Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Lemon Bars, Lemonies and Lemon Pie

Lemonies, Lemon Bars, Lemon Pie, Lemon Dessert, Lemon Recipes, Lemon Brownies, Lemon Cookie Bars
Over the past few months, I've been testing a few lemon recipes, and now seems the perfect time to share them, since citrus fruit is so plentiful and beautiful in January.

To start, I have a recipe for lemon bars.  I've made many variations of lemon bars over the years, including a version with a thick cookie crust and a crumble topping sprinkled over the filling, but today's recipe is classic.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Nutty for Nuts Cookies

Toasted Nut Cookies, Nut Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking Ideas, Cookie RecipesDuring the holiday season, I always make sure to stop at the grocery store and fill a bag with assorted nuts in their shells to keep at home for snacking.  Phoenix was especially intrigued by the nut bowl and the cracking-of-nuts process, and asked for tastes of little pieces of nuts every time we cracked a few.

After Christmas was over, our company gone, the decorations put away and the carpet vacuumed clean of all the stray glitter and tree needles, I really wanted use of that bowl again, so I spent some time and shelled what was left of the nuts.  Several hours (and several blisters) later, I had three cups of shelled walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts, and I thought about cookies, rich, buttery, and absolutely loaded with toasted nuts.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Eggnog Cheesecake

Eggnog Cheesecake, Christmas, Christmas Dessert Ideas, No-Bake Cheesecake, Christmas Baking, Eggnog Recipes
Hello, 2019!  Where did the past year go?  It seems that when you have a baby and a two-year old, time slips by much, much more quickly.  I can hardly believe that at this time a year ago, we were still getting ready to welcome our second son into the world, and now we have two little boys who are sweeter, sillier, and more adorable with each other than I ever could have imagined.

Somehow, we ended up with more eggnog than we could drink this Christmas.  Really, it's because we made a batch of this homemade aged eggnog that we've been slowly savoring for the past week, and a carton of store-bought eggnog has been sitting untouched in the refrigerator.

There are so many delicious ways to use up leftover eggnog if you don't want to drink all of it.  Besides adding a splash to my coffee instead of cream, a couple of my favorite uses are eggnog layer cake, eggnog streusel coffee cake and overnight eggnog French toast.  If you have an ice cream maker, you can even churn it up into a creamy ice cream.  Yum, yum.

Or, this cheesecake...

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Bread, Thanksgiving Recipes, Christmas Recipes, Holiday Baking, Christmas Decorating Ideas, Plaid Christmas Stockings, Christmas Tree
My boys are napping (well, one is napping and the other is goofing around and talking to himself in his crib), and I'm taking a break this afternoon from Christmas menu planning, list making, picking up toys, sewing a cafe curtain for our dining room to block the view of our neighbor's messy yard, cleaning and vacuuming to enjoy a second cup of coffee and a piece of this pumpkin bread I baked yesterday.  When does pumpkin bread stop being bread and become cake?  Is it when it's baked in a bundt cake pan instead of loaf pans and covered in swirls of icing?

Recipes for pumpkin bread and pumpkin cake are pretty similar, with the bread perhaps being a bit more dense, although still rather fluffy and cake-like.  And while I don't usually add chocolate chips or chopped pecans to pumpkin cake, they're a common addition to pumpkin bread, although I decided to keep mine plain this time and just ice it with a bit of leftover molasses buttercream I found in my freezer, leftover from another cake.  Whether pumpkin bread or pumpkin cake, it's exactly what I was wanting...

Friday, December 14, 2018

Christmas Tree and Wreath Cake

Christmas Cake, Christmas Baking, Cake Decorating Ideas, Plaid Christmas Decorations, Hot Chocolate Bar, Christmas Tree, Christmas Wreath, Christmas Tree Cake, Red Velvet Cake
There's no holiday that I love like Christmas, and no cake that I love to make like a Christmas cake.  This year, I get to make two, one still to come for Christmas week, and this one that I made for a party today.

I'm completely in love with this cake design.  I had envisioned something cozy, festive, and quintessentially Christmasy, like a warm crackling fire, the mantle hung with garland and stockings, and a sparkling tree nearby; this cake perfectly embodies the feeling of a cozy night spent snuggling by the fire, eating popcorn, drinking hot chocolate, and watching Christmas movies...

Monday, November 26, 2018

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Recipes, Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel, Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel, Holiday Recipes
Sweet potato casserole has always been my favorite Thanksgiving side dish.  I make mine with a brown sugar and pecan streusel topping that has a wonderful balance of salty and sweet, with no marshmallows anywhere in sight...

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Crepes with Cream Cheese and Caramelized Pears

Crepes, Cream Cheese, Blueberries, Caramelized Pears, Crepes Recipe, Holiday Recipes, Breakfast, Thanksgiving, Christmas Breakfast IdeasWhile doing our Thanksgiving grocery shopping yesterday with my husband and our boys, I had a sudden craving for crepes for breakfast today.  On the weekends, we've gotten into the habit of having eggs, bacon and hash browns doused in plenty of hot sauce on Saturdays, with something sweet on Sundays, and crepes seemed like just the thing for our Sunday breakfast...