I'm not really a "New Year's resolution" kind of girl, but this year I've decided that setting more goals for myself is actually one of my goals for 2022. Does that even make sense? 😅 I've never been shy about using the "I'll start in January" excuse to procrastinate the changing of my bad habits but I've never really taken the opportunity of a new year to clearly define achievable goals for myself either professionally or personally. And before you start thinking crazy thoughts - bungee jumping in Nepal is NOT one the goals I'm adding to my list for 2022. 🤣🏔
Dedicating more time to recipe development is one of my goals for early 2022. Like many of the recipes that I post, I found the inspiration for this Apple Blackberry Betty in my Cook's Country magazine and I tweaked it to make it my own. America's Test Kitchen is the creator of that magazine and they are the master of recipe creation and recording about all the trials along their journey to perfection. This year, try and keep in mind that my goal is to work on creating new and unique recipes and not reach expert level food scientist status. 👩🏻🍳 😬
The more time I spend on recipe development - the more appreciation I have for the people that do it well. A really great recipe doesn't just happen by accident which is exactly why I wanted to share this Apple Blackberry Betty recipe with you. It's amazing and you know that it's been created and tested with extreme care because it's come from America's Test Kitchen.
Apple Blackberry Betty
7 slices hearty white sandwich bread
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled and sliced into 1/2" slices
1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into 1/2" slices
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup blackberries, cut in half
Cover with foil. Place pan on baking sheet and bake 60-70 minutes at 375. Remove foil and bake 15 more minutes.
Serve with ice cream.
If you're an experienced goal setter - I'd love to hear your tips and strategies. I would love to hear what's worked for you and what your own goals are for 2022. 😌
I feel like I've fallen behind on my Fall baking. If you've been following along on the blog - you already know the reason for the delay. In a word - disarray. We just wrapped up week 6 of our kitchen remodeling project and I feel like I'm existing in a constant state of tospy-turveyness. 🙃 I wouldn't necessarily call it untidy or sloppy - it's more like everything in the house has been temporarily relocated to other areas of the house. I've actually gotten accustomed to the sight of cutting boards in my bedroom and canisters of flour and rice stacked on living room chairs. 😅
As you might imagine, baking this month has proven to be somewhat of a challenge. I find myself looking for recipes with ingredients that are easy to find. 😂I definitely didn't think that I'd be making anything with oats anytime soon because it's buried beneath a LOT of other baking supplies. At this point it would be easier to go out and buy more instead of trying to uncover them and risk upsetting the delicate tower of food that lies above them. 🤣
There's no question that apple pie is a family favorite but let's face it - creating a homemade apple pie is a labor of love. 🥧Preparing, chilling, rolling, fitting, crimping, brushing and decorating. Making a pie crust is VERY time consuming.
So when I crave that warm, cinnamony apple flavor but I don't want to deal with a fussy pie, (or if my kitchen is under construction) I go to the store and buy more oats and then I swap the crust for a crunchy oaty topping and make apple cobbler. 😂It takes far less time to prepare and you don't even have to wait for it to cool completely. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the top of a warm bowl of apple crisp and its pretty much Fall dessert perfection. 🍏
6 apples, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
pinch of kosher salt
Shoutout to my sweet DIL for letting me take over her kitchen and use all of her cute Fall decorations for my apple crisp photo shoot. She's got the cutest pumpkins and Fall signs. 😂
I have to admit, I’m a little sad to see summer go, but I can't help but be excited about the all of the possibilities that autumn has to offer. 🍂A season of fresh starts, new routines, activities and adventures. Sure, I'll miss my more laid back summer schedule and nights when the sun didn't set until after 9:00 but I'm excited about this new season that we're entering into. 🍁
I'm ready to trade in my bathing suit for some soft, cozy sweaters and my fresh strawberry shortcake and corn on the cob for all things warm, delicious and pumpkiny. 🎃There's something about the crisp Fall air that makes me want to escape to my kitchen and start putting together hearty casseroles, make comforting soups and bake soul warming desserts. 🍎
Sadly, my kitchen still isn't quite ready for me to use - still waiting on water and countertops - so my Fall cooking might not happen until late November this year. Rest assured that even if it's delayed - it WILL happen. I can hardly wait to start to start baking in my new dream kitchen. Just imagine the Thanksgiving extravaganza that I can create this year with double the oven capacity. 🦃 😅
We eat a fair amount of take out these days and grain bowls have become my new go-to meal. I've have some really awesome grain bowl creations from local restaurants so putting together a homemade bowl filled with roasted sweet potatoes, fresh apples, walnuts and dried cranberries just seemed to make sense. I actually made this Autumn Harvest Grain Bowl just before kitchen demolition began in September. It was super satisfying and SUPER delicious.
Autumn Harvest Bowl
2 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup quinoa cooked
1 small sweet potato
1 apple, sliced thin
1/4 cup chickpeas, rinsed
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
1 Tablespoon chopped walnuts
2 Tablespoons cheese
for the dressing:
2 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
Grain bowls are growing in popularity and you might remember the other grain bowl recipes that I've shared on the blog. My family loves mediterranean bowls with olives, cucumbers, tomatoes with a tahini sauce. Mexican bowls are another favorite in this house. Brown rice, cilantro, black beans and cheddar cheese take center stage when I serve those. These Fall themed grain bowls are a great way to enjoy the deliciousness of this autumn season. Pair it with a steaming cup of butternut squash soup - and you've got yourself a perfect Fall combination.
What did I ever talk about before I started a kitchen remodeling project? Two weeks into this massive project and I can officially say that it's consumed my life. 🤣I think about my kitchen all day - every day. I've even started dreaming about my new kitchen. No joke. 😅 The other night I had a dream that I forgot to put shelves in the new pantry.
So today, I'm giving you - and me - a much needed break from all the kitchen talk. There will be no pictures of cabinet hardware, floating shelves or knife block discussions on today's blog. I'm choosing to focus on the delicious food that I will soon be able to make in my new and improved kitchen. Oops, I did it again. 🤦🏻♀️
I don't know if this happens to other people, but I've spent way too many hours standing in the granola bar aisle of the grocery store, comparing brands. If you've ever looked at the nutritional information on a box of granola bars, you know that they can range from a fancy rice cake to candy bar status. 🍫 I love a good granola bar loaded with chocolate chips but if Im going to eat something chocolatey with 14 grams of fat - I'm going to go all in and eat a snickers bar. 🤷🏻♀️
Making homemade granola bars is really the only way that I can know exactly what goes into my favorite snack. Being able to choose all of the ingredients and having control over the sweetness is ideal and it's actually way easier than you think to make granola bars at home. Fall Harvest Granola Bars are the perfect no-bake, energy boosting snack that everyone in your house will love.
Fall Harvest Granola Bars
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup whole almonds, roughly chopped
½ cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup packed pitted Medjool dates
⅓ cup maple syrup
¼ cup creamy almond butter
½ cup dried cherries
¼ teaspoon salt
Scoop into an 8x8" square pan with a parchment sling. Freeze 20 minutes.
Remove bars with sling.
Cut into 16 bars.
You have full permission to take this recipe and make it your own. Customize it with your favorite nuts, fruits, nut butter and oats. Then send me a picture of your creation, of course. I'd love to see what kinds granola bars you make too.
My house has been bustling with contractors, installers, designers, project managers, and electricians for two solid weeks and by Friday, I had had all I could take. #remodelingakitchenishard Don't get me wrong, I'm super grateful - and thankful - for all of the work that they're doing to create my new dream kitchen but it's definitely been an adjustment to share my normally quiet house.
A day trip to the North Georgia mountains was exactly what this girl needed to escape the construction chaos. Luckily, Ben stepped in to run point and make all of the kitchen decisions that had to be made on Friday so my girl and I could get away for the day.
Ok, so I didn't exactly escape completely. There were still a couple dozen phone calls, pictures and text messages back and forth because let's face it - everyone knew that I wouldn't want to be left out of any cabinet hardware decisions. 🤷🏻♀️ #IthinkIhavecontrolissues 😂
Despite all the of the phone calls, you'd be surprised at how quickly the stresses of remodeling fade away when you're feeding a zonkey or drinking wine at the Fainting Goat Vineyard. 🐐(By the way, In case you were wondering - I'm pretty sure that the adorable goats at the Fainting Goat vineyard were just regular goats. The wine was good though.) 🍷😂
Spending the day apple picking, lunching, wine drinking, animal feeding, sampling the homemade apple desserts and shopping was exactly what this stressed out girl needed. I came home with a full belly, rested and rejuvenated - and carrying 2 bags of freshly picked apples. 🍎
Picking my own apples from the trees in the North Georgia orchards is one my favorite Fall traditions. #whenyouknowyouknow 🏞Last month I posted a recipe for slow cooker apple butter and now that I have some extra apples in the house, I'm feeling the urge to make another batch because we went through the first one really quickly. AND ... I'm all about using my slow cooker until my kitchen is back up and running.
The first thing that I'm going to make with my second batch of apple butter are these apple butter cinnamon rolls. They are divine. These cinnamon rolls are super soft and fluffy and have just the enough sweetness and spice to make them breakfast worthy.
Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. whole milk, divided
1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast
⅔ cup plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
½ cup butter, cut into 4 pieces and softened
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon plus ⅛ tsp. kosher salt, divided
4 ⅓ cups bread flour
1 cup Slow-Cooker Apple Butter
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Brush glaze over rolls.
I love Fall baking and I feel like these apple butter cinnamon rolls epitomize the essence of Fall baking. The warm Fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg rolled into a delicate yeast dough and drizzled with a hint of apple cider icing -perfection. Tell me there's a better way to kick off a beautiful Fall weekend. 🤣
Like my page on facebook.
Follow me on Instagram