TWD: Hazelnut Biscotti

Hazelnut on the left, white chocolate orange on the right.

Chitlins, do you have any idea how hard it is to photograph biscotti to make them look as delicious as they taste? I’ll tell you it’s harder than I was willing to put the effort into last week, and I’m sorry for that. There were a number of melancholy events that didn’t exactly put me in the mood for really puttering over how to photograph some silly cookies (when you looked at the grand scheme of life).

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Cheater Breadsticks

Oh my, Chitlins. Stressed, high blood pressure, frenzied – none of these words come close to explaining my day today. I’m terribly sorry for not posting earlier!  Even though I had a lovely and relaxing weekend in Vermont, while The BF and a few friends tried to squeeze in one last ski trip for the season. With my big half-marathon next weekend, my first of the year, I declined to ski and instead took the monster dog, Moose, that was staying with us for a lovely two hour hike.

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Baked Brie and Apple Puff Pastry Pop-Tarts

The other day I received a phone call from my mother, “Ace, I’m starting Pinterest I need you to call me and tell me how it works.” Yeah, I know, you’re thinking the same thing. “But she doesn’t even cook or bake, she’s already married and she doesn’t even have the patience to get all crafty. What in heaven’s name is she using Pinterest for?!” I was equally as baffled, but I figured I’d give her the benefit of the doubt and help her out.

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Cake Batter Rice Crispy Treats

For most who know me, it comes as no surprise that I usually keep a box of funfetti cake mix in my cupboards. Not because I particularly enjoy making a boxed funfetti cake (though there is something to be said for the awesome sprinkles they have that are crunchy and not soft wax, where do I find those?!), but mostly because I’m a complete sugar freak and will often just spoon dry cake mix into my gaping maw for dessert.

Where some people will go for a tub of ice cream or a bag of chocolates, my guilty pleasure is hands down dry cake mix (or cheesey poofs, it depends if I’m in a sweet or savory mood). Now let me tell you something, not all cake mixes are equal. I once made the mistake of buying Duncan Hines yellow cake mix and that stuff literally tasted like flour, which is probably a testament to fewer preservatives and fake flavors. However, when I’m looking for a cake mix/batter flavor I want all those fake flavors, that’s what I like about the boxed mix.

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Apple Butter

Let’s talk apple butter. Not a lot of people have heard of it and even fewer know what it is. I will readily admit I have never actually tried or eaten apple butter. I know; it’s scandalous. Growing up my dad used to keep jars of it in our fridge. It was the weird brown condiment at the back of the fridge that no one but Dad ate. Seriously. I don’t think a single living soul in our family ate that “butter” except for him.

Fun fact about fruit butters, there’s a whole heck of a lot of them: apple, plum, pumpkin, etc. I mean at Masker Orchards alone I saw at least six varieties. It’s pretty astonishing.  And to be honest, they all look pretty much the same. Like a sort of brownish mush.

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Fresh, Homemade Applesauce

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. After Monday’s uplifting entry about our poor puppers let’s get back on track with that I had really planned on writing about for the next eternity it seems: apples. Perhaps you will recall that a few weeks ago, in mid-October, I went apple picking out in Warwick, NY for a lovely afternoon and returned with roughly fifteen pounds of apples. This is a rough estimate, but given that I had to force The BF to carry the bag for me because it was too heavy, I’m thinking that estimate is pretty spot on, if not a little low.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

So anyone who has been on Pinterest in the last few weeks has surely seen the incredible surge in pumpkin desserts being pinned. Anyone who follows me on Pinterest will surely see that I have a noticeable lack of pumpkin desserts pinned. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you quite possibly the only human being in the world who does not enjoy pumpkin desserts. I know, it’s incredible and pretty much means I have no soul.

I do not countdown the days to when Starbucks will bring back their hallowed pumpkin spice latte; nor do I make sure to leave enough room for pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving. However, despite this deficiency I adore fall. It is absolutely, hands down my favorite season of them all. When I was a kid I was excited to do back-to-school supplies and clothes shopping. I loved that crisp smell in the air and leaves burning that mean the start of fall. I could live my entire life in boots, jeans and cozy oversized sweaters. But lord help me, I could absolutely do without pumpkin.

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