Recipes

Classic Apple Pie

Classic Apple Pie

After making pie dough, you need something to put in it! Continuing with our pre-Thanksgiving pie theme, let’s talk about this classic apple pie. Not every apple pie is created equal. This classic apple pie is simple, but lovely in its simplicity. The crust is […]

Perfect Pie Dough

Perfect Pie Dough

Whenever it starts getting cold and gross outside, I always want to stay in and bake. Unfortunately, watching the Great British Bake-off only fuels this obsession. I could do that, right? (Courtesy of the BBC website.) Luckily, pie is the perfect thing to bake for […]

Pumpkin Swirl Bread

Pumpkin Swirl Bread

I’m not as fanatical about pumpkin spice as some people are, but there’s something irresistible about this pumpkin swirl bread. It’s rich and moist, but the pumpkin spice gives it a little frisson of excitement. Whether you eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dessert, you are going to have a wonderful time!

A couple notes: do NOT fill your pan to the top. This is a lesson that I continue to learn, but it’s really important. It will escape onto the bottom of your oven and make your whole house smell like fire. You will probably have some batter left over, but that’s a wonderful thing. Go ahead and make another loaf, or maybe some muffins!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons flour

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 F and grease a loaf pan with Crisco using a paper towel. Next, stir together your pumpkin puree, brown sugar, oil, sour cream, vanilla, and egg until just mixed. Add your flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, salt.

Next, prepare the cream cheese swirl by whisking together the cream cheese, sour cream, egg, sugar, and flour. Pour 1/2 of your pumpkin batter into the prepared loaf pan. Add the cream cheese mixture, and then pour more batter on top until the pan is 3/4 full. (Do NOT overfill the pan.)

Swirl your layers together with a butter knife in a figure eight shape, and bake your pumpkin swirl bread for 45-50 minutes, or until fully baked. Enjoy!

Harvest Chicken Salad

Harvest Chicken Salad

I’m back! Sorry for the break, but it’s amazing what a trip to Disneyland and a work-intensive Halloween costume can do to derail a blog. Luckily, we ate well enough that I didn’t miss Buttery Basics too much! The Monte Cristo from Cafe Orleans. The […]

Bacon Wrapped Apples

Bacon Wrapped Apples

Sometimes, delectable finger foods are born out of necessity. These bacon wrapped apples were born out of the necessity to clean out the fridge before going on vacation. Yet, now that I’ve made these, they might be my go-to party food. They’re perfect served hot […]

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits is kind of the quintessential Southern dish. You have your fresh seafood, your grits, and everything is cooked in bacon fat and slathered with butter (YUM). It’s a gorgeous mix between rich flavors of all kinds. I usually associate those kinds of flavors with things cooking slowly for a long time. But in making this, I was shocked by how easy it was. The grits simmer away while you quickly saute everything else. I get why this is a Southern favorite.

If you’ve never had grits before, you’re in for a treat! If you’re not sure where to buy grits, you can probably find at least the instant kind at your local store. It’s totally fine to use those to make shrimp and grits, but I ordered these grits because I wanted something a bit more flavorful. If you do make instant grits, just follow the package directions instead of the directions below. Just don’t forget the cheese!

Note: the recipe doubles easily if you’re feeding a larger family; just make sure that the grits have a ratio of 1:4. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup grits
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Instructions

Start with the grits. Combine your chicken broth, milk, and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the grits and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquids have been absorbed (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in the butter and cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

shrimp and grits
 Look at those gorgeous cheesy grits!

Now for the rest. Rinse your shrimp and pat them dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain well. Cook your shrimp in the bacon grease until they turn pink. Add the lemon juice, bell pepper, green onions, garlic, and parsley. Saute for three minutes.

Spoon grits into a serving bowl, and add the shrimp mixture on top. Mix well, and serve immediately.

Savory Honey Glazed Carrots

Savory Honey Glazed Carrots

It’s only after having this blog for a few months that I’ve realized what a ridiculous sweet tooth I have. I keep wanting to make desserts, and not veggies at all. But, even for me, these savory honey glazed carrots hit the spot. They’re still […]

Chocolate Raspberry Explosion Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Explosion Cake

It was my birthday last week! So of course I had to make a decadent, scrumptious explosion of a cake. It might sound sad to make your own birthday cake, but I really wanted to go all out. Hence this chocolate raspberry explosion cake. It’s […]

How to Dry Herbs

How to Dry Herbs

Dried herbs are a major part of my cooking. I’ve been growing herbs all summer, because they smell good and I needed some plant babies. Now that it’s growing cooler outside, it’s time to dry herbs and put them away for the winter.

Don’t worry, it is as easy as can be! There are a lot of different methods (including using a dehydrator or oven), but I prefer to hang them in a dry place and and let time do the work.

If you’d like to dry your own herbs at home, you’ll need the following:

  • twine or string
  • scissors
  • clips (paper, binder, clothespins, etc.)
  • a dry place
  • hammer and nails (or some other way of attaching string to a wall)
  • herbs to dry
  • airtight containers

When you’re ready, cut your herbs and tie them into bunches. You don’t want the bunches too big, or they’ll mold instead of drying. I usually put three or four stalks in each bouquet, depending on size.

Next, make a place for the herbs to dry. We have an outdoor closet, so I just tacked up some twine. I find it easiest to attach a paper clip to each bouquet, and then hang it on the herb line. (See picture below.)

dry herbs
Here’s an example of how I hung my herbs to dry. (It was mint this time, yum!)

And now, we wait, for at least a week or two. You’ll know your herbs are dry when you can crush a leaf to powder between your fingers.

Once your herbs are done drying, take them down, bring them inside, and preserve them whole in airtight containers. I prefer Mason jars; they’re super cheap, and they’re good for the environment. Note: you should preserve your herbs whole so that they retain as much aroma as possible until using. Only crush them when you’re actually cooking with them.

And voila, you know how to dry herbs! Don’t you feel so crafty and domestic now? I know I do.

dry herbs
Here are some herbs I dried earlier this summer (basil, mint, parsley).