How Do You Like Them Apples?

I can’t recall if it was my dad or grandpa that used to say that but it’s in my head as is fall. It’s almost fall. Almost as in I’ve already decorated and bought some new fall clothes. In reality it’s averaging 105 here this week. Boo. I am not the least bit happy about those temps, even in the midst of summer. I don’t like the hot. We stay semi warm here in Northern California through Halloween. We will have some cooler days and nights before we are totally submerged in the crispness of the season. I can not wait. Fall is so my favorite season and it goes way too fast. Fall officially kicks off on September 23rd but I start decorating right after Labor Day. September is also the kick off to Apple Hill which is one of my favorite places to go. Ever. With that, I am sharing some recipes that I am hoping to make and share this apple season.

Snickerdoodle Apple Cobbler – Crazy for Crust
Are you kidding me? Two of my favorite things rolled into one yummy recipe. I am definitely making this one soon!

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New England Apple Cider Cake – A Family Feast
This might be a fun weekend breakfast.

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Apple Pie Moonshine – It’s a Keeper

I’ve had the store bought version of this before and it is a tummy warmer for sure. Perfect for a crisp fall night.

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Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Pancakes – Julia’s Album

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Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette – Cooking Classy

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Apple Cider Caramels – I Heart Nap Time
These are the perfect thing to make and giveaway. I am sure you could make new friends if you kept these in your purse.

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Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread – She Wears Many Hats
I am sure this would be a crowd pleaser at any fall party.

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Of course I have barely scratched the surface for delicious apple recipes. I am drooling as I type this. Yum yum yum. Do you have a favorite apple recipe?

Thanksgiving 2013 Menu

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Happy Fall Y’all! A fellow blogger and friend of mine shared her Thanksgiving menu and I thought, “what a great idea”. So I am being a bit of a copy cat. Hopefully flattery will get me everywhere 😉 Charene’s blog is Copper Lantern Cooking. I actually found her a few years back when she had a local cupcake business and was generous enough to donate to a fundraiser at my kids school. We have since become Facebook friends and recipe sharers. I love social media for just these type of friendships. I get to meet people that I otherwise would not and share fun things like well, food!

So let me preface by saying that I have a pretty straight forward, stick to the classics type of family. However, I like to mix it up so I’ve added a few things with flair.

Appetizers

  • Salami, cheese and crackers – we grew up with this on hand at every family function. My dad is adding deer salami which I do not like so I asked for regular ol’ salami for me.
  • Black olives – you know, for wearing on your fingers.
  • Deviled eggs — another dad specialty

Main Course

Desert

My dad is in charge of deserts. I am the queen of baking in my house but for Thanksgiving, I appreciate the pies that show up in my kitchen. We get various versions of apple pie from Apple Hill, a banana cream pie from Buttercream Bakery and the pumpkin pies are from Costco. Trust me, I make it up with the loads of cookies that I crank out throughout the rest of the holiday season. Oh, I’ll take a little credit cause I do make homemade whipped cream for the pies. Homemade. No canned or Cool Whip {yes, I know some people love it but I have to make the real stuff, I’ve even added a little bourbon for a kick.}

Do you host or travel for Thanksgiving? Do you have a standard menu or do you serve things unique? I’d love to hear about your families favorite recipes.

However you spend Thanksgiving, I wish you a happy one. Count your blessings everyday.

Fall Entertaining

Sometimes I just want to jump into a magazine that features the perfect tablescape. Tonight I was inspired by this amazing photo on Joss & Main.

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I love this table over at Bird’s Party. The sprinkles of gold confetti are a fun addition to an already whimsical table.

thanksgiving-fall-tablescape-ideasClassy in the City shared this simple yet inviting table for 4.

Fall2 I love this photo on LampsPlus page. I think the whole property just works for that rustic feel that I adore.

Fall3I love how Sew Fine a Seam incorporated some blue into her table. I love adding blue into my holiday color scheme. Light blue, robins egg blue, soft aqua. It’s a soothing color and adds a fun pop to any decor.

fall-tablescape-3-620x1014The Happier Homemaker kept it simple with whites and a burst of green. I love the addition of the initial as a table marker {I have a slight obsession with initials}.

autumn-tablescapeSo there you have it, a few of my favorite fall tablescapes although I have a confession, I grew up spending holidays with my dad, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. so we all ended up eating wherever we found a seat and this involved paper plates and plastic utensils but guess what? It was the best and even though we didn’t have fancy place settings, there wasn’t a lack of blessings and things to be thankful for. Still, I do love pretty table.

 

Cinnamon & Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Cookies

Heeeeelllllo Fall! So it’s that season {yeah yeah yeah .. I’m so redundant in expressing my love of Fall, sorry if it gets annoying but I just can not help myself} for baking. Today I had three goals, #1 – Bake with pumpkin, #2 – make some goodies for our schools Fall Festival Cake Walk tomorrow and #3 – Appease my neighbor who has been relentless in reminding me that I have not made anything pumpkin for him yet. So I went to my recipe book Pinterest and found these goodies which were over at Keep it Sweet Deserts. I whipped them up and of course had my delivery boy run them to the neighbors house which resulted in a text telling me that it was a keeper. Oh whew! 😉 Then I bagged them up for the cake fight. Oh yes, prior to these two things my taste tester and I sampled the goods and yes, this recipe is a keeper.

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Cinnamon & Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Cookies

Yield: Makes 5 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup cinnamon chips

Cooking Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and pumpkin pie seasoning; set aside
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla; beat in pumpkin until well-combined
  5. Stir in dry ingredients just until combined
  6. Stir in chocolate and cinnamon chips
  7. Use a cookie dough scoop or tablespoon to place cookie dough mounds (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 1 inch apart
  8. Bake 9-11 minutes or until cookies are puffed up and no longer wet
  9. Allow cookies to cool on cooling rack before serving

Little Pieces of Fall

I know, I go on and on and on about how I heart Fall. I even have a hashtag for it on Instagram. #iheartfall. For real. I’m literally sitting here eating apple crisp while apple coffee cake bakes in the oven. At 10pm. #issues. I know I am not alone so I’ve compiled some of my favorite Fall things to share here with you. Your welcome and happy Fall ya’ll.

Fall collage 1

Felt leaves at 5 Orange Potatoes

Chai Pumpkin Spice Thumbprints at Pass the Sushi

Sweater Pumpkin at Confessions of a Plate Addict

Heart Shaped Leaves at The Berry

Fall Collage 2Cider Spiced Donut Holes at Honeybear Lane

Free Fall printable at I Should Be Mopping the Floor

Spicy Pumpkin Soup at A Spicy Perspective

Chevron Wreath at Crafty Texas Girls

Last year I shared all of these yummy pumpkin recipes and these free printables. Is Fall your favorite season or are you all about the hot summer days?

 

 

 

 

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I love Fall and one of my most favorite parts of this season is the food. Pumpkin and apple everything? Yes please! I also love crock-pot meals for the convenience. Chef Mommy nailed it with this delicious soup. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure. With a little bit of prep you can have this yummy soup simmering for dinner. Serve with a fresh loaf of french bread and a side salad and viola, dinner is served!

SoupSource – Chef Mommy

 

Crock Pot Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half (I used fat-free half and half)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup diced celery

Directions:

Combine broth, water, carrots, celery, chicken and rice (along with seasoning packet) in a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Take out chicken and shred with two forks and then add back into slow cooker. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, and flour. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour mixture by tablespoon to form a roux. Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Stir cream mixture into slow cooker and then let cook on low for 15 more minutes.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Buttercream Frosting

Do I have your attention? I know we just went from Thanksgiving to Christmas as far as the season goes but I had to share this recipe from yesterday. I felt like whipping up something other then pie {cause you know, we have like 10 of those in my house!!}. Pumpkin screams Fall so I decided on these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Buttercream Frosting. They were a hit and oh so yummy! The frosting is very rich but spoon licking good. I added the candy corn for a little pop of color and well you know how I feel about candy corn if you’ve been following along 😉

 

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Buttercream Frosting

Adapted from Made in Mel’s Kitchen

Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the  brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined.  Add dry ingredients, and mix on low until smooth. Fold in pumpkin puree.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Makes ~ 18 cupcakes.

Source: Adapted from MarthaStewart.com.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable. Alternatively, you could use just under 1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny.  If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
What do you think? Are you a pumpkin fan?

Chocolate Snickerdoodles with Pumpkin Kisses

My goal is to find, make and share one new recipe a week with all of you. With it being the holiday season, you may see a lot of sweets 😉 I’m sorry. I can not help myself. If you are a neighbor of mine — you will either love or hate me cause I have to share!! Todays recipe was a Chocolate Snickerdoodle with a Pumpkin Kiss in the middle. It was yummy and seasonal. I also walked outside with a plate and handed them out to the kids playing in the beautiful Fall sunshine {mine included}. I needed more judges then just me. It was a general thumbs up. Yeah! I love thumbs up when I make a new recipe.

I would LOVE to try and make these with Caramel Kisses. Can you imagine that flavor combo? Mmmmm.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles with Pumpkin Kisses

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup dutch cocoa
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon sugar
32 Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses

Cinnamon Sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl mix together the Cinnamon Sugar and set aside.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together and set aside.

In mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Stir in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just combined.

Using your hands, form the dough into 1 inch balls and then roll in Cinnamon Sugar mixture.  Place the dough balls on the baking sheets.  Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes or until just firm but not overcooked.

While the cookies are baking unwrap your Pumpkin Kisses.

Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately place pumpkin kisses in the center of each cookie. Cool completely.  (Just press them down gently, the candy will melt and stick to the cookie when cool.  Try not to move the cookies until the Kisses have set up again.)
This week I’m linking up to the following parties:

Pumpkin Cuties

Ah Halloween Parties — well kids Halloween parties that is!! The kids are having parties at school tomorrow and I signed up to bring the Pumpkin Cuties. These were easy and so cute! Equipment needed: Cuties and Sharpies. Boom. Done!

Do your kids get to have Halloween Parties at school? It seems that so many schools are not allowing kids to dress up and they are also scrapping the parties. This makes me sad! Kids love Halloween and taking away something that has brought so much joy for so many years is a bummer. What do you think? Should the schools still have Halloween Parties?

I’m linking up to these parties:

Felt Flower Autumn Wreath

I saw this wreath at Living Locurto some time ago and I just had to try it myself. The original tutorial was over at Little Things Bring Smiles It was a lot of tracing and cutting and then more cutting but it was the perfect activity for me while watching TV {cause I need to be busy while watching TV}. Yes, the hand cramps from cutting eventually go away 😉

I used 30 squares of felt {5 for $1.00 at Michaels on sale}, 1 18 inch grapevine wreath {buy one, get one half off at JoAnn’s – $4.99 regular price each}, I had the Autumn Sticker as well as the stick and sign to stick it on. Each felt square allowed for 3 circles using a CD as a template. There was leftover felt which of course I will save for some other project down the line.

I might actually add a big bow just to dress it up a bit.

I am actually working on one using a grapevine wreath spray painted white and then adding light grey rosettes for winter. I will probably add a big red bow and call it good. It’s half way done so I am sure I will be sharing that with you soon!

What do you hang on your door for Fall decor? I like to add something to the inside and outside of my front door.

I’m linking up to the following parties this week: