Laminated Pumpkin Brioche topped with Cocoa Nibs

To the tune of Auld Lang Syne I say au revoir Project Food Blog Challenge and Bienvenue à nouveau le week-end.

This little venture has taught me so much and I am happy I decided to participate. I am proud I made it down to the last 46 contestants, an accomplishment in and of itself. Yet, I know I have much more to learn to become a more well rounded food blogger and look forward to growing with you.

Not knowing whether or not I would advance to the next round I decided to be proactive and make a delicious pumpkin post for you. I hope you enjoy it.

Along with me, these fabulous ladies are also some of the Project Food Blog Video challenge exiles, please stop by and check out their pumpkin inspired posts:

Asha from Fork Spoon Knife
Heena from Tiffin Tales
Linda from Salty Seattle
Lindsey from Hot Polka Dot
Liren from Kitchen Confidante
Meaghan from The Decorated Cookie
Paula from Bell’alimento
Winnie from Healthy Green Kitchen

Have a Sweet Thanksgiving Day!



Pumpkin Ale Float

The whether in L.A. has been a little wacky these past few days. Cool and raining one day… then the next it’s like the hands of time have gone back and we are right in the middle of summer again.

Well, they are predicting a few more days of 80 and 90 degree weather this week. So, I came up with a cool and refreshing drink to enjoy, one that reminds us that yes, in fact we have moved onto Autumn and one you can put it together in less than 2 minutes flat!



This month’s Mactweets – Mac Attack Theme as you can tell by the title of this post is dedicated to Summer Flicks.

The movie I had originally intended to be the source of inspiration is one of my favorite “guilty pleasure” movies, and not a huge blockbuster such as E.T. was.

E.T. Images via IMDB


I know “technically” these aren’t concidered a cookie, the only thing acording to wikipedia that keeps them from being a cookie is thier shape [Cookie: A small flat, baked cake which is either crisp or soft but firm], so if you flatten them out they qualify.

Have you heard of or visited Bakeralla’s blog? If you haven’t you are in for a treat, I haven’t found a thing she’s made that I didn’t like, or anything that doesn’t look exquisite.

Which brings me to today’s post. Yummy cake truffles, I chose to call them truffles instead of cake balls because they were balls up until dipping time…

Let me paint a little picture for you of how my cake dipping experience went. It was somewhere along the lines of one of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes “Job Switching”. Fast-forward to minute 3:50, minus the fly of course. And that is why I’ve called these cake truffles instead of balls.

I guess it was my fault for choosing to dip my cake balls Monday morning before heading into work and not having any candy dipping experience…

Pumpkin Spice Cake Truffles
Inspired from Bakerella’s Red Velvet Cake Pops

1 box spice cake mix
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup water

1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
2 tablespoons softened cream cheese

Chocolate for dipping
16 oz white chocolate chips
4 oz dark chocolate chips for garnish (optional)

While cake is baking whip together the cream cheese frosting with the softened cream cheese.

Once cake has been baked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl and mix in the whipped cream cheese frosting. (I followed Bakerella’s suggestion and used my fingers to mix everything together, and just like she said it was a bit messy.)

With a mini ice scream scooper scoop out the cake balls so you have uniform sized balls, then roll them a little by hand to even them out.

Chill cakeballs overnight or freeze 30-45 minutes. When ready to dip, melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave in intervals for 30 seconds 50% power each and stiring in between.

Dip the cake balls in the melted chocolate.

As you can imagine, I had a bit of a hard time getting the chocolate all around because the cake balls started to fall apart. I tried using both a candy dipping set, and a spoon to dip the balls, but just ended up using my fingers. The problem was probably the consistency of my cake balls, they were too crumbly. Next time I’ll try and freeze them a few minutes instead and then dip.

Even though my truffles didn’t come out looking as beautiful as Bakerella’s Cake Balls what they lacked in appearance they made up for it in taste.

One last note, even though I have photos of both white chocolate and dark chocolate cake balls, the white chocolate complimented the pumpkin spice cake much better so I adjusted the amounts accordingly.


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In Jennie’s Kitchen

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This Thanksgiving Day was a little different from years past, in that it was the very first time my family and I participated in a Turkey Trot. It was a bit chaotic, but so much fun nonetheless. (My youngest might not agree 100% with that last statement though.)

When I initially signed us up for the 5K Turkey Trot my husband suggested that we buy a pre-made turkey dinner because I was going to be too tired to cook a complete dinner… [Nonsense!!]

Once he realized that I wasn’t going to budge on my decision to prepare the dinner myself, the planning was underway.

One of the very first words out of the mouth of my oldest while I was looking through my stack of fall issues of Gourmet Magazine, and other cookbooks were “Can we please have a traditional thanksgiving dinner?” In my opinion we always have a traditional thanksgiving dinner, turkey, ham, green veg, a starch, dessert, etc. I know he meant he didn’t want me adding any international influenced flavors.

One of the first items I decided upon was surprise, surprise… dessert! And as you can see, it was cheesecake, in the past it had always been of the pumpkin variety, however this year I decided to change it up a bit. Still providing flavors of fall I chose Maple and walnut, and everyone including my oldest loved it.

Following is the menu which generated big smiles, a very quiet dinner table (post giving thanks and table grace/blessing), and clean plate club members.

Thanksgiving Day Menu


Vodka Tonic with a twist of lime


Roasted & Salted Pistachios
Assorted Cheeses & Crackers

Main Course

Extra-Moist Roast Turkey (Brined for 24 hours)
City Ham
Haricots Verts with Bacon and Chestnuts
Smashed Potatoes with Roasted-Garlic Gravy
Sage Stuffing
Fresh Dinner Rolls


Maple Walnut Cheesecake

Maple Walnut Cheesecake
adapted from The Ultimate Cheesecake Cookbook
by Joey Reynolds

1 stick butter
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups finely ground galletas marias
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Double wrap the bottom of a 10″ springform pan.

Melt butter over low heat. Combine butter with nuts, crumbs and sugar in a bowl and stir until throughly blended. Press crumbs over the bottom and sides of the pan.

4 8oz packages cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dulce de nuez de macadamia (Sweet Macadamia nut cream)
1/4 cup maple syrup
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil water for the water bath in a medium sauce pan or in a tea kettle.

In a mixer, whip cream cheese on medium high speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy, add sugar and continue to beat for 2 more minutes. Add extracts, maple syrup, macadamia nut cream, salt, and walnuts and blend together thoroughly.

Reduce mixer speed to the lowest setting and add the eggs one at a time, mix just enough so that each egg has been incorporated into the batter.

Place the springform pan in a larger oven proof pan. Pour batter into the crust and place into a preheated oven, poor hot water into the outer pan so that it only reaches 1/2 way up the springform pan, bake for 50-60 minutes.

Turn oven off open the oven door slightly and let it sit there for another hour. Remove and place in the fridge allowing it to cool overnight.

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