Ingredient Spotlight: Baking Spices

Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger…  Don’t they just taste like the holidays?

I love bundling up some of these spices in cheesecloth and letting it steep in hot apple cider.  It makes the house smell so good and tastes warm and festive too.

Here are a few other recipes that use these spices:  [Read more…]

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

This is a guest post from Sweet T of Sweet T Studio.

For this recipe, I started with Martha’s Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies, & made a few modifications to the original recipe to bring DOWN the guilt-factor, in regard to my thighs, AND my wallet, hehe!  (I doubled my recipe, because I was taking it to a big party, but this would be an ideal recipe to make two, & freeze one for later! Time saver!) [Read more…]

Slow Cooked Apple Oatmeal

I was going to call this Apple Pie Oatmeal, because it really does taste as good as apple pie.  I’ve made it twice now.  Once I used regular oatmeal (not quick cooking).  The second time, I used steel cut oats.  They were more expensive, but I thought they held up better in the slow cooker.  Jim thought that the regular oats were just as good.  They were good, but they were a little mushier than I would like.

The taste of both versions was delish!  Apples, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar…all for breakfast!  And the leftovers heat up great the next day.  Just add extra milk and microwave. [Read more…]

Sweet Potatoes and Apples in the Slow Cooker

Using a slow cooker can really simplify your Thanksgiving dinner (or any other meal, for that matter).  It allows you to prep a dish earlier in the day and it frees up the oven for other things.

Sweet potatoes and apples make a delicious side dish.  They cook wonderfully in the slow cooker, with a sweet, cinnamon spiced syrup.

Here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]

Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes

I’m pretty sure my family eats more pancakes than the average household.  We rarely ever have them for breakfast.  My kids know if Jim is out of town, we’re probably having pancakes for dinner.  Or if I need a super-quick meal, pancakes it is.

I served this stack for lunch after church, with ham and a fruit salad.  I dressed up the whole wheat pancake recipe with apples, applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.  Delicious appley goodness on an October afternoon.

Grab a few common pantry ingredients and you’re all set:

[Read more…]

Simple French Toast

french toast done

There’s nothing fancy or particularly special about this French toast.  It’s one of those staple foods that nearly every household makes, but it’s also comfort food full of childhood memories.  Crisp edges, melting butter and plenty of maple syrup make it a favorite.  I add some vanilla and spices too.  Add a cup of coffee and I could be happy with this for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

[Read more…]

Apple Pecan Sticky Rolls

apple pecan sticky rolls done close

Oh, how I wish I could pull this out of the computer screen.  I made them last night, ate two and I’ve been craving more ever since.  I’d had a bag of frozen roll dough tucked in my freezer for a while now, waiting for the perfect inspiration.  It was worth the wait.

I found a recipe for Apple Pull Apart Rolls and tweaked it. I swapped out brown sugar for white, increased the sweet gooey stuff, added pecans and spiced it up a bit.  Oh my!  These are fit for Christmas morning.  But they’re easy enough for a plain old Tuesday night. [Read more…]

Honey Apple Ham Glaze

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I had two huge hams in my freezer from my nephew’s 4-H project. I decided Thanksgiving Day was a great time to try out baking one of them. Just as I was about to put it in the oven, I decided it needed a honey glaze so I make this one up on the spot!

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I used:

Apple juice (I think Apple Cider would be great, but we had just drank all of ours)
Corn syrup (if you have enough honey you could skip this)
Brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter

I’d like to be able to tell you the exact measurements I used, but I can’t. I melted the butter in the measuring cup and then just started adding in the other ingredients. I think I used about 1/2 cup of apple juice, 1/3-1/2 cup honey, a big squirt of corn syrup, several big spoons of brown sugar, a shake of nutmeg. I also stuck a few cloves in the ham just because I had some.

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You can see I ended up with about 1 1/2 cups of glaze. I don’t think you could really mess this up. Use the sweet, fruity ingredients you have in your kitchen. There was plenty of liquid after the ham cooked. I covered the ham tightly with foil to bake it. It tasted delish!

As I’m typing this, I’m thinking it would be great poured over the top of cut-up sweet potatoes and baked. Yum!

Spicy Pumpkin Pie

pumpkin pie done

I love pumpkin pie. I will eat many pieces of it, even having it for breakfast. Pumpkin is a vegetable, right? I do like my pie spicy though and this one takes care of that.

What you’ll need:

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2 eggs
1 can pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 2/3 cup milk (or 12 oz can evaporated milk)
1 unbaked pie shell

Beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the sugar and then pumpkin, mixing well. Add the spices and mix until the spices are well distributed. Add the milk and mix. (I used 2/3 cup of half and half and 1 cup of milk) Pour the great smelling mixture into an unbaked pie shell. Sometime I’ll share how to make a very easy homemade crust, but I was too lazy for that this time so I used a Pillsbury refrigerated crust.

Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake another 45-50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Try not to eat it all yourself.