January 4, 2012

Butternut Squash Cakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Glaze

Butternut Squash Cakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Glaze

Hello January, we meet again. I used to try to make resolutions, the usual ones about going on a diet, exercising more, etc. but after years of pretty much not ever following through I’m officially giving up resolutions. I know it’s the New Year and that seems like a great time to “start over” but January just never works for me. The cold weather makes it hard for to get motivated to go walking (the only form of exercise I enjoy) and I crave lots of warm and hearty foods that are rarely low-calorie. And even if I do make some progress in January, February comes along and there’s Valentine’s Day and my birthday and I lose all my motivation.

So I’m not going to bother going on a diet this year or maybe ever again. I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been working on since I started this blog: eat more real food like fruits and vegetables and a little less carb, sugar and processed crap. That’s why I was really happy to get this new cookbook for Christmas, Green Market Baking Book

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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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November 19, 2010

Cranberry Upside Down Muffins

Cranberry Upside Down Muffins

I tend to stay away from making cakes a lot just because I am not so great with the portion control. But I had been thinking about making a cranberry upside down cake for a while so when I saw it in muffin form I knew I had to try this recipe immediately.

Do you like cranberry sauce? If you do, you’ll love these muffins. For the longest time, I absolutely refused to eat cranberry sauce with whole cranberries. I’d only eat the jellied kind that come out of the can…in the shape of a can. I still have that kind at my Thanksgiving, mostly out of tradition, but I make real cranberry sauce, too, and these muffins make me love it even more.

This is a really easy and fast recipe to make and I think the muffins come out so pretty! If you wanted to be a perfectionist, you could cut off the bottoms so they’d sit straight, but it didn’t bother me.

June 30, 2008

Parmesan Pork Cutlets and Mashed Potatoes

Parmesan Pork Cutlets and Mashed Potatoes

I’m always looking for new recipes for easy and fast dinners to make. But a lot of times fast and easy = boring and no flavor. The other thing I’m always looking for is good pork recipes. I have chicken dishes out the wazoo, but barely any good pork ones. The other night I was pleasantly surprised to find a recipe, which I had torn out of a Real Simple magazine ages ago, that was successful on all counts.

I paired this recipe with my absolute favorite side dish: mashed potatoes. I used to think “real” mashed potatoes were too much work and would make the kind from a box instead, but then I found this recipe and realized how simple they are to make. I probably make mashed potatoes at least once a week these days.

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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October 15, 2009

Black and White Cake Cookies

Black and White Cake Cookies

I’m finally back from my little hiatus. We’re settled into our new apartment in Virginia and I’m ready to start cooking again. I was ready to start last week but after two things I tried to bake burnt to a crisp and set off the smoke alarm, it became apparent that the oven was broken. Luckily, the maintenance guy was able to fix it after he ordered a new part and now my oven stays at the right temperature (which I verified with an new oven thermometer, I’m not taking anymore chances with burning the house down).

But while I work on getting some new recipes under my belt, I wanted to finish posting things that I made this past summer. You may have noticed I have a thing for black and white desserts (see Black and White Chocolate Cheesecake Supreme, Black and White Cupcakes and Cheesecake Brownies), so when I saw Black and White Cake Cookies in my new Cooking Light cookbook, I knew I had to try them.

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June 10, 2010

Light and Fluffy Buttermilk-Oatmeal Pancakes

Buttermilk-Oatmeal Pancakes

Since I already found a healthy waffle recipe that I liked a lot, I decided it was time to find a better recipe for pancakes, too. I’d seen some recipes for oatmeal pancakes and was intrigued by the idea. Before last winter I hated oatmeal, but moving to a place that actually gets cold and my desire to eat something warm in the mornings finally converted me into an oatmeal lover (also finding out about steel-cut oats helped a lot). But I was still unconvinced about oatmeal in pancakes. Mainly, I was worried about the texture. Would they wind up being lumpy or mushy? Would they be really heavy or dense? Also, all the recipes I’d seen required that the oatmeal sit in liquid overnight to soften and I just don’t have that much forethought about whether I’m going to want pancakes when I get up in the morning. So when I found this recipe that only required the oatmeal to soak for 20 minutes (though you can soak it overnight if you think that far ahead), I decided this was definitely worth a try.

June 30, 2011

Cherry-Peach Yogurt Parfaits with Maple Granola Brittle

Cherry-Peach Yogurt Parfaits

I have a confession: I don’t really like yogurt. I’ve tried so many times over the years to make myself like it, but it always ends with me having to throw out a bunch of expired yogurt containers. But then I made that Cherry-Rhubarb Fool last month and I realized that yogurt can be good as long as it’s the base for something else. So yogurt by itself = meh, but yogurt + fruit + whipped cream = yum.

Last week I got some absolutely gorgeous peaches and cherries from my CSA and I had big container of yogurt that was close to expiring, so I decided combining them would be a great way to use everything up. But instead of mixing it all together like I did with the fool I made it a yogurt parfait. Because what’s more fun than a parfait? It just feels so much more decadent than a simple bowl of yogurt topped with fruit. Sometimes I have to trick myself into eating things that are better for me and this is a trick that worked really well.