Parmesan Pretzel Bites // @speckledpalate for @mycookingspot


Parmesan Pretzel Bites.

Words cannot describe to you just how delightful these little appetizers are other than me telling you that Winston and I literally ate the ENTIRE batch of these beauties yesterday as we watched football. And when I say “as we watched football,” I mean in the first half of the Green Bay-Seattle game.


Sometimes, you just need carbs. And sometimes, you take down an entire batch of ‘em that could easily feed four people.

Parmesan Pretzel Bites // @speckledpalate for @mycookingspot

I figure we’re at the point in this pregnancy where it is what it is, and if I want to overdo the carbs one afternoon, I should be given some leeway because pregnancy cravings are weird.

More often than not, they’re also delicious.

Interested in taking down your own batch of these Parmesan Pretzel Bites? I’m over at My Cooking Spot today sharing my recipe, and I’d love if you joined me!

  • TrishaJanuary 19, 2015 - 9:18 am

    Um, I’m pretty share I could take down a whole batch of these on my own! I love the honey flavor with pretzels and parmesan!ReplyCancel

    • ErinJanuary 20, 2015 - 5:26 pm

      Oh yeah! This is definitely something you could take down solo or with some help, Trisha! So glad I’m not alone in that!ReplyCancel

  • myriam / rhubarb! rhubarb! rhubarb!January 25, 2015 - 7:37 pm

    honey + parmesan + pretzel?

    one word: YUM!ReplyCancel

Real talk: I was supposed to share this post with y’all two weeks ago, but I got a little lazy and didn’t write it until today. Ooops.

But seriously. I can hardly believe we’re already well into the new year.

That being said, I thought it would be fun to look back and see which posts were the most popular in 2014 as we got started with 2015. And the results are interesting.

Here are the most popular recipes published in 2014:

Runner Food: Soy Seared Cod Tacos with Spicy Slaw // The Speckled PalateRecipe Review (and Runner Food): Sweet Potato Hash Browns from Food & WineSouthern Biscuits and Gravy // The Speckled PalateBlogsgiving Progressive Dinner AND Comfort in 1: Drunken Pecan Pie Bars // The Speckled PalateCheddar and Herb Beer Bread // The Speckled PalateMint Lemonade // The Speckled PalateShrimp and Grits, just in time for Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday! // The Speckled PalateAvocado and Panko-Breaded Chicken Cobb Salad // The Speckled Palate
Super Bowl Party Food: Roasted Garlic & White Bean Hummus // The Speckled Palate

1. Leigh’s Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Pork Tenderloin  2. Soy Seared Cod Tacos with Spicy Slaw
3. Sweet Potato Hash with Fried Egg  4. Cream Biscuits and White Sausage Gravy  5. Drunken Pecan Pie Bars  6. Cheddar and Herb Beer Bread  7. Mint Lemonade  8. Shrimp and Grits  9. Avocado and Panko-Crusted Chicken Cobb Salad  10. Roasted Garlic and White Bean Hummus

And, just for kicks, here are the most popular posts (overall) from the last year: 

Oven Fried (Purple) Okra // The Speckled Palate
The Cocktail Chronicles: The Blizzard // The Speckled PalateVegan Blueberry Muffins // The Speckled PalateMemphis-Style Barbecue Ribs // The Speckled Palate(Vegan!) Coconut Butter Breakfast Biscuits // The Speckled PalatePeach Compote // The Speckled PalateCandy Cane Vodka // The Speckled PalateTailgate Thursday: Bloody Beer // The Speckled PalateHomemade Pizza Dough // The Speckled Palate
Barbecue Dry Rub // The Speckled Palate

1. Oven Fried Okra  2. The Cocktail Chronicles: Blizzard  3. Vegan Blueberry Muffins  4. Memphis-Style Barbecue Ribs  5. (Vegan!) Coconut Oil Southern-Style Biscuits  6. Perfect for a Lazy Saturday: Peach Compote  7. Candy Cane Vodka  8. Tailgate Thursday: Bloody Beer  9. Homemade Pizza Dough
10. Barbecue Dry Rub

What were some of your favorite recipes of 2014?

What are some dishes you plan to make in the new year?

  • Trish @ Well Worn ForkJanuary 13, 2015 - 1:32 pm

    That pork loin. I need it in my life. ;-)ReplyCancel

    • ErinJanuary 20, 2015 - 5:37 pm

      You definitely do, Trish! It’s a family favorite, and it is OH so good!ReplyCancel

  • EileenJanuary 13, 2015 - 5:46 pm

    That shrimp and grits pic is making me drool, seriously. :) NOM.ReplyCancel

    • ErinJanuary 20, 2015 - 5:41 pm

      Thanks, Eileen! Shrimp and Grits are one of our favorites, and it has been entirely too long since we had the chance to make it at home. We need to fix this STAT!ReplyCancel

Food Blogging 101: 10 Valuable Lessons Learned from Failure // @speckledpalate

Failing at anything is unfortunate.

Like, really unfortunate.

It’s sometimes painful. It’s sometimes laughable. It’s sometimes frustrating.

Sometimes, it’s all three combined.

Food Blogging 101: 10 Valuable Lessons Learned from Failure // The Speckled PalateFilling chocolate pinwheel cookies with caramel. This totally ends well. (Keep reading to find out how…)
View full post »

  • Kristen @ A Mind Full MomJanuary 12, 2015 - 7:05 am

    I love this!! Coming up on my one year blog anniversary, I have had oh so many mistakes. I love hearing I am not alone!! And I love your sense of humor!ReplyCancel

    • ErinJanuary 12, 2015 - 7:43 am

      You are definitely not alone, Kristen! I think we’ve all gotta make mistakes to get to where we need to be, no matter how horrifying/hilarious/frustrating they are! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Rhyme & RibbonsJanuary 12, 2015 - 7:19 am

    Pretty much all of these have caught me out at some point in time. Especially number 10!ReplyCancel

    • ErinJanuary 12, 2015 - 7:21 am

      Goodness, isn’t that the truth? Glad I’m not alone, especially in #10!ReplyCancel

  • Jayne | Tenacious TinkeringJanuary 12, 2015 - 8:32 am

    Lol. So true especially on being over confident of your own abilities. I work poorly under pressure. Especially when people think I cook so well just because I have a food blog. Simple roast chicken was under salted & pasta overcooked during a recent dinner. Ugh. But now that I know, I’ll try to breathe a bit more the next time we have guests. :-)ReplyCancel

    • ErinJanuary 12, 2015 - 10:11 pm

      Girl, I totally feel you. And I feel like it ALWAYS happens on those dishes that you think/know you’ve got. It happens to all of us, though, and if we didn’t fail, it probably wouldn’t be as fun when we nail a recipe, ya know? Here’s to keeping your cool and breathing more next time you host guests!ReplyCancel

  • EriniJanuary 12, 2015 - 8:54 am

    I’ve definitely left my oven on my accident. I can’t remember if it was the time I was making baked bries for a potluck, or a separate time… but I came back home after being gone for hours and hours, to see my oven was still on. And then recently I was making muffins and forgot the half batch that I put in… Just the exterior is burnt, but I’ve decided to set those ones aside for the birds.

    I think the biggest lessons I’ve learned:
    1) Just because it says it’s microwave safe, doesn’t actually mean it is… best to use glass rather than plastic just to be safe. (The great Chex Mix microwave fire of 2013)
    2) No no no no no to oil and water on the stove. I just wasn’t thinking and misread instructions and added water to hot oil while making jiaozi… and had 3 foot flames in my (rental) kitchen. Never again. (Thankfully there was no damage, those my pan was scorched.)ReplyCancel

  • KatherineJanuary 12, 2015 - 9:25 am

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made recipes that have been total flops. The most recent one was probably a butternut squash soup for which I used frozen butternut squash chunks and omitted cream at the end. It ended up being a watery mess that was far from silky and smooth. I’d hoped the frozen squash would help save time. :/ This post is such a great reminder that we should all keep in mind in the kitchen. Becoming a great cook is an ongoing process!ReplyCancel

  • Jenna @ A Savory FeastJanuary 12, 2015 - 1:48 pm

    This sounds like my life! As a food blogger, I have can certainly relate to some of these “fails.” It’s a great way to learn, though!ReplyCancel

  • LouidaJanuary 12, 2015 - 4:04 pm

    My lesson learned is my cooking skills need a lot of work. LOL! Seriously! Don’t feel bad about your mistakes because my cooking skills is the worst. But hey, I’m still working on it.ReplyCancel

  • Erica @ The Crumby CupcakeJanuary 12, 2015 - 8:16 pm

    I feel like we constantly go back and forth on the fact that we are each other’s blogging soul mates. I have had quite a few failures in the kitchen pretty much my whole life, but I feel it’s been magnified since launching my blog. I never knew how badly I could screw up recipes I’ve made dozens of times, it blows my mind how easy it is to mess things up. The first time I made caramel, I didn’t cook it long enough, but it still did the job. The second time, I made a larger batch…and burned it. Damned if I was going to throw it out. It was still viable caramel, and by God if I don’t have a tupperware container labeled “Burnt Caramel” in my fridge. You’d be surprised what you can do with it! LOL I can’t wait to look back on my first full year of blogging and write a post like this. <3ReplyCancel

  • EileenJanuary 12, 2015 - 9:38 pm

    The timer is DEFINITELY one thing I have a problem with! I set it for the regular baking time but if I ever have to put anything back in the oven, that extra 2 minutes doesn’t necessarily get timed — and then things end up just barely on the wrong side of delicious. Boo! I hereby resolve to set more timers in 2015. :)ReplyCancel

  • Natasha RedJanuary 12, 2015 - 9:47 pm

    ohhh man. You make me wanna write down all my failures!! Why haven’t I yet?! The worst one of all came today when I was choooing celery incredibly fast and sliced a good chunk of my thumb off. Ahhhh :( :(ReplyCancel

  • Chene Atkins-WhittingtonJanuary 13, 2015 - 11:10 am

    I’m not a food blogger but these are some great tips! Sharing on the community page.ReplyCancel

  • WinnieJanuary 17, 2015 - 3:15 pm

    Oh Erin – this is a great post!!
    I had my share of failures (and I still fail every now and then!) and even though I’m so frustrated once it happens, I do learn from my mistakesReplyCancel

Comfort in 1: Vanilla Bean Coffee Cake Muffins // The Speckled Palate

We continue our monthly Comfort in 1 feature today, and I’m stupid excited to be sharing this recipe with y’all. Rachel and I chose Greek yogurt for the month of January since this tends to be the time of year when everyone wants to cut back and be a bit healthier.

While this recipe calls for Greek yogurt, I’m doubtful that we could classify it as “healthy.” However, I can say it’s healthier than a coffee cake that is chock full of butter.

Small wins. That’s what the new year is all about, right?

Interested in joining us this month? Create your own dish using Greek yogurt, post it on your blog from now until the end of January, and share it with us! Easy peasy!

Comfort in 1: Vanilla Bean Coffee Cake Muffins // The Speckled Palate

Coffee cake has always been one of my guilty pleasures.

When I was a kid, the members of my parents’ Sunday school class rotated bringing breakfast to their class weekly, and I always loved when my parents were tapped because my mother usually whipped up a coffee cake, complete with a crumbly topping and swirled goodness throughout the breakfast treat.

She’d bring the whole cake to their class, and I always found myself hoping there would be leftovers.

However, I never understood why it was called a coffee cake. This was, obviously, waaaaaaaaaaaay before I was introduced to the comforts of a hot mug of coffee and how delightful coffee cake is with a morning latte.

Comfort in 1: Vanilla Bean Coffee Cake Muffins // The Speckled Palate

When my mom was in town after New Year’s, I wanted to make a nod to these coffee cakes of years past, and we whipped up these muffins.

They’re super easy to pull together, they don’t take too long to bake, and they taste delicious.

What’s not to love?

Here’s how you can make your own at home:

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vanilla Bean Coffee Cake Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fluffy, delicious Vanilla Bean Coffee Cake Muffins, filled and topped with a pecan streusel. These muffins are the perfect sweet addition to any weekend breakfast or brunch!
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 18 muffins
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup vanilla sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Pecan Streusel
  • 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place paper muffin baking cups on a muffin tray, and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the muffins: In a large bowl, whip together the applesauce, coconut oil and sugars until smooth and fluffy using a hand mixer (or stand mixer).
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla bean caviar, vanilla extract and Greek yogurt, mixing until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until just combined.
  6. Prepare the streusel topping: In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, butter, pecans and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  7. Prepare the muffins: Fill each baking cup halfway to the top, then sprinkle on some of the streusel topping. Top with additional batter and finish that with a sprinkling of the streusel topping. Repeat until all muffins have been completed.
  8. Transfer the muffin tin to the preheated oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the muffins have risen, are golden brown and are cooked through. (Be sure to test them by inserting a toothpick and checking the pick when removed to confirm the muffins are not raw in the middle.)
  9. Allow 5-10 minutes to cool, then enjoy warm!
Please note that my oven is incredibly old and inefficient, so be sure to check on the muffins around the 10-15 minute mark to confirm they have not finished baking early.

Recipe adapted from Laughing Spatula's Ultimate Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

Comfort in 1: Vanilla Bean Coffee Cake Muffins // The Speckled Palate

What breakfast/brunch foods are guilty pleasures for you?

Are you a huge coffee cake fan like I am?

  • Kathi @ laughingspatulaJanuary 9, 2015 - 9:33 am

    These look fabulous – what a great use of my recipe! Nice pics and beautiful post – thanks for tagging me.

    • ErinJanuary 12, 2015 - 5:40 am

      Thanks, Kathi! I had fun changing up your recipe to fit what I had in my pantry and fridge… and they taste delicious! Who doesn’t love coffee cake?ReplyCancel

  • Reginia CordellJanuary 12, 2015 - 7:13 am

    Coffee Cake is one of my favorite sweet treats. I haven’t ever baked one, but I’ve enjoyed the cakes and muffins are tons of office parties. I like them in the morning with coffee of course. :)ReplyCancel

    • ErinJanuary 12, 2015 - 7:24 am

      Coffee cake is such a wonderful sweet treat, and it’s not too challenging to make, either! I hope this recipe gives you inspiration to make your own and to enjoy it with a cup of coffee at home!ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany@LivingSweetMomentsJanuary 16, 2015 - 10:02 am

    This muffins look so elegant. Not your average muffin recipe. The pecan streusel gives them texture and a more complex flavor. Can’t wait to try it out!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe at our Sunday Recipe Link Up Party.ReplyCancel

  • Megan - The Emotional BakerJanuary 17, 2015 - 6:57 pm

    I love coffee cake, too. In muffin form it must be amazing. Trying soon!ReplyCancel

Pregnancy Update: 32 Weeks // The Speckled Palate


I know that I keep talking about how I can’t believe how quickly time is going by and how it’s already 2015. Blah blah blah. I know. I get it.

But this pregnancy? It’s almost over. And that just seems crazy to me.

Without further ado, let’s do this 32 week update!

Pregnancy Update: 32 Weeks // The Speckled PalateView full post »

  • KatherineJanuary 8, 2015 - 11:32 am

    So happy for your little family. I can’t believe it’s 32 weeks already!ReplyCancel

    • ErinJanuary 8, 2015 - 9:19 pm

      Thanks so much, Katherine! I cannot believe it’s 32 weeks already, either. Time is FLYING.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggiesJanuary 8, 2015 - 7:18 pm

    You’re almost there! Love seeing the photos :)ReplyCancel

    • ErinJanuary 8, 2015 - 9:20 pm

      I know! Isn’t it crazy?! Happy you enjoyed seeing the photos!ReplyCancel

  • Madison | Wetherills Say I DoJanuary 9, 2015 - 2:18 pm

    Eeep!! It’s coming up so quickly. You are looking gorgeous :) I can’t wait to “meet” Lady Baby!ReplyCancel

    • ErinJanuary 12, 2015 - 5:42 am

      Thanks so much, Madison! It really IS coming up so quickly, and like you, I cannot wait to meet Lady Baby! I have a feeling she is gonna be AWESOME.ReplyCancel