Monday, 13 February 2017

Stashbusting Monday #15: Valentine's Day Bundt Cakes

I made this button in 2011:

And I vowed to make one new recipe per week, And I got to a grand total of 14 recipes before letting the idea slide away from me. 

I would like to take up this task again and present a newly tried recipe from my stash at least every other Monday. Here's my new graphic:


I'm kicking it off right by sharing THREE new recipes that I tried this last week. In the spirit of Valentines' day, I baked my husband's students a bundt cake a day for 5 days. One recipe was a triple chocolate bundt cake found in Southern Living. The final missing recipe was my fudgy chocolate cherry bundt cake that has earned a place in my "bakery binder".

The other four recipes were:


My thoughts:

I haven't tasted the Almond Joy cake, I'm saving it for the actual holiday. But, with the coconut filling, I feel like it's going to be a winner.

The lemon cake has been my favorite of all the cakes. Perfectly sour. Squeeze fresh lemons-it's worth it!

The cinnamon roll cake wasn't "cinnamony" enough for me. It was too much like a basic coffee cake. I think it would need more cinnamon layers.

What new recipe did you try this week?  Also, I have TONS of recipes in my stash so if you want to see a particular ingredient or course, leave a comment and I'll search for that to try next. Happy Monday!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Better Late Than Never: 2017 Word of the Year

I know. It's February. We're usually past the resolution making stage at this point and a pinky-toe into the resolution breaking one now.

My word of the year is going to be ENJOY.

I chose ENJOY this year because I find that I am often rushing from one thing to the next and I want to take time to slow down and actually enjoy the things I am doing.

Working two jobs often leaves me feeling rushed and like I got nothing accomplished other than punching the time clock so I want to make sure I:

-enjoy more time with my husband
-enjoy cooking again
-make time to relax
-find time to enjoy my hobbies: reading and crafting
-find time to enjoy the writing process again. Writing is one of my passions and it has been getting shoved the the side lately.


What are you wanting to focus on this year?


Monday, 6 February 2017

Hearty Southern Salad

Instead of our traditional meeting, my cookbook club hosted a Friendsgiving party in November.  In addition to cornbread stuffing, I took a satisfying salad. Y'all, this salad was so good we ate it without dressing. If you want dressing, I'd suggest Buttermilk Ranch, Italian or a honey balsamic.

Mix equal portions torn or chopped spinach and arugula. Toss with halved cherry tomatoes, chopped bell pepper, diced Vidalia onion and quarter sized slices of (soaked, cooked and cooled)  country ham. Add about 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar, if desired. 

For croutons, make Bigger Isn't Better Buttermilk Biscuits with the smallest biscuit cutter. Cool biscuits and then toast under broiler until desired crispiness. Toss into salad. Be sure to add the croutons last as they will eventually soften once mixed with the rest of the salad


Friday, 3 February 2017

Try the World Box #6: Peru

December's box was Peru. How cool.

Inside this box, I received:




I am very excited to try the quinoa avocado salad recipe that came in the box. It looks delicous and i was suprised to hear my husband say he'd try it. He's an avacoado fan (is there anyone who isn't?) but I didn't think he'd be up for trying the quinoa.

I did sneak a handful of the cocoa nibs and blueberry mix and it is very bitter! I can see why Try the World recommends mixing it into granola ...it definitely needs some sweet!

I'm also excited to try the yellow pepper paste. I think my husband will probably like it.

6 boxes...I'm one box away from being halfway through my subscription (my first month was a 2 for one promo) and I can honestly say I'm very pleased with the subscription service and the product quality. I love having new and interesting foods delivered right to my door.

Click on over to see what this month's promo deal is.




Monday, 30 January 2017

Stitchfix # 4: Love at Last

I'd heard it said many times...it takes awhile.

I'd read that line on a few blog reviews of Stitchfix, but I thought, surely not with me, I've set up a Pinterest board, left detailed notes, surely they will "nail" my style right off the bat.

But I was wrong. My first fix was semi-me. I kept one thing each from my second and third fix, and hated almost everything they sent. But Stichfix is a customer service oriented company and they emailed me asking for a chance to make it right. They waived my styling fee and let me chat via email with my stylist. She sent me a list of questions which I answered. I also went through and updated my Pinterest board.

And my stylist nailed it! (Disclaimer: my husband took these photos during the commercial break of a game so please excuse the quality. I'm not sure what was going on with the lighing? Maybe the TV?)

A super cute dress:


A lovely lace skirt in my favorite color: and a comfy yet classic cardigan:
 (Sadie's not sure what's going on.)


A beautiful blue top that was very similar to one I own (pic to terrible to share!)and a totally adorable striped tee:
(I really don't know what was going on here. The stripes were not diaganol and there is a cute pocket that you can't see. Next time, I'm inviting my professional photograper sister over! And of course, my dog is still confused.)


I kept the dress, skirt and cardigan. I sent back the tank top because it was too similar to a piece I already own. I also sent back the t-shirt because I didn't feel it was worth the price. I'd pick up a piece like that for $15 on clearance, not spend around $40.

I love Stitchfix because I can never quite make up my mind and the narrow it down to pieces  that stand a pretty good chance of fitting and being my style. I am super excited that they offer exchanges now because I really loved the first pair of jeans they sent me but they were a little big.

If you'd like to give Stitchfix a try, click here to get started!

* The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a Stitchfix credit if you make a purchase. However, the opinions are 100% mine and 100% honest. You can check out my other subscription box posts and reviews.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Try the Wolrld #5: Michelin Holiday Box

I love that Try the World does a holiday box. They are putting together a "love" themed box for Valentine's day too!

The following items were in my holiday box:

(Not pictured: a box of British tea)

I am in LOVE with the gingersnap cookies and will probably be purchasing them again. I'm not a huge maple fan, but I did like the maple short bread cookies.

I tried the Taiwanese pineapple cakes. While the packaging was adorable, I found the cakes to be too sweet. I experienced this overly sweet taste a lot in Korea as well. I wonder if it is an "Asian" thing for desserts to be more sugary than flavorful?

I'm not a toffee lover but this toffee was the best I'd had, good enough to at least make me a toffee eater! :)

I can't wait to make cookies with the date spread and try out the french spice cake mix.

If you're interested in Try the World, now's the perfect time because they are partnering again with Michelin for a Valentine's day box.

I've always gotten AT LEAST$39 in product valu with a good mix of items. If you want to give it a whirl, sign up HERE.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Book Review: The Great Good Thing A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ by Andrew Klavan

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This is the true story of Andrew Klavan's journey to faith in Christ. It starts when he's a child, tells of his dysfunctional family, how he became a writer, how he developed his views on religion and moves on to how he married and created his own dysfunctional family. Eventually Klavan realizes that the thing he's searching for as he writes his novels has been calling to him all alone, and that is not, in fact, a thing, but God.

I so desperately wanted to love this book, It should be a very interesting, the shift of a world view as an agnostic Jew comes to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, I found this book painful to finish, and in the end, know very little more about Klavan's journey. I know about his life, and the events surrounding a shift, but there really isn't any interior "path" to follow or understand. Also, Klavan's writing is very hard to follow-he rambles a lot. It's more like an unedited journal entry than a book. I suppose that could be intentional, showing his inner thoughts, interior dialogue and all that but really, it is just annoying. I wanted to be able to recommend this book because I find conversion stories so intriguing and was hoping to learn a new way to relate to those raised the way Klavan was, but, unfortunately, this book was pure torment to read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. .