A Great Pie Taste-Testing! / $50 to Williams-Sonoma

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mrs. Smith’s. All opinions are 100% mine.


Say “I” if you love pie!  And if you love free money, you can put some whip cream on top of that! This should be a fun post for you.
Recently, Mrs. Smith’s asked us to try their new Mrs. Smith’s Signature Deep Dish pies, and also sent us a sweet prize to give away too.

$50 to spend at Williams-Sonoma!

I’m actually one to bake my pies from scratch. But in a crunch, Mrs. Smith’s is my store-bought pie to fall back on!… Read More

Pumpkin Shaped Cookies

It’s the first day of November, and we’re still riding high on the beauty of Autumn all around us! I think we’ve done more baking than ever this year as well.  I had an idea about trying to make some pumpkin shaped cookies, using a dough recipe I already had, and they came out so great!  These are beautiful cookies to have around on Thanksgiving, or anytime during the pumpkin/Autumn season, and they were fun to make, too.  It may seem like a lot of steps, but it is easy, and the dough recipe itself is very useful!

The dough is the same recipe from my God-Mother’s Italian cookies, found here in a post called Cookie Love.  It’s a very I am going to give you the recipe right here as well, but you really can see how it is made at the other post.  *Please note; you can mix the ingredients to make dough with a Kitchen Aid Mixer, but we did not have one at the time of the other post, so we did it by hand.… Read More

Recipe for Apple Pie Pops

 If you only knew the recipes I see in a day, a week, a month – that I have every intention of making!  I get to really making some, but most not, simply because there is really only so much time in a day, and so much food we can eat in it!  Granted some (little) people (my kids and husband), eat way more than others (myself.)  I actually am one of those with big eyes. I can be starving, and then eat 2 crackers, and I’m good. My kids cannot believe how little I eat. I just get full easy.… Read More

A Surprise, That Was a Piece of Cake!

Our biggest girl, Alexis, had a birthday on July 5th.  She turned 15! There is so much I could tell you, about how special this girl is. Especially given her age. But I’ll save that brag for another time.  For now, I’ll just share 2 things that I want to say about her turning 15:  1) The teen-years horror stories I have been repeatedly been told to expect?  They haven’t hit yet.  2) In many ways, she seems so much older, than just 15. And not just because she is way taller and bigger than her Mama.

Her birthday held one tradition that all of her others have .… Read More

Granola Goodness

We love granola around here!  It’s such a good and wholesome snack, handful after handful, with CrUnCh!  (Oh, how I love crunch.)  It’s really a great way to start your day off right too, in the morning!  Throw some in a bowl with a few splashes of cold milk, or load it on top of a serving of yogurt!

Unfortunately, it’s next to impossible to find ‘peanut-safe’ granola at the markets.  Added to the allergies now, is cashews and pistachios. Even small amounts of granola are kind of pricey to buy, ready-made, anyway.  So, if we want granola (and we do!), it’s up to us to make it homemade.  But we don’t mind, because it’s easy and fun to make, and we can make BIG batches.Read More

Valentine Ladybug Mint Cookies


These adorable Ladybug Cookies I came up with, come right in time for Valentine’s Day, and I promise you, they couldn’t be easier to make! (There’s not even baking involved!) I think you are going to love what they are made with, too!  (You know…besides LOVE.)  I’m talking ingredients.  These cookies are also a sweet idea for a little girl’s birthday party, or to send in with your kids to school, to share with their class.  You’ll look so clever. (You don’t have to tell a soul it was my idea. ; )

Does the word fondant scare you?  Ever heard of the stuff?Read More

Delightful Cranberry Muffins


     The rest of my family loves anything made with cranberries. But loving these muffins came as a big surprise to me, the first time my daughter made them.  Reason being, I personally have never cared much for cranberry bread of any kind.  I figured, it was cranberries, period, that I didn’t like. And between you and me, that felt a little wrong, and perhaps a bit of info I should keep to myself, living in an area simply surrounded by cranberry bogs, and in the town that until fairly recently) was the home of Ocean Spray Cranberry World.  You’ll also never hear me say “Pass the cranberry sauce” at the Thanksgiving table, either.Read More

Betty’s Apple Crisp

Many delightful plans come to mind, with the first inkling of Autumn in the air, and this year has been no different for us.  Baking is one of them, and at the top of that list, is always Apple Crisp! (With a scoop or 2 of vanilla ice cream, please!)

I admit, we are not above some Apple Crisp topping-help from a box. We’ve done that, and enjoy it! But this year, my friend Betty offered us her simple home made recipe for Apple Crisp.  Betty is an awesome fellow photographer in Northern Virginia, Air Force wife, and inspiring Mama to 3.  I took her Apple Crisp recipe (and another I’ll be getting to soon as well) with a smile, and thanked her.Read More

Josh's Double Chocolate Biscotti

Josh’s Double Chocolate Biscotti


Definition of BISCOTTO: a crisp cookie or biscuit of Italian origin that is flavored usually with anise and filberts or almonds —usually used in plural
A good friend of ours baked our family these biscottis, and we enjoyed them so much, we asked him for the recipe. (So we could have some more!).  He very kindly sent the recipe to us, and he also suggested it as a Vittles post.  We thought it was a great idea!  It’s just not nice not to share, Italian cookies this good.

Info:  Prep: 30 minutes     Bake: 35 minutes

Oven: 400 degrees F

Cool: 1 hour     Makes: about 48 cookies.Read More

Earth Day Cupcakes

There are times that the things we creatively do as a family, or the ideas we have, happen ON a holiday or special calendar day. So naturally they do not get blogged until after the fact.  Since we like our readers to have the opportunity to take our ideas and find creative inspiration from them, or flat out borrow the ideas, I like to try and share (or re-share) those ideas the following year, so that you all can have time to use them if you’d like, while that day is upcoming once again.

Here in the Vittles section, I thought it would be nice to (re-) share just the photos of the Earth Day Cupcakes that we had so much fun making with the kids last year, on Earth Day following our neighborhood and beach clean-up we did.   For any new readers, if you’d like to visit our family’s Earth Day 2010 blog post, you can do so HERE.Read More

Quick, Easy & Hearty Chicken Pot Pie


Not much says a down-home-cooked meal, like a homemade Chicken Pot Pie!  Growing up, my mom always bought those little individual frozen pot pies, in either chicken or beef.  And guess what?  I loved them! She was not all that into cooking, as I’ve said, so I don’t think I had very discerning taste as a kid.

When I grew up and started my own family, those little frozen pot pies always sounded good, but I found the actual experience of eating them, was less than satisfying.  I found the little meat bits in those pies….suspicious.  I also found the individual pies way too expensive for the size of our family.Read More

Homemade Bread & Pizza Dough Recipe / "This is the Way We Make Our Bread."

Once upon a time, my ‘Fine Bread Maker’, made all of his bread and pizza dough by hand.

But now we have THE MACHINE….

(…thanks to the huge heart, of a great friend….you may have heard that story I love to tell…).

The recipes are the same as they always were.  They are just a whole lot easier, and a lot less messy now!  The difference between the bread recipe and the pizza dough is minimal, but important.  So let’s take a look at the easy steps, so you too can fill your home with that aroma of a Fresh Bakery Heaven.… Read More