almond thumbprints

do you ever sit and stare at your computer screen waiting for something witty to come to you to say and nothing comes?

yeah. that’s me right now.

see i’m that person that could talk to a brick wall but when ii’m trying to make conversation… i’m blank.

in fact, i’ve been staring at the screen for about an hour and half.


how about we just get to the cookies?

these cookies are different than the type of cookie i would normally reach for. they aren’t the soft and chewy cookie i normally reach for but they’re not the hard and crunchy cookie that i normally would shy away from. they’re something in between. and then they’re filled with a dark chocolate ganache. killer. you could also fill them with some salted caramel or fruit jam if that was your thing.

almond thumbprints

almond flour thumbprints

  • 3 c almond meal
  • 3/4 c turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • dark chocolate ganache, recipe below
  1. preheat oven to 350F. line baking sheets with a silpat or parchment paper.
  2. stir together the almond meal, sugar and salt. add in the egg whites and extracts; stir together until a ball forms.
  3. using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough into balls onto the prepared baking sheets; flatten slightly with your fingers. use the bottom of a 1/4 tsp scoop to make the thumbprint in the center of each cookie. bake 15-18 min until lightly golden. remove from the oven and let cool 5 min before removing to a cool rack before cooling completely. once cooled completely fill with ganache.

dark chocolate ganache

  • 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 oz heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp instant espresso
  1. in a double boiler, melt together the chocolate, heavy cream and espresso until smooth. fill cookie thumbprints with chocolate ganache.


recipe barely adapted from: with style and grace

this post is linked up to these fun link parties! what’s cookin’ wednesday, what’s in your kitchen wednesday, taste and tell thursdays


brie bites

so i’m about to gift you the world’s easiest appetizer.

i like to throw get togethers and i came up with these little gems a couple months ago for a girls night. i love baked brie and figured there had to be a better way to get all that goodness into a simple bite. after scouring magazines and the internet these little beauties were born!

so let’s not be wordy (for once in my life)…..

brie bites

brie bites

  • 30 phyllo cups
  • 3/4 lb brie cheese (i remove the rind but it’s perfectly edible so if you don’t feel like going through that, no worries)
  • 1/4 c dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans
  1. preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and pecan; set aside. equally divide the brie among the phyllo cups. place 1/2 tsp of the sugar mixture on top of each of the brie filled phyllo cups. bake at 350F for 10 min.



this post is linked up to these fun link parties!! what’s cookin’ wednesday, what’s in your kitchen wednesday and taste and tell thursdays

oatmeal cookie bars

i would like to make a public plea right here and now to the makers of after sun lotion to PLEASE for the love of all things holy to STOP putting glitter and other sparkly stuff in their lotions.

i mean i know there is the standard after sun lotion out there that has been around for like ages but i’d something that smells yummy too. ya know something that smells like the tropics?

and it seems like if i want to have a tropically smelling after sun lotion i have to get the glittery, sparkly lotion. that would be all fine and dandy if i were either a 5 year old or a stripper but i’m neither so i’d appreciate a yummy smelling lotion that doesn’t make me feel like either.

so i’m looking at you bath and body works. subtle shimmer my ass.

can we agree to take the glitter and sparkly stuff out of the lotion?


i’ll make you some cookie bars.

these are really yummy and should buy me some serious leeway with the lotion people. i mean they’re totally the love child of an oatmeal cookie and brownie’s cousin, blondie. c’mon. how can that not be good? plus you throw some toffee bits in there with the oats in there with the two different types of chocolate chips.

oatmeal cookie bars

oatmeal cookie bars

  • 1-3/4 c flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 3/4 c (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 1 egg yolk, room temp
  • 3/4 c semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c toffee bits
  1. preheat oven to 375F. spray a 9×13 in baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. whisk together the flour, baking soda and oats in a bowl; set aside. beat together the butter, sugars, vanilla, salt, egg, and egg yolk until fluffy, about 2 min. add the dry ingredients, chocolate chips and toffee bits; mix until just combined. press into the prepared pan and bake 18-20 until lightly golden brown around the edges. remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

so how soon after lotion hq receives these do you think the new sparkleless lotions will come out?


recipe adapted from: mel’s kitchen cafe

this post is linked up to these fun link parties!! what’s cookin’ wednesday, what’s in your kitchen wednesday and taste and tell thursdays

chocolate chip icebox pie

can we just talk about how obnoxiously excited i am that they are planning a sequel to pitch perfect?

like for real.

and you’re sitting there in one of two camps:

camp no. 1: what is pitch perfect?

camp no. 2: freaking right!!

if you’re in camp no. 1 let me give you a quick briefing in case you don’t feel like imdb’ing this jazz. pitch perfect is a total sleeper hit movie based on competive college acapella groups. it’s totally awesome and was filmed on lsu’s campus. it has a bunch of pretty awesome actors but rebel wilson is in it and has some epic one liners. horizontal running anyone?

(i told you it would be a quick briefing.)


total point is that you need to get yourself a copy of this movie and watch it. like on repeat.

and then watch the breakfast club.

because it totally makes sense and because the breakfast club is only like one of the best movies EVER.

and we could have a movie marathon (because let’s face it, i’m a grandma and trying to watch 2 movies in a row is stretching my limit of not taking a nap) with some of this updated pudding stuff to stuff our faces with.

and yes i’m aware that i “officially” titled the post a “chocolate chip icebox pie” because let’s face it, unless you’re one of a few people, you might not have known off the bat what i meant by pudding stuff.

this updated pudding stuff was inspired by my friend cailan. we were walking around the grocery store on good friday and she was talking about making a version of her pudding stuff with chocolate chip cookies. while we were walking around the store, i didn’t think much about it other than “that sounds delicious.” but then i was trying to figure out a second dessert for easter sunday since i don’t eat coconut cream pie and this came back to me. and now it comes to you!

trust me when i tell you, your world has been made much better now that this recipe is out there for you to devour!

you’ll have to excuse it’s inability to take a pretty picture. it really is a messy but ever so delicious dessert.


chocolate chip icebox pie

chocolate chip icebox pie

  • 1 package chips ahoy chocolate chunks cookies
  • 1 (3 oz) box vanilla instant pudding
  • 1-1/2 c whole milk
  • 1-1/2 c heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs amaretto
  • hot fudge sauce
  1. pour the heavy whipping cream into a bowl and begin to whip on medium speed until it begins to thicken. when the cream begins to thicken, add the sugar and amaretto and continue to whip until soft peaks form.
  2. while the cream is whipping, combine the pudding mix and milk; stir well. slowly add the pudding mixture to the whip cream mixture and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. in a 9 in flat bottom bowl, place an even layer of the cookies, breaking them up if needed. spread half of the boozy vanilla whip cream mixture over the cookies; repeat the process and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours.
  4. when ready to serve, top with hot fudge sauce before scooping out individual servings.

seriously y’all.


this post is linked up to these fun link parties!! what’s cookin’ wednesdays, what’s in your kitchen wednesdays, and taste and tell thursdays

salted caramel brownies

i have decided that i am no longer turning on the news.

i mean it seems like every time i do something terrible happens.

so the news is no longer allowed in my house. only the stories of the good coming from the bad. which means traditional news is banned because we all know the adage, “if it bleeds, it leads.”

not doing it anymore.

i’m going to focus on the good and the things i’m grateful for. (if you want to follow along with my gratitude challenge on instagram, you have perfect timing… i just started yesterday!)

i’m also going to focus on brownies. more specifically on these salted caramel brownies. which just so happen to be some of the best brownies i’ve ever tasted. no joke. like i really really really liked them. i mean of course i liked them. ina developed them for her new book, barefoot contessa foolproof; although i found them in the food network magazine. but where i found them isn’t the issue. i mean it’s ina. i haven’t made one of her recipes that isn’t amazing. and these brownies are just that. and honestly, if you wanted to, you could leave the caramel off and they’d still be amazing. they really are that good. oh and here’s the thing…. ina uses store bought caramel sauce (gasp! i know!). nothing wrong with that. BUT there’s also nothing wrong with spending a little extra time while the brownies are in the oven baking and making your own on the stove top. also, i didn’t have instant coffee granules in my pantry but i did have instant espresso so that’s what we’re going with ok? good.

salted caramel brownies

salted caramel brownies

  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 tbs instant espresso granules
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 1 c + 2 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 c + 2 tbs flour, divided
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c caramel sauce (homemade or good quality store bought {ina suggests fran’s})
  • 2 tsp good quality sea salt
  1. preheat oven to 350F. spray a 9×13 pyrex dish with cooking spray.
  2. in a double boiler, melt together the butter, 8 oz semisweet and unsweetened chocolate. allow to cool for 15 min.
  3. in a large bowl, stir together (don’t beat!) the eggs, instant espresso, vanilla and sugar. stir in the cooled chocolate mixture and allow the mixture to continue cooling to room temp. before you continue any further make sure your mixture is no warmer than room temp!!
  4. in a medium bowl, sift together the 1/2 c flour, baking powder and kosher salt. add to the chocolate mixture; stirring until just combined. toss together the remaining 2 tbs flour and the chocolate chips and add them to the batter; stir together. spread evenly into the pan. bake 35 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. if you are making your caramel sauce, you want to try to time it so your caramel is ready about 5 min before the brownies come out the oven so it has time to cool slightly before pouring. if you are using jarred caramel sauce, as soon as the brownies come out of the oven, heat the caramel sauce until it’s pourable and stir until smooth. pour your caramel sauce over the brownies and sprinkle with sea salt. cool completely before cutting into bars.


recipe very barely adapted from: ina for food network magazine

this post is linked up to these fun link parties!! what’s cookin’ wednesdays, what’s in your kitchen wednesdays, and taste and tell thursdays

coconut cream pie

and now folks, we’re back to our nonpreachy regular scheduled programming.

which coincidentally is another something i don’t eat so it’s really like regularly scheduled….

it’s funny how that seems to be most of what i’m posting lately. i guess it’s that season.

when i went to my mom’s house for easter i was given free reign over desserts and being the nice daughter that i am decided that i would attempt a coconut cream pie. she had mentioned in passing a while back that she was having a craving for one and i was going to be all like “bam! who’s awesome?!?” i didn’t even know she really liked coconut cream pie but whatever… it gave me a chance to try something different. well come to find out, she does like it ok but this really my stepdad’s favorite dessert.

i mean i’m still pretty awesome to pull the surprise out of the hat but i got the surprise too.

and they both loved this pie. i mean it’s a paula deen recipe so of course it’s good. i went the cheater’s recipe and used store bought pie crust. one of these days, i’ll attempt to make my own but this was not that day. the real magic of this is that you steep the coconut in the milk mixture deepening the coconut custard’s flavor.

also, paula calls for dark rum for her pie. i didn’t have dark but i did have light so that’s what i used and you can too. or you can leave the booze out all together but c’mon what’s the fun in that?

coconut cream pie

coconut cream pie

  • 1 (9-in) piecrust (store bought or homemade)
  • 1-1/2 c whole milk
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 c shredded sweetened coconut
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2 tbs rum (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • fresh whip cream
  • shredded sweetened coconut, toasted (for topping)
  1. preheat oven to 375F. line your pie dough with parchment paper or foil and fill with dried beans, rice or pie weights; bake 20 min. remove the foil and allow to bake a few more min until lightly browned; remove the pie crust from the oven.
  2. while the pie crust is in the oven, start your custard filling. in a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, coconut and a pinch of salt. bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. remove from the heat and let sit for 30 min.
  3. in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, rum, vanilla and nutmeg. whisking constantly, slowly stream in the warm coconut milk mixture. pour the warm filling into the warm pie crust. bake until the filling sets and jiggles like jelly in the middle, about 25 min. remove from the oven and let cool completely at room temp before thoroughly chilling in the fridge.
  4. shortly before serving, top with whipped cream and toasted coconut.


recipe from: paula deen’s southern cooking bible

this recipe is linked up to these fun link parties!! what’s cookin’ wednesdays, what’s in your kitchen wednesdays and taste and tell thursdays

a moment…

i know this isn’t my normal type of post and no this post won’t contain a recipe so you can stop reading now if you don’t want to hear me get preachy but i needed a moment to say something…

lately, i’ve been seeing a lot of posts pop up on the blogs i read regarding others on the internet who steal their recipes / images and represent the content as their own. and that’s exactly what it is… stealing. many of the blogs out there are registered llcs and many blog writers do what they do either as a side job or, if they are part of the lucky few, as their full time job. while i currently do not land in either of those categories, i just do this for fun and to bring smiles to people’s faces, i feel like i need to say something to the five of you and my parents that read this. 🙂


a vast majority of the recipes i’ve posted on here have not been the product of my own geniusness. a few here and there have been but most i’ve found on a blog or cookbook or magazine or another source. but i have and will always give credit where credit is due. the geniuses that come up with these and other recipes spend countless hours testing and retesting until it’s perfect. yes, i may make some modifications but i will always note where the original recipe comes from. if it comes from a blog, i will always link back to the original. always. if it comes from a cookbook, i will always tell you. if it came from a magazine, you’ll know. there are some recipes in my arsenal that will come your way that i don’t know where they came from and i’ll tell you that. there was a time, i would copy and paste to word so all i have is the recipe and not the original source. if i would have known then that years from that moment, i would need to credit the source, i would have made sure to remember but what can i say. if a recipe is something i actually came up with, you’ll know that too.

and as for me stealing anyone’s pictures… believe me, you’d know. i know that my food styling skills need work and while mine may not be the best out there, they’re just that. mine. i promise that i take every shot on here, questionable or not.

all of that leads me to this pointers… in a world of facebook and pinterest if you come across a recipe that isn’t from the original source, please don’t keep spreading it. when you come across a pin that has an awesome sounding recipe, if the full recipe is in the description, click through the pin to the original source and pin from there.

and all this doesn’t just apply to food bloggers. this applies to ALL bloggers and writers and any one who puts their creativity and talent out there (internet or pen to page or paint brush to canvas or whatever).

i know someone out there is say “so what?” well to you sir / madam, i say, how do you feel when you work extra hard at work on a project and that lazy person next to you steals all your work and claims all the glory for their own? a little pissed right? or maybe you’re that person. because that’s exactly what this is… the information that you see on the screen, the information that is out there when a blogger hits the publish button is their hard work.

so please. the people who spend their time coming up with these awesome recipes (and other awesome stuff out there) deserve the love and respect.