Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Fluff Frosting

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Happy Halloween everyone! I'm so excited to bring my little monkey door to door for candy this evening. Yes, I'm aware he can't really eat any of the candy yet, but his mommy can...

So, I'm obsessed with these cupcakes. Not only do they scream FALL (pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc., etc.) but they have my new favorite frosting on them! Cream cheese and marshmallow fluff. Mixed together. And on top of these babies. I'll clean up that drool for you...
The cupcakes themselves are perfectly moist and full of that fall pumpkin flavor that you see everywhere this time of year. A little cinnamon and nutmeg really go a long way in these cupcakes, and the sweet frosting balances everything out. Definitely make these today! For Halloween! Go!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
Makes 24 cupcakes

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin purée 
  • 2 recipes Cream Cheese Fluff Frosting (optional)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line 2 (12-well) muffin pans with paper liners. Alternatively, coat the wells with vegetable oil; set aside.

Place the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.

Place the sugar and measured oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until the sugar is incorporated, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula.

Return the mixer to medium speed and add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, about 1 1/2 minutes total mixing time. Reduce the speed to medium low, add the pumpkin, and beat until just combined, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula.

Turn the mixer to low speed, slowly add the flour mixture, and beat until almost completely incorporated, about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in any unincorporated flour at the edges with a rubber spatula, making sure to scrape to the bottom of the bowl.

Fill the muffin wells three-quarters of the way (about a heaping 1/4 cup per well). Place the muffin pans side by side in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the pans front to back and side to side and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean, about 10 minutes more.

Place the pans on wire racks and let them cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and cool completely on the racks.

Frost with Cream Cheese Fluff Frosting. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

Source: Adapted from CHOW

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cream Cheese Fluff Frosting

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Cream cheese frosting is probably my favorite type of frosting, so I was excited to hear about this new recipe from my friend, Laura. My typical frosting is a simple mixture of cream cheese, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. It's easy, but it takes a tad bit more time and is a little more delicate to make than this glorious mixture. Seriously: two ingredients! Cream cheese and MARSHMALLOW FLUFF!! That's all you need. The result is a fluffy cream cheese frosting that will get everybody's mouth watering. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
Frosts 12 cupcakes
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow fluff
Using a hand blender, blend cream cheese and fluff in a large bowl until combined. Use to frost your favorite cupcakes! Keep refrigerated.

Source: Friend

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

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Happy Halloween week!! I'm really not a huge fan of the holiday, but ever since I had a little nugget of my own I get really excited about all holidays. Columbus Day! YES! St. Patrick's Day...we are wearing ALL GREEN! Halloween? We're going to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds. So obviously for Halloween Bradley is going to wear the cutest costume ever and we are going to parade around asking for candy. And that morning, even though it's a Friday, I think I'm going to make him pancakes.

Pancakes are a rare occurrence in my household (meaning they're only made on the weekends), but when I do make them I like to switch them up. Adding blueberries, chocolate chips and bananas are some of our favorite ways to spruce up pancakes. But in the fall? Pumpkin. And cinnamon. And nutmeg.
These pancakes are light, thick and fluffy. Basically all the requirements for the perfect pancake are met in this recipe. Since the pancakes already have so much flavor, I only needed a tad bit of butter on top of mine to make them perfect. These are a really fun fall breakfast treat the whole family will enjoy! Especially on Halloween morning!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
Makes about 12 pancakes

  • 1 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Butter, for cooking
  • Maple syrup, for serving (optional)
In a large bowl, mix milk, pumpkin, egg and vegetable oil together.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing well. Stir until combined.

Heat griddle or pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of butter to the pan and allow to melt.

Pour 2 tablespoons of batter in a small circle onto the griddle. Continue making pancakes, making sure pancakes are not touching. Cook on the first side until bubbles form on the top. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown, adding more butter, if necessary, to keep the pan moist. Repeat until all the batter is gone.

Let cooked pancakes rest on a heat proof plate in a 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.


Source: SK Original

Friday, October 24, 2014

Roasted Pork Medallions with Caramelized Apples and Onions

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My mom makes roasted pork with apples on the regular, and since Bradley loves to eat it when he goes over there I decided to make it at home one night. I threw onions into the mix because I strongly believe that onions make everything better. Do you know that Chris hated onions when we first met? I was determined to change that, and thankfully I was able to. I put onions in almost everything, so eliminating onions from my diet would have been a difficult pill to swallow (albeit worth it).
I used my mom's directions as a base to this recipe and then just played it by ear as I went. I was a little hesitant not to add any additional flavor/spices along the way, but I quickly found out that they were not missed at all. The apple and onion mixture make a great "sauce" to the pork, which gets very flavorful on its own. It will make your house smell realllly good, too. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into slices
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the pork tenderloin into 1-inch medallions. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add pork in an even layer and allow to sear for 3 minutes. Flip the pork and sear the other side for 3 minutes. Remove pork from pan and cover to keep warm.

Add butter to skillet. Add apples and onions. Cook for 10 minutes, or until caramelized and tender. Add pork back into the skillet. 

Place the skillet in the oven and continue cooking for 10-20 minutes until pork reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F and the apples and onions are tender.

Source: SK Original

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples

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One of my family's traditions is to go to Larriland Farm in Maryland to pick apples, vegetables and pumpkins every fall. It was a little chilly when we went this past weekend, and aside from the windblown hair and runny noses we still had an awesome time. Plus this year was very special since Bradley was able to join us for the first time. He loved throwing hay while on the hay ride, picking apples from the tree, going for a ride in a wheelbarrow and making silly faces with mommy (photo proof below).
I think he loved the apples most of all. We gave him a bite, and then he wouldn't put it down for the remainder of the day. I literally had to rip it out of his little hands when we were trying to put him into his car seat. Don't let his size fool you. Little man has an amazingly strong grip.
I always seem to pick a large assortment of apples and am always on the hunt for new recipes to try with them. My latest concoction is an ideal fall side dish since roasted vegetables and apples just scream October to me. Bacon gives the dish some extra flavor while the apples and Brussels sprouts get crisp and tender in the oven. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 4 slices, thick-cut bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add Brussels sprouts and apple chunks. Drizzle maple syrup and balsamic vinegar over top and stir to combine. 

In a large ovenproof skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of grease from the skillet. 

Add Brussels sprouts and apple mixture to the skillet in an even layer and stir to combine.

Place skillet in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway through, until Brussels sprouts are golden brown and tender.

Source: SK Original