Spiced Pumpkin-Raisin Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Raisin Cookies1

Hey guys!  As you can tell, I took a brief hiatus from my blog.  I just wasn’t quite ready for fall.  I really do love fall, but our summer was simply too short.  So, I suppose I was in denial.  I didn’t want our fun-filled summer days to end.  I had grown very accustomed to our slow, relaxing mornings.  But then school started and WA-BAM!  All of a sudden it was back to keeping schedules and doing homework.  We braced ourselves for the inevitable onslaught of germs now that school was back in session.  Lately, breakfast means eating hurriedly and gulping down hot tea while I pack up lunches – surely there’s a better way?  And where did all of our free time go? These days, when Friday rolls around, I am definitely ready for the weekend!  

So, once the kids were back in school I kept on thinking I would post something but then my daughter got sick, and the next week my son had the stomach bug.  So finally, this past weekend, I made these yummy cookies!  The recipe comes from Giada’s Feel Good Food cookbook, which I love.  It is simple and easy and the best part is you don’t even have to use a mixer!  My kiddos scarfed these down.  If you’re not a raisin lover, just do what I did and put chocolate chips in half of the batter instead.  :)

Pumpkin Spice Raisin Cookies2


Spiced Pumpkin-Raisin Cookies
Yields 24
Chewy, flavorful cookies reminiscent of fall!
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  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  7. 3/4 cup raw sugar
  8. 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  9. 1/3 cup safflower or grapeseed oil (olive oil would also work)
  10. 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  11. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  12. 1/2 cup raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and allspice in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk together sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup and vanilla in a large bowl.
  4. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture.
  5. Stir in the raisins.
  6. For each cookie, drop 1 generous tablespoon of batter onto cookie sheet, placing cookies about 1 inch apart.
  7. Flatten each mound of batter into a 2-inch round with moistened fingertips.
  8. Bake until browned around the edges, about 17-20 minutes.
  9. Remove cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.
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 You may also enjoy…

Honey Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping
Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Bread
Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Bread
Pumpkin Cheddar Muffins
Harvest Pumpkin Scones


Zucchini Corn Fritters

Zucchini Corn Fritters1

Here’s a trick to get your kids to eat their veggies…make fritters! These fritters are chock full of zucchini and corn. The best part? My kids loved them! Plus, it’s another way to use up zucchini if you still have some growing in your garden. Ahem.

Zucchini Corn Fritters3


Zucchini Corn Fritters
Serves 4
A tasty way to use up all the zucchini in your garden!
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  1. 2 zucchini, coarsely grated
  2. 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
  3. 1/2 cup dried whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  4. 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  5. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  8. 2 tablespoons canola oil
  1. Put all of the grated zucchini in a colander and squeeze out as much liquid as you can with your hands.
  2. Then wrap the zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze again.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the zucchini with the corn, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, oregano, and salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.
  5. Scooping up 1/4 cup of the zucchini mixture each time, pour it into the skillet and press on it to form a patty.
  6. Cook the patties until browned on both sides.
  7. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  1. Handle fritters with care when flipping - they can break apart easily.
Adapted from Everyday Eats
Adapted from Everyday Eats
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Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry buckle1
This recipe comes from
The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl and Griffith Day.  Some time ago I listened to an interview with Cheryl on The Splendid Table podcast. Their bakery is in Savannah, Georgia and I’ve added it to my bucket list of places to visit. I have to admit, I fell in love with this cookbook the instant I saw it. It’s full of mouthwatering pictures and recipes for delicious homemade baked goods. If you love to bake, then this cookbook is for you. I checked it out from our local library but I’m already contemplating buying my own copy to keep! It’s been so much fun to look through with my children. 

Blueberry buckle2

This blueberry buckle is a classic, old-fashioned dessert. It gets its name because of the dimples or “buckles” created by the crumb topping on top of the batter as it bakes in the oven. I had never made one before, but just couldn’t pass up the chance when we had some extra blueberries in the fridge. Two unique ingredients are cardamom and lemon zest, which really help to create a wonderful flavor. Although the recipe was a little involved, in the end I had a beautiful blueberry buckle! 

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. My family loved it!


Blueberry Buckle
Serves 8
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Crumb Topping
  1. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  2. 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  5. 1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  6. 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  1. 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  6. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  7. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  8. 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  9. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  11. 2/3 cup sour cream
  12. 2 cups fresh blueberries
  13. Confectioners' sugar for dusting
  1. Position oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
For the Crumb Topping
  1. Combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour in a small bowl and mix until blended. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the crumbs are the size of peas. Put the topping in a covered container and set in the freezer to chill.
For the Buckle
  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer), cream the butter and sugar on high speed for 5-7 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  6. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread it evenly with a spatula.
  7. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the batter.
  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch.
  9. Sprinkle the top of the buckle lightly with confectioners's sugar.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Classic French Baguettes


Since Bastille Day was Monday, I’m sharing a tasty baguette recipe with you today. I was a French major in college, so this holiday is near and dear to my heart. Actually, I’m kind of embarrassed to say that it almost slipped by me. It’s been such a busy summer. We’ve been on the road a lot. It’s been fun, but I feel like I haven’t had a chance to just sit down and breathe. You know what I mean? 

I know you’re not going to believe me when I say this baguette recipe is unbelievably easy, but it is. It also only takes 4 hours. Who ever heard of that? Every other time I’ve made baguettes it’s been an all day affair. Don’t get me wrong, I love making bread-there’s something cathartic about it – but if I can make baguettes in less time then I’m all for it! 

baguettes2 baguettes1

There are two steps in this recipe that are really key. The first is letting your ropes of dough rise on parchment paper with pleats in between them. Whenever I make long loaves of bread (think sub rolls), my dough always rises out and not up. So, I end up with wide, flat sub rolls instead of tall, fluffy ones. And let me tell ya, flat sub rolls just don’t cut it.

The other step is putting ice in an iron skillet in the bottom of your oven while the baguettes bake. The process of getting the baguettes into the oven does take a little coordination, but I figure if I did it you can too! As soon as you slide the baguettes onto the baking stone, throw some ice in the skillet before you close the oven door. This part is actually kind of fun, because it sizzles A LOT when you throw it in. And you do practically have to throw it in unless you want to get burned. Just a hint. But here’s the thing: the ice trick really works! You’ll have three perfectly crusty baguettes when it’s all said and done. My children were salivating at this point, and they devoured a whole baguette between the two of them! They ate it so fast I didn’t even get a single picture of their cute little bread-stuffed faces.


I really do hope you’ll be inspired to try this recipe. When you do, just imagine that you’re sitting in a charming French bakery, eating a fabulous baguette and savoring every bite. 

Bon App├ętit!

4-Hour Baguettes
Yields 3
Crusty baguettes reminiscent of a French bakery!
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  1. 1 1/2 cups tap water, heated to 115 degrees F.
  2. 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  3. 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. canola or olive oil
  6. 1/2 cup ice cubes
  1. Whisk together water and yeast in a large bowl; let sit until yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour and stir with fork until dough forms and all the flour is absorbed. Let dough rest for 20 minutes. Add salt and then place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place ball of dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place bowl in a cold oven or microwave. Let rise until dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and shaped into an 8-inch x 6-inch rectangle. Fold the 8-inch sides toward the middle, then fold the shorter sides toward the center like a t-shirt. Return dough to bowl, seam side down. Cover with plastic and let rise for 1 hour.
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and cut into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a 14-inch rope. Line a rimless baking sheet with lightly floured parchment paper and place ropes on the paper spaced evenly apart. Life the parchment paper between each rope to form a pleat, and place two tightly rolled kitchen towels under the long edges of the paper to create support for the loaves. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 50 minutes.
  4. Place a cast-iron skillet on the bottom oven rack. Place a baking stone (or rimless sheet pan) on the rack above skillet. Heat oven to 475 degrees F.
  5. Uncover loaves, remove the towels, and flatten the paper between each loaf to space out loaves. Slash the top of each baguette with a knife, creating 4 equal cuts about 4 inches long. Pull out the oven rack with the baking stone on it and slide the parchment paper and loaves onto it. Place ice cubes in the skillet. Bake baguettes until dark brown and crisp, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  1. The ice cubes in the skillet on the bottom rack produce steam so the loaves rise fully before a crust forms.
Adapted from Local Bread and Saveur Magazine
Adapted from Local Bread and Saveur Magazine
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Italian Vegetable Fritatta


Our garden is bursting with zucchini! I’ve sauteed it, made ratatouille, attempted zucchini noodles, and baked it with parmesan. I love cutting it into thin matchsticks and eating it raw in a veggie wrap or on a salad for lunch. I’ve also made loaf after loaf of zucchini bread, trying some new recipes (like this whole wheat blueberry pecan zucchini bread – yum!) as well as making the traditional favorite.  But, as much as I love zucchini bread, there’s only so much that we can eat. That’s where this recipe comes in! This fritatta is so flavorful and delicious it has become my new favorite. The pepper gives it a little kick that is balanced perfectly by the flavors of the basil, tomatoes, and zucchini. It’s very filling too!


Italian Vegetable Fritatta
Serves 6
A delicious dish for any time of day!
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  1. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  3. 1 small zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
  4. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  5. 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  6. 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  9. 8 large eggs
  10. 2 tablespoons skim milk
  11. 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a nonstick, ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion and zucchini until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, basil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook, stirring, for one minute.
  3. Whisk eggs, milk, and remaining salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan. Pour egg mixture into skillet over the vegetables. Cook until eggs begin to set, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until fritatta is completely set, 10-15 minutes.
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Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie1

One of the things I love about summer is having more time to spend in the kitchen with my children. It’s always so much fun to watch them learn how to bake. It’s hard to beat the smiles on their faces when they taste what they’ve made.

Blueberry Lemon Cream Cheese Pie3

This summer I’m letting both of them choose a recipe each week to make. A couple of weeks ago I wound up with a box of Keebler Cinnamon Graham Crackers, which is not something I usually buy. My daughter noticed a recipe on the back for a cream cheese pie. It was really easy to make and we were able to whip it up in less than 30 minutes before we popped it into the oven. 

Blueberry Lemon Cream Cheese Pie2

You do have to make the pie ahead of time because it needs one hour to cool on the counter and two hours in the refrigerator. We finished it with just enough time for the pie to be ready to eat after dinner. My daughter loves whipped cream so we added that as a topping and sprinkled fresh blueberries on top. This pie is just right for summer – cool, light and refreshing. It would be perfect for the 4th of July!

Happy Baking,

You may also like…
Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie


Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie
Serves 8
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  1. 9 cinnamon graham cracker sheets
  2. 1/4 cup melted butter
  3. 1 block cream cheese, softened
  4. 1/2 cup sugar
  5. 2 eggs, separated
  6. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  7. 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  8. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  9. whipped cream
  10. fresh blueberries for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crush graham cracker sheets into fine crumbs.
  3. Add melted butter and stir.
  4. Press crust into 9-inch pie pan and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with hand mixer until fluffy.
  6. Add sugar and egg yolks, then beat until smooth.
  7. Lastly, add lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  8. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  9. Gently fold egg whites into cream cheese mixture.
  10. Pour filling into pie crust.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes until mostly firm.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool for 1 hour.
  13. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
  14. When serving, top each slice with whipped cream and fresh blueberries.
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Crispy Coconut Kale with Roasted Salmon

photo 4I tried this recipe for the first time last weekend and it was a HIT.  I love salmon and kale, but combining them together like this was something I had never done.  You won’t believe how flavorful it is!  

photo 3

Keep a close eye on the kale so it doesn’t burn (I’ll do better next time).  And who would have thought that kale and coconut were so good together?  The best part is this healthy dish is chock full of omega-3s AND it’s rich in vitamins from the kale.  I hope you’ll try it!

Have a great weekend,

Please click here for the full recipe on Food52!

Crispy Coconut Kale with Roasted Salmon
Serves 4
A delicious new way to eat kale!
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  1. 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  2. 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  3. 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or tamari (I used Bragg's liquid aminos)
  4. 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  5. 1 bunch lacinato kale, ribs removed and sliced into strips
  6. 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  7. 4 salmon fillets
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the first four ingredients in a lidded jar and shake well to combine.
  3. Place kale and coconut flakes on a baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle with two-thirds of the dressing and toss until well coated.
  5. Place salmon fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Drizzle fillets with 2 tablespoons of the dressing.
  7. Roast salmon and kale for about 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Adapted from Ashley Couse, Bloom & Nourish; featured on Food 52
Adapted from Ashley Couse, Bloom & Nourish; featured on Food 52
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Bacon Jam


Here’s a recipe that any dad would love! It’s jam made with bacon. We like to spread it on a baguette slice topped with sharp white cheddar, but it’s also perfect for hamburgers. What dad wouldn’t love that?  

Bacon Jam
A sweet and savory jam made with bacon!
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  1. 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  2. 2 cups finely chopped shallots
  3. 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  4. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  7. 1/2 cup bourbon
  8. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  9. 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  10. 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  1. Spread half of the bacon in a single layer in a large skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned, about 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
  3. Remove fat and clean pan.
  4. Cook remaining bacon, reserving browned bits and 1 tablespoon fat in the pan.
  5. Add shallots and garlic to pan and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add chili powder, ginger, and mustard and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  7. Increase heat to high; add bourbon and maple syrup.
  8. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits.
  9. Add vinegar and brown sugar and return to a boil.
  10. Add reserved bacon and reduce heat to low.
  11. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces to a thick glaze, about 10 minutes.
  12. Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until it has the consistency of a chunky jam.
  13. Refrigerate in an airtight container at least 1 hour and up to 4 weeks.
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My Favorite Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie3

Happy Friday! My children finally finished school yesterday so summer has officially begun at our house. I’m kicking it off by sharing my favorite green smoothie recipe with you. This is typically how I start my day. I’ve found that when I have one for breakfast, I feel so much better. Not to mention it’s a great way to get your greens! And your kids will love it too. I even got my husband hooked on them! 

I basically follow these guidelines when making smoothies: 2 cups of liquid + 2 cups of greens + 3 cups of fruit.  I prefer almond milk, spinach, and frozen bananas. You can’t go wrong with this combination. Sometimes I change it up and use kale instead of spinach with pineapple or blueberries or mango. My favorite add-in of all time is almond butter. I love it! You can really add anything you want – peanut butter, ground flax, chia seeds, avocado…the list is endless. If you’re an athlete, you can easily add a scoop or two of protein powder. I normally stick to unsweetened almond milk, but you can also buy Silk almond milk with extra protein and fiber. It’s really up to you – that’s the beauty of smoothies. They are so easy to make and perfect to drink on the run. Pop some bananas in the freezer tonight and try one for breakfast tomorrow!


You may also like…
Blueberry Lemon Thyme Smoothie
Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

My Favorite Green Smoothie
Serves 2
A delicious and healthy way to start your day!
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  1. 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  2. 2 cups spinach
  3. 2 frozen bananas
  4. 2 tablespoons almond butter
  1. Pour milk in blender and add greens.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add bananas and blend until well mixed.
  4. Add almond butter and blend once more.
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Whole-Wheat Raspberry Scones

raspberry ricotta scones5
After a full week I am so glad when Saturday rolls around. It seems like lately things have been so busy.  We have been traveling a lot on the weekends, but a couple of weeks ago we were actually home. So, we did one of my favorite things – we made scones for breakfast!  Our children hardly ever sleep in on Saturdays but I love the leisurely pace and the extra time to spend with them, especially in the morning. I had some fresh raspberries in the refrigerator that I had picked up on sale that week, so I immediately knew they would be perfect in this recipe from The Smitten Kitchen.  

raspberry ricotta scones 7

This scone recipe is simple and straightforward, and it is easy enough for kids to help.  The dough is very wet, so be sure to flour your hands and work surface well.  The whole wheat flour adds a nice hearty texture, so these are more filling than an ordinary scone.  You’ll make a mess, but in the end you will have some of the most delicious, flaky scones ever.  The raspberries add a burst of flavor that we loved.

raspberry ricotta scones8

My daughter’s pick for scones?  Chocolate chip, of course!  So we made those too.  Maybe you’ll see a post for that another day.  In the meantime, I hope you’ll give these whole-wheat raspberry ricotta scones a try.

Happy Baking!

You may also enjoy…

Lemon-Rosemary Scones
Strawberry Ricotta Scones
Harvest Pumpkin Scones
Apple and Oat Scones with Cinnamon and Nutmeg
Recipe Card

Whole-Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones
Yields 9
These scones burst with the flavor of fresh raspberries!
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  1. 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 cup sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  7. 1 cup fresh raspberries
  8. 3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta
  9. 1/3 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. Cut the butter into small bits and add to flour mixture.
  4. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the mixture until the pieces are the size of small peas.
  5. Add the raspberries, and use the pastry blender again to break them into smaller chunks.
  6. Add the ricotta and heavy cream to the bowl and stir them in to make a dough.
  7. Using your hands, knead the dough until it comes together in a ball.
  8. Place the dough on a well-floured surface and pat it into a 7-inch square about 1 inch high.
  9. Divide the dough into nin even squares using a large knife.
  10. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet.
  11. Bake scones for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges.
  12. Place scones on a rack to cool.
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