Top 5 Most Popular Posts of 2022

What a year it has been for this tiny little blog! I reached over 55,00 views and had one post that really, really took off. For a few months I thought I had finally “made it” in the blogging world. Even though it’s been over two years since I started this little hobby of mine.

As I did last year, I decided to write a post covering my most popular posts of the year, regardless of when they were published. So here it goes!

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The Easiest Cookie You’ll Ever Make – MB Recipe 29

Last week, I was looking for a quick cookie recipe. I was in the mood to bake, but I wasn’t in the mood to spend hours in the kitchen. While thumbing through the MB cookbook, I stumbled upon the Coconut Macaroon recipe. I knew instantly that that was the cookie I had to make that day!

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The Time I Tried to Make Peanut Butter Cookies – MB Recipe 26

With the crazy schedule I’ve been having for the better part of a month, it was a relief that I was finally able to get some time in the kitchen once again. Friday morning, I woke up looking forward to the recipe I was going to be making. It was a recipe that I had my eye on for quite some time. Unfortunately, when it came time to actually make the cookies, I realized a little too late that I had forgotten to add a key ingredient.

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The Baking Bug is Taking a Vacation

It shouldn’t be a major surprise to long-time blog readers that it’s been a while since I’ve baked.

The month of March was filled with crafting adventures. But I’m also starting to spend less time at home. I have been given the opportunity to get back into community theater this spring. I’ll be stage managing a play that consists of a small cast of 8 actors. It’s a really funny play and I can’t wait to jump on board.

What does this mean for the blog?

It means I’ll be posting more infrequently. Most of my free time will be devoted to theater and then resting and seeing friends. But, I do plan to bake this Friday!

So I’ll be posting about that next week, even if it isn’t a recipe out of the MB cookbook.

Until then, friends….

2021 Year in Review and 2022 Plans

2021 was a great year for me — and for the blog! This year, the blog reached over 230 posts and it received over 5000 views! I can’t thank my readers enough for supporting me and stopping by. When I started blogging I heard that it does take time for you to gain your footing and find your place online. It wasn’t until recently that I started feeling like my blog was starting to take off.

As the first full year of my blogging journey comes to a close, I thought we could look back on things over the last twelve months.

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Kitchen Questions: How Do Vegetarians Get Their Protein? And Other Common Questions

If you’re one of those people that is skeptical of a vegetarian diet, then let me alleviate some of these concerns for you. I’m also going to talk about some of the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Some people are hesitant to switch to a meat-free diet and lifestyle simply because it is the “fear of the unknown.” That’s what this blog post is for. It’s an attempt to answer some questions and make people feel better about the possibility going meat-free or reducing the amount of meat in their diets.

Long-time readers of my blog may be wondering why I am posting something like this. Are you a vegetarian? I am not. However, I’m slowly making the switch to a more plant-based diet and working on cutting out certain meats and other animal products. For example, I have not consumed cow’s milk directly from the jug in years. Instead, I use almond or soy milk. In baking, that’s a different story — at least for now. The reason why I compiled this information is to have a resource for those who are curious about making the switch to a more “flexitarian” diet or a plant-based one.

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Kitchen Experiments: Making Vanilla Extract

A couple of weekends ago, my partner and I finally put an idea of ours into action. We would try our hand at making our own vanilla extract. This is something both of us wanted to do for a while, but life always caused delays to it actually happening.

We were first inspired to do this separately, getting the idea from different chefs. He is a fan of Claire Saffitz’s YouTube channel and I became obsessed with a TV chef on Discovery+ who also uses her own vanilla extract. Additionally, I first stumbled on this idea from one of Ina Garten cookbooks where she details the steps to making one’s own bottle of vanilla.

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PW Recipe 5 – Macaroni and Cheese

Sometimes you just have a strong desire to just eat “bad” food. “Bad” as in not-that-great-for-you food. Well, that hankering happened for me over the weekend. I was in the mood for macaroni and cheese. It had been months since the last time I had a good, baked mac & cheese. Luckily for me this desire also came with the ability to make another Pioneer Woman recipe. This recipe also came from my favorite cookbook of hers: Recipes From an Accidental Country Girl, her first one.

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Magnolia Bakery Handbook Recipe #10 – Chocolate Banana Pudding

Over the Labor Day holiday, we had some people over the house. It was mainly just family, but, as you could have guessed, I had to make the dessert. I was really in the mood for banana pudding but I also wanted to make something beyond the traditional vanilla –especially since most of the people who came to the little get-together are chocolate-lovers.

It took me almost no time at all to realize that the Magnolia Bakery Handbook had a recipe for chocolate banana pudding and I was sold! Simple and delicious, but also something a little different than the regular banana pudding.

In the recipe, it asks you to use the chocolate Nilla wafers, but I wasn’t able to find them, so I used the regular vanilla and it worked just fine. Plus I find that store-bought, chocolate cookies are not really chocolate-tasting. So, for me, personally, the vanilla Nilla wafers probably were for the best. Since the chocolate Nilla wafers would have added a bit more chocolate flavor, I did use extra mini chocolate chips.

Also to bring out the flavor of the chocolate, I took a page out of Ina Garten’s cookbook and added about a half teaspoon of espresso powder to the whipped cream. This provided a subtle hint of coffee-flavor, but not too much to overwhelm the flavor of the chocolate. And better still, the caffeine didn’t keep anyone awake past their bedtime!

Since I’ve made banana puddings a couple of times before, Ina’s recipe and one from the Magnolia Bakery Handbook, I didn’t take too many pictures. But, I do highly recommend this dessert. It’s the perfect twist on the classic, but without changing too much or making you go crazy. As usual though, banana pudding won’t keep in the fridge for more than 2 days. After that the wafer cookies become too soggy — but, to be honest, I’ve never had my puddings last longer than a day after being served!