Apple-Vanilla Coffee Cake

by Amy on 22 November 2015

Apple-Vanilla Coffee Cake | www.FearlessHomemaker.comToday, I’m participating in a fun blogger event — the Secret Recipe Club. How does it work? Every blogger is secretly assigned another blog + chooses a recipe from that blog to make. On reveal day (today!), all of our posts go up at the same time, + everyone gets to see who was assigned to their blog, which recipe they chose, + how it turned out. Fun, huh?

This month I was assigned Chocolate & Chillies, a wonderful blog full of some seriously good-looking recipes. Initially, I was going to make one of her Indian meals (her family is from India, so she has a great variety of Indian recipes), but in the end, her Apple Coffee Cake looked too delicious to pass up. Coffee cake is one of my all-time favorite sweet treats, and I had a couple apples just begging to be made into something delicious. So, how did it turn out? Scrumptious. It’s a light, airy, buttery cake filled with tasty little bites of vanilla-sugar apples, topped with a simple, perfectly sweet oat streusel. While my husband and I loved this as breakfast, my two-year old thought it was perfect for dessert. It can be a sweet breakfast treat, or a simple dessert, depending on your mood. Breakfast, snack, or dessert, we all agreed that it was awesome! continue reading →

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Cranberry Shortbread Cake

by Amy on 17 November 2015

Cranberry Shortbread Cake | www.FearlessHomemaker.comMany people who celebrate Thanksgiving have one Thanksgiving flavor that they look forward to the most. For many, it’s the turkey. For others, it’s the pumpkin pie. But for me, it’s fresh cranberries. I adore cranberries in jams, chutneys, and relishes, and love them even more so in baked goods + sweets. And now, let me introduce what is quite possibly my favorite dessert I’ve ever made — Cranberry Shortbread Cake.

While I love a chocolaty dessert as much as anyone else, this is the type of dessert that really appeals to me — it’s a bit unexpected (who would’ve thought to pair shortbread with cranberry!?), and exquisitely, creatively showcases a fresh, seasonal fruit. Buttery, luscious, beautifully-textured shortbread cake, is paired with a perfectly sweet-and-tart freshly-made cranberry/orange jam. The combination of flavors and textures in this cake is out-of-this-world amazing.

Presentation-wise, I initially planned to serve this cake with no garnish or decoration. However, while I was smelling it baking, I sensed it was going to be an exquisite dessert, and I wanted its presentation to wow as much as its flavors. So, I took some small paper leaves, laid them decoratively on top of the cake, and sifted a fine layer of powdered sugar over the cake. I then removed the paper leaf “stencils” and voilà! A cake as beautiful as it is scrumptious.

If you are looking for a head-turning, palate-pleasing dessert to add to your Thanksgiving menu (or any meal this fall), look no further. This cake is all sorts of deliciously spectacular!

Cranberry Shortbread Cake |
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Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Muffins

by Amy on 11 November 2015

Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Muffins | www.FearlessHomemaker.comMy toddler daughter is not a huge fan of breakfast foods, and she definitely inherited that trait from me. She (like me) would rather have leftover rice + beans, soup, or pasta for breakfast, instead of eggs, pancakes, waffles, or cereal. I am *exactly* the same way, so I get it! There is one breakfast food that she consistently loves, though — muffins! So I’m always experimenting with different muffin flavors, particularly ones that highlight the fresh flavors/produce of the season. And the most popular muffins in our house these days? These Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Muffins.

These muffins are perfect — full of wonderful autumn-spiced pumpkin flavor, stuffed with little bites of fresh apple, and topped with the most scrumptious, sweet, crunchy streusel. They are delicious, soft, moist, and just sweet enough. I’ve been making a big batches to freeze, which has been a life-saver for those busy mornings when the toddler asks, “Can I have muffin, please?” It’s nice to be able to say, “Of course you can! Let me just grab one from the freezer + heat it up.”

Do y’all freeze muffins? For those who don’t know, most muffins freeze (and thaw) beautifully. What I do is bake a big batch of muffins, let them cool completely, then store them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When I’m ready for one, I pull it out of the freezer, microwave it for 20-30 seconds until warmed, and enjoy. You can’t beat a quick, delicious, ready-in-seconds homemade breakfast!

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Pumpkin Butter

by Amy on 3 November 2015

Homemade Pumpkin Butter | www.FearlessHomemaker.comI don’t think I’ve mentioned it on the blog yet, but our toddler daughter started preschool recently! After 2+ years of being with mama every single day, she now goes to preschool two half-days a week. It may not sound like much, but it was a big change for both of us, and I’m happy to report that, after a little adjustment/transition period, she now *loves* school. She is constantly talking about her friends, her teachers, and their daily activities, and is so happy on the mornings that I tell her it’s a school day. And this mama is loving having a little free time to herself every week. =)

Each month, her classroom has a different theme. The month of October was dedicated to all things Fall, and they had a special week devoted to pumpkins — pumpkin crafts, pumpkin songs, pumpkin decorating, and pumpkin snacks! The teachers asked for parent volunteers to make a couple pumpkin-based foods for the kiddos to try, and I signed up for pumpkin butter. If you haven’t had it before, pumpkin butter doesn’t actually contain butter, but it has a thick, creamy, butter-like consistency. It’s made of pumpkin puree, sugar, apple juice, and spices, all cooked slowly over low heat until thickened and delicious. The flavor is heavenly — it tastes a lot like pumpkin pie, with a wonderful balance of pumpkin flavor, subtle sweetness, and warm autumn spices.

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Pasta with Kale and Walnut Pesto

by Amy on 25 October 2015

Pasta with Kale and Walnut Pesto | www.FearlessHomemaker.comToday, I’m participating in a fun blogger event — the Secret Recipe Club. How does it work? Every blogger is secretly assigned another blog + chooses a recipe from that blog to make. On reveal day (today!), all of our posts go up at the same time, + everyone gets to see who was assigned to their blog, which recipe they chose, + how it turned out. Fun, huh?

This month I was assigned Bewitching Kitchen, a blog with amazing recipes from a variety of cultures (author Sally is Brazilian-born and raised, and has since lived in Paris, California, and Kansas, so her blog features recipes and cuisines from all over the world). I decided to make her Pasta with Kale Pesto, as I adore a traditional basil pesto, but had never tried a kale version, and was intrigued.

And y’all, I LOVED this meal. The pesto has a wonderful kale flavor that is brightened up with a lemony punch and a bit of tartness from the Greek yogurt. Between the walnuts and the kale, it’s more textured than a traditional basil pesto, which I loved – it has a beautiful body and substance to it. And while it was hearty, it actually felt a lot lighter to me than a traditional basil pesto – perhaps because it uses an olive oil/yogurt mixture, instead of just olive oil. All in all, a perfect autumn spin on pesto, and a fabulous meatless meal that will be going on regular rotation in our kitchen.

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