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--
This is a story. A story of love and carbs, and change.
I do carbs well (like A+ skill). I love love and do it pretty well. And change, that one, whew, not so much... but life it is a funny thing.
We moved to Wichita a little over two years ago for Nick's job. Starting our life here meant I left a job that I really liked. Looking back, I actually loved it. But, we made this move together. I agreed to our move without hesitation and excitement because I love Nick and I love us. And, because he got the offer many others in his field covet.
So, I got a new job in Wichita. We actually started our new jobs the same day. My experience at my new job in Wichita allowed me some great experiences planning big events, helping craft concentrated marketing efforts, connecting with some impressive people, and develop some good relationships. I had a good run in that position. But I started this blog because I wanted to share stories and honest reflections (and great food!). Accordingly, I have to be transparent. In this position, I struggled with my authenticity, the value I provided, my work-life balance, and, frankly, my happiness. Thus, I reached a tipping point and had to make a change. YES, I inserted change, BIG CHANGE, into my own life.
Switching jobs is scary. Leaving one that is stable, poised for possible growth, and reasonably compensated for one that is for lesser pay well that's enough to send a lifelong risk-manager into a tailspin. This is where the love comes in. Throughout my entire job search and interview process, Nick was the paramount cheerleader. He was my champion. He provided me the permission I thought I needed to walk away from something fine for something that could bring me new challenge and more peace. He did give me some tough love and a quasi-mandate to make a decision and not look back, either way no matter what I chose.
It came down to taking the risk. Or facing regret. I would have only stayed in my former position out of fear of the unknown. So I had some lengthy consultation with those I love the most and did some soul-searching. Then I went to sleep. Yes, I slept on it. Then I woke up and charged ahead on decision day resolved to take the leap. I found this quote that describes the feeling I had, "And suddenly you just know it's time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings."
In this journey, perhaps amplified by ever nearing end of my twenties, I've come to realize giving my energy and time to something that fulfills you is critical. Adding value to your life and the lives of others is awesome and necessary. Moreover, happiness is important. Happiness with self, work, and life. If something is standing in the way of happiness you have to move it or move you. New beginnings only happen if we make them happen.
I am happy to report that I think I'm going to love my new job. I get the opportunity to tell the stories of our community's school district. I get to showcase what's good about public education and the success of students and teachers. I also get to help foster opportunities for support. Other bonuses about this new job: Practically no more extra hours. Nick and I have about the same schedule. And it frees me up to take another leap, errrr, well perhaps tip toe into the world of real estate (more on this when there's more to report.) It's true that the newness hasn't worn off, but it's safe to say I made the right choice.
All this change makes me hungry. Carbs, shall we? Let's talk donuts. Better yet, pumpkin donuts.
with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
Original Donut Recipe from King Arthur Flour
Makes 18 donuts
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 3/4 + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients with hand or stand mixer until well blended.
3. Stir in flour until smooth.
4. Spoon batter into non-stick sprayed standard donut pan. Fill wells about 3/4 full.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool in pan for 2-3 minutes then move donuts out onto cooling rack.
While cooling, make icing, if desired.
1. Beat 5 tablespoons cream cheese, 3/4 cup powered sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar with hand mixer. Adjust powdered sugar and use about 2-4 tablespoons of milk to create desired consistency. We like it a little more cream cheesy, a little less sweet, and a teeny bit thick but that's the beauty of it all, customize to your liking.
Note: I made the donuts the day before icing them. They were a bit sticky the next day. So I popped the donuts back into the oven at 350 for about 2-3 minutes and then dipped these babies into icing.
This treat. These are incredibly easy. And the pumpkin spice is like whoa. Enjoy them this fall (more than once if you can handle it.)
Before I sign off, I have to give a shout out to by husband and those who took this leap with me. THANK YOU for helping me pursue my own path and loving me through my crazy antics, my over analyzation, and my dreams.
If you're headed towards a crossroads or faced with any difficult decisions, trust your tribe, trust yourself, and take the risk. Read the quotes below as they were pulled from my Instagram feed and GO FOR IT!
Until next time.