Honey Granola with Cranberries and Figs

I was never one to eat just yogurt. Yogurt itself just seemed weird to me. Don’t get me wrong–I was happy to cook with it or churn up a batch of frozen yogurt, but just eat it straight? Well, Stephanie showed me what I was missing all this time: a good granola recipe.

A good, tangy, sticky-with-honey, nutty, granola that chews back when you crunch into it was that special something I needed to turn me on to yogurt. Or to just eating fistfuls of granola for that matter. Its stupid easy to make, way better than the myriad of choices you can grab at the grocery store (for an arm and a leg), and a fantastic way to start your day (or just to snack on). I like to work a little bit of dried fruit in there, but the nice thing about granola: it is very forgiving and very open to experimentation. For… click to read more…

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Blackberry Glazed Doughnuts

For the better part of my life, I had never really considered how simple and straightforward it would be to make doughnuts at home. Until making paczkis, I had come to accept that the likes of Dunkin Donuts were as good as it got. Oh how wrong I was.

Not only can you indulge for breakfast–you should. Saying its like having deep-fried cake for breakfast might make it sound like a not-so-healthy idea, but everyone should enjoy a good doughnut now and then…and this is a good doughnut. Tender inside, crisp and golden on the outside–just what a good doughnut should be.

I was largely by this recipe for cake doughnuts. This recipe is a solid base recipe to play around with flavor-wise. I went with a light touch of spice (cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla) and a sweet, tangy, purply blackberry glaze. I’ve also played with a coating of cinnamon-sugar, a dusting of powdered sugar,… click to read more…

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Paczki (Polish Jelly Doughnuts)

With Mardi Gras right around the corner, there’s a lot of incredible food you should make a point of squeezing in before Fat Tuesday draws to a close. For your meals, a traditional fried chicken and andouille gumbo, a chicken and shrimp jambalaya, or perhaps a different spin on gumbo with a bit more winter squash will suit your fancy. However, all of these options neglect the sweet tooths out there, and for you, my people, there are paczkis.

I only recently heard of paczkis. These treats are Polish in origin (and pronounced like “poon-shkee”) and, to completely over-simplify them, resemble cake-like jelly doughnuts. The idea, as with all Fat Tuesday-centric food, is to use up and indulge in all of the things that aren’t to be consumed during Lent, and as such, these are more exciting than your everyday doughnuts.

Traditionally, these are a bit large and contain… click to read more…

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The Best Ever Lemon Cream Tart

I hate the short period that immediately follows the start of the New Year–fad dieting and half-hearted nods towards health-consciousness take over. It bothers me not so much out of pretentiousness, but more in that its what dominates the magazines, gym, and food scene for a month. The annual chant: “New year, new you!”…ugh

This lemon cream tart is what I ate for dessert on New Year’s Eve and is my polite middle finger to these forced habits that don’t survive past January, all of which are responsible for some of the least exciting food of the year. This tart contains a respectable ~2.5 sticks of butter and, in my case, followed a New Year’s Eve dinner of macaroni and cheese with lobster and truffle oil. Take that, health-centric resolutions.

So with that wholly unexciting rant (if it could even be called as much) out of the way, back to the food! From the ingredient list, this… click to read more…

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Strawberry Bundt Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

This post is a little later than I’d like it to be seeing how strawberry season has come and gone by me. My love of strawberries is no secret. When they’re at their peak, I’ve packed away several pounds (maybe four or five? Seriously. I love strawberries) a week just for snacking (forget the baking). So this is one of those tasty desserts you can go to when you need a break from inhaling strawberries by the pound: a berry scented bundt cake topped with a rich, strawberry cream cheese frosting.

This was delicious and very strawberry-ish. I would be happy just eating the frosting (and shamelessly licked the bowl clean. Very clean). My only disappointment was that the cake was a little denser than I would have liked–I’d consider lessening the amount of strawberry puree (e.g. by half a cup) in the cake so that it might rise more and take on a lighter texture. As… click to read more…

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Cardamom & Peach Cheesecake

This is that time of year where I get antsy about food. Its spring-time–the birds are chirping, the sun is out, and it feels like summer is just around the corner. So where’s the spring-time produce?! I know its too soon for the kinds of things I’m craving, and this is exactly why its always a good idea to preserve a bit of the season–to abate such cravings until nature has a chance to catch up. So today’s dessert: a sweet, creamy, cardamom perfumed cheesecake, topped with cardamom-scented peach preserves.

I’ll be honest: I’d forgotten about these peach preserves. They were buried in the back of my pantry, but when I found them, I needed to finally dig in (peach season is one of the things I’m anxiously awaiting, after all). They were simple to make (many months ago), and I remember from sampling a bit how wonderful they tasted–sweet, peaches at their peak, finished with that… click to read more…

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