Must Read Books In 2015

Over Christmas break I finally got to catch up on some leisurely reading.  These books were some of my favorites.  You must read these in 2015 if you have not yet.

must reads in 2015

It was me all along – I loved every word in this book.  Andie is such an inspiration.  If you read one book this year make sure it is this one.

One Thousand Gifts – This book is beautifully written.  Now I know why it was so wildly popular.  It truly makes you so grateful for everything.

What I know for sure- I never wanted this book to end.  It was so fun to read.  There were parts that were lighthearted, carefree, sad, hilarious and serious.  It was a great book to start the New Year reading.

Invention of Wings- Anything by Sue Monk Kidd is sure to make my must read list.  A wonderful novel.




I received  It was Me all Along from Crown Publishing to review.  I was not compensated for any of the other books.

Lemon Sugar Cookies with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

These cookies are light and refreshing with a hit of richness.  The lemon adds a wonderful flavor to this classic sugar cookie recipe.  Don’t you dare leave out the lemon zest.  The little flakes of lemon zest adds flavor and vibrant yellow flakes that sprinkle throughout the cookies.  Strawberry cream cheese frosting is the way to go.  The strawberry jam adds a beautiful light pink hue.

lemon Sugar cookies strawberry icing petitfoodie

These cookies are the perfect touch for Valentine’s Day.  Ava took a few of these cookies last week in her lunch and came home saying all her friends were dying to have one.  She had to sneak bites by the end of the week because everyone wanted her share.

lemon sugar cookies

I guess I know what her class will be getting for their Valentine’s Day party.  :)

lemon sugar cookies strawberry frosting

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1.5 dozen
  • 1 C butter, softened
  • ¾ C granulated Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • {frosting}
  • 4 T cream cheese, softened
  • 3 T butter, softened
  • 2 T strawberry jam, room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 ½ C powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350*.
  2. In a large bowl beat together butter and sugar until creamed.
  3. Add in egg , lemon and lemon zest and beat until combine.
  4. Slowly add in baking powder, salt and add flour 1 C at time until combine.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 20 minutes.
  6. On a well floured surface roll dough out and cut desired shapes out and place on the cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile beat together cream cheese, butter, strawberry jam, powdered sugar and salt.
  9. Frost cooled cookies and top with sprinkles.


Chicken Spinach Salad

Need a delicious salad to brighten up your winter days?  This vibrant spinach salad is not only super healthy but so filling and delicious.

chicken spinach salad

I haven’t always been a spinach fan.  It’s something that I have taught myself to like.  The texture used to really put me off.  But the more times I tried the better I liked it.  I hear so many people say I don’t like this vegetable or that vegetable.  I cringe every time I hear it.  Sometimes you just have to teach your taste buds to like new vegetables.  Just like you teach your children sometimes you have to teach yourself to keep trying and soon you will grow to enjoy vegetables that are loaded with nutrients and give you variety.

chicken spinach salad

I love this salad because its full of a variety of textures and tastes.  The cabbage is important because it adds a great crunch and balances out the sweetness of the apple, tomatoes and red pepper.

chkn spinach salad petitfoodie

Use your favorite balsamic vinaigrette to top this salad off.  My mom sent me this luscious balsamic vinegar from Branch & Vine that I pair with a rich olive oil.  It’s so simple, sweet and adds the perfect touch to this salad.

Chicken Spinach Salad
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2 salads
  • 2 C spinach
  • 1 C roasted chicken
  • ½ C cabbage
  • ½ whole apple, sliced
  • 2 T pecans, chopped
  • 2 T tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 T red pepper, chopped
  • 4 T balsamic vinaigrette
  1. In two salad bowls add 1 C spinach, ½ c roasted chicken, ¼ C cabbage, ¼ apple, 1 T pecans, 1 T tomatoes, 1 T red pepper.
  2. Top each bowl with 2 T balsamic vinaigrette.


Quinoa Granola

Yogurt and granola has always been my go to breakfast.  It is fast, portable and always keeps me full until lunch.

quinoa granola

There are a million varieties of granola out there.  But this one happens to be one of my favorites, a close second to this Coconut Lime Granola.  I love that the oats and quinoa are coated with this luscious blanket of honey and peanut butter.  It’s hearty and so delicious.

Store-bought granolas can be convenient.  But the tiff I have with them is that they are very expensive and way too sweet for my liking.  I adore making my own granolas because I can control the sweetness and I like to choose the ad-ins.  The possibilities are endless and you can use whatever you have on hand.  Affordable and tasty-just the way I like it.

quinoa granola

If you’ve got a hectic week planned I highly suggest you make this quinoa granola to keep you going.

Quinoa Granola
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3 Cups
  • ¼ C honey
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • ⅓ C chunky peanut butter
  • ¼ C coconut oil
  • 1 C pecans, chopped
  • 1 C craisins
  • 2 C oats
  • ¼ C uncooked red quinoa
  • 2 T ground flax meal
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven 350*. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small sauce combine honey, maple syrup, coconut oil and peanut butter over low heat.
  3. Stir until smooth.
  4. In a medium bowl combine oats, pecans, craisins, quinoa, flax meal and salt.
  5. Once wet mixture is smooth pour into the dry mixture.
  6. Stir until evenly coated.
  7. Pour oat mixture onto the cookie sheet and press firmly down until mixture is evenly spread out.
  8. Bake 20 minutes. Stirring and checking every 5 minutes. Watch closely as granola will burn easily.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool. Break up granola and place in resealable bag or container.


Lemon Blueberry Bread

I started the year off with a delicious and moist lemon blueberry bread.  This is one of those go-to classic recipes.  A solid recipe that can be used for any occasion and you probably have most of the ingredients on hand.

lemon blueberry bread

The colors of the lemon and blueberries that make this bread so vibrant have me longing for spring already.


If you are looking for a way to get your kiddos loving blueberries this refreshing lemon blueberry bread is sure to reel them in.  The sweet lemon glaze on top adds a thin crunchy crust and sweetness to get the taste buds percolating.

lemon blueberry bread ii

This is one recipe that will have a permanent place in your recipe box.

Lemon Blueberry Bread
  • ⅓ C coconut oil, melted
  • ¾ C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 ½ C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 C blueberries
  • ½ C milk
  • Glaze
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 3 T lemon Juice
  • ½ C powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl beat together coconut oil, sugar, eggs and lemon juice.
  3. In spate bowl combine flour, baking powdering and salt.
  4. Slowly add in ½ flour mixture to wet mixture.
  5. Add in ¼ C milk and combine.
  6. Add in remaining flour mixture and milk.
  7. Beat until just combine.
  8. Fold in blueberries.
  9. Pour mixture into loaf pan.
  10. Bake 1 hour.
  11. Remove from oven.
  12. Whisk together zest, lemon juice and powdered sugar.
  13. Pour glaze over cooled loaf.


Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Rolls

These Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Rolls are a must to start the New Year.  Bursting with tangy and sweet flavor they are sure to liven up your New Year’s morning.

cranberry orange cinnamon buns

The gorgeous pop of red cranberries rolled up tightly in a warm sweet bread and covered with a decadent cream cheese frosting.  Both kids and grown-up go wild for these sweet rolls.

Petitfoodie Cran Orange rolls

If you are looking to revamp your classic cinnamon roll this is the recipe that you need.  The tanginess of the cranberries takes these sweet rolls to the next level.  The sweet creamy blanket of frosting brings all the flavors together and sends you swooning over these cranberries orange cinnamon rolls.  Honestly, I’m not sure we can go back to the same old classic cinnamon rolls for a while.

cran orange rolls


Cranberry Orange Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10 rolls
  • 1 C warm milk
  • 1 pkg rapid rise yeast
  • ⅓ C sugar
  • ½ t salt
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ C canola oil
  • 4 ¼ C flour
  • (filling)
  • ¼ C butter, softened
  • ½ C brown sugar
  • ½ C sugar
  • 1 ½ T cinnamon
  • 1 ½ C fresh cranberries
  • ¼ C orange juice
  • (frosting)
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 3 T butter, softened
  • 1 T orange juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ¼ C powdered sugar
  1. Combine milk, yeast and sprinkle of sugar in a large bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to proof.
  2. Add in egg, oil, salt, sugar.
  3. Slowly add in 1 cup of flour at a time.
  4. On the last cup use your hands and knead the dough until a smooth ball forms.
  5. Place in a warm area covered with a clean tea towel for one hour.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan add cranberries and ¼ C orange juice. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat as soon as the cranberries start to pop.
  7. Once dough has risen slightly roll out on a well floured surface to be 18x24 inches.
  8. Spread softened butter on dough, sprinkle on sugars and even spread out the cooled cranberries.
  9. Roll dough tightly.
  10. Cut into 1 ½ inch rolls.
  11. Place on a well greased baking sheet.
  12. Let sit in warm area for 30 mins.
  13. Preheat oven to 350.
  14. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes.
  15. While rolls are baking mix together cream cheese, butter.
  16. Add in orange juice and pinch of salt.
  17. Slowly mix in powdered sugar ½ C at a time.
  18. Remove rolls from oven and let cool.
  19. Once cooled spread cream cheese frosting on top.


Sugared Pecans

Merry Christmas Eve!

sugared pecans

These sugared pecans have been my absolute favorite treat this season.  These make the perfect snack to have out around the holidays.  They also make really awesome gifts!  So if you are looking for a last minute gift these sugared pecans are the way to go.

Christmas collage

I hope that you and your loved ones have a beautiful Christmas.  Enjoy!

sugared pecans

Sugared Pecans
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 cups
  • 2 C pecans
  • 1 egg white, whisked
  • ½ C sugar
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Small pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300*.
  2. In large bowl whisk egg white until frothy.
  3. Fold in pecans.
  4. In a medium bowl combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  5. Spoon pecans into the sugar mixture and stir until all are coated.
  6. Spread pecans on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Stir after 10 minutes.


Pomegranate Smoothie

Looking for a festive healthy way to start your day?  I always love vibrant smoothies this time of year.  They make me feel like all the cookies and treats are ok because I’ve had something super healthy for breakfast.

pomegranate smoothie

This year, after my sister gave me 20 pomegranates, I discovered how absolutely amazing frozen pom arils are.  If you have not tried them frozen you really must.  They make for a really great snack and are perfect for smoothies.

pom smoothie

I’m a bit sad my Ziploc bag is dwindling fast.  I adore this smoothie.  It is sweet, super creamy and best of all, the most beautiful hue of pink I ever did see.

Take a time out from the Holiday treats and try this healthy nourishing pomegranate smoothie.

Pomegranate Smoothie
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 smoothie
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ C pomegranate arils, frozen
  • ¼ C Pom Juice
  • ½ C milk of choice
  • 1 tsp honey
  1. Puree in blender.


Petit Girls Guide: Holiday Gift Guide 2014

Don’t let Christmas shopping get you stressed out!  With a few more weeks left until Christmas there is still time to pick up the perfect girt or hostess gift.  Here is a list of some products for the kitchen I’m currently swooning over.  They would make the perfect gift for the special person you are still having a hard time with.

holiday gift guide 2014

William Sonoma Pot Holders – WS has the best quality when it comes to kitchen towels and pot holders.

Ina Garten Make it Ahead – Where the person you are gifting this to is a beginner or experienced cook they will love this cookbook.

Core Home Cast Iron Products – I have several cast iron products from Core Home that I adore and use all the time!

Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker – This coffee maker is awesome! Not sure what I would do without it.

Birch Bark Candles – these candles are gorgeous!!! They add so much character to your kitchen.

Moscow Mule Copper Mug – love these! So elegant and fun!

Glass Canisters – Glass canisters are my life.  They make your kitchen look so organized and professional!

Cherry Cordial Chocolate Bliss Cookies

It’s cookie baking season!  These Cherry Cordial Chocolate Bliss Cookies are going to be the hit of your Holiday cookie swap.  These didn’t last long around my house.  Needless to say I will need to make a few dozen more for our cookie swap.

bliss cookies

This cookie recipe is definitely a new favorite.  They have the perfect amount of crunch on the outside and a soft chocolaty center.  Then BAM a decadent explosion of creamy cherry goodness pops in.  This cookie is quite a magical experience.

chocolate bliss cookies

Be sure to add these Cherry Cordial Chocolate Bliss Cookies to your holiday cookie round-up.

cherry cordial bliss cookies

Cherry Cordial Chocolate Bliss Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 24 cookies
  • 1 egg, separated
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups finely chopped almonds
  • 24 Hershey's Cherry Cordial Kisses
  1. Separate egg; place yolk and white in separate bowls. Cover and chill egg white until needed. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat well. Beat in egg yolk, milk, and vanilla.
  2. In another bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until well combined. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1/ 2 hour or until easy to handle.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  4. Slightly beat reserved egg white. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in egg white, then in almonds to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using your thumb or back of a spoon, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. If cookie centers puff during baking, repress with your spoon. Place one Hershey kiss into indentations of cookies.
  6. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.


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