Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

Just recently, I bought my first house. It took tons of work to get the place move-in ready. From tile to paint to the biggest cleaning job I've ever completed, this house was a big job. Even upon bringing all my belongings over, I've still been working on it, slowly but surely.

Because I was so busy getting the inside ready, I didn't have much time to get to know my neighbors. They were friendly, but I am of the old school mentality that you give greetings with baked goods. Well, maybe that is more because I am obsessed with my kitchen. Either way, I finally set aside some time to make some fresh cookies to give a nice, warm, "Hello!"

Cauliflower Pot Pie

What's more comforting than a southern style pot pie? A flaky pie crust filled with vegetables and a creamy beshchamel sauce is a great dinner year round.  But make it with a cauliflower pie crust and add carrots, leeks, celery, and cremini mushrooms, and cheddar cheese, and suddenly, things get extra special.

Homemade pie crust does, by nature of the word homemade, require more effort than pre-brought varieties. But homemade goods bring advantages, from controlling what ingredients are used to ensuring the proper freshness. Think about it: you buy a pie crust that is good for a month past the date you purchased it. How fresh is it really? If you want your baked goods to taste as good as they possibly can, you need the right supplies.

Green Tea Cupcakes

I love to explore local small markets. There's an Indian store by my job, and in Orlando we have a little collection of Asian markets and restaurants called Little Vietnam. I was in need of some sweet potato noodles, so I made a stop by one of the Asian markets. I can't even describe the variety of food items you can find - spices, fresh meat, sauces, and most vital to this post: unique candies. GREEN. TEA. KIT KATS. Yes, they are real. And yes, they are glorious.

I'd heard of them before, but was never fortunate enough to find them in stock. That day was a lucky one, as the treats from Japan were aplenty.

Chicken Quesa-pizzas

This started out as a recipe contest entry--I will ocassionally check active contests to see if anything sparks my interest, and this one my mother had informed me about. I was all excited to try it, as it was intended to be similar to the show Chopped, where you have a list of ingredients that all must be incorporated into your dish.

I had never cooked with a poblano pepper before, obviously bringing some excitement my way. I LOVE new experiences in the kitchen! The thing is, there are so many cultures and cuisines that I'll never be able to say I've done it all. Cooking is art.

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes

I have raved and raved about my cupcake recipe. Just recently, I used it for several different cupcakes, adding flavors in as needed. It works smashingly, but I decided to spice things up. A colleague,  knowing my love of kitchen time, often shares lemon cake recipes. Lemon, in light use, is a refreshing, slightly tart flavor in desserts (see Lemon Bars). When mixed with sugar, it makes a really great cookie or cake.

The mildly subtle recipe hints added up, so when it came time for her birthday, Lemon cake was #1 on the list. And here's where I made a change - I used a new cake recipe. And it is the simplest yet most awesome recipe ever.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cupcakes

Sweet, sugary cereal. Kids cereals are still my go to. Well, I'm not a big cereal fan for the most part; it's not that it isn't delightful, I'm just always hungry again 30 minutes later. Even with all the high fiber adult stuff. Cereal is not a meal! It's a side dish. I figure I'll keep it real at breakfast and eat eggs as the main course. Come to think of it, I don't have enough breakfast recipes shared on here...

Back to the main story of the night. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is one of the most famous and best kids cereals in existence. If I am going to have cereal, I will go for a bowl of milk with these tiny cinnamon cookies in it. Sure, Lucky Charms are good. Everyone loves marshmallows. Golden Grahams aren't bad, either. But something about cinnamon and sugar together go well in the mornings. Cinnamon buns are a great example. Do you know anyone that hates cinnamon buns?

Arnold Palmer Cupcakes

One of my dearest friends was planning her wedding recently, as I mentioned in my Macaron post not long ago. I was excited to be a part of it as a bridesmaid, as I've known her for years, and being a part of someone's happiness is a fulfilling experience. I was baking up a storm for her bridal shower, and after macarons, I had to get some cupcakes going!

So then came my predicament. What could I make?! I knew I needed a selection of cupcake choices. But what goes with a tea party? Fresh off the racks from my Bananas Foster Cupcakes of wonder, I decided to try another mix up. Arnold Palmer cupcakes.

Chocolate Macarons

Macaroon or macaron? That is the question. One of my dearest friends will be married in the next few weeks. Anyone who has read more than one dessert post in this blog has figured out by now that celebrations are my faaaavorite..."What? A party? Do you need cupcakes or cookies?"

As her bridal shower was quickly approaching, her maid of honor asked if I would like to bake the goodies for it. After some discussion, a tea party was decided on (how cute!). Desserts for a tea party? I had this in the bag.

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