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September 17, 2018

This Week's Menu | Pork, Apples & Short Ribs

This Week's Menu

It is that time.  I've officially switched out my closet out, I had a delicious slice of pumpkin bread for breakfast with my coffee (thanks, Suz!) and we picked our first pumpkin this weekend.  We're full-on fall mode.

Tonight I'm making this wonderful roasted pork loin with apples and onions, along with white cheddar grits for dinner.  Emma and I are going to make some Salted Caramel Sauce after school for the apples we bought over the weekend and  I'm making a big pot of Rainbow Soup for our lunches.

Here is our plan for the week :
Monday : Pork Loin with Apples & Onions (This pork loin roast takes a little while to make, but this faster Pork Tenderloin with Apples & Onions is a quicker version for a Monday night.
Monday After School : Caramel Apples with Salted Caramel Sauce

Tuesday : Rainbow Soup (leftovers for lunch!) & Mini (oven!) Smores

Wednesday : Skillet Lemon Roasted Chicken


Thursday : Short Ribs & Apple Crisp

To see all of my Fall recipes, visit the Fall Recipe Gallery >

September 12, 2018

Roasted Chicken & Goat Cheese Salad with Lemon Dijon & Cranberries | To-Go

This week, I took lunch to the School House girls since they've been working so hard on packing up orders from the fall launch.  I've added these Kraft To-Go Boxes (set of 10, $6) to the store just for moments like these.  We've used them so much in just the last week that I've had them at my house.  Emma and I put sliced baguette, cheese and apples in for an impromptu picnic, too - so glad to be able to just recycle it when we're at the park instead of dragging it home to clean.

I've also used them to pack up leftovers for lunches - if we don't plan to eat them right away, I can wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for another night.   

They are also great for Boxed Lunches for Baby or Bridal Showers - especially at a casual party.  Everyone can grab a box - they can be tied with ribbons and pretty paper napkins.

In addition, I added a couple more to-go items for the Fall.  Claire (the school house manager) is married to my Brother, Josh - he requested a larger 20oz. to-go coffee cup.  He leaves really early in the morning to feed cows and wants to fit two KCups of coffee in his cup.  What Josh wants, Josh gets.  Little brothers!

Shop To-Go Coffee Cups >

My Dad requested these to-go Soup Containers.  He said they would be great for a harvest meal in the combine.  I'm guessing that means I'll be filling some with chili to deliver to the field, soon.  I think they'll be great filled with soup to go along with my box of salad and box of sliced baguette and cheese for a fall time picnic.   I also plan on using them at the School House Open House in October for samples of soup.

Shop To-Go Soup Containers >

Great ideas, guys.  My Dad and Josh have become more involved in my store operations since it moved near their farm.  They get caught carrying boxes they see on the front porch of the School House when they drive by.  And for the record, one day my Dad carried in a box of the to-go coffee cups and said 'why would you need these??'  They've since become one of his favorite things.  Ha!

Shop Kraft To-Go Boxes >

Set of 10 boxes with 20 small ramekin containers and lids.

Roasted Chicken & Goat Cheese Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing

Salad Greens
Roasted Chicken Breast, cubed (or rotisserie chicken)
Goat Cheese, sliced
Dried Cranberries or Cherries
*toasted walnuts
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of dijon
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon of sea salt

Assemble salad by putting greens in the box, or on a platter.  Add cubes of chicken, slices of goat cheese and on sprinkle cranberries and walnuts.  Make dressing in a small jar or container with lid.  Add all ingredients and shake well.  Divide up into small ramekin with lids (included with to-go boxes).

Bacon & Chive Mac & Cheese

When I first spotted these Stone Baking Pots, I immediately thought of using them for hot dips like a spinach dip.  Then, I thought, they'd be darling for individual soups and stews.  Then I realized they were oven safe and thought of Mac and Cheese.  I wanted to add a really, hearty fall flavor so I crumbled bacon on top.  To counter the smoky bacon, I added fresh chives - it was such a good combination.  Be sure not to go overboard on the bacon so the yummy Mac and Cheese really stands out.

We served ours with roasted broccoli and sliced ribeye (we were hungry...), but a green salad would be all you need.  

Shop the 5" Stone Pots with Lids, here.  They are Oven, Microwave, and (most importantly) Dishwasher Safe.  Shop >

This would also be great family style baked in a casserole dish or two pie plates - my favorite way to do baked casseroles.   It is a good make-ahead recipe, but I like it best when served soon after it is cooked - not my favorite after reheated from the fridge.  If you do need to, add an extra cup of milk to make sure it stays creamy.

Bacon & Chive Mac and Cheese

1 pound of macaroni
sea salt
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of flour
4 cups of milk
12 ounces of cheddar, shredded
8 ounces of havarti cheese, shredded
4 pieces of bacon
2 tablespoons of fresh chives

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add a couple of tablespoons of sea salt. 

Meanwhile, chop 4 pieces of bacon and chop into small pieces.

I shred the cheeses in the food processor to make the process easier.

In a saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter on medium low heat.  Stir in flour.  Cook butter and flour for 1 minute, while stirring.  Whisk in milk.  Cook over heat while whisking, until smooth.  Cook for 5 minutes on medium until thickened and bubbly.  The mixture should coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat. 

Add shredded cheeses, stirring until melted and smooth.  Set aside.

Cook pasta about 2/3's until almost done - making sure it is not completely cooked.  Strain the pasta.  Add pasta into the cheese sauce and stir to coat the pasta.  Pour into a baking dish or small individual pots like these.

Top with bacon pieces.   

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly.  

Garnish with chives.  (I put the chives on before baking, and then they were not as fresh, so I'd recommend waiting until after!)

September 08, 2018

Cinnamon Sugar Baked Donuts

I shared our Chocolate Glazed Baked Donuts last week, but these cinnamon sugar are our favorite for this time of year.

I love good bakery donuts, but they are so hard to find.  I want them fresh, I want them warm and I want them no too sweet.  Frying homemade donuts is not something I want to do very often... maybe 2-3 times a year.  However, I've finally perfect a baked donuts recipe that is so yummy - tender, soft, fluffy.  The best part is that you can make the batter ahead of time, Scoop it in a Disposable Piping Bags in the freezer or fridge, pipe them into the Donut Pan, then bake them anytime you want.  (I do the same thing with muffins!)  They take 6-8 minutes to bake.  Literally, by the time the coffee is ready I can have warm, fluffy cake donuts any day of the week and I don't have to leave the house.  This could get dangerous!

Baked Cake Donut Essentials : 

We also love tossing them in powdered sugar or with a Chocolate Glaze.

For the recipe, I started with the King Arthur Flower recipe and Ina Garten's, but modified them after trying it a couple of times.  (more butter and brown sugar, less flour)

There is also a new Mini Donut Pan available in my store.  Have you ever?!  These are the cutest things I've ever seen.  I think they would be darling for a ladies breakfast or shower.  Served with a pumpkin spice or vanilla latte?  omg.

Baked Cake Donuts

makes 12 large donuts or 24 mini

6 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 granulated sugar
3/4 light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of milk
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing pan
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a mixer, mix together 6t of melted butter, oil and white and brown sugars until smooth.  Add eggs, beating until combined.  Stir in baking powder, soda, salt and vanilla.  Pour in milk, then top with flour.  Mix on low just until incorporated.

Scoop the batter into two large piping bags.  Brush the donut pans with the melted butter.  Pipe batter into pans until they are almost full.

Large Donuts : Bake donuts for 8 minutes until golden and puffed.
Mini Donuts : Bake 5-6 minutes until golden and puffed.

In a shallow bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar.

Let them cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn them out into cinnamon and sugar mixture and coat while still warm.

The batter is similar to a muffin batter - super easy to mix together.

This recipe will make about 2 batches.  Split the batter between two large disposable piping bags.  Save one for later in the fridge (if using within a couple of days) or the freezer.  Just get it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before so it is thawed ready to go in the morning.

I write on the bag with a sharpie so I can tell it isn't muffin batter!

The piping bag makes it so much easier to put it in the pan.  Fill them almost to the top to get fluffy, full donuts.

These are the large.

These are the mini!!

Baked Cake Donut Essentials : 

September 07, 2018

The Acorn Block Print

This is my third year in a row developing an Acorn Block Print for the Fall Collection.  It is always one of the most anticipated prints.  At the end of summer, we get so many inquiries - will you have an acorn print this fall?!

The acorn is one of those symbols that is (obvious) autumnal, but also seasonless.  I designed this print to be something you could have in your home year round, not just in the fall.  I especially love using acorns during the holiday season, so I plan to incorporate this into our holiday decor, as well.  In the past couple of years, I've really gravitated more toward using natural greens and golds at Christmastime - this will work beautifully.

During the fall months, we gather so many acorns.  I especially love them when they are still green and light brown - such beautiful, muted colors that inspired these block prints.

Shop the entire Acorn Collection >

Inserts : 
I use Ikea inserts for all of the Cushion Covers in my store.  So, you can invest in the inserts from Ikea (inexpensive!!) once, and then switch out covers from my store each season like I do.

Ikea 26" Insert  ($9.99) for my 22" Pillow Covers

Ikea 20" Insert ($5.99) for my 20" Pillow Covers

Ikea Rectangle 26x16" Insert ($6.99) for my Rectangle Pillow Cover

Acorn Tags, 10 for $10

I love how simple and stately this is.  I will tie this to packages and homemade gifts like loafs of pumpkin bread and boxes of cinnamon sugar donuts.

Acorn Tea Towel, $12, with Baked Donuts covered in cinnamon and sugar.

The block print tea towels are some of my favorite gifts.  I usually wrap them around something homemade or a bottle of wine for hostess/teacher/neighbor gifts.

I really like to pile or sofa deep with pillows.  Yes, they get strewn about, but they make our entire room feel really cozy and comfy.  

The Gold Fleur is the same as the gold of the acorn so they coordinate beautifully together.  

These two chairs ( always get rectangle pillows + throws over the back to make them extra comfy - they are the perfect size.  Layers are especially great in the fall to cozy everything up.

In just a week or two I'll be piling pumpkins in this room and that fire will be going... ok, maybe another month or two before the fire is neccesary  : )

Spice Cake baked in 8x3" Cake Pans layered with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting 

I haven't yet set a table with the Acorn Table Runner & Napkins, but that is next on my list as soon as I can get my hands on some of those beautiful muted butternut pumpkins to put down the center of the table along with these Cafe Au Lait Candles.  

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