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Cashew Chicken Chopped Salad – chicken, veggies, mandarin oranges, and cashews tossed in a sweet and sour dressing! My kids LOVE this salad!

Cashew Chicken Chopped Salad - chicken, veggies, mandarin oranges, and cashews tossed in a sweet and sour dressing! My kids LOVE this salad!

Okay.

I know yesterday I said that I had a monkey bread coming today but I forgot that I wanted to talk about pizza first! So monkey bread Thursday!

And let’s be real, pizza is every bit as exciting as monkey bread.

ANYWAY.

Was your high school football team good?

Because mine wasn’t.

In 4 years, we won 1 game.

ONE.

I mean, the bleachers were always packed and we were so excited for the game every single week, but man, we were terrible.

Curious: if you still live in your hometown, do your kids go to your high school? Do you go to football games with them?

If I still lived in Mobile, I’d totally want my kids to go to Baker and I’d definitely be the obnoxious parent at all the games, even if they are still terrible.

Click for the full recipe

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Big disaster in my life.

We can’t find Cuties anymore.

I don’t even know what to do. The baby (he’s almost 3 – not a baby) eats at least 3 a day and now they are gone from the grocery store shelves. Yesterday I found a bag of pluots labeled dinosaur fruit and thought “Hey, it’s got a dinosaur on it. Maybe he’ll eat them!”

Nope.

I’m kind of regretting using our last bag of Cuties on these cupcakes. Kind of. But not really.

Because Orange Cream Cupcakes! I’ve been really digging citrus cakes for awhile now so an orange cupcake with orange cream cheese frosting? All about it!

Don’t worry if you’re in the same predicament as me with the Cuties though – you can use any kind of orange!

Orange Cream Cupcakes
from Food Network Magazine, May 2014
Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 12 tablespoons 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
For the frosting:
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice about 2 oranges
  • 1 8- ounce package cream cheese at room temperature
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • orange gel food coloring
Instructions
To make the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with 12 liners.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed and slowly beat in the melted butter. Beat in orange zest and vanilla.
  4. Beat in the flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 of the way. Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean Cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the frosting:
  1. Bring the orange juice to a boil in a saucepan; reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 tablespoons, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the butter, a little at a time, until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low; sift the powdered sugar into the bowl and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla, the cooled orange syrup, and orange zest. Beat until combined. Add food coloring until desired color is reached. Refrigerate until spreadable, about 15 minutes. Spread onto cool cupcakes.
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Marshmallow Fruit Salad – the BEST fruit salad recipe! Pineapple, mandarin oranges, strawberries, and marshmallows in a creamy dressing. Only 5 ingredients!

I know it looks like I showed up with a bowl of marshmallows today, but I swear there’s fruit in there too.

My oldest started talking about fruit salad as soon as our weather warmed up.

My kids eat fruit all day long but for some reason, he wants it cut up and tossed together. In an effort to become the favorite parent while my husband is deployed, I threw in some marshmallows.

Click for the full recipe

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Witches Brew – make your house smell like fall with a slow cooker full of apple, orange, lemon, cloves, and cinnamon sticks! Perfect for Halloween night!

Witches Brew - make your house smell like fall with a slow cooker full of apple, orange, lemon, cloves, and cinnamon sticks! Perfect for Halloween night!

Witches Brew!

Today I bring you a recipe that you can’t eat.

Sorry.

But it makes your house smell really delicious and if you’re a candle junkie like me, you should be excited.

I made this last weekend and I swear my house smelled good for days!

I actually tried to save it so I could reuse it on Halloween (you know, put it by the door so trick-or-treaters could smell it – as if they care about how my house smells) but decided that it would lose all it’s smelliness by then. But I’ll be making it again because I have all the ingredients on hand this time of year.

Witches Brew - make your house smell like fall with a slow cooker full of apple, orange, lemon, cloves, and cinnamon sticks! Perfect for Halloween night!

Witches Brew

Ingredients
  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • water
Instructions
  1. Slice fruit into rings. Don't worry about removing peels, seeds, etc.
  2. Place all ingrdients into a slow cooker. Cover the fruit with water.
  3. Heat on low, refilling water if necessary.

Witches Brew - make your house smell like fall with a slow cooker full of apple, orange, lemon, cloves, and cinnamon sticks! Perfect for Halloween night!

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I think I am the last person in the universe to jump on the honeycrisp train. To be fair, I bought some years ago (at The Fresh Market for probably $6 a pound) and they tasted like water. So I’ve avoided them until this year. Just this week though, they were the cheapest apples at my grocery store (and GINORMOUS at that) so I bought them and they are amazing. Seriously, crisp like I didn’t even know apples could be!

I haven’t told you guys but Nicole and I had so much fun doing our s’mores week that we wanted to do something together every week. And we decided on drinks because… well duh. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s drinking. So for the next little while we’ll be doing a themed drink each week! Get excited.

Apples were the theme of the week and I’ve had this sangria on my “must make” list since Brandy suggested I try it one night when I was whining on Twitter about how I hated wine. It specifically calls for honeycrisp apples and since I’d just bought 15 pounds (seriously) of honeycrisp, it was perfect!

I love, love, loved it! The original recipe calls for an unoaked chardonnay but I used a moscato because it’s the only wine I drink really. It’s so delicious and so different from your regular sangria since it has ginger and cinnamon sticks and cloves in it. It’s cool and refreshing but warming and holiday-esque at the same time.

Nicole made an Apple Pie Cocktail which I will be making real soon! Yuuuum!

One year ago: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Two years ago: Fig & Walnut Biscotti
Three years ago: Maple Twists

Honeycrisp Apple Sangria
Ingredients
  • 2 honeycrisp apples
  • 2 oranges
  • lemon
  • lime
  • One 750-milliliter bottle white wine
  • 1/2 cup peach schnapps
  • 1/4 cup orange blossom honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 quarter-size slices of fresh ginger
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Ice
  • Club soda
Instructions
  1. Peel and chop one of the apples. Quarter one of the oranges, the lemon, and the lime.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the whine, schnapps and honey. Stir in the chopped apple, the quartered orange, lemon, lime, cinnamon sticks, ginger and cloves. Refrigerate it overnight (or at least 4 hours if you're in a hurry).
  3. Strain the sangria into a pitcher. Chop the remaining apple. Peel, section and chop the remaining orange. Mix the apple and orange in a bowl.
  4. On a small plate, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Moisten the rims of wine glasses and dip in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Pour in the sangria until three-quarters full. Top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a generous spoonful of the chopped apple and orange.

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