Mailboxes and Marshmallows

chocolate-dipped Valentine marshmallows

Throughout elementary school, I begged my mom for a shoebox on every February 13th and asked her to cut a slit in the lid. I then pulled out pink construction paper, red glitter glue, and shiny white sequins to decorate the sides. I even pressed on sparkly heart stickers for good measure!


The next morning, I carefully held my homemade Valentine mailbox on my lap as Mom drove across town. At school, I placed it on my desk just like the rest of my classmates.


After lunch, we walked around the room, dropping paper cards into each person’s mailbox while the parents set up for our classroom party. Although I dreaded the politics of handing out those little Valentines—you had to make sure the sappy ones didn’t go to any of the boys!—I always loved the sugar cookies and conversation hearts that the parents brought in. It was probably a good thing they never made these chocolate dipped marshmallows… I would have eaten every last one and refused to share, even with my crush!   Continue reading for recipe.


February 13, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 26 comments.

Share the Love — Valentine’s Day Blog Swap

Today is our lucky day! Andrea from Mrs. Webb in the Kitchen is going to teach us how to make special truffle stuffed strawberries. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!


Andrea and I met in high school and bonded over cold nights marching around the football field for band and giggling our way through nasally accents in French class. Although we lost touch for a few years after graduation, I found out last fall that she now works in a bakery—my dream job! She has picked up lots of tricks and tips, especially in the cake decorating world, and I begged her to share some with us.


In exchange, I wrote a guest post for her with a recipe for heart-shaped french toast for two. Be sure to check it out after reading her truffle tutorial, as well as her dainty French macarons and moist gingerbread cake with molasses frosting!


truffle-stuffed chocolate covered strawberries


I’ll be the first to admit that I am a sucker for Valentine’s Day. Even before I had a sweetheart of my own, I adored a day dedicated to pink hearts, pretty flowers, and candy. In my elementary school years, I couldn’t wait to hand out silly and sweet paper valentines to my classmates- each of the pre-printed sentiments carefully sorted into classmate, crush, or friend-worthy categories!


This year, in lieu of passing out stale old conversation hearts, I thought I’d try my hand at some hand-crafted truffles. These strawberry truffles, however, are a fusion of two of the most classic heart day treats: truffles and chocolate covered strawberries! My original plan was to add a berry-flavored extract to ganache to make a traditional truffle interior. Instead, I decided to stuff the ganache inside a real, live strawberry.   Continue reading for recipe.

February 11, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 6 comments.

He Knows If You’ve Been Bad Or Good!

peanut butter and nutella popcorn balls

My popcorn kernels, peanut butter, and nutella all bully each other around on their crowded shelf in my pantry. When I pull the peanut butter down, he knocks the nutella over, and when I grab the popcorn kernels, they push the peanut butter off of the ledge. They just won’t play nicely or give each other any personal space!


When I mentioned the predicament to Rebecca at Crave, she encouraged me to create a snack that combined all three. Although tempted to stick them in hour-long timeouts in separate corners of the kitchen, I decided to try her suggestion and get the three to cooperate after all.   Continue reading for recipe.

December 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 17 comments.

Candy for Breakfast!

just-like-reese's chocolate and peanut butter oatmeal

Just before Halloween, I elbowed my way through last-minute shoppers on the candy aisle at Walmart. Pausing in front of the large mixed packages with 3 or 4 different types of sweets, I sighed aloud. None of them, not a single one, included miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!


Dejected, I went with the next best thing: a bag of Rolos, Kit Kats, and Reese’s Pieces. But those Reese’s Pieces just aren’t the same… I can’t nibble off all of the chocolate and let it melt on my tongue before biting into the peanut butter, not with that thin candy coating shell instead!   Continue reading for recipe.

November 30, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 20 comments.

After Trick-Or-Treating: The Candy Trade

candy corn butterfinger bars

When it came to trick-or-treating, my brother and I meant business. We planned our M&M and Cleopatra costumes over a month in advance, and we drove our ghost- and witch-covered pillowcases clear across town where the homes were closer together (less time wasted traveling!) and the parents at the doors were more generous.


After hauling in the loot, we drew a clear line across the living room carpet and dumped out our treasure, carefully sorting each piece into piles before haggling away at trades. (Mom hovered above us, not to prevent any arguments but to snatch up any nut-laden candy we threatened to throw away!)   Continue reading for recipe.

November 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Delicious Desserts. 10 comments.

Christmas Cookies for Santa: Still Guessing

As I bit into the chocolate peppermint cookie, I realized the ginormous problem with my approach to Santa’s treats. Almost every other family leaves him cookies, so baking a different type of dessert would bring him more joy and break up the cookie monotony.   Continue reading for recipe.

December 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss. Leave a comment.

Stale But Salvaged

I meant well. Really, I did. I baked a batch of chocolate-chocolate cupcakes as a thank you for the friend who picked me up from the airport after my trip. In my brilliant plan, I would bake them one evening, let them cool overnight, and frost and deliver them the next day. But when do things ever go according to plan?   Continue reading for recipe.

September 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss. 2 comments.

P is for Peanut Butter and Peanut Butter Cups

My dad recently discovered that he is allergic to peanuts, which posed a huge problem.  Most nights, he sits in his chair next to the fireplace, munching on a small bowl of nuts while reading the paper.  Although he trades off between almonds, pistachios, and peanuts, the peanuts were his favorite.  And he had stocked up on peanuts, buying about a pound or two before the holidays, so when I came home for Christmas, I inherited all of them.


So what’s a girl to do when she has peanuts literally spilling out of her pantry?      Continue reading for recipes.

January 16, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Alphabet Adventure. 10 comments.

L is for Lollipops

With the holidays right around the corner, stores are overflowing with all sorts of candy, from chocolate and licorice to candy canes and gumdrops.  After wandering around all of their displays, I decided to make my own.  Really, how hard could it be?


Hard.  Really hard.  Well okay, it’s not that hard if you have a good thermometer, one that goes all the way past 300°.  It just takes a quick hand, a little flavoring, and lots of lollipop sticks.   Continue reading for recipe.

December 18, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Alphabet Adventure. 2 comments.