Montana Spiked Apple Cider

THE SIMPLE INGREDIENTS!

THE FABULOUS PRODUCT!

Everyone should have a recipe that is easy to make, warms you up and gets people comfortable! Ours is Spiked Apple Cider:

Take a large soup cauldron – dump a gallon of apple cider (fresh, organic, get crazy!) then half a 5th of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. Put 2 cinnamon sticks in, boil, reduce to simmer then ladle into mugs! Make a lot because it will get drunk up FAST! I highly suggest you have some before Christmas Tree Hunting!

Tortellini Soup~Amazing Recipe!


Tortellini Soup
Here is the soup before Garnish – I want you to be able to see how gorgeous it is!

I am in a FABULOUS book club that has morphed into a dinner and book club. We are a group of busy women who really wanted to stay connected throughout the year and the brilliant idea of a book club was introduced. Now, naturally we would want to have food so we thought, why not do a potluck dinner based on the book? So far it has been really awesome, the photo on the top of my blog is a cake I did for a Southern inspired dinner based around “The Help”

At the last potluck (based on a Stephen King novel) there was a delicious soup, and I was lucky enough to get the recipe from the book club member as well as take photos as she cooked the recipe at my house!

The flavor from this soup really comes from the tarragon and bell pepper. I loved it, as did my husband who ate it for lunch the next 2 days.

TORTELLINI SOUP
(adapted from a friend, who got it from a friend)

Ingredients:
4 poached chicken breasts – diced into 1 inch cubes
3-4 cups cooked brown rice
3 large cans low sodium chicken broth
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
16 ounce package cheese filled tortellini
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbsp tarragon (use less if you use fresh, which I highly recommend in any recipe)
4 ounces shredded parmesan cheese, for garnish

Directions:
Bring broth to boil. Add tortellini and boil gently, uncovered for 6-8 minutes. Add chicken, rice, bell pepper, and tarragon to broth. Boil over high heat for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to simmering, cover, and cook for 10 minutes longer. Serve in big bowls with parmesan garnish. Served 4-6

NOTE: I recommend having some extra broth “on deck” for left overs as the pasta and rice really soaks the broth up while in the fridge. Just add before you warm it up!

Sour Cream Pumpkin Bread~HEAVEN!!

Well, today feels like “Pumpkin Saturday”! I had a tub of sour cream in my fridge….why? NOT because I was cooking tacos, but due to me sending my husband to the store to get cream cheese….and I got sour cream. Naturally! haha. well, when life gives you sour cream, make Sour Cream Pumpkin Bread!!! (it is ridonk delish, by the way!)


Missy’s Sour Cream Pumpkin Bread

(adapted from food.com!)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

1 Cream the butter and sugar together. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Stir flour, baking soda, and salt together and add to the butter and sugar. Add the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir.
2 Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350*F for 50 minutes. I use convection, so make changes for non-convection ovens!

Let cool, slice and serve as-is! I like a little butter on mine, but I like butter on everything!!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies~Hooray for Autumn!


You are going to love these yummy cookies! My husband and neighbors are gobbling them up as I type this!

Oh Autumn I LOVE you! I love the pumpkin recipes SOOO much – I have been inspired to make yummy treats with this bizarre mushy can-packed vegetable!!!

Missy’s Pumpkin Spice Cookies!

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups (plus 2 tblsp….just use your eye) Whole Wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
I used a simple cream cheese frosting: 1/2 cup butter, 16 oz cream cheese, 2 cups confectioners sugar, 1 tsp of vanilla! I garnished with some cheesy halloween candy! woo hoo! I plated these up and took them all over the neighborhood!

Oat-y Caramel Apple Bars

Pat the crust down

Cover with the yummy apples

Enjoy the bars!
Ingredients:
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 3/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped peeled tart apples (3 medium)
3 Tbsp Whole Wheat Flour
1 bag (14 ounces) caramels

How-To

Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix brown sugar, butter and shortening in large bowl. Stir in 1 3/4 cups flour, the oats, salt and baking soda. Reserve 2 cups oat mixture; press remaining oat mixture in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.
Toss apples and 3 tablespoons flour; spread over mixture in pan. Heat caramels over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted; pour evenly over apples. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture; press lightly.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender. For 36 bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows while warm. Store covered in refrigerator.

Makes 36 bars
Adapted from Bettycrocker.com

A Tale of Three Bowls….


You know how you own something and it brings a smile to your face when you see it? Maybe it is your bike, or leather boots, or a beautiful lamp….it really can be anything.

I have 3 pink bowls, and they have a story. About 5 years ago my Aunt Susan came to town, I am not sure why, could be a holiday, could be an annual trip to the Oregon Coast, but nonetheless, this very favorite Auntie was here. We visited, got caught up, likely enjoyed a meal or two….and what people didn’t know was that I was dealing with something very big. Something sad, and heavy on my heart that included big decisions, and hurting a lot of people. I was not talking about it, but it was happening. About 3 weeks later a giant box arrived from Williams Sonoma. Now, I do not shop at WS. I love it there and want everything they sell, but their items are fabulous quality, and mostly luxury.

I ripped the box open and found 3 mixing bowls. Big, ceramic, beautiful, all in different sizes and they nestle together and are the perfect set for baking. I thanked my Aunt, it was so generous, and I put them in a place of honor and started to use them.

A week later my mother asked if I had received the gift, I told her yes and that I LOVED them. She said to me “Aunt Susan thought you looked sad, and wanted to do something that would make you happy.” I was dumbfounded that my heart was so easily read. She knew I was going through something. Fast forward 5 years and I am writing a food blog….have a wonderful life that every day gets better and more joyful, and every weekend I open up my cabinet and grab my “Happy Bowls” because that is what I call them.

I wanted to write this because I was baking apple caramel bars and I was using my happy bowls. They got me thinking, and a little nostalgic. I just wanted to say “Thank You Aunt Susan. I love you.”

Happy Sunday Friends!