Favorite Fall Recipes

Favorite Fall Recipes

Ahhh, Fall!

The crunch of leaves underfoot.
That crispness of air.
The joy of jeans and sweaters and fingers twined ’round steamy mugs.
The particular cidered perfume of an apple orchard.
Those pink-orange-yellow maples that make you catch your breath for all their show.

These are just a few of my favorite Fall things.

The rest seem to involve pumpkins and apples and warm spice. Creations warm and fragrant. Things sweet, salty, and crunchy. Concoctions home-baked, brim-filled with autumnal love.

You see, there’s something about Fall that awakens my inner baker from her summer stupor. Before you know it, I’m whipping up lattes and muffins and indulging my family with homecooked soups and handcut biscuits.

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pumpkin lasagnaHere are some of my favorite recipes — all personally tested and tasted, using wholesome, “real-food” ingredients. They range from condiments to snacks to drinks to a pumpkin-inspired entree.

Recipes:

1. Maple Vanilla Creamer
2. Pumpkin Spice Butter
3. Curry Butternut Buttermilk Dressing 
4. Pumpkin Slow Cooker Lasagna  
5. Harvest Spiced Kettle Corn  
6. Pumpkin Spice Syrup
7. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Chips
8. Apple Cranberry Smoothies

Want to spread the word? Choose your favorite and Tweet away:

Feeling Fallish? Check out these 8 yummy Autumn recipes. <<<<—–Click to Tweet!
Pumpkin, Spice and everything nice — 8 delish Fall recipes. <<<<—–Click to Tweet!
Pumpkin Slow Cooker Lasagna and 7 other ways to use Fall staples. <<<<—–Click to Tweet!

What are your favorite fall recipes?

“When Women Say Yes to God” and A Recipe

“When Women Say Yes to God” and A Recipe

For those who read last Wednesday’s post, you may recall me talking about leading a Bible study at my home this fall. It’s my very first time leading a study, so my enthusiasm certainly outstrips my experience. We’ll be reading Lysa TerKeurst’s What Happens When Women Say Yes to God: Experiencing Life in Extraordinary Ways.

Tonight, we’ll have a nice little cozy group at my place. I’ve assured all concerned parties {“concerned” as in worried} that I’m not going Martha Stewart {ahem, not that I’ve ever done that before and then had most people not show up}.

Ok, well, I may make these…

bible study food

But only because I already have the dough in my fridge. And, because they would taste pretty awesome with some decaf.

We’ll sit in the pretty room {my living room} where there are less toys. Well, right now, there aren’t  … yet. 

bible study mess

If any of y’all who aren’t within driving distance want to jump in and follow along with us virtually, we’ll be starting the reading next week. {This is our get-to-know-you, chatty-chatty week.} The concept is simple. We read one chapter on our own a week and then meet Wednesday to talk about it. While each chapter has a whole list of questions at the end, I’m going to ask our group to be prepared with the answers to only two questions each week:

What challenged you the most about this week’s chapter, and what’s something you can apply in your life?

While I’d like to share a blog post each Wednesday about the week’s reading, I want to be attentive to my IRL guests and my duties as our group’s leader, so I may end up posting more about the study on the blog’s Facebook page on Wednesdays. {We’ll just have to see how it goes.} Let me know if you’re reading along, and, if so, please jump into the conversation on Facebook, starting next Wednesday.

And, last but not least, I’ve a few folks wanting the recipe from Monday’s post for the Tomato Basil Tart, so here it is.

tart recipe

Tomato and Basil Tart

from The Ultimate Italian Cookbook: Over 200 Authentic Recipes from All over Italy, Illustrated Step-By-Step by Carla Capalbo

1. Make the pastry. Mix 1 1/2 cups white flour and 1/2 tsp. salt. Using a food processor or pastry blender, cut 1/2 cup chilled butter {cut into small chunks} into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3 tbsp. water and process until the dough holds together. Add in more water if needed. Gather into a ball and press into a disc; wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 40 minutes.

2. Roll out the pastry and put into an ungreased tart or pie pan. Prick bottom with fork and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees while waiting.

3. Line pastry with parchment paper filled with dried beans {or pie weights, if you have them} and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and remove paper and weights.

4. Line crust with 1 cup thinly sliced fresh mozzarella and sprinkle with 1 to 2 tbsp. roughly chopped basil leaves. Arrange slices from 4-5 medium tomatoes over the cheese and dot with another 1  to 2 tbsp. basil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with olive oil, and top with 4 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan.

5. Bake for 35 minutes, checking during baking and spooning off excess liquid from the cheese, if needed. Serve hot or at room temperature. Be prepared to have zero leftovers!

This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will get a small percentage of the sale. It’s clicks like this that help keep this blog up and running, so thanks!

Easy Homemade Heath Bars for Christmas

Easy Homemade Heath Bars for Christmas

We have a special holiday game around our house. It goes something like this: Hide The Heath Bars From Daddy.

We’ve gone way beyond the top-of-the-fridge or the back-of-the-cabinet hiding spots. Daddy is very motivated to find and destroy, I mean, eat, these tasty treats. We get creative. We’ve used the blanket chest in the living room {burying the tin beneath layers and layers of blankets}, the dining room sideboard {hidden behind china}, and the entertainment center {one we don’t use anymore except for esoteric storage}.

Daddy has a habit of mysteriously appearing from his basement office right at afternoon snack time, sniffing the air: “Where’s the heath bars?” We hear him coming up the steps and hastily hide the cookie tin in some obvious dining room spot. It’s too late to relocate, and so, we are resigned. Daddy finds the heath bars.

“I’ll make more,” he assures us. I will let you surmise what happens.

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If you want to play your own version of Hide The Heath Bars From Daddy, I’m sharing the recipe today. I’ve been baking these super-easy homemade heath bars every year since we’ve been married. They are, hands down, my family’s favorite. And, they’re the most requested recipe out of all the holiday cookies I’ve baked over the years. I have to give on old family friend the credit, though. We’ve been making these since sometime in the 1980s when she gave us the recipe.

And, the best part is how simple they are. They definitely meet my criteria of being quick, easy, inexpensive AND impressive. {I’m making 9 1/2 dozen of these for this Saturday, for a much-anticipated ladies-night-out/cookie-exchange.}

EASY HOMEMADE HEATH BARS

INGREDIENTS:
Saltines
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
a bag milk chocolate chips
nuts or holiday sprinkles optional for topping

INSTRUCTIONS:
Spray or grease cookie sheet.
Line with saltines.
Cook sugar and butter over medium to low heat until sugar completely dissolves and mixture is hot and bubbly.
Pour over saltines and smooth evenly. Cook at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until toffee is light golden brown.
Remove pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
As the heat begins to melt the chips, spread them smoothly over entire pan. Add toppings if desired.
Cool and break or cut into bars.

Wait and see how long a batch lasts around your house. Mine only lasted three days…

This post was gladly shared with MercyINK’s Heart + Home LinkupThrive at Home Thursdays and Fellowship Fridays.

Apple Cider Cranberry Smoothies

Apple Cider Cranberry Smoothies

You have them, those cranberry sauce fixin’s. Fresh cranberries. Apples. Carrots. They’re probably doing duty in your crisper while you put off making tomorrow’s sauce.

So, why not dig into those ruby globes and give them a whirl in the blender for a cranberry-relish-inspired smoothie?

Apple Cider Cranberry Smoothies

2 cups apple cider or apple juice
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup shredded carrots

Place ingredients in blender, making sure to add the liquid first (this helps it blend easier), and give it a whirl.

Add honey or pure maple syrup if you feel like you need extra sweetener {we didn’t}.

This makes for a thin, frothy smoothie. If you’d like it to be thicker, add ice. If you want it perfectly smooth, pour through a fine sieve before serving. {There were still a few bits of cranberry, as you can see from the photo, but it didn’t bother me or my 7-year-old.}

This makes for a healthy alternative to polishing off the last of the Halloween candy while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner!

My daughter takes a high dose of steroids right now for a recently diagnosed autoimmune disease. And, she’s always hungry. I felt pretty good about giving her multiple helpings of this smoothie because of the antioxidant punch from the fresh cranberries, the natural probiotics in the yogurt, and the lack of added sugar. Plus the fiber from the carrots and cranberries helped it seem filling for her.

What’s your favorite way to use cranberries this time of year?

We used to add a ring of berries to the bottom of a bundt cake pan and fill with a few inches of water and freeze. Then, we’d use the iced cranberry ring to jazz up our holiday punch bowl.

Did you miss the earlier posts in Fall Flavors: A Recipe Series?

You can find recipes for Maple Vanilla Coffee Creamer, Pumpkin Spice ButterCurry Butternut Buttermilk DressingSlow Cooker Pumpkin LasagnaHarvest Spiced Kettle Corn, Pumpkin Spice Syrup, and Cinnamon Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Chips.

This post is part of:

MercyInk’s Heart+Home Linkupand Live Called’s Thrive at Home Thursday.