Crunchy Butterfinger Cookies

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Happy Halloween, candy fiends! Before you and the kiddos embark on your day of rowdy parties, twilight trick-or-treating, and massive sugar consumption, I want to impart you with some knowledge. The quickest way to rid your house of excess Halloween candy is to bake it into cookies. That’s right folks, you know as well as I that every year we end up with gobs of candy that will take our little pirates and princesses weeks, maybe months, to get through (or eventually get toss out). Which is why I thought up a recipe that will put some of those confections to better use. These flourless peanut butter cookies are generously studded with hunks of Butterfingers and pack a candy-worthy crunch! Seriously, these guys are so good that your monsters won’t even bother with the Dum-Dums and Smarties in the bottom of their trick-or-treat bag. Continue reading

Gingersnaps (Two Ways)

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Well hello, stranger, long time no see! It’s been a couple weeks since I posted anything to my blog and I have a good excuse for that (or lots of little excuses that add up to one good excuse). What started out as me taking a single week off to battle the plague which brought my entire family to its knees (seriously, even the cat was sick), Continue reading

Pumpkin Roll

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Well it looks like Texas finally got the message that autumn is coming. For the past couple days we’ve been enjoying foggy, rainy weather, and temperatures in the mid-80’s (believe me, that’s chilly for this area). All it took was this slight change in climate for the mound of pumpkins sitting outside our grocery store to stop looking ridiculous and out of place, and start looking appealing. A few days ago I dug out all of my pumpkin recipes and tried to figure out what I wanted to make first, and that’s when I found my mom’s Pumpkin Roll recipe. Now, this isn’t actually her recipe, but it’s one that she’s been making since I was a toddler and can be traced back only as far as her friend Roxie. My mom’s copy is handwritten on a yellowing index card that has orange flowers and brown mushrooms decorating the corners (it was the 70’s afterall). Most likely the original recipe came from Betty Crocker or Good Housekeeping, but she made it often and it always marked the beginning of fall for my sister and me, so in my mind it will always be my mom’s pumpkin roll…and now it can be yours, too. Continue reading

Peanut Butter Mini-Pies

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I’ve already mentioned my weakness for peanut butter and chocolate, right? Yes, I remember now, I confessed that little sin in another post. Well, guess what, folks? My mad craving recently struck again, and I was forced (forced I tell you!) to create something rich, creamy, and delicious to stave it off. And since pie season is rapidly approaching, I chose to channel my gluttony into little, bitty pies rather than dumping them all into my ice cream maker like last time — and ohmygoodness was it heavenly! Served straight out of the ice box, it’s still considered a “cool treat,” but one that is substantial enough to stand up to the heavier autumn meals that we’re starting to make. So come on, everybody, let’s make today Friday Pie-Day! Continue reading

Blueberry Port Wine Sauce

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Now that September is here and all the kids are back in school, I’m starting to notice a shocking amount of fall items popping up all over the place. You know what I’m talking about: pumpkin spice lattes, autumn-inspired wreaths, and Halloween costumes on every store shelf. Although autumn is my favorite time of year, it’s hard for me to think about fall when we’re still experiencing 100° temperatures here in Texas. Now, with that being said, I’m fully aware that many parts of the world (like my drizzly home state of Washington) are already feeling the change in seasons, so I’m willing to strike a compromise, ya’ll. But, instead of going full bore with the cinnamon & nutmeg and carving out a big, fat, orange pumpkin, I’ve decided to take a summer fruit (blueberries) and combine it with subtle, warming flavors like cloves, coriander, and port wine to create a sauce that you can serve hot or cold – making it perfect for any climate! Continue reading

Fun Bonfire Treats

As I mentioned in my last post, my family and I just returned from our annual trip to the Oregon Coast, where we spent three (rather chilly) days making sandcastles, eating massive amounts of saltwater taffy, and warming ourselves next to smoldering bonfires. Our beachside dinners are nothing special; just the typical grilled hot dogs, store-bought potato salad, and, of course, s’mores. But the s’mores, mind you, we take very seriously. Between my nephew’s raging sweet tooth and my dad’s brilliant homemade bonfire forks, s’mores have quickly become the main attraction of our trip. This year I decided to shake things up a bit with two different flavors of s’mores, which we started referring to as G’mores (gourmet s’mores). Both variations (Strawberries & Cream and Triple Chocolate) got the seal of approval from my sugar-obsessed nephew (and the rest of the clan), which was all the taste-testing I needed. So with tomorrow being Labor Day and the vast majority of us camping or grilling out, why not try a new twist on this all-American favorite? Continue reading