the holidays is doing the baking.  I tend to package up the goodies and take Continue Reading...

White Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies

White Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things to snack on is dried cranberries.  I always seem to have a big bag in our pantry and they go especially well with almonds (or white chocolate chips, if I'm really craving something sweet!) Several years ago, I decided to make some oatmeal cookies.  I was going to throw in some raisins, but didn't have any.  I did have dried cranberries and some white chocolate chunks.  And voila!!  There you have it - White Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies! These have come to be one of my favorite cookies to make and have on hand for a snack.  The recipe makes about 3 dozen, so I tend to keep about half out for us to snack on and then freeze the rest. The texture and flavor of these cookies is pretty awesome.  They are soft and chewy like Continue Reading...

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