Caramel Apple Cider Floats

Caramel Apple Cider Floats

Apple cider has never tasted so good! Poured over vanilla ice cream and topped with caramel and whipped cream, its the perfect fall treat! Sometimes, in life, difficult days are to be had.  Its inevitable, and completely unavoidable.  As we all know, its how we handle those difficult situations that define us as a mother, parent, human being.  Most often, our patience has been worn thin, our energy is drained, and our emotional tenacity is completely absent.  The feeling of defeat looms over us with the rest of our unaccomplished tasks of the day. This is the life of a mother. Out of these rough days, thankfully, emerge new beginnings.  New ideas, fresh perspective, and the hope of better days moving forward.  The salvation of other mothers who know the defeat, but who Continue Reading...

Happy National Homemade Cookie Day! Monster Cookies to Celebrate

Happy National Homemade Cookie Day!  Monster Cookies to Celebrate

Happy National Homemade Cookie Day, everyone!!  To celebrate this day of sweet indulgence, why not give this Monster Cookies a try?  These are probably my favorite cookie.  They have everything - peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chips, M&M's and Reese's Pieces.  To me any sweet treat that combines chocolate and peanut butter is top notch in my book! This recipe has been around for some time - the original author is my Grandma LaDene.  Her recipe actually makes double what I normally make, and so there would be dozens of cookies for everyone to enjoy.  This recipe still makes about 2 dozen large cookies, which is great for satisfying even the most ferocious sweet tooth.  Thank you, Grandma LaDene, for this great recipe.  Not only has it withstood the test of time, but it has Continue Reading...

Apple Cider Spice Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Apple Cider Spice Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

I've been craving something cinnamon spicy.  Something sweet, but not overly sugary.  I decided to make my Apple Cider Spice Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting.  However, after making it from my original recipe using apple pie filling, I experienced a disappointing baking fail - only half the cake came out of the pan.  After this happened, I decided to adapt my original recipe to use fresh apples instead of the pie filling.  It was a huge success!   My craving was completely satisfied!  The cake is moist, delicious and with the fresh Granny Smith apples, it adds a bit of tart flavor and texture to the sweet cake.  The Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting is the perfect way to top this cake!  This creamy, gooey frosting compliments the spice cake wonderfully and with a sprinkle Continue Reading...

Caramel Chunk Fudge Bars and meeting Madge

Caramel Chunk Fudge Bars and meeting Madge

Yesterday I met a lovely lady named Madge.  I was busily running errands, and made a stop at the local grocery store to pick up some groceries.  I made my way out to the car, loaded my groceries, and returned my cart.  After walking back from the cart return area, I noticed an elderly lady walking toward me with her grocery bag in one hand, and cane in the other.  She had a very concerned, almost scared look on her face.  She said hesitantly, "Excuse me, could you help me?  I can't seem to find my car and I'm getting quite tired and a little weak."  It was obvious that she had been walking in the parking lot for a while.  She almost seemed scared.  My initial thought was, 'I need to get going.  I have a million things to do.'  I looked at her and said, "Of course.  I can definitely help Continue Reading...

Grandma’s Best Chocolate Cake

Grandma’s Best Chocolate Cake

Super moist, chocolaty and completely delicious!  This decadent chocolate sheet cake is topped with a luscious chocolate icing making it my all-time favorite chocolate cake!  Once slice won't be enough! Today is my baby brother Jared's birthday.  He's certainly not a baby anymore - he's in his 20's working on his masters, and following his dream of working on the staff of the Tennessee Volunteers Athletics Department.   I really admire Jared's tenacity and willingness to overcome obstacles in order to get to the next step.  He is goal-driven, smart, and hard-working - he will no doubt go far in life! For Jared's birthday, our Grandma Dona thoughtfully sent him a card with a recipe for her famous chocolate cake.  Grandma Dona is a sweetheart, and like many other grandma's, Continue Reading...

Peach Crisp with Cinnamon Pecan Crumble

Peach Crisp with Cinnamon Pecan Crumble

  It is peak produce season here in Northern Virginia.  To me, this translates to Peach Season!!  Peaches are probably my favorite fruit, but you can only get the really delicious ones in July and August.  When I was at the farmers market a few days ago, I picked up about 6 peaches.  I let them ripen on the counter, and decided I needed to bake up these beauties for one of my favorite Peach Crisp with Cinnamon Pecan Crumble. I pulled out the recipe box, and went with my Great-Grandma Elsie's "crisp" recipe.  Her recipe is for apple crisp, so I had to make a few adjustments for peaches.  None the less, this crisp turned out divine!  To add a little extra crunch to the crumble topping, I added some pecans.  (I do live in the south, after all.  It just seemed right.) Continue Reading...

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

  Chocolate and coconut.  There are few other food combinations that I love more than these.  When I was a kid, my mom would make home made almond joys at Christmas time to put on her Christmas candy tray.  I fell in love.  Ever since then, I have loved Mounds, Almond Joys, and especially any home made cookie, bar, pie or cake that includes chocolate and coconut.  These Chocolate Coconut cupcakes easily make the top of my Chocolate-Coconut list of favorites. A couple days ago I asked my husband if he would like me to bring in cupcakes to his workplace for his 40th birthday.  Not only did he happily agree, but he specifically requested these.  He said these are quite possibly the best thing I've ever baked!!  Given that I bake at least once a week, speaks highly for these yummy Continue Reading...