London Fog (Earl Gray Latte)

I remember the first London Fog latte I ever drank. It was on our trip to Seattle in 2016 and the temperature unexpectedly dropped from 70ish degrees to about 40 degrees in September and we were not prepared. We stopped at a nearby Starbucks and I ordered a London Fog, which warmed my belly and was perfect for a cold day. For the past few days my allergies (at least I hope they’re just allergies) have been awful with so much drainage on top of it being super cold and frosty outside. This warm mug of deliciousness really hit the spot. Scroll to the bottom for some fun photos from our Seattle trip!

london fog earl gray latte with honey and cinnamon

London Fog Latte

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup hot brewed earl gray tea
  • 1/2 cup steamed milk of choice (I heat my milk in the microwave and then use this milk frother)
  • 2-3 teaspoons honey
  • few drops vanilla extract
  • cinnamon to taste

Instructions

  • Combine tea, milk, honey, and vanilla. Dust with cinnamon if desired. Enjoy!

 

 

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Simple Apple and Almond Tart

I convinced the hubs to go apple picking recently. We headed out to the Jones Orchard with an apple picker and a bucket and got to work. Well, first we got lost at the orchard. We ended up driving around the country grass trails, through the pear and peach trees that were withering away until next year’s harvest. It was a day full of happy accidents – first we stumbled upon a seemingly never-ending cotton field, and then we were immersed in a forest of majestic fruit trees. We spent the morning trying to find the best and biggest apples, which of course were at the very top or middle of the trees. And after managing to knock them down, they would fall on the ground, forcing us to play a fun game of “Wait, which one was it?” amongst the many apples on the ground.

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I had never used store bought puff pastry before this recipe, to be honest. I always think that if something is going to be good that it has to be home made. I have made puff pastry more times than I can count and I am just not great at it, now matter how hard I try. I can’t ever get the layers to be crunchy and perfect, exactly like a store bought croissant. After using frozen puff pastry, I don’t think I’ll ever try making it myself again. It was so delicious and flaky and so EASY! I also absolutely love almond paste croissants and tarts, so I wanted to try making the almond paste filling. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how the almond, apple, honey combination was going to taste. Spoiler alert: it was even better than I expected.

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Simple Apple and Almond Tart

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets (1 box) of frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
  • 3-4 apples of choice
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1 egg beaten and halved (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 4 ounces almond paste
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature and cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Coarse sugar
  • Slivered almonds and honey, if desired

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Core apples and cut into thin slices, and toss into a bowl. Add brown sugar, dash of salt, cinnamon, and lemon juice and toss to combine. Set aside
  • Set pastry on a large working surface and dust lightly with flour. Pinch the two ends together of the two sheets and roll lightly with a rolling pin to combine. Roll the entire large sheet of pastry lightly, flattening out the creases. Fold up the ends all around and press with a fork.
  • My pastry was getting a little soft at this point so I put it in the fridge for a few minutes while making the almond paste mixture. Beat an egg into a small bowl or ramekin and set aside. In mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the almond paste, sugar, and flour. Add in half of the beaten egg (save the rest for your egg wash) and the other egg (for a total of 1 1/2 eggs). Add in softened butter and vanilla and beat until there are no lumps.
  • Take pastry out of refrigerator. Add 1 teaspoon of milk to your half egg mixture to form an egg wash. Brush a thin over the entire pastry. Spread almond mixture over center of pastry (staying inside of folded edges).
  • Arrange apples on center of pastry, overlapping the edges. Sprinkle with course sugar and slivered almonds (if using).
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. Top with honey (if desired) and enjoy!
  • simple apple almond tart apple picking jones orchard tennessee puff pastry

Maple Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Crunchy Oat Topping

If it’s fall, you can pretty much bet that there is a pumpkin-flavored baked good in my house. I eat so much pumpkin in a 3 month period, that by Christmas, I’ve burnt myself out completely until the next fall. I’ve made a lot of pumpkin muffin recipes: pumpkin chocolate chip, pumpkin streusel, vegan pumpkin, pumpkin pie muffins, etc. I have to say I’m a big fan of the pumpkin streusel, because that sweet crumb topping can make pretty much anything taste better. But then an hour later, I’m on crash from the sugar and I regret eating them. These muffins have a streusel-inspired topping that gives the impression of the streusel topping without the flour and loads of butter and sugar. Also, replacing much of the oil with applesauce lightens up this recipe even more! Recipe can be doubled if you have a bigger crowd.

Healthy maple pumpkin spice muffins with crunchy Oat ToppingHealthy maple pumpkin spice muffins with crunchy Oat Topping

Maple Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Crunchy Oat Topping

Servings: 4

Healthy maple pumpkin spice muffins with crunchy Oat ToppingHealthy maple pumpkin spice muffins with crunchy Oat Topping

Ingredients:

For the muffins:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (I used Agave maple syrup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour (or another 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

For the topping:

  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil or butter
  • if using coconut oil, add dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a Muffin tin and set aside.
  • Mix together pumpkin and applesauce. Add melted coconut oil and combine. Whisk in maple syrup, egg, vanilla, and milk.
  • Add in flours, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix to combine, but do not over-mix.
  • Use a cupcake scoop to divide the batter evenly between eight muffin cups.
  • Combine melted butter or coconut oil, salt (if using), brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of unbaked cupcakes.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until muffin springs back to touch. Wait 4-5 minutes until slightly cooled to remove from pan.
  • maple pumpkin spice muffins with crunchy oat topping