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Tag Archives: homemade

The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe You’ll Ever Need

This week, my dad had a birthday. Happy birthday, dad! I was trying to be a good daughter, so I wanted to make him his favorite cake (chocolate cake with vanilla frosting) for the festivities. In the past, I’ve grabbed a box cake mix and tub of frosting at the store and prepared the celebratory cake. This year, however, I decided to be an overachiever and make the cake and frosting from scratch. Because it was such a success, I wanted to share with you all. And seriously, you wont regret trying it out.

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Heading Down to Forked Deer

There’s something very nostalgic to me about traveling. Stress-inducing, too. What to pack? But I mostly feel nostalgia. One of my first trips ever was back to Tennessee, where my dad’s family has lived for many generations. I was an infant, and if the stories are true, I showed my mom my appreciation for paying for my trip by barfing all over her. Right before she met my great-grandmother (her grandma-in-law), you know, the one who makes the famous coconut cake. You’re welcome, mom.

Growing up, I headed back out to my grandparent’s property every other year, or so. Forked Deer, as we called the property near Gates, TN, is pronounced “Forka-deer” with a Southern accent. Interesting fact: I didn’t learn that it was spelled Forked Deer– as it’s named after the Forked Deer River– until I was like, 15 and saw a street sign. Mind. Blown. 

Just last week, I flew out to Memphis and drove the hour or over to Forked Deer. Obviously, we stopped at the first Cracker Barrel we saw. I was seriously bummed that the food wasn’t the same as I’d last had in 2011. My Gramma blames that on Cracker Barrel going national which was news to me. But what can you do?

Anyway, I wanted to share one of my favorite places to get away to. I hope you enjoy the photos of my travel as much as I enjoyed my trip! Read the rest of this entry

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello there friends! Apologies for being MIA. But do I have some fun news to make it up to you!

A few weeks back, some lovely ladies and I got to scheming about a cookie swap. Allie from Sweet Potato Bites, Karla from Foodologie, Jazzy from JazzyJonez, and Coco from Urban Chick’s Foodie Ventures and I decided that we would all make cookies, send a half-dozen to each of the participating ladies, and then share our recipes on our blogs. Allie, Karla, Coco and I are all residing in California, while Ms. Jazzy lives in Washington D.C. so we wanted to get creative in the naming process. And thus, Coast to Coast Cookie Swap was born!

I was determined to finally post about my absolute favorite cookies I’ve made. Seriously, this will be the only recipe you’ll ever need to either make yourself happy or impress a guy/girl/family member/potential family member/boss.

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The Most Amazing Mixed Nuts

Omg guys. You know I love Martha. Every Christmas, I love her even more because my mom makes the most amazing mixed nut recipe of hers. This is that recipe I spoke of here and promised to share with you. I’m finally following through! This mixed nut recipe from her Hor D’oeuvres Handbook is to die for. My mom has been making it for years and I finally decided I should learn how to make it.

Okay enough raving about nuts, I’ll just share it with you.

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2013 Highlights

First of all, HAPPY (late) NEW YEAR! So, on New Year’s Eve 2012, I posted a bunch of highlights from the year. I was so prepared. And for NYE 2013, I was in Paris and well on my way to a cheese and Champagne-induced coma. Sooo.. I wasn’t prepared. But, better late than never, right?

Let’s take a gander at all the delightful things 2013  threw my way!

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DIY Cinnamon Gift Tags

So, I’m not exactly sure if it was the pre-jet lag, or the time difference, or maybe I’d had a beer too many in New York, but I hadn’t even considered using the WordPress website to post. You know, like how I normally do it at home? Ughh.. dummy! Anyway, let’s carry on with this week’s post, and just ignore the little fit I threw last week, shall we?

I mean, we have important things for me to chat about, like Martha. She’s such a badass. I don’t know about you, but I think the whole “she went to prison” thing gives her even more street cred and versatility. But maybe that’s just me.. Either way, lady knows how to craft. I bookmarked this “recipe” of sorts from her site for cinnamon ornaments a while back to make for the holidays. Then I spotted this recipe on Pinterest that said I didn’t have to use glue and included other ingredients, which I thought was curious. So, I sort of combined the two recipes into what follows but decided to use the creation as gift tags for the delicious Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix and other gifts I’d made for friends and family this year before I left for my NYC-London-Paris trip.

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I wonder if I have enough cinnamon..

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Crockpot Applesauce

I absolutely adore this time of year. Falling leaves, apples in everything, cozy nights. And baking. So. Much. Baking. I love making the house smell cozy, like fall. Earlier this week, I decided to finally try using my crockpot to make something. And that something happened to be homemade applesauce. Not only did this make my house smell absolutely delish, guys, it was sooo easy.

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Oh, and it only has 2 ingredients. Apples and cinnamon.

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