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Showing posts from December, 2014

Top 15 Recipes of 2015

Each year we try and perfect so many different recipes in the Blondie household. My favorite part of trying new recipes and sharing them with you, is hearing back from you amazing readers, friends, and family about how the recipes rocked your kitchen, impressed your spouses, and fed your sweet little ones with ease. Watching the numbers, some of these recipes are a huge surprise to make the top 15 list, but I've loved watching their popularity grow with each batch made in your kitchens. 
This year has sure been a crazy one here on Baking with Blondie. My favorite thing that happened has been countless Studio 5 appearances (cooking on TV is at the top of my favorite "food blogging perks" list), and my dear friend Natalie gifting me her DSLR camera in October was the gift I can never thank her enough for. It has completely changed the way I do things - and the pictures are definitely proof of that switch! I've never tried to be the best, or have blogging take over my …

Nutella Hot Chocolate

When I was growing up (and probably still to this day), my Mom was a hot chocolate addict. We didn't drink coffee in our family for religious reasons, so I always wondered if this and her usual coke with lemon were her substitute ways to power through the day. I never could quite figure out why she'd always have a mug of warm milk in the microwave at the end of the day; always left in there from hours ago, just sitting there. She must have forgotten all about it - I mean, how could you honestly forget about a steaming mug of hot chocolate coming your way? It was madness. 
It wasn't until I had a son of my own when I realized why that mug of milk was always left in the microwave...

Overnight Gingerbread Baked French Toast Casserole

Well kids, we made it. Christmas is tomorrow morning, and today is my favorite part: Christmas Eve. The anticipation has been building in our home since the second Thanksgiving Day was over. The tree is up, the decor is tastefully scattered through our little apartment, there's Christmas lights on the balcony, Christmas cookies have been made, Christmas cards made/delivered (we skipped this one again this year. It costs a lot to make and send them, and we kind of like saving our money in attempt to oh... SAVE MONEY. We don't want to live in an apartment forever, and want to build a freaking new amazing house. So no, no cards again. We're apparently scrooges. Christmas will still come, haha.), the maple sausages are ready in the fridge for Christmas morning, and all the gifts for our families have been bought, wrapped, and placed neatly under the tree. I've loved just sitting on the couch, snuggled up with my man and a small glass of eggnog, watching Christmas movies (…

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

It feels great to be back in Utah, after a 4 day trip to Chicago last week. I was fully expecting to be greeted by a valley filled with snow when I returned, but alas, Utah weather always has a mind of her own. It's been in the 40s-50s with only a Sunday soaked with rain to show for the season. A lot of Utah natives are pretty annoyed that it's not snowing, and that they might not have their picture perfect white Christmas. Me? I think Christmas is Christmas. Snow or no snow. Remember how "it came without packages, boxes, or bags?" Well, I think it can come without snow, too. Christmas is what you make it. It's not determined by the weather patterns - or unusual weather patterns, in our case. We all know Christmas is much more than the external splendor the holidays bring us (including the white stuff that covers our neighborhoods). Much, much, more. And that's why I'm not worried or bothered one bit. 
Besides, snow or no snow, there's still plenty o…

Crescent Pizza Roll-Ups

I don't know about you guys, but with the holidays in full swing, the last thing I want to be doing is taking more than even 20 minutes to have dinner started, finished, and on the table for my little family. I feel like life gets so incredibly busy with, well, life in general. So taking a few extra minutes making dinner can seriously save some holiday sanity. This recipe is one of those go-to keep-you-sane easy-dinners that will have your family's bellies full, your kitchen not covered with dishes, and will leave you with plenty of time to get done those few things left on your to-do list this holiday season.

White Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Cookies - The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

I know I'm a little late in posting this, but HOLY SMOKES it has been a wild trip to crazy town lately! Right now I'm in the lobby in a beautiful hotel on the banks of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Last night we went out for some Deep Dish Chicago Pizza - truth be told, I didn't eat any (it was crazy expensive). But it smelled incredible. I ordered a thin crust pesto bruschetta chicken pizza. It was heavenly! 

Anyway, back to these amazing cookies. This year I was so excited to be able to participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. There were over 500 food bloggers who were able to all swap cookies with each other (via snail mail), and in doing so, raised over $12,000 for Cookies for Kids' Cancer. It's incredible! What an amazing idea and cause to be apart of this holiday cookie season (and a fun one, too!) I was amazed at how many participated, and just how delicious the cookies were that I received from my lovely ladies. They all came within a few days of eac…

Chicken Fried Steak with Pan Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

As the colder months creep into the valley, I thought we'd be facing the usual snow-of-death that Utah seems to embrace come early December. However, this year has been the best ever! The usual frigid Utah weather has taken a step back and decided to embrace the Fall-like temperatures a bit longer. So instead of scraping an inch of ice off my windshield, and basically risking my life every time we get into the car (facing the ice-rink roads and really dangerous drivers), we're wearing light jackets, visiting the park, and everyone in the neighborhood seems to have had zero excuses to not put up their beautiful Christmas lights. I've lived in Utah my entire life, and should probably embrace the "greatest snow on Earth," but I'm here to say, that I CAN DEFINITELY GET USED TO THIS. Winter this year has been heavenly so far, and I've loved every second of the non-snow surroundings it had gifted us. 
Doesn't mean I'm still not crossing my fingers for …

Salted Caramel Crumble Bars

Things have been a little slow on here lately - sorry dear friends and readers! Big things are happening, and I promise to let you know soon what's up with this little blog of mine. To make it up to you, I'm sharing a recipe today that completely BLEW OUR SOCKS OFF and changed all expectations of gooey crumble bars. Let's dive right in!

Creamy Broccoli Shells and Cheese

With the holidays (and December) in full swing, every day seems to get more and more busy. And on those super-jam-packed days, there's nothing more that I'd like to do than pick up a few hoagie sandwiches, a bake-at-home pizza, or even a pile of tacos. But around Christmas time especially, money gets a little tighter in order to accommodate the inflating "extra" category in our budget. So going out to eat for dinner is not on the table. Literally. 
This is why I am SO thankful for really simple, easy, and completely mouthwatering dishes like this one. It's easier for me to convince myself to make dinner if I already know it's not going to take over 30 minutes to make - and especially if there's hearty whole grain pasta, heavenly doses of sharp cheddar, and bright green healthy broccoli cooked to perfection. Let's dive in, shall we?