Friday, December 30, 2011

A Yummy Year in Review

Well folks, can you believe it? Another year has come and gone...

Seems like just yesterday we were ringing in 2011, celebrating in Crested Butte with friends, not knowing that just 2 days into the new year we were about to embark on an extremely exciting and jam packed year.

Let's have a little recap on year 2011 shall we?

We got engaged...

 We got some good traveling in...

We moved back to Virginia, closer to my family...

And oh yeah, we got married!

But you all don't want to see pictures of me and Mountain Man... how bout all those yummy sweets we saw this year?

If 2011 was this good, I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for us!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday with your friends and family and that you have an absolutely fantastic New Years celebration!!

See you in 2012! 
Happy Baking!
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie & Christmas Cookies

Has this Christmas snuck up on anyone else?

Seems like just yesterday I was walking down the aisle and now, all of a sudden, it's Christmas time!

Can I let you in on a little secret? I just finished my Christmas shopping this as in Monday afternoon..thank goodness for the internet.

And you can imagine if it took me that long to get my stuff together to buy gifts, that my cookie/holiday baking also took a hit.

In addition to the busy-ness that was my whole month of Decemeber, my cake business has been booming recently (yay!) and with two cakes to bake and decorate every weekend I really haven't had the chance to spend any other time in the kitchen.

By this time last year I was smooth sailing till Christmas- I had all my cookies baked...

and Jeweled Lace Cookies (only 35 calories a cookie!)
Not this year though... I just started baking cookies this past weekend! Would you all still want to see what I've made even after the holiday is over??

So while I'm not sharing any new cookies with you this year (yet)...If you're anything like me, and you've been slacking this year for one reason or another, I have the perfect dessert to make it up to you. This is sure to be a crowd pleaser at any Christmas dinner- a little twist on a holiday classic, this pecan pie infused with bourbon and chocolate chips will put a smile on anyone's face.
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Adapted from
Bake: 425/350 Total time: 1 hour

3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup light corn syrup
4 TBS butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 TBS bourbon
2 TBS AP flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 package prepared pie crust

Preheat oven to 425. Press pie crust into 9-inch pie dish as directed on package and press/crimp edges.
In a large bowl, mix eggs, corn syrup, butter, brown sugar, bourbon, flour and vanilla until well combined.
Fold in pecans and chocolate chips.

Pour mixture into prepared pie shell.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then reduce temperature to 350 and continue to bake for 45 minutes.
Transfer to cooling rack and allow to completely cool before serving.

Happy Holidays
Happy Baking!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Homemade Holiday Truffles

Whether they're a co-worker, your child's favorite teacher, a neighbor across the street or your go-to dry cleaner, everyone deserves a little a holiday cheer and what says cheer better than homemade truffles??

Sunday afternoon I spent the day with my mother making chocolates for Christmas gifts. 

We talked about friends and family and gossiped over the latest Real Housewives, all the while filling candy molds with melting chocolates and whipping up different varieties of fillings.

It's afternoons like this that I'm extremely thankful to be so close to home, especially around the holidays. 

Not only are these truffles extremely easy to make, they're absolutely delicious and make for a perfect gift.

All you need are some flavor boosters including liquors, wine, peanut butter and different flavored chips...

melting chocolates, whole bunch of chocolate chips, heavy cream, a paint brush, some candy melt bottles and candy molds (all bought at your local Michaels).

I wish I would have taken some pictures of the process, but I left my camera on the counter as I rushed out of our house on my way to my moms so all the photos are from my iphone. It's pretty easy though and hopefully this tutorial will do the trick!

First thing you have to do is make your fillings... I started with a basic ganache and then added the flavor boosters. Make sure you add your flavors at the end of the process or your ganache will separate and it will not be pretty or tasty for that matter.

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 TBS butter

Flavor boosters
1/4 cup liquor 
1/2 cup sweet red wine
2 heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter

In a small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of water till boiling- you'll be using this for a double boiler.
Place chocolate chips in a large, heatproof bowl.
In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium heat until just simmering. *You don't want your cream to boil so make sure you keep stirring and really watch it.
Pour heavy cream over chocolate chips and mix gently so cream starts to melt the chocolate.
Move bowl on top of boiling water and stir until chips are completely melted and mixture is smooth.
Stir in butter and mix until mixture is smooth and butter is completely melted.
Slowly add in flavor booster- stirring until combined. (If you just wanted chocolate truffles, you don't have to add a flavor booster)
Place bowl in fridge and allow to set for at least 15 minutes before using.

Meanwhile, start to prepare candy molds.
In a small bowl, melt half bag of dark chocolate candy melts in microwave as directed on back of bag.
Using the paintbrush, coat the inside of the mold with layer of melted candy melts. *Make sure there are no holes and that when you look at the filled molds from the bottom you can't see through the chocolate.
Place coated molds in the freezer to set. Repeat with remaining molds.
Candy melts cool very fast so you have to act quickly- if your melts start to re-harden just pop them back in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Transfer cooled ganache to candy melt bottle.
Add remaining candy melts to other bottle and heat in microwave just as you did the first batch.
Knead bottle once completely heated to ensure smoothness.
Remove mold from freezer and squeeze ganache into each mold, leaving enough space at the top to cover with a layer of melted candy melts. Knock on counter a few times to eliminate air bubbles.
Using other bottle, squeeze layer of candy melts over ganache, covering completely- knock on counter a few times to smooth layer.
Once all molds are filled and covered, pop back in the freezer to set for about 10 minutes.
Carefully flip candies out onto a kitchen towel.

Repeat process as many times as necessary.

My mom and I made 4 different kinds of chocolates- Irish Cream, peanut butter-chocolate, red wine and mint (we used Andes flavored chocolate chips in place of the semi-sweet). It took us all afternoon, but it was well worth it!

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Mint Truffles

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles

What are you making for gifts this year??

Happy Baking!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Everything is better with a little frosting, wouldn't you agree?

During lacrosse season in high school we used to bring a box of Wheat Thins and a tub of funfetti frosting to lunch...Healthy? Not so much. Amazingly tasty? Absolutely.

So, how can you jazz up a plain old cookie? With frosting of course!

Now that we've relocated and I've started working in a new place, I have to start all over introducing my colleagues to my sweets. When a meeting showed up on the calender and I found out that a co-workers birthday had yet been celebrated I knew what had to be done.

These cookies are just the beginning.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
Oven: 350 Bake time: 12 minutes
Yields 12 large sandwich cookies

1 bag Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix (yes, I cheated a little)
1 egg
1 stick butter, softened
2-3 TBS milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup shredded carrots
scant 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream butter and egg until combined.
Add cookie mix, carrots, cinnamon, vanilla and milk, mixing until well combined.
Stir in raisins and walnuts, mixing until evenly distributed.
Use a large ice cream scoop for batter to ensure same size cookies- place 1 inch apart.
Transfer to oven and bake for about 12 minutes or until sides are lightly browned.

While cookies are cooling make Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese (half of the block), softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS milk
2 cups powdered sugar

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until combined and smooth.
Add vanilla, milk and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
*Feel free to add more milk or more powdered sugar to reach desired consistency.

Once cookies are completely cooled, match cookies by size.
Place large dollop on flat side of one cookie and sandwich with the other.
Continue until all cookies have been filled and matched.

 All packed up and ready to go to the meeting!

Happy Baking!

Proving my point, that everything is a little better with frosting.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Left-over Halloween Candy Cupcakes

I have to admit, I got very excited around Halloween because our new place is in the 'burbs.

We literally live right around the corner of an elementary school- every morning I leave for work I see kids walking to school or waiting for the bus, when I get home in the evening they're just wrapping up their afternoons outside and playground equipment can be seen in almost every of course I assumed we'd get to see all sorts of adorable witches and ghouls wandering our street.

But sadly, this was not the case...

You can understand my disappointment when our neighbor informed us that we probably wouldn't be getting many trick-or-treaters...they just don't walk down our street, she said.

But of course, I still had to buy that big bag of candy just in case.

We had a whopping 6 kids come to the door.. 3 of which were our neighbors.

So if you're like us and you still have plenty of Halloween candy leftover, then these are the cupcakes for you. I realize that most people are gearing up for Turkey Day, but who said you can't have cupcakes for Thanksgiving??

Left-over Halloween Candy Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
Oven: 350 Bake time: 20 minutes

3/4 cup oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS baking powder
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with liners.
Add sugar to large bowl, and while mixer is on slowly add oil until well combined- this will allow the oil to distribute evenly in the sugar and keep your cupackes from getting too greasy.
Add eggs, one at time, beating after each addition.
In a small bowl, whisk flour, salt and baking powder.
Alternate adding flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with flour, and mix until well combined.
Stir in vanilla.
Transfer half the batter into a separate bowl and stir in cocoa powder until smooth and combined.
Alternate adding spoonfuls of chocolate batter and vanilla batter in cupcake liners until 2/3 way full (I used 2 spoonfuls of each).
Pop in oven and bake until lightly golden and tops spring back to touch.
Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Best Chocolate Frosting
1 stick of butter, melted
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup whole milk

Melt butter in microwave. Stir in cocoa powder until combined. Slowly add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk beating on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add more milk if necessary.

Crush/roughly chop a few of your favorite left-over candy bars- I went with Butterfinger, Reeses, Baby Ruth and Kit Kat.
Using a small spatula, frost your cupcakes with chocolate frosting (don't worry about it looking pretty).
Press freshly frosted cupcake into crushed candy bar, lightly rolling so all sides of frosting are now covered.

Kit Kat


Reeses Peanut Butter Cup

Baby Ruth

Happy Baking!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with their friends and family!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Muffins

If someone had told me the ordeal that is changing your name, I may have seriously re-thought this decision.

I feel like my life is consumed with paperwork- the DMV, social security, banks, magazines.. you name it, they all want a different set of paperwork. And don't even get me started on what I'm going to have to go through to change everything for my job!

The weirdest part is trying to sign my new name or even better, responding to it- throws me off every time. I can't help but feel like a small part of me is missing with this new last name, but a new part of me is growing in it's place.

But you don't want to hear all about this.. you came for the good stuff- the yummy stuff!

Despite all these changes going on in my life, I can always count on my time in the kitchen to bring me solace. My love for the kitchen will never change.

If you're anything like me, once pumpkin season begins I find myself buying a can almost every time I'm at the grocery. Pumpkin isn't just for pies, oh no no no, it can be used in cakes, cookies, french toast, pasta (yes, pasta!) and of course, muffins..

Pumpkin Pie Muffins
Adapted from

2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup quick oats
1/2 cup raisins or cranberries (optional)
15 oz Pumpkin Pie Mix (half of the large can)
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup whole milk

Crumb topping
from the wonderful Lindsey at Gingerbread Bagels
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/3 cup AP flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and quick oats.
In large bowl, beat pumpkin pie mix, egg, oil, and sugar until combined.
Slowly add flour mixture and milk to pumpkin mixture, stirring until well blended.
Stir in raisins or cranberries (I actually found a bag with a mix of both).
Use an ice cream scoop to evenly scoop muffin mix into prepared muffin tin.
Make crumb topping and sprinkle over top of each muffin.
Pop in oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tops are lightly golden.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Giant Gooey Cinnamon Biscuits

This whole marriage/relocating/reorganizing thing has really put a damper on my time in the kitchen.

As some of you know, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and this past weekend was the first time I've actually had the time energy to bake anything since we moved from Texas!

Our new life has definitely been an adjustment: new schedules, new house, new commutes, and new responsibilities. Mountain Man no longer gets out of work early which means I'm in charge of all the cooking now and being closer to friends and family is amazing, but that also means a lot more things to do and places to be.

All that being said, my blog has also taken a hit.

I still plan on sharing all my yummy creations with you all, but there may be a little more lag time in between posts. But please, please, please, don't give up on me..because I still have plenty of sweets to share.

Cinnamon Breakfast Biscuits
recipe from The Kitchn
Makes 4 large biscuits
Oven: 425 Bake time:

2 cups AP flour
1 TBS dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream*, divided
1/2 cup cinnamon chips
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly grease 8x8-inch baking pan or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Pour about 1 1/2 cups of the cream- you're looking for a thick and sticky dough- mixing until just combined.
Lightly flour the countertop and turn dough out, patting into a long, thick rectangle.
Cut rectangle into 8 sqaures.
Transfer half the sqaures into the baking pan and sprinkle with a small handful of cinnamon chips over each square. Cover chips with second square of dough and lightly press sides to seal.
Distribute remaining chips over the sealed biscuits.
Transfer to oven and bake for about 15 mintues or until lightly golden on the outside.
Use a knife or spatula and smear hot cinnamon chips on top of biscuits
Whisk together 1/2 cup of cream, powdered sugar and vanilla- lightly drizzle biscuits with glaze.

And Congrats to Roxan who won the Tate's Bake Shop Giveaway!! I hope you enjoy the cookies as much as we did!
Happy Baking!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies

After two years of living in a place that doesn't do Fall, it feels fabulous to be back in a state that truly appreciates the awesomeness that is this beautifully colored season.

Pumpkin and mums stands have popped up on every corner, bags of candy can be found throughout the grocery store, the trees are turning beautiful shades of orange and yellow, and the cooler weather is rushing in.

Fall is in full swing and I love it.

Another thing I absolutely love about Fall are all the pumpkin flavored treats.

I can no longer pass by Starbucks without craving a Pumpkin Spice Latte and every sweet that runs through my mind involves that wonderful little gourd-like squash. I even served Pumpkin Cupcakes at my wedding and the centerpieces at each table were white pumpkins... I'm slightly obsessed.

These cookies are one of my favorite Fall treats and I'm so excited to share them with you. Don't let their appearance fool you... they're delicious.

Pumpkin Cookies
Oven: 350 Bake time: 12 minutes

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups AP flour

Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and pumpkin.
Add egg and beat until incorporated.
In a small bowl, sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix until blended.
Use an ice cream scooper and scoop cookies 1-inch apart onto prepared cookie sheet.
Transfer to oven and bake for about 12 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool completely on cooling rack before icing.

3 TBS butter
4 TBS milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, heat butter, milk and brown sugar over medium heat.
Stir until sugar dissolves.
Add powdered sugar and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
Pour over cookies.

And if you haven't already, make sure to enter my giveaway for 3 free bags of Tate's Bake Shop Cookies and the Tate's Bakeshop Cookbook. You don't want to miss it!! You have until October 31 to enter!!

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whirlwinds & Giveaways


That's all I have to say about these past few weeks.

I'm a married lady now!!

                                                              ...just a little sneak peak...
A little recap of what's been going on since I last left you: we moved out of our storage unit the Monday before the wedding, moved things into the new house throughout the rest of week (to include the DAY OF the wedding), baked 3 cakes, 80 cupcakes and 2 batches of sugar cookies for MY wedding and decorated said cakes/cupcakes/cookies, spent time with out of town guests, had the day/best night of my life, went on the most relaxing/amazing honeymoon, started the new job, unpacked the house and decorated 2 more cakes.

I know what you're thinking... wow. There's nothing else you can say really.

But enough about me.. how have you all been?

I hope you all have been having a good October so far- maybe not as busy as mine, but good nonetheless.

Did you also know that October is National Cookie Month? I came back just in time!

To get back in the swing of things I decided not only to make you all some of my favorite Fall time cookies, but also host a giveaway!

The wonderful folks at Tate's Bake Shop let me taste some of the their latest creations and are giving me the opportunity to not only share cookies with you, but giveaway a signed copy of Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook as well.

Their newest cookie is the award winning Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie... and let me tell you, these 3 bags were on my parents kitchen counter for a whopping 20 minutes before they were all completely gone. Crumbs- that's what was left. They were delicious.

So how can you win 3 bags of these wonderful cookies AND a cookbook?* Simply let me know what your favorite fall inspired cookie is! And make sure you leave me an email address so I can get in touch with you.  *giveaway only open to US residents*
Even if you don't win, you can still recieve a 15% discount if you order cookies online by using the code: COOKIE. You won't disappointed with these cookies!

Using a random number generator, I'll be picking a winner on Halloween so get your cookies in now- Kathleen King's cookies are delicious and her cookbook is one I use often in my own kitchen.

And later on this week I'll be back with one of my favorite Fall treats.

                                                                        Happy Baking!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Live from the East Coast

Lots of exciting things have been going on since we last chatted (which is why I've been MIA) and there are plenty more to follow in the coming weeks (can you say wedding fever??) so unfortunately I'll be flying under the radar again soon.

I did, however, want to take this time to keep you updated on a few significant life events:

1- My Dad and I made it to the east coast in one piece. Once we got out of Texas we hit rain almost the entire way forcing us to stop more than we would have liked, but it did allow us to go by each of our alma maters and pick up new sweatshirts (it's the little things that make road trips great). We chatted about everything under the sun, from military to politics, religion and family matters.. it was a great couple of days.

2- In the past couple of weeks I've managed to make not 1, but 2 wedding cakes.. check these little beauties out...

Danielle and Ricky wanted something simple with pearl accents and fresh flowers. They went with a small strawberry cake for display and cutting and served guests with a couple of large sheet cakes.. Shortly after dropping this off I picked my Dad up from the airport and we began our trek to VA.

I've been friends with Eric and Steph since high school so making their wedding cake was extra special. They went with alternating tiers of Chocolate Guinness Cake w/ Baileys Buttercream and Wedding White w/ Vanilla Buttercream. I literally started preparing this cake the day after our roadtrip and transporting their cake was quite an adventure, but I was so happy to be a part of their special day.

3- It's go time. The wedding countdown has begun and I have a lot to do in the next 13 days (insert stressful thoughts here) Thankfully I haven't started my new job yet, so I'll be running around all over the place getting things done...I can't wait!!

I'm going to try and get another post in before the wedding, but I can't make any promises.. I've got a "guest book" to make (can't wait to show you the finished project) and lots of other goodies to take care of so I may be MIA for another few weeks. 

Oh, and did I mention that I have to start baking MY wedding cake this weekend??

Happy Baking!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Margarita Jello Poke Cake

Well folks, it's my last week in Texas.

It's been a good run, but I'm ready to be back on the east coast. Ready to have seasons, be in driving distance to the beach, mountains, friends, family, greenery... and most importantly not have to drive 1 hour to a decent mall!

Let's be honest, I wasn't cut out for Texas. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good chicken fried steak, rocking cowboy boots, two-steeping, and jammin out to some good old Texas country music, but this 107 degree heat for 70+ days straight has been brutal and the highway system they've got going on just doesn't work for me (why don't Texan's know how to merge?).

That doesn't mean that we haven't had a good time while we've been out west and it most definitely doesn't mean we haven't made some wonderful friends these past couple of years.

And that's where this cake comes in. For the past couple years, some of our good friends here have a killer summer BBQ complete with ice luge, corn hole, flip cup, burgers, dogs, and lots of other good food- including this cake.

While perusing the isles one day this summer I came upon this Margarita Jello....(can someone say fantastic idea?)

...and then I found a recipe for a jello poke cake- It was just too good to be true.

Now the sad part is, that when I went back to get some more recently, I couldn't find it :( but that doesn't mean you couldn't substitute it with some lime jello!

The cake was a huge success. So much so, that I didn't even get to get a picture of it in all it's glory among the smorgasbord of foods that afternoon.

Margarita Jello Poke Cake
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker
Makes one 9x13 sheet cake

1 box white cake (I used Betty Crocker Super Moist White)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup veggie oil
4 egg whites
1/4 cup margarita mix (non-alcoholic)
1 box Margarita flavored jello*
3/4 cup boiling water
2 TBS tequila
2 TBS triple sec
1/4 margarita mix
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 TBS tequila* opt
1 TBS triple sec* opt

Preheat oven to 350. Spray pan with cooking spray and lightly coat with flour.
In small bowl, mix jello and boiling water. Add tequila and triple sec, mixing until everything is dissolved.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, 1/4 cup jello mixture, margarita mix, water, egg whites and oil and beat until well combined.
Pour into pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Transfer to cooling rack.
While cake is still warm, use a fork to poke holes throughout the whole cake.

Mix 1/4 margarita mix with remaining jello mixture and pour evenly and slowly over cake.

Cool completely, at least 1 hour.
Once cake has cooled, in a large bowl beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar, tequila and triple sec and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Frost cake while still in the pan. I don't normally keep cakes in the pan, but for a BBQ it was easy to transfer and easy to clean up.

Place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Daddy Tom gets in on Sunday evening and we begin our trek east, but not before I make a wedding cake for some friends this weekend though!

So while all of you out there are sharing good food and laughs with good friends, we'll be driving..driving into the sunset...well I guess sun rise technically since we're driving east...

But the real question is this: What do you talk to your dad about for 24 hours? I'm open to suggestions.

I'll be MIA just for a bit and the next time you hear from me I'll be back in VA! Until then..

Happy Baking!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Banana-Coconut Oat Bread

Whenever I look back at my first few months blogging my jaw drops at the poor quality of my pictures and horribly written recipes. It's amazing to me that people actually read the stuff or even started following me for that matter.

I never would have thought that I'd get as far as I have or establish a relationship with my readers that keeps them coming back for more.

And it always puts a huge smile on my face when I hear from old friends or even old acquaintances that they read my blog.. "you know, I have to admit, I totally read your blog," like it's a little secret they're scared to admit, but they're sharing it with me. I absolutely love it and that's why I keep doing what I do.

I also never would have imagined that companies would contact me to do reviews for them.. one of the coolest perks of blogging. It's not like people are knocking down my door to give me their product, but I get something every once and a while and it puts that same smile on my face. Now don't get me wrong, I'd love to get to the point where people are asking me to give away mixers or review things every week, but at this point I'm perfectly content with that unexpected email waiting in my inbox followed by that product filled package waiting on my doorstep.

This bread is a product of one of those products. The wonderful folks at Kelapo contacted me a few weeks back and asked if I'd be interested in trying out some coconut oil. I have to admit, I'm not a huge coconut fan, but Mountain Man sure is so I thought what the heck.. why not!

Truth be told, I actually really enjoyed this bread. I substituted the coconut oil in place of the normal stick of butter I add to my bread and it really did something to the flavor, not to mention added a few health benefits.

For more coconut oil recipes and to learn a little more about the benefits of using coconut oil check out their website: We're Coconuts.

Banana-Coconut Oat Bread
Oven: 350 Bake time: 45 minutes
1 large loaf or 3 mini loaves

1 cup AP flour
1 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Kelapo coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
3 bananas, smashed
1/2 cup buttermilk

In a large bowl, whisk flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a smaller bowl, mix brown sugar and coconut oil until well combined.
Add egg and smashed bananas, mixing until smooth-ish (it's always nice to have a few chunks).
Add wet to dry ingredients and mix.
Stir in buttermilk and mix until combined.
Pour into prepared baking pans.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool on cooling rack before serving.

Our house is all packed up... nothing left but me, my kitchen aid and a crate full of cake tools. That's right, even in my last week I'll be making a wedding cake for a friend. Once Mountain Man leaves I'll be heading over to some friends to stay out my last week of work and then its road trip time. A little 24-hour QT with the first man in my life, my dad.

These next few weeks may be a little rough for the blog, I'll try to get to things when I can, but I can't make any promises! I'll be back soon though so stick with me!!

Happy Baking!