If I had to choose which dessert I like making most I would have to say cookies. I love how easy cookies are to make, and appreciate that there is always a new type of cookie to try. My second favorite dessert to make? I think you probably guessed it- it's pie. I really love to make pies, and actually find it to be very relaxing. Cutting butter into pie dough, rolling the dough out, and in the case of apple pie, peeling the apples, are all tasks that I can put my hands to work on while my mind wanders and reflects on life.
This particular apple pie is my favorite for a couple of reasons. The crust is perfectly flaky and buttery, and aren't those heart cutouts just adorable? You can use ... [Continue Reading]
I haven't had many excuses.. I mean opportunities to make cupcakes lately. Baking a batch of cupcakes just for my family isn't a good idea, because we definitely don't need to eat a dozen cupcakes. We had my parents and brother over for dinner this past weekend so I had a reason to make dessert, and I decided that an afternoon spent baking in the kitchen sounded both relaxing and fun. I pretended I didn't have housecleaning to do, laundry to fold, or papers to grade, and just enjoyed myself.
These cupcakes have three components- a spiced apple cake, cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Have you ever noticed how kids eat cupcakes? They lick off all of the ... [Continue Reading]
We had our first rainy day of the season on Saturday, and it made me realize maybe I am ready for a change in the weather. Julia was supposed to have soccer practice, but it was canceled at the last minute due to the entire field being taken over by a track and field meet. It was a good thing, though, as the sky opened up and it was pouring five minutes into the scheduled soccer time. We would have been running off of that soccer field! We had both kids in the car, diaper bag packed, and it was Saturday morning, so instead of soccer we headed out to lunch at Panera. We sat inside by the window and had lunch while watching the rain pour down outside. William thought it was great fun to get ... [Continue Reading]
The other morning, William and I were outside playing in the backyard, and we both needed our jackets. It felt like fall was on the way, and it is- the season officially arrives on Sunday. Of course, today the high is supposed to be an unfall-like 86 degrees, but then temperatures are supposed to drop back down again.
What better way to welcome the cooler days than by making apple cinnamon waffles for breakfast? Sweet caramelized apples and a dollop of whipped cream top warm spiced cinnamon waffles. Even if the weather hasn't quite turned to fall where you live, don't worry. You should make these waffles all the same. I made them a few weeks ago on a summery Sunday morning, and we'll be ... [Continue Reading]
Yes, I'm sharing another pancake recipe. Can you blame me? Years ago, when I thought pancakes, I thought it meant buying a pancake mix at the store, adding water, and maybe an egg if it was a fancy mix. Now, I keep coming across more and more pancake recipes that I want to try, and these apple vanilla pancakes are my most recent discovery. The pancakes are filled with sweet pieces of apple, and flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. Drizzled with some pure maple syrup, they are totally addicting.
I made a few changes to healthify this recipe. I substituted whole wheat flour for part of the all-purpose, and I'm sure you could use even more whole wheat than I did and still get delicious ... [Continue Reading]
Muffins, along with cookies, are one of my favorite things to bake. They're easy to make and are perfectly portioned little morning snacks. My sister was searching for a healthy oatmeal muffin recipe, but having trouble finding what she wanted. I was excited for the challenge of creating an oatmeal muffin that was not only healthy but also crave-worthy.
I'm very happy with the way these muffins turned out, and my sister loved them too. You might think an oatmeal muffin would be dense or heavy, but these are neither. The muffins have a light texture and are filled with plenty of oats. I used applesauce to help keep the muffins moist, and this also allowed me to get away with only using ¼ ... [Continue Reading]
The other day, I found myself with a bunch of ripe bananas in my fruit bowl. I have a number of different ways that I like to use up over-ripe bananas, but really wanted to try something new. I decided to whip up a batch of banana-apple cinnamon muffins, and I'm so glad I did!
These are my new favorite banana muffin. They are moist, full of the flavors of banana and cinnamon, and I just love the pieces of cooked apple that are scattered throughout the muffins. I ate one warm from the oven, and just had to have a second. I couldn't resist. :)
I've made these muffins with both pink lady and granny smith apples, but I'm sure your favorite would work well too. A little Greek yogurt mixed into ... [Continue Reading]
Salad makes it onto our dinner table so often, it's nice to have a variety of recipes to make things a bit more interesting. This spinach salad has buttered almonds, apple slices, and crumbled feta- plenty of flavor to make eating salad seem like a treat.
If you're short on time (or want to make the salad even healthier), you can skip making the buttered almonds and just use toasted almonds instead. As is, this salad is great as a side dish. You can easily make it into a main dish salad by adding some grilled chicken for protein.
One year ago: Pan Roasted Chicken Breasts with Potatoes
Harvest Apple and Spinach Salad
Makes 4 servings
For the dressing:
1/4 ... [Continue Reading]
Steel cut oats are something that I've been meaning to try for a while. I enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, especially in the cooler months, and often hear about how good steel cut oats are for you. Steel cut oats are less processed than rolled oats, made by taking the whole oat kernel and cutting it into small pieces. They have a chewier texture and a nuttier taste than rolled oats, making them a nice change for variety's sake.
To cook steel cut oats on the stovetop, it takes about 35 minutes. Some mornings that is just too long to wait for breakfast, which is why I like this overnight recipe. It takes about 5 minutes to combine the ingredients in the evening, and then you ... [Continue Reading]
If you're planning to bake a pie (or two) for an upcoming holiday celebration, I recommend this apple pie. I've made this pie a number of times, most recently for my family's Thanksgiving celebration. I'm a big fan of crumb topping on my apple pie, and this pie has plenty of it. I also love how the cinnamon enhances the flavor of the sweet apple-raisin filling. (If you don't like raisins, you can easily leave them out.)
Since I was also making this pumpkin pie for our family get-together, I decided to make the apple pie a day ahead and it worked just fine. After cooling the pie, I refrigerated it overnight and it tasted great the next day.
Cinnamon Apple Pie with Raisins and Crumb ... [Continue Reading]
Usually when I make a salad to go with dinner, it is a combination of lettuce, carrots, cucumber, tomato, mushrooms, and sometimes avocado. While such a salad tastes good and provides lots of vegetables, it can become somewhat boring day after day. When I'm having dinner guests or just want something a bit more exciting, I often make this apple and spinach salad. I love green salads that include fruit, and the addition of crumbly blue cheese makes this salad feel special. The dressing is also one of my favorites- a delicious combination of citrus, Dijon, and honey.
Autumn Apple and Spinach Salad
Makes 6 servings
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime ... [Continue Reading]
Recently my sister, Karen, was visiting for the day and we decided that we needed a baking project to keep us busy. Since we had so much fun making homemade caramel sauce together during her last visit, we thought we should find a new recipe to try out together. In the days before her visit, we each searched our cookbooks and blogs for potential recipes. Apple hand pies were the winner because we had both been wanting to try making hand pies at home. It was so nice to have an extra set of hands for taking photos during the baking process!
Karen and I were really happy with the way the hand pies turned out. We made some triangle-shaped pies by hand, and some heart-shaped ones using a ... [Continue Reading]