Pumpkin Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Stack of Pumpkin Cream Cookie Sandwiches | jessicagavin.com #cookies #recipe

Dunk…wait for it…nom nom nom! Oh boy do I love Oreo cookies with an ice cold glass of milk so I can dip each bite, so yummy! I don’t know how it started but I remember playing a game of who would get the cream filled center with my friends, anxiously holding one side of the cookie, pulling the sandwich apart like it was some magical wish bone. The crumbly chocolate wafer cookies are filled with just the right amount of vanilla cream and is one of my favorite childhood favorite treats, darn you Nabisco! Now these cookies are my adult guilty pleasure, and no better time to indulge than during the holiday season…. 

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Apricot Almond Granola Bars

delicious apricot almond granola bars | jessicagavin.com Do you ever feel like apricot season is over in a flash? I love summer stone fruit, especially when apricots are super sweet and tender, yum! Just because summer has come to an end, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy some delicious snacks that have summer flavors. Luckily most seasonal fruits can be found in their dried versions, making the flavors even more concentrated and naturally sweet…. 

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Chocolate Pumpkin Pecan Scones

Amazing pumpkin pecan scones with maple glaze | jessicagavin.com

Fall is finally here! This marks the beginning of my baking extravaganza. The first fall sightings were the giant bags of miniature Halloween candies exploding from the aisles in the grocery store. I also can’t forget those adorable mini pumpkins and sticky caramel apples. I try not to go to the market hungry because there are too many temptations right now. But boy, was I craving something pumpkin flavored, so I purchased my first can of Libby’s pumpkin puree. I couldn’t wait to think of a sweet treat to bake! So I decided to go all out and pack these buttery little pastries with my fall flavor arsenal, creating chocolate pumpkin pecan scones with maple glaze, boom!… 

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Pork Chops with Spiced Apples

pork chops with spiced apples in skillet | jessicagavin.com #pork

This week marks the official beginning of fall, which means cooler temps, mini pumpkins everywhere and cozy comfort foods. I was really sad to see the dwindling of summer produce at the market yesterday, but they were replaced by marvelous apples! There are so many varieties to choose from like honeycrisp, jazz or the traditional green.

It really depends on how you decide to cook the apples, and since I wanted to use them for a sweet and savory topping for this pork recipe, Fuji apples were my pick. Incredibly sweet yet sturdy when cooked down and sauteed, Fuji apples are great at infusing flavors into it’s flesh and staying nice and tender once cooked. I was excited to transition from using the grill during the summer time to breaking out my trusty cast iron pan to create my hearty and delicious pork chops with spiced apples recipe…. 

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Honey Hoisin Pork Tenderloin w/ Carrot Puree

Honey hoisin pork tenderloin recipe

Are you looking for a flavorful, healthy, yet easy to prepare recipe for your weekday meal? This honey hoisin pork tenderloin recipe is a great option that is not only simple but it also looks like you could have spent hours in the kitchen! The combination of rich, savory and fresh flavors infuse into the pork tenderloin effortlessly. With a few minutes to sear the pork tenderloin in the pan and then finishing the cooking process by roasting in the oven leaving you have plenty of time to prepare your tasty sides!… 

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Chinese Potstickers

3 servings of potstickers

What was your favorite childhood food and do you still crave it? Well, I used to love eating handfuls of delicious Chinese potstickers! Growing up eating Chinese food at least four times a week, especially dim sum, it really set the tone for my taste buds. There is something about these handmade moon shaped dumplings, filled with savory pork and scallion filling, then dipped in salty and tangy soy and vinegar sauce that made for one of my ultimate comfort foods growing up. I’m excited to share with you my favorite homemade Chinese potstickers recipe, perfect for Chinese New Year!… 

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Chinese Beef with Broccoli

Chinese beef with broccoli stirfry

If there was one tactic for my parents to get me to eat my vegetables, it was to order beef with broccoli at our favorite local Chinese restaurant in Alameda! The dish at Hong Kong City restaurant was so simple yet comforting; two ingredients drenched in a sweet and savory sauce which made each bite of broccoli a little more enjoyable…. 

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Pumpkin Hand Pies with Pecan Streusel

Cooking rack of pumpkin pies

Some people can look at the leafs outside and say fall has arrived, well in Southern California we go to the grocery store to notice the seasons changing. You know what I’m talking about, in late September the grocery chains start to bombard you with pumpkins, scary ghosts and lots of Halloween candy! Pumpkin is the essential ingredient of autumn, so its no surprise that you can find pumpkin everything… pop tarts, cheesecake, oatmeal, flavored beer and lattes luring you into the holiday spirit!… 

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Stir-fried Bitter Melon Recipe

stir-fried bitter melon recipe with Black Bean Sauce

If there is one taste I have a challenge enjoying, its bitter. Growing up in a Chinese family, I could not avoid the occasional super healthy bitter melon soup my grandparents would make, or a saucy bitter melon dish that I would let pass me on the lazy susan at Chinese restaurants. On the flip side, we all know that typically a vegetable that doesn’t taste great, is usually good for you…. 

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Apricot Spritz Cookie

apricot spritz cookie

My fondest memory of spritz cookies was when I working at an exquisite European Bakery called Boniere in my home town of Alameda, CA during high school. The pastry chef would fill the cookies with homemade raspberry and apricot jam, and lightly dust each cookie with powdered sugar. These cookies were so tender and contained the perfect amount of sweetness which would melt in your mouth. I just had to recreate these apricot spritz cookies at home!… 

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Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Apricot Ginger Glaze

spicy grilled shrimp served with salsa and polenta

Summer is here and it’s time to dust off the grill! My local market was featuring beautiful and succulent jumbo shrimp which is a perfect quick and easy protein to cook on the grill. Shrimp is already so flavorful with little to no extra seasonings, but I decided to infuse some sweet and savory flavors…. 

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Persimmon Cookie Recipe

Persimmon Cookie Recipe

As the holiday season comes to an end, it doesn’t mean that the flavors of the winter have to! My sweet friend Amy brought me some gorgeous Fuyu persimmons from her grandparents tree. Amy told me that they were the perfect ripeness for baking, so I was excited to try a persimmon cookie recipe to highlight the honey like flavor from these delicious fruits…. 

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Grandma’s Ginger Beef Stew Recipe

Grandma's Ginger Beef Stew Recipe

I love comfort food and my grandma, Kam Kwei Yee (I call her Yin Yin) makes a deliciously comforting stew. Her ginger beef stew recipe is one of my favorite dishes, in fact when I was 12 years old, on the day before I got my braces put on my dad asked what was the last meal I wanted to eat and I requested this exact dish!… 

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Persimmon Honey Ginger Tart

Persimmon Honey Ginger Tart

Persimmons are a delightful treat during the winter season. The Fuyu Japanese varietal of persimmon looks like a pumpkin shaped orange tomato, however the flavor is very sweet and slightly tangy with a crunchy to soft texture depending on how long you allow the fruit to ripen. Persimmons can be eaten raw and when they are ripe they are perfect for a persimmon honey ginger tart filled with custard!… 

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Ginger Crumble and Stone Fruit Pie

ginger crumble and stone fruit pie

The warm summer weather in Southern California has extended into fall, which means you can still purchase summer fruit at the market! In the last attempt to enjoy the flavors of summer in a sweet pie, I grabbed my favorite stone fruit; peaches, nectarines and plums.  I topped the pie with my favorite ginger pecan and almond crumble, and at last, the endless summer ginger crumble and stone fruit pie was created…. 

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Japanese Eggplant Salad

Japanese Eggplant Salad

Japanese eggplants are elegant and beautiful to serve, they can also be cooked a variety of ways. My dear friend Kaui has an incredible green thumb and graciously gave me some eggplants and tomatoes from her garden. I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to try with the generous gifts from my friend. I had been eyeing a Japanese eggplant salad recipe from Terra: Cooking from the Heart of Napa Valleyby Chef Hiro Sone of Terra Restaurant. The umami and pungent flavors from the marinade and dressings are highlighted in Chef Sone’s recipe.  This Japanese eggplant salad has multiple components, but I promise, the flavors are what you can expect to taste when dining in Japan!… 

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Chicken Yakitori Recipe

Chicken Yakitori Recipe

If you are in the mood for savory and sweet flavors to spice up some boring chicken, than try this Japanese style chicken yakitori recipe. The chicken is marinated in a soy sauce, sake and ginger, then threaded onto skewers and broiled. I’m always looking far ways to change up the types of cuisines we eat at home each week that aren’t too complicated yet flavorful. This recipe is simple, quick and delicious!… 

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