APPLE BREAD || a sweet recipe

apple bread

A couple of days ago, the girls and I took a dear friend out to pick apples at my grandparent's old farm.  We picked a big basket full of beautiful, tart, green apples.  I plan to make some applesauce, but sweet apple bread was calling my name :)

apple bread

One of my favorite resources for tried and true recipes is Jenny Hobick's blog, Everyday Occasions.  I have been following her blog for years and every recipe turns out so good!  I made a couple of modifications to her recipe....I only had 1 cup of granulated sugar so I used 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of granulated, and I baked my bread for longer!


4 small or 2 large loafs

2 Eggs
2 cups Sugar (or 1 cup Brown Sugar and 1 cup Sugar)
1 stick of Butter (melted)
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2 Apples, peeled and diced
2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare loaf pans by lining them with parchment paper, or greasing with butter.

In a mixer, combine eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.  Add flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture slowly.  Add apples in and stir just until combined.

Pour batter in the pans.  

Bake for 30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 15-20 minutes, then move to wire rack.

I love that it makes 2 large loafs, 1 to enjoy warm out of the oven and the other to give away!

bread packaged

This is the best sweet bread I have had in a while, it's so good and so easy!!!!!  The perfect after school snack or lazy Saturday morning breakfast bread :)


lemon thyme shortbread cookies | recipe

It's been a while friends!  We are starting to adapt to our new routine (with the shop) and it feels so good to be back to baking and cooking, tending to the yard and cleaning my home!  Last Friday night I hosted an Herb Gardening Class.  We planted container gardens, shared tips and tricks and enjoyed rosemary + grapefruit water and lemon thyme shortbread cookies. herbclass

The lemon thyme shortbread cookie were so good!  Something about the hint of sweetness with the lemon thyme.....yummy!  I thought I would share the recipe!  And FYI, I made a double batch so that we could enjoy some at home and they freeze beautifully.


Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients 2 c All-purpose flour 1 c Butter, unsalted, room temp. ½ c Powdered sugar 1 Tbsp Thyme, finely chopped 1 Tbsp Lemon zest ½ tsp Vanilla extract ½ tsp Lemon extract ¼ tsp Salt Lemon Icing 1 lbs Powdered Sugar 2.5 Tbsp Meringue powder 1 - 2 tsp Lemon extract ¼ - ½ c Water 3 - 4 drops Yellow food coloring Get Ingredients Instructions Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies Preheat oven to 350 °F. In your mixing bowl beat room temperature butter until it is creamy. Add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Add thyme, lemon zest, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and salt and continue to mix until ingredients combine. Add the flour 1 cup at a time until the mixture just starts to come together. Create a ball of dough and flatten it slightly before wrapping it in plastic wrap and chilling it for 1 hour. Remove dough from refrigerator. Lightly flour your surface and roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick. Use cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Place cookie cut-outs on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Place cookies in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. Let the cookies cool completely and then ice them. Let icing harden before serving. Lemon Icing In a mixer combine powdered sugar, meringue powder, and slowly add water while mixer is on low until you reach the consistency you want. Add lemon extract and food coloring and mix thoroughly. recipe from




The other day the girls "got" to join me for a color consultation.  Typically they play with Grandma when I meet with clients, but that wasn't going to work, so they tagged along.  My client was SO sweet.  She turned what could have been a totally draining morning (shushing and nagging little girls while trying to be professional and have a meeting) and turned it into a fun and productive time.  A great reminder of how I want to treat those around me!  When we headed out into the alley way to look at all of the different colors she had tried painting on the building, she started to snap some photos of the girls.  This one is my favorite!

That evening, the girls and I decided to do some baking.  It seems fitting to bake all things pumpkin in October, so we started our baking spree off with pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

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This is a new recipe (to me) and the bread turned out so good!


2 loaves

3 cups flour 
2 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp baking soda 
4 eggs 
2 cups sugar 
2 cups canned pumpkin 
1 1/2 cups canola oil

Preheat oven to 350. 
In stand-up mixer, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Gradually add in dry ingredients until just combined.  Pour in chocolate chips. 
Pour evenly into two greased loaf pans (4x8). Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire racks. 
Slice and serve.  It also freezes really well!

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When Fall rolls around, I love everything 'pumpkin' and 'spice'.  I wanted to make some cupcakes and was going to resort to spiced cupcakes, but decided to add a 'Fall" twist with frosting instead.  We ended up with chocolate cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting….perfectly chocolate with just a hint of spice!




When I make cupcakes, I usually use a box mix-just being honest.  I love the texture and you can't beat the ease of adding a handful of ingredients and turning on the mixer!  I almost always have cream cheese on hand, so these little babies took no time at all!  Below is the recipe, if you can even call it that…..Enjoy!!



Chocolate Fudge cake mix-prepare cupcakes per box instructions.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting-

8 oz. package of cream cheese, room temp.

1/4 cup of unsalted butter, room temp.

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. of vanilla

2-3 cups of powered sugar, depending on desired consistency.  

With a hand held, or stand mixer, mix cream cheese and butter together until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. Garnish with dried cranberries or anything else that sounds good!

BOSTOM CREAM PIE CUTIES || mine aren't so 'cute' but they taste really good


Last Friday night we came home from a friend's house to find a little plate of these Boston Cream Pie Cuties at our front door.  My mom had made some for a friend and dropped a few extra by.  Would you believe that my tummy was still quite full from dinner AND dessert and I managed to have two of these cuties??  They are so good!


I made a batch a few days ago and that was a bad decision!  Mine don't look nearly as cute as my mom's did, but these little cuties taste soooo good!  Hopefully you have better self control than I do ;-)  Either way, here is the recipe!


1 pkg.  (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1 pkg.  (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 cup  cold milk
1-1/2 cups  thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
1 pkg.  (4 oz.) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
HEAT oven to 350ºF.

PREPARE cake batter and bake as directed on package for 20 cupcakes. Cool completely.

BEAT pudding mix and milk with whisk 2 min. Let stand 5 min. Meanwhile, use serrated knife to cut cupcakes horizontally in half. Whisk 1/2 cup COOL WHIP into pudding; spoon onto bottom halves of cupcakes, using about 1 Tbsp. for each. Cover with cupcake tops.

MICROWAVE remaining COOL WHIP and chocolate in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until blended. Let stand 15 min.; spread onto cupcakes. Refrigerate 15 min.


ONLY MAKE 20 CUPCAKES (instead of 24)

HOW TO CUT CUPCAKES IN HALF~Use a serrated knife to easily cut the cupcakes in half.

SPECIAL EXTRA~Serve frosted cupcakes in colorful paper muffin cups.



GRAHAM CRACKER SWEET TREAT || a made up snow day treat

Day #6 of snow.

It's beautiful!  We haven't gotten cabin fever yet.  Probably because we are all fighting colds and just wanting to lay low and relax.

Yesterday we were running low on groceries, and activities.  So, we made GRAHAM CRACKER SWEET TREATS. A wing-it-figure-it-out-as-you-go-can't-have-many-ingredients kind of treat.  We love them.especially frozen!


The recipe is very technical.  Your 3 year old will feel very confident in their culinary skills after making this!


Open 1 sleeve of graham crackers.  Line them on a baking sheet.


Melt butter and brown sugar.  Pour over graham crackers and top with sprinkles, chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, whatever your heart desires!


Fun, easy and they definitely satisfy the sweet tooth craving!



Ingredients ::

1 sleeve of graham crackers

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

assorted toppings {sprinkles, chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, etc.}

Directions ::

Spread graham crackers on baking sheet.  Melt butter and brown sugar in microwave for 4-6 minutes.  Stir every 2 minutes.  {this will be hot!!}  Pour over graham crackers and top with topping.  Wait 1 hour, or until topping has hardened.  Break into bite size pieces.  Store in airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer.

OLIVE OIL PUMPKIN BREAD :: a quick bread recipe

pumpkin bread  

I am still baking anything and everything that calls for pumpkin!

I LOVE pumpkin and find I really only bake/cook with it in the Fall.

I thought I would share an easy olive oil pumpkin bread recipe I found online.  It's tasty and I love that it uses olive oil and honey, instead of vegetable oil and sugar.  **Full discloser, I added a powered sugar glaze and it adds just a perfect extra hint of sweetness.  A cream cheese frosting would be good too!**

Pumpkin Bread Recipe


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup  pumpkin purée*
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup  chopped walnuts or pecans

* To make pumpkin purée, cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a foil or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use. Or, if you are working with pumpkin pieces, roast or boil them until tender, then remove and discard the skin.


1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, honey and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.

3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.

Can easily double the recipe.

Can easily add a powered sugar glaze or cream cheese frosting to add extra sweetness.

S'MORES BROWNIE :: a sweet treat

I made these ooey-gooey s'mores brownies last weekend and they are slightly addictive.

A perfect treat for your Labor Day weekend, especially if you won't be camping but still want to savor some of the last of summer's treats!  And really, who doesn't love chocolate + graham crackers + more chocolate + marshmallows??



  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 9 broken in half (18 pieces) whole graham crackers, divided
  • 1 package chewy fudge brownie mix
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.)  Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips,divided
  • 2 chocolate bars, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • chocolate (for melting), 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, chocolate bar or whatever your heart desires


PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

LINE 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan with foil leaving an overhang on two sides. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

PLACE 15 graham cracker halves into bottom of pan, overlapping slightly. Break remaining graham cracker halves into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.

COMBINE brownie mix, water, oil and eggs in medium bowl until blended. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.  Spread over graham crackers in pan.

BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center comes out still slightly sticky; remove from oven.

PREHEAT broiler.

SPRINKLE remaining graham cracker pieces, broken chunks of chocolate bar and marshmallows over warm brownies. Broil for 30 to 45 seconds or until marshmallows are light brown. Watch carefully as browning occurs very fast! Sprinkle immediately with remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and drizzle melted chocolate over the bars.

COOL for at least 1 hour at room temperature. Lift out by foil edges to cutting board. Carefully remove foil. Cut into bars with wet knife. Store in tightly covered container.

I would recommend sharing these with friends because I promise you, it will be hard to stop eating them!!


chocolate cookie

These tasty little treats taste like brownie batter.  They are so good, trust me, you won't be able to eat just one!


4 tablespoons unsalted butter 2/3 cup packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon of oil   1 large egg 1 tablespoon milk 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 2/3 cup cocoa 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup powdered sugar, for coating

In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar.  Add oil, egg and milk and stir until combined.  Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Stir with mixer just until combine - don't over mix.  Chill dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.

To scoop out cookies, use a tablespoon and roll the cookies in powdered sugar, twice.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet 8 minutes.

chocolate cookie