Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Saturday Seven


Did my gingerbread cupcakes catch your attention? Great!

Greetings from Cleveland! City number 16 on my cross country Sally’s Candy Addiction book tour. Today I’ll be at Barnes & Noble Crocker Park from 1-6pm.

This weekend is especially awesome because I’m staying with Marie. Marie’s been my good friend since our days at Loyola. And GUESS WHAT. I brought Jude along with me. He even stopped into my book signing in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night! I road tripped so I could bring him along. Marie has a dog, too. So it’s been a barktastic weekend so far. Dog people, you get it.

Since I likely overwhelmed you with Thanksgiving recipe ideas last weekend, I’m shifting the focus from Thanksgiving by getting super random about myself. Here’s the first time I posted a personal Saturday 7 and here’s the second. I love love love reading all about you in the comments section in both posts, so I decided to post round 3!


1. Let’s talk jobs! So at Loyola, I majored in marketing. Truthfully? I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at age 18. And that was OK. I went through a struggle with confidence and self awareness during this time (I’ve talked about that here!), so I chose a focus that could allow me to keep my options open in terms of future careers. Right out of college, I waitressed and worked in customer service at a bank, then began my grown up career at an insurance firm. I was an assistant to a team of financial advisors and, with zero background in accounting or financial management, I took online classes and several securities exams to bring myself up to speed. Though my marketing degree did come in handy too! Anyway, 4 years and a growing food blog later– I quit my full time job in 2013 and began treating my food blog as a career. More on that here.

Here I am today, two years and two published cookbooks later, still in shock that I own my own business. I’m going to go ahead and type it: crazeballs.


2. When I was young, I wanted to be all of the following at one point or another: a dolphin trainer, marine biologist, singer (if you’ve ever heard me sing, you’d be laughing too), teacher, wedding planner, and book author (yay!).

3. I regularly quote Mean Girls. Like, in real life conversations. My friend tells me she got a raise? I’m all like “you go glen coco!” Someone asks me how many sprinkles I could possibly fit on top of a cake? “The limit does not exist.”

Also. She asked me how to spell orange.

4. I took ballet lessons for a short period, then told my mom I’m quitting “because I know everything about ballet.” And that’s a direct quote from my 5 year old self.

5. I now know every single word to Adele’s Hello and regularly belt it out while driving. Alone, of course. I wouldn’t put anyone through that pain. See #2.

6. I might be the only person on the planet who doesn’t like ranch dressing. I can’t do it. It’s the taste, the smell, everything. There aren’t many foods I don’t like but ranch dressing and BEETS are two of them.

7. My guilty pleasure is canned rainbow chip frosting. Like, the non-refrigerated frosting I encourage you not to buy because homemade is better. The stuff with a million ingredients that should probably shock me to bits but OMG I LOVE IT ANYWAY. And for anyone who’s just as obsessed, you’ll be happy to know that after a 2 year hiatus, rainbow chip is back in stores!!! So fetch. 💗💛💚💙💜


Ready for Thanksgiving?

Thoughts on jobs, rainbow chip frosting, singing even though your voice is atrocious, Regina George, or ranch dressing? Today’s post was oddly random.

Tell me something about you!


  1. Haha! I absolutely love this post. Love to see more into your life, Sally! I used to take ballet lessons when I was little too but moved on to violin, which was definitely MUCH better…and when I was younger I wanted to be a mom when I grew up! Now, as a sophomore in High, I want to be a singer. We’ll see if THAT happens.
    I baked your banana muffins today….and made your turtles, both of which were absolutely FAB! 

  2. dear sally 
    i am an english literture academic teacher i dreamt long ago to have an english speaker freind so that i can use my language 
    any way your wonderful website was ajoy to me some baking which is my love and some english toooo
    all my family pray for you and wish u agreat and happy life 

  3. I, too, despise ranch dressing; always reminds me of vomit (Sorry!).

  4. LOVE this list!!! I also love Mean Girls (so fetch!), Hello (which I belt anytime/anwhere :P) and I also hate ranch 😛

  5. When I graduated nursing school, they asked us to prepare a short paragraph that they would read when we walked cross the stage.  My second sentence was, “Nursing school made me realize that the limit did not exist” 😉 I also have a pencil that says “Boo, you…w****!”

    A friend described ranch once as the tackiest of condiments. I couldn’t agree more! 

  6. Those cupcakes are adorable!
    Rainbow chip frosting is my FAVORITE!!!

  7. Hi Sally,

    I want to start with – I adore your blog!  It is my go-to site for finding new and delicious dessert recipes.  I have never made one that didn’t turn out perfect, and they always win tons of accolades when I take the results to work.  My coworkers are constantly asking me when I’m next going to bring cupcakes (your snickerdoodle cupcakes are the next ones I plan on making, mini cookie and all!)  
    Little bit about me –  I have a degree in chemical engineering, but what I do now is IT audit, a job which gives me plenty of time to bake on the weekends.  🙂  I adore pumpkin and pumpkin flavored things, but I have never really been good at making pie.  I’m a hobby baker who loves to bake, but can’t seem to get dough to rise.  It’s going to be one of my New Years resolutions – learn how to make proper bread dough!  The first thing I ever made on a sewing machine was an apron.  I love learning about history, and most of my 400+ book collection is made up of history books, or historical fiction. Also – both of your books are on my Christmas wish list!

    • Thanks for sharing Emily! About the bread dough– are you at high altitude? And what type of yeast do you use? I’m concerned your dough isn’t rising! I love history too by the way!

      • Hi Sally, no, I’m not at high altitude.  I usually (try to) use the Red Star Active dry yeast, because most recipes I’ve seen call for active yeast.  Unfortunately, it’s the active part I have trouble with.  I think the water I use may be too hot…

  8. Mean Girls and Friends are probably the sources of the most quotes I use in life, and I hate ranch dressing too! I used to hate beets too, except I tried FRESH beets for the first time a few months ago, and they were delicious! They were roasted in the oven. I think golden beets are better than red beets, but as long as they’re fresh instead of canned, they’re good!

  9. Random things about me:
    1) I fully believe and can prove that there is at least one thing that happens everyday that can be referenced back to an episode of Friends
    2) I named my car after Benny the Jet from Sandlot. I get mad when people think it’s because of the Benny and the Jets song haha
    3) I’m obsessed with any holiday decor that is either chubby or has crazy legs – chubby AND crazy legs? Win.
    4) I am from Pittsburgh and I hate Primanti’s….. 
    5) I don’t eat soup because wet meat is gross haha

    And also I love your blog and cookbooks! That’s not random at all!

  10. Love your blog Sally!  I love to bake, but unfortunately I love to eat what I bake, so usually try to abstain.  My Pinterest feed is full of all things chocolate, peanut butter and caramel, sigh…
    I don’t like ranch dressing either, and I too love Adele.  I sing really well in the car on my own…  I work part time in banking, primarily doing home and personal loans.  My dream would be to quit and paint full time, opening an online shop.  I quote often from Seinfeld so must be showing my age (though I do like Mean Girls too!)

  11. I look forward to finding a new email about your latest blog post! I tailor my grocery list to ingrediends to your newest recipes(including: -buy a crock pot for cider and cake doughnut mold.) I have told my mom and aunts that my go to pizza dough recipe is yours. I even fry it and top with my grandfather’s sauce and Italian blend cheese or just powered sugar. I wish I lived closer to one of your tour spots! I want to meet you someday!

  12. Hi Sally!
    I’m a first time blog reader of yours, and totally enjoyed your article (and your ginger cupcake recipe looks amazing-I can’t wait to try it )
    I am a subscriber of Blog loving and have found so many fun and unique blogs through it! 
    Some things about myself… My husband hates anything creamed or with mayo in it, and he hates his vegetables cooked, and NO leftovers and NO casseroles for him, so he’s super hard to cook for! He doesn’t  like cake or sweets (except pie he loves pie) and I’m just the opposite! I love sweets, potato salad made with real mayo, and creamy sauce dishes! I love that creamy store bought frosting too! Have you ever tried the freezer whipped frosting topping? It’s to die for! I look forward to visiting your blog now that I’ve found you! Love your sense of humor!
    Tammie from Minnesota, where its snowy and too darn cold in January!

    • Tammie, I love casseroles, leftovers, and have a major crush on cooked veggies. I wouldn’t know what to make for him either!!

      Do you mean like cool whip? Because that’s another guilty pleasure food of mine!

  13. Hey Sally!!!! I’m highly inspired by you…. Through your recipes I get courage to try and bake them 🙂 You are truly a wonderful person and fabulous baker too…. All your recipes are great and worth trying!!!!!! I religious read all your posts and recipes everyday 😀 Even I wish to be a pastry chef someday 🙂 And expertise my skills in baking especially in confections 🙂 You are like a guide for me and my life saviour too!!!! Whenever I wish to bake something I refer your recipes. Though I wish there were more recipes like churros and other petit fours 🙂 Its my heartfelt dream to meet you someday 🙂 As I stay in Gulf, it seems it would take ages for me to meet you…but I truly believe you as my mentor and best guide ever 🙂 Hope someday even I will be able to bake as good as you 🙂

  14. Adele’s new song……A-MA-ZING! Also an avid singer…though not a good one. “Hello from the outsi-i-ide…” 🙂

  15. Thanksgiving is almost here!!! Ahhhh!!! All will be well, Im taking your pie crust recipe with me to make for family next week! As for jobs, I just started back in school to finish where I left off. I want to study microbiology and somehow fuse that with human rights/humanitarian work. Not quite sure how to do that yet but there is time. I love school haha, I’m a major geek, I like to know and learn about things. I think that’s a big reason I got into food, so many endless combinations! I do like ranch dressing…not the bottled garbage stores but real homemade is amazing. Usually I hate the frosting on cans, however when I found out rainbow chip frosting was gone I think my heart broke a little. I grew up in that stuff there are no rainbow chips like the ones they put in that stuff anywhere else! I used to dip vanilla wafers and graham crackers in it, mind of like giant Dunk a Roos before they were discontinued ( I still dream about those haha). I love your recipes I’m compiling a list of them to make big dessert platters for coworkers and family for Christmas! I hope your book tour ends up in L.A. or Orange County one day!!! 

  16. It’s so funny to hear that you like canned frosting. Ever since I started making everything from scratch (thanks to you) I can hardly bring myself to buy anything premade. But sometimes you just gotta splurge! 🙂

    When I was younger, I wanted to be a zoo keeper!! I’m right there with you on the ranch dressing… YUCK! When I see my friends eating it with pizza, fries, etc… I’m like “why would you want to ruin your food like that?!” HAHA 🙂 I love that you are talking about Mean Girls in your post! My Timehop today is a bunch of old Facebook posts from three years ago of me and a friend quoting the movie!

  17. Loved this post!  I majored in English and Computer Science.  I was going to get my teacher’s certification, and all I had left was internship/student teaching and I decided that I just could not do it.  Teaching is not for me, and teenagers around the world rejoice. (I know this because my kids tell me.)  I work in IT as a data analyst.

    I am so glad to hear that there are more people out there who really can’t sing!  My kids would make me stop singing to them when they were little.  I will sing in the car with the family, but only with family.  Like you, I wouldn’t put anyone else through it.  Everyone of my friends and family can sing (or at least carry a tune) so I always feel so sad because I love to sing.

    My husband and I quote all kinds of movies all the time.  I’m a few years older than you so Mean Girls isn’t one of them, but there are tons of others.  In fact, when we tell our kids “no”, we usually say, “Negative, Ghost Rider. The pattern is full.”  (They TOTALLY love us because of that.)

    I do like ranch dressing and beets, but maybe we could be friends anyway.  

    • We can definitely still be friends. 🙂 Thanks for sharing so much! I love teaching over the internet, but I don’t think I’m a very good teacher in person ha!

  18. I love sharing random facts! Probably too much. In fact, my friends often refer to me as the Encyclopedia, as they’ll ask a totally random question and I’ll have an answer. My friend David tried to test me once and randomly pointed to a guy during halftime coverage of a football game and said “Ok, who’s that?” Without missing a beat, I replied Boomer Esiason. He looked it up to double check, threw down his phone in frustration and now doesn’t challenge me haha. Other random things about me:

    1. I’m a third year Ph.D. student in Political Science at Texas A&M (soooo excited for you to come to Houston!). I love school and learning. Like seriously love it. Going on 22 straight years. I bake all the time (lots of your recipes!) and my department loves when I bring in baked treats. Department favorites: the cake batter chocolate chip cookies, any and all things pumpkin, and any chocolate cookies.
    2. I’m obsessed with my dog. He’s the best thing ever!
    3. I cannot have the volume on an odd number. Multiples of five are ok, but just barely.
    4. I soundtrack my life and will occasionally be grooving to the music in my head without realizing people are around and giving me funny looks.

    I love your blog and am looking forward to meeting you soon! And I might be sharing lots of pictures of my dog with you…

  19. Sally, ranch dressing is gross.  Now there’s 2 to this party!

  20. Sally, I can’t put enough emphasis on how much I love you blog!!!!
    1. You’ve had me checking your page every day for about four years now, since I started my baking journey as a sophomore in high school. I was the crazy tupper ware lady bribing kids to eat cupcakes at 9 am 🙂
    2. I’m currently in school for baking and pastry & a business degree so I can open my own place up one day! One day, when I reach my goal, you will have to visit
    3. I’m from a foodie family, youngest of four girls who also know mean girls quotes by heart !! Wednesdays, we wear pink. 
    4. Keep on being the best blogger ever, and Coke to Florida!!!!! 

  21. In Wednesday’s we wear pink. ☺️

  22. I can’t stand ranch dressing either…blech! When I worked at summer camp people would put it on everything and I couldn’t even look at their plates!

    I also quit ballet at age 5 – the lessons were at the YMCA and we had to walk by the pool to get there. After one session of dance I decided I wanted to swim instead. I never regretted that choice – swimming is still a part of my life!

  23. I LOVE rainbow chip frosting. That was always my go to request on a birthday cake.  (And no, funfetti is NOT the same thing!)  I am happy to hear that it’s back! Homemade frosting is of course, the best… but those little balls of frosting INSIDE the frosting. That’s where it’s at.

  24. I love the random facts! I also love ranch dressing/dip :D. I have a cat named Oreo (she’s black with a white patch on her tummy), I’m getting married in March and the theme is Steampunk Western (my dress will be bluuuue). I work in Government in the Computer Services department and we have a holiday baking/dessert competition coming up on my birthday and I plan to bring in your red velvet oreo brownies.

  25. I have a passion and drive for the piano, and my second passion is cooking/baking.
      Random fact, (Lol) I love castles. 🙂
    And I just wanted to let you know that you are so inspiring and that I LOVE your blog! 

  26. Haha your ballet comment is the BEST. I took piano lessons for half a summer and then decided that I didn’t need to practice anymore. I just stopped. Then I’d get to my lessons and just have to sit there, realizing that without practice, I DID NOT KNOW PIANO. Hahah! 

  27. Hi Sally 

    Quick question please. 

    Can I halve the salted honey cashew brittle recipe?
    Or do I have to use the recipe as is ?
    Please let me know. 
    Thanks Anu. 

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