Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Spring Garden Cupcakes

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Full disclosure – I didn’t make this or think of it. These Spring cupcakes were the project for Spencer’s final 4H Intro to Baking class. They’re so cute, I couldn’t resist posting them. I don’t have the exact recipe, but I know enough to explain how to recreate them.

easter spring garden

They made a basic chocolate cupcake (from a mix or I love this one from Martha Stewart) and frosted the cupcakes with chocolate buttercream and topped with crumbled chocolate graham crackers (crushed chocolate wafer cookies could also be used). The basic idea for the cupcake is a dirt cake/cupcake, but topped with a strawberry dipped in orange candy melts to look like a carrot. (I imagine dyed white chocolate could also be used.)

Garden Carrots


To make the “carrots,” follow the directions on the candy melts, but basically you melt the candy melts over low heat, dip the strawberries in and then let them cool on wax paper.

Truman has an egg allergy so Easter is one of the trickier holidays. An egg free alternative to the cupcake is just placing the dipped strawberries on some shredded coconut, you could also dye the shredded coconut green if you wanted more of an easter grass feel.

I had a hard time keeping Spencer’s hands off of the cupcake. He was not pleased I wanted to take photos, making the wait time even longer. “Mo-oooom, I just want to pick the carrot. I made it.”



Special thanks to Annette, and 4H baking. If you ever see this, thanks for the idea! And sorry about the photos, Spencer barely let me take photos with my phone, let alone get the camera out or set anything up. And yes, the cupcake is a little smooshed and lopsided. It was made by a 6 year old! Looks pretty good to me!

Amazon affiliate links were used in this post. All of you pennies, they will be mine.

Tomato and Bacon Soup (pressure cooker)

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Whole30 and Paleo friendly

Paleo Whole 30 tomato bacon soup instant pot

My first pressure cooker/instant pot recipe! I am by now means an expert but there are lots of blog posts out there with tips. I wouldn’t normally post a recipe using such new (to me) equipment, but this recipe for a Whole 30 and paleo-friendly tomato bacon soup SO GOOD that I had to share.

The smokey flavor is really strong in this soup, it makes a non-dairy tomato soup taste so full and rich. It’s great. A little cup of leftover soup would go great with eggs in the morning, too.


  • 1 slice thick cut bacon (or some prosciutto or pancetta), chopped
  • 20 ounce can of whole tomatoes (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped in to 4 pieces or so
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled (whole or chopped)
  • 4 cups water or chicken stock
  • 3 fresh basil leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • smoked salt, to taste (about a teaspoon during cooking, more to finish) or sea salt


  • pressure cooker (I used an instant pot, adjust cooking times for stovetop)
  • immersion blender or blender


  1. Add the chopped bacon to a small pan and turn the heat to low/medium low (you can use the saute function on an instant pot, but I wanted to keep the heat real low and not brown the onions). You want to begin to melt the fat of the bacon without it getting crispy.
  2. When there is a nice coating of bacon fat on the bottom of the pan, add the onions. Cook until onions are translucent, trying not to brown them too much. About 10 min. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add the onion bacon mixture and the remaining ingredients to the pressure cooker.
  4. Cook using the soup function and either vent naturally or manually. (Please follow all pre-cooking safety checks per your user manual as well as proper venting procedure.)
  5. When soup is finished, blend with an immersion blender (or a regular blender, just don’t fill it too full!) to a mostly smooth texture.
  6. Garnish and serve!

Garnish ideas: chopped fresh basil, sliced green onions, coconut cream swirl, roasted pumpkin seeds (Or if you eat dairy try a little grated cheese or sour cream)

Note: I bet this could be made just as deliciously on the stove top or with a slow cooker, just cook it long and low and really allow the smokey bacon flavor to permeate the soup.


Fall Favorites

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Thought I would do some links to some of my favorite Fall recipes.

Pear Oat Muffins

Applesauce Oat Muffins with Pears

Apple Chip Recipe

Apple Chips

Butterscotch Vodka

Infused Butterscotch Vodka

7 leftover turkey recipes

Leftover Turkey Recipes (updated)

Brussel Breakthrough

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

So. Last night I discovered I had been doing something wrong. Not wrong wrong, but… subpar. I was making baked chicken and brussel sprouts for dinner and I figured I might as well roast the brussel sprouts because the oven was already on. Normally, I sautee them with bacon and finish with balsamic. I wasn’t entirely sure about the timing, so I googled and went with Ina Garten’s roasted brussel sprout recipe. SO AMAZING.

oven roasted brussel sprouts

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Now, roasting vegetables isn’t exactly rocket science. You drizzle with some oil, add some salt maybe some pepper and put them in the oven. The difference in her recipe, compared to how I have made mine in the past, is that she cooks them longer and salts them again when they come out of the oven. What a difference! I do have a quibble with the cooking time though, I don’t know if it is just because I used a dark pan or mine were on the smaller side, but my roasted brussel sprouts were done in 25 minutes at 375F compared to her 40 at 400.

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts
serves 2-4
8 – 16 ounces brussel sprouts, halved and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon, plus more for after roasting)
black pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon)

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 F
  • In a small bowl, combine brussel sprouts and olive oil
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Spread sprouts in a single layer on a cookie sheet or pan
  • Bake for 25-40 minutes, checking every ten minutes and shaking the pan
  • When you think they are done, consider baking them a couple more minutes. Make sure each sprout is brown edges, some crispy, some a bit caramelized
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt, smoked salt if you are feeling fancy

Roasted Brussel Sprouts


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