Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Bread


If there is one place I can spend hours upon hours in it’s William-Sonoma. There are so many cooking contraptions, utensils and recipes scoured all around the store that tend to keep me extremely occupied. I always pick up all sorts of random things and fill my basket up pretty quickly with shenanigans- like a donut pan. Hey, I need to start making those apple cider donuts and I definitely need the donut pan!

There are also so many quick and easy William-Sonoma mixes that never disappoint. I picked up this Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Quick Bread Mix and I couldn’t wait to overwhelm my kitchen with the smell of pumpkin because tis the season! Paired up with the cream cheese frosting recipe on the back of the mix, this Spicy Pumpkin Pecan recipe did not disappoint. If you find yourself at William-Sonoma these next coming weeks, I highly recommend you pick yourself up a quick bread (now 30% off online too), it’s to die for!





PS. Check out my Homemade Apple Pie recipe and Chocolate Mousse Recipe!

Homemade Apple Pie

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I love simple recipes. If I can whip something up that’s straight forward with just a few steps but that also tastes delicious then I know I have a winning dessert. This is my mom’s homemade apple pie recipe and it hits just the right sweet tooth spot. Paired with chocolate or vanilla ice cream and you have a perfect combination of flavors. I brought this apple pie as one of the desserts for the mother’s day BBQ and it ended up being a huge hit. Top the sliced apples up with a bit of cinnamon & sugar and voila, it’s ready to go!

Ingredients:

  • 4 big apples
  • 1 pie crust
  • sugar & cinnamon
  • 1/4 stick of butter

Oven Temperature: 350 degrees

Cooking Time: 35 – 40 minutes (or until golden)

How to:

Place pie crust into a rounded pan

Poke holes with a fork into the pie crust

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Thinly slice apples and start placing them into a rounded formation one slice on top of another
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Once completed all the way around the pan, add a spoon of cinnamon and sugar
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Place drops of butter onto the apples for flavor

Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown

Let it cool and serve with any flavored ice cream – enjoy!

PS. Have you seen this delicious chocolate mouse recipe or this amazing chocolate covered strawberries recipe?

Chocolate Chocolate Mousse

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablets 200 grams bitter sweet chocolate
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 12 eggs
  • 12 tablespoons of sugar
  • raspberries

** recipe should be made the night before

How to:

Melt butter and chocolate in belle marie

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Separate the whites and the yellow of the eggs into two different bowls
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Beat the yellow of the egg for five minutes until very light yellow colored

Add 12 tablespoons of sugar to the light yellow eggs. Beat for another 5 minutes

Beat egg whites separately until firm

When chocolate is melted, add the chocolate into the yellow egg mixture very slowly (so that the egg doesn’t cook)

When eggs whites are beaten, add it to the yellow mixture very slowly. Do not stir the two together, instead, fold the white part of the eggs into the yellow eggs and chocolate

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Once finished mixing, pour mixture into a nice crystal bowl

Let chocolate mousse sit in the fridge over night

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Top the mousse off with a few raspberries and voila – a little bite of chocolate to start off the week!

PS. Check out more sweets and treats c’est moi natasha recipes here, and here!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Dark chocolate and strawberries make a deadly combination. I love both ingredients and I will argue that dark chocolate is indeed good for you! The other night, I wanted to make something chocolatey that would satisfy my craving but would only take me a few minutes to prepare. Since I love fruity desserts, chocolate covered strawberries sounded perfect. I bought a box of delicious, large, sweet strawberries and got started  – take a look!
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Ingredients:

  • 2 chocolate tablets of Valrhona 71% cocoa (the best chocolate)
  • 1 crate of large strawberries
  • ¼ stick of butter

1. Combine butter and chocolate pieces into a double boiler. Stir until mixed together

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2. Dip strawberries into chocolate and place on parchment paper
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3. Place chocolate covered strawberries in fridge until chocolate is hardIMG_5227Bon Appetite – enjoy!

Blueberry – Orange Tart

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 I can’t stop thinking about warmth and summer probably because this freezing February weather is unfortunately going to linger for a bit longer. With summer on my mind comes images of fresh fruit, especially blueberries. I love all fresh fruit but blueberries particularly remind me of sitting on a warm beach on an island in Greece… I tried this recipe on this cold afternoon and I have to say it was pretty fabulous. IMG_5197

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted & cooked
  • 4 ½ tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 5 ½ cups of fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Juice of and finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons quick- cooking tapioca
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, butter and 3 ½ tablespoons of powdered sugar. Press dough in a thin layer on the bottom and sides of an 8-in square pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. Prick dough all over with a fork and bake crust for 25 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and cool.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, combine 4 cups of blueberries, granulated sugar, orange juice and tapioca. Blend well and let stand for 15 minutes
  3. Cook the blueberry mixture over medium heat until mixture comes to full boil. Reduce heat and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring constantly and lightly crushing berries with slotted spoon against sides of pan. Add orange zest then remove from heat. Cool for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Pour cooled mixture into baked tart shell and chill for 30 minutes. Top with remaining blueberries and continue chilling.
  5. Before serving, sift remaining 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar atop tart.

IMG_5201 IMG_5203 IMG_5204With a glass of prosecco, in front of the fire, it was a perfect afternoon treat that hit the spot.IMG_5216

Grammy’s & Pie

I absolutely love award season…. The beautiful clothes, the excitement and all of the anticipation keeps me guessing “who will win, who will win!?” Below is a list of unbelievable performers that I have my $$ on (figuratively speaking) winning in a few top categories tonight. Who do you think will win?

  1. Album of the Year: Beyonce, Beyonce
  2. Best New Artist: Sam Smith
  3. Record of the Year: Shake It Off, Taylor Swift
  4. Song of the Year: Stay with Me, Sam Smith
  5. Best Rap Album: The Marshall Mathers LP2, Eminem
  6. Best Pop/Duo Performance: Bang Bang, Ariana Grande, Jessie J & Nicki Minaj
  7. Best Rap Performance: i, Kendrick Lamar
  8. Best Rock Album: Songs of Innocence, U2
  9. Best Country Album: Platinum, Miranda Lambert
  10. Best Rap Song: We Dem Boyz, Wiz Khalifa

Watching these award shows on Sunday nights is never complete without some sort of treat. Ask anyone I know and they will tell you that if it was socially appropriate to start meals with dessert, I would without a doubt.. A cute, cozy pie business just opened up on the Lower East Side of NYC and I already have had my fair share of pies since they’ve opened. Tonight will be no different…Petee’s Pie (perhaps the cheeseburger pie) will definitely be calling my name as I watch gorgeous performers take the stage. Happy Grammy’s night!

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   { Image from peteespie.com }

 *** You can also follow me on twitter to see what I have to say on tonight’s show– https://twitter.com/cestmoinatasha