Home Home Home Home Home Home Home


What is Pumpkin Pie Spice?

Unicorn Love: the Eating Disorder Recovery Blog


 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too! 

CakeSpy Online Retail!



Fantastic appliance for cake making on DHgate.com


Craftsy Writer

Be Healthy: Pumpkin Pie Juice Recipe

It's a funny thing about juicing.

I can always tell when someone has gotten into it, because (if you'll excuse me) they won't shut up about it. They start to resemble frankenstein robots to me: "My green juice makes me feel aliiiiive!" 

Oh, you know who you are.

But when Williams-Sonoma contacted me and was all "hey, want to make a juice recipe?" I was all, "OK. Can I use dairy?". What I should have asked is if they would pay me. Turns out they're not, but all they asked is that I mention their  juicer and blender  resources. So there you go!

But they did answer regarding the dairy, in the affirmative. So I decided straightaway that this dairy would be thick, creamy, whole milk, and that it would go into creating what I call Pumpkin Pie Juice.

It has all the flavorings that make pumpkin pie great, but because it is juice, it can be classified as healthy. I'll happily sip this while you enjoy that green juice, you zombie!

Note: if you wanna be really naughty, add a couple scoops of ice cream. YEAH!

Pumpkin Pie Juice

2 servings. Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of pumpkin, chopped up into 1-inch chunks 
  • 1 1/2 cups of apple juice (or use milk if you like it really milky!)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (more or less to your liking)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • more pumpkin pie spice, to garnish (if desired)


  1. Put the pumpkin, apple juice, honey, and pumpkin pie spice in a powerful blender. Set on the juice or blend setting, and blend until it has formed a thick liquid slurry.
  2. You're going to have to froth the milk now. If you, like me, own a milk frother (I AM SO FANCY!), go ahead and put it in your frother and froth until it's nice and firm and frothy. No frother? I included some tips for microwave frothing in this post!
  3. Divide the juice into two cups. Top each with a nice "head" of milk foam. Garnish with more spice, if you wanna.

Enjoy being healthy!


Homemade Grapefruit Soda

Grapefruit Slice

Grapefruit via Flickr member danzen

I am a seltzer FIEND. This is a fact.

So when Cascade Ice offered to send me some samples of their new flavored sparkling water line, I was happy to try them out. 

Very-very-very happily, one of the new flavors is grapefruit--I think this tart flavor is beautifully suited to sparkling water.

Of course, it's even better when you sweeten it up a bit. Here's a recipe for an easy homemade grapefruit syrup which you can mix into your seltzer as desired for a sweet "better than soda" treat! 

Homemade Grapefruit Soda

  • 4 ruby grapefuits, juiced 
  • Zest from said grapefruits
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • seltzer
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the grapefruit juice, zest, and honey. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by a third, stirring frequently. 
  2. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. It will become quite viscous. Strain the syrup through a cheesecloth or fine strainer to remove any large zest or pulp debris. Let cool completely, and put in a jar or airtight container to keep in the fridge. 
  3. To enjoy your soda, combine 1 part syrup with about 3 parts sparkling grapefruit water. You can increase the syrup ratio if you like it sweet. Either stir, or shake (in a covered container!) to combine. 

What's your favorite sweet beverage?


Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tarts

Hazelnut truffle cups

Don't these little treats look darling? They taste just as good, since they're made with the following: chocolate chip cookie dough, chocolate hazelnut spread, sweetened condensed milk, and hazelnuts. The cherry on top is what kills me, though! Recipe via Doris Rizza of Scottdale, Pennsylvania.

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tarts

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Min
  • Makes: 24 tarts


  • 1 roll Pillsbury™ refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 3/4 cup Jif® Chocolate Flavored Hazelnut Spread
  • 1/2 cup Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk (from 14-oz can)
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 12 maraschino cherries, halved, well drained


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 24 mini muffin cups with Crisco® Butter Flavor or Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
  2. Shape dough into 24 (1 1/4-inch) balls. Place 1 ball in each muffin cup. Bake 8 to 16 minutes or until light golden brown. Do not over bake.
  3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix hazelnut spread, condensed milk and hazelnuts until well blended. Shape into 24 (1-inch) balls.
  4. Remove cookie cups from oven; cool 1 minute. Place 1 hazelnut ball in each cookie cup; press lightly. Top each with 1 maraschino cherry half. Cool completely in pan 30 minutes. Loosen with tip of knife; gently remove from pan. Store covered.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.


Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzels

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzels

It's pretty safe to say I am obsessed with this recipe.

It includes all of the major food groups: carbs, chocolate, salt, and peanut butter. What's missing? Cream? Nope, they have that too. They have everything, delivered in twisty-turny-yoga-pose-pretzel form.

It's super sweet too that the recipe comes from Elizabeth Bennett of Seattle, Washington--my former hometown!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Filled Pretzels

  • Prep Time: 25 Min
  • Total Time: 45 Min
  • Makes: 6 pretzels


  • 3/4cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can Pillsbury refrigerated original breadsticks (12 breadsticks)
  • 1egg yolk


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar, peanut butter, cocoa, whipping cream and vanilla until well blended. Unroll dough on work surface; separate into 12 breadsticks. Pinch ends of 2 breadsticks together; repeat with remaining dough to make 6 long breadsticks. Press each breadstick to form 12x2-inch strip.
  3. Divide chocolate mixture into 12 equal portions, about 1 rounded tablespoon each. Roll each portion into 6-inch long rope. Place 2 ropes down center of each breadstick strip. Fold dough lengthwise over chocolate ropes; press edges firmly to seal. Stretch each breadstick slightly. Shape rope into U-shape; cross ends, and place over bottom of U to form pretzel shape. Place seam side down on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chocolate ropes and breadstick strips.
  4. In small bowl, mix egg yolk and 1 teaspoon water with fork. Lightly brush egg mixture over pretzels; sprinkle each with a pinch of kosher salt.
  5. Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.


Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Chocolate-Almond Butter Turtles

Turtles - Pillsbury BakeOff

Seriously. Don't these sweet little things look like sweet morsels of pure magic?

Credit for these sweet little treats goes to Christine Southard of Noble, Oklahoma, who will be attending the Bake-Off next week!

Chocolate-Almond Butter Turtles

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Total Time: 1 Hr 10 Min
  • Makes: 24 cookies


  • 1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 2/3 cup crunchy almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
  • 24 caramels, unwrapped
  • 24 milk or dark chocolate-covered almonds


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften.
  2. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Add almond butter and vanilla. Mix with wooden spoon, or knead with hands until well blended. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  3. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High 45 to 60 seconds, stirring once, until chips can be stirred smooth. Spoon and spread 1 teaspoon chocolate on each cookie.
  4. In another small microwavable bowl, microwave caramels and 1 1/2 teaspoons water uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring once, until caramels can be stirred smooth. Spoon about 1 teaspoon caramel in center of each cookie; top with almond. Store covered.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.


Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Golden Fruit Brioche Rolls

Brioche rolls - bake-off

I love making people think I'm all fancy in the kitchen when really, I've just lazed around all day and baked something awesome in just 15 minutes. This clever recipe by Christine Wilson of Sellersville, Pennsylvania only takes 15 minutes to make, 45 minutes total (much of that is inactive, though). That means even if you've been watching Mad Men all night and just woke up, you could still get these together in time for brunch. WOO!

Golden Fruit Brioche Rolls

  • Prep Time: 15 Min
  • Total Time: 45 Min
  • Makes: 12 rolls


  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 can Pillsbury refrigerated crusty French loaf
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup whipped butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
  2. In medium bowl, pour 1 cup boiling water over apricots and raisins. Let stand 5 minutes; drain.
  3. Lightly sprinkle work surface with Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour. Remove dough from can; cut 2-inch piece from one end; set aside. Cut remaining dough into 12 (3/4-inch thick) slices; press each slice to form 2 1/2–inch round. Spoon rounded teaspoonful of apricot mixture onto center of each round. Bring dough up around filling to cover completely; pinch edges together to seal; shape into ball. Place 1 ball seam side down in each muffin cup.
  4. Cut reserved 2-inch piece of dough into 3 (about 3/4-inch) slices. Cut each slice into quarters; roll into balls. Place 1 ball on top of dough in each muffin cup; press in lightly. Brush with beaten egg. Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix butter, honey and orange extract until well blended. Serve warm brioche with orange honey butter.

Note: the Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming in November! Check out my coverage of the 45th and 46th Bake-Off, and follow the recipes posted so far by clicking the bakeoff tag below.


Nutty Good: Candied Walnuts by Old School Favorites

Old School favorites candied walnuts

I get samples of products in the mail sometimes. Some I test out and forget. Others, I feel that I need to tell you about because they make me so incredibly happy.

Here's how it went down. This company called Old School Favorites tells me they'd like to send me some of their products: either their "Szauce", described as "an indulgent gourmet chocolate sauce that's handmade using a blend of Hudson Valley Fresh CreamNorth Fork sea saltMadagascar vanillaValrhona cocoa and organic stone ground Taza Chocolate", or their "Nutsz", described as "premium quality California walnuts blanketed in a sweet shell made from the finest organic New York State maple syrup and a pinch of North Fork sea salt. "

I probably responded with something like "sure, surprise me". And a few weeks later, I received a vacuum-packed bag of nuts. I'm sorry--nutsz.

I opened the pack and tested one out. Old School favorites candied walnuts Good golly, that tasted good. It was softer than most candied walnuts I've tried before, but not like, soggy soft. Maybe I'm not a candy purist, but I actually liked that it didn't threaten to tear the roof of my mouth or break my teeth. The maple flavor was a little different than what you'd expect in a candied nut--it made them a little more complex and cozy-tasting. I loved the salt--for me, something like maple syrup, which is so sweet, needs a little touch of salt to balance it out. I would have added it if they hadn't, so they saved me the trouble. 

Old School favorites candied walnuts

Before the end of the day, I was basically using them on everything: atop ice cream, to make my Nanaimo bars even richer by serving them with a nut or three on the side as garnish, heck, even on a slice of toast with butter and a pinch of sea salt.

Old School favorites candied walnuts

In short: I was impressed. The nuts (sorry, nutsz) are not cheap at $12 plus shipping, but you need a treat every now and again, don't you? And in a world where lattes are regularly over $5 now (when did that happen, btw?) it's not so terrible.

Buy online at the Old School Favorites website.


Latest Drawing / Art Posts on Craftsy

Woo! I've done a bunch of awesome art/painting/design tutorials on Craftsy recently. Care to develop your illustrative prowess? Well, you'll find plenty of info and awesomeness in these posts:

Transfer paper how-to

First, how to use transfer paper. You know how awesome parchment paper is in baking? This is just as awesome in art, though its use is quite different. You'll find that you can draw things you never thought you could when you get a little tracing help from this easy to use medium. Here's my primer on how to use the stuff.

Urban Sketching

What is urban sketching and how do you do it? You'll find a fun article I wrote about finding artistic inspiration in the big city, including ways to express the energy and buzz of the city in fun drawing and sketching exercises. Check out the urban sketching tutorial here


How to Make a Classic Sandwich Bread Loaf

This is the bread that kicked off my recent bread-making obsession. It's so simple you might start making fresh bread weekly, like I have been!! Once you master this one, you'll also want to try my honey-wheat variation.

Full recipe and photo tutorial here. 


Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links!

Image: BitrebelsI'm amused and horrified by this Sta-Puft figure. (BitRebels)

Not sweet per se, but still a baked treat. The history of the Cornish pasty! (History.com)

How to make fake cupcakes. A valuable life skill! (CakeSpy for Craftsy)

Oatmeal banana bread pancakes. YES! (Whipped)

Master recipe for biscuits and scones. Yes! (NY Times)

No blurred lines here: a guide to different types of lines in drawing. (CakeSpy for Craftsy)

Who knew? Unexpected uses for honey. (Philly.com)

You knead to know: how to test yeast. (Taste of Home)

DIY Nutella. It's such a good idea. (CakeSpy for Craftsy)

Incredible white chocolate brownies. (The Perfect Brownie)

Caramel apple pie scones. Just absorb all of those things together. Add clotted cream. YUM! (United Cakedom)

Say hello to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (!) (Food World News)

I'm sorry, but did you miss these white chocolate candy cups filled with sugar cookie dough? Too much joy! (Crazy for Crust via CakeSpy)

It's early in the season, yes,, but I'm so into pannetone French toast. (Colavita)

The art of the conversation: how to draw people talking (CakeSpy for Craftsy)

Book of the week: Southern Biscuits by Nathalie Dupree. Because the south does biscuits best (no offense, rest of the world) and this is the bible of how to do biscuits right! Om nom nom.

Page 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7 ... 325 Next 10 Entries »
© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.