Spiked Strawberry Ice Cream Soda

Spiked Strawberry Ice Cream Soda

These colorful drinks are perfect for a summer afternoon by the pool or even as a dessert on a warm night. The drink is made up of strawberry ice cream, club soda, orange juice, and rum. The strawberry and orange flavors burst of summer, and the club soda adds the perfect amount of fizz. If you wish to have a non-adult ice cream soda, you can of course leave out the rum! These drinks are incredibly easy to make…

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No Bake Key Lime Pie

No Bake Key Lime Pie

This No Bake Key Lime Pie is the perfect recipe for those hot summer days! The base is a buttery graham cracker crust. The filling is made by beating mascarpone and sweetened condensed milk, adding lime juice, and folding in whipped cream. Once transferring the filling into the crust, freeze the pie for a few hours or overnight, and then it’s ready to eat! The recipe really is that simple to make, and the best part is that you don’t have to turn on the oven in the summer heat! 

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Choco Coco Granola

Choco Coco Granola

I used to make granola all the time in college thanks to acquiring the recipe of my favorite granola made at a local cafe. Strangely, I rarely make it now though, despite eating granola every day with yogurt. I have been wanting to develop a granola recipe for the site for a couple years now, but I always seem to fail whenever I attempt to develop one. I had a difficult time getting the perfect dry to wet ratio, and achieving the flavor and level of sweetness that I desire. I’m wondering if it is because I am being too critical of the recipes I have made, because after all I have sampled A LOT of different kinds of granolas. When I lived in Hawaii after college, my friend and I would frequently visit the local Whole Foods store with the sole intent to sample all of the granolas that they had in the bulk section. We did this nearly every day…

When reviewing my failed attempts, I realized that I was attempting to recreate granolas that I have enjoyed in the past. But I think that was my problem. No matter how good the recipe was, I was never going to be able to exactly recreate the flavors that I was attempting to recreate. So I decided to develop a recipe for a type of granola flavor that I had never had before in order to bypass my hypercritical granola taste buds.

Pulling inspiration from summer and our trip to Asia, I really wanted to incorporate a coconut flavor. After a couple variations, I landed on pairing the coconut with chocolate to create a rich and subtly sweet taste, which balances wonderfully with the creamy tang of a Greek yogurt. The best part about granola recipes are that they are easy to make. And one of the best things about THIS recipe is that while this granola is baking in the oven, your kitchen will smell like a coconut paradise! Seriously!

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Vegan Coconut Chunky Monkey Smoothie

Vegan Coconut Chunky Monkey Smoothie

We went to Shady Shack, a very popular vegetarian restaurant, because I saw online that they had smoothie bowls. I had their Cacao Dreams Smoothie Bowl, which had a base of cacao, dates, bananas, cashew butter, and coconut milk. I loved it so much that I just had to share a copycat version with you guys! The dates gave the smoothie a perfectly thick texture, and when combined with coconut milk, it was extremely filling. The coconut milk also lends itself to creating a creamy and rich taste. The recipe only requires a few ingredients, and only takes a couple minutes to make. Like I mentioned already, the smoothie is rather filling, so feel free to save any remaining amount in the refrigerator for a treat later on!

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Belgian Coconut Liège Waffles with a Coconut Cream Topping

Belgian Coconut Liège Waffles with a Coconut Cream Topping

If you have never had a liège waffle before, trust me when I say that they are wonderful. What makes a liège waffle so different from a regular waffle? Well, not only are liège waffles made from a yeast based dough, but that dough also has small pearl sugars infused throughout, so when cooked, the pearls create a lovely crunch and burst of sweetness. That being said, you will typically find liège waffles half the size of a normal waffle as they are much richer and sweeter.  Like I mentioned already, this waffle recipe is made from a yeast based dough. You will need to allow the dough to rise for 2 hours prior to cooking, or you can let the dough rise overnight so that it is ready the next morning. The strong coconut flavoring of these waffles comes from both coconut milk and coconut oil in the batter, and is further enhanced with a coconut milk based cream topping….

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Earl Grey Lavender Coffee Cake

Earl Grey Lavender Coffee Cake

But enough about those troubles, let’s talk about this Earl Grey Lavender Coffee Cake! I have seen numerous recipes in the past that have been Earl Grey flavored and I have always been so curious about them. I decided to pair two tea flavors - earl grey and lavender- in order to create a unique and light coffee cake. The trick to getting these flavors infused into the cake is to steep them in warmed milk for 1 hour, after which you will strain. I was a bit skeptical that this would be able to sufficiently transfer the tea flavors to the batter, but boy was I wrong! This coffee cake is popping with earl grey and lavender flavors. The citrus undertones of the earl grey and the floral flavorings of lavender make this coffee cake…

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Triple Berry Almond Olive Oil Cake

Triple Berry Almond Olive Oil Cake

Personally I am new to the olive oil cake game, and after this cake, I am bummed that it took me so long to get on board! If you haven’t tried an olive oil cake yet, you may be thinking that that olive oil in a cake sounds odd. But it’s not! It is a complete game changer. The olive oil has a distant flavor with a slight spicy aftertaste and bitterness, which is well balanced with the sweetness of the cake. The cake is extremely moist in texture thanks to its use of oil instead of butter. Imbedded within the cake are the raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. You can even top the cake with more berries for decor! The best part about this dessert is that it is easy to make and can be made ahead of time. For best results and flavor, I recommend using a high quality extra virgin olive oil for this recipe.

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Lazy Girl Nutella Palmiers

Lazy Girl Nutella Palmiers

This easy to make recipe only requires 5 ingredients, and minimal preparation. As a brief overview of the recipe - you take a sheet of puff pastry, spread nutella on top, roll, cut, and bake! That’s it! Once in the oven, these treats will expand as they bake, creating their signature heart shape (or elephant ears). The sweet nutella center perfectly balances the crispy, flaky exterior. And thanks to this flaky texture, these treats make for a perfectly light snack to pair with your afternoon tea or coffee!

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Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

Lemon Poppy Seed Donuts

These easy to make donuts are baked rather than fried, and there is no yeast, nor rest time to deal with. My husband was kind of taken aback when he tried these donuts because they don’t taste like your typical donuts - overly sweet and heavy. Rather, these donuts are merely muffins in donut form, because, well, most things are more fun in donut form!

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Challah Monkey Bread

Challah Monkey Bread

Monkey bread is comprised of individual pieces of yeasted bread that are rolled in and coated with a butter-sugar syrup mixture and cinnamon sugar. Therefore, your home will smell amazing as the monkey bread bakes in the oven. You can either cut the bread into slices, or pull apart the pieces individually. This recipe can be made the night before - just look at the baker’s notes at the bottom of the recipe for instructions! And the best part about this recipe is that it can double as a brunch item and a dessert item. ;)

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Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts with a Brown Butter Glaze

Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts with a Brown Butter Glaze

My all time favorite type of donut is the old fashioned donut. I love how they have a bit more crunch on the outside than other donuts, while still maintaining a soft, moist dough on the inside. The increased surface area, thanks to the ridges and indentations on old fashioned donuts, that allow for more glaze isn’t a bad thing either! ;) Since old fashioned donuts are a subset of cake donuts, you don’t need to mess with yeast and rising times in order to make these. However, we will need to deep fry these donuts, which I know can intimidate lots of home bakers. Ever since I developed my take on cronuts I have become more comfortable with deep frying. The biggest things to help with your success is…

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Creamy Mascarpone Cheesecake

Creamy Mascarpone Cheesecake

This cheesecake is a little different than most cheesecakes thanks to its addition of mascarpone. If you don’t know what mascarpone is - don’t worry, you aren’t alone! It is essentially an Italian cream cheese. It is one of the main ingredients in the cream portion of tiramisu (which if you like tiramisu, check out this recipe!). When compared to American cream cheese, it has a more buttery taste (which is no surprise since it has a higher butter content than cream cheese), which leads to a richer, creamer texture. In this cheesecake we are using equal quantities of cream cheese and mascarpone, and guys let me tell you - it will simply melt in your mouth. I didn’t add too much additional flavoring to the cheesecake itself because I wanted the cheeses to shine and not get overshadowed. However, I did add some fun extra flavoring to the crust. Rather than a simple graham cracker crust, this cheesecake has ground almonds mixed in with the graham crackers!

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Crème Fraîche Pancakes

Crème Fraîche Pancakes

In light of Valentine’s Day next week, I wanted to share this recipe that would make for a perfect breakfast in bed! Crème Fraîche Pancakes. OMG, these pancakes are so soft, moist, and flavorful. I have never had crème fraîche pancakes before, but they really are different than normal pancakes. Crème fraîche is essentially a french sour cream. However, it has a higher fat content, is richer, thicker, and has a bit less tang than sour cream. So while you can substitute in sour cream if you can’t find crème fraîche, it won’t quite taste the same. I also added some tips and tricks in the instructions and baker’s notes that will help produce the perfect pancake. So as always, I recommend reading through everything before you start! These pancakes work well with any kind of pancake topping, so pick your favorite, and enjoy!

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Rocky Road Brownies

Rocky Road Brownies

If I didn’t have work on the coldest day of this polar vortex, you can bet that I would be snuggled under a blanket with these brownies in the oven. Strangely I wasn’t a fan of rocky road when I was little, but as I have grown a liking for nuts in desserts over the years, I have come to like this classic flavor. These brownies are fudgy and rich, and topped with additional chocolate, toasted marshmallows, and chopped nuts. But if you just want some plain, classic brownies you don’t have to add the toppings! This recipe is easy to make and truly perfect for a winter day!  

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Couscous with Pine Nuts and Pomegranate

Couscous with Pine Nuts and Pomegranate

You guys, the flavors in this recipe are subtle, yet present and perfectly balanced. The couscous is cooked with butter, chicken stock, and caramelized onions, which creates a savory base for the dish. The minced parsley adds a mild bitterness, while the pomegranate seeds add a needed tartness and crunch. The feta cheese adds creaminess, and finally the toasted pine nuts add a rich nuttiness to the overall taste. This recipe is vegetarian in nature, but if you wish to add some meat, I would suggest adding chicken. This dish is easy to make, and can be made ahead of time!

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Cozy Winter Fruit Crisp

Cozy Winter Fruit Crisp

Now that we are back home, I am so excited that I can stay inside and be cozy on this overcast, freezing day, instead of feeling the need to get out and explore a new city. Today calls for a warm treat, and this Cozy Winter Fruit Crisp is exactly what I need. This dessert is filled with pears and apples and topped with a walnut oat streusel. This recipe is gluten free and uses minimal amounts of added sugars. Seasoned with maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, and cloves truly makes this the perfect winter treat! Top with some vanilla ice cream to add some additional flavoring and sweetness!

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Nutty Fruit Chocolate Bites

Nutty Fruit Chocolate Bites

This recipe LITERALLY only has 4 ingredients - chocolate, hazelnuts, pistachios, and dried cranberries. It is the perfect post holiday treat when you want something sweet, but not heavy like most holiday desserts. These chocolate bars are gluten free, and you can even change the type of chocolate that you use in order to also make them vegan/dairy free. And the best part is that they are incredibly easy to make! Not a hazelnut and/or pistachio fan? Feel free to change out the type of nuts that you use (keeping to the same overall quantity, of course). The versatility, yet simplicity  of this recipe are my favorite things about it!

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Classic Cinnamon Rolls

Classic Cinnamon Rolls

Now I LOVE cinnamon rolls. There is nothing better than the smell of cinnamon-butter-dough baking in the oven, and there is nothing more satisfying than unwinding a cinnamon roll as you eat it, only to come to the gooey-delicious center. The best part about these rolls are that they can be made the day before, and they will complete their second rise overnight in the refrigerator. That means come Christmas morning (or whatever special morning you wish to use this recipe for) all you have to do is allow the rolls to warm slightly on the counter, then …

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Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Ok so these cookies aren’t your typical kind of cookie. They are actually healthier than normal cookies! They are not sweet. Yes, yes I know it is a crazy concept to make a cookie non-sweet, but hear me out. Instead, these cookies are source of energy thanks to their wholesome ingredients, such as whole wheat flour, rolled oats, coconut oil, honey, and superfoods like seeds and raisins. I don’t know about you, but during the holiday season - a time that is filled with sugar cookies, fudge, gingerbread men, etc - it’s nice to have a break from the sweetness and instead have a healthy treat. This dessert (or should I say snack) recipe is incredibly easy to make, and takes minimal time to do so!

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a Brown Butter Walnut Sauce

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a Brown Butter Walnut Sauce

This gnocchi recipe is a labor of love! But cozying up at home with Christmas music in the background, and maybe even a fire going, creating these homemade gnocchi makes for the perfect hygge day! The sweet and nutty flavors from the sauce beautifully complement the earthy tones of the potato based gnocchi. Perfect for a romantic night with a loved one or a dinner party with friends!

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