Ok, I feel like I haven’t gotten creative with recipes lately. But to be honest, I’ve been trying out a lot of things that are new to me, and I am slowly learning the lesson that I don’t want to tweak any recipes of dishes that I’m unfamiliar with. Sorry, but this recipe is no different. As the second pie on my list and a Thanksgiving classic, there’s just not a chance I’m going to screw around with this thing the first time out. Get real.
My Cake #3 has not been made yet. It was going to happen last Sunday and taken to work on Monday, but I wasn’t feeling so hot after a Saturday night of Halloween high jinx. Let’s just say, the lady-like composure that eluded me last Halloween in Vegas did not deem this year’s festivities appearance-worthy either. And now that I’m on my pie-making adventure, Cake #3 might not happen for another couple of weeks. That’s ok though, because I’m still getting in a few easy treats mid-week that are exceptional.
One such treat is the Pumpkin Snickerdoodle. I made a full-sized batch to take to the costumed crew last weekend, and they were thoroughly enjoyed. The half-batch that I took to work a couple days ago didn’t even make it to lunch (it pleases me that some of my coworkers enjoy their sugar in the morning as much as I do). The cookies are incredibly soft with a mild fall flavor, definitely not too pumpkiny, and both times I made them I got more cookies than what the recipe called for (3 dozen for a full batch). I would have gotten a few more if I could restrain myself from eating the dough, but you know what, I’m not concerned about exercising restraint in the confines of my apartment where no one is able to watch me. Deal with it.
I am determined to get good at making pies this fall. I have made a couple before, and they never really turned out that well. Usually, filling sloshes over to the floor or things just don’t turn out that pretty, but with my luck with cut-out cookies, I feel like I got this.
I made a list of ten pies to make before Thanksgiving, and my first one up is Chess Pie. Admittedly, I didn’t know what this pie was until a couple days before I made it, but once I investigated, I knew it would be a great one to start with. Simple crust, simple ingredients, and not only does it taste good, you get to use your best Southern accent when you tell people what it is (“It’s jes’ pie!”). Bonus, Homesick Texan totally had it in her book/on her website, so I knew I would be getting this from a great source. It came out really well, and this version tasted quite a bit like lemon bars in pie form. Never, ever a bad thing.
I always love decorating cookies for whatever holiday is coming up, but this is one of those activities where I just let others take care of setting up and I have all the fun. The one time I tried to make cut-out cookies in the past, I just used refrigerated sugar cookie dough and it was kind of a spread-out mess. But really, if all of these other people can make normal cookies in fun cut-out shapes for my decorating enjoyment, is it really THAT hard to get them to come out right? No, it’s not that hard. I just have to follow directions and not “wing it” the first time I try to do something new.
This is one of the first things that I found to pin on my new Pinterest board, and it got made very soon after. And then it got taken to work and was gone *like that*. When I was first cutting it up and tasting it, I wasn’t so sure if it was going to be a keeper. Compared to other fudge recipes that I’ve made, I felt like this one was a little dry. But it definitely grew on me, and my coworkers seemed to really enjoy it (and a couple even asked for the recipe). Plus, I love that it’s just a different kind of fall treat – I’ll get around to pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bread, but pumpkin fudge! Who would have thought of such a thing! No modifications this time, so here’s the recipe.
*Was I so consumed with watching the original (and how much do I hate that I have to say “the original” now) Footloose on Sunday night that I forgot to post? Yes, that happened.
So it’s obviously fall, but I had to get this last summery recipe in. And thank goodness, because it’s just… well… let’s just say that this is the only thing that I have eaten today and it has now gone to a better place. Well, mostly better. Not gonna lie, some of it ended up on the bottom of my oven because even though I’ve been baking for a few years now, I haven’t quite grasped the concept that I can’t WISH a dish not to overflow its container when I so clearly have filled that container with way too much batter.
I had every intention of making a peach cobbler this week. They were down to one small section of peaches left at the grocery store, I have the recipe sitting out on my counter, and my new little cast-iron skillet is just begging to be put to use. And then I got distracted by Southern Living and their online slide show of so many delicious desserts with apples in them. Because, you know, it’s fall and fall = apples, not peaches. Well, sorry peaches, I hope a couple of you can last in my fridge and not get eaten until next weekend… but I doubt I can hold out that long.
Breakfast food is pretty much the best food ever. Not only is it always good for breakfast (obvs), it’s good for brunch, lunch, dinner, and a pre-bedtime snack. Bacon and eggs for dinner? Of course. Pancakes for lunch? Heck yes! And my 10pm viewing of Chelsea Lately usually comes with a box of Kashi and a cup of tea. So though this recipe makes six good-sized scones, they’re usually gone in two days because I eat them for every meal. Because that’s how I roll with tasty, tasty breakfast food. (Also, with cake.)
All over the Internets this week, people have been getting amped about fall. I’m totally with those people – fall is awesome, if not only for the fact that it’s in the lower-90s now and not breaking 100° every single day. And while foliage, football, and freshly sharpened pencils are great, they just can’t compare to my favorite thing about the autumnal season: fall TV premieres.
I’ll say it, I love TV. Not only is it mindlessly entertaining and perfect for my limited attention span, but having new shows to watch again is how I finally remember what day it is. Seriously, in the summer I just sort of wander through the work week knowing only that it’s a day that I have to be at work, but not what that day actually is. Suddenly, fall TV is back, and I know that because New Girl is on tonight, it must be Tuesday. Did I watch Community last night? Then sweet deal! It’s Friday! And tonight, it’s the Emmys, so it’s only appropriate that I celebrate the start of an epic TV week with a TV-inspired cake.
Saturday night! Date night! Sa-tur-day night! (No plans, huh? Not-a-one!)
Scratch that. I do have plans. I have a date with Adam Scott, and we’re going to Party Down.
In going through Netflix’s streaming collection the other day, I came up on Party Down, a show that has been recommended to me several times before. Little did I know, it stars Adam Scott, who is also on Parks & Rec, and who I might have developed a new celeb crush on. If I had been told he was in this, I would have watched this show WAY sooner.
To top off my night of TV watching, I decided to take a legit pass at a cookie recipe that I made last Thursday. Because I was too impatient/lazy, I didn’t give these cookies the care they deserved during that first round. They were delicious anyway, and I figured they would be fantastic if I actually put effort into making them. Well, they are, and they are perfect with my Sleepytime Vanilla Tea.
Tea + cookies + good TV = quiet Saturday night FTW.
Not so far from my apartment, the Fightin’ Texas Aggies are playing their first football game of the season. For a couple hours this afternoon, I watched a sea of maroon flow towards the stadium as I sipped ice-cold beers from the air-conditioned 11th Floor of Rudder Tower (aka, The University Club). Let me tell you, that’s the way to tailgate when it’s 100 degrees out. Sadly, the buffet wasn’t entirely my jam (except for the cookies and brownies, obvs), so I needed to whip up a snack to soak up the aforementioned beer that’s sloshing around in my belly. These cheesy biscuits are EXACTLY what I need to accomplish that task, and they’re easy enough that I can even make them when I’m feeling… sloshy. And the game? Oh, I don’t know. Tickets are expensive and I would rather watch Kardashian re-runs anyway.
There is just never enough time in the weekend. I’m sitting here and it’s Sunday night and there are several more things that I really should have taken care of before work tomorrow, but no dice. I did, however, run 11 miles, find a new fall nail polish (which now that I have on my fingers, I’m going to start calling “Starbucks green”), watch a couple more episodes of Twin Peaks, and got within 50 pages of finishing The Time Traveler’s Wife (which I started reading in… 2009). And most important of all, I made nutella fudge.
It’s move-in weekend here in Aggieland. Thousands of college freshmen (and their parents) are descending upon the town in cars, minivans, and moving trucks in anticipation of the new school year. Though they are wide-eyed and filled with excitement about what this new chapter of their lives will bring, they are also in my way everywhere I try to go, effectively preventing me from doing anything outside of my apartment. No worries though, because I got up real early Saturday morning (before 8am AND my coffee) to go to the grocery store and get everything I need to bake a cake.
Generally, I am bored with regular vanilla cake. But seeing as how it’s a basic, and the only one I’ve ever really liked is Amy Sedaris’ recipe, it’s about time I found a back-up. Enter: Nick Malgieri’s Perfect Cakes. I have wanted to make something out of this book for a while, but new recipes just kept creeping their way to the top of my to-try list and this book kept getting saved for next time. Well guess what: next time is NOW.