Butternut Squash Chess Pie

Butternut Squash Chess PieThe color of this burnt orange pie could be misleading.  Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves are not among its ingredients.  Instead, lemon is the starring flavor in this pie.  Together with lemon, roasted butternut squash is added to this classically southern pie, and the result is a filling of tangy citrusy custard, made richer and smoother thanks to the sweet nutty taste of the roasted squash.
Butternut Squash Chess Pie RecipeButternut Squash Chess Pie RecipeButternut Squash Chess Pie RecipeButternut Squash Chess Pie Recipe
There is nothing fancy or complicated about this pie.  Most of the ingredients are staple items.  If you have a squash on hand, you are good to go!

Cinnamon and sugar pie crust cookiesButternut Squash Chess Pie Recipe


Adapted from Food Network Magzine

Espresso Gingerbread Cake

Espresso Gingerbread Cake RecipeThe Santa Ana winds were gusting Sunday night,  and just as I had predicted, the power went out.  Likely to find myself in the dark before the evening was over, I had lit candles throughout the house and tucked a small flashlight nearby.  As anticipated, the lights flickered on and off as the power supplied to our neighborhood gave way to mother nature’s will.
Espresso Gingerbread Cake RecipeEspresso Gingerbread Cake RecipeAfter I adjusted my evening’s plans from watching television and working on my computer to reading by the glow of candlelight, I welcomed the break from routine; the mindlessness and distraction that can so often accompany the background noises in life.  I curled up with old friends, holiday baking magazines I have been collecting for years.  Each year they seem new again.  Along the way I found this little jewel of a recipe.  So simple and so delicious.
Espresso Gingerbread Cake Recipe Espresso Gingerbread Cake LR-5888 Thank you mother nature for providing a space for me to just ‘be’!
Espresso Gingerbread Cake Recipe


Adapted from Fine Cooking Holiday Baking 2004

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie BarsI have quite the collection of cookbooks.  Some people might think it excessive, but I think of each and everyone of them as a friend.  I spend endless hours flipping through their pages, inhaling the smell and savoring the taste of each recipe via my imagination.  My favorite books are the vintage cookbooks.  There is history to be discovered between their covers.  When I peruse their pages, I travel to a time when cooking and baking seemed simpler, especially baking.  I think of how far the world of baking has come, even in the last number of decades.  We have at our disposal so many more ingredients, gadgets, and pieces of equipment.  The possibilities are endless.  Of course, all that considered, the past provides the foundation from which all our modern-day baking comes, and for that I owe a debt of gratitude to the pioneers in the field of baking.
Pecan Pie Bars RecipeWhile looking through one of my older cookbooks recently, I came upon a recipe for what the book called Penuche Bars.  I was immediately drawn in by the title.  I shared in this post from last year just what a fan of penuche I am.  Enticed,  I gave the recipe a try.  What resulted was a very delicious bar cookie, but not exactly one reminiscent enough of penuche to be called that.  It more so resembled a slice of caramely, chewy, and nutty pecan pie than brown sugar fudge, and I’m not complaining about that .  Once I got out of my head what I expected the bars were going to be, and embraced them for what they were, I realized I had stumbled upon a keeper of a recipe.  Even more than that, I actually prefer these bars over pecan pie, because sometimes the pie can be too goopy and syrupy for me.  So this Thanksgiving, give them a try.  You might just become a convert too!
Pecan Pie Bars RecipePecan Pie Bars



Crust adapted from Carole Walter’s Great Cookies
Filling adapted from Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook


Apple Cheddar and Thyme Crostata

Apple Cheddar and Thyme Crostata RecipeIn an effort to use up every delectable apple we schlepped 3000 miles from our trip to an apple farm in New Jersey, I bring you another apple dessert, or is it an appetizer, or both.  You decide.  Either way, you can’t go wrong with juicy apples enhanced with the flavor of savory thyme, tucked underneath a blanket of white cheddar cheese, all nestled inside a tender cheesy crust.  Eating a slice of warm apple pie with a slice of cheddar on top is a classic way to serve this all-American dessert.  I took that classic combination for a spin and  I think you’re going to love the result. Continue reading

Apple Walnut Bread with Brown Sugar Glaze

Apple Walnut Bread with Brown Sugar Glaze RecipeIn my last post I shared with you about my Mom, and the incredible grief I was experiencing following her passing.  I’m still struggling and I expect I will be for a while.  I’ve not wanted to bring my sadness to this place I love and have enjoyed so deeply for the past several years, and for that reason I have not been posting.  I have been baking some, it’s comforting in a way.  But words are not coming easily for me.  I don’t want to pretend I am feeling happier and more upbeat than I am.  For a time , what feels right is to begin sharing recipes again,  but I will be keeping my posts short on words.  Quiet feels better and more real.

Thank you to everyone who shared such kind comments following the loss of my Mom.  Your comments comforted me greatly. Continue reading