i love lists: 10 cookies i want in my belly

If you saw my post last weekend, then you are hopefully still using the list of remedies I gave you for the indian summer we’re still having in San Diego. This heat is brutal. Which is why I’m sitting in front of my fan with a cold drink and about to make sandwiches for dinner.

While I’m not suggesting that you turn on your oven, I am suggesting you day dream about the following 10 cookie recipes. Long for them, fantasize about the magnificent flavors, then in a couple weeks…bake them all! You know people will eat them. People love sugar…so just go crazy and bake. I chose to make a list of cookies because they are one of my favorite desserts and are usually pretty simple. These recipes can be trusted…no pinterest fail here!

cookie Collage 1

  1. Smitten Kitchen Black & White Cookies
  2. Barefoot Contessa Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  3. Barefoot Contessa Pecan Shortbread
  4. Pioneer Woman Citrus Butter Cookies
  5. Momofuku Milk Bar Marshmallow Cornflake Cookies
  6. Sarah Theis Chocolate Chip Cookies
  7. Joy the Baker Vanilla Bean Confetti Cookies
  8. White on Rice Couple Brown Sugar Butterscotch Slice & Bake Cookies
  9. Food 52 Salted Chocolate Espresso Brookies
  10. Martha Stewart Snickerdoodle Cookies

cookie Collage 2

#31daysofwriting #write31days

xo sarah 

this abundant list

TAL 14 1

  1. Hello, Raisin Loaf! I will be making you this weekend.
  2. Totally doing this! Want to join me?
  3. Have you ever seen this trick for separating egg whites? Really neat.
  4. These homemade baby wipes look simple enough and inexpensive.
  5. Top 5 Super Bowl beers!
  6. I really want to do my own crab boil. Someday, someday.
  7. I’m Listening to Death By Love in the car lately. It’s just what I need right now.
  8. Really cool hanging fruit baskets.
  9. DIY modern custom address labels.
  10. This care-package is an idea I have wanted to do for years.
  11. Coffee & Coconut in a body scrub? Yes, please.
  12. I have never wanted to scrapbook more in my life.
  13. Want to read a great book? It’s called How People Change.
  14. Considering sherbet this week. I have some limes and pineapples.

Enjoy the weekend, friends!

xo sarah

candied almond biscotti

We are right in the middle of summer changing to fall here in Southern California and the weather is still a bit unpredictable. However, here is one thing about your mornings that don’t have to be that way: Candied Almond Biscotti. This week, I have a recipe to make your morning coffee routine hit a new level of awesome. Grab your travel mug, a couple of these biscotti, and hit the road! You are set.

Candied Almond Biscotti

What inspired this scrumptious breakfast treat? This recipe in particular was inspired by our friend Leilani. She had a birthday last week and I was so excited to bake for her. She is a lovely woman with all the makings of sugar, spice, and everything nice. What better to give her than a big batch of Candied Almond Biscotti! They’re light, toasty, and they feel like you’re eating something super fancy-pants. I have always been a fan of giving and receiving food for gifts. It’s something people can delight in for days and they will think of you when they enjoy each bite. So fun!

CAB process 2You get to spice and candy the almonds! This was my favorite part of the recipe. And the cayenne pepper? Genius. Thanks Joy.

CAB process 3Creaming butter, sugar, eggs, and all that good stuff in my beloved KitchenAid.

CAB process 4I didn’t get a good picture of the two portions of dough before they initially went in the oven, but here they are all cut and ready to baked one more time!

Candied Almond Biscotti 2These are UHHH-mazing. Make them. Do it now. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…do it now! GO.

Candied Almond Biscotti

Makes about 2 dozen biscotti

Ingredients:

For the Candied Almonds

  • 1 1/3 cup of raw almonds
  • 1 large  egg white (do not discard the yolk – it will be used in the biscotti dough)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

For the Biscotti

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 stick of butter (6 Tbsp.) at room temp.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon sugar mixture: 2 Tbsp. sugar & 2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

For the Candied Almonds

  1. Begin by making the candied almonds. Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Separate your egg white into a medium bowl and whisk vigorously until it foams and white bubbles begin to form. Whisk in the sugar and then the spices and salt until the glaze is opaque.
  3. Toss the almonds in the glaze until well-coated, then spoon coated almonds onto prepared baking sheet. Save any extra glaze to add to the biscotti dough later on.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes until the almonds are golden brown and smell toasty. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, chop into small pieces.

For the Biscotti

  1. Keep the oven at 325 degrees F and place racks in the upper portion of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl (I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment), cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the egg, egg yolk, and then the vanilla extract. If you did have extra glaze leftover from the almonds, add that to the mixture as well.
  4. Add the flour mixture all at once to the wet mixture. Mix until a stiff dough is formed. Fold in the chopped almonds.
  5. Divide the dough in half. Place each portion onto a prepared baking sheet and form each portion into a 9-inch long log shape. Bake the two logs on two different racks in the oven for 20 minutes.  Rotate the cookie sheets for even baking and bake for another 25 minutes until firm and golden brown.
  6. Remove logs from oven but keep the oven on.  Let biscotti cool until able to handle.  Using a large serrated knife, cut logs into 1/2-inch wide diagonal slices.  Place biscotti on their sides on 1 of the baking sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake once more for 10-15 minutes until golden and delicious.
  7. Enjoy and remember to eat these up quickly! They will last up to 1 week in an air-tight container.

Candied Almond Biscotti 3

Candied Almond Biscotti + A cup of sweet and creamy coffee = Heavenly. Excuse me while I go enjoy a piece!

xo sarah

mini lemon tea-cakes

LTC 2.5

This summer season calls for a little piece of lemon refreshment. These are they. And with a tart and slightly sweet glaze, you will have trouble eating just one. I suggest taking a seat outdoors, pouring yourself a generous amount of hot or iced tea, and enjoying a good book while you pop these in your mouth, one by one.

I owe the name of this dessert to my wonderful taste-testers (thanks, ladies!). This sweet treat was inspired by a cookie recipe, but they are definitely not a cookie. My taste-testers helped me determine that they’re not scones…they’re not muffin tops or biscuits…they’re not baked doughnut-holes…but they ARE mini tea-cakes! The outside is sweet and dainty while the inside is dense and perfectly chewy. Most importantly, the lemon flavor is explosive! If you love lemon, you will love these. Just don’t be surprised if your friends start calling them “Delicious Balls of Goodness.” Mine sure did. Things just got weird, I know.

First things first: making the dough. It will smell (and taste) perfectly lemony. This dough is then rolled into 24 small portions and baked until puffy!LTC 3

Next is the glaze: lemon, lavender sugar, and poppy seeds steal the show.LTC 4

LTC 5Would you look at that? Just the right amount of everything.

LTC 6

Make sure you let those cookies cool down. Don’t they look tempting just sitting on that baking sheet all lemony and perfect? Yikes.LTC 7

Last we have the whole drizzling each cookie with a spoonful of glaze thing happening.LTC 8 

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! And make sure you share them…your friends will thank you kindly!

Ingredients:

Mini Lemon Tea-Cakes

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Lemon Lavender Poppy Seed Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 tsp. lavender vanilla sugar (I was gifted mine from Savory Spice Shop)
  • 2 tsp. poppy seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the but­ter and sugar in a mix­ing bowl with a wire whisk. Add the egg and mix well. Add the ricotta cheese, sour cream, almond extract, and the lemon juice and mix well. If using an electric mixer, you can switch to using the paddle attachment. If you’re a pro and going at it the old fashioned way, you can switch to using a wooden spoon.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and kosher salt in a separate bowl with a wire whisk. Add to the wet mixture until well combined. Do not over mix.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop out dough and roll between your hands to make into a ball shape. You should have enough for 24 small portions.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Switch the baking sheets on the racks half-way through the baking process. The tea-cakes will be golden brown on the bottom and puffy on top. Let cookies cool completely.
  6. While your mini tea-cakes are baking, mix all the ingredients for your glaze in a small bowl. Once the mini tea-cakes are cooled, drizzle each one with the glaze. Let the glaze harden for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!!!

Finished product: DEE-licious!LTC 9

xo sarah

our full life: week thirteen

This post is a couple days late. Sorry everybody…but I think Easter is as good an excuse as any! Right? Right.

OFL 13

I got to hang out with this fine young lad. He’s super quiet in group settings, but get him alone watching Shark Tale and HE. WON’T. STOP. TALKING. So cute! mac

Made a quick coffee run and we were made 2 extra drinks by accident! Our office thanks you, Starbucks.coffee run

I took a risk and wore a jean jacket this week. The same Levi’s jean jacket I got for $50 my freshman year of high school. It was cool back then, and I think they’re making a comeback now.jean jacket

I made an apple pie again. It’s Bret’s favorite and he asked me to make it for his birthday dessert. My pleasure, sweets!pie

My husband really doesn’t enjoy celebrating his birthday. It just doesn’t appeal to him. However, when I offered an idea of pizza and game night with our 2 best friends…he was SO excited! These two beautiful people are more than we deserve and we had a blast celebrating together! Love you Coopers!besties

The highlight of my week was the Good Friday service at church. Celebrating the Cross of Christ and the radical free gift of grace that Jesus gives. AMAZING! We watched the movie The Passion of The Christ that night (I had never seen it before, but Bret had) and I have a new appreciation and visual sense of what Jesus endured to satisfy the penalty of our sin. GF service

We are smiling because we are forgiven! God is so so good.car rides

I made something this week…can you guess what I made? Recipe coming soon.scone aftermath

My amazingly talented husband and worship team led the Easter Sunrise Service for The Fields at The Flower Fields! It was a beautiful celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus. He is risen…He is risen indeed! sunrise

We celebrated Easter at Bret’s parents home as a whole family. We feasted, we relaxed, we laughed, and we loved on our Little Lucy all day. Here she is looking at her new bubble set with Mama and Papa.bubbles

And at the very end of the night, we sang Happy Birthday to the most wonderful man and best friend in the whole world. I love you, my Bret, and I am so glad you were brought into this world to worship Jesus and bring so much joy to everyone you meet. brets bdayPB cake

That’s all friends. I hope you had a Happy Easter and you are beginning to enjoy this beautiful spring God is giving us. How was your week? Was was your highlight? I’d love to hear all about it.

xo sarah

chocolate chip cookies

chocolate chip cookies 2

Chocolate chip cookies. A classic. Melt-in-your-mouth amazingness.

Chocolate chip cookies are my downfall. I love the raw cookie dough. I love them fresh out of the oven. I love them cold out of the fridge. And I love them frozen and chewy.

I may have had four on the night I made them…and then two for breakfast the next day. I said MAY HAVE. Except that…I totally did. Sorry…but I’m not sorry. Let that be a warning to you: if you make this recipe, you. can. not. stop. eating. them. Try to make them around the time your friend has a birthday. This is what I did and it helps majorly!

This recipe is adapted from a wonderful cookbook I received as a gift from my culinarily-talented uncle: The Silver Palate Cookbook. This cookbook is timeless and loaded with kitchen wisdom and quotes. For example: Life is uncertain: Eat dessert first. The Silver Palate Cookbook is filled with so many delicious recipes with the freshest ingredients and simplest instructions.

Fact: if you picked up my copy of this cookbook it would just naturally open to page 321: Chocolate Chip Cookies….I’ve made them that many times. The truth is in the binding!  Thank you, Silver Palate, for the flawless recipe. Okay…enough talk. Prepare for the BEST chocolate chip cookies of your life. For real. No joke. Get baking!

  • Makes about 25 large size cookies or 80 mini cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter at room temperature.
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of white granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 10 oz. package (about 1 & 1/4 cup) of Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and both sugars until the mixture looks light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Combine well.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl. Then transfer it into the bowl containing the wet ingredients. Combine well.
  4. Add the chocolate chips to the cookie dough and combine so they are well dispersed. Scoop desired (large size or mini) amount of cookie dough onto your parchment paper lined cookie sheets. NOTE: I make large size cookies almost every time. This gets me 9 cookies on each cookie sheet. That should give you a better idea.
  5. Bake in the center of the oven.  15 minutes for large size cookies and 10 minutes for mini cookies. Remove from the oven when the centers of the cookies are still slightly soft and the edges are golden brown. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack or plate for serving.

EXTRAS: May I suggest 1 cup of chopped walnuts or pistachios if you’re a nut-lover. You could also add 1 cup of shredded coconut and let me know how delicious that turns out! And if you like to experiment with extracts and you’re a mint lover, substitute the vanilla extract for mint! Yum.

chocolate chip cookies

Please enjoy these cookies with your family and a tall glass of milk. I know this will be my go-to recipe for years to come. Thanks for reading!

xo sarah

granola bar glory

Hello friends!

Confession: I LOVE oats. You can make so many delicious things with oats. Oatmeal, toasted granola, granola bars, muesli, muffins, scones, cookies…so many possibilities! And they’re super healthy and super filling. Win, win.

For the past YEAR I have been trying out different recipes to find the perfect granola bar. I wanted to find a recipe that was super healthy and that didn’t call for any white sugar. Maybe it’s just in my head…but anything with white sugar makes me want to stay far, far away. Especially if it’s in something for breakfast. I know myself well and that stuff is crazy addicting! My search was, in a word, unsuccessful. I made countless granola bars that never quite turned out the way I wanted. They were either too mushy, too dried out, or too bland. Thank God I have a husband that will eat almost anything.

I have some really good news! I found a recipe that flawlessly produces granola bar glory!

gbg

Here’s how it happened: We were in Lake Arrowhead last week and took a coffee break at the local cafe. I saw a big platter of granola bars on the front counter for sale. These granola bars had everything I was looking for…oats, dried fruit, nuts, coconut. Plus they looked like they had amazing texture – crunchy and chewy all at the same time. So, I did what any baker would do, I inquired of them to give me any of their special secrets. And to my surprise, the secret was quite simple. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before: Barefoot Contessa. A total DUH moment. I immediately searched for her recipe online and there it was. My life is now changed.

These granola bars are sure to satisfy. I did change a couple of things here and there, but Ina has ended my search for the perfect granola bar. Honey is the main sweetener and everything is toasted for that extra kick! You can also substitute things according to any dietary restrictions if you wish and I still think they would turn out amazing. Plus, these bars are so fun to make and so visually applealing you can’t wait until they’re ready to eat!

oat mixturedatesdry fruit

You definitely wanna get on this recipe asap. Here is:

  • Makes: 10 large granola bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of oats (old-fashioned)
  • 1 cup of almonds, sliced  or whole (skin on is fine/other preferred nut is fine)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup of toasted wheat germ or almond meal
  • 1/4 cup of whole flax seeds
  • 3-4 Tbsp. of butter or coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup or agave
  • 2 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup of pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of dried Turkish apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 8×12 glass baking dish
  • parchment paper

Directions:

  1. If you want your almonds sliced and didn’t buy pre-sliced almonds like me, slicing your almonds by hand is the first and longest step. Put something fun on TV, or listen to my favorite podcast. Chop the Turkish apricots and dates also.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Mix together your oats, coconut and sliced almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and spread out the oat mixture evenly.
  4. Bake the oat mixture for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and toasty. Make sure you check on the oat mixture and stir it around every few minutes. The smell is absolutely incredible! Reduce heat in oven to 300 degrees F.
  5. Transfer the oat mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the wheat germ or almond meal and the flax seeds. (sunflower seeds might be good in there too!)
  6. Prepare an 8×12 glass baking dish by buttering it and lining it with parchment paper.
  7. Place the butter or coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract and kosher salt into a small saucepan. Heat it over medium until it boils. Remove from burner stirring constantly.
  8. Pour the sweet-glaze-goodness over the oat mixture and stir. Add your dried fruit and stir well to combine.
  9. Pour your granola bar mixture into the prepared baking dish. Spread it evenly.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes. It will look golden and delicious! Let your granola bars cool completely before cutting/serving. ENJOY!!!

bars

Please let me know if you have any questions! Do you have another granola bar recipe you love to use?

xo sarah

this abundant list

So…it is here. The big two-five. I’m officially a grown up. Sometimes, my freckles make me look like I’m 17, but not anymore! I’m 25, world. Watch out for all the excitement!

TAL 25

Here is a short list of things I can think of tonight that I would like to see/do/make/eat/read/be this year.

  1. First, take as many pictures as possible. I want to document all our sweet moments like the one above. Squinty eyes and all.
  2. Disney World. I can’t believe it’s happening, but it is.
  3. I want to read Wuthering Heights again. And see the most recently made movie.
  4. I want to walk at least 150 miles this year. Its a small feat…but it’s doable for where my life is at right now.
  5. I think I might dye my hair. Eeek! A vibrant red, perhaps.
  6. S’mores cupcakes and a bloody mary. I will make you in my kitchen.
  7. I would love to diversify my income. A little bit here and a little bit there. Hopefully from the things, and in the areas, that I am most passionate about.
  8. I want to laugh ALOT. I can always count on episodes of New Girl and Parks and Rec to make that happen. And my husband. He is a riot.
  9. Puppy!?! Maybe. Maybe not. Until then, I can just watch CUTE videos.
  10. Chips: kale, sweet potato, beets, bacon, apple. This is happening, year 25.
  11. I would love to see this blog reach many more people for the glory of God. Maybe an e-course is in my future.

That’s the short list. I could probably keep going. I will spare you…and myself.

Until next week, friends, let’s get messy and bold in the kitchen. Let’s have lot’s of coffee dates and movie nights. Let’s make every day count. Let’s pursue every lovely passion. Above all, let’s make much of God in every moment.

xo sarah

valentine’s day goodies

These two Valentine’s Day projects are easy as ABC, 123, and even easier than pie!

The first one is sweet. Le’s just be honest: the more yummy treats I have to gobble up, the more likely I am to work on other cute Valentine’s Day projects. And I don’t know about you…but rice krispy treats can be the death of me. They are so addicting, light and subtle, and I feel like I could eat 10 at a time. So, yeah. Watch out.

Rice Krispy Sweet Hearts

valentine krispies

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of Rice Krispy cereal
  • 4 – 5 cups of mini marshmallows
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • Red food coloring
  • 9×13 pan
  • Heart shaped cookie cutter. Any size works.

Directions: 

  1. Grease a 9×13 pan with butter. MMMM butter.
  2. In a large pan, melt your butter and mini marshmallows over medium heat until smooth.
  3. Add red food coloring to desired color. If you like pink, add 1-3 drops. If you like red, add 4-6 drops.
  4. Add your rice krispy cereal bit by bit stirring consistently. When the mixture is combined well, take it off the heat.
  5. Transfer your mixture to the 9×13 pan. Spread and press it in well. Let it cool for a couple of minutes.
  6. Flip the pan upside down onto a cutting board.
  7. Begin cutting out your hearts!  I used the random leftover scraps and pressed them together again to get one or two more hearts out of the batch.
  8. Let them cool just a bit longer and then ENJOY!!!

I was inspired by this sweet blog.

The second Valentine’s Day project is one inspired by my love to create cute things and my husband’s love for playing cards. His collection is unreal. So I thought…why not make something cute with one of our “whatever” decks we had laying around. Wa-la! Cute Card of Hearts Valentine Garland! Make this for the lovely holiday and bring cheer to your home.

Card of Hearts Valentine Garland

valentine garland

Things you need:

  • a pack of red playing cards
  • hole punch (mine is a HEART hole punch!)
  • scissors
  • ~5-6 feet of string, twine, or ribbon

Directions:

  1. Pull all of the heart and diamond suited cards out of the deck. Separate into two piles: one for hearts one for diamonds.
  2. Punch two holes at the top of each heart suited card (see picture above)
  3. Cut each diamond suited card into a heart shape. I free-handed this, but a scrapbook heart paper cutter would be great too.
  4. Punch two holes at the top of each heart. See picture above.
  5. Assemble the garland: String the cards through the hole punches you made alternating the heart shapes and the heart suited cards. Spread out evenly.
  6. Wa-la! Cute garland just for you! Hang it up for all to see! Mine is up in our kitchen.

Check back in tomorrow for all my abundant list of Valentine’s Day ideas!

xo sarah

this abundant list

Hello friends!

Do you ever wish you had a more time to cook, bake, create, craft, etc.? I know that’s me. Can I get paid to bake cookies someday, please? Well, right now I am working on a big project that I have put off until the last minute (of course) and it needs to get done by tomorrow evening. I’m kind of nervous about it and I hope it gets done in time/turns out the way I am anticipating. But I will try to stay positive and just have fun doing it! Here is a list of random, inspirational, and noteworthy things to pump me (and you) up for the many hours of crafting to come.

TAL 4

  1. This is an UHH-mazing one minute message about forgiveness. Preach it Piper.
  2. I hope I can mimic some of these awesome hand-lettering techniques.
  3. Inspiration from a mom who wants to cherish every moment. Even when folding laundry.
  4. Love is in the air…and so is the common cold. I caught it for the third time this season, but I think elderberry syrup has been helping a lot this time!
  5. Listening to music and loving Bird Song.
  6. Excited for the latest Joy the Baker Podcast.
  7. I hope my package comes from David’s so I can brew some delicious blueberry jam organic tea.
  8. I’ll need some motivation throughout the day. Romans 1 it is.
  9. In need of a good laugh…this video kills me. This kid is for reals not joking and it makes me so happy. I can’t say I’d do any better though!
  10. I might need a baking break. I think I’ll try these orange poppyseed tea biscuits.

I’ll have a post up next week with the results of my craft! Yay!

xo sarah

crackling corn bread muffins

What is the perfect side dish to the perfect turkey chili? I know. Some delicious Crackling Corn Bread Muffins!

crackling corn bread

Fact: These corn bread muffins are legit…and I really do not use the word legit. They super buttery, crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. I think the corn kernels are my favorite part. And they are best served hot and fresh out of the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup stoneground cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of table salt
  • 1 cup of frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 6 Tb. (3/4 stick) of unsalted butter, melted
  • corn grits & kosher salt for sprinkling on the top of each muffin

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Then whisk in the milk, honey, melted butter, corn kernels, and egg.
  3. Pour batter into each prepared muffin liner until all the batter is used.
  4. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with some corn grits and kosher salt.
  5. Set the muffin tin on the center rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. The corn bread muffins are done when the edges are lightly browned, the tops are crackling, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy the southern-style goodness with more butter and honey if desired.

NOTE: Adding 1 cup of cooked, diced bacon would be amazing in these as well. If you decide to use bacon, change the amount of salt you add to 1/4 teaspoon.

xo sarah

homemade apple pie {baking with girls I love}

About a month ago, I made my first Homemade Apple Pie. I will be making this recipe again, and again, and AGAIN!

In the past, I have baked quite a few frozen pies and the first homemade berry pie I attempted was a complete disaster. So…let’s just say I was a bit intimidated by pie. I couldn’t yet comprehend the saying, “easy as pie.”

Thankfully, I had some amazing girls by my side to help me through the whole process. My sister, Sarah, and my best friend, Jocelyn, came over for a baking day! Spending time chatting, laughing, and learning the skill of pie making together is something I will not soon forget. To top it off, we had some delectable Apple Brownies to snack on with a warm mug of Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Tea that Sarah brought me.

And as far as baking, we not only made the most delicious Homemade Apple Pie, but I also made Apple Peel Twigs with all our leftover apple skins. It was APPLES for DAYS in our home!

HOMEMADE APPLE PIE

This apple pie is loaded with all that fall flavor you love! It is just the right amount of sweet, tart, and crisp. The filing held together perfectly and the crust was firm yet flaky. And because this recipe is so simple, please feel free to make it your own!!

Ingredients:

CRUST

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks of cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup of ice water
  • 1 9 inch glass pie plate

FILLING

  • 6 (2 1/2 lbs.) apples of your choice (I used Granny Smith)
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground all-spice
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed

Directions:

1. CRUST: ( I like to make my dough 1 day ahead of time) Combine flour, salt, and butter in a large mixing bowl. Using your palms, fingers and thumbs, press the butter and flour together until there are no more large clumps of butter left (this can take a few minutes). Once your mixture has a smooth consistency, gradually stir in the ice water until the mixture holds together well (if the dough it is still cracking or crumbling apart you can add 1 Tbsp. of ice water at a time until it firms up).

2. CRUST: Lightly flour a surface and place your mixture onto that surface. You can now form it into one large ball of pie dough. Take your large ball of pie dough and separate it into two small and even-sized discs. Wrap those discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.

3. FILLING: Core and peel your apples (save your apple skins to make Apple Peel Twigs). Thinly slice your apples lengthwise. Combine apples, spices, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well until your apples are evenly coated.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Once your pie dough discs have been refrigerated, you can begin to work with them. On a lightly floured surface, roll your your first pie dough disc to the right size. Fit and place your dough in the pie plate (save extra dough for decorating the top of your pie). Pour the apple filling into your pie shell and dot the top with the small cubes of butter.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out your second pie dough disc slightly larger than the size of your pie plate. Place on top of your apples and fold any excess dough under the edges of your bottom pie shell. To seal your pie, use the edges of a fork (floured) and press down slightly. Prick the top of your pie a few times to allow for airflow while baking.

Suggestion: Use any excess dough you might have to decorate the top of your pie with letters, leaves, hearts, snowflakes, etc. Also, to make your pie have a more golden and shiny glow, brush the top with a little egg wash and a sprinkle of sugar.

6. Bake your pie for 1 hour (give or take 5 minutes depending on your oven). Look for a golden brown color and a bubbling filling. Make sure you let your pie cool completely before serving. ENJOY! We sure did.

APPLE PEEL TWIGS

These Apple Peel Twigs are a healthy and sweet snack for any time of day. I like to add a little bit of everything, so don’t feel like you need to follow this recipe exactly.

Ingredients:

  • Apple peels from 12-18 apples (preferably organic)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. all-spice
  • A healthy drizzle of clover honey or agave nectar

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, toss apple peels with all ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

2. Spread prepared apple peels in a thin layer over 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets.

3. Bake at 250 degree F for 2.5 hours. Rotate cookie sheets after the first half. Let cool before consuming.

Enjoy these apple recipes together with friends, family, and community! Maybe a new Thanksgiving Day tradition!

xo sarah

* I was inspired by Martha Stewart Magazine, September Issue, for these fantastic apple recipes!

away for a good while

Blogging is fun.
I get so excited to write out pieces of my life and share them with you.

It’s been a while since my last post and I’ve been bummed about that. Then I started to think about why it’s been so long…well, it’s because LIFE is happening!

Here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks:

  • I made an heirloom tomato quiche, courtesy of The Forest Feast. I could live on this dish.

  • My husband and I had our youth group over to our apartment for a “Movie & Theology Night.” We made lots of pizza, watched WALL-E, and talked about how the Gospel can be seen in everything; even a Pixar movie!

  • My brother and I have been talking a lot more. He lives out-of-state for work. Some people say we look like twins.

  • I had a wonderful IKEA and El Indio date with the hubs. It’s the simple things.

  • We started P90X. Enough said.
  • We saw Florence & The Machine in concert. She blew my mind. Holy freaking moley, her voice is incredible.

  • Our family celebrated my sister’s and my niece’s birthday. God is so good to me. I admire my sister beyond words…and don’t even get me started on my baby niece. ❤

  • I made Apple Pie for the first time with my sister and my bestie. Apple Brownies were made as well. Thank you for the recipe, Martha.

  • Fall began and the rain came! We also picked out some pumpkins at Bates Nut Farm with our Jr. High students. These kids are gems.

  • I met a few of my girlfriends for lunch in Irvine. CUCINA Enoteca is my new favorite place. Seriously, YUM.

Well…have I proven to you there has been absolutely no time for blogging? Now, I just hope I can start where I left off! Thanks for reading, friends!

xo sarah

a few of my favorite things

Here are a few of my favorite things (in no specific order). Hope they make you smile and inspire you to enjoy this abundant life you have been given!

cardigans, my kitchenaid, fresh herbs, sleeping in, good books, church, fresh flowers,   real butter, tea, doughnuts, praying, chocolate, beach days, husband, pinterest, singing, Jesus, The Bible, magazines, being silly, veggies, board games, chapstick, peonies, candles, friends, diamonds, citrus, kissing, vanilla coke, hawaii, tv, rain & thunder, sushi, Instagram, cleaning, chick flicks, long walks, babies, popsicles, black skinny jeans, freckles, list making, crafting, margaritas, blogging, Trader Joes, coffee, honey…

What are your favorite things? I would really love to hear them! 🙂

xo sarah