Saturday, December 13, 2014

Maple Walnut Blondies

As teenagers, my friends and I spent a lot of time at Applebees. We would stop by for the late night appetizers and desserts. My favorite thing to order was the maple walnut blondie. It came in a skillet complete with a big ass scoop of ice cream and a sauce that turned into caramel when it hit the hot plate. I would down that, some mozzarella sticks and then call it a night. Awww, memories.

The other night I made a version of the maple walnut blondies of my past. I slapped some ice cream on them while they were still warm and was promptly in heaven. You should do the same.

Now if only I had made mozzarella sticks to go with them. Next time...

Maple Walnut Blondies
makes an 8"x8" square or 8" round

1 stick (1/2 c) butter, melted
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract
pinch salt
1 c AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2-3/4 c walnuts, chopped
- - -
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8"x8" square (or 8" round) baking pan with parchment; mist lightly with baking spray
2. In a medium bowl combine the melted butter and the sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth
3. Add in egg and extracts, mix well
4. Add salt, baking soda, and flour, stirring until a sticky dough forms
5. Gently fold in walnuts
6. Spread dough into the prepared pan and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes; top will appear slightly cracked and the edges will just be beginning to brown
7. Cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Lately life has felt... different. Crazy-busy-wonderful but still, different. 

I mentioned a bit ago that Jeff and I were in the process of buying a home. Well we did it! We have spent the last two weeks moving our life out of a tiny studio and into our new place across the water from Seattle. To say that we love our new house is an understatement. 

One of the reasons for our hasty move (OK the only real reason) is a baby. As in, I am going to have one!

This explains the silence on the blog for the past few months. I spent a good portion of October and November trying not to feel sick all day, everyday. This made work... interesting. And once I got home there was no way in hell I would be baking or cooking anything special. Plus, let's be honest, no one wants to see pictures of the saltine cracker/bean and cheese burrito diet I was on. 

But guys, I made it through to the other side! I am officially into the second trimester and no longer feel seasick all day! Which means I am going to be back writing and photographing nibbles on the regular. 

Before I bring you any more newness (real life or recipe wise) here are some pictures of all of the things I would like to be eating/drinking but can't. This little one better be cute...

beers/runny eggs/rare steak/deli offerings/soft&blue cheeses/Bloody Mary time/Spam misubi & sushi in general/caffeine/pretty cocktails

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cranberry Orange Scones

These scones are probably the last item I will bake in our teeny tiny gas oven. Jeff and I are moving! Into a house! We get the keys today. This house has more than one room AND a normal oven, one that can accommodate standard sized baking sheets! It's about time.

These scones are more orange and more cranberry because I am obsessed.

You can make a quick orange glaze to top these scones if you desire. I think this one would do just fine. To my little gas oven, we've had a good run. You've treated me right. But it's time to say goodbye.

Cranberry Orange Scones
makes 8

2 1/4 c AP flour
1/3 c sugar
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small cubes
2 eggs
1/2 c heavy cream
1 heaping c fresh cranberries
cream, for topping
crystal sugar, for topping
- - -
pre-heat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
1. In a small bowl combine the 1/3 c sugar and the orange zest, massaging with your fingers to release the oils and perfume the sugar
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine the zesty sugar, flour, baking powder and salt
3. Add butter and mix until sandy (butter pieces should be no larger than flakes of oatmeal)
4. Add the eggs and cream, mixing until a soft dough forms
5. Fold in cranberries by hand
6. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a circle about 1/2"thick
7. Cut dough into 8 triangular scones
8. Place scones 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheet
9. Brush the tops of the scones with cream and sprinkle with crystal sugar
10. Bake at 400F for 15-18 minutes, scones should be slightly brown at the edges

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cranberry Orange Muffins

I have been eating an absurd amount of those teeny, tiny, easy-to-peel oranges that are all over stores right now... like 6+ a day. I think they are called Cuties. I am just warming up for Satsuma season... watch out!

While fresh oranges will always be my favorite, I will also eat them in muffin form. Let's turn a handful of Cuties into some cranberry orange muffins.

A few extra cranberries get dotted on top of an orange-y batter. I like to sprinkle a little crystal sugar on top of my muffins before baking for (1) texture and (2) more sugar.

These are a perfect coffee or tea time snack!

Cranberry Orange Muffins
makes 12

2 c AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c orange juice
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1/4 c coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 c (heaping) fresh cranberries + 1/3 c for topping
crystal sugar for topping
- - -
*pre-heat oven to 400 and prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with liners
1. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt
2. In a medium bowl combine the granulated sugar and orange zest with your fingers to perfume the sugar
3. Add the egg to the orange sugar and whisk until smooth; add orange juice and oil
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until incorporated (batter will still have some lumps/bumps)
5. Gently fold in the fresh cranberries
6. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin wells
7. Add a few cranberries to the top of each muffin and sprinkle with crystal sugar
8. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes (until tops spring back when pressed)
9. Cool slightly before enjoying

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Moving: Kitchen Edition

Sorry it has been a bit of a ghost town around these parts... it has been a busy few weeks! Jeff and I took some time off of work and went on a little vacation. We also are in the process of buying our first house! It is super exciting/time consuming. We are both anxious to move and if things go according to schedule we should be in our new place before the holidays!

Because we have been on the go so much lately, I haven't made a damn thing that is worthy of photographing and writing about. Though, I did make some awesome bean and cheese burritos for second lunch today... but really who wants to see a picture of beans, cheese, flour tortillas and an embarrassingly large quantity of sour cream? Didn't think so.

Delicious homemade bagels

I have been spending a lot of time looking at ideas for how to paint/decorate our new place. Because I am me, I have found a lot of inspiration in food.

Let's start in the kitchen.

Inspiration: black, brown, charcoal grey and toasted tan colors of the "everything bagel"

1&6. Comfy bar stools
2&12. I eat a lot of bread... one of these bread boxes will keep my loafs close at hand (sorry for saying the word "loafs")
3. I swear by these cork pot holders... they are the best/cute!
4. Utensil organization
5. I got these clear jars a few years ago for a birthday gift and they rock! They make finding ingredients easy and are cute enough to keep on the counter
7-9. Clever towels
10&11. Bar cart?
13. Gifted to me by my grandmother, this painting has a permanent post in my kitchen
14. A similar backsplash to the one in our new kitchen

More house updates/recipes to follow!