12 Days of Giveaways…KitchenAid Waffle Baker

Happy Sunday!

Today I am thrilled to offer you one of my most favorite things…the KitchenAid Waffle Baker.

Seriously – LOVE it.

Waffles are a treat, in my opinion, reserved for breakfasts out or on fancy brunch buffets – not something you serve up at home on a regular basis.  Why?  Well, restaurants tend to have those high end flippy waffle bakers, and nothing ever sticks.  You know the ones I am talking about?

Yeah, those.

The KitchenAid Waffle Baker is just like those…except better.


This waffle iron will make TWO waffles at once.  And I’ve never had a waffle stick – the pop right out.  My waffles are light and fluffy on the inside, with a nice crisp on the outside.  You may recall seeing the waffles I made last week?  Yep, I made them in the KitchenAid.

I want you to have one of these amazing waffle irons.

Tell me you want it?

The Giveaway

Just leave a comment letting me know you want to have one.  Do that and you’ll be entered to win.

If you’d like an extra entry, Tweet or Share the link to this post on Twitter or Facebook and then come back here to tell me you did so in a separate comment.  Now you are entered twice.

See? Easy.

You could be eyeball high in waffles before the new year!  Good luck!

Can’t wait?  You can BUY one on Amazon right now for a much reduced price…check it out!


Disclaimer:  Affiliate links are contained in this post, as I am an Amazon Affiliate.  Giveaway is not sponsored.  Giveaway ends December 25th at 11:59pm EST.  2 entries max per person/email address.  Winner will be notified via email address provided on December 27.  US Addresses only, please.  Good luck!

Holiday Pins!!



Pinterest is the devil.

But it’s the devil we ALL LOVE.  It’s full of ideas we would never have on our own, parties we want to have ourselves, crafts we THINK we can do successfully.

Yes, I love Pinterest.

So much, in fact, that when SOLO asked be to be a featured “Pinner” for their fun Pinterest Board Holiday Cheer – well, you know I jumped on board.


I’ve been trying not to go too nuts – I easily could! – and I am loving the search for festive recipes to pin as well as seeing the pins my fellow featured bloggers are sharing as well.  It’s so great over there!

I hope you’ll check it out for yourself and re-pin a few of your favorites…there are some great ones!

Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Loaf

Well kids, here it is…we are right smack in the middle of December. Less than 2 weeks until Christmas, and Hanukkah has come and gone.  It’s full on Holiday Season – and I hope you are more ready than I am.

That won’t take much.

Luckily, it’s also officially gingerbread season. That, friends, I am more than prepared for.


For the past few days I have been a gingerbread fool. For my stint on WSLS Daytime Blue Ridge, I taught the gals a few tips and tricks for decorating Gingerbread Cookies, and then later that same day I had my cookies auctioned off at a charity event.  What a great evening!

In the midst of all these cookies, I experimented with a fun bread I made once upon a time, but decided to give it a kick in the Holiday Pants, courtesy of Glade®.

Yes, Glade®.

They have new Limited Edition Winter Collection scents, and an email a few days ago asked me if I’d be willing to bake in honor of these limited edition scents:

  • Ginger Bread Jingle
  • Merry Maple Morning
  • Sweet Holiday Treat

Well, yeah.  Why not?  I like things that smell good – and what a clever challenge!  One of the scents – Ginger Bread Jingle – needed a spicy recipe, and I knew just what to make… A Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Loaf. I played around with a consistently reliable recipe for cinnamon rolls, but ginger breaded the whole thing up. And instead of slicing it into individual cinnamon rolls, I left the whole thing in tact and placed it in my Chicago Metallic Ribbon Loaf Pan. I do love that thing…I imagine even crappy bread would taste good in it – I mean, LOOK at it! It’s pretty awesome. (and look at the way the oozing cinnamon and brown sugar filling caramelized on the end of the loaf…Yum.) cinnamon-gingerbread3

This bread turned out deliciously, and is exquisite while warm (you can just microwave it for a few seconds). I slather a nice scoop of Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting across each slice, because number one, it’s wickedly good, and two, it’s too easy. You could also push this over the edge by making French Toast out of it, or maybe bread pudding? But I doubt you’ll be able to, considering the loaf will be gone very soon after it comes out of the oven.  Enjoy!


Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Loaf with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: One Loaf or 8 large cinnamon rolls


  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (one package)
  • 3 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1/2 package french vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean, Split & Scraped (I prefer Beanilla Vanilla Beans)
  • 1 cup cold whole milk
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup very soft butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground Ginger


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast, and molasses together. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. After 10 minutes, add the pudding mix, vanilla, milk, melted butter and egg. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine salt, spices and flour. Add yeast mixture and blend well.
  4. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth.
  5. Place in a greased bowl; cover and let rise until doubled.
  6. Punch down dough and let rise again.
  7. Roll out on a floured surface to about 18 by 10 inches. Take 1/2 cup soft butter and spread over surface.
  8. In a bowl mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger, then sprinkle over the top. Roll up tightly. from the narrow end (the length of you loaf pan) Don’t be afraid to tug on the dough, it is very stretchy and the more “rolls” you get the better!
  9. Place in greased loaf pan (or opt to cut into cinnamon rolls if you prefer). Allow to rise until nearly doubled in size.
  10. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
  11. Once removed, slice and spread with Eggnog Cream Cheese Icing. Icing consists of 4 oz softened cream cheese, 2 Tbsps. softened butter, 1;2 cup powdered sugar, and 2 tbsps eggnog. Blend with electric mixer or by hand.

According to the Farmers’ Almanac, December 11-13 are the best days to bake in the month of December, so check back tomorrow and Friday for two more Holiday baking posts courtesy of Glade.  I’ve got two more days of delicious to share!

Disclaimer:  This post was sponsored by Glade.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

recipe 1

Crescent Change Up: Bacon & Onion Crescents

Remember last week when I told you Pillsbury asked me to make a recipe or two using their fabulous Crescent Rolls?  And I said to stay tuned, as I had more ideas?  Well…here is yet another.

Bacon and Onion Crescent Rolls.

So easy, and yet, so incredibly hard to put down.  They’d be great to add as a Thanksgiving bread option, or perfect for game watching, Black Friday After Shopping Snack, or even dinner.  No one will expect the punch of flavor hidden inside these Crescents. One bite of the savory bacon and sweet onion and garlic will make this a true crowd pleaser!

Versatile, easy, yummy.




Bacon and Onion Crescent Rolls

Makes 8


  • 1 Pillsbury Grands Buttery Crescent Rolls
  • 1/2 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and diced



Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.

Sauté the onion in the oil in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant and caramelized.

When onions are ready and oven is at temperature, open can of Crescent rolls. Top each triangle of dough with a bit of the butter, then sprinkle with garlic powder. Add a scoop of onions and finally top with the bacon. Roll into crescent shape.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, or to golden brown. Serve warm.

Tips & Tricks

  • For a quick appetizer, cut each triangle of Crescent into to, making two triangles. Top with ingredients as the recipe states, but add a bit of shredded mozzarella before baking unrolled. Your guests will love them!
  • Buying precooked bacon in the store saves a lot of time and hassle if you are in a rush. Simply dice the bacon while the onions cook and you’ll be ahead of the game!


Disclaimer:  As mentioned, this blog post and recipe were sponsored by Pillsbury.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Almond and Coconut Mini Bundt Cakes

Okay.  Shoot me.

I’ve used box mixes.

There, I said it.


But you see, sometimes, it’s just easier.  Quicker.  Ever-so-convenient.  While I personally am fortunate enough to have a job that allows me all day to bake cakes and pies and Danish from scratch, not everyone is so lucky.  And sometimes, those very people just want a freaking piece of cake.

I totally get that.  In fact, I used to be one of those career gals, doing the 9 to 5 thing.  And I still am, except now I work twice as much as that, or more, I just have the ability to do it from home.  And still – I will oftentimes use a box mix.

I roll like that.

Especially when I can churn out decadence like this, courtesy of Betty Crocker – these Almond and Coconut Mini Bundt Cakes.  Cute, perfectly portioned, and easy…these little devils are a delicious way to serve dessert at your next holiday meal… Maybe Thanksgiving??  Everyone gets their own, and you won’t have to spend all day in the kitchen slaving over them.



Almond and Coconut Mini Bundt Cakes

Makes 12 Mini Bundts


  • 1 package Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 cup fine sweetened coconut flake, divided
  • 1 container Almond Joy Icing


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 12 mini-bundt cake pans with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, oil, water, extract, and one-third cup of coconut flake. Mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until well combined.
  3. Divide batter equally among the prepared mini bundt pans. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until cakes are set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  4. Heat half of the Almond Joy Icing in the microwave in a small bowl for 14 seconds. Stir, then microwave an additional 10 seconds. Icing should be slightly liquid. Repeat with second half of icing when needed.
  5. Pour heated icing over each of the mini bundt cakes, then top with a sprinkling of coconut flake. Add additional holiday decorations as desired.


  • If you prefer to have one large bundt cake instead of minis, simply use a regular bundt cake and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until set. Pour icing over and top with coconut as directed.
  • For a more festive look, place coconut in a plastic bag with a bit of red or green food coloring. Work the coloring into the coconut, then top the cake as directed.

Disclaimer:  This post was sponsored by Betty Crocker & Hershey.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Roasted Pumpkin, Pear, and Arugula Puff Pastry Tarts

I am a huge fan of puff pastry.  It’s got so many things going for it…sweet or savory, breakfast or dinner, appetizer, dessert, or main dish.  Buttery and rich – there’s just nothing it can’t do.  So imagine my delight when the folks at Pepperidge Farm® asked me to create a recipe that would be perfect for the holidays.

My mind went straight away to appetizers, because for me, the holidays are about gatherings, about standing around the table, nibbling on hors d’oeuvres, stuffing my face alongside my aunts and uncles and cousins.  We must eat twice our body weight, but everyone knows that food doesn’t count if you don’t put it onto a plate first.  Everyone knows this.

pumpkin tart2

These tarts, these Roasted Pumpkin and Arugula Puff Pastry Tarts, are absolutely perfect for that kind of eating.

Pick one up, pop it in your mouth, chew, repeat.

I took the idea for these tarts from my friend Mike, the chef of The Bank Food & Drink, who makes the most incredible Roasted Pumpkin Salad.  At first, I was totally against the idea of a salad made of pumpkin.  And then I finally tasted it.

Sweet goodness and mercy.  I just knew that salad could be made into bite sized perfection.

I was right.


Roasted Pumpkin, Pear, and Arugula Puff Pastry Tarts

makes 24


  • Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheetspumpkin-peeled
  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • pinch red pepper flake
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ripe pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh arugula


Preheat oven to 400.  Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Cut each Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheet in to 12 squares.

Peel the pumpkin and cut in half, scoop out the insides and discard. Cut the pumpkin into small pieces. Place the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the pumpkin, maple syrup and red pepper flake and stir occasionally  until the pumpkin is well coated and semi soft.  Remove from heat.

Place strips of pear followed by some arugula on the pastry squares and then top with some of the prepared pumpkin.

Bake at 400 until the puff pastry has risen and is golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Pumpkin tart1

There are lots more recipes on the Pepperidge Farm site, and you should definitely take a look!  I find so many great ideas there!  You can also follow along on Facebook – join the community!

Speaking of community – Sign up for Epicurious for even MORE great entertaining ideas…you won’t be sorry!

I’m always looking for ways to spark new creative ideas with my recipes. I hope you enjoy this recipe and don’t forget to check out more recipes at www.puffpastry.com.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry. The opinions and text are all mine.

Crescent Change Up: Sweet and Savory Pear Crescent Rolls

It’s not everyday Pillsbury asks you to create a recipe using one of their tried and true favorite products – Crescent Rolls.  So when I got an email asking me just that, you know I said YES.  Because hello?  Someone at Pillsbury asked me to.  Someone there knew my name.


Sure, we’ve used Crescent Rolls for years – my mother, especially.  Everything from Apple Dumplings, to Chicken & Dumplings, to little pizza rolls, to tart crusts, you name it.  And of course, there’s the simple concept of rolling them up, as intended, and baking them as a tasty bread option for dinner.

Since there are so many holidays approaching, I wanted to make it easy on you, and offer  some quick additions to the standard, so that when those holidays DO roll around, you’ll have a couple of recipes to go to in a flash without worry.

I like simple, don’t you?

I know you do.

Here’s a favorite to try – your guests will be impressed!  The creamy addition of brie with sweet pears and caramelized onions makes for a delicious crescent roll that can be served with dinner or as a standalone appetizer.  Give it a try!


Sweet and Savory Pear Crescent Rolls

Makes 8


  • 1 Pillsbury Grands Buttery Crescent Rolls
  • 1 ripe pear
  • 1/2 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 12 tablespoons brie (or as desired)


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Halve and core the pear, and cut each half into four wedges.
  3. Sauté the onion in the butter in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant and caramelized.
  4. When onions are ready and oven is at temperature, open can of Crescent rolls. Top each triangle of dough with one wedge of pear, a heaping tablespoon of brie, and a spoonful of onions. Roll into crescent shape.
  5. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or to golden brown. Serve warm.

Tips & Tricks

  • For a more intense flavor profile, consider using a goat cheese in place of the brie. It will be more tart, but is a wonderful punch!
  • Instead of rolling the Crescent dough into shape, you can make mini-tarts by pressing the dough into mini-muffin tins. Simple spray the tin, place the dough into each cup, then fill with the remaining ingredients.

Check back soon for yet another easy switcheroo – I think you’ll like it!

Disclaimer:  As mentioned, this blog post and recipe were sponsored by Pillsbury.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Spooky Delicious…Spiderweb Pancakes


It’s upon us, folks.  Before you know it, the kiddos will be dressed as ghosts and goblins (what’s a goblin even LOOK like?), zombies, witches, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  A few days later, we’ll set the clocks back and then it will snow and we’ll all go buy Christmas presents and champagne for the New Year.

But I digress.

Before that all goes down, let’s focus on the holiday at hand…Halloween.

I created these spooktacular Spiderweb Pancakes for Dixie Crystals this month, and despite looking complicated, I assure you, they are not.  Even Mike, my chef Partner-In-Crime-Who-Can-Not-Make-Pancakes had these under complete control.


A bottle with a tip worked really well for us, or, a piping bag fitted with a small round tip would work as well, maybe even better.  Just be sure to use SOMETHING, as you’ll be hard-pressed to do it without one of these tools.

As you can see, we made some black, and left some un-colored. The choice is yours, and I think your little trick-or-treaters will love them either way.  Maybe whip up a batch before heading out to collect candy from strangers?

It only seems rational.

You can grab the recipe here.

Happy Halloween!!

Decorating Halloween Cupcakes…on Daytime Blue Ridge


I’ve stepped way outside of my comfort zone lately, kids.

Like, way, way outside.

Me?  I like to hang out in my kitchen, barefoot, communicating via Facebook, text, and Twitter.  I am perfectly content to do so – I don’t really like leaving the house.

So what am I doing?

I’ve started appearing on Daytime Blue Ridge, doing cooking demos just about once a week.

That’s TV.  An NBC regional show.  Me.  On the TV.


It makes no sense at all.

Luckily, the host, Heather Hutzler, is so sweet, and her co-host Natalie Founce is just as lovely.  They keep me calm, they laugh, they play along, so it all works out.


Last Friday we jazzed up your ordinary cupcakes for Halloween, by adding things you can find at any Walmart, Food Lion or other store that sells Halloween candy.  Not a baker?  Use a box mix.  Not into making icing?  Use canned.  What Halloween Cupcakes are about is the kiddos, and they LOVE sweets.

You’ve got this.


What I am going to teach you how to do is make them look like a pro made them.

But, if you want to watch the silly segment where I teach these two  lovely ladies how to do it…here you go.  We had fun!

WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

How To Decorate Cupcakes Like a Boss:

I prefer “double icing” my cupcakes.  What I mean by this is I like to put one flavor or color of icing in a piping bag with a large tip, and use another color to spread the initial icing on top of the cupcake.

Remember how mom ices the cupcakes?  Just use a knife to spread a dollop of icing across the cupcake.  Now comes the fun part.


Dunk that sucker in in sprinkles, glitter, jimmies, or sanding sugar.  Whatever your using is great, just dunk it.  I know you think “Oh, that’s going to get icing everywhere and make a mess.”  But you’d be wrong.  The sprinkles will just stick to the icing.  Promise.

Now that you’ve got that going on, take the piping bag with the other icing in it and pipe it right on top.  Make it fancy, or just whip it on there – the choice is yours.

From there, go to town with that candy.

At Halloween, you’ll find all kinds of great spooky candies in the candy aisle.  I found mummies, pumpkins, vampires, witches – all without even trying very hard.  No need to reinvent the wheel and make fancy toppers, the store already has them!  Just choose your favorite and plop it onto the cupcake.  So cute, right?


Another fun thing I found was the eyeballs, but come on now, you can’t just throw an eyeball on the cupcake.  You need BLOOD!  I used a spoon full of cherry ice cream topping for my “blood”, and THEN I put an eyeball on it.  Voila!

The most important thing to remember is to have FUN.  Get the kids involved!  Use several paper plates and load them down with a variety of sprinkles and sugars.  Have bowls full of topping candies at the ready.  Show them how to dip the cupcakes, then you can pipe for them, and let them do the toppings of their choice.  They’ll love it!


Here’s hoping you have a great Halloween!  Me, I’ll be trailing behind my Zombie Thriller Michael Jackson as we Trick or Treat….

Wish me luck.

By: ifood.tv