Friday Favorites–When Life Hands You Lemons…

Admittedly, I might have lemons on the brain right now.  My daughter’s wedding colors are yellow and grey, and much of the dessert buffet we’re serving is lemon-based, so I may be suffering from citrus-immersion.  But doesn’t it seem like there’s just a ton of lemony goodness out there right now?

Lemon Crafts and Recipes - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

We’ve found gluten-free and lemon play really well together, and can’t wait to try these Lemon Brownie Bars from Wicked Good Kitchen.

Lemon Brownie Bars by Wicked Good Kitchen

I loved hand pies when I was a little girl, but I’m pretty sure lemon filling would be a new one for me.  These Mini Lemon Hand Pies from Lemons for Lulu made my must-try list.

Mini Lemon Hand Pies by Lemons for Lulu

If you’re never had lemon curd on a scone, you’ve got to try this Homemade Lemon Curd recipe from Sewlicious Home Décor.  Yum.

Lemon Curd by Sewlicious Home Decor

If you have any left over after the scones are gone, this recipe for Lemon Meringue Fudge from Torie Jayne would be the perfect way to use it up.

Lemon Meringue Fudge by Torie Jayne

If you need a quick but impressive dessert, you might want to check out these Three Ingredient Lemon Cheesecake Truffles from Tatertots and Jello.

Three Ingredient Lemon Cheescake Truffles by Tatertots and Jello

How about some strawberries thrown in?  This No Bake Strawberry Lemon Cookie Pie from Life Love and Sugar looks delicious.

No Bake Strawberry Lemon Cookie Pie by Life Love and Sugar

You don’t have to eat lemons to have fun with them.  Try these unique Lemon Peel Flowers from The Daily Squeeze.

Lemon Peel Flowers on The Daily Squeeze

Don’t throw away that juice from the inside!  Instead, make Invisible Ink with Minieco.

Invisible Ink by Minie Co

Lemon is just the smell of clean, making it the perfect flavor for this Homemade Lemon Soap from A Pumpkin and a Princess.

Homemade Lemon Soap by A Pumpkin and a Princess

If you like to carry your lemons, then this Citrus Wedge Coin Purse from Delia Creates is for you.

Citrus Wedge Coin Purse by Delia Creates

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Pineapple Carrot Upside-Down Cake

The recipe I’m about to share with you is not fat-free.  It isn’t gluten-free, dairy-free or egg-free.  It will not fit into a paleo diet, nor one based on avoiding canned food.  It is not vegan or sugarless.  However, it is delicious, and as long as you’re not restricted by any of the above, I highly recommend you indulge in it at least once.

This cake is dense and sweet, so a little goes a long way.  The carrots and pineapple are tasty together.  When you taste it hot out of the oven and think it can’t get any better, let it sit for a few hours and think again.  I think this will be repeated as our Easter dessert.  I just need to find a can with 11 pineapple rings in it.

Pineapple Carrot Upside Down Cake - Crafty Staci 1

Pineapple Carrot Upside-Down Cake

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple slices
  • 10 – 12 maraschino cherries
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups finely shredded carrots

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the 1/3 cup of butter in a 12” oven-safe skillet.  Sprinkle the 3/4 cup of brown sugar over the butter.  Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice.  Arrange the pineapple slices on top of the brown sugar, adding a cherry to the center of each.

Pineapple Carrot Upside Down Cake - Crafty Staci 2

Combine the remaining butter and sugars in a mixing bowl.  Add milk, pineapple juice and egg.  Mix well.  Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mix on low for 30 seconds to combine, then on high for one minute.  Fold in the shredded carrots.  Pour into the skillet over the pineapple.

Pineapple Carrot Upside Down Cake - Crafty Staci 3

Bake 45 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Immediately flip the skillet over onto a heat-proof plate.  Strong muscles help for this step.

Pineapple Carrot Upside Down Cake - Crafty Staci 4

Leave the skillet in place for a few minutes.

Pineapple Carrot Upside Down Cake - Crafty Staci 5

Remove the skillet, slice and serve.

Pineapple Carrot Upside Down Cake - Crafty Staci 6

I think some coconut would make this even better, but not everyone in my house agrees.  It wasn’t exactly difficult to get anyone to eat it just the way it is.

Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix

Just in case you’re looking for one last sweet treat to add to your holiday, I thought I’d share with you a recipe I made last week, which was inspired by recipes at A Pumpkin and a Princess and Daily Dish Recipes.  Even my son, who isn’t a big peppermint fan, loved it.  The big batch I made did NOT last long at all. 

Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix - Crafty Staci 1

Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix

7 cups rice and corn Chex cereal

1 1/2 cups vanilla chips or melts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

6 large candy canes

1 cup white peppermint M & M’s

Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix - Crafty Staci 2

Using a food processor, crush the candy canes to a powder.  Who thinks this is going to sound like a bag of hammers in a garbage disposal?  That doesn’t even cover it.  I should have worn ear protection.

Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix - Crafty Staci 3

Combine the candy canes and powdered sugar in a large ziplock bag and set aside.

Melt the vanilla chips in the microwave or a double boiler.  Stir in the peppermint extract.  Pour over the cereal in a large bowl and gently stir until coated.  Add to the ziplock bag and shake until coated.  Stir in the M & M’s.

Peppermint Vanilla Chex Mix - Crafty Staci 4

Are you done with your Christmas baking?  Yeah, not me!

Friday Favorites–Copycat Treats

This week’s selections were inspired by my attempt at something I saw on…wait for it…Pinterest.  I just couldn’t believe you could mix two things together, coat it in chocolate and come out on the other side with a Butterfinger, so I had to try it.

There are many variations of this recipe out there, but I liked the lazy easy way that Cookies and Cups went with Butterfinger Bark, made even lazier by me by only spreading the chocolate on top.  I have a bruise on my hand from cutting it, I may be missing a filling or two, but it’s definitely tasty and does have a Butterfingeresque quality.  The secret is candy corn!  Shh!

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This Clone of a Cinnabon from AllRecipes user Marsha Fernandez is another recipe I’ve actually tried.  We were snowed in on Christmas a couple of years ago, so I hadn’t been able to get to the store to get frozen cinnamon rolls like I usually do.  These really do taste just like a Cinnabon, which is all kinds of dangerous!

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I always have a tin of Cinnamon Altoids in my car.  I might try making my own, like these from Instructables user scoochmaroo.  I could have any flavor they make in flavored oil, but mine would probably still be cinnamon.

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I could have drank chocolate milk every day when I was a kid, if it had been allowed.  Now, not drinking it often is a choice, but I’d love to try this Homemade Nesquik from Sugar Bananas.

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I’ve only had Cow Tales once or twice in my life, and it’s been so long I don’t remember exactly what they taste like.  But according to this recipe from Sprinkle Bakes, it’s caramel with cream filling, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Sprinkle Bakes Homemade Cow Tales 7

Cookies and Cups again, this time with Homemade Nutter Butters.  How did she get these to look so perfectly like store-bought?  Mine would probably be a little wonky.

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My daughter went on a Goldfish cracker bender for a couple of years.  I think she finally burned herself out, fortunately before Costco ran out.  Once she falls off the wagon, we might have to try making our own with this recipe from missamy on Tasty Kitchen.

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Not only are these Homemade Pixie Sticks from Amanda’s Parties To Go really cute, but it sounds like they’re healthier than the originals.

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This isn’t so much a recipe for Homemade Peanut Butter Twix from Life in a Peanut Shell, as it is a suggested method you could make them, which is really all you need.

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I lost a tooth once in a Tootsie Roll.  It was a baby tooth, and needed to pop out, but it was still a little traumatic.  Like candy had turned on me.  I’m probably mostly over it now, and I’ll bet these Homemade Tootsie Rolls from Paula Deen taste better than the originals.

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I have to go see if there’s any Butterfinger Bark left in the kitchen.