Carolina Sweet Tart

Carolina Sweet Tart

After we got engaged Colm and I talked a lot about where to get married. We had no family in Connecticut (we didn’t move to North Carolina until much later) and I really didn’t want to go back to Iowa to get married when most of our friends were out East. Colm joked that we should get married in Belfast (Northern Ireland, where he is from). And I said “Yes, we should! That would be amazing!” We arranged a trip to Ireland that February to make plans. Colm told me he knew the perfect place to have our wedding, Belfast Castle. We would be in Belfast on Valentine’s Day so Colm surprised me with reservations at their wonderfully extravagant prix fixe dinner. A friend of Colm’s worked at the castle and arranged for us to have …

Purple Passion Potion #5

Purple Passion Potion #5

Many moons ago, when I was in college, there was this “totally awesome” drink made out of Everclear called Purple Passion. It came in a 4 pack or a 2 liter bottle, tasted a little like grape soda on steroids and was very popular with college girls (of legal drinking age, of course) because it didn’t have a super strong taste of alcohol. The bonus was you only needed a couple drinks to feel buzzed. It made a resurgence in the mid-90’s and again in 2014, but they changed the recipe and it was never as good as the original. I was feeling very nostalgic for Purple Passion the other day looking through some old photos, so I decided to set out and recreate the recipe. I didn’t have any Everclear …

Triple-Berry Cheesecake Trifle

Triple-Berry Cheesecake Trifle

Looking for a beautiful & delicious dessert to serve your Valentine? My Triple-Berry Cheesecake Trifle is the perfect dessert to woo her heart (and her sweet-tooth)! This scrumptious trifle is created with home-made lemon pound cake, raspberry jam, fresh strawberries and blueberries, layered with a smooth and creamy cheesecake filling. It’s a can’t miss dessert for your cheesecake lover.

Simply Perfect Prime Rib Roast | Ninja Cow Farm #gottobeNCbeef

Simply Perfect Prime Rib Roast | Ninja Cow Farm

Disclosure: “Simply Perfect Prime Rib Roast | Ninja Cow Farm” is a post sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Although I was supplied products and/or compensated for writing this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I only recommend products or services I believe in and use myself. Growing up in Iowa, in rural Iowa to be more precise, it’s pretty hard NOT to be a carnivore. Iowa is ranked 7th in the states for cattle production and 1st in hog production (North Carolina is 2nd). Although I grew up in town, I was a country girl at heart (still am!). My best friend lived on a farm and I spent as many weekends as I could with her, helping with her chores and riding horses every chance we got. In my …

Copy Cat Chick-fil-A Garden Market Salad

Copycat Chick-fil-A Grilled Market Salad

My favorite salad is a Chick-fil-A Grilled Market Salad. It’s sooo good. The flavors are so yummy together and honestly I could eat one for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day and not get tired of it! But I always crave it on Sunday when Chick-fil-A is closed! So now I just make my own (if I can keep berries in the house, my kids can eat them by the pound faster than locusts!) You just have to try it!! Now I tweaked the Chick-fil-A recipe a little bit towards my personal tastes. I don’t like blue cheese so I used goat cheese crumbles, and I like a lot of flavors and textures in my salad so I added some dried cherries. Their tartness goes really well with the sweet strawberries and tangy …

Homemade Almond Flavored Marshmallows

Homemade Almond Flavored Marshmallows

As I’ve mentioned a few times before, my family LOVES hot chocolate. It’s one of our favorite cold weather treats. My girls like to drink their hot chocolate with lots and lots of marshmallows. I mean, who doesn’t, right? Actually, I prefer mine with fresh whipped cream. But that has changed since I tasted homemade marshmallows. A neighbor dropped off a Christmas gift last week with some homemade hot chocolate mix and freshly made peppermint marshmallows. Oh my goodness they are so much better than the store-bought kind. My girls were fighting over who got the last one. To keep the peace I asked my neighbor for the recipe so we could make some ourselves. I can’t believe how simple it was! And there’s no limit to the flavors you can …

30-Minute Tortilla Soup

30-Minute Tortilla Soup

Last year I tagged along with my husband Colm to a work conference in San Antonio. Our first vacation without the kids in over 14 years! We had a lot of fun exploring San Antonio, strolling along the Riverwalk and visiting historic places like The Alamo. (We stayed at a haunted hotel, The Menger Hotel right across the road from The Alamo. But the only thing that haunted us was the boys basketball tournament participants that were staying in the rooms above ours, lol.) While we were in San Antonio I became obsessed with Tortilla Soup. I ordered it nearly everywhere we ate, along with a margarita! I mean when in Texas, right?!? I couldn’t wait to get home and recreate the recipe. I looked up several recipes in search of the perfect one. The recipe from Ree …

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Whoopie Pies

The birth of Holiday Baking day and how Peppermint Hot Chocolate Whoopie Pies came to be. Over the past three and a half years, due to my husband’s job, we have moved four times and lived in four different states. Three years ago my girls had a particularly hard time over winter break. We hadn’t lived in Alabama very long. There were no visits from family, no friends to have over for hot chocolate, no holiday parties to attend, no secret Santa exchanges… all of the fun things that most people participate in during winter break. My husband was out of work and we didn’t have the extra money for the girls to buy gifts for each other, something they looked forward to every year. After thinking about what we could do that would be …

Eggnog Bread with Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing

Eggnog Bread with Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing

I’ve had a love affair with eggnog since I was little. When I was around 7 years old my mom, who was an elementary school librarian, brought home a cookbook with simple recipes that kids could make on their own. One of the recipes was a no-cook eggnog that my brothers and I must have made 1,000 times; it was so yummy. I’ve managed to pass my eggnog obsession on to my girls. Every time they see eggnog in the store they beg me to buy it. With the holidays approaching eggnog is a staple in our house. So when I ran across my friend Jenni Field’s (Pastry Chef Online) recipe for Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting I knew I needed to find something to spread it on! I was contemplating pound cake when …