I’ve got boatloads of cucumbers growing in the garden, taking up space in the refrigerator, and even more packed into canning jars undergoing the delicious transformation into pickles. I’ve scoured dozens of recipes and methods online and finally arrived at my own adaptation. The pickling spice ingredients are simple, yet affordable because we can’t always splurge on gourmet spices (especially when you’re making enough pickles to feed an army) and… Keep Reading
If you’ve ever grown mint before then you know that once it starts growing it takes off like a weed. When it was overgrowing the pallet planter box it was in I decided it was time to take action and put it to good use in some recipes. Aside from mojitos and garnishing my other favorite cocktails I never utilized mint as the starring hero in my recipes, especially not… Keep Reading
Maybe I’m a bit of a plant nerd, but I think one of the coolest things is to pluck ingredients straight out of nature and use them in your every day meals. Tomatoes from the vine in a homemade red sauce, fresh salad greens snipped right from the ground, and mulberries plucked from the trees to make anything from jam to martinis. And as you can see, I chose the… Keep Reading
Garden Party may be in the title, but it’s not the fancy garden party you may be thinking of nor is this cocktail. We’re literally talking about Bloody Mary’s in shot glasses and it can be a store bought mix that you add vodka to or you can use one of the awesome recipes I’ve got on my blog! It’s the extreme garnishing and vessel it’s in that makes this… Keep Reading
It seems like when I host a big get together my main course goes a little (or a lot) past the time I thought it was supposed to get done. My guests don’t seem to notice or mind, but that’s because I make sure to keep a steady flow of cocktails and snacks going in the meantime. One of those appetizer standbys is bruschetta. It’s simple, quick, and as long… Keep Reading
It’s been tough trying to make time to cook and create new blog recipes, so when I do, I make sure they count. And not to toot my own horn, but this is a damn good one! I originally set out to make a simple pasta bake with tomatoes and basil, but when I saw my cilantro just sitting in the windowsill on the verge of wilting, I made a… Keep Reading
I love simple, zesty, and healthy dips for snacking so I put together this Roasted Red Pepper and Black Bean Hummus that I shared at Dream A Little Bigger today! Sweet, smokey, and just a hint of spice makes this an instant hit at any party!
If you grew up in Iowa then you’ve no doubt visited the Amana Colonies and all the lovely little shops throughout Amana. I went once as a kid and remember the famous giant rocking chair, watched someone weave a basket, and loaded up on a bag of cool colored stones. Not exactly Disneyworld or anything too exciting, but an experience nonetheless. I decided to visit again now that I’m older… Keep Reading
Clearly the weather is all over the place here in the Midwest because yesterday I was outside digging the beginnings of my garden in a lightweight flannel and now it’s in the 30’s and we’re anticipating snow over the next few days! Regardless of the weather I find myself always craving this soup, but it’s really perfect for those extra chilly days! This was an adaptation of my slow cooker… Keep Reading
While grocery shopping the other day I realized two things: 1. I needed a drink. 2. I needed a vacation. Seeing as that a vacation requires a bit more planning and money, I opted for the drink instead. I was torn between making a mojito or a moscow mule, so I sort of combined the two! I started by infusing the silver rum with a habanero for some heat and… Keep Reading
Iowa’s “heat wave” will be coming to an end this week, but you can stay warm with this sweet and spicy Tropical Heat Fruit Salsa I shared at Dream A Little Bigger!
I’m going to begin by saying that Valentine’s Day is not really my favorite. I’d much rather celebrate Galentine’s Day or a Treat Yo Self Day (can you tell I still marathon Parks & Rec on a regular basis?), but I suppose I can get behind the whole chocolate and dessert splurging that comes along with the day. Since I rarely celebrate it I decided this year I would go… Keep Reading
This week my Instagram and Pinterest feeds are full of things about the Super Bowl and recipes for game day, but while most are excited for the big game, I’m going to be totally honest with you.. I only get excited over the opportunity to snack and drink beer all day! Whatever your motivation is on Sunday, a good dip recipe is always essential to the party. I love crab… Keep Reading
I write this from the comfort of a warm bed after work was cancelled today. Iowa roads are a treacherous ice skating rink from freezing rain so here’s a hearty and comforting soup recipe to help warm you all up! This particular one is a combination between a bacon cheddar soup and my spicy butternut squash soup. Big chunks of bacon, zesty onion, and a blend of aged white cheddar… Keep Reading
Throughout 2016 there were times where I could barely keep up with the days and at other times it felt like this year would just never end. We’ve finally made it through though and whether you’re celebrating the phenomenal year you just had or looking forward to starting anew with 2017, I’ve got a delicious Pomegranate Citrus Champagne Cocktail for you to toast with! Fresh squeezed orange juice and pomegranate… Keep Reading
Hot Toddies are always a go-to when temperatures drop or you find yourself with a terrible cold that only spices, citrus, and a wee bit of bourbon can cure. With the weather feeling quite arctic here in the Midwest, I couldn’t think of a more perfect time to make one and Maker’s Mark must have read my mind when they asked me to participate in this year’s #MakeItTealicious Hot Tea-Toddy… Keep Reading
Every December I have this day dream of spending an entire day listening to classic Christmas music, putting up the tree, and baking and decorating hundreds of Christmas cookies. REALITY CHECK: I don’t have that kind of time in my schedule right now! Instead I came up with a quick and easy alternative that doubles as a DIY gift for friends and family.. hot chocolate spoons! It took me 20… Keep Reading
When I initially made this Peppermint Crunch Popcorn Mix I was mildly concerned that I had made far too much and I realize now what a silly notion that was. I’ve been catching myself snacking on this stuff for breakfast, all throughout the day, after dinner, and well.. right now! It’s sweet, salty, crunchy, pepperminty, festive, and clearly just a wee bit addicting! It makes a huge batch which is… Keep Reading
I know it’s only Wednesday, but I felt the need for a mid-week cocktail! Life has been throwing some stressful curve-balls my way and with the gloomy weather, it’s left me in a pre-holiday funk. I figured a strong margarita with some bright citrusy flavors would be in order to change things up. A spicy chili rim, fresh squeezed citrus, and a cilantro-mint simple syrup make for a beautifully bold… Keep Reading
You know I love to incorporate whatever I’m drinking with into my recipes, so for Thanksgiving this year I used Stone Brewing’s Stone Delicious IPA for a citrusy, buttery, and juicy bird! Head to the Stone Brewing Blog for the recipe!
With temperatures dropping this weekend here in the Midwest, I find myself already layered in sweaters, burrowed under blankets, and drinking all the tea and hot chocolate that I can. I know this is only the beginning and it’s going to get MUCH colder, so I’m stock piling on ingredients to make all of my favorite warm boozy drinks through those extra chilly winter days. Luckily this Spiked S’mores Hot… Keep Reading
After every Thanksgiving meal I do the classic belly pat and proclaim that now I’M a stuffed turkey and yet I still find myself going in for a second or third helping of mashed potatoes. I will ALWAYS have room for more mashed potatoes! Normally I keep my spuds pretty simple, but it’s amazing what a few changes can do to elevate these to being more than just a plain… Keep Reading
I made my first attempt at a galette (a French dessert that is basically the lazy person’s pie) and it was delicious! A crunchy flaky crust filled with spiced apples and drizzled in decadent caramel sauce! I took one small bite to taste test it and then wolfed down the rest of the slice in seconds! Get the recipe for this Whole Wheat Country Apple Galette with Caramel Sauce over at Dream A… Keep Reading
I feel like I’ve made about 20 different variations of banana bread, but I just can’t help it! I feel terrible pitching bananas into the trash when they’ve gotten too ripe so I always wind up making bread and trying to put a new spin on it. This combination is probably my favorite so far! When I picked up a seasonal pack of Blue Moon and spotted the new Chai… Keep Reading