Tag Archives: Jennifer Perillo

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

Yeah, so last week. I mean, doesn’t the presence of Thanksgiving alone provide enough craziness? But oh no, the universe apparently decided that I needed so much more. The week began with a water main break in my city, and our water was off for two days. When it (weakly!) returned, it came with a boil notice that city officials probably lifted a tad too soon, because I got very sick on Thursday!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

So in all the mayhem, I ended up neglecting the blog. I totally meant to share this superlative little dessert last week – pre-Thanksgiving, when it’s still socially acceptable to blog pumpkin desserts, but this recipe is so spectacular that it simply can’t wait another year. A small food blogging faux pas will likely be forgiven once you taste these.

I actually made these cupcakes mostly on a whim. A couple years ago I made and blogged a pumpkin cupcake with chocolate cream cheese frosting, which were quite lovely; so this year I impulsively decided to reverse the cupcakes and see if a chocolate cupcake with pumpkin buttercream worked just as well.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

Possibly even better, I must say! I’ve made this three times in the past week, to overwhelming raves each time. The cupcakes are chocolate-y and tender and soft, with a not-too-sweet and earthy frosting capping them off. So delicious, and I personally think it’s still an acceptable time of year to enjoy these.

A note about the frosting. The first time I made them, I piped on the frosting with a plain pastry bag tip (not the star tip), and two problems emerged. One, they were over-frosted in the sense that I ran out on cupcake #19 (of 24), and two, the frosting looked like the poop emoji. So I used a small spatula to smooth it out and it looked much nicer. When I made it again, I skipped the pastry bag and had plenty of frosting for all 24 cupcakes. If you want the frosting piled high on all 24 cupcakes, I’d increase the recipe by 1 ½.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

Source: cupcakes from Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo; frosting from In Jennie’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

CUPCAKES:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup cocoa powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup canola oil
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk

FROSTING:
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus a little extra for garnish, if desired
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

Directions:
First make the CUPCAKES: preheat your oven to 350 F. Line 2 (12 cup) muffin tins with liners and set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa in a medium bowl. Add the egg, oil, and sugar to a large bowl and whisk briskly until thick and creamy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla and milk. Add the dry ingredients, and whisk until just combined.
Evenly spoon the batter into the prepared tins. Bake until a metal skewer or cake tester comes out clean, 15 to 17 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting them.
When the cupcakes have cooled, make the FROSTING: place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat until airy and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, and vanilla extract; beat until well combined.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly sprinkle in one third of the sugar. Beat until well combined. Stop the mixer, and scrape down the sides. Repeat with the remaining sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added, beat the frosting on high speed for 2 minutes.
Frost the cooled cupcakes, and if desired, sprinkle each cupcake with a tad bit of ground cinnamon.

Orange and Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones #SundaySupper

Orange and Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones

Welcome, welcome to Sunday Supper (yes, I’m ba-ack!!), where our theme this week is Easy Holiday Entertaining. We can all use some help there, am I right?

Orange and Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones

My contribution is scones. When we have overnight guests over the holidays, I think the tendency of so many of us is to plan and plan for the dinners, the cocktail parties and the drinks, and then at the last minute we have the “Oh crap!” moment when we realize our guests might want breakfast too.

orange and dark chocolate chunk scones

Enter scones. Scones are SO easy to make, yet for whatever reason, I’ve discovered that people generally don’t seem to realize that. So they think you went all out for them, they are so impressed at your baking prowess, and you barely broke a sweat. Not to mention, scones are delicious, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who disliked them.

orange and dark chocolate chunk scones

These are some of the best scones I’ve tasted, and guys, I think it’s the cake flour. It lends the softest and flakiest texture, and I’m thinking all my scones from now on will have to have some cake flour. The dark chocolate chunks are lovely – sweet enough but not too much so, and make this perfect for a holiday breakfast or brunch treat. Try these out on your guests this holiday season! They’ll love you. Enjoy!

Orange and Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones

And check out the easy holiday entertaining ideas the rest of my Sunday Supper crew brought today!

Source: ever so slightly adapted from Homemade with Love by Jennie Perillo

Ingredients:
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tbs baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
Freshly grated zest of 1 orange
6 tbs unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
½ cup plus 1 tbs buttermilk, divided
1 large egg
6 oz. dark chocolate chunks
1 tsp turbinado, or other raw/coarse sugar

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine the three flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour mixture and use a pastry blender or 2 forks to cut the butter into the flour mixture. You want it to form a sandy-looking texture with some pebble-sized pieces of butter throughout.
Quickly whisk together ½ cup buttermilk and the egg, then pour it into the flour mixture. Add the chocolate chunks, and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir the dough together. When it has mostly come together, use your hands to knead for no more than 1 minute to get the little scraggly bits to come together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Pat the dough into a circle between ½-inch and 1-inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut it into 8 triangles. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Brush them with the remaining buttermilk, then sprinkle the tops with the turbinado.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned and the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Beverages

Appetizers

Main and Side Dishes

Desserts and Baked Goods

Plus a No Stress Party Checklist and Recipes for Easy Entertaining by Sunday Supper

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Olive Oil and Feta Mashed Turnips

Olive Oil and Feta Mashed Turnips

Man. Does anyone else besides me seem to have so much trouble getting back into the swing of things in the New Year? Every year it’s the same. Every year I look forward to the holidays being over so I can resume my normal routine. And then, every year, it’s like my body is not ready for the whole thing! I find myself on January 2nd and days later still going to bed too late, feeling slow in the mornings, my workouts are sluggish…

olive oil and feta mashed turnips

I suppose there’s always next year to plan ahead and correct this, right? In the meantime, let’s keep with the spirit of cleaner and healthier New Year’s eating with a dish that was new to me – mashed turnips, sort of standing in for mashed potatoes, but also completely standing on their own.

Olive Oil and Feta Mashed Turnips

Instead of the usual suspects of gobs of butter and heavy cream, we’re adding olive oil and feta cheese, both decidedly better for us, to lighten up our creamy mash. And like I mentioned, this little side dish does stand on its own. Its texture will remind you of mashed potatoes more than its taste. Its taste is really all its own, and one I found very pleasing. The feta brings a nice, sharp, flavorful quality, and the olive oil lends a just slightly fruity note that I thought paired very well against the almost-sweet flavor of the turnips.

Olive Oil and Feta Mashed Turnips

I mashed my turnips with a potato masher, which of course left them a little chunky, but you could easily run them through a potato ricer if you’d prefer them to be smoother. I hope y’all enjoy this one, it’s a wonderful cold-weather comfort food that won’t weigh you down or break any new goals/resolutions!

Olive Oil and Feta Mashed Turnips

{One Year Ago: Bang Bang Broccoli}
{Two Years Ago: Caramelized Onion Gorgonzola Galette}

Source: slightly adapted from Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo

Ingredients:
3 large turnips, peeled and cubed
1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and cubed
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs unsalted butter
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
Kosher salt and black pepper
Snipped scallions or chives, for garnish

Directions:
Add the turnips and potato to a medium stockpot. Fill with enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the turnips and potatoes are fork-tender, 7 to 9 minutes.
Drain the vegetables well then add them back to the pot. Let sit for about 1 minute – the residual heat will dry out the last vestiges of water. Add the olive oil, butter, and feta cheese. Use a potato masher to crush the vegetables until they are mostly smooth.
Note: if you want things smoother, place the vegetables through your potato ricer before adding the oil, butter and cheese.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the mash into a serving bowl and garnish with scallions. Serve immediately.

Cocoa Streusel Topped Cranberry Coffee Cake

Cocoa Streusel Topped Cranberry Coffee Cake

Today is a simple, quick Saturday post, seeing as it’s the Saturday before Christmas and hopefully you aren’t having to brave the shopping malls. But if you are out there braving the holiday madness, you have my condolences and when you get back, there is coffee cake to cheer you up. As there should be.

cocoa streusel topped cranberry coffee cake

This particular cake is easy to prepare, features the lovely, beautiful cranberry – perfect for December – and the streusel topping is very special because it utilizes cocoa powder to give the cake a chocolate-y crunch. A welcome change-up from usual coffee cake streusel!

Cocoa-Streusel Topped Cranberry Coffee Cake

This cake batter is very thick, which yields such a moist end result. This would be perfect to make the day before or morning your guests are to arrive and keep it around all week for general grazing purposes. It’s such a festive and delicious coffee cake, everyone will love it. Enjoy!

Cocoa Streusel Topped Cranberry Coffee Cake

{One Year Ago: Cincinnati Chili}
{Two Years Ago: Pumpkin French Toast}

Source: adapted from Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo

Ingredients:
COCOA STREUSEL TOPPING:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground allspice
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, melted

CAKE:
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plain Greek yogurt, either 2% or full fat, not fat-free
Zest of 1 orange
3 cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped (I used my food processor for this)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13” baking pan. Set aside.
First make the streusel topping. Add the flour, sugars, cocoa powder, and allspice in a medium bowl. Use a fork or whisk to stir in the melted butter until well combined. Set aside.
Now make the cake. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and cream together with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Now add one third of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until fully incorporated. Add one third of the yogurt and mix on low until fully incorporated. Repeat, alternating between the dry and wet ingredients until all have been added. Add the orange zest and beat quickly to combine.
Use a rubber spatula to fold in the cranberries until evenly incorporated. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing it out to an even layer. Evenly sprinkle the cocoa streusel on top, making sure to get the outer edges too. Bake for 60 minutes, until a metal skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes, then serve warm or at room temperature.

Milk Chocolate Brownies

Milk Chocolate Brownies 051

Alright, this is Blondies and Brownies week, so I need to make good on my promise and give y’all some brownies!

milk chocolate brownies 036
{Why yes, Matt and I are those people who sneak off the edge of the brownies before I’ve photographed them!}

So, here’s a confession: I’m not a chocoholic, though I do thoroughly enjoy chocolate in moderation. But I usually do not care for milk chocolate. I much prefer bittersweet or semi-sweet for baking (or eating straight, for that matter). Milk chocolate is a little too sweet for me. So it is *only* because these milk chocolate brownies come from a trusted source that I was even willing to try them.

Milk chocolate brownies 049

Milk Chocolate brownies 057

But, I’m so happy that I did try them, because they are incredibly delicious! Even though I trust this recipe’s author (Jennie), I was still hesitant to take my first bite; I mean, I really don’t care for milk chocolate, y’all. But I loved them. They are extremely rich and fudgy, but not too sweet at all, which is my chief complaint about milk chocolate. The brownie texture was just perfect, and it got that crackly top that makes me so giddy.

Milk Chocolate brownies 069

I will highly recommend these to all the brownie and chocolate lovers out there, even if you’re like me and don’t gravitate toward milk chocolate. These just might be your milk chocolate exception, like they are mine. Enjoy!

milk chocolate Brownies 064

{One Year Ago: Zucchini Olive Pizza, Tomato Scallion Short Cakes with Whipped Goat Cheese}

Source: slightly adapted from In Jennie’s Kitchen

Ingredients:
6 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs granulated sugar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan. Grease one side of the parchment, and fit it (ungreased side down) into the pan. Set aside.
Add the chocolate and butter to a double boiler (or a glass bowl set atop a small pan of simmering water – make sure the water isn’t touching the bottom of the bowl). Let them both melt, then stir to smooth and combine. Add the vanilla extract, and stir to combine; set aside to cool slightly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.
Add the eggs and sugar to a clean, large bowl. Whisk until they become thick and pale yellow, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly to the sides. You can give the pan a tap on the counter to help it settle, too. Bake for 30 minutes until the center is set and the edges gently pull slightly away from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely before cutting. (Sorry).

Grilled Asparagus Panzanella

Grilled Asparagus Panzanella

Hey guys! I am continuing my week of ASPARAGUS recipes by guest posting over at the fabulous food blog Noshing with the Nolands! My friend Tara is on vacation and I am so honored to be taking over her blog for the day.

Tara asked me to make something for Spring, and this fits in with my asparagus week so perfectly; so I made this wonderful panzanella with grilled asparagus. (Click HERE for the recipe!)

grilled asparagus panzanella

It was beyond delicious, y’all. Asparagus is in season and so gorgeous right now, and a lighter salad is so perfect if you’re one of the lucky few ushering in warmer weather. I’m not one of those people. Today’s high is 30 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m not bitter.

Anywho, be sure you click on over to Tara’s blog for this fabulous salad recipe! And be sure to check out the rest of Tara’s wonderful blog while you’re at it.

Grilled Asparagus Panzanella

{One year ago: Pickled Jalapenos}

Collard Greens, Mushroom and Cheddar Bread Pudding #SundaySupper

collard greens, mushroom and cheddar bread pudding

Alright, alright, alright – Sunday Supper is back, y’all! Channeling my inner Matthew McConaughey for a second. Don’t worry though, I’m fully clothed and not stoned, so I suppose I’m not channeling him too much…

Collard Greens, Mushroom and Cheddar Bread Pudding

collards and cheddar bread pudding

Anywho… our theme this week is Eat Your Greens! Because this month is St. Patrick’s Day…. Which features the color green…. Get it? I thought it was rather clever, whoever came up with this one! I mean, the obvious choice would have been to do a St. Patty’s Day themed #SS, which would have been delicious, no doubt, but this is a very cute and healthy spin on things.

Collard greens, mushroom and cheddar bread pudding

So now which greens to choose? I went with collard greens. I love ‘em. Actually, I remembered a recipe I’d filed away in my “must-try-soon” folder, this savory bread pudding which originally called for kale. But I can’t use kale in my house; Matt says he is allergic to it. (Now, whether he’s actually allergic or whether he just doesn’t like it – well, that’s between him and his god, I suppose. Just kidding, sweetie!) But, seriously, I don’t cook with kale for his sake; no one wants the one we love to ever be miserable. So I simply made the substitution and neither of us minded one bit. It was incredibly delicious! I would highly urge you to try this one, using whichever dark greens you and yours prefer the most. Enjoy!

Collard Greens, Mushroom and Cheddar bread pudding

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the fabulous recipes from my #SS crew!

{One year ago: Classic Caesar Salad, Chocolate Pistachio Fudge, and Lemon Risotto}

Source: adapted from Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo

Ingredients:
Olive oil
½ a bunch of collard greens, leaves stripped from the stems and rough chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
5 oz. Cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
About ½ a loaf of round white bread, such as ciabatta or rustic white round loaf, cut into cubes
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups whole milk
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8”baking pan and set aside.
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the collards and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly wilted, 2-3 minutes. Add the mushroom and onion, and more oil if it looks dry. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens and the mushrooms lightly brown, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and let cool 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs and milk together with a fork or whisk in a medium bowl.
Add the bread cubes to a large bowl. Add the collard green mixture, plus 2/3 of your shredded cheese. Stir together until combined. Spoon the mixture into your prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture in the baking dish. Press the mixture with a spatula to make sure the bread is submerged in the custard. Sprinkle the last 1/3 of cheese on top.
Let the casserole sit at least 15 minutes, or up to overnight (covered with foil in the refrigerator, of course).
Cover with foil, if not already done, and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 25-30 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Let the casserole sit 5 minutes before cutting into portions and serving. Leftovers work beautifully!

Green Light Appetizers and Sides

Getting Greens Through Salads

Entreés That Will Leave You Green With Envy

Desserts and Beverages That Will Make Others Turn Green

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Roasted Broccoli Stem Dip with Parmesan-Black Pepper Pita Chips

roasted broccoli stem dip with parmesan black pepper pita chips

In my week covering broccoli and exploring some different ways of preparing it, I really wanted to do something with the broccoli stems. They kind of get the shaft. They are admittedly not as aesthetically pleasing as the florets, and when not pureed, don’t seem to taste as good either. But they still deserve their day in court, so to speak, and apparently Jennifer Perillo thinks so too. When I was hunting around for broccoli recipes to make for this week, I immediately lit up when I saw that she had made a dip out of broccoli stems for her book.

roasted broccoli stems

Seeing as I simply adore dips of just about any kind, I knew this was going on the menu. I must say, it’s a pretty ingenious idea! The stems are roasted, then pureed with lemon and Greek yogurt and a touch of Parmesan. The end result is extremely tasty! It was smooth and somewhat creamy, very lemony, and didn’t scream broccoli stems at you. I have no children to test-drive this on, but I think you could at least get a child to try it, and who knows, maybe even like it!

Parmesan Black Pepper Pita Chips

I do heartily recommend it for a healthier dip and appetizer alternative. I absolutely loved the pita chips I made for dunkers (also from Jennie’s book), but if you wanted to go even more low-calorie, you could use carrot sticks, celery sticks, and red bell pepper pieces. Enjoy!

Roasted Broccoli Stem Dip

{One year ago: Easy Cranberry Apple Cake}

Source: Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo

Ingredients:

DIP:
3 cups coarsely chopped broccoli stems, from about 1 medium head of broccoli (I like to peel my stems before chopping them)
Olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

PITA CHIPS:
4 whole wheat pita breads, cut into eighths
4 tbs unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

DIP:
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Toss the broccoli with the olive oil, salt and pepper in an 8-inch square baking dish. Roast in the oven until the pieces are tender when pierced with a sharp paring knife, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Scrape the broccoli into the food processor bowl. Add the garlic, lemon juice, cheese and half the yogurt. Pulse 2 to 3 times to break up the broccoli, then process for 1 to 2 minutes until it takes on a chunky, pesto-like consistence. Stop the machine, add the remaining half of the yogurt, and process again until very smooth. Taste, and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
Transfer the dip to a bowl and serve with the dunkers of your choice.

PITA CHIPS:
Preheat the oven to 400 F (or keep it there from the broccoli stems). Lightly grease a baking sheet. Spread the pita wedges onto the sheet in an even layer. Brush each wedge with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the Parmesan cheese onto the pitas, then liberally sprinkle them with black pepper, to your heart’s desire.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the chips are lightly golden brown and crisped. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly and serve with the dip.

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Greek yogurt pancakes

I am slogging through reading the most fascinating book right now. Have y’all read What to Eat by Marion Nestle? If not, I highly recommend picking it up or adding it to your Christmas wish list. For anyone unfamiliar, Marion Nestle is a professor of nutrition at New York University and writes the wonderful blog Food Politics. She’s a very prominent voice in areas of nutrition and food policy.

Greek yogurt pancakes on the griddle

In this particular book, Nestle takes us on a tour of the grocery store, where she deciphers package labels, defines common food terms (“organic”, “all natural”, “heart healthy”), and answers so many consumer questions. She gets deep into the heart of what’s really going on behind those supermarket shelves.

making Greek yogurt pancakes

Like I said, I’m not done with the book yet, but so far my favorite chapter has been the one on yogurt. I’m not the biggest yogurt consumer out there, but Nestle did confirm what I’ve generally suspected: that most commercially made yogurt is basically a dessert masquerading as a health food. Y’all, there is so much sugar added to yogurt! And so much of it is being marketed to kids!

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

The advice she gives on yogurt, for those of us wanting to appreciate its healthful properties and make sure it actually is a health food for us, is to always buy plain yogurt, and then accessorize it ourselves. Like blueberry yogurt? Great – add some blueberries to your plain yogurt. Prefer vanilla yogurt? Awesome – add a little bit of vanilla extract to your plain yogurt. This is also true for sweetening yogurt. Buy the plain yogurt and then add your own sugar, or a drizzle of honey. Several times throughout the chapter, Nestle repeats that no matter how much sweetener you add, you’ll still come out ahead of the commercially sweetened stuff.

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

I don’t really groove on the taste of plain yogurt (I have to add a drizzle of honey), but I absolutely love baking with it. Case in point are these pancakes. We just adored them. Their cakey texture belies their healthfulness, made even more prominent by the inclusion of whole wheat flour. They were so, so good; and of course maple syrup is great, but I preferred to drizzle them with honey instead. Enjoy!

Greek yogurt pancakes

Source: adapted from Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo

Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp raw sugar
1 ½ cups whole milk
½ cup greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbs canola oil
Unsalted butter, for greasing the griddle
Confectioners’ sugar, for serving (optional)
Maple syrup or honey, for serving

Directions:
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, and vanilla.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk until just combined. Add the canola oil and stir to combine. Do not overmix.
Preheat a nonstick griddle over medium-low heat. When it is hot, melt a small pat of butter and brush it all over. Ladle batter onto the griddle, about ¼ cup at a time. Cook until the bottom has set and little bubbles start appearing on the top. Flip the pancakes and finish cooking through. Adjust the heat as necessary; you want them to brown but not burn. Remove the pancakes to a plate and continue in batches until all the batter is used up.
To serve, dust with confectioners’ sugar (optional) and drizzle with maple syrup or honey.

Pumpkin Apple Cake

Pumpkin Apple Cake

Happy Monday, y’all! I’m finding Mondays to be a very good television viewing night. Every Monday evening our TV is glued to NBC; and now I actually sort of look forward to the most universally dreaded day of the week. Hey, whatever works, right?

pumpkin apple cake, before baking

pumpkin apple cake, out of the oven

“The Voice” is hopelessly addicting, I always have to watch it. I occasionally sing along if I like the song (be grateful you only know me virtually, your poor ears have been spared!) and of course I have to be catty critique the song choices (for the love, people, lay off the Beyoncé songs already!). Then “The Voice” ends and “The Blacklist” comes on. Have y’all seen that one? OMG. I’ve gotten completely hooked. It’s so friggin’ good! The acting and writing is extremely well-done, so suspenseful with just the right amount of dry humor. And what on EARTH is going on with her husband?? Aaahh! I went and got my mom hooked on it too, aren’t I nice?

Pumpkin Apple Cake

I share this cake today because it’s a perfect TV viewing dessert or snack. Easy to throw together, uncomplicated, seasonal, and uber-delicious. You can’t go wrong, it’s just perfect. One thing I loved about this cake is that there aren’t many spices in the recipe, so the unadulterated pumpkin flavor really shines through. The original recipe called for none of the usual spice suspects, but I couldn’t resist throwing in just a touch of cinnamon. Don’t get me wrong, spiced pumpkin desserts are delicious, but I really enjoyed tasting the pure pumpkin flavor this time around. And the apple lends wonderful moisture and just a hint of background sweet/tart notes.

pumpkin apple cake

Pumpkin apple cake

So, my beloved readers, I really want to know: what TV shows do you watch? What are you completely hooked on? What great television viewing do you recommend? And what snacks or treats have you made to accompany a night on the couch?

Pumpkin Apple Cake

{One year ago: Chipotle Pumpkin Chowder}

Source: slightly adapted from Homemade with Love by Jennie Perillo

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ cup buttermilk
1 large apple, peeled and grated
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×9” square baking pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon to combine.
In a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, and oil. Whisk vigorously until thick and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the buttermilk, then gently fold in the apple.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, gently spreading it to the edges. Bake until the top is golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set the cake pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
To serve, dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares. Enjoy!