I don’t know about you, but our freezer is sort of a black hole. I’m not exactly sure how it happens, but something will be placed in there, and get sucked into the void that is our freezer. It sits quietly in the back until one day the entire contents of the freezer explode into an avalanche of mildly frost-bitten foodstuffs. An over-sized bag with a lone fish stick, a pint of ice cream with a mere spoonful left, something brown and unidentifiable that causes Brendan and I to look at each other with raised eyebrows and a hint of concern… Anyway, during my freezer’s latest purge I discovered a bag of shredded zucchini remaining from last summer’s CSA haul. And since our CSA is due to start up again any time now I figured it was probably a good idea to use up the last of the remaining goodies from 2014.
As regular readers of the blog will likely have noticed, I have a definite thing for muffins. They’re easy to make, and are perfect for an addition to my breakfast or an afternoon snack. And, you know, Brendan will never complain about a tray full of baked goods sitting on the counter.
Guys, the winter is killing me. This past weekend, I was heading up to Jersey to host a brunch with my mom. Knowing we were having a bunch of people over, I made a nice big batch of muffins. I drove up north with my sister, and Brendan was going to join me later in the afternoon with my stuff and my muffins. And then it started to snow. Again. What had been forecasted as a chance of flurries ended up as four-plus inches of ice and snow. Needless to say, Brendan ended up snowed in at home while I was stuck in New Jersey, sans-muffins. It was a sad day.
Happy Apple Fritter Day, everyone! Yes, apple fritter day. Now, I know most people will argue with me. “Today is pancake day,” they’ll say. But those people are wrong. For my whole life…and my mom’s whole life…and my Grandma’s whole life…and I think for the lives of the women in my family for generations, Mardi Gras has been a day when we fry up apple fritters. My mom tells the story of when she was a kid, and her grandmother would get her after school and make these for an after school snack, and then again when the rest of the family came over after dinner. Of course, my great grandmother didn’t have a recipe for them; she would just throw the ingredients together and fry them up. My mom took the time to to watch her make these, taking notes, and finally put the recipe together. And I’m here to share it with you.
When I made double chocolate banana muffins a few weeks ago, I mentioned that my husband was already asking me to bake more of them. So when I mentioned last week that I was planning on making them again, I was surprised when he asked, “Can you make them in loaf form? With peanut butter?” Dude, I was going to make muffins…with a recipe I already have…now you want bread…with peanut butter? I love him, but man he can be a pain 🙂
Last week, I mentioned some of the super awesome Christmas presents I got for my kitchen. Perhaps the most exciting of these gifts was the pizza oven my husband got me. I suspect that the idea may have been a little bit self-serving (the man could live on pizza alone), but I honestly don’t care. Being gluten free, finding good pizza can be next to impossible. While companies like Still Riding Pizza and Conte’s are making GF pizza more readily available, they still leave something to be desired. So, finally having a pizza oven of my own, I was excited at the prospect of good, old-fashioned pizza. And let me tell you, that is exactly what I got!
I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays — I know we did! It was a few weeks filled with friends, food, and Netflix (seriously, have you guys seen Once Upon a Time? It’s ah-mazing). Today, though, it is back to the real world. The alarm went off at 5:30, and we woke up to the apartment upstairs leaking into our kitchen. Yep, the holidays are definitely over.
This weekend I caved and put on the heat. I didn’t have much of a choice as the temperatures in our apartment dipped down into the fifties. But the advantage to this colder weather means that baking all the time is far more acceptable. Because, really, fresh baked goods straight from the oven are infinitely more warming than a heater is.
I am well aware that the bulk of the Internet community has been forcing pumpkin spiced everything down the throats of innocent bystanders since the first whisper of autumn. I, however, have exhibited restraint. Sure, I’ve bombarded you with apple recipes, but I’ve held off on the pumpkin. Until now. With Halloween staring us down, it was time to break into my pumpkin puree and make something delicious.
The beauty of these bars is their versatility. Served plain or with a light cinnamon drizzle, they are absolutely acceptable for breakfast. Honestly, with only half of a cup of added sugar, they are essentially oatmeal bars. For those who want something a bit more decadent, though, these babies can be topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting for a perfect fall dessert. And the candy corn? Well, they are just an added bonus!
I don’t know about you guys, but I am a creature of habit. I take my coffee mugs off of my mug tree in the same order every time. It doesn’t matter that they are identical apart from color; coffee just tastes better from the orange one. In the evening, I sit in the same spot on the couch, and good luck to anyone who tries to take it from me. But perhaps the saddest part of my habitual nature is my breakfasts. For years, I would eat a cup of yogurt with some fruit for breakfast. Every. Single. Morning. Now, thanks to lactose intolerance, it’s a scrambled egg. If I really want to get crazy, I’ll throw in some roasted vegetables and call it an omelet. I know I’m not alone in this. Kelly Ripa has gone on and on about her avocado toast obsession. I can’t say I know anyone else who does this, so maybe it’s just the two of us. But at least it isn’t just me.