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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July 29, 2008

Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

Maple Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

I was reading someone’s blog the other day and they mentioned sweet potatoes, insinuating that the majority of people don’t like them. Is this true? Because if it is, then I am making it my mission to spread the word about sweet potatoes. I love them so much I could eat them every single night. I guess when people think of sweet potatoes they mostly think of sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving, and while I love me some yams, there is sooo much more you do with sweet potatoes.

This recipe is a new staple in my house as it combines my two favorite things into one dish and it is oh so yummy. I also love that this is a very simple, one-pot dish. I guess you could serve with it some rice or a vegetable, but chicken and sweet potatoes are always enough food to fill me up.

Now, I do understand if the idea of maple syrup on chicken makes your stomach crawl, but I assure that once the dish is cooked, you just get this wonderfully subtle maple-y flavoring to the …

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September 20, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Crunch Muffins

Pumpkin Cranberry Crunch Muffins

It’s finally here! Friday is the first day of Fall and I’m ready for it. The weather has even been cooperating with temps in the 60s this past week. I’ve been baking like mad since the beginning of September but these pumpkin muffins were my inaugural Fall treat and they did not disappoint. I got inspired to make them after cleaning out my kitchen and finding that I still had 4 cans of pumpkin puree and 2 bags of frozen cranberries. I like to stock up on things, can’t you tell?

I’d been wanting to make my favorite quick bread recipe ever: my mom’s Applesauce Bread because it always feels like fall to me. But I decided to play around with the recipe and make it into pumpkin muffins. I subbed pumpkin for applesauce, some of the sugar for maple syrup and some of the spices for pumpkin pie spice. The pumpkin version turned out just as good as the original! These muffins have a very moist and cakey crumb and the pumpkin flavor really shines through.

The cranberries add a wonderful tart contrast to the sweet bread. I know …

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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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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.

April 10, 2009

Chicken a la King

Chicken a la King

I guess this is one of those basic everyone-has-made-this kind of dishes, but OH. MY. GOD. you just wouldn’t even believe how many years have gone into finding this recipe and then actually being able to make it. This recipe, like the inscrutably named Pineapple Stuff, was one of my absolute favorite dishes my mom made when I was a kid. So much so, that I still remember it fondly despite not eating it in almost 15 years. So last year when I started cooking again, I made it my mission to find this recipe. Except I couldn’t remember what it was called or what the ingredients were other than broccoli and some adorable little puff pastry shells my mom always used. So I looked through every single recipe in my mom’s old recipe collection (which is just a book with hundreds of handwritten recipe cards and magazine cut-outs taped into it in a semi-organized, but still haphazard fashion) several times and finally figured out which one it was.

It was called Tuna a la King and I didn’t remember it having tuna, but everything else …

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October 19, 2011

Apple Pie Cream Cheese Muffins

Apple Pie Cream Cheese Muffins

Recipe inspiration can come from some funny places. I decided to make these muffins after buying some cute red cupcake liners from Target. I just knew I had to put something with apple in them (and it helped that I had basket full of apples waiting for me at home). I promise I’ll move on to something else besides apples after this, but I had to share this recipe because I was so happy with how these muffins turned out.

It’s a little hard to tell from the pictures what exactly these muffins are since many of the components are a similar color, so let me just describe it for you: it all starts with a graham cracker crust on the bottom (like a little pie!), the muffin is a spiced applesauce cake with a cinnamon cream cheese center and it’s all topped with caramelized apples. Basically, I was torn between making a pie or cake, so I decided to combine them!

December 22, 2010

Chewy Brownie Bites – 5 ways

Chewy Brownie Bites

Well, it looks like I found something to post this week after all! I whipped these up last night (side note: does anyone else love baking at midnight or am I weird?) and they are so easy and fun that I just had to share. This is a great last minute dessert and kids will surely love them.

I’ve been looking for a recipe for soft, chewy brownies for a while and these totally hit the spot. They’re a cross between a brownie and a cookie, so you can make them either way! The original recipe makes them like drop cookies, but I thought it would be fun to use my mini-muffin pan and make them into cute little brownie bites.

This is a very basic recipe, so I thought I’d have fun with it. I was cleaning out my cabinets the other day and discovered that I have tons of baking chips in all flavors: chocolate, mint, butterscotch, peanut butter, cinnamon, etc. I needed to use them up, especially since I don’t plan on a lot of cookie baking in January and this was the perfect …

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