Friday, January 18, 2019

Valentine's Day Treats: Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Peanut Butter Frosting #valentinesday #cupcakes #recipes

~Post by Patricia

One of my very favorite food combinations is chocolate and peanut butter. I love it so much but wanted something more that just my favorite candy to enjoy.

Cupcakes are always welcomed by friends and family, so these were the perfect answer to a quick dessert, and also satisfied my chocolate and peanut butter craving.

The peanut butter frosting on these cupcakes is made with cream cheese, a frosting that I enjoy making and my family really loves.

The chocolate cupcakes is an easy recipe, and I always think homemade tastes so much better than boxed mix.

And if you keep the baking essentials well stocked in your pantry, you can be ready to bake so many yummy treats as a moments notice.

I made these cupcakes just for fun to have for dessert. My family loved them, and this recipe is definitely a keeper.

Recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Peanut Butter Frosting

Ingredients for cupcakes:

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Directions for cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Beat well. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full.
Bake in preheated oven 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Ingredients for frosting:

1/2 cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped

Directions for frosting:

With an electric mixer on low speed, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and confectioners' sugar in a bowl until smooth, about 2 minutes.
With a small spatula, frost cupcakes and sprinkle with peanuts.

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Best Restaurants On Bainbridge Island, Washington State #cbias #ThrowbackThursday #Travel #BestRestaurants

#ThrowbackThursday This post was originally written in 2013.

Seattle is a very beautiful city, filled with many fabulous restaurants loved by locals and tourists alike.  But just thirty five minutes and a gorgeous ferry ride away, is a special place where I lived for twelve years, called Bainbridge Island.

If you are visiting or live in the Seattle area, I highly recommend you take a trip to this charming island. I have put together a list of some of my favorite restaurants to eat at, and this list is by no means complete, but I have eaten at all of the restaurants on the list, and can honestly say that I have enjoyed each of my visits there.

All of the Bainbridge Island restaurants are walking distance from the ferry terminal, so there is no need to bring your car to the island. Whether you are looking for a fine meal, a homey breakfast, a delicious organic salad, fish and chips, or just a sandwich, you are sure to find it at one of these great restaurants.

Pegasus Coffee House - 131 Parfitt Way SW Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842-6725

Don't let the name coffee house fool you, because Pegasus is so much more than that. Besides selling the best tasting coffee around, they are a great place for lunch or dinner, too.
Fresh, local, and organic  foods are used to make some of the most delicious salads, sandwiches, soups, and heartier fare available on the Island. Relax with a cocktail or glass of wine while listening to Northwest inspired live music, on many nights.

Pegasus is a wonderful place to come to no matter what time of the day you choose.

Café Nola - 101 Winslow Way East   Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842-3822

Café Nola is the place to come to if you want to experience a European style café offering eclectic and Northwest inspired cuisine.

It is a little on the expensive side, but I love coming here for a special lunch or dinner. On a beautiful day, it's really a treat to sit out on the patio, or at night, the interior of the restaurant takes on a romantic glow from the candlelight. They offer classic cocktails, an extensive wine list, and a full bar. The desserts are delicious, and it's wonderful to come here if you are looking for a truly lovely dining experience.

Streamliner Diner -  397 Winslow Way East  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842-8595

As you walk up the hill from the ferry terminal, and turn onto the main street of Winslow Way, you will see an Island favorite of many years, the Streamliner Diner.

Breakfasts are legendary here, and the restaurant is a welcoming combination of homey and hip. Eggs, bacon, potatoes, pancakes, omelets, and more, are cooked in the open kitchen, and it's always fun to sit at the counter and watch your own breakfast being cooked. The food is delicious, and sure to please.
Streamliner Diner is also open for lunch, and limited dinner hours.

Spice Route Cuisine Of India - 403 Madison Ave. N  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 780-3545

If you love great Indian food, you will certainly enjoy eating here. The ambiance is very casual, and the service attentive.
The proportions are generous, and I have shared one meal at lunch time with my daughter, and it was plenty. The prices are reasonable, and take-out is available. The lamb curry is a favorite, and so are the garlic, or spinach naan, which is very fluffy and delicious.

Fork and Spoon - 120 Madrone Lane  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842- 3675

If you are looking for a casual and delicious lunch, then Fork and Spoon is the place to go.
This is a cute little restaurant where you order at the counter, and then your food is brought out to you. On a good weather day, sitting in the outdoor patio is a nice choice.
From delicious sandwiches, soups, quiche, chopped salads, and more, you are sure to find something you will love. The Reuben Sandwich, soups, and chopped salads are a personal favorite. Beer and wine are also available.

Harbour Public House - 231 Parfitt Way SW  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842- 0969

This 21 and over Pub and restaurant, is a great place to have a cold beer on a hot day. The building is an old 1881 house that has been turned into a very charming space. The sunny and spacious deck has a lovely view of the harbor and is a great place to enjoy your lunch or dinner.
The food here is quite delicious, using very high quality ingredients, and much of it is grown locally.
It is definitely a large step above the usual bar menu. With burgers, salads, seafood, chicken, and more, there is plenty to choose from. And of course the beer and wine selection is fabulous.

Doc's Marina Grill - 403 Madison Ave. South  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842-8339

Doc's is located right on the waterfront, and has a great view of the harbor and all the boats there. There is a large patio for summer dining.
My family and I have been coming to Doc's since they opened in 2003, and always enjoy the warm and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant caters to locals and tourists , and you may meet your neighbor there, or someone from across the globe.
Northwest cuisine and seafood are their specialties, along with burgers, fish and chips, pasta dishes and more. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served, and there is a  bar area with a TV for watching sports.

The Four Swallows - 481 Madison Ave. North  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842-3397

If you are looking for a lovely and magical night of dining, there is no better place on the island than The Four Swallows.

Located in a large and beautiful old house, this restaurant is perfect for a birthday, anniversary, or special occasion dinner. Serving fine Northwest cuisine, and some of the most delicious seafood dishes around, the wait staff are welcoming and efficient. The restaurant offers a wonderful selection of Washington State wines, and the desserts are to die for.

San Carlos Restaurant - 279 Madison Ave. North  Bainbridge Island, Wa.  (206) 842- 1999

The San Carlos has been run by the same family since it opened almost twenty years ago. If an islander wants delicious Mexican food, this is where they will come. With a very extensive menu, featuring specialty beef, pork, and chicken dishes, there is also plenty of seafood dishes to choose from, including my favorite, crabmeat enchiladas.

With seven different kinds of margaritas to choose from, including The Santa Fe, The Lemon Drop, and The Prickly Pear, I always enjoy coming to The San Carlos.

*I was not compensated in any way for this blog post or restaurant recommendations. All opinions are strictly my own.
I am participating in a restaurant blog hop with other members of the Social Fabric Community.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Cheap but Fabulous Vintage Shopping #Frugal #Shopping

Post by Patricia: #Throwback post

Over the weekend I did one of my absolutely favorite things, shopping at thrift stores and estate sales.

It happened to be a particularly good couple of days to find some bargains. The Franciscan Dinnerware was a fantastic bargain at Goodwill. I got six dinner plates in perfect condition at only a dollar each.

They are listed at $10.75 each right now on Ebay. I remember these from my own childhood, so there is great sentimental value in having them.

This very heavy, old mixing bowl was only $3 from an estate sale I went to. It's perfect for cake making.

I love these dessert dishes for the upcoming fall holidays. They were $5 for six of them at the estate sale. Love the color.

I collect baskets, and this pink one was in perfect condition, and only $1. I think it has a sweet vintage feel to it.

I love old sugar and creamer sets. This French inspired one is something I'll use right away. Coffee and tea are even sweeter with this.

I love shopping for old and vintage items. When it's a day out with my girls, it's even better.

Do you shop for vintage? What are some of your great finds?


Monday, December 31, 2018

New Years Resolutions: Send a Card Because Sometimes Texts or Social Media Is Not Enough #newyearsresolution

~Post by Patricia~

One of my favorite things to do is to send and receive cards from family and friends.

I love looking back through old cards that I have received and reading sweet birthday messages, or loving words from my kids on Mother's Day cards.

Do people still send cards like they did back before Texting, Instagram or Facebook let you wish someone a happy birthday? I really think that a happy birthday wish on Social Media lets people think they have met their obligation, and they needn't do anything else, not even a phone call, and especially not bothering to sending a card.

But sending or receiving a card lets you hold physical evidence of those loving thoughts or words that can become even more precious as time goes by.

By the time I was born, my parents had been married a long time, had a lot of struggles, three other kids, and not a whole lot of love existed between them, or so I thought.

But when I was about ten, I discovered a scrap book they had kept of cards they had sent each other during the first years of their marriage. There were birthday cards, anniversary cards, and just cards that expressed how much they loved each other.

The declarations of love, the sweet words written, especially by my father, helped me to change my view of their marriage. Their marriage was far from perfect, but now I saw there was a real love that still existed between them, and it would last for many decades, and until my father died.

So I will continue to send cards, birthday cards, Christmas cards, thank you cards, and more. I encourage my adult children to give cards, and they are pretty good about it.

How about you?
Do you send cards, do you love receiving them?

I would love to know!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

#Repost #ThrowbackThursday Holiday Cornish Game Hens and Cranberry Apple Stuffing #Ad

**This is a #Repost of a recipe from 2015** #ThrowbackThursday
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CornishHenHolidays #CollectiveBias

The holidays really are my favorite time of the year to be in the kitchen, and I love cooking for family and friends. It makes me so happy to bring everyone around the table for a delicious meal, and I like trying new recipes.

This year I bought Tyson® Cornish Hens to make, and they are honestly so simple to cook. And it's nice to change up the holiday menu, and serve the hens instead of the usual ham or turkey.

Not only are these hens fabulously simple to make, they are 100% All Natural with no added hormones or steroids. They are also yummy, comfort food, just like Mom used to make.

I paired them with simple roasted sweet potatoes and a great Cranberry and Apple Stuffing, made with an easy boxed stuffing mix. It might all look like a fancy dinner, but it was super simple!

I'm a big stuffing fan, I could eat any kind and love it, but this stuffing is one of my favorites. It's perfect for the holidays and makes your kitchen smell so, so good.

It goes great with any meat or poultry, and it went particularly well with the hens. I think the tartness of the cranberries and the sweetness of the apples are a great combination.

I bought a few of the the Tyson® All Natural Premium Cornish Hen twin packs. I put some in the freezer so that I can have them on hand for more holiday meals or birthday dinners that are coming up. I know some people are a little intimidated when it comes to cooking these hens, but when you do serve them, you can make even a normal weeknight meal feel special.

Look for Tyson® All Natural Premium Cornish Hens in the meat and poultry department at your local Walmart.

And you can take advantage of a great money saving offer from Ibotta. Ibotta is a mobile rebate app that you can download on your phone or mobile device.

Install the Ibotta app today and get $1.50 cash back when you purchase your Tyson Cornish Hens.

I'd love to share my easy recipe for Holiday Cornish Game Hens and Cranberry Apple Stuffing. Each hen provides a generous helping of meat for each person. Since the hens come frozen, be sure to put them in the refrigerator overnight so that they can defrost. Simply rinse them off and pat them dry with paper towels. I set them in a 9x11 inch baking pan with the sweet potatoes, and they were ready to be brushed with olive oil and seasoning.

I sliced up two medium sweet potatoes and put them around the hens to bake. We've always had sweet potatoes for our holiday meals and it just wouldn't be Christmas without them.

For the Cranberry Apple Stuffing, I sautéed 2 peeled and diced apples, along with 1 cup of fresh cranberries. I added this to a boxed stuffing recipe mix and popped it in the oven for 30 minutes. It's super festive without a lot of work.

Recipe for Holiday Cornish Game Hens and Cranberry Apple Stuffing


1 Tyson® All Natural Premium Cornish Hens twin pack
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

For Stuffing:

2 tablespoons butter (for sautéing cranberries and apples)
2 apples, peeled, and chopped
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 box prepared stuffing mix
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup butter, melted


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add yams to 9x11-inch baking pan. Remove thawed hens from wrappers, rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Place hens in baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix together dried onion flakes, seasoning salt, and black pepper. Thoroughly brush hens with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning mixture. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes.

To make the stuffing, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan, sauté apples until softened. Add cranberries and cook 5 minutes longer. In a medium bowl, add stuffing mix, water, melted butter, apples and cranberries. Lightly mix together. Place mixture in a medium baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

Be sure to check out more great recipes from Tyson. Do you have a special holiday recipe that you love making? Leave me a comment and let me know what it is!

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