Dulce de Leche Doughnuts

dulce-de-leche-doughnuts-for-hanukkah-by-natalie-paramore

December is upon us and it really is the most wonderful time of the year! This month I was tasked with the delicious charge of creating Hanukkah recipes for Austin Woman. I was excited to delve into the meaty, fried and sweet traditions of eight crazy nights. I created three recipes and this was the sweet one! Typically lots of Hanukkah foods are fried to represent the oil that burned for eights nights but seeing as there is lots of indulging to do in December, I figured a sweet baked version of everyone’s favorite the donut would be a nice treat. Plus, they are easy to make ahead and you can eat them for dessert or breakfast!

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Halloween Apple Recipes

halloween-5Candy apples might be the quintessential Halloween treat that no one actually ever eats. And with good reason, they are pretty messy to make and eat. This year I whipped up two new twists on the classic treat for Austin Woman Magazine that can be prepped ahead of time and are perfect for any Hallow’s Eve party! They are also quick and easy enough you can make these today for your ghoulish gathering tonight!

Bonus: I included a super simple treat for hostesses, teachers or a last minute party that is only two ingredients!

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Banana Split on a Stick

Banana Split on a Stick_Natalie Paramore

I am always looking for simple, easy sweet bites for when guests pop over. Trust me, when you have a food blog, people tend to just show up! I love it but it definitely keeps me on my toes. I love this simple take on a banana split. Plus, it’s just enough to get that sweet fix at the end of the meal without taking up too much time or calories!

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Farmers Market Cooking – 3 Gorgeous Spring Recipes

CSA Picnic Table 4

Y’all, probably one of the best things I did in 2015 was build a picnic table with my boyfriend! Yes, for reals, we looked up a gazillion plans, went to Home Depot like we knew what we were doing, bought all the supplies and 18 hours later our first picnic table was born! Can you believe it?!? We are such proud parents. Many a wonderful night has been spent sitting around it enjoying long, delicious meals with friends. Bonus points, it is the absolutely most perfect background for showing off my pretty blue and white plates. I just love how they look on this table!

When it came time to shoot the April issue of Austin Woman Magazine, I knew immediately that I wanted my little picnic table to shine! I rounded up three of my most favorite spring recipes for you. Check them out below plus my tips for shopping at the farmers market this spring!

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Gingerbread Cake with Candied Cranberries and Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft Gingerbread Cake by Natalie Paramore 5

The holidays always have a way of getting me back in the kitchen. Something about this time of year has me wanting to bake up a storm and break out the fancy dishes. Ok maybe not the fancy dishes part but I’ve definitely been logging a few more hours in the kitchen lately. I’ve always loved gingerbread so I decided that this year it was about time to go all out and make a cake!

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Apple Rose Tart

Fall is my absolute favorite, favorite time of year! The smells, the colors, the clothes, the food and oh those leaves! Those gorgeous falling leaves! I get so excited from about October 1st until January each year. The holidays and the weather always get me all cozied up and in a great mood for seemingly no reason everyday!

Apple Rose Tart _11 NPAnd every year in about August I start pinning and mentally planning all the gorgeous recipes and tablescapes that I will try out that season. And each year without fail I get through, um maybe, one or two of those before the season comes and goes! I get so caught up enjoying everything around me that I forget I make my own pumpkin pecan bread or gingerbread house.

Apple Rose Tart _5 NPThis year fret not though! At least I planned ahead enough to take a gander at this gorgeous apple pie! I spied some delectable apple rose tarts peeping into my Pinterest feed and I knew that this is the year that I must try it out myself! After reading and researching lots of blogs and techniques on how to make the perfect apple rose I decided on this simple take. Easy enough to get some little hands to help out this season or if you’re me a nice little task while catching up on the latest Real Housewives. Yes, you heard that right, I am total fan. Guilty pleasure right here. I can’t get enough of those shows!

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Toasted Coconut Cream Tarts

Toasted Coconut Cream Tarts 2

Earlier this summer, yes summer is still in full swing in Austin even though school is back, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Antigua with the tourism board. I went to learn about the Mango Festival and the culinary scene in Antigua. I got to visit a mango farm, eat at some wonderful restaurants and course sneak in some beach time and cocktails.

One of the most memorable parts of the trip for me was the cooking class we took at Nicole’s Table. Nicole was born and raised on a neighboring island but spent a lot of her formative years on the East Coast where she met her husband and had two girls. They moved back to Antigua a few years ago and Nicole started a cooking business out their kitchen. This kitchen has sweeping views of the island and the sea. I kept saying to myself that I can’t believe someone actually gets to live here! It was truly a lovely experience and Nicole was so gracious in sharing her home with us.

Antigua_Nicole

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Strawberry Honey Stack Cakes

Strawberry Honey Cake Stacks by Natalie ParamoreUmm it’s half way through September? How did this happen! I must say the weather has been quite nice in Austin, TX recently. Fall is my absolute fav, fav, fav time of year. So this has put me in an extra good mood! I’ve even put up a few Halloween decorations! Growing up, I always loved the holiday season but the past few years I’ve been a little meh about it all. This year though, I’m feeling more invigorated and excited. I think it’s because of my new apartment digs. There’s something really nice about having your own space. Even though I had great roommates in the past, I’ve been soaking up every second of my time living alone. It’s something I have always wanted to do, living alone that is. There hasn’t really been a day where I’ve felt lonely. That is probably because between my dog, job, events, travel and keeping up with this little blog there is hardly time to just chill out. And I am totally ok with that! I think the busier I am, the better I am for the most part. When my plate is full I am better about keeping up with all the little tasks than when I have extra time. Those are the times when I feel like I have forever to get something done so I just convince myself its ok to put it off a little longer. Not the case!

Strawberry Honey Cakes by Natalie Paramore

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Whiskey & Women: An Interview with Sandra Spalding of Twin Liquors

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Let me give it to you straight: I really like whiskey, straight. I’m not afraid to act like a lady and drink like a man. Well the former is questionable, but whatever (sorry PopPop!) The old fashioned is my go-to cocktail and I’m often drawn to the whiskey section on a bar menu. Last fall, I pretty much fell in love with apple cider old fashioneds and even though the cider sorta makes it a seasonal drink, I’ve been able to quit the habit. I love the touch of sweetness the cider adds! I did a cocktail class for a bachelorette party and was excited to make the ladies some blackberry bourbon smashes! It was a hit!

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Brown Sugar Bourbon Peach Pie

Brown Sugar Bourbon Peach Pie +1This pie is an end of a really long work week, so I’m going to get drunk on pie-pie. But seriously. I have had a series of really busy weeks, so when Friday came along, I decided to forgo happy hour and dinner plans to come home and dive straight into this galette.

My mom came for a visit and brought me the most wonderfully ripe peaches from a local peach festival near her town. I know, I know it’s a little cliché to say, but really, these peaches were so much sweeter and better than the ones I usually get at the store.

They were perfectly tender and juicy. Even their scent made my mouth water! So thanks, Mom, for saving a few of these peaches to bring to me! My mom used her peaches and made some pies with brown sugar crumble crust. I decided to take mine up a notch or two with a little bourbon. Perfect for a Friday evening happy hour, don’t ya think?

Brown Sugar Bourbon Peach Pie +6

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S’mores Pie

S'mores Pie 1+Confession time. I’ve never been super in love with chocolate. I know, I know you’re thinking how crazy I must be. Like how can I possibly be someone who blogs about pies and sweets and doesn’t love chocolate. Well in my defense, I have met others like myself. There aren’t many of us, but we are out there lurking among the regular chocolate lovers of the world, ordering lemon desserts and avoiding M&M’s like the plague.

Surprisingly enough, every now and then I will get a craving for a piece of dark chocolate. I guess all that chocolate hating has made me a little bitter. Haha see what I did there? Ok, maybe a little too much. Alright next confession, I’ve only been camping once and it was terrible. I won’t go into too many details but it involved over 100 degree temperatures and a really, really long drive.

S'mores Pie 17+

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Watermelon Gin Fizz & Blackberry Bourbon Smash Cocktails

Treaty Oak Blackberry SmashY’all, I’ve really been stepping up my cocktail game this summer. It all started a few years when I decided that vodka went down a little too easy and reminded me waaay too much of college, so I started trying out different spirits. It didn’t take long for whiskey to become my new drink of choice and my love affair with old fashioneds began. I love trying out new whiskies and they each have their own flavor and depth. They are also perfect for sipping, which is way more my style nowadays 🙂

My friend JJ asked me to help out with her sister’s bachelorette party a few weeks ago. She suggested a cocktail making class so I got my wheels turning. I reached out to Treaty Oak, a local distillery, that produces some of my favorite spirits to partner with us. First off, the thought of teaching 17 girls how to make cocktails was a teensy bit intimidating. Seriously, like what if I mess it all up or someone is allergic to strawberries or the awful dreaded one vocal person doesn’t like something so then everyone else’s opinions get swayed, yikes! Well, obviously I got over those fears and started getting really excited about making some new cocktails that I thought would be perfect for a girls day at the pool!

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Blueberry Basil Pie

Blueberry Basil Pie by Natalie Paramore 2
You guys! I am so sorry. I’ve been holding back on you. I mean THIS pie. BLUEBERRY pie. It’s lovely isn’t it? And perfect for summer aka something you should be making right now. Yes, go right now, go bake! I had a lot of fun with this pie. It’s one of those simple ones, like the strawberry pie I made, that are just always a good idea. I suppose that begs the question of when is pie not a good idea, who I am to judge? I can almost always find a reason for pie. Dinner party? Pie. Going to my Granny’s house? Pie. Monday? Definitely pie.

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Cereal Milk Popsicles

Cereal Milk Popsicles by Natalie Paramore 2

Ok y’all this is one of the better things I’ve made in a while! I must say, I’ve been a little out of practice in the kitchen, but I’ve been working on a few things that I am excited to show up and first up are these tasty little cereal milk popsicles! A true treat indeed, the sweet, sugary milk left at the bottom of bowl after cereal is one of my favorite things. And it isn’t just me. The cereal milk phenomenon made wildly popular by Momofuku is now something you can easily make at home this summer. I wouldn’t be made if you made a boozy version, nope I sure would not be! But this here is a tried and true simply, no fail version. Grab a box of your fav childhood cereal, some almond milk and a little coconut milk ice cream and BOOM dessert is done. If you are really feeling adventurous, go ahead and make this breakfast. I won’t judge 🙂 

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Classic Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie by Natalie Paramore

I told y’all there would be a lot of strawberries this season! Not going to lie, that Vanilla Bean Strawberry Jam didn’t last long in my house! I also made a pie, because I am on my mission to learn everything about pies this year. I wrote this recipe for Baked Strawberry Pie originally for Food Fanatic. But what I really want to talk about is you. Yes, Y-O-U and how thankful I am for each and every one of you! Seriously.

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Vanilla Bean Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam by Natalie Paramore 3

Yes, it’s strawberry season! Probably one of my favorite things about spring. Even though I usually like veggies over fruit, perfectly fresh and juicy strawberries are pretty hard to resist. I made this jam based off of my recipe for Hatch Chile and Peach Jam. Its quick and easy, it’s not the jam you need a bunch of equipment for, this one you should keep in the fridge and enjoy immediately.

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Spicy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Heyo! If you are anything like me, you totally waited too long for this whole Valentine’s Day thing. Oops! I mean let’s be honest gifts really aren’t my thing. In fact, giving gifts, gives yours truly major anxiety! There have definitely been times in my life when I should have given gifts, like it was expected (i.e. an ex-boyfriends Christmas gift, my sister’s 25th birthday), you know major times, but the stress got me and I just gave up. Seriously. I stress and stress and wonder if it’s the right thing? Is it too little? Too much? Am I too much? Ah! So then I usually just scratch the whole thing and decide to put myself in charge of making a cake, making a dinner reservation or hosting a get together. That is way more my style. Cooking, planning, making… all that I can handle. Giving an actual gift? Totally lose it. Creating an experience? That is something I love! That is something I like to do for my friends and family and those people near and dear to my little heart.

spicy-chocolate-peanut-butter-pie-picture

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Easy Homemade Marshmallows

Homemade Marshmallows by Natalie Paramore

Christmas is coming, Christmas is coming! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, no? Last year I was a bit of grinch during the holiday season and this year I was determined to not letting anything get in the way of my holiday spirit, but alas I still don’t even have a tree up! I did help my mom put hers up while I was at home during Thanksgiving, but still no tree at my own place. Sadly, I am not sure if there will be a tree this year. There are lots of coming and goings at my house this year. One of my roomies and dearest friends is moving away, bah humbug! I am so excited for her because it is such a great move and hello! to one of my favorite cities, San Francisco! While I am secretly shedding tears of sadness and excitement, I am also planning to take full advantage of some couch surfing in the coming months. You know, somebody’s gotta be there to help ease the transition, right?

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Spiced Apple Cider Old Fashioned

Apple Cider Old Fashioned by Natalie Paramore

Happy almost Thanksgiving! It’s the most dysfunctional time of year! Hahah we have a sign that says that in the restaurant that I work at and it couldn’t be more fitting. It literally made me laugh out loud the first time I saw it, so I had to share. Between the travel, good tasting but not necessarily good for you food and crazy families, I think it is about time for a cocktail, what do you say? Earlier this fall I had the opportunity to go attend a whiskey and moonshine tasting from an old local Austinite turned Asheville, NC resident Troy Ball. She is as interesting as she is beautiful and has such a captivating story. She went from being a full-time mom for two special needs sons to being a whiskey maker, how cool is that? I love that her story is all about family making sacrifices but still going after her dreams of doing something creative and special in her life. Plus, it just goes to show that it is never too late to follow your dreams and she did it all and had a family too. So inspiring for many young people who are trying to figure it all out and find some balance in between.

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Mini Pumpkin Spice Pop-Tarts

Mini Pumpkin Spice Pop Tarts by Natalie Paramore

This recipe has been one I’ve been dreaming up since last fall. I have always wanted to make homemade pop-tarts since I’ve seen them popping (haha cheesy I know) up at my favorite bakeries around town. I’ve been making different kinds of pie and experimenting making my own crusts, but this time I decided to go with store bought and see the difference. Not quite as flaky and buttery, but the time saved is worth it in this case. Since there is a lot of dough handling for these, a store bought crust will work great. Pumpkin is one of my favorite things to bake with because it add tons of moisture without the need for lots of other ingredients. And hello, this is the only time of year we really get to indulge in pumpkin. Maybe pumpkin-mania has gotten a little overload the past few years, but pumpkin will remain  one of my fall favorites!

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Banana Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

How to Make Ice Cream from Frozen Bananas

 

Woohoo it is definitely time for fall treats and I am in full swing! I’ve made ice cream before, and it was a lot easier than I thought. I came across several different recipes for ice cream made out of frozen bananas and thought that it sounded interesting. Plus, so many of my friends are dairy-free for a host of different reason, so I’ve tried my fair share of vegan ice creams and decided to take a stab at my own. I found out through some recipe research that bananas naturally contain lots of pectin, the stuff that makes them sticky, which is commonly used in jams and jellies to make them thicken. Thus making bananas great for ice cream because once they are blended, they have a creamy texture without all the, um, cream. A little pumpkin and some spices and voila, an easy treat! Check out the end of the post to see my describe how to make this treat and some Mini Pumpkin Spice Pop- Tarts on Good Day Austin!

Vegan Banana Ice Cream by Natalie Paramore

 

You’ll need:

8 cups frozen and sliced bananas

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground all spice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Seeds of one vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup almond milk as needed for blending

 Optional: Chocolate sauce for drizzling

How to Make Pumpkin Banana Ice Cream by Natalie Paramore

Begin by slicing bananas and freezing for about 2 hours.

Next, place frozen bananas into a blender or food processor. Mix until smooth. Add almond milk 2 tablespoons at a time as needed until blended.

Add spices and pumpkin and puree until smooth.

Place into to a freezer safe container. Drizzle with chocolate sauce if you want.

You can eat it now, it will be more like frozen yogurt. Or freeze again for an hour or overnight.

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream by Natalie Paramore

 

Perfect treat for this fall! Easy and fun to make!

Prickly Pear Galette

Prickly Pear Galette by Natalie Paramore 2

If you can believe it, Food Fetish turns 3 years old today! Oh man, how much has changed for this little blog in that time. I went from using my iPhone and a free wordpress blog to learning about hosting, photography and a lot about cooking and baking. I am so thankful for each and everyone of you who has followed along, commented, requested, shared and ate with me with. Especially the ones who have put up with the food picture taking at restaurants. I wouldn’t be anywhere without y’all. To celebrate this big birthday, I decided to tackle making a pie crust. I’ve done one before, but I wanted to master making a classic one this time. I really, really, like pie. I like cake too, but PIE. What I found out is that making a pie crust isn’t nearly as hard as I thought, just like so many other recipes and techniques that I’ve tackled.

I decided to pick prickly pear as my fruit for this pie adventure. Why? Because it’s my favorite margarita flavor. And it just seems so Texan, and it’s pretty and I’ve never used it before. I also wanted to try a different look for the photos in this piece. I’ve been digging moody, fall pics like these from Bojon Gourmet. Let me know what you think!

Prickly Pear Cactus by Natalie Paramore

For this recipe, you’ll need:

Pie Crust:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

7 tablespoons ice cold, unsalted butter

2-3 tablespoons ice cold water

* Recipe from Whole Foods

Pie Filling:

3 cups diced fruit

1/2 refined sugar + more for sprinkling

1 egg for egg wash

Prickly Pears by Natalie Paramore

Cold Butter Cubes for Pie Crust by Natalie Paramore

Dice up the butter into small cubes. Place it in the freezer for 15 minutes. For pie crust, temperatures really matter, so make sure the butter is nice and cold.

Butter Cubes for Pie by Natalie Paramore

How to Make Pie by Natalie Paramore

Get some ice water. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add ice cold butter cubes.

Butter Pie Crust by Natalie Paramore

Toss them into the flour.

How to Make a Galette by Natalie Paramore

Add two tablespoons of water and begin folding the butter and flour together. Add water one tablespoon at a time until it comes together in a ball. It may take a few minutes but that is ok. It is ok if there are still little butter cubes in the pie crust.

Ice Water in pie Crust by Natalie Paramore

How to make galette by Natalie Paramore

After the crust forms a ball, place in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill some more before rolling it out. While the dough is chilling, dice up the fruit.

Prickly Pear Fruit by Natalie Paramore

Prickly Pears are the fruit on top of cacti. They come in two different colors, green and bright pink. The green ones of larger seeds, while the pink ones have a softer flesh.

i used equal parts pink to green for this recipe. The pink ones along would be too soft for this pie. The green ones add some more stable fruit for the pie.

Prickly Pear Catus Fruit by Natalie Paramore

Baking withPrickly Pear Galette by Natalie Paramore

Sugar and Prickly Pears for Galette by Natalie Paramore

Combine sugar and fruit together. Stir it together.

Cooking with Prickly Pear by Natalie Paramore

Prickly Pear Galette Filling by Natalie Paramore

The sugar will dissolve into the fruit juices and the pink ones will make a sauce.

Pie Crust by Natalie Paramore

Now it’s time to roll out the dough.

How to make pie crust by Natalie Paramore

The best thing about a galette, is that you get all the pie flavor and buttery crust, without have to worry about making it all perfect.

Prickly Pear Catus Pie by Natalie Paramore

Prickly Pear Catus Galette by Natalie Paramore

Spoon the fruit filling into the middle of the crust.

How to Make a Prickly Pear Pie by Natalie Paramore

Galette by Natalie Paramore

Gently fold the edges of the pie over to form the crust.

Prickly Pear Pie by Natalie Paramore

How to Make Prickly Pear Galette by Natalie Paramore

Gorgeous!

Make a Prickly Pear Galette by Natalie Paramore

In a bowl, whisk an egg for the egg wash. This will give the crust a nice sheen.

Egg Wash for Prickly Pear Galette by Natalie Paramore

Prickly Pear Pie Galette Crust by Natalie Paramore

Brush the egg wash over the edges of the crust.

Sugar Crust Prickly Pear Galette by Natalie Paramore

Sprinkle a little extra sugar all over for a little something extra sweet. Finally, place the pie on parchment paper and bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the crust is a nice golden brown.

How to make a Prickly Pear Galette by Natalie Paramore

Let pie cool, then serve it up!

Prickly Pear Galette Pie by Natalie Paramore

Prickly Pear Galette by Natalie Paramore 2

A Prickly Pear Galette by Natalie ParamoreIt’s that easy! I am going to work on my pie game this fall, but I think this will be  go-to recipe for me.

 

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Catch my how-to on Good Day Austin Make It Monday!

Sprinkle Covered Birthday Cake

Miss Jones Baking Co Round Sprinkle Birthday Cake by Natalie Paramore

 Last week was filled with birthdays! Two very important birthdays, in fact. 1st it was my precious pup Mimi’s 10th Birthday! I mean, I can’t believe my little stinker is 10 years old! This was definitely one of those times where I felt the where has the time gone. Remember when your parents would always say that time flies? My parents used to always say that to me as a kid, and now, well it is really happening. I cannot image how it will feel if I ever have child of the human variety. Little Meems, as she is often called, has been sidekick, best friend, ultimate snuggler, tear wiper and kiss giver. I could not imagine my life without my little fur ball. The 2nd very important birthday and the one who I made this colorful cake for, was my roommate Alex! It is her last year in her twenties, so I thought sprinkles were a must. I couldn’t imagine my life without Alex either. She’s one of the most thoughtful, cheerful and loyal friends I have ever had. And she is a great Auntie to Mimi, so that just melts my heart. So for Alex, I busted out the sprinkles and got to it!

Miss Jones Baking Co Vanilla Frosting and Cake Mix by Natalie Paramore

 

Alex likes white on white for her cakes. No chocolate allowed. My friend Sarah started Miss Jones Baking Co. a few months ago. It is a line of all-natural ready to use cake mixes and frostings. She has a scrumptious vanilla cake mix and frosting, so it was the perfect pair for Alex’s birthday cake. Funny thing, after I posted a picture of Alex with her cake on Instagram, we discovered that Alex and Sarah were friends back when they both lived in Dallas and Sarah made cupcakes for Alex’s birthday before. SMALL WORLD! So thank you Sarah, for making my birthday cake taste as good as your homemade cupcakes 😉

 

Miss Jones Baking co Vanilla Cake by Natalie Paramore

 

I started off by baking two 9′ round cakes. Let them cool, then frosted them up with the super creamy frosting. That was the easy part. Next I tackled sprinkles.

Miss Jones Baking Co Vanilla Sprinkle Cake by Natalie Paramore

 

I couldn’t find any good how-to’s for sprinkle covering online, so I just had a go at it. I started by dropping the little dudes on top. That sorta worked, but only on the middle of the top of the cake.

How to Make a Spinkle Cake by Natalie ParamoreSo then I tried tap, tap, tapping them on. This worked so much better. I poured the sprinkles on top, like a lot of them (yes, they went everywhere) then gently smoothed them all over the sides and top. It was a bit of a messy endeavor, but well worth it in the end.

Miss Jones Baking Co

 

Because then this happened! Ta-da! The cake was definitely eye-catching and a big hit at the birthday party.

Miss Jones Baking Co Birthday Sprinkle Cake by Natalie Paramore

Miss Jones Baking Co Sprinkle Cake with Candles by Natalie Paramore

 

Colorful candles were a must.

Miss Jones Baking Co Sprinkle Cake by Natalie Paramore

 

Miss Jones Baking Co Sprinkle Birthday Cake by Natalie ParamoreTime to dig in! Big thanks to Sarah Jones Garibaldi from Miss Jones Baking Co. for supplying me with best vanilla cake mix and frosting for Alex’s birthday! If you want to see some truly spectacular cakes, check out Miss Jones Baking Co. !

 

Mango Basil Spritzer

Mango Basil Spritzer by Natalie Paramore 3

For the holiday weekend I whipped up this little gem of a frozen spritzer cocktail. Super fresh and light, it’s perfect for these hot Texas summers. I made this drink with the help of my friends at the National Mango Board. They sent me over some delicious mangoes and these festive straws and let me go at it. One of my favorite flavor combinations is mango and basil, have you ever tried it? The fruitiness of the mango really balances well with some fresh herbalicious basil. I mean, I may have spent a good 5 minutes just sniffing the basil, wait, you mean you don’t do that? I really just can’t get enough of the herbs, plus it’s high basil season which means this leafy herb is extra potent right now. Even better, this cocktail only requires 3 ingredients so its perfect to make on the fly for guests or by the pitcher for gatherings.

Mango Basil Spritzer by Natalie Paramore 8

All you need are:

2 cups fresh sliced mangoes

1 bottle of bubbles

1/4 fresh basil leaves

optional: ice

Mango Basil Spritzer by Natalie Paramore 7

Add the fresh mango and basil to a blender.

Mango Basil Spritzer by Natalie Paramore 6

Mango Basil Spritzer by Natalie Paramore 5

Pour in the bubbles.

Mango Basil Spritzer by Natalie Paramore 4

Add a little ice for texture and coolness. About a cup of ice, the more ice, the more thick the drink will become once blended.

Mango Basil Spritzer by Natalie Paramore 2

Blend until smooth, about 45 seconds in the blender and serve! Yup, that’s it!

Mango Basil Spritzer by Natalie ParamoreMango Basil Spritzer by Natalie Paramore 1

Pretty sure I will be keeping this cocktail around all summer! What’s your favorite summer cocktail?

*The National Mango Board sent me mangoes to make this post. The recipe and thoughts are all my own.*

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies by Natalie Paramore 1

 

Oh cookies, I did it again. Yup, I sure did. This time when I received my box of goodies from H-E-B for their Primo Picks, I got a bunch of things, some fun sparkling water, a great seasoning rub and even an artichoke spread and a pre-made cake mix. I decided to go with the gluten free pretzels from Gratify.  First of all, I taste tested the little suckers and I was surprised that they actually tasted…exactly like regular pretzels. Funny huh? I’m usually not one for all the gluten-free products but these actually stood up to the taste test. I decided to satisfy my sweet and salty tooth with some Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies! I only wanted a few cookies though, so I found this great recipe for only a dozen cookies on Dessert for Two. After much research and consulting with my Granny, I found out that basically if you want cookies that are chewy and delicious and not too cakey, you gotta use a little shortening. If anyone has a great recipe that achieves chewy deliciousness without the shortening, please do let me know :). In the meantime, I thought that this recipe really hit the spot! I switched a few things, and of course, added pretzels!

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies by Natalie Paramore 8

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup broken Gratify pretzel pieces

 

*This recipe is adapted from Dessert For Two.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies by Natalie Paramore 7

 

Begin by creaming the butter, shortening and sugar together. Next add the egg. Whip until just combined. Next add the dry ingredients one half at a time. Whip until just combined. Try not to over mix.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies by Natalie Paramore 6

Next, fold in the chocolate chips and pretzel pieces.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies by Natalie Paramore 5

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies by Natalie Paramore 4

Spoon into golf ball sized scoops and place onto a greased pan or silicon baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies by Natalie Paramore 3

And that’s it! A super simple recipe, just add your own twist. What are your favorite cookie add-ins? Salty? More sweet? M&M’s? Peanut Butter?
Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies by Natalie Paramore 2

 

 

This post was sponsored by H-E-B and I received free products in exchange for this post. But no worries y’all, opinions are all my own. It wouldn’t be cool if posted about things that didn’t taste delicious on this blog.

Coconut Mojito Granita

Coconut Mojito Granita_Natalie Paramore3This Italian inspired ice is somewhere between a sorbet and a snocone, perfect to beat the hot, hot heat in Texas this summer! Just a few ingredients and no fancy tools required. You can switch up the flavor combinations and make your own all summer long!

 

Ingredients:

13 oz of coconut milk (or about 1 1/2 cups of fresh fruit)

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of water

1/3 cup fresh mint

1 lime

Fresh mint for garnish

 

Directions:

Mint Simple Syrup:

Bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to boil

Stir and let sugar dissolve completely

Pour sugar water over fresh chopped mint leave

Cover and let steep until it comes to room temperature

 

Coconut Mojito Granita:

Blend coconut milk and simple syrup until smooth

Pour into shallow dish

Ever 30-45 minutes, grate over mixture with a fork creating fluffy ice crystals

Repeat this step 3-4 times

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Now you have a gorgeous granita! Make you own flavor combinations or even add a splash of rum to make turn this granita into an adult friendly summer beverage. You know that’s what I will be doing!Coconut Mojito Granita_Natalie Paramore2

 

Mango Agua Fresca

Mango Agua Fresca_Natalie Paramore 2 It’s hot hot hot! Time to get that those cool (and healthy!) recipes ready for summer. This is a new one for me: agua fresca. These fruit waters are commonly served all over Mexico and Central America. They are fairly easy to make!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped fruit- in this case mango

8 cups cold water

Options: Citrus or sweetner

 

Directions:

Blend chopped fruit with one cup of water

Pour into pitcher through a mesh strainer

Combine with remaining cold water

Drink ice cold!

Mango Agua Fresca_Natalie Paramore

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches_Natalie Paramore1Let’s talk about cookies and their importance in life. There’s something about them that are so comforting and well delicious. My favorite of all time happen to be snickerdoodles with my Granny’s recipe. I’ve recently been a really big fan of salted chocolate chip, because yeah, just yeah. Or what about these with potato chips? I see those in my near future fo sho.  I remember my mom would always hide oreos from me… and my Dad, probably more him, ha. They would be in a pink glass jar, waaaaay in the back of the tallest cabinet. I think this is where my monkey tendencies in the kitchen began. I could pull up a chair then climb the cabinet like a ladder, pull half my body into the cabinet to find that jar. An entire package of oreos fit perfectly into that jar, minus one, because you always had to eat one while putting them away. I still remember that jar. Really wish I could find it now. I loved sinking oreos into the bottom of a glass of milk, then drinking all the milk and eating the oreo mush with a spoon. I still think about this every time I eat cookies ‘n cream ice cream haha. So this post isn’t about oreos, but the classic chocolate chip cookie. And just in time for summer, let’s cool it down with some ice cream and call it a day, eh?

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This post was sponsored by H-E-B and their #PrimoPicks. This months box came with a big red bag of cookies and you betcha I dove into those. While I was making the cookie sandwiches I literally had to pull the bag from my friends little paws because they were so good on their own. I had to lay down the law and no more ruining your dessert ladies!
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Nothing complicated here, you’ll need some ice cream, a bag of The Big Chip Cookie from H-E-B and sprinkles… because sprinkles.

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Scoop the ice cream and put it on a cookie, duh.

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Yup, just like that.

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Make it a sandwich, cookie sandwich that is.

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Dip the sides into a bowl of sprinkles, roll it around a little.

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And that’s it y’all. What are some of your favorite childhood desserts? I wanna hear about ’em!

 

Happy National Margarita Day!

It’s beautiful day to be alive and well in Austin, TX! It is also a great day to enjoy the unofficial state drink of Texas on a patio somewhere. There are but a few things in life that a good margarita shared with good friends can’t cure. Here a few of my favorite margaritas around town!

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This is one from Maudie’s. I’m pretty obsessed with their Prickly Pear Margarita. It gets it’s gorgeous color from the prickle pear fruit of a cactus. You find them everywhere around town!

I love  a little kick with my tequila, so here is a video of the Hatch Chile Margarita from icenhauer’s. Better known as The Ashley, I took this video this week while I was doing a little work for them. I snuck in a sip and this is definitely one worth celebrating!

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Feel like enjoying your margarita on your own patio? Try my recipe for a Mango Margarita!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups peeled and diced mango
-about 2 large mangos, be sure they are ripe. Not much green and soft to the touch.
3 cups of ice
4 ounces of silver tequila
2 ounces of lime juice
Optional: lime wedges for garnish
Directions:
1) Peel the skin off the mangoes then dice the flesh, removing the stone.
2) Combine ice, mango, tequila and lime juice in a blender.
3) Blend until smooth. Fresh fruit margaritas often have a consistency closer to that of a smoothie.
Enjoy your margarita outside somewhere in the sunshine and it will be like you’re sitting on a white sandy beach…almost.

Winter Wonderland Cake

I decided to deck the table this holiday with a gorgeous Winter Wonderland cake! Dreams of sugar coated mountain tops and frosty white trees are dancing through my head. There is something so gorgeous about a white Christmas! If you can’t have a real white Christmas this year, some coconut flakes, rosemary sprigs and powdered sugar are all you need to create your own snowy masterpiece.

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This decadent cake is almost too pretty to eat…almost.

ingredients

For this recipe, you’ll need:

2 boxes of red velvet cake mix (+ additional ingredients mix calls for)
2 tubs of cream cheese frosting
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup powdered sugar
4 sprigs of rosemary

mix

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix according to package. Divide cake mix into four equal parts. Pour into two 9 inch pans sprayed with non-stick spray. Gently tap the pan to remove any air bubbles. Bake according to packing, approximately 22-24 minutes.

bakedLet cakes cool completely.

slicing offOnce cakes are cooled, use a knife to slice off the top so that the cake lays flat.

pre ice with paperPlace one layer onto cake plate. Place strips of parchment paper under cake. This will help with clean up and the end.

icing

layers icedBegin frosting layers and repeat until all layers are stacked.

IcedFrost the outside of the cake.

sprinkle coconutSprinkle coconut flakes on top of cake.

sidesGently press coconut flakes onto sides of cake.

Clip rosemaryUsing kitchen scissors, snip sprigs of rosemary to make pine trees. Try to get the pieces that are stiffer so that they will stand up straight.

clippedTurn the springs upside down and gently press into the top of the cake. Vary the heights so that it is more visually appealing.

Pre dustingDust the top of the sprigs with powdered sugar. Lightly dust the top of the cake to give the cake a snowy look.

remove paperRemove the pieces of parchment paper from underneath the cake and brush away any extra sugar or coconut flakes.

Cake with sliceTa-dah! Now you have a gorgeous winter wonderland cake!

OverheadI love the white frosting and coconut against the bright red cake. Perfect for a holiday party and something that you make all winter long.

slice overheadEnjoy!

Mulled Wine and Ginger Beer Cocktail

Red wine and ginger beer, maybe two of my favorite beverages ever? Possibly. I never thought to put them together until I recently when I attended a pop-up dinner and they served a version of this drink with the main course. I loved the combo of the seasonal wine with the sprightly tickle of the ginger beer. It was one of the more refreshing holiday themed cocktails I’ve had in a while. The wine makes it perfect for pairing with food, but the ginger switches it up a bit to give a different twist.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-OverheadAhhh. That’s the sound that comes to mind as I am writing about this drink.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-ingredientsFor this recipe, you’ll need:

1 bottle red wine

3 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon of cloves

3 orange peels (about one small orange)

8 ounces of ginger beer

Serves 4

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-wine-pourFirst, pour the entire bottle of wine into a pot. Yes, the whole bottle.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-orange-peeledSlice the peel off of the orange.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-orange-peelToss those into the pot.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-cinnamon-sticksNext add the cinnamon sticks.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-clovesAnd the cloves!

Stir everything together and simmer over medium heat for 25 minutes or until very fragrant. Do not let the wine boil. Hello that will kill the alcohol!

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-top-strainNext, strain the mulling spices from the wine. Place a colander over a pitcher and pour the wine. Do this over a sink, it can get messy!

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-strainToss the spices away.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-ginger-pourPour the ginger beer over ice into a glass. You could also combine the ginger beer with the wine in the pitcher and let people serve themselves.

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-tallAdd the mulled wine and you have the perfect cocktail for sipping at the dinner table!

Mulled-Wine-and-Ginger-Beer-Cocktail_Natalie-Paramore-FrontWhat are your favorite drinks to serve with dinner?

Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cakes

I know I just did mini desserts, but I can’t help myself. I think two (or three!) bite desserts are totally the way to go this season. I mean 1) mini desserts are way cuter than regular sized desserts 2) you don’t have to put down your drink to eat them and 3) they bake really quickly if you’re on a time crunch. Need I say more?

Chocolate Peppermint cakes, candy cane crunch, chocolate cake, candy canesOh you wanted more? Well then, they also only take a few ingredients and a square baking pan that you can find at most grocery stores. You can get the details on the recipe and how to from my post on Brit+Co. here.

Chocolate Peppermint cakes, candy cane crunch, chocolate cake, candy canesAnother added bonus? You get to whack the heck out of some candy canes. Go on ahead, relieve all that holiday stress!

Chocolate Peppermint cakes, candy cane crunch, chocolate cake, candy canesOoozzy, pretty white chocolate ganache icing comes together with a few ingredients and gives these mini cakes a nice little touch. I am sure Santa will appreciate it!

Chocolate Peppermint cakes, candy cane crunch, chocolate cake, candy canesHope you all enjoy these little mini bites as much as I did!

 

 

Mini Eggnog Pies

Today I whipped a few mini eggnog pies for holiday entertaining! They are so easy, only a few ingredients. I shared my tips today with Keri Bellacosa on Good Day Austin. You can see the link here. The full recipe and how to is below.
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Be sure to check out Keri’s blog, It’s Showtime, where she shares all sorts of helpful (and cute!) entertaining tips!

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Holly Jolly Pick Me Up: Coffee and Beer Cocktail

It’s Wednesday and couldn’t we all be tempted to sneak a little somethin’ somethin’ into our coffees this morning? Oh that’s just me? Ok. This little concoction was brewed (ha) up in the morning but I think it’s perfectly fitting to imbibe any time of day. Especially for dessert! Rich, Russian Stout with dark, cold brew coffee, topped with some creamy whip and voila!
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It only takes a few ingredients to get this cocktail going. I do recommend making the simple syrup… dark brown sugar, oh yes!

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For the full tutorial and how-to, check out my post on Brit+Co. !

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Coffee and Beer Holiday Cocktail 8_Natalie ParamoreThis is a cocktail even Santa couldn’t say no to!

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

It’s that time of year! And I really can’t believe it. November and December are by far my most favorite months of the year, the weather, the festivities, the clothes, and of course, the food! But this year I’m just really not ready yet. I’ve been known to break out the Christmas music mid-October when I’m in my car by myself, but not so much this year. In fact I haven’t even listened to a holiday tune yet! I did get a really decadent cinnamon-y candle though. I can’t figure it out, but maybe this chilly morning is finally what I needed to get my holiday spirit in full gear.

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So if you’re like me and not quiet ready for the holiday-palooza, this smoothie will help us all make an easy transition into holiday food. This pumpkin spice smoothie isn’t overly sweet and the pumpkin packs plenty of fiber helping you stay fuller longer. Always a bonus this season when a few extra pieces of pie seem inevitable. Best of all, this recipe is vegan, aka no dairy, so everybody can rejoice and enjoy!

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For the full tutorial and recipe, check out my post here on Brit+Co.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie_ 4Do you have any healthy twists on holiday favorites? Tell me below!

Coconut Mango Fruit Leather

Who is ready for some fruity fun? Oh good, me too. I made these fruit leathers after receiving some mangoes from the Mango Council. They have great tips on their website for purchasing fresh mangoes and even this great tutorial about how to cut a mango. I enjoy using mangoes, just a tid bit of info, did you know mangoes are in fact the most popular fruit in the world!?! It’s true! They are super juicy, really nutrient dense and pack a ton of flavor. I love using them to mellow out red onions, they are great with avocados and pair wonderfully with fish.

 

Coconut Mango Fruit Leather_Natalie Paramore2

For this post I channeled my inner kiddo and made a homemade, clean version of fruit roll ups. I love these for snacking at work. You can substitute any fruit really, do whatever you like! I used coconut oil because I think it adds a wonderful flavor and makes these mangoes all the more tropical. You can substitute honey, agave, granulated sugar, really whatever sweetener suits your fancy. But trust, the coconut oil smells divine when cooking and transports you right to the beach. So I root for the coconut oil if you have it!

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For this recipe you’ll need:

4 cups chopped mangoes (or whatever fruit you choose!)

1 cup water

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or other sweetner)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

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Begin by peeling and chopping the mango. You can use the tutorial above or this one I did here.

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In a food processor, combine mangoes with water and lemon juice until completely smooth.

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Pour puree into a pot.

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Add coconut oil and heat over medium flame until it reduces down by half. Stir frequently and be sure not to burn it. If you need to, lower the heat. This should take about 10 minutes or so depending on your stove, etc.

Coconut Mango Fruit Leather_Natalie Paramore5

Cover a large baking pan with parchment paper or use a silpat. Smooth the puree about an 1/8 of inch thick. You should be able to almost see through the puree. Bake at 200 degrees for four to five hours.

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You’ll know when it is done because the fruit leather will be smooth and not sticky. Let cool completely before cutting.

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Use a pizza cutter to slice into strips. You can roll them up with strips of parchment paper for easy storing. I ate mine so fast that part didn’t really matter.

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What are some of your favorite fruit roll up flavors?

Coconut Mango Fruit Leather_Natalie Paramore

Besides this mango fruit leather, some of my favorite mango recipes are Coconut Mango Jerk ChickenCoconut Mango Lassi and Grilled Portabella Mushrooms with Strawberry Mango Salad! It’s mango mania!

Frankenstein-Goblin Jello Shots

Just in time for Halloween, check out these creepy crawly jello-jiggler shots I made for my friends at Brit+Co.

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Part green monster, part vodka treat, get the full tutorial here for your spooky Halloween bash!

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Just a few ingredients and a little how-to and you’ll have the most the ghastly treats in town!

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What spooky tricks do you have up your sleeve this Halloween?

Chocolate Pumpkin Rice Krispy Treats

Ahh it’s that time of year again, pumpkin! How are you all feeling about the pumpkin trend? Still into it? Over the hype? Or like me, I’m not as stoked as years past, but it is a quintessentially fall flavor, and I just adore this season. I made these spooky sweets with all the chocolate lovers in mind! You can always substitute other flavors of Rice Krispies to your liking. Best of all,

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these will keep for a few days, so you can make them ahead of your ghoulish gala.

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As always, when in doubt, use sprinkles. Lots. Whatever the color, whatever the flavor, the answer to sprinkles is always, yes.

 

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A few simple ingredients, some melty ‘mallows and you’ve got yourself a treat! You can get the full tutorial here!

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What are your favorite Halloween sweets?

Easy as Apple Cheddar Pie

I love love love love love fall! Do see all that love there? It’s real. This is by far the most wonderful time of year! The cool breezes, changing colors and of course, the clothes! All make my love affair with this season a very seductive one. Oh and then theres the food… how could I forget. This year’s first fall recipe on the line up is Apple Cheddar Pie! I took a baby shortcut and used a box mix for the pie crust, I put my own twist on it though with the cheese. If you have a super excellent pie crust recipe that doesn’t recipe jumping through hoops, send it my way!

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The hint of black pepper adds a nice little touch to this savory, sweet dessert.

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See those ingredients? Easy as pie.

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For the full tutorial, check out my post on Brit!apple cheddar pie 4

Golden flaky cheesy crust… why didn’t I eat this for breakfast?

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What is your favorite fall pie flavor?

Brü

I couldn’t help but notice the new trailer on my drive to work. For the past few weeks Brü has been serving up fresh coffee and flavorful granitas on south 1st street. Located in the same food truck park as Little Thai Food, it is a great little space. All of the syrups are handmade by the owner herself, they are also all vegan. Today’s special is Hibiscus Lemonade, you can keep up with the all the daily specials via Brü’s Twitter @BruAustin.

The day I stopped by it was boiling over century mark, so I opted for an iced coffee which was extra strong and helped me power through a melting afternoon. I sampled the daily granita, which was orange spice. More like a dessert than coffee to me, I will be back to try out another flavor soon.

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The tiny little trailer is too cute. Bonus: she has a small selections of books you can borrow if you want to stay and read a while.

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Fresh flowers are a nice touch to the service table.

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Colorful chairs add a little pop to the place. There is even a few chairs tucked away behind the shade if you’re looking for a refuge from the sun.

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This sign says it all, Brü is now open!

Salted Coffee and Kahlua Milkshakes

I love a

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good sweet pick me up, and this coffee and Kahlua milkshake does the trick! Cold, creamy ice cream with a splash of coffee, dash of chocolate, pinch of salt and of course a little booze to top it all off.

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Served up three ways, there’s a milkshake for everyone!

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For the full step-by-step how to, check out my post on Brit+Co.

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Milkshake shots with a salted rim might be my favorite!

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What’s your favorite?

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Cool Off With Spiked SnoCones!

I can’t think of any better way to cool on a hot Friday afternoon than with a spiked snocones. I skipped the processed syrups and added fresh garnishes and a little booze to get my weekend started off right!

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I made three varieties with only a few ingredients:
A spiked Sweet Tea Vodka Snocone
A boozy Mojito
A the summer favorite Piña Colada with fresh pineapple

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Grab some shaved ice, put out the fun cocktail glasses and have a make your own spiked snocone happy hour! You can get my full how-to here!

Happy Friday!

Hendrick’s for Father’s Day+A Giveaway!

I did some cocktails for Mother’s Day, so why not Father’s Day? I was lucky enough to attend a Hendrick’s Voyage into the Unusual party a few weeks ago. This drink, The Family Tree, was by far my favorite! Since gin is a little more manly spirit, I thought it would be perfect to share with your Pop this weekend. But this isn’t your Grandpa’s gin. It’s infused with cucumber and rose, which makes for a super clean and refreshing sip. Plus, I really like the story behind Hendrick’s, it’s a family run business and each and very bottle is given sniffed, yes that’s right sniffed, to make sure the quality is just right.

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Family Tree
Hendrick’s Gin
Fresh watermelon juice
Fresh lemon
simple syrup
Basil
Montelobos
Soda water
lemon wheel

Juice Watermelon. Combine ingredients except for
soda water. Ice, shake well and strain over fresh ice
into a long glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with
a lemon wheel and an basil leaf.

I hope you enjoy this cocktail as much as I did!

Plus, the great people at Hendrick’s gifted me a shaker and lime juicer that I’m giving away to one of you lucky readers! Tell me your favorite memory with Dad in the comments below and I’ll pick a winner at random tomorrow at 5pm! This is a quick giveaway so respond away!

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Dylan’s Power Brownies

Over Memorial Day weekend, a friend was involved in a terrible accident. He suffered extreme electrical burns. On a few good notes, he is going to eventually be ok and is able to recover at one of the best burns centers in San Antonio. During his recovery, he needs a high-protein, high-calorie diet. Doing the only thing I know how to do, I made up a recipe that makes eating all those calories a little sweeter.

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Get well soon Dylan!

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Dylan’s recipe is based on this healthier version, for those of watching your calories.

For Dylan’s recipe, you’ll need:
1 can black beans (rinsed)
3 eggs
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1-2 tablespoons chocolate flavored whey protein powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

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Begin by blending the black beans into a paste. Use teaspoons of water at a time as needed until smooth. It will be thick- that’s ok.

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Next whisk dry ingredients together.

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Add eggs, butter and black bean paste. Mix until smooth. I used a fork, break out the hand mixer if you need to. Mix on medium speed for one minute.

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Stir in chocolate chips.

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Bake in a small baking dish. Be sure to grease the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.

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Now enjoy some brownies!

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Come home soon Dylan.

Last Minute Mother’s Day Ideas: Sweets and Sips

Looking for some last minute Mother’s Day ideas? I always have the hardest time figuring out what to get my mom. She loves shopping and clothes…but getting my mom clothes as a gift never seems quite right. Massage? Spa day? All nice, but isn’t the point of Mother’s Day to actually spend time together? So this year I went a little retro and decided to DIY a few of my mom’s favorite things: chocolate and cocktails.

These are perfect because they are handmade, moms love that! And they are easy to make and easy on your budget. Plus, you can never go wrong sharing a chocolate flower bouquet or mom-osa with your mama this weekend!

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I made this chocolate flower bouquet for my Madre. Surprise mom! This what I’m giving you!

It was really fun to make and I know my mom will adore these chocolate flower lollipops! For the full how-to click here !

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Pink Mama Martini- Grapefruit Thyme Fizz

What about sipping a cocktail with mom this morning? Even though I love to cook, I know that won’t happen this weekend because my Granny ALWAYS cooks for us on Mother’s Day. So before we indulge in brunch, I plan to shake up a few cocktails.

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Orange You Thankful for Your Mama- Cherry Orange Tequila Sunrise

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Sparking Strawberry Mom-osa!

For full recipes and step-by-step instructions for these mom-approved cocktails click here!

How are you celebrating your mama this weekend?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies from Pinch of Yum

I made these tempting little morsels. And I don’t even like chocolate that much. But once this recipe showed up in my inbox, I knew they would be perfect for my dear friend Meredith Cranch’s Birthday! I mean, just look at them?

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I don’t bake often. But for Meredith Cranch, I bake.

This recipe and photos are from Lindsay of Pinch of Yum. She’s one of my favorite bloggers and always coming up with the best recipes. I have to admit, I didnt take pictures of my batch. Mainly because I decided to take on this project late on a Sunday evening and these took, what seemed forever, to finish baking. They are worth every minute though. These chocolate chip cookie brownies are super rich, dense and chocolatey. Dig in!

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