white cheddar apple pie

ingredients for the dough:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
6 oz. white cheddar cheese, finely grated
16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

ingredients for the filling:

2 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
2 lbs. McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (doesn't necessarily have to be fresh!)
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 egg white, beaten with 1 tsp. water
2 tsp. granulated sugar


In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, granulated sugar and cheese until combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 15 to 20 pulses. Add 1/3 cup ice water and pulse twice. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 Tbs. at a time, pulsing twice after each addition. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a disk and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Meanwhile, making the filling: In a large Dutch oven, stir together the apples, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cornstarch. Set over medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 to 7 minutes more. Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice. Cool 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. On a floured surface, roll out 1 disk into a 14-inch round about 1/16 inch thick, dusting with more flour as needed. Press the dough into a 9-inch deep-dish ceramic pie dish. Trim the edges flush with the rim. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

On a large sheet of lightly floured parchment paper, roll out the remaining dough disk into a 12-inch round about 3/16 inch thick. Using any sort of small cookie cutter, make rows of cutouts in the dough, spacing them 1/2 inch apart and leaving a 1 inch border, to create a lattice-like appearance. Reserve cutouts for decorating; reroll dough scraps to make more cutouts. Refrigerate the lattice top and cutouts 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven, place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

Let the pie shell, lattice top and cutouts stand at room temperature 5 minutes. Transfer the apple filling to the pie shell, scatter the butter pieces on top, and gently invert the lattice top over the pie. Trim the edges flush with the rim of the dish, and press the crusts together to seal. Brush the underside of the cutouts and top crust with the egg wash. Press the cutouts along the edge of the crust; sprinkle the top of the pie with granulated sugar. Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes, covering the edges with foil if they become too dark. Cool on a wire rack, at least 1 1/2 hours before serving. Serves 8.

*I DO NOT recommend this recipe to those without all the correct machinery. Without those things, it turns the pie from labor intensive to nightmare.

courtesy of: williams-sonoma


divine georgetown cupcake cupcakes


makes 1 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, add milk and vanilla extract; stir to combine and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low, add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk mixture; beat until just combined. Add cocoa powder and beat until just combined.
  4. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter. Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pans for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a large 5/8-inch round tip (such as Ateco No. 808). Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and set aside.
  6. I used fondant, food coloring, and a heart cookie cutter for the little hearts. One can buy fondant in a package at a craft store in the baking aisle.
cream cheese frosting ingredients:

makes enough for 1 dozen cupcakes

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar), sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until well combined.
courtesy of: georgetown cupcake, marthastewart.com


hot cocoa pudding

i got this quick, delicious recipe from my friend's sister-in-law's blog. i hope it's ok i recycle it :)

4 tbsp granulated sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp corn starch
2 cups milk
cinnamon and nutmeg

in a small bowl mix cocoa, sugar and corn starch. pour milk into saucepan then add dry ingredients, whisking to incorporate. bring to a boil under constant stirring until desired consistency is reached. add whipped cream, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.


classic banana bread


1 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
3 ripe bananas (mashed)
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp warm water
2 cups flour

mix sugar, oil and applesauce; beat well. add beaten eggs and mashed bananas. beat thoroughly. add salt, then soda: which has been dissolved in warm water. add flour to mixture. pour into greased and floured loaf tin. bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for one hour. makes one large loaf (9x5 pan) or three baby bread loaves.

baked three-cheese macaroni

serves 4
3 1/4 cup milk
5 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
parmesan cheese*
mozzarella cheese*
white cheddar*
macaroni pasta for 4 (I use celentani pasta)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
*one can really use any three cheeses. all cheese is goooood.

there is something so beautiful about cheese.
make the sauce:
bring a large pot of water to a boil. in a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until small bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan. remove from heat. in a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. add the flour a little at a time, whisking to incorporate. raise the heat to medium-low and very gradually whisk in the hot milk. cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. add the grated/chopped cheese. cook stirring frequently, until the cheeses are melted, about 2 minutes.

cook the pasta:

meanwhile add salt to the boiling water. cook, stirring occasionally--- undercook pasta by 2 minutes (all pasta has 'how many minutes it takes to cook' on the package). strain pasta. combine sauce and pasta. salt to taste.

bake pasta:
preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. pour into a buttered baking dish. sprinkle with 1/2 cup bread crumbs and bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes.

courtesy of williams-sonoma "food made fast: pasta"


lime-carrot cupcakes

my husband made these cupcakes while i was at work the other day. he gets all the credit. they are sooo delicious.

cupcake ingredients (makes 10):
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. maple syrup or honey
1 Tbs. finely grated lime zest*
2 eggs
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
7 Tbs. fresh lime juice*, warmed
1 tsp. baking soda

directions for cupcakes:
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line 10 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, maple syrup and lime zest until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the carrot.
In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. In another small bowl, stir together the lime juice and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in two additions, alternating with the lime juice mixture in two additions until smooth. Do not overbeat or the cupcakes will be tough.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the cupcakes are risen and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a baking sheet and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

ingredients for cream cheese frosting:
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. grated lime zest*
4 oz. cold cream cheese
Strips of dried mango for garnish (optional)

directions for frosting:
To make the cream cheese frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the lime zest and cream cheese until blended.
When the cupcakes are cool, frost them and garnish with strips of dried mango (optional). Cupcakes may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

*courtesy of williams-sonoma
*lime zest replaced lemon zest in the frosting. lime zest and juice replaced orange zest and juice in the cupcakes--- created by my husband