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Recipe—Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

This here is a recipe I have been sitting on for a while now. How selfish of me, I know! It takes two amazing desserts, oatmeal whoopie pies and carrot cake, and combines them into one fun one. I made these for a baby shower but they are also a perfect addition to any Easter brunch. The filling has the rich creaminess of cheesecake frosting and a nice fluff with the marshmallow mixed in. And if the filling alone isn’t enough to try this recipe, all that yumminess is sandwiched between two soft cookies (almost cake like) that have a perfect hint of spice mixed in from the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

COOKIE INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c quick oats
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4  tsp ground ginger
1/8  tsp nutmeg
1/4  tsp salt
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1/2  c packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c finely grated carrots

FILLING INGREDIENTS
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz marshmallow fluff
4 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c powdered sugar

STEPS

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Mix in the egg and vanilla and continue mixing until well combined.
  • Slowly add in the dry ingredients and continue to mix.
  • Fold in carrots and place the mixing bowl in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350º and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Take about 3 tbsp of the cookie batter and roll into dough balls.
  • Place the balls about 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheets.
  • Bake for about 11–12 minutes or until the centers are set.
  • Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet for a couple minutes after removing from the oven and then carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  • Once all the cookies have completely cooled beat together the cream cheese, marshmallow fluff, butter, and vanilla.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar until nice and creamy. If the filling seems to soft add in additional powdered sugar.
  • Transfer the filling to a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner cut.
  • Pipe the filling onto the underside of one of the cookies and place another one on top.
  • Eat immediately or place in the fridge covered until ready to enjoy.
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The Diva is Back!

Hello Diva di Cucina followers! It’s been awhile. Almost 2 ½ years to be exact. Yikes! My sincere apologies for the complete lack of posting. You may be wondering why such a long hiatus. Well the truth is, life happened. I work full time and try to be the best wife and mom for my family as I can. That will always take precedent as much as I love being able to blog. In addition to those roles my son plays sports about 10 months out of the year. I coach two of his teams and am team parent for three of his teams. Plus, I took on the role of room parent in his class last year. I have no idea what I was thinking! I am crazy. So yeah, no exciting stories, I’ve just been living life and trying to be as involved in it as I possibly can be. Life is too short to half ass it, I try to take on an “all in” approach. It certainly makes for a busy life, but it also makes for a really rewarding one.

When I started this blog over 6 years ago I originally intended it to just be a way to share recipes with families and friends. I had no idea that within a short time I would have over a thousand followers. I loved that I had found a way to connect with so many amazing people and from all over the world. I am looking forward to getting back to that.

I have never been one to make resolutions at the start of a new year but this year I wanted to make a commitment to myself, a commitment to try and get back to blogging on a more regular basis. Why you might ask, because I truly love it. I love connecting with people over the love of food and cooking. So there you have it. I may not be able to keep up at the pace I did when Diva di Cucina originally launched, but I will certainly do my best to share quality recipes and posts with you… more than every 2 years. I kid!

I knew I couldn’t come back to the same old blog. It had to be refreshed, a new look and feel. I created a brand-new logo and revamped the entire website. I wanted a look that reflected my style, something feminine and rustic. Working on the redesign got me excited about the relaunch of Diva di Cucina, a fresh start per say. The look of the page is much cleaner and I have improved the navigation. I hope you all like it!

My apologies for the long write up, I just felt that in coming back after such a long break I owed you all an explanation. I am looking forward to the future of Diva di Cucina and I hope you are too!

If you like following along on my adventures in the kitchen, perhaps you would like to also consider following me on Instagram and Facebook. On both pages you will see more frequent quick posts and it gives me an opportunity for some fun chats in the comments.

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Brunch Ideas for Mother’s Day

Mothers Day Brunch Ideas

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! While going out to brunch is great, I personally think an elegant brunch with my family at home is the best way to spend the day. This time of year we have such fabulous weather in California so sprucing up a table on the patio with some nice linens and flowers can be just as nice as going out to eat. If you are planning on cooking brunch for Mother’s Day for your mom, or perhaps even your wife (hint, hint spouses) here are some of my favorite recipes that any mom would be sure to enjoy. Happy Mother’s day to all the moms out there!

Mothers Day Brunch Ideas

  1. Asparagus Gruyére Tart
  2. Moist Banana Nut Bread
  3. Breakfast Portobellos
  4. Individual Blueberry Cheesecakes in Mason Jars
  5. Hot Ham & Swiss Sammies
  6. Breakfast Potatoes
  7. Blueberry Cream Cheese Danishes
  8. Peaches & Cream Cheesecake Bars
  9. Sausage Gravy
  10. Almond Poppy Seed Bread
  11. Broccoli & Cheddar Egg Bake
  12. Spiced Carrot Bread
  13. Blueberry French Toast Casserole
  14. Strawberry Pie
  15. Raspberry Turnovers
  16. Leek Quiche

Looking for more brunch ideas or perhaps you are thinking of cooking a nice dinner instead? Check out my recipe box. There are lots of great ideas listed by category there!

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I’m Back, and in a New Kitchen!

The last several months have probably been the craziest of my life so I apologize that my posts have been non-existent. I am working on getting back into the swing of things and promise more recipes coming soon!

Why has my life been so crazy you ask? My family and I bought a new house! A beautiful house that I can say without a doubt is my dream home! I will live and die in this house. If not because I love it, because moving is such a pain!

It really did all happen in a whirlwind. We went and looked and a house just for fun and fell in love at first sight. We weren’t really in the market for a new house we just happened to drive by it one day after having lunch and thought it would be fun to look. Within 3 days we were signing papers on it. The house was not even a finished house. As a matter of fact it was only framed.

This is what it looked like when we bought it. Crazy, right?

House

Over the next four months we worked hard on fixing up our old home, staging it, getting it on the market, packing up all our possessions and moving up the road to our new home. And keep in mind this was all going on throughout the holidays. It was so worth it but oh my goodness! Moving is a pain and you don’t realize how much stuff you have until you have to box it all up and move it from Point A to Point B.

We have now been in our home for 6 weeks and it finally feels like life is getting back to normal. Hallelujah!

Now onto what really pertains to this blog. My kitchen! My glorious beautiful kitchen! I am in love! The kitchen has granite countertops with full backsplashes, is equipped with stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, including a microwave, TWO ovens (yes, two!), a 5 burner gas range, a beautiful new side by side refrigerator, and more cabinets than a gal knows what to do with.

Kitchen

Oh yeah, and it even came with an incredible view! This is the view from the kitchen and dining room. Not too shabby, eh?!? (Never mind the landscaping, that is still a work in progress.)

View

Here is the funny thing, I was in love with my kitchen from the moment I saw it. However, I was completely intimidated by it. I didn’t cook in it for a week because I didn’t want to mess it up. It was too perfect! So the first time I went to use the digital high tech oven it took me five minutes to figure out how to turn it on. I am not even kidding! All I wanted to do was toast garlic bread for Pete’s sake!

Now I am much more comfortable in it and this past weekend I even hosted my first party with great success. The new kitchen is so much better equipped for entertaining.

Anyways, my sincere apologies the non existent posts the last four months. I hope you can all forgive me and will continue to check in for more regular recipe posts. I’m sure I will have some great and humorous stories of my adventures in my new kitchen over the next few months.

I have missed my regular blogging and am looking forward to getting back into the groove of things. Stay tuned!

XOXOX

Diva di Cucina

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27 Cookout Recipes

Cookout Banner

‘Tis the season for outdoor BBQs, cookouts, and potlucks. I have put together 27 of my favorite summertime recipes for you to try. You will find everything from drinks to desserts. Now get outside and have some fun with friends and some fabulous food. Enjoy!

REFRESHING BEVERAGES

1. Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
2. Blended Mango Margaritas
3. Summertime White Sangria

APPEALING APPETIZERS

Summertime Appetizers

1. Bacon Jalapeño Cheese Ball
2. Off the Chain Cheddar Crackers
3. Creamy Chicken Enchilada Roll Ups
4. Garlic Parmesan Wings
5. Queso Fundido
6. Creamy Smoked Salmon Dip

MUST HAVE SIDE DISHES

Summertime Side Dishes

1. Broccoli Salad
2. Classic Macaroni Salad
3. Crunchy Pea Salad
4. Italian Pasta Salad
5. Chili (The Classic Kind)
6. Potato Salad

THE MAIN DISH

1. Crock-Pot Pale Ale BBQ Chicken Sandos
2. BBQ Bacon Wrapped Pork Chop with Grilled Onions
3. Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Sammy
4. Mexican Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa
5. Classic Chicken Salad Sandwich
6. Rio Grande Spice Rub Steak with Grilled Red Onions

SWEET TREATS

1. Banana Split Pie
2. Funfetti Cake Batter Cookie Dip
3. Individual Blueberry Cheesecakes in Mason Jars
4. Triple Chocolate Parfait
5. Strawberry Pie
6. Personal Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

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Father’s Day Meal Ideas (My Hubby’s Top 12 Picks)

Fathers Day Menu Ideas

Father’s day is just around the corner and there are going to be some hungry men hoping to get a day off in the kitchen or on the grille. While many people may enjoy going out, my hubby is more partial to a nice home cooked lunch or dinner with the fam. Rather trying to guess what recipes I think the men in our lives would like I went straight to the source and got a male perspective. I asked my husband to sort through my entire archive of recipes and pick out his top 12 favorite recipes that I have featured on my blog. So if you are looking for some ideas on what to cook for dad this year, here are some great ideas that work for lunch or dinner. Give any of these a try and you will make the man or men in your life extremely happy.

Hubby's Top 12 Pick's

  1. Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade
  2. Western Bacon Jalapeño Poppers
  3. Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Truffles
  4. Toffee Apple Dip
  5. Crock-Pot Shredded Beef Tacos
  6. Limoncello Chicken
  7. Macadamia Nut Crusted Halibut
  8. Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Sammy
  9. Crock-Pot Pale Ale BBQ Chicken Sandos
  10. Cheesy Mac Attack A.K.A. Macaroni N’ Cheese
  11. Loaded Baked Cauliflower
  12. Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob
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Cinco de Mayo Menu Ideas

CincoDeMayo

Time to bust out your sombrero, and crank up the mariachi music, Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner! If you are looking to throw a fiesta, or even just cook a festive dinner for the fam, I have some awesome Cinco de Mayo menu ideas for you.  I hope you take the day to kick back, relax, enjoy a margarita (or three), and celebrate this Mexican holiday. ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Refreshing Adult Beverages

Blended Mango Margarita

Grapefruit Margarita on the Rocks

Let’s Get this Fiesta Started!

Shrimp Taco Cups With Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce

Mango Salsa

Queso Fundido

Chubby Chicken Taquitos

Main Courses

Shrimp Tacos

Cheesy Mexican Chicken

Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Burger With Guacamole

Crock-Pot Shredded Beef Tacos

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Sweet Potato Burritos

Shrimp Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cream Sauce

Tasty Extras

Mexican Red Rice (Arroz Rojo)

Crock-Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

Mexican Corn on the Cob

Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Bread Muffins

Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Bread Muffins

For the Sweet Tooth

Piña Colada Pie With Drunken Rum Sauce