I got a head start this weekend on holiday baking, who says pies are just for Thanksgiving day? I’m a big of fan of individual-sized desserts (as evidenced here and here), after a heavy meal and lots of snacking, I always still want dessert, but just need a little taste to tie me over. So I made the recipe for classic pumpkin pie (I use a top secret family recipe…the one printed on the Libby’s pumpkin puree can!) and used a mini-muffin tin to bake the ingredients off in bite-sized pies. Mini-pies just weren’t cute enough though, I had to up the adorable factor and  use my alphabet cookie cutters to spell out a little a seasonal message. I think I’m going to do the same thing for Thanksgiving later this week! What kind of recipes are you baking up for the holidays?

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I have one more recipe to share from our apple-picking porch party that was featured on SMP Living last week — and this one combines my two favorite things, gooey baked cheese and sweet apples. The best part about this recipe? You can make it the night before and freeze it, just pop it in the oven before guests arrive! I’d be lying if I said we didn’t eat the full wheel of brie between the few us gals — it was delectable!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, sliced in thin pieces
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp Royal Rose’s cardamom clove simple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Wheel of brie (6 to 8 oz)
  •  Frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten for wash
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Combine apple, sugars, simple syrup and spices in saucepan until apples are fully coated and sauté for 4-5 minutes while stirring. When sugars start to bubble up, remove the mixture from the heat and let cool.
  3. On a floured surface, roll out thawed puff pastry dough and cut into a 10″ circle.
  4. Cut the wheel cheese in half horizontally, place bottom half off cheese wheel on the rolled out pastry dough, top with 1/2 of the apple mixture. Place the second half of the cheese wheel on top, and cover the top with the remaining apple mixture.
  5. Working in a circular fashion, begin to wrap and fold the pastry dough around the brie, leaving some room at the top for the apple compote to show.
  6. Brush the dough lightly with one beaten egg, and then bake off in the oven for 35-40 minutes on a baking sheet, or until the crust is a golden brown.  Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting, and serve warm with a crusty baguette or crackers.

All images by Bring To Light Photography

I’m still so excited over our apple-picking porch party that was featured on SMP Living last week. And it’s not a party without a signature cocktail — our autumn apple punch was a perfect pairing for our tasty treats. We mixed up Bulleit Rye, apple cider, and cardamom clove simple syrup with a squeeze of lemon juice and served them in mason jar mugs with an apple garnish. I’m not going to lie, we had quite a few of these that weekend, and they were so darn delicious—I had to share the full recipe with you below!
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Ingredients:

  • Apple cider
  • Bourbon or Rye
  • Royal Rose’s cardamom clove simple syrup
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Apple for garnishing
  1. Combine 3/4 cup of apple cider, 1/3 cup of bourbon or rye and 1 tsp of cardamom clove simple syrup over ice.
  2. Squeeze a slice of fresh lemon juice into the mixture and divide into glasses.
  3. Garnish with a fresh apple slice.

All images by Bring To Light Photography

What a wonderful little Friday treat, a shoot I styled with Bring to Light Photography and Little Flower Cottage is up on Style Me Pretty Living today! Click on over to read about our little apple-picking porch party with lots of tasty apple-inspired treats. And be sure to check back next week — I’ll share the details of my recipes for an Autumn Apple punch, a baked brie with apple compote, and other treats like salted caramel apples and mini mason jar apple pies!

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Last week I was run down and had a terrible cold, so I was determined to use the weekend to recharge. To me, there is nothing more relaxing or comforting than being in the kitchen, so that’s where I spent my time. I stayed in Friday night and baked up lots of treats, including mini mason jar apple pies, and sea salt caramel apples — both for a little Saturday project I helped style with two my good friends (more pictures coming soon!). And Sunday I let a hearty kielbasa and white bean soup simmer in the slow cooker all day — which made our apartment smell delightful. It was a delicious and successful attempt at a relaxing weekend.

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Just what I needed, another adorable catalog to pop up in my mailbox, right? I’m currently being tempted by new-to-me retailer Joules USA with all of their uber-preppy striped clothing. From cozy cowl-necked sweatshirts and rugby shirts, to cheery wellies, I’m absolutely smitten.  And that fluffy red vest with striped lining just wants to come to home with me! I need it, right?

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This summer when we were on our cross-country honeymoon road trip, we stopped at a restaurant in Cleveland where I promptly demolished my bridal diet by ordering the baked mac and cheese. When the dish came out the waiter stopped to point out some homemade applesauce accompanying the cheesy dish. All he asked was that I give it a try, dip the steaming hot pasta into the cool, sweet applesauce — he assured me it would change my life. And it did. It makes total sense, I’d heard of people eating a slice of sharp cheddar cheese with apple pie, but it just never occurred to me to try this combination before, but it was completely and totally delicious. So this week I made some macaroni and cheese and had to try making some homemade applesauce to go with it.

Processed with VSCOcamLet me tell you a little secret: making homemade applesauce is as easy as pie (you like that apple joke?).  I peeled and cored 10 apples (a friendly farmer at our farmer’s market recommended using gravenstein apples, if you can find them.) and combined them with half a cup of apple cider, half a cup of brown sugar, one tablespoon of granulated sugar, and three cinnamon sticks. I put it in our crock-pot on high for 4 hours, removing the cinnamon sticks after the first hour, and stirring occasionally. And that’s it, simple as that! Make sure to serve the applesauce cold — I’m convinced the difference in temperature is just as important as the balance of the flavors.

 

We took a little trip to New York this weekend to spend time with family. My jam-packed schedule included a little Friday night lights for my brother’s football game, a pop-in at the pumpkin patch, and a few fun stops in the city — I finally got to try Shake Shack (yum) and explore C.Wonder (wow). It looks like we’re going to be stuck inside for the next few days with this crazy weather, so I’m glad we got in our whirlwind of fun before the storm hits!

I had a quintessential fall day this weekend full of cider donuts and apples and gorgeous New England weather. It felt nice to need to bundle up a bit and pull out the jackets and scarves! How did you spend this fabulous fall weekend?

The calendar has flipped to October, which means it’s pumpkin season! My apartment isn’t exactly conducive to pumpkin carving, so I opted for a cleaner project and painted my pumpkin patch with some neon pink paint and my favorite patterns: stripes and polka dots! Are you decorating pumpkins for Fall?