Tuesday, November 30

Going bananas (Banana Overnight French Toast)

Finals are next week.  In five days.  I should be studying drugs for multiple sclerosis and interventions for children with cardiac defects.   Or reviewing the evaluations I have to turn into my clinical professor tomorrow.  Or looking at community health powerpoint packets.

But to tell the truth, I'm a little burnt out at this point.  Today was the last day of classes for the quarter.  We have three more clinical days this week, then a weekend (which was supposed to be my birthday weekend!), then the grueling exam schedule.  Eight exams, four days.  Who thinks up this torture?!

Friday, November 26

Chappel Pie and Bobby Flay (Chappel Pie)

After the turkey was carved and the plates were mostly washed, it was time for my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner - serving dessert!  I made two desserts for our Thankful Thursday:  Cherry Apple Pie and Bobby Flay's Pumpkin Bread Pudding

So much happiness on one little plate...

(I'm not going to post the recipe for Bobby Flay's, because my pictures don't do it justice and the recipe is pretty easy to follow.  The Pumpkin Bread Pudding was featured on Throwdown with Bobby Flay:  The Pioneer Woman, and Husband decided he must have it.  So we did.)

Going to the Chappel and we're gonna eat piiiiiiieeeeee...

My dad coined the "Chappel Pie" name:
Me:  Do you want pumpkin bread pudding or cherry-apple pie?
Dad:  Do you mean cherry pie OR apple pie?  Or cherry-slash-apple pie?  
Me:  Cherry-slash-apple pie.
Dad:  So that makes it....chappel pie?

Wednesday, November 24

Happy birthday, happy birthday (Giant Cookie Cake)

Last night we celebrated my friend Kristen's birthday with a surprise dinner celebration at Benihana.  When her husband Tony and I were planning the dinner, I asked what kind of cake she would like.  Tony suggested that I get a cookie cake from Mrs. Field's at the mall.  Buy a cake?!?  That is essentially a big cookie??  I self-appointed myself to the challenge of once again recreating a homemade version of a store bought classic.

This was a task with high expectations.  I was slightly nervous.  Especially when Husband, after seeing my nervousness, said "You should have just bought a cookie cake."  

Fork - for scale.
(Yeah, sometimes his brain-mouth filter has a large hole in it.  I love him anyway.)

Wednesday, November 17

Best. Brownies. Ever. (Snickers Brownies)

I rarely think of what I make as perfect.  I'm usually hard on my creations, and my second bite is often chewed thoughtfully, as in "this could use more garlic" or "that could have been in the oven another 2 or 3 minutes".  These, however...


Sunday, November 14

Love at First Sight (Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza)

My new oven has an incredible feature.  

It has a "Proof" option.

That's right. My new oven can set itself at a pleasantly warm enough temperature for yeast dough to rise happily.  

This might be one of those things that everyone knows about but me.  Like jeggings.  Or how to get mustard  stains out of a white sweatshirt.  Either way, when I looked across the Sears appliance department and saw this little beauty winking at me, I knew it was love at first sight.

Saturday, November 13

New Beginnings (Peanut Butter Cup Cookies)

Something very exciting happened this week.  One of the integral parts of this blog was replaced.

No, it wasn't the girl.

Let me out, let me out!!
And it wasn't the dog, either.

So that leaves....the oven!!

Our new stove/microwave finally came this week!  Our old stove was about 1000 years old, and the front two burners didn't work.  The oven space was tiny and the attached microwave hood was about 12 inches above the burners.  Not exactly the easiest thing to work with.  

In celebration of my newest toy, I decided that cookies were in order.  What better way to break in your new oven and use up extra Halloween candy while simultaneously ensuring the love of your Friday clinical classmates?


Enter the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookie.

I was going for more of a chocolate chip meets peanut butter cup feel, but ended up with a more peanut butter infused cookie taste.  I think where I went wrong was to throw the pieces in the stand mixer instead of folding them in by hand.  That would have probably helped with the pieces staying intact, which is what I was going for.  However, still delish!

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspon vanilla
3 eggs
3-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
10 Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped (5 packages)

There they go!
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars, then add the vanilla and salt.  Mix in the eggs until completely combined.  In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.  Add gradually to the sugar/butter mixture.  Gently fold in the peanut butter cup pieces.  Drop by the teaspoon (or tablespoon) on parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes.  Share with people you have to spend all day with.  :o)

Wednesday, November 10

Who You Callin' "Pumpkin Eater"? (Pumpkin Roll)

Things have gotten a little nuts around here!  We're so lucky to have such amazing friends, and as a result have been having a great deal of fun lately, with dinners, a comedy show, football tailgating and other good times.  I have several recipes from the past week or so to post, but I knew that this one had to be the first in line.

Back in Pennsylvania, my family rarely gets together in the fall without Pumpkin Roll.  My awesome Aunt Jessie has a signature recipe that has graced our tables with its sweet deliciousness for as long as I can remember.  When Bob and I were invited to an autumn dinner party, I knew that it was up to me to continue this tradition.  I also wanted to put my own little spin on a classic, so I added a little extra something - toffee bits.  The result is rich and cakey, like the original, with a little surprise crunch in the middle.

Pumpkin Roll
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
8 oz cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup toffee bits

Line a 10x15 cookie sheet with parchment paper and butter the paper.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice.  Beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy and light yellow, 3-5 minutes.  Add the vanilla and pumpkin.  Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring until incorporated.  Spread the mixture on the cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 14 minutes.  Lay a tea towel flat over your wire rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Remove the cake from the oven and invert on the towel.  Sprinkle the top with a smallt amount of powdered sugar.  Roll the cake up, jelly-roll style, and allow to cool.  (This step ensures that the cake will cool in the shape that you want and won't crack when you roll it back up with the icing in the middle.)   I rolled my length-wise to maximize the length of the log, but you can do yours width-wise to maximize the icing surface area inside.
Beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, powdered sugar and butter.  Unroll the cooled cake, spread the top with the cream cheese mixture.  Sprinkle the toffee bits over the top.  Roll back up, without the towel.  Sift powdered sugar onto the top, then cut off the ragged ends.  Eat that part as a reward for your own traditions.  :o)

Wednesday, November 3

Goodness (Good Caramel Apple Goodness)

Things that are good:





Pretty flowers.


And this dessert is good.  Gooey, like a candied apple.  Handy, like a bar cookie.  Sweet and cinnamony, like any good fall treat.  Gooey Caramel Apple Goodness. 

Gooey Caramel Apple Goodness
5 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1-1/4 cups butter, cold
3 eggs
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons + 1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Cut or rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, water and vinegar.  Gradually add to the flour mixture, tossing with a fork until a ball forms.  Divide the dough into two portions, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

10-1/2 cups sliced, peeled tart apples (about 12)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1-3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup butter, cubed
1 cup chopped walnuts
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugars, flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cream.  In a dutch oven, melt the butter, than add the apple mixture.  Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until the apples are tender.  Stir in walnuts and vanilla.  Roll out one ball of crust gently and press into the bottom of  a 15"x10" pan.  Spread the apple mixture into the crust.  Roll out the remaining dough ball and press gently over the apples.  Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.  Serve warm with ice cream.

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