Salted Caramel Pear Bread With Streusel Topping

Salted Caramel Pear Bread with Steusel Topping

Salted Caramel Pear Bread with Steusel Topping

They say necessity is the mother of all inventions.  Not that I invented pear breads but I did however have to come up with something easy, delicious and “pear involve” since my pear tree was overflowing.  I do not have the time nor the patience at this point to can or freeze 30 some pounds of pears.  So I shared with friends and kept a good amount to use up for my peeps.

My friend Chris was telling me she made Spice Pear Bread before.  That sounded so good.  I love Spice Bread, but I also love caramelized pears and I adore a streusel topping and salted caramel…oh my!….I thought let’s do best of all worlds, hoping I wasn’t creating a mosh pit of a bread!

I think I might be OK with this one!

I think I might be OK with this one!

Ingredients:

For the Salted Caramel Pears:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups pears, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon heavy cream

For the Bread:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon all spice

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

2/3 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

1 egg

1/3 cup brown sugar

For the Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup oats (not quick oats)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

How to:

For the Salted Caramel Pears:

In a large pan melt your butter, add your pears and toss lightly.  Add your brown sugar, salt and heavy cream.  Stir gently until everything is well combined.  Let this cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until reduced lightly golden.  Do not leave this alone or rush this with high heat.  It would burn your pears and they would be bitter.  Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the bread.

already smells amazing in my kitchen!

already smells amazing in my kitchen!

For the Bread:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease or spray a loaf pan.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger.  Set aside.

In a large bowl mix your melted butter, milk, egg and brown sugar.  Add your flour mixture at once and mix until just combined (do not overmix).  Using a spatula gently fold in your salted caramel pears.  Pour your mixture into your prepared pan.  Set aside.

For the Streusel Topping:

In a medium bowl combine your flour, oats, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Cut your butter into small pieces and add to your oat mixture.  Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, mix everything until you have a crumbly mixture.  Sprinkle your mixture over your bread batter.  Put your bread into your preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.

oven ready

oven ready

letting this cool is going to be torture!

letting this cool is going to be torture!

is it me or this bread is utterly gorgeous?

is it me or this bread is utterly gorgeous?

Let cool completely before slicing….and ENJOY!

Have a slice of deliciousness!

Have a slice of deliciousness!

I love this bread and my house smells like Heaven wrapped in Salted Caramel Pears….it’s a good perfume I must say!  The taste is so perfect, a touch of salted caramel, soft pears and a moist spice bread….it really works!

and take a closer look at the inside....oh so pretty!

and take a closer look at the inside….oh so pretty!

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Peace and Mosh Pits Are Scary!

Isabelle

 

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Banana Zucchini Bread

Banana Zucchini Bread

Banana Zucchini Bread

I haven’t made a “new” bread at my house in quite sometime.  I have to be honest I have been playing with/obsessing over new essential oils for my peeps….yup going all earthy on you guys!  😉  Well, I am only half kidding.  I mean this whole idea of less chemicals and less medicine is really something I am aiming for.  Nothing against it but I am not a big fan of popping a pill for every little ache and pain….but this isn’t about me hugging trees and making magic potions….although a good quick bread could be considered a magic potion that would heal many many ailments if you ask me.  Then again I think food is love so what do I know?

Let’s not waste anymore of our valuable time and let’s see what this magical bread is all about!

DELICIOUS!

DELICIOUS!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup oats (regular not quick)

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup butter melted

2 bananas, mashed

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 cup (or more depending on how crazy your day has been going, see note) semi-sweet chocolate chips

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a loaf pan, set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves and oats.  Set aside.

In a large bowl mix your melted butter and your sugar.  Add your eggs and combine well. Add your mashed bananas.  Add your flour mixture at once and mix until just combined.  Using a spatula fold in your shredded zucchini.  Finally add your chocolate chips (if using).  Pour your batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake in your preheated oven for 60-70 minutes.  Let cool completely.

before....

before….

after!   <3

after! ❤

Note: I was going to say the chocolate chips were optional but by 6am I was dealing with: broken TV, an over-flowing toilet, two cranky teenagers, one crazy dog and spilled coffee….then by 10am: went for a run, fell at mile 1, broke skin on hands and right leg, kept on running (and bleeding…gross) to 5 miles, broke my favorite water bottle, 3 phone calls from the Canadian Passport office (as if I am applying to be the Prime Minister!)…this day needed CHOCOLATE!

AND THEN….I got stuck on the phone with the TV guy for what seems like an eternity and he told me his life story…I wish I was kidding: he has a wife named Miracle and a daughter named Isabelle….what are the chances?!

this may not have fixed my day but it sure helped  ;)

this may not have fixed my day but it sure helped 😉

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Peace and This Day Needed Some Magic,

Isabelle

Dulce De Leche Frozen Yogurt

Dulce De Leche Frizen Yogurt

Dulce De Leche Frozen Yogurt

I decided to make this delicious combination because the other night my lovely husband treated me to a yummy dinner at Zydeco’s and then a frozen treat at Sub Zero.  First off  Zydeco’s Cajun Restaurant : DELICIOUS, FUN AND GREAT SERVICE!  Win!  It was featured on  Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives a few years back and I see the owner quite often at my part-time job (not the substitute one…the cooking demo one).  Debbie  is a lovely lady and I love to support local joints!  The End.

About the Sub Zero Ice Cream  place.  It was more an experience rather than kick butt frozen treats….in my humble opinion.  The concept is liquid based (ice cream, frozen yogurt, soy milk, coconut milk…etc…).  They add a flavoring and mix-ins and wham hit it with liquid nitrogen.  Cool concept but overall flavor was so so.  I mean don’t take this the wrong way but Ben and Jerry’s still tastes better than that to me.  But it’s fun and you’ve got to try it at least once in your lifetime.  Check.  Done.  Now I want real flavor.

My selection at Sub Zero place: frozen yogurt with Dulce De Leche (as my flavor) and Reese’s peanut butter cup as my mix-ins (yes I am predictable).  Matt picked ice cream with caramel flavoring and toffee mix-in (my suggestion!).

Mine was good but I couldn’t really taste the Dulce De Leche.  Total bummer.  Matt says that it’s because I had too much Reese’s ….sorry but when you add Reese’s you’ve got to go for that extra scoop!   😉

So today, I decided the best way to get this flavor to really hit home was to make it myself.  As my mom always told me: if you want something done right do it yourself!

For some reason I saw a lot of recipes online that  included heavy cream.  I opted for a healthier version…mind you I wouldn’t consider Dulce De Leche healthy but no cream might help a little!

take a close look at this mouth watering frozen yogurt

take a close look at this mouth watering frozen yogurt

Ingredients:

1 13.4-ounce can Dulce De Leche

2 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon agave syrup (or honey if you prefer)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon sea salt (or kosher salt)

3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

How to:

In a large bowl combine your Dulce De Leche, Greek yogurt, agave syrup, vanilla and sea salt.  Using a whisk combine everything well.  Pour your mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instruction.  When the madness has run its course gently add your mini chocolate chips while machine is still running.  When everything looks dandy put your frozen yogurt into a tightly sealed container and put in your freezer until ready to serve.

the mixture...already 100% better than my Sub Zero frozen treat!

the mixture…already 100% better than my Sub Zero frozen treat!

I <3 my ice cream maker! It makes magic!

I ❤ my ice cream maker. It makes magic!

 

In the container it goes....after quite a few taste tests  ;)

In the container it goes….after quite a few taste tests 😉

Or dig in right away!  I did!   🙂

Note: if you do not serve the frozen yogurt within the next few hours it may harden but let sit at room temperature for a few minutes and all will be good.

My after dinner treat! Simply Perfect if you ask me!

My after dinner treat! Simply perfect!

This is super creamy, a little tart and filled with amazing Dulce De Leche flavors….bursting with flavor…lots…tons….a multitude of flavors…OK OK I’ll stop…but it’s really really really good if you ask me  😉

homemade frozen treat truly are DA BESTEST!

homemade frozen treats truly are DA BESTEST!

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Peace and Add Flavoring To Your Life,

Isabelle

Biscoff Puppy Chow

Biscoff Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddies

Biscoff Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddies

Yes.  I have lost all self-control.  It is not often that one should admit defeat but at this point in my life I think it is only fair to say: I give up.

I am addicted to Biscoff.

Pure and Simple addiction.  This stuff makes me weak at the knees.  Makes my heart flutter and gives me goosebumps.  I sound crazy….I know.  I am crazy.  Who obsesses over a simple food item like that?  Me….that’s who.  The weak one!

So with nothing futher, here is the recipe.  I can eat my weight in this stuff….which evidently might be increasing  if I keep eating this stuff…it’s a losing battle this addiction of mine!

OK...take a good long look at this madness. It may seem like nothing but it's EVERYTHING!

OK…take a good long look at this madness. It may seem like nothing but it’s EVERYTHING!

Ingredients:

9 cups crispy rice cereal squares

3/4 cup Biscoff spread, creamy (Speculoos)

1/4 cup butter

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

How to:

Put your cereal in an extra-large bowl.  Trust me, extra large….you need room otherwise stuff goes flying everywhere!  Set aside.

In a large ziplock bag combine your confectioner/powdered sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder.  Close your bag and combine everything together, no rhyme or reason just do your best!  Set aside.

In a medium size saucepan combine your Biscoff spread, butter, chocolate chips and vanilla.  Melt on low and stir until well combined.  The mixture will be pretty thick but that’s OK.  Pour over your cereal and using what ever works for you, gently fold everything so that your cereal are all covered with your Biscoff mixture.  Yes, it does take a little effort and yes you will crush some along the way but it is so worth it.  SO WORTH IT!  (can you tell I am in love!!!)

I know this picture is gasly...I apologize but it's what happens!

I know this picture is horrid…I apologize but it’s what happens!

Once your cereal is covered by the Biscoff mixture pour everything into your powdered sugar bag.  Close it up and start to shake it (gently) to cover everything!!!!!

OK...these pics are crazy bad but TRUST ME please this is super duper delish!

OK…these pics are crazy bad but TRUST ME please this is super duper delish!

Now the hard part…..let this cool.  Pour into a large bowl or rimmed baking sheet and DO NOT TOUCH IT….ah who am I kidding?  Try a bite or 15….so amazing.  But if you manage to let it cool it will be the bestest treat your will EVER eat.  So delicious.

come to mama....this is heavenly!

come to mama….this is heavenly!

Note: these are also called Muddy Buddies.  Also if you cannot find Biscoff Spread you can always go classic and use peanut butter.  You may want to skip the cinnamon with the confectioner/powdered sugar….or not.

Another Note: my sweet husband bought me a bag (the size of a small child) of peanut butter & chocolate puppy chow the other day.  I told him if he did that again I would torture him.  I ate the whole flippin bag.  He saw I had an issue with puppy chow, so he didn’t buy anymore….so I made my own.  Crazy….I am telling you I AM CRAZY!

want some?

want some?

Another  Note: Biscoff or Speculoos is usually found near the peanut butter and Nutella (which is so last year…hahaha)

in case you have never heard of Biscoff/Speculoos/Cookie Spread....GASP.....

the good stuff….real flippin’ good!

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I ate 4 times that amount today....I am hopeless!

I ate 4 times that amount today….I am hopeless!

Peace and when is the intervention?

Isabelle

Scotcharoos (my way)

Scotcharoos <3

Scotcharoos ❤

Some days I think I live under a rock.  I honestly had never heard of Scotcharoos until a few days ago.  Truth be told when I saw the picture of a lovely dessert treat I wanted to make Sunshine for prom night at her friend’s house, I thought it was simply a layer of Rice Krispies squares.  I saw the name but thought nothing of it.  Then my friend Chris came over and I showed her the recipe and she said: “oh yea I love Scotcharoos….”

What?  ummmm…..OK.

So then I had this flashback of never having tried Hamburger Helper until I married Mr. Man.  Never having ordered Chinese take-out until I moved in with the “princess” in college.  Never having Spam…still!

What’s a silly girl to do?  Make Scotcharoos and make some pretty darn good one at that!  So take that stupid rock over me!  :/

these little gems are so flippin' amazing!

these little gems are so flippin’ amazing!

Please note this is not the “classic scotcharoos” these have been Isabellized…what ever that means!

Ingredients:

6 cups rice Krispies cereal

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter

2 cups chocolate chips, divided

1 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

How to:

Spray a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl combine your cereal with 1 cup chocolate chips.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine your corn syrup and your sugar.  On medium heat gently stir until sugar has melted.  Remove from heat and add your peanut butter.  Gently stir until combined and creamy.  Add to your cereal and chocolate chips mix.  Quickly stir.  The heat from the peanut butter mixture will melt some of your chocolate chips, go for it. Don’t worry about it too much.  It will taste amazing.  Spread your mixture into your prepared pan.  Set aside.

the peanut butter mixture is quite spectacular if you ask me!

the peanut butter mixture is quite spectacular if you ask me!

all set!

all set!

In a heat proof dish combine your 1 cup chocolate chips with your butterscotch chips.  Starting with 30 seconds heat in your microwave.  Stirring after each time.  (I did 30 secs then another 30 secs. but followed with 15 seconds increments as to not burn my chips)  Once completely melted pour over your cereal mixture and spread evenly.  Set aside.

chocolate & butterscotch make a beautiful friendship!

chocolate & butterscotch make a beautiful friendship!

In another small heat proof dish melt your peanut butter chips in microwave.  Again stirring after each time.  (I would suggest 15-20 seconds increments)  Using a spoon, place dollops of your melted chips over the chocolate/butterscotch layer.  Using a knife gently run through to swirl the peanut butter with the chocolate/butterscotch layer.  Done!  Place in your fridge (if in a hurry) or leave to cool at room temperature until chips have hardened.

there is no rules here....just dollops of peanut butter! Whatever works!

there is no rules here….just dollops of peanut butter! Whatever works!

pretend to be an artist....a peanut butter artist!

pretend to be an artist….a peanut butter artist!

OH MY WORD.....pure art!

OH MY WORD…..pure art!

Voila!!!! One of the best treat I have had in a long time….SUPERB!

I want this piece right now!

I want this piece right now!

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so so so perfectly fabulous!

so so so perfectly fabulous!

Note: these are simply jaw-dropping delicious….addictive….not something that will get you bikini ready….beware my friends, one could eat a whole pan of these goodies!

don't you just want to take a bite?  ;)

don’t you just want to take a bite? 😉

Peace and Rock,

Isabelle

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

At first I thought: yuck…

Then I remembered my: Not your mama’s apple pie  which is made with green tomatoes.

So I figured if Nate, my husband’s buddy from the Firehouse says it is delicious then who am I to judge.

I made the cake….turns out Nate’s Mom knows how to make a great cake even if it is with canned tomato soup, which I have never been a fan of, case and point: Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup.

reminiscent of a spice cake, slightly similar in color to a carrot cake....but absolutely delicious and moist!

reminiscent of a spice cake, slightly similar in color to a carrot cake….absolutely delicious, flavorful and moist!

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1-1/3 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 can condensed tomato soup

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 cup water

2 eggs

 How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour an 9 X 13 baking pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine your flour, cinnamon, sugar, ground cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and allspice.

Add your tomato soup and shortening, beat until well blended.  Add your water and eggs.  Beat for 3 minutes.  Spread into your prepared pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on rack.  Cool completely before frosting.

a gorgeous pinkish orangy hue...very pretty!

a gorgeous pinkish orangy hue…very pretty!

wow! the smell is absolutely amazing!

wow! the smell is absolutely amazing!

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients:

8-ounce cream cheese at room temperature

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 lbs confectioner sugar

How to:

Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add you milk and vanilla combine well.  Gradually add your sugar until well blended.

cream cheese frosting....simply magical!

cream cheese frosting….simply magical!

Do you guys have an unusual recipe you would like to share with me?  If interested please email me at: isamvor@comcast.net I would love to blog with all my readers all the fun, perhaps bizarre yet delicious recipes that you want to share with me/us.

you know it's a good cake when my mom tells me it's a perfectly delicious and she must have it for breakfast as well! ;)

you know it’s a good cake when my mom tells me it’s perfectly delicious and she must have it for breakfast as well! 😉

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Peace and Let’s be unusual,

Isabelle

Sour Chocolate Cake

Sour Chocolate Cake

Sour Chocolate Cake

I found this recipe a while back in my Saveur magazine.  I guess I held on to it so I could find a good reason to make it.

Reason #1.  We were on vacation.

Reason #2.  It was HOT outside and I was in heaven.

Reason #3.  I sat by a pool all day with nothing to do but sit.

Extra reason: I made dinner for everyone as a thank you for having us spend Spring Break with them….which meant my horrible lovely brother and my BFF Janine’s terrible wonderful husband Dan could torture me all night.  AND I FED THOSE TWO BAD BOYS!

Saying things like: “it’s more of a door stopper than a cake!”  “knocking on the table…what’s that?  Isabelle’s cake”  “remember when we were kids eating peanut butter and soda crackers having a whistling contest?  This cake would work as well”  “moisture, where are you?”  “I know what it’s like to eat sand now”  and on and on….

😉  I do love them both immensely but they thrive on torturing me!

this is what was left after they teased me about the cake....!

this is what was left after they teased me about the cake….!

Ingredients:

For the cake:
½ cup milk
1½ tsp. white vinegar
¾ cup shortening, plus more for greasing
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup cocoa powder
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten

For the icing:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
¼ cup milk
5 tbsp. unsalted butter

How to:

For the cake:

Mix milk and vinegar in bowl; let sit until slightly curdled, about 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish with shortening. Set aside.

Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, and baking soda, in a bowl; make a well in the center.  Bring shortening, cocoa powder, butter, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan.  Cook, whisking constantly, until smooth, 5-7 minutes; let cool slightly.  Whisk in milk mixture and eggs.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until a smooth batter form.  Pour batter into greased pan and smooth top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes; let cool.

the start

the start

baked

baked

For the icing:

Whisk confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.  Simmer milk and butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted, 3-4 minutes.  Whisk in sugar mixture until smooth.  Pour icing over cake; let set completely, about 30 minutes.

and the icing on top :)

and the icing on top 🙂

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 pretty good cake if you ask me...OK OK I will admit a dollop of vanilla ice cream would have been heavenly!

pretty good cake if you ask me…OK OK I will admit a dollop of vanilla ice cream would have been heavenly!

Peace and I have my reasons,

Isabelle

Oats and Chocolate Chip Scones

Oats and Chocolate Chip Scones

Oats and Chocolate Chip Scones

I have been making this recipe for quite some time.  I don’t even know why I haven’t shared it with you guys.  It is so delicious.  Kids love it and you can truly make the whole thing in no time.  It is not too sweet.  It is a quick breakfast on a busy morning and it is absolutely amazing with a hot cup of tea.

I think that it would probably be easy to swipe the chocolate chips with blueberries or peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips…I say this but in all honesty I haven’t tried it simply because the hormonal wonderful teens that always hang at our house are somewhat obsessed in love with chocolate!

look at that gorgeous color and the amazing crust!  YUM!

look at that gorgeous color and the amazing crust! YUM!

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup rolled oats (old fashion NOT quick oats)

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces and kept very cold

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup cold buttermilk

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg, whisked (for topping)

Raw/Torbinado sugar  (for topping)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine your flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add your cold butter.  Using a pastry cutter or your finger combine your butter to your flour mixture until you have a coarse mixture.  You shouldn’t have pieces any larger than a pea.

I do love my pastry cutter!

I do love my pastry cutter!

Add your chocolate chips, buttermilk, 1 egg and vanilla.  Using a wooden spoon combine until all liquid is absorbed.  Your dough will be extremely sticky.  Dump everything on a well floured surface (wooden cutting board is best in my opinion).  Using your hands (best tools known to man!) knead your dough gently until your have a soft texture (do not over knead).  Form into an 8 or 9-inch circle about 1- 1 1/2-inch thick.  Cut into 8 pieces.  Put all 8 scones on your prepared baking sheet.  Brush with your whisked egg and sprinkle with your raw sugar.  (amount suggestive to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon per scones I guess)

make sure it is not too thin

make sure it is not too thin

8 "almost even" pieces ;)

8 “almost even” pieces 😉

ready to go!

ready to go!

Put in your preheated oven and bake for 17-18 minutes.

doesn't that look so scrumptious?

doesn’t that look so scrumptious?

take a closer look...don't you just want to take a bite?!

take a closer look…don’t you just want to take a bite?!

Let cool and enjoy.

perfect afternoon snack!

perfect afternoon snack!

Note: I like to cut my butter into small pieces and put it back in the fridge for a few minutes while I get everything else ready.  I find that by the time I cut my butter into the small pieces it has already started to warm/melt just from the heat of my hands….just a thought maybe your hands don’t melt butter!  😉

my basket for the teens' breakfast

my basket for the teens’ breakfast

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Peace and I am probably more hormonal than they are,

Isabelle

Butternut Squash Cake

Butternut Squash Cake

Butternut Squash Cake

Is it weird when someone sends you a recipe and says: “this is a different kind of cake, it uses butternut squash, which might sound weird but it’s delicious and butternut is my favorite”.  To which my first thought was: “nope not weird, in fact I have a butternut squash just sitting in my fridge, ready for action”.

Because my reality is that I buy butternut squash pretty much every week, just because…I really don’t know why but I buy it all the times even though I never put in on my planned menu…now THAT is weird!  I always think I can manage to incorporate it somehow in one of our meals.  Maybe I should check with my people if this is appropriate or not.

Here’s another delicious recipe from Danielle my uncle’s girlfriend.  She gave me her recipe for: Spanish Cookies/Bars

Note: I had to make a few adjustments along the way because sometimes life dictates how things will fly around here.  I will note my changes along the way 😉

look at that gorgeous cake!

look at that gorgeous cake!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup golden raisin ***I dislike raisins…sorry…I used dried cranberries

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour ***I couldn’t find the pastry kind so I used regular whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon all-spice

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup butternut squash puree (see below for instructions)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

1 egg white

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degree F.  Grease or spray a loaf pan (9X5).  Set aside.

Put your raisins in a small microwave safe bowl and add water (I did 1/4 cup water).  Put in your microwave for about 30-40 seconds to soften your raisins.  Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine your flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, all-spice and ground cloves.  Set aside.

In your mixer combine your pureed squash, sugar, honey and oil.  Mix well.  Add your egg and egg white.  Scraping the side of your bowl at least once and combining well.  Add your flour mixture slowly.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon fold your raisins into your mixture.  Pour mixture into your prepared pan and bake in your preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes more.

this batter smells amazing!  And the color is out of this world!

this batter smells amazing! And the color is out of this world!

time to cool things off

time to cool things off

a little more cooling and then we dig in

a little more cooling and then we dig in

Serve!

Squash Puree

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash

How to:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a baking sheet.  Set aside.

Cut squash in half and scoop out the loose flash and the seeds.  Place cut side face down on your prepared baking sheet.  Bake in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes.  Cool completely before scrapping out the flesh with a fork.

Note: you could use frozen (thawed) or canned puree but it is definitely better to use fresh squash.

take one last good look at this little marvel!

take one last good look at this little marvel!

Printer Friendly: Butternut Squash Cake

Peace and Being Weird Is Cool These Days,

Isabelle

What to do with the leftovers butternut squash?  Here’s a couple of suggestions:

Sausage and Butternut Squash Ravioli

One of my absolute favorite sauce: brown butter...so simple yet so perfect

One of my absolute favorite sauce: brown butter…so simple yet so perfect

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

mouthwatering and gorgeous

mouthwatering and gorgeous!

Danielle’s Spanish Cookies/Bars

Spanish Cookies/Bars

Spanish Cookies/Bars

My uncle’s girlfriend Danielle loves to cook and bake.  She also loves to do crafts and projects.  I can totally relate to that.  She graciously sent me a dessert recipe from her childhood: Biscuits Espagnols.  Interestingly enough she mentions that she has no clue why they are called Spanish Cookies (Biscuits Espagnols) but simply that her mom would make these cookies for them as children and they loved them.  That’s enough of a selling point for me.  She also mentioned that when she made the cookies for my folks, my dad said: “finally a super sweet dessert!”

Hmmmmm like father like daughter.  Sweets make the world go round don’t you know 😉

BEWARE: this is sweet….and by sweet I mean super duper heart racing sweet….but oh so good!!!!!

Also…I feel this is more of a bar than a cookie, but then again I am quite the cookie fanatic so I might be just a tad opinionated when it comes to naming something a cookie!

Sweets sweetie sweetness....that should be the name ;)

Sweet sweetie sweetness….that should be the name 😉

Ingredients:

First layer:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon milk

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Second layer:

15 marshmallows cut in half

Third layer:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

2 cups confectioner sugar

How to:

First layer:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  Line an 8X8 baking pan with parchment paper, making sure the paper overlaps on all side at least 1-inch.  This will help remove the cookies/bars from the pan.

In a large bowl mix all your ingredients well.  Spread your mixture into your prepared pan.  Bake in your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Remove and place on an heat safe surface.

Layer #1

Layer #1

Second layer:

Lay your cut marshmallows cut face down (just easier I found out).  Set aside.

Layer #deux

Layer #deux

Third layer:

In a medium pan melt your butter.  Add your brown sugar and milk.  Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add your powdered sugar.  Using a whisk combine everything well.  Gently pour over your marshmallows.  Spread the mixture evenly oven the marshmallows, it might get a bit messy but it’s all in the taste, no worries about the look!

the hot sweet mixture!

hot sweet mixture!

the pour...always exciting!

the pour…always exciting!

and finally layer #tres

and finally layer #tres

Let cool completely and cut into squares….have a big glass of milk ready to balance all this sugary sweetness!

Note: I researched Spanish Cookies on the internet and frankly nothing comes close to this version.  Who knows, maybe a Spanish lady gave the recipe to her mom and hence the name….or maybe not.  Bottom line is: these cookies are delicious.  At the end of the day your belly and taste bubs won’t care what the name is just that is was fabulous!

deliciously sweet and decadent!

deliciously sweet and decadent!

Printer Friendly: Spanish Cookies

Peace and Sweets Stuff,

Isabelle