Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 11 of 2011

(I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!! I sure did...spent lots of time with family and tons of time stuffing my face...doesn't get better folks.)

Welp,it's that time of year. The years-a-changin'.

In a matter of days we'll be trading in 2011 for 2012; "the last year on earth as we know it"...

Does that mean I can eat whatever I want and spend all my money shopping rather than on bills?

Bring on 2012 then!

I haven't been able to blog as much as I would like...due to lack of time and lack of a good working digital camera. But I do have enough blog entries to choose my favorite 11 of 2011.

Here goes! (oh, and these are in no particular order of awesomeness...)

Cupcake Bark

Spicy Sweet Potato and Chicken Soup

Peanut Pretzel Bark

Chocolate Cream Cheese Coffeecake

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Waffles

Funfetti Cake Balls

Lighter Peanut Butter Pie

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Hot Reuben Dip

Buffet-Style Chinese Donuts

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Is this real life?

I mean is Christmas really in less than a week? And I only have about 25% of my shopping done?


Also, random. Because I am often random. Has anyone else watched the Food Network show "Sweet Genius"? It's like the pastry chef version of "Chopped" (which I love me some "Chopped". Anyways, I love the idea of this show and was so excited about it until I got a whiff of the host.

God, is he not irritating to anyone else? When he's judging (which why is he the only judge anyway? lame) he'll pause for what seems like 20 minutes and then sputter out some random word, totally unrelated to food, between his awkwardly puckered lips.


I mean he'll "mysteriously" declare that the bite he just had was "melancholy" or "electric" and its like wtf is that supposed to tell me about how that tastes?

(disclaimer: those aren't his exact word choices but yes, they are that weird)

Thanks for ruining what could be an awesome show for me weird dude. Thanks.

I'm sure he would probably say these cookies are "inspiring", "sedating" or "awakening" but I'll take that. I think. Because they are yum.

I had some pumpkin pudding in my pantry and replaced a tablespoon or two of the flour with it for some more moisture. I suggest you do the same. You wont be disappointed.

Unless of course you don't like deliciously moist cookies that last for days.

In that case, you best go somewhere else.

Cuz you're weird like that "Sweet Genius" dude.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal and Cranberry Cookies

It is December 13th and I am still on the pumpkin train.

I don't plan on getting off. Ever.

I'm one of those crazy people who thinks any holiday includes pumpkin-somehing-or-another. I tend to buy enough cans to feed a small country in the beginning of fall and you would think that by the time Christmas rolls around I would be sick of pumpkin after making 4 loaves of pumpkin bread, 6 types of pumpkin cookies and a handful of pumpkin cheesecakes.

But no. Never. Pumpkin and are are forever the best of friends.

Pumpkin never lets me down.

I'll admit it. I actually have a small panic attack when I see that I am down to two cans of pumpkin in my pantry. Panic I tell you.

This recipe, on the other hand, is more fall-like. What is more Thanksgiving than cranberry+pumpkin? Nothing...unless you throw stuffing and turkey in the mix. Then you have an awesome sandwich.

That's another story.

Pumpkin Oatmeal and Cranberry Cookies
Adapted from


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.

Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and set in centers. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Roasted Thyme Sweet Potatoes

My eyes still burn from chopping onions...2 hours ago. I want to close them but it seems to make them burn more.

How can this happen to someone who loves onions as much as I do?!

Blasphemy I tell you.

The onions have nothing to do with this post actually. I am just straining to keep my focus on the computer screen when I just want to cry. I made slimmed up a version of Panera Bread's broccoli soup for dinner tonight. Stay tuned my friends.

Now this the side I made for the apple cider glazed chicken I made a couple weeks back. The pairing is magical I tell you.

You may be wondering why my sweet potatoes are not orange (or whatever color that is)...well apparently white ones exist. Ch'yeah, who knew?

On, and they're tasty. If your store happens to have 'em...snatch them up.

Roasted Thyme Sweet Potatoes


4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup fresh thyme leaves, plus 6 thyme sprigs for garnish
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 450°F. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Arrange potato slices in single layer on heavyweight rimmed baking sheet or in 13x9-inch baking dish. Place on top rack of oven and roast until tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with thyme sprigs.
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