I got Ryan’s dream invite recently- to try all the new treats & drinks on the Dunkin Donuts holiday/winter menu! In case you guys aren’t familiar, I’ve been blogging on All Things Beautiful XO for years & you might find this hard to believe but…he just doesn’t get excited about mascara or lipstick! Can you believe it? But doughnuts are something he can get behind! Living at our last base we frequented our local DD more than I’m willing to admit- & now we’ve found our new local spot here in Las Vegas! Keep reading to check out the new items & what we think!…
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareTheHoliday #CollectiveBias
It is officially the holidays around here! This one is especially exciting since we are finally living next to family again. This means it will be more than just a Christmas for two! When it comes to travel-friendly recipes…there’s nothing quite like cookies. They’re fun, a huge variety, & I can actually get them from point A to B completely intact! Today I’m sharing a twist on the oh-so-beloved sugar cookie- some Rainbow Stained Glass Cookies!…
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #honeyforholidays #CollectiveBias
It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year…but it can also be kind of stressful. I love visiting & having family visit but I also adhere to a strict “sanctuary” policy. Beth time is my time! & even guests seem to agree. I often put together a goodie basket of bathroom products to make visitors feel more at home & always include something to make bath time more luxurious. Today I’m sharing one of my absolute favorites for the colder months- my DIY recipe for Honey Coconut Milk Bath. Get ready to soak away your stress & get moisturized!…
Did you know today is National Donut Day? Well I think that calls for a celebration! You may have caught my Halloween donuts with fangs here but today I went full-on fall tasty. Pumpkin spice. Because even though you see it everywhere…it still tastes so good! This recipe for icing also has a twist- keep reading to fall in love with the easiest donuts ever!…
When you fall in love with someone, you don’t always get to choose the details. Ryan is my match who happens to be in the military. I really struggle with both being a supportive military wife & having a “normal” home life like everyone else. Sometimes this life is really hard & we make a lot of sacrifices most people don’t have to think about. We are pretty blessed so it gets me thinking about the lives of other veterans & those serving as well. I get asked a lot- “What do you guys need?” “What can we do to say thanks?” & now I actually have an answer!…
Are you ready for the holidays? I am! Because I grew up in a somewhat non-traditional household I tend to have some different holiday treats so I thought I’d share one with you today! & since I’m already here & you’re already here…I’ll also share a few ideas for super easy appetizers with a coupon at the end. Sound good? Great! Let us make some Mezzetta Memories! Because the holidays are all about family I think of foods I always eat with mine. My mom & I both love hummus but my dad & husband don’t so we tend to really load up on it when we’re together! Today I want to share my super easy Roasted Red Pepper Jalapeno Hummus recipe that you can throw together so quickly it is practically sinful. It looks a bit more fun than the plain original & has a lot more zest. …
If you caught my post this past Friday with my recipe for Mint & Lime Asparagus then you saw this coming- BEER. I don’t personally drink beer very often (although my beer of choice tends to be Blue Moon & definitely with an orange wedge) but I do love cooking with it. Beer can completely transform a dish & make the meal much more exciting. Sometimes I use tequila or bourbon or whiskey but seeing as this is St. Patrick’s Day beer is only right don’t you think? I mixed together a few recipes I’ve made in the past to come up with something a bit fun & definitely tasty. Here is the end result- Sweet & Spicy Honey Beer Sauce with Chicken. Don’t forget to stay tuned till the end of the post for lots more St. Patrick’s Day ideas from other bloggers as well!
I highly recommend using a beer you really love- this one that I used was a leftover from a get-together but it worked out nicely. I also used some honey called Grilling Honey & it is from Savannah Bee Company. It has a bit more of a smoky taste but if you want something similar a nice quality liquid smoke would be lovely. I served the plate above for a lunch, for dinner I like to throw in a salad & potatoes. Husband gave it a 9 out of 10. I love how quick it was to prepare & with few ingredients, perfect on a busy night.
- 1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, about 6 oz each
- Fresh black pepper
- Kosher salt or smoked salt
- 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup high quality beer, preferably darker & richer in flavor
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Japanese or Korean pepper, chopped or 1-3 teaspoons sriracha
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or Thai basil
- Heat oil in large pan with high sides on medium high heat. While pan is heating up whisk together beer, soy sauce, peppers or sriracha, & honey in a small bowl. If substituting dried herbs add them now as well. Set aside.
- Season chicken breast with salt & pepper on each side & when the oil is hot, add to pan carefully. Cook about 5-7 minutes on each side for a nice sear. Don't move it around too much or you won't get a nice color. Remove from pan & keep warm.
- In the same pan with chicken leftovers add your garlic. Cook until softened & lightly browned. Re-whisk your sauce if anything has settled & add to pan. Whisk to mix. Let thicken up a bit.
- Serve hot over chicken or add chicken back to the pan to really drench them.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe inspired by the many gallons of beer guzzled on this day! If you’re not much of a drinker (I’m a lightweight to the max!) then maybe this will knock your socks off & make you feel like a St. Patrick’s Day participant! Check out the many other lovely blog posts from bloggers on St. Patrick’s Day inspiration- you’re bound to find a few new-to-you bloggers to enjoy!
Want to hear a secret? Mug cakes are my ongoing addiction. Mug brownies are gooey & mug pies are sweet but… Angel Food Cake made in a mug is just too easy to pass up. I have a big container full of half angel food cake & half devil’s food cake. Not a chocolate fan? Use another type! But this is my favorite duo personally & one choice does NEED to be angel food cake or it won’t work! Keep reading to check out my Valentine’s Day version of this easy & sweet treat!
Your basic formula for a 3-2-1 mug cake- 3 tablespoons of the mentioned cake mixture, 2 tablespoons of water, & one minute in the microwave. Then…ding! Cake! Obviously your microwave might need 45 seconds or even to add ten seconds- microwaves are weird like that. keep an eye on your cake!
When it comes out, it will look something like this spongy confection here! See how it seriously looks like a sponge? Yeah, that is quite tasty!
So what did I use for raspberry flavoring? Not fresh raspberries unfortunately…they just didn’t look good at the store. I opted for some freeze dried ones which I crushed up fine. You can use other types of flavoring but beware of making your cake dense or watery. You can also add a bit of chocolate chips if you’d like!
I added strawberries because those did look good at the store! Yum! Bonus points if you try to cut them into hearts & they come out as “abstract hearts” like mine!
What makes this even better? Sprinkles. & Valentine’s Day colored M&Ms because…why not. I guess you don’t need to add candies but yum, so good!
Valentine’s Day Chocolate Raspberry Angel Food Mug Cake Recipe
from Home in High Heels Serves 1-2
3 tablespoons half angel food cake mix & half devil’s food cake mix
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon crushed freeze-dried raspberries
Optional awesome decorations & strawberries
1. Add cake mix, water, & optional flavoring to microwave save mug. Stir to combine.
2. Microwave for approximately one minute watching to make sure it doesn’t over or under cook.
3. Immediately add chocolates for melty goodness or let cool.
Hope you enjoyed my little quick Valentine’s day fix! Check out some other fabulous Valentine’s Day ideas from the fabulous bloggers below! XO
When it comes to holidays Thanksgiving has always been a wacky one. Growing up we didn’t really have a traditional meal…in fact some years we traveled through Thanksgiving on mini vacations. My husband always had very traditional holidays. When we came together we kind of had a whole new situation! Keep reading to find out what we try to do every year!
Together we first started having Thanksgiving in a weird way. The first Thanksgiving we spent with his family, the next he was deployed (mys husband is in the Air Force currently), & then the third we spent with my family. This was a pretty decent rhythm! Then we got stationed in the middle of Nebraska far from family. What to do? Then it dawned on us: We can do whatever we want!
I made my first turkey (ew ew ew so gross to get used to honestly!) which was actually quite beautiful! We had traditional foods that I made myself & we try to open our house to other enlisted military (usually Airmen) who are away from family & can’t get home for the holidays. I love being able to give them a home cooked meal, I know how hard being far from home can be during the winter!
While being on the road or with family for the holidays was fun, we’ve really learned to love our own little Thanksgiving. I make the cranberry sauce the night before (Ryan then eats at least half of it) & plan out my recipes all month. I try to serve on nice platters which I collect all year to make me feel more grown up 😉 We sit around drinking hot chocolate (he drinks eggnog, yuck!) & have a really calm evening. Often on Thanksgiving we already have snow on the ground so it is nice to be cozy & warm inside! Plus we miss all of that traffic!
When it comes to being in public for the holidays, I like to look nice. I love to shop for trendy metallics, winter weather prep accessories (like those adorable leather gloves from Target!), & things I can sprinkle throughout my wardrobe. Honestly, I just love to shop & have new things constantly! Black Friday is my favorite time to seek out items usually out of my price range or things I don’t need but really want! So what does this have to do with Thanksgiving? Well Black Friday is the day after! I count it as being part of the holiday 😉
By the next day, I’m already in the Christmas spirit. I love how sparkly & stunning all the displays are & digging for treasure. Ryan is amused by this so he allows me to buy just about anything my heart desires when I’m in a festive mood. Our house would be so incredibly gawdy if he wasn’t around to reign me in some. I love Thanksgiving because it has become OUR holiday, something we do together as our own little family. It is really special to me.
What are some of your holiday traditions? Don’t forget to tag #MyKindofHoliday & check out Target for some great holiday finds this season!
When it comes it our house…we have lots of stuff. Our kitchen is overflowing, my makeup rooms is bursting, & the closets…well let’s just not play that game.
We’ve got gadgets & gizmos aplenty. We’ve got decor & seasonal galore. You want craft supplies? I’ve got too many! Ha. Does anyone else relate to the Little Mermaid about hoarding? That scene always gives me a giggle.
Let’s talk about what’s been going on though. For those that don’t know, I am obsessive compulsive & have anxiety. I take a medication to live a much better life but I just recently started taking it again. During the break we acquired a whole lot of stuff. & now that I’m back on track it is time to tackle it. We’ve already started & I thought…just in case anyone else out there felt crazy like me…I’d share some tips that have helped me.
#1 “I never use this & someone else out there will love it.”
This is number one for a reason: I repeat this in my head over & over…& over. When I’m trying to decide on an item this is what I say. If I have to think that hard we probably don’t need it. If it is something truly sentimental (your wedding album, prom dress, your son’s first pair of shoes) then that is something you have to think about. But if you are saving 10 dresses from 15 years ago that you’ll never wear again, let someone else!
#2 Ask lots of questions, of yourself & others.
When was the last time he played with this? Where will this fit in with our lifestyle? Is there someone we know who would really appreciate this that we could gift it to? You really need to find a balance. For example, I had well over 100 pairs of sunglasses. Excessive? Yes. But I’ve had most of them for years. The average amount for most people is probably 1-10. the thought of that was enough to nearly make me cray-cray. I couldn’t go down that much! But I did narrow it down to 50. Little by little! Get rid of the things that don’t make your life better: clothes you kept because someone gifted them to you, cracked items you never bothered to fix, games with a bunch of missing pieces…make room for the new.
#3 Get nonjudgmental help.
The nonjudgmental part is REALLY important. Find someone who can understand at least somewhat about what upsets you. You don’t want to feel like they think you’re being dramatic or even making things worse. You might be surprised so talk to them before you start. Go over your triggers, what upsets you most, & what will help make the experience productive. One of my triggers is getting rid of things without me seeing it first. My husband is really considerate & vocal about it now.
#4 Give to a cause.
This helps me so much. I hate the idea of throwing out perfectly good things someone somewhere might get use out of. I just can’t bare the thought of tossing them in the trash never to be loved again. We don’t personally have a good setup for yard sales so donations really are the way to go. Books to the local library. Art supplies to local schools. Clothing to the Make A Wish Foundation drop offs. I can’t even explain the difference between donating & tossing. Right now people are getting great use out of our mismatched dishes, canned goods we’ll never eat, & clothes I never ended up wearing.
#5 Find your own pace.
Some people will speed through certain rooms while others will drag. The kitchen is really hard for me, I can always see myself using those items. Same with crafting supplies. What if I need a lavender zipper someday? Or a mini colander? Or every box of tea ever made? I’ll take longer on those things. Books were really easy for me ever since I started using audio books & my kindle. I used to save them because I would think “Someday I’ll want this for my kids” or “Someday I’ll read this again” but now the only books I tend to keep are a couple from my childhood & my cookbooks. Try to switch between the difficult & easy so you feel like you’re really accomplishing something.
Welp! That’s all for now! If you guys are interested I could talk about our spring cleaning a bit more. It has definitely been an adventure! For the first time in ages it feels good to purge our house of the unnecessary.
I saw this pin on Pinterest & went wild. I love this cake recipe. I have made it many times but never frosted it. Its so light and beautifully fluffy! If you are interested in a box of cake mix & a can of soda being turned into a gorgeous cake, read on!
So basically I decided THIS would be the Valentine’s Day dessert. Its light, pretty, & looked pretty easy…right? Well…kinda…
Make your cake:
1 box of cake mix
1 can of soda (I like a lemon/lime or cherry based soda best!)
Simply mix the two together then bake as you normally would!
Now to make it rainbow inside similar to Omnomicon’s please check out the pin which will lead to the site! For my journey in pictures see below! I went with Pink, Purple, White, & Red gel food coloring, all from Amazon as is the cake pan. I am an avid Amazoner & I admit it! I made 2 in 10 inch pans & one mini in a 6 inch.
So everything went great until the frosting. The cake seriously crumbled! I let it cool completely & everything else you would do with a regular cake but I guess the soda made it super light. Next time, I’ll do an inside out cake AKA a layer of frosting in the middle of the two layers of cake. Oh sweet sweet next time! I finished frosting & tossed sprinkles on top. They may not cure it, but they help right?
Lucky for me, my husband doesn’t see a messed up, falling apart cake. What does he see? Free cake.
So if you have never tried Dale & Thomas Popcorn before, you are definitely missing out! To officially launch Cookinista, I have teamed up with this blossoming company to host a giveaway for you guys. If you are the lucky winner, you will receive everything reviewed here!
The packaging is adorable. Instead of creating a whole new box for holidays, Dale & Thomas adds a sleeve, this one being covered in holiday hearts! I love this concept because their boxes are always packed securely. I mean, what’s the point of getting popcorn if its all crunched up right?
This package comes with 6 sample bags all packaged in really durable coating. I mean seriously, get scissors, these are really hard to open with just your hands! Although they make tons of variations on flavored popcorn, this is for Valentine’s Day so these all revolve around what? Chocolate of course! If you aren’t a chocolate fan, I urge you to try out the Southwest Cheddar Chipotle!Keep in mind these bags serve 2-4 people according to the site. Personally, I like to grab a handful or a little bowl full here and there so it lasts me quite awhile! These are also gluten free as well as kosher!
D & T Description- We combine Dale and Thomas’s all natural corn, pop it to perfection, then dust the corn with praline almonds and finish it off with a drizzle of fudge.
My Take- I am such a sucker for almonds! The mix of deep fudge and almonds makes this popcorn something really special. There are bigger chunks of almonds throughout so I suggest shaking up the bag a bit before eating.
D & T Description- We have transformed our just-popped corn with a hint of aromatic cinnamon and brown sugar, for an enticing taste of fresh-from-the-oven sticky buns. Then we drizzle a layer of creamy white chocolate for the perfect finishing touch
My Take- Like a warm, iced cinnamon bun with extra…white chocolate icing? Indeed! This isn’t overpowering, just the perfect blend of flavors. I love the vanilla kick it has.
D & T Description- Welcome to heaven. Nirvana. Whatever you want to call it, our Peanut Butter & White Chocolate DrizzleCorn takes you there. This sweet-and-salty, creamy, and crunchy delight will blow you away!
My Take- This is the perfect blend! The peanut butter isn’t too overwhelming like with most mixes. The white chocolate and creamy peanut butter really are nirvana!
D & T Description- Big, fluffy kernels of our farm-fresh popcorn are perfectly paired with not one, but two luscious chocolate toppings: creamy milk chocolate and dreamy white chocolate. This over-the-top taste sensation is a chocoholic’s dream!
My Take- Perfect for when you just can’t choose! This is some high quality white chocolate, it really stands out and holds its ground against the milk!
D & T Description- Chocolate is good. Twice the chocolate is even better. We drizzle dark fudge over our sweet-and-salty Kettle Corn and then top it with a sprinkling of tiny chips made from real semi-sweet chocolate.
My Take-Double chocolate, why yes I will thanks! This is a chocolate lovers dream with dark chocolate for a punch of richness.
D & T Description- Our delicious caramel-dipped popcorn has been infused with the fresh Italian flavor of almond biscotti, and then dressed with decadent dark fudge and a coating of white chocolate. Try it with espresso and live a little
My Take- This is truly decadent! Almost every inch of popcorn is covered and the fudge is really rich. This is also probably the crunchiest coating of the bunch.
The cake pop maker features power and ready lights, convenient cord wrap, latching handle and it comes with a fork tool, 50 cake pop sticks and a cake pop stand.
My Take: So this little machine is adorable. Its lavender so it really stands out against all my other appliances. I ripped it out of the box as soon as I got home. I had to make cake. I flipped through the recipe booklet provided. Along with basic instructions (they really are basic…plug into wall and wait) they has included a few cake recipes, a doughnut hole recipe, and multiple frosting/glaze options. At first I thought “Well gee that doesn’t give me much to work with…” but then it dawned on me : You can use any recipe you already have, logically speaking. I pulled out a cake mix I had on hand which happened to be Devil’s Food. I then separated the mix into 1/3s. Why? We didn’t need that many cake pops and this way I can always make them fresh.
-Easy to clean
-Doesn’t take up too much space
-Accessories that are actually useful
-Can use different types aka muffins, cake, & even brownies…although they were pretty lumpy
-Great for portion control!!!!
-Can be difficult to remove the cakes
-Wish it came in a giant size too….but that might just be me being lazy!
|Cooling before their Spooky Slime Glaze.|
So my husband thought this was SO cool I walked in on him making muffins yesterday! It really is that fun! They have a few other types, but this is probably the only one I will buy. I mean, it pretty much does it all!
|Vanilla “Green Slime” Glaze.|
|So here’s what happens when you overfill the machine! Turned out a bit like a brownie corner. I don’t know why, but I thought this was hilarious.|
|Here’s the stand which I put on top of a plate. It holds 12, same as the machine.|
|Batch #1: Top row is swirled glaze, middle is linear glaze, bottom is “drop” glaze.|
|Batch #2: I made way too much, so I smothered them and added sprinkles. Lazy or awesome?I think you know which one I went with! 😉|