Thursday, February 14, 2013

One year of Auntie Treats & A Chocolate Tiramisu

Happy Valentines day everyone.  I can't believe it's been a whole year since I started this blog.  I haven't quite kept up with it the way I would have liked but that is always what tomorrow is for I suppose.  I have had a lot of fun with it though and am proud of having kept it going this long and for having a neat little place I can go back to find the recipes I have enjoyed and want to make again.  It has come in very useful for that instead of having to sift through my notebooks of recipes ; ).  I hope in some small way you have enjoyed or maybe found it helpful too.... 

I know I haven't posted in a while and the times I have lately it's been few and far between.  I thought what better day than today to start back up with something sweet & special and hope to be sharing lots more delicious recipes in the coming days to make up for my absence... It's been an interesting past few months to say the least.  And with that, I am happy to share with you it's been for good reason, this auntie is going to be a momma.  2013 is looking to be one amazing year.

Now on to that something sweet and special I mentioned.  I wanted to make something today that would not only make my valentine happy but would inspire you for that next special occasion.  This chocolate tiramisu by Giada De Laurentiis is just's sweet and creamy and rich and quite pretty too.  I have a regular tiramisu recipe I have used over the years, but again with my valentine in mind, I had to try something chocolate and this recipe looked perfect.  It may look complicated but it's really not if you follow the directions and doesn't take much time at all.  The end result is worth every effort....I hope you give it a try and have a little something sweet today!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Quinoa and Kale Salad with Apples & Sweet Potatoes

Been overloading on all the goodies available this time of year??  This salad is a nice break from the heavier foods we like to indulge on during the holidays and makes a great meal all on it's own.  Best part is, it's a breeze to put together.  I made it as a vegetarian dish for Thanksgiving and also for dinner for a friend.  Both times it was a hit.  I came across the recipe in the November issue of Food & Wine and only made one small change.  Instead of using raw red onion, as I really don't like to eat any type of onion raw, I caramelized it and thought that step added a fantastic depth of flavor.  I also used a good apple cider vinegar which made for a really nice dressing.  Hope you enjoy!  Then maybe a few more treats will taste even sweeter : ).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cranberry Coffee Cake

Today's treat is a perfect way to start one of your holiday mornings.  This festive take on a classic is studded with lots of fresh cranberries that lend their beautiful, vibrant red color and a nice burst of tartness that really compliments the sweet.  I am not always one for morning pastries but when I saw this recipe on Two Peas & Their Pod I had to give it a try.  It lived up to the expectations and was not only perfect paired with a homemade soy eggnog latte but was also great the next day for dessert.  I resisted temptation to add some vanilla gelato I had in the freezer but I think that would have been scrumptious too.  

The key to keeping this coffee cake light and moist it to really gently mix the ingredients once all the flour is combined so you don't over-develop the gluten and end up with a denser cake.  If you really want to dress it up maybe try a nice orange or vanilla glaze drizzled on top....I know I will be making this one again and I hope you give it a try too.  Baking in your kitchen sure beats those lines in the stores : }.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gingerbread Baby Cakes { TWD BWJ }

It's Tuesday and that means it's time for another recipe from Baking With Julia.  Today's recipe is perfect for the holidays.  I personally love gingerbread in all forms but have to say the cookie version is my favorite.  Especially the ones my mom has been making every year, probably since before I was born, as gifts for for family and friends and of course for us to enjoy.  I look forward to them as soon as December hits.

These gingerbread baby cakes are a bit different than the gingerbread you might be used.  The addition of espresso and cocoa powders give them a unique flavor.  One thing I discovered about myself upon trying this recipe is that I'm a gingerbread purist and I wanted the cocoa, and especially the coffee out.  And I actually reduced the amount of called for espresso powder by half and I still thought it was a bit much.  If you love coffee flavored  goodies then try this one out as it is written, but my suggestion would be to cut the espresso powder and add a little extra ginger, and substitute more flour for the cocoa.  I will be posting one of my favorite gingerbread recipes soon so stay tuned....

If you would like to give these gingerbread cakes a try, the recipe can be found on pages 247 & 248 in Baking with Julia or over at Karen's Kitchen Stories.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Best Ever Brownies { TWD BWJ }

Ok, so first off I should preface by saying I did not name these the best ever brownies.  It is what they are called in the book, Baking With Julia.  With that being said, I will say that today's Tuesday's With Dorie recipe is quite delicious, moist and gooey, and full of chocolate flavor as a brownie should be.  Would I or you for that matter call them "Best Ever?"  Well that's certainly debatable as I'm not sure they indeed live up to the name.  After all, I think it's a little tough to call anything the best ever.  My mother though, thought they were pretty close to being up there with the best, and she's much more of a chocolate lover than me.  I say give them a try and you be the judge because nonetheless they do make for a great holiday treat or gift perhaps. : )

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pear, Date, and Manchego Salad

With all the feasting to be done at the Thanksgiving table and possibly the days following if there are  lots of tasty leftovers, a good salad is a nice change of pace or addition to the other hearty dishes.  This time of year, I admit the warm & hearty dishes are definitely my first choice. But.....I also have to admit that often before dinner I am usually thinking what I will have afterwards for a sweet treat and that fact leads me to incorporate a lot of salads or lighter dinners just so I can still have room for dessert and not feel guilty about it, ha.  Nonetheless, the salads and "healthier" dishes still need to taste true to the season and not of the past days of summer. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Brown Butter Apple Tart

The holidays are officially among us with Thanksgiving already being a week a way.  And while I know that often brings with it an added amount of craziness, stress, and longer lines at the stores, boo....I do welcome the season.  At least in the sense of the bright & cheery colors, sparkly lights, seasonal tunes (sorry but I love 'em,)  and hope that maybe people are being a little kinder to each other.  And the most important reason I love this time of year being the fact it really inspires me to get baking and try lots of new recipes.  So I have been doing a lot of that lately and now it's time to stop sitting on all these food pics in my phone and share them with you. : )