Apple Picking…near NYC!

Let me begin this post by saying that I live in Manhattan, so, rarely do I see trees or dirt or anything really besides concrete.

Will the summer coming to an end, I wanted to do something to enjoy the beginning of a new season.  Wilkens Farm is about 45 minutes outside of the city (by train) and is a GREAT family owned fruit farm. There were both Gala and Macintosh apples available to pick, a cute hayride to the orchard and a great little bakery on site.

I really enjoyed my day at the farm and the change of pace from crazy city life.  Also, the apples were AMAZING. You can definitely tell the difference between these farm fresh ones and the waxy ones at the grocery stores.  If you live around NYC this is a trip worth taking.  You can find more information here at their website..happy apple picking!

Batman Sugar Cookies

Tickets purchased for the midnight showing of Batman? Check.

Themed cookies for the event? Check.

These are a little time-consuming to make…but so, SO worth it.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Black food coloring (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In a mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy.
  3. Add in the baking powder, salt, egg, milk, vanilla and slowly add drops of the food coloring until you get your desired color.
  4. Slowly add in flour.  Mix until fully incorporated. (Add in more food coloring if needed to reach desired color).
  5. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
  6. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness.
  7. Using a cookie cutter, cut out dough. Place on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 6-7 minutes.

*If desired, wait until cookies cool completely and line edges with colored frosting.

Food & Wine…

Two of the best words in the English language..FOOD & WINE.

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A few months ago I went to an event hosted by David Venable from QVC and posted about the awesome apple green KitchenAid Mixer!

Well..I’m happy to be reporting back about another event that David is hosting..the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen!  David will be broadcasting live from Aspen and showcasing some of his favorite summer recipes. He’ll also be showcasing new products from KitchenAid, Le Creuset, and Capresso so I’ll definitely be watching to load up for all the cooking I have planned for the summer 🙂

Check it out on QVC on Sunday, June 17 at Noon (ET)

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Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Okay, well this clearly isn’t baked but I just had to dedicate a post to it.

This is a LOVE it or HATE it kind of dessert…I happen to LOVE it.

It reminds me of something that housewives in the 50’s would make for summer block parties.  Almost all the ingredients are canned (crushed pineapple, fruit cocktail) or processed somehow (marshmallows, Jell-O, Cool Whip) but I’m not one of those food purists so it’s fine by me.

Have any of you ever had Ambrosia salad before? Please tell me I’m not alone on this one…

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 ounce) containers of frozen whipped topping, thawed ( I use Fat Free Cool Whip)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 (30 ounce) can of fruit cocktail, drained (in light syrup)
  • 1 (30 ounce) can of crushed pineapple, drained
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 package sugar-free pistachio pudding

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together in a big bowl
  2. Refrigerate for at least an hour
  3. Enjoy 🙂

Look who’s baking!

I started this blog to compile all my recipes, not really thinking anyone would actually READ my random ramblings.  Well, apparently I’m not the only fatso who gets all hot and bothered over baked goods.  I’ve gotten such great feedback from everyone and a few of my readers have even gotten in the kitchen and made some of my goodies!

The Iced Pumpkin Cookies were a reader favorite.  Look how they turned out:

Kristina Pantano

Please note that these cookies were iced by a 3-year-old boy, not Kristina.  If yours look like this..seek help.

Crystal Gray

Sidenote: I’m in LOVE with the oven in Chrystal’s kitchen. It’s just so prettyyyy.

Thanks again for reading and baking with me! Let me know if there’s something specific you want me to bake and I’ll try my best to make it happen 🙂

Kitchen Aid Sweepstakes!

So remember that sweettt Kitchen Aid Mixer I posted about a few weeks ago from QVC?  If not, check it out here.

Well, I just got word that there is a sweepstakes going on right now where you can WIN ONE! Yes, I do realize that by sharing this with you I’m lessening my own chances of winning but what can I say…I’m just too giddy with excitement not to share.

Check out David’s Kitchen Essentials Sweepstakes and good luck…I guess..

https://www.facebook.com/DavidVenableQVC?sk=app_228318917200590

Best Boxed Cookie Mixes

Boxed cookie mix, much like boxed wine.  I think we can all agree that food and drink from boxes just aren’t as good.

With that being said, I’ve been known to chug sip a glass, or five, of Franzia in my day.  So, while I’m not an advocate of using pre-made boxed cookie mixes, I’m not completelyyy against it.  If you’re SO important that you can’t take the extra 20 minutes to bake from scratch, I’d recommend using these brands because, well, they’re just better.

Pillsbury Snickerdoodle

One time I made these and brought them to work.  People assumed that I baked them from scratch…I didn’t correct them.  THE SHAMEEEEEEEEE.  But yeah, they’re good.

Krusteaz Bakery Style Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix

In general, Krusteaz is a good brand of cookie mix.

Okay, now I will leave you with one VERY IMPORTANT piece of information.  The number one most important thing when you’re baking cookies is to under cook them.  So, for example, the Pillsbury Snickerdoodle cookies recipe say to bake them for 10 to 14 minutes.  Bake them for 9.  Even after you take the cookies out of the oven they keep baking for a few minutes.  If you leave them in there for the full time they get hard and crunchy.  So, do as I tell you and enjoy your soft, chewy, boxed cookies.

Meet Katie: My Official Taste Tester

After a grueling interview process, I’ve finally filled the very prestigious position of “Official Taste Tester” for Erika’s Big Butter Bakery.

Meet Katie.

Katie is a Notre Dame graduate, Boston native and now works in New York City. Katie’s favorite activities include drinking wine, looking at learning to play her guitar, watching Disney channel original movies, and refining her palate by eating disgusting amounts of baked goods.

If you have any questions of your own for Katie, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

Best Desserts to Bake…for BOYS!

Welcome to Fall.  The weather is getting colder so, NATURALLY, new couples are popping up out of the woodwork. UGH. A few of my friends have asked for recipe ideas that they could make for their boyfriends so I decided to share my theory on baking for boys.  When asked what they want for dessert, nine out of ten guys will say chocolate chip cookies (ask around and prove me wrong).  I’m all for chocolate chip cookies, but baking them is BORINGGGGGG.  So, I’ve put together some links to great dessert recipes that are really fun to make, but will still cater to the boring classic male palate.

  1. Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies (What’s better than two classics..COMBINED?!)
  2. Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Swirl Fudgy Cookies (Self explanatory)
  3. Cinnamon Crumble Apple Pie (A fun twist to the traditional apple pie)

My Obsession: The QVC Apple Green KitchenAid Mixer

Last Thursday, I went to an amazingggggg event thrown by QVC along with their program host David Venable ( don’t worry, I’ll blog later with pictures) to showcase some of their new products and his favorite Fall recipes.  I’ve had a longstanding obsession with KitchenAid mixers and thus felt the need to share my most recent discovery with you.  QVC SELLS AN APPLE GREEN COLORED MIXER! I got this little gem of information after talking with Christa and Mary, who are both on the QVC team. Apparently, it’s always the first color to go when they feature it on the show because it’s exclusive to QVC.  I will get my hands on one of these babies.  I WILL.

Check it out here on the QVC website