Cranberry Walnut Bagels

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OurCaringHands #SoftsoapTouch #CollectiveBias

 

Since I was little, my mom and I would go and get bagels every weekend.  It was always so much fun and we looked forward to it all week! My favorite were blueberry bagels and hers were cranberry walnut.  I would always end up making a mess spreading on the cream cheese and would have to wash off my hands at the end with soap leaving my hands dry and cracked.

 

For Mother’s Day this year, I decided to change things up and make Cranberry Walnut Bagels right at home! I hadn’t made bagels for many years so it was a fun, new experience for us to try together!

 

We hopped in the car and went to our local Target to get ingredients for the bagels that we did not have such as the cranberries and walnuts along with some more soap since we knew we were going to make a complete mess. We picked up some SoftSoap® Hand Wash Plus Lotion™ Shea & Cocoa Butter and SoftSoap® Hand Wash Plus Lotion™ Orchid & Coconut Milk to use to wash all of the dough off of our hands while we were making the bagels and fell in love! It was super easy to find, right in the soap aisle by the other hand washes. There was also one other scent that sounded incredible, the SoftSoap® Hand Wash Plus Lotion™ Aloe Water & Lime.

I think I ended up washing my hands about 10-15 times during the process and came out with my hands actually feeling nicer than they did before I washed them! Plus Lotion is the only hand wash with a touch of lotion inside so your hands feel so soft and smooth, yet also not greasy! My favorite scent was the Shea & Cocoa Butter with it’s complex and indulgent scent! It was so lovely! It was really exciting to find a new, great product that we both love!

 

We were so happy with how these bagels ended up turning out (and of course, how soft our hands were after all of those washes!).  The bagels were delicious and much simpler than I expected!

It was the perfect Mother’s Day treat for my mother and it brought back so many good memories of our bagel trips together!

 

Cranberry Walnut Bagels

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet instant dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ + ¾ cup warm water
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped raw walnuts

 

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine yeast, ½ water, and 1 tbsp sugar. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. While that is sitting, combine flour, salt, and remaining sugar in a large bowl or stand mixer. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour in yeast mixture and remaining water and mix until a dough is formed. Pour in walnuts and cranberries and continue to mix until fully combined.
  4. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover. Let rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and fill a large pot 2/3 of the way up with water and bring to a simmer, not a boil.
  7. Move dough back to lightly floured surface and punch down dough. Let sit for 20 more minutes.
  8. Split dough into 8 evenly sized pieces and roll into a ball. Poke a hole in the middle of each piece of dough with your finger and work on spreading the hole so it has a width of about 1 inch. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let rise 20 minutes.
  9. Transfer bagels to pot of water with a slotted spoon for 1-2 minutes (they should float). Do it in two batches, 4 at a time so they aren’t over crowded.
  10. Transfer bagels back to baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 18-20 minutes or until the top is slightly brown.

 

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Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #USOCarePacks #CollectiveBias

Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burgers – A delicious beef burger stuffed with cheddar cheese and crispy bacon before being grilled to perfection.  You will never be able to go back to a normal burger after trying these!

The military is a very important part of our family, my father served in the army for many years along with all of my grandfathers.  We always try to support the troops in anyway we can so when we found out that Coca-Cola™ was teaming up with USO at Sam’s Club to try to donate 3000-5000 USO care packages overseas to the troops, we had to pick some up to help out! The USO Coca-Cola has special packaging with the American flag on it, which was a really nice touch, and there are signs all over the store! I found them on the soda wall near the back of the store at our local Sam’s Club, they were super easy to find and there was plenty in stock.

Both the Coca-Cola Classic 35 pack and the NEW Mini Coca-Cola 30 pack are a part of the USO program so make sure to pop over and pick some up! The program is running through the weeks between Memorial Day and Fourth of July!

I decided to whip up these Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burgers because we were going to have a patriotic party this weekend filled with family, fun, and of course, grilling! Being outside and grilling burgers with a Coca-Cola felt like the perfect way to celebrate summer while spending time with my dad, reminiscing on his time in the service and how much he enjoyed getting care packages when he was abroad as they were a little bit of home.  The burgers were a huge hit and paired perfectly with an ice-cold Coca-Cola!

Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burgers

Makes 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 8 strips of crispy bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese
  • 4 buns
  • 4 slices of cheese

Directions

  1. Turn grill on and heat to 400°F.
  2. Chop 4 slices of bacon and set aside.
  3. Divide ground beef into 4 even chunks (each should be about 1/4 pound).
  4. Press beef flat using your palms (about 1/4 inch thick) and then put diced cheddar cheese and chopped bacon on one side of the burger.
  5. Fold the empty side of the burger over so that the bacon and cheese is inside the burger.  Roll the burgers a bit to seal them up and the press down on the top lightly to flatten a bit.
  6. Set on grill and drizzle with Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle a bit of grilling seasonings on top.  Let cook for 5 minutes before flipping and adding the sauce and seasonings on to that side.
  7. Put a slice of cheese on each burger and cook for 5 more minutes.
  8. Top with bacon and serve on a toasted bun.

Make sure to check out this donation site to help Coca-Cola send packages to soldiers! It’s a great cause!

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Easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Conagra Brands. All opinions are mine alone. #ServeUpSummer #CollectiveBias

I can’t believe it is finally summer! I live in one of the snowiest cities in the United States because of the lake effect from Lake Superior so a bit of time where it is warm enough out to be outside is a really nice reprieve! We always try to celebrate summer with big gatherings with all of our closest friends and family coming over with their favorite dishes to share and it’s always a great time! For this years first gathering, I decided to make a good, old-fashioned peanut butter pie.  Peanut butter is one of my absolute favorite foods and I just love cooking with it.  Peanut butter pies have been made for so long in our family, I remember even my grandma whipping them up when I was little.  It’s the perfect dessert to have after a big meal of cook-out foods like burgers, hot dogs, and baked beans.  I think it’s my favorite classic American dessert!

Now this pie is only made with 5 ingredients.  Crazy, right?! It’s just about the easiest dessert to make ever so you can just whip it up in the morning before any guests get there, set it in the fridge to keep cool, and then you just cut and serve! That’s it! By having such an easy dessert made, you can focus on spending more time with your friends and family instead of spending all day in the kitchen making food!

Before I made the pie, I popped over to my local Walmart to grab the ingredients.  I knew I was going to use Peter Pan® Peanut Butter, it is my favorite peanut butter and I love that it is made with wholesome ingredients and jam-packed with lots of protein.  OF course I want to pick ingredients that I can feel great about using (plus, I just really like the flavor too!).  It was located in the same aisle as the other peanut butters, jams, and coffees.  Very easy to find and there is a variety of variations from natural (which is my favorite) to crunchy!

Easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients

  • 9-inch graham cracker crust (pre-made)
  • 1 cup Peter Pan® Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 package Cream Cheese (8oz)
  • 1 container whipped topping (thawed)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and peanut butter.  Using a hand-mixer, whip until well combined.
  2. Slowly add in powdered sugar.  Continue to whip using hand-mixer.
  3. Once those ingredients are well-combined, add in half the whipped topping container.  Use a spatula to gently fold in.
  4. Pour peanut butter filling into pie crust.  Top with remaining whipped topping.
  5. For garnish, either chop up peanuts or mix 2 tbsp powered sugar with 1 tbsp peanut butter together using a fork and then sprinkle on top.  This is optional, but delicious!

Looking for some other great cook-out ideas? Make sure to check this out!

Want to pick up some Peter Pan® Peanut Butter? Hover your mouse over the jar below to buy some online!

 

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Copycat Chick-Fil-A Frosted Lemonade

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Frosted Lemonade – A tasty frozen drink made with lemon juice, vanilla ice cream, sugar, and ice! A simple Chick-Fil-A copycat recipe!

 I am all in on making fun, frozen drinks right now! After the last two posts I did being a Piña Colada Lime Coolers and a Snickerdoodle Iced Coffee, I think I am a bit hooked! This week has been quite hectic, I am currently on vacation up north working on two exciting posts for next week in addition to this one between getting ready to go to Macy’s Culinary Council and another trip up north next weekend.  It’s an exciting week, but busy!

Now to be completely honest, I have never been to a Chick-Fil-A.  I know, shocking.  When I am down south, I always try to go to Sonic and Bojangles and I just have not made it over to Chick-Fil-A.  This same recipe kept popping up online as a tried a true version of the recipe so I trust it and either way, it is delicious!

This kind of reminded me of those frozen lemonades I would always get at amusement parks when I was little, only WAY better! Those were always my favorite snack to pick up at Cedar Point and King’s Island in-between going on rides! The addition of ice cream really takes this to a whole new level!

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Frosted Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Combine lemon juice and sugar in a pitcher.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add in water and chill for one hour.  This is to keep the ice cream from immediatly melting in the blender.
  3. Add lemon mixture and ice cream into a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour into glasses and garnish with lemon.

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Macy’s Culinary Council with Chef Tim Hollingsworth

“This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.”

So I have some really exciting plans for this coming Saturday! I will be attending a Macy’s Culinary Council Cooking Demonstration with Chef Tim Hollingsworth! It’s at Macy’s Somerset over in Troy, MI at 2 PM and it is completely free to attend so come on over and check it out! Chef Tim Hollingsworth will be sharing his best tips and tricks on how to create and prepare his award-winning dishes (which all look incredible!).  There will be great food and drinks there too to enjoy.

I am super excited to go and be apart of this event as I am a huge fan of Top Chef which he had appeared on! It’s definitely one of my favorite shows.  Learning fun ideas to help improve my skills in the kitchen from a real professional chef should also be super helpful! As an amateur in the kitchen, I need all of the tips from successful chefs that I can get to take my dishes to the next level.  I will be doing live coverage of everything at the event on Twitter and Instagram too so make sure to follow along with the hashtag #culinarycouncil or on my accounts! You even receive a special gift and the chance to get a photograph with Chef Tim Hollingsworth with a purchase of $35 or more in the home department which I know for sure I will be doing! Who wouldn’t want to get a photo with a famous chef?!

I hope to see some of you there, it is going to be a lot of fun!

For more information on the event, click here to visit Macy’s site.

For more information on Macy’s Culinary Council, click here.

Make sure you RSVP beforehand to get a free $10 Macy’s gift-card by calling 1-800-329-8667.

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Piña Colada Lime Cooler

Piña Colada Lime Cooler – A delicious and refreshing summer drink filled with fresh pineapple, lime juice, coconut, and ice!

I can’t believe it is already summer! It’s supposed to be 90 down here this week which is kinda a bit too hot for me so I decided it was about time to start whipping up some other frozen and iced drinks as a fun way to cool off! Last week I made a Snickerdoodle Iced Coffee which has been SO popular and it tasted fantastic! This week, I wanted to go for a more fruity drink and I had leftover pineapple from making Blueberry Pineapple Fruit Salsa which worked out so well! This is such a refreshing drink that just screams summer! I think the addition of lime to a piña colada added a great new flavor! I was amazed that my incredibly fussy little sister even thoroughly enjoyed it, that is the true mark of approval! If you want to make it boozy, add in a bit of rum!

I ended up making this right after going camping in Indiana, which ended up a really nice trip! We all hopped in the RV and just relaxed down there for a few days.  It was only about 4 hours away and about 3 miles over the border into Indiana! It felt kinda weird not to have to make anything new for the site at all for a few days and to basically be completely off the internet because it was so spotty!

 

Piña Colada Lime Cooler

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup cream of coconut
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/4 rum (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour in a glass and garnish with lime slices and pineapple chunks.  Enjoy!

 

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Snickerdoodle Iced Coffee

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BrewAsYouPlease #CollectiveBias

Snickerdoodle Iced Coffee – Iced coffee with all of your favorite snickerdoodle flavors! Perfect for a hot summer day and it is so easy to make! It is The Best Part of Wakin’ Up™ in the morning!

I LOVE coffee! I drink at least 3 cups a day and it is a necessary part of my daily routine.  I am always trying to find new ways to jazz up my coffee whether it be making iced coffee, lattes, or adding delicious flavors in such as caramel or vanilla.  I decided that today I was going to create a simple Snickerdoodle Iced Coffee, incorporating in the flavors of my all-time favorite cookies into my coffee!

I ran out to my local Kroger and picked up Folgers® Coffeehouse Blend 25.4oz Ground Coffee.  It was right in the coffee aisle by all of the other Folgers products.  It was super easy to find!

As they say, “The Best Part of Wakin’ Up™ is Folgers in your cup” which is very true for me.  I do love waking up to a good cup of Folgers coffee! I feel like as soon as anyone at my house starts brewing a pot, I can immediately smell the aroma wafting down the hall.  It’s definitely my cue to get up and the start the day (after having a great cup of coffee, of course).  Folgers Coffeehouse Blend has such a smooth, yet bold flavor that I adore! It is a medium-dark blend and even through I added milk, cinnamon, and sugar to it, you could still taste it’s beautiful Folgers flavors! I love feeling free to add anything to my coffee and not having to worry about it loosing the coffee flavor that I know and love!

Folgers Coffeehouse Blend is crafted to work well with any brewing method you choose whether it be cold brew, french press, etc but I just went with the classic method of using my normal coffee machine and letting it cool before pouring it over ice! Feel free to experiment with those other methods in this recipes, I’m sure they would work great too!

I think that this Snickerdoodle Iced Coffee is going to be a new Saturday morning tradition at my house!

Snickerdoodle Iced Coffee

Ingredients

Coffee

Toppings (optional)

  • Whipped cream
  • Cinnamon sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine milk, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Stir until well combined.
  2. In two large cups, divide the ice, coffee, and milk mixture.
  3. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar.  Enjoy!

Tips

  • Make some extra coffee and use it to make ice cubes to avoid it getting watered down!

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Patriotic Mug Cake

Patriotic Mug Cake – A simple vanilla mug cake jam-packed with red, white, and blue sprinkles! Takes just a few minutes to whip up and is perfect for Fourth of July or Memorial Day!

I’m back with yet another mug cake! The other day, I was hanging out with my friends and we were going to make a vanilla cake but then decided that was too much effort and it would end up taking too long since it was already getting late.  Since I seem to have a thing for making mug cakes, I suggested that instead and went ahead to make 5 funfetti mug cakes.  Honestly, it ended up just as much work to make as a normal cake because of how many I was making (and I had to do a painful amount of multiplication to make sure I had the correct amounts of ingredients) but it was worth the work! They were so good! The next day I thought of the brilliant idea to make it a patriotic mug cake with red, white, and blue sprinkles instead of rainbow sprinkles inside, topped with homemade whipped cream and even more sprinkles! It is perfect for any patriotic holiday from 4th of July to Memorial Day!

Patriotic Mug Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp salted butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp red, white, and blue sprinkles

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except for the sprinkles.  Stir until well combined.
  2. Add in sprinkles and and lightly stir.  Do not over stir or the sprinkles color will bleed.
  3. Microwave for 1-1.5 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Serve with whipped cream and extra sprinkles on top!

If you love this mug cake, make sure you check out my Snickerdoodle, Carrot Cake, and Peanut Butter mug cakes too!

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Patriotic Cake Batter Dip

Patriotic Cake Batter Dip – A super simple dip perfect for patriotic holidays! Great for a party and it tastes fantastic!

I can’t believe it’s already almost summertime! It’s about time to get a few patriotic recipes out! Between 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, there are so many holidays here that need red, white, and blue snackeroos.  I had been tossing around the idea of making this dip for a few months actually but I was really struggling to think of a creative way to make a dip red, white, and blue and not purple or a brown.  I looked around at different colorful dessert dips and finally had a lightbulb go off when I saw a unicorn dip that had a variety of colors nicely swirled together!

I also ended up struggling with finding festive sprinkles, I think I must have just been about a week too early and went to a few stores before finding an over-priced variety at Micheal’s…

I was so happy with how this ended up! I thought it tasted amazing and overall, it was so easy to make! I would definitely make it again in a heartbeat!

Patriotic Cake Batter Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white cake mix
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • Red food coloring*
  • Blue food coloring*
  • Sprinkles

Directions

  1. In a chilled mixing bowl, combine heavy whipping cream and confectioners sugar.  Using a hand mixer to whip until light and fluffy.
  2. In a different mixing bowl, combine cake mix and cream cheese.  Use a hand mixer to mix and then pour in the whipped cream.  Combine to mix until well combined.
  3. Split into 3 separate bowls.  Set one bowl aside, that will be the white.  In one bowl, add in red food coloring.  Stir until well combined.  In the last bowl, add in blue food coloring.  Stir.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop dip into a bowl.  Put all of the red on one side of the bowl with the blue across, filling in the space in between with white dip.  This helps prevent dip from turning purple when swirled.
  5. Use a toothpick to swirl the dip a bit. Top with sprink
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Strawberry Balsamic Bruschetta

Sometimes, it’s important to just take a minute and acknowledge the important people in life and how they have impacted you.  With National Chardonnay Day around the corner on May 26th, I decided to grab a glass of Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay and raise a glass to someone special in my life, my mom.

She was the one who introduced me to cooking, baking, and everything in between.  She has helped teach me the basics of cooking and helped me experiment with crazy new recipes.  She introduced me to the whole world of blogging through her site which I would always help out with, thinking of creative ideas for fun recipes.  She has always tried to hard to support every decision I have made.

One of my favorite things we do together is make Christmas cookies every year! It’s a time where my mom, my sisters, and I all get together and make delicious sugar cookies! My favorite part is still decorating them! We use the same recipe year after year that has a nice almond flavor in both the cookie dough and the frosting and they taste so good! I end up the person who deals with dying the frosting which usually ends up really strange pastel colors which are really pretty, but not Christmas-y at all! It’s just such a fun way to have some bonding time with my family every year and we always make wonderful memories!

To go with our Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay, we decided to make Strawberry Balsamic Bruschetta together! It sounded like a fun project and we thought it would pair perfectly with the wine! It was also a great way for us to spend some time together, reminiscing over good times over a great glass of wine.

We loved that Wente Vineyards is a multi-generational vineyard with so many deep family ties which we really connected with! We also tried out their Nth Degree and Riva Ranch Chardonnay which were both phenomenal!

I am very grateful to have the fantastic mom I have and that she is always there for the journey with me!

Strawberry Balsamic Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries (diced)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp balsamic glaze (not dressing, it will be too runny)
  • Mascarpone cheese (softened to spread)
  • French baguette (sliced)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine diced strawberries, lemon juice, honey, and basil.  Stir to combine.
  2. Spread mascarpone cheese on each baguette slice before topping with strawberry mixture.  Drizzle with balsamic glaze.
  3. Grab a glass of Wente Vineyards wine and enjoy with someone who is apart of your journey!

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