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» Pale Yellow

Cream together butter and sugar until pale yellow.

Time for Christmas Cookies!

Tracy Byrne

Time for Christmas Cookies! | Cookie Tray 2015 | Pale Yellow

By Christmas cookie, I mean anything that can be served individually.  It's all about the cookie (treat) tray.  When I think of a well round Christmas cookie tray there are several flavors/textures I want to include: peppermint, gingerbread, orange or cranberry, eggnog, nutty, sugar cookies, and something chocolate.  Obviously I think about this a lot, there are many lists!  Above is 2015 cookie tray and at the bottom is the cookie tray from 2014.  I've been making Christmas cookie trays for at least 10 years.  The goal is to create a tray that is colorful and diverse in flavors and textures.  Here are some recipes to get your brains thinking!

Time for Christmas Cookies| Peppermint Blossoms | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Molassess Crinkles | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Chocolate Dipped Pistachio Shortbreads | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Tangerine and Cranberry Cookies | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Eggnog Shortbreads | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Sprinkle Sugar Cookies | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Slovak Crescent Cookies | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Red Velvet Blossoms | Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies| Boozy Eggnog| Pale Yellow
Time for Christmas Cookies! | Cookie Tray 2014 | Pale Yellow

P.S. - Here are some I'm considering for this year's tray!

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

Tracy Byrne

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies | Pale Yellow

For the past three years I have participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  But after 5 years, Julie and Lindsay needed to take a break.  I cannot imagine how much work it was and they did a fantastic job!  Thankfully, Allison and Sarah began the Food Blogger Love Cookie Exchange.  There is nothing better than receiving cookies in the mail!

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies | Pale Yellow

Since moving back home with my parents after a long nine years away, my life is in a bit of a disarray, but at least there are plenty of comical moments and people to eat my baked goods!  My dad loves sweets and wants to figure out away to get cookies mailed to him.  He proposes to sign up, get people to send him cookies, and then he'll just send out some from the grocery store.  I told him he needs a blog, but considering he still uses a flip phone, I do not see it happening!

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies | Pale Yellow

When making these cookies I was in the middle of a Whole 30 and never tasted them.  I relied on my mom's supreme taste-buds to give me the okay, she loved them!  They started a little ugly, but turned out so pretty!  In the pictures sent by my recipients it seemed like the jam dyed the drizzle pinkish-purple.  Obviously, I meant that to happen!  According to her the cookies are soft and flaky in textured with just enough sweetness and goodness from the jam.  I will definitely be making another batch for my Christmas cookie tray!

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies | Pale Yellow

I sent out cookies to Sara of Cook With 5 Kids, Valentina from The Baking Fairy, and Ashley of Blonde Girl Cravings.  In return I received super tasty almond biscotti from Pavani of Cooks Hideout, fun and delicious sugar plum fairy holiday cookies from Colleen of Faith Hope Love and Luck Survive Despite A Whiskered Accomplice, and flavorful chewy chestnut ginger chocolate chip cookies from Rachel of By The Pounds.  Thank you ladies, everything was fantastic!! Cookie exchanges should happen more than on

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies

Adapted from Saving Room for Dessert

Yield - 48 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extra
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4-1 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat until creamy.  Add the sugar and extracts and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.  Scrape the bowl as needed.

  2. Add the flour and salt and mix until just combined.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  4. Divide the dough into 48 balls and arrange 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

  5. Press down on each ball of dough to create a thumbprint.  Fill each indentation with at least 1/4 teaspoon of jam.

  6. Bake for 15 minute or until the edges just begin to brown.  Let cool for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  7. Whisk together the powdered sugar, water, and almond extract.  Drizzle over the cooled cookies.

  8. Let the glaze harden before packaging.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Shortbread Cookies | Pale Yellow

Molasses Crinkle Cookies

Tracy Byrne

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow

This was the best new Christmas cookie recipe of 2015!  Eggnog shortbread cookies were fantastic, but this was my favorite.  The cookies were chewy, flavorful, and just a little bit spicy.  The raw sugar around the outside provides crunch and texture.

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow

As I start to think about and plan the Christmas cookie tray for this year, I know these will be included!  I have been thinking about these cookies for 11 months and cannot wait to whip up another batch.

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow

These cookies are everything you could ever want from a Christmas cookie.  They are easy to make, keep well, and super tasty.  There is a little bit of crunch from the sugar on the outside while the middle is soft and chewy.  Inside is flavorful from the molasses and spice.  I truly hope you make these this December!

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Molasses Crinkle Cookies

Adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

Yield - 3 1/2 dozen cookies

  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

  2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.  Scrape the bowl and beat in the molasses.

  3. Sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, and allspice.

  4. Add to the dough in the mixer and mix on low until just combined.

  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  6. Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  7. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough.  Roll each ball of dough into the turbinado sugar and place on the cookie sheet about 2-inches apart. These cookies do spread.

  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just set.  Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow

I’m sharing this recipe with the #FillTheCookieJar group this month.

Each month the #FillTheCookieJar group shares our cookie creations. If you enjoy baking and would like to bake with the group each month contact Cynthia at Feeding Big.

Molasses Crinkle Cookies | Pale Yellow | Fill the Cookie Jar

Kombucha

Tracy Byrne

DIY Kombucha | Pale Yellow

Are you addicted to kombucha?  Is the cost of kombucha ruining your bank account?  If so, it's probably time to start brewing your own!  It's a little out there, a little hippy, but trust me, it's worth the effort.  In a half hour of active time a week, you can have about 7 bottles of kombucha for about the cost of one bottle.  Bonus, you're now one at parties who want to talk about the joys of the symbiotic relationship of bacteria and yeast on your digestive system!

DIY Kombucha | Pale Yellow

My biggest suggestion is to start with a kit.  I've been using this one for almost a year after my brother gifted it to me for Christmas.  The kit comes with a perfect jar, pH strips, a SCOBY, and the consumable ingredients for your first brew.  My SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) has grown and grown over the past year.  I've divided and it gifted in with some kombucha liquid to friends.  The SCOBY is a living thing, your newest friend!

DIY Kombucha | Pale Yellow

To bottle, I love these bottles, I bought two sets.  The one draw back is everyone thinks you're drinking a beer.  I wish.  I'm sure you are all more creative than me, when it comes to flavors, I keep mine pretty simple.  Go wild! 

DIY Kombucha | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Kombucha

Adapted from The Kitchn & Shutterbean

Yield - 7-8 16-ounce bottles

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 5 cups boiling water
  • 8 tea bags (black, green, or a combination of any)
  • SCOBY + 1 cup kombucha liquid
  • cold water
  • 4-10 ounces organic, pure juice
  1. First batch - Add the sugar to a clean, 1 gallon glass container.  Pour in the boiling water.  Stir to melt the sugar.

  2. Add the tea bags and let steep until the mixture reaches room temperature.  The temperature should be between 74-84 ˚F.

  3. Remove the tea bags and add cold water to fill about 2/3’s of the jar.  Gently add the SCOBY and liquid.  Fill the jar to the top with cold water.  Check the pH, the mixture should be less than 4.5.

  4. Cover with a breathable fabric like cheesecloth and set in a warm place, away from the sun, but with access to airflow for at least 7 days, more is fine too.  Again, check the pH, it should be between 2.5 and 3.5.

  5. Bottling - With the cleanest of hands, remove the SCOBY and place in a separate container with at least 1 cup of kombucha liquid.  Yes, it feels gross, just do it!

  6. Add 4-10 ounces of pure juice to the jar and stir.  My favorites are pomegranate, grapefruit, lemon-lime, and apple cider with ginger.  You can also add fresh fruit, ginger, or herbs.  You just want a juice without any sugar and preferably organic.

  7. Pour the kombucha through a fine sieve and bottle in 16-ounce bottles.  Cap and store in a cool, dark place for 2-7 days for the second fermentation.  The longer they ferment, the more fizzy.

  8. Once fermented, place bottles in the fridge until you are ready to drink them.

  9. With the SCOBY and remaining kombucha liquid you put aside in step 5, you can start the process again!

DIY Kombucha | Pale Yellow

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Tracy Byrne

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars | Pale Yellow

When you go away for the weekend with a bunch of people, you want to make sure there is enough dessert.  And by enough dessert, I mean enough for a small army!  Twenty-four bars leads to generous servings because in all honesty, each bar could be cut in half.  They are that sweet and rich!  Nothing wrong there!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars | Pale Yellow

There is a layer of chocolate chip cookie that ends up slightly under-baked, a thick layer of caramel, and a second, crunchier layer of chocolate chip cookie.  There is plenty of salt in the middle and on top to balance all the sweetness.  Trust me, you want the salt.  These are fantastic at room temperature, but a quick 10 seconds in the microwave turn them into an amazing adventure.  Next time you want to wow 40 of your closest friends, make a batch of these bars!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Yield - 24 bars

  • 18 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg + 2 egg yolks
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups + 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chocolate chips (I used half bittersweet, half semisweet)
  • 1 pound caramel candy squares, unwrapped
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F and grease a 9x13” pan.  Line with parchment paper and grease that as well. Set aside.

  2. Melt the butter and let cool to room temperature.  Add to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat the butter with the sugars.  Add in the eggs one at a time and mix in with the vanilla.  Blend on medium-high speed until well combined.  Scrape the bowl as needed.

  3. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add to the butter mix and combine on low until just incorporated.  Add in the chocolate chips and mix to combine.

  4. Unwrap the caramels and place a in a microwave safe bowl with the heavy cream.  Heat on high in 30-second intervals stirring in between until the cream fully incorporates into the caramels, about 1:30-2 minutes.

  5. Spread half the cookie dough in the pan.  Pour the caramel over the top and spread evenly.  Sprinkling liberally with sea salt.

  6. Gently press the rest of the cookie dough on top of the caramel.  Sprinkle with more sea salt.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is light brown.

  7. Let cool on a wire rack and refrigerate before cutting.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars | Pale Yellow

Apple Chips

Tracy Byrne

Apple Chips | Pale Yellow

This is so easy it doesn't even need a recipe!  After I go apple picking my favorite thing to make is apple chips. They are great snack, so healthy and satisfying.

Apple Chips | Pale Yellow

Apple chips are usually pretty expensive to buy, but are easy to make. They do take a bit of babysitting, but it's definitely worth it. I always try and make them last, but usually they're gone within the hour! 

Apple Chips | Pale Yellow

Ingredients

  • 3 apple (fills two baking sheets) 
  • cinnamon, optional

How-to: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 °F and spray baking sheets with non-stick spray. 
  2. Slice apples thin using a mandoline (I use setting 3) and core out the middle with a piping bag tip. 
  3. Lay in an even layer on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. 
  4. Bake for 1-1:30 hours checking every 20 minutes. Flip over half-way through baking.  The chips should be barely brown and dry. 
  5. Let cool before eating, they will crisp up! 
Apple Chips | Pale Yellow

Spanakopita

Tracy Byrne

Spanakopita | Pale Yellow

For this last Secret Recipe Club post, insert sad face here, I decided to tackle one of my favorite foods.  Spinach Pie or spanakopita is something I order whenever I see it on a menu.  There are so many different versions, but this kind with the phyllo dough is my preferred vehicle for all the spinach goodness!

Spanakopita | Pale Yellow

This month I explored Corina's lovely blog Searching for Spice.  Corina focuses on using interesting spices and herbs to make fast, tasty food for herself and her family.  The pictures are gorgeous and so many of the recipe sound spectacular!  The black and white animal cupcakes are adorable, the creamy pumpkin, spinach, feta quiche looks perfectly fall, and the lamb meatballs look divine!

Spanakopita | Pale Yellow

Settling on the spanakopita was the right choice as Corina made it for a group called Daring Cooks.  Although the recipe seems daring, it was easier than I expected.  The filling seems like a lot, but it cooks down andyou are rewarded with many servings for all your work.  Working with phyllo dough is not as difficult as I expected, just use a gentle hand and LOTS of butter.  You got this!  The spanakopita is flaky, well seasoned, and fantastic as a side or main dish.  It is warm and filling.

Spanakopita | Pale Yellow
Spanakopita | Secret Recipe Club | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Spanakopita

Adapted from Searching for Spice

Yield - 12 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 large leek
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 30 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 green onions
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 roll phyllo dough, thawed
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Add the olive oil and butter to a large pan.  Heat on low.

  2. Finely chop the onion and add to the pan.  Increase the heat, stirring frequently.  Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent.

  3. Thoroughly wash the leeks and chop finely.  Add to the soften onions.

  4. Crush and finely dice the garlic.  Add to the onions and leeks.

  5. Squeeze out excess water from the spinach and add to pan.  Stir and cook until the mixture is warmed through.  Season with a generous amount of salt, pepper, the oregano, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes.  Let cool to room temperature.

  6. Finely chop the green onions.  Zest and juice the lemon.  Add the green onions, lemon zest, and juice to the spinach mix.  Stir together and taste for seasoning.  Adjust as needed.

  7. Gently beat the two eggs and add them to the spinach mixture with the feta.  Stir to combine.

  8. Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F.

  9. Melt the butter.  Use a pastry brush to thoroughly butter a 9x13” pan.

  10. Layer 6 sheets of phyllo dough with a brush butter in between each layer in the pan.  It’s okay if the dough rips, just piece together.

  11. Press the spinach mixture in an even layer on the phyllo dough.  Repeat the process of layering the phyllo dough with butter on top of the spinach.

  12. Cut through the top of the dough gently to mark 12 slices or however many slice you want.

  13. Bake for 30 minutes or until the mixture is set and golden brown.

  14. Let cool slightly for easier cutting and serving.

Spanakopita | Pale Yellow

Boozy Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

Tracy Byrne

Boozy Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

Now that I'm baking regularly, I have so many recipes I'm excited to share with you!  Cookies, cakes, cocktails, I have it all.  This recipe is a literal mix of two out of three.  A boozy cupcake my friends, a boozy cupcake.  Yes, I know, it has been far too long.

Boozy Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

I've made my fortune with boozy cupcakes like these, these, these, and don't forget these!  Just kidding, I have not made a fortune, what I meant to say was I've spent a fortune!  Every penny is worth it!

Boozy Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

These beauties were made for my mom's birthday.  I asked her to choose out of my new favorite cookbook, the Prohibition Bakery Cookbook.  I love their Instagram account and their bakery in NYC is one of my favorites.  They specialize in mini cupcakes, but since I was only serving these to a few people, I decided to go regular size.

Boozy Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

Everything you could ever want is in this cupcake.  The chocolate cake is moist, tender, and flavorful.  Inside is a ganache with tons of coconut rum and you can't go wrong there! The frosting is sweet and creamy.  It is topped with toasted, crunchy coconut and a little more ganache.  It's time to add boozy cupcakes back into your life!

Boozy Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Boozy Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

Adapted from Prohibition Bakery

Yield - 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup plain coconut water
  • 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut rum

Frosting

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons dark rum
  1. Cupcakes - Preheat the oven to 325˚F.  Line the cupcake tin with paper liners.

  2. Add the egg and sour cream to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until well combined.

  3. Melt the butter and whisk in the coconut water and cocoa powder.  Mix until well incorporated and then beat into the butter mixture.

  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix on low until combined.  Scrape the bowl and mix on high for 10 seconds.

  5. Portion the dough using a standard ice cream scoop into the cupcake tins.  The tins will be about 2/3’s full.

  6. Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

  7. Remove from the cupcake tin and let cool completely on a wire rack.

  8. Filling - Make the filling while the cupcakes bake.

  9. Heat the cream on the stove until it begins to simmer.  Finely and evenly chop the chocolate.

  10. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for about 2 minutes.  Whisk to combine.

  11. Add the butter and whisk until the butter is melted into the ganache filling.  Slowly add the coconut rum and mix until well incorporated.

  12. Add the filling to a squeeze bottle or disposable piping bag that is uncut.  Let cool.

  13. Frosting - In a dry skillet toast the coconut until golden brown.  Stir frequently to not burn the coconut.  Remove to a bowl and let cool completely before assembly.

  14. Add the butter a clean bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until pale yellow.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, beating in each addition until it is well combined.  The mixture will be very stiff.  

  15. Add the vanilla and salt with a little rum.  Beat and scrape down the bowl.  Continue to add rum until the frosting reaches the proper consistency, soft but pipeable.

  16. Add the frosting to a piping bag with a large round tip.

  17. Assembly - Core out the top of each cupcake with a piping tip or small paring knife.  Snip a small opening in the bag of filling.  Fill each cupcake with the filling.  There will be extra, set aside.

  18. Pipe a medium sized blob of frosting on each cupcake.  Cover the filling.

  19. Dip the frosting on each cupcake into the toasted coconut.  Use the remaining filling to drizzle the tops.

  20. The cupcakes will keep for 2-3 days in a closed container.

Boozy Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Tracy Byrne

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles | Pale Yellow

When one is starting a job hunt and in the room with a group of people who could potentially help one get a job, one is on her best behavior.  And when one hears the group likes cookies, it's probably a good idea to make cookies.  So that is what I did!  I have had pumpkin spice chips for awhile and was contemplating how to best use them.

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles | Pale Yellow

Snickerdoodles seemed like the right choice for the chips.  They are soft and accepting of chips and have complimentary flavors.  Needless to say, they were the right choice!  The cookies are soft, tender, and chewy.  It's almost like a little pumpkin pie in your hand.  An addition of nutmeg emphasizes the pumpkin flavor and the chips make the cookies that much better.  Scoop up a bag before they disappear!

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Adapted from Snickerdoodles

Yields - 21 2-tablespoon cookies

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 3 teaspoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 cup pumpkin spice baking chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Beat together the shortening and 3/4 cup sugar until well combined.  Add in the egg and vanilla, beat again.

  3. Add in the flour, cream of tartar, salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.  Mix until just combined.  Fold in the pumpkin spice baking chips.

  4. Mix together the remaining sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl.

  5. Scoop 2-tablespoon balls of dough and roll in the cinnamon-nutmeg-sugar.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart.  Press 3 baking chips in the top of each cookie.

  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they lightly brown.  Do NOT over bake!

  7. Transfer to a cooling rack, they will appear soft, just be gentle.

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles | Pale Yellow

I’m sharing this recipe with the #FillTheCookieJar group this month.

Each month the #FillTheCookieJar group shares our cookie creations. If you enjoy baking and would like to bake with the group each month contact Cynthia at Feeding Big.

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles | #FillTheCookieJar | Pale Yellow

Pumpkin Spice Bourbon Fizz

Tracy Byrne

Pumpkin Spice Bourbon Fizz | Pale Yellow

Happy Halloween!  Here is a treat for all the grown-ups.  Put aside the candy and whip up a fancy cocktail.  Bourbon makes everything better!  Halloween is one of the holidays that is definitely better as an adult; you can buy your own candy, costumes can be subtle or outrageous, and booze.  I'm not dressing up this year, but I'm excited to be able to pass out candy!

Pumpkin Spice Bourbon Fizz | Pale Yellow

For this special, fall themed-edition of Secret Recipe Club, I had Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, you can read all about her!  She is not afraid of unique flavors and interesting ingredients.  I have had her blog several times before, and it is always a treat searching for fun recipe to try out.  Having her blog to find a fall themed recipe was so easy when she has participated in pumpkin week and has a great recipe index.

Pumpkin Spice Bourbon Fizz | Pale Yellow

As everyone knows, bourbon is favorite.  Pumpkin and pumpkin spices are also favorites.  When it's all put together it's magic!  The drink is fantastic with the warm pumpkin spices and a little bit of creaminess from the actual pumpkin.  Pumpkin spice syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness.  Topping the drink with soda water is a lovely touch at the end.  There are few steps involved, but trust me, it's worth it!

Pumpkin Spice Bourbon Fizz | Pale Yellow
Pumpkin Bourbon Fizz | Secret Recipe Club | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Spiced Pumpkin Bourbon Fizz

Adapted from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Yield - 1 cocktail, easily multiplied

Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1” knob fresh ginger
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Cocktail

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon + 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin puree
  • 1-2 tablespoons pumpkin spice simple syrup (see above)
  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
  • ice cubes
  • sparkling water
  1. Simple syrup - In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes.  Taste and adjust the flavors accordingly.

  2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.

  3. Bottle and let cool.

  4. Cocktail time - Mix the sugar and cinnamon.  Wet the rim of the cocktail glass and dip into the cinnamon sugar.  Let dry.

  5. Add the pumpkin puree, simple syrup, bourbon, and a few ice cubes to a shaker.  Shake vigorously.  Pour into the prepared glass over ice.  Add sparkling water and drink responsibly.

Pumpkin Spice Bourbon Fizz | Pale Yellow

Autumn Kale Salad

Tracy Byrne

Autumn Kale Salad | Pale Yellow

I'm feeling a little bored with blogging, it just seems like too many steps. The photo shoots, the editing, the recipe typing, and using a computer have become a lot. I make things and want to share them right away.  So that's what I'm going to start doing, writing simple posts all from my phone. From photos to recipe to post.  Let's make life a little easier for all of us! The recipes are going to be simpler too, less precision and more of a set of guidelines or an idea to follow.

Autumn Kale Salad | Pale Yellow

After months of travel and upheaval, my eating habits have been horrible to say the least! TimeHop has been showing me photos of my first Whole30 a year ago and after my great success with a Whole30 in June, it was time for round 3.  This is my first creation. Extremely healthy, delicious, filling, and easy!

Autumn Kale Salad | Pale Yellow

Salad Ingredients

  • large bunch of kale
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt
  • roasted butternut squash* 
  • 1/2 pear
  • 1/2 avocado
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • handful of walnuts

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider
  • salt + pepper
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • olive oil

How-to: 

  1. Rip or cut the kale into bite size pieces. Discard the stems. 
  2. Toss the kale with the juice of one lemon and a generous pinch of salt. Massage together until the kale is soft.  Set aside. 
  3. Dice the pear and avocado, cut the tomatoes in half and arrange on the kale with the butternut squash.  Sprinkle with the walnuts. 
  4. Add all the ingredients for the dressing into a bowl and whisk together. 
  5. Pour about half the dressing on the salad and toss together. Serves two generously. 
  6. *To roast a butternut squash, peel, scoop out the seeds, and chop into 1" pieces. Add to a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Toss together. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 ˚F for 35-40 minutes until browned and soft. Let cool before adding to the salad.
Autumn Kale Salad | Pale Yellow

Candy Delight Brownies

Tracy Byrne

Candy Delight Brownies | Pale Yellow

Hey Michael!  Ready for this?  While I'm home chillin', I do have much more time for baking, but this recipe was made last year.  With a surplus of Halloween candy I wanted stop eating, I put it to good use in this brownie.  Not just any brownie, my favorite brownie recipe jacked up with Whoppers, peanut butter cups, Mounds and Heath bars.

Candy Delight Brownies | Pale Yellow

The problem was I just ate all the brownie.  With the candy.  This was a direction reaction to finishing my first Whole30, an eating of all the candy.  So good I made it a few days later for Michelle's birthday.  Making the brownie is a round tart pan makes it seem fancy and the candy can be customized for your favorites or whatever you have on hand.  My suggestion - buy the mixed bags or take it from your kids and make yourself a delightful candy brownie!

Candy Delight Brownies | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Candy Delight Brownies

Adapted from My favorite brownie recipe

Yield - 9-16 servings

 

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon espresso powder

10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup flour

assorted candy: rolos, reese’s peanut butter cup, whoppers, almond joy, or whatever your heart desires

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ˚F.  Grease 9-10” tart pan and lay parchment paper along the bottom.  Grease the parchment paper.

  2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter with the sugar, water, and espresso powder.  Add the chocolate chips and allow them to melt completely.

  3. Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes and then stir in the eggs one at a time.  Stir in the vanilla, salt, and baking soda.  Add the flour and mix until just combined.

  4. Pour into the prepared pan.  Arrange the candy on top.

  5. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.  Please don’t over bake!

  6. Let cool completely before cutting, brownies cut best when cool.

Candy Delight Brownies | Pale Yellow

Lemon Almond Bundt Cake

Tracy Byrne

Lemon Almond Bundt Cake | Pale Yello

It is always amazes me how easy it is to fall into bad habitats.  Good habits are so difficult for me to stick with if they are longer than a month, but bad habitats never seem to go away.  For example, I walked the dog everyday for a few weeks and once I stopped, I've been unable to start again.

Lemon Almond Bundt Cake | Pale Yellow

One habitat I look back on with awe and wonder is my past baking schedule.  When I first started this blog I was posting 3 recipes a week.  THREE!!!  That seems crazy to me now when I can barely get out 3 recipes a month.  New jobs, grad school, and life certainly have a way of interrupting baking habits.

Lemon Almond Bundt Cake | Pale Yellow

Now that I am baking semi-regularly again, all the joy of my past habitat are back.  Take this bundt cake for example - there are several components and I didn't know how the finished product would taste until I served it, but it was perfect!  Like absolutely perfect!

Lemon Almond Bundt Cake | Pale Yellow

The inside was moist and tender, sweet without being too sweet.  There is so much flavor from the 10 lemons and the almond flavor is a lovely compliment to the lemon.  The glaze is crunchy and provides something to sink your teeth into before the soft cake.  The secret here - lots of lemons and the syrup.  No tricks, just a solid, tasty cake!

Lemon Almond Bundt Cake | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Lemon Almond Bundt Cake

Adapted from Baked Occasions

Yield - 12-14 servings

 

Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

10 lemons, zested and juiced

2 3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

3 tablespoons dark rum

2 tablespoons pure lemon extract

3 large eggs

3 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup heavy cream

 

Syrup

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons dark rum

 

Glaze

1/4 cup toasted almond slices

4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons almond extract

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 lemon, zested

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.  Generously grease and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.  Set aside.

  2. Cake - Melt 2 sticks of butter and let cool slightly.

  3. Zest 10 lemons and then juice then.  Set the juice aside for the syrup and glaze.

  4. Add the sugar and lemon zest to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Massage the lemon zest and sugar together.

  5. Add the melted butter, oil, rum, and lemon extract to the sugar and mix on medium-low until well combined.  Add the eggs and yolks and beat until well incorporated.  Scrape the bowl as needed.

  6. Sift together the flours, salt, and baking powder.

  7. Add the dry ingredients in three batches alternating with two additions of the heavy cream.  Beat in slowly until well combined.

  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt pan.  Bake for 55-60 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Make the syrup while the cake bakes.

  9. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before removing from the bundt pan.  Use a skewer to poke holes throughout the top of the cake.

  10. Syrup -  Add the sugar, lemon juice, and rum to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Let the mixture simmer and reduce.  When it is thick and syrupy, remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

  11. Use a pastry brush to place the syrup on the sides and the top of the cake.  Keep brushing until all the syrup is used up.

  12. Let the cake cool completely before adding the glaze.

  13. Glaze - Toast the almond slices in a dry saute pan until light brown.

  14. Whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract.  If the glaze is too thick and not pourable, add more lemon juice.

  15. Pour the glaze over the top and gently push down the sides.  Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top.

  16. Zest one lemon and sprinkle the zest over the almonds.  The glaze will firm up in about an hour.

Lemon Almond Bundt Cake | Pale Yellow

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting

Tracy Byrne

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

I really like pumpkin spice.  Not pumpkin spice flavored things - real pumpkins, real spices.  It's my favorite thing, my favorite food.  I burn pumpkin spice (or mulled wine, but its the same idea really) candles almost all year.  I do not need pumpkin spice Cheerios but I also do not agree with Mr. Bourdain.  Pumpkin and its accompanying spices are warm, homey, autumnal, and lovely.  It's not about being on trend, it's about honoring the flavor I adore.  Rant and defense over.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

Needless to say, it was simple to pick a recipe for this month's Secret Recipe Club when I found a pumpkin recipe.  Kate's blog A Spoonful of Thyme has an amazing collection of recipes culled from her years of cooking for her family and gourmet group, how fun!  To be honest (or TBH as the young ones say), once I saw the recipe for these cookies, I did not even look for anything else.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

I was visiting several friends over one weekend and wanted a large batch of something to share with everyone.  The recipe needed to be delicious, easy to transport, and quick to make.  These cookies met all of those points.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

The cookies are soft and almost cake like.  I frosted them upside down the way I would a black and white cookie.  They are full of fantastic fall flavors and warmth.  All the butter, sugar, and pumpkin keep the cookies moist all weekend long!  A brown butter frosting is the perfect topping with its nutty flavors and extra bit of sweetness.  These are a fall cookie you should definitely add to your arsenal!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow
Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting

Adapted from A Spoonful of Thyme

Yield - 5 dozen cookies

 

Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin

2/4 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/4 teaspoons ginger

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3/4 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon allspice

 

Frosting

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

4 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

4-6 tablespoons evaporated milk

  1. Cookies - Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Add the butter and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat for about three minutes until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add the pumpkin, milk, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined scraping the bowl as needed.

  3. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer on low and mix until just combined.

  4. Use a 2-tablespoon to portion the batter on a cookie sheet.  The dough is very soft.  Leave about 1 1/2” between each cookie.

  5. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown and the cookies are set.

  6. Flip the cookies upside down and let cool completely on a wire rack.

  7. Frosting - Add the butter to a medium saucepan to melt and brown.  Watch the butter closely as it goes from yellow to brown.  Stir frequently and watch for the bubbles to subside and a nutty smell emerges.

  8. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.  Whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla.  The mixture will be very thick.

  9. Whisk in the evaporated milk a tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.

  10. Spread the frosting on the bottom or flat side of each cookie.

  11. Let the cookies remain in the open for 1-2 hours to allow the frosting to crust over before packing.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting | Pale Yellow

Mini Apple Pies

Tracy Byrne

Mini Apple Pies | Pale Yellow

So you know you are out of shape when you wake up with sore arms and back after rolling out pie crust.  Seriously!  Who knew baking 30 mini pies would require so much endurance and physical strength?  It was worth the sore muscles for these beauties, I would do it again anytime!

Mini Apple Pies | Pale Yellow

It seems perfectly acceptable to spend 3-4 hours baking sometimes.  I love that I have the freedom and flexibility to complete such a feat! I made the dough the night before to let it rest and clean up the initial mess.  That left my morning free to prepare the apples (this helps), roll out the dough and bake off these little pies.  While the last batches are baking there is time to clean up!  Not a bad way to spend the morning.

Mini Apple Pies | Pale Yellow

Mini apple pies are definitely worth the time effort.  First of all, they are adorable.  All mini things are.  Second, they are easy to serve.  No need to worry about trying to cut and serve a pie.  Great for a large family gathering like a baby shower with a buffet..  Finally, they have a high crust to filling ratio which most people enjoy.  I say most people because a certain father-who-shall-not-be-name-because-you-don't-talk-about-people-on-the-internet, found the crust dry.  It is not dry.

Mini Apple Pies | Pale Yellow

The crust is buttery, flaky, and tender.  Joy the Baker's crust kills it every time!  It is the easiest crust to work with.  The filling is simple, sweet, a little tart, and flavorful from the spices.  All together you have an apple pie that is adorable and tasty and fits in the palm of your hand.  Good fall things my friends!

Mini Apple Pies | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Mini Apple Pies

Adapted from Apple Pies in Jars and Roasted Strawberry Galette

Yield - 30 mini apple pies

Crust

5 cups flour + extra for dusting

4 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

10 tablespoons + 4 teaspoons ice cold water

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Filling

5 large granny smith apples

4 McIntosh apples

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 eggs

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Whipped Cream

1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional

  1. Crust - To the bowl of a large food processor add the flour, salt, and sugar.  Pulse until combined.  Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse until the mixture is in the shape of small peas.

  2. Mix the vinegar and water, pour into the flour slowly and pulse until the dough starts to pull from the bowl.  The dough will be shaggy but it comes together with the kneading.

  3. Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead together.  Divide the dough into four disks.  Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.  

  4. Filling - Peel, core, and slice the apples into half moons.  Toss the apples in a large bowl with the lemon juice, sugars, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Gently mix until all the apples are well coated.

  5. Assembly - Preheat the oven to 425 ˚F.

  6. On a well floured surface, roll the dough into 5” circles about 1/16” thick.  From each quarter of dough I was able to get 5 circles.  I combined the extra dough from two quarters for a third dough and to get 5 more circles.  Discard the dough after the second rolling.

  7. Beat the two eggs with a fork in a small bowl.  Cut the butter into tiny cubes.

  8. On a parchment lined paper place 6 pieces of dough.  Stack apple slices about an inch high in the center.  Pinch the dough up around the apples.  Pinch and push tight to keep the dough from unraveling.

  9. Place a cube of butter on the top.  Brush the beaten egg around the outside.

  10. Bake the mini pies for 22-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

  11. Let cool on a wire rack before packaging or serve warm.

  12. Whipped cream - Add the heavy whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.  Beat until it reaches soft peak.  Add the sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

  13. Beat on high for about 30 seconds until you reach thick peaks.

  14. Serve with the mini pies.

Mini Apple Pies | Pale Yellow

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Tracy Byrne

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins | Pale Yellow

I feel like it has been months since I baked and honestly years since I was baking regularly.  It had been so long I was beginning to question whether I actually enjoyed baking.  And then, I had a reason to bake and it all came back to me.  It is so easy to forget how much I enjoy all the parts: searching for a recipe, making adjustments, buying the ingredients, doing the baking, styling & photographing, and even the clean up.  The best part?  Getting to share with others!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins | Pale Yellow

I guess that what was missing before, I did not have the opportunity to share.  At the end of the day that is my manifesto of baking: I bake to show love for others.  When I don't have others* to bake for, the activity loses it charm.  Needless to say, I'm happy to be back in a place where there are plenty of people to share in the baked goods!

DSC_0916.JPG

*I, by no means, do not want to imply I did not have friends to bake for, I did.  They were just spread out and not as accessible.

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins | Pale Yellow

A few notes about the muffins - they are fantastic!  Perfect pumpkin spice flavor and great texture variety from the streusel topping to the creamy cream cheese to the lovely crumb of the muffin.  These muffins are moist, flavorful, and in the spirit of all things fall.  There are a lot of ingredients, but the litany of spices could be substituted by 4 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice.  There are some muffins that are healthy for breakfast, these are not those muffins.  However, they are delightful and I highly recommend you make a batch of your own!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Adapted from Warm Vanilla Sugar

Yield - 12

 

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sugar

1 cup pumpkin

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

 

3 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup old fashioned oats

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  1. Cream cheese middle - make at least 2 hours ahead of time.  Combine the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar and until lump free.  Roll into a log in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours to set.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F.

  3. Muffins - In a large bowl whisk together the flour, spices, salt, and soda.  Set aside.

  4. In another large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and oil.  Add the dry ingredients and gently fold together with a rubber spatula until it is all incorporated.

  5. Streusel - Melt the butter.  Add in the brown sugar, flour, oats, and spices.  Stir until all the ingredients are moistened.

  6. Assembly - Divide the batter evenly among 12 lined muffin tins.  Cut the log of cream cheese into 12 pieces.  Place one piece in the center of each muffin and press down.  Cover the tops of the muffins with the streusel.

  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool for a few minutes in the pan until the muffins are handable.  Remove the muffins to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Streusel Muffins | Pale Yellow

Black Bean Hummus

Tracy Byrne

black bean hummus | pale yellow

This was a hot summer and when it is hot, I am not cooking.  In an effort to be healthy (which is silly since I usually eat ice cream for dinner) I have been forgoing the usual beach sandwich and bringing veggies and hummus.  I've ate a lot of veggies and hummus on the beach this summer.  My favorites are the mini sweet peppers and cucumbers with edamame hummus.

black bean hummus | pale yellow

For this month's Secret Recipe Club, it was easy choosing a recipe because as soon as I saw black bean hummus I knew it was being made.  This month I had Renee of Renee's Kitchen Adventure.  I love Renee's focus on healthier recipes she makes for her family and appreciate the nutritional information that is provided.  Although I quickly decided on the black bean hummus, the chocolate strawberry eclair cake and Parmesan crusted tilapia both sounded amazing for very different reasons!

black bean hummus | pale yellow

I kept the recipe almost the same except for substituting tahini for peanut butter and smoked paprika for chipotle powder.  I'm actually out of peanut butter and prefer the flavor of smoked paprika over spiciness.  The hummus is full of flavor and completely delicious.  It is easy to mix up and would be great for a football game or any party.  Unfortunately beach season is coming to an end, but the dip will go past the season!

secret recipe club black bean hummus | pale yellow

Print the recipe!

Black Bean Hummus

Adapted from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures

Yield - 4-5 servings

 

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon tahini

1 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons water

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly grounded pepper

Paprika, oil, and veggies for garnish

  1. Add the garlic, beans, tahini, lemon juice, water, cumin, salt, paprika, and pepper to a small food processor.  Blend and pulse until smooth and creamy.

  2. Scrape down the bowl as needed and taste.  Add flavoring to taste.

  3. Arrange the hummus on a dish and arrange veggies around the dip.  Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with paprika.

black bean hummus | pale yellow

Lime Cashews

Tracy Byrne

Lime Cashews | Pale Yellow

For the past few months I have been using Raw Spice Bar.  It's kind of awesome!  For only $6 a month a pack of three spices is sent to my apartment with recipe cards.  The spices are unique blends from all over the world and perfectly portioned for a recipe.  If you're anything like me, you are in a spice rut and trying new spices is daunting because who wants to spend six dollars on one spice you might only use a 1/4 teaspoon!

Lime Cashews | Pale Yellow

Raw Spice Bar has added some amazing flavor to my usual meals and is a great way to try new recipes and ideas.  This is not a paid advertisement, just a suggestion that you should treat yourself to a subscription to the service!

Lime Cashews | Pale Yellow

This recipe is not from one of the provided cards, but from my desire for a dessert/snack during my latest round of Whole 30.  The lime and salt pair so well with the meaty cashews providing a great snack.  It is healthful and full of flavor.  The brightness pairs well with seltzer or, as I could only imagine, a summery cocktail!

Print the recipe!

Lime Cashews

Pale Yellow Original

Yield - 1 1/2 cups

 

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 1/2 cups raw cashews

1 tablespoon Kaffir Lime powder

1 teaspoon salt

  1. In a large saute pan heat the coconut oil.  Once melted, add the cashews.

  2. Cook the cashews until they just begin to brown and become fragrant.  Stir frequently.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime powder and salt.  Stir until well combined.

Lime Cashews | Pale Yellow

Salsa Chicken

Tracy Byrne

Crockpot Salsa Chicken 2.JPG

This is one of those recipes you make all the time but does not seem worthy of photographing.  It is incredibly simple but the payoff is huge.  You have well seasoned, perfectly cooked protein adaptable to a wide variety of meals from five minutes of a actual work.  This is one of my easiest and best tasting recipes!

Salsa Chicken | Pale Yellow

It seems the past two years of my life have been pretty chaotic with the start of grad school and I am always in need of quick and easy meals that last the week.  I suspect I am not the only one with such needs.  When I'm on a Whole 30 I put the salsa chicken over lettuce or mixed in eggs.  When not on a Whole 30, its in a taco or made into nachos.  All are fantastic options!

Salsa Chicken | Pale Yellow

Print the recipe!

 Salsa Chicken

Adapted from Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Yield - 4-6 servings

 

1-2 onions

1-2 bell peppers

1 pound boneless, skinless breast

1 jar (12-ounces) of your favorite salsa

  1. Slice the peppers and onions into large slices.  Place them on the bottom of a crockpot.

  2. Add the chicken on top of the onions and peppers.

  3. Cover with the salsa.  Add a little water to the salsa jar, shake, and pour over the salsa.

  4. Cook for 4 hours on high in the crockpot.

  5. Serve with/in/over salad greens, eggs, tacos, rice, etc.

Salsa Chicken | Pale Yellow

Roasted Strawberry Galette

Tracy Byrne

Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow

It's summer!  Beach, vacations, strawberries, wine, late nights = summer.  Last weekend was Fourth of July and I whipped this together for a last minute barbecue.  Pie is totally worth heating up the entire kitchen.  It's equally impressive and tasty.

Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow

For July's Secret Recipe Club, I had CJ from Morsels of Life.  I knew I wanted to make some sort of dessert, but I didn't know what.  Maybe some cookies?  The Pecan Chia Pudding looked amazing, but I decided on a strawberry galette because it was summery, easy, and I had all of the ingredients on hand.

Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow

The strawberries are perfectly ripe and flavorful with the addition of balsamic vinegar, honey, and vanilla.  The crust is tender, buttery, and lovingly browned.  Together you have a simple, yet delectable summer dessert ready to be eaten and enjoyed by all.  Galettes take away all the pretenses of a pie but add twice the delight!

Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow
Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow | Secret Recipe Club

Print the recipe!

Roasted Strawberry Galette

Crust from Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker

Filling from Morsels of Life

Yield - 4-5 servings

 

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

5 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons ice cold water

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

 

1 1/2 quart strawberries

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 vanilla bean

1 egg

turbinado sugar

whipped cream for serving

  1. Crust - To the bowl of a food processor add the flour, salt, and sugar.  Pulse until combined.  Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse until the mixture is in the shape of small peas.

  2. Mix the vinegar and water, pour into the flour slowly and pulse until the dough starts to pull from the bowl.

  3. Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead together.  Divide the dough into two disks.  Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.  You get to save one disk of dough for later.

  4. Filling - Make the filling after the crust, at least an hour before baking.

  5. Remove the tops from the strawberries and slice evenly.  Place a bowl.  Toss the strawberry slices with vinegar, honey, salt, and the seeds from the vanilla bean.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

  6. Assembly - On a well floured surface roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle 1/4” thick.  Place the circle of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

  7. Strain the strawberries from from the liquid.  Remove as much liquid as possible.

  8. Arrange the strawberries in the middle of the dough and fold over the ends leaving the middle open.

  9. Beat an egg and use a brush to coat the crust.  Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

  11. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting and serving with whipped cream.

Roasted Strawberry Galette | Pale Yellow