Rosemary and Cheddar Cheese Straws and the Beauty of Puff Pastry!

Rosemary and Cheddar Cheese Straws and the Beauty of Puff Pastry!

This post has been sponsored by Pepperidge Farm and SITS but all opinions are my own. Everyone has their own unique entertaining style.  Some people choose elegance, fine china and flutes of expensive champagne.  Some people choose takeout and football.  I tend to fall somewhere in between.  I like the food I serve at parties to LOOK elegant and complicated but to be incredibly easy to make!  After my recent experience at the Pepperidge Farm Game Night Party, I have decided that Puff Pastry is definitely my new favorite party food! At the recent Pepperidge Farm party, we were treated to an amazing array of foods from Stacie at Divine Lifestyle, and her husband.  I was truly amazed at the versatility that the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry offered.  There were both sweet and savory … [Read more...]

Homemade Cajun Spice Mix for your next Mardi Gras Recipe

Homemade Cajun Spice Mix for your next Mardi Gras Recipe

I grew up in New England and the most exciting 'ethnic' food I remember having as a kid was pizza.  For those of you who are not familiar with New England cooking, to say it is bland is a bit of an understatement.  Don't get me wrong....I love New England clam chowder and homemade baked beans and my mom's pot roast.  But they aren't making my mouth scream "WOW...spicy!".  When I moved down to Texas after college, my taste buds went through a bit of culture shock!  Suddenly I was inundated with jalapenos and shrimp covered in Cajun spice mix and it was like my mouth died and went to heaven!  If you love jalapenos as much as I do, check out my Baked and Stuffed Jalapeno recipe! Cajun food has become one of my all time favorites in terms of flavor.  Gumbo, etouffe, crawfish, … [Read more...]

Cranberry Almond Donut Recipe for a Valentine’s Day Treat

Cranberry Almond Donut Recipe for a Valentine’s Day Treat

This donut recipe contains affiliate links. I am pretty sure that the smell of warm, yummy donuts is about the best aroma on earth.  We live right near a Krispy Kreme donut bakery and the kids love getting them on a Saturday morning for a special treat.  I decided to try my hand at making homemade donuts as a pre Valentine's Day breakfast. The donut recipes I came across online all seemed very simple so I bought myself a donut pan on Amazon and got to work!  If you would like to treat your kids on Valentine's Day (or any day!) I highly recommend you try out this donut recipe! The batter for this donut recipe was incredibly easy but I did add WAY too much batter to the pans. As they baked, these homemade donuts looked more like muffins as they rose up out of the pan and … [Read more...]

How to Make Homemade Caramel

How to Make Homemade Caramel

If you learn how to make homemade caramel, you will never again wonder what to give people for a gift.  Homemade caramel is incredibly easy to make and takes only 4 ingredients that you can easily find at your local grocery store.  You will be amazed at how awesome your homemade caramel tastes compared to the 'blech' flavor of the stuff you buy at the grocery store.  Once you get a taste of this sweet, chewy and buttery goodness you will never again buy it in the candy isle! The one thing you definitely need before you can make homemade caramel is a candy thermometer!  This is a must have if you want to learn how to make homemade caramel!  You can find one relatively cheap at Michael's or just get your (affiliate link--->>> ) candy thermometer on Amazon if you don't feel … [Read more...]

Simple Appetizer Recipe: Cranberry Cheddar Bagel Bites

Simple Appetizer Recipe: Cranberry Cheddar Bagel Bites

This appetizer recipe has been sponsored by Cabot but all opinions expressed here are my own. I am inundated with holiday commitments this year but I'm trying hard to stay on top of them.  There are gifts to buy, cards to send, errands to run and parties to attend.  I don't have a lot of free time during the holidays to be making complicated recipes.  On days I am making cookies and candy, I may very well order a pizza to save myself the hassle of cooking.  However, when we have guests over I really feel the need to cook from scratch for them. I hate buying frozen and store bought appetizers and snacks to serve to my guests!  I try to find a happy medium by making homemade snacks and appetizer recipes that don't require a lot of time.  If you keep a few key ingredients in your fridge … [Read more...]

White Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Cocktail Recipe

White Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Cocktail Recipe

There are certain things I really love about this time of year.  The crispness of the air, the smell of a fresh pine tree, baking Christmas cookies and socializing with friends are all wonderful things to enjoy in December.  But, sitting down in the evening in front of a roaring fire with a delicious Christmas cocktail is probably the best ending to a chaotic day I could possibly ask for this month!  December is busy and the to do list is long...some nights the best way to unwind from the stress is a drink in front of the fire! I really enjoy seasonal cocktail recipes...a light and fruity daiquiri in the summer is perfect for a hot summer day but come winter I want a cocktail that is going to warm me up, not cool me off!  This Christmas cocktail combines two of my favorite things into … [Read more...]

Give Thanks with Kenwood Vineyards and Homemade Pinot Noir Truffles #ShareYourTable

Give Thanks with Kenwood Vineyards and Homemade Pinot Noir Truffles #ShareYourTable

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Kenwood Vineyards. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation It seems like every time I sit down to watch TV or read something online this week I am inundated with ads for Black Friday shopping.  Or, even worse in my mind...Black THURSDAY!  The retail world is taking a day that is supposed to be made for being thankful and turning it into a day to earn money off things we probably don't really need anyhow.  I want to encourage you to slow down for just a few minutes and give thanks next week.  Be thankful for the family that drives you insane but that you love anyhow.  Be thankful for the food on your table, even if the kids complain about having to eat that weird Jello … [Read more...]

How to Make Homemade Chocolate Syrup

How to Make Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Have you ever brought your kids grocery shopping with you and they randomly pick up stuff and try to sneak it in the cart?  Think only little kids do that?  No..my teens and my HUSBAND are the worst offenders!  There are certain things that they love that I just don't like buying.  Whether it is due to the price or the questionable ingredients, sometimes mom just says NO!  That jug of chocolate syrup almost always tries to leave the store with us but have you actually LOOKED at the ingredients?  I'm not calling out any brands by name here but this one is probably the most popular one on the shelf and look at the crap they put in that container: What is all that?  You know what goes in homemade chocolate syrup?  Chocolate, sugar and water.  If you want to get really fancy you can add … [Read more...]

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole Recipe makes a perfect Thanksgiving Sidedish!

Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole Recipe makes a perfect Thanksgiving Sidedish!

There is nothing I love more than potatoes....unless you happen to put bacon and CHEESE on top and then they are even more delicious!  Whether you are talking French fries, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes, I definitely think that any type of spud tastes better if it is cheesy and bacon flavored!  This casserole recipe takes all of my favorite things and puts them into one dish which would make a perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. This casserole recipe is definitely not particularly healthy.  Sure, you could add low fat cheese, skim milk, and some version of a butter substitute but honestly, I would rather have a small portion of the GOOD stuff than put fake food in there.  Go for a long walk after dinner and just sit back and enjoy this casserole recipe … [Read more...]

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Glaze

One of the things I love most about fall is the reappearance of cranberries in the grocery store.  When I find those precious bags of fresh cranberries I buy them every week and throw them in the freezer for year round cooking.  Of course, I usually run out of them by spring and have to wait impatiently for them to show back up again!  If you are a cranberry fan yourself, I highly recommend you start stocking up!  Just throw a spare bag or two in the freezer for delicious quick breads and baked goods even in the middle of summer! I wanted to do something creative with my latest cranberry haul so rather than making yet another quick bread or muffin I started looking for something a little more unique.  I came across a cranberry bundt cake recipe that sounded intriguing but I knew … [Read more...]