Super easy to make and absolutely scrumptious to devour. These will have you stealing them from your family members!
Okay I have pink lemonade on the brain right now. I am completely addicted to everything pink lemonade. It’s a serious problem. Luckily it’s a problem that tastes good. So I’m not feeling overly bad about the whole thing one little bit. I made Pink Lemonade Hand Pies yesterday. They were the bomb. Next up is a Pink Lemonade frozen treat that’s going to make you scream, “I scream, You scream, we all scream for pink lemonade cheesecake ice cream….sandwiches”. Okay that last bit didn’t rhyme but whatever. Once you see them you’ll forgive me. I promise.
Today I have the absolute pleasure of introducing my readers to one of my blogging buddies. Her name is Jennie and she’s absolutely wicked talented. She blogs at The Messy Baker and can be found whipping up everything from Maple Pecan Granola to Game Day Loaded Nachos . I was initially drawn to her Cranberry Orange Gin Fizz with Thyme but I didn’t really want to make a drink for this edition of Burning Down The Kitchen. I poked about some of my favourite recipes of Jennie’s and came across her Funfetti Cake Batter Oreo Ice Cream. I was going to make that but then decided I wanted to wait till my son visits for that one. So I moved on to her Peanut Butter Oats Balls, but decided I wanted to hold off a week to make those since they would be perfect treats for my brother’s birthday. While I was scoping them out I caught her Gluten Free Pink Lemonade Dip out of the corner of my eye. I was intrigued. I was hungry. I was totally making that. Then one thing lead to another and her dip was made, demolished, then adapted into cheesecakes which our family is obsessed with. Then I took that cheesecake mix and turned it into ice cream sandwiches, which will be the next recipe to be posted here. Total obsession.
I love that Jennie‘s recipe lead to inspiration for 3 different recipes. Honestly I am have about 3 others swirling around thanks to Jennie’s brilliance. She is so talented and everything she makes it so gorgeous. Her recipes make me want to run into the kitchen immediately and try to make something as pretty as hers. She is far more talented with a camera than I. Jennie’s photos are stellar, I just love her photography on her site. And I just love her. She’s bubbly and vibrant, full of life and joy. I hope I get to meet her in person one day very soon. Until then I’m going to introduce her to you so you can fall in love with her too!
Burning Down The Kitchen Interview with Jennie from The Messy Baker:
1. How did you get started blogging?
I was working on completing my Bachelor’s degree in English and wanted a creative writing outlet to practice and improve my writing skills. Since I spend most of my time in the kitchen baking or cooking, I figured why not combine both passions and start a website. I could continue my love for making a mess in the kitchen and improve my writing by writing about what I love most: food! At the time I was already following several food blogs, so it just made sense to start my own, and I haven’t looked back since.
2. What would you say your favourite part of it is?
Besides eating? I’d have to say, hands down, the wonderful people who make up the food blogging community. Honestly, the world could learn something from the food blogging community. The people I have met and befriended along the way are beyond amazing. Everyone is so helpful, caring, passionate, and, most of all, willing to lend a hand. There’s no competition; it’s great.
3. Is there anything about it you find challenging?
Finding a balance between working, blogging, and “me” time has been a challenge. I have taken on more brand work recently and now have deadlines, making blogging a bit more real and not just a hobby. Don’t get me wrong, I love every moment of it, but it would be much easier if I could just win the lottery, quit my job, and blog full-time. Keeping up with social media is no picnic. How many platforms are going to pop up? And, with Facebook being all sorts of selfish and wanting to take your money to promote your work, it has become a bit of a losing battle. I’d say that Google+ is looking quite sexy these days.
4. How do you balance blogging and life in general?
Balance is a daily work in progress. I’m still not very good at it, but here it goes… I was able to give up a day at work to focus more on my site, which has made a significant difference. I’m now able to spend more time with family, friends, and my husband. I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to be diligent about keeping organized. I recently purchased a planner, and, to my surprise, I’m actually using it. I plan out my menu, recipes, and grocery list each week. Once I’ve completed a task, I put a little check mark next to it. When I check everything off of my list, I treat myself to a cookie. I’m like a 2-year old.
5. Where do you find recipe inspiration?
For me, recipe inspiration comes from several different sources. I read an inordinate amount of cooking magazines. There’s a lot of inspiration and tips/tricks floating around in those. I go through my favorite blogs on a weekly basis, so some of it comes from my fellow foodie friends. I also own about 500 cookbooks, and, as if those aren’t enough, I borrow cookbooks from the library for inspiration. I also dream about food, so there’s that. A lot of my inspiration comes from playing around in the kitchen. I start with a foundation (maybe a recipe I found in a book) and tweak it to my liking. Boom, a new recipe is born.
6. Have you always loved to cook?
I fell head-over-heels in love with baking at age 7 when I baked my first from scratch chocolate cake. Ever since then, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my dad, grandmother, and great-grandmother. My dad taught me how to make pie crust, my grandmother taught me how to make sugar cookies, and my great-grandmother taught me how to eat. Being in the kitchen is always an euphoric experience–an escape from reality. As soon as I start whisking, I get lost.
7. What about photography, you take beautiful photos, has that always been a passion of yours?
Funny you should ask this question. I didn’t grow up with a passion for photography. Matter of fact, I was horrible at it. My photos were always missing heads. My passion was always located in the kitchen. However, with a food blog comes the need for beautiful photography, so I was forced to learn how to snap pretty pictures. I went all in and started with a DSLR, because apparently I like to torture myself. I looked at pretty photos, read books (Helene Dujardin is a savour), and studied photo tutorials like it was my job. It has taken a better part of 2 years, but I’m finally getting the hang of it. I love that it challenges me. Sometimes I want to pick up a plate of cookies and fling them across my photo studio, but that’s what I love about it. In the end it’s all about patience and moving the food around until you’re happy with your photos. To this day, I’m still learning new methods and tricks.
8. Do you have any blogging advice to share with us, maybe something you wish someone had shared with you when you first started?
If you’re really serious about starting a blog, invest in a self-hosted site. Also, don’t be afraid to market yourself and what you have to offer the world. Make friends with other bloggers–don’t be shy. People eat with their eyes, so take the time and learn how to use your camera.
9. What’s a typical day like for you?
I drag myself out of bed, grab my computer from my office, and head to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. I run on coffee, so that gets checked off the list first. When the pot of coffee is finished brewing, I sit down at the kitchen table and turn on my computer. I usually answer emails, do a little social media promoting, if I have a post that went out that day, I promote it and share it across the Interwebs. I like to spend a bit of time visiting my favorite blogs. After that, I open my planner to see what’s on the to-do list for the day and get to makin’ a mess in the kitchen. I do 500 loads of dishes, write a few posts, develop a few recipes, snap a few photos, and try to organize and clean the house in-between. By 4:00 (that’s when Squirrel gets home) I’m cleaned up and ready to start dinner. After dinner I relax a bit. I don’t watch too much television, but I do like to read. I usually head to bed around 9pm with my computer to catch up on emails, Pinterest sharing, and participating in some of the Facebook groups I’m involved it.
10. How much time do you spend in the kitchen each day?
When I work my day job, it’s about 2 hours. On Thursdays, I’m in the kitchen from 7am to 6pm. On the weekends, you’ll find me in the kitchen all day.
11. Are you a sweet or salty snacker?
Psht, sweets all the way! I’m a horrible snacker. I could munch all day long if I allowed it.
12. Do you prefer fruits or veggies? Or a mix of both?
I have always been a very good eater, so both. If Squirrel didn’t love meat so dang much, I could live off of veggies.
13. Biscoff, Nutella or Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter. I live for it. Jar. Spoon. Mouth.
14. Favourite popcorn topping?
Loads of butter and a sprinkle of salt.
15. Favourite restaurant in the world?
Plaza Azteca in Williamsburg, VA. Boring town, delicious Mexican food.
16. If you could cook with one celebrity chef who would it be and why?
Julia Child. I mean, she’s epic. I grew up watching her with my great-grandmother. She’s an idol.
17. If you could go on the ultimate dream foodie vacation where would you go and what would you eat?
I’d have to say Italy. So many carbs. So much cheese. I would take down as many carbs as I could and guzzle some fruity wine.
18. What are your three favourite kitchen toys?
My immersion blender. This tool is amazing for the messy cook. If I had to transfer soup or marinara from the pot to a blender, a holy explosion of sauce is sure to happen. Wooden spoons. Yup, a simple wooden spoon. It’s not fancy, but it does the trick. Lola, my KitchenAid mixer. Without her, there would be no cookies, buttercream frosting, or cheesecakes.
19. Do you collect cookbooks? Which ones are your favourites?
Do I collect cookbooks? Only about 500. I’m running out of room, I have so dang many. My favorites are Alice’s Tea Cup, Baking by Dorie Greenspan, and The Good Eats trilogy.
20. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is blogging still a big part of the picture?
I see a lot of butter and sugar in the future…maybe even a cookbook with my name on it. One can dream, right?
Dare Portion of Burning Down The Kitchen:
Dare Option #1:
Show us your kitchen in the midst of baking or cooking up a storm. All the better if you are in the photo.
I am in love with Jennie’s cabinets and counter. How pretty is this kitchen. Who cares about the mess, I just want to lick all the bowls. And Jennie, just a little FYI for you, I’m going shopping this weekend to pick up glass jars for my counter like yours. Those are gorgeous. I was looking for apothecary jars but I think these wide mouth ones would be perfect for all the baking I do every day. So thanks for not only inspiring some recipes but some shopping too. Oh ya, and hubs says thank you to (while rolling his eyes).
I love the red mixer, and I adore all the stoneware. So pretty. And the splash for red berries is just so cute. I also want to know where Jennie got her green dish, it looks like a butter dish. That’s super snazzy. I now see why Jennie’s photos are so colourful. Her kitchen has the same bright pops of colour everywhere. Airy, bright and awe-inspiring.
So this is Jennie’s Gluten Free Lemonade Dip. Aren’t her photos spectacular? I always know Jennie’s photos when I see them on Facebook or Pinterest. Her photos are full of bright light, colourful food and gorgeous props skills. As someone who struggles with those things I really appreciate when people master those skills, and trust me, photo styling takes serious skill. It takes instinct and serious composition talent. Jennie has all of that in spades. Plus she’s a kick ass baker. Every recipe I’ve tried of hers has impressed the hell out of me.
So the dip happened, but we scarfed it so fast I didn’t get photos. I’ll have to try that again when the hooligans aren’t around to descend like hungry wolves. I was replying to comments on my Strawberry No Bake Mini Cheesecakes while shoving Jennie’s dip in my pie hole, and I had Pink Lemonade Hand Pies baking in the oven, so it was a natural leap to adapt her dip into these Pink Lemonade No Bake Cheesecakes. I could not have been happier with the results. Fabulous inspiration leads to kiss ass desserts. After I got done taking photos of the cheesecakes I had some filling left. Never one to waste a good filling I started to ponder what to do with it. Since I’m an ice cream junkie the next natural leap was ice cream sandwiches. I’m addicted to ice cream sandwiches, I had Red Velvet, Meyer Lemon, Cookie Dough ice cream sandwich recipes on my site. So of course pink lemonade ones would be next. So while you pine away till I post those here’s the recipe Jennie’s Gluten Free Lemonade Dip inspired me to make.
Places to stalk Cravings of a Lunatic!
Super cute right. I am way too addicted to tiny parfaits. It’s just crazy how much I love them. How can your resist such cuteness? I know I can never resist a cute, tiny little parfait. It makes me feel like I can eat more of them since they are small. Totally acceptable right? No, just me then.
I have to thank Jennie so very much for allowing me to feature her today. I just adore this woman, she is so talented and such a sweet lady. I think you guys should all go stalk her now. You find her on her blog, The Messy Baker. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Also make sure you tune in for her Slice of Life Saturdays. It’s a cool glimpse at the personal side of Jennie, and you will totally love the series.
Some of my favourite all time recipes of Jennie’s are listed below. Head over to her site and pin like mad. It’s a great way to save recipes you want to make so you don’t lose track of them.
Funfetti Cake Batter Oreo Ice Cream by The Messy Baker
Cookies and Cream Fudge by The Messy Baker
Seriously right! The girl can cook her butt off and take some amazing photos. I cannot wait to try the fudge. I’m a fudge fanatic. I’m sure it’s going to spark fudge-mania over here. Right now we’re still in the middle of pink lemonade-mania. I’ve got a few more of these Pink Lemonade No Bake Cheesecakes to polish off.
Be sure to tune in tomorrow for these little cuties pictured below!
Oh, before I run off to make more pink lemonade treats, did y’all know I’m on Instagram now? You should totally rush over and follow me on Instagram immediately. I have no idea how to use it or what I’m doing but it’s sure to be entertaining.
Toodles and Puckery Smoochies! xx