October 25, 2012

Apple, Pear & Quince Brown Betty

Apple, Pear & Quince Brown Betty

You know that saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Of course you do, everyone does, but I wonder how many people actually eat an apple every day? After eating poorly and—not surprisingly—feeling crappy all summer I’ve been making an effort to get my diet back on track and eating an apple every day was the first thing I decided to do. But not just apples, I’ve been making sure I have at least one fruit or vegetable with every meal. That includes dessert, too, which is where this wonderful Brown Betty comes in.

A Brown Betty is a dessert that’s similar to a crisp but instead of just having the awesome streusel-y part on the top you get several layers of it. Crisps are already one of my favorite desserts so a layered version is even better! Like a crisp, a brown betty is very simple and doesn’t take long to make. I’ve seen lots of variations but generally they consist of fruit and some kind of bread or cookie crumbs. I was inspired by …

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July 20, 2010

Homemade Buttery Croissants

I’m always up for a baking challenge so when Julie over at Willow Bird Baking challenged her readers to make croissants, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. I love croissants, but like donuts, I rarely eat them because of how bad they are for you. But there’s just something about making something from scratch that makes it seem less bad for you. I guess because you have to put actual time and effort into making it instead of just going into a store and buying it. Plus, it’s Brandon’s birthday this week and that is one of the 4 times of the year (along with my birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas) that I let myself eat whatever I want without feeling guilty about it.

And these croissants? Are absolutely worthy of much guilt, but they’re just way too delicious and way too much work to feel guilty about. I mean, I made these croissants. From scratch. All by myself. That is an accomplishment, not something to feel bad about. These croissants taste better than any that I’ve had from a bakery or store. It could just be because …

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July 21, 2009

Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake

Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake

It was Brandon’s birthday yesterday and as is my tradition I wanted to make him a cheesecake since he’s not a fan of regular cake. But, as I mentioned last week, we are supposed to be on a diet and he, especially, didn’t want to ruin the progress we’ve made. Personally, I think you deserve to eat whatever you want on your birthday (a right which also extends to the celebrators of said birthday, ie me), but he was very adamant about staying within our allotted points (we’re doing weight watchers). In fact, he didn’t even want me to make a cake at all, but I just wouldn’t have that. You celebrate your birthday by eating some damn cake, diet or not diet. So to appease him, I said I’d find a light version. This, of course, filled me with dread. I mean, light cheesecake, what’s the point?!? But it was his birthday, not mine, and I’d committed to it so I was just going to have to make the best of it.

As a point of comparison I decided to find out just how …

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October 27, 2008

Glazed Lemon Cakes

Lemon Cakes

I have a raging sweet tooth and it usually reveals itself late at night. Usually I can be good and satisfy it with one of those 100 calorie packs of cookies, but sometimes only a real dessert will satisfy me. Because of that I always look for quick and simple dessert recipes to have in my arsenal that I can whip up in about an hour or two. Friday night was one such night, but I was not in the mood for any of usual chocolate recipes. I wanted something completely different. So I looked through my newest cookbook and found this recipe for glazed lemon cupcakes. They did not disappoint. Very sweet and moist and definitely a nice change of pace if your not in the mood for chocolate. Even the glaze part, which I’m usually very wary of (I’ve had some BAD experiences making icing before) was super easy to whip up. I just poured it right over the cakes, I didn’t even bother to spread it around on all of them, it pretty much did all the work itself.

June 15, 2011

Cheesy Potato and Vegetable Frittata

Cheesy Potato and Vegetable Frittata

Eating more fresh produce has been a goal of mine since I started this blog. Before that, the few times a week when we weren’t eating at a restaurant or ordering take-out, most of the dinners I made came from boxes and the only produce I bought at the grocery store was maybe a few bananas, apples or potatoes. Heck, I can’t even say I bought potatoes all that often because Brandon still teases me about all the boxed mashed potatoes I used to prepare with pretty much every dinner back then.

I feel like I’ve come really far from those days whenever I look at my shopping cart and see that fresh fruit and vegetables take up the most space. And now I’ve finally committed to something that I’ve been interested in for years: I joined a CSA. I was always worried that we would never be able to eat enough of the produce every week and honestly, there was some extreme laziness involved when I thought about having to go and pick up the share every week. So when Brandon informed me that …

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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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July 27, 2009

BBA Challenge: Cinnamon Rolls and Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Rolls

It seems like every week I keep saying “this is my favorite”, but hands down, these two breads are my favorite from this challenge. A couple of reasons for this:

1. Both recipes were extremely easy. No waiting a day for pre-ferments, just mix up the ingredients, knead, shape, proof, bake and boom: you have yummy bread in about 4 hours.

2. They’re just good. Period. The raisin bread tasted just like the raisin bread you buy at the store. The cinnamon rolls were just amazing. I could have eaten about a million of them. In fact, after picking out the photos for this entry (it’s been a few weeks since I actually made them), I got such a craving for them that I had to make another batch.

May 24, 2011

Cherry-Rhubarb Fool

Cherry-Rhubarb Fool

After discovering my love for cherries late last summer, I was ecstatic last week when I went to my grocery store and they had cherries in the produce section for the first time this year. I’ll just tell you right now that you should be expecting lots of cherry recipes this summer. I wasted too many years turning my nose up at them and I gotta make up for it!

My grocery store also had some rhubarb in stock and I grabbed some since I’ve never tried it before and I’m all about trying new fruits and vegetables these days. I’m not going to make the same mistake I made with cherries! When I was looking through a new cookbook and saw this recipe, it seem like it would be a great use for the rhubarb.