Lemon Yogurt Tea Cakes

These little lemon yogurt tea cakes are perfect for a spring brunch or shower. They are pretty, full of flavor and so super easy to make! You can bake them up in a muffin tin, like I did here, or you can bake it up as a 9" cake. I chose to decorate these little guys with buttercream flowers, but some pretty little chamomile or lemon blossoms would be really pretty too! 

Orange Ricotta Cake

 Barring any major disasters, baked goods are pretty forgiving. Even if something goes wrong, its usually OK. It turns out that one of my favorite chocolate cakes is just my regular chocolate cake without the baking powder or baking soda. How do I know? Because one time I was making my regular chocolate cake and forgot the baking powder and baking soda. Oops. 

 And don’t get me started on substitutions. As long as I am cooking for fun and not for an order, I’m constantly making substitutions! Don’t have cake flour? Use all purpose. It will be different, but I promise you, it’s fine. Don’t have milk? Do you have sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt or mayonnaise? Any of those will do (well, mayo is for desperate times and generally works best in combination with one of the other subs.) Out of sugar? Do you have maple syrup or honey? You’re good. The only thing I try not to mess with is the baking soda/baking powder.  Because, science.

Healthy Carrot Cake

I developed this recipe for several reasons. The first being that while I have no food intolerances myself, I truly believe that sugar and dairy are indulgences and should be eaten sparingly. I also developed this recipe because an alarmingly increasing number of people I meet are unable to eat gluten, dairy or cane sugar for one reason or another.
 I have had a really hard time finding people who make really delicious healthy sweets. I have also had a hard time finding recipes that are simple, delicious and using all natural ingredients. That is definitely not to say that there aren't people out there doing a truly lovely job of this (my best friend Chelsea at The Naked Fig makes some of the best, yummiest recipes I've ever tried and they just happen to really fresh and healthy.)

Trio of Thanksgiving Pies

Oops! Its been a very long time since I last posted a recipe. Like...6 months?

That's because, simply put, I am not a blogger. I am a baker.

I bake for a living. Or I bake for pure pleasure. Neither of those scenarios are totally conducive to pausing the action to style my workspace to perfection, whip out my camera  and shoot until I get what I want. I wish I was that person. I really do. 

I'm working on it. 

In the meantime....PIE. Three kinds of pie. Nothing fancy or avant garde, Just good old fashioned Thanksgiving pies. I feel like sometimes its harder to find the basic, staple recipes than is is to find crazy, new and exciting recipes. And sometimes you just want a frickin' apple pie. You know?

Apple Pie

1 Recipe pie crust, divided into two
6-7 apples, I like to use gala, cored, peeled, sliced into 1/2" pieces
about 1/2 a cup brown sugar (more or less depending on the sweetness of your apples)
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
2 Tbs. Tapioca flour or cornstarch
about 2 Tbs. Unsalted butter
1 egg
extra sugar for dusting

Generously flour your workspace. Pull chilled dough out of the refrigerator and roll to about 1/4" which. Dust off the flour, drape the dough into the pie pan. Press it into the corners and sides, letting it hang over about an inch all around. Set it back into the refrigerator while you mix the filling. 

Mix apple slices, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and tapioca flour in a bowl. 

Pour the filling into the crust. Cut up the 2 Tbs. of butter into pieces and disperse the pieces evenly on top of the filling.

Roll out the dough for the top of the pie and place it on top of the filling. Roll  the edges and crimp as desired. 

Let chill in the freezer while you preheat the oven to 375 F

Bake for 45 min-1 hour until juices are bubbly and crust is golden brown.


Pecan Pie

1 Recipe Pie Crust
2 Cups Pecan Halves
1/4 Cup Butter

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup Corn Syrup
1 Tbs. Molasses
1/2 tsp Orange Zest
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Tbs. Bourbon (optional and recommended)
3 Eggs

Generously flour your workspace. Pull chilled dough out of the refrigerator and roll to about 1/4" which. Dust off the flour, drape the dough into the pie pan. Press it into the corners and sides, letting it hang over about an inch all around. Roll the edges under and crimp as desired. Set it back into the refrigerator while you mix the filling. 

In a smal saucepan, melt butter with sugars and molasses. Remove from heat. Add zest, vanilla, bourbon and salt. Whisk in eggs one at a time. 

Put the pecans in the pie shell. Pour the filling over the pecans and chill the pie while you preheat the oven to 350 F.

Bake for 45 min-an hour until crust is golden and center is set. 


Pumpkin Pie

1 Recipe Pie Crust
16 oz. Roasted pureed pumpkin (or, let's be honest, 1 can pumpkin puree)
2 Eggs
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Clove
1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 Cup Half and Half

preheat oven to 375 F

Generously flour your workspace. Pull chilled dough out of the refrigerator and roll to about 1/4" which. Dust off the flour, drape the dough into the pie pan. Press it into the corners and sides, letting it hang over about an inch all around. Roll the edges under and crimp as desired. Set it back into the refrigerator while you mix the filling. 

Whisk together pumpkin, eggs and sugar. Add salt and spices. Slowly add half and half.  

Pour filling into the prepared pie shell. 

Bake for 50-70 minutes until the crust is golden, the edges are set and the center just barely jiggles like jello. 


The Fig Galette in the picture is a recipe from my best friend Chelsea at The Naked FigShe is the blogger I wish I was! And this recipe is perfect and guilt free. 


Strawberry Crumble Galettes

Did you know that a strawberry is NOT actually a berry? Neither are raspberries or blackberries. You know what IS a berry? A banana. You know what else? Avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins and oranges. 

Weird. How did we get it so wrong? 

So what IS a strawberry? Well technically its an "aggregate fruit." But really, its a small, juicy, red, burst of happiness and joy that annually signals the arrival of spring and the imminence of summer. At least thats what the guy at the farmers market said as he suckered me into buying five pounds of the ripe, fragrant fruit. Well, farmers market man, you are not wrong about that. They ARE small bursts of happiness and joy and summer. But NO, farmers market man, I did not need five pounds of fully ripened bursts of happiness, joy and summer. A girl can only eat so many before they start going bad, you know? 

So I think you can guess what has been on the menu in our house lately..... Strawberries. Strawberries in cake, strawberries in salad, strawberries in Jam, Strawberries on ice cream, strawberries on toast. I now present... The strawberry galette! My favorite way to use up those extra strawberries. 

Chocolate Hazelnut Crackle Cookies

I'm not a big Valentine's Day gal. I don't expect gifts or cards or flowers or hired skywriters writing big personalized proclamations. I would never say no to chocolate, but I don't necessarily hope for special valentines day chocolate (that's maybe a lie. I'm always hoping for chocolate.) I try to do special things for the people I love as often as possible. I like people to know that they are loved and appreciated. Even in small ways like grabbing their favorite chap stick when I'm at CVS or saving them a couple of cookies that I know they like. I tell poor Corey that I love him upwards of a million times a day. Because I do. And he should know. I do the same thing with my family and friends.

All of this being said, there is certainly nothing WRONG with valentines day. It is a day that is there to remind us to do something special for the people we love. It doesn't have to be about spending money making a big scene. I like to just take a few minutes and do something nice for the people I love. Sometimes I make handmade valentines. One year I gave everyone little succulent and cactus clippings from my yard so they could replant them and enjoy them. This year it's all about cookies.

These cookies are Corey's ultimate all time favorite cookies in the whole world. He could and would eat them everyday if I was willing to make them that often. And I really don't blame him. They are fudgey and soft on the inside but crispy and sweet on the outside. They are best eaten right out of the oven with a glass of milk, but you can store them in an airtight container for a few days and they will still be good! Also, if you are able to keep them around for a few days, then you have iron strong will and self control. I applaud you and you are better than I in many ways.

Lemon Polenta Cake

This cake is crazy easy to make. It also happens to be completely and totally delicious. Seriously. There is nothing else one could hope for in a dessert. OK, I liked, maybe if it was easy to make, completely delicious AND contained just one half calorie per serving THAT would be the most one could hope for in a dessert.... But this is a reeeeeeeally close second. 

This cake is light and dense all at the same time. It is sweet and tart. It is both fresh and warm. The cornmeal lends a nice textural layer. This cake would make a wonderful end to any dinner party. And if you're anything like me, you may find that it would make a good start to any day. Cake for breakfast is completely acceptable and encouraged in my book!

Fig and Pecan Galettes

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Its like a Fig Newton mixed with a Pecan Pie. It's perfect with a little scoop of ice cream and a little honey drizzled on top. I look forward to repurposing the filling in all kinds of desserts in my near future. It will be great in cookies, on quick breads or even, now stay with me, but something involving goat cheese... 

The galette dough is wonderful and flaky and buttery. I have to admit I can get a bit obsessive about my pastry doughs, and this is the best galette dough I have used. The key to a good dough is to keep it as cool as possible and handle it as little as possible. Keeping the handling to a minimum is a little tricky with this dough because it is rather dry, but its best not to add liquid so as to end up with a sturdier and flakier crust.