Moroccan Spiced Carrot Soup

This Moroccan spiced carrot soup combines fresh veggies with a touch of honey, lemon, and toasted cumin in a unique and satisfying bowl full of flavor.

Moroccan Spiced Carrot SoupWhile the weather here in Houston skips spring (come to think of it, it pretty much bypassed winter as well) and goes straight to summer, I hear that there are parts of the country that still experience something known as “cool weather”.  Yeah, we had that once.  And we used that opportunity to make a delicious carrot soup.

We made this soup for our annual “Jan-Boree” party.  It’s our own tradition dating all the way back to 2015.  Ah, memories…  It came about because Liz observed that everyone seems to be in a bit of a doldrums in January.  All the holiday festivities have come and gone (and to her immense displeasure, the Christmas tree has been taken away), people have forsaken delicious cakes and decadent meals in the pursuit of New Year’s resolutions, and people have to drag themselves from vacation and shuffle to work.  So she thought it would be fun to host an elegant dinner party at the end of January.  For this meal, we pull out all the stops: I’m talking multiple served courses with wine pairings.  It’s a ton of work, and several tons of dishes, but it’s a good time, and we plan on continuing the tradition.

Moroccan Spiced Carrot Soup

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Colorful Chocolate Cups with White Chocolate Mousse

Rich, creamy white chocolate cups get a punch of any color you like.  Fill them with fluffy mousse and they’re perfect for a party (or any lovely spring day).
Colorful Chocolate Cups with White Chocolate MousseThese are not cupcakes.

I know they look like cupcakes.  That puffy white frosting, that colorful cupcake paper…they’re obviously cupcakes, right?

These are not cupcakes.

They may be such convincing cupcake-body-doubles that Ross pulled them out of the fridge and asked me, “When did you make cupcakes?”  “I didn’t.”  And in spite of my denial, he waved them around and insisted, confidently, “Then what are these?” —  not in a curious tone, but in a you-clearly-forgot-you-baked-cupcakes tone.

Nope.  Not cupcakes.  They are just as pretty and just as delicious, but there are a couple crucial differences.

#1 – That thing that looks like a paper cupcake liner?  Pure chocolate.  OH YES.

#2 – That “frosting”?  Light and fluffy chocolate mousse.  And it actually fills up the entire chocolate cup.  OH YES.  The whole cup.  This entire baby is edible from top to bottom — and boy did I enjoy eating it.

Colorful Chocolate Cups with White Chocolate Mousse

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Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Pecan Topping

The cream cheese is baked right into the dough for a incredibly rich, flaky roll, and the caramel topping is just over-the-top crazy-good.Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

I have something to admit to you, dear readers.  I’m afraid that Liz has a painfully serious addiction to cinnamon rolls.  I’ve tried to help.  Therapy, cold turkey, hot turkey, the bacon patch…  But I’ve just had to come to grips with the fact that she will always be slave to the delicious goodness of homemade cinnamon rolls.  And with this recipe, it’s very clear that I am an enabler.

This is actually the first cinnamon roll recipe I’ve ever made.  While I’ve been happy to eat my fair share of the delicious pastries, it’s just never really called out to me to make a batch.  But last year, as I pondered what to make Liz for a Valentine’s Day brunch, inspiration struck.

The battle rages over what is the best style of cinnamon roll.  Is it the smaller and neater version,  with emphasis on the rich, warming spice blend?  Or is it the hulking, frosting-slathered behemoth that leaves you quite happy, but also unable to move for at least 15 minutes?  While I don’t actually have the answer, this one falls more into the latter category.  Except instead of frosting on top, there’s caramel…and inside there’s a secret ingredient that puts it in a class all by itself.

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

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Thin Mint Shooters

Cookie meets cocktail – and it’s the best of both worlds.Thin Mint ShootersWho bought way more Girl Scout cookies than was strictly necessary this cookie season?  It can’t be just me.  Multiple co-workers have daughters peddling their wares; every grocery store has a literal troop of miniature salesladies out front, manning their stations with youthful aggression; not to mention the knocking on the front door which immediately throws me into a panic because I can’t just ignore them, but I have already have SO many cookies, and once I open the door, I clearly can’t say no…. Problems, I tell you.  Girl Scout cookie problems.

Luckily I’m here to help you with your solution!  When you’ve eaten enough cookies straight from the package and start to say to yourself, “I mean, I love Thin Mints, but I’ve eaten 20 in a row, and I feel like I should change it up a little…also I’m thirsty….”  Don’t fret.  Make Thin Mint shooters instead!
Thin Mint Shooters

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