Monthly Archives: November 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving was AWESOME- despite being away from my family. I have SO MUCH to be thankful for- one thing being that I have friends that can cook!  I was lucky enough to spend the evening at la casa de Nichols with good friends and great food! Thank you Jesus for all of this:

My contributions to dinner (and I would recommend them ALL!):

Cranberry Sauce with Pears and Cardamom.  This is a slightly elegant twist on a classic Thanksgiving Day staple. First time trying my hand at cranberry sauce and it turned out beautifully! Recipe found here at Epicurious.com 


Mom’s Apple Cake via Smitten Kitchen. This was probably my favorite item of the evening- and not just because I can get away with eating the leftovers for breakfast. This cake was so full of fall flavors, so moist yet SO incredibly simple. This recipe is a keeper ladies and gentlemen.

I’ve made these before and I’ll sure as heck be making them again. I wouldn’t say they’re a knock-off of Starbucks’ Cranberry Bliss Bars– more like a reinvention of an already delicious blondie. Ok-yeah, they’re a knock -off. Cranberry, orange, white chocolate, chewy cookie…ness. Why wouldn’t you want to know that off??

Also my first time making yams- of any variety. Brown Sugar-Glazed Sweet Potatoes–  This dish was a hit. Even with people who weren’t yam fans. “So glad they’re not covered in marshmallows,” people commented as they shoveled them into their mouths. Umm…they totally used to be until they melted into invisibility! Sshhh….

How gorgeous was the table setting? I know, right?!  Tina never ceases to amaze me.

Big, beautiful, delicious bird. This was  Tina’s first time preparing the turkey and most definitely not her last. It. was. perfect.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is Brian the vegetarian. THAT’S how good the turkey was!

Mrs. Nichols also made a killer pumpkin icebox pie and chocolate ganache tarte.

Needless to say, I had to be rolled out the door.

Hope everyone had a fat and blessed Thanksgiving!

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Blackberry Muffins

Well blackberry season has just come to an end and I found myself with a freezer full of frozen blackberries waiting to be used. What to do? I bought them because I’ve been heavy into smoothies lately and I thought they would be a nice addition to my morning routine. Turns out, I’m not such a huge fan of blackberries in my smoothies. Same reason I don’t use raspberries- just too seedy for my to drink. Emphasis on DRINK…not eat. I could eat seedy berries all day long and throw them in about any dessert and be happy.  So I searched for the perfect blackberry muffin recipe and I think I might just have a winner.

This recipe from SimplyRecipes.com is simple (no way…), moist and easily adaptable depending on what you have on hand. They don’t come out looking perfectly symmetrical and that’s what I love about them. They’re rustic, messy and stick to the paper a bit. Perfect.

I made a few changes to the recipe when I made them. One being: I split it in half! I’ve quickly learned that making full batches of ANYTHING proves to be difficult when you don’t live in a full house. I find myself pushing baked goods on my boyfriend and friends so often I feel almost guilty. It makes much more sense and I might prove to have skinnier friends if I simply limit the quantity of goods poppin’ out of my oven! (The oven in my kitchen. Don’t go there…) I also didn’t have sour cream so I substituted Chobani Greek Yogurt- this substitution I would definitely recommend. I’m a big fan of Chobani subs for a lot of things! (Check out a Chobani substitution list here.) I also used Splenda in place of sugar, coconut milk in place of regular milk, and used half whole wheat flower and half all purpose.

I’m sure the recipe is super delicious just the way it’s written too. Give it a shot!

Blackberry Muffins Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 Tbsp warm melted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 5-6 oz) of fresh blackberries, cut in half (often available at Trader Joe’s, you can use frozen blackberries if fresh are not available, defrost and drain them first.)

Directions

1 Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a standard 12 muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups. (Actually, with the berries you’ll have more batter than just for 12 muffins. This batch made 18 muffins.)

2 Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.

3 In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, milk, sugar, butter and vanilla.

4 Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the berries. (If you are using frozen berries, defrost them first, then drain the excess liquid, then coat them lightly in flour.) Do not overmix! Overmixing will cause the muffins to be dense, not fluffy. The batter should not be smooth.

5 Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, 17-20 minutes (or longer). Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack.

Serve as soon as possible, preferably within a few hours of baking.

Yield: Makes about 18 muffins.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Stop what you’re doing, go find some pumpkin butter, and make the heck out of these cookies. Please. I’ve been completely overwhelmed with pumpkin dessert recipes this fall- trying to find one to put all my time and effort into has been no easy task. But I’ve done the work for you. Or at least found someone who’s done the work for you. Jessica, author of the How Sweet It Is blog is my new hero. CHEWY, to die for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Don’t let this season go by without making these babies!

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Annie Hall

It’s been waaaay too long since my last post. Just want to share my costume inspiration from this Halloween. A beautiful movie with beautiful people: Annie Hall.

How amazing are these prints by Mike Oncley??


Annie Hall inspired fashion:

THE Annie Hall

Annie Hall costume inspiration

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