A Twist on the BLT: Bacon, Lettuce and Peach

BLTs have always been among my all-time favorite sandwiches. How can you improve upon juicy bacon, crisp lettuce and fresh tomatoes on a couple pieces of mayo-slathered toast? Well, BLT, meet the BLP - bacon, lettuce and peach. Yes, peach. Despite my love for the BLT, this new peach version has put its traditional predecessor on the backburner.

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Mini Pumpkin Pies

Pumpkin pie has never been something I particularly loved.  I’ve always been more of an apple pie sort of gal, but when my sister was visiting we decided to do pumpkin pie for fall’s sake.

I’ve had these Le Creuset mini cocottes (baby Dutch ovens) for a while now and I’m absolutely in love with them.  Aren’t they adorable?  Basically, if something can be made “mini”, I’ll do it just so I have an excuse to use these cute little things.

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Chocolate Chip Apple Muffins

Two consecutive muffin posts!  We clearly can’t get enough muffins around here.  Today’s recipe was sort of thrown together for the purpose of using up leftover applesauce.  The results were above and beyond my expectations!  When we got back from the orchards a few weeks ago, I went a little applesauce crazy and ended up with 2 large containers stashed in the fridge.  I figured I’d have some for breakfast or a snack every day, but honestly I’m not enough of a straight applesauce lover to tolerate it constantly.  It was wonderful for the first few days though!

Anyway, if you’re going to have too much of something, you’re lucky if it’s applesauce.  There’s so much you can do with the stuff!  I was brainstorming and browsing for ideas when I happened upon an apple strudel muffin recipe that looked delicious.  It called for chopped apples instead of applesauce, but I decided to improvise.  The strudel part was nixed when I added chocolate chips as the primary sweetener.  I couldn’t get the image of a big juicy milk chocolate covered apple out of my head, courtesy of the e-mails I’ve been getting from Amy’s Gourmet Apples.

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Blueberry Muffins

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day. I love omelets, pancakes, waffles, bagels and practically any other breakfast food. One of the best parts about breakfast is that it’s basically a great excuse to eat cake first thing in the morning. I’m not sure how pancakes, waffles, muffins and other breakfast batters found themselves in the coveted position of “most important meal of the day” - but hey, I’m not complaining.

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Offbeat’s Picks: Pomegranates

Only recently have I started eating fresh pomegranates. It began about a year ago when my husband, Colson, and I were looking for an inexpensive date night idea. We decided we’d make dinner together but we wanted to add a little twist to it: mystery ingredients. We decided we’d go to the grocery store and each pick 1 ingredient without the other person knowing what was chosen. When we got home, we’d reveal our choices and cook one meal incorporating both mystery ingredients.

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Buttery Vanilla Breakfast Scones

My sister and her husband came to visit for the weekend! They’re on fall break from school right now and their campus is only about 4 hours away, so they decided to spend the break with us. They got married in July of this past summer and this is the first time we’ve seen them since the wedding, so we’ve had some serious catching up to do. I was the first of 3 girls to get married, so being able to finally share this common stage of life with one of my sisters is so exciting!

Becca has a lot of the same interests as me. We love to craft, we love to create, we love to bake, we love fashion and makeup - basically we haven’t come close to running out of things to do during this little visit. I’m loving how she’s adjusting to being a wife. Even though she’s swamped with classes and work, she still finds so much joy in the little things - like baking banana bread and brownies for her husband and friends in their tiny campus apartment kitchen.

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DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice

Am I the only one who stands in the middle of the grocery aisle Googling for DIY and/or substitution recipes once I find out whatever I need is out of stock? Hopefully not, because it’s proven to be super helpful 99% of the time - like today. I ran to the store for pumpkin pie spice and it was the only empty slot in the entire spices section. Lovely. So I Googled “DIY pumpkin pie spice” and one of the first results was a great little recipe from Annie’s Eats. The best part… I already had all the ingredients at home!

If you find yourself in need of pumpkin pie spice this season, check your pantry for these common spices before shelling out a few bucks for something you can mix yourself!

DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice
From Annie’s Eats

2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground ginger
1½ tsp. ground allspice
1½ tsp. ground cloves
¾ tsp. ground nutmeg

Mix them all together and store in an airtight container!

Do you have a favorite money-saving DIY pantry tip?

Hearty & Healthy Chili

There’s nothing better than a big bowl of chili and some corn bread.  A few weeks ago I started having chili cravings, so I vowed to find a really great recipe and get crackin.  I hadn’t found a good one yet when we were invited to dinner at our friends’ house - and guess what?  They made chili!  It was an old recipe from a close family friend and it made its way home with me.

When I was making the chili grocery list, I decided I was going to try reducing the fat and salt to make it a tad more heart healthy without losing any of that amazing original flavor.  I substituted ground turkey and ground chicken for 2/3 of the ground beef, sprung for low sodium diced tomatoes and sauce, and drained the beans.  The chili turned out AMAZING.  It didn’t have as much kick straight out of the pot, but the next day after the meats had absorbed all the flavors and spices, it was to die for!

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Vanilla Spice Applesauce

We went apple picking yesterday!  This is one of my favorite fall traditions.  Dave and I have been going apple picking once a year since we got married, so this is our third year.  It’s really exciting to be settling into a yearly tradition in my still fairly new family.

Orchards in fall are some of the prettiest places you can visit.  The beautiful rows of trees ripe with juicy apples, the families all bundled up and roaming the grassy lanes, the kettle corn and apple cider stands with lines of kids waiting to taste all the yummy fall-time treats - it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss.

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Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

There’s not much in the baking world that beats a classic chocolate chip cookie. The smell, the taste, the warmth when they come right out of the oven…yum! They’re just so good!

Chocolate chip cookies bring me back to the days of tip-toeing into the kitchen late at night to get my hands on that chocolatey goodness. But inevitably, as I made my way to those prized treats, I’d run into my brother who had embarked on the same exact mission: cookies or bust.

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