Friday, August 15, 2014

Back to school recipes

It is that time of the year again...back to school and the entrance of cooler, breezy, clean and crisp weather!  Some children have already started back to school and some are getting ready to start.
Some children eat breakfast and lunch AT school, while others eat breakfast at home and bring a lunch to school with them. Either way, you will find some helpful tips for lunches and after school snacks in this post :)


Snack options:
Easy banana bread



Instead of buying prepared muffins, make your own. You can either make them from scratch (basic muffin recipe) or buy a bag of muffin mix from the grocery store that will cost less than $1.00 (you will get 6 regular sized muffins or 12 mini muffins from this bag).
Place 1 regular sized muffin or 3 minis in a zip top, plastic bag or a plastic storage container and send your child to school with something homemade with love or store in an air tight container at home for an after school snack.
Try these other snack options as well:
For more great lunchbox ideas, check out: packing the lunchbox
Happy back to schooling!





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Easy baking recipes

Spring is here and often times when the weather gets warmer some don't like to fire up the ovens and bake as much. Not me! I bake all year long!

However, for those who don't want to heat up the house by having the oven running for hours at a time, here are a few recipes that require very little prep and bake time:

Cherry danish recipe

No bake Reese's fudge recipe

Crunchy peanut butter cookie recipe

Crockpot apple crisp recipe

10 minute apple pie alternative recipe

No bake Italian cream dessert recipe

Gooey cream cheese cookie recipe

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Do "Christians" even know what they are celebrating on Christmas?








 

After reading post after post on Facebook about how Christmas has become so commercialized and how these people feel the "true" meaning of Christmas is overlooked (the same people who stand in line on Black Friday to get a good deal on their Christmas gifts), I decided to do some research of my own on the subject. This is what I found:

Christmas originated as Saturnalia (sun worship). It was a week long Holiday of pure lawlessness. Roman pagans began this lawless Holiday from December 17- 25. During this span of several days, courts were closed and people were allowed to break laws without any penalties.  Innocent people were mistreated, abused and some were even raped and murdered. 

In 1466, Pope Paul II, for the amusement of Romans, forced Jewish people to race naked through the city streets after feeding them large quantities of food. As they ran, Romans laughed and made fun of them as the Pope stood on his balcony and laughed at what he saw. 

During the 4th century, Christians tried to convert pagans to Christianity by telling them that they could continue to celebrate Saturnalia just as they have been doing for years.  Since Christians realized that there was absolutely nothing godly about Saturnalia, they changed the Holiday to conclude that December 25th was, “Jesus’ Birthday”. If you study this, you will learn that if Jesus was born, he was born sometime between September and November, so the “Christ-mas” Holiday that Christians celebrate today is truly just a masked version of Saturnalia. 

What is the purpose of this post, you might ask? 

You may be a devout Christian who sincerely believes that Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. If that is the case, believe that Jesus is the son of God…a Holy deity. 

You may believe in your God… that Jesus was a man, a prophet, but not the son of God and celebrate Christmas as a Holiday to spend time with family and friends. 

You may be atheist, believing in no God at all. You may celebrate Christmas simply because it was a family tradition.

Ultimately, it is up to us to decide what is right for ourselves. We should not judge one another. People are constantly pointing fingers at others saying things like:
If you don’t believe what I believe and live as I live you are going to go to hell or if you lie to your kids and tell them there is a Santa Clause you are a bad parent.

Who are we to judge one another? Live your life as you wish and leave everyone else alone. But please, stop pointing fingers and name calling. Everyone believes what they believe is right. It is counterproductive to spend the majority of your life trying to convince others that your way of thinking is the “only” way or the “right” way.

Can’t we all just respect one another?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Homemade butterfingers






 Happy Friday! Yesterday was Halloween and my son and I got in the kitchen together and made our own candy. His favorite candy bar is a Butterfinger...sooooo that is what we made.

The recipe was super easy. I found it in Taste of Home magazine. It used candy corns and peanut butter for the filling.

I melted white chocolate disks for the coating. However, I'm thinking some of the condensation from the double broiler must have gotten into the chocolates.  It did not liquify properly. So, instead of the chocolate covering each bar, I used a butter knife to add it to the top of each piece...almost like an icing. They still came out REALLY good! Just ask the people I work with...as they are eating them today :)

If you are interested in starting to bake your Christmas cookies now and freeze them until Christmas, check out my Christmas Cookie Club page on Facebook! 




Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Allow Halloween to bring your family together

Just as any other Holiday can, Halloween can bring family time to your family. Aside from the, Trick or Treating, there are other things that can be done together as a family to celebrate...or not celebrate.

I love to bake! So, last year I started a new tradition with my son. We bake something together at Halloween time. It allows us time together in the kitchen and this brings us good memories and laughter.

Here is a website that allows you to download a free recipe guide for Halloween treats:

Recipe for Togetherness

This may interest you as well...an article I wrote about starting that new Halloween tradition together in the kitchen:

Try a new tradition this Halloween

No matter what you decide to do, the most important thing is that you create happy memories with your family!



Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tried a new recipe ....And it flopped

The weekends are the best time for me to try out new recipes. This Saturday morning, before I went to the gym, I decided to try a new recipe that I had brewing in my mind for a couple of weeks. I called it: pumpkin spice fudge and it was going to be the easiest pumpkin spice fudge recipe you had ever seen!

Normally, when I make my fudge I make the no bake kind. I am all about easy and tasty recipes...just in case you haven't caught on to that already. I take a:

Bag of chocolate chips
Can of sweetened condensed milk
Dab of vanilla

And pour them all into a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and cook in the micro for 1 minute, stir and cook in increments of 30 seconds, stirring between each until everything is all melted together with no lumps. I then pour it into a non-stick foil lined 8x8 baking dish and pop it in the fridge to set. SUPER easy and SUPER good!

I concocted this pumpkin spice fudge recipe in my head...following the same directions as above, but using a:

Bag of white chocolate chips
Can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup pumpkin pure
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dab of vanilla

Sometimes when I come up with recipes that I JUST KNOW will work, I publish them right away on my Raleigh Cooking Examiner page. But, this one....for some reason...I was unsure about and wanted to test it first. It's a good thing I did!!!!! It was a complete disaster...a complete flop!

Apparently, there are more dark chocolate chips in a bag then there are white ones. And even though I know that white chocolate chips really aren't chocolate at all, I still thought this would work. NOPE! The chips did not melt properly...they were all lumpy and it was a liquid mess. It smelled fantastic, but that did not matter. It would not mix or set, so I labeled it a flop.

Thankfully, this doesn't happen too often. I cant remember the last time I came up with a recipe and it was a disaster as this one was. Well, we live and learn! What exactly did I learn you might ask...let me tell you:

Go with your gut, chances are it is right!
White chocolate chips do not melt as well as dark chocolate chips.
There are less white chocolate chips in a bag then there are dark chocolate chips.
Test your recipes if you are unsure.
Always shop for ingredients where you get the best prices: just in case you need to throw your food away (you won't feel as bad).

I think this was a great learning experience. Now, to come up with that pumpkin spice fudge recipe : /




Thursday, September 5, 2013

Baking and cooking and baking and cooking

With Fall about to arrive in just a few weeks, it seems like all I can think about is trying out new recipes! I think about cooking new dishes and baking new treats.

This is no surprise really...it happens to me each and every year. I have already generated a few new recipes and I think it is safe to say that there will be many, many more to come.

We always hear people talking about the crisp Autumn breezes and smells of pies baking in the oven. And trust me, those are two of my favorite things when it comes to the season.

Something else I like to think about are the Holidays which to me signifies spending time with friends and family. People celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas for different reasons. Some celebrate their religious beliefs, others celebrate the parties and exchanging of gifts. Whatever the reason is that you celebrate be sure to try out a new recipe this year. You never know, it may become a family fave!

I did that a few years ago. I made a batch of homemade Reese's brownies. My adult nephew made me promise to make them year after year! So, for him....I make Reese's brownies :)

Here are a few recipes you can either try or add to to suit the tastes of your family and friends:

Brownie baking ideas

Shortbread recipe: Try adding chocolate chips, instant coffee, powdered sugar icing or fruit jam for a topping.

Apple crumble recipe: Try using different fruits for this recipe.



Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekend thoughts...


Its Friday! Whooo Hoo! I am very happy to announce that I will be off from work for 3 days! Thank you Labor Day :)
It has been a minute since I updated the blogging universe about my life.
I learned some valuable lessons over the last month or so:

1. People who try to control others are very insecure with themselves.

2. Cats are spiteful creatures.

3. Dogs love you no matter what and understand multiple languages.

4. Smile, smile, smile!

Let me elaborate:

People who try to dominate others do so to try and make themselves feel important. They try to make others fear them so they feel good about themselves, meaning a feeling of superiority. It is up to us to make sure that we do not allow these types of people to control us. We have a brain and no matter how much they try to manipulate us, we can not let the succeed!

Cats, ugh! I swear my cat, Tybo just tries to tick me off. He is afraid of aluminum foil. So when I want to make him stop doing something, I crinkle a piece and he runs away. Soooo....me and my brightness decided to place a piece on top of the stair rail post, where he likes to jump up while scratching with his claws. I walked in and saw that little booger playing with it! I guess the fear only works when I am holding the foil :(

My cute, adorable, sweet puppy on the other hand tries so hard to please us! He listens better now and tilts his little head when you speak to him in English OR Spanish! My bilingual little pup!

When in doubt, smile! If you are sad, smiling brightens your mood. If you are nervous, no one will know. If you are angry, people will leave you alone. Just smile no matter what! :)

Have a fantastic day!
Try making something new this weekend...try:

Ice box cake

or

Banana latte chocolate chip bread

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Recipes that remind us of Fall


Picture taken by: 4 Seasons Photography

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that Autumn is my favorite season! I love the fresh, crisp air...the cool breezes and new recipes!

Pumpkin recipes, apple recipes, squash recipes, bread and baking recipes... I can really go on and on. But, you get the point :)

Here are a couple of new Fall inspires recipes that I have already put together for this wonderful season!

Pumpkin Pie Dip Recipe

Cinnamon Pumpkin muffin recipes (yes, with the crumbly topping)

Here are some oldie but definitely goodies:

Easy pumpkin bread recipe

Don't for get the cream cheese icing for the pumpkin bread! Cream cheese icing recipe (super easy)

I like to slice the bread into 3/4 inch thick slices and then slather each slice with this amazingly easy yet rich frosting.

And lastly, one must make a hot cup of pumpkin coffee to go with the delicious frosted bread:

Click the here for your simple pumpkin latte recipe.

Welcome Autumn!!!!


Pick up your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Cheesecakes today! An inexpensive mini e-book to help you bake an amazing cheesecake.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Daily series: COFFEE!

I know, I know...You're probably thinking, "Deanna, you are always writing about coffee"! And you know what? You're right! I.Love.Coffee. lol

Today, I am going to share a few articles I have written concerning the rich in flavor, caffeinated brew!

7 coffee storage and preparation tips

How to order coffee

Making coffee

Coffee flavored recipes

and

Coffee-Mate recipes

If you are looking for the perfect sweet treat to have along side of your coffee, try my FAVORITE recipe:
New Jersey Coffee Cake! This cake has more crumb than cake and is found at every bakery in the State of New Jersey!

Happy, happy!



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Recipe series of the day: bread recipes!

Each morning when I wake up I make myself a cup-a-Joe and then I network my recipe articles! I try to stick to a daily theme. Today, I posted bread recipes.

Soooooo....I am going to share them with you as well!

Easy banana bread recipe

Hawaiian bread recipe

Easy cheese bread recipe

Irish soda bread recipe

Bread roll recipe - make 3 different types of bread with this one recipe!

Amish friendship bread starter and bread recipe

For more easy bread recipe that I have published: Click here

Happy baking! As always, let me know if you have any questions about any of the recipes I have written and published.



Sunday, July 28, 2013

New mini-book for sale: The Ultimate Guide to Cheesecake!

Good news! I have written a new mini-book! It is a cross between a book and a pamphlet. I have lovingly been referring to it as a "bamphlet"! haha

The title: The Ultimate Guide to Cheesecake

What you can expect to find inside: Tips and tricks to baking the perfect cheesecake, cheesecake recipes, and most if not all of your cheesecake baking questions answered.

It is a very detailed mini-book containing all the information you need to bake an amazing cheesecake from home.

Look to the right of my blog and you will see a Pay Pal tab for you to purchase the mini-book. It is a secure, quick and easy buying process. The mini-book will be emailed to you within 24 hours of me receiving your payment :)

I am so excited to have this up and running on my blog! Thank you to my friend Kim M. who inspired me to do this and helped me with my Pay Pal widget! Hugs and love to you :)



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tastenc.com: Weekly specials


Tastenc.com will be baking this Friday! 

I have been working on a complete list of baked goods I offer with pricing. When completed, I can email it out by request. 

This weeks special is shortbread!
Shortbread is similar to a cookie bar. It has a rich, buttery flavor and only has 4 ingredients!

There are several shortbread variations you can order:
Regular   $8  or  $11
Mocha chocolate chip  $10 or $15
Lemon iced  $10  or  $13
Strawberry, Blueberry or raspberry with strudel topping  $12 or $17

Shortbread can be baked in an 8x8 pan or 9x13 pan (as indicated by the pricing)

In addition to this weeks special, we also have:

Banana breads ($5 each loaf)
Plain
Banana chocolate chip
Banana nut
Tropical banana (banana, pineapple and coconut)

Brownies (8x8 pan)
Regular $8
Nut $9
Mocha chip $9
Reese's $10

Chocolates
Reese's cups $10 for 12
Mocha (semi-sweet chocolate with coffee) $8 for 12
Chai latte (made with white chocolate and spices) $8 for 12

Cookie dough roll (can be frozen for up to 6 months and comes with cooking directions)

Chocolate chip ($5 per roll)
Sugar cookie
Peanut butter
Chocolate chocolate chip

Oat bars (8x8 or 9x13)
Blueberry $10 or $15
Strawberry $10 or $15
Raspberry $10 or $15

If you would like something that you do not see listed here, please do not hesitate to ask! Chances are I can make it :) 

I can meet you Friday evening at Kohls off Durant Rd or Saturday morning at 10:30 at the same location.

The minimum to place an order is $10 :)

Thank you so much!



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Baking and Ingredients class with AIB


Hello, all! I have been a busy bee!
I have created a weekly schedule for myself in order to get in everything I would like to do each week. It's a process juggling work, family, baking, writing and studying! However, it can be done. They key is to be sure to take time for yourself doing things you enjoy because the moment you set aside doing the things you enjoy is the moment you begin to feel stress. (Thanks to my husband for pointing that out to me.)

However, all that being said, I have completed my first class with AIB! I made an 80 on my first quiz and then I made 100 on it when I took it over again.

The final exam was very detailed, but I put all of my focus into it and made a 96! I was very excited about that...it has been years since I took classes for school :)

My next class will be a cookie baking class...this I am very excited about! I will keep you posted as to when I begin and as to what great things I am learning.

Today is Thursday...it is the day I have allotted for myself to workout! I am looking forward to doing my cardio today :)

Lesson learned: Stay consistent. Continue to do the things you enjoy no matter how crazy life can be. Make time for yourself no matter what :)

The picture above is my award winning: Mascarpone cheesecake! Click here for the recipe.

You can also follow Tastenc.com on Facebook!!!


Sunday, June 30, 2013

My favorite chocolate chip cookies!

If I was asked to pick my all time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, it would be this one! These cookies are about two to three bites big, but pack a punch of flavor!

I have a basic recipe for these cookies, but never stick to it, lol. I always add more chocolate chips, more flour, different extracts and different pudding flavors.


When I was a little girl, I remember the itty bitty Entenmann's chocolate chip cookies that my mom would bring home from the grocery store. They were sooooo good! I have to say that these do remind me of those scrumptious cookies! 


My husband likes it when I make chocolate latte cookies with this cookie recipe! For these I add coffee and cocoa to the mix. Those are his favorite cookies :) 



Get creative and enjoy your chocolate chip cookies! 


For more great chocolate chip cookies information, tips and recipes, check out the following links: