Chef Kate’s Blondies

First things first, I’m no food photographer, so there is not a photo to accompany this post.  Take my word for it (without a photo), these are the most ridiculous things you will ever put in your mouth.  Having a bad day?  Make these.  Feeling under the weather?  Blondies will fix you right up.  Need something sweet for no reason at all?  These will work.

I first found this recipe years ago on Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, GOOP.  Thank you GOOP!   Chef Kate’s Blondies are the dirtiest thing you could ever eat.  If you are allergic to eggs, nuts, dairy, wheat, gluten, sugar, or whatever, just stop reading now.  But they are homemade and they are the real deal.  My girls ask me to make them quite frequently.  I just made a batch yesterday for my daughter’s bake sale at school.  I proceeded to eat nothing but coffee and blondies until 3 pm.  What a day!

Here is the recipe.

Chef Kate’s Blondies

2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (4 sticks)

1.5 cups sugar

1.5 cups brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

4.5 cups all purpose flour

2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

1.5 cups peanut butter chips ( I use a whole bag)

1.5 cups miniature marshmallows (I use half of a 10 oz bag)

Mix butter and sugar in standing mixer until creamy and fluffy.  Add eggs, and mix well.  Then add the vanilla, sea salt, and baking soda and mix until well combined.  Add flour one cup at a time, mixing while adding.  Next add the coconut, peanut butter chips and marshmallows.  Use two pieces of parchment paper to cover a 12×17 cookie sheet, and pour the blondie dough on the parchment.  Spread it out evenly.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350, then cover loosely with foil and bake another 12 minutes.  I usually add a few minutes onto the end without the foil, but you want them to be removed from the oven when the middle looks a little bit undercooked.  Let cool and then cut into bars.  The recipe says you can get 60 bars from this, but I think 36 is more realistic.



I’m getting carrots out of my garden now, and I just planted some more to keep the good stuff coming for as long as possible.  Besides eating them fresh in salads, juicing them,  or just eating them on their own, I also like to roast them with some home grown garlic and onions.  It’s super easy: salt and pepper, olive oil, and into the oven at 425 for about 15 minutes.



Joy the Baker Cocoa Almond Granola

I just got my new Joy the Baker Cookbook and there are lots of things I want to try.  I am a big lover of granola so thought I would make the Cocoa Almond Granola first.  She describes it as “major midnight snack” food, and she is absolutely correct.  I don’t really care for it with my yogurt in the morning, but after the kids have gone to bed at night and I’m writing or whatever, it’s perfect.  You can find the cookbook on Amazon here.

September Supper Club

Our September supper club was hosted by the Terrizzi’s.  Everyone brought something, the only hitch was that everything had to be cooked in the pizza oven.  It was all delicious! Here are the highlights.

One of my favorite dishes of the night was this one: white beans with eggs.  Yum!

My contribution: Meatballs from my last all natural grass fed steer (Leo-burger) made in the Spanish style of Albondigas.  The tomato sauce is also homemade from my garden.

Caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes.

Corn cooking in the pizza oven.

The kids gathered figs and other things around the garden.

Duck cooked in a cast iron skillet in the pizza oven.  Totally delicious with that crispy exterior and super juicy inside.

Enjoying dinner al fresco.

No meal would be complete without dessert!  The kids frosted carrot cake cupcakes for everyone which was really fun and gave them something to do.

Until next supper club, Bon Appetit!

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze

In Sunday’s post I showed the loot from my garden.  My 9 year old daughter used the apples to make Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze from my all-time favorite cookbook, The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock.  When making this cake for our family only we make a half batch, which fills a 9×9 pan.  For a crowd make the whole recipe.  We also like to have this for breakfast!  I apologize for lack of appetizing food photos.  I have not perfected my food-photo-taking technique.

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Glaze from “The Gift of Southern Cooking” by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock

The Cake

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

3 eggs

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

5 fresh apples cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I don’t peel mine)

1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Mix sugars and vegetable oil, add eggs.  Add dry ingredients.  Stir in apples, pecans and vanilla.  Pour into buttered 9×13 pan and bake at 325 for about an hour.

The Glaze

4 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4  cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

Melt butter in saucepan.  Add both sugars and salt, stirring until blended and bubbling.  Stir in heavy cream and boil for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.  Pour over the cake.  Yum!

Mixing everything up

Ready to go in the oven


Making the Caramel Glaze

Finished! Not bad for a 9 year old.

Perfect S’mores

Here on the east coast exists a special and unique variety of marshmallow: the Campfire brand “Giant Roaster” marshmallow. A beauty to behold, these marshmallows are about two and a half times the size of a traditional large marshmallow. They toast up nice and crispy on the outside, melted and gooey on the inside. Here is a picture of the perfect s’more made with a giant roaster.