Caramel and Bacon Brownies

I have to tell y’all a secret about bloggers and blogging. We have to work months ahead. It is one of the things I dislike because every year it seems bloggers are pushing things out earlier and earlier. That is why you have been seeing Christmas pins for well over a month now on Pinterest. Here is something about me. I just can’t. I know I need to organize and get my Christmas stuff going but when it is 75+ degrees out, it is hard coming up with 12 things for my Homemade Christmas posts, I’m just not ready to write about Christmas and the holidays.   I have been working on new recipes, though. I have an awesome new brownie recipe that my family loves, Caramel and Bacon Brownies.

Caramel and Bacon Brownies | My Hot Southern Mess


Italian Meringue Frosting Ghosts

Halloween is almost here and I have one more quick tip and recipe for you! One of my favorite types of frosting is Italian Meringue Frosting. It is light and super fluffy and reminds me of marshmallows. An added plus of this type of frosting is that you can also take a hand torch and toast it for an added twist. You can use it in so many different ways but one of my favorite ways is to pipe the meringue into ghosts on top of a cake or for cupcakes.

Italian Meringue Frosting Ghosts | Country Girl Gourmet

Meringue may sound difficult but it is rather simple. The first step is getting out your eggs and separating them.  Cold eggs are easier to separate so separate the yolks from whites and then allow the white’s to become room temperature. A room temperature egg whites whip up more easily for a beautiful meringue. While your whites are coming to a room temperature it is the perfect time to cook your sugar syrup. Combine your sugar, water, and cream of tarter together and cook on medium- high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the sugar mixture is bubbly and getting happy.  Now is the time to start your meringue. Add your egg whites to the bowl of your mixer and whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Finally slowly add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form. This should take about 7 to 10 minutes.

Fill your piping bag with frosting, snip off the end (no tip is required!) and pipe little ghost like shapes. When you are done take black food coloring and fine paint brush and paint on faces and voila you have a an easy to make cake that looks like it took you hours to make! If you need a last minute Halloween dessert this is the one for you! Just remember this frosting for other sweet treats you make. This frosting is perfect for making things like smores and lemon meringue cupcakes.

What treats are you making for Halloween? 

Italian Meringue Frosting Ghosts
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes. Frost the cake of your choice.

Recipe from


Protein Creamsicle Sherbet

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PowerInProtein #CollectiveBias

For the past 6 weeks or so i’ve changed up my exercise routine. I’ve been forced to take a break from running and I was in an exercise funk thanks to of all things a toe injury. My husband suggested I start working out with him and our 15 year old so I have; I am back to lifting weights consistently. I hate to admit it but I hadn’t been consistent with my strength training in a while. I have barely done it since my car accident but I am back and I am doing good. In the just over 6 weeks I have been back at it i’ve made some great gains.

Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl Gourmet


With my running I have always pondered adding a protein supplement to my diet. Now that I am lifting on a regular basis again (and plan to continue when I start running again) I am thinking more and more that it is a need. My mind goes in a tizzy when it comes to researching the different brands and each of my friends has a different opinion. So, I went to Walmart and picked up some EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control to try out.

Protein Creamsicle Sherbet |Country Girl Gourmet

Why pick EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control? Here are some great reasons why:

  • EAS is a great source of Protein
  • EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control will help you manage hunger and nourish muscles.
  • EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control can help you manage your weight and increase your energy.
  • EAS is good, complete nutrition
  • EAS contains good for you nutrients
  • EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control can help you reach your fitness and nutrition goals when combined with an active lifestyle.
  • EAS can help you reach your best you yet.
  • This product is designed to help you get lean and toned – specifically designed for active, carb-conscious people looking for a lean-protein weight-management solution.

I have protein now to try, YAY! I am ready to try it out but I was also thinking, how can I make this protein drink even better? Yes, EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control is tasty by itself but my mind was thinking about turning it into a frozen treat so I did! I created Protein Creamsicle Sherbet and it was not only super easy to make but it makes the perfect post workout cold snack.


Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl Gourmet


Making Protein Creamsicle Sherbet is actually pretty simple. You only need a few ingredients. One Vanilla EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control drink, an orange, orange juice, honey, vanilla and a wee bit of salt.
Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl Gourmet

You start by pouring your vanilla EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control drink in a bowl and adding to it the zest of one orange.
Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl Gourmet

I then drizzle in Vanilla Bean Paste. Vanilla Extract can be used but I prefer the paste and all the beautiful vanilla bean specks.

Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl Gourmet

I continue adding all my ingredients and whisk them all up. Once whisked up I transfer to a tupperware container and refrigerate overnight. This is a good time to place your ice cream maker in the freezer, if needed.

Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl Gourmet

The next day I set up my Kitchen Aide Ice Cream Maker and got it ready to make some sherbet. It took about 15-20 minutes until I had some soft serve consistency sherbet.
Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl Gourmet

I then placed the sherbet in an freezer safe container and into the freezer to allow it firm up a bit more.

Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl Gourmet

I was impatient though, I wanted to try some out. So after a couple hours I pulled it out to serve some up.

Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl Gourmet

So I scooped myself up a small bowl.
Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl Gourmetand it was delicious. It would be the perfect thing for after my summertime workouts in our garage.
Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl GourmetI will never know though. My husband and son thought so too as they finished it up after their work outs that evening. They ate it all! I guess that means I need to make some more.
Protein Creamsicle Sherbet | Country Girl Gourmet

What are your plans for reaching your fitness goals and becoming a healthier you? Have you added protein to your diet? How do you add it?

5.0 from 2 reviews
Protein Creamsicle Sherbet
A easy to make low carb protein filled vanilla orange sherbet
  • 1 11oz French Vanilla EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control Shake ( or 1½ cups of protein shake)
  • ⅓ cup Honey
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 cups Orange Juice (fresh or bottled not from concentrate)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or paste)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  1. In a large bowl combine EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control Shake, Orange Zest, Vanilla, Honey, Orange Juice and Salt and mix well with a whisk.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl; cover. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Freeze in a 4 to 5 quart ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer sherbet to a lidded freezer safe container, and freeze for 4 hours.

Want to know where you can buy EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control? You can buy EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control at Walmart or directly from EAS.

Strawberry Peach Sorbet

It is officially summer, woohoo! I love the warm weather even the 90 degree days. Those extra hot days just mean it is time for frozen treats. My family is all about frozen treats. We each have our favorites. The top of my list is sorbet. I happily will pick sorbet over ice cream. Don’t get me wrong, I love my ice cream but I will choose sorbet first any day especially when it is homemade.

Sorbet is simple, it is fruit and simple syrup that is frozen. Using all the wonderful in season fruits and berries is in my opinion one of the best parts of making homemade sorbet. My newest favorite flavor has been Strawberry Peach. I used some beautiful local strawberries that I had picked and froze for later from my favorite produce stand, Gillis Hill Road Produce. Then I found some early season peaches. Peaches aren’t just for Georgia, we have local peaches here in North Carolina too and they are wonderful! Mix the two together with some simple syrup and you have something special. I had to fight my husband just to get some it was so good and he isn’t a huge fan of peaches.

Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Strawberry Peach Sorbet | Country Girl Gourmet



Strawberry Peach Sorbet
  • ½-1 cup white sugar (based on your fruit’s sweetness)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups strawberries (hulled)
  • 1 cup peaches (peeled, pitted and sliced)
  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate until cooled, about 30 minutes.
  2. Blend strawberries and peaches in a blender or food processor until pureed. Stir pureed fruit mixture into sugar mixture.
  3. Pour mixture into a large resealable plastic freezer bag. Seal, and freeze for 45 minutes to an hour. Move the contents around in the bag every 15 minutes while freezing. OR.... Transfer fruit mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
  4. Transfer sorbet to a one- or two-quart lidded plastic container; cover surface with plastic wrap and seal. For best results, sorbet should ripen in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight


Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles

It’s warming up out there and that means it is time for fresh fruit and cool treats. My family loves it when I pull out my ice cream maker or popsicle molds because they know something yummy is going to be made. Homemade popsicles are becoming a fast favorite around our house. The fact that they are cheaper than store bought popsicles as well as I know what exactly are in them make them winners for me. For my kids, they think they taste better. I’m not one to disagree. They are really good.

Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles ~ Country Girl Gourmet

The latest popsicle to go through taste testing in my house has been blueberry yogurt popsicles. As expected they became a quick favorite. What is not to like about blueberries and yogurt? These popsicles are made with greek yogurt so in addition to being full of antioxidants from the blueberries they have protein too.That protein is going to help you feel full longer in addition to a variety of other health benefits. With four growing kids that are always hungry I can really appreciate that!

So what do you think? Are you ready to make some popsicles? I promise they are super easy to make and even better to eat. Popsicle molds can be easily found in the summer for cheap. I want to say I picked up mine from the Dollar Store but i’ve even seen them in the dollar spot at Target in the past. If you don’t have a popsicle mold you can still make these treats too! All you need are small disposable cups and plastic spoons or popsicle sticks. Your treats may not have the traditional popsicle shape but they will be just as good. Try them for yourself and let me know what you think!

Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles ~ Country Girl Gourmet

Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles
  • 1 (32 ounce) container Vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  1. Blend yogurt, blueberries, and honey together in a blender until smooth; pour into ice pop molds or small plastic cups with wooden sticks added at the end.
  2. Freeze until pops are solid, about 4 hours.

adapted from

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

If there is one cake that my husband seriously cannot resist it is Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It is his all-time favorite. If he could he would eat a whole cake all by himself. He is not a fan of sharing his carrot cake but I make him. The kids and I love carrot cake too. It is good stuff and we can pretend it is healthy since it has carrots in it. Screw that, it is healthy because it has carrots in it.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I remember the first time I had carrot cake. I was over at a friend’s house for a play date. This is extra memorable because it wasn’t one of my neighborhood friends. Her mom gave us a snack and it was carrot cake. I had never had it before but I liked it.  The next time I had carrot cake was as an adult and newly married to my husband. He told me it was his favorite cake and I decided he needed one.

I soon discovered that carrot cake mix and store-bought cakes were not going to work. I have odd food allergies, pineapple, and coconut. Who knew they were ingredients to carrot cake, well some of them. I sure didn’t. I then went on a mission to find the best carrot cake recipe out there! After all homemade, from scratch cakes are the best! The recipe came out of a cookbook I had bought thinking every family needed a Betty Crocker cookbook. After all my mom had one as did my grandma along with the classic Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Anyways, back in 1999 we didn’t have a home computer with internet (that came in 2000) and forget about smartphones.  Cookbooks and handed down recipes were the way to go when you needed a recipe.

I grated my carrots by hand and put my recipe together, only tweaking a little bit here and there making it my own. Then I waited for my husband to come home and it was a success! I have now been making this carrot cake for 16 years and the only part I have played with over the years was finding the perfect cream cheese frosting to go with it. I have even successfully been able to make it gluten-free. I have made this carrot cake for cake auctions, bake sales, team parties and just for friends and it has never disappointed. It really is that good!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you like carrot cake as much as my family does this recipe needs to be added to your to-make list. It is tried and true and doesn’t disappoint. Make it for yourself and your family and friends and let me know if you like it as much as we do!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Heavenly Lemon Cake

While chocolate is heavenly there is something I like more than chocolate. Truth be told I never really liked chocolate until after I had my kids. Yes, it is true. Fruit based sweets have always been among my favorites. If we are talking about candy I will take Starburst and gummy candies over chocolate any day. Same with desserts, I just gravitate to the citrusy and berry filled desserts. Sorry chocolate but unless I have a craving I can do without you.
Among my favorites are all things lemon, lemon cookies, lemon bars, lemon meringue pie, lemon bread and lemon cake. If it were only possible to live on lemony sweets and not gain weight, my world would be perfect. Unfortunately though it isn’t possible even with all the running that I do but I am a firm believer in moderation. You can have anything in moderation. That is why this month I was excited to see a beautiful lemon cake on the list of recipes from Allrecipes of things they would like us to make. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make it and I am so glad I did because it was lemony perfection. It is a easy to make cake that is packed with lemon flavor. My family tried it warm and cold. My preference was cold with a nice cup of black tea..and yes I ate a slice for breakfast.. don’t tell my kids. If you like lemon as much as I do I am sure this cake will be a winner in your house too!

Heavenly Lemon Cake


Heavenly Lemon Cake
Serves: 12
A dense and lemony cake perfect to have with tea.
  • Cake:
  • 1¼ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 3 lemons lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • Syrup:
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a round cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Beat 1¼ cup sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth; beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well before adding the next egg. Stir flour, lemon zest,baking powder and zanthan gum into creamed butter mixture until batter is smooth; pour into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes.
  4. Combine ½ cup sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  5. Poke holes into the top of the warm cake and pour syrup over cake. Cool slightly before cutting.

Adapted from