Category Archives: Seasonal – Fall

Maple Pumpkin Butter

We’re back in the saddle with our monthly Really Healthy recipes over at The Magazine of Yoga and this month is the perfect way to throw a little balance into your turkey-filled Thanksgiving week.  A nice twist on your classic pumpkin butter.  No heat necessary — just mix in creamy greek yogurt for a festive and healthy spread!  Check out The Magazine of Yoga for the complete recipe.

Wishing you all a wonderful and delicious Turkey Day!




Filed under All Posts, Appetizers and the likes, Breakfast; the most important meal of the day, Fruity Flavors, Healthy Options, Holidays - Thanksgiving, Recipes, Seasonal - Fall, Sweet Treats

Cinnamon Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with Pumpkin White Chocolate and Cream Cheese Filling

I knew I was setting myself up for a challenge after creating a title like this one.  What else could I possibly say after uttering the words pumpkin, cream cheese and white chocolate all in the same sentence?   Oh wait.  I forgot shortbread too.  Mmm, the buttery soft sweetness of my all-time favorite cookie.  How could you go wrong?

Well, other than telling you that these are seriously addicting and that this filling is what I consider spoon-worthy the only thing left to say is that your Fall just got a whooooole lot sweeter!


Cinnamon Shortbread Cookies

(You can use your favortie shortbread cookie recipe for these and add a tsp of cinnamon.  My favorite recipe below is from the The Joy of Baking)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a separate bowl whisk the flour with the salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes).  Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.  Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour.  

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

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 1/8 inch thick circle.  Cut into rounds or other shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter.  Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. (This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked.) Bake for about 8 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack

Pumpkin White Chocolate and Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 cup chopped white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Melt white chocolate slowly in a double boiler over low heat.  Once chocolate is melted add the remaining ingredients and incorporate well.  Cool completely in the refrigerator until the consistency is spreadable.   Spread between two cookies and enjoy!


Filed under All Posts, Seasonal - Fall, Sweet Treats

Marlys’ (Pumpkin) Carrot Soup

If you’re looking for a good and good-for-you soup to warm you up this holiday season, look no further!  Courtesy of my mother in-law, (shout-out to Marlys), I’m sharing the recipe with you here.

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Filed under All Posts, Healthy Options, Holidays - Christmas, Recipes, Seasonal - Fall, Vegetables

Holiday Spiced Pecans

We’re starting off the Thanksgiving week on the right foot with this next little number.  Spice, spice, spice!  If the holiday season had a flavor, this would be it.  I make these every year for Thanksgiving,  just to have something to snack on — you know, in between snacks — and each time they go into the oven I fall in love all over again.   If only you could have smelled the heavenly aroma’s filling my kitchen this weekend, oh me.

Spiced Pecans

  • 1 egg white + 1 tbsp water
  • 3 cups pecans
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with foil.  In a large bowl beat the egg white and water together with a fork and add the pecans, and all spices.  Toss to moisten pecans completely.  Spread pecans on the baking sheet and bake for about 25-30 minutes stirring frequently throughout the baking time (important to prevent burning and even cooking).  Remove from oven, cool and serve.


Filed under All Posts, Appetizers and the likes, Holidays - Thanksgiving, Recipes, Seasonal - Fall, Sweet Treats

Old Fashioned Pancakes with Caramelized Apples

Sometimes it’s the simple recipes that steal my heart.  The ones that are so classic, so familiar, just so…..right.  It’s a given that everyone loves pancakes (well, everyone who’s anyone).  And if you don’t, this is your chance.  For the love of breakfast! 

These pancakes are derived from one of my favorite pancake recipes from a gal named Dakota Kelly. 

Old Fashioned Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Caramelized Apples

  • 4 apples peeled and cored, such as golden delicious
  • 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

 For Pancakes: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

For Apples: Slices apples and melt butter in sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add apples and saute for about 4 minutes. Add sugar and cook until they are golden brown and tender.


Filed under All Posts, Breakfast; the most important meal of the day, Fruity Flavors, Recipes, Seasonal - Fall, Sweet Treats

Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Maple Brown Butter and Bacon

 A little sweet, a little salty and all around scrumptious, this dish was the perfect remedy to get me through the mid-week, time-changing, coat-wearing-weather blues.  Taking only minutes to cook, I make these delightful little dumplings often — usually with county ham & peas and a quick parmesan cream sauce — however, the delicate flavors of sweet potato and pure sweet maple beautifully captured the essence of this splendid fall season!

Gnocchi is not difficult to make and depending on your choice of sauce and accompaniments, it doesn’t take too long either.  Instead of rolling out your dough and cutting each dumpling, you can save time by placing the prepared dough into a pastry bag and squeeze directly into the boiling water, as pictured below. 

This is great when served as a starter or an accompanying side to the main course.

Recipe adapted from

  • 1 1/4 pounds russet (baking potatoes)
  • 1 (3/4-pound) sweet potato
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more for serving
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sage leaves (from 1 bunch)
  • 3-4 slices of bacon
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple

For gnocchi:
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

Pierce potatoes with a fork, then bake until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Cool potatoes slightly, then peel and force through mill and onto sheet pan, spreading in an even layer. Cool potatoes completely  

Beat together egg, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Gather potatoes into a mound in sheet pan, using a pastry scraper if you have one, and form a well in center. Pour egg mixture into well, then knead into potatoes. Knead in cheese and 1 ½ to 2 cups flour, then knead, adding more flour as necessary, until mixture forms a smooth but slightly sticky dough.  Place dough in a pastry bag and cut the tip to about ½ inch thick. Set aside and made the sauce and bacon.

*To test the flavor and texture of the gnocchi, take a small portion of the dough with floured hands, form into a ball, and blanch in boiling salted water. When it floats, remove, taste, and adjust seasoning and flour.

Fry bacon:
Fry bacon until crisp and transfer to paper towels to drain. Set aside

Make sauce:
Add butter to skillet and melt over medium heat. When the butter has melted add the sage leaves. Continue to cook, swirling the butter occasionally, until the foam subsides and the milk solids begin to brown. Remove the pan from the heat and add the maple syrup (The mixture will bubble up). Season with salt and pepper.

Cook gnocchi:
Boil a large pot of salted water.  Hold the pastry bag over the water and with a pairing knife cut off 1 inch sections of dough while squeezing into the water (as pictured below).  Continue to work through half of the bag.  Cook until they float to surface and become tender, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to skillet with butter sauce. Cook remaining gnocchi in same manner, transferring to skillet as cooked.

Saute gnocchi in skillet over medium heat, stirring to coat in the sauce.

Serve sprinkled with sage and bacon.


Filed under All Posts, Appetizers and the likes, Holidays - Thanksgiving, Pasta!, Recipes, Seasonal - Fall, Side Dishes

Apple-Cranberry Herbed Stuffing

As a home cook, there is one skill in the kitchen that I hold high above all the rest: resourcefulness.  Especially because I am from the Midwest, and I’ve been jaded by the significant difference in price at grocery stores. I cringe every time I hesitantly push my buggy through the checkout line of a New Jersey supermarket to once again be reminded — food is expensive!  And food in New Jersey is more expensive! 

So, it’s no surprise that I will wring out every penny that’s left in a half-used can of pumpkin, or the perfectly usable chicken carcass…or in this case leftover potato hamburger buns (which below I replaced with French bread).  Sometimes the results are better than the real thing (this stuffing is De-licious!).  And other times – well, you can ask my fearless food tester (aka husband) what he thought of the pumpkin meatloaf.  Oops!

(This recipe is for a smaller dish. Double the recipe for a 9×13 baking dish)

  • About 7-8 cups of French bread, cubed
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 apple, diced small
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp thyme, chopped fine
  • 2 stalks of rosemary, leaves removed and chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock, (or 1 can)
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400F and place cubed bread on a foiled baking sheet.  Bake for a few minutes until bread becomes dried out and crunchy.

In sauté pan with a tbsp of butter, add onions, celery and apple. Season with salt and pepper and cook until onions are translucent (about 7 minutes or so).  Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.

In large bowl combine, bread, apple-onion mixture, cranberries, herbs, chicken broth, and egg.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.  Transfer to buttered baking dish and cover with foil (butter the top of foil to ensure it does not stick).  Bake for 20 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375F and remove foil.  Bake for another 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

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Filed under All Posts, Holidays - Thanksgiving, Recipes, Seasonal - Fall, Side Dishes