Le Creuset Apple Butter Demo

imagePlease join me for a special demo at Le Creuset to learn about the process of making Vanilla Bean Apple Butter while an expert from Natural Grocers will educate you on the varieties of apples and how to use them in baking!  Let’s get ready for the holidays!!!

Le Creuset (Lovers & Inwood, Dallas TX)
Saturday October 19th

Sweet + Spicy Almonds

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 After debating if we wanted to take a trip to a warm beach or freezing cold NYC this winter, we decided that dressing warm and cozy and eating good food sounded way more fun than laying in the hot sun…remind me of this when we are shivering walking in the streets of NY please!  So after we booked our flights, I have been on the hunt for the best places to eat in the city and one thing that keeps popping in my mind and in my nose, is the smell of those delicious roasted nuts on all the street corners.  So instead of waiting two more months, I decided I needed this smell in my house!!  These sweet and spicy almonds are great to set out for a party or to package up for holiday gifts.  There are also so many ways you can make these your own…add rosemary and make them a little savory.  Play around with your favorite spices and herbs, have fun with it!almonds 5

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Sweet + Spicy Almonds
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  1. 2 cups almonds, blanched
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  5. 1 tbsp honey
  6. 1 tbsp water
  7. 1 tsp olive oil
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. spread almonds on a baking sheet
  3. toast until golden, about 10 minutes
  4. in a large bowl, combine, sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper
  5. in a skillet over medium heat, cook honey, water, and olive oil until bubbling
  6. add almonds and toss to coat
  7. pour almonds into sugar mixture and toss to coat
  8. pour almonds back onto sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes
  9. cool completely before serving
Adapted from marthastewart.com
Adapted from marthastewart.com
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/










Halloween Cookie Critters

Halloween craft week 2…not really sure it was exactly what I was thinking!  I had this great idea in my head that we could dip cookie sandwiches into chocolate and decorate them for halloween…sounds easy right?  The answer is yes…easy for the moms to do!  We have 3 and 4 year old girls that love to do crafts and were great at last weeks witches stew, but to ask them to dip and decorate cookies while keeping all the chocolate and candies out of their mouth is not likely.  They loved it!


I think they understood the idea of it, but the detail was lacking a little bit, so if you are ok with some really spooky creatures, this age group is great!  If not, try ages 6  and up…you might get a great finished product.  This is what I am really enjoying about craft days, it is teaching the kids to be creative and it is teaching us moms to be very patient!
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So after the kitchen was all cleaned up and I got both my girls to bed, I decided to tackle these cookie critters on my own…I think it was as fun for me as it was for them.  And yes, I did enjoy licking the chocolate off of my fingers as well (i guess it doesn’t matter what age you are).cookie critters 1


Even though it might sound daunting now, it is a fairly simple project to do and I know your kids would love them.  I might even use these for  school halloween treats.  Sophie could not keep her hands off of them this morning (see below).cookie critter 3

This is what you will need:

1 package of cookie sandwiches (any kind you would like)
dark chocolate 
white chocolate
popsicle sticks
food coloring
candy eye balls (I found these at Target)
black licorice wheels


Dip the popsicle stick in a little bit of chocolate and then stick into cookie sandwich
stick cookies in freezer for 5-10 minutes so the filling gets cold (so much easier to dip…I learned from experience :)
melt your white and dark chocolate in separate bowls (you can also use almond bark if you would like)
separate the white chocolate into three bowls, keep one white and color one green and one orange
dip each cookie into the chocolate of your choice 
let dry for little bit before decorating 
allow cookie critters to dry completely before eating or packaging for gifts!

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Pumpkin Pecan Crumb Cake


If you are having a pumpkin craving (which I know most of you are at this time of year) but don’t want something to sweet, you have to try this pumpkin pecan crumb cake!  The original recipe for this was just a plain pumpkin cake with no topping, but I have been craving something pumpkin for the mornings that is quick to take while we rush out the door for school and this is just what I had in mind.  The crunchy crumb topping is the perfect compliment and would be awesome paired with a cup of coffee or my favorite… chai tea.

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 Enjoy and Happy Pumpkin!

Pumpkin Pecan Crumb Cake
Yields 12
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  1. Pumpkin Cake
  2. 3 cups all purpose flour
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 3 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1 cup pecans, chopped
  8. 4 eggs
  9. 2 cups sugar
  10. 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  11. 1 can pumpkin puree
  12. Crumb Topping
  13. 3/4 cup flour
  14. 2 tbsp sugar
  15. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  16. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  17. 5 tbsp butter, melted
  18. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. sift flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon
  3. at high speed beat eggs and sugar until thick and light yellow in color
  4. while beating add in vegetable oil
  5. slowly alternate dry ingredients and pumpkin puree
  6. mix until all ingredients are combined
  7. stir in pecans by hand
  8. pour into a 10" cake pan or tube pan (coated with oil)
  9. crumb topping
  10. combine flour, sugar and cinnamon
  11. slowly add in butter and vanilla extract
  12. mix until it looks like large peas...nice and crumbly!
  13. add crumb topping to cake
  14. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until knife comes out clean
  15. cool before removing from pan
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/


Witches Stew

witches stew cover

 I feel very lucky on a daily basis for many reasons, but one major reason is that I live one block away from my sister, brother in law and their two kids!  It has almost been 1 year since we moved into our house and we have loved that we can walk to each others homes, the girls can ride their bikes together, or we can just get together to play at any moment….there is nothing better than living so close to family.  I feel really blessed because our kids are going to grow up as cousins and best friends…what more could we ask for!  

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Sophie and Marlie get out of school early on tuesdays, so we have decided to make this food and craft day through the month of October and this will probably continue into November and December.  Since I am a pastry chef and my sister is a graphic designer (crazygoodmama.com) and crafting genius, it was only natural that we teach our kids all about what we love.  Sophie watches me and helps me bake all the time, but I really want her to have hands on fun and let her use her creativity and see what she comes up with.

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 There is absolutely nothing fancy about this recipe…actually there is no recipe!  It is whatever you want it to be and that is the beauty of it.  You can either use this as an excuse to clean out your pantry or you can make it a theme soup…Witches Stew is our Halloween version of this snack soup.  The kids had so much fun and I know we will enjoy this stew throughout the week.

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 Ingredients we used:
marshmallows, pretzels, chocolate teddy grahams, gold fish, sea salt popcorn, honey nut cheerios and candy corn

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Enjoy the holidays with your kids, grandkids, or your friends and let the creativity shine through!

Next Weeks Project:  Oreo Critters


Fried Brownies


I have to be honest, I am not a big fried food/fried dessert person, but when my brother in law texted me late one night that he wanted Fried Brownies, I kind of got excited and it actually sounded amazing to me.  Rich dark chocolate and light fluffy dough, this could be the most decadent dessert…..and it is!  This challenge all got brought on when the fried food list came out for the State Fair.  I know the Texas State Fair has some crazy fried food combos, but there is no fried brownie on the list this year, so I felt I needed to make these and start off this food filled month (or three months) with a bang!  Just imagine (you don’t have to imagine if you make them) a brownie stuffed into a beignet sprinkled with powdered sugar, and if you really want to be crazy, you can dip them in a warm chocolate sauce!  These are simple to make and frying anything is really fun.  Have a great weekend!

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check out sidedish.dmagazine.com for the fried food list at The Texas State Fair

Fried Brownies
Yields 48
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  1. Brownies
  2. 3 1/2 cups sugar
  3. 1 lb butter
  4. 6 eggs
  5. 2 1/2 cups flour
  6. 1 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  7. Batter
  8. 2 cups all purpose flour
  9. 2 tbsp. baking powder
  10. 2 tbsp. sugar
  11. 1 tsp salt
  12. 2 cups milk
  1. Brownie
  2. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  3. cream butter and sugar
  4. add eggs
  5. add flour and cocoa powder (will be thick)
  6. spread into 8x13 baking pan and bake for 30 minutes (until knife comes out clean)
  7. Batter
  8. combine all dry ingredients
  9. right before you are ready to use add milk (add more milk if needed to make consistency like pancake batter)
  10. Fried Brownies
  11. once brownies are cooled, cut into 1 1/2" squares (bite size)
  12. heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees F (use a candy thermometer)
  13. dip each brownie bite into batter and drop into hot oil until golden brown
  14. remove fried brownie and put on cloth to dry
  15. dust with powdered sugar
  16. Enjoy
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

Yum Yum Bars


 If your wondering where the name Yum Yum Bar came about, just make them, eat them and then you will know.  These are super delicious and once you eat one, it is hard to get them out of your mind.  This is an original Nanny recipe that I have had growing up, but the first time I made them was last december with my mom (also Nanny to all the grandkids).  This was a very special time for me and I am already looking forward to holiday baking to begin and to share all our wonderful holiday cookies with you.  My mom and I spent two long nights baking in my home kitchen, which was very unusual for us because I always made desserts at the bakery and brought it to our family dinners, but this time we made them together and I enjoyed it more than ever!  Although all our christmas cookies are something to write about, and I will, this one stuck out in my mind and I really could not wait two more months to make these.  


This recipe is very simple, made it two parts; first you make the crust and bake until golden brown and then you make the filling which is like a brownie, chocolate chip cookie and pecan bar (without the pecans, but you can add if you want) that fell in love.  You bake these until browned on top and you must cool completely before cutting.  







Once these are cut into your perfect squares you can either eat them just the way they are or you can dust them with powdered sugar or drizzle them with chocolate.  Enjoy!

Yum Yum Bars
Yields 24
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  1. 2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  2. 4 tsp brown sugar
  3. 1 cup butter, semi melted
  1. 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 3 cups brown sugar
  6. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1 1/2 cup coconut, shredded
  8. 2 cups chocolate chips, semi sweet
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. line a 8x13 baking pan with parchment paper
  1. combine flour, brown sugar and butter
  2. mix to combine and spread evenly in pan
  3. bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown
  1. combine flour, baking powder and salt
  2. add eggs and mix until combined
  3. add brown sugar, vanilla, coconut and chocolate chips
  4. spread on top of baked crust
  5. bake for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned
  6. cool completely before cutting into 2" squares
  7. optional: dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/




Pumpkin Spice Granola


Pumpkin Spice GranolaWell here we go…This is the first of many pumpkin recipes to come.  I got so excited last weekend when I saw pumpkins patches starting to pop up and that was when I knew I could officially start baking with pumpkin!  I decided to start with something breakfasty, although it can be eaten at any meal, because we are always on the search for something easy and quick for breakfast.  Most mornings, my husband and I eat nothing because we are trying to get everything ready for the day, our girls fed and out the door to work and school, but I know how important it is to eat breakfast.  On sunday mornings we tend to make breakfast for 10 even though it is just the four of us (only 3 eating)…I think we are trying to make up for the rest of the week.  So my goal is to come up with something simple, but still interesting to eat for breakfast that we can eat on the go if needed.  I have always loved granola with milk, yogurt or even ice cream, but when my husband said one morning that he wanted granola and yogurt for breakfast, I knew I needed to come up with a good recipe that we can all enjoy.



 Top of mind…PUMPKIN, so here we are.  When I was creating this recipe, I played around with several different ways you can make this type of granola because adding pumpkin puree is going to make it a little more moist than normal, but this was the recipe that I felt won over the family (thanks mom for being my taster).  I hope you enjoy it and this is also a great way to get your house smelling like fall….even better than a candle!


Pumpkin Spice Granola
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  1. 4 cups oats
  2. 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  3. 1/2 tsp ginger
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  6. 1/2 cup honey
  7. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  8. 6 tbsp butter, melted
  9. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  11. 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  12. 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  1. combine oats, almonds, cinnamon, ginger, salt in large mixing bowl
  2. whisk honey, pumpkin puree, brown sugar and butter
  3. add pumpkin mixture into oats and stir until oats are completely coated
  4. bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes or until golden brown
  5. add dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds after cooled
  6. store in airtight container
  7. serve with yogurt and honey!
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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