Sunday, December 28, 2014

Setting reasonable goals for the new year

Resolutions. What an ugly word! How about, goals? Goals. That sounds so much better!

Every year people say they are setting, "New Years Resolutions". These said resolutions normally last a few weeks or maybe months. Now, for some they last all year through. But, if that is the case for you, you are truly a rare breed!

Instead of setting resolutions for myself, I choose to set goals. I wrote an article around this time last year that explains the difference between the two. Here, take a look: Resolutions vs. Goals 
I wrote it in the context of writing a book, but used other ideas to get the point across. 

If you are a writer or want to be one, take a look at my writing will help you on your way!

This channel will guide you from the very beginning stages of idea forming right on through to how to write with clarity to how to form your characters. 

You can also apply to write for! They are always excepting applications and hiring new writers for many different subjects. Check it out and apply! When you do, put me down as a may help you get hired! Deanna Martinez-Bey 
Click here to apply: Write for us

Writing may not be your thing...your gift so to speak. Whatever your gift may be, set goals in order to achieve it...reasonable goals. You can do it! 2015 is your year! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Strawberry Santa's: A healthy Christmas treat!

Driscoll's has created the cutest, most creative way to have a healthy snack this Christmas!

Check out these Strawberry Santa's! 

The take about 30 minutes to make and are perfect to make with your children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

They also make a great treat to take to your neighbors. Pop one per person in the family onto a little paper plate and go deliver them with a smile. 

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
12 large, flat chocolate cookies such as Famous Chocolate Wafers
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
12 large Driscoll's Strawberries, hulled

Happy Santa making! 

Check out Driscoll's recipe page for more incredible recipe creations! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Make 4 cookie recipes from 1 original recipe

Russian tea cakes...yum!

These cookies are so easy to make! If you bring your margarine to room temperature, you don't even need a mixer...just a big bowl and your hands! 

Better yet...a big bowl and your kids hands! They like getting dirty :) 

Start out by making these...Regular Russian Tea cakes

It may take you about 2 hours to make all 4 variations. Baking with family or friends will help the time fly by! 

These cookies make great gifts from the kitchen! Package them up wrapped inside of a coffee mug or pretty container. Another great cookie gift idea is to package them up for teachers! Using little, decorative, plastic gift bags work really well...them stay in one piece as your child transports them to school! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Getting children into the Holidays!

It just would not be the Holidays without recipes and ideas from me and Betty Crocker!

Let's have a family Christmas this year and get our children into all of the festivities! 

Check out this link with all kinds of cookie recipes and cookie decorating ideas from Betty herself! Kids Christmas Cookie Corner

Here are some ideas from the one and only, Me!

Have fun with your kids! They will remember it for the rest of their lives! I have been baking with my son since he was just a little I have a baby daughter and can not wait to bake with her! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas baking and money saving tips

My hope is that you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I think it is safe to say that we can start focusing on Christmas now!

The month of December is a great time to try new recipes. It allows us to spend time together with our family and friends in the kitchen. It also gives us an excuse to bake up new desserts...allowing us to say that we are practicing for Christmas! 

I love fudge! If you want to make easy fudge for the Holidays this year, check out this article on Christmas fudge recipes. 

How about the simplest of candy recipes.... Christmas candy bark

Both of these chocolaty treats are perfect to serve to your guests or give as gifts!

Ever consider giving a gift in a pan? Check out this article on this heart felt, yet economical gift idea: Gifts in a pan 

Here are some ideas on making your Christmas special without spending a fortune! 

Stay connected with A Baking Blog: on Facebook for more Christmas baking, cooking and money saving ideas! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thanksgiving treat recipes

As Turkey Day approaches, I know I am always on the lookout for new and easy dessert recipes to make for my family. This is why I have decided on the topic of this blog post!

Hopefully, you will find something listed here that you want to try out for the big feast day this year. My goal is to post recipes that are just a little outside of the Thanksgiving box! 
Just click on the name of the recipe and the link will take you directly to it! 

For hundreds of recipes on Facebook, click here

Monday, November 10, 2014

Best of...sweet spots in Raleigh NC

Two of my favorite sweet treats are cupcakes and donuts! So, you better believe I can guide you to some of the best spots in town for both.

I have recently been hired to write about events in the Raleigh area and I have been enjoying writing about all the places I have been to and love!

If you are looking for a good cupcake in the Raleigh area, be sure to check out the top 3 places I recommend...

Donuts and coffee...oh my! Looking for both in Raleigh? Here you go...

The Holidays are coming so you may want to get tasting now! What a treat a box of cupcakes or donuts will be for the Holidays this year! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Oprah's chai tea at Starbucks

Orpah's Chai Tea Latte by Teavana (picture taken from Starbucks)

Have you been into Starbucks lately? For someone like me who drinks coffee daily, that is a silly question. They are offering a new kind of chai latte in the name of Oprah! Starbucks has always offered a chai tea latte of sorts, but now that Oprah's name is attached to it, I bet they are selling left and right, making the duo a ton of money!

I have written a piece on where to find a good chai latte in Raleigh, NC and within this article I talk about Oprah's amazing chai latte and provide a link for you to see what is in it and the nutritional info behind it.

If you live in Raleigh, or even if you don't, here is my take on a few of the best places to get coffee:

Here are a few of my latest pieces on coffee:

Happy sipping! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The best recipe pages on Facebook

Are you looking for some really great recipe pages to follow on Facebook? I have quite a list for you!

As the Holidays approach, more of us are looking to try new recipes for our family and friends. Now is a great time to try out the recipes to determine if you want to make them for the Holidays!

Here is a list of Facebook pages for you to like or join to get your hands on new recipes:

Enjoy experimenting with all of your new found recipes! 

When you find recipes you like online, try these recipe saving tips:

  1. print the recipe
  2. save the recipe in a recipe file on your computer
  3. pin the recipe for later
  4. save the website on your toolbar
  5. take a snapshot of the recipe with your phone or tablet to have for later
By testing recipes now it will enable you to enjoy more of the Holidays later :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

One Bowl Peanut Butter Cookies

If you are looking for a simple, gluten free, rich and creamy cookie recipe, search no further! These peanut butter cookies only have 4 ingredients, are super simple to make and can easily be made organic if you purchase organic ingredients!

They are ideal for an after school treat, Holidays and parties. One batch makes about 12 cookies. You can add a chocolate chip to the top of each cookie prior to baking if you would like to, but these cookies are so filling and rich, you definitely do not NEED to! 

Click here for the complete recipe: One bowl peanut butter cookies

Cookies on prepared sheet before baking.

Delicious cookie after baking! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Halloween treats and money saving tips!

There are so many options we have to celebrate Halloween! From trick or treating and festivals to parties and baking together.

As a family, we enjoy baking together. Last year my son and I made homemade Butterfinger Candy and it has since became a favorite of my husband. We got the recipe from a Taste of Home magazine, but I would love to share it with you to try this Halloween (with a few changes made by me, of course).

A money saving tip: is a website where you can buy and sell gift cards. We can use this site to help us save money when shopping for ingredients to make our Halloween treats!

Here are links to the pages where you can find many gift cards to buy and sell:

White Chocolate Butterfingers

  • 3 cups candy corns
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter, creamy
  • 1, 14 oz. bag of white candy melts (about 2.5 cups)
  • Jimmies, optional

Line an 8x8 baking dish with no-stick foil.
In microwave safe bowl, melt candy corns in 30 second intervals, stirring between each until melted. Stir in peanut butter. Mix until smooth.
Pour into prepared baking dish.
Flatten with spatula.
Let cool and firm up for about 1 hour.
Remove candy from baking dish by pulling out by foil ends.
Cut into 1 inch bars.
Melt candy melts in a double broiler until melted. (If you do not have one, make one. Take a glass bowl that will fit on top of a pat without falling in. Boil water in the pot on the stove and place bowl with candy melts on top. Stir until melted.)
Line cookie sheet with no-stick foil.
Spread melted candy melts over each bar with a butter knife.
Place on prepared cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with jimmies.
Serve or store in an airtight container.

Please read another article I wrote (Try a new tradition this Halloween) that contains easy recipes for:

  • Pumpkin spice muffins
  • Ribbon fudge
  • Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing
  • Pumpkin chocolate chunk cookies
  • and
  • Chocolate pretzel candies

There are also more recipe links at the bottom of the article for more easy recipes.

Halloween family time also includes ideas and recipe links for Halloween!

Have a wonderful and safe Halloween with your family this year! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's hot cocoa time!

Other than a warm fire in the fireplace, what is better than hot cocoa on a cool fall evening? Keep it clean people, this is a family friendly blog!

I love making hot cocoa for myself and my family. It is something we can all enjoy together. Often times, I will heat up almond milk on the stove and add milk chocolate chips for a rich and creamy treat.

Something I am looking forward to trying really soon is using coconut milk and almond milk to make hot cocoa! Doesn't that sound fantastic? Add a dab of cinnamon and whaaaalaaaa...a special hot drink for all!

Here are a few recipes to make hot cocoa for yourself, family and friends:

White hot cocoa

Crockpot hot cocoa

Easy hot cocoa recipes

More easy hot cocoa recipes

New hot cocoa recipes are in the works, so stay tuned!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ready, set...Bake!

Here in North Carolina, fall has sprung upon us in full blast! Gray skies, cold breezes and crisp air...and you know what? I love it! I absolutely love having the windows open and ceiling fans on on a cool fall day. Ahhhh....

My family also loves the fall, but not for the same reason I do. In our home along with the season comes seasonal baking and new recipes. Apples, pumpkin and sweet potatoes mixed with chocolate and cinnamon waft through our home on a regular basis when the season changes. 

I like trying out new crockpot desserts as well as the standard oven baked ones. 

If you are like me and enjoy fall baking or if you would like to start baking by trying out some easy recipes, I can help you today!

Here are some of my favorite fall baking recipes and all are simple enough for anyone to make:

What is a perfect pairing for these desserts? Coffee!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cookie baking class

Last year I took a baking and ingredients class online through AIB.  It was filled with great information and I made an A on the couse.
They offer many valuable online courses that aid one in the baking process. There is a cookie baking class that I would like to take. I have wanted to take it for some time...since I took the last class, actually. 

But,  then life happened.  I took a new job that not only manipulated much of my days, but stressed me out to the point that when I got home in the evenings my brain was fried and I was exhausted.  Shortly after that, I got pregnant!  I found myself on partial bed rest...One would think that would be an opportune time to take a class, but it wasn't :(

Now, the baby is here and I'm working part time. Maybe now I can make it work! 

Although my husband has gone back to school and works full time, I'm hoping to be able to create a schedule that allows me to take this class.  It will only benefit my baking business:  You can find me and like my page on Facebook! 

I say all of that to say. .. don't give up on your dreams. It's all in the timing. :)

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
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