Pumpkin Blondies

I wasn’t planning on making so many pumpkin recipes this year, but, inevitably I come across a recipe here and there and it sounds too good not to make it. Besides its Fall Y’all… it’s all about the apples and the pumpkins! Now, I haven’t attempted to make a pumpkin brownie since the Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies from 5 years ago. Those brownies required 9 eggs, more than 1 can of pumpkin puree, turned into a debacle when I went to slice them and I was on the fence as to whether or not I liked them. Considering that I never thought to make them again, that should be my answer. But this year when I was thinking of something to bake for a friend’s birthday (she’s a pumpkin fan like me) I thought about attempting a pumpkin brownie again, definitely not that recipe though. But that idea quickly turned into a Pumpkin Blondie instead. In case you are wondering, the biggest difference between a blondie and a brownie is that a blondie does not have cocoa powder.

I knew right off the bat that these blondies would be much better than those brownies. The batter wasn’t as dense so I knew that when they were done baking there wouldn’t be any undercooked sections. I baked them until the edges were beginning to brown and pulled away from the sides of the pan. And when I inserted a cake tester in the center it came out clean.

And when I sliced them, I was right. They were completely baked through. And more importantly they were delish. I’ll go out on a limb and say that these blondies may be good for you. Along with the pumpkin, they also have dark chocolate and pecans, all three of which have health benefits.

Pumpkin Blondies

  • Servings: 24 Blondies
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Ingredients:

2 1/3 cup flour

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 15oz. can pure pumpkin puree

2 cups dark chocolate chips*

3/4 cup chopped pecans

*I used a 10oz. bag of dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides, and spray with baking spray.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until everything is combined. Add in the pumpkin puree and beat until combined.

With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients. Mixing until everything is just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans with a rubber spatula.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and using an offset spatula spread the batter out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and when a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place pan on a wire rack and let blondies cool completely in the pan before removing and slicing.

Recipe from My Baking Addiction

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

I must say I have been on the search for a good pumpkin muffin recipe for a while now. Two years ago, I shared two that were quite good and very different from each other. A Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffin, that reminded me of this Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bread and a Pumpkin Cranberry one, that I got the idea for from a Chobani pumpkin yogurt. And while both of those pumpkin muffins were delicious, I think I finally found the perfect pumpkin muffin for me. It stayed moist for a couple of days in an airtight container at room temperature, it doesn’t involve a lot of crazy ingredients and it has chocolate chips. Which means it works just as well as a breakfast treat as it does for a midday snack or even dessert.  I enjoyed one for each of those occasions. It’s simply called a Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffin.

One more thing that’s great about this recipe… You can halve it easy enough and still end up with a decent amount of delicious muffins. I halved it and ended up with enough batter for 14 muffins. One last thing, make sure to sprinkle your muffins with a few extra chocolate chips prior to baking. It makes them prettier and a little extra sweeter!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

  • Servings: 24 Muffins
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Ingredients:

3 cups flour

3 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 cups pumpkin puree

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

2/3 cup water

1 teaspoon ground clove

1 teaspoon all spice

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus additional for sprinkling on top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two cupcake pans with liners.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and spices on medium speed until combined. With the mixer on low gradually add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. And finally, fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Transfer the batter to the prepared cupcake tins, filling each crevice about 2/3 full. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a few chocolate chips. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of one of the muffins comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for five minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

Pumpkin Spice Latte Bundt Cake

Are you one of those people who counts down the days until Starbucks brings back their Pumpkin Spice Latte for the Fall? Or, are you like me? You’re not a coffee drinker, but, tend to order at least one during the season because you’re into pumpkin and the taste isn’t that bad even though it is coffee. Either way, I have the dessert for you today to get your pumpkin spice latte fix without all the caffeine and you don’t have to wait for it to cool down to truly enjoy it. A Pumpkin Spice Latte Bundt Cake.

While you do need two different batters to get the pumpkin spice and latte portions of the cake, you don’t start out by making two separate ones. You start off by making the pumpkin spice one, dividing it in half and adding an espresso mixture and cocoa powder to one of them.

Next, the fun, and depending on how you do it the messy part. Initially when I tried this recipe I tried to halve it to make a loaf sized cake. Something went wrong and while it tasted okay, the texture was a little weird. It was kind of rubbery. When I added the batter to the pan I used two cookie scoops to alternate adding it in. I think I was low on patience that day because it felt like it was taking forever. So, the next time I made the recipe, per the instructions and used a Bundt pan I decided to add the batters to piping bags. Well, instead of using 16-inch ones, I opted to use 12-inch ones. Which were too small so as I was piping the batter into the Bundt pan it was overflowing a bit from the top of the bags. In the end though, very little batter was lost. Once I was done piping all the batter into the pan I tapped it on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and to make sure the batter had incorporated together and settled.

I baked it in a 350 F preheated oven for about 40 minutes and after letting the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes I inverted it onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Once it was cooled, it was time to enjoy a slice. And even though it was a bit of a mess to get the batters into the pan the cake did end up with a nice pattern.  And yes, the taste is very on point with your traditional Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons instant espresso

3/4 cup evaporated milk

2 1/3 cups cake flour*

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin

2 eggs

2 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder

*To make my own cake flour, I used 2 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour, removed 4 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of the flour and replaced it with the same amount of cornstarch. After whisking it together I then sifted it to make sure it was well combined. For future reference, when a recipe calls for cake flour, you can simply use all-purpose flour and remove 2 tablespoons per cup of flour and replace it with cornstarch. Whisk the two together and then sift.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray, or grease with butter and lightly coat with flour.

In a small bowl whisk together the instant espresso and 1 tablespoon of the evaporated milk, until the expresso has dissolved.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice & Kosher salt.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the pumpkin, eggs, egg whites, vanilla extract and oil. Beat on low until combined.

With the mixer on low, add the in the flour mixture in three parts alternating with the remaining evaporated milk.

Divide the batter in half. In one half add in the espresso mixture and the unsweetened cocoa powder. Fold the batter until the expresso mixture and cocoa powder is incorporated into it and no streaks of either remain.  

Using two cookie scoops, two large spoons, or two piping bags, alternate adding the batter to the prepared Bundt pan. Once all the batter has been added, tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles and to ensure the batter is well incorporated.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, before inverting and letting the cake cool completely.

Slice and enjoy.

Recipe from Better Homes & Garden

Apple Fritter Bread

Are you tired of apple recipes? I hope not, I have one more that’s just as good as the previous two I posted recently – Apple Pie Spice Cake & Apple Butterscotch Cookies. Today I am bringing you an Apple Fritter Bread. All the deliciousness of an Apple Fritter without the guilt of it being fried. And just for a quick recap, an Apple Fritter is a deep-fried donut filled with apples and cinnamon.

With this bread, cinnamon coated apple pieces are layered between the batter and then swirled in before baking.

The result, each slice is filled with apple cinnamon goodness. For that final apple fritter touch, the bread is drizzled with a sour cream icing. If you are not a fan of icing though this bread would be just as delicious without it.

Apple Fritter Bread

Ingredients:

For the Bread:

1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk*

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Sour Cream Icing:

3 tablespoons sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Milk, if necessary

*I used whole milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9.25 x 5.25 loaf pan with baking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the apples, light brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

In another medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat together the sugar and butter until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk and vanilla until the mixture in smooth. With the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread half of the apple mixture on top. Top the apples with the remaining batter and then top with the remaining apple mixture. Gently pat the apples in the batter and use a knife to swirl the apples into the batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack.

Once cooled, make and drizzle with the sour cream icing. In a medium bowl whisk together the sour cream, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. If you find that the mixture is too thick whisk in 1 teaspoon of milk at a time until it’s a consistency easy to drizzle.

Place the wire rack with the cake over a baking sheet or a piece of wax paper and drizzle with the icing. Let sit for a few minutes to let the icing set before slicing.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens

Apple Butterscotch Cookies

So, I’m on a bit of an apple kick. I welcomed Fall on here with an Apple Pie Spice Cake, I recently made an Apple Fritter Bread that I will be sharing very soon and today I am bringing you a recipe for Apple Butterscotch Cookies. They do say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but, I am just not sure if that also applies to apples baked into desserts.

These cookies are perfect for Fall. Not just because of the apples, but because the cinnamon and butterscotch in these cookies would pair perfectly with a hot cup of tea or cider. Both of which are a welcome relief to combat the slight chill in the air of a perfectly crisp Fall day. As for the texture, they are firm around the edges and perfectly soft in the middle. The ideal combination of any cookie.

Apple Butterscotch Cookies

  • Servings: 36 cookies
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Ingredients:

2 ½ cups flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Granny Smith apple peeled and diced

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon and baking soda and set aside.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and both sugars until creamy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture to butter mixture and beat on low until just incorporated.

Add in the diced apple, chopped walnuts and butterscotch chips and mix until everything is well combined.

Use a cookie scoop to drop the dough on the prepared baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, until the cookies are set on top and starting to brown around the edges.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

Crocheted Pumpkins

Come every September I want to learn how to make crocheted / knitted pumpkins. They start popping up on my Instagram feed and I think to myself “I want to make those.” But then it never happens. I look at patterns and they just seem way too complicated or I just lose track of time and I get into Christmas mode instead. This year I was determined though.

I initially found one pattern that I thought was going to be a winner. I am not sure if I did something wrong or maybe it was the yarn I used, but, when it came time to sew what I had crocheted into the pumpkin it was a fail. I had crocheted something that sort of resembled a piece of hard candy in a wrapper. Think, wide in the middle and then tapering off on both ends. I followed the pattern and sewed it together but when it came time to stuff it with the fiber fill there was no way to make that thing look like a pumpkin! I wasn’t throwing in the towel just yet though.

I read over some other patterns and watched a video or two and figured out the best way was to crochet a rectangle and then form that into a pumpkin.

What’s great about this pattern is that gauge doesn’t matter and you don’t have to count rows. I am going to show you a nifty way to know when you have crocheted enough rows. As for the crochet hook size you should use, I would go with the size that is suggested for the yarn you decide to use. That’s what I have been doing. Just realize depending on the yarn weight you use that will determine the size of your pumpkin. You could start with the same length of your foundation chain with a chunky yarn and medium weight yarn and end up with two pumpkins that are completely different sizes.

Start by crocheting your foundation chain. Since the yarn I was using was a medium weight and I wanted a decent size pumpkin I started with a foundation chain of 25. I left a long tail since the tail is used to seam the rectangle together.

For the first row, starting with the second chain from your hook, single crochet in the back loops of each chain across the row.

For the second row and each subsequent row, ch1 and single crochet into each back loop across the row.

And, as I mentioned, there is no need to count your rows as you go. To determine if you have crocheted enough rows simply do this…

Lay your rectangle flat…

With your working row on the right, fold by bringing the top left corner of your work down to the bottom of your work to form a triangle.

Next, fold the triangle piece to the right. Once the bottom corners of the two ends meet you have crocheted enough rows. At this point you can end your row, but, be sure to leave a long tail as this tail will be used to seam the pumpkin. This tail should be longer than the tail you have from your foundation row.

Now that you have your rectangle it’s time to make your pumpkin. Fold the rectangle in half with the short ends meeting, and thread a needle on the tail from your foundation chain. Or, the shorter of the two tails. And just seam up the two sides. Make sure as you are seaming the edges that they are meeting up at the corner you are working towards. Once you are done, weave the tail through the work and end it. Since you want to hide this seam, you want to turn your project inside out for the finishing steps.

Thread your needle on the other tail and you are going to weave the yarn near the top edge to essentially create a drawstring to cinch the opening. Once you have weaved the yarn around the entire edge pull the yarn tight to close the hole. You will still have a slight opening. To close it you are just going to stitch the yarn from one side to the other to make sure the hole is completely closed. Do not end the tail.

With one end stitched closed you can now fill the pumpkin with fiber fill. Stuff it with a good amount so your finished pumpkin is firm and full. Pass your needle with the working tail through the center of the pumpkin and through the fiber fill.

Stitch the top of the pumpkin in the same manner as you did the bottom to close it.

You can leave your pumpkin like this, or, to give it a more “smooshed” look you can stitch the working tail through the center from the top of the pumpkin to the bottom a few times, ending with the bottom and then weave the tail through a few stitches on the bottom and end it.

Finally, your pumpkin needs a stem. You can either use decorative stick, that you can pick up at your local craft store, or a cinnamon stick. Just stick it in place with a small dab of hot glue.

And there you have it, a simple handmade pumpkin.

I had so much fun making these that I ended up making some to list in my Etsy shop.

Apple Pie Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Fall Y’all! While I normally welcome my favorite season with a pumpkin dessert, I decided to switch it up this year with an apple one, well sort of. It’s a spice cake with an apple pie filling topped with cream cheese frosting. You get all the Fall feels with this cake… the warm spices – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves – from the spice cake, the deliciousness of apple pie and you can never go wrong with cream cheese frosting!

To start I made the spice cake. I whisked together the dry ingredients and then beat the wet ingredients together and then incorporated both until it was just combined. To make sure I don’t overmix my batter I normally use a hand mixer and beat everything for about 30 seconds to a minute and then finish mixing everything with a rubber spatula. Once the batter was ready, I divided it among two 8-inch pans that I sprayed with baking spray and baked the cakes for about 40 minutes. After letting them cool in the pan for a few minutes I transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely. I always like to make my cakes a day or two in advance of assembling them so I wrapped them in plastic wrap and refrigerated them until I was ready to use them.

For the apple filling you can either make it a day ahead or if you plan on making it the day you intend to use it, just make sure to let it cool completely. I opted to use Granny Smith apples since these are one of the best apples for baking and can be found at pretty much any supermarket. Since you are cooking the apples you want to make sure you choose a variety that won’t get too mushy after cooking. The Granny Smith apples held up well after being boiled and simmered, they were tender but still firm.   

Next, I made the cream cheese frosting. I let my butter come to room temperature and then took my cream cheese out for only about five minutes. I don’t like using cream cheese that is too warm because I find that the frosting gets too soft then. I added the butter and cream cheese to the bowl of my stand mixer and beat it on low for a minute or two to incorporate them. I then sifted 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar right into the bowl, beat it on medium for about 30 seconds to blend it all together. And then sifted in another 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and beat it on medium-high speed until the frosting was light and fluffy. Finally, I added in vanilla extract and beat everything on high for 30 seconds. I did find that my frosting was a little soft so I refrigerated it for a few minutes before using.

With all my components ready to go it was time to assemble my cake. I began by leveling the cakes. On the bottom cake, I spread a thin layer of frosting on it and then piped a dam around the perimeter of the cake so the apple filling wouldn’t “escape.”

I’ll admit that I didn’t pipe my dam perfectly, but, it did the trick and none of the apple filling escaped when I topped it with the other cake layer and finished frosting and decorating it!

Apple Pie Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the Cake:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoons ginger

3/4 teaspoons nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup sour cream

4 eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Apple Pie Filling:

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups water

For the Frosting:

2 8 oz. packages cream cheese

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray two 8-inch round pans with baking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves and set aside.

In a large, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and both sugars together until smooth. Add in the sour cream and continue beating until well incorporated. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beat well after each addition, and finally the vanilla extract.

On low speed beat in the dry ingredients until just combined.

Divide the batter among the two prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then remove from the pans and place on the wire rack to cool completely.

For the Apple Filling: Toss the apples in the lemon juice and set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine both sugars, the cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir to combine and then add in the water and stir once again to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the apples and bring to boil once again. Lower the heat to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and let the apples cool completely before using. Can make a day ahead and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Frosting: Using a stand mixer beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed to incorporate. Add in 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar to mixture and beat on medium for 30 seconds, add the remaining 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and beat on medium-speed until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat on high speed for 30 seconds. Refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.

To assemble the cake: Level the cake layers if necessary. Lightly frost the top of the bottom layer. Fill a piping bag with the frosting and pipe a dam around the bottom layer (a ring of frosting around the perimeter of the cake). It may be necessary to pipe two layers of the frosting. Fill with the apple mixture and top with the other cake. Crumb coat the cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes (place the remaining frosting in the refrigerator during this time as well). Finish frosting the cake and decorate as desired.

Recipe first published on Bead Yarn & Spatula

Sheet Pan Greek Pita

I’m constantly printing out recipes or ripping them out of magazines. Sometimes I take a second (or third) look at them and decide that I just don’t want to make it for various reasons. Usually it’s because it requires too many ingredients or more than I feel like buying. And while the ingredient list for this Sheet Pan Greek Pita is a bit long, it was thankfully ingredients that I normally have on hand or are part of a typical trip to the supermarket.

Another plus to this recipe… It came together in less than 45 minutes. Since the salad requires a little time to sit and marinate I decided to make it earlier in the day so it would be ready by the time my chicken was done.

And when it was time to eat, it was super easy to put together. I cut a pita in half, added in some of the salad, some of the chicken and topped it off with more of the salad.  This is one recipe that I won’t be tossing. This pita was delicious and I may have discovered a new way to make my chicken for salads!

Sheet Pan Greek Pita

For the Chicken:

4 boneless & skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons oregano

1 teaspoon salt

For the Cucumber Tomato Salad:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 cucumber, diced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

2 tablespoons chopped mint

1/4 cup diced red onion

1/2 cup black olives chopped (or Kalamata olives)

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Juice of half a lemon

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 Pitas for serving

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients for the salad and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Combine all the ingredients for the chicken in a medium bowl. Mix well and then spread on a large baking pan. Make sure to leave ample space between the chicken so it roasts as opposed to steam. Cook in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

To serve, slice a pita in half, spoon some of the cucumber tomato salad into the pita, followed by the chicken and top it off with more of the salad.

Recipe from Chef Jason Goldstein

No Churn Key Lime Ice Cream

Today marks the unofficial end of the summer. While the calendar may say that we still have a little over two weeks left to the season, with schools back in session, pumpkin spice everything popping up in stores and some cooler temps there is no doubt that Fall is just around the corner. That’s fine by me as it is my favorite season. It’s been quite some time since I posted an ice cream recipe, just under two years and surprise surprise it was for a No Churn Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream, so I decided that this unofficial end was the perfect excuse for another ice cream recipe. A flavor that can help to extend the feeling of summer… A No Churn Key Lime Ice Cream.  

If you love a classic key lime pie you are going to love this ice cream. It has all the ingredients of the traditional pie (key lime juice, lime zest, sweetened condensed milk), whipped cream (folded into the mixture as opposed to piped on top) and graham cracker crumbles. And best of all you don’t need an ice cream machine to churn up a batch of it. Just mix all the ingredients together and transfer it to loaf pan and then freeze until firm.  

No Churn Key Lime Ice Cream

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crumble:

4 graham crackers, crumbled

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons sugar

Ice Cream:

1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 tablespoon key lime or regular lime zest

1/3 cup key lime juice*

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups heavy whipping cream

*Can use fresh key limes or Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice

Directions:

In a small bowl combine the crumbled graham crackers, sugar and butter and mix together until well combined. Reserve 1 tablespoon and set aside

In another medium bowl whisk together the condensed milk, lime zest, key lime juice, vanilla extract and salt and set aside.

Using a hand mixer on medium speed beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form.

Fold the whipped cream and graham cracker crumb mixture into the condensed milk mixture until everything is combined and no streaks of either mixture remain.

Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle the reserved graham cracker crumb mixture on top. Cover with a piece of wax paper and aluminum foil and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Recipe from Southern Living

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta in a Browned Butter Sage Sauce

As I mentioned in my focaccia post earlier this week I decided to plant quite a few herbs. Today I am sharing with you what I opted to make with the fresh sage I picked… A Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta in a Browned Butter Sage Sauce. This was the first time I had planted sage and while I have purchased it a few times in the supermarket, there is really nothing like growing your own herbs and vegetables. Although, the tomatoes, cucumber and eggplant I planted are in fact fruits thanks to the seeds inside of them and because they all come from the flower of the plant. Back to the sage though, the leaves were enormous and so fragrant.

I started by peeling and chopping up a small butternut squash. I usually take the easy route and buy butternut squash already chopped, but since it’s not Fall yet it wasn’t available at my local supermarket. I did learn though that peeling and chopping up a small butternut squash is much easier than a large one. Next, I tossed it with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted it in the oven for about 35 minutes.

Next, I boiled some pasta. Now, I would stick with penne or farfalle for this dish. I just find that it mixes better with the sauce and the size of that pasta is a good ratio for the small chunks of butternut squash. And finally, I made the browned butter sage sauce. In a large skillet, I combined half a stick of butter along with my fresh sage leaves over medium-low heat. I let the butter cook until it was beginning to brown and then added in minced garlic and cooked it for a minute more. Now, you need the sage leaves to crisp up so you can crumble them into the dish. That won’t happen though until you add the garlic to the melted butter and everything begins to sizzle. Make sure you don’t overcook the butter or the garlic or your sauce will be bitter. After the minute, I removed the pan from the heat, removed the sage leaves and added in the cooked pasta and roasted butternut squash. I crumbled the sage and then added it back to the skillet. I gave everything a good toss to make sure it was evenly coated with the browned butter and then tossed in some parmesan cheese and dinner was ready!

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta in a Browned Butter Sage Sauce

Ingredients:

1 small to medium butternut squash, 2 pounds

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces pasta*

1/4 cup unsalted butter

18-24 fresh sage leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

*Ideal pasta would be a penne or farfalle

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Peel the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds and then cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch cubes. Transfer the cubes to a large baking sheet and drizzle with the oil and sprinkle the salt and pepper on top. Toss the cubes to evenly coat them with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes, tossing them halfway through the cooking time. Set aside.

Cook the pasta per the directions on the box. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat add the butter and sage leaves and cook until the butter begins to brown. Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute. Make sure not to let the butter or garlic burn as the flavor will become bitter then. Remove from the heat and use a fork or slotted spoon to remove the sage leaves. They should be crispy.

Add the roasted butternut squash and cooked pasta to the skillet. Crumble the sage on top. Return the skillet to low-heat and toss everything a few times to evenly coat the pasta and squash with the browned butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss the parmesan cheese in and serve.

Recipe modified from The Spruce Eats

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