Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

I didn't make pumpkin pie this year for Thanksgiving.  I like to try to shake up Thanksgiving every now and then.  However, I didn't want total anarchy to ensure so I made pumpkin bread pudding as a replacement.  I still had a lot of people who looked shocked when I told them I wasn't making a pumpkin pie, but the actual people at Thanksgiving were perfectly satisfied by this.

Russian Teacakes

 My grandmother used to make tons of Christmas cookies every year to give out to neighbors and friends.  I remember one year I forced my way into the process (my grandmother doesn't allow for much help in the kitchen).  As I am my grandmother's only grand-daughter, I can get away with that sort of thing.  This was probably when I was in my early teens and just starting to get really into baking and I thought it was such a great tradition. After my brothers get done with this recipe though, there usually aren't enough cookies to give to friends.

Orange-Pecan Shortbread

I am still in Moscow, Idaho for one more day and the snow is just cascading out of the sky right now.  I'm half loving it and half worrying about my flight, but it is hard to beat a backdrop of flurries of snowflakes.  Christmas just isn't the same without snow.

Triple Ginger Cookies

 Merry day after Christmas.  I am finally taking the time to post some cookie recipes.  I even have recipes left over from Thanksgiving to post, oops.  I will try to be better about that in the coming year.  To make up for it, here are some amazing cookies. 

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I actually have ancestors who came over on the Mayflower so I know all about this holiday.  The goal is to gain as much weight as possible, so the extra layer of fat will keep you warm during the cold New England winter. 

Winter Squash Tea Bread

I had a winter squash in my last CSA box.  I made half of it into a delicious risotto.  The rest of it I made into some squash tea bread, like zucchini bread.  I'm going to be honest with you, this was not my most successful recipe.  I wasn't very careful measuring (admittedly I'm never careful measuring) and I think I used too much squash which added too much water.  But it tasted good, even if it was a little too moist (sticky really) and collapsed as soon as I took it out of the oven.

Raspberry Muffins

In my real life, I work at a large software company.  This summer I switched from one software company where I did not write any code to a different one where I did.  It has been a really fun and hard transition and I've survived thanks in large part to the smart and helpful people on my team who do not mind if I ask stupid questions.  They also do not mind when I bring in baked goods I made for my blog.


This recipe is from The River Cottage Bread Handbook, which I just got and am very excited about.  First off it is a very detailed book on how to bake bread (with lots of pictures) by a baking instructor.  It has both a very detailed breakdown of how to make a basic bread recipe (which is what I made here) as well as a lot of other recipes to try.


These brownies have about as high a ratio of chocolate to brownie as possible.  It is about as much chocolate as you can get without injecting it directly into your veins.  My point is, with over twice as much cocoa powder as flour, these brownies are rich, dense and delicious.

Rice and Egg Casserole

I like cereal as much as the next person but it can get a little old after a while.  It is easy to get into a bit of a rut with breakfast but this recipe will give shake things up.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I turned 25 last month.  I decided 25 is a pretty important number.  After all, it is a perfect square and I can now rent a car.  So I had a party and made these cupcakes.  They were a big hit.  It is hard to combine things like stout, chocolate, cupcakes and cream cheese and not have it be a big hit.  Rather than frost the cupcakes in advance, I made a cupcake decorating bar.  It may sound a little lame, but it was super fun.  To make it a little more sophisticated, instead of just food colors I put out some different flavorings (like vanilla, almond, Irish Cream and maple) and let people flavor their frosting too.  I sort of forgot to take any other pictures, though, as I was busy having a lot of fun.

Winter Squash Risotto

Risotto is a perfect combination of creamy and gooey and chewy and warm which makes it one of my favorite comfort foods.  It also scores major points in my book for it's versatility (it can be made with any number of vegetables and turn out delicious) and how pretty it looks.  Plus it reheats well, so I can make a bunch and have leftovers.  When I was a kid, I hated leftovers but then I started being responsible for feeding myself and I totally reversed my position on leftovers.

Plum Clafoutis

I have no idea how to describe this dish to you.  It is sort of like French toast crossed with a Dutch baby pancake.  With plums and powdered sugar on top.  Or like bread pudding but with no actual bread.  However it is described though, it is really really tasty. 

Kale and Leek Quiche

Quiche is something that seems way fancier than the effort involved in preparing it.  I did cheat with this one and get a prepared pie crust, but even with making homemade pie crust, quiche provides a lot of gratification for a little effort. 

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love this time of year.  Only in part because my birthday is in October.  Also because I love pumpkin things: pumpkin pie, pumpkin beer, and now pumpkin cupcakes!  This recipe is a snap and super yummy.  And cream cheese frosting is, quite literally, the icing on the cake.  Cream cheese frosting is the best.  Don't make to much or you will have trouble not finishing it off with a spoon (not that I speak from experience or anything).

Vegetable Soup and Sourdough Biscuits

Have I mentioned to you how many vegetables I get in my CSA.  It is ridiculous.  It sometimes gets to the point where I'm totally stressed about having too many vegetables and never being able to finish them.  My CSA ends in two weeks and I'm sure after that I will be totally bummed about the lack of fresh vegetables.

Pear Spice Cake

My parents have a pear tree in their back yard. It was crazy how many pears it could produce. And they would all get rip at the same time and we would just be inundated with pears, although it wasn't as bad as the persimmon tree at our old house, apparently. Mom would usually can a bunch of the pears, which was really tasty, but I think this recipe is a good alternative too.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

As you can probably guess by the trend in my posts this summer, I got a ton of tomatillos in my CSA.  I had previously been aware of tomatillos in an abstract sense.  I knew they were different things than tomatoes and made delicious salsa, but I had never encountered them up close before.

Plum upside-down cake

I had this vision of making individual plum upside down cakes with a perfect half of a plum like a little jewel in each one. It mostly worked, but scaling a recipe from a full cake to mini-cakes is not as straightforward as I expected. That said, they turned out looking fairly nice, even if most of the plums didn't make it out of the pan initially and they are super tasty. I'm a big fan of cardamom and plums and I seriously ate like 4 of these. Or more, but really no one is counting.

Orange-glazed tofu and cous-cous salad

I often plan my meals to use the fewest pans as possible.  While this tabbouleh-inspired cous-cous salad takes a little prep work, it is nice to be able to throw it all into one dish.  The orange-glazed tofu is really delicious, with ginger and garlic and orange creating a really flavorful sauce.  A great thing about this sort of salad is you can throw in whatever vegetables are fresh and it makes a hearty side dish.

Maple Hazelnut Cookies

One of the nice things about cookies is once you've learned a few basic recipes (shortbread, spice, chocolate chip etc) most other recipes are just variations on that theme. Without spending a lot of time becoming a baking expert, you're able to quickly start modifying your own recipes. You get to be creative and almost always the results are totally delicious.

Broccoli Salad

First off, it has been forever since I've posted. I've really no excuse; I have several things I've cooked and just haven't gotten around to posting yet. I started an awesome new job two weeks ago, so that has been taking up some time. I'm starting to get adjusted now, so hopefully I'll be less of a slacker when it comes to posting. This is a quick post; I promise more are coming.

Fig Frangipane Tart

I spent last week visiting my aunt and uncle (I also got to see my brother and sister-in-law). It was really fun! It gave me opportunity to bake lots of delicious things. I had fun going through my aunt's recipes. She saves recipes from magazines and newspapers which is different since I get most of my recipes online. She had this one from Aug 2009 in the LA Times. Frangipane is used most often to refer to an almond custard (either with almonds or almond flavor). We got figs at the farmer's market (along with some amazing cherry tomatoes). Fig season is in the early fall, so you should be able to find some fresh ones.


This is my uncle Charlie. He went to Alaska and caught a lot of salmon. He had a bunch of it made into lox. I went and visited and I made bagels to go with the lox. It was absolutely delicious.

Brownie Cookies

This recipe combines all that is great about cookies and brownies.
 You may be asking, like my older brother who loves brownies and whose favorite birthday cake is (or at least was) brownie-ice cream cake, what possible improvement cookies have over brownies.  I know it is hard to imagine but it is the edges.  At least in my opinion the best brownies are the edges which have a little bit of crispness but are still chewy and soft in the middle.  Given the option, I would basically just eat the edges of a pan of brownies and leave the rest.  But with brownie cookies each cookie has a perfect edge and the chewy fudginess of brownies.

Plum Kuchen

So actually, I'm pretty sure these are not actually plums but rather pluots.  Pluots are a hybrid of plums and apricots which look a lot like plums and are very sweet and juicy.  They seemed basically like plums to me.  I've gotten a lot in my CSA and there is only so many one girl can eat, so I made a cake (which is unsurprisingly a common solution to almost any problem I may encounter).

Honey Shortbread

Shortbread is one of my favorite cookies.  It is super easy to make but turns out so light and delicate, very luxurious.  Shortbread is one of the cookies I usually make at Christmas time. The only problem it is it has a much higher amount of butter than most cookies. Well, maybe it isn't exactly a problem. I mean, that is what makes them taste good.

Rice Salad

 Here is another recipe using vegetables from my CSA, specifically an attempt to use up all the lettuce I've been getting.  It was delicious.  Along with the lettuce there was fresh basil and the baby tomatoes were perfect.


I have been making this scone recipe for a very long time.  It is from one of my mom's friends, Gillian, who is English so they are authentic and delicious.  If you have ever had from Starbucks one of the dry, over-sweet giant triangles that purport to be scones you have been sadly mislead.  These scones are light and delicate, barely sweet with a dollop of devonshire cream and jam.  These are the real thing!

Glazed Tofu and Bok Choy

Look, posts two days in a row.  Actually I have a lot of recipes to post, but have gotten a little bit behind.  The last two weeks have been a little crazy here as I am switching jobs.  It is very exciting and also sad and nerve-wracking.  Anyway, I haven't had as much time for cooking and posting as I would like, but I have a little bit of time off between jobs, so I'm hoping for lots more posts to be going up soon.

Sourdough Coffee Cake

Here is another recipe using my sourdough starter. I have somehow managed to not kill it yet, as shocking as that is. This is a delicious recipe, but sourdough takes a little extra effort. Nonetheless, here it is and if you happen to have some sourdough and are looking for recipes that are a little different, I would definitely suggest this one.

Tofu and Avocado Salad

I have so much lettuce I do not know what to do.  I have been getting lettuce every week in my CSA share.  Really interesting lettuce too, but I am not usually a salad person so I have trouble eating it.  However, I have made a concerted effort and was inspired by many of Heidi's recipes over on 101 Cookbooks.  All of her recipes are delicious and easy.  This one was original a sandwich with marinated tempeh but it is also delicious as a salad.  It is really simple but immensely flavorful.  The tofu marinade/glaze has an interesting combination of flavors, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and adobo sauce (from chipotle chilies).  I have no trouble eating lots of lettuce with this salad.

Apricot Tart

I got a ton of apricots and peaches in my CSA and then the next week I got a ton more.  I tried my best but it is difficult to eat that many apricots and peaches.  I know that sounds silly but it is true!  I mean you're talking to the girl who, when living in Rome, preferred to go to the market to get a fresh peach or  nectarine every day then gelato.  Okay, to be fair I also ate a lot of gelato, but those peaches and nectarines were one of the  most delicious things I have ever eaten.  But I digress, my point is I had a lot of apricots and peaches and they started to go bad and that is just tragic.  So I made a tart.  And my co-workers annihilated it in less than 10 minutes, I am not even joking.

Basic Sourdough Bread

Hmm, three bread posts in a row. I think I need to branch out a bit. Don't worry, this weekend I'm going to be making a berry tart I think, and maybe also some scones.

Honey Whole-Wheat Bread

I've been cooking a lot of bread recently, but for anyone who is a bit too intimidated by creating a starter, here is a really simple and delcious bread recipe you can try.  Get your feet wet and maybe after you've made some delicious loaves of bread, you'll be ready to be a bit more adventurous.  If not, this bread is amazing anyway.

Wild Yeast Sourdough

As you've probably noticed, I am a big fan of easy, simple, quick recipes that turn out looking much harder than they actually are.  This recipe is not any of that. While it does not have a long ingredient list and in theory is fairly straightforward, it ends up being kind of a hassle.

Tempeh Sukiyaki

One of my favorite cookbooks growing up was Betty Crocker's International Cookbook.  I absolutely loved it.  I liked to plan themed meals out of it where every dish was from the same country.  It had lots of pictures and little blurbs about each dish.  When I moved away from home I made my mom copy a bunch of my favorite recipes and Sukiyaki was one of them.

Cherry Crumble

I got some amazing fresh cherries in my fruit share.  Cherries are the ultimate summer fruit and I love them.

Nectarine Galette

If you love pies and flaky crusts but haven't had much success previously with them, this is the recipe for you. It is the easiest recipe I have encounter that falls into the tart/pie catagory. On second thought, if you aren't allergic to nectarines or almonds, this is probably the recipe for you.

Sweet Chili-Lime Tofu with Arugula and Quinoa

And now, for something completely different.
I know, I know.  There isn't anything in this dish that is baked, and this is the bionic baker, after all.  Don't worry, I haven't entirely jumped the shark here.  I'll still be posting lots of baked goods (I have a delicious nectarine tart for tomorrow).   However I am going to start including some food that is not necessarily baked.

Honey Cake

This cake has a long ingredient list but is, quite literally, a piece of cake (tee-hee).  It has a lovely honey and spice flavor.  I think a vanilla cream cheese frosting could be a really nice addition.

Pizza with Arugula

It is the second week in July and this is only my third post, how terrible of me.  I meant to update more but then the weather hit 90 degrees and really, who wants to bake when it is 90 degrees outside.

Chocolate Stout Brownies

Chocolate and stout go together amazingly well (see Chocolate Stout Cupcakes).  Stout is made from grain (malt or barley) that is roasted. As both coffee and chocolate require roasting beans, so the flavors have similar aspects that make them pair really well together.  But this is all academic, all you really need to know is how wonderful these brownies taste!

Berry Coffee Cake

I baked this coffee cake on Friday.  I meant to post about it this weekend and then was just too busy having an amazing weekend.  I hope everyone had as wonderful of a 4th as I did, despite the pouring rain.  It is Seattle, after all.  If it didn't rain on the 4th of July no one would know what to do with themselves.

Lemony Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

Hello Summer!  It is finally reaching Seattle (keep your fingers crossed).  And what better way to celebrate than ice cream!  So I bought this adorable ice cream maker (remember, I am very attached to my kitchen gadgets).

No-Knead Bread

This bread is hands-down the easiest bread you will ever make.  The recipe was developed by Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery.  The man is clearly a genius.

You may be thinking: isn't kneading what makes bread work and taste delicious.  Well, you would apparently be wrong my friend because this bread is amazing.  Professional kitchens have really awesome ovens which cook bread at a high temp but also keep it moist.  You'll have trouble reproducing the same circumstances in your oven, unless you use a dutch oven.  It traps heat and moisture and makes for some seriously delicious bread.

Mini Hostess-esque Cupcakes

I was talking to the lovely and talented Sierra yesterday about what my next baking project should be and she suggested hostess cupcakes.  She is also very smart.

So here you are, my take on the Hostess cupcakes (little white squiggle and all).