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Do you love Starbucks Petite Vanilla Scones? Well, you’re in luck! This is a Copycat Petite Vanilla Scone, even better than the original!

Copycat Petite Vanilla Scones are just like that scone recipe at Starbucks but they’re better because they’re made at home. This is the best scone recipe because it’s made with pudding mix – the scones are pillowy soft and stay soft for days. The flavor of these scones is amazing!

Mel and I have had a ritual almost as long as our relationship: we love to walk to Starbucks on Sunday mornings, have coffee, and read the paper. It still is one of my favorite things to do on the weekend, although it’s fewer and far between. Life gets in the way too much!

I’ll never forget one walk back in 2001. We were newlyweds, and it was about a mile to the Starbucks. On our way, there was one of those trailers the cops set up to track your speed, you know, to tell you how fast you’re going.

It was probably no later than 8am on a Sunday morning, so it was totally dead outside. Mel took off running at a sprint to see if it would clock his speed. I think it said 10 mph or something. To this day, every time  I see one of those road things, I think of that morning.

For several years our walks included Jordan and no newspaper reading because dealing with a toddler is hard enough without trying to read the paper. Then we added Ginger and had fun watching her try to eat the crumbs from our breakfast. Now our Sunday morning ritual usually is just Mel and I and Abby, because Jordan is either sleeping in (she’s a teenager now and is rarely up before 9 or 10) or she’s at a sleepover and we’re alone. It’s weird to be at Starbucks and be able to read the newspaper again!

When Jordan was little, we always got her a petite vanilla scone on our Starbucks Sundays, and now that’s my indulgence. I love all the petite treats they make, because it makes me feel better to eat one. Plus, when Jordan was 3, it was a perfect size for her. Jordan loves those petite vanilla scones…and so did Ginger. Abby just sees a Starbucks cup and hopes it’s her Puppuchino.

I’m a little scone obsessed, ever since I made Lemon Scones and  Funfetti Chip Cake Batter Scones. I’m also obsessed with Starbucks Copycats ever since I made those Blueberry Crumb Muffins. These Petite Vanilla Scones are just another addition to my favorite breakfast recipes. They’re perfect for Sunday brunch or any day you want a homemade scone!

Copycat Petite Vanilla Scones are homemade and stay soft for days. They’re better then the recipe from Starbucks!

I wanted to make a scone version from scratch – without the cake mix. But I’m always so worried that a from-scratch scone will be dry. I’ve had dry scones and they aren’t good! So I did what I always do to keep a baked good soft:

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Just 4 ingredients in this EASY Meatball Casserole recipe! It’s on the table in under 30 minutes and is the perfect weeknight meal!

If you are looking for a recipe with a short prep time that’s perfect to feed a big family or take to a friend, this is the dinner for you.

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When I was describing this dish to a friend she told me, “Oh yeah, we call those dinners Stupid Easy Meals because they’re so easy it’s almost silly to call them a recipe!” Sometimes, this kind of a meal is something you need, right?

When your day has you craving comfort food.

When you are rushed for time or have leftover pasta.

When you’re making a casserole for a crowd, or for when a friend needs a meal.

This easy Meatball Casserole recipe is perfect for any and all of those times. With just 4 ingredients you can make this recipe from scratch or semi-homemade. It feeds a lot of people and tastes SO GOOD!

Stupid Easy just because Genius Easy, if you ask me!

An Easy Meatball Casserole is a simple dump and bake dinner recipe with just 4 ingredients!

I made this casserole times two for two friends who needed meals. Bringing a meal to a friend is the least I can do in hard times, and I want what I bring to last, and even maybe be freezable. That’s another great thing about this dish: I freeze leftovers. (YES, you can freeze pasta! I do it all the time.)

Also, if you’ve been working a long day and then need to feed your daughter and her friends and all their friends, this is a great dump and bake meatball casserole recipe.

And all that cheese on top…heaven.

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Fruity Pebble Krispie Treats are the best kind of marshmallow cereal treat! Made with fruity pebbles and lots of marshmallows this recipe is gooey and sweet and the perfect rainbow treat!

If you love Rice Krispies or Pebbles cereals, these easy Krispie treats are perfect for you. I can’t ever get enough Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles, so I love making these with all my favorite cereal flavors!

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I thought these fun and pretty cereal treats would be a good way to celebrate this week. Why? Because Jordan, my baby, turns 13 tomorrow! Somehow I went from a little baby to a 5-year-old to a teenager. (Honestly, I don’t know what’s worse: having a teenager or knowing I’m old enough to have a teenager…)

As hard as this new stage of parenting has become (and as hard as it will get over the next few years), I love watching Jordan grow up. Every age is my favorite, but I love having her be older and like gossip and Riverdale and shopping. I just have to remind myself when she’s talking to me like I know nothing that I love having her as a Starbucks buddy. She really is one of my best friends, and I cannot wait to see what the next few years bring us.

(I know what the next few years are going to bring me: lots of wine to cope.)

I post every year for Jordan’s birthday. Until recently, her favorite dessert for me to make was something Chocolate Mint related. After all, February 19 is National Chocolate Mint Day so when it be came her favorite dessert it was kind of fitting. I’ve made her Chocolate Mint Poke Cake, a Mint Chocolate Chip Cake Roll, and Mint Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes for past birthdays. Most recently, she’s fallen in love with Elmer’s Brown Sugar Pecan Pie, which is what she asked for last year and again this year for her birthday treat. (And HE has to make it. I’m not allowed to.)

The only other thing Jordan loves more than that pie is cereal. She’s obsessed with cereal; she’d eat it for every meal if I let her. Honey Nut Cheerios are what I make her eat for normal breakfasts because it’s sweet but not as bad for you as her favorites: Capt’n Crunch and Fruity Pebbles.

That’s why I decided that Fruity Pebble Krispie Treats were what I should make for her birthday post this year. Happy 13th my sweet girl!

If I’m being totally honest, plain old Rice Krispie Treats are not something I’d choose for dessert. If you add Butterfingers, then I’m more likely to say yes, but I still prefer pie. However, I do have a Pebbles Cereal addiction. I’ve made a few recipes with Fruity Pebbles: muffins and cookies, as well as a no bake dessert with Cocoa Pebbles and cookies with Cinnamon Pebbles. Basically, I like the cereal, a lot, but I’ve never made cereal treats with them, until now.

That was a diet mistake, guys. Just forewarning you. Don’t make these if you’re dieting, unless you’re serving them at a party or giving them away. Because I’m pretty sure 1/9 of the recipe is NOT a serving and NOT on WW.

However, Jordan’s face lit up when she saw these, making me realize that I was spot on for what I should post for her birthday. Plus, there was leftover cereal that she got to eat for breakfast…and snack…and dessert.

That girl is just like her mama, what can I say?

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Easy Egg Muffins are the perfect breakfast recipe! These are accidentally dairy-free and full of bacon and peppers. They freeze easy too, making breakfast easy for busy mornings.

Not only are these egg muffins easy to make and easy to change up with any ingredients you like, but thanks to the sponsorship of Almond Breeze, they’re dairy-free too!

I’ve talked about this before, but breakfast is always an issue in my house. As Jordan gets older it just gets worse: she’s now a teenager and sleeps like one, regularly staying up too late and sleeping in and hating when the alarm goes off. She’s often not hungry in the morning anymore and just eats to eat but not anything good (and not enough to keep her going until break).

Breakfast is always a problem for me too; I’m not hungry before 8am and that’s when I have to leave to take Jordan to school. I work out right after drop and I have to have something in my stomach to get through a good workout. I usually cook a scrambled egg mixed with some egg whites every morning but that gets old fast. Sometimes I just wish I had a grab-and-go egg that I can heat and eat so I don’t have to whisk and cook and wash a pan.

That’s where these Easy Egg Muffins come in: they’re fast and easy and you can freeze them for when you want them. Plus they taste delicious and only have about 58 calories (or 1 Weight Watchers SP on Freestyle) per muffin. That means I can eat two!

I’ve made egg muffins before but never like this, and I think my recipe makes a difference. I use eggs, of course, and Almond Breeze almondmilk to fluff them. Then I like to add a bit of flour and baking soda, reminiscent of my cheesy chile egg bake to make them more fluffy. Top them off with some spices and add-ins and you have the perfect easy breakfast recipe.

Making these with bacon and green bell pepper satisfies my morning cravings, but you can add any veggies and/or meat that you want. I think my daughter would love if I used breakfast sausage crumbles and I know my husband would love it if I added some cooked asparagus or mushrooms. You can even add cheese if you want, but I found I didn’t even need it. Cheese is kind of a no-no for me right now because I’m trying to stick to my WW points and cheese just uses up too many of them!

I can totally see using these egg muffins to make a homemade breakfast sandwich with an English muffin. I have a friend who makes her egg muffins with hash browns – that would be so good too!

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My Mom’s Clam Chowder Soup Recipe is the BEST ONE you’ll ever eat. This New England Clam Chowder is creamy and full of clams and potatoes and delicious flavor.

I regularly crave this calm chowder and my craving doesn’t go away until I make it. I hope you love it just as much!

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Okay, so the title is a little misleading: this is my Mom’s recipe, but not originally. I was going to call it “Teacher Darlene’s Clam Chowder Soup Recipe” but that doesn’t roll off the tongue like “Mom’s” does.

When I was about 7 or 8 years old I started taking tap dancing lessons. My mom surprised me with them: I arrived at the studio and all my friends were there. My 3 besties were all with me and those were the best evenings. We’d tap our hearts out for 45 minutes and then do a fun 15 minute closing of gymnastics or jazz dance, and then all of us and our moms would go to Taco Bell for dinner.

Our teacher’s name was Darlene. I don’t remember a lot about her but I know I really liked her. We danced in a tiny room at a ballet studio and our moms sat and watched and gabbed as we danced. At some point in our 2 year tenure, we must have gotten together with Darlene outside of class and had the soup, or maybe my mom just happened to be randomly talking to her about clam chowder and she gave her this recipe.

My mom would make this on special occasions yearly after that; it was always a staple in our recipe box. I absolutely love clam chowder – it’s my favorite soup – but this one compares to no other clam chowder soup I’ve ever had. It’s seriously the best clam chowder recipe, and I’ve tried them all.

I was super picky as a kid but I would eat clams. (Weird, right?) Clam chowder has always been my favorite soup, it’s the only soup I’ll order at a restaurant and the only soup I’ll eat out of a can. Throughout my life I have regularly been able to smell and taste the memory of this soup, and once that happens I have to make it or the craving won’t go away.

As an adult I can put words to the feeling I couldn’t as a kid: the flavor of this recipe is three-dimensional. It’s kind of an abstract concept, I know, but it’s true. Once you taste it and compare it to other recipes, you’ll realize this one is so much more full and well rounded. There are a few reasons for that, and we’ll go through why in a minute. Just know that once you taste my Mom’s Clam Chowder Soup recipe, you’ll never think another soup is as good ever again.

I mean, I’m basically proclaiming this the best clam chowder recipe in the world, no biggie.

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Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake Cake – this decadent cake recipe combines homemade red velvet cake with a cheesecake layer, chocolate cream cheese frosting, and OREOS!

Basically, this cheesecake cake recipe is pure heaven!

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Do you get my newsletter? I send it every Saturday morning full of recipe ideas, my favorite things, and some insider tidbits into my life (and usually a photo of Abby or three). If you do get my newsletter, thank you for subscribing.

This past weekend I talked about some of my favorite things for Valentine’s Day, but I also told a story about a message I got from a former student. If you didn’t know, I was a high school math teacher back in the early 2000s, before Jordan was born. I taught about 5 years, my time split between Burlingame High School outside San Francisco and Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

(Sometimes I think about the fact that my students are now all in their late 20s and early 30s and I wonder how I got so old.)

Anyway, long story short, you should go read my newsletter for the whole story, but a former Saguaro HS student wrote me and thanked me for my influence on him. It totally made my week, and it made me realize we should all do that sort of thing once in awhile: make someone feel good about themselves.

That’s why I paid it forward and reached out to my blogging inspiration over the weekend: Bakerella. She started me on this blog journey with her writing and her love of desserts, and her red velvet cake.

Basically, if it wasn’t for her, you wouldn’t be reading this right now and I wouldn’t know how to make red velvet cake. You should probably go thank her.

Over the years I’ve made and changed and adapted and altered her recipe to fit so many different red velvet desserts: red velvet cheesecake cupcakes, red velvet cake roll, red velvet blondies, and so many more.

This OREO Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake is no exception. It’s like the marriage of these Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars, my cheesecake cupcakes, and my Oreo cheesecake. This is a red velvet cake with a cheesecake layer on top. The red velvet cake is from scratch and the cheesecake is full of OREO cookies! Then I whipped up a chocolate cream cheese frosting for the top.

Have you ever combined Oreos and Red Velvet before? It’s totally a thing. I have friends who have made Oreo Red Velvet Cupcakes or Red Velvet Cake with Oreo frosting. You could even make Red Velvet Cookies and stuff Oreos inside!

I know this cheesecake cake looks hard, but it’s so much easier than all those other cheesecake cake recipes out there. For one thing, it’s all made in one pan. It’s baked as one thing, almost like the cheesecake has a red velvet cake crust. This is a red velvet cake with a cheesecake layer baked in.

And, um, don’t forget the OREOS!!

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These are the BEST Turkey Meatballs ever! An easy homemade meatball recipe, they’re always juicy and perfect. You can make these meatballs in sauce or in the oven. No matter what, they’re great on pasta or just by themselves.

If you hurry, you can probably make these for dinner tonight.

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I’m really trying to bring you more dinner recipes. Are you enjoying them? So far, most of the meals I’ve shared are family recipes; ones that are tried and true and we’ve been eating for years. My pizza crust and pizza sauce, penne pasta, and macaroni and cheese. Those are all regular recipes in my dinner rotation and have been for 10+ years. Another recipe I’ve been making forever that I couldn’t wait to share: Turkey Meatballs!

Meatballs are a staple in my house. Whether I’m pulling them from the freezer (to make subs) or making them from scratch, we have them at least once a month. While I love a good frozen meatball, my favorite ones are made from scratch. I like to make a double batch and bake these meatballs to freeze; that way I can have a quick lunch or dinner anytime.

On weekends when I do my big batch cooking, I always lend towards Italian: pasta, sauce, and meatballs. My mom is Italian and even though we never had those huge Sunday-Sauce dinners, I think I inherited them by osmosis.

Regular homemade meatballs are made with beef and/or pork, but I like to use turkey. We try to limit the amount of red meat we eat (if I’m going red I’m gonna eat steak) so I invest in lots of ground turkey every time I go to Sam’s or Costco. At any given time I have several pounds of frozen ground turkey meat in my freezer, perfect for tacos, burgers, or meatballs.

Turkey meatballs are an easy dinner recipe, either baked or made in sauce!

When I first started making my own turkey meatballs and burgers, they’d often turn out dry. Then I started watching Food Network and reading cookbooks from Rachael Ray and Giada and I discovered the keys to making ground turkey not only flavorful but also juicy and perfect every single time.

It took me a few tries to perfect this turkey meatball recipe a few years back, but I’ve been making them ever since. I kind of married the tips from watching old episodes of 30 minute Meals and reading Giada’s book, Everyday Italian. That’s how these meatballs were born.

So, you want to know the secrets to the best turkey meatballs right? Okay, here goes:

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These Easy Red Velvet Cookies start with a cake mix. They’re gooey, soft, and chewy and the perfect cookie recipe for Valentine’s Day or any day you want red velvet cookies. The pretty sprinkles and candy just makes them even better!

Everything is better with candy and sprinkles, don’t you agree?

I guess I’m on a Valentine’s Day kick…or a holiday M&M’s kick. Two cookie posts in a row…that’s probably a record. I usually don’t like to bunch up recipes like this but last week I was trying to pull together a post for today and then I ended up with that gross cold going around. There was no way I was baking or cooking…and then I found these photos on my computer and was like OMG it’s a miracle.

I’ve been going through old photos and organizing things lately and I have to admit: I’ve found several recipes I made and never posted! They run the gamut from cookies to bars to no-bake to dinner. I have lots of SQUIRREL! moments when I’m creating recipes for this site: I have a recipe ready to go and then I get another idea and another and another….etc.

Anyway, thank goodness I had these Red Velvet Cookies ready for you, and they’re even dressed up for Valentine’s Day! Now, of course, you could make these for any holiday with any color M&M’s, but I love making red velvet for Valentine’s Day. The only reason I like V-Day is because of all the red and pink decorations. (And YES, red and pink go together.)

When you’re making cookies for a holiday, they need to be EASY, which is why these cookies are the perfect recipe. They start with a cake mix, and with my easy recipe you’ll get gooey, soft, and chewy cookies that will make you wonder why you ever made cookies NOT from a cake mix.

See how gooey they are inside?? I absolutely love cake mix cookies. Besides the fact that I don’t have to measure sugar and flour, they turn out perfect every time with this recipe (no matter what cake mix you’re using).

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Fruity Vodka Party Punch is the perfect cocktail recipe for a party! This drink is full of lemonade and fruit punch, rum, and vodka and is the perfect easy punch recipe.

There’s just something about a red fruit punch drink that makes me think tropical or fun…and it makes every party just that much better.

I don’t know about you guys but when there is a party I always head for the punch. There’s something almost wistful about a bright red fun and fruity punch recipe, isn’t there?  I just love all the flavors. When I was a kid I used to equate fruit punch with actual fruit, and I got plenty of servings every day. Somehow I don’t think fruit punch is what the surgeon general was thinking when he said we should eat 4 fruits a day, but I did it anyway.

As an adult I like my punch with a little kick, if you get my drift. It’s even better if the punch tastes like fruit and sweetness and not like vodka…although that’s not always better. It feels better in the moment but most certainly not the next day!

Are you doing anything for the Super Bowl this weekend? I will be hoping a few of my friends come over and help me hide in the living room. Mel will be in the family room where no one will be allowed to move or talk. He *might* let us in there for halftime, but no promises.

Even if you’re not celebrating the last football game of the season, this Fruity Vodka Party Punch is the perfect cocktail punch recipe for any party. I can see serving this at baby and bridal showers, the 4th of July, and any spring or summer gather where you want a drink recipe that will serve a lot of people.

This recipe is an easy party in your glass, made with vodka and rum. I used fruit punch and lemonade as the juice and club soda, to give it fizz. You could also make this punch with Sprite or Diet 7Up if you want, or even Ginger Ale. I love doing it with club soda because then there is no added sweetness. (La Croix is a good substitute, like I did in my Strawberry Lime Punch recipe.) As I get older I don’t like super sweet drinks as much, so I tend to add sparkling water instead of sugary or diet soda.

Adding fruit to the pitcher is a nice touch for garnish, although if you’re serving this in a punchbowl you could definitely add sherbet for a traditional punch recipe.

The bright red color of this punch is so festive, it’s perfect for any occasion!

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