Happy Thanksgiving!

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We always enjoy Thanksgiving at The Grizzly Kid’s grandparents’ home and the quality of the food is only surpassed by the quality of the company. We look forward to this day all year, especially Grandma’s rolls—The Grizzly Kid would be more than happy with just a dinner of her rolls. This year I get to help out with the best part of any meal—dessert! I thought I’d go a little out of the box this year and not make a pie—gasp! We’ll see if I get uninvited to the next family gathering for my break with Thanksgiving tradition. I am instead making Sweet Potato cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting (shown above, pre-frosted) and a Pumpkin flan.

The sweet potato cupcake recipe is from the One Sweet Cupcake cookbook, but the frosting is my own creation. As for the flan—I have never made flan before, but I am planning on this recipe, and if it goes horribly wrong then I guess maybe I’ll whip up a last minute pie after all! Wish me luck.

What is your role in the Thanksgiving prep? I just talked with a friend who said they always go to Golden Coral—the lack of prep and clean up sounds rather appealing, but I wouldn’t miss a family gathering this big for all the world! Good luck with your dinners!

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Book Review: One Sweet Cupcake

One Sweet Cupcake by Janell Brown is a cookbook, which isn’t the type of book I usually read from cover to cover, but the  pictures alone tempted me through this one, not to mention the mouth watering cupcake names—Coconut Key Lime, White Chocolate Raspberry, Caramel Pecan, Mayan Hot Chocolate, etc. Then there is the section of perfect fillings and frosting, and a recipe for marshmallow fondant that seems simple enough even for a novice baker like me to attempt. What I love most though is the lack of crazy ingredients that you have to go to multiple stores to find—okay, maybe vanilla bean paste is on the pricey side, but I made the Peaches and Cream Cupcakes with just the regular vanilla extract and they were delicious. With a Cupcake Wars win under her belt, you know that Janell Brown knows her cupcakes and I am so excited to try out more recipes from this book.

The Grizzly Kid was the editor on this lovely cookbook which means I have an advanced copy to try out! Janell Brown’s book is available for pre-order on Amazon and won’t disappoint.

Dine With Me: Key Lime Pie

Each year I replace my birthday cake with a Key Lime Pie, and since all pies are ignored by The Grizzly Kid it is an extra happy birthday to me as I eat key lime pie for days—laugh with me because there is no way it lasts that long with my serious lack of self control.

This recipe is my current go-to, so simple, so creamy, and I add extra lime juice to make it so tart, the way I love it most. And for a homemade graham cracker crust I just crushed the crackers, mixed in some melted butter and pressed it into my pan, then baked it at 350° for 5 minutes—it is a bit crumbly, but the filling holds it together perfectly.

Now my birthday is a month hence, but I took my dessert assignment at the last family gathering as an opportunity to make this favorite of mine and it was liked by all, along with a peach tart that was loved by all.

Look, isn’t it loverly?

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Dine with Me: No-rise Pizza Crust

This pizza is second only to my chocolate chip cookies in The Grizzly Kid’s book. And if this picture doesn’t tempt you to make it then I don’t know what will.

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What I love most about this recipe is obviously the crust, it is like having a breadstick attached to your pizza and who wouldn’t love that? My second favorite thing is that it is such a simple recipe and takes no time at all since you don’t have to let the dough rise. Read on for the recipe and more of my pretend photography skills…

 

no-rise pizza crust recipe

 

Here is a picture of my crust pre-toppings, so that you can see how imperfect it is, trust me it still tasted great.

Be sure to leave a bit of pan showing so that your crust has room to rise in the oven.

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And here is the final project. Obviously the side with pineapple and red bell pepper is mine—I like to mark my territory.

Don’t forget to marvel at how fat this crust gets even though I don’t let the dough rise.

pizza collage

Dine with me: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Of absolutely everything I have ever cooked, these chocolate chip cookies are The Grizzly Kid’s favorite. Actually, that is putting it lightly. Until you have seen the feral look in his eyes upon mention of these cookies you can’t possibly understand his love for them—it is an intense devotion. These chocolate chip cookies are the only ones I will ever make because they turn out just how I like them, chewy for days—if they last that long.

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I hope you’ll give them a try, because they taste even better than they look.

Chocolate chip cookies

Dine with Me: Strawberry Freezer Jam

Strawberry freezer jam (3)On Memorial day with The Grizzly Kid at home to play with Wallaby I took the time to make my first ever batch of freezer jam. Ideally I would make raspberry jam because that is my favorite fruit, but raspberries are pricey. Instead, I decided on Strawberries because I got them for 99 cents a pint and they taste like summer. The whole process was surprisingly easier than I had expected and since I have already given some of mine away I would love to make another larger batch to last me till next summer. In the end, the cost of the strawberries, pectin, and freezer containers was around five dollars, meaning that I got my four pints of jam for about a $1.25 each which is easily half the price of the all natural jams at the store. Am I the only one who geeks out over diy’s and saving money?

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Dine with Me

I love to cook; sweet, savory, spicy, and basically everything in between. Which is why I was a bit surprised when I fell for The Grizzly Kid with his aversion to new foods, but when you love someone you can overlook something so superficial; even if “not a picky eater” was on all those silly lists you made as a young girl with the qualifications for your perfect future husband. I’m not perfect either, but it turns out The Grizzly Kid and I are perfect together; and anyway the food thing stopped bothering me as soon as I realized that I would never have to share so many foods that I love because The Grizzly Kid won’t go near them with a ten-foot pole—here’s to you, box of Reese’s Puffs cereal in the pantry. This fact is amazingly liberating, being the seventh of ten kids, because for the first time in my life the food that I love will sit around for days and I can savor it and not feel the need to stuff my face before the treats vanish in a fashion that would amaze Houdini. It also means I try to limit the amounts of sweets I make because I know I’ll either eat the whole thing or end up throwing out a good portion of it when it goes bad; and it means I am an amazing hostess because I will force all the recipes I have been dying to try, on you. You should come visit, I’ll make it worth your tastebuds’ while . . .

So here are the three new recipes I have tried this week, two of which even got The Grizzly Kid’s approval.     Continue reading