maple ice cream with candied bacon sprinkles

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oh my, so much has happened since i was last on my blog.  i had a baby, moved to colorado, started a new job, and bought a house!  phew!  so needless to say, while i was still baking and cooking there wasn’t much time for picture taking (well, we took lots of pictures of our baby, but not so much of food) and blog posting.  i give so much credit to those who can continue to blog with a new baby and other life happenings!  so now that things are kind of settling down, i’ve been getting the blogging itch and i’m back.  we’ll see how long this actually lasts, but i’ll do my best.

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baking has been a bit of a challenge with the enormous change in altitude from dc to denver/boulder.  i’ve experienced my fair share of sunken cupcakes and cakes, flattened cookies, messed up caramel, etc.  but do you know what has been trusty through and through – ice cream!

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this actually works perfectly because ice cream just may be one of my favorite desserts and we now have an extra freezer, so i can easily keep the freezer bowl for my ice cream maker in the freezer ready to go at all times.  since moving to colorado, i’ve made a bunch of different kinds of ice cream from mint chocolate chip and blackberry to vanilla bean and milk chocolate.  if you follow me on instagram, you also recently saw that i made some peanut butter oreo ice cream too (recipe coming soon!)

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well a few weeks ago, chris and i were brainstorming what my next ice cream experiment would be and he came up with maple bacon!  sounds good to me.  i ended up combining 2 of david lebovitz’s recipes to make maple ice cream with candied bacon “sprinkles.”  oh man this stuff is good!

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gingerbread cupcakes

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i know these are a bit out of season, considering that you typically make gingerbread flavored desserts around christmas time/winter. and that is when i originally made these gingerbread cupcakes. but you know how to goes… posting just doesn’t happen quite as quickly as i intended.

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but i didn’t want to keep this recipe from you since it was so good. plus, just pin it for later and you’ll have a recipe ready and waiting for you once the holiday season approaches.

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this is a deliciously spicy gingerbread cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting. i actually make these cupcakes twice last year, they were that good! the gingerbread cupcakes, start off with creaming together butter and dark brown sugar…

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tammy’s bridal shower

Tammy's Shower 6this past weekend, we hosted my close friend, tammy’s bridal shower. you may remember tammy from our many baking and cooking adventures from yummy four cheese ravioli and salted caramel brownies to our crazy rainbow cake and delicious donuts.  not only is she my favorite baking buddy, but she is an absolutely amazing person and friend.

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so when she asked me if i would be one of her bridesmaids, i could not have been more excited. i along with a couple of her other bridemaids planned her dc bridal shower.  we just had a small group of guests, so we actually had the shower in my apartment.  this worked out well because i was able to cook all of the food for the event.  here’s a little snapshot of the menu…

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appetizers were simple with just a meat and cheese tray (thank you costco!  haha)  and some cinnamon candied pecans.

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brunch included:

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for dessert, we had strawberry lemon cupcakes (adapted from these two recipes: strawberry lemon cupcakes & raspberry lemon cupcakes) and flourless chocolate truffle cake with sweet cherry sauce.  one of the bridesmaids traveled all the way from istanbul and brought some turkish delight for everyone to enjoy too.

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the favors were dark chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies (these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies with dark chocolate chips instead) in cute little milk carton boxes.

i had such a great time preparing and cooking for tammy’s shower and it was super fun planning all of the details with the other bridemaids.  i’m so glad everything came together and it seemed like everyone enjoyed themselves at the shower.

congratulations tammy!  can’t wait for your big day!!!

individual banana pudding cups

banana pudding cups 11a while back, chris asked me to make some treats for his coworkers.  since i make a lot of treats for mine, i didn’t hesistate for a second saying “of course!”  now the fun part – what should i make?  my coworkers expect me to bring cupcakes, so making treats for chris is a good opportunity for me to try out different recipes.  i definitely have made cupcakes for him before, but i’ve also made blueberry crumb bars as well as these individual banana pudding cups.
banana pudding cups 12i absolutely love banana pudding and thought it would be a nice, cool treat for chris to share with his coworkers.  but it’s not so portable and would be a mess to serve to a crowd.  so i thought of making them into little individual serving cups.  they worked out perfectly!  chris was able to easily transport them on the metro and he reported back that they were easy to serve and share.  success!

banana pudding cups 13don’t you love those beautiful layers?  i just think they are so pretty.  these individual banana pudding cups would make the perfect summer time treat.  i used my light banana pudding recipe, which is not as heavy and decadent as regular banana pudding.  so they would be nice and refreshing on a warm, sunny day.  i hope you give them a try!

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no bake granola bites

i am a snack-a-holic. i  love snacks – all the sweet things and all the salty things.  they are the best.  but snacking can quickly add up to lots of unhealthy foods and extra calories i shouldn’t be eating.  therefore, a made a concerted effort to have healthier snacks on hand in my office and at home.

i started off this quest by googling healthy snacks.  i saw lots of people making these granola bites.   they all looked awesome and relatively easy to make.  plus they are no-bake which definitely ups the convenience factor.  these no bake granola bites are full of lots of healthy things like flaxseed,

coconut oil,

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