Birthday Apple Crisp and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

January 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’ve got this great guy in my life. We like each other a lot. I mean, we’re married and all that too, but we genuinely enjoy each other’s company. He puts up with me opening car doors with my feet and I put up with his tendency to leave his shoes in the middle of the floor.

Today is his birthday. When I asked him what kind of dessert he wanted he responded with a shrug and “apple crisp?” Now, I know him, pie is his favorite and I reminded him of that. He responded by saying that since I don’t love pie he wanted crisp. That way everyone is happy.┬áHe’s awesome. Self-sacrificing even with dessert. He does most of the dishes, sweeps like a maniac and is generally awesome to have around.

So, in honor of my man, I made some apple crisp and vanilla bean ice cream. It’s a basic Philadelphia-style vanilla bean ice cream (no eggs/custard mix) from Davd Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop and Joy the Baker’s Man-Bait Apple Crisp (if it’s for a married man, is it baited-man apple crisp?). Enjoy!


  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup turbino sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1) In a small sauce pan stir 1 cup cream, sugar and salt together. Cut vanilla bean in half and scrape out seeds, but seeds and pod in the saucepan. Over low-medium heat stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from heat.

2) Pour this mixture into medium bowl. Stir in milk, additional cup of cream and vanilla extract. Chill in refrigerator. Make ice cream according to mixer instructions, freeze until ready to serve.

Apple Crisp


  • 10 medium sized apples (mix of Fuji and Granny Smith)
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 & 2/3 cup AP flour
  • 2 & 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1) Grease a 9×13 pan. Preheat oven to 350.

2) Peel and chop all the apples into bite-sized pieces. A few peels left on, are a-okay. Put into greased pan. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon onto apples and mix.

3) In a large bowl stir to combine flour, brown sugar, oats, nuts and cinnamon. Using your hands, add the butter to the dry ingredients. Work in until coarse meal is formed (sort of like wet sand). Mix 1 cup of this into the apples and stir well. Pour rest of topping onto the apples.

4) Bake for 55-60 minutes until topping is golden brown and apples are slightly bubbly. Let cool slightly. Scoop mixture into bowls, top with ice cream and serve. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

January 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

For many, January is all about health food and vegetables and juicing. I bought a juice at my local Whole Foods and could not get over the fact that my juice tasted like BEETS. Beets are delicious but not when I’m drinking them. Maybe next time.

Lets be honest, its cold and rainy out and and we just want comfort food. We’re now going to combine vegetables and comfort. Introducing: pumpkin mac and cheese. (I’m aware I’m not really “introducing” this as it’s been around for awhile, but I just hopped on the train)

I’ve said, this year I’m only featuring really good recipes. This is one of those. I’ve made it twice now and really love it. It’s just the right combination of cheese, pumpkin, bread crumb topping and pasta. Best part about this is it’s adaptable. I’ve made it with different kinds of cheese, whatever fresh herbs I have on hand, canned and freshly pureed pumpkin and love it every time. And the leftovers taste delicious.

To start we make make our pasta. Or rather, make our pasta while we also make the cheese/pumpkin sauce. We melt butter, add flour, S&P, then add milk and cream until slightly thickened. Then we add pumpkin, cheese and herbs and it gets melty, creamy and is now SO GOOD. I may sneak some spoonfuls. Combine pasta, sauce pour in the pan; top with breadcrumbs and we are so close to being in business. Bake while you stare in the oven because you’re very hungry. Then enjoy.

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens


  • 2 cups dried elbow macaronia
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp S&P
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 & 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1, 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp fresh herbs like thyme or sage
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs

To make

1) Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 2 qt casserole dish with non-stick spray.
2) In large pot, boil water for pasta. Cook according to package and drain. Set aside.
3) While pasta is being made, make the sauce. In medium saucepan, melt butter in a pan. Stir in flour and s&p. Add cream and milk. Heat over low until warm and slightly thickened. Next, add 1 cup of parmesan cheese, pumpkin and herbs. Stir until cheese is melted and sauce is creamy. Remove from heat.
4) Stir pasta into cheese. Pour into baking dish. Top with bread crumbs and 1/2 cup cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Reese’s Puff Krispies

January 9, 2014 § 1 Comment

Is it time for vacation yet? We’re not even a week into the new year and I feel like a vacation is in order. Maybe the holidays were more exhausting than I thought. Does that mean I’m getting older? I may be hitting another quarter life crisis here. Lets just move on to cereal and marshmallows.

The inspiration for these Reese’s Puff Krispies came while googling rice krispy recipes. There were a few other geniuses who had subbed other cereals. And regular rice krispies don’t really turn my crank so why not sub with my favorite cereal?

Side note. While googling “why does reese’s have an apostrophe I found out that that the creator of Reese’s, H.B. Reese, was once a dairy farmer and shipping foreman for Hershey. He was so inspired by Hershey he left his job and created his own candy company.

Back to the treats. We use the same recipe as Rice Krispies except we sub Reese’s Puffs. I like mine extra mashmallowy so I use a whole bag, if you like a little less feel free to leave a cup out. For the topping I simply melt chocolate chips and some coconut oil. The coconut oil helps it to harden a little more when chilled. Another tid bit? Line your pan with extra wax paper so you can use that to remove them when chilled. And use an extra sharp knife to cut them.

Reese’s Puff Krispies


  • 1, 10 oz bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 7 cups Reese’s Puff cereal
  • 1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

To make

1) Line a 9×13 inch pan with wax paper, spray well with non-stick spray. In a large saucepan melt together butter and marshmallows over low heat. Stir frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat.
2) Stir in cereal until combined. Pour into pan evenly. Press down with spatula to condense.
3) Topping: in a medium size microwave proof bowl pour chocolate chips and coconut oil. Heat in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Should take 1-2 minutes. Once the chocolate mixture is smooth pour over the krispies.
4) Let chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove from pan using edges of wax paper and cut using a sharp knife. Enjoy!

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