Easy Recipes

Lavender Lemon Bars

lemon bars

Something about lemon bars just tastes like summer! The sweet-tart curd is perfectly balanced on top of a buttery shortbread crust. As a child, they were my favorite treat. The very thought of the tangy creaminess makes my mouth water. As my palate has matured (that’s a polite way of saying…I have gotten old) I still love my childhood favorite but I have added an aromatic twist. Lavender and lemon pair so perfectly that they beg to accompany each other. The flavor combination takes this classic bar cookie and upgrades it to a level that begs to be served at your next bridal or baby shower.

Continue reading

Berry Cream Cheese Dessert

berry dessert slice

This dessert was created for our annual Fourth of July backyard BBQ. The berries on cream cheese create the perfect red, white, and blue color palette. This dessert has become so popular at our house that we no longer call it our Fourth of July dessert, it is now our go-to,  every chance we get dessert.  With its sugar cookie crust, cream cheese filling, and mounds of fresh berries you will soon see why we have such an addiction…


Continue reading

Raspberry Buttercream


2 cups (4 sticks) room temperature salted butter

2 lb confectioners sugar (1 bag powdered sugar)

1 T. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 – 1/3 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup freeze-dried rasberry powder (or to taste)


  1. Cream together butter until light and fluffy. This is the most important stage of the entire recipe and may take between 5-8 minutes for butter to double in size. Continually stop mixture to scrape down the sides of bowl to insure all of the butter becomes same consistency.
  2. Add the salt and powdered sugar beat on medium high until dry mixture fully incorporates with the butter.
  3. Slowly combine the freeze-dried rasberry powder into the mixture
  4. Add vanilla and 1/4 cup of evaporated milk. Begin whipping the buttercream mixture on high for another 5-8 minutes until the frosting becomes super light and fluffy. Add additional evaporated milk during this process until the desired consistency is reached.


  • The quality of butter is extremely important to this recipe as it not only creates the texture but is the flavor base that is built upon when adding flavorings.
  • I like to use ground sea salt as is breaks down quicker in the finished buttercream.
  • Use your favorite brand of vanilla. I have different brands and quality vanilla extracts I use for different recipes. For my buttercream, I prefer Molina. It is not the most expensive vanilla but does not have an overwhelming alcohol taste. If you are using a stronger, higher quality vanilla reduce the amount to 2 tsp.
  • If you are in need of a true white buttercream use heavy cream instead of evaporated milk and substitute regular vanilla with Wilton clear vanilla. I like to use evaporated milk over heavy cream as it provides a richer flavor but it does add a cream color versus a true white color to the frosting.

Carrot Pretzel Rods

With the decision to close public schools, students have had to get creative with their online schooling. My favorite class, Early Childhood Education, gave the project to create a lesson plan with an activity that could be used to teach children. My mind instantly went to baking with my mom and the millions of questions I would ask.  I loved learning what all of the ingredients do and how they react together. Baking is basically a big science experiment with a delicious outcome! I then chose to create a science-related lesson about the physical changes that occur when you melt chocolate. The second part of the project was to actually do the lesson with some of your family, so my sister and I got to work dipping pretzel rods into the melted chocolate. When I say that these treats can truly be done by anyone, I mean it! These fun spring treats are adorable, delicious and such a fun quarantine activity for the whole family!

   – Maddie ( First post without Mom ♥)

Continue reading

Homemade Chocolate Covered Vanilla Bean Marshmallow Eggs


My mom has been making homemade chocolate-covered Easter eggs as long as I can remember. It’s funny when I was a little girl I thought she was trying to save money by making marshmallow instead of buying it. Looking back I clearly didn’t know how inexpensive marshmallows were and that my mother was no frugal genius. She made homemade marshmallow because there is simply nothing like it. It is so incredibly silky and smooth. It is like eating a sweet cloud infused with vanilla.

Please, Please, do not let the thought of making homemade marshmallow in the shape of eggs and dipping it in chocolate intimidate you. This is honestly one of the easiest and most impressive recipes you will ever make. The marshmallow is no-bake. You read that right…no boiling, no baking required. You don’t even need a fancy mold. I press a plastic easter egg in a tray of flour to make an impression, then spoon in the marshmallow. I even temper the chocolate used to dip the eggs in the microwave. What could be easier? I make these every year with my kids and when I say I make them with my kids…I mean it. They don’t sit by and watch mom make eggs…they make them. We actually do well over a hundred eggs every year. We make them for friends, family, even the kids in the neighborhood, they are that much fun to make.

We like to decorate our eggs with simple royal icing drop flowers but that is completely optional and decorations could be purchased if royal icing isn’t your thing. These eggs are also amazing using our strawberry and raspberry marshmallow recipe. The take away of this blog post is that you can do this! Try this and recipe and impress everyone with your mad culinary skills.


2 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin

4 Tbsp cold water

1 cup boiling water

2 cups sugar

1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 lb milk chocolate

assorted drop flowers and leaves


  1. Fill several cake pans with flour and use a large-sized plastic easter egg to press 30-40 egg impressions in flour
  2. In stand mixer bowl pour 4 Tbsp cold water over 2 envelopes of unflavored Knox gelatin.
  3. Let water fully absorb into gelatin.
  4. Pour 1 cup boiling water over gelatin and stir until hot water completely dissolves gelatin.
  5. Add sugar and salt.
  6. Whip on high until stiff peaks form.
  7. Add vanilla bean paste.
  8. Whip until incorporated.
  9. Spoon marshmallow mixture into prepared egg impressions.


  1. Let marshmallow mixture sit at least 4 hours before tossing in flour and removing.
  2. Dust off excess flour with a pastry brush and place marshmallow eggs on parchment paper.
  3. Use a plastic bowl to melt chocolate 1 lb at a time.
  4. Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30-second burst, stirring in between.
  5. As the chocolate gets close to being smooth drop time to 10-second bursts.
  6. Dip marshmallow eggs in the bowl of melted chocolate.
  7. Place dipped eggs on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper,
  8. Place drop flowers and leaves on chocolate eggs as they begin to dry.
  9. Let eggs dry completely before packaging or eating.
  10. Enjoy!!!


  • Personalize eggs with names using royal icing. I like to use a Wilton #2 or #3 tip to scroll names.

Easter Chocolate Coconut Nest

nests (2)

What do you do when Easter is a week away and the COVID-19 quarantine hasn’t been lifted. You make homemade Easter treats of course! Use this quarantine as an opportunity to expand your culinary skills. Hold true to your Easter traditions without leaving the safety of your own kitchen. Russel Stover makes a coconut chocolate nest at Easter that has become an Easter basket staple. Don’t let being locked at home keep you from enjoying this crunchy sweet confection. The homemade version is so much better than it’s commercial counterpart you may never go back…even when you are allowed to shop again 😉

These nests are as much fun to make as they are yummy to eat. I use sweetened flaked coconut because it becomes so much crunchier than unsweetened when toasted. You can use any milk chocolate you choose. Yes, even chocolate chips.  The oil in the coconut thins and shines the chocolate so beautifully you will be amazed.  I like to use a medium cookie scoop to mound the chocolate and coconut mixture then I use the backside of a melon baller to press and form the inside of the nest. Next, place three Cadbury mini eggs inside the nest and let dry completely before moving. Now, Russel Stover puts jelly beans in their nests…but yuk! why on earth would you ruin perfectly paired chocolate and coconut with pectin of any kind when you can just as easily add rich and creamy Cadbury mini eggs to the nest.  One of the best things about this treat is they are no-bake, easy to make, yet taste like they were purchased at a high-end chocolatier.

Continue reading

Wedding Cream Cheese Buttermints

WEDDING MINTSEarlier this month we wrote a blog post about cream cheese buttermints. As February was just around the corner, we had Valentine’s Day fever and a surplus of sanding sugar at our house. Needing to utilize the crazy amounts of sugars and sprinkles I had purchased in red and pink we decided to turn the buttermints into Valentine’s Day confections. I have a small addiction for sprinkles if it sparkles and shines I buy and think about the practical use later.  In our original blog post, I mentioned making these mints for my wedding over twenty years ago.  I have since had many people message us asking for ideas on how to make these mints for their own weddings. This weekend I had extra cream cheese in the fridge and a sweet tooth to satisfy so the girls and I decided to make a batch of mints in wedding colors to show how elegant these mints can look displayed at a wedding. The girls were so happy with the results that Maddie made me promise to make them again when she gets married. As much as I love making these mints lets hope I have many years before that happens 😉

Continue reading

Easy Strawberry Fudge

strawberry fudgeStrawberry and chocolate are the perfect combination. Something about these two flavors brings out the best in each other. I wanted to make a fudge that tasted like fresh chocolate-dipped strawberries. I tried using flavorings but it tasted too artificial. I then tried fresh strawberries but the moisture ruined the fudge and the shelf life wasn’t worth the effort. I finally decided to try freeze-dried strawberries. Dehydrated fruit doesn’t retain the same fresh flavor as the flash process in freeze-drying. The result was perfect. But don’t take my word for it. This is the easiest fudge you will ever make with a flavor all its own. There is nothing like it…except of course a fresh strawberry dipped in chocolate.

Continue reading

Meringue Kisses

kisses #21

After posting yesterday’s blog we were overwhelmed by the number of people who loved the cookies and wanted to try making meringues, but felt the piping work looked too difficult to master.  Meringue can be piped into almost any intricate design you can think of.  Although the possibilities are endless nothing can compare to a meringue kiss. The drop shape design is the perfect introduction to meringue cookies using a simple large round tip (I use Wilton A1). They are simple and delicate, creating the perfect presentation for any gathering. Meringues not only look classy and sophisticated but the taste sets them apart from other deserts. The light and airy crunch of meringue melts in your mouth.  Sprinkle them with sugars or sandwich them together with a ganache filling. Any way you create them they are sure to impress!

Continue reading

Soft Valentine Sugar Cookies

valentines sugar cookie

There are a few must-have treats every holiday. Valentine’s Day is no exception. Sugar cookies with red and pink sprinkles are as important as pink boxes filled with conversation hearts. Something about this holiday just screams sprinkles and sanding sugar. The memories of my kids standing on stools with adult-sized aprons falling off their tiny bodies as they decorate the perfect cookie for each classmate. Cookies so covered with frosting and sprinkles that you barely recognize the cookie buried beneath. Who needs date night with long-stemmed roses when you can decorate cookies to accompany handwritten Valentines. The cookies were almost as important as the box the Valentines would go in. Handwritten cards. Homemade Valentine boxes. sugar-dusted cookies. The sweet simplicity of childhood love! Continue reading