Sunday, November 25, 2012

Black Friday?

My grandmother and I decided to press our luck and go shopping on Black Friday. Technically, she decided that's what we were doing, but I gladly went along. We decided to go to only a few stores and not start until 11am. We had a wonderful time, with almost no signs of it being a crazy shopping day. We ended up not really buying much of anything. However, it was so much fun spending time together. We even got to have a quiet, calm lunch at the Octagon. They offer a great and reasonable lunch menu. So happy to have been able to have this time with her!

Deep Dish Cranberry Apple Pie
adapted from

2 prepared pie crusts
6 Gala or Honey crisp Apples
102ounces fresh cranberries
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons (1/2 of a stick) of butter, sliced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F with the rack in the lower third.Peel, core and slice the apples. In a large bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, brown sugar, maple syrup, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and lemon juice. Place the filling inside the prepared pie shell. Sprinkle top with sliced butter. Place other pie crust on top, making sure to vent. Bake 35 minutes. Then cover pie with foil, reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45-60 minutes (or until apples are tender). Let cool 2-3 hours before serving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


You may have noticed that I took a break this weekend. I did not bake anything new and I did not get the blog posted in time. However, I have a really good reason. My husband got a job!!!!! It's been about six months of waiting, praying, stressing, interviewing, and banding together. We made it through and now know that we can handle and survive more than we think. It seems fitting that we get this good news right before Thanksgiving. We are full of thanks for so much! Our family, friends, home, puppy, jobs, and health. I hope you all have a Happy and Joyful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I recently taught a class about Universal Product Codes (UPCs), also known as bar codes. The class learned about what the numbers of the bar code stand for and how to find out if a number was wrong. We even started talking about our own UPCs....our Social Security numbers, and what those numbers mean. The QR code (those squares that appear on everything now) were also a topic of conversation. I had learned about most of the codes in my Number Theory classes but I didn't know that the UPC was invented by IBM....or how they convinced supermarkets to use the bar code we use today.

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Blondies
adapted from

Oven 350
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. Melt butter in the microwave and stir into a large bowl with brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla to the sugar mixture.

Once mixed well, stir in half of the flour mixture at a time. Fold chocolate chips into batter.

Pour batter into a greased 8x8 pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool on rack before cutting.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


It's been a long week without power. We lost power Monday afternoon and it finally returned late Friday night. Luckily, we had many friends and family members with power, hot water, and hot coffee! We finally broke down and borrowed my parents' generator Friday night, only to have power restored a few hours later! This week's baked good is a nod to our blackout week.

(our neighbor's tree that fell down)

Makes 12 mini bundt cakes
Oven 375

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant espresso
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup dark chocolate bark, chopped

Espresso Glaze
1 teaspoon instant espresso
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup dark chocolate bark, chopped
2 tablespoons warm water

In a mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Slowly add liquid mixture to flour mixture. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes and add hot water. Mix for an additional minute.

Pour batter into mini-bundt pans (previously greased well). Sprinkle dark chocolate onto each. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pans.

While cakes are cooling, mix espresso and warm water in a small bowl until espresso is dissolved.

Mix in powdered sugar.

Drizzle over cooled cakes and sprinkle with dark chocolate pieces.