sausage, egg + cheese biscuit sandwiches

I made a batch of these buttermilk biscuits last week and, as promised, here is a lovely little (really, they’re pretty big) biscuit sandwich that’s perfect for breakfast — make them and freeze them, and you have breakfast for more than a week! Since I work relatively odd hours, getting in a solid breakfast every day is a big chore for me. If you had … Continue reading sausage, egg + cheese biscuit sandwiches

thanksgiving pie tutorial!

Pie is the unanimously expected Thanksgiving dessert. The meal just doesn’t feel complete without a slice of pie at the end! I’m sure most people would argue that pumpkin is the best pie to serve at Thanksgiving, while others might think of pecan or maybe apple. In my eyes, my favorite Thanksgiving pie is mince — meat-free, please!

I have fond memories of waking up the day after Thanksgiving to grab a leftover slice of cold mince pie for breakfast. My mom never made it from scratch, it was always Sara Lee out of a box, but it was delicious to me!

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Do you err on the side of safety (and your sanity) and go the frozen/store-bought pie route during the holidays? Do you consider your pie crust efforts to be a surefire recipe for disaster? If so, I’m here to help! Pull on your aprons and turn on those ovens because it’s time to make some delicious, gorgeous, impressive pies of your very own! I’ll show you how to make an ultra buttery and flaky pie crust, a sweetly spiced homemade mince pie filling, and three different finishing options — a full top crust, a lattice crust, and a pecan streusel crumb topping! Let’s get started, huh?

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mini taco salad cups!

I’m not usually much for sports.

I enjoy sports, but I don’t actively watch them on TV or in person. There is one exception, and that’s the Super Bowl! Sort of like those people who only go to church on holidays, the only time I watch football is the Super Bowl. And not even for the commercials which, I admit, can be pretty entertaining. I get genuinely excited about the game (even if I don’t understand all of it sometimes), and it’s a lot of fun! The thing I look forward to most about Super Bowl Sunday, though, is the food. Obviously!

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salad jar shenanigans (happy blogiversary!)


Today marks one year since my first blog post!! My one year blogiversary. Can you tell I’m excited?!
I’ve come a long way as a blogger in the last year. I started this site to share my recipes and all the fun stuff I create in my kitchen, and it’s been a total learning experience for sure. Of course, not everything came out perfect on the first try, and some recipes I’ve tested and then held back from the blog because I wasn’t fully satisfied with them. I’ve pushed the boundaries of my creativity and had a blast doing it. I hope you have enjoyed reading everything, and I hope you’ve been inspired by my creations! Here’s to another awesome year of pretty, tasty food. I have lots of ideas for 2014, and I hope you’ll enjoy what my brain dreams up.

It’s a new year, and in that relatively small window from January 1st through, say, February 13th, most people have at least a partial goal in mind to lose weight/eat healthier/get more active, or any combination of the three. Whether I verbalize it or not, I usually have some plan in mind to be a better version of myself as the year begins. Those aspirations are so easily shattered, especially once Valentine’s Day rolls around and every store is chock-full of heart-shaped, chocolate-coated everything. Basically, I have zero willpower when it comes to sugar.

Even if I can’t lose 20 pounds or run a marathon by the time this year is out, I can make little changes. Working in a bakery as I do, I’m not only constantly surrounded by sugary, fatty temptation (it’s mostly organic, so there’s that, anyhow), but I also don’t have a scheduled lunch break. I’m free to sit down and eat something whenever I have the time but more often than not, I simply don’t make the time. I feel much more productive in my work if I can just keep going straight through my 8 hour shift without much distraction. If I sit down and eat something for lunch, I have a hard time getting back to the same head space I was in before. It majorly derails my concentration, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

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an owl cake for randi

20130829_211158Recently, my roommate Ben (whose birthday cake I made back in March) asked if I would make a cake for his girlfriend Randi’s birthday. I agreed, and asked what sort of stuff she liked so I could have something to base the design off of. He replied “Owls and hedgehogs!”. Cute! I figured owls would be easier than hedgehogs when it came to fondant modeling, so an owl-themed cake it would be!

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happy birthday, ben! or, how i made my first fondant-covered cake

My roommate’s birthday was last weekend. Ben’s always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland and especially took to American McGee’s video game adaptation from 2000. He even has a tattoo of that version of the Cheshire Cat, which is pretty sweet cause it’s mostly in blacklight-reactive ink except for the Cat’s grin. So, unless there’s a blacklight nearby to illuminate the body of the cat, all you see is the black outline of his creepy smile!


Ben’s Cheshire Cat tattoo in blacklight-reactive ink

I wanted to make Ben a cake for his birthday, and thought that McGee’s version of the Cheshire Cat would be a perfect subject. However, I had never previously made a fondant-covered cake. Talking to a friend of mine regarding how I should go about creating the cake, she suggested that I make my own fondant because it tastes much better than the fondants available commercially. So, make my own fondant, I did!

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how-to: peel a kiwi (mostly) without a knife

In the years I’ve worked in bakeries and restaurants, I’ve made a LOT of fruit tarts. Those tarts usually required lots of kiwi, and those kiwi must be peeled. I’ve never been very good at using a paring knife to get the fuzzy peel off of a kiwi because I always cut too deep and end up removing a lot of the fruit along with the peel. When too much of the fruit is removed, you end up with weird, faceted-looking kiwi. See?


A former co-worker showed me this trick years ago and I love it. It’s very simple and it’s been mentioned on lots of other food blogs, but hey, what’s one more?

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my best friend

There are many kitchen tools that cooks/bakers find useful and even indispensable. Sure, I adore my pretty blue Kitchen Aid. I longed for one for years and last year Santa (read: Mom) finally got the hint, threw down the cash and blessed me with the blue beauty which graces my kitchen counter (under protective cover of a dishtowel). My immersion blender has saved me the drudgery and mess of pureeing batch after batch of soup in a regular counter-top blender. My trusty old cheapo digital meat thermometer has allowed me to take the guesswork out of “Is this chicken fully cooked?”, as I’m not quite expert enough at cooking meat that I can just press on it with a fingertip and know that it’s no longer raw in the center.

All of these tools are nice, and I couldn’t do without them. There is one, though, that I will choose over any mixer, blender or thermometer (except maybe the Thermapen! *drool*)…

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