November 21, 2012

Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

Caramel Apple Cider

November has passed in a flash and here we are, it’s almost Thanksgiving! I’m freaking out about this because I just got back from vacation and I’m having a hard time adjusting to normal life again. We spent half the week in a secluded cabin in the Smokey mountains and the other half in Asheville, NC, which is a pretty little town with lots of wonderful restaurants. I had such a good time that I’m already mentally planning a trip back to the same area next year!

I didn’t mean to take such a long break from posting but between work deadlines and vacation it didn’t leave much time for cooking this month. But thanks to how easy this recipe is, I did have a chance to whip up this delicious drink in my spare time. I wanted to post it before Thanksgiving because it’s easy to make ahead of time and would be an excellent addition to any holiday get-together, particularly if you serve a nice piece of pie along with it.


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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July 7, 2008

This weekend in food

Well, I didn’t get much of a holiday this weekend seeing as I had to work both my jobs all three days, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t celebrate. I made lots of food, to the point of overcompensation probably.

Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich and Sweet Potato Fries

I celebrated the fourth by making Braised BBQ Beef from Simply Recipes, which was sooooo good and quite easy to make. I’ve never been much of a beef eater, but I’m trying to expand my horizons and this was definitely a good start.

I also made Oven “Fried” Sweet Potatoes to go with it. Really good, though perhaps a bit soft, even after following the instructions for making them crispier. That recipe is from Mollie Katzen’s The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without via Serious Eats.

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March 20, 2013

Meyer Lemon or Orange Swirled Vanilla Bean Cheesecakes

Meyer Lemon and Orange Swirled Vanilla Bean Cheesecakes

After my trip down to the Gulf Coast in February, I came home with a ton of Meyer Lemons from my aunt’s own tree. I’ve been steadily trying to use them up in muffins or any other lemon recipe I could find, but in the end I wound up making lemon curd. I hope everyone reading this has made lemon curd before and if not, get yourself some lemons so you can make it soon! The process is quick and simple and you’ll want to spoon some of that sweet-tart lemony goodness on everything from your morning toast, to your ice cream for dessert.

Since I had so many lemons to use up, my batch turned out to be almost 3 cups of curd, which unfortunately wasn’t going to keep forever. I’m more than happy to eat it by the spoonful but I knew I had to find a way to use it up faster. As I was swirling lemon curd into my yogurt, I realized it would be the perfect addition …

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September 15, 2008

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know, know, another chocolate chip cookie recipe. There are a million of them and they’re always THE BEST, right? Well, no, they aren’t because these are hands down the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever bake. Period. These are from the New York Times reporter who went in search of the best ways to make chocolate chip cookies and this recipe is the culmination of that. I made these for my coworkers and they were gone in seconds. Everyone loved them and said they were the best they ever had. One of my coworkers even begged me to make her a batch that she wouldn’t have to share with anyone else.

March 7, 2012

Crispy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Granola

Crispy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Granola

We’ve already established that I love those crispy, chewy granola bars and I’m always on the look out for snacks like that so when I found this recipe I was almost angry with myself for not coming up with it on my own. Granola…with Rice Krispies in it. It’s so simple and obvious! It’s basically those granola bars without the extra step of making bars. I’ve always liked granola but it turns out this one simple addition was all I needed to fall in love with it.

Of course, it’s not quite as simple as adding some rice cereal to oats. The thing that makes this granola a real treat is the chocolate. The oats and cereal (and pecans if you want, I left them out) are coated in a chocolate-honey mixture and everything is baked until it’s nice and toasty. Then to make it extra good (and healthier) the granola is topped off with some dried cherries or cranberries. Eat this chocolate granola with milk like a cereal (with bonus chocolate milk left over!) or sprinkle it on your yogurt or you can just do what I …

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November 8, 2011

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Biscuits

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Biscuits

I went to high school in a teeny-tiny mountaintop town in Tennessee. At the time it only had two options for fast food: Hardees and a rundown Dairy Queen (it later got a McDonald’s because even teeny-tiny towns on a mountain need a McDonald’s) I don’t even like Hardees, but when you’re in boarding school and the only other option is cafeteria food, you’ll eat pretty much anywhere else when you get the chance.

But there is one thing at Hardees that I always looked forward to eating: their Cinnamon ‘N’ Raisin biscuits. If you’ve never had one before, it tastes like a cinnamon roll but it’s a cinnamon biscuit covered in icing. So basically it’s like crack. I could eat those biscuits all day long. It seriously brightened my day when my friend would come into school carrying a carton of cinnamon biscuits just for me. I don’t eat much fast food anymore, especially not for breakfast so I’ve only had the biscuits a handful of times over the past 10 years. It’s probably better that way! But they’ll still pop into my head on a weekend morning every once in …

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October 31, 2008

Homemade Donuts – Two Ways

donuts

As I mentioned in my last post, I have major sweet tooth. So donuts are one of my very favorite things. But since they are also one of the very worst things for you to eat, I try to stay away from them. It helps that my boyfriend HATES donuts (unless they are fresh from the oven Krispy Kreme donuts), so I never have a good enough excuse to buy them. Because of that, I probably only eat donuts a few times a year, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have cravings for them, well, all the time.

So a couple of weeks ago, when I stumbled upon this recipe for dead simple donuts I just could not pass it up. I had to see if they were any good! I bought a can of pizza dough the next time I went to grocery store and tried it out the next day. I have never fried anything before, so I was scared to death I was going to burn the house down, but frying is surprisingly easy. And the donuts turned out to be pretty good, …

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