September 22, 2012

Ghost Strawberries

Last Christmas I posted some adorable Santa Claus Strawberries perfect for Christmas morning; this year, I found some spooky ghost strawberries awesome for Halloween fright nights! 

 Chocolate covered strawberries are so easy to make and I haven't met anyone who doesn't love them.
These would be a hit at your next party!
Arnt they cute!

November 09, 2011

Santa Claus Strawberries

 Check out this adorable idea for your next holiday party or for Christmas morning! Little strawberries with the tops sliced off, a dollop of whipped cream placed in between, a couple sesame seed eyes, another little dot of whip cream on top of his hat...and there you have it, an adorable little Santa Claus!
I wasn't able to find a recipe for the thick whipped cream they used in this picture, but it seems like you could improvise.
How much do you love this simple yet festive idea?
I know this will be perfect with our Christmas breakfast of bagels and lox and bubbly champagne. ;-)


Published on November 01, 2011

Caramel Apple Cup Cakes and a New Blog Design !!!

Happy November 1st everyone! I have to say I love November, its the time of the year where we really begin to celebrate as we prepare for our Thanksgiving feasts and get a head start on our Christmas shopping.

In honor of one of my favorite months of the year, I've revamped my blog by having a new design created by She drew the festive peacock by hand on Photoshop for me. If you want a one-of-a-kind blog template for yourself, you should check her out.

On to the baking: I made Caramel Apple Cake today I thought the recipe looked delicious but I wanted to put my own spin on it, so instead of making a cake, I made cupcakes!  They turned out really well, and have a wonderful apple pie scent! 

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1-1/2 cups sugar 
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
2 eggs 
1/2 cup evaporated milk 
1/2 cup water 
2 cups finely shredded peeled apples 
1/3 cup packed brown sugar 
1/4 cup evaporated milk 
2 tablespoons butter 

1) In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, brown sugar and coconut; set aside. In another bowl, combine the next six ingredients.

2)In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, water and apples. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. 

3)Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with nut mixture. Bake at 325° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 

4)Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan, combine the topping ingredients; cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture has thickened slightly, about 8 minutes, stirring constantly. 
5)Poke holes with a fork in top of the hot cake; immediately spoon topping over cake. Cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: 12-15 servings.

I found this recipe at
If you try it, let me know how yours turns out!
Once again, Happy November!

The pictures in this November 1, 2011 blog post are copyrighted as my own.

Published on October 26, 2011

It's Here...Pumpkin Butter!!!

 No amount of Febreze, incense or candles could make your home smell more inviting than a boiling pot of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, and pumpkin, mixed with the zest of orange and apple cider vinegar. 

I have to say, I found the best part of making my homemade pumpkin butter to be the intoxicating aroma of my favorite spices.

I finally decided to stop putting off making pumpkin butter with all of the left over bits and pieces from my pumpkin carving that I had chilled in the fridge. My only regret, not making it sooner! What a fantastic and unique fall treat!

A few days ago I came across this straight forward recipe on on of my favorite web sites, 
 Here's the recipe:

Pumpkin Butter Recipe:
1. Throw all of your pumpkin strings and seeds into a big bowl. (If you haven't already separated them)
2. Fill bowl with just enough water to cover, and swish around a bit to separate the seeds from the gooey strings. Scoop out the floating seeds (you will not need them for this recipe).
3. Put all of your water and gooey strings in a big pot on the stove.
4. Mix in
      1 tsp. Vanilla extract
      ½ tsp. salt
      2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
      ½ cup dark brown sugar
      ½ cup granulated sugar
      1 pinch ground cloves ***
      ¼ tsp ground nutmeg ***
      1 tsp each: ground ginger, cinnamon, and orange peel (zest) ***
       *** = Pumpkin pie spice contains most of these necessary spices, so you could use this instead.
5. Cook for about an hour on medium heat until brown in color and slightly thickened.
6. Then blend it smooth in a standard blender (stringy bits may destroy handheld immersion blender).
7. Continue to cook until texture becomes thick enough that it doesn’t run, but not as thick as peanut butter. (a crockpot can also be used to slowly reduce the mixture down. You could also thicken with cornstarch mixed in a little water).
Will keep refrigerated for 1-2 weeks, or frozen for a few months.
Making this pumpkin butter was easier than I anticipated it would be, and the simplicity of the recipe made me feel a little silly for procrastinating.  All there is to it is, mixing your ingredients in a pot and letting it boil or simmer for awhile, blend it, then simmer it some more. 
I did tweak the recipe a tad; instead of 1 tsp orange peel zest, I zested about half an orange peel. I also added a little bit more brown sugar. 
Just taste your mix, and you'll know what it needs. 
If I can make this, anyone can. ;)

Spread it on a piece of toast, cuddle up by the fire, and have a relaxing autumn evening.
Stay warm!
The pictures in this October 26,2011 blog post are copyrighted as my own.
A huge thank you to Amber for posting this recipe on

Published on October 24, 2011
Pumpkin Chocolate and Toffee Treasures

Have you carved your pumpkin, roasted your seeds, and still need a little more pumpkin in your life? I experimented with a recipe inspired by Martha Stewart today, and I'm pleased to say this is a pretty yummy post-summer, pre-winter delight! 
I followed her basic recipe, which you can find here, but made a few changes and have even more ideas. Her recipe calls for ...

Pumpkin-Chocolate-Chip Squares


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
  4. Lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). Peel off foil, and use a serrated knife to cut into 24 squares

I added my own spin on this recipe by substituting the chocolate chips for Heath Bar chocolate chunks and toffee mix (you can find this right next to the chocolate chips in the baking isle). While the pumpkin mostly masked the toffee flavor, I found it did add a bit of salty taste to the recipe. I also found I needed to bake for a little longer to compensate for the added gooeyness. 

You can tell my squares (the top picture) turned out a little darker in color than hers did (the bottom picture), this is because I added more pumpkin to give it an extra Halloween kick. The recipe only calls for 1 cup, I added the whole can (about a cup and a half).

This recipe was easy enough that I would make it again but I have some ideas that would take this recipe from good to great. So while you give it a go in your own kitchen try adding a some of brown sugar, you should also definitely try adding extra pumpkin pie spice, and if you're not a huge chocolate fan, substitute it for raisins. I think that raisins would have been yummier than the chocolate for this particular recipe; and believe me, I love my chocolate!

These turned out to big a big hit with my family, and they were not overly sweet. Add a glass of milk and your good to go!

Happy Baking!

The top picture (title picture) on this October 24, 2011 blog post is copywrited as my own. The bottom picture (next to the recipe) is from
Thanks to for the recipe! 
Also a very special thanks to my Sister, Calla, who has been taking amazing photos for these blogs!