Guacamole with Greek Yogurt

Guacamole with Greek yogurt is epic And by epic I mean completely scrumptious and ridiculously addictive. Instead of using the standard sour cream, I used low fat Greek Yogurt (Cabot of course) because it is what I had on hand. The good thing about using Greek yogurt is that it has almost double to protein […]

Garlic Bread Pasta

Garlic Bread Pasta is my new bae. You guys, seriously….this recipe comes straight from my Shelly’s cookbook, The Cookies & Cups Cookbook and IT.IS.AMAZING. I am trying not to eat so many carbs lately, and this recipe totally got me off the wagon. Literally, I could not stop eating it right out of the pan. […]

Chunky Tomato Soup

Chunky tomato soup with cheddar cheese croutons is the PERFECT way to celebrate National Grilled Cheese month. Yes, April is Nation Grilled cheese month which is probably one of the best months of the year. Annnnd, what goes the with grilled cheese?? Yep, you guessed it, tomato soup. I used to HATE tomato soup. And […]

Crab Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Butterfly Shrimp

  You guys…crab stuffed bacon wrapped butterfly shrimp! I know that is a lot to say in one breath, but these little nuggets are amazing. Sure, you can totally just eat the butterfly shrimp, but why? These are so easy and so delicious to make and they kinda make me feel fancy. One of my […]

Wrapped Brie with Tomato Chutney

Wrapped brie with tomato chutney is probably the most glorious food I’ve had in a while. Imagine this at your Easter table. This my not be a tradition Easter recipe, but why not switch things up a bit. You can’t live on ham and deviled eggs alone.  I am sure everyone will be super impressed. […]

Buttermilk Cornbread with Maple Buttermilk Glaze

Buttermilk Cornbread with Maple Buttermilk Glaze… didn’t you hear me say that with a thick country accent? Seriously, nothing says country than a nice big ol’ piece of cornbread. There was a time in my life when I didn’t like cornbread. I think it was during my rebellion years. But, thankfully I have gotten smart […]

My take on Tieks

  It is no secret that I am obsessed with Tieks. They are in my eyes, the perfect flats. I get tons of questions about them all the time, whether it be on-line or in person when I wear them. It only seems natural for me to answer some of the questions here for all […]

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Roasted cauliflower steaks are my absolute favorite way to eat this sometimes hated veggie. And it sure is heck of a lot better for you than drowning it with cheese sauce. Actually, it kinda makes me feel all adult like. Seriously, if you have been avoiding cauliflower, give this recipe a try and I bet […]

Valentine’s Day Heart Cake

Isn’t this Valentine’s Day Heart Cake precious? And what makes it even more precious is that my daughter helped me make it. It’s a simple cake that is just perfect for Valentine’s Day. I know there are folks out there that aren’t to keen on making a purely homemade cake. You know what, this cake […]

Eat Love Sandals

Back in October I had the most amazing opportunity to attend a blogger hosted conference at the  Sandals resort in Ochi Rios Jamaica. This was the first conference of it’s kind that I have attended. Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Jamie from My Baking Addiction were the queen planner behind this wonderful […]

Tuttorosso Challenge

It is no secret that I love Tuttorosso. Wayyyyy back in 2009, before a DSLR, and when I thought it was totally acceptable to use a flash for food photography and before Tuttorosso knew anything about me; I was professing my love for their products. See, here is my spaghetti and meatballs post. I loved the […]

Top 10 posts of 2015

2015. Oh what a year…a crazy busy year. I appreciate you sticking with me. Like every year, here are the top 10 posts from the year. Enjoy. 10) Apple Pie Oatmeal   9) Chocolate Kiss Crinkle Cookies 8) Slow Cooker Hot Italian Sausage Red Sauce   7) Cast Iron Apple Crumble 6) Orecchiette with Sweet […]

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Guacamole with Greek Yogurt

Guacamole with Greek yogurt is epic

And by epic I mean completely scrumptious and ridiculously addictive.

Instead of using the standard sour cream, I used low fat Greek Yogurt (Cabot of course) because it is what I had on hand. The good thing about using Greek yogurt is that it has almost double to protein of sour cream. I think it gives the guacamole a tad bit more zing too. Did I mention it’s addictive???

With Cinco de Mayo just a couple days away, you need to go out and grab yourself some avocados so you cam make this! It’s the perfect Cinco de Mayo recipe!!!

Oh and here’s a little tip on storage. You see guac HATES air, oxygen is the mortal enemy.
So to avoid O2 hitting your guac, take a piece of plastic wrap and press it down onto the surface of the guacamole and then cover it with a lid. This will prevent unnecessary browning.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Guacamole with Greek Yogurt
Author: 
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Guacamole with Greek Yogurt
Ingredients
  • 3 Avocados, fruit removed
  • 2 small Limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 Roma Tomato, seeded and finely minced
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro, minced
  • ½ cup Low fat or non fat Greek Yogurt (Cabot is my favorite)
  • ¼ cup minced red onion (about ⅛th of a medium onion)
  • Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, add avocado, lime zest and juice, tomato, jalapeño, garlic,cilantro, yogurt and onion.
  2. Mash and mix with a spoon until it is only semi chunky.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste.
Notes
Makes 2½ cups

 

Garlic Bread Pasta

Garlic Bread Pasta is my new bae.

You guys, seriously….this recipe comes straight from my Shelly’s cookbook, The Cookies & Cups Cookbook and IT.IS.AMAZING.

I am trying not to eat so many carbs lately, and this recipe totally got me off the wagon.

Literally, I could not stop eating it right out of the pan. And if you follow me on Snapchat (find me at leslieagreen), you would have seen my daughter fall on the floor in delight after she took her first bite.

And you can also tell how good it was because there is ZERO food styling in the pictures. I took the pan off the range and snapped some photos because Emma was breathing over my shoulder to eat ALL The Pasta!

Back to Shelly’s book. You all HAVE to order it… and I am not saying that because she is my friend.
First of all the photography is beautiful, which Shelly did all herself…I mean we do eat with our eyes first, right?
Second, there is a photo for all the recipes. I can’t stand cookbooks that don’t have a picture for each recipe. I like looking at all the pretty food.

Alllllll of the recipes are drool worthy and totally accessible. You know when you get a cookbook and there are like 5-10 things in it that you would make? Welp, not Shelly’s book. All of her recipes are amazing and simple to make.

Shelly also has great tips she offers up in her witty and fun to read cookbook!! ( No really, It IS fun to read, Shelly is super funny and it comes out in her writting)

Take a peek at just a couple of the yummy things….

Shelly gives us the recipe for the Perfect Buttercream!

These Creamy Coconut-Lime Squares are on my next to bake list.

Cookies and Cream Cookies……Oh. MY

And her book isn’t ALLLLL about the sweets, she has Savory Sections as well. Take a peek at this Frito Pie Sloppy Joe!!!!!

Great job Shelly, I am so very proud of you!!!!!!

_____________________________________________________________________

5.0 from 1 reviews
Garlic Bread Pasta
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Garlic Bread Pasta
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. cavatappi pasta
  • ½ cup (1 stick) plus 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • ¾ cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, continuing to cook the butter until browned and the color of deep amber, constantly swirling the pan so it doesn't burn.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the breadcrumbs, parsley, italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir the breadcrumbs to coat them in the butter and remove from the heat.
  5. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining ½ cup (1 stick) butter and garlic together. This infuses the butter with the garlic.
  6. Add the garlic butter to the bowl of pasta and toss to coat completely.
  7. Then add the buttered breadcrumbs and toss to coat.
  8. Serve hot.
Notes

 

Chunky Tomato Soup

Chunky tomato soup with cheddar cheese croutons is the PERFECT way to celebrate National Grilled Cheese month. Yes, April is Nation Grilled cheese month which is probably one of the best months of the year.

Annnnd, what goes the with grilled cheese?? Yep, you guessed it, tomato soup.

I used to HATE tomato soup. And when I say hate, I would gag if I even smelled it when my sister would eat it. But what I didn’t realize back then is that it was condensed canned soup. Condensed canned tomato soup would my ignite my gag reflex. I really didn’t know there were any other types of tomato soup, like, um…homemade.

You guys, either my gag reflex issues have been cured or I am a complete tomato soup convert.
I can’t get enough of it. It is so warm and comforting. I wish I could say it remind me of when I was a kid, but it doesn’t. I can though say that it reminds me that I am an adult and I can make my own delicious food.

Using the 2 different kinds to Tuttorosso tomatoes make it so quick and simple to make. You can literally have this soup on the table in 20 minutes!!


It doesn’t even need to be tomato season because you are using the Tuttorosso.
Every time you use a can of Tuttorosso Tomatoes, you know you aren’t compromising.
These canned tomatoes are picked at the peak of their summer ripeness and treated with the same care and attention as any Nona’s backyard garden.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chunky Tomato Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner, lunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Chunky Tomato Soup
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic; cook until soft.
  3. Add flour; cook and stir until moist.
  4. Gradually add milk, cooking and stirring about 2 minutes or until smooth and bubbly.
  5. Stir in crushed and diced tomatoes, basil, oregano and broth.
  6. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
  7. Stir frequently and do not let them mixture boil.
Cheddar Cheese Croutons
  1. Cut baguette into cubes and toss with olive oil and cheddar cheese. Spread onto baking sheet and place into a preheated oven at 350oF. Bake until croutons are golden brown and cheese is melted. Top soup with crouton.
  2. Serve soup with grilled cheese or refrigerated bread sticks.
Notes
Recipe courtesy Tuttorosso
Photographs from the Hungry Housewife

**This post is sponsored by Tuttorosso. All opinions are 100% mine**

Crab Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Butterfly Shrimp

 

You guys…crab stuffed bacon wrapped butterfly shrimp!
I know that is a lot to say in one breath, but these little nuggets are amazing.

Sure, you can totally just eat the butterfly shrimp, but why? These are so easy and so delicious to make and they kinda make me feel fancy.

One of my favorite seafood foods are crab cakes, so when I was developing this recipe I wanted to marry shrimp and crab cakes together and then well, bacon. Because BACON. It’s always fun to build on your favorite recipe.


I took a shortcut and used SeaPak Jumbo Butterfly Shrimp. Why prep and fry the shrimp yourself, when SeaPak has already done the messy work for you??!?!? You ever notice how much your house smells when you fry indoors? I swear the scent lingers for more than a day. That is another bonus to using the SeaPak Shrimp…NO STINKY house. Oh and they are delicious too, with sweet tender shrimp inside the nice crispy coating. I can certainly see why they are America’s favorite butterfly shrimp. The USDA recommends you eat at least two 4-ounce servings of seafood each week. Shrimp is an excellent way to meet that goal, especially for your pickiest esters!!

Click here to find SeaPak in your area.

Be sure to like SeaPak on Facebook
Take a peek at all of their lovely recipes on Pinterest and all their delightful photos on Instagram

5.0 from 1 reviews
Crab Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Butterfly Shrimp
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
A simple semi-homemade appetizer made with SeaPak shrimp.
Ingredients
Crab Stuffing
  • 8 oz lump crab meat
  • 3 tablespoons mayonaise
  • 2 geen onions, geen parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped fine
  • ¼ cup Panko crumbs
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 400º.
  2. Place bacon on rimmed being sheet lined with non-stick foil or parchment paper.
  3. Bake bacon for 10 minutes. (You want the bacon to be almost done, but not crispy).
  4. Remove and place on paper towel lined plate.
  5. Increase oven to 425º
Crab Stuffing
  1. In a medium bowl, mix crab,mayonnaise, green onions, parsley, panko crumbs, mustard, seafood seasoning, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Arrange shrimp on a baking sheet, place 1 tablespoon of crab filling on top of shrimp.
  3. Wrap bacon around shrimp with 2 ends under shrimp.
  4. Place shrimp bacon seam side down on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 14 minutes.
Notes
You will most likely have some excess crab filling.
Cover and store in refrigerator for 2 days or make a couple small crab cakes.
To make crab cakes, form into small patties, coat in bread crumbs and cook in a medium skillet over medium low heat with olive oil until crispy on both sides.

**Post sponsored by SeaPak, opinions and recipe are 100% mine**

Wrapped Brie with Tomato Chutney

Wrapped brie with tomato chutney is probably the most glorious food I’ve had in a while.

Imagine this at your Easter table. This my not be a tradition Easter recipe, but why not switch things up a bit. You can’t live on ham and deviled eggs alone.  I am sure everyone will be super impressed.

Not only is it beautiful, but the flavors are amazing. I would have no problem eating the entire dish by myself. It’s no secrete that I have will power issues.

I am proud to be serving as a Tuttorosso Ambassador. If you have be reading my site for ages, you will know I have always been a fan of their product, so I am thrilled to be working with them.
When it comes to cooking, you choose only the ingredients you trust, like Tuttorosso Tomatoes.
It’s the quality of these ingredients that help you serve love in every bite – that earn your loyalty. They earned my loyalty a LONG time ago.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Wrapped Brie with Tomato Chutney
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
Tomato Chutney
Wrapped Brie
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 13-16 ounce round Brie cheese
  • 1½ cups Tomato Chutney
Instructions
Tomato Chutney
  1. In a heavy saucepan combine all the above ingredients.
  2. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more, or until thickened and reduced to about 2 ½ cups.
  4. Place in a jar with a tight fitting let.
  5. Chutney will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
  6. Or to preserve, put chutney in canning jar and place in hot water bath for 15 minutes or heat mixture to boiling, put in mason jars and seal with lid and tightly turned ring.
  7. Turn upside down and allow to cool. Can be divided into smaller jars to give as gifts.
  8. Makes 2½ cup, preparation time 10 minutes and cooking time 1 hour.
Wrapped Brie
  1. Preheat oven to 400o F.
  2. Beat egg and water in a small bowl, set aside.
  3. Sprinkle work surface with flour to prevent pastry from sticking.
  4. Unfold thawed pastry sheet on floured work surface.
  5. Roll the pastry into about a 14 inch square.
  6. Spread about ½ cup of the chutney on the pastry to within 2 inches of the edge.
  7. Slice cheese in half horizontally.
  8. Remove top of cheese and spread remaining chutney on the cheese.
  9. Place the other half on chutney.
  10. Fold pastry up and over the cheese to cover.
  11. Trim any excess pastry and press to seal.
  12. Brush the seam with the egg mixture.
  13. Place wrapped brie, seam-side down onto a baking sheet.
  14. If you wish, you can decorate with pastry scraps. Brush top with egg mixture.
  15. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  16. Let stand 30-45 minutes before serving.
  17. Serve with thin slices of toasted Italian bread or crackers.
Notes
Recipe by Tuttorosso
Photographs by The Hungry Housewife

 

**This post is sponsored by Tuttorosso. All opinions are 100% mine**

Buttermilk Cornbread with Maple Buttermilk Glaze

Buttermilk Cornbread with Maple Buttermilk Glaze… didn’t you hear me say that with a thick country accent?
Seriously, nothing says country than a nice big ol’ piece of cornbread.

There was a time in my life when I didn’t like cornbread. I think it was during my rebellion years.

But, thankfully I have gotten smart over the years.
This is a semi-homemade recipe.
For the base, I used Martha White Sweet Yellow Cornbread and Muffin mix. Using mixes like this makes life so much easier if you are not a baker, or are just short on time. The package states just use water and egg. Instead of water I used buttermilk and added corn kernels to the mix (maybe my rebellion stage hasn’t left me completely).


And for the kicker, I made a scrumptious Maple Buttermilk Glaze that you pour all over the cornbread when it’s fresh out of the oven.

I mean really!

 

Wait, do you hear banjo music??

It might be the cornbread playing trick on me.

Nah, I wanted to tell you about a fun relationship between county music and Martha White. Country music and baking pretty much go hand in hand if you ask me. Just reminds me of “down home”.
Martha White is having a super cool giveaway on their Facebook page with The County Music Association. They are giving away 4 grand prizes that will include a trip for 2 to the CMA Music Festival in Nashville!! But hurry up and enter here, as the contest ends on March 14th!!!

MW CMA Festival Promo 2

Martha White has some pretty convenient and fun muffin mixes. My favorites are the Banana Nut and  the Wildberry. The sweet potato muffin mix is pretty great as well.

 

Buttermilk Cornbread with Maple Buttermilk Glaze
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
An easy a delicious cornbread with an irresistible maple buttermilk glaze.
Ingredients
Cornbread
  • Two 7oz packages Martha White Sweet Cornbread and Muffin Mix
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen(thawed) Corn Kernels
Glaze
  • 5 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons Powered Sugar
  • ⅓ cup Buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Real Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • pinch Coarse Kosher Salt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400. Grease a 10" cast iron skillet with shortening. Place in oven for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine cornbread mixes, buttermilk and egg in a medium mixing bowl;stir until smooth.
  3. Stir in corn.
  4. Carefully remove HOT skillet from oven and pour in cornbread mixture.
  5. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until golden.
Glaze
  1. In a small pan, melt butter. Stir in buttermilk and maple syrup.
  2. Add powdered sugar and which until smooth.
  3. Bring to a simmer and lightly boil for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and salt. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour over warn cornbread.
  6. Allow cornbread to slightly cool prior to slicing.

**This post is sponsored by Martha White. All opinions and recipes are 100% mine**

My take on Tieks

 

It is no secret that I am obsessed with Tieks. They are in my eyes, the perfect flats.

I get tons of questions about them all the time, whether it be on-line or in person when I wear them.

It only seems natural for me to answer some of the questions here for all to see.

Here are the top 5 questions I get when I wear or mention my Tieks.

 

  1. “What cute shoes, what store did you buy them?”
    Sorry folks, you can’t get them in a store. They are on-line order only. Some people are a bit put off by that since they can’t try on the shoes. Well, let me tell you, Tieks customer service is amazing. If for any reason you don’t like the fit, they will either try to make it right or refund your money.(as long as you don’t wear them outside and there is NO time limit)
  2. “I thought you couldn’t wear flats?” This question mainly comes from people that know my feet.
    I have wide feet, a very high arch, a super thin/narrow heel and an ever lasting case of plantar fasciitis. Normally I have to wear (not so attractive) shoes that have a very high arch support. Yes, I am 40 years old and have to wear orthotic shoes. Super glamorous indeed. I have had issues for as long as I can remember wearing flats because of these genetic mutations.
    So my day in typical flats used to consist of massive blisters on my heels (no matter how many times I wore the shoes), squished toes (remember my wide Flintstone feet?) and my plantar fasciitis screaming at me.
    In my Tieks, I can go SEVERAL days without my plantar acting up and my heels NEVER hurt. You see, Tieks are made of 100% supple Italian leather that stretches and form to my feet. This means no more squished Phalanges. And because the heel is cushioned and not rigid in the least bit, I no longer have to carry around band-aids in my purse form heels. I have had ZERO break in period with any of my Tieks.
    Now I will say that they do not have any arch support in them, but I think that because they have advanced foam cushions that my feet sit upon and the fact that they are uber flexible, help my plantar fasciitis from not act up after one wearing.
  3. “You paid HOW much for those shoes????They are just ballet flats.” I get that a lot too. Hmmmm, see above. If I can wear something on my feet that don’t make me want to cry halfway through the day, then YES, I paid that much for them!! Funny how people will pay almost that much for cheaply made sandals just because they is a big designer emblem on the top, but they balk at the price of Tieks. (Rolls my eyes). Tieks range from $175- $345. You can shop the Boutiek here.
  4. Do they just come in a couple colors? Lord have mercy no. If you can’t find a pair of Tieks that  match your outfit, then you are probably wearing a space suit. They are available in about 56 different colors. There are prints, patent leather, classic and they even have a Vegan Collection.
  5. “Love your Tieks”. Well this isn’t a question, but when you wear your Tieks and another Tieks owner sees them on your feet. You always get an , “I love your Tieks”. I’m pretty sure it’s a cult thing 😉

Now here is a little visual candy for you.

The packaging….isn’t it the cutest? They come nestled in this adorable box with a colorful flower adorning the top.

Aren’t they cute all cozy in the box??

Oh, did mention that they are foldable? They are the ultimate travel shoe and obviously extremely flexible!


They are so flexible, they they literally never lay flat.

You can just tell from this photo how soft they are and non-rigid the heel is.

Their signature non-skid split rubber soles.

And thisssss is my collection. My review is no joke people. I am obsessed with Tieks!!!!

I need to get on the ball and get some patent and prints, but I wanted to build up a collection of classic colors first so that they would match everything in my closet. I have about 7 more colors on my wishlist…California navy, metallic pewter, taupe,Tiek blue patent, mustard yellow, tangerine, and cream. So if anyone wants to get me any of those colors, feel free…I’m a size 8 😉

**This is not a sponsored post. I am talking about Tieks because I love them!!!**

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Roasted cauliflower steaks are my absolute favorite way to eat this sometimes hated veggie.

And it sure is heck of a lot better for you than drowning it with cheese sauce.

Actually, it kinda makes me feel all adult like.

Seriously, if you have been avoiding cauliflower, give this recipe a try and I bet you will fall in love all over again..minus the cheese sauce. Your arteries will thank me later.

Take a peek at how easy it it.

 

Trim the leaves and stalk off.

Slice into 1″ “steaks”. You may only get 2 whole “steaks” but that’s ok. Just slice the pieces the best you can.

Place on baking sheet

Slice garlic

Add it into a small pan with the EVOO and rosemary. Cook until light golden

With a pastry brush, brush oil over cauliflower and sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper.

 

Roast and sprinkle with parmesan cheese when done roasting. Add additional salt and pepper to your liking.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3 servings
 
Roasted cauliflower steaks are delicious and easy.
Ingredients
  • 1 head Cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, sliced into pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Reggiani Cheese, grated
  • Coarse Kosher salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. In a small pot add the olive oil, garlic and rosemary.
  4. Cook over medium low heat for about 5 minutes or until garlic becomes golden(but not burned).Remove from heat.
  5. Trim leaves and thick stalk off cauliflower.
  6. Using a large sharp knife, cut the cauliflower into ¼" "steaks". You may only get 2 good whole steaks. Slice the rest of the cauliflower the best you can into mini streaks.
  7. Brush both sides of the sliced cauliflower with the olive oil (discard garlic pieces) and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, carefully turning half way through.
  9. Sprinkle parmesan over cooked cauliflower.
  10. Serve

Another one of my favorite roasted vegetable recipe is my Roasted Brussel Sprouts.

Valentine’s Day Heart Cake

Isn’t this Valentine’s Day Heart Cake precious?

And what makes it even more precious is that my daughter helped me make it. It’s a simple cake that is just perfect for Valentine’s Day.

I know there are folks out there that aren’t to keen on making a purely homemade cake.
You know what, this cake is prefect for you.
It is a Doctored up cake mix cake.
You use a cake mix for the base and then add some extra special ingredients to give it that “not boxed taste”.

So for those of you who are scared or intimidated of making a homemade cake, I highly suggest this cake recipe for you. It was given to me by a friend years and years ago and it never fails.

The candy hearts are simple, skip melting white chocolate and adding food coloring..just use the red candy melts.

 

 

All cute and pipped onto a lined baking sheet

I am pretty sure I have the cutest helper in all the land…..

 

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Valentine's Day Heart Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 slices
 
An adorable easy Valentine's Day Cake
Ingredients
  • 1 16.5oz Classic Yellow boxed Cake Mix
  • 1 3oz box Jell-O Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 1 envelope Dream Whip
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup Water
  • ¼ cup Oil
Frosting
  • 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups Crisco Shortening
  • ½ teaspoon Table Salt
  • 1½ teaspoon Butter Flavoring
  • 1½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract ( if you want really white frosting use a clear vanilla)
  • ⅛ teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 2 pounds Powdered Sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons Water
Valentines Hearts
  • ½ bag of Red Candy Melts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Spray 2 8" cake pans with non-stick baking spray and line with parchment paper rounds
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, pudding mix and dream whip.
  4. Add eggs, water and oil.
  5. With and electric hand mixer, mix on medium high speed for 4 minutes. Scraping sides of bowl when needed.
  6. Pour batter evenly between two pans.
  7. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  8. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan.
  9. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack.
  10. If the cakes have a dome on the top, level them off by evenly cutting the dome off so you have a nice flat cake.
Frosting
  1. I suggest using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, but you call also use an electric hand mixer.
  2. In a large bowl, mix butter, shortening and salt until completely smooth and incorporated.
  3. Mix in butter extract, vanilla extract and almond extract.
  4. Mix in half powdered sugar, mix until smooth.
  5. Add the remaining powdered sugar, mix until smooth.
  6. Add 1-2 tablespoons water until you get a nice smooth thick consistency.
  7. Assemble and frost layers of the cake.
Candy Hearts
  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
  2. Place a #4 piping tip on a piping bag.
  3. Place candy melts into a microwave safe dish.
  4. Microwave on medium for 1 minute stirring every 30 seconds. Repeat until melted and smooth.
  5. Spoon melted candy into piping bag.
  6. Pipe random sized hearts onto waxed paper. Do as many as you would like or whatever sizes you would like.
  7. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.
  8. They will easily remove from waxed paper when hard.
  9. Place on cake as you wish.
Notes
The recipe for the cake yields a 2 layer 8" cake.
The cake shown in photo is a 3 layer 8" cake.
For a 3 layer 8" cake you would just make the cake recipe twice and freeze one of your extra layers for a later use.
The frosting recipe yields about 5½ cups of frosting which is enough for the 3 layer 8" cake.

 

Eat Love Sandals

Back in October I had the most amazing opportunity to attend a blogger hosted conference at the  Sandals resort in Ochi Rios Jamaica.

This was the first conference of it’s kind that I have attended.
Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Jamie from My Baking Addiction were the queen planner behind this wonderful event. Unlike the big foodie conferences that I have gone to in the past, this was intimate, with only about 20 people. I loved this. It gave everyone a chance to chat and bond..not get lost in a sea of unknowns.
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Oh and before we arrived in Jamaica, we were showered with gifts from all of the wonderful sponsors.. It was like Christmas every day!

1. Sugar Wish is super fun. You basically give someone an e-gift of the box and then the recipient chooses the candy they want sent to them. FUN AND YUM

2. I’m slightly obsessed with this Foil journal that Inkspot Workshop sent. It reads, “When in doubt, add sprinkles”. True statement. Their custom stationary and party invitations are the cutest.

3. Sweet & Treats sent the most adorable cupcake liners. Such fun colors. Their site has so many cute baking supplies.

4. A fun care package from Coaction Public Relations.

5. For all you gluten free peeps out there, Partners Crackers has you covered. They sent their Free for All, gluten free line.

6. New West Knife Works are little sharp works of art. Made in the USA to boot!

7. Graze Box is amazing! You choose from over 100 delicious and nutritious snacks and they mail you the yumminess!

8. I was super excited to receive my favorite extracts from Nielsen-Massey. Have you had the vanilla bean paste? It’s amazing!

9. Minted sent a beautiful foil print of Florida. I have it proudly displayed on my desk.

10. I am obsessed with Heirloomed.We received vintage-y kitchen towels that are both functional and beautiful. Hop on over to their site, you will be blown away by their products.

11. Super fun IT Cosmetics sent us their CC+ Radiance Vitality Creme Disc and their Vitality Flush Stain lip and Cheek Reviver. I need all the makeup help I can get.

12. I was so very excited to receive my FIRST Fiesta pieces. Now I’m hooked!!!

13. ProFlowers sent this amazing airplane terrarium. I have managed to keep it alive since October. I am quite proud of myself. They have great flowers, plants and gifts on their site.

14. How stunning are these stunning Kendra Scott earrings. I wear them almost everyday!

 

The resort was Fab. We were treated with champagne upon arrival…not a bad way to be greeted.

 

The rooms were lovely. Very spacious and tastefully decorated.

This is the sitting area upon walking in the room. I was in love with the clay tile floors.

 

You see those double French doors in the photo above?? They lead to this….

A private porch with a semi-private pool. Yeah, that’s kinda dreamy.

The king size posted bed was just beautiful.

Our first evening was a delight…

We had a true Caribbean Welcome and a private dinner.

These lovely folks were our colorful dancers for the evening.

They were fierce…I mean look at them.. gorgeous and colorful..

After a few drinks, I attempted to dance like a native. Not sure if I pulled it off, but I sure had fun.

 

The food was scrumptious…Airheaded me forgot my good camera, so I could only snap pics with my iPhone, so I apologize for the unappetizing lighting.

The next morning, I woke up quite early and headed down to the lobby to have coffee and pastries overlooking one of the beautiful pools.

The group met for Breakfast and Bellinis.

And of course, this is what food bloggers do..pictures of food.

I must say the omelets were amazing….

 

Jamaica…I mean seriously??? It was beautiful. While we did have a lot of time to play. We also had some learning time too.

We all shared the “Best Thing I Did For My Business” and also got some GREAT information about ads from Eric Hochberger of MediaVine

After our round table discussions, we broke for some free time.

A few of us girls decided to take a catamaran tour to Dunn’s River Falls.

Pictured (left to right)Meghan from Cake ‘n Knife,  Jenn from Yummy Healthy Easy and me.

The water!

yep

 

 

And dontcha’ know my shoes of choice to walk around Jamaica were my Clover Tieks!
I know I have professed my love for them before here. But I am still in love with them. I can wear the ALL.DAY long and my feet don’t ache. This is big for me people. I have plantar fasciitis, so this is huge! I swear, they are little magic shoes. I want them in all the colors! I was super excited to receive a new pair for the trip!

 

One of the most memorable experiences of my life also happened that day.

We took a road trip to visit sweet little children at one of the local Jamaican Schools.

Prior to arriving in Jamaica, we were sent backpacks. We were given the option to fill the backpacks with school supplies for our trip to the school. I had a blast filling it with supplies and a few fun things like stuffed animals and jump ropes.

Here we all are with our packs ready to our visit.

Thanks Julie from The Little Kitchen for the photo!

We arrived at the Seville Golden School

The students were anxiously awaiting our arrival.

When we walked into the room. They broke out in excitement.

They ran up to us and hugged us like I have never been hugged before!!

As you can tell from these photos, I was an emotional mess. I had the ugly cry going on.

Can you spy me in the sea of children?

They loved for us to read with them, do puzzles and color.
But what the loved most of all was to see our cell phones…. Here is Shelly from Cookies and Cups and her new friend having a blast on her phone.

And you know what else the cuties loved????
MY HAIR!
I know I look a bit crazed in the picture..but I was hysterically laughing!

But seriously, these little children were soooo smart.
They shocked me how smart they were! Some of them seem to be reading at a MUCH higher age level then what they were. They were reading words on a middle school level.
Such smart little children. They warmed my heart and it will be an experience I will never forget.

These children need a lot of help. Feel free to donate to the Sandals Foundation HERE.

That even we got our hands dirty in the kitchen.

We learned how to make traditional Jerk.

Here is Kristan helping the chef rub all of the wonderful spices into the pork.

I had never had authentic jerk. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I snapped a few photos of the resort that capture its romance..

 

 

 

I want to go back…like yesterday.
The entire experience was fulfilling. The resort, the food, the company, the learning and the children…I miss them all.

You may be wondering why I have a heart around someone in a few of my photos.
That is Joan from the Chocolate Chocolate and More website. Two week after we got home from Sandals Ochi, I got a text from Shelly asking me if I was in shock to hear the news of Joan? I hadn’t heard anything yet. Well, our sweet Joan passed away in her sleep. I was indeed in shock. How would we all be laughing and sharing memories with a healthy and happy Joan, and then just 2 weeks later, she was gone? Joan was super talented, sweet, caring and a giver. She left behind 3 children. Please continue to go to her site for delicious recipes as the visits will help her children.
I am proud to have know her.

Feel free to browse some of my friends post about the trip as well….

Confessions of A Cookbook Queen

The Decorated Cookie – My twin from another motha’

Food Fanatic

Stetted

Tuttorosso Challenge

It is no secret that I love Tuttorosso.

Wayyyyy back in 2009, before a DSLR, and when I thought it was totally acceptable to use a flash for food photography and before Tuttorosso knew anything about me; I was professing my love for their products. See, here is my spaghetti and meatballs post. I loved the brand then and I still love them now.

Here is another recipe using the Tuttorosso Brand… Artichoke Bruschetta

You know when you have a favorite brand, and you know in your brain you love them and they are the best, but don’t really have proof??

I have proof now that I am not completely delusional!

I am happy to say that I am now a Tuttorosso ambassador.
Tuttorosso sent me over a little kit so I could get my head out of crazy town and actually compare my beloved brand to one of their competitors.

Let me walk your through the challenge.

Tuttorosso Peeled Plum Tomatoes v/s Hunt’s Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes

I opened the can of Tuttorosso Peeled Plum Tomatoes and carefully poured them into a tray.
Notice how all of the tomatoes are whole and intact??

Next, I opened the can of Hunt’s. Hmmmm. Not so intact.

Take a look at the two brands side by side…

HUGE difference.

 

HUGE!

Next I moved the tomatoes to the top of the tray and propped it up so the juices and the tomatoes could separate. I then moved the broken tomatoes to the side of the container.

The Tuttorosso had one little mishap in which I pushed up to the side.

And the Hunt’s, well the Hunt’s didn’t fair so well. I couldn’t even get all the broken pieces to stay on the sides. But as you can tell from the photo, YUCK, you get the picture.

And another side by side.

Now for cutting. I tried to find tomatoes from each brand that were intact completely and about the same size.
Tuttorosso looked as if I was cutting into a fresh tomato.

Hunt’s was not as firm when I cut into it.

Here is a peek at my score card. Can you tell which one is the winner?

And to be honest, it all comes down to flavor for me. I literally had to spit the Hunt’s out during the taste test. It tasted like a tin can.

Here are some Tuttorosso facts for you….

 

Also another fun fact, Tuttorosso products were just recently certified Non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project!

Tuttorosso is a fourth generation family owner company that has been growing tomatoes for more than 70 years. They pride themselves in not cutting corners. They grow fresh, vine-ripened, Non0GMO tomatoes that are picked at the peak of freshness and canned in Non BPA/BPS lined cans in as little as 3 hours. Now that’s FRESH!!!

**This is a sponsored post as part of my Ambassadorship with Tuttorosso. All opinions are 100% mine.**

Top 10 posts of 2015

2015. Oh what a year…a crazy busy year.

I appreciate you sticking with me.

Like every year, here are the top 10 posts from the year.

Enjoy.

10) Apple Pie Oatmeal

 

9) Chocolate Kiss Crinkle Cookies

8) Slow Cooker Hot Italian Sausage Red Sauce

 

7) Cast Iron Apple Crumble

6) Orecchiette with Sweet Italian Sausage

5) Whipped Feta Dip

4) New Kitchen Reveal

3) Easy Sausage Ravioli Lasagna

2)  Easy Macaroni and Cheese

1) Old Bay and Beer Shrimp