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Showing posts from December, 2013

Top Ten Savory Recipes of 2013

Alrighty, lovers. Here's part-two of my 2013 round up. To see my Top 10 Dessert Recipes and my official "New Years Adieu", go here.  Don't get too crazy tonight, you hear? xo,  blondie Slow Cooker Sweet Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin Burst Tomato Pasta Chicken Salad Piccata Southwestern Salsa Chicken Casserole Garden Vegetable Campanelle with Fresh Tomato Basil Dressing Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad with Homemade Tortilla Bowls Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dip with Baked Whole Wheat Sea Salt Tortilla Chips Almond Rosemary Crusted Chicken with Spinach Parmesan Orzo Fluffy Mexican Rice From Scratch Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad

Top Ten Dessert Recipes From 2013

As I look back at this beautiful year, I couldn't help but feel so grateful for all you amazing readers. I have met the greatest people through this little blog of mine, and found some true kindred spirits. Blogging has been a huge release for me sometimes, and a place I can share something straight from the heart, and from my kitchen. Thank you so much for following along with my cooking/baking adventures - 2014 is sure going to be even more crazy/wonderful, and I can't wait!  This year has been full of so many new recipes - what I love about it is that I'm not a one-trick monkey. I love to bake all day, but I really love cooking, too. I couldn't narrow them all down to ten, and neither could you! So I split them into two separate posts: the TOP TEN DESSERT recipes and the TOP TEN SAVORY recipes! Because here on Baking with Blondie, you get my version of the best of both worlds. Stay tuned, the savory is on it's way. Dessert first, today :)  ...without

Funfetti Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

With the holidays winding down, I still do more than my fair-share of baking. The orders pile up, the family and church events usually involve needing a dessert or two, and I feel like the oven is on every single day through these cozy winter months. Sometimes it can become a bit of a chore, but at the end of the day, I really love it. Through this beautiful month of celebration and cheer, my favorite thing to bake are those sweet little pockets of sweetness and splendor: cookies! This sugar cookie recipe is from a dear friend, so whenever I make them, I think of her and her absolute sweetness. Fitting, right? :) They are SO EASY to make, and the cookies taste like the most perfect little funfetti sugar cookie you've had in your entire life. NO joke! They always come out beautifully, and require little to no effort whatsoever. Those are sometimes the best recipes to try for a last minute get-together or cookie-exchange! I tossed in a handful of white chocolate chips, but rea

Mini Corn Dog Bites

Now that Christmas is through, and we're all beginning to settle back into our previous routines, we've been keeping our lunches and dinners very simple. This is one of those so-simple-it's-ridiculous kind of meals. You cook a hot dog, chop it up, dunk it into a mini muffin tin loaded with prepared corn bread mix, bake it, and you're all set. Serve it up with some chopped veggies and fresh fruit slices. Boom. Lunch/Dinner is covered. My toddler inhaled this stuff, my husband ate most of them, and the few ones I had were exactly what I'd hoped they'd be: easy, inexpensive, and delicious.  I've been taking a little Christmas break this week from blogging - and I hope you are, too! Family is most important - soak them in as much as you can this week, and we'll be back on the food blog train again next week. Love you all, and hope you had a very Merry Christmas this week.  xo,  blondie Mini Corn Dog Bites makes 24 mini bites ingre

Peppermint Cupcakes with White Chocolate Ganache and Chocolate Mousse Frosting

It's cupcake time.  I wanted to create a Christmas treat that highlighted some of my favorite holiday flavors, but especially wanted the dessert to be appealing to cupcake enthusiasts, as well as those just starting out in the baking department. Also, my husband told me the day before that he wanted to take some cupcakes into the judge and some of his coworkers. Good thing these came together so quickly, eh? The thing I strayed away from as much as possible was the taste of toothpaste. I know, sounds strange when you're highlighting peppermint. But I've tried so many peppermint desserts that taste just like toothpaste, and don't have enough balance with the rest of the ingredients. This recipe, however, came out perfectly on the first try (not very common when I'm trying to develop a new recipe from scratch).  I turned to a cake mix as a base (don't you dare judge! I was going for easy. And with my modifications, they tasted so good - people comm

2013 Top Ten Soups to Make and Enjoy this Winter

We are a TOTAL soup family. We eat soup in the cold winter months, but also (believe it or not) in the summertime. Freaky, I know. But we just love eating a steaming hot bowl of veggies, meat, and velvety broth after a long day. Each week, we have a soup and salad/panini/sandwich night. So you know we've tried our fair share of soup throughout the year.  In 2013, I think we've tried and proved our best soups yet - below is a list of my favorite soups we just adored as a family. Each is just as amazing as the last, and just as a bonus - three of them taste so much like the Olive Garden's soup recipes, I'm not even calling them copycats  anymore. They're the real deal. If you're looking for a different version of a beloved soup, or even a brand new soup to try on the family, I guarantee each of these are sure-fire, and are part of our regular soup rotation each week.   Roasted Red Pepper Potato Soup  Creamy Potato and Asparagus Soup with Honey

Turkey Pesto Panini

On Monday, I'll be sharing my favorite soups this year (because heaven knows, I've made more than my fair share this season!) But what's a good soup without a little something to dunk in it? This panini always comes to mind. Recently I've fallen in love with red cabbage. Alone, it really has nothing to write home about. Steamed and sloppy? Still not my favorite. But put those beautiful purple ripples in a sandwich or taco? SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, people. It has the same crunch as lettuce, but adds a little more than what you'd expect. We made these paninis right after Thanksgiving. We had Thanksgiving dinner at my parents-in-law's home, but I tried to not leave without swiping a little tupperware-full of turkey. Now, I know we're mostly Ham-or-whatever people around Christmas, but if you have some turkey lying around - Make. This. Panini. The pesto, the turkey, the avocado, the EVERYTHING. It's just insane. The only think I would have changed is th

Roasted Sweet Potato Southwestern Tacos

I did a BIG no-no on Monday. I had a million things I needed to take care of, and my little boy was going nuts with cabin fever. There was no way I could have squeaked in a second outside (snow clothes are kind of a project in themselves...), so I did a terrible awful thing...  I let him open a Christmas present early.  He was in love with the gift, and happily played with it all afternoon so I could make a fancy dinner, set the table for said fancy dinner, clean the house for said fancy dinner's guests, make 4 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange the next day, and get myself in something other than a bathrobe.  Justified? Maybe. But totally worth the few minutes I needed to keep myself from going nuclear. Plus, I think he was able to have more time with that one toy - without the crowd of other gifts on Christmas morning. Still, I feel like I sort of cheated Christmas morning somehow. Oh well, man.  - - -  Right now at the supermarket you can find sweet pot

White Chocolate Chip Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Holy smokes. What a crazy week/weekend it has been! I felt like my phone was going off every hour with a reminder for me to do something else on my list. Thankfully, the weekend (although it was completely insane), came through almost flawlessly. (On Saturday, our car was the victim of a really nasty hit-n-run without a note. Suckville USA, man). Crazy, crazy, crazy week!  For this week, I tried my best (with the exception of a friend dinner and cookie exchange) to NOT schedule a single thing for this entire week (other than the usual stuff, that is.) I look forward to zero crazy, and some serious relaxation.  The main reason why I created these cookies was just for that purpose: to sit back, relax, and have yourself a cup of steaming hot cocoa, and dunk a few of these babies right in that chocolately bath of Christmastime. Doesn't that just sound beautiful? Plus, I promise making these cookies can be super low-maintenance. Most of the ingredients should be around the

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

So I had this crazy idea to decorate little sugar cones like mini-cakes. You know, with the same rosette and star piping techniques we all know and love... I started off with regular chocolate cupcakes with brown cupcakes liners. Then I frosted the cones with some homemade vanilla frosting, colored with Kelly Green and a pinch of Royal Blue (to make them less pastel-y and more blue spruce-like). Needless to say... the results were kind of MY NEW FAVORITE THING!  I used sprinkles to decorate, because after all, cupcakes aren't very strong against the power of full-sized M&Ms or peppermint swirls. So the sprinkles + frosting combo was just enough weight, and kept the little dainty elegance of the whole cupcake in check. A little powdered sugar was perfect, as well, to look like a little fall of fresh snow on the "leaves". What you'll need: Piping Bags & Stars Chocolate Cupcakes with Brown Liners Batch of Frosting, and green col

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Walnut Cake Bars

I know.  It's kind of a mouthful of a title for a dessert.  But then again, this dessert is  a mouthful as a dessert. I faithfully follow one of the most inspiring blogs out there: Bakers Royale . She is a genius when it comes to... well... everything! Her photography is breathtaking, and she has such a fun way of inventing never-before-made-or-thought-of desserts. Her originality is incredible, and she blogs about it effortlessly.  Another thing I love about her and her work, is that she does it without all the bells & whistles. She doesn't post all the time, she doesn't toot her own horn, she doesn't do endless giveaways, she doesn't guzzy up her website with the latest trendy hues or spend hundreds on a new web design. She's completely understated, and sticks to the bare bone minimum when it comes to the "blogging game." Yet, her stuff is top-notch, her work is flawless, and her food/photography is on a higher level than I