Blueberry Almond Granola

After about 7 tries I think I got it. This granola is the bomb. DSC_0129 I still need to tweak a couple things but I’m happy with the flavor, texture and look of it. I may need to add a little more sweetener (granola is all about the sugar, unfortunately). I know I just shared a granola recipe with you a couple weeks ago but I was just not feeling it, so I want you to try this one! I have a few other types I want to try out as well! Imagine this: peanut butter and jelly flavor…yum! I also want to do some sort of cinnamon/apple combo…stay tuned.   DSC_0124 Thank you guys so much for your concern…I didn’t catch the sickness! Plus, Mikey was feeling OK on Saturday and we were able to make it to our derby party! For those of you who don’t have Instagram, I’ll share a photo from the day with you. It was so fun to see our friends all dressed up for a great cause! IMG_7531 I am feeling super inspired lately and I am excited for some fun new upgrades to the blog! I have a great friend who is going to work on some branding for me and hopefully I will have an updated blog for you within the next month or so! I am working on my yoga site as well and will share that with you when it’s ready. Change is good and I am ready to see what is in store! While you wait for the changes, try making this granola! Fill some Mason jars and give them to your friends, neighbors or enemies. They will all love you for it! DSC_0116   DSC_0109   DSC_0097     DSC_0114     Continue reading

Individual Banoffee Pie’s

Have you ever heard of a Banoffee Pie?

It turns out a ton of people have not. I made these the other day and I had to explain what they were to everyone. All you need to know is that they are delicious…(and simple to make!).

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When Mikey and I were engaged and then first married we lived in Madison, WI and both worked in restaurants. Mikey was the manager at an Irish Pub and therefore I spent almost all my time there when I wasn’t working.

We both gained about 20 pounds our first year of marriage. Between the chocolate fondue (I worked at the Melting Pot. Cheese and chocolate for days) and the pub fries and beer at the pub…we put on a few lbs.

One of my favorite things to get at the pub was their Banoffee Pie. It is an English dessert that includes bananas, whipped cream, graham crust and Dulce de Leche…Here is the history behind it if you’re interested.

I absolutely love the combination of everything together. The salty crust, with the sweet Dulce de Leche and the combo of the banana with the fluffy whipped cream…heaven. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Since it has bananas it counts as a healthy breakfast, right!?

I also love serving dessert in a jar. No matter what is in it, I swear it will taste better if served in a mason jar! Trust me when I say this pie is amazing. You don’t have to make them in individual jars if you don’t want to. You can always just make one giant pie. Layer the crust, bake for about 10 minutes at 350, add the Dulce de Leche, followed by the bananas, whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate!

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Crème Brûlée

I love when I can use a torch to make dessert. I think it makes it taste at least 50% better, plus you look like a boss when you have a giant flame in your hands.

This vanilla bean creme brulee was sooooooooooooooooo good and actually super easy to make!

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I was never a big creme brulee fan until a couple years ago. Mikey loveeeeeeeeeeeeees it and so we started ordering it for dessert and now I am obsessed. I actually made this brulee back in February and have waited until this moment to share the sweet, vanilla beany, creamy amazingness that is this creme brulee. It’s so good I just made up a bunch of adjectives for it.

Just look at those specks of vanilla beans and that crunchy sugar crust.

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One thing I’ve discovered about creme brulee too is that it tastes great no matter what season it is. You can amp it up depending on the season and make it refreshing or decadent. You can add fruit to it in the summer and you can add spices to it in the fall and winter. It’s such a delicious and light dessert that will always impress your guests (or your cat and husband).

Norman was almost as big of a fan as Mikey. He got is paw into one of the ramekins at one point and spent the next hour in heaven as he thoroughly cleaned his paw.

I am so glad that we have finally started to warm up here in Chicago! Mikey and I came home to no snow in the city (aside from a couple snowbank piles here and there) and it was the greatest sight! I am looking forward to the weekend and celebrating St. Patrick’s day with some friends! You could absolutely make this creme brulee green with a couple drops of food coloring! Whatever festivities you are looking forward to this weekend, I hope you have a great time and enjoy the warmer weather!

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Creme Brulee

  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients:

1 Quart Heavy Cream

1 Vanilla Bean, Split and Scraped

1 Cup Sugar, Divided

6 Large Egg Yolks

2 Quarts Hot Water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees.

Put cream, vanilla bean and scraped seeds into a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean and save for a later use or discard.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and egg yolks. Whisk very well until they are completely blended and color begins to lighten to a light yellow color.

Add the cream, a little at a time making sure to whisk constantly so you don’t curdle the eggs.

Pour the egg mixture into your 6 (7-8oz) ramekins.

Take a large roasting or cake pan and place a tea towel or hand towel on the bottom.

Place your ramekins evenly into the roasting pan and pour water into the pan until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for about 40-45 minute or until the brulee is set. It should still tremble a bit in the center.

Let the ramekins cool and then refrigerate them for at least 2 hours (up to 3 days) before serving.

Once ready to serve. Remove from refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before browning with sugar.

Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of sugar over the 6 ramekins.

Using a torch, melt the sugar until it bubbles and becomes crispy on top. Let sit for about 5 more minutes and then serve with a spoon and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

Tell me what’s better than making cookies with your nephew.

Not only are these the BEST FREAKING COOKIES I’ve ever tasted…they were so fun to make with my little munchkin, Grady.

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Mikey and I got to spend the morning with this kid and we had such a blast. Uncle Mikey let him eat a ton of dough and candy and I eventually had to be the mean aunt who told him that he had had enough. We made cookies, chased after Norman and took a trek to the toy store where uncle Mikey wanted to buy Grady everything (we settled on some trucks).

We love spoiling our nieces and nephew (aka, filling them with sugar and sending them home with their parents). And don’t worry everyone (Mom), we can’t wait to eventually bake cookies and spoil our own little munchkins someday… But until that time, we just plan on stealing other peoples kids to spend the day with.

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A bit about these cookies: they are dangerously good. They are soft and chewy with a delicious peanut butter kick. We added Reese’s Pieces and chocolate chips to them which made the dough some of the best I’ve ever had. The secret ingredient that makes these extra tasty? A box of vanilla pudding. For some reason that magical bag of pudding powder adds the most incredible flavor and depth to cookies. I’m a big fan and know you would be too. Grady sure did love them!

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Cheesecake & Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Streusel

The Superbowl was last night and I am still full of food. I made brisket and pork carnitas tacos plus allllll the fixings and dips and chips and cookies and I ate it all and it was awesome.

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I love the Superbowl because it’s an excuse to eat a ton of junk food. Our friends made the trek though an amazing snow storm and everyone had hilarious stories from the journey over.

One of our friends got sprayed by a snow plow. Someone saw a guy lose his shoe in a snowbank. Mikey saw the poor plow guy back into our metal gate and break his bumper. I watched a guy try to dig his car out for an hour while his friends played football in the snow next to him.

It was a SUPERbowl indeed, filled with lots of laughs, food, drinks and stories. Which is making for a pretty tired and boring Monday. SO, I thought I’d brighten it up with this yummy cheesecake and pumpkin pie.

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It’s a mixture of graham crust, a layer of cheesecake, a layer of pumpkin pie and then topped with a cinnamon and pecan streusel. Basically all your favorite things!

It is easy to make and really tasty. It is super sweet so you cut thin slices and serve a ton with this pie!

I made a graham crust because that is my favorite, but I think a traditional crust would be better because it would be less sweet. You can try whatever you like best!

Check out how naughty Norman is. He kept swiping his paws up at this pie while I was trying to take pictures. Such a brat! (I guess I can’t blame him though).

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