warm brussels sprout and crispy red onion salad

In dinner on December 7, 2014 at 2:12 pm

this is a yummy appetizer or side salad for an autumn or winter dinner. and it’s super simple, too.


i used the tiny brussels sprouts and left them whole because they are so picturesque, but you can certainly use the regular ones. just cut them in half.

toss your sprouts and half a red onion, thinly sliced, in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. make sure not to crowd the pan or things won’t brown. it’s ok use two if necessary.

bake for about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven. length of time in the oven obviously depends on the size of your sprouts or sprout pieces, so keep an eye on them. you want them to start to brown but not get too mushy. most of the onions should crisp up, too.

put in a dish and drizzle with a little balsamic. i used a thick balsamic glaze. if you want to duplicate something like that, make a mixture of one part balsamic and one part honey. serve warm.

pumpkin-spice bran muffins

In recipe on November 23, 2014 at 11:13 pm

real talk: i’m not the only one who tries to consume as much pumpkin-spice product as possible this time of year, even occasionally venturing into the terrifying world of pumpkin spice hersey’s kisses….

as you know, i’m also a devout muffin lover. in fact, this blog should be called incredible crunchy muffin (ew?! incredible moist delicious muffins? doesn’t quite ring…) because i think i have more muffin recipes than anything else.

so what a great a opportunity to develop a new combination. this one is in honor of a friend who – like me – is obsessed with garam masala, especially combined with pumpkin. in my opinion, it’s the best pumpkin spice out there.

these muffins are healthy and delicious, combining good ingredients with lots of whole grain for tasty fiber.

pumpkin-spice bran muffins

1 cup wheat bran, toasted
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup pumpkin
pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, nuts, etc for topping (optional)

toast your wheat bran in a cast iron skillet or dry frying pan over medium until it smells toasty.


when coolish, mix white flour, baking powder, salt and spice. use a whisk to make sure everything is well-combined.


in a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, milk, egg, oil and yogurt. when completely combined, use a spoon to mix in the pumpkin.




pour the pumpkin mixture into the bran mixture and combine gently. (remember, over-stirring leads to a tough muffin!)


using a 1/4-cup measure, spoon into baking cups. i lined mine with papers, but the papers stuck a little to muffins at first. i’d recommend just spraying the tin and skipping the papers.


since i thought they needed some additional texture, i sprinkled some sunflower seeds on top. this was all i had – pumpkin seeds would have been much better. if you don’t have either, some oat-fashioned oats would work or nuts, if you don’t live in a nut-free house!


bake at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes, rotating once in the middle if you’d like. (ATK swears i must do this. also, my oven heats unevenly.) check with a cake tester to make sure the inside is done.


my house smells like fall!


apple tart

In dessert on November 11, 2014 at 12:34 am

i’ve made this apple tart – it’s alice waters’ recipe on smitten kitchen – twice now and it’s gorgeous and delicious and quite simple.


i followed the recipe closely for the most part. the crust i made in the food processor. just buzz up the flour, butter, sugar and salt. transfer to a bowl and flake in the water with a fork, just until it comes together. don’t over-work it. you can make ahead and keep in the fridge for a day or two.

for apples, i used three, but my tart pan is smaller than a regular one. fan the slices out starting from the outside and working your way in. it doesn’t have to be perfect – that flower in the middle covers a lot of ills.

the apple simple syrup you brush on at the end is also a great product to keep in the fridge. a spoonful of that in some bourbon is most agreeable…

this is a great go-to with a little wow-factor, which i will certainly be making again. try with salted caramel ice cream or bourbon whipped cream.


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