Guys, I love the 4th of July.

I’ll love it even more if I can ever decipher the local laws to see if we’re allowed sparklers. Because sparklers are MY FAVORITE THING EVER.

(Don’t tell me it’s too dry for fireworks here. All it does is rain.)

The 4th of July also means increased security on Fort Hood so I’ve said, “Really? You think I’m gonna bring bombs on post in a doorless Jeep?” three times in the last week.

I mean, I get it. We have to be careful. But a 30 year old (yeah, my birthday happened) mom with 3 dogs in her (doorless, windowless, topless) car shouldn’t set off the terrorist alarm every. single. time.

Yeah, I’m really hoping for some sparklers.

I think we’re going to have a very low key 4th, just us, at home. This past month has been insane – isn’t summer supposed to be stress free? So we’re probably just going to grill and try to catch the Fort Hood fireworks show from our backyard. (If there’s one – I am so out of the loop.)

I am really, really bad at themed food. I think you know this by now. But I can’t resist a red, white, and blue treat. These Mini Fruit Pizzas are just sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting, and fruit on top. But they’re so cute and really delicious!

Click for the full recipe

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Hot Cross Buns - my favorite Easter tradition! So delicious!

I think Easter’s my favorite holiday.

And yes, I realize that I say that for literally every holiday but I’m serious this time. I think Easter’s my fave.

I mean, Easter candy is most definitely the best candy. Plus you get to decorate with fun, bright colors and dye eggs. And you get to watch Hop as many times as you want and no one can judge you for it.

That’s what the kids and I do. We watch it over and over and over again. It’s our fave.

And finally, Easter food! I love the ham and the salads and, most important, the Hot Cross Buns!

I’ve teamed up with In The Raw this year ot bring you a series of awesome recipes and the first one I’m sharing is… yep, Hot Cross Buns. Because I am obsessed.

I used the Sugar In The Raw Organic White® to make these buns. Sugar In The Raw Organic White® is from the maker of Sugar In The Raw® and is part of the In The Raw® family of sweeteners, which also includes zero-calorie Stevia In The Raw® and Monk Fruit In The Raw®, and Agave In The Raw®.

I couldn’t be more thrilled with how the Sugar In The Raw Organic White® worked in these Hot Cross Buns. It is perfect for baking! And I love how eco-friendly the brand is. Sugar In The Raw Organic White is eco-social certified, Non-GMO certified, USDA Organic and comes in recyclable packaging.​

So Hot Cross Buns! They are sweet rolls studded with raisins and the topped with icing in the shape of a cross. I love making these every year because I think they’re so pretty and my kids love that I make them every year because they are delicious!

If you are interested in the Sugar In The Raw Organic White®, click here to find a retailer near you.

Hot Cross Buns - my favorite Easter tradition! So delicious!

Click for the full recipe

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Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage - the perfect St. Patrick's Day dinner!

St. Patrick’s Day is just over a week away – and this is probably the only post you’ll get from me about it. 

Y’all, I’m just not into any holiday that forces me to wear a color that looks awful on me. I’d rather just skip it. What I don’t skip is the corned beef. I love corned beef. 

And I cured this myself! Because guess what! My grocery stores don’t put corned beef out until right before St. Patty’s Day. Gahhh. So I bought some brisket, soaked it in some salt water with a bunch of funny smelling spices, and let it hang out in my fridge for 5 days. 

Also, I learned that the reason store-bought corned beef is pink is because they use a dyed salt to brine it. I had no idea. I always thought it was just one of those mysteries of the world. 

Anyway, it wasn’t difficult to do it myself. It took maybe 30 minutes to get the beef in it’s brine and then I didn’t think about it again until it was time to cook. And it turned on wonderfully. If you don’t want to buy 7 jars of spices that you’ll never use again, go ahead and get the corned beef from your grocery store and just cook that as directed.

I cooked mine with carrots, onions, and potatoes and then I added cabbage at the end of the cooking. The veggies turned out so good. We love cabbage and when it’s cooked with the corned beef, it turns out almost buttery. It’s so delicious – my husband and I practically fought over it! 

Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage - the perfect St. Patrick's Day dinner!

Click for the full recipe

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King Cake Cupcakes

As you guys know, I’m from Mobile, Alabama which is known for many things. Most of which I don’t actually remember because… well, because I’m me. But here are some of my faves:

Dropping a moonpie on New Years Eve.

The Battleship.

Hurricanes.

The Senior Bowl.

And having the first Mardi Gras celebration in the States.

True story.

I bring this up every Mardi Gras because if there’s one thing us Mobilians hate it’s overhearing someone talk about how Mardi Gras is from New Orleans. 

Seriously, 99% of my Mobile Facebook friends belong to the “Mardi Gras was in Mobile before New Orleans was even a city” FB group. 

We get to claim it. Take that, New Orleans!

(For the record, I love New Orleans Mardi Gras, too. I just like Mobile’s a smidge better.)

Anyway, Mardi Gras has long been my favorite holiday and even though it’s not celebrated here in Colorado, I still sit on my front porch and throw things at the neighbors when they walk by.

Just kidding. But I want to.

King cakes are one of the many things I love about Mardi Gras! If you’ve never had one, it’s like a giant cinnamon roll shaped in a ring and then it’s iced and covered in Mardi Gras sprinkles. Or, you can make my favorite kind which has the cinnamon roll thing going for it but also has a sweetened cream cheese filling. It’s to die for. 

And that’s what these King Cake Cupcakes are except to make life easier for all of us, I used cans of crescent rolls. So really, these guys took absolutely no time to throw together. 

You should definitely make them Tuesday for Mardi Gras or Sunday for Joe Cain Day!

King Cake Cupcakes

Click for the full recipe

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Welp guys, sorry I haven’t been posting Christmas cookies and treats like I’m supposed to be doing.

I’m the worst.

I wish I could be one of those bloggers who had hundreds of posts lined up and ready to be published. Nope, I have exactly none. I pretend it’s because I like to live in the moment and blog about what my heart wants me to. But let’s be real, I’m just a horrible procrastinator. Like I said, I am the worst.

So yeah, my husband came home a couple weeks ago. On Thanksgiving, actually. It’s quite a different experience this time around. Last time he returned from Afghanistan  – because of how the war was going and probably because it was his first deployment – things were just bad. Just really, really bad. 

This time, it’s been really easy. It kind of just seems like he’s been gone for a week instead of 9 months. Whereas last time, it took us about 7 months to get to a good place. It’s crazy different and I’m very grateful for it. 

But I’m finally here with a Christmas treat! I’ve been meaning to make Saltine Toffee for years and years but I always run out of time and energy – finally managed to get it done this year! And I added peanut butter because why not? And peanut butter M&Ms because… duh.

It’s delicious. And I hate Saltines with a fiery passion. But the sugar mixture and then the peanut butter and then the chocolate… it’s just sweet and salty and I love it. 

I do have more Christmas-y recipes coming. Hopefully.I’ve had several cookie fails lately so we’ll see. I’ve got a drink coming for sure. Don’t even worry about that.

Click for the full recipe

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