Monday, December 15, 2014

Pumpkin Gingerbread with a Shortbread Crust

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake with a Shortbread Crust
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Effort: Easy
Servings: 9 servings

3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup light molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup pumpkin, cooked and mashed

vanilla ice cream
caramel sauce

For the Instructions and caramel sauce recipe check it out here

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sugar Cookie Bars

With all the holiday parties around the corner I am always searching for yummy treats and bar recipes. I have collected a few yummy recipes that I cannot wait to try! Also have added my favorite sugar cookie bar recipe!

Sugar Cookie Bars

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 1/4 cup flour, sifted

Cream sugar, butter, and cream cheese until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Combined flour and baking powder in medium mixing bowl. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture until blended. Spread into pampered chef bar pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until looks done. Do not overcook or the edges can get too crispy.


1/2 cup butter, softened
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Cream all ingredients together and spread on cooled sugar cookie bars. Then serve.

Check out cookies and bars

*Disclosure: this is a sponsored post by However recipe and collection are my own.
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Peppermint Oreo S'mores

The other day my 4 year old asked me if he could bring his friend some cookies. So I whipped up this homemade oreo cookies for him to take. After we dropped them off to his friends house I was putting all the baking mess away and saw my peppermint marshmallows that Jet-puffed had sent me and thought that this could make the perfect holiday treat! And boy was it!!! A fun holiday twist on the classic s'more! 

Peppermint Oreo S'mores

Homemade Oreos
2 devils food cake mixes
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup butter, softened

Mix together with electric mixer. Shape dough into nickel sized balls. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 8 minutes. 

Butter-cream frosting

1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons whole milk

Mix all ingredients together until a thick frosting is formed. 

S'more ingredients
Homemade Oreos
Butter-cream frosting
Peppermint marshmallows
Chocolate bar

Grab the peppermint marshmallows and place in a microwave safe cereal sized bowl. Zap in the microwave for 10 seconds. Take out and stir. Place in microwave again for 5-10 seconds repeat in 5 seconds increments until the peppermint marshmallows and melted together.
Grab 1 homemade oreo cookie and spread some frosting on this and then spread the warm melted marshmallows and a small piece of the chocolate bar then place another oreo cookie on top and press together to create a s'more! Enjoy immediately!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Easy BBQ Chicken Salad

During the holiday months quick and easy meals are all I have time for and I am sure that most of you feel the same. This salad was very easy to throw together on a week night.  Plus since it is a salad it balances out all the sweets you eat right!?? Well this salad is very versatile. It is a throw whatever you have or like type of salad. Mix together equal portions of ranch dressing and your favorite BBQ sauce and you have got yourself a yummy salad with a BBQ ranch dressing!

BBQ Chicken Salad

Romaine lettuce
Shredded cooked chicken
Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Purple onions, thinly sliced
Eggs, hard boiled and sliced
Black beans, drained and rinsed
Cheddar cheese, grated
Sour cream
Ranch dressing
BBQ sauce

Grab the lettuce and place on a plate. Grab your favorite salad ingredients from above and place on top of lettuce. Top with grated cheese and a scoop of sour cream and guacamole. Mix together equal portions of ranch dressing and your favorite BBQ sauce and make a BBQ ranch dressing and place it on top of your salad.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Peppermint Frozen Hot Chocolate

The "Yum Squad" for Peanut Butter & Co.  is one of my favorite food blogger groups that I am apart of! Over the past year my families hearts have been turned to their amazing and fun peanut butters. Not only are their products pretty amazing so are the people in the company. I was able to meet their 2 social media specialists in Seattle this year and they were such fun people! So glad that I am able to work with them. Their company is located in New York and one of my favorite treats that I had when I was in New York last year was Serendipity's frozen hot chocolate. So when Peanut Butter & Co. asked me to participate in their #CandyCaneHacks campaign a few ideas ran through my mind but for some reason this drink kept coming to my mind. I don't know if it was the fact that I was really missing my New York girls trip with my best friend or the fact that ever since Arizona hit 70 degrees my boys have asked for hot cocoa every night or if it was just a good idea. I'll let you decide that!? haha Well lucky for you for you I have created this yummy treat for you all and also have a giveaway to go with it! One of you lucky readers with win 2 jars of your favorite Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butters! I'll even let you pick the flavors! Even better is that I have a special coupon code that you can receive 25% off all their products in December. So go check out their website and enter YUMSQUADLOVE to receive your 25% off!

Peppermint Frozen Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup cup heavy whipping cream
3 cups milk
2 Tablespoons of your favorite powdered hot chocolate mix
3 Tablespoons sugar
splash of peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups ice
crushed candy canes for garnish
whipping cream for garnish
Scoop the Dark Chocolate Dreams into a microwave safe bowl. Melt for 20 seconds. Sit and add in 1/4 cup milk and heat for another 20 seconds. If necessary continue heating in 10 second increments until all melted. Add your favorite hot chocolate mix and sugar and stir. Slowly add in your whipping cream and your splash of peppermint extract and let cool to room temperature. Add as much or as little peppermint as your would like. You can also just add crushed peppermints in the shake too if you don't have extract. In a blender add ice, chocolate mixture and the remaining 2 3/4 cup milk. You can add crushed peppermints here if you would like. Blend up! Top with whipping cream and crushed peppermint candy canes and serve immediently. 

*Disclosure: this is a sponsored post by Peanut Butter & Co. however recipe and thoughts are my own.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

SousVide Salmon with a Creamy Dill Sauce

When Sous Vide contacted me to be apart of their Sous Vide Supreme Blogger Program I was excited but a little intimidated. As I looked at their website all the recipes looked so yummy and delicious and very fine dining. With 3 young kids fine dining is something that unfortunately doesn't happen too often actually it probably never happens in our home only on special date nights where my husband and I go out. I researched and researched on what recipe I wanted to try first. I looked at their cooking times and wanted to pick something that I knew my family would enjoy no matter what. And for some reason my family always goes nuts over salmon. No matter how it is cooked my kids and husband love to hear that salmon is for dinner. And hey I'll take it! Such a great source of nutrition. Plus I have learned that one of the many benefits of the Sous Vide Supreme machines is that more nutrients stay in whatever you are cooking. So I decided to take the plunge and try out this machine.  And boy was I impressed!!! And right after I finished cooking the salmon I drained the water and put new water in and started prepping to cook ribs overnight for my family for dinner the following night. It has quickly become one of my favorite kitchen gadgets!!! I cannot wait to use it more this holiday season when days are becoming more and more busy but you still need a good meal at the end of the day to balance all of the holiday goodies!

I cooked my salmon how I normally would by drizzling it with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic salt, lemon juice, lemon slices, and a little fresh dill and added a dab of butter!

Placed it into 2 food pouches and I used my Sous Vide Vacuum sealer and got it all ready to be placed in my SousVide Supreme.

I filled it up with water and let it heat to 60 degrees C. Placed the pouches in the SousVide Supreme and cooked for 45 minutes.

Once it was done I took it out and placed it on plates took off the lemon and dill and added fresh lemon and fresh dill and drizzled some creamy dill sauce on each piece.

Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce
1.25 pounds of Salmon
olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon butter
1 lemon, sliced for garnish
6 pieces of fresh dill for garnish

Creamy Dill Sauce
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minces
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 Tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon honey
teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper

Grab the salmon and divide in 2 pieces drizzle it with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic salt, lemon juice, a little butter, lemon slices, and a little fresh dill. Placed it into 2 food pouches and I used my Sous Vide Vacuum sealer and got it all ready to be placed in my SousVide Supreme. I filled it up with water and let it heat to 60 degrees C. Placed the pouches in the SousVide Sealers and cooked for 45 minutes. In a small bowl mix together all ingredients for creamy dill sauce. Once salmon is done take it out and place it on plates. Take off the lemon and dill and add fresh lemon and fresh dill and drizzled some creamy dill sauce on each piece. Serve immediately.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pumpkin Bread With a Streusel Topping

Oh pumpkin...I always love when fall comes around and pumpkin starts coming around again. And yes I realize that I am posting this a tad bit late as that it is finally December. But I couldn't let another month pass by without posting this yummy recipe. So for all you pumpkin lovers out there give this recipe a try.

Pumpkin Bread with a Streusel Topping

6 Tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cups pumpkin, pureed
2 cups flour, sifted
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon whole nutmeg, grated
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon all spice
pinch of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup nuts, chopped or 1/2 cup chocolate chips both are optional

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar. Add in egg and mix well. Mix in sour cream and pumpkin puree. In another bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, all spice, and pumpkin pie spice. Once all mixed together slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients then stir in the nuts or chocolate chips if you want.  Grab a muffin tin and spray well with cooking spray or a large loaf pan and spray well. Pour batter into the pan. Then make the streusel topping.

Streusel topping
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup butter, melted

In a bowl mix together flour, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the melted butter while stirring to create a crumb mixture. Then pour the streusel topping over the batter and bake for 18-24 minutes for muffins tins or 45-55 minutes for a large loaf pan. You can also use mini loaf pans and cook for 30-35 minutes.

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