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September 28, 2018

Spiced Apple Crisp in New Tart Pan

This is the best dessert you will make all Fall.  Okay, maybe besides the Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese... but those are more like breakfast cupcakes and after school snacks.  This is a dessert you serve on Sunday night after a really comforting dinner - pot roast, braised beef stew, etc.  This recipe in particular will knock your socks off - it has orange zest, cinnamon, and cranberries in addition to the apples.  Just the aroma is enough to warm your soul.

Sometimes just a new shaped baking dish can re-inspire me.  I've had this Ceramic Fluted Tart Pan for years and use it all of the time for quiche, brownie pudding and baked dips, but I had never tried baking a crisp in it.  It feels a bit more stylish in this than a traditional pie plate or casserole pan.  

The cookie dough topping on top is super simple - I just throw it in a bowl and squeeze it together with my hands and then crumble it on top.

 Apple Cranberry Crisp

Apple Cranberry Filling :
10 apples (4 pounds), cored and peeled
3/4 cup of dried cranberries
2 teaspoons of orange zest
4 tablespoons of orange juice
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

Crumble Topping :
1 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 stick of butter, cold

Cut the peeled and cored apples to large cubes, about 3/4 inch pieces.  Place them in a large bowl.  Add cranberries, zest, orange juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Toss together with a big spoon until all of the fruit is well coated.  Pour the fruit into a casserole dish or baking dish like this Ceramic Fluted Tart Pan >.
For the topping, in a mixer with the paddle attachment, place flour, sugar, brown sugar and salt.  Cut the cold butter into 1/4 inch cubes.  Place the butter in with the flour mixture and mix on medium until the butter incorporates to create and crumbly mixture, about 2 minutes.  Take handfuls of the mixture and top the apples with it.  Cover the top completely. 
If freezing, wrap tightly, label and put it in the freezer.  When you get it our of the freezer, bake for 1:15 - 1:30 at 350 degrees. 
If baking right away, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

September 21, 2018

Autumn Harvest Collection | Warming up with Velvets & Baskets

The Season of Layers

Late tonight we are expecting rain that will bring with it 50 degree weather overnight, followed by a crisp 70 degree day.  I can't wait.  We just endured the driest summer and now I'm ready to spend our days outside again.  I can feel that we're on the cusp of change.  The light is warmer and the shadows are longer.  The yard has started to weather and become a bit wispy instead of lush and green.  It is ready for a rest.

In just a couple of days, we'll be collecting leaves and sipping hot cocoa and coffee on our walks home from school.  We'll be heading to the farm for cider donuts and pumpkins and coming home to a cozy dinner by the fire.  We're ready.  We are ready to slow down and enjoy harvest season.

In preparation, I've added another layer to our home with warm velvet pillows, big baskets, plaid throws & lots of pumpkins -  Fall is finally here.

On the sofa above, I'm featuring the Acorn Block Print, Caramel Velvet, Gold Fleur Block Print, Cashew Velvet and Slate Striped Pillow Covers.

In addition to the new pillow covers, I had a new slip made for our ottoman out of my Gold Fleur Block Print.  I had it made by an Etsy store called SlipcoverUniverse.  Pat was wonderful - I sent her a photo, measurements and the fabric.   A couple weeks later, she sent the completed cover and it was perfect.  It really lightens the entire room.  Now I'm hooked and will probably start changing the slipcover with the pillows every season : ) 

I've added several new baskets to our home this season (and to the store, of course).  I have wanted these basket for years.  They are the highest quality - truly heirloom pieces.  Timeless, utilitarian and beautiful - all of the requirements for investment pieces in our home.  
*Special order, please allow up to 3 weeks for delivery.
21"L x 15"W x 14"H + 3.5"hdl

This "Mudroom Basket" is the perfect catch all for everything from magazines, to blankets or sports equipment.  

I've featured it here with my favorite accessory for Fall - for home and my wardrobe.  I use this as a throw and as a wrap.  Each year I look forward to pulling it out - that's how you know its a good one.    The colors are perfect - rust with deep green, blue and gold.  I use it all the way through the holiday season.

Plaid Blanket Wrap >

I plan to use this for our Christmas Tree, ala Tessa at  I've oogled over her tree in a basket for years.  It will hold logs, throws and pillows in our family room the rest of the year.  I love this basket - such a nice scale, patina and weight.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese | Barefoot Contessa

After encouragement from Tessa (@nineandsixteen), Jennifer (@faithmd) and Maria (@growersdaughter) I'm jumping on the Barefoot Contessa's Pumpkin Cupcake bandwagon.  Last year I made about 35 loafs of pumpkin bread from September-February, but I never put it in cupcake form and topped it with cream cheese frosting.  These were so utterly delicious.  The cake is basically the same recipe as the pumpkin bread recipe I use - so moist from plenty of pumpkin puree (making it healthy, right?) and warm spices.  And that frosting.  OMG - so soft and creamy.  The slight sweetness was absolutely the perfect compliment.  We've enjoyed them after school for snacks and for breakfast : )   And now they are gone and I want to make more.

I made them in my Jumbo Brown Cupcake Papers and used the Large Scoop to put them into the papers neatly and portioned.  Her recipe says it makes 9, and I found this to be exactly correct.  It filled the jumbo papers perfectly.  I think you could stretch it to 12 by using my White Cupcake Papers.

I used my Offset Spatula to spread the icing, instead of piping the frosting on per usual, I felt like a homemade spread icing was more appropriate for these simple, earthy (to use a Ina term) cupcakes.

The recipe can be found, here, or in the Barefoot Contessa's Foolproof Cookbook - one of my all time favorites.

Browse all of my favorite Fall Recipes, here >

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 : 

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