Archive for the ‘Sweet’ Category

Smiles on a random weeknight.

Ben and I made these Bourbon Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes from Jessica at How Sweet It is. This girl is a fellow ‘burgher and has an awesome blog full of amazing looking recipes. These were darn tasty and very rich. I could have went for slightly more spice but the general idea of adding bourbon to a milkshake is life changing.

After the milkshakes, I went a little bourbon crazy and also made the Salted Brown Butter Bourbon Rice Krispy Treats from last week’s Post Gazette. I took them to a party and people kind of went nuts for them. The novelty of bourbon in a childhood snack pretty much had everyone talking about and trying the treats. I would definitely make these again, possibly adding a little bit more than six cups of rice krispies – mine were a little overly gooey.

I also enjoyed a nice bourbon and coke while dressed up as Wonder Woman for Halloween. I might be bourboned-out for a bit. I’ll be back though.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes

As you may be able to tell from the photo, I made these cupcakes a few weeks ago. It doesn’t look quite that green or pretty in Pittsburgh anymore.

I used this recipe from Eat, Live, Run. A perfect fall treat. Lightly spiced cake and cream cheese frosting. I took these to a birthday party gathering and while I saw a few people digging in,  I would guess the sugary cupcakes tasted even better as breakfast the morning after the (drinking) festivities.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with cake for breakfast, in my opinion.

I also made these pumpkin brownies last weekend. I am always unsure of the pumpkin/chocolate combination but I really liked these. I added a little extra cocoa to the brownie portion of the batter and did not attempt any type of swirling of the two batters. I simply dumped the chocolate in first and the pumpkin on top. I sprinkled some mini chocolate chips and extra walnuts on top halfway through baking.  My boyfriend crushed about half the pan in a 3 day span and my Monday night Dancing with the Stars crew (hello there!) finished off the rest.

What is your favorite fall treat?

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So these brownies were a baking experiment for an upcoming themed party I am throwing. Overall, they got mixed reviews from the friends and family. They do pack a bit of a kick, with cayenne pepper, chili powder, and cinnamon in the batter.

Ben and I agreed that the taste is certainly not unpleasant but would keep you from eating a whole pan. Which is completely possible when it comes to brownies. It is called brownie madness and sometimes you cannot fight it.

I followed this recipe. Even with the interesting spices, I thought this base recipe was solid – great texture and chocolate taste. It might be my new go-to brownie recipe. Apparently there are varying schools of brownie-thought regarding whether cocoa powder alone will make a good brownie or if melted baker’s chocolate is needed. This recipe uses cocoa powder. I have done the melted chocolate before (namely the ‘Baked’ version), but after this recipe I may not go back.

Any other tasty variations of brownies out there I need to try?

The Brown Eyed Baker, another Pittsburgh based blogger, recently posted a ‘Top Ten’ brownie list. Check it out here. Considering my boyfriend is kind of a brownie-monster, I may try and slowly make my way through that whole list. Delicious.

Edit: I made these again with half the cayenne and chili powder and the same amount of cinnamon. Perfect! I would suggest you make these modifications too unless you want them hot, hot, hot!

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Father’s Day

In order to celebrate this fantastic guy:

I made this tasty pie:

That would be a key lime pie made from fresh hand squeezed key limes, thank yoouuuu. (Whole Foods seems to be a reliable source for key limes). Other than the squeezing, this pie is super easy, especially when you use a store-bought crust and Cool Whip.

You can find the recipe here. Bright, light, tart and creamy.

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Sunday Morning




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Over the last month, I have fallen into a nice Sunday night routine. I pick a new recipe, gather the ingredients, and bake something yummy (hopefully) that will carry me through lunches and snacks during the coming week.

The biggest challenge during this routine is not eating 3 or 4 of the cookies/muffins/cupcakes that come out of the oven at 9PM or so.  What? Any reasonable person would taste the goods hot out of the oven, after they have had a chance to cool, and somewhere in between.

Recent Hits

Rosemary & Walnut Scones (Adapted from Alton Brown – click here for recipe)

I really like scones. My favorites are at Café Raymond in the Strip – huge, crumbly but not dry, and not too sweet. One Saturday morning, I happened upon rosemary walnut scones there – divine.  My re-created effort was pretty good but the texture was different. Alton Brown’s recipe seems to result in a more biscuit-like and buttery scone. I may attempt to further tweak the recipe due to personal preference, but it is delicious as is. Probably all that butter, cream, and shortening 🙂 .

I omitted the currants called for in the recipe and added approximately 1 cup of chopped walnuts and 1T of chopped rosemary.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies (From Sugar Plum – click here for recipe)

I am always on the hunt for a good chocolate chip cookie recipe. I tried this one for a cookout and liked it! I am not sure it was good enough to give up my chocolate chip cookie recipe hunt but the cookies looked good and tasted pretty yummy. They were more crunchy than soft. I did omit the walnuts – maybe they would catapult the cookie to ‘best ever’ standards?

Recent Misses

Cornmeal and Strawberry Muffins (from Post-Gazette – click here for recipe)

While these were tasty straight out of the oven, they kind of had a funky texture and taste by the next day. I would not recommend these muffins.

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Blueberries and Quinoa

Tax season has put quite the damper on my kitchen time (as well as my life in general – boo).

However, here are a few quicks links to items I have made recently and liked.

Blueberry Spelt Muffins

After randomly buying spelt flour during a stop at the new Market District near Robinson, I started looking up recipes to use the new ingredient. Spelt is a different type of wheat and is considered nuttier and sweeter than whole wheat. Spelt flour also contains more protein than regular wheat (according to Wikipedia of course). I really liked these muffins. They puffed up to the perfect shape and had great texture. 

Notes: I used butter rather than canola oil and frozen blueberries rather than fresh. I also used blueberry yogurt in place of the applesauce.

Turkey and Quinoa Loaf

The long hours I work this time of year usually lead to lousy/lazy dinners. I wanted to try and make something I could eat over a few days time and would actually resemble a home-cooked, balanced meal when paired with some quick steamed vegetables. I also had a random box of quinoa banging around in my pantry (aka the largest deep drawer in my tiny kitchen). I liked this loaf. I ate it plain, with potatoes, with veggies, and on a sandwich.

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