Tuesdays with Dorie: Normandy Apple Tart

11/29/11


If you're still trying to undoing some Thanksgiving damage, but you are not going to give up dessert anytime soon, this tart may be just what you're looking for. It's a refreshing break from all the rich, heavy foods that were (and are about to be) consumed during the holiday season.

Apricot Coconut Bars

11/27/11


I hope that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Welcome to the crazy days of shopping, parties, hair-pulling, 48-hour coffee benders and, best of all, eating. Ready the antacids!

Last week, for Thanksgiving, someone requested brownies from a box. (I won't name names, but we share the same parents). Honestly, I have nothing against dry, instant, boxed up and shelved desserts, really. My college roommate and I used to make insta-brownies and cookies-in-a-tube all the time (most of those cookies never saw the light of an oven).

Now, if all I need to do is empty a mix into a bowl with some oil and an errant egg or two, I feel like I'm cheating (not that this prevents me from licking the bowl anyway).

Thanksgiving morning, yeast-free cinnamon buns

11/23/11

Sometimes the last thing you want need to deal with is the agonizingly long time it takes for yeast to rise (especially if you have company and the only packets of yeast left in the cupboard expired 5 years ago). What were you doing five years ago?

Whenever I see dates from 2003-2009, I always try to remember where I was and what was going through my head at the time. Usually I'm tempted to cut my hair short again and get back into pilates...I can't believe that I used to get up at 5am. Anyway, where was I? Oh right, food!

Outside-the-box Thanksgiving desserts

11/20/11


Here are a few quirky Thanksgiving dessert recipes that I found wandering happily (Luna Lovegood style), beyond the pumpkin pie patch. I know I'm biased, but I believe that the dessert should dominate a meal and make a lasting impression...especially during the holidays when it's okay to actually live a little and enjoy food. Right? Right. Good, I'm glad we're all on the same page. :)

1: Butternut Squash Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting
2: Depths-of-Fall Butternut Squash Pie
3: Cloud 9 Cookies
4: Brûléed Key Lime Tartlets
5: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
6: Apricot-Rosemary Squares
7: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting
8: Salted Millionaire's Shortbread

Cloud 9 Cookies

11/18/11


Whenever I'm alone, house sitting for a friend, I end up watching movies that either:
A) Scare me so much that I need to 'sleep' with a light on while listening to NPR, or
B) Make me cry and fill me with a masochistic urge to enhance the mood by listening to the MP3 collection I simply call "depressing songs". (Just so you have an understanding of what this collection consists of, the theme from Love Story and Feist's "The Park" are the first two tracks.)

The other night I watched The Grudge, and An Affair to Remember.

It was quite the manic evening.

On those rare occasions when a hallway light (closet lights makes me think of Poltergeist), the BBC, and music fail to sooth my mind, I know I can always turn to baking. (Even if it's 2 o'clock in the morning.)

And when baking can only take me half-way, I can count on cookies to do the rest of the work...cookies with chocolate and peanut butter, to be exact.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Bittersweet Brownies

11/15/11


Even though I may not watch the grass grow, or a pot of water come to a boil, I am obsessed with peeking staring at food as it's baking in the oven. (I don't sit in front of the oven with a mojito and a bowl of popcorn...that would be silly. I just like to look through the glass every 3-5 minutes.)

Pies are a bit boring to watch because they have no real story to tell. But brownies transform from a luxuriously deep chocolate batter to an equally luxurious crackly-topped, fudgy deity. Brownies speak to me. They tell me when they're ready to be removed from the oven. Cakes...well let's just say that we're still working through some sticky issues.

Butternut Squash Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

11/11/11


Butternut squash is not ice cream. I doubt that anyone wakes up at 2am with an insatiable craving for squash. And nothing clears a room faster than announcing that the cupcakes people were about to devour are made with butternut squash.

I can always tell when my sister doesn't want to try something..."Oh, that's interesting", is wind-talker code for "I don't want it."

But given the right recipe, butternut squash can be dessert cupcake-worthy.

Depths-of-fall Butternut Squash Pie (Tuesdays with Dorie)

11/8/11


Despite an annoying propensity to over-think, I do try to take things in stride. So while part of me is freaking out over the still distant, yet ever-growing avalanche (aka Christmas), the rest of me is reminding herself that it's still early November, and everything will be okay...really.

To help keep me grounded in the present, or to "live in the now", as Cesar Milan so adequately puts it (I don't have a dog, yet I find his show strangely addicting), I had the privilege of preparing this appropriately autumn-themed pie.

Butternut Squash Bisque

11/4/11



No, this is not a dessert and yes, everything is okay. I promise to return to the sugar shack as soon as possible.

Believe it or not, I love cooking almost as much as I love baking, almost. And around this time of year, my soup obsession kicks into high gear. Right at the top of that list are soups that involve mushrooms, clams, lots of cream (because a soup isn't a meal if it's made with water), and my favourite fall ingredient, butternut squash!

Tuesdays with Dorie: Honey-Nut Scones

11/1/11



I hope that everyone had a fun Halloween!

As usual, I had absolutely no trick-or-treaters. So not only am I left with the residual guilt of candy corn hoarding, but now I have a crooked, ceramic bowlful of Smarties, Jolly Ranchers (my other weakness), and raisins (yes, I'm one of "those" people.) I'm beginning to wonder if I'm turning into the crazy cat lady. Are 3 cats the default qualification number, or am I saved by the fact that I'm still in my early 30's? I pondered this and other deep thoughts as I devoured a scone while watching "House". I absolutely ♥ that show...it sometimes makes me wonder if I missed my true calling (then again, so did "Alias" and "Ally McBeal").
 

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