Truffle Butter Popcorn

truffle butter popcorn

Ah, these days.

I love 'em.  Christmas was fantastic... I love the fresh start of a new year...and here we are in the in between. It's totally perfect.  It's like these days don't count.  It feels right to sleep absurdly late.  It seems perfectly acceptable to see two movies during the day.

It's the perfect afternoon to throw away every sock that doesn't match and try to find matching lids to tupperware.  Yep, I'm totally ignoring my rotting Christmas tree and opting to organize the kitchen and my closet.  By the time 2012 rolls around, I'll be moving at the speed of light because everything will be so organized.  It's my vision...I'm goin for it.

In the meantime, we must ring in the New Year.  Make it fun.  Keep it simple.  Ignore the hype.

Make this fancy popcorn that is exactly that... fun and fancy and ridiculously simple.

Truffle popcorn and champagne is all you need to say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012.

Hope you have a smashing New Year's and I'll catch ya in 2012.

Truffle Butter Popcorn
Recipe Notes
Truffle oil is expensive, but totally worth it. I have a tiny bottle that cost about $12, but has lasted years.  You only need a smidge so make the investment and you will have a sprinkle whenever you need it.
1 bag unsalted, unflavored popcorn (8 to 10 cups popped)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, to taste
kosher or fine sea salt
Step by Step
Melt butter in a small microwave safe bowl.  Mix truffle oil into butter.  Pop popcorn.  As soon as popcorn is finished pour in a medium sized bowl.  Drizzle butter mixture over popcorn, making sure to turn the popcorn and evenly coat.  Sprinkle parmesan evenly over popcorn while still warm.  Taste popcorn and add salt to taste.  Serve immediately or reheat in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.


A few of my favorite things.

1. kitchen magic whisk, Anthropologie...$8.00
2. farmer's market basket, Anthropologie...$14.00
3. egg timer, Crate and Barrell...$4.95
4. Capri Blue Volcano candle, Anthropologie... $28.00
5. baggu reusable grocery bag, Baggu...$8.00
6. microplane zester, Sur la Table... $14.95

We are down to the wire on Christmas. Here are a few of my favorite things that would be great stocking stuffers or last minute gifts.  Everything is under $30 and a few things that might seem unexpected, but will be used over and over.  The whisk adds such a magical touch.  These glass farmer's baskets have a thousand uses in the kitchen.  Have someone on your list that wants nothing to do with the kitchen?  These also happen to be the perfect size for business cards... sure would be a fun pop of color on a desk.  The egg timer might seem like a silly gift, but the person will call you every time they make a hard boil egg and tell you how great you are.  I can't say I make hard boiled eggs all that often, but when I do, I am so glad I have this little gadget and it takes up no space at all.  Anyone who likes to cook is bound to have a lingering smell of fried bacon or a garlic scent that doesn't smell so good at breakfast the next morning.  This is the absolute best smelling candle in the world... homey and fresh all at the same time.  Know a brown bagger or a green grocery shopper?  Baggu bags are perfect.  They are lightweight and portable and you can always have an extra bag on hand and not even realize it because of the small little pouch it scrunches up in.  The microplane zester is such a star.  From zesting citrus to the perfect shaving of parmesan on pasta, it's a necessity.  


Chocolate Crackle Cookies

chocolate crackles
It's a jungle out there. 

Driving a few blocks takes an hour.  

The parking lots look like scenes from Braveheart.  

I swear the woman that cut me off was wearing war paint as she came roaring out of oblivion and stole my spot in the mall parking lot.  Did she really need to yell expletives and flip me off?  She got the darn spot.  
chocolate crackles 2 
Let's lock ourselves inside.   If you're in my part of the country, let's crank the air down and act like we are experiencing winter.   Let's make spiked cider and watch Christmas Vacation.   Let's blast Andre Bocelli's Christmas album and sing Celine Dion's parts (do this one for me... I've been banned from singing too loud due to a husband who needs his peace and quiet to study for the Bar exam).  Let's make our houses smell like chocolate.  Let's make it snow in the kitchen with powdered sugar. 

Yep, that will do it.  That will feel like Christmas.
crackle collage
These cookies are unreal.  Chocolatey as chocolate can get.  Smooth and creamy with a barely crusty exterior that is rolled and dusted in sugar.  Whoever you spend your Christmas weekend with will be very happy you brought these along. 

Leave a plate for Santa... he'll be impressed.  
chocolate crackles 8
From my little kitchen to yours... Merry Christmas.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies
Recipe Notes
I have a sifter and sometimes I still don't feel like messing with it.  If you do not have one or you are not in the mood, mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.  Using a fork, fluff and sift all the ingredients with a fork.  Make sure all ingredients are well mixed and no lumps of flour or cocoa powder remain.  Chocolate is the star here so I used Godiva cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate.   The dough will be unbelievable sticky when first mixed.  I had to spoon it onto the saran wrap.  But don't worry... after two hours, it will be firm enough to work with. Make sure to take only one ball of dough at a time and I sprayed my hands with cooking spray, which helped to keep the dough from sticking to my hands.  The dough will get harder to work with the longer it is out of the refrigerator.
8oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
11/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powder sugar
Step by Step
Melt chocolate in a double boiler then set aside to cool. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

In a mixer or using a hand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in eggs, vanilla, and then the melted chocolate.  Reduce speed to low mix in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the milk. Divide dough into four equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350. Take one ball of dough out of the refrigerator at a time.  Working quickly,  pinch off the dough and roll into one inch balls.   Roll in the granulated sugar to coat, then in powder sugar to coat.  Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake until surfaces crack, about 12 to 14 minutes rotating sheets half way through. Take cookies out when edges are set, but be careful to not over bake.  Cool on a wire rack and store at room temperature.


Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Men

Alright, now that we are all nice and skinny, let's head straight into cookie season.

Gingerbread men... a holiday classic.
Soft & Chewy Gingerbread Men
Another adjective to describe these little guys would be barely gingery. Yeah, that's right.  Gingery.

Definition by me...
Gingery (adj.) :  The amount of kick from spice and ginger that is contained in one's gingerbread recipe.

I happen to prefer my men to have a slight hint of ginger and spice rather than a pungent kick.
I believe this recipe is for those who like the holiday spirit of gingerbread men (but not the taste of ginger) or maybe looking for  a kid friendly recipe.

This one's a star.  I also see the world only one way when it comes to the texture of these holiday studs.  I like them soft and chewy.  I personally could even have a little more gingery taste, but a crisp little man is not for me.

Hope your December is off to a great start.

From my little kitchen to yours... Merry Christmas.

Soft & Chewy, {Barely Gingery} Gingerbread Men
Recipe Notes

Adapted from allrecipes.com
1 (3.5 ounce) package cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large or extra large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
parchment paper
Icing & Decorations
Milk, a couple of tablespoons
Powdered sugar, about a cup
Red Hots
White Sprinkles
In a medium bowl, cream together the dry butterscotch pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; beat into the butterscotch mixture on low until just combined. Cover, and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Lay out a piece of parchment paper on a clean surface.  Sprinkle with flour.  Remove half of the dough from the refrigerator and roll into a 1/4 inch thickness.  Dough will be very sticky so sprinkle flour on top of the dough as well to keep the rolling pin from sticking.  Place parchment paper with rolled out dough on a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator.  Let chill for 15 minutes.  Remove from refrigerator and cut into shapes.  Repeat with remaining half of dough.  Place cookies 2 inches apart of parchment lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies start to set on the edges. Cool on wire racks.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

Easy Icing
I just used a little bit of icing for these cookies so I made a really simple mixture that would work to harden and hold on red hots or sprinkles.  Start by pouring about a cup of powdered sugar into a small bowl.  Add a little bit of milk... about a teaspoon.  Mix thoroughly.  Add milk, a few drops at a time until icing is about the consistency of glue.  You do not want it to runny, but you want it to squeeze through a small squeeze bottle.  Put icing mixture into a small squeeze bottle and pipe onto cookies.

Click here for more info on icing cookies.


{Pull yourself together} Kale & Kiwi Smoothie

kale and kiwi smoothie

So here we are.  The Monday after Thanksgiving and at the cusp of holiday treats, festive cocktails and party buffets.  Yes, my friends, just as soon as the Thanksgiving day closes, it seems Christmas and all the calories that come with it begin immediately.

So let's be good for just one day.
kale and kiwi smoothie2
This green monster will make you feel good after the Thanksgiving holiday and give you plenty of room to splurge for the Christmas season (and it just so happens to provide a lot of energy in the meantime). Yep, this will erase anything.

Please allow me to introduce... the kale and kiwi smoothie.

Now I have a feeling that most of you would blow right past this post when you saw kale in a smoothie, but something about that extra slice of pie you had on Thursday and that leftover pie you had on Friday and Saturday kept you reading.
kale and kiwi smoothie 5 
Don't be scared.  This is actually unbelievably delicious.

I would dare to say that if you found yourself on Top Chef and you were in one of those name the ingredient challenges, you would never guess kale.  Besides the groovy color, nothing about this tastes like kale.

So let's be super healthy and sneak a super food into fruit smoothie.  Let's feel light and airy and super skinny.  Am I over promising here?   Well maybe, but here is one more really exciting piece of info.  You do not need a juicer! I love the idea of a juicer, I love the idea drinking fresh juices, but there is just no way my tiny kitchen can take one more honking appliance right now.

Did you know kale and spinach will puree up beautifully in a blender?  Yay.

One for me and one for you... Cheers.
kale and kiwi smoothie 4

Kale & Kiwi Smoothie
1 frozen banana, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped kale, stems removed
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
Step by Step
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until blended smooth.   Pour into 12 ounce glasses and serve.  Add a fancy straw and feel good about yourself.

Makes 2 glasses.

How To: De-Stemming Kale

My line of kale I planted in the garden is busting at the seems with wonderful curly kale.  I am going to try and work this super food into some tasty dishes so before we begin, let's talk about what it means to "remove the stems>"

In most kale dishes you will want to get rid of the stem and just have the leaf so here we go.

Lay out each piece of kale.
stemming kale

Run your knife down each side of the thick stem in the middle.
stemming kale 2
And then it's ready to torn, chopped, pureed or left in whole chunks. kale and kiwi smoothie 5

For an even speedier method, you can fold the leaf on top of each other, like this.  And then you only have to run your knife down the side of the stem once. 


Pecan Tartlets

I am 5'10.  I use to wear a size ten shoe, but if I'm honest with myself, my toes like me a lot better when I let them breathe in a size 11.

Mr. Hungry is 6'4.  We sleep in a California King.  If you are unfamiliar, it's basically a bed for giants... they shave inches off the sides and add them to the length.

You have to be at least 5'9 to possibly have the potential of reaching our microwave.

There is a good chance we could have gargantuan children in the future.
Where am I going with this?

This might just lead to my fascination with all things tiny.   I think these tiny dogs are the bomb, my favorite food growing up was baby corns...(creepy, right?) Anyway...

Mini desserts seem to be all the rage right now, but for good reason.  Who doesn't want to gobble up a few of these little guys?

Now let's get real with the each other..  These are not the fastest thing to throw together.  I tell you this because the last thing I want is for you to be making these the night before Thanksgiving cursing me as you press the crusts in.
What I do want you to do is make these NOW.  Stop reading.. go... come on!! Thanksgiving is soon and you need to get these puppies in the freezer.

Ah, and there it is... the reason I'm even more in love with the minis... they're freezable.  They are fantastic and they taste the exact same out of the freezer quickly warmed in the oven as they do freshly baked.  In fact, you might need to hide them from yourself because they are addicting straight out of the freezer.  And that batch of 36 you made might turn into about 6 if you sneak them away one by one.  I didn't do that... Okay maybe I did.  Whatever.

Once you pop you can't stop...
Come on, let's spice things up.  A slice a pie is so yesterday.  Mini pies are the way of the future.

Happiest Thanksgiving to you.  From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy.

Pecan Tartlets
For the Crust
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all- purpose flour
For the Filling
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
Step by Step
In a bowl, mix cream cheese, butter, and flour together until soft and pliable.  Form dough into balls about the size of your thumb.  Press dough down against bottom and sides of the cups in mini muffin tins to form small cups.  Try to mold the crust as thin as possible without tearing the crust.  Press the ball of dough down in the pan first and then press up the sides.  Freeze for one hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla and nuts.
Pour into prepared mini crusts, just below the crust line.   Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

To Freeze:  Let tartlets cool completely.  Place tartlets on a baking sheet, not touching.  Freeze for a few hours or over night.  Once frozen through, wrap tightly in saran wrap and then wrap with freezer wrap or a freezer ziploc.  Freeze for up to two months.  When ready to use, reheat in oven for 5 to 10 minutes at 325 degrees, until warmed through.

Makes 36-42 cups.


Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes

pumpkin cupcakes final1 
At the ripe age of 27, I have yet to take the main responsibility for Thanksgiving dinner.  I have made a side dish or two, but the brunt of responsibility (and the turkey) have yet to come my way (and hoping I have quite a few years before that day comes).

Those that do have this responsibility should be given an award.  All those casseroles... one honking turkey... all hot at the same time with appetizers and pies on either side of the equation to make sure everyone is overly stuffed... big job... big, big job.

If you are in charge, good luck.

 If you are not, turn yourself into a really good guest and make these muffins/ cupcakes.
pumpkin cupcakes final2
There is just something about Nutella that makes everything better.

If this looks a little familiar, that is because without the pecan topping and a different pan, you just saw this a few weeks ago in the form of loaves.
The Nutella surprise seems to be even better in cupcake form.  Bite into this oh so ordinary looking pumpkin bread to be met with a perfect pocket of Nutella.  Oh yeah, this is major.
pumpkin cupcakes final3
But some occasions just call for the oh so wonderful and portable cupcake... and the pecans just added the perfect crunch to this combo.

Oh heavens you could be such a star at your relative's house when you show up with a plate of these.  Thanksgiving day is decadent... maybe share these for breakfast? Get the morning started right.

Pumpkin Nutella Cupcakes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large or extra large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can (15 ounces) canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
Cooking Spray
24 teaspoons of Nutella
1 to 2 cups chopped pecans
Cupcake liners
Step by Step
In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves and pudding mix; add to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin, beating well after each addition.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Fill each cup 1/3 full with the pumpkin batter. Place 1 teaspoon of Nutella in the middle of each cup on top of the pumpkin batter. Using a toothpick, swirl each dollop of Nutella slightly into the batter. Top each cup with more batter until they are filled 3/4 full. Top each cupcake with pecans completely covering the batter. Pack the pecans in tight because they will spread out once the batter rises a bit. Bake each pan for 25 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes and then remove from pan and cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to five days.


Cinnamon Waffles with Peaches & Cream

Long weekends are good for the soul.
Having a Friday or Monday off transforms the weekend entirely.  Anything that might be on the to do list for Saturday gets taken care of on Friday or bumped to Monday.  I try to stay in bed as long as possible on Saturday and once I do get out of bed, the only goal is to make a special breakfast.
Between the Thanksgiving and Christmas season on the horizon I'm sure hoping you have a long weekend or two and I highly suggest putting those to do lists on hold for a few hours and start out your day with a warm plate of cinnamon waffles.

I have had a pretty wonderful waffle maker ever since it was gifted to me about 5 years ago and it just doesn't make an appearance often enough.  Enter a long weekend and the perfect time to pull this sucker out.  I have a hunch yours is collecting dust too and cold holiday mornings are more than enough reason to pull it out.

There's about a thousand toppings that would make these lovely if peaches and whipped cream isn't your thing.  Good old butter and syrup... perhaps chopped pecans and bananas with a little swirl of honey... maybe a few chocolate chips and powdered sugar... whatever tickles your fancy.
two way waffles
Cinnamon Waffles with Peaches & Cream
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons self-rising flour
1 cup warm milk
1 egg white
Optional Toppings
1 peach, thinly sliced
Fresh whipped cream, slightly sweetened
Step by Step
In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in vanilla extract, butter, salt and cinnamon. Alternately mix in flour and milk until blended well.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg white until it forms soft peaks. Fold egg white into batter with a spatula and let stand for 15 minutes.
Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown and fluffy.  Continue until batter is gone, making sure to use cooking spray between each waffles.  

About the egg whites...
This is what you are looking for with the egg whites.  After a few minutes of whisking an egg white in a clean large bowl, you will get "soft peaks."  
You want to gently fold in the egg whites to the rest of the batter.  Mix well but just softly fold them in with a spatula so they stay nice and airy. cinnamonwaffles5


Monster Cookies

monster cookie final 
I could not eat another piece of candy if you shoved it in my mouth.  Seriously.  Don't do it.  I might spit it back up on your shoes.  That would be really awkward if I don't know you.... and probably a little hurtful if I did... and just plain gross no matter what our relationship.

I'm at my limits.  And I have some pretty insane limits when it comes to any form of sugar... preferably peanut butter and chocolate or a good gummy.  Have I told you about the time I was given a pound bag of Swedish Fish for my birthday in high school?  I polished it off on the way to school the next day.

I tingled all day long.  Extreme tingling from my head to my toes...

Cookies?  I can still so totally eat a cookie.  Let's take some leftover Halloween candy and hide it in cookies.  It's kind of like that whole steaming, pureeing and hiding veggies in food so kids don't know.  I bet Jessica Seinfeld will be calling me soon for my secrets on hiding candy in everyday foods.

monster cookie final3These cookies are packed with a lot of really great stuff.  A whole jar of creamy peanut butter, a ton of oats and a nice mix of chocolate.  These are so oaty, some might call them a breakfast cookie.  And by some I mean that we served them as a little dessert for breakfast when Mr. Hungry's brother was in town this weekend.  Yep, a monster cookie with a cup of coffee is a pretty sweet combo.

Starting the day with a cookie and a cup of coffee is good for the soul.

A shout out to my mother in law, Suzan who has been making these for ages.  Without you, I would not know the wonderfulness of a monster cookie.
monster cookie final2And here are a few extra ideas for hiding more candy...

Got extra Reeses?  You totally need to make these.  Pure goodness.

Got extra Snickers? This couldn't be easier.

Got all kinds of chocolate candy?  Mix it all up in these brownies.  I have yet to find a way to hurt these.

Monster Cookies
Recipe Notes
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 18-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup M&M's
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 teaspoons baking soda
5 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)
Step by Step
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well. Stir in the M&Ms, chocolate chips, baking soda, and oatmeal. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. When cool, store in large resealable plastic bags.

To Freeze:  Drop tablespoons of cookie dough onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet, not allowing the dough to touch.  Freeze for an hour or until solid.  Store frozen balls of cookie dough in a resealable plastic bag.  Bake from frozen and simply add a few extra minutes to cooking time when ready to make. 


The Best Biscuits

cream biscuits
Oh, good morning.

You look like you could use a biscuit.

Not just any old biscuit... the best darn biscuit I have ever had.  
Now I know it's only Tuesday, but lets start planning a weekend brunch, shall we?
Let me start by telling you these will take you maybe seven minutes longer than busting open one of the cans of biscuits from the grocery.  Seven minutes of extra work for the most amazing homemade goodness you could imagine on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
Why wait?  Let's make your Thursday one to remember.

I am pretty convinced cream is essential to the best baked goods.  I had a hunch when these scones turned out so well and it was definitely confirmed with these biscuits.  A little bit flaky, a little bit creamy... a little bit perfect.

My preferred way of eating... doused in honey.

From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy. 

The Best Biscuits
Recipe Notes
To make these especially quick in the morning, pre-measure all ingredients into a ziploc bag.  When ready to make, dump dry ingredients in a bowl and add the cream.  
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
parchment paper
honey, jam or butter for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter and set aside. In a large bowl, combing two cups flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. Mix until cream and dry ingredients are just combined.  If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in a little bit more cream.

Turn dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut into rounds, 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Gather dough scraps and continue to make rounds. Dip entire biscuit into melted butter and arrange on the baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake until edges are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. 

To Freeze:  Freeze unbaked, un-dipped biscuits for up to one month.  When ready to bake, dip in melted butter and bake straight from frozen on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Add a few additional minutes for baking. 

Makes 10 to 12 biscuits. 


Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread

You know that list you have made of all the fallish foods you want to make?

You have that right? It's full of apply, pumpkiny, hearty, stick your ribs kind of goodness.

You don't have that?

Let me help you start one. Here is your first recipe.

Oh, you do have one?

Well, you are going to need to scooch everything down and make room for this pumpkin bread at the top.

If you have the slightest twinkle in your eye for chocolate, this is going to make your day.

Two loaves. One to devour out of the oven and one to wrap up and make someone's day.

Prasise the Lord for fall weather. Hallelujah for Nutella. Amen.

From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy.

Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Sing for your Supper
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large or extra large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can (15 ounces) canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
Cooking Spray
8 tablespoons Nutella
Step by Step
In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves and pudding mix; add to egg mixture alternately with pumpkin, beating well after each addition.

Lightly grease two large loaf pans with cooking spray. Fill each of the loaf pans with a quarter of the batter (in total, you will use half the batter). Place 4 tablespoons of the Nutella on top of the pumpkin in each loaf pan. Using a knife, swirl the Nutella around to make streaks of chocolate throughout. Pour the rest of the batter on top, making each pan equal with batter. Bake side by side at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out with no pumpkin batter. You might have chocolate on your toothpick, but you do not want to have any raw pumpkin batter. Cool for 20 minutes and then remove from pan and cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to five days.

Serves 10-12.


Apple Crumb

apple crisp
Happy fall y'all.
apple crisp 3
We are getting a tinge of cool breeze down here in Houston, but after the summer we have had, it feels so right to not be sweating when you walk to your car.
applecrisp 4
We are not exactly in the throws of fall, but this apple crisp seems to do double duty for being a fallish dessert, but still a bit light if you are still in the midst of some 80 degree days.
apple crisp 2
A layer of soft warm apples topped with an oat, pecan spiced filled topping.  Yes, please.

So good, so easy.  Just do it.  Here's to fall... cheers.  

It would pretty much be a tragedy to not top this sucker with a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream.

From my little kitchen to yours...Enjoy.

Apple Crisp
Adapted from Dave Lieberman
4 large Golden Delicious apples (about 3 pounds)
1/4 cup sugar
1 medium sized lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher or sea salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted cold butter, cut into small pieces
Vanilla ice cream (optional for serving)
Step by Step
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter; set aside. Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/4-inch slices. Place apples in a large mixing bowl and toss with sugar, lemon juice, flour, and cinnamon.  Pour into prepared baking dish, and spread out into an even layer. Set aside.

In another large bowl, mix together the nuts, flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the topping. Using a large fork or your fingers, gently work in the cold butter until pea-sized lumps are formed.

Top apples evenly with mixture and bake until apples are bubbly and topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking. 

This can be made up to a day ahead.  Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature or reheat in the oven for 5 minutes.

Top with vanilla ice cream to serve.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.