My son, Grady, celebrates a birthday this month. Aside from me being in denial that my baby is turning 8(!!), we’re squeezing in as much birthday fun as possible in between all of the Christmas festivities. Since coordinating a party with family and friends is next to impossible this time of year, we always celebrate on a smaller scale on his actual birthday and save the big party for later. Traditionally the birthday boy gets to choose his dinner and dessert. The decision on what to eat changes almost daily in the weeks leading up to his birthday, but I always know what he wants for his special dessert: a giant molasses cookie sprinkled with chocolate chips. Interesting choice for an 8 year old, isn’t it? Grady has always been his own kid (one of the many reasons we love him), so in honor of Grady’s December birthday and the holiday baking season, I took a spin on Grady’s favorite birthday treat and made these Molasses Kiss Cookies.
Everyone has a favorite piece of the Thanksgiving meal. Maybe you’re a die-hard turkey lover. Or maybe mashed potatoes and gravy make you swoon. Me? I am a carb-lover at heart, and my turkey day feast is not complete without freshly baked bread on the table. Does it sound crazy to single out bread as my most important piece of my meal? Not at all. These Rosemary Garlic Cloverleaf Rolls are not only melt-in-your-mouth delicious, they are also real workhorses. These warm, savory buns will mop up every last bite of goodness on your plate. Try asking your cranberry sauce to do the same.
Can you ever have enough apple recipes this time of year? I can’t, and I hope you have room for another one in your kitchen, because this Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread totally deserves your time. Not only does this bread fill your house with the wonderful scents of cinnamon and freshly baked bread, but it’s way less work to make than you’d imagine thanks to a secret weapon: frozen bread dough.
Ok, pumpkin lovers, I have an amazing treat for you today, courtesy of a random trip to the mall last year. I can’t exactly remember why I went shopping that day, but when I do go to the mall, I rarely visit the specialty cooking stores like Willams-Sonoma or Sur La Table. Not because I don’t like them. More because I covet so many of their lovely gadgets! So when I walked by the Williams-Sonoma store last fall, I was completely sucked in by the irresistible aroma of cinnamony-pumpkin goodness. My nose quickly led me to the counter where they were handing out samples of these amazing pumpkin bars. It was love at first bite: a tender, spiced cookie-like bottom topped with a gooey pumpkin and cream cheese mixture….fall food heaven!
School starts for us on Tuesday, and it is going to be a shell-shocker in my house. It is now time to wake up with an alarm clock, follow a schedule and eat breakfast before walking out the door to catch the bus. Sounds simple, right? All of it is for us right up to the breakfast point. One of my biggest battles with my daughter is breakfast. She doesn’t like to eat breakfast, and there wasn’t anything that sold her on it until the Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie arrived.
Around here, school doesn’t start until after Labor Day, but I know that’s not the case for many of you around the country. I grew up in Nebraska, so I remember the sweltering days of staring school in mid-August. Our school didn’t have air conditioning, so we’d often start the day only to be sent home midway through because of the heat. I loved those days as a kid – it felt like we just received a “get out of jail free” card – but I know it always drove my mom nuts. Just when she thought she had the house to herself, we were baaaaaack! In honor of all those kids returning to school this month, I wanted to share my family’s favorite school-day breakfast: Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread.