Monday, October 5, 2015

Cream Cheese Pear Coffee Cake

With the cooling weather and overcast days, it is that time of year when I get the urge to bake like crazy. One that we made recently was a cream cheese pear coffee cake. This substantial coffee cake is flavored with pears and cream cheese with a streusel sprinkled on top.

The original recipe from Yammie's Noshery used apples, but I substituted chopped pears instead. If you go with a good quality canned pear, be sure to drain the fruit very well and pat it dry with a paper towel. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Spiffy New Design & Recipe Index!

For all of the readers who subscribe by email and may not visit directly very often, I wanted to let you know that I have an adorable new design for Jam Hands, as well as a super organized recipe index. 

Emily from Designer Blogs did an amazing job -- from tweaking the layout, setting up the recipe index (which automatically updates - awesome!), to creating the custom graphic header. I love all of it and I highly recommend her and the Designer Blogs team. 

I hope you enjoy all the new changes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Light and Fluffy Perfected Buttercream

Blogging this month came to an extreme halt. My apologies for that. I was in the hospital, then out. Then in again and out again. Finally I have recovered after a few weeks. Life is finally back to normal, which means we are busy homeschooling, participating in Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts, and all the other things that keep families busy.

My little girl turned eight this month. For her birthday cake we made a three layer white cake, a chocolate filling and the most amazing light and fluffy buttercream to frost the outside. I'm not including the cake recipe as it didn't turn out at all like I had hoped, but the buttercream frosting -- OH BOY! It was perfection. So light and delicious and just perfect. It stays soft for days.

This is our new go to recipe for buttercream, courtesy of Curly Girl Kitchen. Be sure to only use powdered sugar in this recipe, not granulated. For our 8-inch, three layer cake I quadrupled the recipe and that was only for frosting the outside of the cake. If you were using the buttercream for the filling between the layers as well, I would recommend multiplying the original recipe by six.

The sprinkles are from the wonderful Sweetapolita Sprinkle Shop. The specific sprinkles we chose are the Peacock Sprinkle Medley. The heart, unicorn and rainbow cake toppers are from the Make It Merry Shop. Enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Asparagus, Peas and Onions with Basil Dressing and Goat Cheese Croquettes

A few months back I attended a cooking class at my local Olivelle store. If you are lucky enough to have a store near you, be sure to drop by. They specialize in oils and vinegars primarily, with other high quality cooking and baking products mixed in. One thing I love about their stores is that they have lots and lots of taste testing stations set up. 

Over the past year we have picked up quite the collection of oils and vinegars. Basil Olive Oil is a favorite, as is the Sugar & Spice Dipper which is fantastic on buttered toast and tastes just like Christmas. The long story short is everything we have tried has been delicious. By the way, this is not a sponsored post, I just really love their store.

One of the recipes featured at the cooking class was this asparagus and pea side dish topped with warm, crunchy goat cheese croquettes. Absolutely delicious. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Apple Pear Crisp (with a personal health issue on the side)

An apple crisp is a comforting, delicious dessert. It isn't the most photographic thing in the food realm, but trust me that this recipe is a winner.

I've been meaning to mention something personal with you folks, which normally I would keep private, but in this case it affects the blog directly. A few months back I found out that I have a degenerative eye disease, keratoconus

I am newly into my thirties and dealing with a lot of vision problems which is frustrating for every day life and also for the blog. When I take photographs and am trying to take a picture that is in focus, my eye situation makes it extremely hard. As I am editing photographs on my computer, even having zoomed in and putting my face up to the monitor, it is extremely hard to tell what is or isn't in focus. 

In the winter I am planning on having eye surgery (fingers crossed that I am a good candidate), so hopefully down the road it is less of an issue. For the time being, my apologies if the photographs aren't as perfect or sharp as I would like. I am trying my best for you guys and I appreciate you hanging in there.

With that out of the way, bake up a dish of pure fall goodness. Spicy, soft pears and apples with a crisp oatmeal topping. I prefer it plain so the flavor of the pears really comes through, but feel free to garnish with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sharp White Cheddar No Knead Bread

Oh my goodness. This sharp white cheddar bread is so simple to make and tastes amazing. I've made a few no knead breads on the blog before. I have my go to No Knead Artisan Bread, a Chocolate and Orange No Knead Bread and even a No Knead Pizza Bread. The blog was due for an addition and this is a truly delicious addition indeed.

I came across this recipe at the food blog, Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice. As I was searching my archives, I realized I've actually posted two adapted recipes that came from Reeni at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice. The Mexican Street Corn and Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad, respectively. Reeni has a huge resource of recipes at her blog, be sure to pop over and find stuff to try. Many thanks to CS&EN for the recipe. Enjoy!

The crust has a really great cheddar flavor to it, so swipe those end pieces. add a bit of butter and enjoy them all to yourself.