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Salted Caramel Coconut Macaroons

I think my husband said it best - These macaroons taste like they've been "dipped in magic butter." LOL No really...these are like eating a coconut cloud filled with sweet and salty, caramelly goodness. Remember that Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce that I made?  Well, it's the star in this recipe and really makes these cookies special.  The original recipe calls for caramel ice cream topping (which you can totally use instead), but I couldn't help but use my homemade version. The ingredient list for these is short, and they come together in a snap.  If you have someone that loves caramel and/or coconut, surprise them with these on Valentine's Day!   You could even dip the bottoms of each cookie into melted chocolate, or drizzle the tops with it instead. Now, please excuse me while I go scarf one down! Salted Caramel Coconut Macaroons Adapted from:    Allrecipes.com Ingredients : 5 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut ⅔ cup all-purpose flour  ¼ teaspoon salt 1 (14 ou
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Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies with Fresh Mint

The garden is in full swing over here at our house, and my fresh chocolate mint is trying to take over, as it likes to do.  If you let it, it will grow like a weed...but it smells oh.so.divine. In the past, I've plucked the extra, unruly mint from the garden and discarded it, but no more, friends!  No...from now on, I'm letting it grow however it wants and using it to make these deliciously minty cookies! Up until now, I've mainly just used my fresh mint to infuse teas.  A cookie craving hit me the other day, though, and these were the wonderful result. After a quick google search, I discovered a recipe by Andrea Bemis.  She brilliantly steeped melted butter with fresh mint, which you then strain and use in the cookie batter.  This perfectly infuses the butter with the flavor of fresh mint.  It comes through well in the finished cookies, but isn't completely over-powering.   If you are a mint chocolate chip fan, you MUST try these!  Or, if you have an over-abundance of

Celeste's Iced Caramel Macchiato (Starbucks Copycat Recipe!)

An Iced Caramel Macchiato was one of the things I was MOST excited about making once I had an espresso machine.  They are my absolute favorite Starbucks drink, and being able to recreate them at home has been amazing (not to mention a money saver!).  They may sound super fancy, but they are totally easy to whip up. With a Macchiato, it's all about aesthetics.  It has distinctive layers of caramel/vanilla at the bottom, milk in the middle, and gorgeous swirls of espresso that sort of dance around the edges of the glass.  A gentle swirl before drinking makes it all come together perfectly, and there's just something about those delicious globs of caramel at the bottom of the glass.  I never FULLY incorporate those when stirring, because they are just so delicious when they make their way up the straw. Enjoy, friends! Celeste’s Iced Caramel Macchiato (Starbucks Copycat Recipe!) Ingredients: 1 Tbsp caramel sauce 1 Tbsp vanilla sauce Ice 8-10 oz. milk (whatever your favorite kin

Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars

  If you love both Carrot Cake and Cheesecake and don't want to decide between the two, these delicious bars were made for you!  They marry the two desserts beautifully together into a bar that is perfectly sweet, but not overly so.  They were great served at room temperature, but even better the next day once they had a chance to chill. Just be prepared...they tend to disappear FAST! I loved this recipe because it includes both cinnamon and nutmeg, giving the carrot cake batter that warm, wonderful flavor that only a nice dose of spices can.   The cheesecake batter comes together quickly and its fun to swirl the two batters together into luscious swirls on the top. Enjoy!   Carrot Cake Cheesecake Bars Adapted from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe Ingredients: Carrot Cake: 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon 3/4 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp salt 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 2 large eggs 3/4 cup canola oil

Orange Easter Bunny Rolls

These Orange Easter Bunny Rolls are so stinkin’ cute... almost too cute to eat.  But after one bite of these orange marmalade-infused rolls of goodness, you’ll forget how cute they are and devour the whole thing....plus maybe a second. Shh....Don’t ask me how I know this. I’m not sure why I don’t typically buy orange marmalade.  After all, it tastes so lovely on countless things.  It’s perfect in this recipe...bright and cheery for spring!  I might just add it to my regular jam rotation for a while. The homemade dough isn’t complicated or too fussy.  I made mine the day before and let it rise overnight in the fridge.  After it came to room temp sitting on the kitchen counter, I just proceeded as normal with the next steps.  Breaking the recipe up makes it seem even easier. Shaping the rolls is fairly easy.  Don’t stress over making them magazine-perfect.  They will be adorable (and delicious), don’t you worry!  Every bunny will love these! Happiest Easter to you and your family!  #Hei

Classic Buttermilk Pancakes

A stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes dripping with maple syrup is like a warm hug on a cold day.  I have a serious weakness for them, and they're always easy to whip together on an easy Sunday morning (are you humming the song now?). I have a handwritten journal where I jot down my very favorite recipes, which I turn to again and again and again.  This recipe earned a spot in it long ago and the page is now lovingly splattered from frequent use. If you're in a creative mood, you can add fresh blueberries, chopped strawberries, chocolate chips, chopped nuts or even mashed bananas to this batter.  The possibilities are endless!   Classic Buttermilk Pancakes   Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 2  1/2  tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp salt 2 Tbsp granulated sugar 2 large eggs 2 cups buttermilk 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil Butter or cooking spray, for greasing the cook surface Directions: Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (for keeping the pancakes warm).   Combine the

Sausage Egg Roll in a Bowl

This is one of those dishes that sort of sneaks up and surprises you with how delicious it is.  It has all of your favorite egg roll flavors - pork sausage, cabbage, green onions, garlic and ginger - over a bed of rice, and I'm totally here for it! A sprinkling of roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro over the top finishes it off perfectly.  My Homemade Wontons , which can be either fried or cooked in an air fryer, would be a great addition on the side, too. I used a simple bag of coleslaw mix to speed up the process and simplify things a bit.  With a relatively short ingredients list and quick preparation, it makes for an easy weeknight meal, for sure! Enjoy! Sausage Egg Roll in a Bowl Adapted from::     Allrecipes.com Ingredients : 1 cup white rice 1 pound ground pork sausage 6 cups bagged coleslaw mix (with carrots) ¼ cup chopped green onions 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 1 Tbsp sesame oil 1 Tbsp grated ginger 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts Cilantro, choppe

Mom's Pork Chops with Bell Peppers & Rice + The Smoky Mountains!

  Last week, we had a marvelous visit to the Smoky Mountains in TN...one of my favorite places in the whole world...with some of my favorite people in the whole world!  There's something about those beautiful mountains that calms my spirit.  My parents were able to join us, which was such a big treat.  Caroline loved spoiling them with lots of snuggles and it was so nice to relax and breathe in that fresh mountain air together.   My family got a great big laugh at the fact that I lugged our espresso machine all the way from Alabama to Tennessee.  But you know what?  They ALL enjoyed sipping their homemade lattes and hot chocolates while taking in that grand mountain view from the porch, and I will most certainly take it with us again next time we go...hah!   My husband and I were able to get in a hike to the top of Mt. Leconte, which has been at the top of my hiking bucket list for a VERY long time.  It was an 11+ mile hike with an elevation gain of over 2,700 ft and 27,000+ steps.