The holidays are almost here again and I can’t believe how fast this year has flown. I look back and can’t believe how incredibly busy and crazy it has been. No matter how crazy life gets, I take time out once a year to bake for my loved ones. This year I added this new cookie to the mix and it was a hit. Soft and airy, with a bit of sour and spice that melds together so well. Enjoy!
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup marzipan Continue reading Almond Cherry Cups
I took a couple of days off from work and hunkered down in my tiny apartment kitchen to bake my annual holiday basket. This is my seventh year baking this basket and as can be imagined, the basket has evolved and grown (some may say, it has grown into a crazy endeavor.)
This year, I made sixteen treats over the course of four days. Even though it was well thought out with spreadsheets and I knew I would be excited to send off the goodies to my family and friends; halfway through, I was feeling the craziness of it all! But the beat goes on and so did my baking.
For my sixth treat for my annual holiday basket was a cranberry pistachio shortbread lightly scented with orange.
Cranberry Pistachio Shortbread
Fall is fast approaching and a few varieties of apples are starting to show up at the farner’s market here. WHen I lived in the Midwestern portion of the United States, we had our own apple tree that was a big producer. Of course, being a person who doesn’t like to waste anything I had to learn how to use it up.
After making 40 cups of apple sauce, I learned how to make a classic apple pie in order to mix it up. Apple pie is such a perfect combination of flavors for the fall. The warmth of the cinnamon mixes with fresh tartness of lemon and apple all enveloped in a buttery crust. Mmmmmmm….
As with any pie, the main force you are up against is water. The main culprit is the liquid from the juices of whatever fruit is added. Excess liquid will make the bottom crust of your pie soggy and all in all your pie will not set up. With this pie, I use three techniques to help combat excess liquid. First off, I use flour as a thickener with this apple pie, instead of cornstarch or tapioca. The cooking time and temperature, cooks out the flour, binding everything perfectly. I also use a combination of brown sugar and white sugar, the brown sugar is used for it’s hints of molasses, but it is a wetter sugar, so the white sugar helps to balances out the liquid within the pie. Last of all, I let the pie rest fully cooked for atleast 1 hour after I bring it out of the oven.
Classic Apple Pie
These are my family’s recipe for snickerdoodles that has been passed down from generation to generation. They are my absolute favorite cookie. Simple and sweet but not crazy sweet, it makes it into my holiday basket every year. The subtle flavors of cinnamon mix with the butter to make anyone feel like they came home.
Now, the secret to these cookies is the cream of tarter. For whatever reason, you mix int the cream of tarter and the cookies come out with a crispy outside and creamy inside. I have made them without the cream of tarter and while still delicious and edible, you get a coarser more crumbly cookie, similar in texture to shortbread.
1 cup soft butter Continue reading Snickerdoodles
I made this banana gelato last weekend and it was absolutely delicious.
Per the website that I made this recipe from, “Gelato, or Italian ice cream, tends to be lower in fat than ice cream, as it’s made from milk with just a touch of cream. However, its texture is traditionally denser as it has less air beaten into it. Oddly enough, this gelato tastes like caramel and is great with toasted pecans.” They are correct, this does taste like caramel. Believe me, you want to try this. Enjoy!
I am telling you guys right now, this is one of my favorite recipes of all time. I’ve been making it for years as an adaptation for banana pudding.
First off, let me say that I love anything banana flavored and I even like the traditional banana pudding with the vanilla wafers and meringue top, but it was never my favorite. I had a textural problem with the Nilla wafers becoming soggy and honestly, I prefer whipped cream over meringue.
The following recipe uses Vanilla wafers, such as golden oreos or my favorite, Trader Joes Jo Jo’s, as a crust. These cookies hold up and stay crunchy under a layer of fresh bananas and homemade pudding. The pudding filling has such a unique flavor imparted by the sweetened condensed milk, mmmmm…. And then to top it all off, a trick borrowed from banana pudding’s delicious cousin, banana cream pie, a dollop of whipped cream. Hence, we have Banana Pudding Pie.
Try it! Believe me, it is sooooo good.
Banana Pudding Pie
As you all know, I am a girl from the southern part of the United States, which makes peaches near and dear to my heart. Finally it is peach season where I live now and I was able to whip up a classic peach pie. Simple ingredients, simple process, terrific results, what could be better?
I leave you with another Mary Oliver poem:
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Classic Peach Pie
Below is my favorite smoothie recipe. Of course you could add a few of your favorite fruits: mango, papaya, pineapple, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, etc… That’s what I love about smoothies, they are so versatile.
If you have any leftovers, you can place in a container and freeze. Later you can scrape it for a delicious fruit ice similar to a granita. A healthy and delicious sweet treat.
Today in yoga, our instructor read a Rumi poem called the guest house that really struck a chord with me. Enjoy!
THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Zucchini season is here and one of the items that I love to make annually is zucchini bread. Because my husband is a chocolate lover, I throw some chocolate chips in the batter for good measure. Out of love, I use the mini chocolate chips so that he can get the taste of chocolate spread evenly through out every bite. If you need a great way to use up zucchini this season, this is a great idea for not only a family treat, but bake sales and gifts for neighbors. Also, after the bread has baked, it freezes well, so you can always have a nice sweet treat ready to go for any pop over guests. Enjoy everyone!
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread