May 20, 2010

Lemon Glazed Blackberry Cake

Lemon Glazed Blackberry Cake

Do you ever go to the grocery store and randomly pick up something that looks so inviting or is such a good deal that you can’t pass it up, even though you don’t know what you will actually do with it? Well, that’s how I ended up with 2 cartons of giant blackberries this week. They were beautiful and they were buy one, get one free. How could you not buy those?

But then, if course, I had to find something to make with them so they wouldn’t all go to waste (although they were pretty perfect in a bowl with a little sugar sprinkled on top, too). I already posted a blackberry cobbler a while ago, so that was out. After searching around for a while, this recipe jumped out me, and for good reason! It’s extremely simple and produces a very moist and delicious cake. And since I really like the combination of lemon and blackberry, I added a lemon glaze on top (the same one from these lemon cakes). I think the glaze perfectly balances out the tartness …

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March 14, 2012

Homemade Maple-Cinnamon Oat Pop Tarts

Maple-Cinnamon Oat Pop Tarts

Just like Spaghetti-os and Oatmeal Cream Pies, Pop Tarts are one of those things I loved when I was kid but have tried to stay away from as an adult. But since I had so much fun learning to make those other favorites at home, I figured it was time I finally attempted a Pop Tart. With the other recipes I was trying to make a homemade version that was close to the taste and texture of the originals. This time I wanted to make a healthier Pop Tart. But one that still, you know, tastes good. And while this recipe isn’t especially low fat (by my calculations it’s about the same as the store bought version), after some trial and error I feel like I came up with a satisfying compromise.

A Pop Tart is pretty much just pie crust with some type of filling, so the pastry dough is the most important part. I tried out several different “healthy” pie crust recipes first. Lesson learned: pie crust without butter SUCKS. It just does. But thanks to a tip from a reader (Thanks, Shel!), I figured out you …

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August 4, 2011

Lemon-glazed Blueberry Donut Muffins

Lemon-glazed Blueberry Donut Muffins

I go back and forth a lot on what my favorite food is, but donuts are definitely in the top five and likely to be in the top spot most days. Despite that, I don’t buy them very much. I’m just not the kind of person who can eat one donut and be satisfied. And ultimately, I don’t mind staying away from donuts because then when I do eat them they taste pretty magical.

But sometimes you just get a craving that won’t go away. I’ve made homemade donuts before but was not in the mood for the hassle of cutting and frying dough and I don’t have one of those donut pans to make cake donuts in. Then I remembered this recipe for donut muffins that I printed out ages ago and decided it was finally time to give it a try. Cut to this week, now the second time I’ve made them in the past month and I think I have a problem. I can’t stop making them! No, they aren’t quite as good as real fried donuts, but they do have the exact same taste and texture …

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November 29, 2012

Caramel Apple Crumb Pie

Caramel Apple Crumb Pie

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. I’ve already disposed of the turkey because I could not look at that sad carcass one more day. I’m just turkey-ed out. I hope you guys had a nice Thanksgiving day/weekend! We invited a few friends over and I did most of the cooking, making all of my traditional dishes. I’ve never really hosted a dinner party like that before so it felt very grown up. I think it was a success!

It helped that we ended the night on a good note, which was this apple crumb pie. I’ve made it before, but after posting that Caramel Apple Cider last week, I could not get the whole caramel-apple combo out of my head. So I decided to experiment with the recipe and add some caramel! I did not have a plan B for dessert, so thankfully the pie turned out as good as I had hoped.

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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October 14, 2008

Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash

My boyfriend and I have this inside joke about paprikash and goulash. It makes no sense to anyone but us, but suffice it to say, when I saw a recipe for paprikash, I HAD to save it. I finally got around to making it last week and while I may have made it sort of as joke, it’s really good. And easy to make as well.

This recipe is supposed to be made in a dutch oven, but I don’t have one (it’s on my Christmas list!). I just made it in a skillet and then transferred everything to my 13×9 Pyrex to cook in the oven. Because I was making it in a larger dish, I didn’t think there were enough diced tomatoes so I added a second can. But even if I was making it in a smaller dish, I still think I would have doubled it. The picture in the magazine looked like it had WAY more than one can of tomatoes.

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.

March 24, 2009

Quickie: Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pie

My boyfriend skyped me from work on Friday with a link to the article on Whoopie Pies in the New York Times. “You need to learn how to make these”, he said. Not being one to pass up a baking challenge I made them later that night.

Apparently, whoopie pies are the new cupcake, but I don’t know…I’ll stick with cupcakes thanks very much. Not to say they aren’t good because they are, but my issue was with the filling. Personally, I HATE making frosting. It was a miles better experience with my new stand mixer (I completely gave up making frosting with my hand mixer as it was just disaster after disaster with that thing), but it was still a pain and in the end I wasn’t that impressed. I know it’s called Buttercream, but geez, it’s 2 whole sticks of butter! I thought it was butter overload.

Next time I’ll be cutting the amount of salt in the recipe by half as both the cakes and the filling were a bit too salty. Also, I’m going to skip the frosting and fill …

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