Tag Archives: cinnamon

Been Waiting

Poached Cinnamon Caramel Apples

Poached Apples

Poaching is nothing to new to me, at least not anymore.  Which is why when I first saw poaching as the theme for /52weeksofcooking I really wasn’t that worried.  Until I tried to figure out something to poach that: 1) was vegetarian and 2) I hadn’t poached before.  This eliminated a fair amount of things, so I started checking out my cook books to see if any of them could offer insight.  In doing so I found more than a few recipes for poached pears, which I’m not a fan of, but realized I could use that same concept on apples.  Unsure of how they would turn out I grabbed three varieties at the store: granny smith, honeycrisps, and pink ladies – figuring I would test them all and see what worked the best.

Been Waiting

Serves 2-4


2 Pink Lady Apples (or Granny Smith), cored and sliced

1 cup water

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp caramel syrup (I used torani)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cinnamon stick


  1. Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring the liquid to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the flesh of the apple is soft.
  2. Remove the apples using a slotted spoon (or pasta scoop) and place over (or in) your desired meal.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

In the end the pink ladies won for me – the skin stayed crisp while the flesh was moist and delicious.  Plus it still had the same tart/sweet contrast as the granny smiths, which become all soft.  The honeycrisps were just a disaster, falling apart in the pan and having to be skimmed out…which was a total pain. I served the pink ladies over oatmeal (pictured), while the granny smiths topped a mini-dutch baby.

Of Forever

Vegan Rice Pudding

Vegan Rice Pudding

Welcome to 2014!  I have high hopes for this year, as well as some lofty goals for myself.   In blogging world I’m hoping to up my posting schedule – and with that plan recipes in advance so that events in “real life” don’t effect my blogging world.  I had hoped to do this last year but as usual life got in the way, however I’m starting 2014 on the right foot with six posts mostly written and ready to go!  My ultimate plan for this year is to have three posts a week with 52weeksofcooking posts every Thursday in an attempt to keep that organized.  The first Monday of every month (starting in February) will still be Secret Recipe Club (!!!) with subsequent Mondays featuring other monthly blog challenges, including a return to Dom’s Random Recipes.   With that plan I’m currently looking to join at least two more monthly link-ups, so let me know if you have any suggestions 😀  This will leave one weekly post to highlight whatever ingredient or cooking technique or new toy or restaurant that I’m currently enjoying – which is where today’s recipe falls.

Ever since Joe and I started dated we have rotated off the major holidays with our respective families, and this year we decided to take advantage of (finally) having a dining room and hosting both of our family around the winter holidays.  First on the schedule was Joe’s family, for which I did an Italian dinner featuring a mix of old and new recipes.   One of the bigger challenges for me was figuring out a simple and delicious vegan dessert that could either be done well in advance or using my slow cooker – since I knew my burners and oven would already be occupied.  After tossing around a few ideas I decided to go with a Vegan Rice Pudding, which I could make in my slow cooker and then transfer to the fridge until it was time to serve.

Rice Pudding

Serves: Serves 6-8


1 cup long grain white rice

4 cups coconut milk (original)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp melted soy "butter" (unsalted)


  1. In a 4 QT (or bigger) slow cooker stir together the rice and coconut milk, along with the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the melted butter over top and cover.
  2. Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5 1/2 - 6 hours.
  3. Serve warm or cold - depending on taste!

This recipe was a HUGE hit!  While I was more than a bit nervous about it, since I had never made rice pudding vegan or otherwise before – but it was fantastic.  It was also delicious the next day when my SiL enjoyed the few remains as a post shopping snack.  I can easily see this recipe becoming a staple, and enjoy trying different variations in the future.

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2014 has in store – new city, (hopefully) new job, and lots of new food!

Gone with the Wind

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

Last week the /52weeksofcooking challenge was to prepare pie – no restrictions on what kind just have to make a pie.  I debated a few options, as I was doing this post-Thanksgiving I didn’t want something super sweet and also wanted to try something new.  Growing up I had heard of Sweet Potato Pie thanks to movies and TV shows (ER!), but I was in college the first time I ever had sweet potato pie.  It was amazing!  Not as sweet as pumpkin pie but still more sweet than savory.  At school they served it with a standard butter crust which was perfection when it came to flakiness but left me wanting something with a bit more bite.  Which is why I decided to do a pat-in-pan graham cracker crust for my pie, in the hopes it would provide a bit of a contrast to the uber soft sweet potato filling.

Graham Cracker Pie Crust


7 oz graham crackers

1/3 cup melted butter

1/2 tbsp cinnamon (unless using cinnamon graham crackers)


  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Crush the graham crackers in a food processor or blender, slowly adding the butter as the machine works.
  3. Remove from food process/blender and gently press into the bottom and side of a 10 inch pie pan. Crust should be at least 1/8 of an inch thick and no more than 1/4 inch
  4. Prebake the crust for 6 minutes, then remove and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Sweet Potato Pie Filling

Serves: 1 10 inch pie

Serves 8-10


3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

3 tbsp melted butter

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Bring the sweet potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Cook until sweet potatoes are soft, about 25 minutes. Rise with cold water and puree in a blender or food processor, then allow potato mash to cool to room temperature. Should be around 2 cups (if more than 2 1/2 cups remove access mash)
  2. Cream in the sugar and melted butter, then add the eggs along with the remaining ingredients. Pour into the prebaked pie crust
  3. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick pulls out clean from the center.

I served this topped with some homemade slow cooker caramel, and it was delicious!  Turns out this was my husband’s first time eating sweet potato pie and based on the large slices he cut himself the following day I’m going to say it was a success.

On to the Next

Banana Snickerdoodles

Banana Snickerdoodle

I’m writing this post as the smell of cinnamon and banana deliciousness slowly takes over my kitchen.  I happened to be on Facebook this afternoon when I saw there was a possible orphan in group C of the Secret Recipe Club.  Never one to pass on trying a new recipe I volunteered and was linked up with the awesome Toni of Mommy’s Menu.  I was instantly pulled in by her incredibly vibrant header which features all sorts of sweet and savory treats.  Knowing that going to the grocery store wasn’t an option I set out to find the perfect recipe that would incorporate things I had on hand.  In the end my husband found the recipe, looking over my shoulder and saying “those look gooood”.  After verifying the ingredients with those on hand I headed to the mixer and got baking!  I wound up being a little short on shortening so I subbed some unsalted butter and carried on.

Banana Snickerdoodles

Serves: makes 4 dozen cookies


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon cream of tartar

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup shortening

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for dipping

2 eggs

1 1/2 ripe bananas, mashed

2 tbsp cinnamon


  1. In a medium bowl, sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl cream shortening and sugar; about 2 minutes. Add eggs and banana, mix well. Add flour mixture and mix until blended.
  3. Once the dough is mixed it will be very sticky so allow to chill for 30 minutes. (or use a cookie scoop to form the balls)
  4. Roll into 1 inch balls and coat in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar (1/2 cup sugar 2 tbsp cinnamon) and bake on a baking sheet at 400° for 9 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container and they will stay soft for several days.

These cookies were OUTSTANDING!!!!  The banana wasn’t overpowering but it was clearly there, which was perfect. I also pinned more than a few recipes for the future, when I’m not limited by ingredients or time.  Thanks Toni for some awesome cookies and some delicious treats to look forward to.

Little Windmill



While I’m all for keeping traditions, sometimes it’s fun to take something basic and switch it up.  The first time I made these caramelesque snickerdoodles it was due to a lack of white sugar, but ever since that fortunate accident I’ve preferred to make them with a mix of sugars.  As an added bonus it also enhances the cinnamon flavors, kicking things up a notch in that respect as well.  The inspiration for this recipe came from the Joy of Cooking, but not the 75th edition which has a different flour:butter ratio.


makes 4 dozen cookies


1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt


2 tbsp white sugar

1/2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon


  1. In a large bowl cream together the butter and the sugars. Mix until creamy then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  2. In a separate bown sift together the flour, cream of tarter, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the buttery egg mixture.
  3. Preheat oven to 375
  4. In a small bown mix together the topping ingredients - white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  5. Roll the dough into walnut size balls and then roll the balls in the sugar cinnamon mixture. Place on a cookie sheet with plenty of room between the cookies. Bake for 12-14 minutes then remove to a cooling rack, and attempt to let them cool before eating!

I don’t make these cookies very often, mostly because we tend to eat the entire batch within the first few days.  I tend to split the batch up with cooking temperatures as well, since I like mine just this side of baked while Joe prefers his on the crunchy side.  At some point I also want to give this brown sugar variation a try with brown butter and see if I can further enhance the caramel taste of these cinnamon goodies.  Sometimes making a mistake results in a disaster but sometimes it turns out very tasty indeed!!!