Category Archives: dessert

heritage holiday cookies

Happy Holidays! I can’t believe Christmas is already here. It will be an exciting day in our house as my boys find out if they’ve been naughty or nice (they’re on the nice list I’ve heard 🙂 ). Luca is starting to enjoy spending his time helping me in the kitchen so baking Santa’s cookies was a lot of fun this year! I wanted to tie in a bit of the boys’ heritage so we made two different kinds celebrating their Norwegian and Italian roots. John still refuses to take up counter space and buy my a stand mixer so these both can be done by hand!

The first is a classic butter cookie (which I’ve come to realize butter is a favor ingredient of the Norwegians!) that remembers their Bestemor (Grandma) Eleanor, the Serinakaker.

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Traditional Norwegian Butter Cookies

The second is a simplified version of a traditionally complex Italian cookie recipe. We honor the boys’ GP and Great Great Gramps with our fun twist on Rainbow Cookies.

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Italian Rainbow Cookies in Christmas Colors

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baked hasselback cinnamon apples

With Thanksgiving right around the corner our house is filled with talk of autumn recipes from classic and traditional to new and reinvented. Here’s a simpler take on apple pie that will still leave your guests’ sweet tooth satisfied! Try it topped with vanilla bean ice cream and a sprinkle of toasty granola! Here’s my Baked Hasselback Cinnamon Apples.

how to hasselback

how to hasselback

An in-season treat

An in-season treat

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compost cookies: a quick treat from leftover halloween candy

Oh the sweetest things! Halloween has come and gone and all that remains of that frightful night are the mounds of candy sitting in my kitchen. What better way to “recycle” those leftovers then by mixing them together and baking them a la cookie style? Here’s a quick and fun recipe for Compost Cookies.

Compost Cookies

Compost Cookies

Here's an idea for all that leftover candy!

Here’s an idea for all that leftover candy!

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pizza fritta with powdered sugar…bringing the San Gennaro home

It’s my favorite time of year again…the San Gennaro festival in NYC’s little Italy! It’s a tradition for my husband and I to go every year. Last year was Luca’s first visit and while he slept through most of it, his dad and I had a blast! This year with a newborn and a newly walking toddler however, it was a bit harder to get down to Mulberry Street so I decided to bring the festival to us! Since sausage and peppers, braciole, and seafood salads are already staples in our house, I decided to try something a little different…and deep fried! Here’s a fun recipe that takes some time to rise but involves very little work. Check out my Pizza Fritta with Powdered Sugar!

Perfection!

Perfection!

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tri-berry lattice pie

“Snozzberries? Who ever heard of a snozzberry?” That’s how I actually felt when I acted cool and calm purchasing a pint of gooseberries from a local farm this past weekend. While I looked like I was on a mission for them, I’ve actually never encountered a gooseberry in my life! But here’s the thing…they were packing purchases in these great reusable grocery bags that I just had to have! (I know, I know!) So here’s what I found…

These small green berries pack a sweet bite and are often used in pies, tarts, or jams. Since I’d only bought a pint, I decided to mix them with some more traditional fruit fillings like strawberries or blueberries and bake (eek!) a pie. The addition of a squeeze of lemon juice brightened the flavors and a little whipped cream never hurt! If you can’t find gooseberries, just replace them with an extra 2 cups of one of the others. Here’s my Tri-Berry Lattice Pie.

Strawberry, Blueberry, Gooseberry Lattice Pie

Strawberry, Blueberry, Gooseberry Lattice Pie

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sunny days, a recipe to sweep those clouds away!

My son recently turned one and oh what an extravaganza it turned out to be! Our simple backyard barbecue quickly spiraled into an event that made you feel as though you were talking a walk down the actual Sesame Street set. After months of planning every detail, down to the “Rubber Ducky Punch,” it was a great time had by all and other than my handsome little guy, the star of the show was my Sesame themed cupcake/cake tower. Yes, it would have been easier to buy a cake, but I saved a ton of money by doing them myself and I absolutely loved the way they came out! Anyone who has read my blog before knows I am NOT a baker, but follow a few step-by-step directions and you’ll be sweeping the clouds away with these sweet treats in no time at all!

Sesame Street Cupcakes

Sesame Street Cupcakes

The second *sweetest* thing of the day!

The second *sweetest* thing of the day!

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why we’re nutty about coconut milk

With the announcement of Starbucks adding coconut milk as a new coffee sweetener to their menu, the creamy dairy-free liquid has caused quite a stir among roasters everywhere. However, this little gem has been a staple in many island and southern Asian cuisines from Thailand to India to the Caribbean and Pacific for many years. While it still remains a topic of debate due to its high saturated fat content, in moderation its a unique ingredient to use in your weeknight culinary “travels.” Contrary to what you might think, when prepared correctly, it leaves little to no coconut flavor and produces a dairy-less dish. Here are a couple of my suggestions for coconut milk.

Coconut milk makes for perfect rice...no frills needed!

Coconut milk makes for perfect rice…no frills needed!

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