nourishing & unapologetic
Born Daily is back in the kitchen.
I'll be honest, I've never left. My clothes know it and my thighs show it. But... in the name of butter and good karma, I'll take it for the team.
Shamefully, I've not shared any of my latest culinary happenings.
I've had a few people ask recently if I'd be returning to the tastier and more style sides of this space. And, that's a resounding YES. I love y'all and I love yapping my trap. So, there's more to come on this here blog.
What better way to get back in the groove then at the kickoff of the holiday baking season? I've got 12 recipes that I think are perfect for Santa's plate, your family gatherings, and that work party. All of these recipes I've made (sometimes more than once) but failed you with snagging my own pictures of some of them. All original recipe sources/authors are credited and linked.
Going in particular order, because -- I play favorites:
12. Frosted Cranberry Orange Drop Cookies
These cookies are all things winter in one bite -- tart cranberries and bright winter citrus with the indulgence of cream cheese frosting.
They're simple to make but pretty enough for a party. Taste of Home has a winner in these!
And, fun fact, I took third place in my company's Fall Festival dessert contest with 'em.
11. No Fuss Pie Crust
Secret: I pretty much only like pie if it's ice cream or chocolate. I think it's because pie crust frustrates me. Impatience is the root of all my frustration and not the pie crust but I digress. So, when I saw this recipe on Pinterest that heralded "no butter, no chilling, no rolling," my interest was piqued. And I did exactly what you shouldn't do -- busted out a new recipe for Thanksgiving. Much to my surprise, this pie crust held up its claims. It was easy. It was quick. It was pretty dang good.
The Country Cook calls this Wham Bam Pie Crust, all I can say is thank you, ma'am!
TIME FOR PIE
10. French Silk Pie
Just above I confessed chocolate pie is one of my one and only likes in pie form. And this recipe is the sole reason why. Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, held nothing back with this one. It is dreamy, creamy, and actually really easy. I found this originally in her cookbook, but it's also online on her blog, and mine too.
WHIP THIS UP
9. Sugar Cookie Bars
Growing up sugar cookies were my least favorite cookie, like lowest on the list. But I've grown to like them... especially these sugar cookie bars that will win about anyone over. They come together quickly but are rich and memorable. Plus, they're easy to make festive with a few drops of food coloring or sprinkles.
8. Brownie Crinkles
You don't have to read past 'brownie.' But if you do, I'll tell you it gets better because they're gooey and dusted with powdered sugar. There are several variations of these -- some from scratch and others from boxed brownies. Because I am generally baking a ton of things at once, I opt for the box mix version. Cincy Shopper has a great one.
7. Pumpkin Cream Pie
Pumpkin pie purists, you might what to skip this one. But if you're open to spicing up your pumpkin pie, make this one from Lauren's Latest. It is unexpectedly delicious. It's creamy like it's name but it's still so full of flavor. And trust me, making the homemade whipped cream is a MUST.
SPICE IT UP
I'm a sucker with anything 'doodle.' That's a given. But these cookies, from Averie Cooks, are a classic mash-up of molasses cookies, gingersnaps and snickerdoodles. They are soft; the molasses carries them through, and the sugar coating put them over the top. You think you're not going to like them and then they'll steal the attention on any cookie platter.
5. Buried Cherry Cookies
If there's one cookie I've eaten my weight in during my lifetime so far, it's this cookie. It's from a cookbook that my parents have had for umpteen years at this point. I'm linking a recipe from Taste of Home because I know it matches. They're not fancy and they're not for everyone. But if you like cherries and chocolate, you don't want to miss this one. They are a teeny bit messy but I promise they're worth it.
4. Caramel Cheesecake Bars
Holidays give us a reason to celebrate the richness and indulgences of the season, right? These are your answer to that. They are classic cheesecake bars COVERED in a homemade caramel sauce. You can cut them small because they are a lot extra, plus everyone will want a bite. Six Sisters' Stuff knocked it out of the park with these.
SWEET TOOTH FIX
3. Peanut Butter Balls
A candy maker I am not. But these peanut butter balls will impress anyone. And if you are a Reese's fan, this recipe gets you pretty darn close. This will become a regular in your treat rotation.
MAKE A CLASSIC
2. Orange Marmalade Muffins
I know, I know, a muffin?! But let me continue because these muffins are one-hundred-percent amazing. I've been making these muffins for ten years now. Seriously, they are that good. The buttermilk is secret ingredient and makes them so, so tender. You're welcome; you just found your Christmas morning breakfast.
I can't find a recipe online so I'm listing my copy here:
1. Cannoli Cookies
Saved the absolute best for last. These are Nick's favorite cookie of all time. They seem a bit fussy but they're rich in all the best ways. And a cookie sandwich just amps up the appeal. Take the time to make these. Use the real ingredients. And, follow the directions. Normally I am not a stickler but just do it just like the recipe and you'll be rewarded.
CANNOLI FOR CHRISTMAS
Let me know what you make and love. I'll be back soon with a savory edition too. And, if you have any can't miss holiday favorites, drop them in the comments for me.
Until next time--
Holy moly! Today marks this little blog's first anniversary. Cue the parade and candle-blowing. We shall celebrate with exciting ramblings and a killer Salted Caramel Cheesecake recipe. Yes, we're doubling up on the goodness.
First, I want to thank you all for jumping in on this journey. I wasn't entirely sure what I signed on for when I launched this blog while sitting on the kitchen floor in our wee rental house. You, the awesome readers of the blogesphere, have been encouraging and forgiving. You've come back despite my inconsistent posting schedule. You've made recipes that were depicted in lackluster photos (I promise to get better!). You've shared that you enjoy my rants and words. You've inspired me to be a better cook and baker. You've built my confidence to keep putting forth posts. I now know that blogging is the second best creative release I have. It's a closeclose second to cooking. Hmmmm, I guess this is why Born Daily is primarily a blog with food. And for the record, I find myself on the same pillow on my kitchen floor tip tap typing this post. Oh, the delicious, sugary serendipity of it all.
You might have noticed it has been basically a month (ahem...sigh) since I posted last. Well, life has been busy. Like really busy. I previously posted that we were on the hunt for a house. Well with the help of our main man Saint Joseph and our rockstar realtor, Keely, we found a house, made it through negotiations, etc., AND got our rental sold all within a few weeks of each other. (The rental was only on the market 3 days!) Yes, she's really that good. So just firm that up, yep, next week the Borns are buying a house!! I've been hesitant to write about this because despite my intuition I am a teeny superstitious. So, just for good measure we still have Saint Joseph in his place of honor.
Accordingly, you should expect many adventures in homeownership to fill the coming installments of this blog. More details, and hopefully minimal mishaps, await.
Second, remember that birthday bucket list of sorts I put forward in February...I am slowly working through it. Next week we'll officially cross of #6 (see paragraphs above). I can also cross off #4 since I ran my second half marathon this past weekend! WAHOO! I went in with an unspoken goal and disappointingly didn't meet it BUT the entire run felt better than my first half. That's something, right? And, I might be crazy enough to try to train for another one...er, did I just type that? Chalk that up to a runner's high... Anyhoo, I'm pretty proud to have completed it and got to run it with a longtime bestie (and when I say run "with" I mean we both performed the activity but she's much faster.)
Now, I promised you a kick-butt cheesecake with trendy salted caramel sauce. It is rich, seemingly fancy, and totally something you can make at home. Create some special occasion that warrants a serious dessert (i.e. a blog-versary). It comes to us from Joy the Baker. (Joy was one of the first bloggers I started to read regularly. She mixes humor as well as she does butter and sugar. Check her out.)
I have to confess I originally made this cheesecake for the hubster's 25th birthday, last year. This was weeks before this blog entered my brain as a serious outlet. Thus, I have only one picture of the final result. And, I've already revealed its wonder at the top of this post. So instead of typing the recipe for you, I want to drive you to her site, the original.
I picked this recipe because it didn't require a springform pan. I've gone twenty something years and never acquired a springform pan. Seriously. That probably eats at my baker credit a bit... But nevertheless, I made this in all its flavorful glory and it stands up as a pretty legit cheesecake. And don't fear the caramel. You can do it! BUT if you don't want to do it, it is completely acceptable to melt the caramels and add salt. This treat was the perfect way to usher in his milestone. It lasts a while if there are only two of you.
Speaking of which, I failed to properly give him a blog post for his birthday earlier this month. (And I didn't make him a cheesecake this year either. He requested a DQ ice cream cake (yes, it's true love when you a baker buy a loved one their birthday treat.)) So, husband, happiest belated birthday blog inclusion. May this year be filled with the best adventures, delicious foods, cold grapefruit shandy, and a well-organized bigger garage! Love you for being you, awesome, handsome, talented, you.
You all rock. You really do. Thank you again for making Born Daily part of your online reading habits! It is my sincerest hope that we can continue to grow this blog together. And goodness knows, there's plenty of content ahead! #food24/7 #homeownership :)
Have a great week, friends!
Until next time.
People always talk about the life "phases" one experiences with age. You know the milestones: college, first jobs, first home, marriage, babies, etc... As I near the end of the twenties spectrum (two years and holding!), I feel fortunate to have seen and been a part of many of the phases. In fact, I think the latter two phases, marriage and babies, have been the mainstays for the last number of years. And, judging by all the announcements magneted to our fridge, the few years in age between Nicholas and I seem to have extended them. And honestly, I couldn't love that more. These occasions are filled with joy. Plus, they always warrant sweet treats.
Nicholas and I officially "met" at a mutual friend's wedding so we love a good matrimonial ceremony and celebration! And Nicholas is a total baby lover. Now me, eh, not so much. Mostly little ones make me anxious. Despite how "responsible" or nurturing I might be, I generally tend to prefer babes at arm's length. But as of late, many of my nearest and dearest have had or are having children and we were blessed with our much adored niece last March, so I am working on my complex.
This week, a favorite college friend welcomed her second wee one. R and her husband chose not to find out the gender so it was a great surprise when their baby girl was born on Saturday. Nicholas and I had the privilege of meeting precious Baby E tonight. Yes, I held her. And, we all survived!
During R's pregnancy, she limited her sugar intake and was craving all things lemon. Couple that with my personal struggle with visiting someone and showing up empty-handed. Enter mini lemon cheesecakes. Tart. Sweet. Small. Celebration-worthy. And, easy to make (bonus!).
Mini Lemon Cheesecakes with Gingergraham Crust
2/3 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons butter, melted
16-ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons sour cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Whipped cream (homemade, RediWhip, etc.)
Sprinkles or gingersnap crumbs
First things first, preheat oven to 350F and line 14 -16 cups of two muffin pans with your favorite festive paper liners.
Process gingersnap cookies and graham crackers in food processor (or do it old school and crush in a plastic ziptop bag with a rolling pin).
In a medium bowl, make the gingergraham crust. Mix together gingersnap and graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, lemon zest and salt and stir to combine. . Pour melted butter over mixture and stir with a fork to moisten the crumbs.
Place a tablespoon (give or take) of crumb mixture in each of the prepared muffin cups and pack down into an even layer.
Cream together cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until smooth.
Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Stir in lemon zest.
Divide cheesecake mixture evenly into prepared muffin tins. Makes between 14-16 cheesecakes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheesecakes are set. (I baked mine for about 22 minutes.)
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin pan, then carefully transfer cheesecakes to a cooling rack. Cool completely before refrigerating.
The cheesecakes can be served at room temperature shortly after cooling, or they can be chilled for up to two or three days (my favorite!). If you're feeling fancy, garnish with whipped cream and a dash of sprinkles.
Recipe slightly adapted from Baking Bites.
Sweets in honor of sweet beautiful Baby E were a success! These are a perfect make-ahead spring or summer dessert to celebrate any phase, occasion, or reason. Make them soon.
Until next time! xo-
PS I promise to work on the quality of my photos...please bear with me as become "Kathy Kodak" :)