Vanilla Almond Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

I had to test out some of Ming's cupcake recipes after coming across the blog Ming Makes Cupcakes.  The decision of which cupcake to try first was a difficult one because all of her cupcakes look absolutely scrumptious! I decided to first try the Vanilla Almond Cupcakes with Maple Frosting because I am a sucker for breakfast and it was a great excuse to try making almond meal. Ming, thank you for  creating and sharing this little piece of heaven.  These are one of the best cupcakes I have ever eaten-  they just melt in your mouth!

Sweet and Salty Pork Chops

Growing up these Sweet and Salty Pork Chops were a family favorite.  My sister shunned red meat and fish for a good 10 years so pork chops were one of the only meats she would eat other than chicken.  My poor mother... i don't know how she survived cooking chicken and potatoes for EVERY meal.

I am not someone to reach away from a dipping sauce but these chops need no help.  The sweet and salty marinade is flavorful enough on its own. Im getting hungry jus thinking about them!

Banana Bread + Chocolate Chips

There is one thing you should know about me before you start reading my recipes and notice a common trend.  I LOVE bananas, always have.  I think it is their neutral taste.  Perfect for the morning.  Perfect for a snack.  Perfect for dessert when you are tricking yourself into thinking you are eating a huge mountain of ice cream and half of it is cut up bananas (I highly recommend trying this).  It is the perfect food.

So clearly one of a banana lovers favorite foods would be... banana bread!

Therefore I am on a quest.  A quest to find the best banana bread recipe out there.  I usually make my mom's banana bread, but I decided to explore around... to make sure i'm not missing out on any amazing recipes!  The first recipe I tackled was from the lovely blog of SmittenKitchen

Chocolate Espresso Cookies

It was one of those days where I woke up thinking of chocolate... yes this happens often.  A little morning and a little chocolate so why not a coffee and chocolate combination.  I found this recipe on PetiteKitchenesse a few months ago and marked it because these cookies looked magnificent and the ingredients were simple.  And WOW were these gooey chocolate espresso cookies good especially if you undercook them a touch and add a little vanilla ice cream.

#1 Best Lasagna Recipe

As I start my first city job one of my goals is to make meals on the weekend that I can freeze to reheat for the week.  The first freeze friendly meal I tackled was lasagna. Now I was a child raised on Stouffer's lasagna so take my next few words as you will..  It was FANTASTIC!  I must confess when searching for a recipe this one stood out because... drum roll... it was called #1 Best Lasagna Recipe.  Trust me you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Rolo Pretzel Turtles

These amazing Rolo Pretzel Turtles were discovered by my mother a few years back.  They are super easy to make and extremely delicious.   I usually only make these little treats in the fall/winter for holiday parties so they remind me of family and happy times.  Did I mention these are SUPER EASY to make?  Only 3 ingredients are needed: Rolos, pretzels and pecans.

My only warning is stand by the oven when they are cooking-- they only take a few minutes. And find a friend to help you unwrap the Rolos.  Let me know what you think!