Cara Cara Orange Bars (with a thyme shortbread crust!)

Cara Cara Orange Bars are full of flavor from bright winter citrus at the season’s peak! Earthy thyme in a buttery shortbread crust compliments the sweet without overpowering it. Enjoy this simple and delectable recipe before the end of citrus season!

I am living for these Cara Cara orange bars with thyme shortbread crust right now!

It’s such a blessing that peak citrus season also happens to be in the dead of winter! Gimme all those winter citrus recipes!

Cara Cara Orange Bar Recipe

We need a little bright.

A little tart.

A little sweet.

Winter Citrus Dessert Recipes

Ok, a lot sweet.

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Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches are a delicious make-ahead frozen dessert that boast all the wonderful flavors of winter! Buttery, chocolatey shortbread cookies sandwiching creamy peppermint ice cream – what could be better?!
Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

I told you I had one more Peppermint Mocha treat up my sleeve!

If I’m being honest, these Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches were not the original plan. There was going to be a pavlova situation happening, but it didn’t…uh…y’know…happen.

Peppermint Mocha Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

That’s ok! We adjust and change and frankly, make the thing that feels right and lights us up instead of what we feel we should do or what the original plan was.

Peppermint Ice Cream Product Shot

I’m really softening with age.

These shortbread cookies though? They’re not soft. They’re crisp and buttery and crumbly and perfect for sandwiching layers of creamy peppermint ice cream. After they’re dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with crushed peppermint candies, of course!

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Peppermint Mocha Cereal Treats

Peppermint Mocha Cereal Treats are an easy, no-bake Christmas dessert option for anyone and everyone. They combine all the delicious flavors of a Peppermint Mocha Latte with the ease of marshmallow cereal treats. Find the recipe at the link below!

Peppermint Mocha Cereal Treat Recipe

This is the last of ‘em. The last of the Christmas creations.

And, maybe, the last of the peppermint mocha situation, too.

Peppermint Mocha Cereal Treat Recipe

Then again. Maybe not. Maybe I’ve got another peppermint-y, mocha-y treat coming.

Because I’m totally on board with Gilmore Girls Season 7. At least, one point they make in Season 7, because, by and large, the final season is basically a gigantic dumpster fire. (Stay with me here – I have a point, I promise.)

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Yellow Cake with Caramel Icing (& Zack)

I have been very fortunate in my short time on this earth. I married the love of my life, I’m working for myself, my dog is heavily medicated and, thusly, well behaved.

Yellow Cake with Caramel Icing | Midwest Nice

Blessedly, I have never known great loss.

My husband has.

Thankfully, I don’t know what it’s like to have to say goodbye to someone you’ve known your whole life.

My husband does.

Unfortunately, I don’t have memories of Zack.

My husband does.

Yellow Cake with Caramel Icing | Midwest Nice

He has told me about Zack. Relayed stories and shared secrets. There have been tales of snow-covered hay bales, piano practice, and football games. Recollections of tiny hands pushing even tinier tractors around the living room rug. Mentions of cross-country family trips and harrowing encounters with the neighbors’ dog. An anecdote of how he held the steering wheel. A guarantee that we would have butted heads.

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Peach Pavlovas (& a video)

Did you see it?

The trailer I made for The 505 West! It’s an absolutely astounding AirBnb located in Princeton, just 30 minutes from where we live.

See, this whole thing started when I found out Matt had created this gorgeous space above his restaurant, Horseradish. I was already obsessed with the restaurant and became equally as enamored with the rental.

It is really and truly one of my favorite places to eat and spend time in the area. It reminds me of any number of trendy places in Chicago or Greenville, without the “trying so hard” feeling I often got in those cities. There’s just a comfort to be found sitting on a stool in the restaurant, looking into the open kitchen or perusing the shelves near the front door. I spend a decent amount of time there (though not enough, IMO). Seth and I go on dates there, I had my bridal shower there, it’s a lovely place for a quick lunch. Originally, we’d tossed around the idea of doing food photography work, as I’ve been making headway in that department (see here and here). But, truly, Matt doesn’t need me. He takes lovely photos on his own. And on his phone! Much to my frustration.

So, it morphed into this. A night in the suite and a day in the kitchen. All documented and (somewhat) perfected and presented. (Although if I’m being honest about it being perfected – this is the second time I’ve uploaded the video. The first time was missing the audio transition and I was so mortified I took it down!)

Matt was so kind to open his doors to us. He introduced us to his friends, Elsah and Roger, owners of a local catering company. They have experience and advice and stories I gobbled up faster than the food they made. We laughed, drank Jack Rabbits, and made marshmallows. I took video of it all, that you’ll see at a later date.

I also took a ton of pictures. Just like I did of these pavlovas!

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Chocolate Cake for One (Or Two) (& tastes)

There was a period of time in college where I wanted nothing to do with chocolate.

Didn’t care for it. Not the sight of it, the smell of it, and especially not the taste of it.

This continued for about a year. Not wanting anything chocolate flavored or related or even tangentially connected to it. And this was way back when I worked at a candy magazine and was constantly surround by chocolates of all varieties. It was a dark time.

Thank god that’s over.

The distaste was merely a blip, a nonevent in my tastebuds’ lives. Now, blessedly, I love chocolate once more. Can’t get enough of it, actually.

My favorite way to eat it? In cake.

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