Apple Walnut Muffins

Apple Walnut MuffinsThis post is sponsored by Plum Organics.

I’m not a morning person. It’s quite possibly the understatement of the decade. I really am NOT. At all. If I could get away with not talking to anyone until say oh after 10 a.m. I would. Sadly that’s not how things work. Thank goodness for cappuccino which makes me tolerable. Once that’s into my system I’m all unicorns and glitter. Well not really, maybe just glitter. Not being a morning person means that I like to have a quick option(s) for breakfast. IF I can make said breakfast the night before, even better. 

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Sparkling Strawberry Gelatin Molds

Champagne Gelatin Mold

See it wiggle, see it jiggle. Sorry now the song is stuck in your head too. It’s most definitely in mine. There are worse things I suppose. Anytime I think about gelatin molds I think of my Grandma. She always prepared a festive mold for just about erry holiday you can think of. Think layers upon layers of elaborate molds. I was always fascinated by them. It almost seemed ashamed to dive into them and mess them up. I said almost, because you know I totally dived in.

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Vegetable Noodle Bowl

Vegetable Noodle Bowl
I’m going to go ahead and admit that Ramen Noodles were a staple of my college diet, and when I say staple I mean I ate it MULTIPLE times a week. What can I say besides I was a poor college student and they were dirt cheap (still are) and filled me up. These days I still love Ramen Noodles but I gussy them up before grabbing my chop sticks. I still buy the cheap-o deluxe noodles, you know the ones that you can actually buy by the case at the big box stores, or you can even pick up at the dollar store for 5 packs for $1. Those. You know the ones.

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Dessert Inspired Flavors from Muller Yogurt

Muller Dessert Inspired Yogurt
Are you a fan of dessert? Are you shaking your head or saying duh right now? I know I am. Well if you’ve got a sickly sweet tooth like me, I think you’re going to like The Dessert Inspired flavors line of yogurt from Muller. It features creamy, signature Müller yogurt on top of a layer of fruit or caramel and are served with delicious crunchy goodies on the side. Sounds good yeah? They’re not just a pretty tasty face either. Oh no, the new yogurts also provide a good source of protein and calcium. What to know what else? Want to know what  they DON’T contain … NO high fructose corn syrup (HFCS),  no artificial sweeteners, flavors or preservatives. Their yogurt is even made with milk from cows that are not treated with hormones like rBST. Booyah. 

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Breyers Gelato Indulgences

Breyers GelatoDisclaimer: I have received information, product and materials from Breyers, as part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.

I have to admit while I consume copious amounts of gelato during the summer months, I eat it all the year long. I mean it’s creamy and dreamy so there’s really no reason to limit it’s consumption to the warm weather months yeah? It’s the perfect afternoon pick me up or the ending (or beginning, what you haven’t ever dessert first?) to any meal. Especially an impromptu meal where you haven’t had time to prepare anything.

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Creamy Garlic Aioli

Garlic Aioli
While this may look like mayonnaise, Aioli isn’t mayonnaise. What’s the difference you ask?  Mayonnaise is basically an emulsion of bland neutral flavored oils (think canola), egg yolks, vinegar and/or lemon juice. Aioli, on the other hand, hails from the southern French region of Provence, and traditionally begins by using a mortar and pestle to bash cloves of garlic into a paste. Once you’ve got yourself a nice chunk of garlic paste, it’s then blended together with egg yolks, lemon juice and olive oil (for a more robust flavor). It magically thickens and transforms right before your eyes and Boom you’ve got Aioli! What do you do with this new spreadable edible goodness? While I think it’s great spread on sandwiches like it’s cousin mayo, try serving your Aioli as a dip for crudité (fancy for vegetable tray) or as an accoutrement to shellfish (hello crab cakes).

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Bacon Mushroom Butter Burger

Bacon Mushroom Butter Burger
Sometimes a girl just wants a big fat juicy burger. One that doesn’t require fourteen napkins or a bib around my neck would also be nice. This is that kinda burger. We’ve packed a lot of flavor into that all beef patty by using a few secrets. Well it won’t be a secret any longer since I’m sharing it with y’all now will it? But good food is meant to be shared with good people so here goes. 

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Freschetta Gluten Free Pizza

Freschetta GF Pizza
It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I dig pizza. I like it hot or cold (I blame college for my love cold pizza, but some habits die hard and cold pizza still works for me). Apparently I’m not alone in my obsession love for pizza. With tasty toppings and melty cheese, it’s honestly no surprise that pizza is America’s sweetheart. The makers of Freschetta® pizza know that is not the only thing that matters. If you are following a gluten-free diet, a crust you can trust is also important. You’ve got to #TrustTheCrust yeah?  Freschetta® Gluten Free Pizza expands the range of options for consumers who are eliminating gluten from their diets with pizza that’s full of flavorful toppings, with a light, airy and crispy gluten-free crust that is certified by the Celiac Support Association. Gluten Free doesn’t mean flavor free. Gluten Free products have come a long way. We have two of the five in our family who have gluten sensitivities. It’s nice to have flavorful options that our WHOLE family can enjoy. This good looking (and yes tasting) cheese pizza that we’ve jazzed up with fresh basil happens to fall under that category. It comes with a perfectly thin and crispy crust just the way I like it.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Pops

Strawberry Cheesecake Pops

When my friends at Lucky Leaf, asked me to create a few recipes using their pie filling I started off with a Flourless Dark Chocolate Black Forest Cake. It’s made using Lucky Leaf’s Premium Cherry Pie Filling. The pie filling is both IN and ON that insanely delicious cake. If you’re into cherries I think you’ll really dig that. For my second recipe I opted for a simple summer treat the whole family will love. Strawberry Cheesecake Pops. It’s made using what else? Strawberry pie filling. These pops are as simple as can be to make. In a few hours time you’ll be fighting over who gets a second or third. Or maybe that’s just our family? We are passionate about food.

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Cheesy Mushroom Tart

Cheesy Mushroom TartTarts aren’t always sweet. Nope they can absolutely be savory too.  Versatile dishes, those are my favorite, back to that whole loving options thing and versatile is the perfect way to describe this particular tart. This beautiful little baby is perfect as an appetizer as a light lunch or even dinner or (because we’re not stopping with that) it’s elegant enough to serve for all your post party guests. Want more? It can be served warm or room temperature.

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Mixed Berry Tart

Mixed Berry Cheesecake Tart
I have a sweet tooth. A pretty wicked one which isn’t good for someone who doesn’t necessarily prefer to bake. If you asked me I would tell you I’m a cook. Don’t get me wrong, I can bake, I just prefer the flexibility of cooking vs the rigidness that baking requires. You just can’t wing it when you bake and I like to wing it, always have. For me at least, when I try to wing it when baking things go all kinds of wrong and they’re not easily fixable like when I’m cooking. When cooking, I can adjust this add a pinch more of that until it comes around to what I had envisioned the dish to be. So when you’ve got an easy delicious dessert that requires minimal baking, I’m SO in. There’s a reason Panna Cotta is my go to dessert ; )

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Caprese Cracker Bites

Cracker Caprese Bites

Spring is in the air. FINALLY. Can I get a halleluiah? It’s been a long hard COLD winter and I’m looking forward to all things spring and summer. Including entertaining. We love to have people over all year round but especially when the weather is warmer and the days are longer. Having friends over doesn’t mean things have to be fussy. I’m not into fussy dinners. They’re nice every once in a while (you know when I want to be stressed out to the max because that’s what ends up happening) but for the most part I like jeans and t-shirt kind of entertaining.

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Pink Lemonade Icebox Pie

Pink Lemonde Icebox Pie

With the weather about to start heating up the last thing I will want to do will be to heat up my oven and by default my kitchen. Air conditioning is expensive yeah? I make A LOT of no bake treats in the spring and summer. My sweet tooth can not suffer because I don’t want to spend more on my air conditioning bill. That would be negligent of me. I can’t let that happen, it would be shameful. Hello no bake beauties. These are so simple it’s almost a non recipe. Simple is a good thing so let’s just focus on that.

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Classic Homemade Dinner Rolls

 

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Want to know what one of my favorite things about eating out at a restaurant is? Well besides not having to cook or do the dishes because I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was a big bonus? It’s a rare occasion when anyone in general cooks for me (and when they do I most certainly DO appreciate it). I have to tell you the BREAD basket they bring to the table is what does it for me. Yep. I love the smell, the texture, the way butter melts right off of a warm bit. The way a piece of homemade bread just melts in your mouth. There is really nothing like homemade bread. It’s those extra little touches, like having a basket (or board) of bread out at the beginning of the meal that sets to the tone for the meal and conversation.

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Greek Coffee

Greek Coffee
I have a coffee problem. Meaning if I don’t have my morning cup (or two okay usually two who am I kidding) there’s going to be a problem. Up until recently I had never heard of the deliciousness that is Greek (also called Turkish) coffee. Have you tried this coffee? It’s pretty incredible and guess what? It’s EASY to make. You will need to have a special pot called a BRIKI (pictured above). Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s typically a small copper or brass (or sometimes stainless steel) pot that’s narrow at the top and wider toward the bottom. This allows the coffee grounds to easily fall to the bottom. I felt so dainty holding onto the long handle and pouring. Almost fancy schmancy. Hey I take it where I can get it.

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Slow Cooker Beer Brats

Slow Cooker Beer Brats
If you know me you know I don’t drink beer. At all. I gave it the good old college try, in well you guessed it, college. Beer was cheap and my measly student budget was practically non existent so beer was the obvious choice but alas I could never choke it down so I made friends with Jim and Jack instead and just saw them on a less frequent basis. My dislike of drinking beer hasn’t changed after all these years. I don’t however have a problem cooking with beer. Kind of like how I’m not a fan of cucumbers but like pickles. I know. I know, ’tis weird but it works for me. What also works for me are these slow cooker beer brats.

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Small Batch Blood Orange Curd

Blood Orange Curd
Have I mentioned how much we absolutely are coo coo for coco puffs over blood oranges? Well we are. We’ve been buying them up every time we’re at the market and will keep doing so until they’re gone. I might actually cry at that point. I know it’s coming soon (sniff sniff) but I won’t be able to help myself.  I should probably go ahead and put a travel pack of puffs in my purse. I wish blood orange season was longer but I will take them in bulk as long as we can get our hands on them.

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Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars

You might have heard these bars called by a few different names: Millionaire Bars, Millionaire’s Shortbread, Copycat Twix Bars. Whatever you call them (I’m leaning towards sticky fingers chocolate bars myself), you won’t be able to stop after one. They’re the perfect mix of sweet and salty and will satisfy your sweet tooth craving in a big way. Instead of making our own shortbread for this recipe, we’ve taken a shortcut and used our favorite shortbread rounds by Walkers. You know the ones. They have a distinctive taste and simply melt in your mouth . In a word they are butteriffic.

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Mango Avocado Tuna Stacks

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Mango Avocado Tuna Stacks

Mango Avocado Tuna Stacks
As I’m sitting here looking out my window and seeing a BLANKET of WHITE (yes we’re having yet another snow day here), I’m dreaming about warmer weather and quick, simple and flavorful foods. Had I known that my kids would have been out of school for yes count them TWO weeks because of said weather we might have planned a vacation to someplace tropical where I’m certain we would have been able to nosh on things like this Mango Avocado Tuna stack. Since that didn’t happen I can always pretend I’m off to warmer weather and make these myself. If I close my eyes and sit in front of the fireplace it “almost” feels like it.

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