Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 31st is National Macaroon Day!

Wow, this week is full of fun holidays! On Sunday, I celebrated National Blueberry Cheesecake Day with blueberry cheesecake bars. Tomorrow, I'm celebrating National Macaroon Day AND Greg's 40th birthday with some coconut macaroons. The coconut macaroons are one of Greg's favorite treats (and mine too). Will you be celebrating National Macaroon Day too? If you weren't planning on it, I think you need to reconsider...

You can try the coconut macaroons with almonds and chocolate

Or you can try the best coconut macaroons ever

Both recipes are super easy to make and they do not use any egg! I think you need to celebrate this fabulous day and make a batch of coconut macaroons. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Carrot Pancakes with Raisins

I have never been a big breakfast person. I would like to be a better breakfast person, especially since "they" are saying that a well-balanced breakfast is the key to better overall health. It is so difficult to fit breakfast into the morning rush, as I'm trying to get ready, workout, and find my keys (I can never find my keys)! Usually a good breakfast is passed by during the weekdays and I make up for it on the weekends. One thing I barely ever make for breakfast is pancakes, but I recently came across a recipe for lemon ricotta pancakes and I thought they sounded amazing. I set out to make the lemon ricotta pancakes last weekend. However,  when I went to the kitchen to make them I came to find out that - you guessed it - I didn't have any lemons! Ergh! I really need to stock up on those things. Well, I was set on making pancakes, so I decided to make carrot pancakes. I told Greg about my plan and he said it sounded weird, but I told him to trust me on it (even though I wasn't so sure about it myself)! I used the lemon ricotta pancake recipe as a guide, and I made the carrot pancakes. They were pretty delicious & they definitely weren't weird at all. I'll be making them again very soon - but it'll probably have to wait until the weekend. Hopefully you are better at breakfast than I am! Enjoy.

*A few months ago, I realized that I was wasting a lot of pulp from vegetables and fruit when I juiced. This recipe uses a little of the pulp from juicing carrots. If you don't have a juicer, substitute 3 Tbsp. of grated carrots for the carrot pulp and carrot juice.*

Carrot Pancakes with Raisins

3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
A dash of nutmeg
1 Tbsp. of granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. of dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. of salt
1/3 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 ounces of cream cheese, slightly softened
2/3 cup of milk (I used 2%)
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. of carrot juice
! Tbsp. of carrot pulp
1/2 cup of raisins
Butter or butter spread for the griddle

Juice carrots according to your juicer directions. Set aside 1 Tbsp. of the juice and 1 Tbsp. of the pulp from juicing. If you don't have a juicer, grate carrots until you have 3 Tbsp. of grated carrots. You can use this in the recipe.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, and salt. In a large bowl, beat together the Greek yogurt, cream cheese, milk, eggs, carrot juice, and carrot pulp until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the raisins.
Heat 1/2 Tbsp. of butter or butter spread in a griddle set over medium-low to medium heat. Once butter melts, use a measuring cup to scoop 1/3 cup of the batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until the edges come together, about 1 - 3 minutes. Use a spatula and carefully flip to cook the other side for an additional 1 - 3 minutes. Continue this process until all the pancakes are made. Serve with butter and maple syrup, if desired.

Recipe makes approximately 10 pancakes.

Recipe inspired by Lemon Ricotta Pancakes on the Food Network

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars (It's National Blueberry Cheesecake Day)!

Did you know that today is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day? Well, it is! May 26th is a day that is dedicated to eating blueberry cheesecake. I found out about it this past week while I was out on the boat  reading Self Magazine. I made a mental note to myself to remember to make blueberry cheesecake this weekend so I could celebrate such a joyous occasion.

Instead of making a cheesecake, I decided that cheesecake bars would be a better choice. They are easier to make than a cheesecake AND they have less calories (but still lots of yummy yummy goodness). I made the bars last night to serve for dessert, but we ended up eating them as a mid-day snack before dinner. Greg ate two large bars & said he really liked them, which is good, because earlier in the day he had said we didn't need to eat dessert. And obviously he didn't know that we really did NEED the blueberry cheesecake bars, otherwise, we'd be ignoring a national holiday!

Hope everyone has a wonderful blueberry cheesecake day & Memorial Day. Enjoy!

Recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Lemon 

For the crust
1 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 Tbsp. of granulated sugar
A pinch of lemon zest
4 1/2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake filling
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. of granulated sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon
Juice from the large lemon
A dash of ground nutmeg (what is a dash)?
2 eggs

For the blueberry topping
2 cups of fresh blueberries
1/2 tsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. of granulated sugar
A pinch of ground nutmeg

Make the crust. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan with butter. Put the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, lemon zest, and melted butter into a bowl. Use a spoon to mix ingredients together. Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands to evenly press crumbs down so they cover the bottom of the pan. Put pan into the oven and cook for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
While the crust is cooling, make the filling. Put the cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and nutmeg into a large bowl. Use an electric hand mixer set on medium speed to beat together until well incorporated. Add in the eggs. Beat again with the hand mixer on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth, about 4 minutes.
Rinse the blueberries and pat dry. Put them into a smallish bowl. Add the lemon juice, sugar, and nutmeg to the blueberries and toss to coat.
Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly on top of the crust. Use a spoon to drop the blueberries evenly on top of the cream cheese mixture. Place in oven and cook for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool completely, and then place in the fridge for 4 hours before serving. When ready to serve, use a sharp knife to cut into 12 - 16 bars. Enjoy!

Each bar has approximately 210 - 275 calories (one slice of cheesecake has about 600 calories)!

Recipe Adapted from the Food Network

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Favorite Summertime Recipes

Blackberry Limeade
Well, it's almost summer! I can't believe it's less than a month away. I'll be off of work for two months & I can't wait! Of course I will be taking 9 credits, but they are all online, so it shouldn't be too bad. At least I won't have to worry about having to write a paper at the end of a work day during the summer months!

So yes, I'm very excited about summer & I have been counting down the days for quite some time. Not only am I excited about having time off, I'm also excited about spending time out on the Chesapeake Bay AND I'm excited about all of the delicious summer foods I am going to make.

Here are some of my favorite summer-time meals, drinks, and desserts. What are your favorites?


Tasty Turkey Burgers with Sundried Tomato, Basil & Parsley (I'm making these this weekend)
Double Tomato & Cheesy Pasta Salad
Sweet & Spicy Marinated Shrimp
Cherry Tomato Tart with a Basil Garlic Crust (one of my absolute faves)!
Three Tomato Pie
Maryland Lump Crab Cakes with a Lemon-Parsley Butter Sauce
Chilled Strawberry Soup
Grilled Lemon & Rosemary Chicken Skewers
Three Tomato Pie
Mango Lassi with Coconut
Bubbly Basil Lemonade (one of my absolute faves)!
Blackberry Limeade
Bubbly Basil Lemonade
Strawberries Tossed in Vanilla Sugar
Strawberry Balsamic Sauce (serve over vanilla ice cream)
Basic Vanilla Ice Cream
Blueberry Buckle
Roasted Cherry Brownies
Key Lime Pie Tarts
Chocolate Mint Ice Cream with Cacao Nibs (one of my absolute faves)!
Blackberry Cobbler
Peach Kuchen 
Cantaloupe Sorbet
Peach Kuchen

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Homemade Pita Chips

Since Greg was complaining on Sunday night that he didn't have anything for his lunch on Monday, I whipped up a batch of hummus and made these homemade pita chips so he wouldn't go to work empty-handed. The pita chips were so easy to make, and it was nice to be able to use my favorite spices on them. Greg said that the pita chips were much better than store-bought chips, and he said one of his coworkers was very envious of his lunch! I also think the homemade pita chips were pretty darn tasty. The only thing I would do differently next time is make more chips - they went rather fast! Enjoy.

Recipe for Homemade Pita Chips (2 Ways)
Garlic Pita Chips
2 pieces of white pita bread
Homemade pita chips served with homemade hummus. A great snack or lunch!
2 Tbsp. of Wegmans Basting Oil w/Garlic & Herbs
Ground Kosher Salt
Spiced Pita Chips
2 pieces of white pita bread
2 Tbsp. of Extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. of smoked paprika or other favorite spice
Several grinds of freshly ground black pepper
Coarse sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets with foil. Cut pita bread into 8 triangles and then separate each piece by using your hands or a knife. You will end up with 16 triangles from each piece of bread.
Place each triangle on the prepared baking sheets.
For the garlic pitas - Put the garlic basting oil into a small bowl.
For the spices pita chips - put the 2 Tbsp. of oil, smoked paprika, and black pepper into a small bowl. Use a spoon to stir well. Take 1/2 tsp. of the garlic oil or spiced oil and then place a little of the oil onto the pitas and spread (you should be able to oil 4 triangles with the 1/2 tsp.). Continue this process until the tops of each triangle are spread with the oil. If making the garlic pitas, use a salt grinder to grind salt over the tops of each one. If making the spiced pitas, sprinkle a little bit of coarse sea salt over each one. Flip each one over, and repeat with the oiling and salting. Put pan into the oven. Cook for 4 - 5 minutes, then take out of oven and flip each piece over. Place back in oven for another 4 - 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool slightly before snacking!
Eat plain or serve with homemade hummus.

*Each recipe makes 32 pita chips. Approximately 130 calories per 8 chips.*

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pasta with Shaved Asparagus, Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella

Last Friday I bought two beautiful mounds of fresh mozzarella cheese from the Italian Market in Annapolis. I planned to use it for the Asparagus & Arugula Pizza that I wanted to make for my mom on Sunday. While I was out Friday, my mom emailed me to let me know that she bought everything for her Mother's Day dinner. I never ended up making the pizza and instead I ate the meal my mom made - steak, shredded kale salad, corn on the cob, and bread. It was delicious, and as my mom likes to say, it was a true  "Costco" dinner. My mom really should be a spokesperson for Costco or something. She is in love with that place.

Well, I wanted to do something with my beautiful cheese that I had bought. I had also got other ingredients for the pizza that I had planned to make Sunday. I didn't have time to make the pizza this week, so I made a quick pasta dish instead with many of the ingredients I would have used in the pizza.  It was a very easy meal and Greg and I enjoyed it all week. I thought it tasted great warm for dinner, but I also really enjoyed it cold for lunches during the week. I'll add this meal to the list of vegetarian meals that are easy, filling, healthy, and full of flavor!

Recipe for Pasta with Shaved Asparagus & Cherry Tomatoes

16 ounces of penne pasta
3 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Several grinds of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. of Kosher salt
16 pieces of green asparagus, tough ends removed
1 container of Boursin garlic and herbs cheese (5.2 ounces)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
6 - 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt (about 1 Tbsp.) to the boiling water, then add in pasta and cook according to package directions. Cook about 1 minute past al dente style.
While the pasta is cooking, cut the asparagus. Cut the asparagus into 1 - 2 inch pieces, then cut lengthwise to make thin pieces of asparagus. Put the asparagus into a medium-sized bowl and add in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat.
Drain the pasta in a colander, then return to the pot. Stir in the asparagus and olive oil mixture. Place over very low heat and mix well for several seconds. Remove pot from heat and stir in the Boursin cheese; mix well to incorporate. If desired, add in a little more lemon juice. Top with some extra salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes and then divide into serving dishes. Top each dish with several pieces of cubed mozzarella cheese.

Recipe makes approximately 8 servings. Inspired by the Asparagus & Arugula Pizza Recipe

NOTE: If you plan on having enough for leftovers, it is best not to add in all the tomatoes. Stir in the tomatoes when you serve again, because tomatoes do not save well in the fridge. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Oreo Truffles with Mascarpone Cheese & Dark Chocolate

I went to a bridal shower this weekend for a friend of mine that I used to work with. I took the day off on Friday to help the shower hostess cook some amazing yummies for the event. I also made truffles this week to share at the shower. I made an old favorite, the coconut truffles, and a new favorite, the dark chocolate lime truffles. I also tried out a new recipe for Oreo truffles. They were much better than I had expected. I have tried them before and I wasn't a huge fan, but I used Mascarpone cheese in place of cream cheese and I used a high quality dark chocolate for dipping. They were a success. One of my friends who said he can't stand dark chocolate ended up trying one, and he absolutely loved them. Does that count as converting someone?

Oreo cookies are pretty nostalgic. When I snacked on them while making the truffles, it brought back memories of being a kid and eating Oreos and milk when I got home from school. The Oreo truffles are more grown-up, but I think kids would love them too. They are also really easy to make - they are actually one of the easiest truffles I have ever attempted. If you would like to try to make truffles, I'd recommend starting with this Oreo truffle recipe. There are only a few ingredients and the truffles are really easy to roll. If you can't find the Mascarpone cheese, you can use cream cheese. But I think the Mascarpone cheese has a nicer flavor.

I hope you enjoy the Oreo truffle recipe. I made over 100 truffles this week, so it might be awhile before I make any again! I have some leftover from the shower and every time I open the door of my refrigerator they tempt me (and yes, I give into temptation)!

Recipe for Oreo Truffles with Mascarpone Cheese & Dark Chocolate 
For the filling 
45 Double Stuff Oreo Cookies (1 1/2 packages)
12 ounces of Mascarpone Cheese
3/4 tsp. of vanilla extract
For dipping/topping
10 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (70%) cocoa -
I used a 9.7 oz Scharrfen Berger bar
2 - 3 crushed Oreo cookies

For the filling
Put the Oreo cookies into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse several times, until the cookies turn into fine crumbs. Put the Oreo crumbs and the Mascarpone cheese into a large bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to mix on medium speed until the ingredients are well incorporated and you no longer see the white of the Mascarpone cheese. Add in the vanilla extract and mix. Cover the bowl with a lid and place in the fridge for 1 - 2 hours.
Line a couple tupperware containers with parchment paper. Take the Oreo truffle mixture out of the fridge and use a cookie dough scoop to scoop up the mixture and then shape into 1-inch balls. Cover the containers and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
For dipping/topping
Place the crushed Oreos in a bowl and place near where you will be dipping the truffles.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Chop up the dipping chocolate into smallish pieces and place it in a double boiler saucepan. Put about an inch of water into the bottom pan of a double boiler and set it over medium heat. Once the water begins to simmer and steam comes up, fit the saucepan with the chocolate on top. Use a spoon to stir the chocolate frequently, until it is completely melted and smooth. Turn off the burner heat. Take containers out of freezer. Drop one or two of the balls into the chocolate and use a spoon to coat completely with the chocolate. Place onto the prepared baking sheet, and then sprinkle a little of the crushed Oreo on top. Continue this process, working quickly, until all of the truffles are coated. Place the pan in the fridge and allow the chocolate to harden before serving. Should be ready to eat within 20 minutes. Enjoy one with a small glass of milk!

Oreo Truffle - filled with crushed Oreos, Mascarpone cheese & vanilla extract. So easy! 
Recipe makes about 45 - 50 truffles
Oreo Truffle recipe adapted from several different sources on the Internet. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Asparagus & Arugula Pizza

Yes, it's another asparagus and arugula combination recipe! I love the combo, and my other favorite recipes with arugula and asparagus include the CPK Quinoa Salad with asparagus and arugula and the asparagus and arugula risotto.

Today I'm sharing a homemade pizza recipe with asparagus and arugula. It is a pretty incredible pizza. I finally started to love making pizza at home ever since Greg bought me a pizza stone. I was lost before I had one. The greek pizza was the first homemade pizza I made with the stone, and it is also super yummy. When I made this arugula and asparagus pizza, I reunited with Boursin cheese, which I had forgotten how much I enjoy. I will not bust out into song right now, even though I'm tempted to. Wait, I think I'm gong to anyways - reunited, and it feels so good! Ok - now for the pizza recipe. I'm hoping to make this pizza on Sunday to share with mom on Mother's Day, but I think she has her sights set on filet mignon!

Recipe for Asparagus and Arugula Pizza 
For the dough
1 package of active dry yeast
1 tsp. of white sugar
1 cup (110 degrees) of warm water
2 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 tsp. of kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
For the topping/assembly 
1 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
16 spears of thin asparagus, thick ends discarded
A couple handfuls of baby arugula leaves
8 - 10 ounces of fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick
4 - 5 ounces of Boursin garlic & herb cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

For the dough
Put the warm water in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup. Add in the sugar and package of yeast. Let sit until  it becomes foamy, about 10 minutes.
Put the bread flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until combined. Pour the olive oil through the feed tube and pulse to combine. Then, with the processor running, slowly pour the yeast mixture through the tube until it is all used. Run the processor until the mixture turns into a dough ball and it leaves the sides of the bowl.
Take dough out of bowl and shape more into a rounded ball. Put the dough into a lightly oiled metal bowl and then cover with saran wrap. Place in a warm place for about an hour until it rises.
Dust your hands with flour and shape dough onto your work surface. Assemble the pizza.

For topping/assembly
Put a pizza stone on the lowest rack in oven and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Allow to heat for 30 minutes at 500 degrees before cooking the pizza.
While the oven is heating, assemble the pizza. Cut the asparagus into 1 1/2-inch slices. Stand the asparagus up on a cutting board and carefully cut into thin strips (or you can use a vegetable peeler for thinner pieces).
Mix the olive oil and lemon juice together and brush evenly over the pizza dough. Put the slices of mozzarella cheese on top of the pizza dough. Then place the asparagus and the arugula leaves on top of the cheese. Use the Boursin cheese to fill up any spaces on the pizza. Top the pizza with a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.
Carefully transfer pizza to the hot pizza stone in oven. Bake for approximately 10 - 12 minutes, making sure to check it frequently to avoid burning. Carefully remove from the oven and cool for just a couple minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Pizza recipe adapted from Annie's Eats
Pizza dough recipe adapted from All Recipes

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Dark Chocolate Lime Truffles with Candied Lime Peel

I made another type of truffle this week. The recipe was something I hadn't even planned on, and I'm glad it worked. All week long I was wanting to make lemon truffles with bittersweet chocolate. After getting home from work on Tuesday, I started getting the ingredients together for the truffles. And to my surprise, I was completely out of lemons. I drove over to the corner store, hoping they had lemons, but all they had was lemon juice. So I didn't make any truffles on Tuesday. On the way home from work Wednesday, I had every intention of stopping at the grocery store for lemons. But I was so focused on making sure I got through the green traffic light ahead of me that I forgot to turn left to go to the store. I'm always in a hurry, just like everyone else in this world. The guy at the corner store had told me on Tuesday that they might have lemons the next day, so I stopped there again, but I didn't have any luck. I really wanted to make those lemon truffles, but since all I had was limes,  I decided I would try lime truffles instead. I couldn't find any recipes on the web for truffles with dark chocolate and lime, so I wondered if they would even be any good. I trusted my instincts though, and I made the lime truffles. I basically followed the same recipe I use when I make the lemon truffles, but used lime zest and lime juice. I used Scharrfen Berger bittersweet chocolate for the filling and coating of the truffles. They turned out pretty amazing, and I love them. I totally made something with lime just in time for Cinco de Mayo too, and I'm pretty proud of that. I'll be serving them for dessert after my Cinco de Mayo dinner. And then I'll share the rest of them at work on Monday! Hope you have the best Cinco de Mayo ever - I know I will.

Recipe for Dark Chocolate Lime Truffles with Candied Lime Peel

For the truffle filling
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. of heavy whipping cream
3 tsp. of lime zest
9.7 - 10 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa)
2 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lime juice
Cocoa powder, to help with rolling
For the truffle coating
9.7 - 10 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa)
For topping 
2 medium limes
2 Tbsp. of water
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
Decorative sugar (optional)

To make the candied lime peel, use a vegetable peeler to grate strips of the lime peel. Use a knife to cut the grated peels into 3/4-inch long and 1/4-inch thick pieces. Place the water and 1/4 cup of the sugar into a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring almost constantly, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add in the lime peel, put heat on low, and cover. Allow to cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, and allow to cool completely. After cooling, drain through a fine mesh sieve/strainer. Separate the lime peels and place onto a large plate lined with parchment paper and let dry. Once dried, put lime peels into a bowl and add in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Toss until the lime peels are coated with the sugar. Set aside until ready to use for topping truffles. You will probably have more candied lime peel than you will need - pick out the prettiest ones to top the truffles with & save the rest for nibbling!

For the truffle filling
Finely chop the chocolate by breaking it into squares and placing in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until the chocolate is finely chopped. Leave chocolate in food processor bowl until ready to use.

Put the heavy whipping cream and lime zest in a medium-sized saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook until the cream just comes to a simmer, then remove from heat and immediately pour in the finely chopped chocolate. Cover the saucepan and let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir the cream and chocolate together very gently until the mixture is smooth. Add in the lime juice and stir until just combined. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover tightly with a lid or with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for several hours, preferably overnight.

Line the bottom of freezer-safe containers with foil or parchment paper. Take the chocolate lime mixture out of the fridge. Dust your hands with cocoa powder, have ample supply of paper towels nearby (because your hands will get messy), and use a cookie dough scoop to scoop up the mixture. Use your hands to roll each scoop into a 3/4-inch ball, then place in a single layer in the prepared containers. Cover the containers with a lid and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

For the truffle coating
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare the bottom pan of a double boiler by adding water. Use a sharp knife and cutting board to cut the dipping chocolate into smallish pieces. Place the chocolate in the double boiler saucepan. Place the bottom pan of the double boiler over medium heat, and when the water begins to simmer and steam rises, place the saucepan with the chocolate on top of the boiler. Stir the chocolate frequently until is is completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat. Take the balls out of the freezer. Drop one or two at a time into the chocolate mixture, and use a spoon to coat completely with the chocolate. Gently drop on the prepared baking sheet and top with a candied lime peel. Sprinkle with a little bit of decorative sugar, if desired. Continue this process, working quickly, until all of the truffles are dipped and topped. Place the pan into the fridge and allow the chocolate to harden. They should be ready to eat after about 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

Recipe makes 25 - 30 truffles.

Candied lime peel recipe adapted from Cooking Light

It's almost Cinco de Mayo - let's celebrate by eating delicious food!

Potato, chorizo & goat cheese tacos with smoky aioli
Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo! In case you are ever wondering when Cinco de Mayo is, it is ALWAYS on the fifth of May! Yesterday a coworker mentioned to me that she needed a margarita, so I told her she could have one on Cinco de Mayo. She went on to ask me when it was - asking me if it was next weekend. Maybe she thought that we were still in the month of April?

I'll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo tomorrow. My husband and I invited a couple friends over, and I'll be making some of my favorite Mexican foods. It will be our first time having company (besides my parents) over since we started to fill up the rooms in our house with bathroom vanities, ladders, boxes, and other beautiful sights. Our house is definitely still a disaster, but I've come to the conclusion it will always be a work in progress, so any friends who visit us will just have to forgive the mess! I have to forgive the mess every day in order to keep my sanity!

Tomorrow I'll be making taquitos, quesadillas, beans, homemade salsa, and corn pudding. Here are some of the foods that will most likely be on the dinner table tomorrow night:

Creamy Vegetarian Taquitos (baked) or chicken taquitos
Super Salsa
Slow Cooker refried beans
Corn pudding (like the one from Chevy's restaurant)
Dark chocolate lime truffles with candied lime peel
Restaurant-style chicken fajitas
Here are some other fun foods that can be a part of your Cinco de Mayo celebration:

Sweet potato tacos
Potato, Chorizo, and Goat cheese tacos with smoky aioli 
Restaurant-style chicken fajitas
White chicken chili soup (for those in cooler climates)
Mango and Avocado salad
Mexican salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette 
Key lime pie tarts

Key lime pie mini tarts
This week I had planned on making lemon truffles, but I kept forgetting to buy lemons. So I made dark chocolate lime truffles with candied lime peel, and they will definitely be served as an after dinner treat tomorrow. That recipe will be coming soon. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!