Sunday, December 27, 2009

TWD: My Favorite Pecan Pie

Hellllllooooooooooooooooo! Remember me! I'm stunned I haven't written since November. I guess I've been busy! Will have more details on that later - but for now, pie!

I love pecan pie. It is my favorite right behind Apple Pie. Up to this point I was intimidated by making it, so I really didn't want to miss out on this recipe, and was super happy to have a little extra time to write up this post. So thanks to LW for the leeway on the date of posting, and super special thanks to Beth from Someone's in the Kitchen with Brina (and her husband!) for picking this recipe.

Despite my love of pecan pie I agree with Dorie that most versions are just too sweet and make it hard to eat even a small slice. This recipe tones down that sweetness nicely. I used instant coffee instead of espresso and cut the amount in half. Glad I did, as I think it would have been too much. The chocolate seemed a bit much too, but that might be more about how large I chopped the pieces (I think I took "course chop" a little too literally).

This is a great recipe, but I'll be happy to get the rest of it to work tomorrow. Much too dangerous to have alone in the house with only me to eat it! I'm sure I'll have plenty of volunteers and it will be gone before noon.

Here's hoping you've all had a good rest over the holiday weekend, and that all is well in your worlds. I've missed being here, and will resolve (as it's a resolution time of year) to be here more regularly as we proceed into the new year (and decade).

See you soon!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TWD: All in One Holiday Bundt Cake

This will be quick, as I'm pretty sure I'll be working a full 40 hours in 3 days this week. Can I tell you how much I'm looking forward to a 4 day weekend??

Since I don't have a bundt pan and I had a few purposes for this cake, I made a mini cake, and 2 batches of cup cakes. I'll drizzle all with the maple glaze tomorrow.

This was pretty easy to put together, and I must say that after a long and stressful day, I rather enjoyed the prep. Not so much the clean up - the dishes will wait until morning.

I snuck a taste of one of the cupcakes and it was very "autumnal" and tasty. I hope my peeps at work like the cupcakes. The mini cake is going to a very good friend who's birthday is tomorrow.

Sorry this is so short - that's just how I roll this time of year. But I do want to thank you who keep stopping by and leaving comments although I haven't returned the favor. I'm hoping to get caught up this weekend. And finally, a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING to everyone!

Gobble!! Gobble!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TWD: Sugar Topped Molasses Spiced Cookies

Today was a very long day. It started by baking these cookies, picked by my pal Pamela over at Cookies with Boys. I don't usually bake in the AM, but I wanted to get some decent pictures. Then I went to work where I dealt with a crises before I even made it to my desk. It was the first of many. Finally got a lunch today (no lunch the last 2 days - I don't even want to admit what I consumed yesterday - no bueno!) but not until 4pm (ditto regarding what I ate today). Left work on time to go to class, after class stopped at Whole Foods so I would have something to eat tomorrow (break or no break, a girl's got to eat). And then, after bringing myself and food into the house, I look over and see these. Lovely, edible cookies. So good, and just what I needed after a big day.

I'm training some folks at work, and they were having a hard time with the material, so I'm going to bring these cookies and some milk to work tomorrow. Just a little something to feed their soul.

This is quick since I'm tired, but I did enjoy these a lot. I have the other half of the dough in the fridge waiting to be baked. I loved how easy these were (much appreciated this week!), and it was kind of fun (therapeutic) to roll them up, roll them in sugar, and then mush them.

Yes, they did spread a bit, but were the perfect combination of chewy and soft, sweet and spicy. These will be made again before the holidays are over.

To see the recipe head over to Pamela's blog.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday Soup: Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Cider Cream

I'm a day late, I know, but I was very busy yesterday being lazy. This week for me at work is insane and is usually the busiest for each holiday peak we have. So I tossed away my "to do" list and cocooned myself in my tiny house, trying to brace myself for the marathon week this will be.

And what better way to fortify yourself than with soup. There are so many things I really like about this soup. First, it is fast to make and tasty to eat. I'm assuming there is some healthiness going on as well. One way it is fast is to use pre-cut items like this butternut squash. Couldn't be handier, and is good to have leftovers for a quick and healthy side dish. I also took advantage of Trader Joe's prepackaged leeks. I appreciate buying just the part that I want to use. It doesn't seem as wasteful as buying a whole leek only to throw half of it away.

The other thing I'm loving about this soup and the last one is the use of an immersion blender. These little babies are among my top 5 tools in the kitchen. They are fun to use, easy to clean up. And I simply love blended soups.

I cut the recipe in half and each serving was very generous. You won't go hungry with this. And another plus - this recipe wasn't very expensive. I used many of the ingredients from the last soup, plus others I already had on hand.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Cider Cream
from the book Sunday Soup: A Year's Worth of Mouthwatering, Easy-to-Make Recipes
by Betty Rosbottom
Serves 6

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash (from 2- to 2 1/2- pound squash; cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (about 3 medium leeks)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped carrots
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped, plus an extra apple for garnish
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
5 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups apple cider, divided
Kosher salt
2/3 cup sour cream
5 bacon slices,sauteed until crisp, drained and crumbled

Melt the butter in a large, heavy pan set over medium-high heat. When hot, add squash, leeks, carrots, and celery and saute', stirring frequently, until vegetables have softened slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Add apples, thyme, and sage. Add stock and 1 cup of the cider. Bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently until vegetables and apples are tender, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make the cider cream. Boil remaining 1/2 cup cider in a small, heavy saucepan until it reduces to 1/4 cup, for about 5 minutes. Cool, then place sour cream in a small bowl and whisk in reduced cider. (Cider cream can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate until needed.)

Puree the soup in batches in a food processor, blender, or food mill, and return soup to the pot. (Or use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot.) Taste soup and season with salt, as needed. (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.)

For the garnish, halve and core the reserved apple, then cut one half into 12 paper-thin slices. (Eat or save remaining half for another use.)

To serve, ladle soup into 6 shallow bowls and drizzle with cider cream. Garnish each serving with crumbled bacon and a couple of apple slices.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Soup: French Lentil Soup with Garlic Sausage

Last weekend I went to my favorite cooking store in San Diego, Great-News, to use my coupon that was about to expire. I looked at lots of cool gadgets and supplies, but the item that spoke to me most was this cookbook - Sunday Soup: A Year's Worth of Mouthwatering, Easy-to-Make Recipes by Betty Rosbottom. I love soup, I really do, but my repertoire is very limited, and I tend to stick with the standards. This book is a godsend, as it offers up lots of recipes, but best of all it breaks them down by season. So all the Fall Recipes are grouped together, followed by Winter and so on. That way you can make a soup using seasonal ingredients. And best of all, there is a Summer section full of cool (literally, as in "cold" and "chilled") soups to make.

The first soup I made is "French Lentil Soup with Garlic Sausage." I tried this one because I had the lentils on hand. The recipe calls for Puy lentils from France and I had some leftover from a Jamie Oliver recipe ("Pan-seared Scallops with Crispy Bacon and Sage, Puy Lentils and Green Salad" from The Naked Chef cookbook. It was a lot of work, but very tasty). I searched far and wide and eventually found a substitute for them at Whole Foods. I thought about getting the "real" version from an online store, but these worked out great.

I only made half of the recipe, but that was enough for 3 good-sized servings. The house smelt so good when the soup was simmering (it was a particularly cold night, so that probably made the whole experience that much more delicious). I used pork kielbasa along with the puy lentils (oh the fun of running around saying "pwee" and KIL-basa, like Mufasa from the Lion King) and the result was a hearty bean and sausage soup. It's not the prettiest soup around, but very tasty. Held up nicely the next day for lunch too.

I'll let you know how I progress with the rest of the recipes. Next up - Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Cider Cream. Yum!

French Lentil Soup with Garlic Sausage
Recipe from Sunday Soup by Betty Rosbottom
6 servings

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced carrots (1/4-inch dice)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced celery (1/4 inch dice)
3 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
6 ounces garlic sausage, such as kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 teaspoons dried thyme
9 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves, broken in half
1 pound (2 cups) Puy lentils (French green lentils)
Kosher Salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Heat oil in a large pot (with a lid) over medium heat. When hot, add the carrots, onion and celery. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are just softened, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sausage, and thyme, and cook 1 minute more.

Add the stock and bay leaves, and bring mixture to a simmer over high heat. Stir in the lentils, then reduce heat, cover, and cook at a gentle simmer until tender, for about 50 minutes.

Remove and discard the bay leaves. Remove the garlic pieces and transfer to food processor. Using a slotted spoon, strain 1/2 cup solids (vegetables and sausage) from the soup and puree them with garlic pieces in a food processor, or combine them with garlic pieces in a small bowl and smash with the back of a fork. Stir the pureed mixture into the pot; this will thicken the soup slightly. Taste soup and season with salt, as needed. (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead; cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.)

To serve, ladle the soup into 6 soup bowls and sprinkle with parsley over each serving.

Friday, November 6, 2009

CEiMB: Linguini with Shrimp and Vegetables

I really enjoyed this recipe, chosen by Farah over at Confessions of a Novice Baker. So much so that last night after making it, eatting it, and tidying up the kitchen and watching a little TV, I went to bed and forgot about this last step in the CEiMB process. oh well -- better late than never.

I used my precious Argentinian shrimp for this (those babies are so good), and I love all the other ingredients, so I knew going in this would be a winner. Work is beginning to get a little intense, and will only get more so as we get closer to the holidays, so I was probably most enthusiastic about the wine (just kidding -- well kinda).

I only made half of the recipe and it was a ton of food. I'm happily bringing the second serving to work today -- I love having good eats as leftovers.

This will be going into the rotation with the other Ellie recipes I love.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TWD: Cran-Apple Crisps

Hey kids -- did you miss me???

It sure is nice to be back and baking with you all. I'll post a little something about my vacation later this week. I started working on it when I was getting my car serviced this weekend. Apparently "free wifi" does not equal "speedy wifi" or "convenient wifi" or "non-maddening wifi" so that entry will post later.

I'm also back to my old ways of starting projects on Tuesday night. Since I'm taking a class and don't get home until 10pm, that's a little later than normal. As a result I've got the crisps in the oven as we speak, so I'll have to give you a full report a bit after midnight.

It sure is great to take November's recipes in whatever order works. This one is great because it is so easy. Well, easy as long as you're not trying to divide by 3. If I were smart, I would have just divided by two and had large crisps. On the other hand, if I were smart, I wouldn't have just 3 ramekins, but 4 (thus making the division thing easier). Happily I have a handy dandy dial that helps with this type of complicated math. Not perfect, but it helps.

At the moment all I can smell is something burning in my oven (I must have spilled something - maybe a nut or something when I made granola this weekend) but otherwise I'm very excited about this recipe. I love anything with apple in it, and cranberry is another favorite flavor. Fall is by far my favorite season. Some people lament a lack of seasons in San Diego. We do have seasons - people who don't notice them don't appreciate subtly.

I'm going to post this now to beat the midnight deadline, but will let you know how this all turns out. If I were a good girl I'd let them cool and try them in the morning. But why do that when I only have to let them cool for 10 minutes before I try them!

I'm looking forward to catching up with all of you out there in blog-land and see what you've been up to while I was gone. Happy fall, everyone!

Edited to add this picture of the finished product. Boy was it YUMMY! And, I found my 4th ramekin. I had it stashed separately from the others. No idea why. Oh well, next time I'm making four of these!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vacation - bound!

Hello! Just a quick note to say I'm off for a two week vacation so I won't be posting for a bit. If I were super organized I would have baked/cooked/blogged ahead and had things magically show up here while I was gone. I'm just not that person.

I've been out of touch for awhile, and now out of touch for a bit longer. How those of you who post regularly do it, and still have kids/spouses/jobs is beyond me. You have my respect and admiration!

Will "see" you when I get back!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

CEiMB: Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This week's recipe was chosen by Leslie over at Lethally Delicious who is one of the bloggers that got me interested in CEiMB to start off with, and is an all around great gal who is a hoot! And now she can add "great picker of recipes" to the list of her positive traits, as I thought this sandwich was super good.

Sadly, my pictures are not super good, so I'm only submitting the best one (sad that picture up there is the best one). This was a "night time shoot" and the photographer (um...that would be me) was very hungry, and didn't have the patience to set up a decent shot. So imagine these as beautiful albeit slightly blackened sandwiches.

I really liked how all the flavors worked together -- the spiciness of the cheese was cooled by the tomatoes, which were made more savory by the caramelized onions. I made two sandwiches and heated up the second for dinner tonight. It was as yummy as the first one.

Head on over to Leslie's blog for the recipe, and then head on over to CEiMB to join the fun.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TWD: Cottage Cheese Pufflets

It is kind of funny how things work out, especially in a baking group like Tuesdays with Dorie. Some weeks I read the P&Q and think "hey, this will be a breeze." Then I make whatever the week's pick is, and I have a terrible time. Then other times, like this week, I read the P&Q and think "Oy! This isn't going to be pretty." But then, for some weird reason, everything turns out fine. Not sure how this ended up an "everything turns out fine" week, but I'm darn happy!

I was intrigued with this recipe, and was glad that Jacque at Daisy Lane Cakes choose it, because frankly, I would have gone right past it. The name doesn't scream "yummy" (more like "cottage cheese what??"), and I've never made dough/pastry/cake-like things with cottage cheese. So from a curiosity factor alone, I was in.

It would seem that the consistency of the cottage cheese was the key to success in this venture. I used Trader Joe's Low-Fat Cottage cheese which isn't runny at all. I made the dough this morning and it had little trouble. Since I made half of the recipe all the ingredients fit nicely into my mini-food processor.

I spent the day at work thinking about the baking ahead. So many TWDers had trouble with the dough. But with a "what's the worst that could happen??" mentality, I unwrapped the dough and found it quite usable. Definitely moist, but not unbearably sticky. I rolled it out on a cutting board with some flour and used a pasta cutter to make squares (and frankly, some rectangles - a little harder to fold, fyi). My choice of filling was apricot preserves.

I baked them for about 15 minutes (checking at 8, 10 and 12 minutes in) and let them cool. I had NO idea what they would be like, which was kind of fun! You have a preconceived notion of brownies, or chocolate chip cookies, but who knew what a "cottage cheese pufflet" would taste like?

The answer -- a little slice of heaven. The pufflet actually "puffed" to make the dough nice and airy. The preserves gave it a sweetness that was just right. The over all flavor was very good. A little too good, frankly. I'm supposed to bring them in to work tomorrow for a department event but I'm not sure I have enough -- I'm hoping some of my co-workers call in sick.

To those who did not have luck with these, please give them another chance. They were light and fluffy, and for me, for whatever reason, not at all hard to make. Don't hate me though -- there will soon be the recipe that makes me pull out my hair and use a few swear words. Frankly, I think it's all part of the fun of Tuesdays with Dorie!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

CEiMB: Black Bean Mexican-Style Pizza

I was plenty happy when I saw that Joanne over at Apple Crumbles chose this recipe for this week's Craving Ellie in my Belly (where, for reasons I can't explain, I can't leave comments - bummer!). I was happy because it was a non-chicken recipe (yay!) and because this looked like a tasty, healthy, EASY recipe to put together.

The bean dip was pretty easy. I recently had a bad experience with a jalapeno pepper (burning, I mean sizzling pain, that slowly worked its way from one finger to the next. Had to throw out the sponge so I wouldn't reinfect myself), so I added hot sauce rather than a pepper. The dip was definitely a winner - mine turned out a little too limey, so much so that I double checked the recipe to make sure I didn't get my "tablespoons" and "teaspoons" confused. But after the first night that flavor mellowed out, and I've really enjoyed the dip after that.

The pizzas came together quickly and easily. I made one as written, and one I added just a little bit of cheese. After a trip to the oven I cooled it off and ate it. Very tasty - even the one without the cheese was flavorful and complete.

This is definitely going into the keeper pile. The recipe is here, and over at Apple Crumbles.

An attempt at artful plating - not so successful!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TWD: Flaky Apple Turnovers

Despite mistakes, confusion, and a few swear words, this was a very unattractive but tasty choice for this week. Thanks to Julie of Someone's in the Kitchen for picking a challenging and delicious treat!

Things started out rough when the dough wasn't broken down into small enough parts.

My butter was too cold, so it didn't "make friends" as much with the rest of the dough as it should have.

After a trip to the fridge, out came the crumbly dough -- all over the floor.

A little more sour cream and a little more mixing, and back into the fridge the divided dough went.

Out for a roll -- not exactly 9x18. Both of mine looked like small European countries.

Back into the fridge (where one still lives) for more rest, while apples were cut and mixed.

A trip to the oven, took about 23 minutes for them to become the right color and doneness.

Too many apples, too small of dough, too ugly to serve to others. But oh so tasty, flaky and flavorful once cooled.

Since I have another dough in the fridge, I can give this another try. I probably didn't have the dough rolled out thin enough, and I can't imagine how TWO tablespoons full of the apple mixture would EVER fit in the dough round. Like I said, it wasn't pretty, there was some swearing, but gosh these things are good. Definitely a challenge, and one I'll likely try again!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

CEiMB: Substitution Thursday

"Substitution Thursday" is what I'm calling this week, since I can't eat the Pulled BBQ Sandwiches chosen by the fabulous Pamela at Cookies with Boys (those boys sure are cute!). I love barbecue, I love rotisserie chicken. But unfortunately, chicken does not like me. And since the last few weeks have featured chicken recipes, I'm woefully behind in my CEiMB participation.

I am still working with "The Food You Crave" and have made more out of this book than any other recently. I'm still obsessed with Ellie's Nutty Granola though I'm naughty and add sweetened coconut to the mix. How can I resist when it adds such a nice flavor?

I've also tried her Turkey Meatballs with Quick and Spicy Tomato Sauce which is the recipe that lead me to join the CEiMB group. Every blog I visited the week it was the recipe raved about how good they were and the pictures all looked fabulous. The meatballs are unbelievably flavorful, and I really do like the sauce. My only complaint is that there isn't enough sauce to pasta ratio. I like really saucy pasta dishes as it's a way to eat less carbs and more "good stuff". I was so intent making this - both times - that I only got a quick snap. Love the splash of sauce on the side - classy, no?

I'm looking forward to next week when I can get back into full participation mode. The Black Bean Mexican Style Pizza looks yummy, so I'll meet you back here next week with a full report.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tivo Alert! "What Would Brian Boitano Make?"

Picture courtesy of the Food Network

If you have not seen this TV show already, can I urge you to set your Tivo/DVR to record it. "What Would Brian Boitano Make?" is the most original show the Food Network has put on the air in a long time (the last one probably being anything that Alton Brown has done). If you like campy and funny, then you will like this! When was the last time a cooking show made you laugh out loud? Plus, he uses the South Park song - well, part of it. Definitely left out the "questionable" parts. But still - how can you not love that!?

The first episode I saw was "Derby Girls" (as in roller derby, as in Brian Boitano skating with them), and all the recipes had bacon in them. The second one was "The Handyman" which was equally cute. Mr. Boitano does on camera narration that is very clever. But the great thing is that although neither Mr. Boitano nor the show takes anything too seriously, the food looks good and the information is there. The man knows how to cook.

I talked to several food folks at work today urging them to watch this, but they all beat me to the punch and loved it. I don't get this enthusiastic about much I see on TV, so please give it a try. It may not be your cup of tea, but as I said, if you like campy, you'll like this. Enjoy!

TWD: Chocolate Souffle

First of all, I must tell you I was stunned when the little blogger dashboard said I had not posted since August 18th. I knew it had been awhile, but 3 weeks -- really?!?! YIKES! I have no "good" excuses ("good" as in really bad, as in some calamity struck me making my absence obvious and forgivable). August just hasn't been my best month for a couple of years now - I am beset with allergies, and end of summer blahs, plus it has been hotter than you-know-what. So hot my thermostat on the heater just went to the far right and let me guess how hot it was. So hot that I was pretty sure my candy thermometer would be able to give me an idea of the temperature in my house. Happily we're now living in post-heat wave when all is well and August is over. Pre-heat wave I did some stuff that I'll post later, but today, I want to focus on the souffle at hand.

I feel pretty confident tempering eggs, but when it comes to whipping egg whites I'm a mess. I've never gotten the hang of it, even in my baking class, so I approached this with a wee bit of trepidation. Ironically, I have an incredible soft spot in my heart for chocolate souffle. It is at the heart of one of my favorite work moments - not a triumph that one should be proud of, mind you, but one that to this day fills me with a certain amount of satisfaction.

I wasn't sure how the results would look, so I went for really nice mise en place!

Ten years ago I had just worked for a decade in a variety of places and fields where the best of times were behind the organization. Ten years of "do you remember when (insert something really awesome here) happened?" Which I didn't remember because it was before my time. I only experienced the crummy times that followed. Well this was my opportunity to spoil it for someone else!

I didn't plan on spoiling it for someone else. I was just going to a Christmas luncheon. At the time I worked on the outskirts of the entertainment industry. By outskirts I mean the last farm on the end of a long dirt road that had no other houses and no lights. But there was a lunch at a restaurant in LA that was famous for their chocolate souffle, so everyone ordered that early (as the kitchen needed time to prepare). Since the "big wigs" were sitting at a table together, that left us "little wigs" alone with an open menu. I totally succumbed (willingly) to the peer pressure of the mail room guys to order the crab cakes as the appetizer, the fillet for the main, and the aforementioned souffle for dessert. I don't even want to think what the tab for drinks was at my table. And by drinks, I mean drinks! As you might imagine, it was the most wonderful lunch I ever, EVER had.

The following year, after I moved on to another job in another industry, there was a pre-set menu at the Christmas luncheon.

I know I shouldn't feel proud. But after all the living in a world spoiled by someone else, it was a nice change.

Fast forward to this week -- this was my first post-heat wave project. I'm still a little dodgy about egg whites, but this seemed to come together okay. Although I knew better, I probably under buttered the ramekins, so I didn't have that nice "straight up" puff. What it lacked in beauty, it totally made up in flavor. These babies were awesome!

So thanks to Susan, at She's Becoming DoughMessTic for picking an awesome recipe and allowing me to stroll down memory lane. Both are greatly appreciated. Head over to Susan's blog for the recipe -- it appears that she has fond memories about souffles as well!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TWD: Applesauce Spice Bars

Karen over at Something Sweet by Karen defied the season and picked a treat that quickly put me in the mood for Fall. It helps that the weather here has been unseasonably cool. It should be blazing hot, and all the fans in my house should be on, but instead just one little fan on low, just because the oven was on and the house had been closed up all day (closed windows another sure sign it isn't summer). Before you all get jealous, I'm sure we'll be in for a scorching September and October. Hopefully scorching in temperature only, as we are well known for our October wild fires.

But on to more pleasant talk -- how about these bars!?!? Super easy to make with a minimal of equipment needed (I reread the directions to make sure I added up the number of bowls/pots I would need - two just seemed too good to be true). This was the recipe that made me break down and buy allspice. We've had recipes that required it before, but I've always skipped it. I don't know why this one made me open up the wallet -- I guess that picture in the cookbook just looks too good to mess with.

A whisk, some melting and whisking, a bit more whisking and then gentle stirring. Baking whilst watching a little Big Brother (I was expecting more "oomph" with Chima's expulsion - kinda disappointing), cooling while washing, more melting and whisking (oops, put the vanilla in early!), a little putting the thing back together as it broke coming out of the pan, a bit of spreading, and viola, a yummy dessert!

I like how the spices are there, but not overpowering, and I like the contrast between the apples, the raisins (used those Trader Joe's goldens) and the pecans. Simply delish!

Perhaps some will make it to work tomorrow, but not all. Some will definitely stay behind to keep me (and my hips) company. These are good enough to willingly go to the gym tomorrow (that means they are good!).