Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Twist

I thought I'd share some things that annoy me:
1) Walking by the same person you've already walked by in the dairy, produce, and frozen food aisles.
2) An open parenthesis that is never closed (like this
3) When you're paying for something in a store and they ask you what ZIP Code you live in.
4) When the driver pushes the unlock button, but you pull the handle at the same moment, and remain locked out.
5) When a stranger asks you for the time, and your fear that you won't be able to answer in an appropriate time span causes you to blurt out, "9:17. No, 10:17! No! 9:17!"
6) When you thank the cashier for packaging your groceries but your attempt at brightening her day elicits no discernible reaction.
7) When the car driving behind you has a ski rack attached to the top, making it look like a police car in your rear view mirror.

(from "Don't You Just Hate That?" by Scott Cohen)

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Roll Crust
adapted from
Oven 350

Cinnamon Roll Crust:
Enough Pie Crust for a 9 inch pie
ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter/margarine

Roll out pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Brush with butter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon. Roll up tightly and slice into 1/2-inch rounds, like miniature cinnamon rolls.
Press miniature cinnamon rolls, flat side down, evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch glass pie plate, making sure there are no spaces between the rolls. Set aside.

Pie Filling:
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Whisk eggs, egg yolk and sugar in large bowl until blended. Mix in flour, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Stir in pumpkin and butter, then buttermilk. Pour filling into crust. Bake until set (center will puff slightly) about 45-60 minutes. Cool completely.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Better Late than Never

I finished my first administration class on Monday. So happy that I have my Monday night back and part of my weekends! And I finally got my diploma for my master's degree in the mail...just a few months later. My husband and I went and got a frame for it tonight and put it up in our stairwell with the rest of our degrees. It looks good and feels much more official, especially since I didn't walk in a graduation ceremony. My sister, Audrey, requested an ice cream cake for her 20th birthday. So I purchased one of those but decided to make some dessert to bring also. It's dairy-free and can easily be adapted to make two or more loaves. If you don't like raisins, you could use chocolate chips or walnuts.

Pumpkin Carrot Raisin Bread
adapted from
Oven 350

1 1/2cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 /2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup raisins

Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and water in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened.

Fold in carrot and raisins. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, November 14, 2011


This post is a bit late. I had such a busy weekend that the blog had to wait until today. We had a lot of family visiting from out of state and many get-togethers to attend. We celebrated retirements, birthdays, anniversaries, new homes, and being a family.
On Friday, my mother-in-law and cousin-in-law went for a ride to the Yankee Candle Company Factory Store in South Deerfield, MA. It took us 2 hours to get there, we spent 3 1/2 hours shopping (this place is huge), and we came home with nothing. Why you ask? Because after the 3 1/2 hours of shopping we were standing in line with a full cart and the power went out (transformer). They informed us that it's be about 30 minutes, so we stayed in line. About 20 minutes later we were informed that they would not be getting power back and everyone had to leave. We left our cart in a manager's office and went back for it on Sunday. So we ended up traveling quite a bit this weekend....for candles!

Snickerdoodle Cake

1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda

In a large saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil.

Remove from the heat; stir in flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, almond extract, salt and baking soda until smooth.

Pour into a greased baking pan (I used 9x 15, but you could easily make this in a sheet pan).
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until cake is golden brown and tests done.

Cool for 20 minutes. Frost as desired (I made my frosting with 2-3 tblspoons milk, 1/3 cup cinnamon butter, 3 cups confectioners sugar).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hanging Out

Our walls officially have pictures on them! Not every wall, but at least most rooms have some sort of accessories. It's only taken us how many months? Our curtains are slowly going up, too. It's really starting to feel like our home.

Apple Raisin Sticky Buns
adapted from Rachel Ray Magazine
2 tart apples- peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 in thick
1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup light cream
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Place the apples, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon butter on a lined baking sheet; toss to coat. Cover loosely with foil and roast until tender, 15 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, blend the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt at low speed. Add 5 tablespoons butter and mix until crumbly.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with 1/2 cup cream, then mix into the dry ingredients.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to form a 9-inch rectangle. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, the raisins, and cinnamon. Cut up 2 tablespoons butter and dot the dough.
Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on top and cover entirely with the roasted apples.
Roll up the dough , jelly-roll style, and cut crosswise into 9 pieces; place the slices cut side down in the prepared baking pan. Bake until golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup cream, and the honey to a boil, stirring. Let cool slightly. Drizzle the sauce over the warm buns.