Isn't Halloween fun? So many parties filled with fun and gore!
We always have a little party with the family, usually the weekend before trick-or-treating, just so that we can kick back and enjoy some of our scariest favorites!
This year, it was six dozen cupcakes for various events! And what could be more fun that these?
We are getting REALLY spoiled with the warm fall weather - up in the upper 70's at the end of October - it's crazy! We keep trying to squeeze as many autumn activities as we can into every weekend. Today, it's all about the apple orchard, raking leaves and carving some ginormous pumpkins for tomorrow night. Throw in a few Halloween and birthday parties, along with watching our Cleveland Indians make a run at winning the World Series. Crazy fun around here!
But one scary thing keeps coming up....the Farmer's Almanac keeps talking about the polar vortexes and crazy-cold winter we should expect this year. As we were carving the pumpkins, they were INCHES thick - thicker than I can remember pumpkins ever being in the past...and if I recall correctly, that's supposed to mean a wicked winter!
Let's be honest. I've seen recipes out there that make a single chocolate chip cookie. But who are we kidding? That's a TRICK - not a TREAT!
There are days when someone special wants a fresh Chocolate Chip Cookie. And one cookie is just not going to cut it, but you really don't want dozens of cookies around to tempt you!
But not just any chocolate chip cookie! It needs to be chewy. Loaded with brown sugar and vanilla flavor, and gooey with white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips. And fresh.....and warm from the oven!
It needs to be perfect! And this is the best recipe you'll ever find for that!
Oh October, so many birthdays, so little time! After the made dash that is September, October always seems to slam our weekends with birthday parties and Halloween parties!
And as the best part of the cooking and baking system kicks off, I have so many family favorite recipes...it's hard to decide which ones to make!
If you love candy corn, or a classic vanilla cheesecake, you will ADORE this Candy Corn Cheesecake!
My kiddo's get to pick whatever they want for their birthday dinner and birthday dessert...and it was Katie's turn this time!
She was really torn between this and Spaghetti Lasagna, but lucky for her, her baby sister picked Spaghetti Lasagna for her birthday dinner two days earlier! Win-Win for everyone!
This Boneless Beef Short Rib Shepherd's Pie is a labor of love. Not hard to make, but there are a few steps. There is just no hurrying something this savory and good!
Low and slow!
Boy, if I had a nickel for every time that one of the kiddos came home and said "I need to bring a treat to school tomorrow..."
In this case, there is a lunch going on tomorrow to celebrate clinical mid-terms - and we know exactly what will please just about everyone!
Fresh cherry tomatoes from the garden, fresh mozzarella cheese in the fridge...just a few more simple ingredients and we'll have the tastiest Italian Pasta Salad ever!
Good morning friends! I have been saving a VERY SPECIAL treat for you!
Let me introduce Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap & Pecan Crust - your new best friend!
So creamy, so fresh, so incredible! You won't believe my secret ingredient!
We all have our secret indulgences! And every now and then, a Mom just needs to make a pan of fresh, chewy and decadent brownies!
And while I try to keep a few "secret" things around so that I can whip something up fast when I need to, with six kids I usually have to hide some of the ingredients so that I have them when I need them, and hope that I can remember where I hid them!
If you have friends stopping by, or need to whip up something for an event, no one will ever know how easy these are to make - and they are AH-MAZING!
Today we spent the morning on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad riding the rails and celebrating the fourth birthday of our littlest one! It was a sunny and cool day, but we had so much fun!
And when we got home, dinner was ready for us - and the most WONDERFUL scents you can image! Brown sugar and apple cider glazed ham was caramelizing in the slow cooker, and cinnamon-infused Escalloped Apples were baking in the oven.
This is the perfect dinner for a Fall day, when you are light on time, but want a wonderful celebration dinner! Just don't tell anyone how simple this is to have ready and waiting!
I couldn't believe the size of the fresh blackberries at the store this morning! So big and juicy! Each of these berries was about an inch and a half long - I kid you not! And so sweet and good, they were PERFECT!
And for a sunny and crisp Autumn day, what could be better for dinner than Pork Tenderloin glazed with Blackberry Hoisin Ginger sauce?
This is one of the classic sauces that I make in big batches and have on hand for a meal or two - the sweet and spicy sauce is just perfect brushed on the pork tenderloin while it is grilled, or roasted in your oven.
Just imagine....fresh, juicy blackberries, combined with hoisin sauce and fresh ginger!
Hoisin sauce is a Chinese barbecue sauce, a deep dark mixture of molasses, maple syrup, red chillies and garlic. There is nothing "fishy" about it, although it is often used as a glaze or dipping sauce for fish.
When combined with the fresh blackberries and fresh ginger, red wine vinegar and just a touch of red pepper flakes, it becomes the most wonderful sweet and spicy sauce and glaze!
It's not too often (really never) that anyone ever is up before Mama V in the morning!
Imagine my surprise when I returned home after our early morning church service to be met with the HEAVENLY scent of warm Old Fashioned Pumpkin Bread the minute I opened the door!
A cup of fresh hot coffee, a slice (or two) of this sinfully wonderful, warm and spicy bread, and the day was off to a fabulous start!
One of our favorite autumn dinners is fresh ravioli - served with homemade Roasted Butternut & Red Pepper Sauce, Parmesan & Pine Nuts. So good!
I used to buy Dave's Gourmet Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce, but last year I was able to re-create the recipe from scratch at home, and it is so easy and flavorful when you make this with fresh ingredients!
It's perfect on fresh Grilled Chicken & Mozzarella ravioli, fresh Spinach & Mozzarella ravioli, and Butternut Squash Ravioli.
Fresh ingredients, fresh sauce, fresh basil, and a healthy shake of pine nuts on top, and dinner is served!