Prior to Thanksgiving weekend, it had been many, many months since I made something yeasted. Fortunately yeast doesn’t intimidate me as much as it used to, but I still don’t make a regular practice of utilizing it in my recipes. I think that’s the impatient side of me coming out — why wait hours for bread to rise when I can wait only one hour and have a tasty quick bread ready for immediate consumption?
As a kid, I thought Halloween was an epically awesome holiday. I mean, how can you not love a day that revolves solely around candy? Especially for someone like me, who has an insatiable sweet tooth. I can remember many a Halloween-eve, putting the finishing touches on that year’s costume at my Grandparents’ house, before we would venture out for trick-or-treating. After we’d filled our candy bags to the brim, and our parents had tired of walking the streets in the bitter cold, we’d retreat to my Grandparents’ living room and sort our candy — piles of chocolate and non-chocolate first, and then specific types of each candy if there was enough of it. Bartering ensued before we dove in to actually eat it, and I always liked this part the most – apparently I was already starting to become a type A negotiator as a little tyke! (more…)
The first pumpkin recipe of the season is always a big one for me. Embracing pumpkin means embracing fall wholeheartedly, bringing cold-weather clothes out of storage, wearing slippers around the house, and contemplating a switch back to hot coffee in the mornings (don’t worry, that one still hasn’t happened yet… Dunkin iced all the way!). But honestly, this pumpkin recipe made the transition a breeze — this is easily one of the best quick bread recipes I have ever made. I realize that as a baking blogger, I rarely post a recipe that I don’t really enjoy, but this bread just takes things to a whole new level. It’s truly fall magic. (more…)
If I could only eat one type of ethnic cuisine for the rest of my life, it would very likely be Mexican. I’m a sucker for really good Italian food, a novice (but very curious) Indian food eater, I enjoy Japanese cuisine and the occasional unhealthy dish of Chinese food, and I love what the Greek have going on, but there is just something about Mexican dishes that has totally won my heart. I think it stems from many childhood visits to see my Aunt in the heart of Mexico, where I was treated to the most authentic Mexican dishes, and the most authentic Mexican people. Something about the people and the place always made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and as a (very novice) Spanish speaker, I always got a kick out of trying to fit in there, make conversation with the locals, and find our way through the city. (more…)
Fall is a season full of good things. Apples and pumpkin and sweaters and spices, bright leaves and blue skies and chilled cheeks and sunshine. It’s a wonderful time of year. Just over a month ago now, one of my good friends flew out to visit from California, and knowing that the traditional autumnal activities just aren’t the same in Southern California, we went on an apple picking excursion. I came home with a full bag (and belly!), brimming with peaches and apples, and one perfectly round sugar pumpkin. My bounty sat on the counter for a week or two while I contemplated what to do with it, but inspiration wasn’t striking. The peaches started to rot, the apple stash dwindled as it become a part of my daily lunches, and I was sad that these sweet treats weren’t being baked into oblivion. Then, an evening full of baking with a friend introduced me to this pumpkin cookie recipe, and my world was changed. (more…)
I took the month of September off from the Secret Recipe Club, so this is my first post in a couple of months and it feels good to be back! For October, I was assigned Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom, a blog written by Jamie. Jamie has a great blog full not only of recipes, but lots of sewing and crafting tutorials – something I’m trying to get into lately! I had a lot of fun looking through her site and getting inspired. (more…)
More pumpkin – as promised! I think this is the last recipe though, so soon we’ll be onto more seasonal things. I actually made this for Thanksgiving, as a pumpkin pie alternative, and it was so incredibly outstanding. I really love bread pudding, it’s one of my favorite desserts, but I ironically don’t have it often so when I do I want it to be amazing. This recipe is definitely what I would call amazing. (more…)
I was recently told by someone that “pumpkin is acceptable [only] until December 1st” – which means I’m in trouble because December 1st has come and gone, and I still have some pumpkin recipes to share with you! The problem with getting so backed up with this blog is that I have an arsenal of recipes to share, but they are fast becoming irrelevant! I know the official pumpkin season has mostly passed, but I am still dying to share these last couple of recipes with you – so bear with me, please?! I promise, it’ll be worth it. Plus – who of us doesn’t still have a can or two of pumpkin laying around? (more…)
It seems things on this blog/in my life have gotten a bit backed up as of late… it’s that time of year, I guess? I started a new job in July working in marketing (social media) for a couple of retail stores, and when they told me the holidays were busy – well that was an understatement. I’ve also been writing a food and entertaining blog for work, so my own blog has been a bit neglected. It’s so sad to me, because I miss it so much, but I know I’ll get back into the swing of things… it just might not be util the new year. (more…)
Welcome to bread post #2 today! In an attempt to get
all most of my holiday posts up before the New Year, I’m doubling up on posts today, and the both happen to be on my favorite subject: carbs. I love them in every way – for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, as a snack; savory or sweet, and anywhere in between. I like muffins and cookies and cakes and breads and biscuits and EVERYTHING else your mind could imagine. These biscuits are a more healthful carb option, because they use some wheat flour and pureed pumpkin, plus fresh cranberries for some extra flavor. They are moist, moist, moist, and a great accompaniment to any meal. (more…)
Even though Thanksgiving is long gone by now, I’m still dreaming about this dessert I made for it. Better late than never, and this recipe is too good to pass up! When I was in high school, I was part of a culinary arts program, and I can still remember to this day a particular pumpkin cheesecake that we made, which I enjoyed with my mom and her best friend in the car en route to a couple of college visits I had lined up. I’d just made it that afternoon in class, and when I got in the car we were all a bit hungry, so forks dove into the cheesecake as soon as we hit the road and it was just SO GOOD. I came across that same hand-written recipe from class earlier this year amongst a stack of my mom’s recipes, and it reminded me of that day and of that cheesecake, and made me crave it in a serious way.
I’ve noticed lately that I am a serious repeat offender… the muffin/brownie/cookie/bar type. Oh, and cupcakes. I make a lot of cupcakes. It seems I really need to expand my horizons, but when the weather gets cold and I crave comfort foods, I go straight for that big fluffy muffin, or crumbly coffee cake, or classic cookies for a dessert. I just can’t help it, hence yet another muffin post. I wish I could apologize, but these are too good to apologize for. Plus they help you transition between seasons perfectly – fall (pumpkin) and winter (gingerbread) create a happy little bridge from cool to cold, short days to long nights. (more…)