Monday, December 31, 2012

Spicy Salted Peanuts

This year is going to be all about lowering the bar. You know what I am talking about. The bar you try so hard to get over to make it all work. Not the one you belly up to, but the one that you hold yourself too. The bar that has "that" voice that says "that" you should be on Pintrest making homemade everything, and says, stop eating tacos and have a salad..will you...Please? 
Well, I am about to lower that bar. I am lowering it  so low that I can walk all over it. I am about to say 2013, you can take it down, and what I want want this year is less stress and more hugs and love. Because I just took my bar and lowered it! You should too! By the way...these peanuts are crazy good! Spicy, salty and a crazy nut like me. So, just go nuts and Happy 2013!!!
 Let's go! Peanuts, roasted and unsalted and of some good old fashion sugar!
 Cayenne!!! Spicy...need I say more! 
 Butter and sugar boil than brown add your nuts for some good times. Seriously, I ate like half of this batch of nuts. Way too go!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chocolate sour cream bunt cake

Do you ever feel you just can't can't get anything right. You when you were a kid and would get tagged out, or when you were the first one to be found in hid-n-go-seek. Remember when you fell off your bike or failed your first spelling test. These little memories stick in my head and lead to, at times, to the VOICE. No, not the one on TV. You know the one, after you get a speeding ticket or eat way too much pizza, that little voice in your head that says..."You did it again!!" "What the heck WERE YOU thinking." 
Well, this time that voice started out saying the same old darn thing.  "You can't make frosting and a cake. What are you thinking making a cake for a birthday party." "Seriously, girlfriend you have too much to do... you have kids and all." 
But, I did!! With much thanks to Joy's chocolate bunt cake with sour cream frosting. Chocolate on chocolate success. And my little voice was totally OK with it. 

Dark coco powder makes this cake deep.
Sour cream adds such richness. Plus there is something special about a floured bunt pan. Yes, I know I am odd.
Deep delish meets bunt. Hello and welcome!
Making the sour cream frosting...just give in. Just.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Buttered Popcorn Cookies

This post has nothing to do with pumpkin, turkey or mashed potatoes. No ginger or nutmeg to be found. For some reason when Thanksgiving rolls around it makes me anxious for all that is still to come. Christmas trees,(and their needles), trying to wrap presents, and sending out all those holiday cards. Just thinking about it all makes my head spin. 

Instead of bringing you cinnamon, apples, pumpkin and pecans, which are in my kitchen ready to be transformed into Thanksgiving desserts. I am going to talk about popcorn. Yes! Popcorn in a cookie. Who thinks of that?  Deb from Smitten Kitchen has a new cookbook that is full of easy wonderful ideas and flavors. When I saw this recipe I had to try it out. A fun idea, and a fun cookie to make. If you want to be a rebel this holiday bring this cookie and say, "Shove it cinnamon! Popcorn is where it's at."
 Lets get pop'n
 I stood over the popcorn bowl and snacked. Popcorn that is intoxicating.  Gotta get on it. 
Fold into a simple sugar cookie batter and ready to bake. Crunchy and salty meets buttery and sweet. Seriously Deb, you had me at popcorn.  This book is a great idea for a holiday gift for someone who loves the kitchen. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Black Sesame Walnut Granola

The original name of this granola is called Killer granola. This made me think... No, I don't think I am a killer? I have never named a dog, or a kid, Killer. I am full of power, love and up to my ears in... diapers? So, instead of Killer granola I would call this, "Put on your Ninja suit and get ready to deal with two toddlers and lots of  potty talk, granola." Whatever you want to call your bad self,  this will power you through it all. Enjoy before a morning bike ride, or in the afternoon by the  handful, just cuz. Killer-sweet and awesome just held hands for this granola. Serious...pinky swear. 
Ingredients are ready for the kill. 
 The walnuts are toasted and coated with salt and butter. 
 Brown sugar is added to give the granola some sweetness.
 Ready to mix together.
Baked until golden brown. Enjoy over yogurt, mixed with some fruit or just by the handful. Serious business. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chai Brittle and Jelly Blondie

If you want to impress the pants off of someone this is the way to do it.  Seriously, this is the next best thing to goodness in one bite, two bites, a bar or the whole dang pan...if you choose. I can't take credit for this idea and creation. It was part of my Joy the Baker Lost Crates that I received last month with some incredible brittle from Morning Glory Confections and some jam from  Sqirl Jam.  Combined, it made a creative and oh so lovely Chai brittle and jelly Blondie. Think about gifts for the holidays or just treat your bad self. Just do it. You deserve it. 
This candy is so good that I had a hard time not eating all the candy before putting it into the bars. I do however have another Fleur del Sel hidden away for "one of those days."
Brown that butter and enjoy. 
Brittle and small batch Myer lemon blackberry jam, makes a grown girl smile. 
Head on over and visit Joy...(like you don't know her already.)  If  you are feeling wild or just want to go crazy pick up the fixings and make these bad boys. Just do it!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Maple Sweetened Carrot Cakes

Wow! What a week...birthdays for both our kiddos and  Halloween. I am still recovering. Although I could not have asked for better family, friends and weather...thank you!! These cupcakes were such a hit for a bunch of toddlers and adults. Calvin even wanted  more of the "spice muffins" the next day. That is telling given there is no refined sugar or butter and the frosting was just cream cheese and maple syrup. Enjoy making these for those you love. I know I did! 
Carrots you be grated. 
Little minis ready for the oven. 
Frosted and ready to go. Alas, the photos are not great as I was frosting these at 6am. 
All was worth it. Happy day to all. Plus we all got to eat some good food. Loves. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers

I don't even know why I am blogging right now. It is 5am and I am getting ready for a birthday party for a million...yes, a million toddlers. I should be frosting mini cupcakes, but instead I am writing about cheesy ghost crackers cuz they are that good. Makes these and create instant fun. You can use any shape you want. I think that both of my birthday babies are gonna love them along with the millions of toddlers. What fun! 
 These ingredients were invited to the party. I used whole wheat flour and a sharp Cheddar. 

Lets get going. 
 Thank you food processor. You are a wonder. 
 Mix until it forms a ball. 
 Ready to roll.
 These are so cute. I froze my dough and then thawed it out prior to rolling and cutting. A great project to do with your kiddos.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Honey Sage Cornbread

There is something about cornbread that just makes me happy. It might be the carbs, or just the fact that it reminds me of being a kid and eating a big o' hunk with butter. Come one channel your inner eight year old. Will ya?

Ingredients are popping.
 Chopped sage. Smells like fall, thanksgiving and turkey... gotta get it. 

The skillet is heated in the oven prior to adding the batter. Melted butter makes everything better.
 All in the skillet and then baked. Make sure that you enjoy all the smells coming from your kitchen.
 Golden and ready to eat. 
 A serious face plant into this one. I double dog dare you to make it. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Saffron Vanilla Cookies

Sometimes it can be hard to stop folding laundry, cleaning the house, or just living. You forget to  look outside and enjoy just a minute of time to enjoy the sunset, or the way that the front yard actually looks pretty this time of year. It can be hard to stop and remind yourself that life is pretty darn dang good. It can also be hard to stop, and to do something for yourself, or someone else, and... just... make... cookies. Cookies are one of those sweet circular things that always makes me happy. And these little guys are filled with sunshine, well actually saffron, which makes them nutty and warm and complex. Kinda like life. 
 Get the ingredients going. 
 Saffron is the crown jewel in this bunch. I used about 30 or so small threads and then crushed them up using a mortar and pestle. The finer the powder the more intense the saffron flavor. If you are shy on the stuff you can always use less.
 Vanilla bean meets, milk and is simmered with the saffron. A work of art in your kitchen.
 All whisked together. The vanilla bean pod is removed.
 The bright yellow dough is mixed with the flour and butter until just combined. 
 Scooped out ready to go.