maple syrup

Apple Pie Bars

I was trying to keep the grocery list a little shorter this week, so I went looking for  breakfast/snack/dessert bar recipes that contain few ingredients, and ones that I already have in the kitchen.  I also wanted something fruity versus chocolatey.  These bars looked perfect, as they only contain 5 ingredients.  The recipe only makes a small batch, but you could easily double it if looking to take it to a gathering (or to freeze for later).

I couldn’t resist sticking my finger in the bowl for a sample of the “batter” after the bars were in the oven and before I washed the bowl.  I was immediately glad that I had put the pan in the oven, because I probably would’ve just taken a spoon to the bowl and just started eating the batter raw.  The next time I make these I might just spread the batter in the pan, put it in the freezer to solidify, and cut it and eat it as a no-bake bar.  The apple flavor is much stronger when it is not baked.  The bars are still good baked, I just always like to experiment a bit after making something for the first time.  You could always make a batch each way and see which is your favorite.

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Cranberry Apple Cobbler

We have really been enjoying fresh cranberries around here since Thanksgiving time.  I learned my lesson last year that after Christmas they become hard to find in the store and disappear quickly, only to return to the shelves the next year around the end of October/early November.  So, this year I bought some extra bags and put them in the freezer so we could enjoy them for a little while longer :).

I wanted to find something new to make other than cranberry sauce and cranberry bars (both of which are very tasty, just didn’t want to get burnt out on them!), so when I found this recipe I bookmarked it pretty quickly to try for the next week after my grocery run.  It is a nice combination of sweet and tart, and I bet it would be a good “comfort food” for the cold winter days that will soon come!

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Pumpkin Bread

How is Thanksgiving next week already?  It just doesn’t seem right.  But, I enjoy the time that you can get fresh cranberries at the grocery store, eat your fill of everything cranberry, and have an excuse to make more pumpkin baked goods.  I will be making this bread to take to our Thanksgiving gathering.  It is also good any time of year as part of breakfast, a snack, or dessert.

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Grainless “Cornbread”

I got this recipe from a former co-worker, and I had actually forgotten about it until this past weekend when making “Thanksgiving dinner” for my parents, who were leaving for Florida for the winter the next morning.  My husband and I had it once in the past and liked it, but we didn’t eat it fast enough (or store it in the fridge), and that was a mistake.  After a few days it had developed a “stringy” sort of texture and just didn’t taste right.  So, this time around when making it I made sure that there would be more people to eat it, and I stored the leftovers in the fridge (it was great the next day warmed up with butter on it for breakfast).

This cornbread has a moist, cake-like texture with a hint of sweetness to it.  We ate all but 2 pieces of it that night at dinner, which must mean that it’s pretty good ;).

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Chocolate Bacon Cake

I must be on a sweets kick lately :).

I wanted to make my husband a special birthday cake but still stick with the no white sugar, flour, or dairy theme.  If you lived here, you would hear how much bacon is requested each day for at least one of our meals.  After doing a long of thinking, I wondered, “What would a chocolate cake with bacon mixed in it and on top of it taste like?”  All my conscience kept answering was, “Sounds pretty amazing to me.”  I was very excited to give it a try and make it a nice surprise for his birthday.

Trouble is, I haven’t been able to find a good recipe yet for a homemade chocolate cake that is my “go-to.”  I was browsing online, and saw a link for the Paleo Baking Company, and began looking at their mixes.  The ingredients for the chocolate cake and muffin mix are simple:  cocoa, coconut flour, sea salt, and baking soda.  You have to add eggs, coconut oil (or butter), honey (or syrup), and water.  I decided to take a chance and try this mix.  Yes, it is more expensive than regular cake mixes, but seeing as how a birthday is a once a year event, I didn’t feel bad splurging a bit.  The cake turned out great; it was moist and didn’t taste like coconut at all (I am not too fond of coconut flavor!)

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

With fall officially being here, let the pumpkin craze begin.  I have traditionally been a pumpkin pie kind of person on Thanksgiving Day, then not a pumpkin person on too many other days.  (Plus I enjoyed my pumpkin pie with more Cool Whip than pie, oops!!)  In the past few years, however, I have grown to like it more and have tried it in a breakfast smoothie and different kinds of bars.

Last week I was going to get one of the smaller cans of pumpkin to try this cookie recipe.  I don’t think I have ever encountered this before, but every brand of the small cans of pumpkin was sold out, and there was only the giant cans left.  I figured I could just make a double batch of cookies and use it up.  Well, we got our double batch of cookies, plus a loaf of pumpkin bread, plus a batch of chocolate pumpkin muffins, plus a pumpkin smoothie for me this morning.  It’s a good thing these baked goods will freeze well, and a good thing that we have a nice variety of them so we don’t get sick of pumpkin :).

Anyhow, the first batch of cookies I made was under baked.  It made them really hard to get off of the cookie sheet and then again really hard to get off of the cooling rack (but in the end, this didn’t bother me because I like my cookies moist and gooey).  I believe I baked those for ~11 min.  The second batch came out much less gooey, and I baked them for ~14 min.  I’m not sure that you can get a crunchy cookie out of these in that the pumpkin and nut butter add so much moisture to the mix.  I am not a fan of having nuts in cookies, so I omitted them.  If I make these again I think they would be good with some dried cranberries in them.

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Apple pancake sausage sandwiches

I was browsing for some new breakfast ideas and came across this recipe for “apple pancake rings.”  When I saw that it was basically cut up apples dipped in pancake batter and then cooked like a regular pancake, I thought, “why haven’t I tried that myself?”  Then, I thought, “I bet that would be really good if you made it into a sandwich with sausage in the middle, then drizzled it with some maple syrup!”  And so here we are.

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