Maple Spiced Nut Granola with Pecans, Flax Seeds, and Sunflower Seeds

Maple Spiced Nut Granola with Pecans, Flax, and Sunflower Seeds

It’s very rare that we host overnight guests at our place, but this weekend we’ll have company for a few days. Of course this got me thinking about what the heck other people like to eat at home. This granola sounded like a crowd pleaser and a perfect item for the pantry. Even though it’s summer, and this tastes like Fall in a bowl, that’s OK because it’s so good.

homemade orangettes

Chocolate-dipped Candied Orange Peel (Orangettes)

Awhile back, I made candied orange peel for the first time, with the intention of putting it in Stollen. Happily, there was enough for the Stollen as well as some Orangettes. I’m not bit on chocolate and fruit (chocolate-covered strawberries being the exception) and orange + chocolate has never sounded appetizing to me, so I didn’t know if I would like these. Which was fine, because they’re a gift for my mom and I thought it would be the sort of little confection she’d appreciate. But after tasting one, I was converted. At least when it comes to homemade chocolate-dipped candied orange…

vanilla and gingerbread buttercreams

Vanilla and Gingerbread Swiss Buttercreams

Today I pulled some of the Whole Wheat Vanilla Mini Cupcakes out of the freezer to top with buttercream. Since it’s that gingerbread-filled season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I knew that some of them would be getting a gingerbread buttercream. After mixing up the recipe for buttercream, it felt a little criminal to do anything to change the smooth, vanilla perfection of the buttercream. But I was too curious to skip the spices. This was my first time making the Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from Cooks Illustrated. I guess it’s similar to a Swiss buttercream — it uses whole eggs (as opposed to…