Maple Apple Pie

…with a braided crust

DSC_1385What could be better than a trip to Vermont in the fall? Well, after spending some time in the kitchen this weekend, I’d venture to say an apple pie made with freshly picked Vermont apples and pure Vermont maple syrup might be even sweeter than seeing this scenic state.

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Butternut Squash Soup

…with a fresh thyme crostini

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What better way is there to ring in the first cozy weekend of October than with some creamy, savory butternut squash soup? There isn’t one. This is, in fact, the best way to celebrate October’s arrival. If you don’t believe me, just try it for yourself. Continue reading

Chocolate Mocha Sugar Cookies

to brighten your day…

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We’ve all heard the “This Little Light of Mine” song, right? The amount of times I sang this song as a kid undoubtedly surpassed my counting abilities at the time. Although I’m sure I drove my parents crazy, there was no way I could forget this catchy tune’s important message.

But as you grow up and your daily life starts to get filled with bigger problems, more stress, and less time, it can be harder to remember to let your inner light shine. So every now and again it’s nice to be reminded that you are still a bright star with oh-so-much sparkle. And what better way to remind someone than to bake some shining sugar cookies – especially if they’re chocolate.

I’ve tried to make chocolate sugar cookies a few times, but no matter what recipe I used the dough was always a little too sticky and wouldn’t stay firm long enough to cut out shapes. Sugar cookies are pretty basic, so you would think the most difficult part of the process would be decorating (especially if you’re me, and you get easily carried away with a piping bag).

After many ill-fated attempts, I finally found the perfect chocolate sugar cookie recipe. This dough stayed firm enough to make all my cutouts in one shot without having to put the dough back in the fridge before rolling it out each time. And as an added bonus, there’s espresso in the mix. Coffee and chocolate – does it get any better? Continue reading

Healthy Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes

…with (not so healthy) blueberry syrup!

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After a long week of whole grain cereal, there’s nothing better than treating yourself to a real breakfast on the weekends. But breakfast foods (at least the ones I like) can be disappointingly unhealthy. As much as I love a Belgian waffle piled high with whipped cream and powdered sugar, it’s probably not the best way to start my day. So this Saturday I served up some satisfying lemon pancakes with blueberry syrup that hit the spot without making me feel like I had to hit the gym later. Continue reading