Category Archives: Desserts

Mayfield Creamery Ice Cream Party

 

Mayfield Ice Cream is a Southern classic– ever since I moved to Georgia in 2006, that iconic yellow carton is everywhere!  I was so excited to partner with Mayfield to showcase the relaunch of the brand, returning to its original name from 94 years ago : Mayfield Creamery.  I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate, than with a DIY ice cream party with my favorite neighborhood kiddos!

Originally founded as Mayfield Creamery, the company believes returning to the “Mayfield Creamery” brand name bests represents the values and traditions of the brand, and their time-honored commitment to making the finest quality ice cream, that can only come from a real dairy.

Although Mayfield Creamery ice cream has rebranded and refreshed its packaging, customers can still expect the same great taste that families have grown to love and trust since 1923. The new Mayfield Creamery logo has been adapted from the classic circular Mayfield Dairy Farms logo, recognized by generations of families across the Southeast. The packaging now features a delivery truck set against the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, representing the brand’s origin as a milk company and their southern roots.  

Over the years, Mayfield has offered signature and classic ice cream flavors that their fans crave and developed exciting new recipes inspired by southern dessert traditions, each crafted to ensure the same homemade taste that’s delighted families since their very first batch in 1923.

New flavors this year include Lemon Ice Box Pie, Summer Berry Swirl, Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake and Candy Jar Crunch. 

Mayfield is offering an array of limited edition flavors this year, such as Cherry Chocolate Chip and Banana Pudding, as well as seasonal favorites Pumpkin Pie and Peppermint Stick.  

Mayfield Creamery ice creams, with the same rich taste and traditions families have grown to trust, can be found in stores across the Southeast including Walmart, Kroger, Publix, Harris-Teeter, Bi-lo, Lowes, Ingles, Winn-Dixie, Food City and Target stores (Suggested Retail Price: $5.99).  

*This post is sponsored by Mayfield Creamery, but all opinions are my own.  

Capirotada and Stuffed Poblanos from Real California Milk

Hispanic dairy products can really transform ordinary meals into a new cultural food experience– adding a ton of flavor.  Cotija cheese is like Mexican feta– it’s an amazing salad topper.  Oaxaca is mellow and buttery and could replace traditional mozzarella on pizza.  Queso fresco can be folded into omelets or even in a grilled cheese sandwich. These cheeses are so versatile, you can use all of them in both savory and sweet dishes.

Hispanic dairy is the star of classic lent dishes like corn and cheese stuffed poblanos and capirotada, which is like Mexican bread pudding.  In the poblanos, fold a cup of Real California Asadero cheese, as well as oaxaca for maximum melty delish!  The cotija is the finishing cheese!  The combination of hispanic dairy packs major flavor and tastes so authentically Mexican.

Check out the corn and cheese stuffed poblano recipe on Real California Milk’s website.

Now let’s talk dessert.  The capirotada’s bread has soaked in all of that creamy, yummy dairy.  The combination of cotija and oaxaca cheeses layered into the bread pudding totally takes it over the top!

What I love about these recipes is that they look and feel fancy, but they’re so easy to make.  All of the ingredients are easy to find at local supermarkets in the dairy section– and they’re affordable too.  Just look for the Real California Milk seal on dairy products, made with milk from California’s 1300 hard working dairy farm families.  

Click here for the Capirotada recipe.

Check out the live segment below with these recipes on Great Day Houston

*This post was sponsored by Real California Milk.

Key Lime No Bake Cheesecakes

Mini No Bake Key Lime Cheesecakes

Key Lime No Bake Cheesecakes

This spring, I’ve been obsessed with mason jars– small, large, super sized mason jars for everything you could imagine!  I use them for vases, glasses, candle holders, table top terrariums, a DIY ice cream bar and now, ladies and gentlemen, no bake cheesecake jars!  The first time I used mason jars for dessert, I was catering a high-end dinner party and my cake didn’t set up.  I was horrified.  It was delicious, but it had collapsed in the middle and looked like a hot (yummy) mess.  As I was standing at the counter, hoping no one came into the kitchen and discovered my catastrophe, I remembered about a box of mason jars I had in the back of my truck. I quickly layered the warm, gooey mess into the jars with ice cream.  Then, I whipped up a little caramel sauce, popped some whipped cream on top and called it GOURMET.  My guests never knew about my baking crisis and later raved about the “moist” cake, LOL! 

It made perfect sense to style my Mini No Bake Cheesecake in these little jars!  And, in honor of National Dairy Month and my partnership with the Western Dairy Association, I created what I consider the perfect summer dessert.  I’m not a fan of super sweet anything, and the same goes for my cheesecake.  Lately, no bake has been my go-to, because, well, it’s NO BAKE!  No fussy water baths and springform pans.  With the mason jars, you just layer in the graham cracker crust, top with the key lime cheesecake filling, some whipped cream and they can chill in the fridge till you’re ready to serve them.

Key Lime No Bake Cheesecake

Before we get to the delish, check out some of these awesome stats… The average glass of milk costs only 25 cents a glass– few foods deliver milk’s powerhouse of nutrients in such an affordable and available way. When you buy dairy products at your local grocery store or farmers market, you are supporting dairy families — 97% of the country’s dairy farms are family owned and operated.

The Western Dairy Association works on behalf of dairy farm families in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, and they’re celebrating 80 years of helping dairy farm families tell their stories. Check out the Western Dairy Blog throughout the month to read about the families who have been dairying for over eight decades!

Colorado is a great place to be a dairy cow –  their cows are second in the nation in milk produced per cow – a sign that they are happy and healthy.

And huge shout out to Western Dairy Association farms:  Colorado dairy farm families produce over 3.4 billion pounds of wholesome, nutritious milk each year. Montana dairy farm families produce 288 million pounds of milk each year and Wyoming dairy farm families produce over 123 million pounds of milk each year.  That’s a whole lot of healthy and happy!

Ready to dive into “Dairy Delicious?”  I know you are….

Here are some other yummy cheesecake recipes you might want to check out too:

Guilt Free Lemon Cheesecake

Peanut Butter Oreo No Bake Cheesecake

Peanut Butter & Jelly No Bake Cheesecake (scroll down for recipe)

Pebbles No Bake Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake with Lemon Curd

Mini Nutella Cheesecakes

*This is a sponsored post by the Western Dairy Association, but all opinions are my own.

Mini No Bake Key Lime Cheesecakes
Serves 4
A refreshing mini key lime cheesecake in mason jars.
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For the crust
  1. 2 Tb butter
  2. 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  3. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the key lime filling
  1. 1 (8oz) package of full fat cream cheese
  2. 3/4 cup heavy cream whipped to soft peaks
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1/4 cup key lime juice
  6. zest of 2 key limes
For the whipped cream topping
  1. 3/4 cup heavy cream
  2. 3 tsp powdered sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
  4. zest of one key lime
For the crust
  1. Melt butter and mix in graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon.
  2. Layer a couple spoonfuls at the bottom of each mason jar.
For the filling
  1. Bring cream cheese to room temperature and mix with sugar until smooth. Fold in heavy cream (whipped to soft peaks), vanilla, key lime juice and zest.
  2. Mix until smooth.
  3. Spoon on top of crust to nearly the top of each mini jar.
  4. Cover and keep in fridge for 3 hours or until firm.
For the whipped cream topping
  1. Whip heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks are formed.
  2. When ready to serve, put whipped cream on top and finish with a little zest and a slice of key lime for garnish.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/

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Memorial Day Deals and Delish

PB&JCheesecakeTop

I love an excuse to fire up the grill and entertain friends– and Memorial Day is the perfect holiday– it’s got an awesome theme (Thank you to the men and women who have sacrificed for our country!) and with a few simple recipes, you can really take your party to the next level!

Let’s start with the must-have accessories and then we’ll get to the delish….

I partnered with Lowe’s to showcase their Char-Broil Advantage 4 Burner Stainless Steel Gas Grill.  What I like about this grill is that it is reasonably priced at $269 (and the purchase earns you a $50 gift card, so SCORE!) But it’s also a great size– not so monstrous that it’s intimidating– and it fits on patios or decks easily without taking up too much room.  But there’s plenty of room to fit all of your favorite grilling items with those 4 burners, baby!  While you’re shopping, check out these gas grills ratings and recommendations to get helpful advice. 

GrillLowes

Now that you have your grill ready to go, let’s talk patio accessories…. This is my new favorite patio set!  It’s the Garden Treasures 3 Piece Lunburg Balcony-Height Patio set, on sale TODAY, but not later this weekend, so hurry up and pick it up with the discount!

PatioSet

The set works beautifully on my patio (my pitbull Tom thinks so too!) but it is also the perfect size for balconies in high rise condos.  A lot of my friends have spectacular skyline views, and the raised height of this set is a must so you can take in the scenery!  Plus, Lowe’s has a huge selection of patio pillows to dress up the chairs.  I picked out these blue flower patio pillows that work perfectly with the burnt orange cushions.

Ready for Memorial Day eats?  Let’s kick it off with sausage, y’all!  I’m a huge fan of Johnsonville  and have worked with them on a number of yummy segments over the last year.  If you thought regular old burgers were good enough for your cook out, then hold the phone, y’all.  Can we talk about bacon and cheddar IN the sausage?  Um, yeah.  Johnsonville’s got these new Grillers in the flavors you would normally have to make as a side dish or topping on the sausages….like Swiss Cheese and Onion and Buffalo Bleu.  Hello, delicious!  In full disclosure, I was grilling these up for my Atlanta & Company segment and I had to keep adding to the grill pan because, uh, I was eating them.  More like CRUSHING them.  Alone.  In my kitchen at 2am.  Yeah, that’s how I roll.  So swap out the burgers for sausage– you won’t be sorry!  A fun thing to do when serving your sausages is to set up a “Brat Bar” and have all the toppings your guests will love with their bratwursts and grillers….But honestly, you really don’t need anything else to top them with because the flavor of these new sausages is so freaking good!

JohnsonvilleBar

This adorable family watched my segment live and tried the sausages for the first time….their reactions are priceless!

 My go-to “grilling wine” is Wines of Sicilia DOC, which bring out the smoky, spicy flavors in the sausage.  Sicily’s signature grape, Nero d’Avola is the perfect match for grilling season — as soon as you feel that smokiness with a hint of spice, there’s a surprising fruitiness that hits your palate.  It’s divine and it transports me back to my travels through Italy when I was in college!

WinesofSiciiliaDOC

Now let’s get back to that cheesecake.  One of my most pinned recipes is the Guilt Free Lemon Cheesecake. I decided to take it up a notch and do a layer of peanut butter cheesecake and strawberry cheesecake and make it “no bake,” because let’s be honest.  Who has time for baking on a holiday weekend?  It’s basically the love child of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and cheesecake!  Look at those layers….OMG.

PB&JSide

Peanut Butter and Jelly No Bake Cheesecake
The love child of cheesecake and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
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For the crust
  1. 1 stick salted butter
  2. 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon
For the peanut butter cheesecake layer
  1. 1 (8oz) package of full fat cream cheese
  2. 1 tub of Cool Whip
  3. 1/3 cup sour cream
  4. 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  5. 1 Tb vanilla
  6. 1 cup powdered sugar
For the strawberry cheesecake layer
  1. 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
  2. 1 tub cool whip
  3. 2 cups frozen strawberries
  4. 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  5. 1 Tb vanilla
For the topping
  1. Whole strawberries (with the tops cut off)
  2. Blueberries
For the crust
  1. Melt 1 stick butter in pan.
  2. Add graham cracker crumbs and vanilla.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Cut out a circle of parchment paper and put it on the bottom of a springform pan.
  5. Spoon out the graham cracker crust on top of the parchment and press down (I use the bottom of a mug or measuring cup)
For the Peanut Butter Layer
  1. Mix ingredients in food processor with paddle attachment until smooth. Pour over graham cracker crust.
  2. Freeze for 30 minutes before adding strawberry layer.
For the strawberry layer
  1. Pulverize frozen strawberries in food processor until they are a puree consistency and set aside.
  2. Mix the rest of ingredients in food processor until smooth.
  3. Scoop out 1 1/2 cups of batter and put in fridge (this will be the top layer of the cheesecake.)
  4. Add frozen strawberry puree to batter and mix until smooth.
  5. Pour strawberry layer on top of peanut butter layer and wrap entire springform pan in tin foil.
  6. Put in freezer for at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve
  1. Take cheesecake out of freezer 30-45 minutes before you want to serve it. Spread the 1 1/2 cups of topping on top of strawberry layer and decorate with strawberries and blueberries.
Notes
  1. Freezing the peanut butter layer is not totally necessary, but it helps keep the layers separate.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
Now let’s talk about appetizers, because chips are not the answer!  This peanut curry dip is another recipe I worked with the Georgia Peanut Commission on and I am so excited about it.  Everyone on set who tried this was blown away!   Peanuts are a great way to power your day, keep your energy levels up (and your hunger levels down.) Peanut butter is easy and fun to incorporate into recipes because it’s “eat it out of the jar with a spoon) kinda good!

PeanutCurryDip

Peanut Curry Dip
A high protein, delicious dip for entertaining
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup greek yogurt
  2. 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  3. 2 tsp fresh ginger (I love the tubes of fresh ginger from Gourmet Garden)
  4. 1 tsp fresh roasted garlic smashed
  5. 1 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  6. 2 tsp curry powder
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients until smooth.
  2. Serve with fresh veggies or pita chips.
  3. For the roasted garlic, preheat oven to 375.
  4. Slice off the top 1/3 of a head of garlic. Put cut side (face side down) in a small baking pan with about a cup of water. Cover with tin foil.
  5. Bake for an hour.
  6. Let cool and squeeze out garlic-- it will come out like a paste!
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
 Happy Memorial Day, y’all!

Check out my Memorial Day Deals and Delish video with Christine Pullara on Atlanta & Company!

HappyMemorialDay

Peanut Butter Oreo “No Bake” Cheesecake

PBPieSlice

You know you want to dive into this, don’t you?  Which part of the description got you?  Peanut Butter Oreos?  Cheesecake?  Or “No Bake?”  How about a combination of all of them?!!

This is another one of the yummy recipes I created for National Peanut Month with the Georgia Peanut Commission.  I’m obsessed with No Bake cheesecakes….Like my pumpkin no bake cheesecake.  Or my Cranberry Grand Marnier no bake cheesecake.

I don’t always see Peanut Butter Oreos at the store– the ones I picked up were from Walmart and they were the minis.    You could of course, swap out any type of Oreos– I recently spotted the new Red Velvet flavor and I’m curious how that would taste!  If you want a thicker more “authentic” looking cheesecake, triple the recipe and put it in a springform pan.  You can get the Oreo crumbs and make the crust yourself.  In this version though, I used the ready-made Oreo crust and it was super easy.  And beyond yum!  Plus, it looks so purty when you put the Oreos around the edge of the cheesecake!

PBOreoPie

Peanut Butter Oreo No Bake Cheesecake
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (8oz) package of full fat cream cheese
  2. 1 tub of Cool Whip
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 2 cups smashed Peanut Butter Oreos
  5. Oreo Crust
Instructions
  1. Mix together ingredients and fold into a ready-made Oreo Crust. Chill until ready to serve.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Truffle Pops

peanutbuttertruffles

Did I have you at Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffle?  Thought so…  These are ridiculously easy and obscenely delicious.  Like, the kind of yum that has you sneaking down to the kitchen late at night for “one more bite.”  I’ve made this base recipe many times, but the addition of peanut butter just makes it, well, peanut butter perfection. I used creamy peanut butter, but if you want more crunch inside the truffle, you can substitute crunchy.  Personally, I prefer my crunch on the outside– and it looks so pretty!

I’ve partnered with The Georgia Peanut Commission this month to celebrate National Peanut Month, so I’m even more inspired to come up with new recipes that feature the most delish nut on the Planet!  Stay tuned for more decadent recipes in the coming weeks!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles
Creamy peanut butter chocolate truffles that melt in your mouth!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 package of Double Stuff Oreos
  2. 1 (8oz) package of full fat cream cheese
  3. 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  4. Dark chocolate melting wafers
  5. crushed peanuts
  6. lollipop sticks (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix Oreos in food processor until smooth, then add cream cheese and peanut butter. Continue mixing until the batter is whipped together.
  2. Scoop out batter into a bowl and freeze for 2 hours.
  3. After 2 hours, take out of freezer and ball up batter into golf ball sized truffles.
  4. If so desired, put in lollipop sticks and then dip into melted chocolate wafers and place on wax paper.
  5. Sprinkle peanuts on truffles before chocolate dries.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/

Sips and Sweets for your Sweetheart

ParkerValentine

Well of course I’ve got a big ‘ol grin on my face– I’m surrounded by the most decadent of decadent Valentine’s Day treats!  Alon’s has become an iconic bakery in the Atlanta area, and every year, they sell thousands of individual desserts.  I love this concept because you can pick and choose, mix and match whatever your taste buds tell you to!  Among my favorites— chocolate covered caramels with maldon salt, the chocolate and raspberry mini macaroon tower, the flourless chocolate cake heart with raspberry cream, hand rolled truffles (including a scrumptious Single Malted Scotch truffle that will sweeten the day of any Valentine’s Day suitor!  (Dudes, I’m talking to YOU guys.)

Alon’s has so much to choose from if you want to build a gift basket as well– from their signature 9 piece Chocolate Boxes to wine, champagne and accessories!  This year, they’re offering a 7 course Romantic Dinner for 2 available for pickup at both of Alon’s Locations!  Here’s a sneak peek at the menu:

  • Amuse Bouche
    Salmon and Tuna Tartare with Avocado Glaze on Brioche Toast
  • Soup
    She-crab soup with lump crab meat
  • Choice of Entrée
    Seared Bay of Fundy Salmon in Carrot Harissa Broth with caramelized root vegetables
    (or)
    Grilled Tenderloin with fingerling potatoes and brussel sprouts served with a balsamic reduction and blue cheese compound butter
  • Salad
    Kale with granny smith apples, celery and a lemon agave vinaigrette
  • Cheese
    Green Hill (Thomasville GA), Perorino with Chamomile, Marcona Almonds and Orange cranberry Marmalade
  • Dessert
    Flourless Chocolate Cake with hazelnut cream and raspberry coulis
  • Chocolate
    Assorted Chocolate Bon Bons and Cookies           
Seared Bay of Fundy Salmon in Carrot Harissa Broth with caramelized root vegetables

Seared Bay of Fundy Salmon in Carrot Harissa Broth with caramelized root vegetables

Grilled Tenderloin with fingerling potatoes and brussel sprouts served with a balsamic reduction and blue cheese compound butter

Grilled Tenderloin with fingerling potatoes and brussel sprouts served with a balsamic reduction and blue cheese compound butter

If you tag “Alon’s Romantic Dinner for 2” photo on Facebook, you have a chance to win a $100 gift card!  Check out their locations: 

ALON’S DUNWOODY – PERIMETER 

4505 Ashford Dunwoody Road

Mon-Fri: 7a-9p

Sat: 8a-9p Sun:9a-7p

ALON’S INTOWN – MORNINGSIDE

1394 North Highland Avenue

Mon-Fri: 7a-8p

Sat: 8a-8p Sun: 9a-4p

alonstable

Moving on to cocktails….You can make a romantic toast this Valentine’s Day with some of my favorite brands…

VdayBooze

Amarula Cream is the second largest cream liqueur in the world.  It has such a luxurious finish with exotic tangy notes of citrus and nuts with a rich, velvety texture.  It comes from the fruit of the wild marula tree, indigenous to South Africa– more commonly known as the “marriage tree!”  How romantic is that?  Enjoy it neat or over ice…

My man likes to call himself a Rum Connoisseur– and Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is now our GO-TO Rum.  You don’t even need a cocktail mixer– this is an award winning sipping rum from Venezuela, crafted from the purest of sugar cane honeys. The aromatics are amazing– you can smell (and taste) the distinctive notes of maple syrup, orange peel, brown sugar and licorice.  The finish is a toffee fudge– the perfect rum to pair with a decadent dessert— from chocolate to cheesecake!

Prosecco is the most famous Italian sparkling wine in the world– but believe it or not, similar to how champagne can only be produced in the Champagne region of France, true Prosecco can only be produced in a very small area of Italy’s Veneto and Fruili-Venezia Giulia regions.  Bisol is a family owned company– they’ve been managing all phases of the winemaking process since 1542.

The grapes used to make Prosecco DOC are mainly Glera, which has been around since Roman times.  The result is a stunning yellow wine with fine, consistent perlage and aromas of white flowers, apple and pear.  It’s perfect for a Valentine’s Day brunch!

Click here for the video on Atlanta & Company!

 

SkinnyPop dessert balls

Bourbon Pecan Pie SkinnyPop Balls and Fall Entertaining Ideas

SkinnyPop dessert balls

Bourbon Pecan Pie balls made with SkinnyPop and drizzled with dark chocolate.

Popcorn creates a visceral reaction for most people….the drizzled butter kind of reaction that transports you to a movie theater from your childhood, or a fidgety first date when salty fingers innocently tangle in the popcorn box, going in for another handful of delicious.  But let’s admit, it’s a guilty pleasure because that kind of popcorn is, well…..not exactly helping with the waistline, right?

Let me introduce you to my newest snack obsession….SkinnyPop.  It is pure, popped perfection!

Here’s the Skinny… (see what I did there??)

SkinnyPop Popcorn starts with three simple ingredients: Popcorn, sunflower oil, and just the right amount of salt.  It’s a great tasting snack you can feel good about eating everyday– translation: all of the flavor, none of the guilt!

SkinnyPop contains no artificial ingredients, colors, flavors or preservatives and are free of all major allergens including peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, and soy.  SkinnyPop is Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Kosher, Vegan, and Whole Grain certified.

It’s available at a number of popular stores– you can find a location near you by going to SkinnyPop.com

It wouldn’t be my style if I didn’t “Parkerize” SkinnyPop in some creative way….even though there is no need to add a THING to this popcorn, it’s so dang delish!  In the spirit of my grandma Ronnie’s pecan pie, and my favorite dark chocolate dipped pecan pie balls, this is the love child of pecan pie and SkinnyPop!  

Bourbon Popcorn Balls

Bourbon Pecan Pie Popcorn Balls dipped in Dark Chocolate. Oh yeah!

I used Original SkinnyPop, but you could also use the Naturally Sweet SkinnyPop.  (Black Pepper and White Cheddar are scrumptious on their own!)

This is also the perfect excuse to invite a bunch of friends over for movie night and make a Popcorn Bar.  Just fill canisters with your favorite movie snacks (like gummy bears, sour worms and Milk Duds) to serve along with your SkinnyPop.  I found these canisters at At Home and love the the little chalkboard labels!

popcorn bar

Make a Popcorn Bar for movie night!

These are perfect for date night in!  

Bourbon Pecan Pie Popcorn Balls
The love child of popcorn and pecan pie
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Ingredients
  1. 15 cups of popcorn (I love Original SkinnyPop)
  2. 2 cups roasted pecan pieces
  3. 1 cup dark corn syrup
  4. 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  5. 3 Tb butter
  6. 1 Tb bourbon (I used Bulleit bourbon)
  7. 1 Tb vanilla
  8. 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  9. 10 oz marshmallows
  10. melting chocolate wafers
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan on medium heat and add corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon and salt.
  2. Add marshmallows and stir until they melt. Fold in popcorn and pecans and stir to combine.
  3. Let cool slightly.
  4. Ball into small balls and put on a sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Melt chocolate and drizzle over popcorn balls.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
Keurig KOLD

Keurig’s new cold beverage system makes still and sparkling drinks.

Gotta have a cold beverage with your popcorn!  Keurig has been a pioneer in the coffee industry.  Now they’ve just introduced a revolutionary system with on-demand, cold beverages you can make at home— both still and sparkling beverages are served chilled with the push of a button.

Keurig KOLD the first cold beverage system that offers a wide variety of our favorite drinks, like Dr. Pepper and Coca-Cola plus new discoveries with the push of a button.  Beverages are perfectly carbonated WITHOUT using a CO2 canister.

Drinks are chilled to an ideal temperature of around 39 degrees.  And they’re perfectly portioned– 8oz most of which are 100 calories or less.

Similar to the K-cup Pods we’re all familiar with when it comes to coffee, Keurig KOLD has KOLD PODS that have exclusive brands, including new brands of craft colas and coming soon….wait for it…COCKTAIL MIXERS.

 It’s also a huge space saver because you store the KOLD pods in your pantry– not your fridge.

This is absolutely going to be the perfect holiday gift for people who love to entertain!

So, let’s talk fashion….As you guys know, it’s not my strong suit, as in, major fashion challenged!  But this is my favorite time of year, so I’m using this as an excuse to discover some new pieces and I enlisted the help of my friend Shannon Kotze, who owns the coolest boutique in town, The Bilt-House.  Shannon says, “This is a great time of year to have fun with your wardrobe, layer pieces all while looking FABULOUS!”  I’m sold already!

Fashion Girls

With Shannon Kotze, owner of The Bilt-House and Christine Pullara, host of Atlanta & Company.

For our segment, Shannon outfitted me in a yummy faux shearling Dylan vest, Hudson jeans, and EXCLUSIVE to The Bilt-House, these awesome Bone Mayra Old Gringo boots.

Old Gringo Boots

LOVE this whole ensemble, especially the Old Gringo boots!

I’m crazy about these boots– and they’re so comfortable!  Shannon only has a few pairs left in stock, but there’s enough time to put in your special order in time for them to arrive before the Holidays.  They take about 6 weeks to ship.

Christine is wearing a Bailey 44 dress, which is an easy transition from work to dinner! 

The Mannequin is wearing an awesome seller for The Bilt-House this season— Luii Leopard Print Coat with a Bailey 44 dress.  Jewelry is by Bittersweet.

Luii Leopard Print Coat

This is such a cool, 60’s inspired look: Luii Leopard Print Coat with Bailey 44 dress.

Shannon is wearing gorgeous and comfortable ultra suede leggings with a blouse from Fifteen Twenty , and vegan fringe jacket from SW3.  

The Bilt-House store hours are Mon-Sat., 10a-6p, with special Holiday Sunday Hours 12-5p, the months of Nov./Dec. in BUCKHEAD:  3201 Paces Ferry Place, Atlanta, GA  30305  & ROSWELL: 1035 Canton Street, Roswell, GA  30075.

 

 

*This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

Cookie and Coffee Must-Haves this Holiday Season

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

Chewy, Gooey, Chocolate Cookies with a hint of cinnamon and chili.

I admit it–  I really don’t have a sweet tooth.  I know, I know– please don’t hate me.  I used to, though.  Now, if I had to choose between french fries and chocolate for my last meal, I’d go french fries every time.  (Dipped in tartar sauce.  Weird, right?)  But every so often, a recipe drives me back to the chocolatey, sugary cravings of my childhood.  These Mexican Hot Chocolate cookies did just that.  When I think about “Mexican chocolate”- it gives me visions of cocoa mixed with cinnamon and a hint of spice.  The secret ingredients here are crushed up Cocoa Pebbles, cinnamon and chili powder.  HOLY DELISH.  Adding yummy to the delicious is the fact that once you make the batter, you roll these morsels of scrumptious in another dipping of cocoa pebble crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and chili powder.  Then, hit them with a sprinkle of coarse kosher salt.  Ohhhhhheeeeeeemmmmmggggggg.  Like, seriously, y’all.  Drop the mic.  You’ll never be partial to an ordinary chocolate chip cookie again.  If you’re really averse to anything spicy, you can omit the chili powder, but I really, really recommend you keep it in.  It adds that “Je ne sais quoi” element.  The “what is that flavor that I can taste but can’t quite figure out what it is that makes it so awesome??”  Make these.  You’ll thank me!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

You can’t have just one!

Now let’s have some coffee talk.  It is the FIRST thing I think about when I wake up in the morning.  I actually wake up in the middle of the night sometimes, just wishing it was time to get up and brew my coffee.  As a present for my 40th birthday, JP’s mom gave me the Keurig 2.0 K250.  This is the Cadillace of Coffeemakers.  Not only does it brew whatever signature flavor you want, (there are hundreds of flavors that are compatible with Keurig’s system) but it also has a 4 carafe option that makes entertaining super easy.  You don’t have to wait for an entire pot of coffee to brew, just push the button and then 4 cups are brewed instantly. It’s that easy!  In addition to the delicious coffee bonus, Keurig offers this particular machine in 6 gorgeous colors.  I’m partial to “Orange Zest.”  How many times do you try to hide the appliances on your countertop?  This is counter Eye Candy!  

Keurig 2.0 K250

Keurig 2.0 K250 in “Orange Zest” color. It’s countertop eye candy!

A super cute idea to do when you’re entertaining with these Mexican Hot Chocolate cookies and the Keurig 2.0 is to set up a hot chocolate bar.  You can fill canisters with yummy treats to stir into your hot chocolate (or coffee!)  These jars with the chalkboard labels are from At Home, the home decor superstore, my current obsession!  

At Home Canisters

You can find these canisters at At Home. I love the chalkboard labels!

Fall Entertaining on the Studio 62 set.

Fall Entertaining on the Studio 62 set.

This is another opportunity to dress up your dinner/entertaining table with fun accessories.  I took a turquoise bird cage and stuffed it with apples that brought out the orange tone of the Keurig and some of the hues of the glass pumpkins, also found at At Home.  I love this particular combination of colors– the chocolates, turquoises and oranges!

Sometimes just a few key items can really set the tone for your whole party!

*This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
Yields 52
Delicious Chocolate cookies with a cinnamon and chili twist.
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup ground Cocoa Pebbles, divided
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  8. 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  9. 2 large eggs
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  11. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  12. 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, crush cereal. (About 1 cup of Cocoa Pebbles will yield ½ cup of ground cereal.)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, ground cereal, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.
  3. Chill dough for 1 -2 hours.
  4. In a small bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup ground cereal, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and chili powder (if using). Using a tablespoon to measure, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar cereal mixture.
  5. Place, about 2 inches apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. Press down lightly with a glass. Bake until cookies are set about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container, up to 1 week. Makes about 52 cookies.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
Chocolate Decadence

Chocolate Decadence Cake with Bacon Jam

Chocolate Decadence

Chocoholics Beware: Dangerous combo of rich chocolate cake, bacon jam and candied bacon.

It’s hard to even give this cake a description that does it justice.  Meat Candy Cake?  That just sounds wrong!  Then again, a lot of people would assume that combining bacon and chocolate is wrong. If that’s the case, then how does something so wrong turn out so right?  So delicious.  So unforgettable.  So ridiculously divine.  

I’m not even a dessert person.  Or a chocoholic.  This cake is what I like to call, the “Get up at 2am and stand over the sink eating it with your hands” kinda good.  I’m really proud of how this turned out, because typically, flourless chocolate cakes tend to be so rich that you can only really manage a couple bites before it’s too much.  Well folks, there’s never such a thing as too rich when you combine chocolate with bacon.  Correction: when you combine chocolate with chocolate bacon jam and candied bacon.  Oh yes.  This is bacon’s wet, chocolate dream.  See that glossy ganache?Hidden underneath is a layer of chocolate bacon jam so it hits your palate just right– the perfect combination of sweet, smoky and salty.

I discovered bacon jam last year when I was experimenting with recipes for a segment on The Weather Channel.  I made a cranberry bacon jam which I slathered on whipped sweet potatoes. It was crazy good.  Sam Champion said so himself….(watch at :34 in!)

 

I had also previously experimented with dipping bacon in chocolate and peanut butter….

But this, y’all.  THIS.  

THIS.  IS.  RIDICULOUS.

Please make this recipe and post pics on my Facebook page!

To note:  Make sure you use the HEAVY DUTY aluminum foil and wrap 3 times (yes, THREE times) around your springform pan so none of the water from the water bath seep in.  

Slice of Chocolate Decadence

Slice ‘o Heaven.

Chocolate Decadence Cake with Bacon Jam
A layer of chocolate bacon jam is spread under rich ganache for the perfect combination of sweet, smoky and salty.
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For the cake
  1. 1 cup freshly brewed coffee (8oz)
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, diced
  4. 18 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate chopped
  5. 6 large eggs
  6. pinch of kosher salt
For the ganache
  1. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  2. 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  3. pinch of kosher salt
For the bacon jam
  1. 1 pack center cut bacon
  2. 1 red onion
  3. 2 Tb butter
  4. 2 Tb sherry
  5. brown sugar
  6. unsweetened cocoa
For the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 or 10-inch springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment round. Spray pan and parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim.
  3. Combine coffee and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  5. Whisk coffee/sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly.
  6. Whisk eggs separately and add to chocolate mixture, whisking until well blended.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
  8. Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 50 minutes.
  9. Remove from water bath and transfer to a rack. Cool completely in pan.
For the bacon jam
  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Lay out bacon strips on a rack sitting on a baking sheet.
  3. Press brown sugar into each individual slice (about 1 tsp per slice) and then sprinkle all the slices with cocoa powder. Bake for 40 minutes, until bacon is cooked and candied. Let cool.
  4. While bacon is cooking, slice red onion into thin rings.
  5. Saute in 2 Tb of butter on medium heat and keep stirring while onions soften.
  6. Continue cooking on low/medium heat for 30 minutes until soft and caramelized.
  7. Add sherry and crank up heat until alcohol cooks off, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down and continue cooking another 10 minutes. Let cool.
  8. Put bacon (reserve a slice for crumbling) and caramelized onion in a food processor and pulse until mixture is smooth.
  9. Spread chocolate bacon jam on cooled cake. (Ganache layer goes on top of bacon jam).
For the ganache
  1. Bring 1 cup of heavy whipping cream to a simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat.
  2. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour over top of bacon jam.
  3. Make sure ganache is spread evenly.
  4. Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is set, about 2 hours.
  5. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release sides.
  6. Sprinkle with crumbled candied bacon.
  7. Cut cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/