October 6, 2011

Pumpkin-Apple Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Pumpkin-Apple Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

I hope you guys like pumpkin and apples because those are pretty much the only two ingredients I’m interested in baking with for at least another month (ok, that’s probably not true…I may have to use chocolate at some point). In fact, I’ve been going back and forth since last week about whether I should post another apple recipe or another pumpkin recipe and finally the idea came to me to put both of them together in one recipe for pumpkin-apple pancakes!

Brandon is on a business trip this week which means I’m not putting effort into making dinner, instead I’ve been eating lots of pancakes. You see, I was looking for the best pumpkin pancakes to share which meant I had to try several different recipes. I know, it was a tough job. ;) But ultimately the one I like best is this one from Nicole at Pinch My Salt. The recipe is healthy and mostly whole wheat but you still get light and fluffy pancakes.


September 26, 2011

Spiced Apple and Pear Shortcakes (and Apple Scones)

Spiced Apple and Pear Shortcakes

I’ve been learning to cook for several years now and I finally feel like I’m getting a handle on adapting recipes and improvising to suit my needs, but since I never went to culinary school or anything like that some of the science behind making food still alludes me. Baking can be especially tricky since I’ve been trying to use more whole grain flours and they don’t have quite the same properties as white flour. Today’s recipe comes from what I originally thought of as a baking failure, but through some quick thinking I was able to turn it into something pretty awesome.

This started out as a recipe for apple scones because I needed to use up some of the apples I’ve been getting in my CSA box the past few weeks. I like scones but have always had trouble making them on my own. I can’t think of any scones I’ve made that didn’t turn out dry and crispy. Blech. That is until these apple scones. It turns out the secret to soft and moist scones is using heavy cream. And here I’ve been trying to make low …

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September 20, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Crunch Muffins

Pumpkin Cranberry Crunch Muffins

It’s finally here! Friday is the first day of Fall and I’m ready for it. The weather has even been cooperating with temps in the 60s this past week. I’ve been baking like mad since the beginning of September but these pumpkin muffins were my inaugural Fall treat and they did not disappoint. I got inspired to make them after cleaning out my kitchen and finding that I still had 4 cans of pumpkin puree and 2 bags of frozen cranberries. I like to stock up on things, can’t you tell?

I’d been wanting to make my favorite quick bread recipe ever: my mom’s Applesauce Bread because it always feels like fall to me. But I decided to play around with the recipe and make it into pumpkin muffins. I subbed pumpkin for applesauce, some of the sugar for maple syrup and some of the spices for pumpkin pie spice. The pumpkin version turned out just as good as the original! These muffins have a very moist and cakey crumb and the pumpkin flavor really shines through.

The cranberries add a wonderful tart contrast to the sweet bread. I know …

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September 13, 2011

Whole Grain Graham Crackers (A Giveaway!)

Graham Crackers

I love graham crackers, so I’ve been wanting to make these for a long time. Graham crackers are just about the only packaged “cookie” that I buy because they’re the only ones that I don’t totally lose control around. I can eat a couple of graham crackers and be totally satisfied, unlike Oreos where I want to eat about 20 of them at a time. Graham crackers are in that perfect spot between healthy and indulgent and you can do so much with them like make smores or dress them up by slathering on something delicious. These days, I’m very partial to a graham cracker sandwich with nutella on one side and marshmallow cream on the other. So simple, so good!

But laziness has always stopped me from making graham crackers at home. It’s just easier to pick up a box at the grocery store. But when I saw this recipe in my favorite cookbook all my excuses went out the window because you can’t buy these graham crackers in the grocery store. They’re made with whole grain flours so they’re healthier and more flavorful that any store bought version. In the past, …

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September 6, 2011

Cantaloupe Meringue Pie

Cantaloupe Meringue Pie

I know what you’re thinking. Seriously. Because I thought it, too. Cantaloupe pie?? That sounds weird and kinda gross. But you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. I would never share something gross and honestly? This recipe…it’s kind of amazing.

But let’s start at the beginning. You see, I got two big cantaloupes in my CSA box a few weeks ago. I knew Brandon and I wouldn’t be able to eat both within a week, especially since one of them was already well past ripe when I got it. So I set out searching for cantaloupe recipes. Something, anything to use these babies up. Unfortunately, unless I wanted some kind of fruit salad, granita or sorbet (I already had watermelon sorbet in my freezer) there just isn’t a whole lot out there. But I kept looking and finally this recipe for cantaloupe pie popped up. Like I said, my first reaction was that it was the weirdest pie I’d ever heard of but I looked at the recipe and the (all 4 or 5 star) reviews for it and when someone said it …

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August 29, 2011

Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup

Remember when I said I was excited about making soup this fall? Well, the prospect of soup sounded so good that I may have jumped the gun a little. But that’s ok because this might as well be called “Summer’s Almost Over Soup.” It’s full of fresh and bright summer produce but it’s warm and hearty and creamy and perfect for those late summer evenings when the temperatures are finally starting to drop.

I really wasn’t expecting this soup to be so good, I was just trying to use up the two weeks worth of yellow tomatoes from my CSA and this recipe fit the bill. I wound up changing the original recipe quite a bit, though. That’s what I love about soup, you can almost always add your own spin to it without risking messing it up completely. For instance, if you can’t get your hands on yellow tomatoes, I’m sure regular tomatoes would work just fine.

August 23, 2011

Peach Semifreddo with Blackberry Glaze

Peach Semifreddo with Blackberry Glaze

I am officially putting summer on notice. Seriously. Start packing up. Time to go. There’s only a week and half left in August and then it’ll finally be September. Even though fall doesn’t technically start for a full month, I consider September 1st the first unofficial day of fall. It’s like how they start putting out all the Christmas stuff right after Halloween. I am ready for fall and I don’t care what the calendar (or the weather) says. Here’s what you can expect in the coming months: lots of soup and pumpkin and cinnamon and apples. If you were with me right now, you would see I am laughing like an evil villain. Can you tell I love fall?

But anyway. Back to summer. Because it is still summer for a little while and I need to take advantage of all the awesome produce this summer has brought me. I still have tons of blackberries that I froze earlier this summer and my CSA informed me that it was the last week we would be getting peaches, so I wanted to do something fun with them. A semifreddo is …

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August 11, 2011

Chili-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Chili-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

It’s still pretty hot out, but I can’t put off posting this recipe anymore. It’s worth heating up your kitchen on a hot summer day to make this for dinner. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you may remember last year when I posted a recipe for thyme-roasted chicken and I said it was the best roast chicken I’ve ever had. I’m not going back on that, in fact I still stand by that statement and I still make it regularly. But. Even the best recipes can get stale if you make them over and over again. That’s where this chili-roasted chicken comes in to save the day. Now I alternate between the two recipes so we never get tired of eating either of them!

The thing that attracted me to this recipe in the first place is that the method is really similar to the other recipe but the flavors are completely different. The key in both recipes is to rub the herb/spice mixture underneath the skin, directly onto the meat. That makes the chicken extra tender and flavorful. This recipe uses a spice rub with chili …

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