Four Ingredient Brussels


I don’t think we’ve ever posted a more easy recipe. After a busy day of running from work to home to the store to rehearsal and back home again, the last thing I need to do is go get a million ingredients and decode a long new recipe. In my book, it’s best to enjoy complicated recipes on the weekend. So, here we are on a Wednesday night. With four simple ingredients, you’ll have a healthy, tasty, side dish in just over a half hour.

Roasting brussels sprouts brings out a sweet nuttiness that I just can’t resist this time of year. The salty finish makes them a little too easy to eat (I devour them like popcorn). Hey, at least I won’t feel guilty helping myself to seconds if this is on the table!

Four Ingredient Brussels Sprouts
Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 35 min.


20 brussels sprouts, ends cut off and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven (or convection oven) to 350°. Place all ingredients on the solid pan (included with oven) and toss until brussels are lightly coated in oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm!

Candy Bar Blondies


Did you know that in St. Louis when kids go trick-or-treating, they have to tell a joke? Yep, we work for our candy around here. Even the toddlers have some sort of trick they practice (with prompting from their parents, of course) for weeks leading up to the big day. Growing up, I remember my mother literally holding the bowl of treats back from the neighborhood kids until they each told a joke. Now that Neil and I own our own house, I take pride in holding the bowl back until I hear all the jokes just like my mother. The goofy jokes are similar to ones you’d normally find on Laffy Taffy wrappers. Examples: “Why didn’t the skeleton go to the ball? Because he had no BODY to go with.” or “What kind of pants do ghosts wear? BOO-Jeans.” Har har har.

I thought I’d share a recipe to help use up some of the sweet treasures your little comedians may bring home this Halloween. Blondies are essentially a cross between two of my favorite desserts: brownies and chocolate chip cookies. You can add just about any Halloween candy to the mix of sweets and I’m pretty sure this recipe will still work. We used Reese’s peanut butter cups and Oreos, but if you try other variations please comment and let us know how they turned out. Serve these blondies warm and à la mode. They’re delicious. No joke!

Candy Bar Blondies
Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 40 min.


2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups chopped Halloween candy (we used peanut butter cups and Oreos)

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and lightly flour an 8 x 10″ glass baking dish. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until creamy. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Using a spatula or spoon, fold in chopped candy pieces. Evenly press dough into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes until blondies reach level of doneness you prefer (we like ours slightly under- just like our cookies).
12 servings

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaves


A storm rolled in two days ago. Not just any storm. It was one of those storms that when you look to the east, it’s sunny, and when you look to the west, a wall of clouds is eerily creeping in. It was almost as if someone pulled a giant string to lower a curtain of clouds on our town. On this particular day, the curtain was lowering on a hot, muggy, never ending season and with the next sunrise, it was suddenly fall.

I love that first cool fall morning when I step out on my porch to head to work and quickly rush back inside to grab a jacket (or, not grab one just so I can FEEL FALL!). There is simply nothing better than fall baking with the kitchen window open, the cool air drifting through the house, and the Cardinals on TV just an earshot away. I love this season.

The last thing that I wanted to do today was heat up the whole house again while I was baking. It’s cool, and I like it that way. Enter: The Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven. I know it’s going to sound like I’m exaggerating, but this appliance has drastically changed the way we cook. We’ve been using our oven about half as much now that we have this multipurpose appliance. We make pizza, roast veggies, bake cookies, and more without heating up the entire house. It preheats SO quickly, and has an automatic shut off feature that kicks in as soon as your dish is finished cooking. The convection toaster oven fits perfectly on our counter and is easy to move if needed.

This sounds silly, but it makes THE BEST toast we’ve ever had. Toast? I know. Doesn’t seem exciting (trust me, Neil wanted to post a recipe for TOAST for this product), but it truly is toast unlike any other. Crispy on the outside, evenly toasted, with light pillowy bread on the inside.


To welcome fall, I just HAD to post a pumpkin recipe (sorry, Neil, not a recipe for toast). There is a local bakery nearby that makes excellent pumpkin chocolate chip bread, and this is inspired by those flavors. I like using chocolate chunks because…. well… you get more chocolate that way! This recipe makes two mini loaves, so you can devour one and share one with a friend. This is also a good recipe to bookmark for upcoming holiday gift giving. Happy fall, and head over to Cuisinart to check out this toaster oven!

Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaves
Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 45 min.


2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 15-oz can pumpkin
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks


Butter and flour two mini loaf pans (5″ x 3″) and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the first five ingredients (eggs, oil, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla) until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine the next five ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon).

Add 1/2 of the dry mixture to the wet mixture and turn electric mixer on low to combine. Then, add the remaining 1/2 of the dry mixture and mix again, scraping the bowl of the mixer with a spatula if needed.

Fold in chocolate chunks with a spatula.

Position one single rack in the convection oven on the lowest level (one up from the heating element). Preheat convection oven to 350° and set the timer for 40 minutes. Divide batter evenly between two mini loaves and bake for 40-45 minutes. Tops should be golden brown and bread cooked through.

Makes two mini loaves.

Cuisinart sponsored this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% our own.