Pumpkin Cookie Butter

Guys. I did something dangerous today. I made a whole batch of this pumpkin cookie butter, and I have to admit, most of it didn’t make it to the fridge. I have a weakness for cookie butter. It just has the perfect mixture of tastes and textures. You can’t go wrong. Every time we have gone home this summer, I had to get the cookie butter ice cream from Braums. (It’s so tasty, you should check it out before it’s gone!) I had a crazy idea today. What if you could make a pumpkin version? I did, and it lives up to everything you would expect. With only THREE INGREDIENTS this recipe is super easy and delicious!

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Pumpkin Cookie Butter

Servings: 6-8 (or 1 if you’re me..)

Ingredients:

  • 18-20 gingersnap cookies or enough to make roughly 1 cup of cookie crumbs (I found pumpkin ginger snaps at the fresh market.)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted but slightly cooled (or coconut oil + pinch salt)

Instructions

  • Add cookies to a food processor and process until you have mostly fine crumbs. Pulse for a few seconds at a time until you have a coarse meal. It’s okay if there are still a few small cookie chunks as this adds more a cookie-like texture. You can also use a tightly sealed bag and a meat tenderizer or rolling pin.
  • Mix together pumpkin and butter. Add cookie crumbs and mix. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Pie Baked Donuts

Is it too early for pumpkin desserts? Today I opened up the first can of pumpkin this season. I wasn’t sure at first if I was quite ready for pumpkin season yet, but after a bite of one of these delicious donuts, I had no regrets. I have tried so many donut recipes that promise light and fluffy baked donuts but a lot of them ended up super dense and more like a hockey puck than a real donut. I found pumpkin recipes to be the worst ones because the pumpkin is so dense that the donuts would never be light and airy enough. I’ve found a solution to that problem with these donuts!

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Pumpkin Pie Baked Donuts

Servings: 6-8 donuts

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Additional 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk of choice
  • cinnamom sugar for topping, if desired

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a donut pan and set aside.
  • Combine apple cider vinegar and milk and set aside.
  • Combine canned pumpkin and melted coconut oil. Add egg yolk, vanilla extract, and brown sugar and stir combine. Add milk mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add flour, salt, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice and combine.
  • Beat egg white in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed. Fold into pumpkin mixture, taking care not to overmix.
  • Transfer to donut pan and bake for 12-14 minutes.
  • Once cooled, mix together powdered sugar and additional cinnamon. Add milk, one teaspoon at a time until you form a glaze. Drizzle over donuts and add cinnamon sugar if desired.

 

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Gooey Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies

Gooey soft chocolate chip peanut butter blondie barsThese chocolate chip peanut butter bars are so tasty. Eating one of these is like eating a big scoop of peanut butter cookie dough. Plus they are completely vegan and dairy-free so you could just eat the dough if you feel like it (hey, I won’t judge you.) They taste like you are eating a giant Reese’s peanut butter cup in bar form.  They were a perfect addition to our Labor Day weekend at the lake.

Gooey Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies

Servings: 16-20 bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 8 x 13 inch baking pan and set aside.
  • Combine peanut butter, apple sauce, sugars, almond milk, and vanilla.
  • Add oats, flour, baking soda, and salt and mix well. It will be hard to mix at first. If you need to thin the batter out, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Transfer to greased dish and press down with a spatula.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Vegan chocolate chip gooey peanut butter bars Blondies dessert

Strawberry Frosé

This is my favorite time of the year. The weather is still warm enough outside in the south, but it it is starting to cool down in the mornings and evenings. That first cold chill of the season is one of the best feelings. I’m never sure what to call this time of the year. It’s after Labor Day, and it’s starting to become fall, but it’s technically still summer until almost the end of September. It was still stifling hot at the lake this weekend, and I was glad to have this refreshing Frosé to cool down. This recipe is also super easy, because it only has two ingredients. And, they are ingredients that you could always have on hand! Strawberry Frosé for everybody!

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Strawberry Frosé

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 small (10 ounce) bag of frozen strawberries (or another fruit of choice, this recipe would be amazing with watermelon!).
  • 2 cups dry sparkling rosé
  • ice
  • sweetener such as honey, if desired

Instructions:

Add frozen strawberries and rosé to blender. Fill the rest of the blender until almost full with ice. Sweeten to taste. We had already eaten so many sweet desserts for Labor Day, so I was craving a drier wine drink. I would normally put 1-2 tablespoons of honey in the recipe otherwise.

 

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Raspberry Matcha Coconut Chia Pudding

I never used to like chia pudding. I had tried a lot of recipes and just wasn’t a fan of the taste or texture. I have recently started trying recipes with the chia seeds mixed with different flavors, like raspberry. The raspberries themselves have seeds, so you brain is already expecting a little more of the texture and crunch. I made this pudding as a snack the other day and could not stop eating it. I got to the end of this Mason jar and wished I had another Mason jar full of this delicious pudding. The earthiness of the matcha mixed with the creaminess of the coconut milk and the sweet but tartness of the raspberries together was a divine combination.

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Raspberry Matcha Coconut Chia Pudding

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • handful of raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or other sweetener
  • toppings: more raspberries, slivered almonds, coconut chips

Instructions:

Combine 1 tablespoon of chia and half of coconut milk and let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight. Combine the rest of the coconut milk and matcha and combine. Add chia and let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight. Add raspberries to a sauce pan and heat on medium until raspberries have come apart and start to form a purée. Add sugar and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Let cool before serving. Assemble, layering if desired.

 

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Mini Apple Galettes With Bourbon Caramel Sauce

I’m now obsessed with making galettes. They are the easiest dessert I’ve ever made! They can also be sweet or savory with any fillings that you have on hand. It’s been really rainy in the south and this dessert will definitely cheer you up on a rainy day.

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Mini Apple Galettes with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

For the crust (Adapted from Williams Sonoma Pie Crust)

  • 1 1/4 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Morena sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • egg white
  • Turbinado sugar

For the apples:

  • 2 ripe apples (I used honey crisp), cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch

For the caramel sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • up to 1 tablespoon good Bourbon
  • 1/4 cup milk (the milk makes this more saucey, but if you want thicker caramel, then substitute with half and half)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Add all purpose flour, salt, and sugar to a food processor. Pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing in between until mixture starts to come together. Be sure not to add too much water, as the dough will be sticky. Wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  2. Combine apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and corn starch. Toss to combine and set aside for 1-2 hours.
  3. Heat the butter, brown sugar, and milk (or half and half) together in a pan, stirring regularly. Heat for 5-10 minutes until thickened. Add Bourbon and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Take off stove and add salt and vanilla.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove crust dough from saran wrap and place on an even surface lightly coated with flour. Cut dough in half, and then cut each half into thirds, until you have 6 even sections of pie dough. Roll each on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. You can put the dough back in the fridge after rolling it out to firm it up again for a few minutes.
  5. Divide apple mixture evenly between the 6 rounds of rolled pie dough. Take care to only use the fruit and leave as much juice behind, as this will seep through the bottom pie crust. Brush crust with egg white and sprinkle Turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Serve with caramel sauce.

 

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Cold Brew Coffee

I can’t drink hot coffee in the summer. I have made many recipes of cold brew, with many variations including making a coffee concentrate, freezing coffee ice cubes, etc. The main problem for me with these recipes is that I could never get the coffee ratio quite right. If it’s super concentrated and you add ice, it will be super strong for a while and you have to wait for all the ice to melt. If you freeze the coffee cubes, you have to wait for those to melt into the milk. Or you have to save behind some of the coffee, which ends up going bad in my fridge because it’s so much work for a normal morning. I finally got the concentration right to make a simple cold brew where you can add ice and a splash of milk and be on the go!

cold brew straining coffee

I just let the coffee steep overnight and then set it aside to steep. I put it in a big Mason jar pitcher in my fridge for easy accessibility in the mornings.

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Cold Brew Coffee

Servings: 5

Ingredients:

  • Heaping 1/2 cup ground coffee
  • 5 cups hot water

Instructions:

Add hot water to coffee grounds. Let sit overnight. Strain with a coffee filter. Add 1 cup cold brew coffee to a glass of ice. Sweeten and add milk as desired. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash Fettuccine

creamy ✓

easy ✓

delicious ✓

I am so ready for fall. It has been a very hot southern summer and I am ready for the weather to cool down. I made this butternut squash pasta, hoping that the weather would notice that I had started to pull out the fall ingredients.

Really I can’t complain about the weather here when our friends in Houston are going through a major natural disaster right now. Here is a link to donate to the Red Cross if you are interested in helping out the Hurricane Harvey victims:

https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey?scode=RSG00000E017&utm_campaign=Harvey&gclid=Cj0KCQjw_o7NBRDgARIsAKvAgt1DpqpI62ZRC9zb7aFIay5cXwVHF_6238EapKOD5U4Gm3KMRbegPoQaAm8BEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CNm_342A-9UCFUs5Twoda4QIsg

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Roasted Butternut Squash Fettuccine

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • 5 strips thick cut bacon or 5 ounces of pancetta
  • 1 half diced white onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 – 1 cup vegetable broth, chicken broth, or pasta water (if you don’t have broth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 lb fettuccine noodles

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Halve butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and roast until soft, around 45 minutes. Scrape out contents until you have 2 cups of roasted butternut squash.
  • Heat a pot of salted water on high until boiling. Add noodles and cook according to package instructions. Drain.
  • Heat a large pan over medium heat. Cut bacon or pancetta into small 1/2 inch pieces. Cook bacon or pancetta until brown and crispy, 7-8 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon, leaving behind as much bacon grease as you are able to.
  • Add onion and garlic to the hot bacon grease and cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle flour and thyme over entire mixture and stir until mixture is starting to very lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add milk and stir, cooking over heat for 1-2 minutes to warm the milk.
  • Transfer liquid mixture and roasted butternut squash to a food processor and pulse a few times, for a few seconds each time, until mixture is combined and the butternut squash is mostly blended. Try not to pulse too much, as the mixture will become gummy.
  • Transfer mixture back to the pan and add broth or pasta water until sauce is desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add noodles and bacon. I served this with a side of steamed broccoli. Enjoy!

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Blackberry Pie Oats

This big bowl of oatmeal, reminiscent of blackberry pie, is sweetened with dates and blackberry jam with no added sugar.

Blackberry Pie Oats

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 5 pitted dates, chopped finely
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup oats
  • Pinch salt
  • Few drops of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Blackberry jam
  • Milk of choice, if desired
  • Toppings: blackberries, pecans, granola, etc.

Instructions:

  • Add the dates, salt, and water to a small pot or sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  • Add oats, cinnamon, and vanilla. Remove from heat, and cover. Let cook for 10-15 minutes until oats are soft. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of milk of choice, if desired.
  • Swirl in blackberry jam and add toppings if desired. Enjoy!

Roasted Peach Pie Crumble

Did you know that today is National Peach Pie Day? It also happens to be National Waffle Day – how is a girl supposed to choose? I ended up making these peach pie-inspired roasted peach crumbles. These are super delicious and incredibly easy to make. They also make a great breakfast. IMG_8419.jpg

This recipe can also easily be made vegan by swapping out the butter for coconut oil.

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Roasted Peach Pie Crumble

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1.5 tablespoons butter, melted (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour of choice (I used almond flour)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or sweetener of choice
  • pinch of salt (larger pinch if using coconut oil)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange peaches, cut side up, in a greased baking dish.
  • Combine melted butter, oats, cinnamon, flour, brown sugar, and salt in a bowl. Spoon topping over peaches.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until peaches are cooked through and topping is browning. Enjoy!

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