Tag Archives: fall

Healthy-ish Apple Doughnut Holes

4 Oct

Healthy-ish Apple Doughnut Holes 8
Let’s talk about carbs. Delicious, tasty, incredible carbohydrates. This is my open letter to carbs: I can’t quit you. I recently had a conversation on Facebook with my aunt’s friend who is doing a very low carb diet and was craving apple pie. She was wishing that a yummy no-carb apple pie existed and the conversation pretty much ended with me saying “there’s no such thing, #carbsforlife.”
Healthy-ish Apple Doughnut Holes 4
With all that being said, I do limit my carbs and the vast majority of the time I stick to the good for me ones. After our conversation I had apples on the mind and remembered a recipe I needed to share with you all that just might satisfy the apple craving a bit.
Healthy-ish Apple Doughnut Holes 7
We went to the annual apple festival in a nearby town a couple weekends ago and had a great time picking apples, enjoying a hay rack ride and inhaling hot apple doughnuts fresh from the oven. They were delicious and magical but not something we could indulge in every day. So when Noah requested apple doughnuts later that week, I told him yes, but on my terms.
Healthy-ish Apple Doughnut Holes 3
These apple doughnuts, cooked in a cake pop gadget for instant gratification, are made with very little sugar, just a bit of butter and are half whole wheat. I skipped the whole dip in butter and roll in cinnamon sugar to keep them on the healthy side but you could go ahead and do it if you wish. Just don’t tell me because I’ll be jealous. And don’t worry if you don’t have a cake pop cooker thingy, I’ve provided instructions on baking them in the oven as well. These are slightly sweet with a hint of apple. And you don’t have to feel so bad when you devour 3 or 4.

So here’s to a healthier way to get your carb on.
Healthy-ish Apple Doughnut Holes 5
Apple Doughnut Holes
recipe adapted from Chew Out Loud

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. regular butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 small (or 1 large) apples; peeled, grated, and squeezed dry

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees or preheat cake pop maker. In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a small bowl, mix milk, eggs, butter, vanilla and apples together. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold until just mixed.

2. Either grease mini muffin tin or cake pop maker with nonstick spray. Fill 2/3 full and bake in oven for 7-8 minutes or 2-4 minutes in cake pop maker.

*For butter and cinnamon sugar coating instructions follow link above to the original recipe.

Thanksgiving Roundup

25 Nov

Looking for some last minute additions or recipes for the big day? Here are some yummy breakfast, dessert and side dish recipes that would be perfect for Thanksgiving. I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family and friends. And who is going out Black Friday shopping? Some new outlets just opened last week about a half hour from our house so that’s what we are doing…wish us luck. Everyone I know that has gone so far has said it was nuts.

Perfect for starting off the day right, Pumpkin Granola. It’s light and healthy and won’t fill you up too much.
Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Pie Cashews would be the perfect thing to snack on throughout the day.
Pumpkin Pie Cashews

Share what you are thankful for with these Gratitude Rolls.

These slow cooker mashed potatoes free up that precious stovetop space and still create a creamy, decadent side to that juicy turkey.

Maple Glazed Carrots are a super simple yet delicious addition.
Maple Glazed Carrots

Creamy Cheesy Potatoes are so easy and amazingly delicious!
Creamy Cheesy Potatoes

Brined and Roasted Turkey results with the most juicy and succulent bird ever.

Mini Pecan Pies always grace our Thanksgiving table. They are the perfect little bite that leaves a little room for a second dessert!

Apple Streusel Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze is rustic but delicious.
Apple Streusel Cake

Looking for a rich, dense way to end Thanksgiving? Boom, French Silk Pie.
French Silk Pie

The Great Pumpkin Cookies

14 Oct

The Great Pumpkin Cookies
These are one of my favorite cookies of all time. The combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, oats, chocolate chips and pecans screams fall. And they are so soft and chewy, yum. As soon as September hits, the cravings for these start and doesn’t really go away until well past January. Well, if we’re being honest, I could eat these anytime of the year they are so good. But I’m a total pumpkin lover and don’t always stick to pumpkin only in the fall. I think that’s a silly rule.
The Great Pumpkin Cookies
This recipe is from my mom’s best friend, Kathe. She’s kind of the cookie queen in my world (my favorite sugar cookie recipe is from her too). We love to stay up all night baking Christmas cookies together during the holiday season.
The Great Pumpkin Cookies
These yummy cookies are named after “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” because it’s very loved among our families as are these cookies. If you aren’t into oatmeal, be sure to check out some of my other favorite pumpkin cookies here and here.
The Great Pumpkin Cookies
The Great Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine flour, quick oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

2. Add eggs and vanilla to creamed mixture, mix well. 3. Alternate adding dry ingredients and pumpkin until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Drop onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.
The Great Pumpkin Cookies

Peanut Butter Candy Corn Cookies

9 Oct

Peanut Butter Candy Corn Cookies
Since Halloween is right around the corner, I definitely wanted to share some themed treats with you but lately I have had a huge lack of motivation and creativity. The end of pregnancy is rough people. I had Noah 3 weeks and a day early so I never went through those last few uncomfortable weeks. Not fun.
Peanut Butter Candy Corn Cookies
So, basically I just stirred some candy corn instead of M&M’s into my favorite peanut butter cookies and called them festive. That’s how I roll these days. But I have to tell you, they are incredibly chewy and delicious. I had to pretty much immediately deliver them to Joel at work because we couldn’t keep our hands off of them. When we were on our way, Noah told me that they (Joel and his co-workers) had to eat a good lunch if they were going to have a cookie. Bribery works in our house you see.
Peanut Butter Candy Corn Cookies
Even though these aren’t incredibly creative and don’t scream creepy, crawly Halloween they are really yummy and would be the perfect, easy addition to your Halloween or fall feast.

Peanut Butter Candy Corn Cookies

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 1/4 brown sugar
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. half and half or milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups candy corn, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Cream peanut butter, shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg; mix well. Stir in half and half and vanilla.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Roughly chop 1 cup candy corn and stir into cookie dough. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment lined cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and press 2-3 candy corn on top of cookies. Return to oven for another 1-2 minutes. Let sit on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes then slide parchment off cookie sheet onto counter and allow to cool completely before removing from parchment. If you try to remove before they are cool, they will be sticky from any melted candy corn and may fall apart.
Peanut Butter Candy Corn Cookies

Pumpkin Granola

7 Oct

Pumpkin Granola
I love granola and it’s so easy to make at home with items I always have stocked in my pantry. At a recent trip to Trader Joe’s I discovered pumpkin Greek yogurt and just about died. I grabbed several and started daydreaming about the deliciousness. The only thing is that the texture of yogurt makes me gag so I have to have some kind of texture to eat it. I usually stir in toasted almonds but granola is always a yummy go to when we have it.
Pumpkin Granola
And what would be better with pumpkin yogurt than pumpkin granola? It was so good mixed into the yogurt, eaten by the handfuls and with milk. It’s not overwhelmingly pumpkin flavored but has a nice, warm fall spiciness. I skipped the cranberries and pepitas since I didn’t have any but I’m sure they would be a lovely addition.
Pumpkin Granola
Pumpkin Granola
recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ tsp. salt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas

1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.

2. Combine the oats, almonds, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract until smooth.  Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated. They will be moist. Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and stir. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and stir in dried cranberries and pepitas. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino

30 Sep

Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappacino
I am so ready for fall weather! It’s still in the 80s around here and I am so tired of it. It seems a little wrong to be making so many pumpkin treats when we don’t have the cool fall breeze, scarves and sweaters but alas, it’s still happening around here.
Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappacino
I’ve been seeing pumpkin drinks floating around pinterest like crazy and definitely wanted to join in on the fun but a hot coffee drink just isn’t an option right now. So when I saw this frappuccino recipe I knew it would be a good one to try. And since I’m not really a huge fan of coffee, it appealed to me because it had the same amount of coffee and milk so it wouldn’t have too strong of a coffee flavor.
Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappacino
I also liked the combination of pumpkin and caramel. I used the delicious fleur de sel caramel from Trader Joe’s and leftover pumpkin from one of the many recipes I have been whipping up. It was the perfect afternoon pick me up!
Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappacino
Caramel Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino
recipe slightly adapted from Miss in the Kitchen

1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup brewed coffee, cooled (I used caramel flavored coffee)
3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
3 tablespoons dulce de leche or salted caramel
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon plus more for garnish
pinch of ground ginger
1 1/2 cup ice
1 tablespoon fat free Cool Whip

Blend all ingredients, except the cool whip, together in a blender. Pour into a glass and top with cool whip.

Pumpkin Doughnut Holes

23 Sep

Pumpkin Doughnut Holes
So, I have this little cake pop maker that my in-laws gave to me for my birthday a few years ago and I absolutely love using it to make doughnut holes. I can’t believe that I haven’t shared any recipes for it here…but I guess that would mean we couldn’t inhale them immediately, giving me a chance to photograph them. Lucky for you, I have been really pushy, bossy diligent about making sure I get photos of food before letting the boys at it since I want to have a stock pile of recipes and photos for once peanut arrives. I have a feeling I won’t be doing much cooking the first few weeks but I still want to pop in and share some yumminess with you all. But we all know what they say about the best laid plans so please forgive me if I am absent for a bit while we adjust to all these big changes.
Pumpkin Doughnut Holes
Speaking of all the changes coming up, have I mentioned that I’m kind of panicking. There are some days that I am literally checking the clock every few minutes, praying it will say 5:20 because that’s when Joel will be home and I’ll have some help. And that’s just with one. How am I going to handle two, while being sleep deprived? Those close to me know I need my sleep. Hah, this is going to be interesting. I know there is going to be a big adjustment and learning period and that we will get into a schedule that works for us. And I know we will have days that are just downright awful and Joel will come home to a crazed lunatic. But it will all work out, right? Right?
Pumpkin Doughnut Holes
Anyway, you’ve heard enough about my hopeful irrational fear of being a mother of two…back to the doughnut holes. Noah and I had a blast whipping these up. They were quick and easy to make with the cake pop maker and turned out super moist. But if you don’t have a cake pop maker, don’t worry. These can be baked up in mini muffin tins, they just won’t look as doughnut hole-y. They are the perfect spicy pumpkin breakfast this fall.
Pumpkin Doughnut Holes
Pumpkin Doughnut Holes
recipe from Polish the Stars

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1. Preheat oven 350°F. Spray each cup of a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Or, if you have a cake pop maker, plug it in to preheat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until smooth. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
3. If baking in the oven, use a two tablespoon cookie scoop to divide batter among muffin cups until they are about 2/3 full.  Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you are using a cake pop maker, spoon about a tablespoon of batter into each hole, close the lid and cook for 4-6 minutes (only took 4 for mine).
4. Meanwhile, melt the butter. In another bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Remove muffins from oven or cake pop maker and cool for 2 minutes, or until just cool enough to handle. Dip each doughnut hole in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat.

Pumpkin Doughnut Holes

Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore’s Cake Bars

16 Sep

Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
That’s quite a name, huh? I have been on a huge pumpkin kick lately, it is September after all (even though it still doesn’t feel like it). I have so many delicious recipes to share with you guys it’s been hard to keep it to just one a week.
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
I didn’t plan on making these bars but when I spied the pumpkin spice marshmallows at the store, they somehow jumped into my cart so I had to figure out something yummy to make with them. I was experiencing a major lack of creativity and for a few days could only think of rice krispie treats. But I wanted to share something more decadent. I was thinking and thinking, then smore’s popped into my head. Pumpkin and chocolate totally go together so I knew it would be a good combination.
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
I went searching through my saved dessert recipes and came across this one. I knew it was something I could alter into a delicious, spicy, fall treat. The original recipe called for yellow cake mix and white chocolate chips but to combine well with the pumpkin marshmallows, I decided to go with a spice cake mix and half dark, half white chocolate. If you prefer one kind of chocolate over the other, go with just that but I couldn’t decide which would be more delicious so I went with both!
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore’s Cake Bars
recipe adapted from Picky Palate

1 box spice cake mix
1 large egg
1 stick butter, softened
4 1/2 full graham crackers
5 ounces white chocolate chips
5 ounces dark chocolate chips
2 cups pumpkin spice marshmallows
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with tin foil that’s been generously sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure foil goes all the way up and over the edges.

2. Place cake mix, egg, and butter into a large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until a nice dough forms. similar to a cookie dough. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer with graham crackers, white and dark chocolate chips then marshmallows. Top with remaining half of dough pressing evenly. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk over top.

3. Bake for 28-33 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown on top. Remove from oven. Let cool for 5 minutes then take a knife and run along edges to loosen marshmallow (this will make your life easier when pulling foil out of pan to remove bars.  Let cool completely then remove bars from pan with foil edges. Cut into squares and enjoy room temperature or chilled.
Pumpkin Spice Gooey Smore's Cake Bars

Turkey and Corn Chili {Football Food}

13 Sep

Turkey and Corn Chili
When I think of the perfect food to eat on a crisp fall day while watching football, chili automatically pops into my head. It’s warm, comforting, filling and can easily feed a crowd.

Although I love a rich, hearty and tomato-y chili, it’s still really warm around here so when the chili craving struck I went on the hunt for something lighter and a little different. This chili still has the comfort of traditional recipes but brings in flavors of the lingering summer to combine for the perfect game day meal.
Turkey and Corn Chili
The addition of barbeque sauce brings an amazing, smoky flavor that is unique and delicious with the turkey, corn and black beans.

If you are feeding a crowd, double the recipe and whip up some sweet cornbread to nibble alongside it. Perfect for cheering on your favorite team tomorrow. Go Huskers!
Turkey and Corn Chili
Turkey and Corn Chili
recipe adapted from Food Network

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb.  ground turkey
2 Tbsp. dark chili powder
1/2 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 salt
1/2 pepper
2 Tbsp. Mexican spice rub
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 to 3 Tbsp. hot sauce
1/2 large onion, finely diced
1/2 cup beer (the alcohol cooks out)
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce
11 oz. can corn
16 oz. can pinto or black beans

1. Heat a pot over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and the turkey meat. Season the meat with: chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, Mexican spice rub, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon into small crumbles.

2. Chop the onion, reserving 1/4 of it for topping the chili. Brown meat 5 minutes, then add onions and cook 10 minutes more. Add beer and deglaze the pan, scraping up the drippings and cooking off the alcohol. Add tomato sauce and barbecue sauce and bring to a bubble. Stir in corn and black beans. Let chili simmer 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings and heat level to your taste. Remove from heat and serve.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins {Starbucks Copycat}

9 Sep

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
The other day I got a text from my aunt with a challenge…to recreate Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffins. Well, I can’t turn down a challenge, especially if it means I get to whip up something with pumpkin, my favorite dessert flavor.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
I can’t compare these to Starbucks because the day I planned on picking one up, for research purposes of course, my sugar levels were high at my appointment and my midwife decided to do another glucose check just to be safe. So I decided that it probably wouldn’t be the best thing to be scarfing down in case there is an issue.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
But what I can tell you is that these are some of the moistest (is that a word?) muffins I have ever made. The spices were rich and heavenly and don’t even get me started on the cream cheese filling. It was sweet and creamy which was a nice compliment to the pumpkin. Noah enjoyed eating just the tops of these muffins…smart kid.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
recipe adapted from food.com

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin
2 Tbsp. molasses
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Chopped pumpkin seeds, walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Dump onto on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and shape it into a long log that is not any wider than a muffin cup. Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour.

3. Meanwhile, mix together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda. In another large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil and molasses together.

4. Unwrap the cream cheese mixture and cut with a sharp knife so each cream cheese disk equals 1-2 teaspoons.

5. Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) a little over half full. Put a cream cheese disc in the middle of each, pressing down. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chopped nuts or pumpkin seeds.

6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (do not touch the cream cheese mixture).

7. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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