Category Archives: other baked goods

What to do with leftover pizza dough

…When you are absolutely sick of eating pizza for the week….

Sounds horrible right?  Who could get sick of pizza?  Well…when you have pizza for 3-4 meals out of the week…this girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some deep dish and some thin crust (which by the way, that crust recipe also makes a killer thin crust), but there comes a point where one must consume something else.


So rather than throw out the dough, I decided to turn it into something else…garlic knots!  And what makes them awesome is that they are SUPER easy to make.



Garlic Knots

Leftover pizza dough

4 cloves of garlic

A pinch of salt

4 T unsalted butter

2 drizzles of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Roll pizza dough out into a square and cut 1 inch x 4 inch strips.  Roll the dough into a log and tie into a knot.  Place on baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes (I tend to like my bread a bit doughier, so adjust according!)

While the knots are baking, finely mince or make a paste out of the garlic.  Melt butter in a pan on the stove and add the olive oil and garlic.

Toss the knots with the butter mixture when they come out of the oven.


See, a super quick and tasty way to utilize the items laying around in your kitchen!  And for those who love garlic….an it’s almost the weekend treat.  Shame DJ OB missed this one 😉


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Gluten Free Bagels

Sorry for the lack of writing for the past year!  I’m a horrible blogger as life just kind of got in the way :(.

Anyways, my brother and I were both at my parents house and decided that it was high time we tried out a gluten free bagel recipe.  After searching the internet high and low, we decided upon this recipe because of the pretty pictures and the flours in the recipe (good combination that generally works and doesn’t impart strange flavors).

Here are some of our pictures of the process….

So you can probably see it was an morning baking adventure well worth while!  The bagels were absolutely delicious!  They had a great crumb structure (did not crumble like traditional gluten free products) and tasted fantastic by themselves and with cream cheese.  Hats off to Terris from Free Eats for creating this awesome bagel!

Need an idea on what to do with extra bagels?  Make a sandwich out of them…and watch them disappear ;).

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Gluten Free Pecan Pie Bars

What do you do when you’re in Ames, Iowa and you need something to do??

Make gluten free pecan pie bars (and gluten free deep dish pizza but that will have to be another post)!

Dave loved the pecan pie I made for Thanksgiving and has been aching for some more, but…and don’t tell anyone this… but I’m really not the biggest fan of making pies…shh!  I mean don’t get me wrong, pies are delicious and are totally worth the effort, but I really wasn’t in the mood for making one at the time and Dave really just wanted the filling anyways…

So we made pecan pie bars!  It’s a fantastic combination of  gooey pecan pie and a crispy crust without all of the hassle of making the pie dough!  Even better, I had the perfect crust recipe ready to go–the crust for the St Louis Gooey Butter Cake I make works fantastically for this recipe.

I wish I could say that the filling recipe is mine, but alas, I took it from the Food Network and it can be found here.  Make sure you use a full 2 tablespoons of this stuff…

And make sure you save yourself some as well 🙂 And yes, that is the tiniest bottle of bourbon ever!

Follow the same instructions for the crust as the Gooey Butter Cake (make sure you prebake it for 15 minutes or until slightly golden).  Follow the Food Network’s instructions for the filling.  Pour in the filling and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the bars are mostly set (you still want it to jiggle slightly–that’s where all of the gooeyness comes from!)

Good luck trying to trying to eat just one…I don’t think that it can be done 🙂


Filed under dessert, gluten free, other baked goods

Chocolate Babka!!



So this bread (yes, believe it or not, it’s bread) probably questions my credentials as an RD…but let me remind you though that I do have a culinary background and my true passion is cooking/baking.  So with that disclaimer taken care of, I’d like to introduce you to one of the tastiest things I’ve ever made…the chocolate babka.

This bread is not for the faint of heart.  It has 5 sticks of butter, 2.25 lbs of semisweet chocolate and more than 3 cups of sugar…but man, is it good!  My first introduction to this bread was at Great Harvest Bread Company and I very much wanted to buy it, but the $8/loaf price tag ward me off. After making this though, I finally understand the high price tag associated with the bread–chocolate and butter ain’t cheap!

My reason for finally buckling down and making this was kind of sad–one of my best friend’s dog of 12 yrs recently passed away and I wanted to make something for her chocoholic family.  The bread ended up being more for a celebration as they got a new puppy the same day I brought it over–he’s a cutey too!

Ok so make sure you have plenty of time to make this bread as the chopping of the chocolate takes quite a bit of time.  If you hand-chop it like me, make sure you grab a pair of latex (or non-latex) gloves to prevent the chocolate from melting on your hand–also get ready for a workout!

I’m not going to post the recipe for this bread because it isn’t mine and I’d like to direct some traffic over to the wonderful site where I found it.  So here’s the recipe and please check out the rest of her recipes–they have been spot on every single time I made one! I did bake the one in the pictures in a bundt pan solely because I ran out of loaf pans–this is why it has the weird shape haha!

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Pumpkin Muffins!

How do you know if you are a pumpkin addict?

  1. You keep a stash of pumpkin butter through all seasons (yes even summer!).
  2. When dining at restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, etc, you purchase anything pumpkin that you see regardless of the season.
  3. You squeal when you see Libby’s canned pumpkin out in stores again.
  4. Above applies for pumpkin lattes or pumpkin muffins at donut and coffee shops
  5. You call your favorite Italian restaurant on a daily basis to find out when they are serving their pumpkin ravioli to make sure you don’t miss it this season

I’m sure I’m missing other points–feel free to contribute!  Regardless, I LOVE pumpkin and eat it all year-long, but have a hay-day in the fall when I don’t have to hide while eating it :).  So here is the first of my hopefully many pumpkin creations this fall/winter season which I gifted to one of my best friend’s family for taking me up to Michigan for an absolutely wonderful weekend.  I hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin Muffins with Streusel

Makes about a dozen


3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup veggie oil

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1.5 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1.5 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp salt


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, vegetable oil and eggs until thoroughly combined.  Add the pumpkin, vanilla, and milk and stir until mixed well.

In a large bowl, sift together (or dump if you are lazy like me 🙂 ) the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined–do not overmix or they will turn out dry and rough and you will not enjoy them as much!

For the streusel–mix all ingredients together until clumps form.

Fill the muffin liners 3/4 of the way.  Top with the streusel and bake for 20 minutes.

I should have another post up again relatively soon, but as it is another gift–I want to make sure that the person gets it so I do not ruin the surprise 🙂

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Blueberry-Apricot Crumb Cake

I found fresh apricots at the farmer’s market last week and couldn’t pass them up.  A week went by and they remained untouched in the fridge, so I knew I had to do something with them soon or else my investment would go down the drain.  I was planning to make a coffee cake or crumb bars.  But then I was surprised with the discovery of some delicious fresh-picked blueberries in my fridge.  Turns out that my brother’s friend’s family went blueberry picking and picked 58 lbs (!!!) of blueberries and needed to find some people to pawn them off on.  So my ideas for an apricot coffee cake quickly turned into an blueberry apricot coffee cake.

After some internet searching, I came across Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for Blueberry Crumb Cake and finally decided to try one of her recipes after hearing their magnificence throughout the blogging world (i.e. Tuesdays with Dorie).  But of course I changed some aspects of it due to my annoying inability to not follow recipes as written.

The Changes….put apricots in (and I am pretty sure that I did not substitute out blueberries, which means there was a ton of fruit in the cake), exchanged pecans for walnuts (because I like them better), nixed the nutmeg as well as decreased the cinnamon, zested 1/4 of a lemon (decided there were going to be too many competing flavors), and added an apricot glaze on top of it all (because some of the apricots took on a bit too much water during their swim in my efforts to remove their skin–I was blanching them…).  So here’s my version of her recipe…

Blueberry Apricot Crumb Cake

Inspired by a recipe by recipe by Dorie Greenspan

Crumb Ingredients

5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cake Ingredients

1.75 cups blueberries

1.5 cup apricots, skins removed, small dice

2 cups plus a handful of all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

2/3 cup sugar

Zest of 1/4 lemon

3/4 stick unsalted butter, room temp

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk

Apricot Glaze

Couple cooked fresh apricots, skinned removed.

Powdered sugar

Touch of milk

For the Crumb topping:

Using your hands, mix all ingredients minus the pecans until the mixture is well mixed (it’ll be a bit moist).  Mix in the pecans.  Set aside in the fridge until ready to use (cover!).

For the Cake:

Preheat your oven to 350 F and grease a 8×8 baking pan

Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Toss the blueberries and apricots with the handful of flour.

Mix the zest and sugar together with your hands in the bowl of your mixer.  Add the butter and mix (with your mixer) until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time–mixing well after each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix.

Next, alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk to the egg mixture.  (Add it in this order: flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour)  Gently stir in the fruit with a spatula.

Pour the batter into the greased dish and crumble the crumb topping on top of the batter.  Bake for 65-80 minutes or until a toothpick will come out clean when tested.

For the Glaze:

Mince the cooked apricots.  Push through a sieve.  Mix powdered sugar and milk together until the mixture has a nice balance of sweet and tart.  Drizzle over the cake!

Despite all of the changes I made, it turned out really well.  The apricots are not a dominating flavor in the mix, but the apricot glaze definitely helps convey the apricots.  It is a very moist cake with a delightful crumb topping.

Oh and in case you were wondering–yes the cake is on a Modelo Especial box.  I went MacGyver on a leftover box in my attempt to have something to put the cake on…:)

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Banana Bread French Toast

Ok, I promise this will be the last banana-flavored baked good for a bit because I’m kind of burned out on banana baked goodness for the time and I’m sure you all are getting tired of me rambling on about banana baked goods…

One easy and very delicious way to use up your banana bread is to make banana bread french toast.  I came up with this “recipe” when I overcooked a loaf of banana bread and didn’t want to eat it straight because of how dry it was (yup, I make mistakes too!).  The only way I could think of utilizing the loaf was to get creative with it–hence banana bread french toast.  Real simple, but real good.

The contrast of textures of the french toast is fantastic–you get the crispy outside and the warm, gooey deliciousness on the inside.  Try it out and trust me, you’ll be hooked.

Banana Bread French Toast

Serves 2-4

4 slices of Banana Bread–how thick is up to you; thicker= more gooey whereas thinner=more crispy

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

Some milk–add as little or as much as you want

Butter (for heating up the pan)

Heat a non-stick pan up on the stove and add some butter.  Whisk the eggs, vanilla, and milk together until well blended.  Dip the banana bread into the egg mixtures, making sure to coat both sides of the bread.  Throw it into the pan and cook until golden, brown, and delicious on both sides.

Serve as it or with maple syrup, bananas, whipped cream, jam, etc.  Enjoy!

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