My Holiday Open House!!


Well it is almost Christmas and for Holidays everyone loves homemade sweet treats!!


And for the last two weeks I had Holiday Open Houses in a few of our stores 🙂

I made tons of sweet treats, shared my recipes and displayed those goodies in different ways as gifts, to give customers ideas on for Holiday gift giving.

I made fudge, bark, Christmas crack, Holiday muddy buddy mix, snowman soup among other things, I had over 20 recipes to share.  It was lots of fun, I had Christmas music playing (under my table), I gave everyone lots of ideas for their Christmas gifts.

Check out some of the pictures

Getting started 🙂



Some baking dishes


i have lots of things to fill 🙂








Tips on packaging 🙂


things are getting filled


Chocolate covered popcorn


christmas bark


white chocolate bark


Christmas fudge


A hot cocoa kit, cocoa, marshmallows and peppermint stir sticks




gathering it all together 🙂


some cute mason jar ideas


Setting up at one of the stores


its coming together




more of the display


here is a close up








Lot of stuff was found at the Dollar store and I made it look cute 🙂


This was it set up another store, I added the Candy Canes
and did the green fabric a little different 🙂


I love that I had the baking supply display behind me, people
were just asking what to get, I was filling up their carts 🙂


I hope all you have a Merry Christmas!!!!



Blueberry Crumb Bars!!


These Blueberry Crumb Bars turned out so delicious!!!

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I was invited to a luncheon and I wanted to bring something for everyone to take home and enjoy!! And I really must say they are very tasty 😛

So I made Blueberry and I made Raspberry, I wrapped them up in this cute matching wax paper and bags along with cute stickers all from Michael’s…don’t you just love Michael’s!! 🙂

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I had such a great time visiting with the ladies, one of the ladies “Val” just moved into a new high rise along the river that over looks downtown Cincinnati and her place was just exquisite!!!!

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I tried to take a “selfie” I am not very good, but sun was shining and it was hard to see, I was trying to get the Reds Great American Ball Park in the background too 😛

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I met these wonderful ladies through a friend of mine Robin, we both used to work for the same company and we remained in touch and good friends.  She had me cater a few parties at her house so that is how I got to know this group of lovely ladies.


So “Thank you Val” for including me and I hope all the ladies enjoyed the bars.  I know I had a great time!!! 🙂

I hope you all make these bars for your friends or family!!

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Blend in processor

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Blended, pour into sprayed baking dish

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press down all over and bake

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Filling ingredients

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since I made both I used this one for the raspberry

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spread over top of crust

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blueberries and flour

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toss together

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sprinkle on top of jam and crust

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Ingredients for topping

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pulsed 🙂


sprinkle over top the blueberries and bake

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Done and ready to cool

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Blueberry Crumb Bars

  • Servings: 9-16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. powdered sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces


1 pint blueberries or “3” 6 oz. containers of raspberries, about 2 cups
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 cup blueberry jam or raspberry if using raspberries

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

Preheat over to 375 degrees and spray or grease an 8×8 baking dish.

Crust – combine, flour, powdered sugar, salt and butter, place in a food processor or use a pastry blender until butter is the size of small peas.  Sprinkle mixture into the bottom of the baking dish and press down evenly and bake 12 minutes.

Filling – if the jam you are using is thick and is not spreadable then place into a small sauce pan and heat jam to make spreadable, you can use the microwave as well.  Pour the berries in a large bowl and sprinkle flour over top and gently toss to coat them.

Once the crust is done, spread jam evenly over the crust, crust will be warm so the jam does warm up and makes it easy to spread. Sprinkle berries over top the jam, any left over flour in the bottom of the bowl can be just sprinkle evenly over the berries.

Crumb Topping – in food processor add flour, brown sugar and butter, pulse mixture until crumbly, then sprinkle over top the blueberries and bake 35 – 40 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!!

This picture when I made both, I used bigger pans and doubled the recipe 🙂

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Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake


Test Kitchen was back open last week and I had some Blueberries so I thought why not a Blueberry Upside-Down Cake 🙂

Great for breakfast with your coffee or tea, maybe as an afternoon snack or after dinner, I hope you make it for your next baking adventure 🙂

As I thought about the topping I thought I would cut the brown sugar with some honey, hence the name 🙂 so this is my recipe 🙂

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Spray your pan, draw out the bottom of the pan on parchment and cut it out



Place parchment in pan and spray paper



I fail to take a picture of the topping melting, but just melt butter, brown sugar and honey together
and pour in pan


sprinkle blueberries over the topping in the pan



Cream together the butter & sugar until fuffy
then add eggs, one at a time


then add lemon juice and vanilla, then add flour and milk (read below)



Fold in lemon zest



pour on top of blueberries and bake


let cool for about 10 minutes


place platter on top of cake and flip upside down


and there you have your Honey Blueberry Upside-down Cake
let cool completely

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slice and serve

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Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 pint fresh blueberries (if using frozen use 2 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup)


1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons

Heat oven to 350 degrees, spray a 9×2 round baking pan with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Add 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), honey and brown sugar to a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring frequently.  Pour into baking pan; top with blueberries, set aside.

Whisk cake flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl, set aside.

Beat sugar and stick (1/2 cup) butter in a large bowl at medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in lemon juice and vanilla, at low speed beat in flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Fold in lemon zest then pour over top of the blueberries; smooth out evenly.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Using a small knife, loosen  cake from the side of pan, invert onto platter; remove parchment paper, cool completely.

This was super moist and honey delicious 🙂 Enjoy!!!

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Key Lime Margarita Bars!!!


I just love Key Lime!!!


Give me anything Key Lime…cake, cookies, Ice cream, yogurt, pie, candy, I think you get the picture 🙂

So I thought I would make a little something for the “taste tasters” in  out office 🙂

I was going to do something with chocolate or Key Lime and the word in the office was Key Lime since it was the summer.

So by using the pretzels in the crust I thought, oh salt…lime…okay Margarita!!!  Of course minus the Tequila 😦

But if you wanted to add tequila you could, what I would do is cut the lime juice in half adding the tequila as the other half (1/4 cup lime juice & 1/4 cup tequila).  But then add the zest of 3-4 limes instead of one, this will bring out the lime flavor, but I guess if you love tequila you could add all tequila and then just more lime zest.

I think if I was going to use Tequila, I would make the batter with out the juice, mix together, then add some Tequila and taste it, so you don’t over power it with Tequila 😛



Crush your pretzels, I did not crush them finely because I wanted to
make the texture like coarsely chopped nuts


Add pretzels and sugar to a bowl



add melted butter and mix together





Press mixture into a 9×13 sprayed pan and bake



Meanwhile whisk eggs, milk, lime zest and juice together




Baked crust, let cool about 15 minutes


pour mixture over top of crust



Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes




Slice add lime zest for a garnish


Eat and enjoy

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Key Lime Margarita Bars

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 1/2 cups pretzels, crushed
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted

Mix all together in a bowl, then press into a 9×13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes.  Let cool 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make batter

2 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs, at room temp
1/2 cup Key Lime or lime juice (see note above if you want to add Tequila)
zest of 2 limes and extra for garnish

Whisk together in a medium bowl, then pour over top the baked crust, spread evenly and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Center will not jiggle and edges will be light brown.

Let cool completely on counter, then refrigerate till cold, over night if you can.  You can garnish the top with lime zest or if you serve pieces individually you can add strips of lime zest on top of each piece.


Orange Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

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I really do love making cookies, they are probably the thing I like to make the most, just because you can add sooooo many different things and flavors.  Most of the time I will take the base dough that I make divide it half, three’s or in four’s, it really depends on the different combinations I want to try and see if they are any good.  Sometimes they work, sometimes your like yeah…NO 😛

But that is what’s fun about getting in the kitchen and creating a recipe.  When coming up with a recipe for you all here on my blog, I usually try to start with an ingredient that I like (ex. chicken, seafood, etc.), then a direction I want to go in, check my pantry, walk the aisle’s at the store, coming home and laying it all out on the counter and just start.  

Taste as I go, sometimes it’s not right and then I go back to the pantry and see what I have to make it better.  Everyone has different tastes, what I like, you may not like, so if you don’t like something in a recipe then change it, don’t be afraid to make your own.

So here we go with my newest cookie recipe; as I was thinking of what kind of cookie to make, I checked my pantry and left over from my Homemade Granola Recipe was coconut and pecans.  So okay there is a start, then I saw  the oatmeal so okay an oatmeal cookie…but what else could I add… as I turned my head and started to think…there is was right on my table…Mandarin Oranges…yes!! 🙂


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First I got my coconut on a baking sheet to toast

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Whisk together flour, salt & baking soda set aside
                                                                          In a small cup add eggs & vanilla

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In mixer bowl add sugars & butter           Beat together

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Then add eggs with vanilla                         Then on low at flour mixture

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At this point I want to try two different cookies, so I halved the dough

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First Cookie – Orange Coconut Oatmeal
dough, coconut, orange zest, oatmeal              mix to combine

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Second Cookie – Orange Pecan Oatmeal
chop pecans, add pecans, zest, oatmeal, mix to combine

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Scoop on to baking sheet and bake

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So as I had my family test these cookies, they liked both for sure, the one’s that didn’t like coconut liked the pecan ones better, but most said they’d like them both together.  So there I mixed the coconut and the pecans together, but if you don’t like coconut or can’t have nuts, you can leave one or the other out.

Recipe – Orange Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

2 eggs
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
zest of 4 mandarin oranges
2 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven 350 degrees
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking soda, set aside
In a small cup add eggs and vanilla, set aside
To toast coconut, add to baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees until light brown, keep an eye on this, in a second it will burn, stir every minute or so until light brown.   Chop pecans, set aside.

In your mixing bowl add butter and both sugars, beat on medium high for about 3 – 4 minutes.  Turn to mixer to medium add eggs with vanilla, beat until combined, on low add your flour mixture, once flour is kind of mixed, you can turn the mixer back to medium and beat until just combined.

Fold in or use your hands to mix in coconut, pecans, oats and orange zest.

Use a medium scoop, scoop dough on to lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart, bake for 12 – 15 minutes, golden brown.

I hope you will try them and enjoy!!!

And if you haven’t seen my Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies, check them out here

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Chocolate and Coffee!! …cookies!!


Chocolate and Coffee what really could be better!!

I really don’t think I could live with out coffee, I just love it, give it to me hot, cold, over ice, in a cup or in can  ———>    pic 1

I just love any kind of coffee drink and will seek out them out even if its International, but I do usually hit my local Starbucks for an Iced Venti 3 splenda Americano.   I also like to spread myself out and give all coffee shops  a fair shot.
I particularly like visiting this one Caribou Coffee shop, these girls that work there are a lot fun.  So when I go there all I ask is for a Medium size with 4 shots, and then tell them to work there magic with whatever they want to make me.
Then once its done, comes the taste test as I try to guess what they made me, well it is really a lot of fun and I’ve never had a bad drink yet.
My last one was  Dark Chocolate syrup with hazelnut, so I thought why not try to make a cookie with the same flavors.

So here is what I came up with and I will call it!!

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Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies and it went like this…

Ingredients (plus the nuts, which I forgot in the picture)

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add butter and 1/2 cup chips to saucepan and melt

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whisk in espresso powder, set aside

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add flour, salt, baking powder & cocoa, whisk together, set aside

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In a large bowl add both sugars, vanilla and eggs, whisk together

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pour chocolate mixture into sugar/egg mixture, combine

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add flour mixture to wet mixture and combine

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I took a handful of walnuts, chopped them up and it was 3/4 cup (didn’t have any hazelnuts)

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add chips and nuts

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scoop out on baking sheets

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and here you have cookies…Yummy!!!   pic 15


Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies


1 1/2 tbsp. espresso powder or instant coffee (heaping)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (1/2 cup) stick butter
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a small sauce pan add butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips, heat over medium heat whisking as they melt, once almost melted remove from heat.  Continue whisking until smooth, then add espresso powder mixing to combine and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl add flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa, set aside.
In a larger mixing bowl add sugars, vanilla and eggs, whisking to combine, then add chocolate mixture, whisking to fully combine.  Stir in Flour mixture all at once, stirring and folding until flour is fully incorporated.  Stir in remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips and walnuts.  I used a medium scoop (1 1/2 tbsp.) for these, baked them at 350 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes, you want them to look a little crackled.

Have them with a nice ice cold glass of milk or like me with more COFFEE!!!!    Enjoy!!!!

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Chocolate covered Apple Bites

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It’s Apple time, I love the fall and I love using apples in dishes and warm apple cider.  Had a little fall get together with friends this past weekend so I made apple bites.  Great fun for the Kids too!!!

These are so easy to make, I used Fowler Farms Zestar Apples, we carry apple from this farm and they are by far the best I’ve ever had, just delicious.

Things needed:
melon baller
melting chocolate
Toppings – crushed oreos, pecans, sprinkles, m&m’s really what ever you can find that will stick

Hold the apple in one hand and melon baller in the other, scoop out balls of the apple.
I put them all in a bowl, then took a paper towel and kind of squeezed the cut side of the apple (because if its too wet the chocolate will not stick) to absorb some of the juice.  Put a toothpick in the top (skin side), then dipped in chocolate then toppings, set on a tray to cool.  You can also drizzle extra chocolate on them too, these will keep in the refrigerator for 2 -3 days.

This is great fun to do with your kids and to serve at Halloween Parties or any party.