Buttermilk Grapefruit Donuts

Tis the season for baking (and eating). I’ve definitely had more than my fair share of sweets the last week…or two…or three.

We were invited to a family friend’s house for Christmas Eve brunch. Along with beer candied bacon (this time made with seasonal Leine’s Cranberry Ginger Shandy – so good!) I decided to make buttermilk grapefruit donuts.


Tasty!! They’re baked, not fried, and the tangy grapefruit zest makes these donuts much lighter than what you typically think when you think donuts.


Then you don’t feel so bad about eating one…or two…


Strawberry Cheesecake

Blank Space by Taylor Swift has been my jam lately

“Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane”

Well, my list of ex-lovers is incredibly short, but list of ex-dates is long. And getting longer

(I hope they don’t think I’m insane)

A few weeks ago, I started talking with a guy from Tinder – Strawberry Cheesecake. The best word to describe him? Nice. He was just so nice. 


One of my Tinder pictures is of me wearing my Superwoman Halloween costume, so bonus points for an original pickup line.

We had been talking casually for a few weeks. Super great guy! He actually likes his job (seems to be pretty rare I’m finding out), plays in a band, loves music, has a great sense of humor – what’s not to like? Finally our schedules aligned and we went on a date – dinner and a movie. He was as cute in person as his pictures (not as tall as I was hoping), maybe a little too soft-spoken for my tastes, but we had great conversation. Here was the problem:

I felt no spark.


I definitely thought he was attractive, but there was no attraction. Does that even make sense? But we had quite a bit in common and he was just so nice, I decided to give him another shot. We went out for dinner the next week.


It was like I was having dinner with my brother. We talked for an hour and a half over margaritas and Mexican food but at the end of the night I was just feeling “eh” about the whole thing. After the date, I didn’t think about him hardly at all, I wasn’t excited about him texting me or even wanting to text him. After much deliberation, I decided to be upfront with him because I HATE it when guys just stop talking to you. At least give me some closure!


He was SO NICE about the whole thing! I felt kind of bad. But like my dear friend Alison said “if you don’t want to touch his butt at the end of the night, he’s not the one”

I’ve got a blank space baby…

Baking Bonanza!

I may have gone a little overboard this weekend…

My high schoolers had their concert Sunday (which went very well) and I always bake treats for the next day. There is no better choir recruitment/retainment tactic for high schoolers than food! I also wanted to give some Christmas goodies to my accompanist (because she is AMAZING and saves my sorry terrible piano playing butt). To top it all off, I had the house to myself Saturday and Sunday. What better way to occupy some time than baking?


I got so carried away I even forgot to take pictures of a lot of them. But that 6 hours spent dancing and cooking in the kitchen with my Pandora shuffle blasting was pretty fantastic.

Here’s the rundown

Salted caramel pretzel bark

pretzel bark collage

So tasty. And SO EASY!


Oreo truffles – I bought the family size package of Oreos because I wasn’t sure how many I wanted to make. And you always have to leave some room for eating – I mean, error….


Gingerbread cookies (I didn’t get a picture!)

Chocolate crinkle cookies

crinkle cookie collage

These were super tasty but a little time consuming since I had to let the dough chill. And let me tell you, you HAVE to let the dough chill. If you don’t, there’s no way you’ll actually get a ball of dough. More like a sloppy sticky mess.


Last but certainly not least, Grandma’s sugar cookies and frosting.

sugar cookies

These are pretty stinking delicious. And the frosting is SO yummy! The recipe is direct from grandma’s email (yeah, she’s pretty hip…)


1 1/4 c butter
2 c sugar
2 eggs
5 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp each
cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, beat until fluffy. Stir dry ingredients together. Add alternately to creamed mixture with milk. If its too sticky add a little flour so it is easy to roll out.
bake at 375 for about 8 minutes
1/2 c crisco
1/2 c butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 c powder sugar (1 lb )
2 tbs milk
Cream butter and crisco. Add vanilla. Add sugar 1 c at a time. It will look dry. Add milk.If it doesn’t spread nice add a little more milk. Beat at med speed

Banana Boo Boo

It was bound to happen eventually – a Pinterest fail.

Tonight’s attempt was chunky monkey blondies.

chunky monkey blondies

What I loved about the recipe was the fact that it was all mixed in 1 pot. Less dishes = happy Claire. I added some leftover pecan pieces I had laying around and decided to add melted peanut butter on top because who doesn’t love the combination of banana-peanut butter-chocolate?

The problem was baking them. I had them in the oven almost 15 minutes longer than the recipe said because the middle looked way too jiggly. But the edges started getting too dark so I pulled them out in hopes the residual heat would firm up the middle a bit.

The edges were actually servable – and quite tasty


The middle was a different story – a gooey mess of undercooked banana dough


Live and learn – my life is far from Pinterest perfect

Cuckoo for Cocoa Cookies

I’ll take my chocolate any way I can get it, but in the winter my chocolate drug of choice is hot cocoa.With marshmallows of course. I found this recipe that combines marshmallows and cocoa and puts them into cookie form.

The result?

cocoa cookie collage

Chocolatey deliciousness.

I made a few tweaks to the recipe:

– instead of 3 cups of chocolate chips (1 each of semisweet, white, and milk) I decided to dump 2 bags (about 4 cups) in the mix – 1 milk chocolate 1 white chocolate. I don’t like opening up a bag and only use some of it (I usually end up eating the rest before I can use it in another recipe…)

– I didn’t have any mini marshmallows but I did have some super sticky, somewhat old, regular marshmallows that needed a home. So I cut them into chunks with my kitchen shears and shoved them in the middle of the cookie. I actually really liked the result – a chewy molten center of melty gooey marshmallow.