Brown Sugar Cinnamon Fruit Dip

I love entertaining and having people in my home. And I really love easy, delicious recipes that I can serve to all the people I like having in my home. Apples are in abundance during October and November in New York. But what if you don’t have time to bake something? Make this dip. It takes all of 5 minutes to whip together, can be served right away (although I recommend letting it chill a little), and tastes good on a variety of things.

What you need:


1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup of brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 hefty teaspoon of cinnamon

{That’s it!}


Whip all ingredients together until creamy. Cover and refrigerate until serving.


If you’re serving a medium to large crowd, I would definitely recommend doubling or tripling this recipe. You can serve with apples, pretzels (because sweet and salty? yes, please.), graham crackers, pears, the list goes on and on.  I love that this dip isn’t too sweet and doesn’t contain any artificial-y ingredients. Marshmallow fluff freaks me out a little, honestly.

What would you serve with this brown sugar cinnamon dip?

Corn & Bean Salad

One area of this website that is still quite neglected is the recipes. I love to cook and usually do so for a good-sized crowd. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at food photography. So you’ll have to trust me a little.


This salad is delicious. Crisp, spicy, a bit sweet and so fresh. It is perfect with barbecued meat and so easy to toss together. It’s vegan and gluten free as well! This corn & bean salad makes enough to generously feed my family of six with leftovers. I don’t have step-by-step photos but there aren’t many steps! Here they are:

Corn & Bean Salad

9 ears of corn, shucked and lightly brushed with olive oil

3 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 an onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

the juice of 2 large limes and 1 lemon

5 teaspoons chili powder

3-5 teaspoons cumin (all depends how smoky you want your salad!)

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

a hearty handful of each cilantro and parsley, chopped

— Char the corn just until there are some grill marks. You can do this outside on the grill, on a griddle inside or even in a skillet.

— Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl while the corn is cooling.

— Remove the corn from the corn cobs by standing them on end and lightly running a knife down it. Add the corn to the salad and mix very well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

— Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

I think this salad would be great with some chopped avocado tossed in. Someone also suggested adding mango. Yum!

What’s your favorite summer salad?

{review} How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You?

Another round of #booksforEaster! This one is for you, Momma. Rachael Carman (maybe you know the company she and her husband have built) has written a book based on her experiences as a mom over the years, raising her seven children. It’s called How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You? and here’s more about the book from the publisher:

You’ve probably said these things to your kids, but have you listened to what you’re saying?

“I remember the day you were born.”

“Turn down the music!”

“This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.”

“Hold my hand.”

Your heavenly Father wants to tell you many of these same things. Rachael Carman knows how noisy it can be when you’re raising children—she has seven! But this lovely devotional book will help you to hear God’s still, small voice amid the chaos of carpools, cut fingers, and carpet crawlers. You’ll learn how to recognize God’s instructions for you, even as you seek to follow His example as a parent.

Rachael Carman is an author and speaker for Apologia Educational Ministries. The wife of Davis and the mother of seven children, Rachael challenges parents to live by reckless, obedient faith. As a direct reflection of her heart’s desire to encourage, inspire, and celebrate motherhood, Rachael also leads Real Refreshment Retreats, weekend events that energize and invigorate homeschooling mothers with meaningful worship and speakers plus practical encouragement for the homeschool journey.

I have been a fan of the curriculum side of Apologia for years. So when the opportunity came up to review a book from Rachael Carman, I jumped at it. And I’m so glad that I did. How Many Times Do I Have To Tell You? is a fun, encouraging book for any mom. With chapter titles like ‘Come Here!,’ Answer Me When I Call You!,’ and “Please Stop That!’ I’m sure every mom can relate to the lessons and stories in this book. Rachael takes many of the phrases that moms use on their children every day and turns them into lessons on what God wants us to hear.


At the end of each chapter, there is a moment of introspection section. With questions and prayer prompts for a mom to journal or just pray through the lessons in the chapter, these sections are brief but helpful. Each chapter is short – averaging around five pages – but they are the perfect length to be added to a devotional time. It’s the kind of book you can pick up and read a chapter or two at a time without feeling like you have to finish the whole book. It’s encouraging and very well written.

So Mommas, grab this book. Put your feet up. Read a chapter and remember that God still speaks to us and wants us to grow closer to Him as we are raising our children.


{I received this book from LitFuse Reads in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and no guarantees were made.}



The Easiest Homemade Doughnuts

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If you are a foodie or gourmet or anything like that – just stop reading now.

If you are on the lookout for easy, cheap, delicious treats for your family – even if they’re not so healthy once and awhile – this one’s for you. And this will also be the shortest recipe post you’ll ever read. I’m going to tell you how to make 20 hot and fresh doughnuts in about 10 minutes – for $1.


This is what you need:


Two tubes of biscuit dough and some powdered sugar. Not pictured is some frying oil. You want enough oil to give you about a half inch in the bottom of your pan.

Optional is a cute princessy helper.


Preheat the oil until a sprinkle of water in the pan sizzles. While you’re heating your oil, show your princessy helper how to pop a hole in each of the biscuits. That hole instantly turns the biscuits into doughnuts.


Get all your doughnuts ready while your oil is warming because once you start frying, this goes really fast.


The steps are pretty simple. Fry each doughnut for about 30 seconds on each side. Drain well on a cooling rack. Then you can dust with powdered sugar or  dip each doughnut into a powdered sugar glaze. You could also make a simple apple cider glaze (1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 3-4 tablespoons apple cider, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla = simple & delicious) to bring a bit of autumn to this yummy treat. These doughnuts taste best fresh and warm.

The bonus? If you have an Aldi store near you, these tubes of buttermilk biscuits are only $.49. Forty-nine cents. For ten doughnuts. You cannot beat that price! Not to mention that this particular brand of biscuits is also dairy and egg free, making these safe for our daughter with food allergies.

This is definitely not a regular occurrence in our house but it is nice to have a couple of biscuit tubes hidden in the back of the fridge for an extra-special treat. What’s your favorite once-and-awhile snack?


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