Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches

by kristen massad on April 13, 2014

carrot cake cookieLots of Easter menu planning is going on over here and I typically love to have a traditional coconuty carrot cake on my table, but this year I have opted for something even better! I have a thing for cookies lately, I just think they are so easy and everyone loves them and eats them.  Sometimes I find when you have cake, no one wants to wait for the cake to be cut, so they don’t eat dessert.  So this year I have created the perfect combination of the simplicity of a cookie with your favorite carrot cake flavors.  I also felt I could make it even better….Pineapple Cream Cheese Filling!  Carrot cake cookie sandwiches will be a great addition to you Easter celebration…or any celebration for that matter!  

Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches
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1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 Tbsp butter (1 stick)
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup old fashion rolled oats
1 cup finely shredded carrots
1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
preheat oven to 350 degrees F
combine sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy
add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until well combined
in a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
slowly add the flour mixture to butter mixture
mix in oats, carrots and coconut
chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (until firm)
scoop dough into 2" balls using ice cream scoop
bake until light brown
allow the cookie to cool completely before filling with pineapple cream cheese filling
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Pineapple Cream Cheese Filling
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1/2lb butter (2 sticks)
16oz of cream cheese
6 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pineapple (DRAINED)
With paddle beat butter and cream cheese until smooth
add powdered sugar and vanilla extract
fold in chopped pineapple (make sure it is drained very well)
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Spring Gardening Inspiration

by kristen massad on April 11, 2014

garden inspiration

A few weekends ago, my husband, two girls and I spent the whole weekend outside planting herbs and new flowers and since than, I can’t stop thinking about what else we can do and searching for some tools and decorative pieces. 

So if you have some time this weekend and have the gardening bug like me, here are some of my favorites! 

On a side note of cute things…I also feel it is very important to share a solution to any squirrel problems you might have once you plant all these aromatic herbs.  We seem to attract these furry little animals and they don’t go away.  I have tried several things to keep them away and I think I have finally found the key.

Natural Squirrel Repellent: 

Diced Jalapenos
mix the solution in a spray bottle and let it sit over night
spray on the dirt surrounding your plants…IT REALLY WORKS! 


Find items here:
garden cartgarden toolsplant markersplant misterchimeswater can





Lemon Buttermilk Chess Pie

by kristen massad on April 8, 2014

SONY DSCI have been wanting to share one of my favorite pie recipes with you, but it has been hard to pull out the spring flavors while the weather was cold and dreary, so finally the weather is warming up and we can start to lighten up our palates!  Lemon Buttermilk Chess Pie is a more recent discovery of mine, but this recipe now takes the cake over all other lemon pies.  

Last weekend we celebrated my mom’s birthday and lemon pie was requested for her special celebration.  So typically I make a buttery crust, a tangy lemon curd filling and top it with a generous amount of fluffy meringue.  Instead of doing my traditional lemon tart, I was craving this chess pie and let me tell you…it can’t get much better than this!  If you are planning an easter brunch or dinner, add this pie to your menu…you will have some happy guests!

*see below for a few must haves to make this recipes*SONY DSC

Shortbread Crust
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1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups (1 lb) butter, unsalted
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups all purpose flour
cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl with paddle attachment
add egg and vanilla extract
slowly add flour and mix just until combined
remove from mixing bowl and knead until smooth
create a ball out of the dough and wrap with plastic for 30-40 minutes
once dough is chilled roll out and shape into (2) 9"tart or 1 9" deep dish pie pans
chill until lemon filling is ready
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Lemon Buttermilk Chess Filling
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2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 Tbsp butter, unsalted, melted
zest of 3 lemons
whisk the sugar, flour, and salt in a large bowl
add buttermilk, eggs, yolks and vanilla extract; whisk until smooth
add melted butter and lemon zest and whisk
pour mixture into prepared (1) 9" deep dish pie plate or (2) 9" tart shells
bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until fill is set in the middle and top is light golden brown
allow pie to cool at room temperature and then move into refrigerator until chilled before removing from pan
serve cold with powdered sugar, whipped cream or meringue
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lemon chess pie must haves

have items to make this recipe: French Style Rolling PinTart PanMicro Plane Zester







Mint + Gold Dessert Buffet

by kristen massad on March 31, 2014


A slice of cake and a glass of champagne are typically the perfect combination to end any celebration, but if you have a love for design and desserts you will want to spoil your guest to a lovely dessert buffet!  It can be a simple baby shower or an extravagant wedding, you are sure to send your friends home feeling extra special. 

Dessert Buffets are becoming more and more popular and will insure that you have something sweet for everyone’s liking.  Deciding on a dessert buffet will start with a theme; pick something you are celebrating or colors of the season.  While deciding on your menu, make sure to include baked goods as well as candies and confections concluding with the perfect cocktail.

Mint green and gold are two of my favorite colors for spring and perfect for any celebration, along with my favorite item on this dessert table, the perfect Toasted Coconut Marshmallow.  Enjoy spring and celebrate with your favorite sweets!



Tabletop Items: Chevron Gold Runner, Gold Circle Banner, Chevron Straws, Scalloped Cake Stand 

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows
Yields 28
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4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2/3 cups cold water
2 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup water
2/3 cups light corn syrup
½ tsp coconut extract
2 cups toasted coconut
• Brush 9x13 inch baking dish with vegetable oil and line with plastic wrap
• Sprinkle ½ cup toasted coconut to cover the bottom of the pan
• Pour 2/3 cup water into the bowl of the mixer with whisk attached
• Sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes
• Stir together sugar, corn syrup and ½ cup water in medium saucepan and bring to boil, stirring often
• Continue boiling until syrup reaches 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer (softball stage)
• Turn mixter on slow and add syrup to gelatin
• Beat on low until slightly cooled and then gradually increase speed to high
• Continue beating until the mixture is cool and peaks form
• Pour mixture into prepared pan (over toasted coconut)
• Immediately sprinkle ½ cup toasted coconut to cover the top of the marshmallows
• Allow marshmallows to cool and become firm, about 3 hours
• Pour remaining toasted coconut into a bowl
• Dust a cutting board with confectioners sugar and coat your knife with oil
• Cut marshmallows into desired size and toss each piece in toasted coconut to coat completely
• Store marshmallows in airtight container for up to 1 week
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Coconut Banana Chia Pudding

by kristen massad on March 19, 2014

chia seedIt took me a while to want to try and bake with chia seeds, maybe that is because all I can think of is the chia pet, but I am committed and enjoying every bite!  I will admit, this recipe was inspired by one of my new favorite restaurants here in Dallas, True Food Kitchen.  This is a clean eating, feel good restaurant that has the most delicious food, juices, smoothies and now one of my favorite desserts.  I went there with a group of girl friends for dinner ending with a sampling from the dessert menu and the Chia Seed Banana Pudding was the winner.  Even after one of the healthiest meals and a scrumptious dessert, I was so satisfied that I knew I needed to recreate this for my family.  Easy, kid friendly and has so many health benefits…you will love it (and it’s dairy free)!  Check out all the great benefits to Chia Seeds here!
SONY DSCHere’s what you need:
Coconut Milk
Chia Seeds
Vanilla Extract
Toasted Coconut


Coconut Banana Chia Seed Pudding
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1 cup coconut milk
3 ripe bananas
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine coconut milk and banana in a blender and puree
add chia seeds and vanilla extract and blend until combined
pour pudding into glass jars or bowls and refrigerate until set
top with toasted coconut
serve cold
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