Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce

Look, you guys

It’s here. My most favorite, beautiful, scenic time of year. I told the kids it was supposed to snow this week so we had to ask Alexa when the first technical day of winter is. Do you want to know what she said? December 21st. Yet we have snow in the forecast for today, November 6. You try explaining all of this to a 4 year old. Why oh why can’t crispy, cool autumn fulfill its assigned 3 full months?! Winter is so dang greedy and aggressive around here🙄

But we certainly won’t stop celebrating autumn in this house until that far away day in December…and this yummy Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce will certainly be a constant in our fridge. I’m addicted. My kids could take down an entire batch in one sitting. I even got a “I want to eat this every day of my life!” from Jude. Winning.

It’s both tart and sweet with the perfect amount of warm cinnamon running through it. Incredibly slurpable by itself with a spoon, but my kids also love it for breakfast on top of plain Greek yogurt. A happy happy happy autumn, indeed, even if it does snow today!

Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

7 Medium Honeycrisp Apples, peeled, cored and quartered

4 Medium Ripe Pears, cored and quartered

Zest and Juice of 2 Navel Oranges

Zest of 1 and Juice of 2 Lemons

3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into four pieces

1 1/4 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Allspice

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Place all ingredients in a oven safe pot or Dutch oven and stir to combine. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, let cool just slightly, place in a blender or food processor and blend until desired consistency.

Pumpkin Banana Bread

All things pumpkin are in full effect! Are you loving it or ready to move right into peppermint for the holidays?

We are embracing it over here…I love the warm spices that meld so wonderfully with the flavor of pumpkin. And this Pumpkin Banana Bread is the perfect display of that.

It screams fall with just the perfect amount of cozy spices and warm maple flavor. The combination of pumpkin and banana is such a good thing. And if you want to take it up to the level of perfection, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and coconut sugar on top of the loaf before you bake it…heavenly!

It’s so much more healthful than your standard banana bread recipe, and you won’t miss all that refined sugar one bit, i promise!

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Note: you can buy oat flour at most markets…but it’s super simple and much cheaper to make your own at home. Just place rolled oats in a food processor or blender and process until the oats are very fine and flour-like.

Ingredients

1 1/4 Cups Oat Flour * see note

1/2 Cup White Whole Wheat or All Purpose Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Allspice

1 Cup Canned Pumpkin

1/2 Cup Mashed Ripe Banana (approx 1 Banana)

1/2 Cup Pure Maple Syrup

6 Tablespoons Melted Unsalted Butter, slightly cooled

2 Large Eggs

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Optional topping: 1 Tablespoon Coconut Sugar mixed with 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×5 loaf pan or mini loaf pan with butter. Place the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and allspice in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

In a large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, banana, maple syrup, butter, eggs and vanilla until combined. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined. Pour batter in prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with coconut sugar/cinnamon topping if desired.

Bake for 1 hour, if using a 9×5, or approximately 30 minutes if using a mini loaf pan, or until toothpick is inserted an comes out clean. Slightly cool before slicing.

Apple Cinnamon Pastries


It’s starting to officially feel like fall, guys! How have you been celebrating? Give me all the warm coffee, crunchy leaves, cool, refreshing air, pumpkins, corn mazes, scenic colors that will blow your mind…and APPLES! It’s all happening in our neck of the woods and if I could just pile on an extra couple months of this stuff I’d be one over-the-moon mama. Minnesota truly feels like the most magical place this time of year.

We had our annual apple orchard trip a couple weeks ago and, well, if you know me you know that it’s my very favorite family outing of the year. Being stuck in the middle of nowhere surrounded by the most incredible scenery with my four favorite humans just simply isn’t a terrible way to spend a Saturday. We got to show the baby all the ropes this year…and man the big kids are becoming pro pickers! Here are a few photos from the day Continue reading

Bacon + Butternut Flatbreads with Balsamic Drizzle

SONY DSCOh boy.  So I’ve got this pretty amazing girlfriend.  We are raising same-aged children together.  She’s genuine and so caring.  Our husbands totally click.  We both love to work out.  You know, all the good stuff…and it all just works so seamlessly.  But heres the kicker:  She, too, has a case of ADIDAF (All Day I Dream About Food-it’s a thing-I am living proof).  She’s a fabulous cook and she may be the only human I know who loves to eat ALMOST as much as I do 😉  Like, you know, the kind of friend who sends you snap shots of every course at the fantastic new restaurant she is eating at.  The kind of friend that introduces you to rare and ridiculously awesome candy that you have never heard of and you basically faint out of pure delight.  The kind of friend you are delighted to check out new restaurants with because you know she will appreciate all of it as much as you do.  She’s a winner.  In so many ways.

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Heres the deal, you guys.  I’m going to be frank with you.  I am getting lazy.  Like LAAAAZZZZYYYY.  Yes, you can still count on me to get a decent dinner on the table most nights…but man, I’ll find a shortcut.  Now don’t get me wrong..I love a good Sunday spent in the kitchen…but these weeknights are all about saving time.

I feel like life has progressively taken me to this place of minimal effort.  And yes, the weather these days must have something to  do with it, too.  But it used to be, you know, pre-kids, I was putting hours into dinner.  Hours.  Meticulously dicing, pureeing, grinding, whatever it took to make the food absolutely delicious.  Then one kid…two kids..came along and it has gradually shifted from hours of effort to literally strategizing how I can get this meal on the table as quickly as possible.  What shortcuts can I take that wont sacrifice taste?  How can I make this easier, not only for myself, but for you, my NP people…because Lord knows you don’t have the time either, friends.   Continue reading

Potato Gratin with Poblanos, Pancetta and Corn

SONY DSCHow about this weather, friends?  It’s so random this time of year.  Mornings feel like fall at its finest:  cool, crisp air perfect for that cozy sweater.  Head into afternoon and the sun is blazing and the temps are rising forcing you to tear that sweater off as quickly as you can.  Part summer, part fall, no?

And this gratin is right there with the weather these days.  Part summer with those farm fresh poblanos, potatoes and corn.  Part fall with that comfort an warmth.

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Roasted Spaghetti Squash Pie

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Spaghetti Pie.  My guess it’s graced your family’s table in some way, shape or form.  Think baked ziti, with spaghetti noodles.  It’s casserole-ish.  Hot dish-ish, to my Minnesotan friends.  It’s comforting, rich, gooey and just plain welcomed in my home.

So, how about Spaghetti Pie with roasted spaghetti squash?  Have you?  Would you?  You should.  You totally should.  Heres why… Continue reading