chicken saltimwhatta?

Finally. I have been meaning to post this recipe for a LONG time. It’s one of the best chicken recipes I’ve got. Sometimes I notice I will do anything to avoid a “plain old chicken breast recipe”. Lots of recipes are for chicken in this sauce or rolled in that breading, and I feel like a lot of them end up tasting the same—good because its chicken covered in cheesy or crunchy or whatever it is, but nothing spectacular. THIS is spectacular. Truly. Full of flavor and complexity. Juicy, to say the least. I’ve never had another chicken like it. We love it with a side of quinoa for a flavor-packed, nutritious meal (the recipe is on the blog too!).

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easy strawberry tall cake

This was my first attempt at a real, tall layer cake. I have made a few 2 layer cakes in the past, but normally its cupcakes or cake pops or cookies….and this was fun! There is something very satisfying about carefully constructing a tower of confections. Leveling each cake, spreading layer after layer of icing evenly, stacking one upon another until you think it may fall…and the best part by far is slicing into it and revealing the flavors inside that you can’t see. This cake is excellent for beginners as I am going to give you the easy bake oven version, and those of you who choose to may gourmet it up with made-from-scratch cake and homemade whipped cream. This is technically 2 cakes in 1, and each slice of cake must be cut thin or else you will have honkin’ big pieces. But luckily this cake is incredibly light and fresh. My coworkers were sure the pieces were too big, but it eats easy because its not covered in heavy icing. If you aren’t a pro cake baker but want to impress your friends or make someone feel special on their birthday, try out this cake. It’s delicious!

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brown butter is better

These little ghoulish treats were a last minute design on a recipe I knew I had to make. I have recently discovered the amazing, magical thing that happens to butter when you over cook it (not over over cook). It makes a pleasantly caramel colored, rich and nutty flavored syrup that is just right in a fall meal or dessert. I have not so recently discovered my love of brown sugar in all its molasses-y glory. So to combine these two flavors into a Halloween treat was a no brainer. Don’t let the exterior fool you, these are not just a Halloween treat. Try them out for anytime of year, with a nice big swirl of what can only be described as my favorite flavor of icing (so much left over….I kept sampling and sampling until I was convinced I had to throw the rest away…>tear<). The pairing is definitely one of my favorites.

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my sweet pumpkin

This is a particularly special post. I didn’t make this recipe. I fully intended to…I found this awesome sounding pumpkin fudge recipe, waited for the occasion to make it, gathered the ingredients, and got it in my head to do it one specific evening. What happened that evening I cannot remember much of, as I fell asleep on the couch at about 9:30 (call me grandma!) and not much else mattered after that. I vaguely remember being in and out of sleep, enough so to answer my husband’s “is this recipe hard?”s and to nod convincingly in response to his “don’t worry about the smell, it’s just a little smoke”. I woke up in the morning excited to see how it had come out—it looked good and tasted better. I felt like a Dad at the tee ball field watching his son hit a homer. My husband doesn’t cook much, for the simple reason that I like to so I do. I found it to be cute. Only to be made cuter by maybe wrestling him into my apron while he does it…..hey, a girl can dream. Back to the recipe—-it’s pumpkin but not overwhelmingly so, more of a spice fudge, with chunks of yummy nuts. Not a sludgy fudge, but the crumbly kind. It was our first stab at fudge and I liked it. Probably more so knowing that my sweet husband let me sleep while he was hard at work in the kitchen for a change : )

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double shot

This cake was created to celebrate our good friend’s birthday. He loves coffee so I set out to make the ultimate coffee cake. Now, when googling ‘coffee cake’ it’s tough to sort through the masses of crumbly, powdered sugar coated breakfast delights to find recipes for actual coffee flavored cake. But I found what I was looking for. Twice. And thus this cake was born—two cakes in one. Two dark chocolate coffe layers and two straight coffee flavored layers. And what other flavor than coffee for the icing? Oh, well, Bailey’s Irish cream will do the trick. Two surprisingly delicious cake flavors combined with two bold, scrape-your-plate icing flavors. Topped with a pile of chocolate covered espresso (yes, I typed ‘expresso’ twice before getting my finger over to the ‘s’….still trying to kick the habit) beans on top because well, heck, we’re already going for ridiculously indulgent as it is. Why not go all the way?

This post is exciting for me because every element of this cake was the perfect flavor and texture, and with so many elements, it’s yours to mix and match. Dark chocolate coffee cake with bailey’s icing. Or coffee cake with Bailey’s icing filling and coffee icing on the outside. And on the occasion you are feeling adventurous, do it all. It’s definitely worth it.

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