The merriest granola

Granola with pecans and dried fruit

We gave a little as a gift.  Doesn't it look festive?

We gave a little as a gift. Doesn’t it look festive?

D, my darling king of the granola, made this one.  I came home from a holiday lunch with a friend to see a pan of it on the stove top.  I proceeded to eat it as often as possible until it was gone.  This stuff is so good.  The pecans got nice and toasty, but didn’t burn.  That’s a problem D and I have had with some other granolas that ask you to toast the nuts with the rest of the ingredients.  The granola is wonderful with some dried fruit in it, which we added as desired rather than mixing it in with the entire batch.  D and I must both note that the chocolate chips are wholly unnecessary.  This is enough of a yummy treat already.  Oh, and we can’t forget the awesome vanilla paste B got for me.  It made another star appearance in this one.

Ah, It’s been gone for a couple weeks, and I miss this granola already.

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My, oh my! Pear Custard Pie!!

There are two things you will probably notice while we post about the October 2003 issue.  Number one, it is filled with pears.  Number two, it is filled with desserts.  This post encompasses both of those themes.

Mmm...

Mmm…

The custard pie in this issue gets its flavor from vanilla and pears.  I got a little fancy and used my vanilla sugar (yay!).

It’s a pretty simple recipe.  And the use of the blender is a huge time saver.  The most time consuming part was peeling and artfully arranging the pears in the pie plate.

It smelled so good in the oven it was hard not to just pull it out and start eating it like a soup.  I waited patiently.  I even waited for it to cool a bit.  I did not, however, wait to cover it in powdered sugar.  Who needs powdered sugar when there is custardy goodness waiting to be devoured?! (Have I mentioned that I am a sucker for custards… you’ll learn this about me.)

It was heavenly.  You could taste the eggy smoothness along with the overwhelming (in the best way possible) vanilla and then there was just enough pear to refresh your palette from the richness.  I loved it!

 

So. Many. Cupcakes.

In honor of Halloween, I decided to write my post on Cupcakes Three Ways.  When you make cupcakes in three ways you end up with a lot of cupcakes.  Two dozen to be exact. And as I don’t have any kids to send them off to school or girl scouts with… I had to send them off with the bear I live with instead.  I waited for the perfect moment when he had a work potluck and went for it.

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When it comes to baking, you really can’t make too many alterations so I stuck with the recipe. I made six vanilla, six chocolate, and 12 black-and-white.  I also made the vanilla buttercream and chocolate buttercream.  However, since it was the “Autumn Potluck”, the bear I live with wanted maple frosting instead.  

So I winged it… it wasn’t a huge disaster but it also was not a huge success.  Mostly it still just tasted like vanilla buttercream with maybe a very small hint of maple at the end.  I think the raspberry would have been much more flavorful.  Or at the very least, I should have looked up a maple buttercream recipe rather than just taking the base vanilla recipe here and adding some maple syrup.

The cupcakes themselves were incredible!  They were that awesome texture that you can’t get with a box mix.  Super dense and buttery tasting.  I know the supposed desire in a cupcake is moist and spongy but I have come to find that texture less than satisfying and prefer the homemade route.  The black-and-white were my favorite so I could get a little of each and I preferred the chocolate frosting because really, who wouldn’t?  I also used some incredibly good (i.e. expensive) baking chocolate so the chocolate frosting was super rich and awesome. 

Like mac and cheese, cupcakes seem to be a favorite of Everyday Food, so while I might say I would make at least one of these variations again, I just don’t know.  Maybe next issue I’ll find a glorious pumpkin cupcake, or a lemon cupcake, or a coconut cupcake.  When it comes to cupcakes, it’s best not to limit yourself!