Pumpkin Pie

The day is finally here my friends. A day of family, friends, giving thanks, slaughtering an entire civilization and most importantly: FOOD! And what better way to celebrate our gluttony than filling our insatiable bellies with good ol’ pumpkin pie?! pie6pie3pie7

I dream of this holiday all year long. Turkey is great, but I am, and always have been, a dessert gal and on Thanksgiving I can’t wait for the pie…and stuffing. Stuffing pie? No, that would be disgusting. Any whoosies, this pie recipe is bomb. Simple as that. So go make it. Now.


Pumpkin Pie

Pie Crust
8 ounces flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
5 ounces butter, chopped and cold
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice
Ice water

Pie Filling
3 eggs
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4  cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

Whipped Cream
1 pint heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 425.

For the Crust:
Place the flour, salt, sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low until the butter chunks are “pea” sized. Flatten out most of the butter chunks with your fingertips (this creates the flakey crust).

With the  mixer on low, add in the vinegar or lemon juice and slowly add in the ice water. Add just enough for the the dough to come together, about 6 tablespoons or so. Do not overmix!

Roll out the dough and shape as desired. Let sit in freezer for 10 minutes or until firm. When dough is ready, poke holes in the bottom and pre-bake with parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans for 5-6 minutes.

For the Filling:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add in the pumpkin vanilla, sugars, spices, milk and cream.

Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and continue baking until done, about 40-50 minutes. The pie is ready when the filling is slightly jiggly and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the Whipped Cream:
Pour the heavy cream and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment. Whip on high until stiff peaks form.

Let pie cool, top with fresh whipped cream and enjoy the best day of the year!pie4pie9pie8

Brown Fried Rice

Do you ever have those weeks days where you have nothing to eat, but just don’t want to leave your house for food? Me too. All. Of. The. Time. This recipe is a product of one such day. A day where I constantly open the fridge, as if by some miracle it will be fully stocked the second or tenth time around. 
In my laziness I had to think on my feet. It was either me or my growling stomach. Survival of the fittest. Natural selection. Peek into the pantry: quick cook brown rice. Glance into the fridge: carrots, soy sauce, eggs. Upwards to the freezer: peas. What’s in the fruit bowl? Onions. Boom, I had myself all of the pertinent ingredients for brown fried rice.rice1 rice4rice5

All that was left to do was to comb Pinterest for the best looking picture of fried rice and assume that meant it was the best fried rice recipe out there. Because you should always judge a recipe by it’s picture. As with everything in life.rice3

Brown Fried Rice

2 cups cooked brown rice (cold is better)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 small onion, diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 eggs
2ish tablespoons soy sauce (if you don’t like it too salty, use low sodium)
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the veggies and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Scoot the veggies to one side of the pan and add both eggs to the other. Allow the eggs to cook for 1 minute, then scramble until cooked through.

Stir the eggs into the veggies and add the rice. Add the soy sauce and spices and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until rice has browned.

Eat the whole pan. rice2


I used to be a snickerdoodle hater. That was back when I was young and naive. Now, I can fully appreciate the simplicity of cinnamon and sugar. You see, when I was a kid, I was completely obsessed with loved cookies and why would I want to eat a boring snickerdoodle when I could have chocolate chips instead?! Pretty logical thinking, right? Right. But, alas! In my ripe old age of 24 I have come to love the uncomplicated, straightforward flavors of the snickerdoodle cookie.s7 s4

Even though some may attribute snickerdoodles to more of a Christmas cookie than anything else, they always remind me of fall. Maybe it’s the cinnamon scent that permeates my kitchen hours after they’ve finished baking and been ravenously consumed or maybe it’s because I was watching Practical Magic when I scooped those tasty little balls of heaven. Either way, they are the perfect cookie to get into the fall spirit.s1 s2


1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, plus 1 yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cane sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until combined. Scrape the bowl down, switch the speed to low and add the eggs and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, mix and sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Scraping the bowl as needed.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Scoop out the dough with a cookie scoop or spoon and shape into balls. Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar and distribute evenly onto prepared sheet pan.

Bake for about 10 minutes, of until the edges are a light golden color. Enjoy with a huge glass of milk and a cheesy Halloween movie.s3 s5

Spinach and Potato Frittata

Pinterest is a wonderful thing, I owe a ton of my recipes to the faithful women of Pinterest slaving away in their kitchens day after day (not unlike myself). Sometimes I come across a recipe that is so perfect, so easy and turns out exactly like the photoshopped picture that I rejoice! Other times, not so much.egg7 egg6

While thumb scrolling my way through recipe boards one fateful day, I stumbled upon quite a few recipes titled “crustless quiche.” Now, crustless quiche does have a nice ring to it, but sadly, ladies of Pinterest, a crustless quiche already has a name and it’s called a frittata.egg1 egg2

Spinach and Potato Frittata

8 eggs (preferably free range)
1/2 cup half & half
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
4-5 baby russet potatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups baby spinach
salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350; grease a 2 quart baking dish with olive oil and set aside.

In a medium bowl, gently whisk together the eggs, half & half and ricotta cheese. Do not over mix the eggs as it will cause the frittata to puff up in the oven.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the onions; cook for about 3 minutes, then add the potato slices and salt and pepper, stirring frequently until the potatoes are soft and the onions are fragrant and translucent.

Add the potato and onion mix to the prepared baking dish, throw in the spinach  and pour the egg mixture on top. Bake until cooked through and the center of the frittata no longer jiggles when shook, about 30-45 minutes.

Enjoy for breakfast or lunch!egg5 egg4

Classic French Bread

I have always loved bread. As a kid I would eat plain bread and butter as a snack because it was just that good, but when I grew up and when to pastry school, I discovered something so much better: real bread. Im talking fresh baked, 4 ingredients bread. Not that artificial, chemical laden crap they sell in stores.bread4bread3

Making bread from scratch can seem like a daunting task, but rest assured, it’s really not! If you’ve never made bread at home before, try it! It is so easy, all it takes is a little bit of patience, but man is it worth it. This recipe is adapted from the great Julia Child, so you know it’s good!bread1 bread2

Classic French Bread

3 1/3 cups bread flour (you can use all purpose, but bread flour is the way to go!)
2 1/4 teaspoon (1 packet) instant active dry yeast
2 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (110-120 degrees)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, yeast and salt. Attach the paddle and, on low speed, add the water. Mix until a tacky dough forms, then switch to the dough hook attachment. Mix the dough on medium speed (to kneed it) until a window forms, about 5 minutes. You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky (I ended up adding a little over 1/4 cup extra); you want the dough to be smooth and slightly sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and let rest for a couple of minutes while you wash and dry the mixing bowl. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let the dough rise at room temp until it has doubled in size, 2-3 hours.

Using a bowl scraper or spatula, scrape the dough away from the sides of the bowl to deflate it. Cover and let rest again until doubled in size, about 1 1/2-2 hours.

When dough is ready,  preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a hotel pan or baking dish on the lower rack of the oven and a baking stone on the middle rack.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and cut into desired amount of pieces, I made two larger loaves. Shape loaves as desired and place, seam side down, onto floured parchment paper. Let dough rest until not quite doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Slash the top of the dough with a knife so the gases produced while baking can escape. Place the bread on the baking stone with the parchment paper. Add water to the hotel pan to create steam (the steam is what makes the top of the bread crunchy). Half way through baking, remove the parchment paper from under the bread.

Bake until the internal temperature of the bread is 180-190 degrees. Serve with soup or just eat an entire loaf like I did!bread5

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

The weather has cooled off quite a bit up here in the emerald city, but it never feels quite like fall to me until I’ve had my first obligatory pumpkin flavored treat. Every year it’s different, sometimes in a PSL, other times it’s a pie, but this year I chose pumpkin cream cheese muffins.muffins4 muffins1

Those little beauties were the perfect way to kick off fall in the Shaver household, even though they didn’t even last a full 24 hours before being completely devoured. This recipe is so quick and easy, there’s really no reason not to make them, so get baking!muffins3 muffins5

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
2 cups raw cane sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup oil of choice (I used olive)

8 ounces whipped cream cheese, room temp
1 cup powdered sugar

Cinnamon sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 and pray two muffin tins with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Using a spatula, add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.

Using an ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, evenly distribute the muffin batter (the muffin tins should be filled 3/4 of the way full).

For the filling, mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar (by hand or with a mixer) until evenly combined. Transfer filling into a plastic piping bag (or a cloth bag with a round tip) and squeeze about 1-2 tablespoons into the muffin batter.

Sprinkle cinnamon sugar onto the top of each muffin and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked.

Pairs well with coffee and Hocus Pocus.muffins

Baked Apples

It is September and while it may not officially be Fall quite yet, it is apple season! Ahh the tart, but sweet bite of a honey crisp, how I’ve longed for you! Yeah, I know you can buy apples year round, but they definitely taste better when they’re in season.
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I absolutely love pie, every kind of pie, but especially apple pie. I, however, did not feel like making pie crust, so I settled on baked apples. At least I can pretend they aren’t that bad for you. When you take away the crust, you are left with tender, sweet apples doused in butter and sugar.apple1 apple2 apple11

Baked Apples

4 large apples, any kind are great, I chose gala
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled

Preheat your oven to 400.

Peel and chop one of your apples. With the other three apples, slice off the tops and bottoms and remove the core (using an apple corer is ideal, but you can get by with a small spoon or knife).

Add the chopped apple and the first set of butter, sugar and cinnamon to a medium sauce pan. Heat on medium/high heat, stirring frequently, until the apples are tender.

Make a streusel topping with the remaining ingredients. You can do this by using a stand or hand mixer, or you can cut in the butter by hand using two knives until the mixture is crumbly.

Place a small amount of streusel on the bottom of a baking dish. Place the apples on top and add a little more streusel to the inside of each apple. Fill the apples with the cooked apple mixture, allowing it to over flow into the pan. Finish the apples with the remaining streusel topping.

Bake apples for 10-15 minutes, or until they are tender and the filling has caramelized.

Top with vanilla bean ice cream for some extra sugar and enjoy!

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