In the quaint and historic town of Augusta, Missouri, there’s a wonderful family owned establishment called Centennial Farms. Not only do I buy my honey from them year round, my family also loves to visit them each fall to pick apples and to buy our Halloween pumpkins.
Last weekend, my daughter and I decided to venture out for an apple picking excursion and came home with a wonderful assortment of Fuji, Golden Delicious, Johnathan, Ruby Jon and Winesap apples. Plenty of opportunities for me to create some new recipes!
Here’s the first masterpiece from my kitchen, a spiced apple and rum compote. The slow cooked apples developed a beautiful flavor along with the deep, caramel richness from the brown sugar and vanilla. And they had just the right amount of spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg to round out the finishing touch of the dark, smoky rum. Absolute perfection!
Who needs an apple pie when you can have a bowl of this with a scoop of ice cream?
I look forward to late summer not only for the cooler temperatures, but also for the abundance of late summer fruits and vegetables, especially zucchini. As soon as I see local farm stands advertising fresh picked zucchini, the menu quickly veers off in the direction of oven roasted zucchini; grilled veggie kabobs; zucchini bisque; zucchini soufflés; grated zucchini in pasta sauce; meatballs; breads and of course, sweet zucchini cupcakes.
The smell of these yummy little beauties baking in the oven will make your home smell like late summer and early fall all wrapped up into one. Then once they’ve cooled, add a generous swirl of cream cheese frosting on top and treat yourself to a moment of reverence as you savor each sweet and savory bite.
Having a teen-aged daughter as I approach 50, has taught me to keep my sense of ‘whimsy’ and relish in those beautifully opportune moments of occasionally ‘throwing caution to the wind’.
This dessert would be one of those moments. She and I spent two hours in the kitchen together on Mother’s Day, making these devilishly decadent brownies and they were worth every bite!
No counting calories on this recipe, my friends! Throw them into the wind, along with your caution, and enjoy!
I planted a rosemary bush in my herb garden a few weeks ago, and as I walked by garden yesterday morning, the wonderful aroma of the fresh herb made me think of these scones. So after a quick snip off the plant, I whipped up a batch of them for breakfast.
The crunchy, golden crust on the outside and the warm, flaky inside with just the right blend of sweet and savory from the rosemary and lemon zest, made the perfect bite!
I started making this jam late last summer, after a more than abundant harvest of golden habañero peppers from my garden.
It took a few test batches to get the ratio of peppers to pears right, but after realizing I only needed six ingredients, five if you take out the bourbon (but why would you?), once I had the final recipe established, it was perfect. The sweetness from the pears, followed by the low heat from the peppers, not only wakes up your taste-buds, the release of endorphins from the capsaicin in the peppers gives your brain a nice little jolt!
I am a bourbon gal and have a few fellow bourbon-enthusiast friends who like to share new bourbon finds with me. This past New Year’s, one of those friends brought me a bottle of the Knob Creek Maple Bourbon as a hostess gift and I seriously thought I heard angels singing when I took my first sip. Booker Noe, the man who put that flavor profile together at the Knob Creek distillery, is a genius!
And then there’s bacon. Sigh. What can I say about bacon that those of us who truly appreciate it, don’t already know? As long as that little piggy goes to market and brings me bacon, I’m the one going “Whee! Whee! Whee!” all the way home!
My maternal grandmother was a wonderful baker. She was not intimated the least bit by the amount of time it took to measure, mix, rise, roll, knead or bake anything. She was especially good at making cookies.