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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Hungarian Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Bread making has always intimidated me.  I’ve sheepishly tip-toed around the subject, baking everything BUT bread ever since I was tall enough to reach Mom’s measuring cups in the cabinet above the stove.  I’ve drooled and gazed longingly at recipe pictures of fresh baked baguettes and dinner rolls, and I’ve purchased all kinds of books with titles along the lines of “Bread Making: TRY IT ALREADY!”, yet I had never actually made real bread - until last night.  I was browsing AllRecipes.com when I came across a recipe for a cinnamon swirl bread.  I skimmed the ingredients list and I had everything I needed, so I put on the apron, rolled up the sleeves and decided to finally take the bread leap.

I’ve had an adorable pale yellow KitchenAid stand mixer for a few years now.  It’s my prized possession.  It has whipped up buttercreams, meringues, macarons and lots of other yummy things that I’ve had the pleasure of serving, gifting and of course, eating.  The mixer made this bread recipe an absolute breeze.

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