Tag Archives: Pastry

Pomegranate and White Chocolate Scones

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I can’t even begin to explain how much I love a good pastry in the morning with my coffee. My brain sometimes tells me that it’s a bad idea, but look how delicious these scones look. How bad could they be? Thankfully I figured out a way to make them taste fantastic but not be a huge calorie bomb like many of the purchased baked goods (for example a blueberry scone from Starbucks is almost 500 calories per serving; gasp! but they’re so good!). Now you can have your cake (scone) and eat it too. This recipe only has a few tablespoons of sugar and absolutely no butter. Seems too good to be true doesn’t it? Seriously though, you won’t believe how good they taste until you give them a try.

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Feeling less guilty about drooling over them yet?

The flavor combination may seem a little weird to some, but it’s actually pretty amazing. I found myself with about 4 cups of pomegranate seeds after buying two gigantic softball sized pomegranates and needed to find a creative way to use them. I started reminiscing about some chocolate covered pomegranate candies I’ve had in the past and voila a new recipe was created. If you’re not sold on the flavor paring feel free to add blueberries, strawberries, diced apples etc. instead. Hope you enjoy them! They are a fantastic treat and ridiculously easy to make.

The Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 tbs of sugar
  • 3 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • zest of one small orange
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cup  half and half (or substitute half regular milk if heavy cream now makes this recipe horrifying to you)

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Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

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Yay! It’s almost Christmas! It’s starting to really feel like the holidays as Matt and I geared up yesterday for the 10 hour jaunt across country from Philly to Indiana. I was a very spoiled passenger and was able to take a few naps and watch a few movies along the way. I used to hate car trips but thanks to technology it isn’t nearly as bad. We broke up our trip with some of our favorite high school jams and I impressed my husband with my endless knowledge of lyrics. It was a great trip and it feels great to be home for a few days between the madness of constant studying.

Anyhow, we were invited to our neighbors for dinner and I was asked to bring some dessert. Since preparing for finals was consuming all of my life and braincells, it had been a while since we had a proper grocery trip. Our fridge was pretty bare, but fortunately I had all of the common staples in my fridge and pantry. These peanut butter cookies are probably the easiest cookie recipe I have ever made. All you need is 5 ingredients and NO flour and you have a perfect, delicious cookie in less than 20 minutes from start to finish. I highly recommend that you add it to your cookie repertoire. No worries if you feel you are baking challenged, these are so simple that I know you’ll have great results. It’s a very easy starter dough and you can feel free to add chocolate chips or press Hershey kisses into the cookies.

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I made regular peanut butter cookies with the classic fork hashmarks and also some with Hershey hugs pressed in to the top. Both are equally delicious!

The Ingredients:

Makes 26-30 cookies 

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

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Quick and Delicious Apple Pie

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Quick and Delicious Apple Pie

This is the first year I have ever embarked on cooking the whole Thanksgiving spread from start to finish. Matt and I decided that it would be best to stay local this year because we both had a lot of studying we needed to get accomplished before classes resume on Monday. Traveling unfortunately is both time consuming and expensive but we look forward to traveling for Christmas. Anyhow, I decided to get a few of my desserts out of the way before the mashed potatoes, turkey, and stuffing extravaganza begins tomorrow. Living in an apartment doesn’t necessarily make the task of cooking Thanksgiving too easy with only one stove and a few burners to utilize. I took a few shortcuts with a few of my dishes to help speed things up a bit. Be on the lookout for the rest of my Thanksgiving recipes this week; the menu includes: semi-homemade cornbread stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, cream cheese and chive mashed potatoes, gravy, and of course turkey! (with perhaps a new twist!). Plus Matt’s favorite Thanksgiving dessert will be making an appearance. So as you can see, I’m going to be very busy the next several hours…and then onto black Friday shopping!

 The Ingredients:

Make one 9 inch pie

  • Pie crust…either homemade (check out Smitten Kitchen recipe; I’ve used it before and it is delicious!) or store bought (I took this route this time because I have so many tasks to get done before the meal tomorrow! I recommend Immaculate Ready to Bake All Natural Pie Crusts)
  • 4 Granny Smith Apples
  • 4 Golden Delicious Apples
  • For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tsps sugar
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Splash of apple cider (if you have some like we did!)

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White Cheddar, Chive, and Sage Biscuits and Chorizo Gravy

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White Cheddar, Chive, and Sage Biscuits and Chorizo Gravy

Homemade biscuits are one of my favorite things to make…not too mention they are simple and delicious! Once you try them, you’ll honestly never go back to buying canned biscuits again. I have a recipe that’s from right near my hometown that I have been using for years, with fantastic results every time. Today I decided to add 1/4 cup of aged white cheddar, 1/2 tsp of chives, and a small amount of chopped sage to my favorite biscuit recipe.  I hope that you’ll give them a try soon! You’ll have them prepared and in the oven in less than 10 minutes.

I know for some, the idea of making homemade gravy is a little daunting. I have a slurry maker from Pampered Chef that makes this task super easy. All I do is add a few tablespoons of flour to about a cup of milk with fresh cracked black pepper and within 5 minutes of cooking a delicious gravy is formed. If you don’t have a slurry maker, you can make this without problem by whisking together the flour and milk together before adding it to your pan. It’s really that simple!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of chorizo sausage or sausage of your choice; ours was spicy chorizo so I didn’t have to add many spices but if you buy plain I’d recommend adding red pepper flakes, black pepper, and fresh herbs
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 cup of milk + more to add to pan until desired amount of gravy is made
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Ah. So sorry for the hiatus! It’s not that I haven’t been cooking but I have been so busy that today is the first day I’ve had a chance to upload any photos to our computer. This past week with the holiday and celebrating Matt’s birthday hasn’t left me with much free time at all. The good news though is that for the holiday and Matt’s birthday I came up with some delicious treats and meals that I can’t wait to share. Tonight we are packing up to spend the weekend in Maine with my family–so hopefully I’ll have a little time to update you all on all things delicious from Maine that we eat.

Anyway, enough with the catchup and onto one of my favorite cookie recipes. Matt isn’t a big fan of birthday cake so I spoiled him with two non-cake desserts for his birthday. One being white chocolate macadamia nut cookies–also known as crack cookies in our house because they are so addictive and another treat that you’ll have to wait and see. I will tell you though that the other dessert is a fall favorite and is as equally as addictive as these cookies. Beware!

The Ingredients: 

Recipe adapted from: Joy of Cooking

  • *2 1/2 cups all purpose flourI substituted in 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • *1 tsp. baking soda
  • * 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup–2 sticks–room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate–if you’re going to use white chocolate chips I’d recommend Ghirardelli

*Mix 3 bolded dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk together before starting the recipe

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100% Whole Wheat Waffles. A Sunday Favorite.

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100% Whole Wheat Waffles. A Sunday Favorite.

I love waffles almost as much as I love pancakes. I especially love whole wheat waffles because they act as a great complex carbohydrate that keeps me feeling full longer. Eating carbohydrates in the morning sets your body up to have a lot of great energy for the morning and afternoon. Eating carbohydrates also ensures that your body burns exactly what it’s supposed to: stored carbohydrates and fat. If you skip breakfast, your body actually gets tricked into storing fat instead of burning fat because it views the lack of food consumption as a “threat.” As a result your body stores fat (think your body’s very own rainy day fund) for the impending tough times ahead. Not only does your body store fat, it uses protein from your muscles for fuel instead. Using your muscles for fuel leads to muscle break down. Never good. If you eat the right kind of carbohydrates, you’re actually doing your body a favor and setting yourself up for great results in the gym. Simple carbohydrates (think white sugar, breakfast pastries, white bread etc.) are the enemy–they spike your blood sugar and when eating them in excess, encourage your body to pack on the pounds. No bueno. So no more feeling guilty about ingesting the right kind of carbohydrates–complex carbs are the good guys.

Anyway, these waffles definitely do the job of keeping you full because they are super hearty–seriously, I only eat one and I am satisfied for hours. If you’re not sold on eating just whole wheat waffles or if you don’t think that you’ll like the taste, I have a few alternative suggestions for you. If you add a few tablespoons of orange juice to the whole wheat batter, the orange juice actually cuts down on the classic nutty taste (I absolutely love this taste though). Don’t worry though, you can’t actually taste the citrus flavor. If you don’t have orange juice and are still nervous, you can always just substitute half all purpose flour until you are feeling more brave. I hope you enjoy them!

The Ingredients:

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour–I used King Arthur Flour 100% Whole Wheat
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar–I’m sure sugar or agave would work equally as well 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk–I microwave mine for about 30-45 seconds to get the chill off 
  • 1/3 cup canola oil–I usually make substations to keep oil out of my recipes, but keeping the oil in this recipe is actually kind of a must if you enjoy crispy waffles. It’s the secret to getting them crispy and not soggy. I’m sure you could reduce it to a lower amount, but I haven’t really messed with the amount yet
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of quality vanilla
  • Add a splash of orange juice if you want to reduce the nutty flavor

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The Best Pancakes Ever…Seriously…

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The Best Pancakes Ever…Seriously…

I absolutely adore pancakes. I especially love whole wheat ones because of the nutty flavor the whole wheat flour imparts. This pancake recipe is so simple and so delicious you’ll never buy boxed pancake mix again. I’ve tested a lot of recipes, being a huge pancake aficionado, but have been using this particular recipe exclusively for the past 5 years or so. I have no idea where I found it either because I literally had it scribbled on a torn piece of paper before I memorized it. These pancakes really lend themselves to creativity–I sometimes sprinkle pumpkin pie spice into the batter, add chocolate chips, or even splash apple cider into the batter in the fall. I always add cinnamon and vanilla to my pancake batters because those two flavors always register as comfort food for me.

The pancakes are so tall, light, and fluffy. All of the key factors in a fabulous pancake. If you’ve never made from scratch pancakes before, you’ll be glad you tried these. I serve mine with Maine Blueberry Syrup…it is the best! Real syrup is such a great investment compared to the artificial counterpart–for me it really does make all the difference in the world. These really are the best pancakes I’ve ever tried–I hope you love them as much as I do!

The Ingredients:

Makes 6  Medium Pancakes–Family greater than 3, I’d recommend to double the recipe 

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s) or all-purpose flour if that’s all you have
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • A generous sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice 

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Buffalo Chicken Calzones with Homemade Whole Wheat Dough

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Buffalo Chicken Calzones with Homemade Whole Wheat Dough

I actually impressed myself with this dinner combination…and I am my most harsh critic for sure! So it really must be special! It was so good and I think it’s definitely going to become one of those recipes that becomes craveable. This is for sure a recipe that will become a go to when serving a crowd for a casual get together. I am a huge buffalo chicken dip lover but only really eat it periodically on football Sundays. Transforming it into a meal makes me feel way less guilty about eating it for dinner because I’m not wasting a ton of calories on lime tortilla chips. I made my own whole wheat crust that turned our really hearty and filling. I was super impressed with the crust recipe actually because I know there are rumors out there that whole wheat flour won’t work so well…but I had no problem with my dough rising (as you can tell by the massive amount of dough in the pictures).

Matt had a request for a pepperoni calzone that I happily obliged to making one for him. I added some green peppers and onions to his calzone so it wouldn’t be so boring (in my opinion). The buffalo chicken calzone only took a few ingredients to make–probably things you already have sitting in your fridge. Low fat cream cheese, shredded low fat Pepper Jack and Monterrey cheese, ranch dressing, hot sauce, and precooked chicken. That is it! Super easy and wicked delicious. If you don’t have time to make homemade dough, you can absolutely use store bough pre-made dough without any problems. I think you’ll also really enjoy this recipe! It’s just in time to start perfecting before football Sunday!

Calzone Dough 

The Ingredients:

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 2 cups lukewarm (110°F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon or packet active dry yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt

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