Healthy Halloween Dessert: Candy Corn Fruit Parfait

Healthy Halloween Dessert: Candy Corn Fruit Parfait

Can I just let you all in on a little secret?  I actually LIKE candy corn.  I know...it is gross and artificially flavored and colored and leaves that weird taste in your mouth but for some reason I actually like the stuff.  Now, don't get me wrong....I don't want to sit down and eat a bowl of it or anything.  But a few pieces here or there right around Halloween is a huge treat.  I decided to combine my love of candy corn with my need to eat healthier and this candy corn fruit parfait is the result!  A healthy Halloween dessert that makes me feel good about my diet choices while still allowing me just a tad bit of a treat at the same time.  If you don't like candy corn at all you can omit it completely and your dessert will still be just as delicious! I chose to use fresh pineapple for … [Read more...]

Loaded Baked Potato Skewers #TopTater

Loaded Baked Potato Skewers #TopTater

This baked potato recipe has been sponsored by Clever Girls but all opinions expressed are my own. When I was in college and moved off campus my junior year, I decided to skip the dining hall pass and start cooking for myself in our apartment kitchen.  How hard could it be to cook food that tasted better than the institutionalized stuff they served us in the cafeteria, right?  Well, turns out that while I was ABLE to cook delicious food in my own kitchen, I didn't really have the time or the money to get very fancy with my cooking.  I soon discovered, however, that a baked potato was cheap to buy,  took only a few minutes to make in the microwave, and when I loaded fresh broccoli and cheese on top I had the makings of a fairly balanced meal.  I ate a LOT of bake potatoes in college!  … [Read more...]

Molasses Pumpkin Bread with Candied Ginger

Molasses Pumpkin Bread with Candied Ginger

Fall is my all time favorite season for baking.  I love the foods and aromas that come with the cooler weather.  One of my all time favorite flavors of fall is molasses.  I grew up in New England and my mom made homemade baked beans with real molasses in them several times a year.  I was always allowed to lick the spoon afterwards and even as an adult I cannot open that container of molasses without eating a spoon full straight out of the jar.  Paired with the wonderful flavors of pumpkin and candied ginger, this pumpkin bread is an absolutely delicious treat! I made my life a bit simpler and used a can of organic pumpkin.  Honestly, I have made pumpkin puree from scratch and found it to be a WHOLE lot of work!  I also chose to use candied ginger for part of this recipe in place of … [Read more...]

Frosted Grapes Recipe:  Elegant for Appetizer or Simple Treat for Kids!

Frosted Grapes Recipe: Elegant for Appetizer or Simple Treat for Kids!

Grapes are one of my family's all time favorite fruits.  If I put out a bowl of grapes I can pretty much be guaranteed that they will be gone by the end of the day.  I have never actually done much COOKING with grapes, though, so when our Food Bloggers group decided to spotlight grapes as our weekly food challenge I was a little bit stumped.  Honestly, I don't think I have any recipes in my repertoire that call for grapes!  Usually we just pop them in our mouth until the bowl is empty!  My first attempt at a grape recipe was a total flop...I tried making grape jam and the resulting bowl of lumpy liquid was SO not anything that resembled grape jam!  Oh well, off to get more grapes and find a new recipe, right?  When I came across the idea of frosted grapes I was intrigued! So, why … [Read more...]

Healthier Outdoor Entertaining Tips #IBBakesWell

Healthier Outdoor Entertaining Tips #IBBakesWell

This outdoor entertaining post has been sponsored but all opinions expressed here are my own. As we move from summer into fall you would think that opportunities for outdoor entertaining would be disappearing, right?  Well, here in Georgia we actually don't do much outdoor entertaining in the summer.  Mainly because it's hot and humid all summer!  Not to mention that swarms of mosquitoes are just waiting to bite my bare legs!  I firmly believe that fall is the absolutely BEST season for outdoor entertaining.  The weather in the evenings is cool enough to allow for a fire in the fire pit and it still stays light late enough that we aren't stumbling around in the dark trying to eat dinner. If you are planning a little bit of outdoor entertaining this fall, here are a few tips to make your … [Read more...]

Fig jam is easy to make with no canning required!

Fig jam is easy to make with no canning required!

Fig jam isn't something you normally see when you stroll down the peanut butter and jelly isle at the grocery store.  In fact, I am pretty sure I have never actually had fig jam in my entire life.  Other than Fig Newtons I don't know that I have ever even eaten a fig!  Ok, maybe once as an appetizer at a friend's house?  I have certainly never bought them myself because, quite honestly, I have never come across one at the grocery store.  But, I was at the farmer's market last weekend and low and behold there was a guy there selling figs! My husband has been trying to convince me to put in a few fruit trees for years.  One of the fruits he come back to time and time again is the fig.  Did you know that figs were one of the first plants cultivated by humans?  How crazy is that?  And … [Read more...]

Easy Baked Stuffed Jalapeno Recipe

Easy Baked Stuffed Jalapeno Recipe

Having grown up in New England, I did not see my first jalapeno pepper until I graduated from college and moved to Texas.  Honestly, I am not sure I had ever eaten a single spicy food for the entire first 18 years of my life.  When I got to Texas I was exposed to all sorts of wonderful new foods...some I loved and some I would never eat again if you paid me.  My all time favorite new food, though, was the stuffed jalapeno pepper!  If you are thinking "oh, I don't like spicy foods" well, these are not TOO spicy!  When you make a stuffed jalapeno you have to first take out all the seeds and membranes inside.  That is where all the 'heat' really comes from.  The jalapeno pepper itself isn't too spicy.  Sure, it has a little bit of bite but not eye watering, tongue burning kind of heat.  And … [Read more...]

Whipped Ricotta Cheese Tart with Honey and Fresh Blackberries

Whipped Ricotta Cheese Tart with Honey and Fresh Blackberries

I grew up an hour outside of New York City.  I have an aunt who is of Italian decent and I learned early in life to appreciate a fine Italian dessert.  My favorite Italian treat of all time is the cannoli.  The whipped and sweetened ricotta cheese filling is heavenly and I could literally just sit down with a bowl full and eat it with a spoon.  Here in the south, I have yet to find a place to buy a truly delicious cannoli and I dream of the day I can get back to NYC for my favorite treat.  When I was at the grocery store the other day I came across organic, whole milk ricotta cheese on clearance and I was inspired!  Who says I can't make my own cannolis right?  Well, I COULD except for the fact that Kroger does not apparently carry premade cannoli shells and making them from scratch seemed … [Read more...]

Focaccia with Cheddar Cheese and Sun dried Tomatoes

Focaccia with Cheddar Cheese and Sun dried Tomatoes

This focaccia recipe has been sponsored by Bella Sun Luci but all opinions expressed here are my own. I have discovered that the way to the hearts of the men in this house is definitely through food.  Large quantities of food, preferably served at very frequent intervals!  My husband and my 14 year old son are both over 6 feet tall and are very active.  Bread is offered in abundance in my kitchen and occasionally I am inspired to try making it from scratch.  When I was sent a selection of sun dried tomatoes from Bella Sun Luci to try out I knew that focaccia would be the perfect recipe to try them in! If you have never had focaccia let me just say that it is incredibly addictive and very easy to make!  It is a simple combination of yeast, water, sugar, flour and olive oil that is … [Read more...]

Tarragon Chicken Recipe with a White Wine Cream Sauce  #CKMondaviHeroes

Tarragon Chicken Recipe with a White Wine Cream Sauce #CKMondaviHeroes

This tarragon chicken recipe has been sponsored by CK Mondavi and Clever Girls. All opinions expressed are my own. #CKMondaviHeroes Summertime for me means a return to using fresh herbs in my cooking.  I don't grow any herbs in my house over the winter so as soon as the weather starts to warm up, I head to the nursery and grab as many varieties as I can find.  Having fresh herbs in my recipes gives them a wonderful flavor and complexity.  This chicken recipe could have been just like any other chicken I stuck in the oven but the tarragon from the garden really gave it a unique flavor.  Some people put flowers in a vase in their kitchen, I like to put freshly cut herbs in them! That way, the house smells good and I have fresh herbs at my fingertips whenever I need them! When I was … [Read more...]