caramel stuffed chocolate cupcakes

i have a bunch of random thoughts floating around so i’m just going to share them. cool? cool.

i’ve been wanting to try and get my kitchen more organized and have been eyeing oxo’s pop containers. i really wanted to get one for my flour since i can’t dip my flour into the jar i’ve used for forever. i had a $10 coupon to sur la table so i finally broke down and bought the 4 qt one. now i want ALL.THE.CONTAINERS.

i just discussed how i don’t watch the nfl but i do read articles when interesting stuff happens and i read an article yesterday about suh’s low hit on sunday. can someone please explain to me why the lions made him a captain?!? at least once a season, i read about him and a dirty play. someone like that should not be the leadership of your team. sorry but no.

as i’m writing this, the 12th anniversary of the attacks of september 11 is coming to a close. it’s hard to believe that it’s been twelve years since that day. like previous generations remember where they were when pearl harbor was bombed or kennedy was assassinated, i will never forget where i was that morning. it saddens me that a country that came together that day is incredibly divided and torn apart today. i can only hope that one day we can find that sense of unity again when not being faced with a national tragedy.

on a heavier much lighter, i took body pump for the first time. i will most likely not be able to move from my bed in the morning. i’ll be lucky to be able to move next year.

do you ever feel like you have a million things but nothing going on at the same time? yeah. i’m feeling that. kinda like these cupcakes.

{nice segway huh?}

so these cupcakes. these cupcakes.

i don’t even have the words.

i have found that chocolate cupcakes can be rather dry. not these. these are super moist. and delicious. and then you add some caramel stuff that you have leftover in the fridge in the center and top it all off with some dark chocolate frosting.

oh and these buttercream………

magical and perfection.

Caramel Stuffed Chocoalte Cupcakes via Pink Tiger in the Kitchen

caramel stuffed chocolate cupcakes

  • 1-1/2 c cake flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped finely
  • 1 c hot fresh coffee
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1/2 c oil
  • 1/2 c sour cream, room temp
  • caramel sauce {rom either of these recipes or store bought}
  • dark chocolate buttercream {recipe follows}
  1. preheat the oven to 350F. line 18 cupcake cups with paper liners.
  2. using the paddle attachment of your mixer or a handheld mixer and large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt on low speed for 2-3 min.
  3. add the chopped chocolate to a medium bowl and pour the hot coffee on top; let sit for 2-3 min before stirring to ensure all of the chocolate is melted.
  4. in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil until thick; add in the sour cream, stirring until just combined. pour in the melted chocolate mixture and mix until just combined. pour into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. stir together with a rubber spatula to ensure that all the ingredients at the bottom of the bowl are incorporated. pour the batter into the line cupcake cups, filling each up 2/3 the way. bake 18-25 min or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. remove from the oven and let cool completely on wire racks.
  5. once the cupcakes are cool, cut the center out and fill with 1-1/2 tsp caramel sauce. frost with dark chocolate buttercream.

dark chocolate buttercream

  • 3/4 c {1-1/2 sticks} unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/3 c dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1-3/4 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp heavy cream
  1. sift together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. beat the butter and vanilla on medium speed until it’s creamy. slowly add in the powdered sugar / cocoa mixture; add the heavy cream. beat together 1 min so it’s thoroughly combined.

for real.


cupcake recipe from: bake in the day bakery cookbook ; buttercream recipe adapted from: how sweet it is

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin’ wednesday and wake up wednesdays


brownie sundae ice cream

FOOTBALL is back!!!

and it’s been back for a week now!!

i know… i’m late in celebrating this joyous occasion but let’s just give a girl a break ok?

let’s all just jump over enthusiastically for joy because that’s what i’m doing!

but let’s be real too… when i say football, i mean college football and not pro. i’m not a fan of pro. my rationale isn’t necessarily the soundest… i feel like there are too many egos and people out for the money rather than the love of the game in pro football. which let’s be honest, there are plenty of college players that are playing to get drafted and the money that comes with that. it’s just that a good number of the players that play college ball aren’t going pro. they know these are their last days of playing football so they give it their heart.

plus pro teams can have players that play their for YEARS. college teams are almost always rebuilding. yes i know that there are perennially powerhouses {and my team just happens to be in the conference that houses a good number of them – the SEC} but every year you have some of your best players leave for the draft. i mean i’m just saying.

college football > pro football

ya know what else i’m celebrating?

more ice cream!!

i know that monday was labor day which marks the unofficial start of fall BUUUUUUT living in the deep south means that summer NEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER ends. i mean for real, i don’t think i turned my heater on once since 2011. which is great if you don’t like the cold but i think we know my stance on that. but what i really do like is the fact that i can eat ice cream all.the.time. it’s never cold enough here that ice cream is off the table.

and this ice cream.

it’s all kinds of deliciousness rolled into ice cream. i had a variation of this on an ice cream date with my friend maddie and knew immediately i had to make it at home. the one at whole foods was a vanilla ice cream with brownie bits and a chocolate syrup  primarily on top. i knew we could do better so i swirled some fudge ripple throughout the ice cream and threw some salted buttery caramel sauce in for good measure. oh and just to be even more over the top, i browned the butter for the caramel sauce and the brownies i used.

Brownie Sundae Ice Cream via Pink Tiger in the Kitchen

brownie sundae ice cream

  • 3/4 c vanilla sugar
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • pinch salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1-1/2 c brownie bits
  • fudge ripple {recipe below}
  • salted butter caramel {recipe below}
  1. warm the sugar, milk, and 1/2 c heavy cream to a medium saucepan. cover and let steep and infuse for 45-60 min.
  2. add the egg yolks to a medium bowl and whisk together; pour the remaining heavy cream and vanilla into a large bowl and place a strainer on top. rewarm the vanilla scented milk and add to the egg yolks while whisking constantly. scrape the custard mixture back into the saucepan; stir constantly while scraping the bottom of the pan until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spatula. pour through the strainer and mix well with the heavy cream. let cool completely before placing in the fridge to cool thoroughly.
  3. when your custard mixture is thoroughly chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the directions. before you remove the ice cream from the canister, mix in your brownie bits. as your removing the ice cream, alternate a spoon/smear of fudge ripple, ice cream and caramel.

fudge ripple

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/3 c light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c water
  • 6 tbs dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. whisk everything but the vanilla together in a medium saucepan. heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a low boil. cook for 1 min, whisking frequently. remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. let cool before putting into the fridge to cool completely.

salted butter caramel

  • 6 tbs butter
  • 3/4 c vanilla sugar
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-1/4 tsp salt {preferably sea but kosher works too!}
  1. melt and brown the butter in a large, heavy duty saucepan. once the butter browns, stir in the sugar and cook, frequently stirring, until the sugar is a deep golden and just begins to wisp smoke. remove from the heat and immediately whisk in half of the cream until smooth. whisk in the rest of the cream, vanilla and salt. let cool before placing in the fridge to cool completely.

now let me throw this out there… i made each toss in from scratch so this required some advanced planning. there are people i know {hi mom!} that are much more semi-homemade. if you fall in that camp, go for it! don’t let my from scratch self stop you from making this deliciousness. buy your favorite brownie mix or brownies from a bakery, hot fudge sauce and caramel sauce and enjoy!


recipes adapted from: the perfect scoop

this post is linked up to these fun link parties! what’s cookin’ wednesday and wake up wednesdays


jalapeno cheesy bacon swirl rolls

so… i try hard not to overshare on these interwebs. i say that because i’m staring at the screen trying to type something fluffy and hysterical but nothing is coming to me…. which works because it lets me talk more about these rolls!

these rolls are the next edition to my participation in the pass the cookbook club. i had a lot going on last month so i didn’t participate because the date snuck up on me. but this month i was determined not to let that happen again! {which it totally still did but not as last minute as before…}

when i first saw the choices from this month’s selection {the smitten kitchen cookbook by deb perelman}, i was immediately drawn to the sweet option… shocker right? but then i decided i needed to be brave and make these rolls.

see i have this tremendous fear of baking with yeast… what if i kill the yeast? what if it doesn’t rise? what if it turns out like a rock? what if? what if? what it?

well the recipe for these rolls hit on my love of carbs and my love of cheese so i figured it was high time i tried again! and guess what?!? i totally rocked this yeast recipe!! yay for my little yeast victory!!

and when i decided to make these, i knew i couldn’t leave well enough alone. see deb’s recipe was great and all but i felt it needed a little heat… in the form of some fresh jalapenos. oh and since we were remixing this little swirl, why not change the cheese from regular ol’ cheddar to something with some pizzazz… say maybe some smoked gouda. plus what makes any spread / filling better… roasted garlic so let’s just add that in there. and while we’re at it, let’s add the ultimate condiment…BACON!

{side note: bacon truly is the ultimate condiment. it goes with everything. for true.}

jalapeno cheddar bacon swirl rolls

jalapeno cheddar bacon swirl rolls


  • 3 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs + 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 {1/4 oz} package) instant yeast
  • 1 c warm milk (110-115F)
  • 4 tbs melted butter


  • 1/2 c grated onion
  • 1-1/2 c grated smoked gouda
  • 1 small head garlic, roasted*
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped (saving 1 tbs of the bacon grease)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

to make the dough:

  1. combine the flour, salt, pepper and 1 tbs sugar in the bottom of a large bowl. in a separate bowl, combine the warm milk, 1/4 tsp sugar and yeast; stir until the yeast dissolves and let bloom until the bubbles double in size (or until the yeast “blooms”). pour the yeast-milk mixture into the flour; add in the melted butter.  mix them together with the paddle of an stand mixer or a wooden spoon until a shaggy ball forms.
  2. if you’re using a stand mixer, switch to your dough hook and knead on low for 6 min or until a smooth, slightly sticky ball is formed. if you’re making this by hand, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand until smooth, about 8 min.
  3. place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. let the dough rest until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. {you can also chill the dough for up to 3 days before bringing it back to room temp and moving on.}
  4. scoop the risen dough out of the bowl and onto a floured surface. roll the dough into a 12×16 in rectangle. mix the filling ingredients and spread over the dough; leave about 1/2 in border on the shorter ends. roll short end to short end making a log. carefully cut into 1 in rounds using a sharp knife.
  5. line the bottom of either {2} 9 in / 8 in round / square pans or 1 9×13 in baking pan with parchment paper; arrange the rolls in the pan(s) with an even amount of space in between. brush the tops of the rolls with bacon grease; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled again, about another 2 hours. when almost doubled, preheat your oven to 350F. once buns are fully doubled, bake for 20-25 min, until tops are golden and cheese is bubbling. serve immediately.

*my method for roasting garlic: preheat your oven / toaster oven to 350F. cut the top off your head of garlic and place it in some aluminum foil. pour a little olive oil (about 1 tbs or so) over top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. tightly wrap the head up in the aluminum foil and let bake for 75 min.

seriously. these rolls. make them. now.


check out some of the other great things others made from the pass the cookbook club:

recipe adapted from: the smitten kitchen cookbook

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin wednesday and what’s in your kitchen wednesday

greek couscous salad

can we chat a bit on current events?

i’m sure you’ll be shocked to know that i’m a pretty opinionated person but i rarely talk about any type of controversial events {such as paula deen, trayvon martin, etc} because goodness knows the fire that’s out there… and i’m not going to talk about those events but there are some i just have to talk about….

first…. this kid who lost on jeopardy because he misspelled the word emancipation {he added an extra “t” – emaciptation}. dude…. for real his parents should be teaching him to be a gracious second place contestant. you were on JEOPARDY for goodness sake. it’s not like you were on some random game show that it doesn’t matter about correct spelling. this is jeopardy…. PLUS he even if he hadn’t misspelled it, he still would have been in second place!!! bow out gracefully and enjoy the experience. but in a society where everyone gets a medal for participating, this kid makes national news because he feels he was “cheated” out of the correct answer because he can’t spell and is a sore loswer. seriously kid, life’s not fair. plus there’s always spell check.

secondly… a-rod. or as i saw on a sign, a-roid. here’s my beef with it….. he flat out cheated and now he’s pissed because he got caught. seriously. when asked, he’s not saying “i’m appealing because the mlb is wrong, i didn’t use peds and i’m not in any way associated with biogenesis”. no he’s appealing because he feels like he got the short end of the stick when it comes to being suspended for 211 games. i’m sorry but with the way kids look up to professional athletes, shouldn’t we punish those caught cheating? shouldn’t he be man enough to admit he screwed up {for at least a second time}? shouldn’t we as fans be able to expect that the game is “clean”? i mean i’m just saying

anyways…. rant over.

so here’s a savory recipe for you!! i figure with labor day and football season coming up, you might need a good recipe to bring along to some cookouts / tailgates. and friends is this good! i saw it over on maria’s site and decided it had to be added to our 4th of july menu and i’ve totally been holding out on y’all…


back to the couscous salad…. this is such a great alternative to traditional pasta salad; although couscous is a pasta, it’s just not a shape {bowtie, penne, elbow} you would traditionally think of when it comes to pasta salads. but this is fantastic. i kept it pretty close to maria’s original recipe but i did make a couple little changes… first off, i don’t like olives so they had to go. i replaced them {and their saltiness} with some crumbled feta cheese because everything needs some cheese in there. also, i used dried herbs instead of fresh for a couple reasons… i have a black thumb and can’t seem to keep anything alive. also, dried herbs are more accessible to me and i figure to you too. finally i used a smaller package of couscous because it’s what the store had. since there is no mayo in the dish, it’s perfect for a cook out or tailgate!!

greek couscous salad

greek couscous salad

  • 1 (4 oz) package pearl couscous {also called israeli couscous}
  • 1 c grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (13.75 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1-1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • juice of 2 large lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  1. prepare couscous according the package directions; transfer cooked couscous to a large bowl. fluff with a fork and add tomatoes, artichoke hearts and feta cheese.
  2. prepare the dressing: in a small bowl or jar, add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, salt and pepper. whisk / shake together; pour over the couscous mixture and stir until everything is well combined. add more salt & pepper if desired. serve.

easy peasy lemon squeezy!


recipe adapted from: two peas and their pod

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin wednesday and what’s in your kitchen wednesday

root beer cookie sandwiches

there is definitely something about the heat of summer that makes you feel lazier than normal. or is that just me?

i mean with it being so dang hot, i don’t want to do anything. because doing something means i have to move and moving usually means getting hot and all sweaty. and who wants to be all hot and sweaty when it’s 9000 degrees outside?

and that just makes me mad when it’s a pretty day because i feel lazy for not going outside but i don’t want to melt. i mean it’s well established that me and heat are not friends.

but ya know what is good in the heat?

root beer floats….

but these are cookies. which means you have to turn on your oven…. i know i know… i make no sense.

but these cookies.

oh these cookies.

they really are just wonderful. i love root beer. if i’m going to have a coke, it’s probably going to be a root beer.

{side note: i’m from the south and EVERY soft drink is a coke. that’s just the way it is.}

so these are cookies that use root beer concentrate to flavor them instead of the traditional vanilla. and man are they good. plus they get turned into a cookie sandwich with root beer buttercream. i mean hello! could they be any more exciting?! i mean only unless you take a suggestion from shelly and skip the buttercream and use vanilla ice cream to make a root beer float sandwich cookie.

root beer cookiesroot beer sandwich cookies

  • 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg, room temp
  • 2 tsp root beer concentrate
  • 1-3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • root beer buttercream, recipe follows
  1. preheat oven to 375F. line your cookie sheets with parchment or a silicone baking sheet.
  2. in a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. add the egg and root beer concentrate; mix well. add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix until the batter is just combined.
  3. using a cookie scoop, drop dough scoops about 2 in apart on your prepared cookie sheets. (if you don’t have a cookie scoop, just make sure to make your dough balls about 1 tbs / 1 in in diameter.)
  4. bake the cookies for 6-8 min until the edges start to set. transfer to a cookie sheet to let cool completely. when the cookies are cooled make the sandwiches by adding the root beer buttercream or vanilla ice cream to the center and top with a second cookie.

root beer buttercream

  • 1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 2 tsp root beer concentrate
  1. add all the ingredients to a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy, about 2 min.

i can tell you that these cookies were like gold when i brought them to work. they disappeared extremely fast.


recipe from: cookies & cups

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin’ wednesday and what’s in your kitchen wednesday

birthday cake magic bars

so since it’s hot and i don’t like the heat it makes total since for me to be sharing something yummy that you have to bake right??

i know…

i’m terrible.

but let’s be honest…

even though it’s not evident here, i’ve been on a bit of a magic bar kick. true i’ve only shared one version with you but i’ve definitely made them at least 4 other times. i’ve been trying to dream up new combinations. (although those are taking a back seat to ice cream at the moment…)

some people like dorothy seem to have no problems dreaming up endless variations. but me? i seem to get stuck for some reason.

until i was recently trying to think of something that i could use the golden oreos with birthday cake filling…. see i needed to use most of the cookies in SOMETHING because i have NO self control when it comes to oreos in my house. i almost guarantee that if there is a package, it’s going to be gone within a couple days. like the rest of this package was gone in 3 days. i may or may not have had them for breakfast, pre-dinner snack and dessert.

but these magic bars are so so so good. i paired them up with the same brown butter sugar cookie crust from my dark chocolate almond magic bars. to that i added some slivered almonds and white chocolate chips. and then because what would these “birthday cake” magic bars be without some festiveness, i threw some colorful sprinkles on top! and although they require me to heat the oven, they are a total win in my book!

birthday cake magic barbirthday cake magic bars

  • 1 (17.5 oz) package sugar cookie mix
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) brown butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 c chopped golden birthday cake oreos
  • 1 c white chocolate chips
  • 1 c silvered almonds, slightly toasted
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • sprinkles
  1. preheat the oven to 350F. grease a 11×17″ or 9×13″ pyrex dish, depending on thick you’d like your bars.
  2. stir together the cookie mix, brown butter, egg, vanilla extract and almond extract together. press evenly in your  pyrex dish. sprinkle the oreos pieces evenly over the dough followed by white chocolate chips and toasted almonds. evenly pour the condensed milk over the top. add sprinkles.
  3. bake 23-30 min until the crust and top are golden. cool completely before slicing.

and now i’m drooling and realizing how i’m in desperate need of some more golden birthday cake oreos….


this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin’ wednesdays and what’s in your kitchen wednesdays

cookie monster ice cream

ugh it’s summer.

that means that i’m pretty much melting.

i mean….. i.don’

and at what point do you go from anticipating summer’s arrival to absolutely dreading it?

wait… i can answer that. when you get out of school and work full time. that mean’s there’s no summer break. that means all summer means to me at this point it heat, heat and more heat. and let’s be honest…. that’s what pretty much every month of the year means here. aside from a few days this past “winter”, i don’t think i had to bust out a coat…. definitely not gloves. i mean at least fall has football.

if you follow me on twitter or facebook, then you know that the thing that makes summer survivable is snoballs. but i’m going to be honest when i say that i’m not making snoballs at home. i know some will argue that making them are super simple…. just crush up some ice and slather on some sugar syrup.

except i hate to break it down to you.

that’s a sno-cone. not a snoball.

a snoball requires a snowizard machine to essentially shave the ice to the point of it being like barely frozen water that melts in your mouth.

ya know what else helps that i can make at home?

ice cream.

for reals.

and did you know that july happens to be national ice cream month? oh yes my friends. it’s a real thing. so that makes this the perfect way to start off a very hot july!! plus… what’s more american than ice cream?

(p.s. i don’t eat apple pie so don’t even try to say it….)

since getting my ice cream maker a couple months ago, i’ve been on an ice cream making kick. this one so far has been my favorite. so much so it’s the only one i’ve repeated. i was trying to think of a new flavor to try out when i thought about the scoop of ice cream i got when my dad and i went to creole creamery for father’s day eve dessert. this is their spin on the traditional cookies and cream. instead of just using chocolate sandwich cookies, they throw some chocolate chip cookies in the mix which adds that je ne sais quois to the ice cream.

cookie monster ice creamcookie monster ice cream

  • 3/4 c vanilla sugar*
  • 1 c whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1-1/2 c roughly chopped cookies
  1. warm the vanilla sugar, milk, 1/2 c of the heavy cream and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat; stirring just until the sugar dissolves. cover and remove from heat; let steep for 1 hour.
  2. pour the remaining 1-1/2 c of heavy cream and vanilla extract into a large bowl with a fine mesh strainer on top. add the egg yolks to a medium bowl; whisk together.
  3. after the sugar / milk mixture has steeped, return to low heat and gently rewarm. slowly pour the warmed sugar / milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. add the mixture back to the saucepan.
  4. raise the heat to medium and stir constantly with a rubber spatula; be sure to scrape the bottom of the saucepan as you’re stirring. stir the mixture until it has thickened enough to coat the back of the spatula; meaning that when you take the spatula out of the base, you can run your finger down the middle and the line stays.
  5. pour the base through the strainer and stir into the cream. allow the mixture to cool completely before covering the bowl and placing in the fridge to thoroughly chill, at least 8 hours but preferably overnight.
  6. when you’re ready to churn your ice cream base, freeze the mixture according to your machine’s directions. during the very last minute or so, add in the chopped cookies. you want to make sure they are thoroughly mixed in which you will have to ensure by mixing the ice cream before transferring to a freezer-safe container. store in the freezer and devour!

*there are 2 ways to make vanilla sugar:

  1. the fastest: split a vanilla bean in half and cut into 1″ pieces. add the bean to the bowl of a food processor with the 3/4 c sugar; pulse until the vanilla bean is broken up well. sift the sugar through a fine mesh strainer to remove any large pieces of remaining vanilla bean
  2. the reusable: split 2 vanilla beans and let dry out slightly. place in a large container (i use a 1 qt mason jar) and fill with sugar. give the container a good shake every day or so. whenever you split another vanilla bean for another recipe, place the remaining vanilla bean pod in the vanilla sugar container. anytime you use some of the vanilla sugar, just refill the container with sugar, give it a really good shake, and continue to shake it every day or so.

help me out with some ideas……. what ice cream flavors are you looking forward to this summer??


recipe adapted from: the perfect scoop by david lebovitz

this post is linked up to these fun link parties: what’s cookin’ wednesday and what’s in your kitchen wednesday