Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tiny Caramel Apples

When I spotted these Lady Apples at Whole Foods the other day I had to grab a few and turn them into the cutest little caramels apples for Halloween. To make these tiny caramel apples you will need four lady apples, 15 caramels, one teaspoon of water, and a variety of toppings if desired.

Step 1:
Wash and dry the apples.

Step 2:
Prepare caramel apple dipping station: Pour toppings into small bowls (I used coconut, sprinkles, and pecans). Line a plate with wax paper so you have a place to set the apples after they have been dipped and topped. Microwave caramels and water in a microwave safe bowl for two minutes or until caramel has melted, stirring after each minute.

Step 3:
Dip apple.

Step 4:
Immediately roll apple in topping after it has been dipped then place on wax paper and allow caramel to completely cool and set.

Serve apples on a tray or place in cupcake liners.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dinner Plans

Every Sunday I make a list of dinners to make for the week. Here's what's on the menu this week.

Monday: Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs (I use these chicken meatballs)

Tuesday: Curried Coconut-Pumpkin Stew

Wednesday: Portobello Mushrooms, Kale, and Black Beans

Thursday: Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

Friday: Out to dinner with friends

Saturday: Turkey Burgers

Sunday: Dinner at my parent's house

spaghetti squash
1 large container baby spinach
red onion
red bell pepper
6 medium portobello mushrooms
acorn squash

goat cheese
greek yogurt

chicken meatballs
8 oz mushrooms
1 lb ground turkey

bread flour
white whole wheat flour
whole wheat flour

chicken stock
1 can light coconut milk
1 package extra-firm tofu
1 can black beans
wild rice
cranberry sauce


Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

What better way to start off the weekend than with brownies? As promised a recipe involving cream cheese and pumpkin, pumpkin cheesecake brownies. Enjoy!

For the Brownies:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate chips
1  cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla  extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan, line with parchment if desired.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour and salt then sift in the cocoa powder and whisk to incorporate, set aside until needed.

Set a pot of water on the stove and heat until simmering. In a large bowl combine the chocolate chips, butter, and espresso powder, set bowl over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Turn off the heat but leave bowl over the water and stir in the sugars. Once the sugars are completely incorporated remove the bowl from the pot. Note the mixture should be at room temperature.

Add 3 of the eggs and whisk until combined, then add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Stir in the vanilla, be careful not to over beat the batter.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, until a just a few specks of the flour mixture remain visible. Set batter aside until needed.

Brownie recipe slightly adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

For the Pumpkin Cheesecake:
8 ounces (1 package) full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Scrape bowl then beat in the pumpkin puree, mix until fully incorporated. Beat in the egg and vanilla, scraping the bowl as needed.

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking

Pour about 3/4 (does not need to be exact) of the brownie batter into the prepared 9 x 13 inch pan. Smooth the batter with an offset spatula. Pour the all of the pumpkin cheesecake batter over the brownie batter and smooth with the offset spatula. Drop the remaining brownie batter in dollops over the cheesecake batter. Spread the brownie batter around a bit with the offset spatula. Using a pairing knife, toothpick, or butter knife swirl the cheesecake and top brownie layers together. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting. Once cooled, you can chill the brownies in the refrigerator for about an hour which will make them easier to cut.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sweet Potato and Sausage Stew

Every fall I look forward to this stew, it is one of my absolute favorites, it's warm and sweet and just plain delicious. The thing I love most about this recipe is how versatile it is. Instead of butter try using all olive oil, or substitute the chicken apple sausage with a nice Italian sausage, use Yukon Golds or a variety of potatoes in place of the sweet potatoes, there are so many ways to adapt this recipe just to your liking. I like to add a little apple juice to complement the sausage, but you could use all water if you prefer. This recipe is fun to switch up and is flexible enough so you can use what you already have on hand. I hope you enjoy this stew as much as I do!

Sweet Potato and Sausage Stew
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
4 chicken and apple sausages ( I like Aidells), cut into 1/2 inch rounds
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 of a cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
salt to taste

Heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted add the red onion and cook 5-7 minuets stirring occasionally. Add the paprika then stir in the sausage and cook until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, water, apple juice, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick. Bring stew to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 25-35 minutes. Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick, salt to taste.

Recipe adapted from Apples for Jam, by Tessa Kiros

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fall Bucket List

It is officially fall here in Salt Lake City. The leaves are changing, there is more than just a chill in the air, and pumpkins have made their appearance at every grocery store and farmer's market. That means it's time to get started on my fall bucket list so here it goes!

1. Bake something involving pumpkin and cream cheese (more on that in another post).

2. Carve, paint, or etch a pumpkin.

3. Make candy corn jello shots.

4. Knit a scarf. I got this book last October and have yet to put it to good use.

5. Take a drive up the canyon to see the fall leaves and take pictures.

6. Rock this maxi skirt.

7. Get bangs. I am still on the fence about this one but I was thinking of something like this or this.

8. Take my dogs for a walk around Wheeler Farm with pumpkin spice latte in hand.

9. Sign up for a Thanksgiving Day 5K or maybe even a 6K.

10. Have cider and doughnuts.

11. Go see Frankenweenie, and speaking of Fankenweenie, check out this adorable cake.

12. Get flannel sheets.

13. Go to the Haunted Village.

14. Get out and enjoy the fall weather because winter is just around the corner.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins

If you have bananas sitting on your counter about to go the way of the dodo I suggest giving these muffins a shot. Pretty much every week I find myself in this predicament, I have bananas that are about to go bad and I need to figure out what to do with them stat. Usually I peel them and stick them in the freezer for smoothies which by the way is an excellent solution, but since my freezer is becoming overrun by frozen bananas I figured I'd better do something else with these ones. If you don't have whole wheat pastry flour on hand don't sweat it just use all-purpose flour instead, and if you have more than two sorry bananas on your hands this recipe can easily be doubled.

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins 
1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Very Ripe Bananas
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 cup Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with baking cups. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt, set aside until needed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together 1 of the bananas and the sugar on medium-high for at least 3 minutes. Beat in the butter, egg, and vanilla , scraping the sides as needed, until well mixed. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in the dry ingredients until just mixed. Mash the remaining banana a bit so some texture remains then fold the mashed banana and nuts into the batter. Distribute the batter evenly among the cups, about half way and bake for 18-20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Makes 12 Muffins

Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence at the Food Network

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sweet Potato Hummus

This sweet potato hummus has become my new favorite. It is healthy, delicious, and easy to make. I use this hummus as a dip for vegetables and a spread for crackers, wraps, and sandwiches. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Hummus 
1 pound Sweet Potatoes (about 2), peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 (15 oz can) Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice (1-2 lemons)
1/4 cup Sesame Tahini
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 Garlic Clove, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sweet Paprika for garnish
2-3 tablespoon Water to thin

Steam sweet potatoes until tender, 12-22 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, oil, cumin, and garlic to the food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until smooth. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with paprika. Serve with chips, vegetables or use as a spread for wraps and sandwiches. Hummus will last up to 1 week refrigerated in an airtight container.

Recipe from Power Foods

Thursday, February 2, 2012

White Chocolate Dipped Green Tea Biscotti

 Happy groundhog day! I guess Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today so we are in for 6 more weeks of winter. Oh well, look on the bright side the cold will make that afternoon cup of hot coffee or tea and biscotti taste that much better ;)

White Chocolate Dipped Green Tea Biscotti 
1 1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Almond Meal
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Matcha Powder
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/8 teaspoon Almond Extract
2 Eggs
3 ounces White Chocolate

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, and matcha powder, set aside until needed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar together for a few minutes, then beat in the eggs one at a time scraping after each addition, until well incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and the almond extracts. Add the flour mixture in three additions until well mixed, scraping the bowl as needed. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form into a log, about 12 inches, then place the log on the prepared baking sheet (the dough will be a bit soft, I used two spatulas to gently lift the log onto the baking sheet). Bake for 25-30 minutes, then remove the log from oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Once cooled, slice the log diagonally into about 1 1/2 inch pieces. Place pieces back on the baking sheet and bake for another 30 minutes, turning them half way through. Allow biscotti to cool while you prepare the white chocolate. To prepare the white chocolate place either chips or chunks into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 15 second intervals stirring in between until chocolate is melted. Once the chocolate is melted and the biscotti is cooled dip the bottoms of each biscotti into the white chocolate, you can also use an offset spatula to help spread the chocolate along the bottom evenly. Place dipped biscotti on a baking sheet lined with parchment and refrigerate until white chocolate is set, about 20 minutes.

Makes 6 Biscotti , plus 2 ends

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I love getting a big carton of blueberries every time I go to Costco. I always have this idea that I am going to make muffins and add them to salads and find many other great uses my big carton of blueberries. The only problem is that with just D and me it is really hard to go through an entire package of blueberries no matter how hard I try they inevitably go bad before I have had a chance to use them all, until now... This time when I could see my blueberries were getting close to their expiration I washed them, let them air dry and then I put them in a freezer bag and placed them in the freezer. I added a few hand fulls of frozen blueberries to my smoothie this morning and it was delicious, blueberry problem solved. 

Blueberry Smoothie
2 cups Almond Milk
4 cups Spinach
1 Frozen Banana
2 cups Frozen Blueberries 
2 tablespoons Flaxseed Meal 
First pour the almond milk into the blender then add the spinach and blend until smooth, next add the banana and blend, then add the frozen blueberries and flaxseed meal and blend until smooth. You could probably add all the ingredients at once especially if you have a really powerful blender, but I like to add the ingredients in stages because I find it helps keep my blender from getting all jammed up. 

Makes 2 Smoothies 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


With so many people this time of year, myself included, watching what they eat, I wanted to share with you some of the healthy recipes I enjoy. First up, granola. This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite new cookbooks, Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson. I think what really makes this granola stand out is the orange zest so be sure not to skip it when making this recipe. This granola is delicious with milk, yogurt or just on its own.

4 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups walnut pieces
1 cup unsweetened shredded large-flake coconut
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
zest of 2 oranges
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Arrange racks so that one rack is in the top third and the other rack is in the bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil, set aside till needed. In a large bowl mix together the oats, walnuts, coconut, sea salt, golden raisins, flaxseed meal, and orange zest. Then in a small sauce pan over low heat melt the butter then add the the maple syrup and whisk until combined. Pour mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until coated. Divide and spread out mixture among baking sheet. Bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow granola to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.