Dessert

Caramel Pumpkin Pie

caramel pumpkin pie | confections of a dietitian

Pumpkin pie is, without a doubt, my favorite type of pie. I always, and still do, greatly anticipated Thanksgiving because that meant there would be pumpkin pie for dessert. Luckily, I grew up in a family of pumpkin pie lovers so Thanksgiving was not the only time we would have pumpkin pie each year. I have a very distinct memory of visiting my Great Grandpa Frank’s house one afternoon and arriving just as he pulled a pumpkin pie out of the oven. Even though I prefer chilled pumpkin pie, I’ll never forget eating a warm slice of pie on a fall afternoon with him.

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies, Three Ways

pumpkin oatmeal cookies | confections of a dietitian

Fall abruptly ended here last weekend with the arrival of 5 inches of snow. As excited as I am for winter, I’m not quite ready for this beautiful season to end. After missing out on fall for the last 3 years, I want it to last forever! So even if the weather won’t cooperate with my wishes, my baking and the smells coming from the oven can.

I’ve been thinking about making pumpkin cookies since the leaves barely started changing colors, (maybe this little announcement had something to do with that) but didn’t get around to making them until this past week. As soon as I took my first bite of these, I knew I had to share the recipe with all of you!

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Honey Cinnamon Granola

honey cinnamon granola | confections of a dietitian

Almost every Wednesday night in Okinawa is reserved for one thing: The Bachelor (or Bachelorette, for this time of year). Realistically, it’s just an excuse for my group of friends to see each other every week, talk and eat snacks. My friend, Jessi, would occasionally bring her fabulous granola to our girl’s nights and, I’m not going to lie, I always wanted to steal the entire bowl and not share a single piece. It was that delicious. Luckily, Jessi nicely shared her recipe with me before she moved and, with a few adjustments, now I’m sharing it with all of you!

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Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

lemon raspberry cupcakes | confections of a dietitian

Springtime around here means rain, rain and more rain. Even on the days we don’t think it’s going to rain, it probably will. That being said, we need something bright and cheery to make up for it, like cupcakes! Lemon raspberry cupcakes to be exact. There’s just something about the pretty pastel colors and tart yet sweet flavors that are perfect for this dreary time of year. I made these cupcakes as a special request for the first time a couple weeks ago and still can’t stop thinking about them. They were that good!

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German Chocolate Cake

german chocolate cake | confections of a dietitian

My friends here in Oki know how much I love to bake cakes and cupcakes so, occasionally, I’ll get a special request for a birthday or other event. A good friend of mine had a birthday a few weeks ago and asked me to make her favorite kind of cake, German chocolate. Never one to say no to a baking adventure, I gladly started searching for the perfect recipe for her birthday. Through my research, I stumbled upon a little a little bit of a history worth mentioning. Interestingly enough, German chocolate cake is not from Germany, but named after an American, Samuel German, who created a dark baking chocolate for Baker’s Chocolate. The company named the chocolate bar after him and, later, a recipe was created using the specific chocolate bar, titled German’s Chocolate Cake. The apostrophe and “s” have since been dropped from the name, but the recipe remains an American favorite.

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Cream Cheese Brownies

cream cheese brownies | confections of a dietitian

Colin and I frequently attend events that ask us to bring a dish to share. Most people probably dread this, but I love it because it gives me an excuse to bake something deliciously unhealthy, eat one serving and give the rest away. We had to go to one such event the other weekend so, naturally, I decided to bring cream cheese brownies and they turned out so good that I had to share them with you. The inspiration for the brownies came from my mom’s recipe, which, on my recipe card, is very accurately titled “Kim’s Best Brownies.” This is not her recipe, (don’t worry Mom, I’m not giving that away) rather my take on her delicious original.

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Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

confections of a dietitian | mint chocolate cupcakes

I love cupcakes! That might sound odd coming from a dietitian, but it’s true (I mean, have you read the title of this blog?). It’s pretty much like having a personal cake, except with a higher frosting to cake ratio. And, if you’re like my husband, the more frosting, the better the cake is. That’s not the only reason to love cupcakes though. I think they are faster and easier to make than a cake. Each one is it’s own serving, so I can have a sweet treat without feeling overly full. Plus, the variations of cupcake flavors and frostings are endless, so it’s easy to customize for every person, event or holiday.

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Gingerbread Loaf

gingerbread loaf | confections of a dietitian

Gingerbread has been on my list of things to bake for a long time. There’s something about the warm spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, mixed with molasses that makes gingerbread sound so appealing. You already know my feelings about rolling out dough, so gingerbread cookies were not an option. I love having a quick bread around for breakfast, an afternoon snack or dessert, so I figured a gingerbread loaf would be the perfect way to get my gingerbread fix.

gingerbread loaf | confections of a dietitian gingerbread loaf | confections of a dietitian

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Funfetti Sugar Cookies

funfetti sugar cookies | confections of a dietitian

Navigating Christmas as a newly married couple has been interesting. We each have our own traditions that we want to bring into our married life, but we also want to start new ones. Christmas cookies, at least to me, are a part of these traditions. Colin wasn’t here for Christmas last year so I only made a couple of my favorite kinds of cookies to share with friends. The previous year, our first Christmas together, I think I made every kind of Christmas cookie ever because I was homesick and bored (my job hadn’t started yet). This year, since Colin should be here, I want to make each of our favorites and try out some new recipes too. Since I was already planning on donating one of my favorite Christmas cookies for the cookie drive (you can find that recipe here), I wanted to bring one of Colin’s favorites too. When I asked him what his favorite Christmas cookies are or if he had any family cookie traditions, he answered with oatmeal, molasses and sugar cookies as well as peanut brittle. Peanut brittle was eliminated right away (I’m allergic to peanuts). He always asks for oatmeal cookies and we already have two great molasses cookie recipes, one from my mom and the other from his grandma. The obvious answer for the new cookie recipe to find, of course, was sugar cookies. Did I mention that I hate sugar cookies? Hate is the wrong word, I guess, because I do actually love eating them, but I hate making sugar cookies. Just the thought of rolling out dough a million times, cutting out shapes and then, once you’re finally done baking the cookies, you have to spend endless hours decorating them with royal icing makes me shudder. I voluntarily made 30 sea turtle cookies for a baby shower this summer and I haven’t recovered yet. (Can you tell?) So when Colin asked for sugar cookies, I knew I had to find a drop cookie recipe.

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M&M Cookie Bars

m&m cookie bars | confections of a dietitian

It’s December which means it’s Christmas cookie season! In the past, every Christmas vacation at home meant spending countless hours in the kitchen with my mom, sister and friends baking dozens of different kinds of cookies to send out as gifts. I have so many fun memories from doing this that baking cookies has become one of my favorite things about this time of year. Even though I will be spending Christmas in Oki again this year, baking cookies makes me feel a little closer to home and always puts me in the Christmas spirit. It must be the magical combination of mouth watering smells coming from the oven and Christmas music playing in the background. Since I’m already starting to feel nostalgic about Christmases at home (the sunny, 70 degree weather sure isn’t helping), Christmas cookie baking has begun in our house, which means I get to start sharing some of my favorite recipes, both old and new, with all of you!

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