Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies #SundaySupper

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

I’m redesigning my room.  Or maybe just designing it for the first time.

It’s something I’ve thought about and been meaning to do and now I’ve finally taken the plunge.  Well, we have; it’s pretty much a team effort.

Dad is painting the room.  It’s purple-y pink and glorious.  It’s really impossible to love two paint colors more than I love these.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

Now it’s time to order the furniture and wait for it to be delivered.  After searching in stores and online, I’ve finally settled on some goodies from Restoration Hardware.  And I only visited the store three times and the website oh about fifty.

It feels sooooo good to be doing something, making progress, creating change.  But it is a lot of work.  Like a lot.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

Moving things around, measuring, mapping out, cleaning, generally hustling and organizing and trying to find things when they are all over the place and none of those places are their normal positions.

Really, I shouldn’t complain though, because I think painting is a lot harder than Dad remembered.  It’s slow and tiring.  And yet, he’s determined to paint more rooms, which is kind of super jump up and down exciting, even though I still want to move far, far away from here.  Oh yeah, #CaliforniaDreaming.

But I mean, what’s not to love about pink and purple paint and new furniture and soft bed linens and happiness and sunshine and butterflies?

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

Okay, maybe I got carried away there.  We’re talking about paint and furniture not agents and book deals.  But still, with some sunshine and warmer temperatures, happy dance may be my new permanent position.

Oh, and lots of Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies.  You don’t even have to feel that bad about eating these cookies.  They’re loaded with carrots, raisins, dried cherries, coconut, oatmeal, and coconut oil.  They are soft and moist with a subtle spice and taste even better than they smell.

Really, though, that needs to be the finishing touch for my room.  Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookie Candles.  Someone needs to get on that ASAP!

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 15 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 heaping cup shredded carrots
1 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried tart cherries
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes or chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, cream coconut oil with sugars until combined. I did this by hand, and it’s super easy – no need to pull out the mixer! Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Add the carrots, oats, raisins, cherries, and coconut and stir until well distributed.
  4. Take about golf ball sized portions of dough and place them on the baking sheet, spreading them out as much as possible. Bake for about 19 minutes, until mostly set. Serve warm or cool completely on the tray. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag, for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

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http://piesandplots.net/carrot-cake-oatmeal-cookies-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper recipes! Thanks to Anne from Simple and Savory for hosting!

BREAKFAST

CAKES, PIES, AND SWEETS

COOKIES AND BARS

Main Courses

Pastas

Seafood

Veggies and Sides

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Apple Juice Cake

Apple Juice Cake

Do you ever have leftover ingredients? You know ones that need to be used NOW.

I try to keep things moving in my refrigerator and pantry, but every once in awhile, I lose track of things. I find that bunch of asparagus that has been hanging out in the crisper a little too long. Or that extra jar of marshmallow fluff I picked up a couple months ago and totally forgot about (by the way, stay tuned for that recipe in a few weeks).

Apple Juice Cake

There are a couple dishes that help me use all these things up. Vegetables about to pass their prime can be added to salads or frittatas, even pasta. Fruit makes an awesome crisp or baked oatmeal.

But recently I had a huge bottle of apple juice sitting in the refrigerator. I bought it for a recipe from a cookbook that didn’t turn out. But I couldn’t stand to waste the rest of it.

Apple Juice Cake

I can’t remember the last time I bought apple juice, so I did drink some of it. Icy cold from the refrigerator, it totally quenched my thirst. I needed to do something more with it though.

So I made cake. Apple Juice Cake. This is one of the more unique cakes I’ve made. It baked up beautifully and has a distinct apple juice flavor, which kind of surprised me in a pleasant way. It has more of a bready texture, instead of a cakey one. Not that this is a bad thing; it actually reminded me of my favorite raisin bread as a kid.

Apple Juice Cake

Full of crunchy nuts and plump raisins, and topped with a fabulous glaze, this is such a nice, old fashioned cake that I know you will love!

Apple Juice Cake

Apple Juice Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

Cake

5 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup vegetable shortening

2 large eggs

2 cups apple juice

1 cup raisins (I love Trader Joe’s Jumbo Raisin Medley)

1 cup mixed nuts (I used unsalted pecans and walnuts)

Glaze

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

¼ cup apple juice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will also work. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Alternately add the flour mixture and the apple juice, beginning and ending with the flour. You should do 3 additions of flour and 2 of juice.

Fold in the raisins and nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

Cool in pan about 15 minutes, before carefully loosening and inverting onto a serving platter. Cool cake completely before preparing the glaze.

To make the glaze stir together sugar and juice until a thick yet pourable consistency is formed. Add more sugar or juice as necessary. Pour over the cake and serve. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in pieces in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Lucky Leaf

http://piesandplots.net/apple-juice-cake/

Double Ginger Cookies #SundaySupper

Double Ginger Cookies

I’ve been in a very strange spring cleaning mode. Suddenly I want to go through the whole house and rid myself of just about seventeen years’ worth of clutter.

I’ve gone through phases like this before, but I’ve never really made much progress. This time is different. Mom, Dad, and I are all determined to simplify life.

I’ve given away somewhere around ten bins of Barbies and accessories, and I have a few left to hand off, plus a couple things I couldn’t part with. And some was so played with it had to be thrown out.

Double Ginger Cookies

Now I’m onto old board games that have broken boxes they were so often used to bring a little happiness to our lives. Old pictures that now look so blurry or were taken on days I didn’t look my best are in the trash.

I found Teenie Beanies from McDonald’s and pins from our trips to Sea World and Disney World when I was little.

I even came across a few things I’d been thinking about as of late. Like the pennies that were pressed into designs in Disney Land. And the photos from my eighth grade dance. There are a lot of good memories in our house.

Double Ginger Cookies

I keep some and love that I can pass some on to other people so they can make new memories with them.

I should throw in a few of these Double Ginger Cookies. While I love many tropical ingredients, this week’s Sunday Supper theme, ginger is one of my favorites. The flavor is wonderful and it is so good for you with its anti-inflammatory properties.

While I wouldn’t call these cookies a health food even with all that ginger, they are soft and chewy with fun surprise pieces of candied ginger and plump raisins. I think I need to take a break from my spring cleaning and whip up another batch of these cookies.

Double Ginger Cookies

Double Ginger Cookies #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 27 minutes

Yield: About 20 cookies

Ingredients

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup molasses

1 large egg

½ cup coarsely chopped candied ginger (Trader Joe’s has awesome candied ginger)

¼ cup raisins (I like Trader Joe’s Jumbo Raisin Medley)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt until well combined.

In a large bowl, stir together butter, molasses, and egg until fully combined. Stir in the flour mixture. Stir in the ginger and raisins until well incorporated.

Place heaping tablespoons of dough on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes until starting to set. Cool completely on pan. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

http://piesandplots.net/double-ginger-cookies-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Tidbits and Pupus

Breakfast

Companions

Condiments and Sauces

Coolers

Main Event

Delectable Delights

Wine Pairings

 

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Rice Pudding Ice Cream

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This post is sponsored by Minute® Rice. They’re making it easy to make our favorite holiday recipes this season!

Rice Pudding Ice Cream

We’re in the home stretch. Christmas is nearly here. How is that even possible? We just celebrated Thanksgiving! Nevertheless, whether we’re ready or not, it’s time to get festive with friends and family and try to have a great time. After all, life is short, and we shouldn’t be stressed at such a joyous time of year.

Easy to prepare, yet elegant meals are the best way to go this time of year. Minute® Rice is here to help! It is so easy to have in the pantry as part of a go-to dinner. Whether you cook up a pot of rice to go alongside your favorite quick to prepare protein, turn some into a skillet full of vegetable filled fried rice or combine it with leftover vegetables and protein from the night before, Minute® Rice is the perfect solution to those busy nights.

Rice Pudding Ice Cream

I’ve always been a big fan of white rice, and Minute® White Rice cooks in only five minutes! We all have time for that, especially because then we can make a healthy, wholesome meal so we don’t turn to fast food. They also have Minute® Brown Rice and Minute® Multi-Grain Medley that cook in ten minutes. They are a great way to keep dinner time from getting boring.

But, let’s be real, I’m all about desserts, so I knew I wanted to turn Minute® White Rice into a dessert no one would be able to resist. We’ve all had rice pudding. But have you ever had Rice Pudding Ice Cream? I didn’t think so.

Rice Pudding Ice Cream

I know you’re thinking this is super complicated to make, but rest assured, it’s not. You’ll only need about ten minutes to make the rice pudding itself. Then it will need to chill. I mean, tasting while it’s warm is encouraged, but most of it will need to chill 🙂 That’s another great thing about this recipe – it can be made ahead of time.

Once the pudding has chilled, stir in some more milk and spin it in your ice cream maker. I think this would be fun to do at a party. Everyone will love that it’s an interactive dessert! Because the mixture is thick, the ice cream doesn’t even need additional time in the freezer, but it can be stored in there. It is sure to be one of your new favorite desserts! Plus, it’s vegan and gluten free, so everyone can enjoy it. Woo hoo!

If you want more amazing recipe ideas, check out the more than four hundred ideas Minute® Rice has on their website.

Rice Pudding Ice Cream

Rice Pudding Ice Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup Minute® White Rice

4 ½ cups milk, divided (I used almond, use what you love)

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ cup jumbo raisins

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Instructions

In a large pot stir together rice, 3 cups milk, and sugar. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 6 minutes, until the mixture has thickened, stirring frequently.

Add the raisins and cook for 2 more minutes, continuing to stir. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and vanilla bean paste.

Pour into a heat safe container and place in the refrigerator to chill at least 4 hour and up to overnight.

Once chilled, stir in the remaining 1 ½ cups milk. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Because the mixture is so thick, it may not take the full time to churn. Serve immediately or store in freezer containers in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary.

http://piesandplots.net/rice-pudding-ice-cream/

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Minute® Rice.

Bourbon Cranberry Compote #SundaySupper

Bourbon Cranberry Compote Gluten free and easy to make - perfect for sweet and savory dishes!

The best holiday foods need to meet a few requirements. They should have seasonal, festive foods in them. They should either be served warm or have warming spices in them. Having a bright pop of color is always a bonus. Oh, and some booze doesn’t hurt either. Plus, favorite family recipes or those with flavors that bring you right back to childhood are always winners.

That’s a lot of requirements for one little recipe to meet. I’m putting tons of pressure on my food this holiday season, but I think it can take it. Me? I’m not so sure. That’s why I like recipes with a little alcohol in them 🙂

We all have our favorite holiday recipes. And if you’re anything like me, you’re always adding new ones to the list as well. Because while traditions are great, they are flexible and always evolving. So are our tastes when it comes to food. There are so many foods I loved as a kid, but just don’t like now. I’m looking at you Ritz Bits.

Bourbon Cranberry Compote

So this Bourbon Cranberry Compote is the best of both worlds. It reminds me of that weird canned cranberry sauce I used to sometimes eat as a kid, but takes it to a whole new, fresh, adult level. Seasonal, ruby red cranberries are the star of this recipe with some cinnamon for warmth, though this can also be served warm or cold. And it has bourbon. Bourbon makes everything better.

In addition to the sweet tart cranberries, I added an apple for a bit of crunch and plump raisins for a little more sweetness. Whether you serve this compote alongside your meaty main dish, dolloped on top of cake, or drizzled on ice cream, it is sure to become one of your new favorite holiday recipes.

Bourbon Cranberry Compote

Bourbon Cranberry Compote #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Varies

Ingredients

1 large apple, cored and diced

1 12 ounce bag of cranberries, washed and picked

½ cup raisins

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup water

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup bourbon

Instructions

In a medium saucepan, combine apple, cranberries, raisins, cinnamon, water, light brown sugar, and maple syrup. Place over medium high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the cranberries have burst and the apples have softened slightly, 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon. Place back on the heat and cook an additional 1 or 2 minutes. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. Compote may be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

http://piesandplots.net/bourbon-cranberry-compote-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Libations

Savory and Sweet Libational Dishes

Libational Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blondies #SundaySupper

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blondies

Do you eat a lot of processed food? I’ll be the first to admit, I used to. Prepackaged cookies and crackers, canned soups, soda and sports drinks, fast food. Much of my diet consisted of processed foods, but I did not look or feel my best.

Since then, I’ve totally changed the way I eat. Tons of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein (mostly wild fish), whole grains. I eat foods that are good for me. It’s also pretty awesome that they taste great too. Those weird fruit cocktail cups have nothing on fresh fruit! These are foods I am happy to say I eat. I know where they come from and don’t have to question the ingredients in them. For the most part, if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t eat it.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blondies

Sometimes, though, I do eat processed foods. There are some I won’t touch. I’m looking at you canned soup. I haven’t had soda in ten years and that was only because I was about to pass out after receiving a shot at the doctor’s office, and I needed some sugar so I could leave. Yeah, needles and I aren’t friends! I love a good potato chip and even Cheetos and Doritos sometimes. Candy is one of my favorite indulgences. I’ve even been known to eat a spoonful of canned frosting now and then. Guilty pleasure alert!!!

Life is all about balance. While I love those unprocessed foods and they nourish my body, the fun foods nourish my soul and deserve an occasional presence in my life because life is short and I refuse to not have any fun!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blondies

Baking doesn’t have to include processed foods either. I mean, I am totally going to satisfy my craving for a big slice of layer cake coming up, but I really like healthier treats that I can eat when I don’t want a big slice or cake or that I can grab for a quick breakfast without feeling like I’m doing something wrong.

These Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blondies totally fit that bill. They make an awesome light dessert, as well as a great breakfast full of flavor and nutrition to start your day right. Don’t forget about them at snack time either!

Be sure not to overbake these, to allow their soft, slightly dense texture to shine through. The peanut butter and vanilla flavors are prominent, with a nice sweetness from the raisins that are so plump and juicy. Because I love treats with a variety of textures, I also added some walnuts for crunch. Feel free to use whatever dried fruit and nuts you love. And then indulge without an ounce of guilt.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blondies

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blondies #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 9 bars

Ingredients

1 cup creamy peanut butter

¼ cup honey

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

½ cup raisins

½ cup walnuts

Instructions

Lightly oil an 8 inch square pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together peanut butter, honey, baking soda, vanilla, and the egg until well combined. Add the raisins and walnuts and stir to combine. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the blondies have puffed and the top is golden brown. Cool completely in pan (or don’t – they’re great warm!). Blondies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or individually frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in the microwave for 30 seconds.

http://piesandplots.net/gluten-free-peanut-butter-blondies-sundaysupper/

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

 

Alluring Appetizers and Stunning Sides

Enticing Entreés

Decadent Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies #SundaySupper

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Happy Easter! Easter is one of my favorite holidays. In fact, it might be my favorite (don’t tell Christmas!). Yeah Christmas has lots of presents, but it’s in the middle of winter. Yuck! Easter means spring is here. The days are longer and the sun shines more. The daffodils are up and the grass is greener. I love to hear the birds sing. Oh, and I bet one of our backyard bunnies will make an appearance. They are giant – almost the size of cats. They always make me smile 🙂

Candy is pretty stellar at Easter too. So many holidays are all about chocolate, but not Easter. I am stocked up on jelly beans from now to eternity. I even got an Easter basket. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

I’ll be spending today coloring eggs, baking a little, hopefully taking a walk (it’s supposed to be 70!), spending time with my parents, and just trying to relax. After all, that’s the best thing about any holiday: taking a break.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Carrot cake is another awesome thing about Easter. I’m not sure how the two became so connected but you pretty much can’t have one without the other. These Carrot Cake Cookies are a fun, easy twist on the traditional layer cake. They really do taste just like carrot cake too! Dad proclaimed them his favorite thing I’ve made. The soft, lightly spiced cookies are delightful, especially with the pop of flavor from the raisins. I sandwiched them with traditional vanilla buttercream, but cream cheese frosting or even vanilla ice cream would be killer. Fill them however you like, or don’t fill them at all. It’s up to you! You won’t want to wait for next Easter to make them again!

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Makes 24 cookies, 12 sandwiches

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup raisins

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and rolled oats.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Mix in the vanilla. Add the eggs and mix until once again light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add the coconut, carrots, and raisins and stir until evenly distributed. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Scoop the dough onto the sheets, spacing them as far apart as possible. They will spread and may run into each other during baking, but that’s okay. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cookies are mostly set. Cool cookies completely on trays. Once cool, serve or sandwich with frosting. Store unfilled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, while filled cookies will need to be stored in the refrigerator. Filled or unfilled cookies may be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Channel

Don’t forget to check out all the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Breakfast/Brunch

Appetizers:

Savory and Sweet Breads:

Sides and Salads:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Christmas Stollen Wreath

Christmas Stollen Wreath

I want to go back.  To go back to being young and innocent, the only pressure studying to pass a math test.  I didn’t love a lot of my youth.  School destroyed me emotionally and exhausted me physically.  I was always a worrier.  But so many things about being a kid, tween, teen were enjoyable.  I often wish I could relive those moments, those feelings, those memories.

I want to go back to our trips to Disney World because truthfully I don’t really remember them.  I know it was a good time from pictures and stories, but I’d just love to experience it again.  It must have been awesome to little seven year old me to see the Magic Kingdom and experience it without a worry in the world.

Christmas Stollen Wreath

I want to go back to the summer we lived in an apartment.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t love living in an apartment, but I loved the swimming pool there.  Almost always empty, ready, and waiting for me along with Mom or my baby sitter.  Entire, sun filled days of bliss were spent there, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I want to go back to all of my Granny’s visits.  I loved her with all my heart, but I was a kid focused on my own things, not hers.  Now that she’s been gone for more than six years, I’d love another chance to talk to her, bake with her, take a walk with her.  we’d connect on an entirely different level.

Christmas Stollen Wreath

Christmas Stollen Wreath

I want to go back to a couple summers ago when my aunt and uncle stayed with me while Mom and Dad went on vacation, then Mom and I went to Fash Bash, a huge fashion show and party.  We did all kinds of other fun things and I felt like the world was my oyster.  I want that summer back to live it all over again.  Of course, as I look out the window at seemingly never ending snow, stacking up inch after inch, I just want summer back period.

However, I can’t have any of those things back.  Instead, I’ll just have to try to remember and focus on making the future even better than the past.

Luckily, I have some of this Stollen stashed away in the freezer to relive and making it with Mom was a new, wonderful memory.  I’ve wanted to make Stollen for years and finally got around to it.  I’m so glad I did.  The recipe is easy to make, though it does require lots of rise time.  The end result is a decadent coffee cake like bread.  The exterior has a shiny, bakery worthy crust, while the interior is soft and moist.  It’s loaded with dried fruit and almonds.  Plus, it feeds an army.  Seriously, this thing is MASSIVE!  It’s perfect for Christmas morning alongside a cup of coffee or tea!  I’m already making awesome new memories with this Stollen and you will be too!

Don’t miss both of my awesome giveaway!  Enter to win a $200 Visa gift card and then enter to win a KitchenAid food processor valued at $250!

Christmas Stollen Wreath

Christmas Stollen Wreath

 

Christmas Stollen Wreath

Prep Time: PT30 M

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: About 20 pieces

Ingredients

1 cup currants

¼ cup bourbon

1 ¼ cups jumbo raisins (I like Trader Joe’s medley)

¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

5 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

6 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 teaspoon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup milk (I used almond, but any will work)

13 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

¼ cup warm water (about 110 degrees)

2 packages active dry yeast

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Zest of 2 oranges

Zest of 1 lemon

¾ cup dried tart cherries

¼ cup chopped dried apricots

1 ¼ cups unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped

Confectioners’ sugar, for serving

Instructions

In two separate, small bowls, soak currants in bourbon and raisins in orange juice.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cloves.

In a medium microwave safe bowl, heat milk and 10 tablespoons butter in 30 second increments until butter is fully melted. Cool for about 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar, and yeast. Let stand 2-3 minutes until yeast is frothy and bubbly. If the yeast does not froth, it is dead and you need to try different yeast. Add the yeast mixture, the milk mixture, and the eggs to the flour mixture and stir to combine.

Once a dough is formed, add currants and raisins, along with about a spoonful of liquid from each bowl, orange zest, lemon zest, cherries, apricots, and almonds. Stir the add-ins in as much as possible before transferring to a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes.

Butter a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of butter. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to coat it with butter. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and place in a warm place until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Punch the risen dough down and roll it into a rectangle about 16 by 24 inches and ¼ inch thick. Starting with a long side, roll the dough up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder. Connect the ends of the dough, forming a large circle. Make sure the edges are sealed and the circle is as uniform as possible. Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Cover the dough with parchment paper and place in a warm spot to rise for 30 minutes. It will not rise much. After the 30 minutes, brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter and bake until golden brown and crusty, 35-45 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool completely. Bread may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving. This really adds to the flavor; however, do not freeze it with confectioners’ sugar.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

An additional 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours is required for bread to rise, but this is not hands-on time.

http://piesandplots.net/christmas-stollen-wreath/

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging lately.  I thought it would be a lot different than it is.  I thought it would come easier.  Not easy perhaps, but easier.  The whole if you build it, they will come thing.  Well, I built it, but they (whomever they happen to be) haven’t come.  It does come easy to some and the fact that it hasn’t for me and I can’t figure out why drives me crazy.

I had a lot to learn in the beginning but now my pictures are better, I leave comments on tons of other blogs constantly, I pin with reckless abandon, and I use hashtags.  But it hasn’t helped.

I put everything I have into this blog and it takes up most of my time.  From baking to photographing to posting to submitting to Foodgawker and the like to social media to supporting other blogs, the work never ends.  Not a single day goes by when I don’t work on the blog in some capacity.  I keep at it and I hope, and slowly it’s become less and less fun.

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

And over time, I’ve grown tired.  Tired of crying over traffic numbers and social media followings.  Tired of leaving blog comments for people who never return the favor (one of the cardinal rules of blogging based on anything and everything you read on the topic).  Tired of days passing without working on my writing.  Tired of hoping.

I’ve learned blogging isn’t my passion, writing is.  That’s what I want to be.  A writer.  Five years, no, one year from now, I see my writing having taken off.  I’m currently working on a novel, a screenplay, and a teleplay, and I feel like I’m doing my best writing ever.  It needs to be my priority.  I want it to be my priority.  Of course, blogging would probably be more fun if I felt like it was successful.

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

So from now on, I will only be posting two times a week.  This will take some of the pressure off of me and allow me to focus on things other than my blog.  I am still so thankful to those of you who read my blog.  You are the best!  I will still be posting amazing recipes, restaurant, bakery, and product reviews, and my fashion favorites.  The posts will just be a little less frequent.  I also have some fantastic guest posts coming up and a giveaway you do not want to miss.  I’ve been thinking about this change for awhile and I hope you understand and continue to read my blog.

I have another great recipe for you today.  Quaker Chewy granola bars were what I survived on through high school, so I was excited to try a homemade version.  They are so much better than the store bought and I so wish I would have lived on these instead of those processed ones.  Plus, these are crazy easy to make, gluten free, and vegan!  I have given them to friends a couple of times and gotten rave reviews.  Feel free to use whatever mix-ins you like, but I love the crunch of the almonds and the sweetness of the raisins.  Thanks again for reading!

 No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

12 bars

Ingredients

2/3 cup light corn syrup

½ cup creamy peanut butter

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups quick cooking oats (gluten free if you like)

2 cups Rice Krispies (gluten free if you like)

½ cup raisins

½ cup coarsely chopped almonds

Instructions

Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment, leaving overhang for easy removal later.

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine corn syrup, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir the mixture, then microwave on high for an additional minute.

Add vanilla and cinnamon to the syrup mixture and stir. Stir in the oats and Rice Krispies until fully coated. Add the raisins and almonds and stir until they are evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth into an even layer, and pack down firmly with your hands. Refrigerate for at least two hours to firm up before cutting into bars. They are quite difficult to cut, and I find a serrated knife and a bit of muscle does the best job.

Bars may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or frozen, wrapped individually in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks

http://piesandplots.net/no-bake-peanut-butter-granola-bars/

Quinoa Granola

Quinoa Granola

When I was younger, Dad worked full time (he still does – poor Dad!) and Mom worked full time and then part time until retiring a few years ago.  This meant I needed a baby-sitter.  I had one during the school year to drive me back and forth to school and deal with the hustle and bustle and drama that surrounded school.  There wasn’t much time left for fun, though.  However, I look back very fondly on my time with baby-sitters during the summers of my youth.

While the days were often long and began very early, and I’m sure it felt very much like a job to them, I thought it was a blast and hope they did at least some of the time.  It had to be better getting paid to play games and go out to eat instead of stocking shelves or making fast food burgers.  We watched morning TV and chatted to kick off our day, before eating breakfast and planning adventures for the day ahead.

Quinoa Granola

The activities varied depending on my age.  Playing Barbies and board games, painting and dancing to CDs, pretending like we were pop stars.  Those were good times when I was little.  There were spa days and movie days, as Blockbuster rental after Blockbuster rental was popped into the DVD player or perhaps even VCR!  Clearly this was a long time ago!  As I grew older, shopping was my favorite activity, along with eating lunch out.  We occasionally baked, though Mom remembers more epic fails than I do, probably because we left her with the mess (though I really hope we didn’t).  And one summer, we lived in an apartment and my baby-sitter and I walked down to the pool almost every day.  We’d pack a snack or lunch and often found ourselves the only people there.  I’m smiling now just thinking about those days.

It wasn’t perfect.  Sometimes sitters quit and a few had to be fired.  It was a constant struggle for Mom to find someone we all liked and who was responsible enough to do the job well.  I don’t think I had the same sitter two summers in a row.  I stayed in touch with some of them for awhile, but it was hard to maintain contact as they moved through college and onto real life.  They were my friends, my best friends at the time.  I enjoyed their company and learned from them.  I respected them and sometimes miss that bond.  I wonder how they are, what they’re doing, and if they ever think about our time together.  I hope they do and I hope they remember it fondly.

Quinoa Granola

Quinoa Granola

I don’t remember what we usually ate for breakfast.  Maybe cereal?  If I still had sitters, I imagine we’d eat this Quinoa Granola.  I have been really into quinoa for a few months now and have been looking for something new and exciting to do with it.  When I saw this recipe posted on Aida Mollenkamp’s blog, I knew I had to give it a try.  This granola is crunchy, a little chewy, easy to make, not too sweet, and full of flavor.  It’s also vegan and gluten free if you use gluten free oats and swap out the honey for maple syrup.  The addition of quinoa is inspired and I found myself picking out all the cherries and pistachios because they added such great flavor and texture.  This is great eaten out of hand, in a smoothie, or simply with milk.  I ate it all three ways and found different flavors were accentuated depending on how I ate it.  This is a great and versatile recipe that you’ll make again and again.  In fact, I’m out of it and need to get to the kitchen to make some more!

Quinoa Granola

Quinoa Granola

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

3 cups old fashioned oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free)

1 cup pecans

1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

¾ cup uncooked quinoa (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

½ cup pistachios

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup honey (or maple syrup to keep vegan)

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar (light or dark)

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup raisins

½ cup dried tart cherries

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl, stir together oats, pecans, coconut, quinoa, pistachios, cinnamon, and salt to combine. Add oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir until the dry ingredients are all coated. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer.

Bake the granola 20-25 minutes until fragrant and golden brown. Stir in the dried fruit and spread into an even layer. Allow the granola to cool completely. It should break apart in clumps when cool (love clumpy granola!). Granola may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Aida Mollenkamp

http://piesandplots.net/quinoa-granola/

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