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.

The+Fall+Harvest

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?

 

 

 

 

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:

Decorating Pumpkins with Ribbon

I had seen this cute craft using ribbon and pumpkins across blogland and then a friend had a craft party with a few friends and showed me what she had done. They were so cute and I was sold. I used a couple of pumpkins that I already had, bought ribbon on sale at Michaels and I also found the cute stick on ‘bling’ or jewels {which come in a million different colors and patterns} there. Even though they were adorable, I felt they needed just a little something extra for that “pop”. So I looked a little more and I saw some pumpkins decorated on Autocrat, where she added a fun fringe to the top so I headed back to Michaels and used a lovely 40% off coupon and picked up some of the fringy/fuzzy black yarn. This is what I ended up with. Oh, let me just say that decorating pumpkins was so therapeutic! It was a relaxing craft for sure! I could have decorated an entire pumpkin family 🙂

What crafts have you done this Fall? What is on your ‘to do list’?

I’m linking up to these parties this week:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Chili

 

I posted that I was making this yesterday on Facebook and many of you asked for the recipe. I wanted to make sure that it was ‘share worthy’ and it is 😉 If you want a super simple meal and love using your crockpot then this is perfect!! I also love that her blog {Skinny Taste} is filled with delicious and good for you meals.

Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Chili

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 2 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 (15 oz cans) of white northern or navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4.5 oz canned chopped green chile
  • 2 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • fat free sour cream for topping (optional)
  • chopped cilantro and chives for topping (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat a large heavy saute pan over high heat and lightly spray with oil. Add meat and cook, breaking it up until white, about 5 minutes.  Add to crock pot.
  • Add oil to the saute pan, then onions, garlic, sauté about 3 – 4 minutes; add cumin and sauté another minute.
  • Add to crock pot. Add beans, pumpkin puree, green chilis, broth, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  • Remove bay leaves and adjust seasoning to taste before serving. Enjoy!

I served this with tortilla chips as they are a MUST for chili in our household although I think you could do something more healthy like a salad. If you wanted to be good that is 😉 This coming from a girl that snacks on candy corns. Ha ha!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 15: 31 Days of Being Present

Today was super fun and very easy as far as being present. Probably because I got to spend it with my friend, Julie,  at one of our favorite places, Apple Hill. It’s our annual thing. The kids love to go but we like to sneak up on a weekday when things are less hectic. There are so many fun places to eat. I mean really, it’s gorgeous and all but I {heart} the food!! Apple pie, crisp, donuts, sauce, cider and then there are the caramel apples. Oh. My. Goodness.

Some of my favorite spots:

Ables Acres has an amazing selection of caramel apples. My personal fave is the apple pie one. Whoa. I can’t even put into words how amazing it is. They also have apple fritters as big as my head. Yep, that was breakfast! With a Starbucks of course.

I love the pies at Apple Ridge Farms although I hear that Hooverville makes a pretty amazing pie as well. That being said, we made the journey to Hooverville which is actually off of Highway 49 heading towards Coloma. Let me just tell you a funny story about this  spot. For two girls who are very used to the Apple Hill ranches and farms, this was off the beaten path. Down a one lane road that had arrows that kept pointing us in the right direction. Then a sign that said, “you are 1/2 way”. Wow, seemed like we should have been there by that point. As we are cruising along Julie tells me this story about a TV show she saw years ago that took place in the middle of nowhere and it involved creepy men and peacocks. Oh great story!! Where were we at anyway? Did we have cell service? Well we finally reach Hooverville and parked. There is only one person working but it has a lot of picnic tables and looks like it could be busy on a weekend. It’s Monday. So it was not busy. We parked and got out of the car and guess what I saw? Seriously. Guess. Peacocks!!! I was giggling and said, “Julie” and she said, “Don’t tell me, peacocks?” Yep — lots of them in cages. We just had to laugh and laugh and laugh. What are the chances? I can recall seeing peacocks at two places, the Folsom Zoo and Daffodil Hill. They were not caged at either place. Anyway, it was worth the journey for all of the laughs. Oh the pie? We each bought one so I will give you the verdict on that one later!!

High Hill Ranch has a great selection of food including burgers and sandwiches. I also love the apple cider {free samples} here. There are also several vendors on hand for handmade crafts and gifts.

Boa Vista has great prices on apples. We didn’t even realize this until we overheard someone at High Hill say, “They are $5 cheaper at Boa Vista“. Um OK — on it!! We popped over to Boa Vista and grabbed some apples and they also have other produce as well. Wish I remembered that before I went grocery shopping yesterday. Bell peppers were 69 cents each!

To cap off our day we popped into Placerville and grabbed lunch at The Shoestring. Cause after sugar you need some grease, right? I had a western cheeseburger and Julie had a hot pastrami. Of course we shared fries. They also had crushed ice for the sodas. I have a crush on crushed ice. Seriously. I even asked for a refill which I NEVER do cause I love the ice so much. It’s the little things 🙂

How often do you make the time to be present doing something that you love?

Pumpkin Cobbler

I found this recipe many moons ago in a Gooseberry Patch recipe book. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of Gooseberry Patch but they have amazing recipes, craft ideas and even cute gifts. I have several of their Christmas books. Actually several of their recipes are now family favorites, including this one. My hubby loves this one so thankfully I was able to surprise him while he took the big boy to soccer tonight. Good thing I stock up on things like cake mixes, pumpkin and spices when they are on sale for moments like this 😉 Oh, whatever you do — serve it with homemade whipping cream. I swear, you won’t be disappointed!!

 Photo Source

Gooseberry Patch Pumpkin Cobbler

3 eggs, beaten
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (18 1/2 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 1/4 cups margarine, melted {I used butter}
1 cup chopped nuts
Directions:

1 In a mixing bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients; stir well.
2 Pour mixture into an ungreased 13×9 inch baking pan.
3 Sprinkle cake mix over the top.
4 Drizzle with melted margarine.
5 Bake in a 350° oven for 25 minutes; top with nuts.
6 Bake 15 more minutes.

Homemade Whipping cream

Heavy cream and sugar to taste. Just use a hand mixer {I prefer the Kitchen-aid cause you can just let it go} and whip for a bit. Once it starts to stiffen up, add sugar to taste. How much depends on how sweet you like it. A quarter cup may be plenty. Just give it a taste to see. Keep on mixing till it stands on it’s own and keep in the fridge. Use as needed.

Oh, did I mention how divine this whipped cream is on hot cocoa? Yep, heavenly.