Homemade Vanilla Maple Syrup

This quarantine has me reaching back into cooking days like something fierce; it brings back the very fond memories of when I attend Le Cordon Bleu in Pittsburgh. It no longer exists, the school closed in 2012; I was the last graduating class in 2011. Quite honestly it is probably one of the happiest seasons of my life, I was young…had tons of ambition…and completely in love with my school. My goal was to live in Washington, Dc and be the presidents pastry chef; that was seriously my goal. Didn’t happen obviously, and I am completely fine with it.

Anyways, I commuted to the city everyday, I was on a bus at 6:30 in the morning and some days I didn’t return home until almost 8pm. This was right after I completely dropped out of college to attend cooking school; that was a very bittersweet day, but I believe it took me to where I needed to be in life. I had some of the best teachers that I could ever ask for, probably some of the best teachers in all my years of schooling. This is where I got my opportunity to move down South and work at one of the top golf resorts in the US; an experience that I will never forget.

But here I am almost ten years later and I am no longer working in the field; it wasn’t for losing the passion…well… in a different way. I absolutely hated resort life..it’s not doable being a single mom. The hours are way to unpredictable, my typical shift was 4am to sometimes 7pm; it’s a tough field. More than what I ever expected it to be.

However, I felt that the only reason why I was brought into the direction of of this was to meet Sophia’s father and bring her into the world…without quitting college..and entering cooking school; who knows if I would have had Sophia. And also to make food for you fine folks and share it….

SOOOOOO….without procrastinating any longer

I MADE HOMEMADE SYRUP! HOW COOL.

Curious….do you say syrup as seeerup? (PLEASE SAY NO…PLEASE SAY NO…)

OR

SIRUP?

Seeerup makes me cringe….like the sound of someone crunching on ice…or for most people of the world it’s nails down a chalk board. Either way…it’s a whole potato…patato situation that I avoid like the plague. My brother on the other hand says SEEEERUP….I definitely think just to get until my skin…or the way he calls me Sarris…ugh..that’s just horrible.

Joanna Gaines Maple Syrup from her Magnolia Table Volume 2

Ingredients:

1 cup of granulated sugar

1 cup of water

2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract

2 tsp. of our maple extract.

**I trippled the recipe**

  1. Bring your sugar and water to a boil
  2. Add your extracts
  3. Allow mixture to simmer for 20 minutes- stir it
  • Refrigerate up to two weeks.

My grandma used to make homemade syrup and I remember her telling me how easy it is to make, but I don’t have her recipe anymore. So Joanna Gaines recipe I think is very similar to hers; and tastes quite like it as well.

Anyways this is going to go perfect with my famous french toast as Sophia calls it; that’s a recipe for another day.

Sesame Chicken Noodles

“How you feeling…hot..hot..hot…”….”how you feeling…hot…hot..hot…”- sung by Merrymen that had me singing. Meeee oooooh my…THIS! This right here had my taste buds singing….Chrissy Teigen you did it to me once again, I mean your cookbook brings by cooking to a completely different of level of hot and fun. I am finding myself cooking outside of my comfort zone; using ingredients that I never take a second glance at the grocery store. For instance Tahini; I thought it was something that went into those fun beachy drinks….but I couldn’t have been anymore wrong; then I couldn’t find it at the grocery…that was fun; but I ended up buying a big bottle of Tahini…and Sriracha, because why not, anything worth doing is worth doing right.

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Friday Fives

It’s FRRRIIIIIIIDAAAAY (in the Feeny call voice…please tell me you know what I am talking about…Boy Meets World) ! We made it, another week, but my weeks are such a blur; I am desperate for normalcy as I suspect most people are at this point. But here we are, so lets just make the best of it.

It’s another Chrissy Teigen recipe I am throwing your way! Another good one….another one that made me say “yumm…” I believe is quite possibly the best and most easiest recipe I have made this week. But my god it was good….I want to share it with the world…come over and I will give you some! I share.

When I was making it I was quite apprehensive to as if I was actually going to like it…it had all the right ingredients, but Apple Cider Vinegar..ehh…I drink it, but I don’t drink it warmed up. It made the entire house stink; Sophia said “mom I need some fresh air…this is rank.”

Surprisingly three hour later, that stench that lingered in the air for hours turned itself into probably the best salad I have ever had.

Here is the recipe! You won’t be disappointed.

Now onto more links for Friday Fives:

I recently bought this nighty from Target about a week ago, I have yet to wear it; but it’s soft and so comfy. Definitely summer friendly.

This bralette in Lilac, is beautiful..so soft. No itchy lace here.

This shirt I recently bought because I am in dire need of shirts, it’s lightweight and kind of perfect.

My favorite summer sandal. I wear my birks almost everyday in the summer; you’ll hardly ever catch me in flip-flips. I don’t find them to be very comfortable. The Birkenstock sandals mold to your foot once they are broken in; which makes them the best, I’ve had mine for two years and never looked back.

Hope you have a great and safe weekend!

Kristina’s Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Do you follow Kristina Kuzmic on Facebook or Instagram? If you don’t…you should!! I do, I believe I have watched every video she has ever made; she is my alter ego. Her mom truth is the best, and absolutely relatable.

If you follow her on Instagram, a few days ago she made a minute video about her homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte…it had me at…Pumpkin and easy to make.

Once Sophia was fast asleep, I brewed a fresh pot of coffee and made her homemade creamer!

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Unicorn Hot Chocolate

Unicorn Hot Chocolate

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For about a week Pittsburgh has been more snowy and cold than it has been all winter long. Just a few weeks ago we hit 78 degrees…it was heaven, but I must admit I am really anxious for April. With the cold weather upon us still…..

I thought it would be fun to put a twist to your normal Hot Chocolate and make Unicorn Hot Chocolate. Plus, I knew that Sophia would just love it.

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Jo’s Favorite Lemon Pie

Jo’s Favorite Lemon Pie

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When life gives you Lemons make…Jo’s Favorite Lemon Pie! I have been going through a wicked sweet tooth recently that I just can’t get a grasp on. It doesn’t matter how many yoga classes I take or how many times I try to distract myself…nothing and I mean nothing seems to be helping. Until….I came across Jo’s Favorite Lemon Pie.

But let me back up…I have a huge confession and obsession. I am a HUGE Joanna and Chip Gaines fan from HGTV Fixer Upper! My mom and I will watch them for hours. Their style is basically my style, everything they do I love. So when I came across Jo’s Favorite Lemon Pie recipe in their magazine…my inner obsession came out…

And I had to try it!

It is probably the best pie I have ever had. Hands down. I mean it’s rich, packed with flavor and lets say not legging pants wearing friendly…but perfect for a cheat day…or week. Whatever tickles your fancy…I will do a week cheat please!

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Heart Shaped Strawberry Shortcakes

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I stayed up late last night to make Sophia these Heart Shaped Strawberry Shortcakes. We had a rough day together yesterday..if Sophia doesn’t nap she becomes a little bear, especially by bedtime rolls around. I wanted to make these to let her know that even though we had a rough day together that I still love her no matter what.

Plus, Sophia’s favorite shape is the heart.

These Strawberry Shortcakes are the best…so good! So I am happy to share this recipe with you!

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DIY Floating Confetti Tumbler

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Around Valentine’s Day I came up with the idea of making a Confetti Tumbler for Sophia. I was going to full the inside with her favorite candies, but it just so happens I could not find the right Tumbler any where to get the job done.

Sophia is like me, she loves anything that sparkles..she will say “ooooh mama that’s sparkle (with the emphasis of ‘kle’ sound).”

This tumbler is beyond easy to make, it took no time at all to make it! And I could not be more please on how it turned out.

Plus you can personalize it anyway you want!

What You Need:

1 Double insulated tumbler that twists off at the bottom (I bought this one from Amazon)

Confetti- Any kind that tickles your fancy

How to Make Sparkly Tumbler

  1. Twist off the bottom
  2. Fill with Confetti
  3. Add water right in where you inserted the Confetti
  4. Twist bottom back on tight

And that is all there is to it!

I really wish I would have thought of making Confetti Tumblers as Party favors for her  Confetti Birthday Party and here are the Confetti Balloons just in case you are curious!

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I got most of my Confetti from Michael Arts & Crafts, plus I also had a bunch just hanging around my craft supply box! This would make a really fun Girl Scout project! I mean who doesn’t like sparkly and fun!

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It makes me want to drink out of my Tumbler more…hey…maybe it will convince me to consume more water on a daily basis!

Maybe I should start a Confetti Tumbler business on Etsy!

 

 

Fruity Pebbles on What?

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You might be thinking…what is this? I would be…if I wasn’t the one writing this post. Just a little bit of honesty….BUT…if you thought what on earth are those Fruity Pebbles covering…then you might be a little shocked if I were to tell you it’s chicken…yeah that’s right…chicken.

Who Knew!

Last weekend I invited my cousin Jess over for dinner; along with her oldest son Parker and hew newest addition Jace for some… (hold the phone)…Fruity Pebble Chicken. I thought this would be a fun dinner for the kiddos…colorful…and chicken fingers…need I say more.

So last night we adventured into the world of Fruity Pebbles Chicken Fingers.

Initially, I was very skeptical..the thought of Fruity Pebbles on chicken just honestly did not sound very appealing by any means. Just yuck..right? So, to keep it from being a completely disappointing meal if that was going to be the case…I also made just plain old regular Chicken Fingers. You know just in case…

But

I. Was. Surprised.

Shocked. Even.

Because.

They Were Delicious.

They were like eating a a very mild Honey Chicken, a slight sweetness…but not gross…

Just Perfect.

So if you are looking for something fun to feed the kids or want to try something out of the ordinary…Fruity Pebbles Chicken Fingers.

Food for Thought..I want to meet the person that thought “put Fruity Pebbles on chicken.”

Charcuterie Platter

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Growing up I was told to never go over to someones house empty handed, especially if someone was having you over for dinner. One of my favorite things to bring to a dinner party or a holiday party is a Charcuterie Platter.

Tis’ the season of holiday parties I thought this would be a great opportunity to share with you; how to make the best Charcuterie Plate.

Charcuterie is actually one of my favorite ways to eat. If you like cheese, fruit, crackers or French Baguette, salami and nuts then you will enjoy this!

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