Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread | simplykierste.com

 Would you believe I had NEVER made pumpkin bread before?  It's true.  Not one time. Until the last month, and I've made it four times! I'm usually not a huge fan of pumpkin (pumpkin pie, no thanks!), so I've just not thought I would like it.  Then my kids starting asking me about it, and so I decided to give it a try.  Oh my goodness....it is SO yummy!  I don't know why I ever waited so long!   We headed up to the Adirondack Mountains this weekend for a little fall getaway, and it was just what our family needed.  We've had such hectic schedules over the last few months that it was wonderful to unplug and just spend time together.  You would not believe the stunning beauty of the … [Read more...]

12 scrumptious peanut butter recipes

12 Scrumptious Peanut Butter Recipes | simplykierste.com

What a whirlwind of a week! My parents have been here visiting from Utah, and since it's the first time they've visited since we moved here, we've been making the rounds of all of our favorite spots. Oh, and we've also had ice cream almost every single day since they came.  I'm not kidding---there is a cute ice cream place on every corner around here, and none of us can resist it.  I definitely came by my sweet tooth honestly. :)  In fact, I was looking through recipes tonight to see what treat we would make tomorrow, because baking is another thing we like to do, and I realized that almost three quarters of them were recipes that had peanut butter in them.  They all looked so yummy, that I … [Read more...]

Best back-to-school & fall crockpot meals

16 Back-to-School & Fall Crockpot Recipes | simplykierste.com

And so it begins. I was doing my calendaring for the week, and realized that our summer is quickly coming to a close, and that the craziness and busy-ness of school and fall are upon us. Even though we have a few weeks before school starts,  I have several kids playing soccer, and the season is in full swing starting this week.  It means 4-5 times a week of being out of the house in the evening, and limited time to make and serve dinner.  I know I will need to rely on my crockpot a lot, so I can serve yummy, healthy dinners to my family without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I gathered some of the most mouthwatering, family-friendly (or anyone friendly) slow cooker recipes I … [Read more...]

The BEST hot fudge: 4 ingredients + 10 minutes!

The BEST Hot fudge with 4 ingredients + 10 minutes | simplykierste.com

Others may tell you that they have the best hot fudge, but I'm here to tell you that NOW you can stop searching.  With just four ingredients and ten minutes or less, you can have the fudgiest, richest, creamiest, smoothest, and most chocolate-y hot fudge you've ever had. For reals. It's the kind of hot fudge that you really don't even need ice cream for...just a spoon. A big one.  It's to-die-for good. This hot fudge takes me back to my childhood, because my mom made it for us, and I love it as much now as I did then.  It's perfect for serving over  ice cream, or any other decadent dessert that you want to add a WOW factor to. It's just so, so good. And the fact that you … [Read more...]

Easy seasoned glazed pretzels

Easy seasoned glazed pretzels | simplykierste.com

Last week we spent the day with friends at one of our favorite beaches.  Of course we all brought snacks, because that's just what one does when at the beach, right?  One of my darling friends brought the yummiest pretzels ever...crispy, crunchy, buttery, with a hint of garlic...I could not stop eating them!  I'll just tell you now I that was hooked after the first bite.  I got the recipe from her very soon after we got home, and I knew I had to try them right away.  My kids and husband adore them too, and I've already had requests to put them in their school lunch--and school doesn't even start for another seven weeks!  These easy seasoned glazed pretzels are so delicious, I knew I needed … [Read more...]

15 mouthwatering summer salads

12 mouthwatering summer salads | simplykierste.com

I absolutely love salads.  Really yummy salads.  Yes, regular greens with dressing is just fine, but I get so excited about a salad that's chock full of my favorite things, plus has a fabulous dressing to go with it.  My mouth is seriously watering thinking about it! Summertime is the absolute best time to enjoy a salad, due in large part to all the fresh fruits and vegetables that grocery stores and farmers' markets and gardens are overflowing with.  There are just so many options, and all of the wonderful colors just make me happy. I'm still trying to convince my kids that salads are as good as I say they are, so  I went on a quest this week to look up some of the most mouthwatering … [Read more...]

Easy peanut butter cup brownies

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies | simplykierste.com

I helped organize a cake auction fundraiser for our church youth group a few weeks ago, and few received some amazing cakes and pies to auction off.  There was one cake in particular that caught my son's eye from the very beginning--a peanut butter and chocolate cake topped with chopped Reese's PB cups and a chocolate ganache.  Unfortunately, despite battling long and hard, we lost the bid to another family. He was pretty sad, but to make him feel better, I told him I would recreate it for him. I decided Father's Day would be the perfect time to make it, because Reese's is my husband's absolute favorite candy, and I knew he would love it too.  I was right--it was a hit! I did decide to … [Read more...]

Frozen chocolate mousse squares

Frozen chocolate mousse bites | simplykierste.com

Silky. Creamy. Rich. Velvety. Melt-in-your-mouth. DIVINE!!!  Frozen Chocolate Mousse Bites have long been one of my favorite things, and they're always a hit whenever I take them. They're tiny little bundles of double chocolate-y goodness--a delightful chocolate mousse on the top with a chocolate cookie crust on the bottom.  A perfect summertime confection! They're so easy to make, which I'm always a fan of. Pop then in the freezer, and keep them there until you're ready to serve!  I I love cutting them in small squares, and sticking paper straws in the top.  It makes them easy to serve, and extra cute. :) You might spy a little bit of green in the crust, and that's because I used … [Read more...]

Company’s coming! Breakfast ideas for overnight guests

12 yummy breakfast ideas for overnight guests | simplykierste.com

We moved away from our family and home state when we left for graduate school, and since then we've lived in four different states and gathered dear friends in every place we've been.  We love LOVE when we have guests, and when our friends and family come to visit.  It's always so wonderful to get to spend time with them, and show them "our town".  I seriously can't wait for our house to be finished, so we can start having guests again! We are pretty casual when it comes to breakfast, and even when guests come, we mostly stick to hot/cold cereal, fruit, yogurt, and juice.  It's always fun serving an extra yummy breakfast during the visit, and we'll save it for a morning when we have … [Read more...]

Chocolate Sprinkle Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies | simplykierste.com

Hi, this is Kara,  and I'm excited to share a yummy treat with you today! Cookies are one of my favorite treats to bake. They are simple to make, ready in a few minutes, and loved by everyone. Who can resist a homemade cookie warm from the oven? Chocolate chip cookies are a great standby, but sometimes I like to add something to them to add a little pizzazz. I love adding different types of nuts and coconut for my family, but when baking for others I worry about food allergies. I found a recipe for chocolate chip cookies with chocolate sprinkles in one of my cookbooks, and I knew I just had to give it a try. I had my four year old help me make these cookies, and she was pretty … [Read more...]