bourbon pecan pie

bourbon pecan pie | the thoughtful plateThis year has gone by SO incredibly fast. Does anyone else find it hard to believe that Thursday is Thanksgiving?

Just this morning I pulled out an index card and wrote MY THANKSGIVING CONTRIBUTIONS over a list of the things I’m in charge of this year. Brussels Sprouts Salad, for one. Pumpkin Pie for the traditionalists. And this- Bourbon Pecan Pie. It’s been the star of the Thanksgiving dessert show for three years running, and I’m pretty sure there would be an uprising if I didn’t make it. Continue reading


bakewell tart

bakewell tart | the thoughtful plateThe word “bakewell” has come up several times during my travels through the interwebs as of late, always in conjunction with the word “tart.” Now I obviously know what a tart is, but I confess I really had no idea what bakewell meant and had never looked it up.

A bit of research revealed that Bakewell is a town in England, and judging by the name, I think I’d love to live there. (Can you imagine how cool it would be if Josey Baker baked his bread in Bakewell, England? I digress.) Continue reading

cherry pie bars

IMG_4533-6I have two different approaches when it comes to composing blog posts.

Sometimes, I write the body text first. Words come, I type them, and it feels really good. When that happens, all that’s left are the parts that come easiest to me: recipe + photos. Blogging is fun when this happens.

Other times, I write the recipe first. Then I go fiddle with the photo editing. All the while, my mind is turning. Words, where are you?? Continue reading

whole lemon bars

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI am a huge fan of lemon bars. So when I saw a recipe in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook for lemon bars not made with the juice of a million lemons but rather with one whole lemon- every part except the seeds- I knew I had to try it. That was almost a whole year ago. I know. Such procrastination.

A lot has happened this year. Perhaps most notable is that I’ve made huge strides towards becoming 100% gluten free. (Excellent bread still gets me sometimes though, I won’t lie.) I wrote my first gluten free post in May, and since that post was published, I have had the best time immersing myself in this new way of baking. There have been some failures, many successes, and much learning along the way.

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salted caramel apple tart

salted caramel apple tart

Confession: I had never made caramel before I made it for this salted caramel apple tart.

That could be the reason why my first attempt was a flop. I followed Adrianna’s instructions exactly, but ended up with clumps of hard caramel protruding like icebergs from a puddle of smooth-ish caramel. I didn’t take a picture (for obvious reasons), but the sight made me laugh.

Then I cleaned my pot and whisk, grabbed my copy of Joy the Baker’s cookbook, measured new ingredients, and tried again. I slightly adapted Joy’s recipe for “Almost Burnt Salted Caramel Sauce”. It took a bit longer than my first attempt, but I ended up with beautifully smooth, salty-sweet caramel that was totally worthy of an apple tart.

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blueberry tart

IMG_3746This tart is so fun to make, and the process is fairly simple and straightforward too. Bake the slightly crumbly tart shell, make a smooth vanilla pastry cream, and cook fresh blueberries down until they become a gorgeous compote.  Once each element has cooled, just layer and serve!  It’s a great use for any blueberries you have that may be a little too soft to enjoy plain, like I had.  Three simple components that come together to create a beautiful and satisfying summer dessert.

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