Cookie dough brownies are little pieces of dessert HEAVEN.

Cookie Dough Brownies

BIG NEWS EVERYONE.

I’ve found a way to improve on brownies.

Not possible, they said. How do you make brownies better??

Topping them with cookie dough, that’s how.

Cookie dough brownies are little pieces of dessert HEAVEN.

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Need a fancy but not fussy dessert? This decadent chocolate torte is perfect!

Chocolate Torte

What’s better than chocolate cake? Chocolate Torte! It’s richer and denser than a regular cake, and best of all makes you sound fancy when you say it.

I’m sharing this decadent dessert in honor of St. Patrick’s day! Somehow a rich chocolate cake felt like the perfect dessert after corned beef and Guinness.

Full disclosure: this torte will take time. It’s not the simplest and definitely needs a few hours to pull together. But it’s not complicated, just requires more than your beat-and-bake cake recipe.

From my standby, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. I dream of somday cooking all the recipes in the book but there’s about 5000 plus a million variations, so that’s probably not in the cards. But a girl can dream, right?

Need a fancy but not fussy dessert? This decadent chocolate torte is perfect!

Need a fancy but not fussy dessert? This decadent chocolate torte is perfect! Continue reading

Chocolate Chess Pie

Angus Barn Chocolate Chess Pie

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to share my husband’s favorite dessert: chocolate chess pie.

This is Logan’s absolute favorite. His family always has it at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and once we went to his aunt’s house and she pulled out FOUR to give to him to get him through finals. (Bonus: they freeze well.)

Chocolate Chess Pie

Chocolate Chess Pie is the perfect decadent dessert for Valentine's Day!

They’re rich and decadent, full of chocolate and with that chess texture is just unbeatable. (Where does the term come from to describe that texture? I have no idea.) It’s perfect for a Valentine’s Day dessert!

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Dessert for breakfast, otherwise known as Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Bread!

Cinnamon chocolate chip bread

I hope everyone is enjoying some slower days in this last week of 2016! We’re watching lots of TV and playing with our Christmas presents. In the spirit of this holiday laziness, here’s an easy but festive breakfast bread.

I love desserts masquerading as breakfast. It’s as if adding cinnamon or fruit makes them acceptable for the main dish. So how do you make something as tasty as cinnamon bread better?

You add chocolate!

Dessert for breakfast, otherwise known as Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Bread!

This quickbread comes together easily and uses mostly ingredients you already have. It’s great for hosting overnight guests: breakfast is easy and uncomplicated, and you can make it in advance!

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Nothing says the holidays like classic apple pie!

Classic Holiday Apple Pie

Classic Apple Pie on a Christmas china plate... can you get any more American??

One of my favorite things about apple pie is that it’s become a tradition with practically all of the really American holidays. Apple pie is equally at home at Thanksgiving, Independence Day, and Christmas! It also happens to be a family favorite. So even when we have four dessert options (aka every thanksgiving ever), this is ALWAYS one of them. 

Nothing says the holidays like classic apple pie!

This is based on the Joy of Cooking‘s apple pie. That recipe is classic and practically begs for regular use with your own personalizations. Nothing says the holidays like classic apple pie! Continue reading

Chapel Hill on my #trianglebucketlist

Triangle Bucket List: a conclusion

Over the years following my study abroad in Australia, several of my international friends visited me. I was thrilled to see them but always struggled with where to take them. After taking them on a tour of my campus, feeding them North Carolina barbecue, and introducing them to my local friends, I was always at a loss for what to show them about my hometown. It’s a fantastic place to grow up, but what here appeals to someone just stopping through?

It took me a few years, but since graduating I’ve really grasped what this place has to offer. The idyllic college campus is only the beginning: the variety of fun, the arts presence, the scope of restaurants and the access to nature only scratch the surface of what makes the Triangle special.

I love my city.

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Rich fudgy brownies, HOMEMADE!

Homemade brownies

I have a confession to make: growing up, I was that kid who liked box brownies better. And let’s be honest, most of us do! Most of the homemade varieties people brought to birthdays or potlucks were dry and less intensely chocolate-y than what you crave in a brownie. And then in college why would we bother with homemade brownies when the box ones were so stinking good?!? Who’s with me here!?

Rich fudgy brownies, HOMEMADE!

Anyway, recently I set out to find a brownie recipe that could actually hold a candle to box brownies and didn’t require 8473 steps. Of course, the winner was from my favorite guy Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything; his brownies are moist, rich fudgy things with so much chocolate that eating more than two will guarantee you a stomachache later. (That hasn’t stopped me or anything, but in case you’re wondering.)

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In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

Perfect Peach-Blueberry Pie

In honor of Labor Day, I’m sharing the perfect pie for a weekend of celebration!

In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

I come from a family that treats pie as a perfectly acceptable choice for breakfast. When served cold, it’s not much different than lots of other run of the mill sweets with fruit. Just another breakfast pastry, if you will.

Which backs up one of my favorite things about this pie: it’s great warm, room temperature, or cold the next day for breakfast. So whenever you have time to throw this together, it’ll be great at whatever temp you serve it.

In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

Peaches are the star of the show. I love blueberries as an accent, but my husband LOVES blueberries, so feel free to adjust the ratio of fruit to what suits your audience best.

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Put your cleaned peach slices, blueberries and lemon juice in a bowl. Toss, then add the spice blend of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cornstarch.

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After letting the spice blend soak into the fruit for a few minutes, pile into a pie crust. *Side note: I love the look of an uncovered fruit pie just before baking – so much delicious potential!

In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

Cover with the top crust, pinch shut, and cut a few holes for air to escape!

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One of these days I’ll share my homemade pie crust for you, I swear. It’s flaky and rich and everything you hope for in pie crust. I even made it here, but I didn’t photograph the process. A bonus of homemade crust is baking off the excess with a little cinnamon sugar and you’ve got a perfect chef’s snack!

In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

The result tastes like summertime potlucks and sunshine!

Taken from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. He’s my favorite!

Peach Blueberry Pie

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs peaches, about 7-10 peaches
  • 1.5 cups blueberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 pie crusts, homemade or store bought
  • optional: milk

STEPS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Peel and and slice the peaches. In a bowl, combine the peaches, blueberries, and lemon juice.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cornstarch. Then toss the fruit with the spice mixture and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Line a pie dish with a crust, then pile the fruit into it. If it looks like it’ll overflow, pile more in the center than on the edges. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot the fruit with butter. Cover with top crust. Pinch  the edges with your fingers to close.
  4. If you want to get really fancy, brush milk onto the pie crust, then top with a touch of sugar. Slice a few slits in the top for steam to escape.
  5. To keep your oven from getting too messy, put the pie pan onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 450°F. Then turn down to 350°F for 40-45 minutes. The top should be golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool a bit before serving.

In honor of Labor Day, I'm sharing this killer peach-blueberry pie!

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who’s moving to college this month?!?

There are a few things about moving into my freshman dorm room that stand out really clearly.

Convincing my parents to take me six hours earlier than my official move in time, because the RA’s wouldn’t care (they didn’t).

Seeing my pot-luck roommate got there first and therefore got first pick of which closet/desk/bed she wanted. They were about the same level of grungy, but still.

Lifting the bed, wondering if it’s supposed to sway this much when you’re sleeping seven feet off the floor?

That slightly giddy, slightly overwhelmed moment when I realized I was setting my home base for my first year of college.

Finishing the unpacking, only to look blankly at my parents, wondering how you say goodbye in such a momentous moment (there I said it), except they actually live only ten minutes down the road. How I got there is a whole other story, though.

Standing in my mostly set up dorm room, absorbing this new space that was more “my own” than any other place I’d lived yet.

What do you do then? Right after you move into your dorm for the first time ever, before you know who your go-to friends are going to be, before you know how you’re going to make friends at all, before you quite know who you will even be in college?

You sit in your new chair and you eat a cookie. Not just any cookie: one of your mom’s homemade chocolate  chip cookies.

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

And somehow, tasting mom’s cookies, I’m not worried about classes or friends or anything else. These cookies make me believe I can do this whole college thing.

So to make mom’s chocolate chip cookies, use this recipe! They’re addictive, comforting, and possibly even better warm from the oven.

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Side note: it’s the Toll House recipe for the most part. Couple edits of my own.

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

First step in any good baking: cream the butter!

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

Add in the sugars and vanilla. Then eggs, then dry ingredients. Finally, add the chocolate chips! (Apologies for the lack of photos. This is what happens when I bake after midnight.)

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After chilling. It’s good for the butter to be cold before baking.

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

Form into 1-2 inch balls.

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

Confession time: I like smaller cookies because it’s an excuse to eat more of them. My mom makes fewer, bigger cookies.

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Bake for 8-10 minutes to golden brown perfection!

CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

STEPS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. Cream the butter, then add both sugars and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Add eggs (one at a time).
  3. Combine dry ingredients , then add in small batches to the wet ingredients. When mostly combined, add chocolate chips
  4. For best results, pop in the fridge for an hour before baking. But if you don’t have time, you can skip this step.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown on a baking sheet, either greased or with a silpat. Cool on wire racks, and take a taste while they’re still warm!

Classic chocolate chip cookies are just what I need for a little boost in happiness and confidence!

What food makes you confident?

all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose

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Blackberry Pie

Blackberry pie tastes like summertime. The sweet tart taste, the flakiness of the crust, even the bright pink color.

Blackberry pies are the essence of summer!

This recipe came from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. Which you should check out. One of my favorite cookbooks ever!

I love Mark Bittman’s pie recipes because he keeps it simple enough to keep the fruit as star the show,  and broad enough that you can sub out many different fruits with roughly the same spice blend.

Blackberry pies are the essence of summer!

Start with the best part: blackberries.

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Rinse and pat dry – drier berries keep the crust flaky.

Blackberry pies are the essence of summer!

Add sugar, spices, and cornstarch.

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Stir and let sit for a few minutes to let the berries soak in the flavors.

Blackberry pies are the essence of summer!

Transfer berries to the pie crust.

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Dot with butter pieces.

Blackberry pies are the essence of summer!

Yummmmmm

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Add the top crust!

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Crimp the edges with your fingers, and cut come vents on the top. Blackberry pie 10

I love to see those spots of juice oozing out. A sneak peek of the goodness within!

I don’t have any shots of slices because when I took this to a family lunch recently, everyone dug in before I could take any photos! I was lucky to get a bite. 🙂

BLACKBERRY PIE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pie crusts
  • 5 cups blackberries, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • milk

STEPS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Toss the blackberries with sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Lay one pie crust in the pan, then add all the blackberries into the crust. Dot the butter over the top.
  3. Cover with the top crust. Squeeze the edges shut, and cut vent holes with a sharp knife in the middle.
  4.  Brush the top with milk, then sprinkle with sugar. For the sake of dripping in your oven, place the pie dish on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350°F and bake for 40-50 minutes. It’s done with the top crust is golden brown. Cool on rack before cutting.

The links above contain affiliate links, which means I get a few cents (at no extra cost to you) if you book or buy something via that link. This helps me keep costs down and posts up! All images copyright Teaspoon of Nose.