Breakfast

Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry buckle!! Blueberry what?? I’m usually met with confusion when I mention this recipe but I promise if you have it once, it’s one you won’t forget! Similar to a classic coffee cake, this buckle is perfect with coffee and can be a real crowd pleaser at brunch!

I am so excited to share this recipe with all of you because it’s something we have been making in my family for years.  This is probably my Dad’s absolute favorite thing to bake and when it’s blueberry season he would sometimes make 2, 3 or even 4 buckles at a time.

My Dad has always followed his sacred Betty Crocker cookbook recipe (a favorite of mine too!) but I couldn’t help myself from adjusting it a bit!  I actually can’t even find the original recipe linked online anywhere so if you want it you need to buy the old school red and yellow cook book!  In the meantime- try mine!  I really just doubled the butter (because.. obviously..) and added some vanilla.  You could also top this with an easy icing or powdered sugar- YUM.

As fall approaches (HECK YES) I hope you find time to try this recipe, snuggle up and enjoy!

PS- why I didn’t take a picture of the finished product the last 3x I’ve made this in the last month, I NEVER KNOW.  So please enjoy this picture of blueberries and JUST TRUST it’s gorgeous.

Blueberry Buckle

A delicious new take on the classic!

Buckle

  • 3/4 cup sugar (white)
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups blueberries

Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup sugar (white)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (brown)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and grease your baking dish

  2. Using a standing or hand-held mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and egg and mix until fully combined

  3. Hand stir in the milk until smooth

  4. Mix or sift dry ingredients in a separate bowl and slowly add to the wet mixture, stirring until fully combined

  5. Gentle fold in the blueberries and pour mixture into baking dish

  6. In a separate bowl, use your hands to combine all of the Crumb Topping ingredients and then sprinkle on top of the buckle.

  7. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until cooked through and the top is golden brown.

Soups & Chilli

Creamy Chicken Soup

Hi friends! Happy March 🙂

I don’t know what the weather has been like near you but we had kind of a wacky February weather wise here in the Seattle area.  We got snow… legit snow which never happens so things got hectic!  I am from New England so 6-12 inches of snow doesn’t really phase me.  The issue here though is because they don’t get snow very often… they don’t really have the supplies or infrastructure to handle it!  I went to the grocery store that Friday with EVERYONE AND THEIR MOM AND AUNT AND BROTHER IN LAWS DOG… !!!!!!!!! It was a SCENE. Needless to say- I used it as an excuse to hunker down and make this delicious soup!

This soup is hearty enough to serve as a meal and would go wonderfully with some crusty bread and butter.  It tastes even better the next day and would freeze really well too!

Let’s enjoy all the creamy and warm things while we can.. SPRING IS COMING!!!!!!

Creamy Chicken Soup

Delicious, creamy and hearty soup- perfect for a cold winter day!  Use cream or milk if you wish to lighten it up.  You could also add 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to make it extra decadent! Serve with crusty bread and butter.

  • 3 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 whole onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup carrot (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp ground oregeno
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup cream (or milk)
  1. Pour the chicken broth into large pot or dutch oven.  Add the two chicken breasts and bring to a boil until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken and let cool.  Transfer the broth to a bowl to use later.

  2. Melt the 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat in same large pot or dutch oven.  Add the chopped celery, onion & carrot.  Season well with salt and pepper and cook until veggies are softened.  While the veggies cook, shred the chicken.

  3. Add garlic, thyme and oregano and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add the chicken and broth back into the pot and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. In smaller pot, melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter.

  6. Once melted, reduce the heat to low and add the flour, stirring to create a thick paste, or roux.

  7. Add the cream and stir until well combined.  Turn off the heat and add the mixture to the chicken soup. Bring to a simmer until soup has thickened.

  8. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and enjoy!

Candy

Holiday Caramels

Happy February! And welcome to my first monthly post of 2019! WOW is it a good one… I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to share this caramel recipe with you. It is perfect for Valentines Day coming up… what could say “I love you” more than homemade caramels??

One of the many wonderful friends I’ve made here in Washington, Cici, is not only the hostess with the mostess but she also has a talented mother Noreen, who has been making these delectable caramels for 30+ years.

I learned this recipe LIVE and in person with Noreen at a caramel making party Cici hosted in December.  Why aren’t all parties centered around making caramel?? Can we make that a rule?? Look how cute we are in our red aprons!!

This recipe was passed down to Noreen when she was growing up in “Amish Country” in Ohio. She later started a tradition when Cici was young of making the caramels every Christmas for Cici’s school teachers! Well, they were so loved by everyone who tried them that each year her order started increasing because all of the prior year teachers still wanted some! She was literally making hundreds and hundreds of caramels every December because they were so irresistible… and they still are!

Now, I understand the idea of making caramel can be a little daunting but I promise you this recipe is a breeze and actually really fun!  I’ve tried it out a few times and have some tips and tricks to make it as stress-free as possible.

Caramel Tips:

  1. Make sure you have the time to make this recipe.  You will need to spend 12 full minutes stirring the caramel once it is simmering. It doesn’t sound like a lot of time but you’ll need to be paying attention to the caramel.  So as Noreen told us, “this isn’t the time to take a phone call!!” LOL
  2. Use a wide non-stick pan.  Both of these aspects are important!!  The first time I made the caramels I ended up burning the bottom waiting for the top to simmer because the caramel was too deep in my smaller pan… does that make sense?  Using a wider pan allows the heat to distribute better.  Non-stick is critical for obvious reasons!
  3. Be creative!! Baking is a science but it doesn’t have to be so stressful.  You could dip these in white chocolate, no chocolate, add sea salt, etc.. have fun! Vanilla and salt are not included in the original recipe but I added them and they turned out great.

 

Holiday Caramels

Easy, quick and delicious homemade caramels for a special holiday or just because!

Caramels

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup light karo syrup
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1/2 lb semi-sweet chocolate
  • 8 oz toasted nuts (optional)
  1. Place all caramel ingredients in heavy, non-stick pan.  It’s better to use a wider pan so the caramel doesn’t burn at the bottom while you wait for it to simmer.  Non-stick is crucial!

  2. Bring to a consistent and strong simmer (NOT a rolling boil). Stir occasionally to be sure the bottom of the pan isn’t burning!

  3. Once simmering, cook exactly 12 minutes stirring constantly.

  4. Pour into greased and foil lined 8 x 11 pan.

  5. Cool + refrigerate until solid.  Cut into rectangles.

  6. Dip in melted semi-sweet chocolate (follow melting instructions on packaging) and top with toasted nut (pecan, almond, walnut- all optional!).  Store in refrigerator- keeps for up to 6 months!

 

 

Cakes

Apple Cake

Hi Everyone!!

Happy 2019! I’ve actually had this recipe written for a couple months but the Holidays got the best of me and things got top busy.  THEN I had my wonderful friend’s husband help to update my blog with a new look and feel… do you like?? I’m in love 🙂 It really pays to know software engineers because my technical knowledge allows me to type this and that’s about it…

Back to the apple cake! It’s actually adapted from a recipe i found on all recipes:(https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/7380/applesauce-cake-i/).  I tweaked and tested the recipe several times and this here is the winner.  It’s a little taste of fall but I really feel these flavors are good year round.  It’s also sweet enough to serve as an after dinner treat but simple enough to have with your morning coffee! You KNOW I love a versatile recipe!

I like the addition of cake flour because it makes what could be a very dense cake a bit lighter.  However, I understand not everyone will have cake flour on hand so 2 cups of all purpose flour is absolutely fine!  Have fun with this recipe! You could add nuts and raisins or any dried fruit as the original recipe calls for but I found I loved it best with only the diced apples for added texture.

Let me know what you think! Happy baking!

Apple Cake

A delicious and easy cake that is sweet enough to be an after dinner treat but simple enough to have with morning coffee!

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup apple (peeled and diced)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and heat apple sauce slightly in microwave

  2. Mix together sugar, butter, apple sauce and molasses.  If you don’t heat the apple sauce prior to mixing the butter will start to clump.  This is fine… just be aware!

  3. In a separate bowl mix all of the dry ingredients.  Slowly pour into the wet while mixing.

  4. Fold in the diced apples and pour batter into a greased bread tin.

  5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until firm and cooked all the way through.

Cakes

Red, White and Blue Berry Cake

Happy Fourth of July to my fellow Americans!! If you aren’t American… don’t despair! you can still make this recipe 🙂

IMG_5681

The Fourth has always been one of my very favorite Holidays.  Growing up in New England, a place rich with early American History, it was always a VERY big deal.  My hometown put on a huge parade every year and we NEVER missed it, one year we even participated in it!  My parents and their friends also used to get up really early and stake out the best spots on the route so we didn’t miss any of the action.  One of my best friend’s and I also went through this very embarrassing phase (middle school, what can I say) where we’d dress alike in red, white & blue and get decked out with face paint… cute!!!!  Anyways…the parade was always followed by a big party and you know what that means.. a lot of delicious food!

When I think of the perfect recipe for a Fourth of July cookout I think of something easy, light and also refreshing! It’s hot out there after all!  This recipe nails all of these things on the head and will be a favorite on your dessert table this year and at cookouts all summer long

Let’s get baking!


Red, White & Blue Berry Cake

yield: 8 servings– prep time: 15 minutes – bake time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

Cake:

2 cups of cake flour (all purpose flour works fine too)

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, room temp

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup milk

Optional: 1/2 tsp cinnamon or the zest of half a lemon

Topping:

Cool whip (as much as your little heart desires!!)

Sliced strawberries and blue berries… or other fruit! Again, as much as you want…


Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder & salt) together and set aside. If you are adding cinnamon mix it in with the dry!

Step Two: Beat the butter and sugars together until combined.  Add in the egg and vanilla until well combined.

IMG_5673

Step Three: To the butter/ sugar mixture add half of the dry ingredients and mix on low.  Slow add half the milk, then alternate with the rest of the dry and the rest of the milk. Mix until nice and smooth!  At this point if you’d like to add in the lemon zest do so!

IMG_5677

Step Four: Pour into a greased round baking dish and bake for 45 minutes.

Step Five: Let cake cool completely and dice up your fruit.  Once cool, using a serrated knife slice the cake in half like this:

IMG_5691

Step Six: Spread cool whip all over the first cake layer and then sprinkle on the fruit.  Put the top of the cake on the cool whip and fruit mixture and then repeat on the top!

Tip: Because the cool whip can melt, it’s best to assemble this cake right before serving! Especially helpful on those super hot days 🙂 ENJOY!

IMG_5693

Breakfast

Banana Pudding Bread

Hey ya’ll! It’s been a while!! I haven’t gone anywhere don’t worry… and I’m so excited to share this new recipe with you!  If you know me, you know I LOVE a good banana bread recipe and so what could be wrong with ONE MORE?? Answer: nothing!  This one is just as easy as my Naptime Banana Bread (read as: you can use ONE BOWL!) but has a cool ingredient you probably wouldn’t think of including… instant pudding!

Here is what I used:

IMG_4450

Before you judge me and think I’ve been holding this recipe from you since Christmas time (Elsa??)  I literally bought this in May and it wasn’t expiring for a long time LOL… No idea why Elsa is on it but she’s AWESOME so I don’t care!

I’ve read several cookie and cake recipes that included instant pudding and thought why not try it out in a quick bread recipe… because let’s be honest bananas are always going bad on my counter so i was desperate to make some anyways!  So next time you’re at the grocery buying enough bananas for an army of monkeys (we all do that though don’t we?) throw some instant pudding packets in your cart as well since we all know those bananas will be bad by week’s end LOL

IMG_4795


Banana Pudding Bread

yield: 10-12 servings– prep time: 15 minutes – bake time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas (if you only have 3 that’s fine but see milk note if using only 3)

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 box of vanilla instant pudding

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp b. powder

1/4 cup of milk (if you are only using 3 bananas, increase milk to 1/2 cup)

 

NOTE: I really felt the recipe turned out better when I used 4 bananas vs 3 but again you can absolutely use 3…. you’ve been warned…


Step One: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mash up your bananas in a bowl until mostly smooth.  Mix in the vanilla, egg and brown sugar until combined.

Step Two: If you’re all about that one bowl life then add the dry ingredients (flour, instant pudding, salt and baking powder) in on top of the wet and gently mix with a fork before combining all together with the rest of the ingredients.  Pour in the milk until fully combined.

IMG_4453.jpg

Step Three: Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for about 45-55 minutes.  You’ll know the bread is done when it’s solid in the middle and a toothpick comes out clean.

 

ENJOY!

IMG_4795

Cookies

No Bake Nutella Balls

Have you ever been craving a chocolate home-made treat but can’t find the energy to turn on the oven, take everything out and bake?  Surprisingly… this happens to me all the time!! I obviously absolutely love getting elbow deep baking in my kitchen but I too buy break & bake toll house cookies!  I’m only human… I must admit.

I had one such moment a couple weeks ago where I suddenly NEEDED a chocolate treat and it needed to be a cookie.  Well I was not about to whip up some cookie dough from scratch and wait for them to chill and bake so I devised a different plan…what about a no bake cookie? Something I could make with things I already had hanging around in my pantry…. thus was born the No Bake Nutella Ball!  This recipe is SO easy to throw together and can be enjoyed immediately if you so desire.  You probably already have most of these ingredients on hand but if you’re missing something there is likely a good substitute you can use:

Don’t have honey?  Use all pure maple syrup.

Don’t have pure maple syrup? Use all honey.

Don’t have Nutella? Use all peanut butter.

In other words.. get created and make these your own!  This recipe will make 16 balls and I literally think they were gone in a matter of 3 days… they’re THAT good!

Let’s get baking… sort of 😉


No Bake Nutella Balls

yield: 16 servings– prep time: 5 minutes – chill time: 30 minutes (optional)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup whole rolled oats

1/2 cup nutella

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 tbsp vanilla

3-4 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tbsp honey

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


Well let’s see bare with me here because this is ONE LONG RECIPE TO FOLLOW……

Step One: Throw all of the above ingredients into a bowl, mix until fully combined then form balls with a cookie scoop and your hands.

Step Two…Oh wait… THAT’S IT!!!!!!! Easy huh??  Here are a few tips to make them extra yummy:

  1. You may find the dough sticky and hard to form into balls.  Keep your hands wet and this should combat the stickiness
  2.  It’s technically optional but you can chill the balls for 30 min and let the ingredients set
  3. Regardless of whether or not you chill them you will need to keep these in the fridge once they’ve been made.  I keep them in a Tupperware in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

IMG_4026

Soups & Chilli

Creamy Tomato Soup

Hello again!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe and I sure have missed ya! It’s finally February!  January always feels like the longest month EVER.. especially when you are coming off all the Holiday craziness.  This year has been no different and this recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup was the perfect thing to warm me up as the weather has been CONSISTENTLY rainy and cloudy. UGHHHHHH.   Apparently the groundhog also just predicted 6 more weeks of winter so better bundle up and read along…

This recipe is so easy to make and really packs a punch when it comes to flavor.  I ate it for days on end as a leftover and also found fun ways to reinvent it: poaching an egg in the soup, using the soup as a sauce for pasta.. the list could go on! It just gets better as time foes on.  Let’s get started!


Creamy Tomato Soup

yield: 6 servings– prep time: 10 minutes – cook time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 sweet onion, diced

2/3 cup diced carrot

6 garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 small can of tomato paste

2 cans fire roasted diced tomato

1 1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/4-1/2 cup of cream or half and half

1 tbsp champagne vinegar (optional but gives a flavor blast)

seasonings: salt, pepper, crushed red pepper & fresh parsley


Step One: Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a pot.  While the oil heats, dice up your onion and carrot. Add to the heated olive oil and then season with salt and pepper.  Cook the onion  & carrot down for a few minutes until the onion is translucent.

IMG_3564.JPG

 

Step Two: Smash up the 6 cloves of garlic like shown below and add to the onion & carrot.  Add more salt and pepper.

IMG_3565

Step Three: After the garlic cooks for 1-2 minutes add the tomato paste and red pepper flakes and mix in with the vegetables.  Cook until it turns a deep red and gets very fragrant.

IMG_3567

Step Four: Add the diced tomatoes and vegetable broth.  Mix all together and reduce the heat on the stove to medium.  Let cook on the stove for up to 20 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

IMG_3571

Step Five: Using an immersion blender  or regular blender, mix the soup until it is smooth.  Mix in as much of the cream/ half and half as you’d like along with chopped parsley.  Another optional add in before you serve is 1 tbsp of champagne vinegar… trust me!  Add salt & pepper to taste.

IMG_3575.JPG

 

ENJOY!!! Tag me on Instagram or FB if you make this delicious soup 🙂

Breakfast

New Hampshire Granola

Happy New Year!!! New Year… Same me, sorry I know you were all wanting me to tell you all about my New Years Resolution (you’re like “nope don’t care Seds…”) but resolutions simply ain’t mah thaaaaang.  Besides. If you are an avid reader of my blog (nod your head) you’d know from my Chili recipe that I actually don’t even consider January the start of a New Year!! Instead, I think of the fall as the start of a New Year so…hey everyone thanks for joining me in the New Year, been here for a while and it’s great!

To kick of YOUR New Year I’m keeping it simple with a delicious and versatile granola recipe that can be eaten at any time of day. The Granola you buy at the store may seem healthy but making your own from home is much better for you and it’s so easy so there is really no reason not to!

IMG_3541

One of the first memories I have of my husband in college is how he constantly had a MASSIVE plastic baggy filled with amazing granola from his mother in his room!  Sometimes it was a more traditional version while other times it had peanut M&Ms and other candy… always SOO delicious and extremely addictive.  I remember one time he was going away for a long weekend for ROTC training and I wanted to send him with some granola (was trying to win his heart ya know) so I drove to Walmart and bought SOOO much stuff in order to make it: pre-made cereal granola, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, M&Ms.. etc.. it cost me almost 50 dollars!! Hey he ended up marrying me though so I guess it worked…

Don’t worry, this Granola recipe won’t cost you 50 dollars making it yourself is a lot more cost effective! Especially when so many of our grocery stores now offer bulk purchasing… buy what you need so you don’t end up wasting anything!  This recipe is a version of my MIL’s (which she still sends to us every so often!) and is VERY flexible.. you can essentially customize it however you like.  I like having it in the morning with fruit and yogurt but it also tastes great as a cereal with milk.  Grab it as a snack to go or sprinkle on ice cream.. I may have mixed it with Nutella before too! Let’s get started.


New Hampshire Granola

yield: about 5 cups of granola– prep time: 10 minutes – bake time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

4 cups of old fashioned oats

1/3-1/2 cups of each: dried fruit (such as cranberries or raisins), shredded coconut (sweetened or un-sweetened) and nuts (your choice!)

2/3 cup of pure maple syrup

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 tbsp honey

1 large dollop of peanut or almond butter

sprinkle of cinnamon


Step One:  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl combine oats, dried fruit, shredded coconut and nuts.

IMG_3538

Step Two: Mix in the maple syrup, vanilla, nut butter and honey.  Then, sprinkle with cinnamon and combine.

IMG_3540

Step Three: Spread the mixture flat onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, turn off the oven and let the granola sit inside the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove the granola and enjoy!

IMG_3543.jpg

Cookies

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies

I think it’s probably no secret that I love desserts and sweets but if I had to really think about what I am buying myself as a treat more than anything else: it’s always going to be something salted caramel!  It’s the epic and classic combination of sweet & salty!  Seriously though, whoever discovered it all tastes so good together should probably be the next President…. just saying.

These cookies are not only absolutely sinful, they are also EXTREMELY quick and easy to make! True story: a friend of mine realized with only a couple hours to spare that she was expected to bring a baked good to a party.  She texted me asking if I had anything really quick she could make in a pinch.  These cookies are what I suggested! They use only 5 ingredients and are always a huge crowd pleaser! She told me they were such a hit that she overheard person after person talking about how delicious they were, she was the star of the party!

Put these out at your next holiday party and you will be a real hero! Let’s get started!


Salted Caramel Chocolate Cookies

yield: about 2 dozen cookies– prep time: 10 minutes – bake time: 15 minutes

1 box of brownie mix (I️ prefer Duncan Hines as shown below)

1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

2 eggs

Soft caramels, cut in half

Sea Salt


Step One:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  This recipe is super simple and starts out a lot like my 5 ingredient double chocolate cookies! Combine the brownie mix, oil and eggs until smooth.

Step Two: Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 min in the fridge. While it’s chilling, begin cutting the caramels in half.  The below picture is of the caramels before they are cut in half, you want them cut in half so they easily fit inside your cookie dough ball!

SC3

Step Three: Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop out cookie dough and hide the caramel inside then roll the dough into a ball:

Step Four: Place the cookies on a parchment lined or greased baking sheet and put into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Once time is up, remove them from the oven and sprinkle sea salt on top immediately.  Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes on the tray before removing them… I know this is hard but you MUST wait the 10 minutes otherwise the caramel will be too hot and fall out of the cookie and then you’ll have a hole in your cookie and nobody wants that!  You can then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool more or dig in 🙂

 

ENJOY!