Friday, September 19, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache

This cake...OHHH this cake. If you are only going to make only one pumpkin baked good this fall, THIS needs to be it. I am completely obsessed and am pretty sure I will be making it again.
The cake was ooey, gooey, chocolately, had the perfect pumpkin flavor and was just to die for.

And the chocolate ganache?? Wow. And who knew how easy it was to make ganache? Not this girl.
Doesn't this look so good??

I was actually surprised with how easy this entire cake was to make and I'm not much of a baker. 
Please tell me that you'll make this cake. At least twice.

And MAYBE share it with some friends, which is what I did so now I need my very own.
It's technically the start of the "holiday" season right? So bring on the baked goods!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Slightly Adapted from Averie Cooks
Cake
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup sour cream (Greek yogurt may be substituted)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Ganache
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
                   
Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt or tube-cake pan; set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, sour cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, allspice and whisk to combine until mixture is smooth and silky.
3. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and stir until just combined (don’t overmix or the gluten will over-develop and cake will be tougher).
4. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula if necessary and give it a slam on the counter to release any air.
5. Bake for 38 to 42 minutes, or until top has set and is golden or a cake tester, toothpick, or blade of a knife comes out clean (due to the chocolate chips, you may hit some chocolate patches). Allow cake to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before inverting and releasing cake from pan and placing it on a rack to finish cooling. While cake cools, make the ganache.
                   
Chocolate Ganache
1. Place chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power for 1 minute to soften chocolate; set aside.
2. In a small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, heat the half-and-half on high power just until it begins to bubble and show signs of boiling, about 30 seconds to a minute. 
3. Pour hot half-and-half over chocolate and let stand 1 minute. Whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth and velvety. Add vanilla and whisk to combine. Set bowl aside for about 5 minutes, allowing ganache to cool and thicken a bit.
4. Whisk mixture briefly before preparing to drizzle it over the cake. Ganache will set up a bit with time, but remains quite viscous and drippy.

*Cake will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Sugar

Man, peach season is coming to an end and I couldn't be more sad about it. I'm trying to eat as many as I possibly can before they are long gone.

Grilling a peach is something I've always wanted to try and wasn't sure if it would be worth it or not.

Turns out, it's worth it.

There are so many toppings you could put on a grilled peach, but we kept it simple. A little butter, cinnamon and sugar.

Before we knew it, Jordan and I had both consumed a peach and a half each in a couple of minutes. They were perfectly juicy, warm and easy to eat. I think it would be amazing topped with ice cream and a streusel of some kind. Just saying.

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Sugar
Fresh large peaches with peel, halved and pitted
butter
cinnamon sugar

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
2. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place peaches on the prepared grill, cut side down. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the flesh is caramelized.
3. Transfer the peaches to a plate and spread butter over tops of the peach flesh. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce

This recipe reminds me a lot of my Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo. And while I love that dish, I don't always have roasted red peppers on hand. In comes this recipe that is loaded with pantry stocked items. This obviously does not have the kick of the red pepper alfredo, but it has plenty of flavor to stand on its own.
I couldn't believe how good this was. The sauce was so simple with only a couple of ingredients, yet so dang tasty.
It really was one of the easiest pastas I've ever made. If you don't believe me, try it for yourself.

Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
3/4 lb. fettuccine
1 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
salt and pepper
dash of sugar
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
basil, dried or fresh


1. Heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for a minute. Pour in tomato sauce and add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Stir and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
3. Remove sauce from heat and stir in half and half. Stir in Parmesan. Combine with pasta and thin with pasta water if needed. Top with basil and serve immediately.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Stuffed Honey-Ham and Cheese Biscuits

You all know I'm a sucker for ham and cheese by now so what's one more recipe? I love Pillsbury's Flaky Layer biscuits and they are even better with some ham and cheese stuffed inside.
These are perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Serve them with a veggie on the side and you've got a meal!
Stuffed Honey-Ham and Cheese Biscuits

Source: Pillsbury
1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers refrigerated biscuits
8 slices Swiss cheese
8 slices deli cooked ham
honey

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.
2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut slit on 1 side of 1 biscuit, forming a deep pocket. Place 1 slice of cheese inside pocket. Top cheese with 1 slice of ham and 1 tsp. honey.
3. 
Press dough over filling, sealing edge of biscuit; place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining biscuits, cheese, ham and honey.
4. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to serving plate. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Easy Homemade Garlic Bread

I am a garlic bread lover through and through. I seriously cannot get enough of the stuff. What's not to love? Yummy, thick, crisp yet soft bread smothered with some glorious garlic butter? Come on people. And why have I never made my own simple spread before this? Who knows?
If I wanted to gain 30 pounds I would make this at every meal, but alas, I don't. This is so easy to put together and takes no time at all! You've got to try it!

Easy Homemade Garlic Bread
1 fresh loaf French bread, cut in half
1/4 cup salted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
 2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
                   
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, spices and Parmesan until combined.
3. Divide the butter mixture and spread generously onto each bread half.
4. Bake the garlic bread on a baking sheet butter side up for 10 to 15 minutes until the butter mixture melts.
5. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes if desired. Serve warm.