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Chocolate, Cinnamon, & Almond Loaf Cake (gluten-free)

My dessert tastes don’t always quite jive with other people’s.  I don’t like things super sweet, I tend more toward fruity desserts rather than super chocolate, I will always choose dark chocolate over milk (and don’t even talk to me about white chocolate and its lies…).

Chocolate, Cinnamon, & Almond Loaf Cake | Finding Time for Cooking

I was blown away by the complexity of the flavors in this cake, yet how subtle they were.  I cut back on the sugar quite a bit from what the recipe called for, and for me that made it perfect—letting the chocolate have more of a bittersweet quality and the cinnamon shine through.  Also, whoever thought to put cinnamon in whipped cream is a genius and I can’t believe I haven’t done that before.  But I assure you I will forever moving forward…
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Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Girls’ night!

Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Last month we had an epic girls’ night planned—the last Hunger Games movie, followed by stuffing ourselves to the gills with burgers and fries. As is our tradition, we snuck a bottle of wine into the theater, and I brought these beauties. I’m not really into the kinds of snacks that theaters sell, but a good homemade cookie will do the trick every time!

salted dark chocolate chunk cookies closeup

I was intrigued by Smitten Kitchen’s description of these, and in particular enjoyed her indictment of cookie recipes that insist you chill the dough overnight, because seriously, who plans their cookie cravings that far ahead?! Preach, sister.

salted dark chocolate chunk cookies chopped chocolate

I’ll be honest, these are a bit rich for my blood. I had one, and that was plenty (which, on second thought, is maybe a good thing…). But they are the perfect blend of sweet, rich, gooey, and a little crisp, and they got devoured by my compatriots. They are definitely going into the cookie rotation. [Read more…]

Bourbon Vanilla Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts

I’ve long been on the record as “meh” on banana bread.

Bourbon Vanilla Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts

As my two-year-old niece would say, it’s not…offensive. It’s just not something that calls to me on any level.

Bourbon Vanilla Banana Bread with Candied Walnuts nuts

But let me tell you…bourbon sure does take this up a level! And candied walnuts don’t hurt either. What I’m saying is, this banana bread is AWESOME.

bourbon vanilla banana bread with candied walnuts ready to bake

This recipe is also super easy and fast. It’s taking one of the most basic recipes many of us remember from our childhood and just taking it up a few notches. Vanilla bean paste instead of just extract. A subtle deep, almost caramel flavor from the bourbon. Beautiful sugar-crusted nuts for texture. If that isn’t an impressive dessert (okay fine, breakfast), I don’t know what is! [Read more…]

Dreamy, Creamy Scones

Oh MAN, are these scones good?!

Dreamy Creamy Scones

A while back, I was really excited because I tried a cream biscuits recipe without butter that was amazing. I stand by that, and I loved that it didn’t require cutting the butter into the flour. I am super lazy. These are in a similar vein, except they have both cream AND butter in them, which makes them double awesome. I think they’re the best scones, texture-wise, that I’ve ever made.

Dreamy Creamy Scones with Honey

They were also shockingly good as leftovers the next few days, heated up with a little raw organic honey for breakfast at work. And that is a victory, because it’s hard to justify making a whole batch of scones for myself when usually the leftovers are like trying to eat ceiling insulation. But these, these are magical. [Read more…]

Oat Brown Sugar Strawberry Shortcake…and Happy Birthday ‘Merica!

Happy 4th of July! Here in Atlanta, everyone will be swimming…and by swimming, I mean trying to avoid floating away in a flash flood, not hanging out poolside. I will hopefully be avoiding the worst of the rain down on the Gulf Coast, but we’ll see how that goes.

Oh, yeah, back to ‘Merica. You know, apple pie tends to get all the glory when it comes to “American desserts”. But for my money, nothing is more American than strawberry shortcake.

brown sugar oat strawberry shortcake finished

brown sugar oat strawberry shortcake strawberries

First of all, it’s got the colors working in its favor. I mean, just look at it. And it’s got the sweet/cold/creamy combination that apple pie just can’t match. There’s no question that my go-to summer dessert is strawberry shortcake. This one’s a little different, though.

brown sugar oat strawberry shortcake baked

And what makes it different is the oat flour. I happened across this recipe on A Cozy Kitchen and was immediately intrigued. The oat and brown sugar combo definitely sounded up my alley. I’d also never used oat flour, so I was curious about how it differed. It was kind of amazing actually, because it added this whole new, cool texture to the shortcakes. They were moist and fluffy when they shouldn’t have been (I mean, look how thin I accidentally cut them). They were moist and fluffy the next day, which everyone knows is death to biscuits. So I totally recommend going the extra mile and making the oat flour. It’s so easy, it’s not even an extra mile, really. Not even an extra kilometer. Extra few feet…?
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Basted Eggs with Shredded Brussels Sprouts — and how to baste eggs

This isn’t necessarily a “recipe” so much as a meal idea I stumbled across in the throes of overwhelming hunger desperation, to avoid yet another meal of cereal and wine.

basted eggs with brussels sprouts

I’ve already shared my love of brussels sprouts, including this delicious, easy caramelized shredded brussels sprouts (and much faster than roasting them in the oven!).

basted eggs with brussels sprouts2

So one night, I had a few brussels sprouts sitting in the fridge I knew I could make up, but that wasn’t going to cut it for dinner. So I decided to baste up some eggs for a protein kick. What was great was how the egg yolk (I like mine on the runny side) mixed in with the brussels sprouts. [Read more…]

Touch of spice (Oven Sweet Potato Fries)

One of the surprises in my CSA box this week was a couple of giant sweet potatoes. I thought the seasonality was a little weird (those are a fall/winter veggie, no?), but was excited to get a chance to make my awesome sweet potato fries.

Now the thing to note about these sweet potato fries is that they’re softer, not crispy/crunchy. I’m going to try a new recipe soon that claims to make them crispy. But these are still delicious, healthy, and super easy to make.

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Best summer dessert ever (Taste of Home’s Fresh Berry Shortcake)

When I was in Dallas a few weeks ago and we were making our giant, from-scratch dinner, Kristine submitted this recipe as our dessert. I immediately agreed. I looooove strawberry shortcake! It is my go-to dessert for any summer cookout, get-together, bridal shower, etc. It is light and sweet and decently healthy, and just says SUMMER.

Normally, I just buy strawberries, cut them up, toss in a tiny bit of sugar and water, then let them sit in the fridge for awhile (developing a slight syrup). Then I serve with angel food cake and whipped cream. But we were doing everything from scratch, and this is a fancier (though not too much harder) take on strawberry (or any berry) shortcake. It’s from Taste of Home magazine, I’d link to it but they require registration and other nonsense to visit the page.

We got lucky and found some great berries!

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Rethinking a much-reviled veggie (Caramelized Brussel Sprouts)

Lots of people hate brussel sprouts. And I just don’t get it.

To be fair, I didn’t grow up eating them, so I don’t have any of the horror stories or ingrained hatred most people have—my mom still detests them from HER childhood and I still can’t get her to try them prepared well. I first had brussel sprouts at a swanky Atlanta restaurant, all roasted and fried up to perfection, and fell instantly in love. Since then I’ve mostly roasted them (I’ll post that recipe another time), but I recently found this recipe on Pinterest and just had to try it. It takes even less time than my regular roasted brussel sprouts recipe, and has quickly gone into my regular veggie side rotation. Scale it up or down to suit your needs.

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