Week 4: Butterscotch Blondies

•January 29, 2011 • 1 Comment

These are a snowy night treat for my dear boyfriend who LOVES butterscotch chips.  Seriously… loves them.  To put it into perspective, these are so easy to make that I whipped them up while he ran out to get us a movie.  If you’d like to substitute nuts, chocolate chips, or any other fun mix-in, I think you’ll find that just about anything works in this basic recipe.


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup of packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you can use all AP if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter and flour an 8″x8″ pan.  Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla, whisk well.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.  Fold in the butterscotch chips or other mix-ins.

Spread the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and cut into squares.

This is a slightly modified version of this recipe:  http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/blondies-print/

PS: If you like Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, or any of the other stars, the movie, Red, is really great!  Oh, and bf wanted more butterscotch chips in the next batch, so adjust according to your own cookie monster.


Shopping List for Week 4: Butterscotch Blondies

•January 27, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This week’s recipe is a super-simple American classic: blondies with butterscotch chips.  Here’s what you’ll need.  As always, staples are listed in italics.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you can use all AP flour)
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • pinch of cinnamon

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Week 3: Pineapple upside down cupcakes

•January 23, 2011 • 1 Comment

This old standby has quickly become one of my favorite creations.  The pastry is a basic yellow sour cream cake, and when you top it with sweetened pineapple and cherries, you’ve got a gorgeous little cupcake you’d be proud to serve.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple, drained well
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Add the sour cream and eggs, mix well.  Add your dry ingredients in 3 steps, mixing well with each addition.

Open the canned pineapple and drain it well, squeezing out the moisture with your hands.  Add the brown sugar and mix well.  Prepare to bake 20 cupcakes, using paper or foil muffin cups.  Put a teaspoon of pineapple into each cup, then a heaping tablespoon of batter. **You can use additional pineapple if you’d like, this is on the conservative side.

Bake for 23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  The hardest part is next–wait until these are cool and carefully unwrap each cupcake.  Place them cake side down into clean muffin cops and top with maraschino cherries, but be sure to leave a few plain!

Adapted from this recipe: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/415619

Shopping List for Week 3: Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

•January 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Are you ready for our first cake?  Yay!  This week we’ll do pineapple upside down, in cupcake form.  These were a best seller at the farmers’ market, and by far one of the prettiest cupcakes on the tray. 

Remember, the items in italics should be part of your staple ingredients that you have on hand (from The Basics).

Dry Ingredients: 1 cup white sugar, 1 3/4 cup allpurpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/3 cup light brown sugar

Wet Ingredients: 1 cup sour cream, 3 eggs, 1 cup butter, 1 can of crushed pineapple, 1 small jar of maraschino cherries

You will also need cupcake liners!

Week 2: Zucchini & Sweet Potato Bread

•January 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

It might be best if you don’t tell people what is in this… I’m not sure why, but the idea of zucchini and sweet potato in a bread doesn’t appeal to everyone.  I tweaked a recipe that called for all white sugar, all AP flour, and almost double the oil.  I think this version is a bit heartier–let me know how you like it!


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cup grated sweet potato or yam

Preheat the oven to 350.  Wash and grate the vegetables (I used one large zucchini and one big orange yam).  Use the large holed side of a box grater–if you grate them too small, it will ruin the texture of the bread.  Measure out your dry ingredients in a big mixing bowl, and toss lightly to combine completely.

In another big bowl, beat the eggs, add the oil, and mix together well.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture a cup at a time, incorporating well as you go.  Add the shredded veggies and mix well.  The batter will start out quite thick, but the moisture from the veggies will help.  Pour into one large loaf pan or two smaller pans (I used two disposable pans, 8″ x 4″). 

For 2 smaller pans, bake 1 hour.  If using the larger, deeper loaf pan, bake 1 hour 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when piercing the center. 

Adapted from this recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sweet-Potato-and-Zucchini-Bread-2674

Shopping list for Week 2: Zucchini & Sweet Potato Bread

•January 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Here are the ingredients for this week’s recipe, zucchini & sweet potato bread.  We’ll be making a healthier version of a classic, so substitutions are okay–if you don’t want to get all of the special ingredients (marked with a *), substitute with the preceding ingredient.  I’ve marked the staples you should have on hand in italics (see the section titled The Basics for a full list).

You’ll need:

Flours: 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour*

Spices: 3 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt

Sugars: 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 cup light brown sugar*

Also: 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cup grated zucchini, 1 1/2 cup grated peeled sweet potato or yam

Week 1: Apple Crisp

•January 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This recipe is a triple threat: easy, inexpensive, and it will make your whole house smell amazing.  The best part is that it is very versatile.  Substitute the apples for pears, peaches, or mixed berries… it all works!


for the filling:

  • 4 large baking apples (Empire, Rome, or similar)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

for the topping:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant!)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 tbsp cold butter
  • 3 tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 350.  Quarter the apples, peel, and cut into chunks.  Arrange in an 8″ or 9″ baking dish or cake pan.  Toss with the cinnamon and sugar until well coated.

In a large bowl, measure out all of your dry ingredients.

Using your hands, stir all of the dry ingredients together.  Cut the butter into chunks over the dry mixture.  Work the butter in with your fingertips, pinching it into pea-sized bits as you mix.  It won’t be completely mixed in, but keep tossing lightly and pinching until all of the butter is incorporated.  Drizzle the cold water in, one tablespoon at a time,  and mix it very gently as if you were dressing a salad.  The end result should look like this:

Lightly crumble the topping onto the apples and bake for 45 minutes.   Serve with a little vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or enjoy plain. 

Adapted from this recipe: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1737,154179-242196,00.html