Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pecan Bars

In case you still need a last minute secret Santa gift or are searching for a last minute holiday dessert. Maybe you need to make sure that you put a smile on that loved ones face, or make up for your "witty" comments you made last year. Whatever is on your last minute "To Do" list, you may need to add these bars. They are that good!

Pecan bars with a simple shortbread. Basically bite size pecan pie. Beware they might make you jump up and down. I swear I have seen it happen.
Shortbread...really who does not love shortbread. I think that Santa told me it was his favorite.
After baking off the shortbread and making the gooey pecan mixture, you spread out the goodness and bake until it bubbles.
Cut in to bite size squares and let your holiday bells ring!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chocolate Pecan Toffee

What to do with those left over nuts from your Thanksgiving baking frenzy.... I think this says it all.
I had left over pecans after making a sinful little pecan pie cakelet  for Thanksgiving, from Teenie Cakes
So, decided to do what every good co-worker baker does and make some pecan toffee to share for the beginning of the holidays.
Hot sugar and butter.... a beautiful sight.

    Gooey bliss!
And it only gets better with some chocolate.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chocolate chip, raisin, pecan cookies.

I am starting to think about the holidays and the lovely baking and cooking ahead. So, around this time of year I spend way too much time looking through cookbooks, food blogs , magazines and drooling over all the possibilities. So, in the mean time I wanted to make something easy, fast and tasty... a big old cookie. 
These cookies are adapted from non other than Martha and are so easy to make. You could  switch out different kinds of fruit and nuts and omit the chocolate chips if you wanted. Even adding in some citrus zest or juice could add all kinds of flavors. I choose, pecans, raisins and chocolate chips...but let your imagination run wild. That is if you are not already focused on pumpkin, cinnamon and apple tarts like I am.

Just make sure that you have a giant glass of milk and a smile waiting!

Monday, November 1, 2010

First Birthday Bash...and Korean BBQ Sliders

Whoo... this weekend was filled with great fun and great food. My baby boy turned one on Saturday and we had about 40 people over to fill our house with love... and to eat some good grub. It was a monster themed bash full of all sorts of finger foods and sweet treats.
 A pile of cupcakes...vanilla buttermilk with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
 Korean beef sliders with homemade pickled cabbage on a sweet Hawaiian roll... these did not last long.
 Roasted potato skewers with smokey bacon....super easy, smokey and tasty.
 The whole spread as well as tomato skewers with basil and mozzarella cheese, BBQ chicken and of course sausages from Corralitos market We also had a great spicy black bean dip and tons of Halloween candy.

And I made cakepop ghosts that were as fun to eat as they are to make.... I also have a calm baby who sits in his jumpy chair and loves to watch mom bake...Thank goodness for that! We had a special weekend full of love and food and of course I had to share. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Apple Muffins

Sometimes life has a way of letting things just work out. They might not be perfect, but they work. Like trying to juggle family, house, dogs, and job... and just crossing your fingers that you don't run out of gas before you get home because you forgot to fill up the tank. You get my point, life sometimes works things out for ya..... it just does.
So, after a long break from baking due to getting a new fridge, that  had some "troubles." I am now back into full swing fall baking...gotta prep for the holidays! This recipe was originally made in a tube pan, but that is a whole lotta cake to bring to work for an office meeting. So, I decided to try making them into muffins...well it worked out...kinda a...not really.
The apples and the cinnamon as well as the fresh squeezed OJ (thanks Peter) added such great flavor to these very moist, very fall like muffins. However, they were a bit difficult to remove from their little muffin alas, not so pretty and kind of too moist to just grab and sink your teeth into. 
That said, they turned out just fine... almost perfect... life would not have it any other way.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Alas, no baking

But there has been some eating.... our new fridge is here!! Delivered last Thursday to many smiles, giggles and claps, (and that was just from my son.) However, the sad news is that is does not work... I know plain and simple torture...right? Once all connected and ready to hold all of my loves of eggs, butter  and buttermilk, it decided to malfunction. After many phone calls, and my husband practicing deep breathing exercises, we are still without a fridge. So, I have been unable to bake and write and eat!!!
Well, the eating part is still in full swing. Last weekend we retreated (sans kid) to the Healdsburg area of California for good food...wait let me say.. fantastic good, great wine and really special friends.

We had dinner at Cyrus and let's just say it was hands down the best dinner ever. A fun filled fantasy for my senses. I am still thinking about it and swooning over the night, simply magical. If you ever find yourself without a fridge or just want to treat yourself because (gosh, darn you are worth it) than plan in advance (both your tummy and reservations) and treat yourself to a wonderment of delight. It made my fridge fiasco all better!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What now???

OK.. so this week has been a killer..really it has! See this hole in my kitchen. Yes, this used to house a fridge. Now, it is a hole that has no fridge. No butter, no eggs, no milk, no fun!!! So I am taking a week off before we get a new fridge'o'fun. Believe me it will be fun.. crazy "circus" fun...
 Crazy like my dog's feet. By the way, she is a goof.

Crazy like sleeping on the couch and farting....yes she does that!
I hope that your week is less hectic and manic as mine. See ya in in a bit.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Whole Wheat Walnut Cake

As much as this blog is about baking and eating and just smiling. I have to tell you about this new book I got. Many of you may have it or have heard of Melissa Clark . I am literally obsessed with her and her book and the stories behind her recipes.
The best part is that each recipe has a story about it  letting you into her life and now I pretty much want to be her best friend...I know weird...right?
Well, the whole wheat walnut bread she has in her book is something really special. I made mine into a sandwich and added some whipped cream cheese and ate it with a giant smile. The same smile I get when reading Melissa's book! You have to love the stories and joy that comes from food...Smile!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

Really a treat!!! The process and pairing could not be more perfect
Just look at all of these goodies.

Fresh raspberries, lemon, and buttermilk makes for a happy day!
A day of mixers and flour and...
Vanilla and sugar!!!

And one sleepy dog... (can I tell you, her life is good!)
Cake meets raspberries
Raspberries meets cake.
And they are ready to rock! How cute do they look. It is like swimming in a buttermilk pool.
This is where the fork meets my mouth. All I can say is thank god for cake and the ones that you love, because that is all that really matters..right??

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Fall I hear you calling...the mornings are darker, baseball playoffs are looming, and have to put a jacket on when I am getting ready for work.  I love fall, not only because football season starts, and it will be my son's first birthday, but also because here in Santa Cruz fall tends to bring the best weather of the year...(shhh I was not suppose to let out that secret). I also love what fall brings to the table...cinnamon, pumpkin and oh oh oh pecans.... especially when they are candied. Don't get me wrong, summer rocks.. I mean there are BBQs, beers, ice cream, sunburns, and tan lines... I can go on and on.  But, in my heart there is something special about the arrival of fall.  I might be a bit premature, call me crazy.. really you can!!!
I turned this loaf bread recipe into mini muffins... cause I love me a mini! Added some extra cinnamon and then topped with some smashed crunchy candied peans.
You gotta love pecans... really you have to!!!