If you think, like I did, that white chocolate is kind of boring, one dimensional, and too sweet, make this recipe and prepare to find a new appreciation for the white stuff. A couple of hours at a low temp and several stirs later, white chocolate is totally transformed. It becomes toasty and nutty with distinct caramel flavor. It turns from white to golden. Use it in place of dark or white chocolate in cookie, brownie, or blondie recipes, or just nibble on it whenever the craving strikes. It’s so good. Let’s make some. Continue reading →
If you’ve never swirled jam into muffin batter, what are you waiting for? You must do it. It’s about the easiest way to add fruity flavor all year long, especially in the dead of winter when it seems like there’s no such thing as fresh, in-season fruit. This recipe was born out of my desire to create a cardamom-scented muffin. It’s an intriguing, very unique spice and I had a jar sitting in my pantry begging to be used. Did you know cardamom is the world’s 3rd most expensive spice? Vanilla and saffron come in 1st and 2nd. Interesting little foodie fact. Anyway, blueberries were an obvious choice; Cardamom somehow makes blueberries taste more like blueberries, but a little goes a long way, so don’t be heavy-handed. I found 1/8 teaspoon to be just right. I wasn’t sure how my kids would feel about the spice, but judging by the way they wolfed these down, still warm from the oven, I’m thinking they approve. Give these Blueberry Cardamom Jam Muffins a try! Continue reading →
As a food blogger, I can’t ignore the fact that Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. Instagram is flooded with pink, red, and purple. Chocolate, heart-shaped everything and sprinkles galore. But what if your sweetheart doesn’t have a sweet tooth? In my quest to always be a bit untraditional, and to cater to those who don’t love sweets, I got the idea for a savory Valentine’s treat—something to satisfy the salt-toothed sweetheart in your life. Yes, a salt tooth is actually a thing. Like, a real, genetic thing. And these Savory Cheddar, Bacon, and Chive Shortbreads are just the answer. Continue reading →
I didn’t realize how great cinnamon rolls could be until I made these—or how easy. I think I’ve always liked cinnamon rolls, but I L.O.V.E these, and so does everyone else in the house. In fact, these cinnamon rolls were the cause of “The Great Cinnamon Roll Incident of 2018.” More on that later. With the irresistible flavors of brown butter, dark brown sugar, and vanilla echoing through the dough, filling, and frosting, I’m not sure how anyone could resist them. Just make them and you’ll see why these Frosted Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Rolls have become a constant around here. Continue reading →
This cake came to me in a snow-covered dream. I woke up Sunday knowing I had to do three things: shovel my driveway, take my kids sledding, and bake something. It’s no secret I love to be snowed in; I view it as nature’s permission to let everything go — I don’t stress about it, I don’t complain about it, I just let it all go. Northern Virginia was in the epicenter of the recent “snowzilla” storm. We had historic snowfall and the world shut down for a few days. It was pretty wonderful. I’ll be back at work tomorrow, so while I’m enjoying my last day of snowed in freedom, I thought I’d hop back on the blogging wagon and share this wonderful, easy recipe. No mixer required, and I bet you have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Give this Salted, Malted Chocolate Bundt Cake a try. Continue reading →
Happy Fiesta Friday! Last Friday was such a blast and I made SO many new friends. Thank you to Angie at The Novice Gardener for hosting, as well as Hilda at Along the Grapevine and Julianna at Foodie on Board for co-hosting. This week, we are hosted again by Angie, and our lovely co-hosts are Nancy at Feasting with Friends and Selma at Selma’s Table. I am just blown away by the group of talented and gracious bloggers into which I’ve been welcomed. It is heartwarming and I can’t stop smiling about it.
You know what else is heartwarming, and tummy warming, and kitchen warming? This peach cobbler I created the other day. Continue reading →
Happy New Year to you all! I decided to start the new year off doing my favorite things: cooking, eating, and writing. It only seemed natural to use one of my favorite flavors and ingredients: vanilla bean. Sigh. I can’t get enough of the flavor and those gorgeous little flecks. They just make everything so special, including these Vanilla Bean Scones with a Vanilla Bean Glaze. Let’s make some. Continue reading →
One of the easiest and most delicious pies you will ever make. The recipe doubles beautifully, so whip up two pies and surprise someone you care about with something peachy like my daughter and I did. We delivered one to my grandparents when they weren’t home—like little pie fairies.
**Prepare crust first, either by pre-baking a store bought crust according to package instructions or use my recipe below. My crust recipe makes enough for two pies; however, the filling recipe is just for one pie—feel free to double it like I did!**
one pre-baked pie crust (recipe below)
3 peaches, peeled and sliced
2 large egg yolks
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/3 cup all purpose flour
seeds from ½ a vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400.
Arrange sliced peaches in bottom of pre-baked pie crust in a single layer—slight overlapping is fine.
Mix together all other ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined. You will have a slightly thick, almost peanut butter-like consistency.
Spread this over the peaches, don’t worry if it does not cover every inch, it will even out in the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes at 400, then reduce temperature to 300 and bake for 50-60 more minutes until the custard is set and the top is lightly browned.
Enjoy at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Basic Pre-Baked Flaky Pastry Crust
3 cups AP flour
1 1/2 stick butter (12 tablespoons), very cold and diced into small cubes
1/3 cup shortening, also very cold. I keep mine in the refrigerator, as this is really the only time I use it.
1 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs vodka mixed with 4 tbs water, very cold (I learned the vodka trick from America’s Test Kitchen a long, long time ago, and it really makes a difference; however, you can leave it out and just use water.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place dry ingredients in food processor and pulse to mix. Add cubed butter and shortening and pulse about 12 times until the butter and shortening are mixed throughout. Slowly pour the water/vodka mixture through the lid while pulsing, until the dough begins to clump. Give it one more good, long pulse. Carefully transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead a few times to combine. Divide the dough evenly in half (this makes enough for two one-crust pies). Place each half between parchment or plastic wrap, flatten into a round disk, and chill for 20-30 minutes. Prepare your fruit and custard while it chills.
After chilling, roll one of the disks out on a floured surface until you have about a 12 inch circle, and a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Make sure to keep moving the dough and adding flour while rolling to make sure it isn’t sticking. Carefully place rolled dough into pie plate, easing it into the corners without stretching it too much. Make any kind of decorative edge you want. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes.
Remove dough from refrigerator, place parchment or aluminum foil directly on top of dough and fill the pie plate with dried beans or pie weights.
Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and pie weights, poke holes all over bottom of dough with a fork, and return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes until lightly browned.
Continue with recipe above or use for any pie recipe requiring a pre-baked crust.
This is the first recipe I came up with after a recent peach-picking trip to Hollin Farms with my kids. On the drive home, my son was already devouring a peach, and I was already thinking of what I would make with the fuzzy beauties. I love making muffins, and my kids love eating them, so these Peach Muffins were a natural choice. Continue reading →