See It All: A Guide to Exploring Maui, Hawaii

So you’re ready to go to Hawaii, and you’ve managed to decide on an island, even- Maui. It’s nicknamed “The Gathering Place”, and it has everything from you need. You just have to know where to find it all. Now that I’ve been able to explore the island three times, I can tell you what an outsider has learned about this slice of paradise. Budgets of any kind can afford an amazing Hawaiian adventure on this gorgeous island. I’ve been there 3 times, and I’ve loved every minute I’ve been able to spend there.
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Favorite Christmas Treats (+ Cocoa Recipe)

This is one of my favorite times of the year. My birthday is on January 5th, so I guess loving winter is in my blood! Christmas and New Year’s Day used to be fairly quiet events in my life. Once my siblings got married and had kids, my family moved our Christmas to New Year’s Day and Christmas Day was spent at my in-law’s house. Christmas morphed from piles of presents to  an amazing amount of family members! This year we’re having Christmas day at my parent’s house and the day after at my in-law’s. Luckily, they only live 20 minutes apart. I’m currently buried in school, with two more finals to finish this week. Plus I get to go to the dentist on Thursday…yay. So, instead of creating a ton of Christmas recipes, I’ve been using some tried-and-true favorites, as well as a few new ones. I thought I’d share my family’s favorite Christmas treats and the changes we’ve made to them. I hope you enjoy this magical time of year!

BRUNCH

Taste Of Home Cappuccino MuffinsCappuccino Muffins. These have a hit of coffee flavor and are perfect for our traditional Christmas brunch! The swirl of cream cheese that’s been spiked with espresso powder is a must-have. The muffins themselves are loaded with flavor and mini chocolate chips for a texture that’s irresistible. My sister and I have made these for years, and we don’t have to change a thing! Source: Taste of Home

 

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Best 4th of July Recipes

Florida 4th of July Fun!

4th of July is coming up so fast! I can’t believe it. I’m going to hang with my sister, her husband, and my husband for the weekend. We’re going shopping, playing frisbee golf, shooting some hoops, going kayaking, decorating cookies, and watching fireworks in Des Moines. I can’t wait! In the meantime, here’s some ideas for your holiday weekend, no matter where you’re headed.

Going to a barbecue? Try this delicious chicken pasta salad, or if you want to impress everyone, this patriotic cake is amazing. Need a main dish? These peach BBQ chicken wings look unbeatable. I love the summery twist on an old classic.

Going to the beach? These rice crispy treats won’t melt, and they’re pretty. Also, I’m really jealous because I pretty much always want to be at the beach.

Going out on a boat? Take along some strawberry lemonade, sweetened with honey. So refreshing!

Staying home and relaxing? If you want to bake something easy and adorable, try this sugar cookie idea, using store-bought dough to shorten your kitchen time. The kids can help decorate them!

While you’re watching fireworks, snack on homemade popcorn using coconut oil. This post has a great tutorial. And maybe make some fun cupcakes to share- these celebration ones are kind of awesome.

I’m making my Berry Lemon Cheesecake Tart for dessert, Daisy’s Fudgy Brownies for snacking, and Fresh Croissants for breakfast! I’m also making some vanilla ice cream and sugar cookies to decorate with my sister. It’ll be a sweet weekend. I hope you get to enjoy it! What are your plans?

Chocolate Raspberry Crepes

Chocolate Raspberry Crepes- quick, easy crepes that melt in your mouth, with fresh raspberry filling!

I was able to do another cooking demo at the Farmers’ Market yesterday! I was so excited because this time I knew what I was getting into, but I had no clue what to make. I wanted to make another dessert or breakfast type food, and I needed to include an ingredient from the market. I decided to attempt crepes, which I’d never made before. I knew they had a lot of eggs in them and our market is full of egg sellers. From there, I just had to pick my flavor! Continue reading

Honey Lemon Mini Tarts

 Honey Lemon Mini Tarts- an easy, lemon filling with just 3 ingredients, inside a crunchy shell!
This was the coolest experience ever, and I have Iowa State to thank for it. One of the ladies from the Ames Farmers’ Market emailed all the students in the FSHN (Food Science & Human Nutrition) department and asked if anyone would like to volunteer to do a cooking demo at the market. I said yes, not sure of what that even meant.
Cooking Demo
I was also unsure of how to make a dessert with only an induction burner (which I had to google to know what that even was; apparently it’s a portable stovetop). I bake almost everything in the oven! My one and only idea was mini tart using already-prepared shells.

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Top 10 Pinterest Recipes I’ve Tried

 

Dessert, breakfast, and a meal are all covered in this list of 10 Pinterest recipes I love

Dessert, breakfast, and a meal are all covered in this list of 10 Pinterest recipes I love

I use Pinterest as a tool for finding new recipes, mostly. I can’t make a recipe unless I can see a picture of it, so Pinterest is like a lovely internet image search of fabulous recipes. Naturally, of the many I try, not all are winners. I adjust recipes all the time to suit what I have on hand or my personal preferences. I know I haven’t been blogging for very long (not on a consistent basis, at least), but here are my 10 favorite Pinterest recipes that I tried and enjoyed so much that I blogged about them! Follow me on Pinterest and I’ll let you know what recipes are actually worth making!

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How To: Make a Pitcher of Iced Tea

As this blog grows, I realize that I would like to occasionally share posts  that aren’t recipes. I hope you don’t mind, and that some of them will still interest you. For my first one, I thought I’d keep it fairly food-related still, just to ease our way into this! I’ve already mentioned that coffee makes me jittery and wired usually, so I drink tea. But I didn’t mention how much tea I drink….

DIY Iced Tea

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