Gingerbread Granola

Yesterday I mentioned that sometimes the things I make flop. For instance, I had cut out these beautiful little gingerwomen. So cute. The dough tasted amazing (and I am not a ginger cookie kind-of-girl). I was so excited to put them in the oven. Fast forward to my disappointment when I took them out of the oven. They were just a sheet of ginger cookie. One cookie. Gone were the perfect little ginger people. I will say that my initial reaction was not gracious. This was my second batch of cookies in a row to do this. I needed a moment to recollect myself.

And in reality, this sheet of cookie was exactly what I needed. My initial goal leading up to this was to make the gingerbread cookies, then crumble them up and make granola. I like to make granola for the markets and I had been thinking that a gingerbread would be seasonal. So maybe I was not meant to have the cliche ginger people? I got what I needed. It still tasted delicious. The granola is awesome. And I did not feel bad crumbling up the large cookie, like I would have felt crumbly up beautiful little cutouts.

I had envisioned this granola with yogurt as well, like a nice little breakfast, perfect with some butter coffee. Plus I had an apple in the fridge, bake that baby and put it all together. This turned out to be a lovely little dessert for my husband the way I made it. Warm, yummy food that makes you want to settle in with slippers and your man and your dog on a cold, snowy day.

So I guess the moral of today’s story is how to deal when things don’t go as planned. That maybe God has a better plan than the one you had intended. Roll with it. Don’t let it get you done, revision and make something better.

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Gluten-Free Brown Butter Cinnamon Cookies

This beautiful Kitchen Aid has been taunting me for months now! I have a pretty amazing family. Yes I have a big, kind-of-crazy, kind-of-loud, opinionated family. But that is all families. They are also tremendously loyal, loving, generous, creative, their-for-each-other, and just freaking awesome. For our wedding reception my grandparents and my father’s siblings all got me a Kitchen Aid mixer. Not just your run-of-the-mill mixer, but a beautiful golden one. It has been in a box since October. For a baker, this is a major tease. To have such a jewel in my possession, yet unable to use it.

Now why have I not been able to use it? If you are unfamiliar with me or this site, I have been living in a frat house the last few months. We had to break a lease in another city and just last week I moved into a new tiny house (studio apartment) with my wonderful husband. Someday I am sure we will look back at our first year of marriage: moving multiple times, living in a tiny space, traveling, adjusting to married life, changing jobs, and living with a bunch of 20 year old frat boys ALL while we were newlyweds as hilarious.

So now that we finally have our own space, I was excited to unpack and get settled in (we both were, which is probably why we were fully moved and box-free by Saturday). I will admit that this mixer was probably the second box I unloaded. I couldn’t help myself, for so long it had called for me and I had to see what it looked like on the counter………..out of that box.  

Once I got it out though, I was faced with a tough decision: what to make first?

One would think a pie, since it is my slight obsession. But I actually went traditional. It is December after-all, so I went for cookies. Plus it was a beautiful snowy Sunday, I had a bit of a cough that kept me in, rather than playing outside in it. It seemed to be the perfect timing to work on some delicious cookie recipes.

Our apartment filled with the smell of ginger and cinnamon. Which brings me to today’s post. Brown Butter Cinnamon Cookies. I don’t know what it is, but browned butter is freaking delicious. So when I found a recipe, I decided to tweak it. Make it gluten-free, friendly-up the sugars and see what happened. Continue reading

An Attitude of Gratitude

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I once heard that if you only say one prayer a day, let it simply be “thank you”.

I do love me some Thanksgiving. Not because I am a Thanksgiving baby. Or the food. Holidays can get lost in the commercialization.  I love what it represents, THANKS. Gratitude shines bright in my life as an essential practice. So even though this time of year is synonymous with food and large gatherings and football and shopping, I like to go back to the name itself. Thanks. It is our perspective about holidays that matters. What it reminds us to practice daily in our lives.

Gratitude has helped me during my biggest struggles. I have said it many times. Practicing gratitude reminds me of how blessed I am. How much I already have. It allows me to fill blissfully content.

I go back to a conversation I had with a nice wood-worker two weeks ago at the farmer’s market. It is easy nowadays to get lost in monster of MORE. We want more constantly. More stuff. More money. More food. More ‘friends’. More time. We get greedy in our lust for more.We pack our schedules with more.  And then we become slaves to our want of more. We work more. We get lost in the cycle of a job. Chasing money, so we can have or seem like we have more. But then we never actually enjoy our time. Because we waste it at jobs that don’t bring us joy. Or we never take the trips. Or see our families. Or we are tired and grouchy when we do see them. Forget being present, we are ready to numb ourselves out by the time we get home. Have a drink. Get lost in TV. The nice wood-worker was telling me that he retired and started his little business. He also explained how he didn’t have nor did he want a website because he didn’t want it to become a job. It was something he enjoyed doing. And I think about this in my own business, because he is right. Spend time doing what you love. Be more content with what you have than constantly wanting more. Because this also can create a feeling of not having enough. And further of not being enough.  Continue reading

Pear Cranberry Mini Pies

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Last pie of this, and I will keep it short and sweet because I am sure you are busy preparing and baking already.

I was intrigued by this combination. I was also wanting to give pears more of a chance. I tend to lean towards apples (slash I tend to completely forget that pears exist).

So it was finally pears turn to shine. And I was on a cranberry kick. Having them together seemed perfect!

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Cranberry Orange Galette

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Last week I baked up and posted two delicious galettes (Check them out: Caramel Apple and Maple Ginger Pear), but this was THE original plan. This is the galette I was jazzed and excited to make. I couldn’t wait to get to it on my list. Cranberry day of baking was kind of my favorite day.

Besides cranberries and oranges are classic holiday combinations. One that I have never tried before. I was eager to say the least to see how it turned out.

Plus, as I mentioned, galettes have been lingering in my mind and I was ready to try them out as well!

I was super duper pleased with the outcome, and really want to try a regular pie with a nice streusel topping!

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Chocolate Pecan Cranberry Pie

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This recipe I was most excited to make! I love pecans. I love chocolate. That’s two out of three major ingredients, so I believed I was due to make something stellar.

This also kicks starts the theme of this week: cranberry.

I have three lovely cranberry recipes coming your way. But I started with the best first. You still have two more days to prepare and get it together so you can impress with this beauty on Thanksgiving. Plus you get to be the showstopper who brought something different and unique.

People will want (NEED) to try it.

img_20161110_171735Chocolate Pecan Cranberry Pie Continue reading

Maple Ginger Pear Galette

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I am guilty of getting caught up and stuck on something. It started with cranberry orange galettes (also I made three things with cranberries, another testament to my stuckness). And then I had an extra apple and extra caramel, so I made another one.

And then I had a pear left as well. I also had a recipe already ready for a maple ginger pear pie. Automatically I was drawn to making another beautiful galette.

I don’t know what it is, but I really enjoy these flat little pies. Plus they are great to take vending because they start conversation. People are intrigued. They are pretty. And they are freaking delicious.

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