apple and pear crisps

Apple and Pear Crisps

This  time of year is fraught with temptation, from the leftover Halloween candy to turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, to toffee and fudge, Christmas tree-shaped sugar cookies, and Santa Hat Brownies. I don’t plan on cutting out all of these sweets completely, but, this year it is my goal to practice more restraint, maintain some sort of fitness routine, and indulge in healthier treats. Continue reading

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apple crisp with oatmeal walnut streusel topping

Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Walnut Streusel Topping

Growing up, my mom loved fruit and always kept a variety in the house which she encouraged my brothers and I to eat.  However, one fruit that was conspicuously  absent was the apple.  It was not the taste she didn’t like. Rather it was the sound of someone biting into one that bothered her. It was like fingernails on chalkboard and the sound literally gave her goosebumps and sent chills up her spine. Continue reading

pumpkin cookies with brown sugar & orange glaze

pumpkin cookies

Aaaaah!  It’s finally starting to cool off here in Southern California, which really gets me in the mood for fall baking. I look forward to this time of the year, when I can relax with a cup of hot cocoa and a sweet treat.  A couple of weeks ago, I featured a pumpkin coffee cake, and this time, I have a pumpkin cookie recipe to share with you. If you are a fan of soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookies, you will definitely like these. They are tender and fluffy, almost resembling mini cakes.

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pumpkin swirl coffee cake

Today I’m doing my best Paula Deen imitation with this recipe for Pumpkin Swirl Coffee Cake which requires almost 12 ounces of butter. I certainly don’t recommend baking with and eating this much butter all the time, but it is a nice indulgence once in a while.  The result is quite possibly the most buttery and moist cake I’ve ever made. It is also  light and tender with just the right amount of sweetness and spice. The crumbly pecan and brown sugar streusel made for a great topping, as well as a base, for the cake. My kitchen was filled with the heavenly aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, reminiscent of Thanksgiving, which, by the way, is a mere 56 days away!

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