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Saturday, November 22, 2014

9 Copycat Starbucks Recipes - Make Your Favorites at Home

 9 Copycat Starbucks Recipes - Make Your Favorites at Home

I fell in love with Starbucks when I was around 15 or 16 years old. I remember that I just felt "so cool" walking around with my latte in that white cup with the famous green logo on the side. I drank Starbucks...therefor I was fancy. haha.

I remember making my dad stop at every single Starbucks between Virginia and Michigan one year when we where traveling up to see my cousin because I HAD to have it.

It was so much of an obsession that my friends, Angela and Nikki, and I would have "Starbucks Shopping Trips", where we would drive the 45 minutes - an hour to Greensboro, NC to get Starbucks and go shopping in the big mall.  We didn't get a Starbucks here until about 5 years ago!

Oh and you know what else fueled my love of Starbucks? I use to work there! Yep!

When we lived at Camp Lejeune I worked at the Starbucks in Jacksonville, NC. It was a dream come true and I actually teared up a but when I turned in my two week notice.

I learned the ins and outs of making my beloved drinks, I tasted countless coffees and espressos, I made up my own flavor combinations and fell in love with new combinations that my co-workers dreamed up, rejoiced when I realized I got a discount, drank WAY too many Frappuccinos, ate way too many cream cheese danishes, served coffee to grumpy Marines at 5AM and learned the true meaning of crazy Starbucks customers! (For example, people will totally freak out on you if you don't add just the right amount of EXTRA whipped cream and caramel and don't DARE let that Frappuccino and Whipped Cream melt just the slightest bit on a 95F degree day or you'll get an earful)

Oh and here is a little Starbucks info for you! You can totally make up your own drinks. Even if they are not on the menu, if you can tell them what goes in it and how many pumps of each flavor...well you've got your own custom drink!

Here are a few that I loved to make that are NOT on the menu but can be made at any Starbucks:

Chocolate Covered Cherry Frappuccino - Ask for a Grande Strawberry and Cream  Frappuccino with 2 or 3 pumps of Mocha.

Pumpkin Hot Chocolate - Ask for a Grande Hot Chocolate with 2 or 3 pumps of Pumpkin Spice

Captain Crunch Frappuccino - Ask for a Grande Strawberry and Cream  Frappuccino with 1 pump caramel, 1 pump hazelnut and 1 pump of toffee

But if you're ready to make those drinks at home, here are  9 Copycat Starbucks Recipes for you so that you can make some of your favorites at home!

Caramel Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Whole and Heavenly Oven

Caramel Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Whole and Heavenly Oven

Passion Tea Lemonade from Persnickety Plates

Passion Tea Lemonade from Persnickety Plates

Lemon Loaf Recipe from Life Tastes Good

Lemon Loaf Recipe from Life Tastes Good

Skinny Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino from Amy's Healthy Baking

Skinny Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino from Amy's Healthy Baking

Mocha Frappuccino from Around My Family Table

Mocha Frappuccino from Around My Family Table

Cranberry Bliss Bars Recipe from Simplee Thrifty

Cranberry Bliss Bars Recipe from Simplee Thrifty

Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Simplee Thrifty

Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Simplee Thrifty

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins from BigBearsWife (me!)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins from BigBearsWife

Chocolate Dipped Madeleines from BigBearsWife (me!)

Chocolate Dipped Madeleines from BigBearsWife

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Baked Pumpkin Spice French Toast

Baked Pumpkin Spice French Toast

Y'all, can I just start posting song lyrics for my blog posts like I'm 15 years old again. It would make things so much easier. ;)

There is a constant battle of "what should I write", "Oh that sounds stupid" & "oh they don't care about that" that is bolting around in my head when I'm trying to write out blog posts when I share these recipes.

Baked Pumpkin Spice French Toast

I always hear other bloggers saying "How can you blog about your life if you don't have one, go out an enjoy your life! Live life to the fullest". I love that and it totally inspires me when I see it floating around the blogosphere!

But let's be real here, sometimes my days consist of waking up, going to work, driving home, making dinner and crashing from exhaustion. Yeah... that sounds like a fabulous blog post that I just know you'd be all exited about!

Baked Pumpkin Spice French Toast
haha it totally looks like I just threw some pieces of bread into that dish.....

Oh whatever, let's just go stuff our faces with Baked Pumpkin Spice French Toast and muffle the sounds of all the whining that I was just doing. ;) Yeah, I know, that's exactly what you were thinking. ;)

Baked Pumpkin Spice French Toast

Do you know that the last time I had french toast, well homemade french toast, was when I lived at Camp Lejeune and my friend Nikki came to see me while Thomas was deployed?!? She stayed with me for a weekend and on one of those mornings she made us french toast for breakfast.

Now I've had french toast when I've gone out for breakfast or brunch but I haven't had homemade french toast since and that was back in 2008. WOW. What have I been doing with my life....

Baked Pumpkin Spice French Toast

So since I'm not a morning person, the whole standing in front of the stove in the mornings to make homemade french toast probably isn't going to happen anytime soon. Unless it's the weekend and I'm making breakfast at like 11am... mmm yeah. Me trying to cook french toast super early in the morning would probably result in me catching something on fire.

Since we don't want to burn the house down let's just agree that baked french toast is just how it needs be...for now anyways.

Baked Pumpkin Spice French Toast

Make this the night before and pop it into the oven the next morning. You'll be munching on fantastic french toast and you won't even have get up early (or burn the house down) to do it!

Ps. BigBear is upset that I didn't mention that he ate the whole pan because is was freakin awesome....sooo FYI... he ate it all and I got half of the piece that I photographed. Yep, that's how it went down.
Baked Pumpkin Spice French Toast
 By: Angie Barrett
11/20/14                                                                            (Click to Print)
6-8 servings  

**PLEASE NOTE - before you start please read all of the directions as
this does need to sit overnight!**     

1 loaf of french bread, cut into cubes
2 pints of heavy cream
4 eggs
1.5 cup BAILEYS® Pumpkin Spice Creamer
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
*Cooking spray or Butter for the pan*


Toss cubes of french bread into a large bowl.

In another large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, eggs, creamer and pumpkin spice. 

Pour the cream mixture over the baked french bread cubes. Toss to coat evenly. 

Spray cooking spray (or butter) into a 9x9 pan. Pour the coated bread cubes into the 9x9 pan and press down on the bread cubes with the back of a spoon to spread them out evenly. 

Cover and let sit in the fridge overnight. (anywhere form 8-10 hours)

After the Pumpkin Spice French Toast has set in the fridge overnight, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake at 350°F for 1 hour. Let sit for about 5 minutes before cutting. 

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dairy Free Cornbread Stuffing Casserole #plantprotein

Dairy Free Cornbread Stuffing Casserole #plantprotein

You've got about 9 days to come up with your Thanksgiving day menu. Are you ready? Have you picked out everything that's going to grace your table along side of that perfect Turkey? Yeah... me neither.

I'm a slacker... what can I say.

I know people that have already planned out their entire menu for Thanksgiving and all I know is that I'm having turkey and "other stuff".

Dairy Free Cornbread Stuffing Casserole #plantprotein

That's pretty bad isn't it. Oops. Well that's ok. I'll probably sit down with my mom this weekend and figure out exactly what we're going to be having.

Mom really wants to have Thanksgiving at her house this year so maybe I'll only have to be in charge of one dish this year! *yeah right* hahaha

So while I have casseroles and side dishes and pies rolling through my mind, let me show you this Dairy Free Cornbread Stuffing Casserole and add another idea in there for your Thanksgiving day menu!

Dairy Free Cornbread Stuffing Casserole #plantprotein

I'm all for stuffing that's cooked outside of the turkey. I like the way stuffing looks when it's in the bird but I would much rather pile my plate sky high with stuffing that hasn't been hanging out inside of Ms. Turkey while she's been roasting away.

Dairy Free Cornbread Stuffing Casserole #plantprotein

I literally had every thing I needed for this Casserole already in my pantry and freezer so it was a snap to throw together! Oh and Yes, I had everything in the pantry and freezer WITHOUT making a special trip to the store for this recipe. It pretty much includes items that I always have on hand!

Dairy Free Cornbread Stuffing Casserole #plantprotein

I fixed up the cornbread with Vanilla Soy milk instead of regular milk (a tip from my friend Anne!), baked it up, cut it into cubes and roasted them to crisp them up. After that I tossed shredded chicken, vanilla soy milk, chicken stock, corn and spinach into a bowl with the cornbread cubes and popped it into the oven after a quick seasoning of salt and pepper.

When it's done, you'll just fluff it with a fork and serve! There, ya go! That's one recipe that you can mark as "done".

Dairy Free Cornbread Stuffing Casserole #plantprotein

So here is a side note for y'all! 

I was really worried about putting salt and pepper measurements in this recipes, mainly because everyone's taste buds are different when it comes to salt and pepper.

It's amazing how much flavor salt and pepper can give to a dish but don't over salt it! Please use your best judgement!

We hardly eat salt so it only took a pinch for me but if you really like to load on the salt and pepper you might need more.

Dairy Free Cornbread Stuffing Casserole #plantprotein

Dairy Free Cornbread Stuffing Casserole
By: Angie Barrett
about 8-10 servings                                                           (Click to Print)

2 boxes (8.5 oz each) corn bread "corn muffin" mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup Silk Vanilla Soy Milk
2 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoon of Seasoning Salt or "Greek Seasoning"
1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1  can (15 oz) of corn (sweet corn)
2 cups chicken broth (homemade or store bought)
1 cup Silk Vanilla Soy Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil


Fill a medium pot with water and season with 1 tablespoon of seasoning salt. Add chicken breast and bring water to a boil. Cook until chicken is done (and white).

Remove from water and let cool.. Shred the chicken. (I use my stand mixer to shred chicken!)

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

In a medium bowl mix together the cornbread mix, eggs and 2/3 cup Silk Vanilla Soy Milk.

Let rest for 5 minutes and then pour into a greased 9x9 pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and let cool.

Cut cornbread into large cubes and spread them out onto a baking sheet.

Bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add in the spinach and corn. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Seasoning Salt or "Greek Seasoning". Saute the spinach and corn until hot.

In a large bowl mix together the shredded chicken, broth, spinach, corn and 1 cup Silk Vanilla Soy Milk. Season with salt and pepper. Break cornbread cubes in half and stir into spinach and corn mixture.

Pour stuffing casserole into a 9x9 dish.

Lower oven heat to 350°F and bake for 20 minutes or until the casserole is hot.

Serve hot. Season with salt and pepper.

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This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Spicy Cabbage and Pork Stew #FallforGreek

Food is all about emotion to me; I want my food to make people happy and I want it to get them talking. When I make something and people talk about it, smile and laugh over it while they enjoy it I've done my job right!

I want food to make me happy, I want it to take me to a new place that I've never been and sometimes I want it to send me down memory lane.

I mean I know that you're "suppose" to eat to survive but I survive to eat. Oh and I don't want to just eat to be eating...not it's not like that. I don't want to eat just because there is food in sight... no no....I want food that taste amazing, I want food that's good for me and I want food that isn't.

Let me jump back to the "memories" part of that little speech up there. You know what I'm taking about right?

You know, food that sparks those memories from your childhood. Perhaps that breakfast you made was what your grandpa use to make for you on the weekends that you convinced your parents to leave you at Nana and Papa's, or maybe the casserole you're planning on making for Thanksgiving is something that your Ma use to make every holiday because you and your brother loved it and now that she's unable to make it for you anymore you've taken the torch and make sure it's on every holiday table, or it might even be that dessert that reminds you of the church lunches that you use to attend with your ex-boyfriend that you're desperately trying to "re-make" good memories with... the dessert that is... not the ex. haha :)

This Spicy Cabbage and Pork Stew was one of those recipes that brought back childhood memories. As I stood there taste testing the stew and making adjustment I had memories of my dad cooking cabbage soup flashing through my mind. :)

When I was little, Dad and mom went to this weight loss group at church and after a few meetings Dad came home with a Cabbage soup recipe that he was determined to try. This is what I now refer to as the "Magic Cabbage Soup Diet" because it was suppose to magically make you drop weight. When we were growing up he would claim that it worked and that it was soooooo good but you literally couldn't have anything but that cabbage soup while you're on the "Cabbage Soup Diet". haha I would imagine that would make you loose weight :)

I made a huge stockpot of this Spicy Cabbage and Pork Stew just for dad because as soon as I tasted this I knew that he was going to love it.

Ok yeah, I know....I just drove you down memory lane and you were probably wondering when we were going to jump back into this era and get back to the recipe, right? Yeah.. sorry about that but I just couldn't help but to talk about it :) You understand right?

I've had Debbie Matenopoulos' cookbook for a while now and this is another one of the recipes that I've made from "It's All Greek to Me".

I know I've told you this before but I love Greek food and I love giving it a go at home! I'm slowly cooking my way through Debbie's cookbook!  I still haven't conquered my fear of making stuffed grape leaves but I'm getting there.

If you love cooking Greek food at home or you want to start, you're going to love my giveaway that I have for you today! - you'll find the giveaway right below the recipe. :)
Spicy Cabbage and Pork Stew
Makes 6-8 servings                                                          (Click to Print)

2.5 pounds boneless lean pork shoulder, cut into 
1-inch cubes 
11/2 teaspoons sea salt* 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1/2 cup white wine 
1 medium onion, chopped*
11/2 cups Mama’s Domata Saltsa (page 74 of the It's All Greek to Me Cookbook) or 1 14.5-ounce can stewed tomatoes 
2 tablespoons tomato paste 
2 carrots, chopped (optional) 
1 clove garlic, finely chopped* 
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano 
1 cup water 
1 whole head cabbage, cored and cut into strips 
1 small fresh chili pepper, diced (optional)*


Rinse the pork, and pat dry with paper towels.

Season the pork all over with the salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. 

Add the pork cubes and brown them on all sides, turning them every minute or two for about 6 to 7 minutes total. 

Add the white wine and scrape up any brown bits. 

Add the onion and cook until it starts to caramelize, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stewed tomatoes (with their liquid if using canned), tomato paste, carrots (if using), garlic, oregano, and water. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. 

Add the cabbage and chili pepper (if using). Cover and simmer over low heat until the cabbage and meat are extremely tender, about 45 minutes. 

Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve immediately.

My changes*

  • I made a few changes to the recipe just to fit our needs and tastebuds
  • I used Greek Seasoning instead of salt
  • I did not use onion because BigBear is allergic
  • I tripled the amount of garlic
Recipe re-printed with permission

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Top Ten Tips for your Thanksgiving Turkey

So guess what....I made a goal for November and I failed by day mmm day 4. I had mad a personal goal to write on my blog every day for the month of November and I literally made it for 4 days before I got side tracked. Well, hell. 

I'm not going to let it get me down though. I may not have a post for you every day for the month of November but I can promise that I'm going to have some pretty great ones on the days that I do write! I'm working on some fun recipes and I just can't wait to share them on the blog...oh and I REALLY wish y'all were at my house this weekend! I could have used some taste testers! I made a Mint Chocolate Chip dip and oh wow was it good! You're going to want to make sure you sign up for my e-mails so you don't miss that one! 

But today I've got a guest on the blog. I don't have guest often but I'm glad to have Katie from On the Banks of Squaw Creek here to give you her TOP TEN tips for your Thanksgiving Day Turkey! I met Katie when I was in Iowa for CornQuest this year (don't worry, I'll be writing about that soon!!) and guess what... she's a farm wife and works part time for the Iowa Turkey Federation!!

I'll stop yapping now and I'll let Katie take over! 


Hey y’all!  Katie from On the Banks of Squaw Creek here!  I got to meet Angie when she visited Iowa in October, and I have to tell you, she is as sweet in real life as she is here on her blog!  She and I are teaming up to help your Thanksgiving meal come out perfectly! 

Most people roast a turkey once or twice a year, but as turkey farmers, we enjoy it much more often than that.  We usually eat ground turkey or turkey breast at our house, and over the years I’ve learned how to cook it in a variety of unique and tasty ways, including Easy Orange Turkey in the Crock PotCitrus Grilled Turkey Tenderloins, and Slow Cooker Turkey and Potato Cheese Soup.   

But for this Thanksgiving, I worked with the Iowa Turkey Federation’s home economist, who has been professionally preparing turkey for 20 years, to come up with these Ten Turkey Tips for y’all.  (I don’t really talk like that, but when I met Angie and heard her talking, I could not believe how incredibly adorable her southern accent is.  And as they say, “when in Rome…”)   

Anyway, back to Turkey Talk! I present to you… 

Top Ten Tips for your Thanksgiving Turkey 

  1. Don’t bother searching for a hormone-free or steroid-free bird.  ALL poultry in the United States is raised without added hormones or steroids.  The label is just a marketing ploy.  (I have a lot more info about how turkeys are raised, including photos, on my blog.) 

  1. Plan on 1 to 2 pounds of bird per person.  Smaller turkeys have a higher bone to meat ratio, so plan on 2 pounds per person for a smaller crowd.  (Plus, you wouldn’t want to come up short on leftovers, would you?) 

  1. If you have a big crowd, consider 2 small turkeys instead of one large one.  Larger birds take longer to roast and the breast meat may dry out during that time.  You could also try 1 small turkey and a bone-in or boneless breast roast in the oven or crockpot if you know your crowd loves white mat. 

  1. You don’t have to thaw your frozen turkey!  In fact may people prefer NOT to.  Thawing the turkey can be a pain in the butt and takes a long time – 24 hours for every 5 pounds, which means that a 15 pound bird takes 3 days to thaw!  It can also be a food safety risk if not done correctly.  Thawing at room temperature is dangerous, so it should really be done in the refrigerator. 

  1. Speaking of food safety, use a meat thermometer and cook your stuffing separately.  Stuffing or dressing cooked inside the turkey is a perfect place for bacteria to multiply, especially if it doesn’t reach 165 degrees farenheit when cooked. 

  1. Keep it simple, silly.  Angie and I agree, you don’t need a really elaborate recipe (unless you want one.)  If your turkey is pre-basted or contains a brining solution, then salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning are all you need to season it.  (If you do need to brine your bird, try a cooler with ice or a sterilized plastic storage container for bigger birds.) 

  1. Cook your turkey at 325 degrees Farenheit and follow the time guidelines found here. Once you put it in the oven, forget basting it.  Opening the door repeatedly lets out the moisture and heat, which can slow cooking and dry out your dinner. 

  1. Let it rest for 20 minutes after cooking.  When your turkey is done, take it out of the oven and make a lose tent with tinfoil.  Let the bird “rest” in this tent for about 20 minutes.  Letting meat rest allows the juices to redistribute evenly. 

  1. After the big day is over, enjoy your leftovers.  No, I mean really enjoy them.  Change up the flavor profile of the leftover turkey.  Make a Mexican Lasagna or a Thai Turkey Toss There are so many better options than an ordinary turkey sandwich! 

  1. Number 1 tip: Plan Ahead! Be Prepared!  Make the meal preparation and Thanksgiving Day go smoothly by taking the time to plan out your turkey timeline days in advance.  Are you going to thaw it? And if so, how long will it take?  What time will you need to start the oven Thanksgiving day?  Have you allowed for a 20 minute rest before carving? (For the bird, not the chef, but we suggest a rest for the chef, too.) 

For more tips, including brine, marinade, stuffing and gravy recipes, check out this FREE cookbook download from the Iowa Turkey Federation: The Ultimate Guide to Whole Turkey. 

And mommies and teachers out there, be sure to check out the FREE e-book I wrote about our farm for Thanksgiving.  It is a non-fiction children’s book from the point of view of my sweet son, Adam, and is perfect for all your Thanksgiving lessons. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! 


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