Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Autumnal Cheer: The Recipes

Thanksgiving has come and gone and I know it's "officially" O.K. to start celebrating Christmas, but here I am with a straggler. One more Autumnal Cheer post. To be fair, I had it almost ready to go the day before Thanksgiving, but Blogger was acting all crazy and throwing up an error message over and over again, so I finally had to quit. By the way, that's why this post may have a different font or funky spacing. Copying and pasting from a Word document seems to do that and won't ever let me fix it properly. Anyone know how to keep this from being such an annoying problem?? Also, one more thing - I alllmost had this post ready to publish yesterday and Blogger started giving me an error message again. It didn't save my last few changes and it wouldn't let me even log in anymore until this morning! Are any others of you having the same problem? Help!

Enjoy one last hurrah with the autumn flavors, everyone! You can still cook/bake some of these things even when the twinkly lights are up...

(Here's where the post was supposed to start)

When the weather starts turning cooler and the leaves start to fall, I gather up my autumn candles (the three-wick Pumpkin Spice one from Wal-Mart is my favorite. Thanks to my friend Kevin, who introduced us about five years ago) and pull out my scarves...and dream of pumpkin-flavored things. And food spiced with cinnamon and ginger and nutmeg and cloves. Delicious, right? Ahhh...

We've already talked about Chai tea, which definitely falls into this category, but I just can't believe that I've waited until the day before Thanksgiving to pass along some actual recipes! In the future, I will try to do better. I promise.

Since today is the day before Thanksgiving, spare time is especially spare, so if nothing else, I wanted to give you the links to several recipes that I tried and enjoyed this season. 

One of the very first cooking blogs I began to follow was Joy the Baker. I've tried quite a few of her recipes and I've always been pleased with them. The first fallish recipe I made this year was her Chewy Ginger Chocolate Cookies. I had previously been unsure about ginger and chocolate together, but I'd heard of the combination several times recently and was intrigued. Let me say that I'm unsure no longer. Chocolate is an excellent foil for ginger! 

Jeremy and both loooove sweet potato fries - and truly, I make these year-round, no matter the season. But now is a good time to share them with you. The seasoning on these is fantastic and the baked fries are actually crispy (if you don't crowd the pan) since the instructions say to heat up the baking sheet before you put the fries on to cook. Now, I will warn you - we don't do the curry mayo dipping sauce. I like curry, but Jeremy does not. Even I was not a fan of the sauce, though, so we drizzle honey on the top of the baked fries instead. Or do honey mustard dipping sauce. Completely yummy!

Speaking of yummy, you'll find lots of that on Tasty Kitchen in general. I totally enjoy dropping by to see what's new. The Pioneer Woman strikes again! ;)

There's a little Amish grocery store not far down the road from us and they have wonderful pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting. Dare I say that the recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Sweet Pea's Kitchen is even better than theirs?? I think the maple cinnamon cream cheese filling puts it over the top. You heard me. It's fantastic! I made this for an event not long ago and got three or four requests for the recipe. 

I first found Sweet Pea's Kitchen when I was searching for a sweet potato pancake recipe. I'd had sweet potato pancakes at the Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg last year and thought they were the best pancakes EVER. Try them - they are light and fluffy and quite delicious!

And while I'm here, let me put a plug in for Sweet Pea's Kitchen. This girl is a prolific poster of delicious recipes! And pretty, pretty food photography. I don't know how she does it. And she's super nice - she's come to visit my blog after I posted on hers and left sweet comments here, too. The next recipe of hers that I'm planning to try is Pumpkin Cornbread because it sounds completely amazing. =)

Let me finish up with a crazy good recipe that I discovered at my mom's cousin Andrea's house last Thanksgiving. She served it as a side dish, but you could totally use as a dessert also. I'm planning to make it tomorrow. =) (Note: I did - and it was fantastic! Got several requests for this recipe, which - besides the report from my own tastebuds - it totally how I gauge a recipe's success.)

Cranberry Apple Crumble

2 c. whole fresh cranberries, rinsed and patted dry
3 c. chopped golden delicious apples
2 Tbsp. flour
1 c. sugar
3 pkg. cinnamon spice instant oatmeal
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. melted butter

Combine apples and cranberries. Toss fruit in 2 Tbsp. flour; add sugar and stir. Pour fruit mixture into a 9x13 pan. Mix up topping and sprinkle onto fruit mixture. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. If serving as dessert, this is wonderful topped with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


  1. Delicious!

    I have to comment on your previous post--it was a real touch of nostalgia for me! We used to live in Charleston, S.C. and went often to Savannah. I love them both, being a southerner (just not that far south) born and raised. I love Chicago but always like heading south. Your photos are great--making me feel that I was right there with you (and sharing your afternoon tea)!!


  2. Oh, we love Charleston, too! We went there for our honeymoon and ended up in Savannah this year because we wanted to travel to a similar city. =)

    Thanks for your sweet comments, Bonnie!

  3. Kristen-

    Thanks so much for the shout out, you are too sweet! :) And just to let you know, you have gotten me hooked on Chai tea-LOVE it! The cranberry apple crumble sounds delish. I have a crazy amount of cranberries in my refrigerator right now...I love that it is made with instant oatmeal. I bet is great! :)
    Hope you have a great holiday season!

    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen

  4. Hola, Interesante, no va a continuar con este artнculo?.

  5. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work..

  6. Thanks for your kind words - I hope you visit PrettySweet again soon!


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