Every now and again I want a pasta that isn’t a red sauce or a heavy white sauce. I want something salty and comforting. Don’t think because its not a “heavy” sauce that this isn’t something you can serve in the Fall and that it won’t be satisfying . The brown butter and shaved parmesan cheese add a richness that rivals even the richest red sauce. The secret to making this sauce is timing and 1/4 cup of hot pasta water.
Im jealous of cities that have seasons. I miss cold weather and especially Fall. It’s the perfect weather to wear boots, hats, and coats. For someone who resides in a tropical paradise I admit to owning an embarrassing amount of coats and jackets. So when I start to see all these fall inspired recipes I don’t let our tropical weather get me down. I fire up the oven even when its 92 degrees outside. Its why someone some where invented central ac.
When my butter half introduced me to his family’s energy bars, I was addicted. Their recipe is a highly guarded secret written on a tattered index card in his grandma’s perfect handwriting. When we travel we are usually gifted a big bag of them. They are perfect treats wrapped in wax paper and hold well without refrigeration. I feel better about eating these then a candy bar picked up on the fly in the airport shops. Funny enough Nick was never a fan of the bars, he much preferred rice krispy treats. We developed these as our happy medium. He prefers craisins to raisins. Definitely a fan of the Whole Foods honey roasted peanut butter versus the creamy peanut butter the recipe calls for. The list goes on. So what we came up with is a perfect blend of our likes. Funny enough when grams came into the kitchen as we were cutting these she side eyed them and said they don’t look right. We laughed because we knew that was going to happen because they are creatures of habit.
For this batch we had a bunch of left over ingredients from our banana coconut granola. We buy things like puffed quinoa, mac nuts, and craisins in bulk from the bins at whole foods or Costco. Chia seeds are pricey but found the big bag at Costco is the most affordable option. Chia jam, chia pudding, overnight oats, and these bars are all great ways to use the bag up. Another great place to get ingredients is TJ Maxx food section. I found a huge bag of pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. So anytime you are there just take a peek. This time we had a bottle of Mccormick’s Breakfast Toppers in Pineapple and Toasted Coconut. The topping includes ingredients chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, granola, sunflower seeds, toasted coconut, dried pineapple and granola. We added more chia seeds, puffed quinoa, and the staples of the recipe. If you can’t get your hands on the toppers, then substitute a mixture of toasted coconut, dried pineapple, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, or whatever favorite seeds you have laying around.
These bars are great as a quick breakfast or packed in kids lunches. We kept these stored in a airtight container and kept them in a cool spot in the kitchen pantry. Im getting ready to get on a plane again and head back to the mainland so I have a ziplock ready to go for the plane. Baby loves the craisins and actually tries to rip them out to eat first.
Every holiday season starts with huge expectations of what Im going to do and how Im going to shop early and or make amazing homemade thoughtful gifts. It is now the 8th and we are still just getting to the tree situation and we have exactly one present bought. Safe to say we are getting off to a rough start. I had pneumonia for the last two weeks and still have no voice but it didn’t stop me from finally getting into the kitchen. When Im sick Im not like others I love junk food and sweets. So I reached for my recipe book and decided to break out an oldie but goodie. Gingerbread Cheesecake Blondies. Yes you read that right. I had developed this recipe a few years ago and decided to bring it back and munch on them while I sulk in bed. Thanks to BH2 for shooting these delicious bars and styling them for the holiday season.
I have a hard time deciding the best part of these bars. I love the chewy gingerbready (yup Im making that word) bar with the rich molasses flavor. The best pumpkin pie spice I have ever tried has the right amount of ginger and spice and everything nice for this recipe is Frontier Co-op. I first stumbled across this in San Francisco Whole Foods but have recently seen it online and more grocery stores. I use this particular spice in all my gingerbread recipes. It needs no added ginger. The next thing you notice is that I don’t add any salt too my flour and baking powder. Thats because I use salted butter almost always. It adds the perfect amount of salt to all my baking. So don’t tell me Im doing it wrong in the comments I have heard it all before. Accept it about me and move on. You can use regular unsalted butter and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the flour mixture and call it even. Finally you can admire the cheesecake topping. Now cheesecake is normally the main event but these act a one up on frosting. The nice part of this is that the cheesecake topping hardens a little and makes it easy to stack when packing them up for travel or gifting.
I hope your holiday season is off to a better start than mine. Let me know how you like these bars below in the comments section. Happy Baking!!
Foodblogging isn’t what we imagined doing when thinking about career choices after college. General ass kicker wasn’t something you could major in. So we started individual careers We both excelled at our respective careers but were both still drawn to food. When I got my first invite to join Pinterest in its first few months of inception I became hooked with food bloggers and fashion bloggers. I now have a list of blogs I check regularly and after years of being half committed to the idea, I decided to go all in and wrangle my partner into it too. You will get his side of this story on the next post.
We couldn’t be more different if we tried. Im very analytical and he is a creative and artistic type. My favorite pastime is watching Hallmark movies especially Christmas time and his is playing video games or watching cartoons. He’s an 80’s kid and I’m more of a 90s kid. What we do agree on is food. We both love and the memories associated with it. We are going to share recipes that reflect us.
Our first recipe is something I’ve shared online before but after making it again for the first time in a long time I decided to share this one first. This is one of the first things I ever made my butter half.
Bananas foster is my favorite dessert but honestly it’s a tie between creme brûlée. If a restaurant has both on the menu I order both. I’ve been known to get a small dinner just so I can get dessert. This is something that you can make ahead by making the dough the night before and then everything comes together quickly. Serve with ice cream and a dash of your favorite dark rum or serve with buttered rum ice cream (will share recipe later).