Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

This pie comes with a story. Family stories are my favorite. I love reliving ours and hearing other families' stories. Aren't they always THE BEST? (I wonder what stories Jack will tell his kids about us someday? Hmmm...)

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

This one involves my mom and dad when they were newly married. My mom set out to bake a pie. It didn't go well. While she was in the backyard pouting, my dad whipped up a pie. This one. Funnily enough, my mom was none too pleased that SHE failed, yet her new husband had made a fabulous pie. (I'm sure she got over it once she had a bite or two.)

I'm not even sure that my mom EVER made this particular pie, although she was known in our neighborhood as an excellent baker and cook. My only memories of this pie are of my dad making it. As you might guess, I have a really cool dad. ♥

Dad's Upside-Down Pecan-Apple Pie

Me. E mentioned last week that apple pie is tied with cherry as his favorite. (And I think there was a small comment about not remembering the last time he'd had a "regular" apple pie.) I usually make this cranberry apple pie at Thanksgiving, but I decided to bake up my dad's apple pie for him this week. Just like the title suggests, The top of the pie is baked on the bottom and flipped once baked.

The brown sugar-pecan top makes this pie so special. Maybe every pie should have a brown-sugar pecan crust. I love this filling on this one as well because it's not overly cinnamon-y. It has just the right amount.

Sweet on Trader Joe's Sunday: Hot Cocoa Frosted Toaster Pastries

Trader Joe's Hot Cocoa Frosted Toaster Pastries review

I posted a pic on Instagram of these in my cart at Trader Joe's last week and got several "you have to do a review of those" comments, so here we are. Happy to be of service!

Today we review Trader Joe's Organic Hot Cocoa Frosted Toaster Pastries. Basically, Trader Joe's version of the chocolate PopTart. Just like with the traditional PopTarts, they come in a box of 6, with 2 pastries in each sleeve. A box costs $2.99.

Trader Joe's Hot Cocoa Frosted Toaster Pastries review

I love two kinds of PopTarts: Frosted Strawberry and Chocolate. These are the only kinds that should be allowed. If you're a Brown Sugar Cinnamon fan, I'm not sure we can be friends anymore. THIS IS WHERE I DRAW MY LINE POLITICALLY.

A Cake for November: Spiced Poppy Seed Cake

Spiced Poppy Seed Cake with Almond Buttercream
Why is this the perfect cake for November? This cake is beautifully spiced, a little more substantial than a fluffy spring-time cake...if you're craving a fall cake that doesn't involve pumpkin, this is it.

My Pinterest cake board is filled with spectacular looking cakes.  I have immense respect for Amanda, and Rosie, and Heather, and Gail, and Melissa because they make them.   
My cakes, though, are not pretty.  I've decided to make peace with that fact. 

After coming to terms with this truth, I can just enjoy cakes that taste AMAZING. (That's really what counts, right?) This cake is one I'd been dreaming about as soon as I bought the book Cake Ladies. (Found on Amazon and B&N.}

Spiced Poppy Seed Cake with Almond Buttercream
It's a poppy seed cake made with warm spices, honey, and a little whole wheat flour.  The frosting is a rich, fluffy, American buttercream flavored with almond & vanilla.  {Are you swooning, yet?}

Change Your Altitude Mountain Cookies Inspired by Pier Giorgio Frassati

Change Your Altitude, Verso l'alto Mountain decorated Cookies Inspired by Pier Giorgio Frassati

Well, that post title was a mouthful. Actually, that is the edited down version, believe it or not.

Change Your Altitude Mountain Cookies

A. I wanted to show you this cookie set, and
B. tell you how I made a mountain range cookie from a Christmas tree cookie cutter.

The cookies were made for a college student (NOT JACK, although, I did send him just a few...why do I feel like I need to justify sending my child care packages???) who attended Frassati Catholic High School with Jack and is now off at college in the mountains of Colorado. He's an adventure-loving kid and a I thought these cookies were perfect.

Verso l'alto Mountain Cookies Inspired by Pier Giorgio Frassati

I've made Pier Giorgio Frassati cookies before, you can see them and read more about Frassati in this post. Pier Giorgio was a mountain climber and is known for the saying, "Verso l'alto," or "to the heights."

Abracadabra Coconut Chocolate Mousse

Abracadabra Coconut Chocolate Mousse ♥

Let me give you an idea of how excited I am to share this recipe with you. I made this TODAY. Literally, I ate this for dessert after lunch and sat down to post it immediately. YOU NEED IT.

Abracadabra Coconut Chocolate Mousse almost dairy-free, luscious, fluffy, airy, rich chocolate mousse made with a surprising ingredient!

This chocolate mousse is luscious, airy, chocolatey, fluffy...absolutely dreamy. It's one of the best chocolate mousses I've ever eaten. By the way, it does not taste like coconut - just rich chocolate!

Why "Abracadabra?" Welllllllll, because aquafaba just doesn't have the same ring to it. If you've never heard of aquafaba, I hesitate to tell you what it is for fear of scaring you off, but I will. Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. I. KNOW. 

Abracadabra Coconut Chocolate Mousse, made with aquafaba and coconut cream! #dairyfree
aquafaba...what is it?

The magical, abracadabra part of this is that the aquafaba combined with a bit of coconut cream makes this mousse practically dairy-free! (The chocolate has a bit of milk in it.) Really though, chocolate mousse without cream? My tummy is in heaven right about now.