Thursday, May 15, 2014

Banana Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Hi friends! It's been awhile since I've posted but I'm back and I've got an amazingly scrumptious recipe for you. My son and I made these muffins for breakfast the other day and my kids practically inhaled them. They taste like banana bread but even better. Perfectly soft and moist, full of banana flavor with bursts of fresh blueberries and topped with yummy streusel. They make a great snack or breakfast on the go!




Banana Blueberry Streusel Muffins

They taste like banana bread but even better. Perfectly soft and moist, full of banana flavor with bursts of fresh blueberries and topped with yummy streusel. They make a great snack or breakfast on the go.
Read more at http://myrecipemagic.com/recipe/recipedetail/banana-blueberry-streusel-muffins#0OkFF44uzpyKiCWd.99
They taste like banana bread but even better. Perfectly soft and moist, full of banana flavor with bursts of fresh blueberries and topped with yummy streusel. They make a great snack or breakfast on the go.
Read more at http://myrecipemagic.com/recipe/recipedetail/banana-blueberry-streusel-muffins#0OkFF44uzpyKiCWd.99
They taste like banana bread but even better. Perfectly soft and moist, full of banana flavor with bursts of fresh blueberries and topped with yummy streusel. They make a great snack or breakfast on the go.
Read more at http://myrecipemagic.com/recipe/recipedetail/banana-blueberry-streusel-muffins#0OkFF44uzpyKiCWd.99
They taste like banana bread but even better. Perfectly soft and moist, full of banana flavor with bursts of fresh blueberries and topped with yummy streusel. They make a great snack or breakfast on the go.
Read more at http://myrecipemagic.com/recipe/recipedetail/banana-blueberry-streusel-muffins#0OkFF44uzpyKiCWd.99

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Tale of Two Vacuums- The Dyson vs. The Shark

When I got married 6 years ago I got a $600 Dyson as a wedding gift and let me tell ya, I thought I was pretty cool. I had seen the commercials and heard all about them and thought that Dyson was THE vacuum of all vacuums. It worked great and I loved using it. Sure it was a little bulky, the attachments weren't super amazing and it was heavy to lift to vacuum the stairs but it was a DYSON and so it was the best, and nothing was going to change my mind.

A few years later I don't know what happened but while vacuuming it must have sucked up something that was no bueno and my beloved Dyson was dunzo. I couldn't bare the thought of a $600 vacuum dying after only a couple of years so I took it to the repair shop to see if there was anything to be done. Actually I sent my husband to the repair shop because he's awesome like that and will run the annoying errands for me, I'm a lucky gal. Anyway, he took the vacuum to the repair shop and had an interesting chat with the owner. He told my husband that he did not like Dyson's and that he had more Dyson's in his repair shop than any other brand of vacuum. He said that Dyson's are a marketing machine and that's why people buy them, not because they're the best vacuum out there.

When my husband got home he told me what the vacuum guy had said and while it made me question the Dyson, especially after ours died, I was still on board the Dyson train and wasn't getting off anytime soon. A few days later, after shelling out $80, our Dyson baby was up and running again.

A few more years passed by and while I still enjoyed using our Dyson, I wasn't quite sure how great of a job it was actually doing. And then it died again. And of course it was perfect timing. Right before Christmas, after I had spent a crap load on a bunch of Christmas crap and when we had family staying with us. And if anyone knows me well, they know that vacuuming is my thing. I vacuum on a daily basis and the thought of going a few days without vacuuming, especially with company over, makes me literally want to die. So Christmas Eve morning I set out on a mission to get a new vacuum.

 Here is our poor old, dead Dyson in basement exile. It should have just gone in the garbage can but since it was Christmas our garbage was full.

My first thought was to get another Dyson but the thought of forking out $600 the day before Christmas to get a vacuum kind of made me want to cry. I decided to do some major research and see if there was anything else out there that was comparable or better in quality but not so pricey. After major researching I decided to go with the highly reviewed Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Vacuum. It was $259.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond but after tax and using my 20% off coupon it was only about $220.



I was thrilled with the price but would I be happy with the quality? I took it home and whipped it out immediately. It was a cinch to put together and a million times lighter and easier to maneuver than my old Dyson. It was pretty shocking to see how much dirt it picked up, especially since I had vacuumed everyday with my other vacuum. It was sick. The neat freak in me couldn't believe how much dirt had been sitting in our carpet. After using the new Shark my carpets felt so clean and looked like new and I had officially left the Dyson train and was now a Shark believer.

Besides cleaning like a dream, here is a list of things that I like about my Shark better than the Dyson:

-so much lighter and easier to lift
-cleaning out the canister is quicker, easier and less messy
-the base is skinnier so it can go farther under furniture
-great attachments, I really like the wood floor attachment
-the middle section lifts away from the base for easy carrying and attachment use
-headlights so you don't accidentally suck up something too big if it's a little darker

Overall the Shark is just a great vacuum and the best part is that if it dies, I won't feel so bad because it only cost me $220 instead of $500-$600. After buying the Shark my husband and I saw an infomercial for it and let me tell ya, if I had seen that commercial before I bought it I probably would not have bought it. Infomercials are just too cheesy and lame and make it seem a little too good to be true. But I love the Shark and cheesy infomercial or not, it's an awesome vacuum!

So that is my story and those are my thoughts. Now I'm not saying that Dyson's are horrible vacuums and that you should never get one or that even I will never get one again. I know that vacuums aren't made to last forever and that my Dyson had a good run and I'm sure that the new models have improved and are even better than the one I had. All I'm saying is that if you're looking for a fantastic vacuum but don't want to spend an arm and a leg on one then the Shark is a fabulous option. I've been super happy with it and would recommend it to anyone!


*These are all my own thoughts and opinions. I have in no way been compensated for this post.*




Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ham, Egg and Potato Breakfast Pie

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas! This was the first Christmas that we had at our house with family visitors and the first time that I was in charge of the meals. I love my family traditions but I decided I wanted to switch up our breakfast menu just a little bit. My family would always have an egg casserole as part of our breakfast and while it's yummy, I just felt like trying something new this year. I got this recipe from a recipe club years ago and I've always wanted to try it. So I made it Christmas morning and I have to tell ya, it. was. AWESOME! The entire family loved it. This pie has officially replaced the egg casserole and is now part of our Christmas breakfast tradition.

The pie is filled with freshly sliced potatoes, onions and ham, grated cheese and an omelet sandwiched between two layers of flaky, golden puff pastry. It's savory, breakfast heaven. I paired it with our traditional apple turnovers for a little sweetness and wassail. It made the perfect Christmas morning breakfast. There are several steps to making this pie but they are all easy and it is so worth the little extra effort. You're family will love you for it!!!






Ham, Egg and Potato Breakfast Pie

CLICK HERE FOR MY RECIPE

Friday, July 12, 2013

The 6 BEST Summer Desserts

To finish up this week's recipes for the perfect barbecue I thought I'd give you not one, but SIX of my favorite summer dessert recipes. 




First up is S'mores and if this doesn't say it's summertime than I don't know what does! It's not always possible to gather 'round a campfire to enjoy this traditional summer treat so here is a recipe for s'mores that you can make at home. It combines s'mores with brownies and the result is gooey, chocolaty deliciousness. You should definitely give these babies a try because s'mores are good but these brownies are simply amazing!



I'm usually all about the chocolate but this has got to be one of my favorite desserts. It's so light and fresh and perfect for summer. It has the perfect balance of sweet and tartness. I make it with a graham cracker crust and then top it off with homemade whipped cream and sliced limes for garnish. It is seriously perfection. So if you're looking for the perfect bbq dessert, look no further because this is it!



I dream about this ice cream. Burnt almond fudge is not a flavor that I would normally choose when I go get ice cream but this homemade recipe is just heaven. It combines two of my favorite things, chocolate and almond flavoring. If you like nuts than you can top it off with some lightly salted, baked slivered almonds. It's the perfect cool, salty-sweet treat.



If chocolate's not your thing and you're a lover of fruit ice cream than this one is for you! Even if you do prefer chocolate ice cream (which I do) you'll still love this. Sometimes I just crave fresh fruit ice cream and this always hits the spot. This ice cream is creamy and full of fruity flavor with strawberry and banana chunks mixed throughout. It's light and fresh so you won't feel bad going back for seconds.



Oh guava cake, how I love you. Not only does this cake look like summer but it tastes like summer. This traditional Hawaiian cake has three layers. The bottom layer is cake flavored with real guava juice, followed by a cream cheese/cool whip topping, and then finished with a guava juice gel. It's light, fresh and irresistible. I dare you to make this and eat just one piece!



I love cake but there's nothing worse than dry, over-baked cake. This is not that kind of cake. This cake is drizzled with cream of coconut right out of the oven when it's warm making it soft, super moist and yummy. Instead of frosting it's topped with cool whip and then sprinkled with flaked coconut. It's perfection in a pan!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crunchy Bacon Coleslaw

Coleslaw, it's one of those things that people usually either love or hate. I'm on the fence about it. A really good coleslaw served with barbecue is the best but it's just flat out unappetizing if it's soggy and has no flavor. It's got to have a good sauce and it's got to have good texture. That's why I love this recipe because it has a great tangy sauce and a good crunchy texture from the bacon and peanuts. I mean how could adding crumbled bacon to coleslaw not be good???

I like to serve this with ribs or pulled pork sandwiches but it would be yummy with just about any barbecued or grilled main dish. Besides taking a few minutes to shred the cabbage, this coleslaw is so super easy to mix up which is perfect for me because I usually have 5 things I'm trying to make at once plus a couple of cute little munchkins vying for my attention. Make this for your next barbecue, not only will it be delicious but it will add pretty color to the table as well.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Honey Cornbread Muffins

I love, LOVE, love cornbread. It's probably one of my favorite bread side dishes but it has to be good cornbread, I mean really good cornbread. I love it when I go to a restaurant and they serve cornbread as one of the sides. There's this hole-in-the wall barbecue place not too far from my house that my husband and I really like and they have the best cornbread. We went there a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't get their cornbread off my mind. So naturally I decided to make my own.

The three requirements I have for cornbread are 1- it must have great flavor, 2- it must have great texture and 3- it can't be too dry and crumbly. Some cornbreads are more savory and I really like those, but for this recipe I decided to go slightly sweet by adding a little honey. I also added some creamed corn to give it texture. I don't consider cornbread to really be cornbread unless there are actual pieces of corn in it.

Last of all I decided to make my cornbread into muffins because I love having individual servings that are easy to pick up and put on your plate, especially when you're serving a larger group. Plus one of my favorite parts of cornbread is the top edges of the muffin so it really is a win-win situation.

When I make these I have a really hard time saving room for my other food and not just eating these for my meal. That's how much I love cornbread and that's how much I love this recipe. They are super easy and quick to whip up and would make the perfect side to any summer barbecue or fall chili or chowder.






Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fall Off the Bone Babyback Ribs

My husband and I have become obsessed with grilling this year so I thought I'd do a week of recipes for the perfect summer barbecue. I'm starting with the main course, the star of the barbecue. I'm not a huge rib fan, I'd much rather have a steak or hamburger, but these ribs are dang good. They are slow cooked all day in a tangy/spicy/sweet marinade and then grilled in your favorite barbecue sauce. The meat is so tender that it literally falls right off the bone.

When I make ribs I like to have people over because it just makes dinner feel more special and not like an average weeknight meal. So this recipe is designed for a larger group but it can be halved if you have a smaller group. The recipe calls for 5 pounds of ribs but can go up to 9 pounds if you're crockpot can hold that much. I got an awesome crockpot for my wedding and it fit 9 pounds of ribs the last time I made this recipe, it was close to overflowing, but it fit!

Check back throughout the week for my favorite summer barbecue side and dessert recipes.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Key Lime Pie

If you didn't already know or if you couldn't tell by the fact that I have more cookie recipes than any other kind of recipe on this blog......I might have a bit of a sweet tooth. Let's be honest, by a 'bit' I really mean that I have a massive addiction to both chocolate and sweets. I usually have a fresh batch of homemade cookies in my house at all times, but lately I've been really diggin pies. For some reason, maybe it's summer and bbq season, I'm all about pies right now.

I've been experimenting with all different kinds of crusts and fillings and it's been super fun and delicious. While I've put together some yummy new pie recipes, one of my favorites has still got to be my Key Lime pie. It's so light and fresh and perfect for summer. It has the perfect balance of sweet and tartness. I make it with a graham cracker crust and then top it off with homemade whipped cream and sliced limes for garnish. It is seriously perfection. So if you're looking for the perfect 4th of July or bbq dessert, look no further because this is it!