The Local Ladle

Chicken Caprese Pull-Apart Bread

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Looking for the perfect appetizer?  This pull apart bread takes just a few minutes to throw together and is definitely a crowd pleaser!

Each bite is a great combination of creamy yet fresh flavors, which are all brought by the addicting basil dipping sauce!  Read more

Guinness Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting & Candied Bacon

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Happy St. Pattys Day!  Coming from a girl who isn’t even a little bit Irish, but has a great love for the beautiful country of Ireland and all it’s amazing people!  Everyday I cannot believe it’s been 3 years already out of Ballymaloe Cookery School… how time flies!

These cupcakes are not only delicious, but a little nod to my favorite beer… Guinness!  Cupcakes and beer, you can’t go wrong! Sláinte!

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Classic Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcake

It’s Valentines Day and that calls for sweets… sweets.. sweets!

This past week I was able to stop by one of my most favorite boutique stores in Lakeview, called Foursided. It’s filled gorgeous posters, creative themed cards, a hilarious knick knacks! In my last trip I came across these adorable neon Valentine themed cupcake liners and I just had to whip out my red velvet cupcakes for the holiday!  Read more

Chorizo Jalapeño Poppers

Chorizo Jalapeno Poppers 1

Every time I open a restaurant menu and to see jalapeno poppers under the appetizers, it’s like the remainder of the menu is a blur. It’s not even an option, I have to order the addicting spicy bites! This past weekend in Chicago, I fought over the last of Old Crow Smokehouses amazing bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers! They sparked the idea of me making jalapeno poppers of my own. Instead of using a bacon, that it most commonly used, I decided to go with a Mexican chorizo. The deep smoky and spicy flavor of the chorizo could not be a better match with the cream cheese and fresh jalapeno.

Check out my notes at the bottom for some great vegan substitutions! Read more

Easter Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake wit Cream Cheese Frosting

My love for carrot cake goes way back!  On my first birthday, my mom had called up my dad to grab a cake for me on his way home from the office. Out of all the chocolate, sprinkles, and ice cream cakes, my dad decided to go with carrot cake . Lets just say my mom was rather confused by his choice, but little did she know I would have a carrot cake for my birthday every birthday since!

I thought I would share my favorite carrot cake recipe with you for this Easter holiday! Read more

Surprisingly Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

At every single one of my family holiday parties you can always count on there being Spinach Artichoke Dip somewhere in the line up of appetizers. Believe me, I am not complaining! I love the stuff, but how could you not? The dish is packed with all different kinds of cheeses.

I know that eating healthy isn’t the first thing on your mind when at a holiday party, but I decided to create a new healthier version of my moms oh so famous Spinach Artichoke Dip. It never hurts to cut out a few calories without even knowing it! Read more

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