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Monthly Archives: November 2013

countdown to christmas wreath

Here it is! The moment you have all been waiting for! I have made multiple announcement stating I had a huge surprise coming up in December and it’s finally time to tell you what I have up my sleeve!

It’s a countdown to Christmas with recipes and homemade treats you could give as gifts! But the bigger surprise is that I’m not doing this alone! In honor of the holidays and spending time with family and friends I have asked my family and friends to become guest authors for the month and help me give my viewers some of their amazing recipes! Keep an eye-out and stay posted! We start December 1st!



Thanksgiving is approaching! Ahh the holidays always seem to creep up on me and possibly you too… No need to worry I have you covered in the Pie department! Last week I went out to eat with my brother and asked what kind of pie he wanted this year, because he always seems to have an opinion on what I’ve baked, so this year I covered my butt and asked in advance. He wanted pumpkin, my mom wanted traditional apple, and well… I’m never easy and really enjoyed baking a pecan pie last year that I wanted to make again this year so instead of choosing one… I hired my mom and we made all three! It is the trifecta of Thanksgiving pies!

CHEATER ALERT – I do not make my own pie crust, please no judging, I’m just not there yet and the crust isn’t the important part… the filling is!

Decorations – When you see the pictures of the pies you will notice some have cut outs. I bought these last Thanksgiving at Williams & Sonoma and they just make the pie’s so perfect! They have them for every season too so check it out! They may even be on clearance!

Pie 1 – Pumpkin

This is an age-old recipe I’ve been told never fails. I used Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe, however, instead of using the 12 fl ounces of evaporated milk, I used half and half. I’m told it makes the pie more moist and delicious! I’ll have a better idea on Thursday when I have my first ever piece of pumpkin pie!



3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp. Salt

1/2 Tsp. Ground Ginger

1/4 Tsp. Ground Cloves

2 Large Eggs

1 Can Libby’s Pure Pumpkin

1 1/2 Cups Half & Half

1 Unbaked 9in Deep Dish Pie Crust (MUST BE DEEP!)


2013_1127AKPreheat the oven to 450 Degrees (F). Mix all the spices together in a bowl, whisk in the eggs, pour in the pumpkin, and gradually add the half and half as you mix together. Once all the ingredients are mixed together pour filling into the pie crust.

Bake the pie at 450 Degrees (F) for 15minutes once those 15minutes are finished turn the oven down to 350 Degrees (F) for another 40-50 Minutes until a knife or toothpick comes out clean. 2013_1127AQ

In the pictures you will notice we added tin-foil around the pie, this was to prevent burning and just keeping a tint of golden to the crust. Once the pie is complete let it stand for 2hours. Then refrigerate or serve immediately.

*If you decide to add the decoration place on top of the pie about 10-15 minutes before the pie should be done. This will give that piece a nice tint of brown and make the pie very festive for the table.

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Pie #2 – Apple Pie

My great Nana Clough made the best apple pie, according to my mom, so what better way to remember a family members at the holidays but to bake up their most delicious recipe. I love making recipes that my family members have made long before I was even a thought. So here it is my Nana Clough’s Apple Pie recipe.



7 Apples Core and Skinned

1 Cup Sugar

2 Tbsp. Flour

1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Tsp. Salt

1/4 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1 1/2 Tbsp. Butter

1/4 Cup Milk


Preheat oven to 425 Degree (F). Once the apples have been skinned and the core has been removed and they are sliced thin, pour the lemon juice over them, this prevents them from browning, and they spice mix will mask the taste of the lemon, don’t worry about that!


Start by mixing all the dry ingredients together. Once those have been mixed pour it over the apples and get messy. Dig your hands in there and start to flip the apples until they are all covered. After you have completed that, place it in the pie pan and cut up the butter into small slices and place over the pie.

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After that is done put the top crust on and then brush the top with the milk. Your pie is now ready to bake for 40-45 Minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the apples are nice and tender.

*Add the tin foil again after 15minutes to keep the crust from burning.

Pie # 3 – pecan Pie

Growing up I was never a fan of pie, I enjoyed my ice cream and called it a day… until I discovered pecan pie and then it was over I was in love and I needed to learn how to make it and Thanksgiving last year seemed like the perfect time! I found this recipe on the Food Network website and I will use it till the day I die… my children and grandchildren will know it as “Shelagh’s pecan Pie,” but you will all learn I didn’t come up with this recipe I found it and swear by it! It’s so simple and the outcome makes you go back for seconds.



5 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

1 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar

3/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup

1/2 Tsp. Salt

2 Cups Chopped & Toasted Pecans

2 Tbsp. Bourbon

2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

3 Eggs


For this recipe it’s important to pre-bake the pie crust just a little bit I bake it at 350 Degrees (F) for 10Minutes just to defrost the crust and help it set for this filling.

2013_1127AVIn a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stir constantly, continue to boil for 1 Minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts, bourbon, and vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly (5Minutes), try to align with the pre-bake so the pie crust is still hot when filling. Bake for about 40-50 Minutes or until the edges are light brown but the center is still slightly loose.

All of these pies can be eaten after cooling. Just remember to add the whip cream and ice cream to make it complete! Enjoy!

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Happy Thanksgiving from my Family to Yours!       


Last week was my 3rd annual 21st birthday! I couldn’t believe it… I was feeling a little old, however, I was excited because a friend of mine from school was also having a birthday   later so I wouldn’t have to celebrate getting old alone! So in honor of our birthday I decided to make, what else? A birthday cake!

Alex's Cake

I apologize in advance that I don’t have pictures of the process, I’ll be honest this was my first ever attempt at making a cake so I  didn’t want to document my potential fail. However, thanks to another blogger I was able to find a delicious recipe to follow and make a delicious cake! Check out her blog for the recipe and step-by-step instructions! This is just a review of the recipe. 

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I decided to try to get a little fancy make 3 layers in round pans and put chocolate frosting in the middle of each layer and around the whole cake! It looked amazing and delicious and I couldn’t wait to try it! My friends enjoyed it with their family as well after our celebration had ended and they enjoyed it too. It was a fun learning experience for me and I hope soon I can create my own recipe for cake. Till then I’ll use this recipe to practice my decorating techniques!

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The frosting was simple also, I bought store brand coco and on the side was a recipe for chocolate frosting, I now have left over coco to make another recipe in the near future! Wonder what it will be!

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TIP ALERT: I bought this box from Wal-Mart for $1- so I didn’t have to travel with a personal case and potentially leave it at my friend’s house!

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The Final Product!

My only suggestion – DO NOT WAIT TO EAT THIS! I wish I had eaten it the same day I’d make it, more for the frosting sake it got hard and kind of dried out the cake. It’s best eaten the same day you frost it!

I love pizza, I love anything Italian really… but pizza is my favorite! Growing up my first job was at a local pizza shop and I ate it constantly, I think it’s one of those foods people say they could live off of if they could only choose one food for the rest of their life.

I recently tried a store brand version of whole wheat pizza dough and thought it really wasn’t awful, but why am I spending money on a store version when I could easily make this myself at home? So I did just that I knew how to make regular pizza dough and I had seen some recipes for whole wheat banana bread and knew that if you use whole wheat flour it’s just balancing it with the white flour, so here it is whole wheat pizza dough!




(This recipe will make one large thick crust or two medium regular crust… or a few small pizzas for kids to creat their own flavors)

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

Pinch of White Sugar

Packet of Active Dry Yeast

1 1/2 Cups Warm Water

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Pinch of Salt


In a large bowl dissolve the sugar in warm water and pour the yeast over. Let sit for 10 minutes until the mixture starts to foam.


Once it has begun to foam mix in the olive oil and salt. Then mix in the whole wheat flour and only 1Cup of the all-purpose flour (the 1/2 cup will be used later during a different part.) Once the dough starts to come together tip the dough over a parchment sheet with the other 1/2 cup of flour and knead the flour into the dough, until it has all been absorbed.

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After the dough has formed grab another bowl, that has been oiled. Place the dough in the bowl and flip it around so it has an oiled surface. Cover the bowl loosely with a towel and let sit for about an hour (in a warm place), or until it doubles in size. This is also the time in which if you want to save half the dough and put it in a zip lock bag and place in the fridge for next Friday do so before it rises.

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When the dough has finally doubled tip the dough onto a slightly floured surface and split the dough for multiple pizzas or start to stretch out one dough. I like to oil my pizzas pan so it won’t stick later.

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Pre-heat the over to 425 Degrees F. Start to stretch out the pizza dough by placing it over your fists until it can stretch no further. In the pictures I have with this I did not do that I just placed my dough on the pan and used my fists to stretch to the pans width, however, my pizza was very thick, which I love, but some felt it was a whole lot of bread and not enough sauce or cheese.

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Once the pizza is at a size you will love add the sauce and cheese and make it your own! Once you have created a master piece place it in the oven for about 16-20 minutes (depending on thickness). Let cool and enjoy!

Here it is… the recipe I know my friends have been waiting for! Not that this recipe is secret but it’s one recipe I’ve perfected and even played around with. I’ve done every fad diet in the book and this is once recipe I will continue to alter based on the diet just so I can continue to enjoy it… It’s MY banana bread!

When I was in college my roommates and I would buy bananas weekly but by Thursday we were finished we had had enough of being healthy and it was time to kick the healthy stuff to the curb, so come Saturday afternoon when all the bananas we didn’t finish had ripened I made banana bread. I made banana bread with whole wheat flour, with chocolate chips, I even tried making banana bread with applesauce (still tastes delicious!) But here it is my simple homemade banana bread. I’ll give you the basics you make it your own. Feel free to add chocolate chips or add walnuts everyone has their own liking and this is a recipe easy to alter to all.

*It’s also a great gift at the holidays if you make it in the mini bread pans and wrap it with colorful ribbons! The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!



3-4 Ripe Bananas – The ripper the banana the better the bread (Depending on how big they are you want more than less for this recipe in order to make it moist and delicious!)

1/3 Cup Melted Unsalted Butter

3/4 Cup Sugar – I prefer Splenda for this recipe, it’s sweet without the added calories. But regular sugar won’t make it taste awful I promise.

1 Egg

1TBS Vanilla – My secret is Mexican Vanilla it’s more powerful. You can find it at any speciality store and maybe even your local grocer now. Check it out.

1TBS Baking Soda – Only need a teaspoon! If you add anymore it can pop-up high and seem over cooked.

Pinch of Salt

1 1/2 Cups Flour – If you want to use whole wheat flour just do half and half 3/4 whole wheat 3/4 regular and it’ll be fewer calories.

*Add chocolate chips or walnuts about 1/2 cup or if you’re a chocoholic any amount will do really.


Preheat oven to 350 Degrees


With a wisk mash the bananas. Once the bananas have been mashed add the melted butter and mix.


Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.


Add the baking soda and salt and mix well. 2013_1107AG

Add flour last and mix well.

Pour the mixture into a greased pan. Butter works best in terms of getting a soft bread feeling but for convenience I use baking spray (PAM) and don’t cook my bread as long.




I bake my bread for 45 minutes most recipes call for an hour, but I feel the longer it bakes the less moist it will taste.

Once it’s done baking remove from the oven, cut, and serve! Enjoy the deliciousness!


Sorry this is a little late but it’ll be great to save for next year! I love rice krispies and making rice krispie treats any way possible, sometimes I’ll add peanut butter or M&M’s sometimes even both! But during the Halloween season I kept seeing these cute little pumpkin treats so I decided to give it a try. I had to go to work on Halloween day and had yet to bring my co-workers something delicious so I felt this was the perfect treat! It’s super simple and come christmas maybe we can make a tree instead. Rice Krispie treats are very versatile and again very easy and not time-consuming. Enough with the chit-chat let’s get started.


3 Tablespoons Butter

10oz. Mini marshmallows

6 Cups Rice Krispies

Food Coloring

Midget Tootsie Rolls

Green Frosting – To make it easy buy the can with the different tops.


photo 1Start by melting the butter over medium heat in a large pan. Once the butter has melted start pouring the marshmallows into the pan and continuously stir until they are melted, turn the heat off. Once the marshmallows are melted add food coloring (Red and Yellow) and make a bright orange coloring.

Once the coloring is right start to add the Rice Krispies and mix into the melted marshmallows. It’s important to add some cooking spray to the spoon you use when mixing or it will get sticky.

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Once all the Rice Krispies are mixed in it is then time to get a little messy. Spray your hands with cooking spray or Crisco or butter and start grabbing the mixture and forming a small pumpkin ball.

Once the coloring is right start to add the Rice Krispies and mix into the melted marshmallows. It’s important to add some cooking spray to the spoon you use when mixing or it will get sticky. Once all the Rice Krispies are mixed in it is then time to get a little messy. Spray your hands with cooking spray or Crisco or butter and start grabbing the mixture and forming a small pumpkin ball.

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Once all the pumpkin balls have been formed grab the green frosting can and if you get the easy can with different tops use the “Leaf” top and spray a little right across the top of the ball.

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After the pumpkins have their leaves it’s time to start adding the stem. I found the whole midget Tootsie roll was too long so I cut them in half. Once that’s done you will have a perfect pumpkin patch, that taste even better than they look!

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Enjoy and Happy Halloween!