Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole

Ack! It's two days until Thanksgiving!

I am so so so so excited for this Thanksgiving! You want to know why? Because I'm bringing some of my own family's traditional recipes to my boyfriend's family gathering. I know that some of you will relate: Another family's Thanksgiving meal just can't compare to the one your family used to make.

So with that being said, I've already made the egg bread for my traditional dressing recipe. I'll be whipping the rest of it up this evening and storing it in the fridge until Thursday morning! I also made a paleo pumpkin pie for the boy, and it came out wonderful, too! Last but not least, I did a new take on sweet potatoes. My mom used to make candied yams. You know the stuff. Oooey, gooey, yummy, marshmallow goodness. Well, I can't handle all that sugar, so I made something healthier but just as good!

This recipe is so simple! Just a handful of ingredients you should have lying around your house and you're good to go! It's as simple as sweet potatoes, cinnamon and spices, coconut milk, coconut oil, honey, pecans, and the juice of an orange! Tada! You're done! Enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

If you want the recipe, just check it out on Soda Pop Avenue's site by clicking here!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Harvest Recipe Swap Meet

I'm being joined by the ladies from Soda Pop Avenue today for an awesome Food Blog Swap Meet graciously hosted by Kristin at Dizzy Busy and Hungry and Edward at If You Can Read. It's only a few more days until Thanksgiving, and I'm sure this recipe will get you in the giving spirit!

Hello! The Ladies from Soda Pop Avenue here to share one of our favorite fall recipes with you! Our blog has lots of great ideas for holidays, organization, recipes, and family fun that you will enjoy, but today we are sharing a great Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread recipe with you that can be made into muffins too!

This is one of my favorite pumpkin recipes. I have been making it for years and every time I do someone requests the recipe. It is such a simple recipe as well, kind of a lot of ingredients, but it is a recipe I found when I was learning to cook and I wanted recipes I could basically "throw everything in and go", and this recipe fits that requirement well. I also love that it makes both delicious bread or yummy muffins (which are perfect for breakfast on the go!).


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed cooked fresh pumpkin
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together.
  3. Beat eggs, pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, milk and oil in large bowl until well blended.
  4. Add dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
  5. Add in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour into a greased 9x5-inch bread loaf pan. Or, line cupcake tins with cupcake liners and pour mixture into cupcake tins to make muffins.
  7. For bread, bake for 55 minutes. For muffins, bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Cool and enjoy!

Below the collage are links to all of the posts that participated in our Blog Swap Meet: Harvest Recipes!

Stop by and visit them all!
nov blog swap graphic 600
If You Can Read, You Can Cook posted on From The Desk Of...
From the Desk Of... posted on If You Can Read, You Can Cook
Cynfully Wonderful posted on Food Storage Moms
Food Storage Moms posted on Cynfully Wonderful
That's My Home posted on Dizzy Busy and Hungry!
Dizzy Busy and Hungry! posted on That's My Home
Kneaded Creations posted on A Dash of Sanity
A Dash of Sanity posted on Kneaded Creations
Creative Southern Home posted on Mammy2Grammy
Mammy2Grammy posted on Creative Southern Home
Confections + Coffee posted on Soda Pop Avenue
Soda Pop Avenue posted on Confections + Coffee

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pop-Up Pinterest Post #1

Welcome to my first Pop-Up Pinterest Post!

There is a reason why my food blog is straying away from strictly recipes. You can read as to why here, or just go with the flow and appreciate my taste in decorating/design/fashion.

Since it's almost Thanksgiving, then I must, of course, have an obligatory T-giving post. Doesn't bother me any, I love Thanksgiving! I get to spend time with family and stuff my face with tasty foods. I also get to wake up at the butt-crack of dawn to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (a tradition of mine for the last 20 years... I'm not kidding). One day I'll be there in NY watching it LIVE! Until then... watching it on TV in my warm jammies and drinking coffee will suffice.

My Pop-Up Pinterest Post will be based off of a theme I choose for that particular post. I'll embed some of my favorite pins on here so you can see them, pin them, share them, etc. There will be pins for other recipes, home decor, women's & men's fashion, quotes, design, photography, and pugs. That's just how I roll.

So here we go!

Pin #1
Since I just stated that it's my dream to go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, it will be my first pin! If you click on this link, you can go to the parade's website and learn more about it. So fun!

Pin #2
Pumpkin Pie is my favorite dessert ever! I like to keep it simple. But these adorable cookies will do! I just love the layout of this photo, along with a fabulous decorated batch of cookies. Perfect!

Pin #3
I'm not a fan of pins that lead to Tumblr posts, but I just like these blankets too much to not share. Perfect for Thanksgiving and the short-term fall we have here in Oklahoma

Pin #4
You can make these pumpkin tarts for your upcoming Thanksgiving feast! Perfect bite-sized pumpkin-y goodness developed by yours truly. Best topped with whipped cream.

Pin #5
Happy Pugs-giving!

That's all for this Pop-Up Pinterest Post! Thanks for swinging by and have a great holiday!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How-To Tuesday: Cinnamon Sugar

Welcome to my first How-To Tuesday post!

So let's just get down to business. I'm pretty sure every single person has made cinnamon sugar or eaten cinnamon sugar, or used cinnamon sugar, and I bet some of you have even bought the McCormick cinnamon sugar mixture.

For the last several months, I have actually kept an entire tupperware container full of cinnamon sugar mixture in my cabinet so I can grab it quickly and use it on whatever recipe calls for it. No joke, that's how often I use cinnamon sugar.

And if you Google cinnamon sugar ratio, there are like 50 ratios out there. Well, I've done my testing and I believe I have come up with an excellent cinnamon-to-sugar ratio for every recipe ever. This includes cinnamon toast, coating donuts, topping bread or cake, sprinkling on top of frosting. You name it, this mixture is perfect for it.

It's so easy, I almost feel silly posting this. But I'm going to post it anyway. In 3 easy steps, you will have your perfect cinnamon-sugar mixture. Enjoy!

Step 1: Get sugar and cinnamon in the same room.
Step 2: Entice them to get in the same bowl.
Step 3: Let the romance begin. ;)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Coffee Break #3

Welcome to Coffee Break #3! Let's sit down and enjoy a cup, shall we?

Lots of things happening as the holidays are fast approaching!

First off, since things are getting a little busy for me at my full-time job, I will not be posting as much on here. I design a magazine as my full time job and am trying to get the Christmas issue ready and planned out. It takes about a month to prepare, and a week to put together.

I'm also in the Food Blogger Cookie Swap! So I'll be making 3 dozen cookies to send to 3 different people (1 dozen each) and I'll be getting 3 dozen in return! That's a lot of cookies! I can't wait to develop a recipe and get them sent! I have to do all this before December 2! Only a couple of weeks left!

Last Saturday, the 16th, Jose participated in a Jiu Jitsu Competition, so I was out of pocket all day, rooting him on and being that girlfriend that squeals when he's on the mat. Can't help it! It makes me nervous! He didn't win, but for his second competition ever, I'm proud of his accomplishments.

I have bought and finished all my Christmas shopping! My last present for the boy was ordered today! I'll be organizing and wrapping this week just to get it out of the way. Then I need to start planning for holiday parties and Dirty Santa parties!

Things that have been going on in my little coffee-filled world:

Being all artsy and D.I.Y. and making hanging hat art.

I've bought 4 books, 3 being Stephen King, in the last week. I also bought 2 video games. Because I have so much spare time. :P

Yum yum! New recipe!

A BEAUTIFUL piece of art I won in a giveaway! I cannot believe the detail in this little painting. I am so impressed! So I'm going to frame it and hang it right above my desk. You can visit her Etsy Shop here: BingArt

I made a super adorable ruffle apron! P.S. Ruffles are hard.

Someone likes to lick the chalk off the cabinets...

I finally invested in Le Creuset! Got it on super sale for $35, originally $72.

Ermahgerd. I cannot believe this delicious stuff exists.

Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole. Such a hit that I'll be posting it on my blog this week!

Pre-Thanksgiving dinner for Jose and me. A chicken, my family's traditional dressing, and the sweet potato casserole. It was excellent!

Chauncey loves to eat leaves!

Perfect size for me! 

I'm looking forward to the upcoming holidays and adventures in store! Until next time: keep the coffee warm. :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Holiday Pretzel Sticks

Thanksgiving seems like it's just around the corner even though we have 13 days left! I don't know what happened, but this week flew by in a flash! 

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely ready for Thanksgiving. I need a break from the quarter-life crisis I seem to be sinking deeper into. Life is tiring, especially when you don't know what you're doing with it, which seems like every day to me lately. BUT, this too shall pass, and I will keep my head up!

The great thing about working from home is that I get to bake and photograph during the day. I don't have to wait until the evening to bake, and I don't have to wait until the weekend to photograph, I can do it the same day! It's very helpful to me and my time management. 

The next several posts will be about snacks that you can make for the holidays. I never get tired of eating pie, but I get tired of people buying store bought cookies instead of making them at home. Granted, some of my family members can't bake, so it's best for them to just run to the store. ;)

I got this idea from a pin I had on my holiday board, but I changed it up a bit. My Chocolate Covered Pretzel Wands were a huge hit, so I thought I'd create a holiday version that just felt so fancy. It hits all the aspects that you'd want a snack to hit: sweet, salty, crunchy, and chewy. 

My pretzel stick creations are always quick and easy. 10-15 minutes tops to make them, 10-15 minutes in the freezer to set them, and they're ready to go! This one is coated in a white chocolate base, then topped with a mixture of toffee, dried cranberries, and dark chocolate. A wonderful and flavorful combination.

What are your plans this weekend? Last minute grocery shopping? The beginning of Christmas shopping? A weekend of relaxation?

For me: I'll be in the city watching Jose in a Jiu Jitsu competition on Saturday and Sunday I'll be doing a photo shoot for my other job! I'm pretty excited!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Reese's Chocolate Cookies

Oh Mondays. I never really liked you. Still don't. It takes all of my will power and about 4 cups of coffee to power through a Monday morning/afternoon. Like this morning I'm working for my job and then on my blog, drinking several cups of coffee, sending my puppy to puppy jail (a.k.a. the other room), listening to music that will put me in a good mood, and maybe eating my weight in unhealthy foods. It's all good, at least Monday is only once a week.

So this Monday you should treat yourself to chocolate on chocolate on chocolate on Reese's. Or is it Reese's on chocolate on chocolate on chocolate? Whatever.

I've mentioned in a previous post how skeptical I am of chocolate recipes. I don't trust their super chocolate guarantees people give them. Maybe I've have one too many bad experiences.

So I made these little beauties for a raffle, and I made a HUGE batch not realizing how many I'd make. I would say oops except I ate quite a few of them, so I'm glad the batch was large. Heh.

They are pretty durn good. The are thick and fudgy and chewy, super rich with chocolatey goodness. This recipe calls for THREE different kinds of chocolate, and Reese's pieces! Hello perfect chocolate and peanut butter combination.

This recipe is very easy, albeit somewhat messy. The dough is fudgy from the very get-go and is sticky to work with, which means it will be perfect once it comes out of the oven. P-e-r-f-e-c-t.

Since it's Monday and I'm on my wit's end and I'm sure you're already looking for your chocolate chips and Reese's Pieces stash, I'm going to end it here and let you go make the best decision in your life. To make these cookies.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brookie Sandwich

Are you tired of cookie sandwiches yet? No? Good! Because I'm proud to introduce one of the most popular cookie sandwiches I have ever made!

Now, I've seen what seems like hundreds of recipes for pumpkin all over the internet. But I was really skeptical of these chocolate and pumpkin recipes. I thought, "Do what? What an odd combination of flavors..."

But you guys seem to love it. I see pumpkin and chocolate cheesecake, pumpkin and chocolate pie, pumpkin and chocolate tarts, pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, and so on and so forth.

So I decided I was going to hop on this bandwagon in a different manner and go with a chocolate cookie sandwich with pumpkin cream cheese filling!

Boy was I glad I did that.

This chocolate cookie is actually a brookie. A brownie + cookie. It's fudgy, dense, and chewy, just like a brownie! It has three, count 'em, THREE, kinds of chocolate in the recipe. Oh yeah, you read that right.

Once you make the brookies, you'll whip up the cream cheese filling. It's got cream cheese, pumpkin, brown and granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Simple ingredients you keep in your house, and no messy powdered sugar!

I was seriously afraid that the brookie would over power the pumpkin flavor on this recipe, but lo and behold, the were perfect together! You get that rich and semi-sweet flavor of the brookie paired with the creamy, sweet, and pumpkin-y flavor of the filling to create a lovely combination in your mouth. It's hard to explain, but once you make these you'll understand. No wonder people love chocolate and pumpkin together!

Now if I can just find an excuse to make these outside of the holiday season...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Snickerdoodle Cookie Sandwich

I'm excited to repost this recipe with new photos and adjustments to the recipe to make it better than before! So without further ado, I'm reintroducing: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Snickerdoodle Cookie Sandwiches!

It's a mouth full both verbally and literally! But it's totally worth ever single utterance of the word.

You get this super soft and cinnamon-sugary Snickerdoodle cookie that's just too good by itself. Then you take this creamy pumpkin cream cheese filling and sandwich it in between TWO snickerdoodle cookies! Hello! You can't beat that!

The snickerdoodle recipe is easy. It has your basic ingredients in it: Butter, sugar, flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Then it's coated in a perfect cinnamon-sugar ratio: 1/4 C granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon. I actually keep a container of cinnamon-sugar in my baking cabinet so I always have it on hand and don't have to measure it out every time I make a recipe that calls for cinnamon-sugar. Not surprising: I use A LOT of cinnamon-sugar!

The pumpkin cream cheese filling is a great combination of cream cheese, pumpkin puree, light brown and granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. It's just enough spice to taste the flavor of pumpkin pie in your cookie sandwich without overpowering the snickerdoodle cookie!

So, now that this recipe has been re-edited, the photos have been redone (thank goodness! my previous ones were embarrassing!), and it has been successfully judged by a multitude of people, I can now easily say that this is one of the best cookie sandwiches ever!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Do you ever look back on your old food photography and go, "Eegad! I posted that?!"

Well, if you say you haven't.... I just might not believe you!

This is another repost from one of my first recipes on the blog. The picture, to say the least, was very embarrassing. Also, I'm pretty sure I had the name on the recipe wrong? Who knows. I wasn't the best blogger in the beginning, and I'm definitely still learning!

One thing I'd love to help me improve my blogging is a DSLR, but I can't afford one at the moment, so I'm just doing my best with my nice little point-and-shoot!

This was a huge hit with my friends when I brought them to a gathering. I'm pretty sure they were gone within the hour. What's great about these is that you make them small so you can eat them in just 2 bites! The pumpkin cookie is dense but fluffy, so there aren't many crumbs to drop, and the buttercream filling just holds it all together!

So you start with making the pumpkin cookie. You've seen them out there, they are more cake-like than cookie-like, but this one has a good amount of ground cinnamon so it tastes a lot like a pumpkin pie! The buttercream is light and fluffy and pairs perfectly with the pumpkin cookie. What a great dessert to bring to fall parties or even Thanksgiving!

Another great thing about this whoopie pie? You can put as much buttercream in the middle as you want! Personally, I like a medium amount of filling so it's in proportion with the cookie flavor, however you can really stuff these things so when you take a bite, buttercream squishes right out!