Hold onto your hats, friends. I've got a big announcement. As of late last night - I AM THE OFFICIAL OWNER OF TWO OVENS!!! In case you couldn't tell - I'm crazy excited about doubling my oven capacity. We've been planning for this moment for a long time and now that it's finally here, I have an overwhelming desire to fire them both up and see how many cookies I can bake at once. 🍪😂
Adding a second oven was one of the major driving factors that started our conversations about renovating the kitchen. My previous kitchen was sufficient in many ways but it was definitely lacking in oven and pantry space. The problem is that things kind of snowballed from there into what became a total kitchen demolition and rebuild. 😬
One electric and one gas. Two ovens - two different heat sources. I haven't cooked in an electric oven for a really long time so I'm anxious to do some comparison baking. How's that for an excuse to bake more pie?🥧 Thank goodness Thanksgiving is right around the corner because I'm going to need some more mouths and stomachs to keep up with all this baking that I have planned. 🤣
Do you know what happens when your new oven gets installed and hooked up at 10:00 at night? You go to bed and dream about all the things you want to bake in your new appliance. 🤣 Should there be some significance to the first food baked in a new oven? Can I make something great without counters or a sink? What if the very first thing that I put in the oven, makes a mess? I can seriously overthink things in my sleep. 😂😴
As of this moment - I haven't baked anything - I'm still trying to figure out how to operate this new appliance that is clearly, way smarter than me. 🤓 😅 Did you know that you can actually scan a food from the grocery store into an app and my oven will automatically cook it to perfection. WHAT?! Maybe by the time I figure out how to use this fancy machine, I'll have water and a sink in my kitchen. 😂
Pies are a Thanksgiving staple and you better believe that they will be one of the first things that goes into my new oven. I love fruit pies and this blueberry pie is no exception. Even though we're nearing the end of summer, I've still been able to find decent blueberries in the grocery store. If you see happen to see some great looking berries on your next supermarket trip - pick up about 6 cups for a blueberry crumble pie. Enjoy it now or freeze it or Thanksgiving --- or make two. 🤷🏻♀️
Blueberry Crumble Pie
single pie crust
5 and 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Tablespoons butter
2/3 cup old-fashioned oats
Sprinkle over pie.
Bake 25 minutes at 400. Reduce heat to 375 and bake 30-35 minutes longer. Cover with foil if browning too quickly.
Cool at least 3 hours before slicing.
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.
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. 🤣
Last month when it was 90 degrees and 99% humidity - I was inmy kitchen sweating over a giant batch of Italian Wedding soup.🥵 #Myfamilyhadquestions 😅 But now that the temperatures are a bit cooler and I don't have the means to cook dinner anymore - I'm super thankful for those containers of Wedding soup that I've been able to pull out of my freezer and reheat for dinner.
Even more important than the fact that our dinner is on the floor, in the crock pot, is the fact that I'm one step closer to having a fully functioning kitchen again. I have cabinets!!!
I honestly don't know how I'm going to be able to sleep tonight - I'm too excited and I'm already organizing each and every cabinet and drawer in my head. #organizationjunkie I can hardly wait to start filling them up. Filling being the operative word. 😅
Sadly, I'll have to wait just a little longer because there will be no cabinet loading until the floors are refinished in a few more weeks. Until then, we'll be enjoying our Italian Wedding soup in our newly cabineted kitchen. (Is that a word?)
Italian Wedding Soup
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated into a powder
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/3 cup fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon oil
1 ¼ cups carrots, sliced thin
1 ¼ cups yellow onion, diced
¾ cup celery, sliced thin
1 garlic clove, minced
8 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
¾ cup small dry pasta
8 oz. fresh spinach
Stir in spinach.
Garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired.
Even though I made my meatballs out of ground turkey - you could certainly use beef. It's just a preference. Either way - I think you're going to like this hearty Fall favorite.
Like my page on facebook.
Follow me on Instagram