Lemon-Thyme Blackberry Crumb Bars

lemon thyme blackerberry crumb bars

These beauties are so delicious and pretty darn easy to make! While the recipe might be pretty basic, adding LEMON-THYME really kicks it up a notch!  The flavor is definately not over-powering, but does add a nice savory/tart aspect! Lemon goes perfectly with berries of any kind and it’s amazing how much lemon flavor comes from this herb! I even “slap” some and add it to beer for a nice little zing of flavor!  (slapping is literally slapping the herb between your hands…it releases the oils of the herb, without bruising it!)

I hope you will try this out and let me know what you think!


Lemon-Thyme Blackberry Crumb Bars*



  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 1 1/8 cup, packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ap flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 tsp. fresh lemon-thyme leaves (removed from stem)


  • 6 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup, plus 1 TBS. cornstarch


Preheat oven to 350*

Line a 9X12 inch baking dish with foil, making sure to go completely up and over the sides and in the corners.  Butter inside of foil lined baking dish completely.  Set aside and prepare crust.

Stir together oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, thyme, salt and soda.  Remove 1 1/2 cups of mixture and set aside. Press remaining mixture into the bottom of prepared dish in an even layer.  Bake in preheated oven for approx. 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely.

Meanwhile, stir blackberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch in a large saucepan or skillet.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until syrup thickens and is bubbly, about 6-8 minutes.  Pour over prepared crust and sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over berry mixture.  Bake at 350* until crust is golden brown, roughly 30 minutes.  You may want to place a piece of foil or oven protector under dish as berry syrup may bubble over edges while cooking.   Cool completely and then refrigerate for 4 hours.  Makes 18 squares.  You can also choose to serve warm as a cobbler.  Ice cream is always welcome too!!


*adapted from southernliving.com

Nutter Butter Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie

nutter butter reese's pie

So when served, he said, “This is what the angels with greet me with in Heaven!” Ha! But, if you are  die-hard peanut butter fan like we are, you just might think you have reached Heaven before your time!!

It is a take on a recipe by Paula Deen called Mrs. Salter’s Peanut Butter Pie…..I took the liberty of adding Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and making the crust out of Nutter Butter Cookies, so YOUR WELCOME!

Try it out and please let me know what your think!




  • 16 oz. pkg. Nutter Butter Sandwich cookies (cream removed and saved)
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus 1/2 cup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla, plus 1/2 tsp.
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus 1/8 cup
  • 10 oz. bag miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, wrappers removed and chopped (save 10 for decorations)
  • reserved Nutter Butter cream filling
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350*.

Pulse cookies in a food processor till powdered.  Pour into a mixing bowl and add sugar. Mix well and then add butter and stir to combine.

Lightly butter a 9 inch pie plate and pour crust mixture into pan.  Using your fingers, press mixture up sides of plate and on bottom to create an even crust.

Bake crust for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, combine 1 1/2 cups heavy cream with 1/4 cup sugar in a mixing bowl and beat till medium peaks form. Mix in vanilla and refrigerate till ready to use. Repeat process with remaining heavy cream, sugar and vanilla and refrigerate in a separate bowl.  When ready to use, place in a piping bag with desired tip.

Place softened cream cheese, nutter butter cream, peanut butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using paddle attachment, cream together until completely combined.  Stir in candy.  Then, fold in whipped cream until completely combined.

Pour mixture into cooled pie crust and spread evenly….it makes quite a bit, so I liked mine with a domed shape.  Pipe remaining whipped cream on pie and top with whole Reese’s cups and quartered pieces for the center.

Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Welcome to Heaven!!





Caramel Apple Macarons

caramel apple macarons

Okay, so I am new to this Macaron world, but oh how I have embraced it! These little guys take a bit of getting use to when you make them…they can be temperamental and require a little extra love and care, but one of my daughter’s friends started making them a few years ago and I figured, “if a 12 year old can master this…so, can I!”

It’s all in the mixing of the batter….too much or too little is what sends you over the fence to defeat or victory!  Also, you MUST send the almond flour through a food processor till it is fine and then sift it at least twice with the powdered sugar through a sieve…don’t skimp on this step, you will thank me later when you have beautiful macarons!  Another thing….make sure your egg whites are room temperature (baking tidbit…room temp eggs and egg whites allow more air to be whipped into them, so use room temp. eggs for all of your baking….your cakes will be fluffier! And you definitely want your macarons to come out like fluffy little pillows!)

I came up with this recipe after wanting to do my “take” on apple pie for our  July 4th celebration.  I just took a basic macaron recipe and started tweaking it… and TADA! It actually worked!

The cookie tasted like a cinnamon pop-tart, which in our house is a FAN FAVORITE! So you could eat them plain, but the filling just adds a little something special.

I hope you like these as much as we did.  They are always better one to two days later, so great for a make-ahead dessert!


  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar, just run regular sugar through your food precessor
  • 1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Hodgson’s unblanched almond flour/meal
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 tsp. apple pie filling (you can make your own…4 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. cardamom, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger)

Preheat oven to 300*.  Using a 1 1/2 inch cookie cutter, trace circles onto a piece of parchment paper the same size as the baking sheet you plan to use.  Flip paper over and lay on baking sheet.  Set aside.

Place room temperature egg whites in a mixing bowl (also make sure there are NO yolks in there…they won’t whip right if there is)

With a whisk attachment, whisk at medium speed until foamy, about a minute.  Add sugar and cream of tartar.  Mix until VERY stiff peaks form.  You should be able to reverse the whisk and have the peak stands very tall without falling.

In a different bowl, shift together almond four and powdered sugar.  Repeat and sift a total of 4-5 times, if you are feeling especially determined!  Remove any large pieces left in the sieve after each sift.

Add almond mixture to stiffened egg whites.  Gently fold almond mixture into whites until you can ribbon and “8” that holds the batter.  This should be about 60-70 folds (yes, this is serious business…there is an actual number of folds that can take you too far!  This is the most important step!)

Fill a piping bag with a large round tip and fill with batter.  Gently squeeze enough batter onto prepared parchment paper.

Once baking sheet is full. Forcefully bang baking sheet on counter 2-3 times to force any bubbles out of batter.

Set baking sheet aside for 30 minutes, so surface begins to harden.  Bake for about 16 minutes….you should be able to see a crust forming on the edges and be able to lift the macaron off the parchment paper….if it still sticks at all…cook a little longer.

Remove and let cool completely before removing from baking sheets.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, you will need:

  • 10 oz. Martinellis’ apple juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. Mexican vanilla
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar

This goes pretty quick after you have cooked down the apple juice…you can do this while you are making the macarons, which will save you some time. Just put the juice in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, turn heat to low and let it go until it has boiled down by half.  Let cool. It should be thick like syrup.

Meanwhile, place 2 TBS. butter in a small skillet.  Once melted, add sugar and cinnamon and let brown.  Add apples and and stir to coat.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  You want your apples to still have a “bite” to them and not be soggy….we are not going for applesauce here. Take off heat and add lemon juice. Mix well.

Place remaining butter in a stand mixer and blend till smooth. Add 1-2 tsp. of apple syrup and mix well. Add powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Place filling in a piping bag  and snip the tip off  large enough to allow the filling/apples to fit through.

Fill a macaron with filling, about 3/4 full of surface, and top with another macaron.  Press lightly to force filling to spread out to edge.

Store in an airtight container.  They taste their best one to two days after making, so good luck waiting that long!

Let me know how you like these or better yet, send me a pic and it may end up on this site or my other media sites! Thanks!!


4th of July BBQ Feast!

With the celebration of our country’s independence only a couple of days away, I wanted to get y’all ready…because you know it’s all about celebrating what an incredible place we have been given to live in and then there’s the food!!!!

cherry dump cake
Now, I have to admit, I copied this pic from the internet….I ate mine before I remembered to take a picture, but it look exactly like this!

Okay….I am going to start with dessert, because lets just admit it….dessert is what we are working our way through dinner for anyway! I can eat this stuff till it makes me sick, which seems to be a theme in my blogging about desserts! I have no willpower and will fess up to the fact that a dish of this doesn’t stand a chance in my house.  Typically there is a communal spoon next to this that my family uses to randomly swing by for a bite or two through out the day…doesn’t matter if it’s morning, noon or late night!

And the fact that this plate of delectable goodness only calls for 4 ingredients, makes it even more special and leaves NO excuse for you not to make it immediately….it’s so easy, make it now and then again for the BBQ parties!  Here is how you do it….

  • 1 box yellow butter cake mix
  • 2 cans cherry pie filling
  • 2 stick’s unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350*.  Pour cherries into a 13X9 baking dish and spread out evenly.  Sprinkle cake mix over cherries.  Pour melted butter over cake mix and top with pecans.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown.

THAT IS IT! Can you even believe it!


FullSizeRender (9)

Now comes the veggies, which I am currently eating a bowl of because I have eaten so much dump cake that I need the roughage to push all that buttery goodness on through!

This is a recipe that my husband’s grandmother use to make, so we call it Nana’s Chilled Veggie Salad.  Make this at least a day ahead for ultimate goodness (really allows the veggies to soak up the dressing)

  • 1 can French green beans, drained
  • 1 can baby peas, drained
  • 1 can white or yellow corn, drained
  • 2-4 oz. jars chopped pimentos
  • 2 bunches green onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 12 pkt. sweetener

FIRST, I acknowledge that is a whole bunch of sweetener and it would probably not be a very good idea to eat that much all the time, but for this one day I think you will be fine. I keep saying I am going to try to adjust it with real sugar, but then I forget and just dump the sweetener in and go with it!

To make, dump all the veggies into a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, combine the salt, pepper, vinegar, oil and sweetener.  Mix and bring to a boil.

Pour sauce over veggies and mix well. Cover in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to eat….it’s a good idea to mix it a few times along the way so it completely marinates.

I made the brisket, sauce and beans the day before we ate them and then I only have to warm the meat and bake the beans.

Look at all that delicious garlic and broth…it is so moist!

BBQ Brisket (adapted from Michael Symon…he did his as a pulled pork version)

  • 1 beef brisket (about 5 lbs.)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. ground, roasted coriander
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bottles New Belgium “Citradelic” tangerine IPA
  • 2 chipotle peppers
  • 2 Tbs. adobo sauce (sauce that peppers come in)
  • Kosher salt
  • pepper
  • Montreal Steak seasoning

Preheat oven to to 250*

Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Generously season brisket with Montreal Steak seasoning.  (you might as well get a large bottle of this because if you are going to be using my recipes, I use it ALL the time)

Place skillet over high heat and sear brisket on both sides.  Place seared brisket, fat side up, in a roasting pan

You want to see that crust on your meat…it will hold in all the moisture)

Reduce heat to medium and add the onions, garlic, cumin, and coriander.  Add the chicken stock , beer, chipotle pepper and sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce over brisket and double cover with foil, super tight, so there is no where for the steam to go, but back into the brisket!


Place the brisket in the oven and cook for 5-6 hours, without disturbing too often…just let that baby ride until fork tender….maybe check at 5 hours and if needed, cook longer, but make sure to cover tightly.

When done, remove and let sit for 10-15 minutes.  Carefully remove brisket from pan and place on cutting board.  Slice fat off of top and discard. Cut meat against the grain into desired thickness.  Place meat into an airtight container and pour marinade juices over meat.  (I put mine into an aluminum container, covered tightly with plastic wrap and then the aluminum lid and pressed tightly closed).  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Can be rewarmed in the container, with plastic wrap still on, in oven for 20-25 minutes on 350*.

Serve with BBQ sauce.

This is a thick and sweet sauce….with plenty of smoky bacon flavor!

Chipotle-Plum BBQ Sauce

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup ripe black plums, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 chipotle pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. adobo sauce (sauce that chipotle pepper comes in)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup New Belgium “Citradelic” tangerine IPA
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar ( more to taste)
  • 1/3-3/4 cup water

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in skillet used to brown brisket.  Add bacon; cook till just browning.  Add onions and cook 4 minutes.  Add garlic, plums, chipotle and adobo sauce.  Stir and cook on medium-low for 2-3 minutes.  Add brown sugar and cook for 2 minutes.

Add beer and Dijon and cook 5 minutes.  Run through blender till smooth.

Pour back into skillet and add salt, honey, tomato paste, vinegar and water.

Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes. (adjust with seasonings, chili and vinegar to your tastes)

AAAHHHH, bacon!

My mother-in-laws’ recipe!

BBQ Beans

  • 2 cans pork n’ beans
  • 1 can Ranch Style beans
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4-1 cup KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • bacon, chopped (usually only takes about 6 pieces…only going on top)

Preheat oven to 375*. Mix all the ingredients in a baking dish and cook, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and bacon is done.


HAPPY 4TH! Enjoy and please join me in moment to be grateful for our Nation and all the blessings we have been given!




Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

lemon thumbprint cookies

PSA for the day….These little gems are dangerous!  If you can get through making the lemon curd and not eating it all before you fill the cookies, you have made it farther than I almost didn’t.

The curd takes a few minutes to make, but nothing dramatic and then making the actual cookie is a snap! You could even make the curd ahead of time and keep it in the frig, but like I warned…it may not make it to cookie phase!  A bowl of this lip-puckering goodness with a little sweetened whipped cream would be delicious…perfect idea for tonight because I just happened to double the recipe and have plenty left over from my cookie baking.

I love these for a summer dessert or in my case for my catering treat trays; they are bright and sunny and light enough that you can eat as many as you want and not feel weighted down….so there you have it…eat a bunch!

Curd ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBS. grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed

In a 2 qt. saucepan, combine ingredients.  Cook over medium-low heat until thick enough to hold marks from whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 8-10 minutes.  Strain through a mesh strainer into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (should touch surface, so a skin does not form).  You can just leave it on the counter while you make the cookie dough or store in the frig. for up to one week. (won’t make it that long though!)

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 TBS. grated lemon zest
  • 1 TBS. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup lemon curd

Heat oven to 350*.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until well blended.  Beat in yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Sift together flour and salt and add to mixer and mix till just combined. Gather dough together in bowl to bind.

Shape scant TBS. of dough into 1-inch balls.  Place balls on prepared sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart.  Using a floured finger or the back of a rounded 1 tsp. spoon, press a deep indention in the center of each ball.  Bake cookies until firm and lightly golden on bottom, about 15-18 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven and immediately fill indentations with curd.  Return to oven for 2 minutes to set curd.

Cool completely on a cooling rack.  Lightly dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Makes approx. 3 dz. cookies.

Enjoy and let me know what you think and if you were able to keep your spoon out of the curd!!

Strawberry Cinnamon Roll Muffins

strawberry cinnamon roll muffins

Be ready to stuff yourself with these delicious little morsels! They combine the best of two yummy worlds, which happen to also be a couple of my favorite things….strawberries and cinnamon!  You can’t go wrong when you mix these two together and then you go ahead and top it with cream cheese frosting and WOW….just go ahead and drop the mic and walk away!  But make sure you walk away with a couple of muffins or you will be sorry!

They are super moist and little bit mushy from the strawberry juices released during baking, but that’s okay, because then you hit the cinnamon and sugar crunch!  You can tell yourself that these are muffins, so breakfast is a great time to eat them, but the cream cheese frosting also lets you believe that they are dessert, so you can have another one after dinner!  Go ahead….eat them all day and enjoy!  Make some and let me know what you think!

Thank you http://therecipecritic.com for sharing this recipe. You are my new friend!

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 TBS. melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups strawberries, chopped into pieces (I liked mine about 1/4-1/2 inch)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBS. cinnamon
  • 3 TBS. melted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 TBS. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-2 TBS. milk

Preheat oven to 400*.  Spray 12 cup muffin tin generously with non-stick spray or line with muffin liners.

In a large bowl sift together (or whisk) the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  In another bowl, whisk together melted butter, egg and milk.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to mix.  Fold in strawberries.

In another bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.   Reserve half and fold the other half into the batter.  Fill each muffin cup with about 1/4 cup of the batter (or fill 2/3 full).  Top with remaining cinnamon sugar filling.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown and the tops spring back.  Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

To make the cream cheese glaze; beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Add milk to thin out the glaze.  Drizzle over the top of the muffin.



Fennel-Apple-Cranberry Pie

fennel apple cranberry pie

Fennel, apples and cranberries…you think this is an odd combination, but so did I until I tried it.  My inspiration came after competing on Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship and being challenged to make a dessert using fennel.  I made fennel rice pudding in a ginger snap tuile, which was well received! Rice pudding in under an hour…they better had received it well! HA!

fennel rice pudding

(isn’t that pretty!)

Flash forward 8 months and here we are…time to watch the show and since I am making all the desserts I made on the show for our watching parties, I had to use fennel! While the pudding was yummy, I wanted to challenge myself to come up with something new. You do that after being on a cooking show….keep going through your head, “what could I have done differently, better, more creative?”  Tada….pie!

Enjoy and let me know what you think? Send me a picture of your pie and it may end up on my blog!

Pie Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. fine salt
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold
  • 12 Tbs. unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 tsp. creme bouquet
  • 1 tsp. Mexican vanilla
  • 1/4-1/2 cup ice cold water

Sift together flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl.  Pour into a food processing bowl and add shortening and butter.  Pulse 8-10 times, until butter and shortening are starting to break into small pieces and coated with flour mixture.  Add the vanilla and creme bouquet and pulse to just combine.  Add water, one TBS. at a time and pulse until the mixture comes together forming a dough.  Pour out dough and bring together into a ball (work quickly, so the heat from your hands does not melt the butter).

When it comes together, stop working it, otherwise the dough will end up being tough.  You should still be able to see bits of butter in the dough. Divide the dough in half, flatten and form in disk shapes. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.  When ready to use, roll out each disk on a floured surface into a 10-11 inch circle to make a 9 inch pie. I roll mine on a piece of floured plastic wrap, which makes it easy to lift and flip into my pie pan.

Pie ingredients:

  • 3 cups apples (half granny smith and half honey crisp), peeled and cut into 1/8 inch slices
  • 1 cup fennel, cut into 1X1/8 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 3 Tbs. butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 Tbs. Half-n-half
  • 2-3 Tbs. raw sugar

Combine all the ingredients, but the butter, in a large mixing bowl.  Pour all the ingredients into a prepared pie pan and top with cubed butter.  Place top crust over mixture or cut into strips and create a woven pattern.  Crimp edges and brush crust with half-n-half and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. If doing a complete top crust, vent top before baking.

Cover edges of crust with a crust shield or foil and bake at 450* for 15 minutes.  Lower oven to 350* and continue cooking for 30-35 minutes.  I also bake my pies on a baking sheet so if any juices overflow they will not get my oven messy!






Thai Peanut Chicken Pasta

So this little gem was adapted from dinnerthendessert.com! Very glad I came across it because it’s super delish and oh, so easy to make! My family loved it and even though it says it feeds 6…more like 6 NFL players…they were more than happy to eat it for left overs! I even shared a couple of servings with a neighbor and still had plenty for us all! This stuff was even good cold!! (Had a few bites before I rewarmed it on night two!)

Try it out and let me know what you think!


  • 1 lb. thin spaghetti
  • 4 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 2 cups green cabbage (Napa is a good option too)
  • 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbs. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. Thai chili paste

(Please note…I am a sauce LOVER, so I tripled the recipe for the sauce….you can divide by 3 if you like a dryer pasta….don’t know why you would, but just thought I would share that!!)

Carrot Cake Bars

You have to make these this weekend! And no excuses that you don’t have time because of all the grating of the carrots….because, no carrot grating is required!  This recipe uses baby food instead! Ha! Crazy I know, but it’s so good! CARROT CAKE 1This recipe came from thecafesucreefarine.com and I have used it for years and everyone loves it! You still use shredded coconut, so you don’t loose all the texture, but hey, the coconut already comes shredded, so all of the hard work is already done for you!  I topped mine with butter cream carrots that I made on wax paper and then froze and applied, but you could probably just pipe them directly onto the bars….I was just being fancy!!


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temp.
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1-4 oz. jar baby apple sauce
  • 3-4 oz. jars baby carrots
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut


  • 10 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbs. half-n-half, plus more if you want it less stiff


Preheat oven to 350*.  Generously spray and 9X13 baking dish with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside.

Place eggs in a medium size bowl.  Whisk until well combined.  Add sugar, melted butter, oil and vanilla and stir well.  Add the baby food and stir to combine.

Add the flour mixture and stir till smooth and all flour disappears.  Add coconut and stir to combine.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 25-28 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before icing.