Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Love: Baked Explorations

I finally went and bought Baked Explorations after debating getting the book since before it came out. I LOVE it. I can't wait to make some desserts so much, but these are on the top of my list:

Nutella Scones
Malted Waffles
Sweet and Salty Brownie
Salt-N-Pepper Sandwich Cookies
Caramel Apple Cake
Maple Cupcakes

I'm having a sugar attack, but its wonderful. If you haven't checked out this book yet, you NEED to go find it! ASAP!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Caramel Apple Crostata and Recap

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted anything! I feel so slack :) My life has been moving at a million miles an hour- way too many exams and essays in the last week for "midterms" (even though that was October 7th).

Over fall break (last weekend), I was able to knock out some butternut squash pasta sauce with penne from this recipe from GoodLife Eats. It looks a little like mac and cheese in the picture, but do not be fooled! It was AMAZING!

Yum! My boyfriend's mom said it was one of the best pastas she'd ever tasted. Score!

I also toasted some pumpkin seeds using this recipe/tutorial. I'd never done it on my own, but it was wonderfully easy and delicious. And pumpkin seeds have folic acid, which is great! I used Kirby's 14 n 1 Spice from the Columbia All Local Farmer's Market and I added cayenne pepper for a kick for Jonathan- even better. (But we ate them so fast, I forgot to take pictures)

But last week, it was so crazy that I didn't get a chance to breathe, let alone cook! But Friday, I made it to Hobby Lobby for Christmas present supplies and started on some presents. But those are super secret!

Today, I made a caramel apple crostata from the recipe on Sweet Bake's blog. My apples must have been HUGE because I filled 2 9inch pie crusts and had a little to spare. But I cheated and used store-bought crust because I bought some a couple of weeks ago with the intent of making apple pie on a stick. But this was SO much better.

But this week, I'm going to be in a baking frenzy for my friend's bridal shower. So I'll post more as I go along! Have a wonderful week!

PS: I'm eventually going to get around to telling you about my AMAZING weekend in Savannah, but that requires a lot more time than I have right now :) but stay tuned!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Break

Yesterday, as the beginning of my fall break, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen! After running around and getting some errands done, I settled in and bought a 16 pound pumpkin from Boone Hall Farms (it was the smallest baking pumpkin they had and it was only $3 or so!) And then I proceeded to follow this recipe and spend over 3 hours making 15 cups of pumpkin puree. I have NO IDEA what to do with all of it, but I froze most of it and a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving sounds like a good plan!

I also made some butternut squash puree and I have cleaned up the pumpkin seeds to toast tomorrow.

I also made this one-bowl blackberry cake. It was SO GOOD! It sunk in the middle for some reason (I think my oven gets hotter than it says it does and it cooked too fast).

See- it sunk in the middle :(
 I've already enjoyed being at home with a full kitchen and more recipe testing will be happening this weekend :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kiwi Blogger Swap

I like the idea that the other swappers had- making a post just for their blogger partners to post on! I haven't quite had the chance to organize my thoughts/pictures from this weekend in Savannah but that post is coming soon! Probably late because I have a TON of schoolwork to do, but its going to eventually be posted! Keep a lookout for it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pumpkin Recipe 3

I'd been looking at this pumpkin chai bread recipe and drooling so I made it last night for my small group.

Pumpkin Chai Bread
Adapted from Scandi Foodie

1 cup cooked and mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup light olive oil
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves (I substituted ground allspice and a touch of nutmeg because I didn't have cloves)

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk together the pumpkin, olive oil, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and orange juice. Stir in the dry ingredients and the walnuts and mix well until smooth. Pour the batter in to a greased loaf tin and bake in 350F for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

*And thats my new mug sweater! I'm so excited! I custom ordered it from Yellow Daisy Designs on Etsy. She was really great about working with me and giving me a custom listing (even though the color is more dandelion than marigold/mustard) I also got a matching apple jacket that I can't wait to use! And I'm packing it for my trip to Savannah this weekend. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More S'Mores Please!

I was so happy to see the picture on the front page of the Life & Style section of The State because I LOVE S'MORES! Unfortunately, summertime is waaaay to hot where I live to even think about having a fire. So this time of year is perfect for s'mores.

The article is really cute and has some great recipes for mixin' up your s'mores. Go check it out!

Pumpkin Recipe 2

To be honest, I felt a little hippie-esque when I was baking up some granola on Monday. I was blogging about my TOMS and making granola and steel cut oats at the same time. But I don't want to deny that small, hippie part of myself :) The granola tastes pretty darn great!

I used a recipe from Homemade by Holman and adjusted it just a little bit.

Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

2 1/2 cups old fashion rolled oats
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup dried cranberries (I used a prepackaged mix of cranberries and raisins because it was a lot cheaper)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 T canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until the wet ingredients are evenly incorporated. Spread out mix onto a baking sheet, try to get it into an even layer but don't worry too much about clumps at this point. Bake about 30 minutes, stir and spread mixture in an even layer again. Continue baking about 30 minutes more. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

SO DELICIOUS! It makes so much granola- I am a little overwhelmed by it, but a good overwhelmed!

I also made a big batch of steel cut oats from this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod. It has a different texture than I was expected, but its really good! I added some brown sugar because I'm trying to reduce my sugar intake but I can't go cold-turkey!

I got to try one more of my pumpkin recipes and this one is definitely a keeper!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Toms JUST gave out their 1 millionth pair of shoes this month. It was so cute- they went back to Argentina where it all started!

This company is freakin' amazing :) I'm so proud to own 2 pairs of my own TOMS and keep contemplating a 3rd!

One Millionth Pair Drop pictures are available here!
Saffron Cord Women's Classics

Or maybe these....
Add caption

Morocco Women's Classics

Or maybe just some plain ones to draw on myself

Womens Natural Canvas Classics TOMS Shoes Side

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Feeling Yellow

I felt like dressing in autumn yellow for church this morning :) I love fall colors!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

All Local Farmers' Market

I had the distinct pleasure of waking up late and walking over to the All Local Farmer's Market. I feel so blessed to have a farmers' market that focuses on the producers, because other farmers' markets allow resale products. Not quite the same... And I found out that there is a new business there- a local independent coffee roaster! I didn't bring enough money for the coffee this week, but I will be getting some soon!

Fresh Garlic! I've never seen it like this before.... so neat!

I picked up some radishes and fresh tarragon, as well as one of these adorable produce bags! It's made of unbleached cotton and the cute little design is hand embroidered! It was only $5 and just so cute! I had such a difficult time deciding between a peach, pear, apple and the eggplant I ended up with! She had so many different designs to choose from. I highly recommend buying one next week (at City Roots where the farmers' market will be because of the football game) if you live anywhere near Columbia!

I am trying to find a way to use the radish greens, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chai Love

Now that the temperature has been below the mid-90s, I can finally start planning for more warm drinks! As much as I love chai tea, there is no way I can let myself enjoy it only one way! Here is my little chai recipe round up that spreads the chai love to other parts of my diet other than sweet drinks. I hope you enjoy!

Chai Pancakes with Black Tea Poached Plums (Sarah tried these and said they were amazing!)

Homemade Chai Masala (mix)- I think this would be a great mass Christmas present

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the intense flavors that are present in Chai (or masala chai) because it is just so interesting. I love the spiciness of the drink and the fact that it is traditionally made with equal parts sugar and milk with the tea and spices. I hope you enjoy and will make some chai for yourself!