One thing I love during the holidays, or really any time is candied nuts. You can usually find them in these clear plastic bags and they’re EXPENSIVE! I’m talking $5 for a little bag! So as always, when I find I really enjoy something expensive, I set out to see if I could possibly make these myself at home. Then I wouldn’t have to spend so much money, AND I could have them whenever the mood struck!
Thankfully I was able to find a wonderful recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Pecans featured on the food blog Joy, Food, Sunshine and I decided to put it to the test. The results were not only easy, but better than I expected, and can I just say that my home smelled DELICIOUS too! An added plus is that they are FREEZER FRIENDLY!!!! YASSS!!! This means that as you try to keep healthy during the holidays, you can still sprinkle these over your cranberry and blue cheese salad to give it a little extra holiday sweetness! Running at 119 calories per serving these are also not a bad mid-afternoon snack option, way better than the leftover office donuts in the lunchroom (just sayn’).
Today is my BIRTHDAY!!!!! I’m turning the big 35 and I wanted to do a knockout kind of cake that embodies everything I love. When I found this recipe I knew I had to make it. It has a delicious coconut sponge cake that is soaked in Kahlua and wrapped in a French Frosting made with a coffee extract and semi-sweet chocolate chips. It has everything I love, tropical coconuts, Kahlua, and chocolate. What can go wrong!
This is cake is not the easiest to make, but if I can do it, you can too. Just try to see the whole cake in segments. You can totally make the sponge, that’s easy. The frosting is a bit more difficult and also “sets” in the fridge, so that has to be done after the sponge, and the ganache is a classic element that isn’t too difficult to make. So my perspective is that you have two easy things coupled with one difficult thing and with a little finesse this is definitely do-able. So let’s take a deep breath and get started!
These brownies come with a warning! These are Espresso Brownies and they contain a lot of caffeine and for someone like myself that is caffeine sensitive, it can have pretty intense feelings with it like increased anxiety, jitters, heart palpitations, and other symptoms. But if you have a late-night studying, or at the office, then this is the brownie for you! It’s chocolate packed and the bittersweet glaze balances the sweetness of the brownie.
I found this delicious recipe on the Better Homes and Gardens website (so you know it has to be good).
I always feel bad throwing out leftover cooked rice that as gotten hard. You know the type. Maybe you ordered take out and while leftovers for the next day seem fine, the rice is hard as a rock and no matter how much you microwave it, it never comes back to what it once was? This recipe uses that to make something absolutely delicious and once you prep everything it’s super easy to assemble. It easily serves four people and at 394 calories for a big bowl, this is a winning recipe for me.
I also used a little metal sakura flower cut out to make the bigger pieces of carrot look cute. This is a nice trick to try if you have little ones who are prone to not wanting to eat their veggies.
I found this recipe on Gimme Some Oven if you want to view the original recipe, and this post also contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one and purchase something, I get a small commission. Thank you! 😀 Read more
I am not a fan of chicken. I don’t know why, maybe because everything tastes like chicken, or because it’s one of the few animals in America where you can buy a whole one at the grocery store and disassemble it yourself which my mother often did and it freaked me out. Whatever the reason, it’s just not my favorite thing to eat. I mean I will, if that’s the only thing on the menu, but it’s not my first choices. All that to say, if I’m putting a chicken recipe on my blog, you better believe that I found it to be mind-blowing. So I am very happy to bring you this Easy Lemon Chicken Piccatta which I found on Chunky Chef.
The first thing going for this is that it’s a pasta recipe, and I’m a fan of all things carbs. The next thing is the spices that go into this chicken are delicious and lemony which is perfect for a summertime dish. Next, it uses capers which is a new food I realized I really enjoy, and it pairs extremely well with even a cheap bottle of chardonnay which is mostly what I get. Lastly, the leftovers even taste great! So this is an all-around win!
I feel like seafood and summer go hand in hand. When I think of summer, I actually don’t think of burgers right away. Instead, I think of margaritas with fish and lemon, or shrimp and pasta. I also think of Mexican food which probably comes from my Florida roots. This recipe featured on the food blog Garnish with Lemon.
The recipe is fairly simple to make. The only thing that takes time is the sauce which needs to sit in the fridge for an hour, but that can be assembled early in the day and forgot about. I use frozen shrimp for convenience, but you can of course always use fresh. If you’re looking to bulk out your tacos a bit, I’d suggest cheese, and lettuce, though I personally think they taste great just as they are.
When I was a child I loved The 4th of July. Even now I can remember my mother setting up a small pool in the back yard, and it felt like hours for the garden hose to fill it up. I remember swimming and smelling her grilling up burgers that she made. The smell of a charcoal grill brings back those memories so fast.
I am picky with spicy things. I like warm, but not hot and I am pleased to say that if you’re the same, then you’ll like these burgers. They have the jalapenos mixed in and the pepper jack gives it a little extra something. I like this recipe because you can adjust the heat to your level of liking by adding more or less jalapenos or leaving in seeds. My husband absolutely loved this and I hope you and your family does as well!
For Amin’s 30th birthday, I wanted to do something really special. Amin is half Iranian and over there they love the flavors of lamb, rose water, cardamom, pistachios, and saffron. So I made him an amazing rack of lamb (which I hope to write about in the future), and then I came across this recipe from Kokocooks. The first time I made this I went all out and even candied rose petals which you can do, but it takes six hours and it’s really just a garnish so I omitted it.
I chose it not just for my husband’s heritage but also because of the story behind it. As I looked at different recipes I found a website that said the origin came from a story of a woman who fell in love with a handsome prince, and she made this cake in order to win his heart hence why it’s a love cake. I told my husband the story when I gave this to him as well and it definitely won his heart over.
You have the rosewater and saffron frosting which is amazing balanced by the cardamom cake. The only word of warning I give here is please be careful with the rosewater…even if you think it smells good, only add the recommended amount because it can not only overwhelm the other flavors, but it can become the only thing you smell and taste for a while. This is where I would like to say that if you watch any food competition on TV if rosewater is involved it usually means someone is getting voted off for using too much. Okay. I’m done with that rant now for the recipe!
Cinco De Mayo is just around the corner!!!! I grew up in Tampa Florida which has a really strong Latino demographic. I had fantastic Cuban neighbors who taught me how to salsa dance, and would roast an actual pig on a spit! The longer the night went and the more drunk people got they’d dress up the head which they kept on a pike. My parents begrudgingly stayed since they weren’t really the partying types, but I LOVED IT! I was able to step into a world where the family ties were strong, and people knew how to really have a lot of fun. I still listen to Reggaeton Music when I’m feeling nostalgic. So while I don’t have any Latino heritage, I like to remember the role that those people played in some of the best memories of my childhood!
So for me, I like to celebrate Cinco De Mayo as a way to have fun like I did at that party.
Growing up I LOVED Easter! It was so much fun! I remember all the cool candy I’d get in my Easter basket, but one thing I absolutely adored was the food. My mother would make egg sandwiches with the hardboiled eggs my sisters and I dyed and we would have an Easter ham. Now personally, I’m not a fan of having the same protein every day for a week, I remembered discovering how much I didn’t really like Turkey past Thanksgiving (and even then I was never really into poultry). My mother was a leftover mastermind though. She was one of those people who could pull random things out of the fridge and somehow reinvent it and it would 9 out of 10 be amazing. One thing I looked forward to was her split pea soup! Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe for what she made, BUT I found this recipe which tastes exactly the same AND it’s a crock pot recipes which means you can set it and forget it while you go about your day!