Tag Archives: valentines day

Baked Brie Puff Pastry Bites

Buttery, flakey, baked puff pastry dough is wrapped around creamy brie cheese & sweet fig jam in these easy 3 ingredient Fig & Baked Brie Puff Pastry Bites! This delicious appetizer recipe is the perfect pre-dinner snack and great for holiday parties!

Baked puff pastry bites, filled with brie and jam, sitting on plate

I love baked brie! I mean, who doesn’t? It’s melty, creamy, cheesy goodness, generally surrounded by sweet friends, like fruit and jam!

Every year around the holidays, people go crazy for this Baked Brie Bread Bowl with Caramelized Pears and this Salted Caramel Pecan Baked Brie. Both are really solid options for serving at parties and guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!

Now if you’re looking for something a little less messy and easier to tray pass, these Baked Brie Puff Pastry Bites are where it’s at! All the goodness of brie en croute, (the fancy French term for baked brie wrapped in puff pastry) but in simple bite-sized portions!

I topped these baked brie puff pastry bites with fig jam, but any kind of preserves will work. You can mix up this recipe based on the season. Try strawberry jam on top in the summer and cranberry relish in the winter!

Want to get crazy? Try bacon jam on top! I’ve done it and it’s amazing! To really mix things up, try topping them with a variety of jams, so you and your guests can try different variations of the puff pastry bites!

The best part of this recipe is that no matter how you top them, these puff pastry bites are SO EASY to make and always require only 3 ingredients!

Read the full post here!

Strawberry Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup

Fluffy homemade Strawberry Pancakes are filled with fresh, juicy strawberries & drizzled with sweet cream cheese syrup. This easy breakfast recipe is made in under 30 minutes and great for kids and adults!

Strawberry pancakes stacked up on a plate topped with cream cheese syrup and fresh strawberry slices

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day! It can be sweet or savory.

It can include dishes that resemble dessert, yet are a perfectly acceptable way to start the day. Like these Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins with a Chocolate Crumble or this Caramel Apple Bread Pudding.

Sweet treats for breakfast are one of my guilty pleasures. And these Strawberry Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup are at the top of my guilty pleasure list!

Cream Cheese Syrup, yes that is an actual thing. And if not, I just made it happen!  You’re welcome! 😉

I’ve been making these homemade pancakes for years and I guarantee they’ll be the best, most fluffy pancakes you’ve ever had. You can even substitute other ingredients for the strawberries, such as blueberries, chocolate chips or sliced bananas.

Adding the cream cheese syrup is totally optionally. But I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t highly encourage you to make the cream cheese syrup!

Read the full post here!

Red Velvet Puppy Chow

Red Velvet Puppy Chow is a fun and simple dessert recipe. It’s great for parties and perfect for holidays like Valentine’s Day or Christmas!

Red velvet puppy chow in white bowl with red and white striped towel

Whether you call it puppy chow or muddy buddies, this easy dessert recipe is downright delicious! These Nutella Muddy Buddies are always a hit at parties.

This year at my annual holiday party, I decided to put a spin on my popular puppy chow recipe. I wanted it to be festive so I added red food coloring.

But not just any red food coloring. For this recipe to work you need red powdered food coloring. You can easily buy it on Amazon using the link above or pick it up at a baking supply store.

This Red Velvet Puppy Chow was a huge hit at my holiday party! The recipe is just as easy to make as traditional puppy chow. Simply toss the powdered food coloring with the powdered sugar and you’ll get this delicious and festive beautifully sweet snack!

Read the full post here!

Lemon Berry Prosecco Sangria

Fresh lemons and strawberries are mixed with bubbly prosecco for a refreshing prosecco sangria recipe. It’s perfect for spring and summer!

Fresh lemons and strawberries are mixed with bubbly prosecco for a refreshing prosecco sangria recipe that is perfect for spring and summer!

If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, there’s a great chance you’ve heard me talk about, take pictures at or check in to Queenstown Public House. It’s my “Cheers” if you will. My neighborhood bar where “everybody knows my name.” But literally, I’ve been asked if I work there because people see me there so often!

It’s a gem and I’m a creature of habit. What can I say? I find something I love, I stick with it.

One of the things that keeps me coming back time and time again is their Prosecco Mint Sangria. It’s amazing.  So amazing that I decided to re-create it at home last weekend and share my version with you all!

Read the full post here!

Sparkling Pomegranate Cosmopolitan

Sparkling pomegranate soda replaces cranberry juice in this bubbly twist on a traditional cosmopolitan cocktail, topped with champagne, perfect for parties or happy hour any day!

Sparkling pomegranate soda replaces cranberry juice in this bubbly twist on a traditional cosmopolitan cocktail, topped with champagne, perfect for parties or happy hour any day!

Today’s post is sponsored by my friends at Vons!  All opinions are my own.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with your significant other or Galentine’s Day with your girlfriends, this Sparkling Pomegranate Cosmopolitan recipe is perfect for the occasion!

Read the full post here!

Red Velvet Cookie Cups

Red velvet cookie cups filled with cream cheese frosting are a delicious and adorable dessert recipe that’s also easy to make! Perfect for Valentine’s Day, birthdays or any day you’re craving a sweet treat!

Red velvet cookie cups filled with cream cheese frosting are a delicious and adorable dessert recipe that's also easy to make! Perfect for Valentine's Day, birthdays or any day you're craving a sweet treat!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and no matter how you’re celebrating the occasion, these Red Velvet Cookie Cups should definitely be involved!

Having a “Galentines Day” dinner party with your girlfriends? They will love these! Celebrating with your significant other, yup, they’ll be a fan! Taking treats to a work or school party? These red velvet cookie cups will be the hit of the party!

Read the full post here!

Herb Butter Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint Chimichurri

Rack of lamb is rubbed with herb butter, then roasted and topped with a mint chimichurri sauce in this elegant dinner recipe!

Rack of lamb is rubbed with herb butter, then roasted and topped with a mint chimichurri sauce in this elegant dinner recipe!

Today’s post is sponsored by my friends at Vons!  All opinions are my own.

There’s no better way to impress your guests this holiday season than with this Herb Butter Rack of Lamb with Mint Chimichurri, and I’m here to tell you a secret that your guests never have to know, it’s so easy to make!

That’s right, who knew something so elegant and scrumptious could be so easy to make!

Even with several different delicious components, the entire meal came together in just over 30 minutes!

Read the full post here!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups with Nutella

A simple chocolate chip cookie recipe is transformed into delicious chocolate chip cookie cups with Nutella®  Hazelnut Spread!

A simple chocolate chip cookie recipe is transformed into delicious chocolate chip cookie cups filled with Nutella Hazelnut Spread!

Today’s post is sponsored by my friends at Nutella®, but all opinions are my own.

There’s nothing better than a classic chocolate chip cookie, that is, until you make it into a cookie cup with Nutella® hazelnut spread! This chocolate chip cookie twist will have your friends and family raving over the fun presentation and delicious flavor combination of chocolate chip cookies and Nutella®.

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Heart Shaped Meatloaf

This Italian Meatloaf recipe is easy to make & so delicious! It can be made into a heart shape for Valentine’s Day, or made anytime of the year using a traditional meatloaf pan!

This Italian Meatloaf recipe is easy to make & so delicious! It can be made into a heart shape for Valentine's Day, or made anytime of the year using a traditional meatloaf pan!

If you’re looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner that’s both really delicious and captures the festive spirit of Valentine’s Day, then this Heart Shaped Italian Meatloaf is where it’s at!

This meal if perfect for boyfriends, girlfriends, hubbys, wives, kids and friends! It’s easy to make and something that everyone will love on Valentine’s Day!

Read the full post here!

Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake Bars

These delicious no bake cheesecake bars with a Red Velvet Oreo crust are sweet, decadent and can be cut into heart shapes for a cute Valentine’s Day Treat!

These delicious no bake cheesecake bars with a Red Velvet Oreo crust are sweet, decadent and can be cut into heart shapes for a cute Valentine's Day Treat!

One week from today is Valentine’s Day and whether you’re celebrating with a significant other, friends or family, everyone is going to LOVE these Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake Bars!

Read the full post here!

One Pot Eggplant Parmesan

In one pot and less than 30 minutes, you can whip up this easy Eggplant Parmesan recipe for a delicious vegetarian meal, perfect for Meatless Monday!

One Pot Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

When I mentioned that I was on a “one pot recipe kick” earlier this week, I wasn’t kidding!

From One Pot Beef Stroganoff to One Pot Buffalo Taco Spaghetti to One Pot Italian Sausage Shells & Cheese, I just can’t get enough of these easy one pot recipes!

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Sparkling Grapefruit Watermelon Sangria

Sparkling Grapefruit Watermelon Sangria is a light and refreshing cocktail, perfect for a warm summer day or holidays, like Valentine’s Day or 4th of July!

Sparkling Grapefruit Watermelon Sangria Recipe

This morning I went to visit my friends at CW 6 San Diego, to show them how to cook up a few of my favorite recipes for Valentine’s Day!

I shared my Heart Shaped Strawberry Cheesecake Puff Pastry Pies, Red Velvet Brookies and Heart Shaped Pizza, but I also thought the segment could use a sparkling Valentine’s Day beverage, so I came up with this Sparkling Grapefruit Watermelon Sangria recipe!

Read the full post here!

Heart Shaped Strawberry Cheesecake Puff Pastry Pies

Strawberry cheesecake filling is wrapped up in heart shaped puff pastry dough in this mini strawberry cheesecake pie recipe, perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Heart Shaped Strawberry Cheesecake Puff Pastry Pies

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, and whether you’re making treats for your sweetheart, friends or family, this Heart Shaped Puff Pastry Strawberry Cheesecake Pie recipe is sure to be a hit!

Read the full post here!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Wontons

Strawberry chocolate chip cheesecake filled wontons are a fun and delicious dessert recipe, perfect for parties and Valentine’s Day!

Strawberry Cheesecake Wontons

A couple of weeks ago I purchased a package of Wonton Wrappers at the grocery store.

They were conveniently located in the refrigerator section right next to where I was picking up some cheese and they screamed “Whitney,  make some Wontons!”  … so I did, of course. When wontons yell, you must listen. 😉

Read the full post here!

Top 4 Valentines Day Treats for Your Sweet

Top 4 Valentines Day Treats

It’s officially Valentines Day week and what better way to sweeten up this lovely day than with a delicious treat!

Lucky for you, I have 4 great recipes to choose from!  Whether it’s a mini pie, red velvet cookie or phyllo roll for co-workers, friends or a significant other, each of these recipes is sure to leave a sweet smile on someones face! 🙂

Click on each picture below to get the recipe for your favorite sweet treat!

#1. Heart Shaped Cranberry Pomegranate Mini Pies

Valentines Day Heart Shaped Cranberry Pomegranate Mini Pies

#2. Red Velvet Puppy Chow Cupcakes

Valentine's Day Red Velvet Puppy Chow Cupcakes

#3. White Chocolate Raspberry Phyllo Rolls

Valentine's Day White Chocolate Raspberry Phyllo Rolls

#4. Red Velvet Kiss Cookies

Valentine's Day Red Velvet Kiss Cookies {Little Leopard Book}

Check out these other recipes added to the blog since last Valentine’s Day that would be perfect for celebrating the holiday!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Red Velvet Puppy Chow Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes are topped with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting and Red Velvet Puppy Chow in this deliciously fun recipe!

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I am so excited to share a recipe from my childhood friend Sarah Beth Taylor!

Although constantly being engaged with social media can sometimes be exhausting, it can also be very rewarding! Last month Sarah found me on Instagram through a mutual friend!

I was so excited when she reached out to me as I have not seen her in at least 12 years!  We grew up taking dance classes together in Oklahoma, but lost touch in high school.

Funny enough, Sarah and I have led quite similar paths since high school.  I moved to Southern California, while she moved to New York, we both studied and worked in fashion design for some time, then both completely jumped the ship and went in another direction… food!

Sarah is about to graduate from culinary school as a pastry chef.  I was so impressed with her delicious looking baked goods on Instagram that I immediately asked her to guest blog for me!

If you would like to follow her delicious baked creations on Instagram her screenname is 5thavest or contact her by e-mail at sarahbeth.taylor3@gmail.com with any of your baking or pastry questions!

Check out how Sarah came up with the idea for her first recipe on the blog!

This cupcake idea is the fusion of two of my favorite deserts, puppy chow and cupcakes. I drew my inspiration from many of the deserts I’ve sampled from a bakery in New York called Momofuku Milk Bar. They have the most deliciously innovative deserts I’ve ever tasted and are constantly combining textures and flavors you might not expect. My challenge to you in making this desert is try not to eat all the puppy chow before you finish making the cupcake!

Ingredients – Chocolate Cake

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups dark cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • ½ c + 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cup warm water

This is a dump cake style recipe meaning all the ingredients go in at the same time. Sift your dry ingredients together first then add the remaining wet ingredients. Careful not to over mix the batter! Also, remember to always use room temperature eggs/butter/milk unless the recipe tells you otherwise. Pour into cupcake tins and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup peanut butter

Start by cubing the room temperature butter into the mixer. Cream the butter until it is light and fluffy and white in color, this should take approximately 5-10 minutes depending on the mixers speed. Then turn the mixer to its slowest speed and add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Finally add the vanilla and peanut butter.

Red Velvet Puppy Chow

  • 1 bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3-4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp red powdered food coloring
  • 8-9 cups rice chex cereal

Begin by placing all of  the powdered sugar in a large bowl then add the red powdered food coloring with a whisk. It is somewhat tricky to find powdered food coloring but any baking supply store will most likely sell it. (Do not try to use any type of gel or liquid food coloring it must be the dry.) The powdered sugar will appear pink but will turn red as soon as the chocolate mixture comes in contact with it. Place the red sugar mixture into a freezer size baggie along with the cereal. Next temper the chocolate slowly over a double broiler or in a microwave. Finally add the melted butter and peanut butter to the chocolate and stir thoroughly. Pour the chocolate mixture into the cereal a little at a time and begin to shake the bag until all the cereal is covered completely.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, then top with the red velvet puppy chow!

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These are so adorably cute for Valentine’s Day!

Thank you Sarah for the deliciously sweet and adorable recipe!