Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Saturday Seven


It’s been forever since we last chatted on a Saturday!

How’s your weekend so far? Staying warm? I’m trying to! I’m up in Vermont with our friends for a snowy weekend near Killington. We brought the dogs, so it’s a packed cabin. We hit the slopes yesterday and I only fell 4 times. So, I consider it a successful day! I was going to try snowboarding but felt I’d slow down our group by my heinous skills on the board. So, skis it was!

Today the boys are going snowboarding and I think us girls might hit up the spa and sauna and definitely the champagne. Can you think of a better way to spend a Saturday? Excuse me while I sink into a puddle of bliss.


Let’s chat about some book tour updates! It’s hard to believe that the tour is picking back up after my Houston stop back in December. I’ll be in Boston, NYC, San Francisco, and San Diego. And now there are two new stops added that I’m super excited for: Newport Beach, CA and Philly! A couple of these February stops require tickets, so make sure you head over to my book tour page to learn more.

I’m hoping to add Atlanta and Salt Lake City to the tour this spring and once I have dates and locations, I’ll be sure to update the page and make an announcement. Looking forward to meeting so many of you!

Speaking of Salt Lake, you DO NOT want to miss Everything Food’s inaugural year held in Salt Lake City on May 19-21st. It’s a food blogger conference with an impressive lineup of speakers, and I’m pumped to be one of them! I’m going to get messy in the kitchen with 60 VIPs and then be a panel member with other incredible panelist. It’s going to be a blast! And Everything Food Conference just announced an incredible one-day, one-time only 2016 sale. It begins today at 2:16 pm MST and ends 2:16 am. 216 full conference tickets will be heavily discounted to $216! Use promotional code EFC2016. Here’s the registration page.

And finally! 7 recipes on this chilly Saturday that you’ve gotta try right this very second. Or at least this weekend. To start is my beloved slow cooker apple cider. Oh man. I just had a cup of hot apple cider on the slopes yesterday and it’s just the ticket to warm up when the weather is extra frosty. Plus, the whole slow cooker thing. Smell and savor it all day long!

Homemade Slow Cooker Apple Cider

Whole wheat flour leaves me extra frustrated in the kitchen. You can almost never use it to replace all-purpose without sacrificing a soft and tender texture. Usually the results are much too heavy, dry, and dense. It took a little tweaking, but last year I finally made a super tender (yet lovely banana bread dense) banana bread with whole wheat flour. I also sub in applesauce for butter. My whole wheat banana bread is the perfect treat for the winter AND healthy eating resolutions.

No Butter No Oil Whole Wheat Banana Bread recipe

Speaking of banana! Skinny banana blueberry muffins to the rescue when you’re craving something warm and comforting, but don’t want to break the calorie bank.

Only 130 calories!

!30 calorie banana blueberry muffins recipe found on

Do you need playoff game and Super Bowl recipe ideas?? Fiesta corn & avocado salsa is ridiculously easy to make and you CAN’T stop eating it. Omg.

Fiesta Corn & Avocado Salsa recipe on

More game day eats: roasted garlic and bacon spinach dip. Love my dips. The bacon is an obvious must!

How to Make Roasted Garlic Bacon Spinach Dip

Sorry for doing this to you: s’mores chocolate chip cookie cake. Wonderfully soft and gooey as all giant cookie cakes should be.

S'MORES Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake recipe-- soft-baked and ready for you to dig in!

Let’s end with another chocolate filled recipe because it’s the weekend. Ultimate marble cupcakes! I’ve been craving these like crazy lately. Have you ever tried them before?

Marble Cupcakes by

Q: Do you like to ski or snowboard?

Q: Have you tried any of these recipes before? Thoughts?


  1. Ah so jealous of your weekend!  I love to ski, tried snowboarding once and was like nope.  When my kids are older I’d love to do a ski trip like you are doing.

    I haven’t made those recipes but I am trying the whole wheat banana bread!  Just need my Bananas to get riper 

  2. Skiing and I are not friends due to a tree collision I had when I was little, but I’m also a klutz in real life so what’s the point right? Contrary to what some people think, dancers are NOT graceful when we’re not onstage!

    I’ve made the whole wheat banana bread before and it was a hit with my family! Well, all of your recipes are a hit no matter what! 🙂 Have a great weekend Sally!

  3. I’ve only skied a handful of times when I was younger. The WORST is when your legs split apart when you fall. Holy ouchies! I always wanted to try snowboarding because I think it would suit me better (probably not), but after my knee surgeries I don’t believe it would be a good idea to start haha! I love your mocs! Are they from LL Bean?? My favorite footwear of the winter are my Bean mocs! <3 Have a great time!!!

  4. I have snowboarded once and skied once. I liked skiing a lot better, felt more in control…although no one taught me the “pizza, french fries” rules until AFTER I flew down the mountain like a crazy person! 
    Last weekend I made the banana bread recipe, but used all-purpose in place of whole wheat flour. It tastes delicious, however I’m thinking it could’ve baked a couple minutes longer due to a slightly rubbery consistency in some areas in the middle.
    Happy weekend!!

  5. I went skiing for the first time ever about a year ago, and I could NOT believe that in as good of shape as I am, and as many squats as I do (well, was doing before I was pregnant!), HOW FREAKING SORE I WAS. It was a lot of fun, but I think in the future, I would like a proper lesson. I just sort of made it up as I went along, haha. I’m glad you’re having a fun time! Drink some extra champagne for me, would ya? 😉

  6. I made your marble cupcakes for my dad’s birthday last year and my whole family LOVED them! Have fun in Vermont and have a great weekend! 🙂

  7. I love to snowboard!  I Coach a Varsity High School team that practices at Killington.  Will you be autographing any books while you are here in lovely (finely) snowy Vermont?

    I have made the ultimate Marble cupcakes and they are Fabulous!  

  8. I tried  snowboarding twice and both times were.. laughable! I couldn’t even get off the ski lift by myself. When I tried, I ended up crashing into someone! I was bruised and sore in places I didn’t know I had! Me and the snow are just not meant to be I suppose. I’m so stoked you are coming to Newport Beach!!!! I live in Orange County so Im planning on stopping by!!! I hope you have better luck in the snow than I did =D 

  9. I love love snowboarding and have been hitting the slopes at least a couple times a year since I was 10. It’s so much easier when you start young! I’ve made those marble cupcakes a couple of times now – they’re so pretty! Today isn’t my official birthday, but it’s close and it’s a big year, so family is coming over later today to celebrate – I’m telling you this because I want you to know we’re making (actually two of) your funfetti layer cakes with chocolate icing for dessert 🙂 

    • I agree- it’s much easier to learn at a young age! Because you’re definitely fearless. Now I’m just a huge nervous wreck!

  10. Great recipes. Looks so amazing!!! Love the pictures of your ski trip 🙂

    Kisses from

  11. I’ve never been skiing, but your getaway looks like tons of fun. Fireplaces & snow, friends, champagne. I’m jealous! Enjoy! It’s a drab day here at home in the suburbs of Philly–gray and dreary, with lots of mud outside since it rained instead of snowed last night–so I tried to liven up the morning (ok, early afternoon–we slept in today) with a batch of your donuts, my girls’ faves. This time I made a half batch of the chocolate frosted and a half batch of the funfetti ones. My older daughter said, “You know, I thought I was going to prefer the chocolate and not like vanilla, but I like the vanilla ones better!” I’m not sure if it would be over-the-top (making a second treat in the same day) but that giant s’mores cookie cake is sort of calling my name…

    • NEVER over the top for a Saturday Natalie! I think I’d choose the chocolate frosted over the funfetti donuts– I think it’s just because of that frosting. 😉

  12. I’m so impressed you can ski!!! I only snowboard (because there are really only two directions to fall!)  It’s been in the 40’s here in Illinois, which makes for a disappointing winter- but I think I hear some apple-cider-ingredient-shopping calling my name! 

    • It’s so funny you say that because I think snowboarding is so much harder than skiing! I guess it’s different for everyone!

  13. I love that banana bread!

    I’ve been skiing a handful of times and I’d love to try it again…I enjoyed it and didn’t make a total fool of myself! Snowshoeing is more my style though.

  14. Hi Sally! So jealous! Always wanted to visit Vermont (any time of year)! At least you SEE “white stuff” there…not like here with lovely brown/green grass and drab landscape here in PA!
    I’ve never tried snowboard and skiing and I aren’t friends either after a near fatal fall on Hunter Mountain, NY in high school. Long story but I’m glad I survived I’ll say that. I have gotten back on ski’s but it’s rare for me. I actually made a banana-orange bread this am….use applesauce in that too. It has a orange glaze icing on top….and it must be kept ‘out of sight!’. Well, enjoy every second of your weekend! Great news about additional tour dates! Rest up!

  15. I love love love to ski!! Always wanted to learn how to snowboard but have been a little scared to. Have fun! The skiing weather for Ontarians this weekend was less than ideal… Rain! Hope your weekend continues with snow. 
    Last year I made the skinny banana blueberry muffins and they were a huge hit! I’m actually getting your overnight cinnamon rolls ready right now 🙂 but I wish I had a cup of that cider with me! 

  16. Totally gonna try the s’mores cookie cake! It looks delicious 🙂 Also, I’d love it if you came to O’ahu, Hawai’i on one of your book tour stops! You could have a little vacation with Kevin 🙂

  17. Ooh spa and sauna Saturday sounds amazing! Plus chapmagne? Triple win!

  18. Your weekend looks amazing! I started skiing when i was about 13 years old, but switched to snowboarding after a few years to spice things up! Too bad we only have a lot of rain here in the Netherlands and not enough snow =P. 
    I’m sad to say i have not made any of these 7 recipes yet. I’m have to try the banana bread soon though. It looks amazing! 
    I did make my parents happy with your chewy oatmeal raisin cookies yesterday, I love oatmeal in my baking! They always hate it when I come by, because they have to eat all these delicious cookies! =P

  19. Your trip looks magical, Sally. I’ve only been to VT once, but I absolutely loved it. 🙂 

  20. I’ve been skiing once, when we had a field trip in 8th grade. I actually took to it pretty quickly! But I haven’t been since, so who knows how I’d be at it now? I have been water-skiing a couple times, though! That’s a lot of fun. I recommend it!

    I’ve made your bacon spinach dip before, but none of the others. I’ll definitely have to try that banana bread. I also need to figure out what to make for my birthday (everyone always says “You made your own birthday {insert baked good here]? Of course I do. I love to bake!). I need a few things for my party and something for my office. Thoughts?

  21. Hey Sally! Have you considered coming up to Canada on your book tour? 🙂

  22. Hi Sally,
    I love that you were skiing and we are a skiing family also.  We have a ski place and have friends and family up all winter so will definitely be trying some of these recipes out for entertaining.  
    Also, happy to hear a Toronto trip may be happening.  I will be there if it does!!

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