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All Posts By:Sharon

BBQ Chicken Nachos

BBQ Chicken Nachos - Made with tortilla chips topped with BBQ chicken, Monterrey Jack and cheddar cheeses, fresh tomatoes, sliced red onion, and crispy bacon, these nachos are a fun and easy party snack that is perfect for a crowd!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Constellation Brands. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #SummertimeCerveza #CollectiveBias

BBQ Chicken Nachos – Made with tortilla chips topped with BBQ chicken, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, fresh tomatoes, sliced red onion, and crispy bacon, these nachos are a fun and easy party snack that is perfect for a crowd!

In my house growing up, summers were about soccer. As I’ve mentioned before, both of my parents grew up in Colombia, so they were huge soccer fans. But what I haven’t talked about before is that my grandparents were immigrants to Colombia from Europe. And soccer is huge there, as well. So we were also busy keeping tabs on the matches for various European teams.

Oh and I can’t forget Spain! My cousins currently live there and have for the last few decades. Soccer in Spain is huuuuuuge and they take it super seriously. I’ll never forget being in Madrid in 2002 and watching the quarterfinals of the soccer games that summer. The neighborhoods shut down to watch the game and for each goal scored, you could hear shouting and screaming coming from all the apartments nearby. The energy was something I’ve never experienced before.

Now that summer is starting, that means more soccer to watch. To get ready for the Beautiful Game this summer, I’m stocking up on my favorite beers and making some incredible party snacks. But not just any snacks – say hello to my BBQ Chicken Nachos!

Bonus Post! Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination

Sunshine Blogger Awards

As you know, I typically post things for you guys Mondays and Thursdays. But this week, you get a bonus post so I can share some awesome news!

A couple weeks ago, fellow food blogger, Bites of Flavor, nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I was in shock! I work so hard to give you guys incredible recipes and stories behind them so it feels great to be recognized for that hard work. Thank you, Kristine!

Ok so what is the Sunshine Blogger Award. Per Kristine:

This award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who they believe are inspiring, positive, and deserve some recognition.  It’s also a great way for bloggers to get to know each other!

Now that I’ve been nominated, I’ve been asked to do the following:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated them by writing a blog post about the Sunshine Blogger Award and include the nominator’s blog link in the post
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them and include the answers in the blog post
  3. Nominate 11 other blogs, ask them 11 new questions, and include those questions in the blog post
  4. Notify the 11 nominees and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo in the blog post (create your own logo)

So what were my questions? Let’s get started!

  1. What is your blog niche and where did you come up with the concept?

    I started this blog during my first job at a CPA Accounting Firm, where I was also a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). At the time, I was all about the sweets so I decided to play around with my license designation and call the blog Certified Pastry Aficionado. Now, I post about all kinds of recipes but I still love that the blog name ties in aspects of my other life as a CPA. So the name stayed!

  2. How long have you been blogging?

    I first began blogging in 2011 but then took a 4-year hiatus to focus on work and life. I have been back at the blog for almost a year and absolutely love it. So much has changed in the blogging world since I started so, despite first entering the game long ago, I still think of myself as a newbie. This past year has been such a magical adventure so I have no plans of turning my back on this blog again! Food blogger 4 life!

  3. How do you get inspiration to write your blog post?

    So many of my recipes come from things that I’ve tried at restaurants or from friends or from my childhood that I just HAVE to share with everyone. Sometimes, I just feel like getting creative and developing something completely new based on recipes I’ve been brainstorming about or ingredients that have inspired me.

  4. What do you like most about blogging?

    I love the reactions I get from you all! Food is such a big deal to me so I love sharing it with everyone. Nothing warms my heart more than when someone tells me that they loved a recipe and it’s now become part of their family. I love it!

  5. Where do you live and how would you describe that city to someone who has never been there?

    Atlanta, GA  – it’s the perfect mixture of suburban life and big-city life. Last year, we were in the hustle-and-bustle of the city but then moved 12 miles away to the suburbs. You really don’t have to move far to get the kind of community you’re looking for.

  6. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from blogging?

    You have to make time for the things you’re passionate about. Like I mentioned above, I put the blog on hold for 4 years because life got into the way. But in reality, I let life distract me from my passion. Now that I’ve resurrected it, I plan to never let it go again because I know how much joy I get from it.

  7. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced when blogging?

    Self-promotion. When I first started the blog, I thought people would organically stumble upon my site and read what I had to say. Fat chance. You gotta promote yourself and get the word out there about your blog! This has been hard for me because it requires lots of networking and learning about social media and putting yourself out there.

  8. Do you blog full time, or as a hobby? If you blog as a hobby, tell us how you make time to blog while working!

    Oh girl, let me tell you – it has been pretty crazy trying to balance both! I work full-time but that doesn’t mean I think of my blog as a hobby. I take it very seriously and devote most of my free time to creating new content, promoting that content, and reaching out to brands for possibilities of working together. I do this before work, after work, and on the weekends. But that doesn’t mean I don’t make time for a personal life. If I have a busy weekend planned, I’ll do more on other weekends or during the week to catch-up. I have always been great at time-management so, though it’s been tough to keep it all together, it’s definitely doable. Oh and I gotta thank my incredible husband for taking care of many of the chores around the house and helping keep me sane while I try to balance everything. He does soooo much and I am eternally grateful for that. He’s even starting to take over my Facebook to help me out too! What a saint, huh?!

  9. What has been the best vacation you’ve been on?

    Our European vacation about 2 years ago. We saw family in Madrid for my cousin’s wedding, ventured on to Paris for a few days, and then Munich. it was so great to see family and eat amazing food and do it all with my now-husband. Oh and it was pretty amazing to get engaged in the City of Light 🙂

  10. What are your blog goals for the rest of the year?

    (1) Grow my reach on Facebook, (2) Make more videos, (3) Obtain a Brand Ambassadorship with a brand I love and respect, (4) Hit 50k monthly page views

  11. What do you want your readers to know about you that they already don’t know?

    Though I only post indulgent and even sinful recipes, this is not how I eat all the time. I actually eat pretty healthy and modestly during the week. But I don’t get excited about cooking healthy foods. So I focus my recipes on the foods that make me happy and that’s what I share with you guys. Therefore, I want you to know how important it is to me that I have balance in my diet and I think it’s something you should practice, too!

Loved these questions! Now it’s time for me to name some food bloggers I admire and ask them some questions. First, the bloggers:

All of these blogs have amazing recipes, great photos, and fun stories to share. They’re all growing, just like me, so give them some love and check them out!

Okay, now, let’s get to my 11 questions for them:

  1. What inspired you to begin your blog?
  2. Do you have a blogging community in your hometown that your participate in? How has it helped you?
  3. What are your blogging strengths?
  4. What is the best thing you’ve ever made? Yes, you have to pick just one!
  5. What recipe did you attempt to blog about, but it turned into a disaster?
  6. Where do you turn for food inspiration?
  7. What is the kitchen tool you cannot live without?
  8. When you’re not blogging or cooking, what do you love to do?
  9. What city have you traveled to that surprised you with their food? It can be a good or bad surprise.
  10. What’s one thing on your life bucket list?
  11. What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Thank you, again, to Bites of Flavor for nominating me. It is such an honor to be recognized by a fellow blogger because I think we can be the most critical of one another. But awards like these help share the love and spread encouragement in the blogging community. Therefore,  I am happy that I was also able to recognize bloggers who mean a lot to me and support me and this blog. Love you all and cannot wait to read your responses!

And to my readers…thank you for being with me every week, recreating these recipes, and sharing your feedback. You are the reason I continue doing this blog!

See you on Monday! 🙂

Chocolate-Covered Key Lime Pie

Chocolate-Covered Key Lime Pie - A rich and tangy slice of key lime pie dipped in creamy dark chocolate. It's a cool and refreshing treat to enjoy all summer long!

Chocolate-Covered Key Lime Pie – A rich and tangy slice of key lime pie dipped in creamy dark chocolate. It’s a cool and refreshing treat to enjoy all summer long!

As years go by and I get older, there’s one thing that I’ve learned: my taste in food is NOT set in stone. It constantly evolves. I may think I hate blue cheese, but then, out of nowhere, I suddenly enjoy it.  I talked a little about it in this discussion about avocados. And I’m here again to talk about it. This time: citrus and chocolate.

My hatred of citrus and chocolate began with those chocolate oranges that they sold at supermarkets and pharmacies. They were chocolate spheres that came apart in slices, much like oranges do. But the chocolate had a hint of orange flavor added. Do you guys remember these?! I was intrigued by them so I thought, “Hey, let’s give this a try!”

Gross. So gross. Never again.

But, alas, as they do many times, my taste buds changed their mind about this combo. Not exactly the chocolate and orange combo, but close – chocolate and lime.

The evolution began when I went to the Florida Keys with some girlfriends years after my traumatic chocolate orange experience. One of the girls was adamant that we try the Chocolate-Covered Key Lime Pies on a Stick. I didn’t want to put a damper on the excitement – all the girls were so pumped to try these – so I kept my opinions about citrus and chocolate to myself.

Though I was skeptical, I still had an inkling floating in my mind…Should I give this dessert a try? After all, I love seasonal treats! Maybe this could be the dessert that changes everything for me?

And man, was it ever! With the first bite, I instantly fell in love. The pie was cream and tangy and had a perfect amount of crunch from the chocolate and graham cracker crumbs. And I loved how the bittersweet chocolate paired with the tart lime. Yummmm.

So today, I am here to recreate that magical recipe for you guys to try at home. Because sometimes you just can’t make it to the Keys.

Chocolate-Covered Key Lime Pie - A rich and tangy slice of key lime pie dipped in creamy dark chocolate. It's a cool and refreshing treat to enjoy all summer long!

Watermelon Margaritas

Watermelon Margaritas - A refreshing margarita that is made with fresh watermelon juice, triple sec, fresh lime juice, and silver tequila. The perfect drink for summer parties and barbecues!

Watermelon Margaritas – A refreshing margarita that is made with fresh watermelon juice, triple sec, fresh lime juice, and silver tequila. The perfect drink for summer parties and barbecues! 

Man, when it comes to warm weather, I cannot spend a weekend without a refreshing drink in my hand. Whether it’s these mimosas or this sangria or even just a beer, I need to have something cold and boozy to sip on by the pool. This care-free feeling is what’s keeping me from jumping on the baby train. Let me hold on to it for just a few more years!!

Today’s recipe is yet another refreshing, juicy, cocktail that SCREAMS summertime that I can sip on while I enjoy my baby-less moments of peace (for now, anyway). Say hello to these Watermelon Margaritas!

Fried Chicken Tacos

Fried Chicken Tacos - A crispy buttermilk fried chicken tender wrapped in leafy lettuce and a flour tortilla and finished with juicy diced tomatoes and a lemon garlic mayo. A simple, yet delicious new way to get your taco fix on Taco Tuesday!

Fried Chicken Tacos – A crispy buttermilk fried chicken tender wrapped in leafy lettuce and a flour tortilla and finished with juicy diced tomatoes and a lemon garlic mayo. A simple, yet delicious new way to get your taco fix on Taco Tuesday!

Happy Taco Thursday! OK, that’s not a thing, but we’ve got tacos today on the blog so just roll with it…

Tacos are a funny thing for me… I rarely ate them growing up and when I did, they were the hard shell tacos with ground beef and the basics. It wasn’t until college that I tried different kinds of tacos. But even then, they weren’t too exciting. Why get a taco when I can get a burrito that has beans and rice, too?!

But this taco, ladies and gentlemen, changed the game for me. The minute I tasted it, I FINALLY found the taco I’ve been searching for my whole life, the taco that spoke my language, the taco that was meant to be eaten by me.

Say hello to the Fried Chicken Taco!

Nutella Crunch Cupcakes

Nutella Crunch Cupcakes - A super moist chocolate cupcake, dipped in creamy Nutella hazelnut spread, and crunchy chocolate pieces. The perfect combination of textures that will satisfy any sweet tooth!

Nutella Crunch Cupcakes – A super moist chocolate cupcake, dipped in creamy Nutella hazelnut spread, and crunchy chocolate pieces. The perfect combination of textures that will satisfy any sweet tooth!

I recently had a revelation – I haven’t make cupcakes in an extremely long time. Months? No wait, I think it’s been years!! I’ve been focused on creating new desserts that I hadn’t made before that I ignored one of most classic desserts that a baker can make.

As a result, I was determined to try out a new cupcake recipe that would stand up to all unique desserts that I’ve showcased this year, including these whoopie pies, this tres leches, and these marshmallow bites. But how??

Answer: Nutella!

Nutella is the answer to most of life’s problem so it was a no-brainer for this cupcake. But I also added a little extra crunch to add another layer of texture to these cupcakes. If there’s one thing you need to know about me is that I love multiple textures in my food. Creamy, gooey, crunchy all in one dessert?! Yes, please!

So say hello to Nutella Crunch Cupcakes!

The Best Pizza Bianca (White Pizza)

The Best Pizza Bianca (White Pizza) - The BEST white pizza you will ever make! Made with store-bought dough, shredded mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese, this pizza is super simple to make and will be best addition to your weeknight dinners.

The Best Pizza Bianca (White Pizza) – The BEST white pizza you will ever make! Made with store-bought dough, shredded mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese, this pizza is super simple to make and will be best addition to your weeknight dinners. 

Sometimes a recipe turns out exactly as you expected. Other times, you decide to go in another direction. Today’s recipe is one of the those latter times.

I originally developed this recipe so I could showcase my new-found love of Burrata cheese. Burrata cheese is similar to fresh mozzarella, but wayyyy creamier. It has changed my world forever and I want to shout my love of it from the rooftops.

But as I was making this pizza, I quickly realized that I already had too much going on with the ricotta, shredded mozzarella, and Pecorino Romano cheese, so there really was no room left to add slices of fresh Burrata cheese. So I just left it at that.

My missteps turned out to be a HUGE success because this pizza was absolutely out. of. this. world! Chewy, yet crispy crust, and a combination of three of the best Italian cheeses?! It’s no surprise that this pizza is this amazing! But sadly, I’ll have to wait for another time to share my love of Burrata cheese with you. Stay tuned!

Here you have the BEST pizza bianca that I’ve ever had:

The Best Pizza Bianca (White Pizza) - The BEST white pizza you will ever make! Made with store-bought dough, shredded mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese, this pizza is super simple to make and will be best addition to your weeknight dinners. The Best Pizza Bianca (White Pizza) - The BEST white pizza you will ever make! Made with store-bought dough, shredded mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese, this pizza is super simple to make and will be best addition to your weeknight dinners. The Best Pizza Bianca (White Pizza) - The BEST white pizza you will ever make! Made with store-bought dough, shredded mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, and Pecorino Romano cheese, this pizza is super simple to make and will be best addition to your weeknight dinners.

Jalapeño Pineapple Sticky Wings

Jalapeno Pineapple Sticky Wings - The best recipe for sticky, sweet, and spicy wings! These wings are grilled and tossed in a jalapeno pineapple sticky sauce for the ultimate summer appetizer for your barbecues and parties.

Jalapeño Pineapple Sticky Wings – The best recipe for sticky, sweet, and spicy wings! These wings are grilled and tossed in a jalapeño pineapple sticky sauce for the ultimate summer appetizer for your barbecues and parties. 

Summer is here! Who else is loving the warm weather for a change? Sorry for you folks who aren’t feeling it yet. Stay strong – it’s comin’ soon!

In honor of the beginning of summer, I gotta do a grilling recipe – I just GOTTA!

My first thought was to do a wing recipe. I have been OBSESSED with wings ever since high school. Me and my friends would spend Monday nights inhaling $0.25 wings like it was nothing. Ah, to be young again.

In my opinion, wings taste much better on the grill. But then again, what doesn’t taste much better on the grill. It’s the only way I’ll eat chicken or pork at home, nowadays. It’s probably because of the delicious flavor you get from the charred grill marks. You’ll get plenty of those with this wing recipe.

Ah yes…let’s get to the recipe, shall we? This incredible wing recipe will blow you away. The marinade is also what we’ll use for the sauce. So we get chicken that is super tender and a sauce that keeps them ultra sticky. And without further ado, here are my Jalapeño Pineapple Sticky Wings!

Jalapeno Pineapple Sticky Wings - The best recipe for sticky, sweet, and spicy wings! These wings are grilled and tossed in a jalapeno pineapple sticky sauce for the ultimate summer appetizer for your barbecues and parties. Jalapeno Pineapple Sticky Wings - The best recipe for sticky, sweet, and spicy wings! These wings are grilled and tossed in a jalapeno pineapple sticky sauce for the ultimate summer appetizer for your barbecues and parties. Jalapeno Pineapple Sticky Wings - The best recipe for sticky, sweet, and spicy wings! These wings are grilled and tossed in a jalapeno pineapple sticky sauce for the ultimate summer appetizer for your barbecues and parties.

Funfetti Whoopie Pies

Funfetti Whoopie Pies - Soft and fluffy vanilla cake is loaded with sprinkles and sandwiched with creamy vanilla frosting to make a handheld version of a cupcake, also known as a whoopie pie. The perfect cookie that kids and adults will both enjoy!

Funfetti Whoopie Pies – Soft and fluffy vanilla cake is loaded with sprinkles and sandwiched with creamy vanilla frosting to make a handheld version of a cupcake, also known as a whoopie pie. The perfect cookie that kids and adults will both enjoy!

Welcome to June, guys! As I do at the beginning of every month, I have a brand-spanking new cookie recipe for you guys. The cookie recipe from last month was a HIT. But I have a feeling this month’s recipe is going to excite you even more.

I have to admit, its been a little bit of a struggle to think up new cookie recipe each month that is both unique and absolutely incredible. Because, obviously, you guys deserve nothing less than incredible.

For this month, rather than share a recipe that was in my typical repertoire, I thought up a completely new recipe that I hadn’t yet tried. And I am pretty damn proud of it! It came out better than I could have ever imagined and, as a result, I was eating them all day long until they were gone. No sharing these cookies with my husband’s coworkers – this CPA was going to have no issues getting rid of them on her own.

Enough of the anticipation. Let’s see the cookies! Say hello to Funfetti Whoopie Pies!

Funfetti Whoopie Pies - Soft and fluffy vanilla cake is loaded with sprinkles and sandwiched with creamy vanilla frosting to make a handheld version of a cupcake, also known as a whoopie pie. The perfect cookie that kids and adults will both enjoy!