Cinnamon Roll Wreath

Cinnamon Roll Wreath- Baker BettieI have a confession. I am a closeted obnoxious holiday person. I love that Christmas music starts playing on the radio the day after Halloween. I will fully belt Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” if nobody is around. I can watch the same Christmas movies over and over again every year and never get sick of them. And I switch from my regular Americano to drink Eggnog lattes the second they are available.

Cinnamon Roll Wreath- Baker Bettie

Cinnamon Roll Wreath- Baker Bettie

I think it is pretty hard not to get into the spirit if you have good memories of the holidays from your childhood. And I definitely do. My mom really has a knack for decorating, though I’m not sure she fully knows that about herself. Our house growing up was one of the prettiest in our neighborhoods during the holidays. The outside and inside were decorated so beautifully and we always had fun Christmas music playing. I remember when we’d finally break out all of our family favorite Christmas CD’s and they would play non-stop. The staples of our collection were: Mariah Carey (of course), Harry Connick Jr., Celine Dion, Mannheim Steamroller, and Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, which was our absolute favorite. My sister found this music video of one of the songs from Dolly and Kenny’s Christmas CD and it is pretty amazing. You NEED to watch it. I have so many good memories singing those songs and getting ready for our family holiday party every year.

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Sunshine Pudding: Sausage Egg & Cheese Casserole

Sunshine Pudding: Sausage Egg & Cheese CasseroleEvery major holiday since I can remember has always, and I mean always, included Sunshine Pudding for breakfast. At least that’s what we always called it. It’s basically an egg, sausage, and cheese casserole. So simple, yet so amazingly delicious. It is the perfect holiday breakfast because you put it together the night before and it is ready to just pop in the oven in the morning. Perfect for lounging around in your pj’s while breakfast is in the oven.

Sunshine Pudding: Sausage Egg & Cheese Casserole

I believe it was my aunt Jo who started the tradition. And it just spread throughout the entire family. You start with a layer of bread in the bottom of the dish. Eggs are then poured on top of the bread and everything is topped with spicy sausage and cheese. I always add in some veggies too, but that is optional. Let everything soak overnight and pop it in the oven in the morning. Serve with salsa and sour cream or any other condiments you desire. Maybe it is just nostalgia, but Sunshine Pudding screams the holidays are here to me!

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Chewy Brown Sugar and Rosemary Snickerdoodles

Chewy Brown Sugar and Rosemary Snickerdoodles- Baker BettieI’ve been struggling with expectations lately. High expectations about a situation that is very important to me. And I am getting very let down. Extremely let down. And I’m struggling to find a way to let go of the expectation and look for a way to take something good from it. It is very difficult.

Chewy Brown Sugar and Rosemary Snickerdoodles- Baker BettieI know there is a lesson to be learned here. To step back from the expectation and just be in the moment. To find something, anything, good from the situation. Even if I am just learning something about life. Or about how I interact with people. Or about how I deal with being let down. I have become frustrated and cranky and probably not the nicest to other people around me that have nothing to do with it. I’m working on that.

Chewy Brown Sugar and Rosemary Snickerdoodles- Baker BettieI do a lot of meditating about real life stuff when baking. It’s amazing how much about life can be learned when creating in the kitchen. I got a request from my husband’s co-workers for something with cinnamon or nutmeg or something holiday flavored. I decided on snickerdoodles. They are chocked full of cinnamon, perfectly chewy, and absolutely addictive. But I always want to challenge people’s expectations about food. Because changing expectations isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it makes things even better. I wanted to enhance the snickerdoodle flavor profile. Make them more glamourous. More gourmet. So I added another holiday flavor that always pairs well with cinnamon, rosemary.

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This is THE Pumpkin Pie

Perfectly Creamy Pumpkin Pie- Baker BettieI want you to listen to me closely. If you are making pumpkin pie this week you should make this one. I’m serious. I’m seriously serious. This is THE pumpkin pie. It is creamy and spicy and sweet and full of Fall in every bite. Again I say: This is THE pumpkin pie. Am I making myself clear?

Perfectly Creamy Pumpkin Pie- Baker Bettie

Yeah sure. I know what you are thinking. It looks like an ordinary pumpkin pie right? Well stop thinking that! Just stop right now. Because this pumpkin pie is on a whole new level.

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Chocolate French Silk Pie

Chocolate French Silk Pie- Baker Bettie

I fully admit that I have avoidance issues when it comes to pie. I rarely make them. And it has nothing to do with disliking pie. Pie is probably one of my favorite desserts. But I don’t particularly like making them. And I have realized that the only reason I don’t like making them is because I’m not confident in my crust technique. Why is it so hard to make the edges look pretty?!

Chocolate French Silk Pie- Baker Bettie

Making desserts that look pretty is definitely not my strong point. I fully admit that. I am much better at making desserts that taste awesome. But with the holidays coming up I am determined to end my avoidance of pie and start getting confident with it. Avoiding things is never the answer. And maybe after I tackle pies I’ll start in on cakes. The thought of that just gave me a whole lot of anxiety… It’s okay. We’re still on pie. One intimidating decorative dessert at a time here.

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White Chocolate Covered Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake

Do you remember the first time you ever got kissed? I sure do. It was in 6th grade. I had a cool boyfriend that went to a different school. We met at the skating rink. He asked me to come skate with him during the couples skate. He had a broken arm at the time and I remember thinking how cool he looked with a cast on. So we skated around holding hands and then he asked me to be his girlfriend.

One night my best friend invited me to come to her school’s carnival night which also happened to be the same school my boyfriend went to. That was the night I got kissed. My best friend dared him to kiss me. So he did. How romantic.

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake

It’s funny how vivid I remember all of that. As unimportant as it seems now, it was such a huge deal then. But I just as vividly remember the day my husband first kissed me too. It was our first unofficial date. We had become really good friends during the months prior and finding ourselves both suddenly single there was some unspoken understanding that hanging out didn’t mean the same thing anymore. He told me he wanted to take me to the lake nearby because I had once told him that I had never been. I was already impressed that he remembered that from just a passing conversation.

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