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October Recipes – The Entire Chapter From My Best Seller: Love At First Bite

October is a fun month to be in the kitchen whether you have kids or not! I love trying to make new things as well as the traditional “pumpkin” recipes.

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Ingredients Needed for the Cupcakes

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Salt
  • Spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Brown sugar and granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Pure Vanilla
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Orange juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together dry ingredients.

In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together sugars. Add in butter and half of the oil and whip until pale and fluffy. Mix in remaining oil then blend in eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla.

Mix in flour alternating with pumpkin and orange juice.

Divide batter among lined muffins cups, filling each about 3/4 full.

Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean.

Cool then frost.

Halloween Rice Krispies ( The Hack Way)

1 bag (12 ounces) candy melts (in your favorite color, or use a variety of colors)

1 (16 pack) box pre-made/individually wrapped Rice Krispies treats, or your favorite homemade recipe

Assorted Candy Eyeballs and colored sprinkles


Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Add the candy melts (if using one color, separate it into 3 parts and if using different colors, place about 1/3 of each color) into microwave safe bowl(s).

Add about 1 teaspoon shortening or vegetable oil if desired (optional, it just makes for smoother/easier application of the chocolate to the krispie treats) to each bowl of chocolate. (I use 1 teaspoon shortening to each 1/3 of chocolate candy melts)

Microwave (one bowl at a time) of candy melts in bursts of 20 seconds, stirring vigorously in between each burst for 10 seconds.

Meanwhile, upwrap the krispies treats.

Once the chocolate is smooth, dip the krispie treats in the melted chocolate and then use a spoon to help spread it over the treat. You want it to be a bit ragged to look more like a monster.

Working quickly (the melted candy melts harden fast), add candy eyeballs (however you want and whatever size you like) and if desired, colored sprinkles.

Transfer to the prepared sheet pan and allow for the chocolate to set at room temperature. These are best enjoyed the same day they are made.



  • 1 bag high-quality white chocolate wafers
  • 1 package Nutter Butter cookies
  • black icing in pouch


Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Separate the white chocolate into 3 microwave-safe bowls (makes for easier melting) Melt one part of chocolate at a time. Place it in the microwave and microwave for bursts of 15 seconds stirring in between each burst for 10 seconds until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Dip the Nutter Butter cookies into the melted white chocolate and use a spoon, to spoon it into a ragged shape near the bottom of the cookie. Shake and tap the cookie to remove excess chocolate and to smooth it.

Transfer the dipped cookies to the prepared sheet pan and allow to completely set.

Once set, use the black icing tube and pipe eyeballs and a mouth on the cookies. Let harden.

Best eaten within 1-2 days.



  • 17-18 pretzel rods
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) dark green candy melts
  • 17-18 sliced almonds


Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Break the pretzel rods so you remove about 1/4th of one end.

Separate the green chocolate candy melts into 3 microwave-safe bowls. Melt one part of the chocolate at a time. Place it in the microwave and microwave for bursts of 15 seconds stirring in between each burst for 10 seconds until the green chocolate is melted and smooth.

Dip the ragged end (from breaking) of the pretzel into the melted chocolate and dip about 3/4ths the way down. Use a spoon to help guide the chocolate and cover the amount you want. 

Tap and shake the pretzel to smooth the chocolate and remove excess.

Place the chocolate on the prepared sheet pan.

Add a sliced almond to the tip of the pretzel and allow for the pretzel rods to harden at room temperature.



1 stick + 2 tablespoons butter softened

1 package (18.4 ounces) brownie mix

2 cups white chocolate wafers separated

1 cup milk chocolate melting wafers

Large and small candy eyes


On a large cookie sheet, place a nonstick baking sheet or parchment paper

In a microwave safe bowl, pour in the milk chocolate chips. Microwave for 15 seconds, stir for 15 seconds, and repeat.

Microwave in bursts of 15 seconds (stirring in between each burst) until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Pour the melted chocolate evenly over half of the baking sheet and spread until smooth with a spatula.

Place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes or until hardened.

Meanwhile, combine the brownie mix (discard or save the fudge package for something else) and butter. Beat together with hand mixers until a thick dough forms. If the dough is too crumbly, add a bit more butter.

Knead the brownie batter “dough” with your hands and then flatten into even discs of batter. Press those discs of batter together on top of the hardened chocolate and mash together with your hands until an even layer of brownie batter is formed.

Place in the fridge while preparing the white chocolate.

Use very high quality white chocolate chips (or a white chocolate baking bar that you have coarsely chopped) for best results.

Place 1 and 1/4 cup white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 15 seconds, stir for 15 seconds, and repeat.

Microwave in bursts of 15 seconds (stirring in between each burst) until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Pour over the brownie batter layer and smooth with a spatula.

Press large and small candy eyes all over the white chocolate in random places

Allow the white chocolate to harden in the fridge.

Melt the remaining 3/4 cup white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in bursts of 15 seconds stirring in between each burst.

Pour this melted white chocolate into a small plastic bag. Cut off the tip of the bag with scissors and “pipe” the melted chocolate over the bark to create a mummy appearance. Pipe over the tops of the eyes to make the eyes look like they are peeking out.

Allow the bark to completely harden. Using a large and very sharp knife, cut the bark into pieces. Then carefully peel the bark pieces off of the baking sheet or parchment.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.



1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 Tbsp butter, melted

2 flour tortillas

Bat cookie cutter


Cut wedges or shapes out of each flour tortilla: Cut each flour tortilla into 6 to 8 wedges or use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes in the tortillas. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Dip tortilla pieces in melted butter, then one side in cinnamon sugar, place on lined baking sheet: Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and spread out over the bottom of a small plate. Melt butter in a small bowl. Dip the cut pieces of flour tortilla in the melted butter, gently shake off the excess and place on the plate of cinnamon sugar. Only coat one side of the crisp in cinnamon sugar. Then place coated tortilla pieces, cinnamon sugar side up, on the lined baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F, or until the tortilla crisps are indeed “crisp”. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes.



12 ounces (1 bag) Nestle Toll House Halloween Morsels

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips — or a little more

1/2 cup white chocolate chips — or a little more

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (1 can) — divided

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract — divided

36 pieces candy corn


Line an 8” square pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Open the bag of Nestle Toll House Halloween Morsels and separate the orange pieces from the semi-sweet ones.

Starting with the semi-sweet morsels from the Halloween mix, measure how many were in the separated pile and add enough semi-sweet chocolate chips to make 1 and 1/2 cups total.

Add the semi-sweet chips to a pan with 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spread in prepared pan using an offset spatula

Place in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes before starting the second batch.

Measure how many orange chips were in the separated pile and add enough white chocolate chips to make 1 and 1/2 cups total. )

Add the white chips to a pan with the remaining 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spread carefully over semi-sweet layer with an offset spatula. Immediately press candy corn in the top.



4 packages of ghost Peeps

2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 c. heavy cream, warmed

Graham crackers, for dipping

mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400°. In the bottom of a square baking dish, spread out chocolate chips and pour cream on top. Cover completely with a single layer of ghost Peeps. Place mini chocolate chips over eyes and mouth. (The already-drawn faces will fade in the oven.)

Bake until the chocolate has melted and the ghosts are golden, 10-12 minutes.

Serve warm with graham crackers for dipping.



2 3/4 cups (358g) all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup + 2 tbsp (233g) granulated sugar

2 tbsp (28g) brown sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

half a package of candy corn

1/4 cup sugar (additional for rolling)


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugars together in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light in color and fluffy. You should be able to see the change in color happen and know it’s ready.

Add the egg and mix until well combined.

Add the pure vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients ,and mix until the dough is well combined then throw in the candy corn- mix well.. It will be thick and shouldn’t be sticky. Do not over mix. Once it’s well combined, use a rubber spatula to help it come together to form a more cohesive ball.

Create 1 1/2 tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough. Gently roll into a ball, then roll each ball in the additional sugar to coat. Set the balls on the baking sheet.

Bake cookies for 8-9 minutes. The cookies will spread and the centers will look soft, but should look done. Remove just before the edges begin to turn golden. Don’t over bake. The cookies will be a little puffy when you take them out of the oven but will fall a bit as they cool.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.



3 cups white chocolate chips

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, (plus additional butter for preparing baking pan)

¼ cup pumpkin puree

1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 drop orange gel food coloring (optional)

1 Tablespoon cornstarch, sifted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup white chocolate melting wafers


Line an 8×8 square pan with waxed paper

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat, combine white chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and 3 Tablespoons butter. Stir frequently until chocolate chips and butter are mostly melted.

Add pumpkin puree and stir well until all ingredients are completely combined (chocolate and butter should be completely melted). Stir in food coloring, if using. Add cornstarch and stir. Reduce heat to low. Stir in vanilla extract. Remove from heat and pour into prepared 8×8 pan

Place the fudge in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until firm.

Once fudge has set, prepare your white chocolate melting wafers according to instructions on package.

Drizzle white chocolate over fudge. Slice up and enjoy. Can be stored in airtight container for 2 weeks.



2&1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1&1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 large egg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

cinnamon sugar


In a medium bowl, toss together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer and in a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well blended. Mix in the pumpkin puree, egg and vanilla until smooth.

Slowly mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until the dough is firm enough to roll in your hands.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

Using a medium cookie scoop or tablespoon, roll out rounded cookie dough and generously coat in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottoms. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.




1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs

1/4 cup melted butter


4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese , softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 cup (8 oz) canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice



Heat oven to 300°F.

Line a 13X9 baking pan with parchment paper leaving about 1 inch of paper hanging on the sides.

In a medium size bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter.

With your fingers press the crust on the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside while making the filling.

In the mixing bowl of your stand-up mixer , add the cream cheese and sugar. With the paddle attachment on, beat on low speed until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended.

Spoon half of the mixture over the crust and spread evenly.

To the remaining cream cheese mixture add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.

With a wire whisk stir until smooth. Carefully, spoon over mixture in pan.

Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until just set. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar allowing the cheesecake to slowly cool down for about 1 hour or so.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting into bars. If desired, top with whipped cream when serving.



1 cup + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup pumpkin pie puree

2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup milk (I used whole, but any type will do)

For the Cinnamon sugar coating:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously grease donut pan; set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, melted butter, and milk. Gently fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture – don’t over mix!

Spoon mixture into prepared doughnut pan, and bake for 10-11 minutes, or until the donuts spring back when lightly pressed. Allow donuts to cool a few minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire wrack to cool for a few more minutes.

In the meantime, melt the butter for the cinnamon sugar coating; set aside. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a medium-sized bowl; set aside.

Once the donuts are cool enough to handle, dip them in the melted butter, then roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture; repeat until all donuts have been covered.

These donuts are best eaten the day they are made.


To purchase the book for other recipes click here

baking, blogging, Books, desserts, Football, recipe blog, recipes, Uncategorized

Fall Is Coming

We are just a month away from it being Fall.  (I can’t believe literally how fast this year has gone even with the pandemic!)

If you haven’t purchased my best selling recipe book yet, “Love At First Bite,”  here are some of the fall recipes you are missing out on:

Chapter 8


APPLES!! It’s time to go back to school and of course, apple picking. ( Not to mention Football is back too!) Whether you have events to bake for or just tailgating at games, here are some great apple ideas for the month!

Apple Shortbread Bars


For the Crust:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces, plus more for buttering the pan

For the Filling:

  • 3/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 apples, any variety, cored and thinly sliced or diced



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper.

To make the crust, add the flour, sugar and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse once to combine. Add the butter, then process until the mixture comes together and forms large clumps, about 30 seconds to one minute. Distribute the dough around the pan and press it evenly around the base and up the sides. Use the bottom of a glass to help even it out if needed. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before filling.

To make the filling, don’t bother cleaning out the food processor and add the almonds, sugar, flour and salt, then pulverize until they form a fine powder. Add the butter and process until evenly distributed, then add the egg and vanilla, and blend until smooth.

Pour the filling into the cooled crust (it’s okay if it’s still a little warm, just not blazing hot) and spread it out into an even layer. Arrange the apple slices in a pretty pattern if you desire, or just throw the sliced or diced apples on top in a big (even) heap – it doesn’t really matter.

Bake for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the filling comes out clean. Allow bars to cool completely before cutting and serving. I prefer them chilled (and they’re easier to cut that way too).



For the Filling

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 6 large baking apples, cored and sliced*

For the Topping

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and corn starch. Add the sliced apples and mix until fully coated.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.

Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet or another deep, oven safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and let it melt until it begins to foam. Swirl the melted butter around the pan and keep a close eye on it until it starts to turn golden brown and smell nutty. Be careful not to let the butter burn.

Remove it from the heat and immediately pour the browned butter into the flour mixture, being sure to scrape in all of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. 

Mix together until the butter is fully incorporated and starts to form clumps. Sprinkle over the apples and spread it out until evenly coated.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top has nicely browned and the filling is bubbling. Serve warm, preferably with vanilla ice cream.




1 1/4 cups (177g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)

1 1/4 cups (120g) rolled old fashioned oats

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup (160g) packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup (120g) finely chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (1/4-inch cubes or smaller)

2 tsp fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 18 by 13-inch baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter and brown sugar until combined. Mix in egg and vanilla extract.

Toss apples with lemon juice in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to egg and vanilla mixture and mix until combined, then mix in apples.

Scoop dough out using a medium cookie scoop, or 2 Tbsp at a time, and drop onto prepared baking sheets spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Flatten them just slightly.

Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven until cookies are set, about 14 – 15 minutes.

Let cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container.

For more recipes and to buy the book, click the links below:


Barnes and Noble

baking, blogging, desserts, DIY, no bake, recipe blog, recipes, social media, Uncategorized

No Bake Delight


  • 19 oz graham crackers
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (3.4 oz) packages Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 2-1/2 cups cold milk
  • 12 oz Cool whip (or homemade whipped cream)
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 oz white chocolate chips


  • Beat cream cheese and dry pudding mixes in large bowl with mixer until blended.
  • Gradually beat in milk.
  • Gently stir in Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream, reserving ½ cup.
  • Spread a thin layer of cool whip in a 9×13 pan just to coat the bottom.
  • Layer 5 graham crackers across the center of the pan, then 2 more, breaking them as needed to fit around the top and bottom edges.
  • Spread a layer of pudding mixture over grahams and top with a layer of blueberries and sliced strawberries.
  • Place graham crackers on top of berries, then pudding mixture, then layer of berries again.
  • Repeat the graham-pudding-berries layers 1 more time (3 times total) and you should reach the top of the pan.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight until the graham crackers have softened completely.
  • When ready to serve, melt white chocolate chips in a bowl as directed on package and drizzle over dessert.
  • You can use a spoon to drizzle it over the tops of the berries or you can put it into a small zip-top bag and snip of the corner for an easy “piping bag.”


blogging, chocolate, desserts, DIY, hacks, no bake, recipe blog, recipes, snacks, Summer, Uncategorized

Red, White and Blue

There are tons of red, white and blue recipes everywhere. Some look amazing, while others look like they took tons of effort and work to get them done.   I don’t know about you, but I prefer to have an easy, no-bake idea to make to celebrate the holiday.

There are 3 different type of Rice Krispies Treats I like to make to celebrate the 4th in red, white and blue style.


In the first picture on the left, you can make rice krispies treats the “usual” way and after you melt the marshmallows you can add a box of either Jello ( red or blue) or Kool Aid envelope ( red or blue) before you add the cereal.  Then place in the 8×8 pan to set. Once set, you can melt white chocolate to put on top and then any red, white and blue candies.

The picture on the right top is a little easier.  You make the treats the usual way and then you cut them into squares before they set and place them on red, white and blue straws. Once they set you can dip them into white melted chocolate, drizzle red or blue melted white chocolate, and add candies.

The picture on the bottom right is the easiest of them all.  You buy the red, white and blue Rice Krispies cereal.  Make the treat, and then once in the 8×8 pan, you get a star cookie cutter, cut the star out, and place the stick inside the star before they set.  You can keep as is, or you can dip in white chocolate and add candies.

Happy July 4th!

baking, chocolate, desserts, no bake, recipe blog, recipes, Summer, Uncategorized

S’mores IceBox Cake

Summer is officially here and who really wants to turn the oven on? I know I don’t.  So here is a quick no bake recipe using one of summer’s favorites: S’mores.


1 large box of instant chocolate pudding mix (or 2 small boxes made together)

3 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream

8 oz marshmallow fluff or cream

8 oz Cool Whip

5 oz mini marshmallows

1 box of  graham crackers

Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce


Additional mini marshmallows
Hershey’s bars

1. Make the chocolate pudding by adding the milk and the cream to the mix and whisking for about 2 minutes, until pudding begins to thicken. You can make both packages in one bowl and then divide it in half, or make them in two separate bowls. Set pudding aside.
2. In a large bowl, gently stir the marshmallow fluff and Cool Whip together until well combined.
3. Stir the mini marshmallows into the Cool Whip mixture.
4. Place a single layer of graham crackers along the bottom of a 9×13 pan. You may need to break some in halves to make them fit.
5. Spread half of the marshmallow mixture on top of the graham crackers.
6. Spread half of the chocolate pudding on top of the marshmallow mixture.
7. Place another layer of graham crackers in a single layer on the top of the pudding and repeat this process until you use up the pudding,  marshmallow fluff, and graham crackers.
8. Spread chocolate sauce over the top of the graham crackers.
9. Spread additional mini marshmallows across the top of the icebox cake and add a few Hershey’s chocolate bar pieces.
10. Refrigerate until ready to serve