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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies

So I'm so excited that it is Pumpkin Spice week. This week is inspired by my favorite drink at Starbucks. The Pumpkin Spice Latte. I love them! It is all part of the fall tradition. We had our first one on the way to Yellowstone when we were layed over in Chicago. It almost made the extra 3 hours of waiting worth it... well maybe not. It did certainly make the time more enjoyable.


So I made these cookies a little over a week ago. I had lots of them so Jim took them to work. Everyone gave them rave reviews. I think there are even some asking for a repeat tasting :) These went over so well... I'm actually nervous to send in the next treat for everyone to try. Crazy huh!

These are a varied version of the Peanut Butter Blossoms that you always see around Christmas time. I guess people probably make them all year round, but we mainly make them at Christmas. I love the idea of taking this yummy cookie and adapting it for the fall. Love it!

So I have a semi embarrassing story to tell. Remember when we had the mouse in the house, and I had to be super women to catch it. Well since then we  had one more mouse in our house, and I was really freaked out. What if they were mouse friends... and ummmm... had mouse children. This could be a continuous cycle of mouseness. Yes I'm pretty sure mouseness is a word.

Well this week during dinner we heard this squeak squeak. It could have been one of Ginny's dog toys. However Ginny was eating her dinner so that didn't make sense. Physically can't eat and play with squeaky toys. Then we follow the sound, and Harry is carrying a mouse in his mouth. The ironic thing is he is not just carrying a mouse but he is carrying it from the outside into our house. So our guess is that Harry has brought in all the mice. I think this is a sound guess, since Harry has been near each incident of mouseness. This is totally wrong right!

So we chased Harry, and the mouse was dropped so then there was chasing of Harry... the chasing of the mouse, and ofcoarse Ginny got in on it. I mean really chasing a mouse and Harry is way better than dinner. Everything has worked out and I guess this means we won't have a whole mouse family... But again... our own cat was bringing them in the house!

Now back to today's cookies. Yummy and delicous! They are also far better to think about than mice.  


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 package Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses
1/4 cup sugar, for rolling cookies in

Start by unwrapping the kisses. You will get about 2.5 dozen cookies. However you may need to taste a few kisses to make sure that they are good. Put them in the freezer while you make the dough.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line the cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the vanilla and eggs to the mixture, and mix until well combined.

In another medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Slowly add this dry mixture to the wet mixture.

Put  1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl that will be used to roll the cookies in. Take tablespoon size balls of the cookie and roll them in the sugar you set aside.

Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes. Once they are out of the oven. Push one of the frozen pumpkin spice kisses into each one. The kisses may still melt a little bit from the warm cookies. To stop this you can put the whole cookie sheet in the fridge.

Eat and Enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from Baker girl.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Apple Orchard Bars

I have to admit it. I had an apple breakdown on Tuesday. The plan was to make you these really great apple cookies from my endless cookie list. These cookies ranked really high when I did the 50 cookies, so I thought there would be no issue.

However I made them and they turned out badly. They still tasted awesome, but they were really flat. There was no way I could take pictures of those cookies and put the on the blog. I had to figure out what went wrong with the recipe first.

I however didn't have much time, because this week has become overly busy. Normally I plan ahead.... like the next two weeks all the recipes are cooked and photographed. However I moved up apple week, and figured I would be ok since I was making them on Tuesday and I have done the recipe before.

So Tuesday night I was siting on the couch trying to figure out how apple week would survive. I'm sure Jim was thinking that I was crazy. I mean the world wouldn't end right if there was no third apple recipe. I am however an achiever and like to complete my missions.

So I decided that I would get out my cookbooks and find a recipe. I found these Apple Orchard Bars in one of my favorite cookbooks by Joanne Fluke. They turned out pefectly. This is called a cookie bar, but it has a moist fluffy cake texture. The combination of apples and cocunut is also surprising and tastes great. The other great thing is that you will probably have everything you need in the house to make these.

Joanne Fluke writes a mystery series about Hannah Swensen who lives in a small town in Minnesota. She owns her own cookie shop and helps solve the small town mysteries with her family and friends. The story is great, however the other great part of the series is that throughout the stories she is making treats and the recipes are included. If you enjoy mysteries then I suggest you give one of her books a try. The first one is Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery)

So back to these Apple Orchard Bars, I think these would be perfect to take to a potluck or bake sale. Everyone will love something that is a little different and it will fit together with the fall theme. I did a half batch in a 9X9 pan, but you could double everything and make a 9X13 easily.


1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 beaten egg (use a whisk or fork)
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup peeled chopped apple (about 1 medium sized apple)
1 cup flaked coconut, divided in recipe
3/4 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9X9 pan.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Place it in the mixing bowl with the white and brown sugar. Mix them until they are smooth. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix everything well.

Add the egg, and make sure they are mixed well. Then add in the oats and chopped apple. Make sure the mixture is well combined. Add in part of the coconut, 3/4 cups. Add the flour, and mix well.

Add the dough to the pan, and make sure to level it out. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of coconut.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool and then cut into squares.

Eat and Enjoy!

This recipe originally appeared in Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Apple Chips

Isn't it funny how addicting new things can be? Its like you find something that you never did before and now its the best thing ever! Jim and I have a theory about Ginny dog. We believe that everything is her favorite thing... Want to go for a walk... yes its my favorite thing! Want to go play in the yard... yes its my favorite thing! Want to go for a car ride... yes its my favorite thing! Want to sit and watch tv... yes its my favorite thing!

Have you ever seen this dog diary vs cat diary? It pretty much explains everything about cats and dogs. One of my new favorite things is toast. My husband just won a toaster at work. Its a fancy kitchenaid one with all the bells and whistles. It beeps at me when its done, and if I don't get it fast enough it lowers it and warms it for me. It is toasting bliss. I made toast probably once a month for sandwiches.. before we got it. Now I have toast almost daily. Love my toast!

We also recently upgraded our cable from basic. I didn't really need the new channels but they were basically free when we increased our internet speed... which I really really wanted. So now I have HGTV.. and it just calls me with shows like Love It or List It. A new favorite thing!

Sometimes though you have old favorite things. One of mine is my apple peeler, slicer, and corer. It has come out every fall for the past 8 years.. and it always becomes my favorite thing. If you do not have one I highly recommend you get one.. you will love it.

I used it to make these apple chips which are amazing... and addicting... and also a new FAVORITE thing. These make the house smell WONDERFUL. They are also a very hands off recipe so you can cut the apples and do other things around the house. Clean, Laundry, or watching the latest episode of Love it or List it! Whatever works for you :)


4 apples
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 200 degree F. For easy clean up line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. 

Slice the apples into thin slices. You can use an apple peeler, a mandolin, or just cut really thin slices by hand. Line the baking sheets with the apples. They should be in a single layer, but if you have some overlap it will be ok.

Premix the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of the apple slices.

Bake for one hour, and then flip the apple chips. Bake for one more hour. Leave the chips in the oven while it cools down (I waited about 30 minutes).

Enjoy the chips! Jim and I devoured ours in one setting :- )

This recipe was adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Butterscotch Apple Crisp

So we have been working on house improvements the past couple of weeks. Weekend visits to Lowes and trying to get a bunch of small projects completed before the fall sets in. I think painting the office has spurred us on. I love the new color so much and it really changed the room.

As part of the improvements we are trying to clean out the basement some so that we can utilize the space better. We started by having a garage sale which was semi successful. Then that was followed by a couple of trips to the local goodwill store to drop off the stuff that didn't sell. We have also been filling our garbage can each week to brimming. I am just waiting for our garbage company to increase the price :)

Yesterday we were doing some more cleaning and rearranging. Jim was going through some of the stuff from his childhood and he found this Alpha-Bakery Children's Cookbook. It has a recipe for each letter of the alphabet. I opened it to A and it was Apple Crisp. I had a bag of apples that my nieces and sister had picked and dropped off last weekend. Seemed like a perfect way to use them.

I tweaked the recipe a little bit, but not much. So this dessert became our reward for hard work, and a good find in the basement of cluttered stuff.  So to kick off apple week we have one of the easiest and yummiest treats that just screams FALL. Plus it makes your house smell AMAZING!


2 medium apples
2 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp oatmeal
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp margarine or butter, softened slightly
1 Tbsp butterscotch chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Chop up the apples into small 1/4 inches pieces, and divide them between two ramekins. Sprinkle the water over the apples in the ramekins. 1 Tbsp per ramekin.

In a mediums sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, oatmeal, and cinnamon together. Add the butter, and cut it in until the whole mixture is crumbly. I just used a fork to do this quickly. Once the butter is incorporated then add the butterscotch chips.

Divide the topping between the two ramekins. Place ramkins on a cookie sheet just in case the topping runs over when you cook it.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

This recipe was adapted from the Alpha-Bakery Children's Cookbook

Eat and Enjoy! Top with whipped cream for extra goodness.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pineapple Cookies

So I made these cookies awhile back, actually before vacation. They are one of my all time favorite cookie recipes. When I did 50 cookies in a year they were ranked  #4 which is pretty good. I remade them in anticipation of pineapple week, however I didn't realize it would be so long till pineapple week. We went on vacation and then football happened and we had to have football week :)

It is now a stormy fall day in Michigan I really really wish I had one of these cookies. Pineapple just makes you smile. It just makes you feel sunny and sweet. It is especially good in these cookies. I love these cookies. I want one right now to make this rainy day go away. They are magical cookies so I'm sure if I ate one it would be bright and sunny again.

I could then do all the outside stuff that really needs to be done. Like staining the deck or filling in the concrete cracks. Power washing the front porch. I know big excitement huh :) Its not exciting but needs to be done, and I couldn't do it yesterday in anticipation of the rain and today because of the rain. Hopefully I can get out there tomorrow :)

Back to these cookies... they are moist and chewy. They have the perfect level of SWEETNESS, and they have frosting. How can any cookie with frosting be bad. That's right I didn't think you could think of a reason :) So here is to bright sunny cookies on stormy fall days.


1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
macadamia nuts (optional for decoration)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

You are going to SAVE the pineapple juice.  Drain the pineapples saving the juice in a separate container. Set the pineapple aside, and save the juice for the frosting.  In a large bowl mix together the shortening and sugar. Add the egg, and make sure it gets mixed in well. Then add the pineapple and vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Make sure everything is combined well. Drop 2 Tbsp size balls on to the cookie sheets. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Remove them from the cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Once cooled the cookies can be frosted. To make the frosting, mix the powdered sugar with abotu 1.5 Tbsp of the pineapple juice. Adjust the powdered sugar and pineapple juice to get the frosting consitency that you want. Frost the cookies, and add nuts to the top if you want for decoration.

Eat and Enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from the allrecipes site. 

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pineapple Zucchini Bread

Today's post is my 50th blog post! I can't believe that the time has passed so quickly. I really do enjoy picking each recipe, trying it out and sharing it with everyone.

So today I learned a lesson. If the cat is overly interested in something there is probably a reason. I picked up the vacuum to carry it upstairs, and Harry was overly interested in the other vacuum that was right next to it. I was like that is odd, but I carried on. About a half hour later I go downstairs to see that Harry and Tonks have surrounded a furry mouse thing. I screamed. Very adult I know. Ginny of coarse ran downstairs from her nap to assist.

The mouse runs for its life. I had the liner out of the trash can so I grabbed it and trapped the mouse. Genius Laura! However the liner has this little hole to put the excess trash bag. That mousey thing darted right through that hole and into my living room. Don't worry, the story has not ended. Ginny and Harry then go on a mad search for the mousey thing. While I call Jim on the phone so he can magically teleport home and catch the monster. Yes it is now a monster. I got the voicemail, so its a good thing that Ginny and Harry are so awesome. They soon had it trapped in the open again.  This time I take the bathroom trash can and trapped the mouse.

I then slid this piece of cardboard underneath it and flipped it. The mouse is officially trapped and outside. Victory for Laura. I then call Jim to tell him about my victory. Yeah for me and the mouse catching animals. I challenge any mouse to try to enter our house again.

Ok enough about my exciting adventure.. and on to today's recipe. Pineapple zucchini bread. I know its September and everyone is all pumpkins and apples. However you know that you still have zucchini coming out of the garden, and this is the perfect recipe to use it on.


3 eggs 
2 cups shredded zucchini 
1 cup vegetable oil 
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained 
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups  flour 
2 cups sugar 
2 tsp baking soda 
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt 
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg 
1/2 tsp baking powder

Grease your pans. I used 3 mini loaf pans, and had some left over. You could also use two large bread pans. Preheat the oven to 350. 

In a large bowl mix together the eggs, zucchini, vegetable oil, pineapple and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and baking powder.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the  wet mixture. Mix until everything is just moistened. 

Bake for 50 -55 minutes. You may need a little longer if you used the large bread pans. 

Cool for 10 minutes and remove from the pan. 

Eat and Enjoy!

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Last week the temperatures here were in the 90s. I was wearing shorts, walking the dog early and late, and wishing for cooler fall weather. The good thing about Michigan is that if you don't like the weather you usually don't have to wait long for it to change. It cooled down on Friday, and I've been wearing sweatshirts ever since. 

Ginny dog loves the cooler weather. She is constantly in the yard checking everything out and she is happy to go for extra long walks. As long as it doesn't rain. She greatly dislikes the rain. Last week we went on a walk and it started to pour on us about half way through. Ginny just stopped and stared up at me like it was the worse thing ever. Poor girl. I had to convince her to keep going towards home. It stopped raining about a block from home and she was all happy again even if she was all wet. She even tried to get me to extend the walk. I however was not as happy about being wet :)

This week is pineapple week. I have a couple of favorite pineapple desserts that I make for a change of pace. Because sometimes you just need a little change to give you a new perspective. Like cooler weather or the stop of a rainstorm. This is probably my favorite. 

They are the perfect size for dessert, and you don't have to be tempted into seconds. They are sweet moist and taste like little pineapple clouds.


1 Tbsp butter, to grease ramekins
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 small can pineapple chunks
1 egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp butter, melted
Vanilla, a dash
1/2 cup flour
6 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
Salt, a pinch
1 Tbsp powdered sugar

Brush 4 ramekins with butter, make sure to cover the bottom and sides. Sprinkle brown sugar on the bottom of each one and then line with the pineapple chunks.

Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla. Then mix in the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Divide the batter among the 4 ramekins. 

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Let cool and then remove them from the ramekins. Top with powdered sugar when you serve them. Enjoy!

This recipe is from the Food Network Magazine.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cake

Happy Saturday everyone! I am so excited that fall weather is finally here. There is nothing better than snuggling up in your favorite sweatshirt and reading a book, watching a movie, or having your favorite chocolate dessert.

So here is the scoop Roxana from Roxana's Home Baking holds a "virtual" chocolate party on her blog each month. She really could be a best friend of mine, since I love chocolate so much this seems like the BEST idea in the world. So this month is extra special because it is the one year anniversary of the chocolate party.

The challenge for the party is to make your family's favorite chocolate dessert. Your family's favorite chocolate dessert..... didn't take me long to land on my mother's chocolate chip cake.

This cake is the best.... I don't have actual records but I'm pretty sure that this was my birthday cake for at least 13 years of my life. It could possibly more, but I don't really remember before the age of 5, and after 18 I didn't get the chance to be home for birthdays :)

I made this cake yesterday and I must add that this is probably one of the easiest cakes ever to make :) So I was making the cake and I was home alone. Trust me this is a bad combination.... so I waited for it to cool, that was hard. Ginny and I decided it was best to take a walk during that time. I then lit a few birthday candles and had an unbirthday party for me.

Then I took pictures of the cake, which was also torture. See that little crumb on the plate by the picture. That fell off the cake mid way through my pictures. The cake is that moist and did I say DELICIOUS.

I then got to eat the cake and it was so great. I ate it outside in the cool weather with a glass of milk and it was like I was 8 again with no worries in the world. I love cake. I love chocolate. I really really love Chocolate Chip Cake... The best part is that its easy to make, and there is no need for fancy pans or frosting :) I love frosting, but if you don't need it you don't need it.

So help me celebrate Roxana's Chocolate party and make my mom's Chocolate Chip Cake. I'm pretty sure you will have every ingredient in you house already, because this cake is that great. I cut the recipe in half and made it in a 9X9 pan, because honestly Jim and I do not need that much cake. If you have a big group definitely double it and make a 9X13 pan.


3/4 cup + 1/8 cup boiling water ( if you double its 1 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
3/4 cup + 1/8 cup flour (if you double 1 3/4 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking cocoa (if you double its 1 Tbsp)
1/2 package (6 oz) of chocolate chips

Grease a 9X9 pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Boil the needed water. Once it is ready mix it with the oatmeal and let sit for 10 minutes, you can use the main bowl that you plan to make the cake in.  After the oatmeal has rested, add the brown and white sugar. Mix them well into the oatmeal.

Add the melted butter and egg and mix well again. I mixed everything by hand.  Then add the remaining dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa. Make sure they all  incorporated. Then add in the chocolate chips.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Let the cake cool and enjoy!

This recipe originally appeared on Laura's Baking Talent.

Bring your favorite chocolate dessert to Roxana’s home baking #chocolateparty and win amazing prizes from OXO, Calphalon, Keurig, Imperial Sugar, Honey Ridge Farms and Land O Lakes® Butter

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