One of my food specialties is making unique and tasty salads that have that extra little touch of delicious perfection. One of my salad secrets is adding chopped Candied Pecans. It gets people every time! Making candied pecans takes an extra 10ish minutes, but it is well worth that little bit of effort.Read More
Childhood holiday memories are saturated with sugary sweets in my mind. At Christmas-time, my mom always filled our home with goodies. I remember those striped hard candies that sat on our coffee table. I remember exactly how they felt in my fingers..Read More
Tonight may have been a bust, but it was a blessing-in-disguise bust. The boys were supposed to spend the night with my sister while Dan and I attended a Christmas party. Sammy got sick, which was followed by Elijah asking for a nap (uhh..there couldn't be a bigger indicator of impending sickness) and then..Read More
And here begins a barrage of Thanksgiving-related recipes that will please all of your tummies! I am starting the onslaught with Pecan Pie Bars. Alternate title: I REFUSE TO MAKE PIE. This recipe is ALL of the flavor with a fraction of the effort. If someone has asked you to bring Pecan Pie to Thanksgiving dinner, I've got your back! You are welcome!Read More
It feels strange to be sitting down to write a post for the third day in a row. Imagine how I will feel after Day 12! Maybe I'll just keep on going for the rest of December! Ok, that may be a bit ambitious. I am having so much fun making, eating and sharing all of these yummy holiday treats.Read More
Talk about starting fresh. This week has brought for me: a new year, abrupt unemployment, a new (very strict) diet intended to get my "silent migraine" symptoms under control and a drastic change in my daily routine. My emotions, feelings and thoughts have been all over the place. At times, it feels like I am living somebody else's life!Read More
While searching for a pecan pie to make for Thanksgiving dinner this year, I came across this delicious Double Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe on Annie’s Eats. Chocolate and pecans in a pie?! Love it! I spent a portion of my morning on Thursday putting my love into this thing. It smelled fantastic! I knew it would be a Thanksgiving-Day hit.Read More
Will the baking ever end? My coworkers and family members must wonder this constantly. This recipe, as part of my 2011 challenge, came to me by chance. The timing could not have been more perfect! I could eat a constant stream of pecans and caramel this time of year.Read More
A delicious summer treat that you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one season for! Ice Cream scooped into balls and rolled in chopped pecans to make them a fun dessert. Top with lots of gooey homemade chocolate fudge sauce. No one will be disappointed with this tasty treat!
The crisp fall weather we are experiencing has been one of the factors that has completely transformed my mood. In all honesty, I hated this summer. It was oppressive on so many levels. I will not look back upon it with much fondness, aside from the times that involved spending time with my boys. It feels incredible to be genuinely enjoying life again. Doing more than the bare minimum. Going above and beyond. Cleaning my house because I want to. Once again looking through recipes and cooking with excitement. Spending more time feeling happy than anxious and sad. Life is good.
To add to the good-ness, my little boys and I are getting more time with my husband now that skydiving season is slowing down. He came home from work early due to bad weather today, so we had some free time on our hands. We decided that Elijah desperately needed some one-on-one love, so I took him to McDonald's for an Elijah-Mommy date. It was fabulous! We enjoyed our time. I love that kid. When we got home, I finished up these pecan ice cream balls that I had started making on Saturday. The bowl that you see in these photos was consumed in approximately 5 minutes, being passed from mouth to mouth to mouth to mouth. The four of us took turns. It was the perfect treat to end the weekend.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put 2 1/2 pints of vanilla ice cream in the refrigerator until just softened, about 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and transfer it to the freezer.
Meanwhile, spread 2 cups of pecans on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and browned, 8 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and let cool completely. Coarsely chop the nuts and transfer to a pie plate.
Using a standard ice cream scoop, scoop a 1/2-cup portion of ice cream onto the pecans and roll into a ball, pressing lightly to help the nuts adhere. Transfer the ice cream ball to the prepared baking sheet in the freezer. Repeat with the remaining ice cream and pecans. Freeze the ice cream balls for at least 3 hours before serving.
Once the ice cream balls are sufficiently frozen, add the following ingredients to a medium saucepan:
One 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons butter
Cook over low heat, stirring, until the chips are completely melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Transfer the sauce to a pitcher or bowl. Serve the ice cream in bowls or sundae cups and drizzle with the warm sauce.
I love that the pecans are frozen onto the ice cream. And more than that, I love that my boys and I enjoyed this treat together.
This Pecan-Maple Sticky Rolls recipe is the perfect addition to your breakfast or brunch. They have a chewy bite to them filled with cinnamon and maple sweetness. Skip the run to the bakery, these rolls are easy to make right in your own kitchen!
This is Week #36 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010: An Entire Year of Recipes.
This week has been a nutty one, so it has not the best week to be behind in cooking and blogging. Somehow, I'm managing to get things accomplished. And thankfully, these sticky rolls, much like my last recipe, were easy to make.
I have never made sticky rolls quite like these. They are filled with comforting deliciousness, which suits this cool fall weather nicely. I loved them. Everyone in my family loved them.
To begin, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Spread 3/4 cup whole pecans in a pie plate and toast in the oven for about 6 minutes, or until fragrant. Set aside.
Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
In a food processor, pulse to combine:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
Add 1 stick of cubed, chilled butter to the the flour mixture and pulse until it becomes the size of small peas.
Add 1 cup of buttermilk and pulse a few times, just until a soft dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 3 times. Pat or roll the dough into an 8x12-inch rectangle. Brush with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
In a small bowl, combine:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the dough.
My cute flour-duster and dough-shaper.
Beginning at a long side, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.
Pinch the seam closed and cut the dough into 12 slices.
In a small bowl, combine:
6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
Divide the syrup-butter mixture among the muffin cups. Scatter the toasted pecans in the cups.
Top with the dough pinwheels.
Bake in the preheated oven for 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Place a rack over the rolls and invert them onto the rack. Replace any pecans that get stuck in the cups and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
I prefer sweet over salty most of the time, but I do have a weakness when it comes to the Delicious Pecan. I love the softness of it when my teeth sink into its flesh. I love its flavor. I love the way it can be eaten alone or in a pie or with a salad. Pecans are delicious when toasted or roasted or even plain!Read More
This is a beautifully layered cake that is tender with a perfect compliment of unique orange-honey frosting. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make a classic recipe like this. A layered Carrot Cake is a beautiful dessert to bring out and share with friends and family.
I want to know what person first thought that carrots and cake would go well together. It sounds terrible! It took me awhile to get behind the idea of trying it but boy was I missing out. It certainly is a delicious combination, isn't it? Pair it with a creamy frosting and there is not a whole lot that beats it.
I saw this recipe in Christmas Baking 2010 magazine and knew I had to make it. My husband's birthday was coming up, so there was my perfect excuse to do so! I don't think I need to tell you that it tasted incredible. The pictures speak quite well for themselves.
STEPS TO MAKE A LAYERED CARROT CAKE
Enjoy a perfectly spiced, moist homemade carrot cake with this easy recipe!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
**Allow 4 eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, you can start greasing three 9x5x3.5-inch loaf pans and set them aside.
Then sift together the dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Toast a 1/2 cup of pecans in a saute pan.
Finely chop the pecans after toasting for adding to your cake batter.
In a medium bowl, combine: 4 eggs, 3 cups finely shredded carrots, 1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans and 3/4 cup vegetable oil.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
Divide the batter amongst three greased loaf pans.
Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of it comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and remove. Do this carefully! One of my cakes broke straight down the center. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting them.
Place one cake layer on a rectangular serving platter and spread 1/2 cup of Orange-Honey Frosting over top of it. Top with another cake layer and another 1/2 cup of frosting. Add remaining cake layer and spread with the remaining frosting.
To store, cover and place it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
SHREDDING YOUR CARROTS
Carrots are an important ingredient in this recipe! There are a couple of ways to prepare your carrots.
You can use a cheese grater to shred your carrots by hand.
You can also use your food processor. If you use the carrot shredder, make sure that you don’t let the carrots get to mushy/over shredded. You don’t want mush or juice!
WHY ITS IMPORTANT TO LET YOUR EGGS COME TO ROOM TEMPERATURE
Allowing your eggs to come to room temperature is important for a couple of reasons.
They will mix better with your batter, and then let the cake mix raise better as it bakes.
The cake will take a little longer to bake if room temperature eggs are used but creates a perfect cake that has a great texture.
If a cake has a high fat content, adding cold eggs could affect re-hardening the fat.
Eggs that are needed to be created into a foam for a recipe will have better volume if warmed to room temperature.
Carrots + Cake = Yum! Needing more Carrot Cake, try Apple Carrot Cake Muffins, a sweet twist on a classic dessert!
WHAT TO SERVE AT A PARTY
I LOVE party food, so you have come to the right place if you are looking for recipes to make for your next gathering. Here are some options for you that will be easy, delicious and crowd-pleasing!
Fruit Pizza - The classic, crowd-pleasing Fruit Pizza has a cookie dough crust, dreamy cream cheese frosting and a colorful top layer of fruit and a tasty glaze. Great appetizer/dessert for parties of any kind, any time of the year!
Taco Ranch Pasta Salad - This delicious pasta salad gets totally devoured at gatherings, no matter the season.
Sausage Cheese Dip - Sausage Cheese Dip is easy to make (let your crockpot do the work for you!), cheesy, flavorful and totally irresistible! Serve as an appetizer at your next party and it won’t last long. Only 6 ingredients required for this delicious party food!
7-Layer Taco Dip - This is the best 7-Layer Taco Dip you'll ever meet! It's the perfect appetizer and party food and it is always the first thing to get devoured.
Crockpot Meatballs - Theserequire only a few ingredients with only a few minutes of prep. They are SO EASY to make, totally packed with delicious flavor and great for game-day parties or holidays. Let your slow cooker do all of the work for you!
Spinach Artichoke Dip - This hot Spinach Artichoke Dip is a party staple! People always get excited about this dip and its so easy to make! It’s a filling, cheesy
MEALS TO MAKE FOR NEW PARENTS
The last thing new parents want to think about after bringing their brand new baby home from the hospital is DINNER. Dropping off a homemade dinner for a new parent is something they will be forever grateful for. This casserole is the perfect meal to bring to a family in need, but here are a few ideas for you:
CARROT LAYER CAKE
I have never enjoyed the types of nuts that are so hard they hurt my teeth when I bite into them. Almonds? I love their flavor, but ouch! Peanuts, cashews and pecans? Mmmmm, so very tasty and no gnashing of teeth involved. I would say pecans are probably my favorite nut of all. I have a very difficult time stopping once I have started.Read More