Tag Archives: dessert

Blondies with Chocolate Chips, Pecans and Cranberries

Blondies

Blondies with Chocolate Chips, Pecans & Cranberries

Tonight is about combining two of my favorite things in life, Blondie Bars and “The Voice”. I am obsessed with NBC’s singing competition show “The Voice”. I love the concept, the talent and most of all the judges. It’s one of my guilty pleasures you could say.

My friend Cindy had a contact at NBC, and was able to get us in to last night’s show.  I have to say it’s extremely fascinating to see how a live show works. It really looks nothing like the final product you see on television. Her contact was nice enough to give a bunch of old broads a thrill, and let’s us sit in the judges chairs…the big, red ones that turn around when they hear an amazing voice. I’m pretending I’m Shakira.  Oh c’mon let me have some fun!

Anyway, tonight I’ve invited those same girls over to my house to watch “The Voice” finale. And for the finale you’ve gotta have treats, right. Which leads us to my other latest obsession;  Blondies with Chocolate Chips, Pecans and Cranberries. What! You’re rolling your eyes at the addition of cranberries. You have to trust me on this. The cranberries add that little bit of tartness that combines perfectly with the crunch of the pecans and the richness of the chocolate chips. I guarantee, these will become your latest obsession too.

Blondies

Blondies with Chocolate Chips, Pecans & Cranberries

Blondies with Chocolate Chips, Pecans and Cranberries

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Blondies with Chocolate Chips, Pecans and Cranberries

Blondies with Chocolate Chips, Pecans and Cranberries

Mama’s Tips: 

When I bake “bar cookies”, like brownies or blondies, I like to line the pan with parchment.  I always have a couple rolls on hand so I’m never out of it. This way I can just lift the baked bars right out of the pan without anything sticking to it. It makes cutting the bars into cleanly cut squares so easy and professional looking.

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Recipe: Easy 

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

The craziest thing happened the other day, true story… My son, son #2 that is, who is home from school on spring break, brought packaged blueberry muffins into my house. You know the kind that are filled with all kinds of preservatives, calories, and lord knows what else. I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I spotted them sitting on the kitchen table. I said, dude, your mom writes a blog called Mama’s Gotta Bake! Think man, think!

Naturally I did what any good food blogger and mother would do, and raced to my kitchen and made my son homemade Blueberry Muffins with fresh, yes, fresh blueberries. I felt like I had restored order to the universe…

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from Williams – Sonoma

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Sweet Rolls with Orange Glaze

Sweet Rolls with Orange Glaze

Sweet Rolls with Orange Glaze

When I began my first year away at college, I had heard about the dreaded “freshman fifteen”. It’s that bizarre anomaly that occurs the first time students go away to college and experience eating in the campus cafeteria where there’s not much that’s healthy, low calorie or pleasant tasting. Legend has it that most freshman will pack on fifteen pounds their first year. And sure enough, it happened to me. My mother claimed that when I came home for my winter break she hardly recognized me.

So do you know what the culprit was…Sweet Rolls. It was the one thing that the cafeteria at Rider University served that was actually edible. I used to eat them in mass quantities. So much so that the cafeteria ladies used to hide trays of them when they saw me coming so there would something left over for the other students. So that folks was how I began my lifelong obsession with the Sweet Roll.

Today I made these Sweet Rolls with Cardamom and Orange Glaze. This is not an overly sweet treat, they’re definitely more a roll than a pastry. I like to add cardamom which gives the roll a spicy-sweet taste and pairs very well with the orange glaze.

Sweet Rolls rising in the pan

Sweet Rolls rising in the pan

Sweet Rolls with Cardamom 

Adapted from the LA Times

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Apple Pie in a Bag

Apple Pie baked in a brown paper bag

Apple Pie baked in a brown paper bag

It’s getting closer to the big day, you know what day I’m talking about, right? Thanksgiving, of course. It’s my most special meal, well it seems every meal is my most special meal, but this one definitely is. In fact, I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.  It’s the one day I will eat with reckless abandon. For me it’s a food version of a perfect storm. Every food I consider to be one of my favorites will make an appearance at my Thanksgiving table.

I embrace this holiday not just for the food, but for the fact that I truly am thankful for the food, and for my family.

I was speaking to my sister-in-law, Wanda the other day and she told me about a pie she makes that is my brother’s favorite. Since Apple Pie is a requisite for any Thanksgiving dinner I thought I would try it out before the big day. I was intrigued because this pie was baked in a brown paper grocery bag. She said that the bag kept the crust from over browning and that the apples became soft and tender and stayed juicy. Hmmmm, sounds like Mama needed to give this a try. Well Wanda, I was quite pleased with the results. I used a pre-made crust for this pie, but hey, if you’ve got the energy then go ahead and make your own crust.

Apple Pie baked in a bag

Apple Pie baked in a bag

Apple Pie in a Bag 

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Removing Apple Pie from the paper bag

Removing Apple Pie from the paper bag

Recipe: Easy