Caramel Apple Rolls and a trip to Puerto Nuevo

Carmel Apple Rolls

For the last few years I have been without a valid passport. It was always on my list of things to do, but I somehow never got around to doing it. Well, when we booked our Europe tickets last year, it was something that had to be done! Now that I have it, I want to go everywhere!

Carmel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

About two weeks after returning home from Europe, I took a day trip down south the Mexico. I had been wanting to do it forever! A friend and I left early and made our way to Puerto Nuevo for some fresh lobster and shopping. If you are a lobster fan, this is where you need to go!

Lobster in Puerto Vallarta

Tortilla Factory

For about $20 per person, we got huge fresh delicious lobster with melted butter, rice, beans, chips, salsa, and soup. So much delicious food!!! We of course could not resist a couple margaritas. Let me tell you that margaritas in Mexico are not the same as in the States! After two, I was walking on the clouds!

Candy Vallarta

Candy Stand

After lunch we did some shopping. The candies and dried fruit displays were spectacular, and they drive a hard bargain.

Churro Cart

After shopping we decided to head back home. Although stuffed to the brim, I could not resist the fresh Churros that were being made right next to our car. Since we sat for about 2 hours, I got out and had them make a few fresh batches to eat and take home. All in all it was an amazing afternoon, and one that I will be doing again next weekend!


While shopping, my friend recommended that I buy this caramel sauce, Cajeta. I couldn’t actually see it as it was wrapped up in thin wood and plastic but I took her word for it. HOLY CARAMEL-this stuff is to die for!!

I wanted to cook with it so that I could get it out of my house. For some reason the thing is a magnet to a spoon and my mouth. Since it is fall, Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls were a must.

Caramel Apple Rolls

Now if you can’t get your hands on this liquid gold, regular caramel sauce will do the trick. I also drizzled the caramel over the tops along with a simple vanilla bean glaze. We enjoyed the rolls for breakfast and dessert. My thighs were exceptionally happy when the rolls (and caramel) were gone. Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 1 hour

Yield: 9 large rolls or 12 medium rolls


  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package instant yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups peeled and diced apples
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Caramel Sauce for drizzle (optional)
  • Vanilla Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine warm milk, melted butter.
  3. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour milk mixture and egg into the center.
  4. With your mixer attached with the dough hook, or your hands, knead dough until it forms a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
  5. Place dough in a well greased bowl and lightly cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Let dough rest in a dark cool corner until it doubles in size, about 30 minutes.
  7. While dough is rising, make apples.
  8. In a medium sized saucepan set on medium heat, melt butter.
  9. Add apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon and cook until the apples are soft, stirring often, for about 5-7 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  11. When dough has doubled in size, punch down.
  12. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x9 inch rectangle.
  13. Spread Caramel Sauce over dough.
  14. Sprinkle with cooked apples and cinnamon.
  15. Tightly roll the dough beginning with the long side.
  16. Pinch together the edges.
  17. Slice rolls evenly into 9 large or 12 medium sized rolls.
  18. Place rolls into a lightly greased 9x13 inch pan.
  19. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise again while you are preheating your oven.
  20. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  21. Bake rolls for 15-18 minutes or until the centers are lightly golden brown in color.
  22. Allow to cool while making the vanilla drizzle.
  23. To make the vanilla glaze, combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk. Whisk until smooth.
  24. Drizzle caramel sauce and vanilla glaze over rolls if desired.

Pumpkin Tiramisu with Molasses Cookie Crumb

Pumpkin Tiramisu with Molasses Cookie Crunch

It is officially the first day of fall! How exciting! I have been scrolling through Fall recipes for the last 3 months on Pinterest, and recently came across this one from Foodie Crush. Combining pumpkin and pumpkin spices with tiramisu in a pie form sounded like the perfect fall/Thanksgiving dessert. Not to mention it is a no-bake dessert which is perfect for us Californians because September can be one of our hottest months!

Pumpkin Tiramisu

This is so pretty and will be the perfect dessert to serve at my next dinner party. Also, the earlier you make it, the better. Allowing the flavors and coffee to saturate the lady fingers for at least 24 hours yields a wonderful dessert.

Pumpkin Tiramisu with Molasses Cookies

It is really easy to put together, and can be made in less than 20 minutes. I made homemade these molasses cookies before hand, but store-bought cookies would work just the same. Traditional Tiramisu is dusted with cocoa powder, however I used powdered sugar. Next time, I think I will try the cocoa powder for an additional element. Enjoy!

Perfect for fall- Pumkin Tiramisu

Molasses Cookie Pumpkin Tiramisu


  • 2 cups whipping cream, cold
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups brewed coffee
  • 2 packages lady fingers
  • 10 molasses cookies
  • Powdered sugar or cocoa powder


  1. Lightly spray a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a clean bowl, beat cold whipping cream and sugar until stiff peaks form.
  3. Place whipped cream in a separate bowl.
  4. Beat together mascarpone cheese, pumpkin, and spices until smooth.
  5. Add whipped cream to mascarpone mixture and gently fold until combined.
  6. Chop Molasses cookies into medium sized chunks.
  7. Quickly submerge each lady finger into the coffee then place along the side and bottom of the spring form pan.
  8. Add half of the filling to the pan and gently spread.
  9. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the chopped molasses cookies.
  10. Add another layer of coffee dipped lady fingers on top of the molasses cookie layer followed by the rest of the mascarpone filling.
  11. Finish with sprinkling the remaining chopped molasses cookies.
  12. Cover tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but preferably 24 hours.
  13. When ready to serve, remove the ring around the springform and sprinkle with powdered sugar or cocoa powder.


Recipe slightly adapted from Foodie Crush

Football Watching Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #NotSoFastMom #CollectiveBias

Football Watch Party

This year I have officially become a football mom. I have been a soccer mom for over a decade, but football is different. There is so much more energy in the bleachers! Now, don’t think that I am one of those crazy mom’s screaming at the kids….Just kidding I am one of those moms. In fact, I may just be one and a half! On Friday nights you can find me (and my other 2 littles) dressed in my son’s school colors, armed with our cheering gear, and being consistently told by one of the coaches to get away from the sidelines. Yup, I am one of those. I scream, I cheer, and I have even shed a tear. Which is ironic, because I am still learning the game!

Sideline Gear

Before heading out for the game, we always fill up our cooler with ice-cold POWERADE. My son loves to hydrate before and during the big game. I always buy a few extra 12-packs of POWERADE at Walmart for the other boys on the team! They are going to need it if they plan on going to the finals!

I love making signs or little mini piñatas to cheer my son and his team on. The pinatas are very simple to make and only take about 15 minutes. I like to fill mine with bells and we make an extra one for my son and fill it with candy for after the game. Handing him a number full of candy is my way of being cool, supportive, and also sorry for all of the things I screamed durning the game!

To make your own, here’s what you will need-

Heavy posterboard or cardstock paper – an empty cereal box works GREAT
Masking tape (scotch tape will work, too)
Colored tissue paper – try using two colors for a two-toned pinata!

Hot glue gun
Pen or marker
Long Dowel for each number

Mini Pinatas

First, trace the number on cardboard or a cereal box then I cut it out. I also cut out a long strip that will go around the numbers. Next, tape the strips around the edge of one of the number shapes.  Then, tape the other matching number onto the back edge of the strips.

Crepe Paper Strips

Once you have your numbers assembled to this point, I would recommend filling it with candy and bells now. Once filled, tape up opening. Also, on the bottom of the numbers, you will want to make a small hole with your scissors. Then insert about an inch of your dowel and use the hot glue gun to glue around it, securing it into place.

Making Mini Piñatas

Using your choice of colored tissue paper, cut a stack of strips about 1/2″ wide and 5″-8″ long. Cut fringes along the side of each strip. Using a glue gun, attach your fringe to the piñata. Start at the bottom of one side and build up toward the top, overlapping slightly. Then do the edges, and finish with the other side, Et Voila! You are ready for the sideline madness!!!

Football Chalkboard

Now just because the game is over does not mean it is time to stop celebrating! We love to host Sunday College Football Watching parties with our friends and family. It is a great way to get some socializing time in, learn new plays (and rules) and most importantly, bring light on some awesome colleges that may be in my son’s new future!

Coke Zero Party

Touchdown Cookies

Football Cupcakes

Armed with some Coke Zero and fine sideline snacks, we are ready to cheer on our team! I have a slight obsession with galvanized tin these days, so I thought I would incorporate it into the party theme. With a few different stands, trays, and boxes, I was able to create different heights and dimensions. I think this really add complexity to the table!

Football tray

While at my local hardware store, I picked up some fake turf. This is great to keep on hand and I have used it for countless dessert tables. It is really cheap and super easy to roll up and store for the next party.

Football Photo Booth

We also wanted to create a fun photo booth. High Schoolers are so fun and quirky and I just want to preserve all the memories as possible. Making a photo booth for parties is a great way to do that. What’s even more fun, is looking through the photos after the party!

Photo Booth Stand

To make the photo booth I simply purchased 3 ten inch long 3/4 inch PVC pipe, two 3/4 inch “L” pieces, four 3/4 inch “T” pieces, and four 3/4 inch end caps (optional). Once home, my husband cut two of the long PVC pipes into 6in and 4in pieces. He then cut the bottom supporting “feet” from the remaining piece. He put it all together as seen here and we now have a standing Photo Booth backdrop that can be taken apart and reassembled for each party. During our Football Watch Party I clamped a large tablecloth to the stand and set up a bunch of props. The boys had a fabulous time taking pictures, especially mine!

Football Watching Party!

So, whether you’re celebrating at home or cheering on your athletes from the sidelines, make the most of their game days! Head over to for more fabulous Game Day tips!

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Fresh Fig Topped Spice Cake

Fresh Fig Topped Spice Cake

Unlike most years, this September has been on the cooler side. Like we have to wear a sweater when we go out in the morning and evenings. Normally September is one of the hottest months in Southern California! So, of course, the brisk mornings amps up my fall needs and has me in pumpkin spice and Halloween party planning overdrive! I know…I am weird!

Fresh Fig, Honey, and Pistachio Spice Cake

Anyway, as much as I wanted to serve the fresh figs in a end of summer sort of way, I just couldn’t help my self craving the rich spices of fall! Spice cake is one of my absolute favorite cakes and is the perfect way to make your house smell delightful.

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Fresh Figs

While we normally always frost a spice cake with mocha frosting, I decided a simple cream cheese frosting would work better with the fresh figs. Don’t tell my grandmother though, because she will absolutely never forgive me and take away my family baker’s badge!

Spice Cake with Fresh Tiger Figs

The rich aromatic ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice paired beautifully with the fresh Tiger Stripe Figs, honey, and pistachios. Not only was the cake stunning, but it was also absolutely delicious and made for the perfect way to bring in fall! Enjoy!

Fall Spice Cake with Fresh Figs

Fresh Fig Topped Spice Cake

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Yield: serves 12


    Spice Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Frosting
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Topping
  • 5 Fresh Figs
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Honey for drizzling


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 seven inch or 2 nine inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer beat together butter and brown sugar for 4 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly before each addition.
  5. Mix in vanilla.
  6. Alternatively add flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter/egg mixture, in 3 batches. Careful to not over mix.
  7. Divide batter into pans evenly, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a knife is inserted and comes out clean.
  8. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes then invert on a rack to remove cake layers from pans and allow to cool completely.
  9. Once cake is completely cool, make frosting.
  10. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter and beat on medium until smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  11. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat on medium, scraping down the bowl and beaters as necessary, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  12. Frost cake and top with sliced figs, chopped pistachios, and drizzle with honey right before serving.


Bourbon Glazed Peach Fritters

Fresh Peach Fritters

At the beginning of summer I worked overtime to create fun and delicious recipes to post while I was on vacation. Clearly, I ran out of steam and never actually ended up posting them! So before summer is officially over and we dive into pumpkin spice galore, I wanted to share one of our favorite recipes.

Peach Fritters with Bourbon Glaze

These Bourbon Glazed Peach Fritters are the best kind of dessert, breakfast, or hide in your closet late night snack. The sweet fried dough that is studded with freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon is the perfect pillow for brown sugar fried peaches. The bourbon glaze adds another depth of flavor that meddles consummately with the other flavors.

Making Peach Fritters

While there are other recipes that require less time and just making a soft dough that does not require yeast, this is my personal preference. Making the sweet donut dough may require some resting time to raise, but your results are similar to that Apple Fritter that you used to get when you were younger at the corner donut store!

Freshly Fried Peach Fritters

The fresh peaches are chopped coarsely then fried in a dollop of butter and a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon. Once cooled, they are gently folded into the dough and dropped into the fryer to puff and golden. It is pure bliss! Or, maybe I am just really amused by the simple things!

Peach fritters with bourbon glaze

I finished my fritters off with the bourbon glaze and a sprinkle of Bourbon Sea Salt (totally not sponsored). Not necessary, but if you like flavored salts I would highly recommend this salt. I can’t wait to use it on caramels.

Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt

Serve the fritters warm or at room temperature with a hot espresso, sweet tea, or bourbon on the rocks! Enjoy!

Bourbon Glazed Peach Fritters

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: makes 12-15 large fritters


    Basic Donut Dough
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 4 and 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable Oil for Frying
  • Peach Filling
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 fresh peaches, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Bourbon Glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, granulated white
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn syrup, light
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Bourbon


    Make the fritter dough:
  1. In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow to sit until yeast begins to "bloom".
  2. While yeast is blooming, melt shortening and milk in a small saucepan over low heat until bubbles appear on the surface.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer into a large bowl.
  4. Add salt, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon and mix until sugar has dissolved.
  5. Add 1 cup of flour and eggs to the milk mixture and beat until combined.
  6. Beat in yeast mixture and remaining 3 cups of flour until combined.
  7. Replace your whisk attachment with the kneading hook, or place dough on a well-floured surface, and knead until smooth and no longer sticking to bowl or hands.
  8. Once dough is smooth, place in a large greased bowl, cover and let rest until dough has doubled in size.
  9. To make the filling melt the butter on medium high heat in a frying pan.
  10. Add peaches, brown sugar, and cinnamon and cook until peaches are soft, about 4 minutes.
  11. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool until peaches are room temperature.
  12. Once dough has risen, place on a well floured surface and roll a flat rectangle, about 1/4 thick.
  13. Spread about 3/4 of the peaches over half of the dough. Fold one half of the dough over the peaches and press the edges together to seal lightly.
  14. Press remaining peaches onto the top of dough and gently fold dough over again. Lightly roll dough out with a rolling pin until the rectangle is about 1 inch thick.
  15. Cut dough into 12-15 squares. Gently bring the corners of the squares up to the center and press together sealing the ball. Some peaches may fall to but that's okay.
  16. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise again for 15-20 minutes.
  17. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot to 350 degrees.
  18. Once fritters have rested, carefully place 1-2 in the hot oil.
  19. Fry on one side for 30 to 60 seconds or until golden brown, then flip the fritter and fry the other side for 30 to 60 seconds or until golden brown.
  20. Remove fritter with slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined wire rack to drain excess oil.
  21. To prepare the glaze, heat water and sugar in a small saucepan until sugar has dissolved.
  22. Remove from heat and add remaining glaze ingredients to the pan and stir until smooth. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  23. Dunk cooked fritters into glaze and place on wire rack to dry.