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Nov 26

Pumpkin Biscotti & Bundt Cake

Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 in Deep Dish, Gift Guide

This summer, I watched Mrs. C make biscotti and since she was able to sip wine, chat and modify the recipie as she went; I figured I should give it a try. Pumpkin is a great vegetable readily available this time of year and better yet it comes in a can. NYC = small kitchens therefore team cooking isn’t always advised, but M and I braved it anyway to make some treats for our Thanksgiving guests.

Biscotti can vary in hardness based cooking time and air exposure. They will continue to harden as they cool so seal in an air tight container if you wish them to stay more moist.   They make the perfect gift and afternoon snack with tea.

Bundt Cake is the easiest way to make a simple cake look fancy. The natural mold of the pan scallops the edges and helps the icing drip perfectly down the sides. The ingredients are basically the same so you can easily use up the whole can of pumpkin in one bake fest. We conquered all in under 3 hours.

Pumpkin Biscotti 

What a great gift to bring to the hostess. Pairs perfectly with Chai Tea

Tips: Keep the dough height under 1”

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F

2 ½ cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Nutmeg
Pinch of Ginger
Pinch of Cloves
2 Eggs
½ cup of Pumpkin Puree
1 tsp Vanilla Extract


  1. Sift together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and spices in a LARGE bowl
  2. In a small bowl, wisk together eggs, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
  3. Combine the pumpkin mixture with the flour mixture. Give it a rough stir until the dough is crumbly.
  4. Flour a clean surface and lightly knead the dough until the dough begins to get sticky.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
  6. Form the loaf on the baking sheet. It should be relatively flat with rounded corners.
  7. Bake for 22 - 30 minutes at 350 degrees F, until the center is firm to touch.
  8. Let the biscotti cool for 15 minutes and using a bread knife cut into 1” wide pieces.
  9. Reduce Heat to 300 degrees F and bake for an additional 15 - 20 minutes, flip ½ way. Cool Completely.
  10. If you let them sit out they will harden more, if you prefer them more moist and chewy place them in an air tight container.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

½ cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp Ground Allspice
½ Stick Butter

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 ½ Tbs Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Allspice
½ tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 Cups Sugar (1 Cup Splenda/ 1 Cup Sugar)
1/2 Cup Butter Softened
4 Large Eggs
1 ¼ Cup Pumpkin Puree
8 oz Light Sour Cream
2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 ½ Cups Sifted Powdered Sugar and 2 tbs of Skim Milk. Wisk until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12 Cup Bundt Pan.

  1. In a small bowl combine brown sugar cinnamon and allspice and cut with two knives until crumbly.
  2. In a medium bowl mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt.
  3. Using a mixer, begin beating sugar and butter and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla extract; mix well.
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  6. Spoon ¾ of the batter into greased bundt pan. Sprinkle streusel over batter, not allowing streusel to touch the sides of the pan. Top with remaining batter making sure the batter surrounds the streusel on all sides.
  7. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes in pan. Invert on wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Drizzle with glaze
Nov 25

Non-Wine Charm Charms

Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 in Ding Dong, Gift Guide, Toxic Twists

Wine Charms serve a great purpose for all those who love to entertain. The standard has been a metal ring and beads that clank, clink and swing around the bottom of the stem. Here are some cool alternatives that will make great gifts too.


Vino Taqz
















Wine Lines


















Chic Charms (UK)–LDV950601-details.htm
















Wine Glass Decals WINNER!

Expect to see these in PA this summer

Nov 24

Cheers to a Purple Tongue

Posted on Monday, November 24, 2008 in Gift Guide, Ticket Trips, Toxic Twists, Wallet Wise

As a right of passage from young to mature adult you will inevitably trade in your pilsner for a merlot.  I think that the best practice for learning about wine is to DRINK. Living in San Francisco afforded me the luxury of napa valley day trips. These trips broadened my appreciation for the grape growing and wine making process. It also gave me the confidence to open the restaurant wine list and buy cases at a time. Never forget that while there are some wine connoisseurs, it is all about personal preference.


Here are some of my favorite Napa & Sonoma valley vineyards:

Gloria Ferrer  

Chateau St. Jean


Robert Mondavi Winery



If you are fortunate enough to live in a state with permitted wine shipping laws,, step up and buy a case or join a wine club. I totally underestimated this gift until I had received it.


Ordering Online? I can personally recommend & Bottle Notes. The Wines of the World with mixes one red and one white each month and membership can be for 3 – 12months. This is a great way to hone in on vineyards considered to be the greatest wine regions in the world. offers the one stop shop for personalized and social driven packages. I personally benefited from picking a region like Argentina and get to know that county’s varieties inside and out.


I recently joined the Wall Street Journal’s Wine Club. The special introductory offer averages $7 per bottle in the first case. There is no penalty for cancelling so if you are unhappy you can get out before the price hikes to $11 per bottle in all future orders. We were happy with our red & white selection in the first case.


If shopping locally never pass up a Trader Joe’s, Stew Leonard’s Wine or BevMo store. Go with the intention of taking home a case, because there are many choices. No matter where you shop you should receive a 20% discount when you buy a case and if they don’t switch suppliers. is a great resource if you are trying to track down that special Boekenhoutskloof Chocolate Block bottle.


 * Not all Trader Joes and Stew Leonard’s sell wine so be sure to check out online.


Enjoy Sipping,




If you live in a state that has strict ship to customer laws join the FREE THE GRAPES campaign, to get change.