The Local Ladle

Bourbon Fruit Pops!

IMG_1092

Summer calls for lots of frozen treats… so why not add a little bourbon!  Recently, my dad actually discovered the most quaint distillery in Dekalb, IL called Whiskey Acre.  It’s owned by a family of IL corn farmers, who decided to tap into distilling!   When you visit Whiskey Acre you must take a tour of the distillery and barrel room ($10), but also take a seat in the adorable barn bar and sip on their  “Bourbon Slush.”

My parents were talking about this bourbon slush so much, it actually inspired me to whip up something of my own!  The Bourbon Fruit Pops below are an easy to grab refreshing fruit treat after a hot summer day with a little boozy twist!

Read more

French Macarons

IMG_0064

I am not going to lie, the macarons pictured are definitely my 2nd attempt! This French dessert is incredibly easy to prep, but very tricky when it comes to the baking process! The first batch I had made with my roommate, the batter looked beautiful, but cracked in the oven at 325 degrees.

My 2nd try I lowered the heat to 300 degrees while rotating the pan and they came out great, so I will spare you the head ache and two eggs!

Read more

Guinness Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting & Candied Bacon

IMG_2713

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!

Read more

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

Watercolor Sugar Cookies

image1

This recipe may not leave a clean kitchen… but it definitely creates a batch of cookies to talk about! These sugar cookies are a fun way to let your artsy side out. The saying “food is art” takes almost a literal meaning with this watercolor technique!

I also recently discovered Marshmallow Fondant! Instead of the several steps of normal fondant, the marshmallow fondant takes 3 steps and takes no more than 5 minutes to make! I was honestly amazed by the power of a microwave, marshmallows, and powered sugar!

Read more

Dark Chocolate Balsamic Cookies

IMG_2093

Recently, I have been using balsamic vinegar, especially balsamic glaze in and on almost everything lately. It’s a fantastic way to bring a fresh acidity or sweet flavor to a savory dish.

With how busy I have been with work, I haven’t taken the time to experiment with baking. One of my favorite things with sweets is to play with tying in as many savory flavors as possible!  Balsamic vinegar being my new ingredient!

Surprisingly I learned, that vinegar actually pops up in a lot of baked goods as a quick and easy way to add an acid to a recipe. This allows a leavening agent like baking soda to get a little extra lift when added to the batter.

The balsamic vinegar in this recipe actually also gives the chocolate cookies almost a “chocolate covered cherry” taste!   Read more

Stan’s Pistachio Donut with My Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Pistachio donut and strawberry ice cream sandwich

All through school my “fun fact” when it came to first day ice breakers was that my first job was as an ice cream maker.  Now this was no cute ice cream scooper job,  I was full hair net and apron in the back kitchen carrying around 5 pound bags of creamer! I make fun of it, but honestly I think that job is really what sparked my love of cooking and experimenting with recipes!

Read more

Homemade Strawberry Pop Tarts

pop tarts 5

I must say pop tarts were one of the few things that got me out of bed before school morning growing up. Sadly, I haven’t had a pop tart few years! I thought it was about time to bring back those nostalgic memories and attempt to make a pop tart of my own!

Read more

Scroll To Top