Happy Father’s Day!

I just wanted to wish all the dads out there a very HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! I only get to see my dad once, maybe twice a year, but when I do, I cherish our time together. Growing up, I was a little tomboy. My dad taught me to ski (and later snowboard), how to fish, and he taught me how to play soccer, basketball and baseball. He also coached me in all of said sports. My dad loves the outdoors, so we were also going camping and hiking all the time in the summers. My dad has always been so supportive of me and as I have gotten older, I turn to him for advice more often. He also make a fantastic zucchini bread,  which I featured here a couple months ago. Happy father’s day dad, I will spare you from the photos I have from the late 80s! P.S. My dad still has that grey and red hat in the second photo below.

BlogHer Food 2013 Recap

I’ve been reflecting on my trip for the past few days, trying to figure out how to sum it up. I don’t even know where to start, so I am just going throw it all at you at one time, ok?

I met so many fantastic bloggers, ate some amazing food and learned so much from my fellow food blogging community. I attended sessions ranging from social media to food photography and partnering with brands, and left with a better grasp of the food blogging world and knowledge that will hopefully make my blog better!

I found it effective to decide what I wanted to get out of the conference ahead of time – that helped me narrow my focus on which sessions to attend. The great thing was that I could change my mind at the last minute, which definitely happened more than one time.

Of course the conference was filled with awesome sponsors like Stonyfields Organic, Hamilton Beach, Dole, Bailey’s, Kitchen Aid, Ninja, Udis Gluten-free and Brew Over Ice by Keurig, just to name a few. They kept our stomachs full of snacks all day long (including cotton candy)! I loved the Wisconsin cheese booth. Of course, there were desserts; lots of desserts. I didn’t snap a photo, but Recipe Girl’s Bailey’s Vanilla Brown Sugar Bars are too die for. I am totally obsessed and I ate at least three a day (don’t tell anyone). Also, the Dole Chocolate Covered Bananas, I would have packed a suitcase full of them if I could.

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Gluten-free Raspberry Crisp

I am so thankful for my parents and their green thumbs, I know I don’t have it in me. So for now I will continue to be thankful for the boxes of fruit and veggies they send me in the summer! When I was little, we had loads of raspberries each summer from our garden. I have to say, raspberries are my favorite fruit, with strawberries in close second of coarse.

Today’s raspberry crisps are both gluten-free and easy to take on the go. My serving size for this recipe is for four people, but it can easily be doubled and baked in an 8×8 inch baking pan to serve a larger group. I favor the “crisp” part of the raspberry crisp, so I loaded both the top and bottom full. I made these in small jelly jars so I could pack them up and take to go. It’s perfect for a summer BBQ.


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Chunky Monkey Magic Bars

Seven layer bars

Growing up in Vermont, we know a few things: maple syrup, cheese, cows and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. All of these things I love, well except the cows, they kinda smell, especially in the summer time. Every year, Ben and Jerry’s hosts Free Cone Day, which is a national holiday in my opinion.  There was a Ben and Jerry’s café down the street from my elementary school, so on free cone day (if you had a good teacher) your class took an afternoon field trip to get a free ice cream cone. Then, after school, you and your friends waited in the longest line ever for your second free ice cream cone. And then maybe you repeated that a few times. I remember one year, this kid had every flavor on the menu, no joke, there was something like 50 flavors on the menu.

Seven layer bars

What was awesome about free cone day was trying new flavors that you might be out of your comfort zone. For me, that was Chunky Monkey. Chunky Monkey is a banana ice cream with chocolate fudge and walnuts mixed in. I had about a dozen “favorite” flavors of their Ice Cream. Once I tried the Chunky Monkey, it was added to my list. Today, the Chunky Monkey ice cream was the inspiration behind these bars. Continue reading

Caramel Apple Pie Cake

Duncan Hines Spring Bake Contest

Do you favor cake or pie? What if I told you that you didn’t have to choose?! That’s right. Today, just for you, I have a Caramel Apple Pie Cake. I recently found out about Duncan Hines Spring Bake contest and I knew I had to enter. The contest gave me the opportunity to try some Duncan Hines Frosting Creations. There are all kinds of fun flavors of Frosting Creations, such as cinnamon roll, cotton candy and peach. I chose to use the caramel flavor for my recipe.

I love apple pie. It is the easiest pie for me to make, it’s good warm or cold, all year- round and it’s complimented by ice cream. I created a caramel apple pie cake using a Duncan Hines white cake mix as the base and layered it with caramel frosting and apple pie filling. There are a few steps involved, but follow along. It’s pretty simple.

Duncan Hines Spring Bake Contest

Start with the cake. I used two 8” layers for my cake. Don’t worry if you don’t have 8” pans, you can use 9” and adjust the baking times. If you plan to travel very far with this cake, I suggest baking it in a 9” x 13” pan. I did learn that once I cut into this cake, it wasn’t as stable as I would have liked. I prepared my apple pie filling while my cake was baking, since it needs to cool completely before using it to fill the cake. Continue reading