Friday, October 26, 2012

Apple Turnover Bread Pudding with Maple Cream Sauce & a Keys to the Kitchen Virtual Dinner Party

Apple Bread Pudding

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of having lunch at Star Provisions with Aida Mollenkamp and some lovely Atlanta food ladies (some of whom I had previously only known virtually) to celebrate Aida's fabulous new cookbook, Keys to the Kitchen.

Not only is Keys to the Kitchen filled with beautiful pictures and recipes, it's pretty much the ultimate kitchen resource. It teaches you tons of basics like how to brown butter, how to make stock, how to properly store your produce, what tools you should have in your kitchen, different cuts of meat, and types of herbs. Dale actually used the cookbook as a guide when breaking down a whole chicken for the first time. Pretty awesome.

Apple Bread Pudding

As part of her cookbook release, Aida came up with the great idea of having a virtual dinner party made up of recipes from her cookbook! I obviously chose dessert, because, you know, I'm into sweets. Dale has a major love for bread pudding, and I've never made it for him before. So when I saw the Apple Turnover Bread Pudding with Maple Cream Sauce, I knew it was the one.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Spiced Apple Cider Caramel Sauce

Apple Cider Caramel Sauce

Did you know that you can split, scrape, and chop up a vanilla bean, throw it in a saucepan, place it over medium heat, toast it for a few minutes, then grind it up with a mortal and pestel and have this amazingly delicious vanilla powder stuff to mix with sugar? How did I not know this before coming across it last week on the lovely blog Top with Cinnamon? Never again will I simply bury scraped vanilla beans in my sugar. Never again. OhmygahI'msoobsessedwithit! For real.

Speaking of obsessed, last weekend at the farmer's market, Dale and I got some Mercier Orchards apple cider. And holy moly, it's good! I've decided that warm, spiced apple cider poured over bourbon is my official go-to fall drink. Mmm yes.

So naturally, I began thinking about spiced cider and dessert. Something warm and smooth and comforting.

apple cider

This caramel is it. Creamy, sweet, thick, delicious, magical.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sticky Cinnamon Pecan Bars

Pecan Bars

So how did you kick off the first days of fall? Pulling sweaters and jeans (except those evil skinny ones) out of the back of the closet in anticipation? Instagramming pictures of the changing leaves? Skipping in joy through cool morning air? Digging up dead basil from your herb garden? (or did that last one only happen to me?)

It seems many people celebrated the start of fall with pumpkin in their bellies with all the delicious looking pumpkin treats I've seen floating around the food blogosphere. And while I do love pumpkin, it's not really something I'm chomping at the bit to dive into at the first sign of fall. My pumpkin desires don't really kick in until November, ya know, with that whole Thanksgiving thing. My pecan pie desires, however, are in full force.

Pecan Bars

But just to be sure I wasn't getting too predictably Thanksgiving-ish about it, I made pecan pie in bar form with cinnamon shortbread crust and cinnamon pecan filling. Because that totally changes everything...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Maple Berry Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

Mornings are cooler, evenings mild yet brisk and drinkable. Summer is officially over, and fall is upon us. Sunday was living proof of this with its sixty degree temperatures, cloudy skies, and rainy afternoon. Rather perfect actually. The farmers market saw fewer tomatoes, no peaches, more squash and pumpkins, apples aplenty.

While parts of me live for the cool comfort of fall, other parts want to cling to the sweet morsels of summer.

Overnight Oats

These overnight oats give me the best of both worlds (in breakfast form anyway)--cool bursts of berries with warm flavors of maple and oats. And it's ready for grabbing right out of the fridge, making it all the more appealing for my typical rushing-around-running-late-forgetting-things-every-morning ways.