If you are familiar with dump cake, you’ll see the genius of this recipe immediately. My mom used to make dump cake when I was a kid. I’ll have to post that “recipe” sometime soon. It’s essentially canned fruit, topped with dry cake mix and smothered with butter. Not really a cake in the traditional sense, but delicious. I saw this pumpkin version and knew it would be ah-mazing. And it was. This is two delightful desserts combined into one. Pumpkin pie on the bottom and pecan pie on top. Custardy spiced goodness covered with crunchy buttery caramelized nut topping. I’m telling you, it’s far too easy for how gorgeous it turns out.
I went in for one thing. One. Thing. Some plastic baggies for my kid’s Valentine’s for school. That’s all I needed. But, alas…Michael’s is evil. So terribly, wonderfully EVIL. Out I came with a bag loaded down with rafia ribbon, chocolate melts and candy molds. I’m weak-minded. It’s true. I’m a marketing and merchandising gold mine. I see things that look fun and suddenly think I’m crafty & I buy them. I suppose I should consider myself (and my bank account) lucky that I didn’t find some uber involved super-craft project to throw myself into. One time, I went into Michael’s with my cousin and came out with about $150 worth of blank canvases, paints, brushes and what-not. I was absolutely sure I’d be the next Picasso with all that crap. I remembered very quickly that I haven’t an artistic bone in my body once I started trying to actually use it. This time wasn’t that bad I guess.
Let me warn you right up front that for the next week or so, you’ll be hearing a whole lot about my best friend Bethany. You may remember her from these Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes I made to say goodbye when she (sob) left me to move to Maui. Obviously there are benefits to her living there. Namely, we have a place to stay for the very reasonable price of free. Actually, Bethany does requires one thing…that you allow her to Martha Stewart you while visiting. She’s a meet you at the airport with a lei, basket of chocolates and lotions on your bed, act as your chauffeur/chef/activity coordinator, wash and fold your clothes, play with your children, pack a cooler and a bag of goodies for the beach, provide you with rockin’ sunblock, and set up an umbrella so your pale freckly skin is protected kind of friend. Being with Bethany is, in a word, ah-mazing. Bonus, we have equally out of control hair and manic smiles when being blown off the edge of the world on top of Haleakala. It’s always a good thing to have friends who are equals on the crazy train of life.
Do you remember counting down the days til your birthday? Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve done that too. But every year I try to put myself back in that childhood mode when the countdown started the day after your last birthday. Turned 4 last week? You are TOTALLY almost 5. In my opinion, a kid’s birthday should be the most amazing day of their entire year. I get a little crazy at birthday time. My son’s big day just happens to be smack in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A most inconvenient time to add a big birthday bash to our calendars. However, I recognize that this is not his fault, and so every year I attempt to make his day truly special in the midst of all the holiday bustle.
“I don’t understand why so many ‘so called’ chocolate lovers complain about the calories in chocolate, when all true chocoholics know that it is a vegetable. It comes from the cocoa bean, beans are veggies, ’nuff said.” I have no idea who said this. I found it online at one of those portals for quotes about chocolate. But it says everything I feel about chocolate. When I’m eating it. I just don’t care about calories. I just don’t. I’m lost in the rich pure deliciousness of it. These cookies are a chocoholic’s dream. Fudgey cookies topped with a morsel of pure Dove dark chocolate. I used hearts since Valentine’s Day is coming up. Nothin’ goes better with a made up holiday about love than chocolate.
Someday I will learn how to manage a bunch of bananas. Meaning, I’ll buy just the right amount that are exactly the correct ripeness so as not to have two or three that go brown on me before they’re eaten. Until that day comes, I have to figure out new and exciting things to do with the abandoned-too-ripe-to-be-consumed-any-way-but-as-banana-mush bananas. Since my children have teeth, it seems cruel to feed them anything the texture of baby food. This recipe screamed out to be made for two reasons.
#1: I love banana bread.
#2: I love scones.
Combining the two into one amazing breakfast food? Genius!
I like to go all out on Saturday mornings. It’s really the only day of the week I can do breakfast up right with all the fixins’ since Monday thru Friday mornings are a mad dash of bodies, backpacks, missing socks, frantically gulped coffee and hastily applied mascara as I scramble to get my kids out the door to school. Sundays are pretty much the same except I feel a lot worse about yelling at my kids (for the fourth time) to get in the car when we’re heading out to church instead of school. Oh yeah, Christian Mom of the year right here! Anyhoo, now that I’ve outed myself, let’s move on to my most recent Saturday morning treat. Fritters. Deep fried, crusty on the outside, warm and soft on the inside fritters. Yum yum yum.
These delightful little cookies always seem to be on Christmas platters, but I’m here to tell you that they’re great all year round. They are so easy to customize – you’ll be amazed at all the delicious ways you can make them. With their buttery melty texture, they are always a hit.
37° and raining. That’s the forecast for the next week or so here in Seattle. Yuck. If it’s going to be that cold, it needs to be snowing. Huge pillowy flakes dumping from the sky. Fluffy mounds of white happiness. That’s what I’d like. Come on! The current weather conditions called for drastic measures in my kitchen. You know what I’m talking about…chili. Is there anything better on a winter day with a damp chill in the air? More on that tomorrow. First, the delicious beer bread I made to go with the chili. It’s full of sharp cheddar and totally non-hot green chili peppers. A perfect companion to a hearty bowl of warmth.