October 19, 2018

October 18, 2018

White chocolate and walnut apple snack cake


This snack cake is so simple to put together and filled with warm fall flavors of apples, walnuts, cinnamon, ginger, and also white chocolate. I'm a huge fan of white chocolate with warm spices and pumpkin flavors, so I figured I'd like it with apple as well (and I was correct!). This is my last #Choctoberfest recipe and it's actually a modified version of an apple snack cake my toddlers helped make at our Waldorf school parent-toddler program we attend once a week. It's so simple that two and three year olds can make it (with help, of course), but is still very yummy! It's also something that is really easy to make for a quick dessert or to take to a potluck gathering. It's made with some whole wheat flour and maple syrup as the sweetener, making it pretty much acceptable as a breakfast food in my opinion. It goes well with a cup of coffee or tea on a chilly fall day.


October 17, 2018

Chocolate banana baked oatmeal

This post is sponsored on behalf of #Choctoberfest and our generous sponsors. I received free product from Barlean's. As always, all opinions are my own.


Chocolate and banana baked oatmeal is sure to be a family favorite and this one is even extra special because it's made with Barlean's Chocolate Silk Greens Powder. That means it contains not only fair trade cocoa powder, but also natural plant fiber from chicory and flaxseed as well as nutrients from more than a dozen fruits and vegetables. Perfect for adding an extra nutrition boost to your oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, and even chocolate treats. My family and I love baked oatmeals (like pumpkin, peanut butter, carrot cake, and even zucchini bread), especially my toddlers, so I was glad to be able to make them a chocolate version using this powder. It tasted delicious - not really any different than using a regular cocoa powder. I used bananas for some fruit and sweetness because they pair so nicely with chocolate. This will be making a frequent appearance on our breakfast menu for sure!


October 16, 2018

Beef and butternut squash chocolate chili

This post is sponsored on behalf of #Choctoberfest and our generous sponsors. I received free product from Divine Chocolate. As always, all opinions are my own.


This chili combines beef, two kinds of beans, butternut squash, and is simmered in a sauce of warm spices and creamy chocolate for a delicious Halloween or autumn meal. I was super excited to be able to work with Divine Chocolate on a post for #Choctoberfest! I've always enjoyed their products and the fact that they are a Fairtrade certified. Another thing about this company is that they are the only Fairtrade chocolate company in the world that is owned by cocoa farmers! They also make some truly delicious chocolate and want their customers to #MakeSomethingDivine. Once I saw that I received one of their new 100% Unsweetened Baking Bars, I knew I wanted to make a savory chocolate recipe and more specifically a fall chili. Since the chocolate is unsweetened, it's really a great option for adding depth of rich flavor and creaminess to savory dishes. I used butternut squash to add some sweetness to the overall chili, as well as some autumn color (and an extra dose of vegetables). This recipe will serve about 4 people.


October 15, 2018

Welcome to #Choctoberfest 2018 with Imperial Sugar


This is one of my favorite weeks of the year, because #Choctoberfest is finally here! From now until the end of the week, I am joining forces with over 100 other bloggers from around the world to post delicious chocolate recipes. Every day, #Choctoberfest bloggers will be celebrating all things chocolate - milk, dark, white, bittersweet, semi-sweet, and cocoa! We are starting with a #Choctoberfest prize pack from our generous sponsors. Scroll down to learn how you can enter to win. One lucky winner will receive the following:

October 12, 2018

October 10, 2018

(Un)Stuffed banana pepper macaroni and cheese


I've talked about stuffed banana peppers on this blog before when I posted my super popular (Un)Stuffed Banana Pepper Soup. They are a regional specialty at bars and pizzerias here in Western New York. Ever since making and posting my soup version, I've been meaning to do a mac n' cheese version. We've been getting a lot of hot banana peppers gifted to us recently, so it was time. My soup recipe uses pork, but with the noodles I kept this dish meatless. I made this dish with all hot banana peppers because that's what we had, but you can use mild/sweet banana peppers or a mix of sweet and hot depending on your heat preference. Ours was pretty hot, even with all the noodles and cheese, but we like spicy hot foods every now and again (I made some separate plain mac n' cheese for the toddlers). I will admit that it isn't the prettiest looking stuff or the most photogenic meal, but it tastes delicious. Creamy and gooey macaroni and cheese with a kick! This recipe will serve about 4-5 people as a main dish with a side like a salad, or more people as a side dish.


October 5, 2018

October 3, 2018

Pawpaw bread


If you are lucky enough to have pawpaws and have some to spare, this quick bread is a delicious way to use them. We usually only get a few pawpaws during their short season from a local farmers' market, so I don't cook or bake with them very much. But this year we were given a big box so I had the opportunity to try them in a quick bread. This quick bread is somewhat similar to a banana bread but with the distinctive tropical notes and aroma from the pawpaw. If you are not familiar with pawpaws, they are a fruit that is native to the eastern U.S. and they are custard-like in texture with flavor somewhat like a cross between a banana and a mango (I sometimes get some pineapple smell). They have a beautiful aroma and could be growing in a neighborhood or woods near you. We have three tiny trees in our yard, but they are still several years away from fruiting. You can read more about pawpaws here and in this fascinating book. It used to be grown and eaten much more frequently, but it still has its fans and even festivals in the regions where it grows. And rightfully so because this native gem is a delight! This recipe will make one loaf.


September 28, 2018

Apple cream pie with oatmeal crust

This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

A mix of tart and sweet apples are wrapped in cream, vanilla, and cinnamon and baked in a crust that tastes like a big oatmeal cookie in this delicious autumn dessert. This pie is closing out my #AppleWeek recipes and it's worth the wait! I hope that you are all loving #AppleWeek as much as I have been. I felt that doing a week of apple recipes just wouldn't be complete for me without a new pie recipe. Pies are kind of a thing with me. I enjoy trying out all different pie filling flavors, but also different types of crusts. I was really nervous about this pie - very unsure if the oatmeal crust would work, but it turned out perfectly! We decided that it tastes like a giant oatmeal cookies and a big bonus is that it's a snap to make - no chilling, or rolling, or using a food processor for this crust! The apple cream filling was kept very simple with a hint of cinnamon and some deep vanilla flavor using Rodelle's gourmet pure vanilla extract and the crust is made with Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal. Apples, oats, and vanilla are a lovely flavor profile. You can't beat the vanilla flavor you get with Rodelle's pure vanilla extract. And, Flahavan's oats are a family favorite - we love eating them for breakfast - they make the creamiest and smoothest oatmeal. They are also terrific for using in recipes like this. This pie will serve about 8 people and it's a perfect dessert for using up apples after apple picking this fall.


September 28th Friday Frenzy Food & Craft Link Party

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October Recipe Round-Up {Halloween Recipes + Giveaway}

 
Welcome to the October Recipe Round-Up! This month's round-up brings you Halloween themed recipes with fun desserts and easy dinners for the family. Our bloggers are sharing their favorite Halloween and fall recipes with you, including breakfast, side dishes and snacks, main dishes and ((of course)) dessert...lots of desserts and treats for that sweet tooth! Continue reading to see all this month's recipes -- Plus we have another amazing GIVEAWAY that you don't want to miss!

September 27, 2018

Creamy beet and apple salad

Disclosure: This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

A creamy and tangy dressing coats these crisp, sweet apples and soft, earthy beets for a delicious fall side dish. #AppleWeek is still going strong and I hope you have been enjoying everyone's amazing recipe contributions this week! I know I am! Hopefully you have found at least a couple, if not several, new apple recipes to try out this fall. Today I have a fall side dish that is super easy and also so tasty. I have to say that even my toddlers scarfed down this salad - it's that good. I received some spices from The Spice House for #AppleWeek and one that I was especially excited to try was ground caraway. I've used the whole seeds several times, but never a ground version. I have been wanting to make a beet and apple salad ever since I tried one years ago and I thought caraway would be a lovely compliment to the flavors. I was correct - the flavors in this salad all go together so nicely and the contrast between the sweet crispy apples, the soft earthy beets, and the cool and tangy dressing go so well together. We had this salad along with come cranberry chicken sausage and potato pierogi for a perfect autumn meal. This recipe will serve about 4 people as a side dish.


September 26, 2018

Chipotle turkey, apple, & sweet potato chili

Disclosure: This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

A chili packed with sweet potatoes, apples, turkey, black beans, and seasoned with chipotle in adobo, cinnamon, coriander, and more makes for a delicious, hearty, and unique fall meal. I am so excited to share this recipe with you! Apples are a huge part of our fall and my husband and I love visiting our local orchard where they have new apple varieties as well as heritage varieties. We go picking every fall and I'm always creating new apple recipes as well as old favorites. I was soooo happy to be able to receive a box of Envy Apples to try for #AppleWeek! These apples were new to me and to my family, so trying them was a big deal for us. Our twins were sampling them with me as soon as we got the box. I popped one in my husband's lunch. I gave one to my mom to take home one day, too. The kids and I loved them. My husband texted me saying what a great apple it was. My mom called and asked where she could buy them. They is no question these apples are winners! They are crisp, lightly sweet, and have a delicate apple flavor - plus the skin is so pretty in color and nice in texture. We will definitely be adding Envy Apples to our favorites now. They are so good for eating out of hand, but they are also terrific for cooking. I knew I wanted to make at least one savory apple dish this week and had long been thinking of adding apples to a chili. This chili far exceeded my expectations and will be a regular in our autumn meal rotation from now on - trust me, it may sound a bit add, but all the flavors blend together for a perfect one-pot meal! This recipe will serve about 4-6 people depending on hunger level and any sides. It's great with corn bread or a side of corn chips/tortilla strips for scooping or sprinkling on top.


September 25, 2018

Glazed spiced apple cider cookies

Disclosure: This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

Soft, fluffy cookies are flavored with reduced apple cider and spices and topped with a cinnamon and apple cider glaze for a festive fall treat! This is the second of my #AppleWeek recipes that I'm sharing this week. These apple cider cookies have been a work in progress for a few years now. I never feel like they turn out quite right or have enough apple cider flavor in them. For this recipe I've reduced the apple cider to help concentrate the flavor and also added a glaze made with that as well. That and the addition of some mulling spices create a delicious autumn cookie. I know I've mentioned many times in the past that I make cookies each year to take on our family annual apple picking in October. Apple picking is a tradition here and one of my favorite days of the year. These cookies would be perfect to take along on a fall outing or enjoy at home after a day of picking apples or pumpkins, or just playing in the leaves. I used Imperial Sugar's granulated, light brown, and powdered sugar in this recipe. This recipe makes about 2-1/2 dozen cookies.


September 24, 2018

Oven roasted apple butter

Disclosure: This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

Apple butter is taken to another level when you slow roast it in the oven. The apple flavor condenses and you get a hint of a caramelized flavor for the most amazing and deeply apple-y apple butter! This is my first recipe for #AppleWeek! I'm so excited to join this event this year because as my readers know I have a bit of an apple obsession. Stay tuned all week for bushels of fabulous apple recipes! This apple butter was made in this Swiss Diamond XD Nonstick Roasting Pan. I am so excited to be able to add this roasting pan to my cookware collection. According to Swiss Diamond's website, their XD coating features not only a new nonstick diamond-reinforced coating formulation, but also an advanced PFOA-free and eco-friendly production process. The apple butter in this recipe reduces down a lot of leaves apple residue on your pan, but clean-up was so simple - just soapy water and a sponge and it wiped right off. This roasting pan is going to be perfect for our family all year round for making roasts, chicken, and even casseroles. Don't forget to enter to win one of the awesome prizes from our sponsors!

I lightly spiced this apple butter to really highlight the apple flavor and not overwhelm it with too much spice. I also did not add any sugar as I used sweet apples. If you use more tart apples, or want a sweeter product, feel free to add some brown sugar to the recipe after it is pureed. This recipe will make about 2-1/2 cups of finished apple butter. I left one small jar in my refrigerator and froze another two jars for later. Any sweet apple will do in this recipe. I used Gala apples and left them unpeeled for even more apple flavor, but you can peel them for an extra smooth apple butter. I like my apple butter spread onto biscuits or toast, or even used to make apple butter oatmeal muffins.


September 23, 2018

#AppleWeek Welcome & Giveaway!

This post is sponsored on behalf of #appleweek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan's Irish Oatmeal, Nairn's and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.


I am so excited to welcome all of you to #AppleWeek! This week is going to be full of bushels and bushels of sweet and savory apple recipes from an amazing group of bloggers. I think my readers know well by now how much I love apples, so this event is especially exciting to me - I get to work with and celebrate one of my favorite fruits! Stayed tuned for five new recipes coming from me this week and so many more from the group. And, don't forget to enter to win these awesome prizes!

September 21, 2018

September 19, 2018

Chocolate chip banana pumpkin muffins


Banana bread and pumpkin bread are combined into one in these delicious spiced muffins loaded with chocolate chips. These chocolate chip banana pumpkin muffins are my contribution to this month's Fantastical Food Fight featuring Banana! Bananas are a staple in our house because the kids love them. They eat them up so quickly that they rarely turn brown, so I had to hide two just to get them ripe enough for muffin making! Muffin recipes are something I post a lot - they are so easy to make and the flavor combinations are endless. Plus, my toddlers love eating them and also helping to make them. You can taste hints of both the banana and the pumpkin - they are very flavorful from both of those as well as the spices. I wasn't sure about using chocolate chips, but I'm glad I did; they are a great addition to both banana bread and pumpkin bread. Using bananas also helps to really reduce the amount of added sugar, while still having a tasty muffin. This recipe will make 12 muffins.

September 14, 2018

September 11, 2018

Silky creamy zucchini soup


A silky smooth creamy zucchini soup is a perfect last hurrah to your summer zucchinis as we transition into fall. Fall is hands-down my favorite season, but I still have a hard time with the end of summer, especially now having children. Even though they are only two years old, the passage of time is more apparent to me now than ever. Soups are a favorite of mine, and even more as the weather beings to cool (as I write this we are in the midst of a late summer heat wave though). We've been gifted many zucchini this year (Which you may have guessed from all my zucchini recipes lately) and I thought it would be a great vegetable to make a cream soup from. The texture of the zucchini blends up so nice and smooth that very little cream is used here. In fact, I used chicken broth for the majority of the liquid. I kept the flavorings to a minimum, but herbs like parsley or basil would be a nice compliment to this soup. This recipe will serve about 4 people as a main dish with a side of bread or crackers and cheese. It's also a nice starter or side dish with something like a BLT sandwich.


September 7, 2018

September 5, 2018

Lemon zucchini bread


This lemony bread is studded with zucchini making it a delicious summertime quick bread. I feel like I've been sharing tons of zucchini recipes this summer. I always think that there's no way I can come up with another new way to use something, but that never seems to be the case! This bread is a change-up from regular zucchini bread - it's packed with lemon zest, a little lemon juice, and then drizzled with a lemon glaze. As usual, my toddlers helped with this bread and they did a great job of helping me dump the measured ingredients into the bowl and of eating the shredded zucchini as fast as I could grate it. They love being helpers lately and we try to embrace that and involve them as much as possible while doing work around the house and yard. I truly love that they enjoy helping in the kitchen and also that they enjoy eating what we make (for the most part). This recipe will make one loaf of bread.


August 31, 2018

September Recipe Round-Up {Back to School + Giveaway}

 

Welcome to the September Recipe Round-Up! I, for you, can't believe it's September again already. This month's round-up brings you back-to-school recipes with fun desserts and easy dinners for the family. Our bloggers are sharing their favorite recipes with you, including breakfast, side dishes and snacks, main dishes and ((of course)) dessert.  Plus, we have another amazing GIVEAWAY that you don't want to miss! Continue reading to see all the recipes and enter the giveaway.

August 31st Friday Frenzy Food & Craft Link Party

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August 30, 2018

Old-fashioned zucchini pie


A cream pie blended with cooked zucchini makes for a unique dessert that will probably surprise your family and friends when they find out the secret ingredient. I made this pie along with my sweet potato pie for my husband's birthday this year. The zucchini taste is very subtle in the pie; mostly it tastes like a cream pie with a bit of cinnamon. We didn't tell anyone what kind of pie it was before serving it and no one could guess what it was, but everyone really enjoyed it and my husband said it was one of his favorites (and I make a lot of pie). I found the recipe here and I knew I had to try it before zucchini season was over. I love trying out old-fashioned recipes like this one. I also enjoyed the pie a lot and it's super easy to make. After you cook the zucchini, everything for the filling is whizzed together in a blender and ready to pour into the pie shell to bake. Super easy and super yummy!


August 27, 2018

Turkey and summer vegetable soup


Ground turkey, diced tomatoes, fresh garden herbs, and summer vegetables make a scrumptious and hearty summertime soup. I know, soup is for cold weather, right? Not for me! I definitely prefer soup in the fall and winter, but I eat it all year round. Soup is something my toddlers generally enjoy as well, though they do prefer smooth soups and the broth over chunks. They have been really into green beans this summer because we have them in our garden and pretty much every day they go over to check to see if there are any beans they can eat. I can almost guarantee if I put a raw green bean on their dinner plate, they would not eat it... but getting to pick it outside and eat it at their picnic table makes is so much more exciting! They helped me pick the beans for this soup and were excited about it. They ate the soup well (one pretty much scarfed it down) and we have had it a few times this summer already. It makes a lot, so we get leftovers each time as well. This soup, like most, is pretty adaptable. You could leave out one of the vegetables, add more of less of one, or even add others like peas or cubed yellow squash. I used ground turkey, but ground chicken or beef would probably also be very yummy. We had this soup with a side of garlic bread for a full meal. It will serve about 6 people as a main dish.


August 24, 2018

August 21, 2018

Bread and butter refrigerator zucchini pickles


Quick refrigerator pickles are a go-to for me when summer garden vegetables get a little out of control. If you have zucchini, these sweet and tangy pickles are a delicious way to use some up and extend their shelf life a little while. I'm usually more of a dill pickle person, but there are definitely times when a sweet and tangy pickle compliment a meal very well (tuna sandwiches, anything with barbeque sauce). These pickles though, I could (and would, and do) eat straight out of the fridge just walking by for no reason. They are super yummy! I love the turmeric in them because it adds a hint of color as well as flavor. Give them a little shake every once in a while to keep the spices distributed. You can add some garlic or a pinch of red pepper flakes if you would like. I wanted to keep the pickles on the sweeter side.


August 17, 2018

August 14, 2018

Vegetable and mozzarella mini turkey meatloaves


Individual turkey meatloaves with grated carrots, yellow squash, and zucchini and stuffed with mozzarella cheese are sure to be a family favorite. Meatloaf is one of (if not my all-time) favorite comfort foods. I love a plate of meatloaf with mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans! I wanted to make a bit lighter version of meatloaf for the summer and one that contained more vegetables for the kids. Sometimes when I was a kid my mom would make mini meatloaf and put mozzarella cheese in the middle, so I wanted to do that for my kids as well. Using dark meat turkey and adding a bunch of vegetables keeps the meatloaf nice and moist. It's a delicious way to get some more vegetables into your family and also to use up some of those summer garden vegetables. I made four meatloaves with this recipe and our 2 year olds split one. One really gobbled it up and the other ate most of what she had, so I call that a win!


August 10, 2018

August 8, 2018

Cinnamon basil shortbread cookies


Have you ever tried the herb cinnamon basil? My mom gave me one this year and it's been growing in my herb garden while I wonder how to use it. It's a pretty herb that reminds me of Thai basil or Holy basil. Cinnamon basil has a purple stem and its leaves are sweet and warm and definitely have a bit of cinnamon flavor to them. I often make rosemary shortbread during the holiday season so when I was reading up on cinnamon basil and saw this recipe for a shortbread cookie using it I was inspired to give them a try. They are amazing. And I mean it fully. They were like nothing we've ever tasted before. The flavor of the herb is so unique and goes so deliciously in a sweet application. My husband was floored by them - a simple shortbread, but filled with a sweet, delicate, slightly cinnamony flavor with a hint of herby basil taste. Plus they smell so good! What a terrific flavor combination. I'm looking forward to trying the cinnamon basil in more recipes now. I'm thinking stir fries and maybe an ice cream. My modified recipe below will make about 12-14 cookies.