Thursday, November 24, 2011

Buttermilk Corn Muffins with Cranberry Swirl

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all had a great feast today! I am so thankful for my wonderful family, friends, and everything that Davey and I have. I am also very thankful for all my blog readers and fans. Without you I would have no one to write for!

The morning started off with a great workout and then a yummy bowl of oatmeal. The hubby and I then headed off to my grandparents' house. Despite having a broken leg, my grandma prepared Thanksgiving dinner. It was amazingly delicious! Turkey, stuffing, yams, creamed peas, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Yum yum yum!

I ate a little of each thing and felt full when my plate was cleared (but not stuffed). I tried the best I could to not over-do it this year and I feel that I succeeded at that.

To go with our wonderful meal, I made the mashed potatoes along with some tasty corn muffins. I found these muffins while looking around on Lindsey's awesome blog! Once I saw them I knew that they would be the perfect addition to our Thanksgiving feast!

Buttermilk Corn Muffins with Cranberry Swirl
(adapted from Gingerbread Bagels)


1/2 cup unsalted butter; at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs; at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk; at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cranberry sauce (I used the exact kind that Lindsey used in her recipe. I drove all the way across town to a Trader Joe's just to buy this cranberry sauce. You can use whatever kind you want, but this one was really yummy!!!!)

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees

-Line a muffin pan with muffin liners; set aside

-Melt the butter in a microwavable bowl

-Quickly add in sugar and mix to combine

-Add in the eggs and mix to combine

-Pour in the buttermilk and mix to combine

-Add the corn meal, flour, baking soda, and salt

-Mix to combine everything together, but be careful as to not over mix the batter

-Using a cookie dough scooper, place one scoop into muffin liner to cover the bottom

-For each muffin, place two 1/4 tsp scoops of cranberry sauce and then swirl around with the tip of a sharp knife

-Place 1 1/2 scoops of batter on top of cranberry sauce

-On each muffin, place two more 1/4 scoops of cranberry sauce and swirl around with a knife

-Bake muffins for 20 minutes

-Let them cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack

Now enjoy them there muffins! :)

Best served warm. We put ours in the oven to warm up for about 8 minutes. They were delicious and the perfect addition to our dinner!!!

After dinner we all had a slice of my pie and then vegged out. It was great getting to spend time with my amazing family!!! I love them all so much and am so thankful that I get to see them so often (not my uncle since he lives in Arizona, but am thankful for all the times I do get to see him).

Tomorrow morning I am off to do some shopping at 5am.....and not for any Black Friday deals.....just to do some boring old grocery shopping. Dave and I are off to the desert for the rest of the weekend and we need to get our food!

Hope you all have had an amazing Thanksgiving and please take time to really think about all that you have and be thankful for it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!!!
<3 much and many thanks!!!

A Little Nosh

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Eggnog Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is tomorrow!!! I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by. The hubby and I are off to my grandparents' house for our yearly Thanksgiving feast. In all of my 27 years, I have always gone over to my grandparents' house to enjoy great food and even better company.

This year is going to be different!

Not too different, just slightly. See, this will be the first year EVER that I am contributing to the holiday dinner. I am brining my

as well as

Some secret fudge is going to be making an appearance as well as some fresh made mashed potatoes and another secret recipe that I will share with you later! But the biggest thing I am bringing, and possibly the most important is a pie!

This isn't just any pie though. Nope!!!! This is a special pie. Why is it special you ask? It is a special pie because this is my first pie I have ever made (well, besides some mini pumpkin pies that I made last year...but those don't count).

This is the first pie I have made from scratch.....including the crust. 

I was nervous, scared, and to be just plain honest, I was procrastinating so badly with making this pie. I was afraid that the crust wouldn't turn out right. Finally, though, I bit the bullet and started to make the dough.

Now, whomever said that making a pie crust is easy is full of it!!!! Yes, they are. There was NOTHING easy about this (well, making the dough was easy, but that was it)! Maybe it was because I had never made one before and didn't know what I was doing.....or maybe they just really are that hard to make, but dammit, Cat Cora makes it look so easy. :/

I made my pie crust from a recipe my grandma gave me. It's a shortening crust and her pies are always very delicious. 

After making the dough and letting it chill, I started rolling it out.........this was the scariest part for me. 

I rolled, then rolled some more. Gave it a few more good rolls until I wound up with this

Not too shabby, but it stuck like gum in a girl's hair on my counter. I managed to get it off the counter and in to the pie dish.

Had to make a few touch ups, but hey, I got it in the dish! LOL!

The scary part was over! *Phew*

Now time to fill this beauty creation. 

I found a recipe for an eggnog pumpkin pie. I didn't want to just make a basic pumpkin pie, but Davey begged me to please make something simple that he would enjoy. Me.....simple??? Hahahaha! I think not! So, to give in to both of us, I figured adding some eggnog to a pumpkin pie would be a GREAT idea!

Eggnog Pumpkin Pie
(as adapted from Taste of Home)


1 15oz can pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups eggnog
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I used my own homemade PPS)

1/4 tsp salt
1 9-inch pie crust (recipe to follow....or you can use a store bought crust)

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer) combine all ingredients (besides pie crust....of course)

-Mix until all is incorporated

-Pour into prepared pie crust 
-Bake for 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center of pie comes out clean

I decided to make my pie a little fancy with an egg and butter wash, as well as adding some really cute little turkey cut-outs around the edge of the crust.

I also cut out some pumpkins and baked them separately with a little cinnamon-sugar sprinkle on them to add to the center of the pie after baking.
 Little mini turkeys!

My beautiful pie was placed in the oven and I checked in on it after about 25 minutes. To my horror, I saw that some of the crust had sunk down into the pie!!!!! :( The biggest frowny face showed up on my face at that moment.

I almost cried!!!!! All this hard work and this vision in my head of what I wanted my pie to look like, and it was ruined! :(

After being sad for a few minutes, I realized that it wasn't all that bad and it was still salvageable! 

Not too bad, right???? As long as it tastes good, that's all that matters! :) In my world, that is all that matters.......ok, that is a lie........but it's making me feel better at this present moment!

What does every pumpkin pie need now??? Whipped cream, of course! And you know me! I can't just have any old whipped cream.....NOPE! I wanted an eggnog whipped cream! So, an eggnog whipped cream I made!

Eggnog Whipped Cream
(as adapted from Bake Space)


1 cup whipping cream
1 cup eggnog
1 TBSP sugar
Nutmeg to taste

-Combine whipping cream and eggnog in stand mixer with whisk attachment

-While mixer is mixing, slowly add in the sugar
-When mixture has reached soft peaks, grate in fresh nutmeg (or add in the nutmeg), mixting to incorporate

 I put mine into a separate container and stuck it in the freezer where it will stay until tomorrow!

If I didn't scare you off too much with making your own pie crust, here is my grandma's recipe that she has had and used for decades! Love my grandma!!!! <3

All-Shortening Pie Crust
(as adapted from my grandma!)


4 cups flour, lightly spooned into cup
1 TBSP sugar
2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
1/2 cup water
1 TBSP white or cider vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
1 large egg

-Put first 4 ingredients in large bowl and mix well with table fork until crumbly

-In small bowl, beat together the water, vinegar and egg with a fork

-Combine the 2 mixtures, stirring with a fork until all ingredients are moistened 

-Divide dough in 5 portions and, with hands, shape each portion in a flat, round, patty, ready for rolling 

-Wrap each in plastic or wax paper and chill at least 1/2 hour

-When ready to roll pie crust, lightly flour both sides of patty

-Put on lightly floured board or pastry cloth

-Cover rolling pin with stocking and rub in a little flour

-Keeping pastry round, roll from center to 1/8” thick and 2” larger than inverted pie pan

-Fold in halves or quarters

-Transfer to pie pan, unfold and fit loosely in pie pan

-Press with fingers to remove air pockets

-Trim overhanging edge of pastry about 3/4” from rim of pan, fold under, and flute pastry with fingers or press firmly around edge of pan with tines of fork, dipping in flour occasionally to prevent sticking

-Fill and bake as desired in individual recipe

**For baked pie shell, prick bottom and sides of pastry with tines of fork. Put on rack in center of preheated 450 degree oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cake rack; fill as desired!

Well, we won't know until tomorrow evening how my pie turned out, but I am pretty sure it will be good.....just look at it! LOL!!!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!!

As always, much love!
<3 Amy

Oh one more thing.....proof that So Cal DOES have seasons and pretty trees! ;)

Ok, so not the greatest pictures to depict that previous statement, but you get the idea!!!! ;) 

Have a great one! <3

A Little Nosh

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

German Chocolate Cake

My husband is the pickiest eater I know. He doesn't like anything besides the basic steak and potato dinner, cheeseburgers, or spaghetti. On a very rare occasion he will actually try something new, and 9 times out of 10, he will enjoy it......but still, he does NOT like to try new things.

He also has a sweet tooth smaller than an ant. How can he deny all of my scrumptious baking??? I have no idea, since I have the biggest sweet tooth EVER, but the things I bake just don't appeal to him. There are a few things he likes....crumb donuts, banana cream pie, bear claws, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and German chocolate cake. (He did actually enjoy my dad's birthday cake and told me I should make that again for Thanksgiving......too bad that isn't going to happen). Davey always gets so sad when I bake something that he won't eat. This isn't my fault that he won't try anything new, and I don't want to bake the same stuff over and over and over again. I LOVE to try new things!

This weekend, though, was different! After helping me with my stand mixer, I figured he deserved to have something special made for him. I chose to bake him a German chocolate cake. I usually use a boxed mix, but wanted to actually make one from scratch this time. I went out into Googleland and found myself a German chocolate cake recipe that I had all the ingredients to (since I had just gotten home from the grocery store and didn't want to go back.....). I don't eat too much German chocolate cake (I like it, but don't find it worthy of all the calories.....I would rather have something much tastier like these or even a couple of these....OR a huge slice of this!!! Yes, those are much more worthy of major calorie consumption.....and all the hours of running I would need to do to burn them off!) so I set off to make the hubs his own personal cake. Thankfully I had just bought a 6" cake pan! :)

German Chocolate Cake
(as adapted from David Lebovitz)

*Makes a large cake. I halved the recipe to make a small cake


2 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 TBSP water
8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter; softened
1 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup sugar (keep both amounts separate)
4 large eggs; separated
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk; at room temperature (I used the powdered buttermilk)
1 tsp vanilla extract

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Grease whatever cake pan you are using
-Melt both chocolates together with the 6 TBSP water

-Stir until smooth and then allow to come to room temperature

-In a large bowl, beat together the butter and 1 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy

Some light and fluffy yumminess right there! <3

-Beat in melted chocolate

-Then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time

I was shocked to see how much lighter the batter became after the yolks were added! You can see the difference in the bowl!!!

-Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
I sifted in my powdered buttermilk at the point as well

-Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the batter mixture
That should be exactly half, right....??? ;)

-Mix in buttermilk (this is where I added the water since I used powdered buttermilk) and the vanilla extract

-Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients

-In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks

Ok, so confession....I beat the egg whites.....I beat them reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaalllllly well......but never did I see any soft droopy peaks. What are soft droopy peaks? Isn't that some sort of oxymoron? Droopy peak? Hmmmmm..........


-Beat in the 1/4 cup sugar until stiff
(I, uh, thought we were making a cake here.....beatings and stiffness........yeah, ok)

-Fold in about 1/3 of the egg whites to lighten the batter
That does NOT look like egg whites to me........

-Fold in remaining egg whites until there is no trace of egg whites visible
Nope, no egg whites here. Never seen 'em.....

-Pour batter into prepared cake pan 
Nevermind the sour cream container in the background.....

-Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

*David Lebovitz gives recipes for a filling and frosting for this cake. I used a jarred frosting though.....I know, shame on me.......but I didn't feel like making the frosting. I had dinner on the stove as well (recipe to come soon) so a jarred frosting it was!

Davey enjoyed his cake very much!!! :D Seeing him smile while eating one of my baked goods makes my heart happy! I can now sleep well!!! Hahaha!

Oh and FYI: 2 days until Thanksgiving! Yay!!!! I just love Thanksgiving! I have a few things I am baking up for dinner/dessert (and of course will share them all with you). This will be my first Thanksgiving that I am contributing to the feeding and not just consuming the food!!! 

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday all of you! Enjoy this time with your family and friends and be thankful for all that you have!!!! <3 I am thankful for my readers and all the love you have shown me thus far!!!

<3 you all!