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Showing posts from June, 2014

Easy Fourth of July Dessert: Flag Berries & Cream Tarts

Happy week of the Fourth of July, dear friends! This honestly is my favorite holiday of the entire year. Christmas, Halloween, and even my Birthday take a backseat to to the Fourth. I'm completely in love with the hot summer weather (the anti-snow, per se), the smell of BBQ & deliciously fresh food charring up on the grill, kids running wild on the soft grass, the crystal blue cool water at the pool, families coming together, the gorgeous summer nights, and of course: the night sky lit up with bright beautiful lights! I LOVE IT. All of it! I was just telling my husband this morning how excited I am for this entire week! 

Last night, we gathered at my brother's new home in the Salt Lake Valley, and it seriously is just gorgeous. We had a little bonfire outside after dinner and enjoyed the evening together while the kids jumped on the trampoline and played on the swing-set. It was a night of cuddly babies, s'mores, delicious food, feeding (harassing? Matt?) the ducks in…

Breakfast Bruschetta

I just survived my worst bout of Netflix binge-watching. 
I confess. 
Normally during my son's nap, I clean the house, get a little food photo shoot in, or even take a nap myself. He sleeps for 2-3 hours, and it's my favorite way to recharge my batteries and relax. For the past week, though, I've been completely sucked in to Sherlock.I know, it's horrible to be glued to a screen for hours on end every day. But holy smokes, that show is deliciously clever, and I love it. Season three is mind-blowing. Stay away, I beg you. Or else you'll join me on the binge-watching train. Unless you're already on the Sherlock train? Then we're new best friends. And I promise good-eats...

The Perfect Cookie Base - Peanut Butter Cup Reeses Pieces Cookies

I make way too many cookies. I feel like there's always a batch going into the oven for something. A quick batch for Ryan's Sunday School class, a batch for our Primary visits, a batch for a playdate or playgroup, a batch for the blog, a batch for Ryan's lunches, a batch for an activity, a batch to make up for the botched batch I made while recipe-testing the day before, a batch for ward council, or a batch just for fun with my little man. This was all just within the past month. If you stop by my house and ask for cookies, I'm 90% sure we'll have cookies in a tupperware begging to be eaten. We make a lot of desserts, but most of them are going straight out the door and away from my sweet tooth! 
This also means that I get to test and try out lots of different cookie recipes. Some have failed miserably - and it was frustrating, because they were from blogs I love and adore! Maybe I just screwed up the recipe while making it? Either way, I have had my fair share of…

Pink and Gold Ombre Star Tiered Cake, and Pink Ombre Rosette Smash Cake

**Although I made the cake, the photo above is property of Alicia Kinne Photography. Please visit her website for pricing on her incredible photography sessions, and to be inspired by her other beautiful work.**
Today, I thought I'd share something extra special with all of you! My darling niece is turning 1 this month, and her Daddy was able to sneak home from serving in the Army for an early birthday party to celebrate. I felt so blessed to be able to use what newbie skills I have to make the day special in what little way I could. I love my nieces and nephews so much, and making cakes for them is something I will always always say HECK YES to.

Easy Summer Dinner: Spaghetti with Quick Turkey Chili

This weekend, I unplugged from Instagram, Facebook, everything, from Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon while my little family went camping to a lake. It got really antsy. For me, at first, it felt like I was completely cut off from the world.

Until I realized how dead wrong my thinking had been. I wasn't cut off from the world without my phone for the weekend. I was even closerwith my world.
I didn't need to give an internet social media play-by-play of packing up the car, our walk around the lake, the hilarious marshmallow & hot dog roasting, sleeping in the tent, hiking around the area, and everything else happening around us when we were soaking in that beautiful mountain air. I didn't have to see what everyone else was doing, and I didn't have to share with everyone else what we were doing. It was just us.
It reminded me of a movie we recently watched, and a conversation that has since stuck with me. O'Connell had been waiting so quietly on the mounta…

Layered Southwestern Rice Salad

You guys. I suck at buying stuff at the grocery store sometimes. 
I usually buy raw chicken from the meat department, but for some random reason, I decided the frozen stuff was cheaper. I glanced in the freezer section, grabbed a bag, tossed it in the cart, wrestled with the manchild, chase the manchild down the baker aisle, get to the check stand, survive the crazy parking lot, come home, beg the manchild to come up three flights of stairs while my circulation slowly stops around my arms and wrists where I'm holding all the groceries in one stubborn 1-trip up the stairs, get inside the apartment, throw everything in the fridge, and call it good. Dinnertime rolls around a couple days later and I want to grill up some chicken for this delicious salad I'd been dreaming about. 
I open the freezer. 
I GASP. 
I had bought the wrong kind of chicken. 
How the heck is that even possible? It's just chicken, right?? Nope.

Bacon Pecan Squares a la mode

Father's Day is coming up this weekend, and I know you're probably wondering what kind of extra special treat to serve to those special fathers in our lives. Here's a little secret when it comes to men and desserts:
men are easy. 
If it's smothered in gooey chocolate, set on a warm bed of cookie, adorned with a scoop of ice cream and anything else involving offensive amounts of sugar and they'll be happy campers. At least 100% of the men in my family would be (I know there are exceptions...) But that's another thing I love about them - they all love dessert, and will polish off anything and everything I've made in my kitchen dessert-wise. It makes my life much easier, and this recipe a no-brainer.

Berries & Cream Floats

Okay guys. I have the PERFECT Fourth-of-July and any-other-summertime-family-treat for you. These berries and cream floats are a MUST MAKE! 
During the summer we love to make drinks and smoothies! You may have caught my Hawaiian Lava Flows, Melonberry Lemonade, Roasted Peach Lemonade, Toasted Coconut Vanilla Limeade, Mint Limeade, Fresh Cherry Limeadeand even our favoriteKiwi Lemonadehere on the blog over the past couple yearsI love experimenting with different fruits, textures, and fizzy mix-ins to get just the right combo. When I opened my Food Network magazine this month, all that work had been done for me! I saw these amazing Berries & Cream floats and knew we'd definitely have to make them asap. Well, we did. And we fell in love immediately. 
I couldn't find any red cream soda as originally planned for this recipe - only regular cream soda. I'm not a fan of cream soda period, so I knew that just wasn't going to work (sorry! don't hate me!). I needed s…

Reese's Rice Krispie Treats

I've had dreams about this recipe.

When I was younger, my Dad took frequent trips for his work. (Yes, I get to say my Dad is a rocket scientist because guess what? He IS! Kind of cool of him, eh?) One time, he took my Mom, little brother and I with him to this fantastic city on the East coast. You know, the one with the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, U.S. Capitol Building; just one of my favorite places on the planet these days. We've visited (and even lived there for a summer) since, and I just adore everything about it...

Skillet Sausage Hash with Eggs

I'm back, friends! This weekend we took a small trip to Pendleton, Oregon for a funeral. As many of you know, making an 8-hour drive anywhere automatically jumps to 9-10 hours with a toddler...