The Baker Upstairs: 2019

12.13.2019

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

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This three ingredient peanut butter banana smoothie is so easy to make and tastes like dessert, but is way better for you!

This three ingredient peanut butter banana smoothie is so easy to make and tastes like dessert, but is way better for you!

I know everyone is going crazy posting all of the treats this time of year, but sometimes it's nice to sneak in a little something healthy too, right? This peanut butter banana smoothie is perfect for this time of year, because it tastes like a treat, but it's actually pretty good for you! I love that it has no added sugar (depending on the type of peanut butter you use), but tastes just as delicious and creamy as a milkshake. The frozen bananas are the key to that creamy thick texture and the sweetness of the smoothie. And putting bananas and peanut butter together is a no brainer!

I almost always use soy milk or almond milk for my smoothies, because I like the texture better that way, but you could easily use regular cow's milk instead if you prefer. When I was little, my mom frequently made a smoothie for us that we called "nana drink," and it was my favorite! She made it with just bananas, milk, and ice. This peanut butter banana smoothie is like a slightly more sophisticated version of that smoothie, and I love the combination of flavors with the peanut butter and banana together. This smoothie is fantastic!
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

2 bananas, cut into chunks and frozen
1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk
1/3 cup peanut butter

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

This three ingredient peanut butter banana smoothie is so easy to make and tastes like dessert, but is way better for you!

12.12.2019

Christmas Menu Plan

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This Christmas menu plan is full of delicious, easy to prepare recipes that will make your holiday meal fabulous!

This Christmas menu plan is full of delicious, easy to prepare recipes that will make your holiday meal fabulous!

Now that Christmas is less than two weeks away, it's time to get serious about planning out your holiday meal! My family's usually a little untraditional with our Christmas meal (last year we made carnitas and mexican rice for dinner - yum!), but this year I'm thinking we'll do a big traditional Christmas dinner with ham and potatoes and all of the trimmings. I'm sharing my full menu below, and I love that all of the recipes are simple and easy to make, but totally delicious!


This gooey and melty cranberry baked brie is the perfect party appetizer, and so easy to make!

This Christmas menu plan is full of delicious, easy to prepare recipes that will make your holiday meal fabulous!


This slow cooker brown sugar ham is so flavorful and tender, and has just a five minute prep time. It's the perfect main dish for your holiday celebration!

This Christmas menu plan is full of delicious, easy to prepare recipes that will make your holiday meal fabulous!


These cheesy scalloped potatoes are so tender and flavorful, and so easy to make. They're the perfect holiday side dish!

This Christmas menu plan is full of delicious, easy to prepare recipes that will make your holiday meal fabulous!


These roasted brussels sprouts with bacon are so deliciously flavorful, and quick and easy to make!

This Christmas menu plan is full of delicious, easy to prepare recipes that will make your holiday meal fabulous!


These flavorful and delicious hazelnut green beans are the perfect vegetable side dish!

This Christmas menu plan is full of delicious, easy to prepare recipes that will make your holiday meal fabulous!


These 90 minute dinner rolls are so light and fluffy, and taste amazing!

This Christmas menu plan is full of delicious, easy to prepare recipes that will make your holiday meal fabulous!


This cinnamon vanilla honey butter is flavorful and sweet and exactly what honey butter should be!

This Christmas menu plan is full of delicious, easy to prepare recipes that will make your holiday meal fabulous!


This Irish apple cake is so simple, wonderful, and delicious! It's a lightly sweetened cake full of fresh fruit and topped with just a dusting of powdered sugar.

This Christmas menu plan is full of delicious, easy to prepare recipes that will make your holiday meal fabulous!


This simple and delicious holiday punch is so refreshing, and so easy to make!

This Christmas menu plan is full of delicious, easy to prepare recipes that will make your holiday meal fabulous!

Merry Christmas!

12.09.2019

Cranberry Baked Brie

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This gooey and melty cranberry baked brie is the perfect party appetizer, and so easy to make!

This gooey and melty cranberry baked brie is the perfect party appetizer, and so easy to make!

Raise your hand if you're a cheese addict like I am! When my husband and I first started dating, one of our favorite dates was to cook a meal together, and we always made a little tray of snacks to munch on while we cooked dinner. My husband developed a real knack for putting them together, and usually included things like nuts, olives, dried fruit, and some kind of gourmet cheese. It opened up a whole new world of cheeses to me, and I've never looked back. I grew up eating mostly cheddar, mozzarella, and monterey jack, and had no idea that there were so many other delicious varieties of cheese out there!

After we were married and had the budget of poor college students, we would stretch our meager grocery budget to include a small piece of gourmet cheese every week. We tried so many new cheeses, some becoming instant favorites (Dubliner Irish cheddar, Wensleydale with cranberries, gorgonzola - yum!), and other types just not making the cut. I had heard people rave about brie cheese before, but every time we tried it, it missed the mark for me. It wasn't until years later that I tried baked brie, and realized that what was missing was the gooey melty awesomeness!

This gooey and melty cranberry baked brie is the perfect party appetizer, and so easy to make!

This cranberry baked brie is about as simple as appetizers get, but it's also totally delicious! The combination of flaky pastry, melty cheese, and tart cranberry is perfection. I used my favorite homemade cranberry sauce, and I love how much flavor it adds!

This gooey and melty cranberry baked brie is the perfect party appetizer, and so easy to make!

I opted for more of a rustic look with the puff pastry folded on top, but if you'd like it to look a little neater, you can turn it upside down, with the folds on the bottom. Be sure to brush the outside with egg wash so it will get nice and golden brown in the oven.

This gooey and melty cranberry baked brie is the perfect party appetizer, and so easy to make!

This cranberry baked brie is the perfect appetizer for your next party!

This gooey and melty cranberry baked brie is the perfect party appetizer, and so easy to make!

Cranberry Baked Brie

1 wheel brie cheese
1 sheet (1/2 package) puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup cranberry sauce (homemade is delicious!)
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
crackers for serving

Preheat the oven to 400. Roll out the puff pastry to 1/4 inch thick. Place the wheel of brie in the center of the puff pastry. Spread the cranberry sauce over the top of the brie. Fold the edges of the puff pastry up to cover the cranberry sauce and cheese completely. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the water. Brush the egg wash over the top of the puff pastry. Bake 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with crackers.

This gooey and melty cranberry baked brie is the perfect party appetizer, and so easy to make!

12.05.2019

Ravioli with Mushroom Cream Sauce

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This savory ravioli with mushroom cream sauce is a flavorful and delicious meal that's ready in 30 minutes!

This savory ravioli with mushroom cream sauce is a flavorful and delicious meal that's ready in 30 minutes!

Now that December is here, it's officially the busiest time of year! Why not make things a little easier on yourself with a quick and easy dinner recipe? This ravioli with mushroom cream sauce is so simple to make, and full of flavor! It takes less than thirty minutes to put together, and it's so hearty and delicious. It's perfect for a cold winter night!

This savory ravioli with mushroom cream sauce is a flavorful and delicious meal that's ready in 30 minutes!

The mushrooms give the sauce a ton of flavor, and they are so delicious paired with the tender ravioli. Serve it with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese on top, and you've got a perfect meal! I used sausage ravioli from Costco because it's what I had on hand, but you could use any flavor of ravioli that you like. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
Ravioli with Mushroom Cream Sauce

1 package (around 18 ounces) refrigerated ravioli
2 tablespoons butter
1 package (8 ounces) sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook the ravioli according to package directions. While the water is boiling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, and sprinkle with the salt and worcestershire sauce. Cook until the mushrooms are soft. Add the flour and stir to coat the mushrooms in the flour. Cook 2-3 minutes, until the flour is absorbed. Slowly whisk in the milk, a little at a time, stirring frequently. Add the beef broth and stir until combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the cream, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Toss the cooked ravioli with the mushroom sauce and serve hot.
This savory ravioli with mushroom cream sauce is a flavorful and delicious meal that's ready in 30 minutes!

12.03.2019

Simple Holiday Punch (Non-Alcoholic)

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This simple and delicious holiday punch is so refreshing, and so easy to make!

This simple and delicious holiday punch is so refreshing, and so easy to make!

Do you like having friends over for dinner? It's one of my favorite things to do! The house gets clean, I get to show off a little with some of my favorite recipes, and it's always fun to get to know our friends a little better. I have a list of tried and true recipes that I love to make for company (my current favorites are these carnitas tacos and this homemade pizza), and usually our friends volunteer to bring over a side dish or dessert to share. There's something really wonderful about sharing a meal with friends!

One thing I always seem to forget when I'm planning our dinner menu is a fun drink to share! I'm a bit of a Diet Dr. Pepper addict myself, but I think it's fun to have some other options available for people who don't love DDP as much as I do. :) We usually have sparkling water on hand, with some different flavored syrups to add in, and we also love plain ice water with fresh lemon wedges. For special occasions and holidays, this simple holiday punch is our favorite! It has such a flavorful combination of orange, cranberry, and pineapple, and it's a favorite with both kids and adults!

This simple and delicious holiday punch is so refreshing, and so easy to make!

I'm obviously not reinventing the wheel with this punch recipe, but it's a classic for a reason. The combination of fruit juices is totally delicious! I love that it's so festive and fresh tasting, with the perfect balance of tart and sweet. I like to add ginger ale for a little extra flavor, but you can use lemon lime soda if you prefer. It's delicious either way! If you're preparing this punch in advance, I would suggest mixing the fruit juices and refrigerating, but waiting to add the ginger ale until just before serving. The fizziness is definitely the best part! You can easily scale this recipe up or down depending on the size of the crowd you're serving. This punch is the perfect holiday drink!

This simple and delicious holiday punch is so refreshing, and so easy to make!

Simple Holiday Punch

2 cups fresh orange juice
2 cups cranberry juice
2 cups pineapple juice
1 liter ginger ale or lemon lime soda, chilled
1 cup fresh cranberries
fresh orange slices

Add the orange juice, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice to a pitcher and stir to combine. Refrigerate until well chilled. Just before serving, pour the juice into a punch bowl or large pitcher. Add the ginger ale, fresh cranberries, and orange slices. Serve over ice.

This simple and delicious holiday punch is so refreshing, and so easy to make!

12.01.2019

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies

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25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!

I can't believe it's already December 1! This year has flown by, and I'm both excited and overwhelmed that we're heading into the holiday season so quickly. I've got a month of fun activities planned for my family, from riding the Holiday Express train to our annual trip to the Nutcracker. The weather has been extra cold in Portland lately, which makes me want to just stay home and bake all day. Is there anything better than a cozy warm house that smells like fresh cookies? With that in mind, I'm sharing 25 of my favorite cookie recipes with you below. They're perfect for Christmas parties, cookie exchanges, gifting to friends and neighbors, or just enjoying by yourself! 


These soft and chewy dark chocolate sugar cookies are so rich and full of chocolate flavor!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These snickerdoodle cookies are absolute perfection! They're buttery and chewy and soft and delicious - everything you could want in a cookie!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These luscious double chocolate mint cookies are soft and gooey, with just the right amount of mint!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These salted caramel chocolate thumbprint cookies have a rich and buttery chocolate cookie base, a luscious caramel center, and are topped with drizzled chocolate and sea salt. They're unforgettable!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These thick and soft sugar cookies are way better than store-bought, and so easy to make!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These toasted marshmallow s'mores cookies are so gooey, flavorful, and delicious!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These millionaire chocolate chip cookies are so rich and indulgent, and over the top delicious!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These honey lavender shortbread cookies are rich and buttery, and unique and flavorful!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These basic gingerbread cookies are soft but sturdy, and perfect for decorating!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These copycat Swig sugar cookies are so addictingly delicious, and the creamy frosting is to die for!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These cinnamon roll sugar cookies have a buttery cinnamon sugar cookie based, topped with cream cheese icing and a sprinkle of cinnamon. They're so amazingly delicious!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These mint chocolate chip cookies have the perfect touch of mint flavor and are loaded with melty chocolate chips!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These rich and gooey hot cocoa cookies are the perfect treat for a cold day!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These soft and thick decorated sugar cookies are exactly what a sugar cookie should be! They have the perfect sugar cookie flavor and texture and are so easy to make!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These crisp and buttery chocolate chip shortbread cookies are perfect for dunking in milk or hot chocolate!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These crisp and buttery chocolate toffee shortbread cookies are so simple to make, and so delicious!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are rich and buttery, with the perfect contrast of flavors and textures!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These amazingly delicious salted chocolate chunk cookies have the perfect texture and are loaded with gooey chocolate chunks!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These homemade nilla wafers are way easier to make than you might think, and even more delicious than the original!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These crisp and buttery chocolate hazelnut shortbread cookies are packed with deliciousness, and so easy to make!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These crisp and buttery vanilla almond shortbread cookies are so adorable, and so delicious!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These Christmas Oreos are so festive and adorable, and perfect for gifting!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These rich and decadent fudgy double chocolate cookies are the perfect way to satisfy your chocolate craving!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These chai spice snickerdoodles taste amazing and are the perfect mixture of sweetness and spice!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!


These sweet and tangy lemon sugar cookie bars are so delicious and easy to make. All the taste of sugar cookies without the annoying rolling and cutting!

25 Delicious Christmas Cookies - A variety of delicious cookies that are perfect for parties, cookie exchanges, or gifting!

Happy baking!

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