Kitchen Snapshots (moments behind the posts)

What’s that saying? Baby, it’s cold outside? Ha! It’s freakin’ freezin’ out there. I can’t remember ever having so many days with below zero temperatures. I heard last night on the local news that Alaska’s temperature was higher than Connecticut’s. Seriously?


Between shivering and dashing in and out of the house when necessary, I did find time to work on a couple of new recipes. I came across a dog treat recipe and baked it up for the pups. Epic. Recipe. Fail. Even the dogs weren’t impressed. So I was left with a bag of almond flour and a bag of coconut flour, which weren’t inexpensive so I decided to tweak the recipe – significantly and my first attempt (below is a picture of them just before going into the oven) turned out pretty good. Susie & Billy eagerly ate them up. I have the best taste-testers. :)

PumpkinCocoDogTreats1 001

And after some time outside playing in the snow they did work up an appetite so it was nice to have a homemade snack waiting for them.


Next up was a brownie recipe. After clearing all of the snow I worked up an appetite and brownies…well, they are the best treat when you need to thaw out. And when you’re at the beginning of writing a new short story. To fend off the winter chill, I’ve set the culinary mystery in the summer and smoothie recipes are being blended up along with a little foul play.


I’ll be sharing the pup’s treat recipe soon as well as the brownie recipe. I’ve also just signed up for an online cooking class, it’s my first one so I’m curious about how it will turn out and I’ll definitely share my experience with you. I also have a cookbook that I’ve been eager to cook from and share with you. There’s so much and I’m very excited about all that’s coming.

Well, that’s a quick glimpse of what’s been going on in my kitchen. What’s cooking in your kitchen now? Don’t be shy, share.

From my kitchen to yours,

Back Around The Table by David Venable

David Venable’s enthusiasm for food and cooking shines through on his two weekly programs on QVC and through his most recent cookbook, Back Around the Table. From appetizers to brunch to smoothies to easy meals with pressure cookers, this cookbook meets us where we live, how we want to entertain and how we cook. There are so many recipes I want to try but so far I’ve made only two. Both required time and I wouldn’t be able to make them during the week. As I read through the book I found that there was a good balance of recipes that I could pull together after work and others that were definitely a weekend meal for us. I would have liked more food photographs in the book. There’s a recipe for Apple-Cinnamon Muffins with Caramel Sauce – that’s a photo I would have loved to have seen.


By David Venable
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (October 2014)

Lets get right to the food. So far I’ve made two recipes from the cookbook. The Beef Lasagna Roll Ups were delicious and perfect for dinner on a snowy day. Coming inside from clearing our inches of snow and battling the harsh winds then sitting down to a pretty plate of comfort food filled with cheese and topped with cheese was awesome. And the Roll Ups made for great leftovers.

DavidsLasRolls A


The second recipe I made was Peppers Stuffed with Beef and Orzo. I love peppers and when they are stuffed with all sorts of goodness, orzo, onions, garlic and topped with cheese, I’m a very happy gal. Sitting down to this dish after a day of writing was a nice reward. This recipe was also great for leftovers which was a big help on a busy work night.



For me this cookbook is a keeper. I’m looking forward to trying more recipes from David Veneble’s cookbook because it’s filled with tasty inspiration!

From my kitchen to yours,

Fifty Shades of Chocolate

Talk about a perfect romantic storm – Valentine’s Day and the premiere of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. In honor of one of the most anticipated movie releases and the most romantic holiday of the year I’m sharing 50 links for decadent, sinfully delicious chocolate recipes. No doubt you’ll dominate (sorry, couldn’t resist :) ) in the kitchen if you whip up any of these chocolate treats.

Chocolate Brownies


1) Averie Cooks – Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies
2) Annie Eats – Chocolate Caramel Tartlets for Two
3) Coffee & Quinoa – Salted Chocolate Almond Mug Cakes (vegan & GF)
4) Culinary Couture – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
5) Tartelette – Chocolate Eclair
6) Chocolate & Zucchini – Chocolate Starter Bread
7) Bella’alimento – Chocolate Ravioli
8) Tide & Thyme – Chocolate Salted Caramel
9) A Cup of Jo – Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with pretzels
10) Tracey’s Culinary Advertures – Glazed Choolate Pound Cake
11) Savory Nothings – The World’s Best Brownies
12) Vanilla & Bean – Dark Chocolate Cocoa Nib and Shortbread Cookies
13) My Custard Pie – Homemade Chocolate Truffles
14) Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen – Nut Free Banana Chocolate Chip Date Bars
15) Dominican Cooking – Ponche de Chocolate (chocolate eggnog)
16) Sally’s Baking Addiction – XXL Death by Chocolate Cookie
17) Baker by Nature - Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Banana Donuts
18) Simple Green Moms – Skinny Cherry Chocolate Shakes
19) Kitchen Sanctuary – Chocolate Orange Chewy Cookies
20) Jen’s Favorite Cookies – Chocolate Cheesecake
21) Stew or Story – Gluten-free Chocolate Coconut Cookies
22) Just A Taste – German Chocolate Brownie Bites
23) Half Baked Harvest – Kahlua Chocolate Pudding with Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
24) Warm Vanilla Sugar – Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows and Perfect Hot Chocolate
25) Pink Recipe Box – Healthy Chocolate Cake Waffles


26) Cassie’s Kitchen – Irresistible Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies
27) The Moonblush Baker – Chocolate Crackle Bark
28) Steamy Kitchen – Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookie Recipe
29) Life On Food – Macaroon Blossoms
30) 101 Cookbooks – No Bake Chocolate Cake Recipe
31) Bring Back Delicious – Simply Delicious Flourless Chocolate Cake
32) Soymilk & Honey - Banana, Oatmeal, & Chocolate Chip Cookies
33) Dessert For Two – Mini Chocolate Layer Cakes
34) Ciao Florentina – Chocolate Covered Orange Slices
35) Displaced Housewife – Double Chocolate & Espresso Whoopie Pie
36) A Calculated Whisk – Salted Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies
37) The Wanderlust Kitchen – Costa Rican Chocolate Bread Pudding
38) The Merchant Baker – Black Cocoa Brownies
39) Chic and Sugar – Chocolate Chip Heart Pancakes
40) Cookie Named Desire – Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins with Graham Flour
41) The Recipe Rebel – Heartbreak Chocolate Truffle Cookies
42) Bake with Christina – Red Velvet Cake in a Mug
43) Treats & Eats – S’mores Hot Chocolate
44) Chef Savvy – 5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles
45) Pumpkin n’ Spice – Chocolate Brownie Brittle Creme Brulee
46) Cooking with Manali – Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
47) Ceara’s Kitchen – Chocolate Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
48) Bakerita – Banana Cocoa Cake with Almond Butter Swirl (Paleo)
49) Carmel Moments – Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting
50) Whisk & Shout – Jumbo Chocolate-Covered Strawberries & Creme Cups

A friend of mine suggested that the title of this post may be a little misleading and I considered her comment but decided this is a a G-rated food blog. However, if you choose to experiment with chocolate in other ways other than culinary then that’s up to you. :) I’m just providing a little tasty inspiration.

Gingerbread Muffins

Before we ring in 2015 I’d like to share one more recipe that I made during Christmas. Healthy Gingerbread Muffins. Immediately I was intrigued, I’d never bake gingerbread muffins before so I was all in. I shared these muffins with my neighbors and received enthusiastic feedback. They were a hit. Well, look at this muffin, how could it not be a hit?


When the muffins were baked and cooling, I took the time to take the pups out of a walk and when we returned home I was greeted by the heavenly scent of gingerbread. The house was warm and the smell of Christmas lingered in the air. Luckily for me the muffins had cooled.


I made a cup of tea and broke into one of those bad boys. Heavenly. Moist. And so delicious.


If you get a craving for anything gingerbread consider whipping up a batch of these muffins. Since the recipe isn’t mine, I found it on Pinch of Yum, you’ll have to visit their blog for the recipe. Trust me, it’s well worth the trip over to their blog.

Happy New Year!

Kitchen Snapshots (christmas baking recap)

For weeks I’ve been making cookie dough and baking cookies and now it’s time to call it a wrap. Christmas cookie baking season has finally ended and this over-sugared baker is looking toward a new year that has no sprinkles, no almond flavored icing or festive cookie cutters. To be honest, I’m all cookie’d out. And I really do not want to see another cookie until, perhaps, Ground Hog’s Day.

As I say goodbye to Christmas cookie baking I’d like to share a few photographs I snapped in my kitchen as I baked my way through December.










All of this baking was done under the careful watch of my little kitchen helpers, Susie & Billy. Apparently all that watching can be exhausting.


Susie’s had a little bed-head action going on. She hears the camera and she pops awake for her close-up. :)


Now with all the baking done and Christmas 2014 over, I’m looking forward to a big pot of soup. Butternut squash to be exact. But I’m also thinking that I’d like to make a pot of chicken soup too. And serve both with salads. I tend to crave salads and fruit after the holidays. I want something light and refreshing and the combo of soup and salad fits that bill for me. But before I whip up some soup, I’m off to my treadmill because I ate many of those cookies…and cakes. I enjoyed every bite. :)

With the holidays behind us and the New Year just days away, what’s your foodie craving?