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It's the Best Time of the Year: Recipes

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Maple Pecan Scones


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed for flouring
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, ground in a food processor 
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes 
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped, plus more for sprinkling 
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed


Preheat oven to 375

Grind the oats in a food processor. 

Mix with flour, add remaining dry ingredients, then cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives. Once the butter and flour have been mixed to resemble large crumbs, add in the nuts.  Once incorporated, add in the cold cream.  Mix together until it starts to come together as a shaggy dough. 

Form into a large ball and roll into a circle about ¾ to 1 inch thick.  Cut into 6-8 wedges and bake for 20ish mins.

Allow scones to cool completely.

Penuche Icing:

½ cup butter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter.
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar.
  • Pinch of salt.
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half .
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, or as needed.

Melt butter and add in sugar; bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then add half and half and salt.  Return to boil, stirring constantly.  Once boiling, remove from heat and add vanilla.  Beat in powdered sugar until smooth.  Pour over scones.

If you want, you can add a half tsp of maple flavoring to the frosting.  I usually don’t.






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Pizza Dough

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 4 cups flour (use bread flour if using a bread machine
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dry yeast


If using a bread machine, layer ingredients in order listed above, set to white bread cycle, and process until second rise.

If mixing by hand, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water, then add sugar and salt before incorporating flour.  Allow one full rise before punching down.

Either method: 

Punch dough down and knead until dough is smooth and elastic.  Divide dough in two.  This recipe will make enough for two deep dish (cast iron) pizzas or two thin crust, cookie sheet sized pizzas.  I usually do both.

Set oven to 500 (or 550 if your oven goes that high).  Allow to preheat for at least one hour.  This is important.

Stretch dough to fit the pan you’re using.  Oil vessel well with olive oil, and place dough.  Cover with a clean towel for second rise.  Depending on the room temp, I like to give this anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. 

Once the second rise is complete, punch down dough, leaving a ½ - 1 inch margin of raised dough along the edges.  Cover with sauce, cheese and toppings.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.  Deep dish tends to take closer to 15 minutes.

Tips:  Too much cheese is not your friend.  Mincing the pepperoni is a much more rewarding home pizza experience.  Too much sauce is not your friend.  The smaller the toppings, the more likely you are to get some of everything in each bite.  I am a fan of chopped green olives, artichoke hearts, basil, goat cheese and sundried tomatoes.  Hubby prefers red onion and pepperoni.  Regular mozzarella works better than fresh water mozzarella, which tends to make the pizza soggy unless you drain it well beforehand. 

The dough makes a great focaccia base.



1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

5-7 cloves garlic, minced fine (about 3 tbsp)

2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsp oregano, crushed (I almost always use Mexican oregano, which comes dried, in buds)

28 oz can crushed tomatoes


Melt butter with olive oil.  Add garlic, pepper flakes and oregano, and saute for 1 minute, or until the ingredients are fragrant, but garlic has not browned.  Add tomatoes and cook on low (barely a simmer) for about an hour.  Makes enough to cover 2 pizzas (above) plus enough to dip or freeze for next time.