Rhubarb Spice Cake

This cake is full of spicy fall flavors that are nicely complimented by small chunks of rhubarb. This cake is soft, yet not as moist as I'd like. It goes really well with a tall glass of milk. This is a nice, subtle way to enjoy rhubarb. :)


Slow Cooked Tequila 'Refried' Beans

These beans aren't actually refried because they are made completely in the slow cooker, not fried. They are much healthier than traditional refried beans and pack a lot more flavor. These beans are thick and creamy with a hint of lime and a kick of tequila. You could definitely keep out the jalapenos and tequila if that's not your sort of thing, but I would recommend sticking to the recipe. Trust me. These are by far the best refried beans I've ever had. If you haven't tried homemade refried beans yet... Do it. Now. :)



Homemade Carpet Deodorizer

Having a new puppy who is in the process of being housebroken means you can expect accidents to happen on your carpets. Store bought carpet deodorizers can become pretty expensive in the long run, so I decided to make my own. It's as simple as having some baking soda, and a fragrance. You can use any fragrance you want whether it be flowers or your favorite spice from the kitchen to get your carpets smelling their best.

What you'll need-

•Baking soda. How much you need depends on how much carpet you have to cover.
Something to put the baking soda in, preferably a mason jar.
•Fragrance of your choice. This can be a flower (like lavender), scented oil, or even a kitchen spice such as cinnamon. I used my favorite scented wax. You can pick it up at whole-sale stores, like wal mart.

What to do-

Pour the baking soda into an air tight jar. How much you use depends on how big of an area you want to cover. I used about ¾ cup for my 12x12' living room.
Add the fragrance of your choice to the jar of baking soda, and give it a good shake to combine. If you're using scented oil it will clump, you'll need to break up these clumps to allow all of the baking soda to combine with it. Let the mixture sit for at least an hour to allow the baking soda to soak up the scent.
Lightly sprinkle the scented baking soda over the surface of your carpet. Let sit anywhere from 15 minutes to overnight. Vacuum as usual.

Now you have clean carpets that smell the way you want them to, not the way he makes them! :)

Side note: I finally found the original recipe I used to make Sweet Honey Cornbread. Now you have it, too!

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Sour Cream Peach Pecan Pie

This pie is made by putting peaches in a pie dish and covering them with a mixture of sugar, eggs, and sour cream that transforms into a sweet custard when baked. It's topped off with a yummy brown sugar and pecan streusel.

While baking, the custard in my pie started forming a top crust before I could cover it with all of the streusel topping, which is supposed to be a very thick layer. The filling also did not firm up as much as the source's picture shows, but it still cut very well and held it's shape for the most part.

The combination of fresh peaches, sweet custard filling, and pecan streusel made this pie truly amazing! The flavors, as well as the textures, are fantastic. This is one pie that you will definitely want to try before saying goodbye to summer. :)


Dorie's Dimply Plum Cake

Plums are good.
Having never baked with them before, I instantly wanted to bake this cake the first time I saw it. The Man was suspicious of it, but I knew it would be yummy. It is a Dorie Greenspan recipe, after all. And I trust Dorie. :)

The cake is very easy to make, the longest part is always the actual bake time which in this case is 40 minutes. This cake is very moist and has a fantastic flavor! I was hoping that the plums would have given it something special, but they were just plums. The Man isn't fond of them, but he happily ate the surrounding cake. I'm thinking of making another, but next time I will slightly cook the plums in a brown sugar/butter mixture, sort of like I did for the peaches in my Rum Spiked Peach Cobbler. This will make the plums sweeter (mine were a bit tart), and give the whole cake more flavor.


Shortcut Slow Cooker Chili

My pregnant sister was dying for some chili, so I invited her and our younger sister over for dinner. That meant 2 extra mouths to feed (3 if you count preggers) than what I'm used to. So, I wanted a recipe that would be really, really easy and very fast to whip up. Enter this chili.

I thought this chili turned out amazing, it had so many great flavors. It came out thick, with just the right amount of juices. The recipe itself is not too spicy, so I added some extra chili powder to give it a little more kick.

We enjoyed it with Sweet Honey Cornbread. Alexis and I ate it by taking a spoon of cornbread and scooping up the chili on top of it. Very yummy! I also like to eat mine topped with crushed saltine crackers. And, of course, it's good with shredded cheddar.

The best thing about this recipe is how quick and easy it is. You pretty much just throw everything into the slow cooker and forget about it. Nothing is better than coming home from a long day to the wonderful smell of chili ready to be eaten. :)


Sweet Honey Cornbread

My favorite recipe for cornbread.
This Sweet Honey Cornbread is really yummy. The texture is nice and moist, not overly dry like some others, and it has the perfect sweetness. The Man took a bite and asked 'Why haven't you made this before?!'. Even my 9 year old sister kept coming back for more. Actually, I'm damn sure she ate more cornbread than the chili that I served it with.
I will definitely never have a need for another cornbread recipe. :)


Corn Tortilla Enchiladas

Enchiladas are my favorite Mexican dish. Growing up, my family ate a lot of them, so often that enchiladas were the first dish I knew how to cook on my own. They're great because you don't really need a set recipe, just meat, tortillas, and sauce, then you can throw in whatever else you like.

I really like this recipe from Pioneer Woman.
For one it doesn't use just canned sauce itself; it combines the canned stuff with chicken broth and spices making it way better. Two, it gives the meat filling texture and great flavor by adding onions and chiles. Three, it uses corn tortillas that are gently fried and then dipped into the red sauce. Dipping the tortillas was definitely the hardest task to accomplish for this dish, but the end result was well worth it.

These Enchiladas are very good. I made these for dinner while my two younger sisters were staying with us, and they both loved them! I know I've done something right when my picky-eater sister gobbles down something I've made, like she did that one time.

If you follow the recipe as is, it doesn't make a very spicy dish, so the only thing I changed to this recipe was adding a small can of hot tomato sauce. I like my Mexican food to be SPICY. The spicier the better!  I also added green onions to the meat filling. Next time, I'll make these with chicken, just cause I like it better than beef(in this case I used ground turkey). :)


Les Madeleines Patisserie

To stick with the sweet theme of my blog, my dive of choice this month was Les Madeleines Bakery. They offer a gorgeous selection of pastries, cakes, and candy, as well as breakfast and lunch sandwiches. Everything here is made from scratch, using the finest ingredients. The chef, Romina Rasmussen, trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York, and was even named best pastry chef in 2007 by Salt Lake Magazine.

My sister, Alexis, is expecting a baby, and I've been wanting to treat her to something yummy, so I brought her along with me. We went at 9 in the morning so we could enjoy some breakfast sandwiches with our sweets. The sandwiches were something you could definitely make at home, but they were really good! They were made on wheat bread full of melted butter, with a real egg (which they get locally), and a slice of actual cheese, not that processed crap.

Alexis went with the ham, egg, and cheese sandwich.

I chose plain old egg and cheese. My egg ended up being cooked slightly over-easy, which is what I like. I'm sure you'd be able to request that your egg be cooked harder if you like.

This is their specialty. It translates to 'butter bread', and comes from Brittany. I've read that only 6 bakeries in the U.S. make this, and one just happens to be here in Salt Lake! This pastry is so popular, that Madeleines limits you to only 6 without a 72-hour pre-order. I can definitely see why! Kouing-Aman has a crunchy, caramelized crust that breaks open to reveal a soft, gooey, buttery, sweet, and flaky inside. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the inside, but I gobbled it up. It truly is heaven!

I've never had a french macaron before, so I got this Raspberry Button. It was ok, a little to much raspberry for me though.

We also tried this Butter Toffee Shortbread. Yum.

Black & White cookie. Very soft, I like the chocolate/vanilla icing.

Canellé. This has a dark, caramelized crust, and a very tender center. I thought this was pretty good, very interesting.

Alexis chose this cookie, which I can't remember the name of. It was really yummy.

I highly suggest stopping by Madeleines for breakfast or lunch. Do NOT leave there without first grabbing a Kouing-Aman, or two... or three....  :)
Check out their website to see all of the great pastries and sandwiches they offer.

Les Madeleines
Patisserie & Cafe
216 E 500 S
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 8 - 6, Saturday 8 - 4, Closed Sunday & Monday.

Les Madeleines Patisserie on Urbanspoon


Bleu Cheese & Pear Muffins

 I am not what someone would call a 'picky eater'. I  love all kinds of food, especially flavors that are unique, and I feel there is no harm in trying everything at least once. I love this recipe because it uses two familiar ingredients that most wouldn't think to combine, creating a unique flavor of it's own.

The first time I made these Bleu Cheese Pear Muffins I thought for sure they'd be a hit, so I kindly brought them to my mom's house for the whole family to enjoy. I forgot, though, bleu cheese does not sound very enticing to many people, and to those people it can taste even worse than it sounds. Turns out my brother, sister, and mother all loathe bleu cheese. I had to force these down their throats get on my knees begging them to try just one! My hard work ended up getting disgusted looks, and spit into the trash.

Oh well. That just meant more for me and the Man, which we were perfectly fine with. At least We know how to enjoy the wonderful tang of bleu cheese. :)

This recipe calls for the muffins to be made in a mini muffin pan, but this time I wanted to try regular sized muffins. They were both good, however the mini muffins pack so much more flavor into them. A flavor that I should clarify I absolutely love. I really appreciate the flavor that bleu cheese delivers. Whenever I see anything that incorporates bleu cheese, I die to try it. The tanginess of the cheese is a great counterpart to the sweet pears. Definitely a wonderful team that any true Foodie will enjoy. :)


S'mores Cupcakes

I'm sure you've seen these before. They're everywhere! A classic campfire treat turned into a fluffy cupcake. I adore s'mores. I have to have one (two...three..) everytime I'm around a campfire. Even when I'm not camping, I still eat s'mores toasted over the stove.

I don't really like cake. BUT. I'm a huge fan of the lighter, fluffier, portable cupcake. As you can guess, once I saw this dessert- a combination of two things I love- I wanted to try them right away.

There's a few different ways to make a S'more cupcake. One recipe makes a chocolate cupcake with a graham cracker mixture stirred in. Another one makes a graham cracker 'crust' which is then topped with chocolate cupcake. And one makes just a plain old graham cracker cupcake. Of course, they're all topped off with marshmallow frosting, and a little drizzling of chocolate. I DO NOT like chocolate cake (or ice cream, frosting, i can barely even stand plain chocolate), so I chose to go with the plain graham cracker cake recipe.

This cake is awesome. It's the fluffiest cupcake I've ever had. These also have the perfect graham cracker flavor, because the recipe  doesn't use much flour, but instead uses crushed graham crackers. Even though these do not rise very much, I would strongly suggest that you don't fill the cups more than half full. I've made these twice now, and both times I've tried filling the cups ¾ of the way. But, this just causes a hanging lip to form on the cupcakes.

Did I mention how heavenly these smell while baking?

I absolutely love these cupcakes plain, just the way they are. But if you really want a s'mores cupcake you can go ahead and top them with some yummy marshmallow frosting and chocolate. You could use a kitchen torch to toast the top of the marshmallow, but if you're a poor girl like me and you don't own a fancy torch, you can just stick them under your oven's broiler for a few seconds. These taste amazing! Definitely the best S'more I've ever had. :)


Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna is probably my favorite dish of all. I love the pasta, the cheeses, the meaty sauce.. it's all so good. I cook for only two people which makes it difficult to make a whole lasagna because half of it ends up going to waste. Because of this we don't get to enjoy my favorite dish very often. That is until I came across this very simple version.

Lasagna roll ups are an excellent way to enjoy lasagna. I love how simple they were to make, I love that the individual portions make serving very easy, and most of all I love that they can be individually frozen and reheated.

To make this recipe healthier I would use whole wheat lasagna (too bad I didn't have any) and ground turkey (both of which I normally substitute in recipes that call for pasta/meat). If you can find italian style ground turkey use it, it tastes great in this dish. I also used store-bought spaghetti sauce (one of the very few things I don't make myself). We went with Newman's Own Sockarooni sauce. It's definitely our favorite sauce to use, it has a fantastic flavor and nice chunks of peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms...everything!

I really liked making lasagna this way, and I plan on sticking to it! :)


Blueberry Zucchini Banana Bread

Zucchini bread is one of my favorites. I saw this very colorful Blueberry Zucchini Bread on Closet Cooking. I loved the idea of combining zucchini and blueberries. I decided to go with my favorite recipe for zucchini bread, I also had some very ripe bananas that I didn't want to just throw out, so I just tossed them into the mixture creating a blueberry zucchini banana bread.

If you like zucchini bread, you're sure to love this one. This bread has the same great moistness that you'd expect from both zucchini and banana bread. The zucchini flavor is awesome! And, the sweet blueberries really add something special. The only thing I didn't like was that the banana was non existent. It couldn't be tasted at all! Maybe next time I'll use a little more...? I'll definitely experiment with this bread until I can get the right amount of flavor from both the zucchini and banana. :)


Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream

Link to recipe at bottom of post.

I fell in love as soon as I saw this over on Susi's Kochen Und Backen Adventures.

Brown butter? Just plain awesome.
Candied bacon? Bacon cooked in brown sugar. Need I say more?

I love both of these ingredients. Brown butter is a simple way to add amazing flavor to pretty much anything, and candied bacon is something I use quite a bit in most recipes that call for plain bacon. It's sweet and salty goodness just can't be denied! I've never heard of using either of these to flavor ice cream, but I knew this one would be a sure winner.

Remember when I said my peach cobbler ice cream was my new favorite?
Well, I spoke way too soon!
I think this ice cream is so good that if I had to choose the proper word to describe how I feel about Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream, it would have to be.... Orgasmic.

Naughty, I know. But this ice cream really won me over!
First you're met with the nutty flavor of the creamy brown butter ice cream, which I LOVE. Nothing beats the flavor of brown butter! Then you find yourself stumbling upon crispy pieces of sweet and salty bacon, throwing your tastebuds through one hell of a ride.
This is absolutely a match made in heaven!

I'm going to send you all over to Susi's blog for the recipe.

Susi's Kochen Und Backen Adventures is one of my very favorite food blogs. I enjoy reading every post, getting the chance to learn more about her and her family bit by bit. Not to mention Susi cooks and bakes some wonderful food, posting delicious photos. Her husband and kids are very lucky. I wish I lived close enough to invite myself over for dinner, her food always makes me drool! My favorite part of her blog is a section she does every Friday called Ice Cream Fridays in which she shares really interesting and delicious ice cream recipes. Actually, she was the first to introduce me to David Lebovitz, which I'm really happy about :).


   I was very close to giving up on my blog because I thought no one was looking my way, or even cared what I had to say. You came along and left so many nice comments, more than I've ever gotten from one person. Your kindness gave me the drive to continue writing my blog. Thank you!
You've done a fantastic job with your own blog, and I look forward to watching it grow more and seeing what else you have in store! :)

Here's the recipe for Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream.

Here are some more of my favorite recipes from Susi's Kochen Und Backen Adventures:

Tequila Refried Beans - Oh.. My...
Snickerdoodle Cupcakes - Why haven't I made these yet? One of my favorite cookies turned into a cupcake, what could be better?
Bacon-Spinach Mashed Potatoes - Love this. Great way to enjoy my favorite food.
Gingered Carrot Cookies - I'm a big carrot cake lover. These are fantastic!

Enjoy! :)

To ALL of my readers-
  Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my blog. I love reading all the comments from you guys, every one I get makes me love doing this that much more. Thanks for being there to support me!


Blue Cheese and Garlic Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback. My new favorite way to enjoy a potato. These fancy looking potatoes seem like they'd be hard to make, but they are actually really easy and they taste fantastic! Once cooked, hasselback potatoes have some great textures. On the outside they are lightly crisp, while the inside is very soft and creamy. Definitely unlike any other potato!

While these potatoes can certainly be eaten plain, I wanted to add some flavor so I chose to put some garlic in. You want to be sure to slice the garlic as thin as you possibly can. This allows it to cook up nicely, giving the potato the right amount of flavor. I had sliced some too thick and we ended up having to pick out the garlic slices before eating because the flavor was just too strong. So slice it THIN!

It doesn't stop there!

I thought some blue cheese would be the perfect thing to top these off. Blue cheese is fantastic! It adds a wonderful tang to the potatoes that I just can't get enough of. :)


Lucky Charms Treats

I love Rice Krispie Treats, but I tend to get bored of the same old thing. Instead, I made marshmallow treats using one of my favorite cereals - Lucky Charms!!

I think this worked out really well. The marshmallow slightly softens the cereal, giving it a nice chewy texture. And, because the cereal is already sugary, these are sweeter than a traditional rice krispie treat.

I'd recommend rolling these into balls instead of cutting into squares, just because it would be easier. Enjoy! :)

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