Beignets with Blackberry Dipping Sauce

Beignets with Blackberry dipping sauce

Photo Credit: Polka Dotted Blue Jay

Just as promised, from my previous post, I am sharing with you a sugar-filled beignet recipe. If you missed my post on my, healthier version of Jambalaya with Riced Cauliflower, I mentioned that my husband and I will be traveling to New Orleans soon. My husband will be there for business, but I will be there to try to find all the beignets! Before trying this recipe the other day I had never had a beignet(I know such a sad life I lead). My Jambalaya recipe was my own, but I was not about to even try to come up with my own beignet recipe. I searched Pinterest and decided to use this recipe from Dessert for Two. I loved that it was just a small batch because I have no self control and the smaller amount of desserts left unattended around me the better! Continue reading

Summer

Cookbook Review: The Real Girl’s Kitchen by Haylie Duff

rgk-book-cover

As I mentioned before, I haven fallen back in love with cooking. I have never hated it,  just got in a funk. In the past few years I have rarely tried any new recipes, I have not watched a whole lot of cooking shows and have even bought most of my desserts…GASP!!!! I have to say the switch came when I caught Haylie Duff’s cooking show on the Cooking Channel. It was so refreshing. I love that she is my age and you can just see her passion for cooking come through the screen each week. I immediately bought her cookbook, The Real Girl’s Kitchen(which is also the name of her cooking show). It truly is a real girl’s guide to cooking. I love that she uses so many fresh ingredients but not anything that is too complicated.

I found a love for other cooking shows as well. Saturdays on The Cooking Channel are amazing! So far I have tried three of her recipes and they all were so good! There was nothing I would change.  Her directions are super simple and easy to follow. There are not a million different steps. The end product seems like you made something super fancy and took forever to make, but they really are quite simple.

On her show she is usually hosting some dinner party or having her friends and family over for lunch. I so miss that. I decided to have my brother over as well as my sister and her family. My sister has a pretty strict diet so I had to run a few things by her. I decided on making the Legit Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken. It had a shallot sauce that you could make with it, but it had gluten in it so I decided to pass on that, it sounded delish! I was super afraid that no one would like this dish and I would be left to order pizza. I was so excited when everyone said they loved it! The chicken was stuffed with goat cheese. I then sprinkled it with sea salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Finally, I wrapped the chicken breasts in a few pieces of prosciutto and baked in the oven. Super easy and super yummy.

My sister and her family couldn’t be at dinner  until 7, as well as The Hubs,  so I wanted to have an appetizer for my brother and I to eat. I am going to be hosting a Christmas Party early in December for a group The Hubs is involved with so, I thought I could try out a few ideas in the meantime. I saw Haylie’s Sausage and Thyme Stuffed Mushrooms recipe and thought I would try that one out. OH MAN, they were so good!!!!! I needed thyme for my chicken recipe so this was perfect as I never use all the sprigs of thyme up. The recipe called for Sausage(I used Italian…because Italians always do it best), jalapenos, Pecorino Romano cheese, Parmesan cheese  and a few other spices and binding ingredients. I will definitely be making these at my upcoming party. My brother and I loved these so much. I may have had three or four.

The first recipe I tried was for a super easy S’more. These were made in the oven. There is no gas in my house so, there are two things I miss: heating up a tortilla on the stove and roasting marshmallows! With this recipe though, you use your oven’s broiler! Why didn’t I think of that before? Simply lay down the graham cracker, then chocolate(or if you are like me and like cold chocolate wait until after you have broiled the marshmallow) and finally the marshmallow. She also suggests adding some cinnamon to the top of the marshmallow before you broil it. I tried it…and I liked it! Seriously, it was so good and it only took a few seconds under the broiler.

Overall, I really enjoyed this cookbook and hope she comes out with another one soon. At this rate I will have tried every recipe before not too long!

Here is a link to order the cookbook if you would like: The Real Girl’s Kitchen

Summer

Classic Recipe With A Twist: Apple Hand Pies

I had an idea to start a series on my blog each week about classic recipes with a twist. I have been bitten by the cooking bug and I can’t get enough. I really wanted to work on perfecting classic recipes that I have made for years, but put a little twist on them. I decided to start out with an Apple Pie Recipe. Being that it is Fall now(Southern California did not get the memo) Apple Pie came to mind first. I have a really great Apple Pie recipe but I wanted to try my hand at….hand pies:).

Hand pies are basically miniature pies that you can hold and you really don’t need any utensils to eat them. Kind of like an on- the- go pie! I found a recipe online and decided to go with that one. So, glad I did. They turned our delish! In this recipe they used bits of caramel in the filling. I could not find the caramel in the squares like I usually can, so I went to the baking aisle and used caramel bits by Kraft. My little guy even got in on the action. He helped me make the dough. He has been loving being in the kitchen since he was old enough to walk. He even makes up his own recipes. I may have a Chef on my hands! That will be nice when Mommy doesn’t want to cook:).

Here is the recipe, enjoy! Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

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Summer

Summer Lovin: Friday Favorites

My list this week is so random… but full of lots of great finds. Shane has had swimming lessons and VBS all week and it has been a blast! He is taking swimming lessons where I did at his age. It is so weird to look around and remember being in the pool as a little one. It hasn’t changed much. I am so glad it is Friday and am looking forward to playing outside and getting projects done around the house. Happy Friday Friends!
Fruity summer cupcakes by Trophy Cupcakes-I saw these on TheTomKatStudio(another fav) and fell in love. These would be so cute at a summer BBQ!
Floral Doddle at Land of Nod-Apparently, I have a thing for flowers. Bright florals are all the rage(I even wrote a post about them this week). This would be super cute in a little girls room or a craft room. 
Floral Chiffon Top by Forever 21-Speaking about my bright floral post. This top was one of my favorite finds. I love the black with the colorful flowers together. 
Sam Smith -ahhhhhhh. I love him. His voice is perfection. His CD came out this week. If you are in the mood for some good love songs I highly recommend this CD, especially #10: Lay Me Down.
Girl’s Room by The Lilypad Cottage-I couldn’t stop staring at this wallpaper in this little girl’s room. And that bed! I can picture my little niece enjoying a room like this. 

Summer

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

I recently helped host a dual baby shower. It ended up just being a single baby shower as one girl had her baby girl that morning! I decided to do something different than the usual vanilla and chocolate. Nothing wrong with the classics, but I wanted to try something new. I did a Strawberry Cupcake with a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. The frosting had cream cheese, butter and shortening..so of course it was delish:). This one is a little more time consuming if you make the lemon curd yourself. I never made lemon curd before so I wanted to try it. I can cross that off of my baking bucket list.You can always just buy it pre-made in the store. This is a great Summer Time cupcake. Happy Baking!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
From Cupboard to Cupboard

For Cupcakes:
1 package white cake mix [I like Betty Crocker]
1 (3 oz) package strawberry jello
1 cup mashed fresh strawberries [1 1/2 cups whole=1 cup mashed]
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk (If you do not have buttermilk..I always use regular milk and add about a tsp of lemon juice per cup of milk stir and let sit for about a minute)
4 eggs

In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and jello mix.  Make a well in the center and pour in mashed strawberries, oil, milk, and eggs.  Beat on low speed until blended.  Scrape bowl and beat 2 minutes on medium speed.  Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans with liners. Makes about 30 cupcakes.Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cupcakes are done. Cool on wire rack until completely cooled.

For Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup crisco
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons lemon curd
1 drop yellow food coloring
1 tablespoon milk if needed( I did not need)

Cream together shortening, butter, and cream cheese until good and smooth.  Add vanilla and combine.  Sift together powdered sugar and salt and slowly add to creamed mixture.  Add lemon juice, lemon curd, and coloring and mix well.  If the frosting is too stiff, add milk.

Summer