July 28, 2011

Watermelon Lemonade Sorbet and Popsicles

Watermelon Lemonade Sorbet

Are you tired of hearing people complain about the heat yet? Well, sorry, but I live in Virginia and it’s hot here. I am literally counting down the days until Fall because I HATE this heat with a passion. No wonder I was so miserable when I lived in Florida! Fortunately, the fact that I have a real Fall and Winter to look forward to makes Virginia much more bearable, even when it’s 100 degrees outside. I had a whole different recipe prepared to post, but it involved chile powder and a 400 degree oven and I just couldn’t post it. It’s too damn hot outside to even think about turning on the oven that high.

Instead, I decide to make the complete opposite. It involves no cooking (well…unless you count boiling a cup of water) and it’s frozen. And it has my new obsession: watermelon. I’ve always loved watermelon, but at the grocery store earlier this month I realized that I hadn’t bought one in years. I have no idea how that happened, so I’ve been trying to make up for it by eating …

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October 9, 2012

Apple-Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Yeast Bread

Apple-Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Yeast Bread

It looks like Fall has finally arrived in Tennessee this past week. The temperature has been dropping as the leaves are starting to change and that has me instinctively heading into my kitchen to bake with my favorite ingredients: pumpkin and apples! This recipe is inspired by the apple fritter bread and pumpkin streusel bread that I’ve been obsessively buying from Target for the past couple of months. I’d been wanting to try to make a homemade version of the apple fritter bread but then I realized it would be so much better if the apple fritter bread had pumpkin in it, too!

I started with a pumpkin yeast bread recipe that I really like because it’s quite healthy in addition to being delicious. It’s made with all-purpose flour but also has some whole wheat flour and oats to add whole grain goodness to it. If you’ve baked with pumpkin before you know it’s not hugely flavorful (especially combined with 8 cups of flour!) but it adds natural sweetness and definitely helps keeps the crumb soft and moist. On it’s …

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January 25, 2010

Easy Greek Chicken Casserole

Greek Chicken Casserole

The main reason this recipe caught my eye is because it’s a one pot meal that you can make in your Dutch oven. I’ve been wanting a Dutch oven for years and finally got one for Christmas so anytime I see a recipe that mentions a dutch oven, I’ll almost always give it a try. I couldn’t afford one of those uber expensive Le Creuset’s, so I wound up getting one from Lodge that looks almost exactly the same and is well made, but costs about a quarter less. So far I love it and use it as much as possible: soup, spaghetti sauce, chili, oatmeal, whole chicken. And now I have this new recipe to make in it.

July 9, 2009

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic-Roasted Potatoes

Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic-Roasted Potatoes

Brandon and I started on a diet a few weeks ago. And not one those “I’m eating more fruits and vegetables” kind of things, like an actual counting calories, keeping a food log kind of thing (though of course we are eating more fruits and vegetables, too). The first week was really scary because I thought it would be impossible to come up with a week’s worth of low-fat meals. But now in week 2, I’m realizing that I was very, very wrong. With the help of a couple of great cookbooks, I’m finding that it’s really not difficult and it doesn’t even take a lot of extra time. In fact, all the dishes I’ve made in the past few weeks take MUCH less time to make and both Brandon and I agree that they’ve been really good and filling. If someone else made these dishes for me, I wouldn’t even think they were supposed to be light. They’re just good recipes and they happen to be low fat as well.

Even though I’m on a diet, this isn’t going to …

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September 23, 2008

Pam’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti

I am all about comfort food. What I love even more is food that is dead simple to make and that stores easily. That’s probably why spaghetti is my all time favorite dish. Judging from how many brands of spaghetti sauce there are at the grocery store, I would venture to say that not many people make their own sauce anymore. This was one of my mom’s staple recipes and I don’t think I ever saw her use sauce from a jar her entire life. This was the first recipe I asked for when I moved into my own apartment during college and I’ve been making it ever since. I’ve tried jar sauces before, but I always wind up feeling like I’ve let my mom down. Plus none of them taste even one fifth as good as homemade.

January 26, 2011

Pear-Cranberry Streusal Kuchen (Coffee Cake)

Pear-Cranberry Streusal Kuchen

Streusal is probably one of my most favorite words to say as well as one of my favorite things to eat. But now I have a new favorite word: Kuchen. Kuchen just means cake in German, but it’s so much more fun to call it kuchen, isn’t it? Whatever you want to call this recipe, it’s really good and very easy to make. It got the Brandon seal of approval and he rarely likes fruit-filled cakes, especially ones with cranberry. He said it tasted way too good to be a light recipe, but it is, so you don’t even have to feel guilty about eating it!

This is basically a coffee cake, but it doesn’t matter if you eat it for breakfast or dessert. I would venture to guess that you’ll want to have it both times! It’s an extremely moist cake, filled with caramelized pears and dried cranberries and then topped with a delicious streusal topping (I added some oats to give it a bit of crunch and make it healthier). You can also make this recipe with apples and raisins if that’s more …

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July 7, 2010

Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins with Chocolate Graham Cracker Streusel

Marbled Chocolate Banana Muffins with Chocolate Graham Cracker Streusal

I did it again. I bought a bunch of bananas and let them sit there until they looked worse and worse. Tell me I’m not the only one who does that? Please? In the grand scheme of things bananas are cheap, but still…starving kids in blahblah and all that…so I always feel bad about wasting food. I cannot tell you how much I didn’t want to make banana bread, though. I don’t even really like banana bread, I much prefer my mom’s applesauce bread. But what do you make with mushy bananas besides banana bread? I searched for alternatives but didn’t find anything interesting that I had all the ingredients for or that wasn’t a million calories.

Since I was stuck with banana bread, my next thought was that I should do something to make it less banana-y. Of course, chocolate popped right into my head. Chocolate makes everything better. You might know I’m kinda obsessed with marbled chocolate desserts, so I decided to do a marbled chocolate banana muffin. It’s just more …

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September 14, 2010

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusal Buns

So I know the actual first day of Fall isn’t for a few weeks, but as far as I’m concerned Labor Day is the end of summer. After that it’s Fall. Even when it’s still 90 degrees outside. A year ago Brandon had just gotten a job here and we were preparing to make the move from Florida to Virginia. I cannot tell you how much happier I am in Virginia and the main reason for that is because of Fall (and Winter, Spring and even Summer). There are actual seasons here! Maybe I’m strange for being so affected by the weather, but I found the static-ness of Florida’s temperature and landscape to be utterly depressing (I probably would’ve felt differently if we had lived closer to the ocean, which I love, but unfortunately we were right in the middle of the state). Since I wasn’t here this time last year it’s nice to go out and see the beginnings of Fall; leaves are already starting to change color and fall off. In short, I’m really excited about Fall. Probably more excited than …

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