About Me

Subscribe

Instagram

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins


I feel like cranberries are the unsung hero of the fall baking world. Every time fall rolls around, I make my way down a pumpkin everything rabbit hole, and don't emerge until Christmas haha!

So this year I wanted to give this fun little berry some attention! These cranberry orange muffins are so delicious, and secretly way healthier than your average muffin. The tartness and natural sweetness of the cranberries allows for way less sugar, especially combined with the bright flavor of orange zest! You can find fresh cranberries in the store between October and December, but if you want to make these muffins in the off-season, frozen cranberries will do the trick.

The super secret weapon of this healthy muffin recipe? Spices! Cinnamon and cardamom are both sweet tasting spices, with no impact on the nutritional content.

Want to pin this recipe for later? Scroll to the bottom of the post to pin this recipe in seconds! 


In an effort to make a healthy muffin recipe, I also replaced half of the butter with coconut oil, to reap the benefits of this super healthy fat. The coconut taste doesn't actually come through at all, so if you don't love coconut, fear not! On the other hand, if you prefer to use all butter (or all coconut!), go for it!


Makes About 16 Muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400, and grease a muffin tin. Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt and set aside. Combine the wet ingredients, zest through orange juice. Add the dry ingredients, stirring until the batter just comes together. The batter will be thick. Gently fold in the cranberries and pecans, and distribute the batter into the muffin tin. This recipe makes about 16 muffins. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the muffin tops spring back when touched.






Read more »
Kirsten Bell
0 Comments
A Burgundy & Gold Thanksgiving

A Burgundy & Gold Thanksgiving


This weekend we hosted our first Friendsgiving at our house, and I had so much fun setting the table for the event! Growing up my mom and aunt would always set beautiful tables for Thanksgiving (we alternated between households), and I love how it makes the dinner feel that much more special. Even though it took a little extra time to take out the china, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy a nice table is to create!

Funny story - you might notice that the flatware is reversed. Forks are supposed to go on the left, and knife on the right. I didn't realize that I had made an oops until our guests had already left and we were cleaning up! In a past life I would have been horrified, but you know what? We had a wonderful and fun dinner, and that's all that really matters at the end of the day! 

Decor Details: 
 Burgundy napkins, Our tablecloth was a gift, but similar here

I absolutely love these gold votives, which add so much warmth to the table! I also use them for our advent candles in Christmas, or really any time I want the table to feel a little special! Since my color scheme was gold and burgundy, I also pulled out our gold flatware, and gold chargers to help the lace china really pop (My china is currently on sale!). For this event I used these gold chargers, but oh my gosh I'm majorly obsessing over these gold lace chargers too! 





Call me old school, but I love everything about crystal. I love the look of it of course, but I also love the weight of it! For our dinner I used our Waterford wine glasses and vase. We definitely don't use our china and crystal every day, but it really elevates the table, and transforms a dinner into an event.


I hope everyone has fun planning fun and festive Thanksgivings over the next week!




Read more »
Kirsten Bell
0 Comments
Irresistible Smoked Salmon Appetizers

Irresistible Smoked Salmon Appetizers



Happy Friday, my friends! This has been a week full of testing out Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes, and I'm so excited to share them all with you! Starting today with these delicious smoked salmon filo cup appetizers, which true to this blog post title, are completely irresistible! I made one batch of these, and they were gone in an instant! So you've been warned!

These hors d'oeurves might look and taste fancy, but they're actually incredibly easy and can be prepared the day ahead.



What I love about these is that they're perfectly bite-sized. As much as I love appetizers like crostini, they can be kind of awkward to eat at a cocktail hour. I much prefer to serve these smoked salmon apps, which can be eaten a little bit more elegantly haha!




Makes 24 appetizers

Ingredients:

2 packages of frozen filo dough cups (12 cups per package)
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
4 oz smoked salmon
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
2 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
1 teaspoon dijion mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 packages of frozen filo dough cups (12 cups per package)

Directions:

Follow the directions on the filo dough cups, and bake them accordingly - usually about 3 minutes on 375.

Combine the cream cheese, sour cream and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor, and run until combined, about a minute. Add the remaining ingredients, and run until everything is incorporated. Spoon or pipe the salmon filling into the baked filo dough cups, and garnish with fresh dill.

If preparing these the day ahead, make the salmon filling and store in an airtight container. Bake and fill the filo cups the day of your event.





Read more »
Kirsten Bell
0 Comments
Pumpkin White Russians

Pumpkin White Russians


We're already a week into November (what!) and Thanksgiving is just two short weeks away! I've been working away at holiday recipes, and am so excited to share these pumpkin white russians with you today! They're creamy, pumpkin spicy, with just a hint of coffee from the Kahlua! Basically a spiked pumpkin spice latte - I mean what can be wrong about that??



In our family we like to take our time on Thanksgiving, enjoying conversation and catching up with each other for a while before actually sitting down for dinner. When I started working on this holiday cocktail, I was imagining how delicious these would taste while we nibble on some appetizers like these mini savory apple pies that I shared last week!




Ingredients:

(Makes one drink)

2 oz Vodka
1 oz Kahlua or Baileys
1 oz heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice (with any leftovers you can make pumpkin spice latte cupcakes!)

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker half full of ice, and shake well to combine. Serve over ice, and garnish with a little more pumpkin spice or cardamom if you'd like!
 


Read more »
Kirsten Bell
0 Comments
One Year Blog Anniversary & 6 Top Tips For New Bloggers

One Year Blog Anniversary & 6 Top Tips For New Bloggers


Oh wow, I've been thinking about this post since this summer, and it always felt so abstract! Then I looked at my calendar today and realized that just like that, it's here! Exactly one year ago I hit publish on my first post, having no idea what I was doing. Let's be honest - I still probably have no idea what I'm doing haha! But that's part of the fun, and I'm really proud of how far I've come and how much I've learned! 


Well first of all, I have to start this post with a huge thank you to you, my readers! I am so grateful for every article you've read, every post you've shared, pin you've saved, and every comment/message you've sent. It seriously warms my heart, and makes every late night and early morning worth it.

Ok, on to the tips! I have learned soooo much in this first year. I started out not even knowing what I didn't know, and certainly not knowing how to get where I wanted to be. While I hardly have all the answers yet (what fun would that be, anyway!), I get a lot of people asking for tips and tricks for starting their blog. What better time than my one-year anniversary to share some of what I've learned!

1. Don't Let Naysayers Bother You

This was really, truly, a difficult lesson for me. Hitting publish on those first few blog posts made my heart pitter patter out of control. I wanted my content to be well received and enjoyed, and I didn't want to be made fun of because I was trying something a little out of the box. And you know what? Some comments did make their way back to me, but it helped me come to an important realization. When someone has icky things to say, it's a reflection on them. Not you. If you have a dream, no matter what it is, don't for one second let anyone else get in the way of it.

2. One Thing At A Time

When you start dipping your toe into the humongous infinity pool that is blogging, it can be so overwhelming! Every time you turn around you learn about some other thing that you're not doing that's apparently critical to success. It's pretty easy to let that stress you out, because there is A LOT in the behind the scenes of your blog that you never knew existed, and only 24 hours in the day! So just identify one thing you want to learn that week, month whatever. When you've mastered that skill and it's second nature, it will be easy enough to start working on the next task. I keep a biiiiiig list of all the things I would be doing on my blog in my dream world, and that way I can keep my eye on the prize and always keep moving in the right direction.

3. Invest In A Nice Camera

Buying my Canon DSLR is one of the best things I did for myself and my blog this year. You can take nice photos with your iPhone, but in such a visually focused industry, a nice camera is a must to take your blog to the next level. In a similar vein, I'm really glad I also invested in photography lessons. I had never used a DSLR before, and was totally intimidated. Now I will never take my camera off of manual!

4. Set Realistic Goals

Ok, I'm actually still trying to work on this one! So do as I say, not as I do haha! I'm impatient, want huge success yesterday, and set really ambitious goals for myself. The problem is that then when I don't achieve them, it makes me lose sight of the fact that I actually accomplished a lot! Sit down and really think about what you can realistically accomplish in a week, month, year, whatever. You can always reevaluate if you're amazing and leave your original goals in the dust!

5. Stay Authentic

Be yourself, and don't try to imitate anyone else. I think people can really sense authenticity, and it's the "it factor" that makes me excited to follow and connect with new bloggers everyday. This one also comes down to why you're starting a blog in the first place. Share about the things that really genuinely excite you, and your readers will be able to sense that.

6. Just Do It

Not everything needs to be, or will be, perfect. Want to start a blog? Just do it! Trying something new can be scary and overwhelming, but that's how we learn and grow, right? Don't spend your life having a clear idea of what you want to do, but never hitting play on your own story. You only live once!

Now it's time to pop the bubbly (or my new favorite rosé!), celebrate a fun first year, and toast to the year ahead! Cheers!

Want to join my insider mailing list? It takes 30 seconds, and you'll receive exclusive content never published on the blog! Plus I hate spam (who doesn't), so you don't need to worry about that from me! Add you name below and become an insider today!




Read more »
Kirsten Bell
1 Comments