Apple Cinnamon Cake

Cinnamon Apple Cake via @alisonlewis

My sister, Julie, asked me to make an apple cake for this Sunday night for Rosh Hashanah. We are having 18 people so a birthday cake and Mandel Bread just aren’t enough :). Since I am making the main dish too, I decided to make this Apple Cinnamon Cake, a super easy apple cake that is also very simple to slice. No mixer is needed for this recipe, and those most difficult part is is peeling and chopping the apples (luckily my husband is a pro at this). This comes out moist and fabulous (I think the Greek yogurt really helps add to its fluffy texture). Serve this with coffee for dessert or for breakfast or afternoon tea. This recipe is a keeper and wonderful tribute to a sweet new year.

Pistachio Cinnamon Rolls

Pistachio Chewy Bite Cinnamon Rolls 2 copy
Are you searching for an easy, delicious  recipe to make in celebration of Mother’s Day coming Sunday, May 10th? Delight the special moms in your life with these scrumptious vegan Pistachio Cinnamon Rolls. Take a short cut and use Pistachio Chewy Bites to speed up this recipe. Thanks to Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg of Spork Foods, for sharing this recipe with my readers. These are perfect for a mother’s day brunch menu.

Easy Eclairs Recipe

eclairs

My mom used to take me to our local bakery when I was little, and eclairs were always my top dessert pick. Last night, my sister Julie, invited my daughter and I (along with my niece and several other friends) to learn how to make homemade eclairs. Her dear friend, Orli, a French baking expert, taught us how to make these Easy Eclairs Recipe from scratch. The recipe instructions may appear to be a long process, but they truly are easy! Be sure to have a few Ziploc bags on hand for piping. They make piping the dough and filing even easier. Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

Baking Kitchen Shortcuts

I am always looking for kitchen shortcuts, quick cooking ideas and any helpful tips to make getting dinner on the table easier. You know… busy working mom with 3 kids. Pot-Sized Pasta from Ronco is my latest find. It comes in a pantry-friendly, top-opening box for easy storage. The pasta has been cut in half so it goes into the pot straight out of the box. Now you don’t have to break it, or deal with the mess. Despite its cute and easy size, each box still contains a full pound of pasta. Head over to Facebook for Ronco’s “Show us your shortcut promotion”  to vote for my kitchen shortcut (hint: how to quickly soften butter for baking). You may vote up to once per day for a chance to win one of 6 weekly drawings for a $100 American Express gift card. Vote here and good luck!

Largest Macaron Christmas Tree in the World

Who wants to go to Paris? Now is a better time than ever!  InterContinental Paris – Le Grand has partnered with one of the world’s most renowned names in pastries to create the largest macaron Christmas tree in the world for a holiday season experience like never before. In collaboration with Ladurée, InterContinental Paris – Le Grand is hosting a record-breaking creation made up of 8,000 brightly-colored macarons piled nearly 14 feet high. 27 other Ladurée macaron trees of various sizes will echo the joyous strains throughout the hotel through January 6, 2014. OMG, right?

 

The spectacular creation takes its cue from the Paris Carnival which, after crossing the capital, concludes at the Place de l’Opéra. The tree is particularly reminiscent of carnival time with its bold Harlequin’s colors of green, yellow, black, blue and red with a touch of silver, along with a stately Elizabethan ruffle collar. The smaller, monochrome trees deck the hotel in tones of rose, lavender, orange and melon. Ladurée’s team of 50 spent two weeks on the creation plus one night of set-up at the hotel. This Christmas tree display marks 150 years of shared history between the hotel and Ladurée as both began in 1862. AMAZING!

With floodlit views of the Opera House, this superbly renovated InterContinental Paris – Le Grand is at the heart of Parisian society. The hotel defines historical grandeur, with elegantly appointed boutique-style suites overlooking the city’s stunning landmarks. Located in the ninth arrondissement, close to the Louvre Museum, shopping, theatre and banking districts, the hotel is ideally situated to enjoy all that the City of Light has to offer. Paris is on my bucket list, and I have never been to France. Is this completely fabulous??

 

Turtle Cookies

I know I say it often, but my daughter, Leigh, is an amazing girl. No new task is too much of a challenge for her, and she is becoming quite the cook and baker. She recently found this recipe for Turtle Cookies on Pinterest from the Pixelated Crumb, and she had to make them. I admit that I helped her a bit, but these came out incredible. She said, “These taste like a chocolate lava cake” while they were warm, and she was correct. The caramel makes this cookie even better. OMG! We both agreed (as well as my two boys) that these are some of the best cookies we have had in a long time. Thank you Leigh for this fantastic cookie recipe find!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread with Greek Yogurt

I have been wanting to create a new pumpkin bread recipe since it is my favorite thing to serve on Thanksgiving morning. This Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread with Greek Yogurt is my newest favorite! It’s so easy to prepare that my daughter, Leigh, did most of the work on her own. Feel free to omit the chocolate chips if you like, but it’s not overly sweet. I also used chopped pecans, but walnuts would work great too (or you can omit them if you have nut allergies). Use nonfat Greek yogurt for best results (Chobani or Fage work great). This also makes a great holiday food gift, and I plan to make a lot more! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Enjoy your holiday 🙂

Blueberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt

When my daughter, Leigh, was bored the other day, I said, “Let’s make some muffins”. We had an abundance of blueberries on hand and came up with this healthier version of Blueberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt. Leigh is 13 years old, and she made this entire recipe on her own. I photographed this picture, but I told her that she just may have a summer internship. Anyway, this is the first of several of her creations coming soon that she made under my (very little) direction. They do taste as good as they look. We started with a dozen, and the next morning there were only 3 left 🙂

Snowmen Cookies by Callye of Sweet Sugarbelle

When I first saw Callye’s incredible blog, The Adventures of Sweet Sugarbelle, I was in awe. My daughter, Leigh, and I couldnt decide which cookie to make first. Every time she posts, it’s the first thing I post on Pinterest. I look forward to her incredible inspirations weekly, and I truly believe she is one of the sweetest, most humble and most talented cookie decorators out there. I’m so honored to know her, and I’m so excited that she was willing to show a new creation for Snowmen Cookies to my readers at Ingredients, Inc. She will be on the Martha Stewart show on December 12th on the Hallmark Channel so check her out. Take it away Callye, and thank you so much!

Hi, I’m Callye, and I love to decorate cookies. I am here today to show you how to make snowmen Cookies with an easy to find Christmas ornament cutter. These cookies are simple enough for even a beginner.

To make these cookies you will need:

If you need help with coloring and preparing icing, click HERE.

If you need help with outlining and flooding cookies, click HERE.

Begin by outlining and filling the snowman’s face.

Then, quickly use tweezers to make a face with candy pearls.  Work one cookie at a time so that the  beads will stick in the wet icing.  Let the faces dry for about thirty minutes.  Next outline and fill the blue portion of the hat.

At this point, let the cookie dry for four to five hours.  When the base is dry, use a #13 tip to add accents to the hat and orange twenty-second icing for a nose.

Let the cookies dry completely, preferably overnight.

Show up to your next Christmas party with a plate of these.  You will be amazed at the reaction you get.  It’s one of the most rewarding feelings.

This is the perfect time of year to try a little cookie decorating. If you’d like to know more, please come visit my blog, The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle, where I write about my cookie decorating fun. See you soon!


Date-Pecan Bread with Greek Yogurt

This Date-Pecan Bread with Greek yogurt is my newest favorite healthy, quick bread recipe. I used whole wheat and all-purpose flour, flaxseed and nonfat Greek yogurt to create a flavorful, moist bread. My kids were skeptical at first, but shortly after they tried it, they were gladly helping themselves to seconds. Perfect for breakfast, dessert, an afternoon snack or holiday gift, this recipe is a cinch to prepare (no mixer needed). I bought my dates at Costco, but you can find them at any local grocery store. Dates are filled with so may health benefits. They’re full of fiber, Vitamin B, Vitamin, A, Vitamin C, Iron and potassium. They are an excellence source of energy and work wonders for the digestive system.