I don't know about you but I'm often... fairly short on time. And as much as I love to bake, sometimes it has to take a backseat to work, class and whatever else life throws my way. But even when sleep is in short supply and my to do list is a mile long - and the only things crossed off are the ones I put on there after already finishing - there are quick and simple desserts I can make that still bring a wow factor.
When it's the middle of winter, I don't want to go to the supermarket, and I want to enjoy something warm and hearty, I turn to one thing: soup. By simply rummaging through my fridge and pantry I usually manage to locate at least one vegetable (squash) one protein (chickpeas) and one grain (barley). Tada - soup! A quick simmer on the stove and you can be digging in to a satsifying bowl too.
You may be able to buy canned pumpkin year round, but there is something about pumpkin desserts that just begs to be eaten this time of year. It's a little colder than fall, it's not quite the bitter freezing and constant snowfalls of winter. I've made these muffins from a whole pumpkin and I've made them from a can - and they taste just as delicious either way. And finishing them in 30 minutes instead of 4 hours is quite a perk.
Congratulations. If you've made it this far, you've survived Thanksgiving. And since there's a good chance you have some leftover turkey sitting around in the fridge, I'm here to help you use it up in some more exciting ways than a sandwich.
When your turkey is cold, remove it all from the bones and shred it in to nice-sized chunks. At this point you can toss it in to any green salads to turn them in to a meal, use it in soups to make them heartier or mix with your favorite sauce and serve it on bread for a pulled turkey sandwich.
Very often the recipe ideas that appeal to me most are the practical ones - the ones I can pack up in a plastic container, stick in my bag and bring to work, without worrying about it being squished, about it needing reheating or about it needing to be eaten immediately. Plus dishes like this, which combine protein, grains and a little fruit for a well balanced meal, are top on my list of easy dinners.
If you ask most people what their favorite cookie is, you'll get a resounding: chocolate chip. And while the classic is nothing to joke around about, switching things up with a little hint of cinnamon and three (yes, three!) types of chocolate brings the traditional to an even more exciting level.
Chilling the dough in the fridge before use allows the flavors to develop even further, and baking the cookies until they just have the slightest brown tint gets them to stay deliciously chewy for days to come.