In case you were wondering - I am fully aware that my phone number is associated with the words "cupcake lady" and "cookie girl" in a lot of peoples cell phone contact list. 📱I'm not offended. I'm actually quite flattered to be associated with such sweetness. Although I would like to suggest "dessert diva" and "ganache guru" be added to the list of affectionate titles that are attached to my phone number. 😅
I make a living baking butter and sugar laced confections so I feel like I earned those badges honestly. 😂🧁And as much as I love making and creating delicious, artful creations out of sugar, I do have pangs of guilt about promoting such unhealthy ingredients.
Despite what the daily photographs of delectable treats on my instagram account might lead you to believe, I actually eat a primarily plant based diet. Most of those glamorous goodies that get posted on my social media get delivered to clients, friends or neighbors.
My intention is not to shatter your perception of a glamorous bakers life - just trying to keep it real. 👩🏻🍳 Even though we might want to - "pastry purveyers" don't actually eat brownies for breakfast every day. 😂
I have my own (very unscientific) theory that spending an excessive amount of time in the presence of sugar actually makes a person crave the opposite of sugar - salt.🧂 At the end of a day spent with buttercream up to my elbows, there's nothing more appealing to me than a giant bowl of warm (sugarless) soup and salty crackers . 🍲 This Pearled Barley and Turkey Soup was exactly what I was craving on a busy baking weekend - especially on a weekend of unseasonably cool temperatures in Georgia.
Pearled Barley and Turkey Soup
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion , finely diced
1 large carrot, sliced thin
2 celery stalks , sliced thin
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms , cut into quarters
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp fresh thyme , chopped
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground fennel
1 dried bay leaf
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup pearl barley
8 cups chicken stock
4 cups turkey, cooked and chopped
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Stir in turkey to warm.
Soup is easy to make. It's filling It's an easy way to pack more vegetables into your diet, and soup (usually) freezes well. It's the perfect weekend fare - especially on chilly days. 🍲
You get a cookie - You get a cookie! And YOU get a cookie!! 🍪😂 This was pretty much me two weeks ago when I was working on a new Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie recipe. In my quest to make the most perfect cookie - I made many, many batches of these delicious little confections - I was literally passing them out to everyone I know. Any neighborhood kids who happened to be playing near my house and my UPS delivery guy just a few of the unsuspecting recipients. 😅
I was contracted to create this new cookie recipe and let's face it - I'm nothing if not thorough. 🤣 I took the job of recipe creator very seriously so I baked and ate a LOT of cookies and when I just couldn't bear to eat any more - I started passing cookies out on the street. 😋
I spent weeks experimenting with gluten free, dairy free and vegan cookie Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies and taking on the role of recipe creator has obvious perks. The only downside of being compensated for recipe development, is that I can't share the recipe with all of you - for obvious reasons.
And even though I can't publish that particular labor of love, I do have an equally delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie recipe to share. I didn't create this heavenly treat from scratch but I did, tweak it to make it my own. 😉 As II do with every cookie recipe - you can trust that I've thoroughly taste tested these cookies and they passed the test. 🍪 They're amazing.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup light-brown sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips
Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet before moving to a rack to cool completely.
Never in a million years did I ever think I would EVER get tired of eating cookies. I mean, I love cookies so much and I've dreamed of a time that I could eat cookies all day, every day for weeks at a time. I got to live that dream and it turns out - much to my surprise - there's actually a limit to the number of cookies that I can consume in one day. Who knew? I tested the theory that the overconsumption of cookies would diminish my love for the delicious treats and I can honestly say that after this project, I took a two day cookie hiatus and then jumped right back on the cookie bandwagon. 😅
Every time I make a cheesy dish - I can't help wonder if it would meet her approval. 😅 She has high standards for cheese. 🧀 This girl loves spinach dip and she loves macaroni and cheese so I have a feeling that she should approve of this three cheese appetizer and pasta fusion dish.
Just imagine the best spinach and artichoke dip that you've ever tasted, combined with the creamiest, cheesiest pasta thats ever touched your lips and you've got this beautiful main course Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese. This one pot dish is easy to make - it comes together quickly and - its delicious.
Spinach and Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 ounces baby spinach, chopped
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups water
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1 cup White American cheese, shredded (4 ounce block from deli counter)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan , shredded
Add spinach and stir until sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
The saddest part of this story is that I have yet to make this yummy dish for my sweet, cheese loving, daughter in law. We live 700 miles apart so running dinner over to her house is out of the question. But I promise to make it the next time that you come to visit @aint_no_holly_back_girl. 😉
Anyone remember when the only way to get a new recipe was to visit your grandmas house, call your mom on your landline telephone or look through the cookbooks on your shelf? ☎📕 I'm totally dating myself, but the point is - we have more access to recipes than ever before. It's hard to even imagine a recipe that I can't find on the internet.
This year I was tasked with creating a brand new set of recipes and I gained a whole new appreciation for people who used to have to come up with their own recipes for everything. Can you imagine being the first person who ever came up with a recipe for pancakes?
My first task was to develop a nut flour pancake recipe. 🥞 Since this was my first go around with recipe creation, I went about it in a very methodical way. Batch by batch - I altered one ingredient at a time until I narrowed it down to 6 workable recipes. (That process took me a little over a week. 😅)
I can't think of a better way to spend a couple of weeks than making and tasting pancakes. 😋 Thank goodness it's January and I'm not going to have to put on a bathing suit anytime soon. 😅 I ate a lot of pancakes but honestly, I never got tired of sampling pancakes. At some point though - I had to gather more opinions from fellow pancake lovers. So, I hosted a pancake party.
This was my first experience with a recipe testing event and I made a rookie mistake. I invited 6 other people to taste test 3 different pancakes. You see where this is going, right? 2 people chose pancake 1, 2 chose pancake 2 and 2 people liked pancake 3. 🤦🏻♀️
Looking for a tie breaker, I asked my family for their pancake opinion. And because it's rare that I ask for their input on the food that I serve them, they were VERY enthusiastic about sharing their input on my test pancakes.😂 #becarefulwhatyouaskfor
Even if you don't aspire to create your own unique pancake recipe - I highly recommend creating a pancake tasting party for yourself. My family and friends fully embraced their roles as pancake taste testers. 😅 Use this recipe for Lemon Buttermilk pancakes and tweak it. Add blueberries to one batch, substitute orange for lemon in another and try making one batch with cinnamon. You might be surprised at the pancake that your taste testers choose.
Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
4 teaspoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup blueberries (optiional)
Flip pancake and cook 1-2 more minutes.
Just a heads up - National Pancake Day is March 1st - a perfect day for a pancake party.
Winter is an awesome time to get outside and do some hiking in Georgia. This is what a Georgia winter hike looks like - mild, quiet and snowless. 😅
I love to explore the outdoors during every season but winter hikes might just be my favorite.🚶🏻♀️ Amazing views, cooler temperatures and trails that are less crowded. And let's not forget the best part of any hike - the hearty breakfast beforehand. Every hiker knows that a good dose of carbohydrates and protein are essential hiking fuel.
A stash of homemade english muffins in my freezer was the inspiration for our pre-hiking breakfast last weekend. Breakfast Sandwiches seemed like the perfect fuel for our chilly trek through the woods.
For years, I made the eggs for my breakfast sandwiches individually, which was a painstakingly slow process. 😅 I wish I would have discovered this new technique of baking my eggs in a pan in the oven, a loooong time ago. 🥚 I'm never making individual eggs for sandwiches again. 😂
Baked Egg Sandwiches
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
4 English muffins
8 avocado slices
4 slices turkey bacon
The combination of baked eggs, avocado, turkey bacon and cheese on a crispy, buttery English muffin is breakfast perfection - even if you're not planning on taking a hike. 😂
Like my page on facebook.
Follow me on Instagram