Thanksgiving Plans

I love any holiday that has to do with food, family, and gratitude. This past year has been filled to the brim with awesomeness, and I am overwhelmingly grateful for that.

  1. I graduated college, finally
  2. I got a job before I graduated
  3. I enjoy my challenging job
  4. My husband is able to do school full-time while I work
  5. Wisconsin is all kinds of beautiful
  6. I was able to travel a lot, and even saw the Sequoia trees, a life-long dream
  7. Everyone in my family is healthy and happy


And I could extend that list a lot, but I’d like to focus on the “food” part that I mentioned. I love to cook and bake for Thanksgiving, but since I live 5+ hours away from family, this year I’m focusing on easy recipes. I thought I’d share what I’m going to make! First, from my own brain: I’m wanting to re-make a Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake I made a few years ago. If that happens, I’ll be sure to share the recipe. Continue reading

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Cocoa & Marshmallow Cupcakes

I’m going to pretend like it hasn’t been forever, skip all the rambling and excuses for not blogging, and dive right in. These are worth the wait, I promise:


My mom always made cocoa in a big pot on the stove while we went sledding in the backyard (we had the perfect sledding hill). I helped her a few times when I was little, and then started making the recipe in a cup for myself almost every morning. We dipped hot buttered toast in it, which was amazing.  Continue reading

Steps to Officially Becoming a Food Scientist

Step 1. Take classes on everything from organic chemistry to the scientific study of food and enjoy making donuts but not chemical structures out of toys (seriously, they still do that in college).


0739t0001tStep 2. Graduate and ‘make history’ by being a part of the largest graduating class ever. This translates into the longest ceremony ever, in which I left immediately after getting my diploma cover.


Step 3. Have a big park party with family and friends that includes a popcorn bar and two pinatas. Go out with friends for an after party that consists of laser tag and bowling until 2 AM.







Step 4. Get a job as an Associate Analytical Scientist and try to figure out what that means before starting work 1 ½ weeks after graduation (hint: nailed it. I think).



Step 5. Try to survive as an adult after having the easiest last semester ever! 🙂

Note: My USB port and memory card reader on my computer stopped working, so I’m struggling to upload pictures of some recent baking creations. As soon as I get it fixed, prepare for some addictive recipes!


Easter Ideas

I’ve been away on vacation, and when I am baking I’ve been re-making a lot of recipes I’ve already blogged (Blueberry Lemon Muffins became Blackberry Lime Muffins- awesome, but not worth a whole new recipe post), so I haven’t been posting very frequently. I know that as the weather warms up that should change, because for some reason baking is way more enjoyable when the weather’s nice. Also, fruit is in season and that just makes me happy! I thought I’d share what I’m planning on making for my family’s Easter celebrations this weekend, plus a few other ideas that look amazing. Enjoy the food, the family, and the reason for the holiday!

IMG_0933Speaking of re-using my own recipes, I’m going to make this delicious Carrot Cake as cupcakes. Cakes are pretty but they take forever to bake and are harder to serve at get-togethers. This cake was very popular and so incredibly moist! You can find biscoff cookies at Target, and feel free to skip the pumpkin pie spice if you don’t have any (I make my own using THIS RECIPE).




Easy-Easter-Carrot-Cheese-Ball-9I made my first cheese ball for Super Bowl Sunday this year, and I was totally hooked. They’re easy to make, but also fun to fancy up. I’m going to make THIS with freshly grated cheese, bacon, and fresh rosemary! There’s something very satisfying about smashing cream cheese and shredded cheese together that I’ll never quite understand.





14137974841_1e2ae33d3d_cMaybe you’re craving a deeper, darker, more elegant treat for Easter weekend. If so, be like me and make these delicious-looking Chocolate Blackberry Cupcakes. I’m going to be tweaking them, so they may show up on this blog again soon, but they look amazing on this site so don’t let me stop you from trying them immediately.


Cake-Batter-Macaron-via-Bakers-Royale-630x910 I am for sure making these Cake Batter Macarons. I’m going to adjust a few things, but my gosh. These pictures are gorgeous and they sound perfect for spring. There are some seriously amazingly talented food bloggers out there, and I can’t even try to compete, so I will just drool at their photos and try out their recipes!





Fruit Platter EasterIf you feel like passing on all the Easter candy and want to enjoy all the fresh flavors of spring (ok, so this fruit may not be ripe where I live, but no matter), try this platter of fresh fruits, shaped like a bunny! Cute, edible, and healthy!





easter-deviled-eggs-frugal-coupon-living-webThese Colored Deviled Eggs are simple, yet clever. If you love deviled eggs (and gosh, people devour them at parties so I guess most people do), give them an Easter twist! I like mine with paprika sprinkled on top- actually, a ton of paprika sprinkled on top. And they had better be cold, and not in the least bit slimy. I’m a recovering deviled egg avoider, as you can tell.






This one’s really simple, but very cute! These are Nested Easter Egg Cupcakes from Baker’s Royale, made with a ganache that you spread on wax paper and let dry, then peel off in chunks to put on cupcakes. Adorable!

Mini Blueberry Pancake Muffins

Mini Blueberry Pancake Muffins These came together so fast, turned out great, and tasted just like a blueberry pancake, so I had to share them with you ASAP! Thankfully the sun was shining and bouncing off the fresh snow just right, so I could get some pictures before I devoured them. Jade hates it when I take pictures of food instead of eating it. She must think humans are the weirdest things ever. Poor dog.

Mini Blueberry Pancake Muffins Continue reading

Blood Orange Muffins with Poppy Seeds

Blood Orange Muffins with Poppy SeedsI went to Whole Foods a few weeks ago. I only go a few times a year, because we only have 1 in the state of Iowa and it’s 45 minutes from where I live. Plus, it’s cramped and expensive. However, I do like finding some food items that I can’t seem to get anywhere else. I saw blood oranges there and had to have them- I knew I’d seen lots of bloggers making treats with them, so I figured I’d give it a try. They sat in my fridge, haunting me every time I opened the fruit drawer, for weeks…I didn’t want to waste them on a bad recipe, though!

Blood Orange Muffins with Poppy Seeds Continue reading

Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Cheesecake Swirl BrowniesI’m dog-sitting this week for my parents. Well, for my mom mostly, since it’s her little Maltipoo. Her name is Kiwi (the dog, not my mom) and she is a beady-eyed, fluffy doll. My dog, Jade, is not a big fan of Kiwi. Jade gets jealous very, very easily, so I have to distribute treats equally or in Jade’s favor at all times or else she mopes. I helped mom find and buy Kiwi, and now Kiwi is her baby. She’s so sweet that it’s hard not to spoil her, but Jade keeps a watchful eye! I love dogs, in case I forgot to mention that.
Cheesecake Swirl Brownies Continue reading

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cherry Granola

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cherry GranolaOkay, it’s kind of a long title, but there’s so much good stuff in here that it all needs to be noted! I first made this years ago, and recently remembered it. I can literally eat the whole thing myself, so it’s kind of good that I haven’t made it very much. It’s never great to eat a whole bowl of granola, but it is delicious!Peanut Butter Chocolate Cherry Granola
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Chocolate Twinkie Cake

Chocolate Twinkie CakeThis is my birthday cake! I absolutely love it and have been wanting to share it for a long time. Getting pictures of these baked goods of mine is challenging in the dreary winter days (lighting sucks!), so you might have to put up with some poor quality photos right now. My goal is to share more recipes this year, so I’m going to share even the less-than-great photos. The recipes are the highlights, anyways! The recipe for this is scribbled in the back page of an old yellow cookbook of my mom’s. I’m not even sure of where she got it, but it called for a chocolate cake mix and a few ingredients for the filling. It was always a family favorite, and I used for request it for my birthday every year!
Chocolate Twinkie Cake Continue reading

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!


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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