September 28, 2011

{Like Starbucks} Pumpkin Spice Latte

I love Starbucks.  The thing is, I don't love the price of the items.  Especially when I can make it at home myself for a fraction of the price.  Talk about a budget helper!!

One of my favorite Starbucks treats, especially at this time of year, is the Pumpkin Spiced Latte.  

They are delish & they can be made in your very own kitchen for a fraction of the price!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin 
  • 2-3tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • whipped cream
  • extra cinnamon for garnish


In a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk the milk, canned pumpkin, & sugar together until steaming.  Remove from the heat & add in the vanilla & spices.  Using a french wisk, electric mixer, or blender - process for 15 seconds or until foamy.

Pour into a large mug.  Add the coffee on top.  Garnish with whipped cream & cinnamon.


September 27, 2011

{Best Ever} Brunswick Stew

Out of every single soup & stew that is out there - not a one of them holds a candle to the way I feel about Brunswick Stew. Not trying to toot my own horn, but I make a mean pot of Brunswick Stew.  It is one of those recipes that I have worked on for years until I got it just right.  

It is the best Brunswick Stew I have ever had, and anyone that has been at my house & had a bowl (or three) of it rapidly agrees.  Yes, it is that good.

Best Ever Brunswick Stew

(This makes 12-16 servings - check out how to freeze individual servings for later.  This freezes GREAT!)

  • 1 (4 pound) whole chicken
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 - 16oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 - 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock (reserved from boiling the chicken)
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 1 - 16oz can baked beans
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 - 16oz can corn
  • 1 - 16oz can lima beans
  • 1/2 cup - 1 cup bbq sauce (depending on your tastes...I add 1 cup to mine, sometimes a little more)


Cook chicken in a large stockpot of boiling water for 45 minutes with the lid on.  

Remove chicken from liquid to cool.  Reserve 1 cup of the chicken stock & freeze the rest.  Please don't throw it away - that's good stuff!  Skin, bone, & chop chicken.

Saute onion & bell pepper in hot oil in your large stockpot until tender.  Add chopped chicken, tomato, & next 4 ingredients.

Combine flour & 1 cup of reserved chicken stock, whisking until smooth.  Stir into chicken mixture.  Add potato & next 5 ingredients.

Cover & cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes.  Add corn and lima beans.  Cook for 10 additional minutes.  Add in the bbq sauce, starting with 1/2 cup.  Taste & add more depending on your tastes.


September 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 9-26-11

Here is what our menu is looking like for this week:


Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Egg McMuffins

Sausage Gravy & Buttermilk Biscuits
Eggs, Bacon, & Buttermilk Biscuits
Bacon French Toast


Fried Bologna & Cheese Sandwiches
Chicken Salad
Mac & Cheese Cupcakes
Baked Potatoes
Sandwiches (Picnic)


Lemon Pepper Chicken, Cheesy Ranch Potatoes, Green Beans

Pork Roast, Mac & Cheese, Blackeyed Peas, Buttermilk Biscuits

Chicken Enchiladas (with frozen shredded taco chicken from freezer cooking)
Lasagna & Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks
Jalapeno Popper Burgers, Bacon Stuffed Potatoes


Double Berry Applesauce

Homemade Granola Bars
Homemade Trail Mix
Oatmeal Creme Cookies

Check out tons of other menu plans over at OrgJunkie!

Apple Nachos

Wow, I can't believe it's been a week already since the beginning of this applicious week!  Today is Day 7 - so if you missed any of the previous 6, make sure you go back & give them a look.

Today.... Apple Nachos.  When I first mentioned the idea of this to my husband, his first thought was that I was talking about chopping up apples into the filling of my beef nachos recipe, and looked at me like I was crazy.

But, that's not it all all!  These apple nachos use sliced apples instead of chips, and toppings such as caramel & melted marshmallows instead of cheese.  

Don't they look delish?  Plus, they are done in a matter of minutes!

Apple Nachos

  • 5 apples, sliced into thin slices
  • 11 ounce bag of caramel bits
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 16 ounces mini marshmallows
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup roasted & salted peanuts
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • fall colored sprinkles


Lay out the apple slices on a large platter.  In a microwavable bowl, melt the caramel bits & water in 30 second intervals until melted completely, whisking each time - about 2 minutes.

In a saucepan, combine the mini marshmallows & butter together on medium heat - stirring until melted.

Pour the caramel on top of the apple slices, followed by the melted marshmallows.  Garnish with the mini chocolate chips, peanuts, & sprinkles.


Make sure you check out all the wonderful blog parties that I link with!

September 25, 2011

Makin' You Crave Monday

Welcome to another edition of Makin' You Crave Monday!  This week, I have been busy doing an apple series & so I'm sharing my Apple Cinnamon Rolls w/ Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting & Caramel Apple Cupcakes this time around.

Your links from last week looked wonderful, as usual!  Here are my favorite three.  (If you were featured, feel free to grab you a featured button from the sidebar!)

Homemade Nutella over at Alli & Son:

Crockpot Grinders over at Creating Sarah

BBQ Ranch Stuffed Eggs from Cooking with K

Thanks again to all who shared last week - and I just can't wait to see what offerings you bring this week!

Here are the rules:
  1.  Link up your actual blog post url, not your homepage.
  2. You must follow this blog on at least one network (i.e. Google,FacebookTwitter, etc)
  3. A link must be made back here from your blog post or you can grab the button to display on your page from the sidebar.
  4. Leave a comment after linking.
  5. Visit other links in the blog party & leave a comment.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

I must just be on a caramel apple kick when you consider yesterday's recipe for Caramel Apple Cupcakes & the Healthy Caramel Apples from a few days ago & now these bombshells that I am presenting today.

But, that's ok because those recipes were winners - and today's recipe is one for sure.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting.

Oh. my. word.  These are ridiculously good.  

The dough is made in the bread machine in this recipe, but you can easily do it by hand & just let it rise in a warm place for about an hour & a half.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing


For the Dough:
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 eggs, room temp.
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour (or all purpose if you can't find it)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast (or regular yeast if doing it by hand)
For the Apple Filling:
  • 5 medium sized apples - peeled, cored, & diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
For the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling:
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2.5 tablespoons cinnamon
For the Caramel Cream Cheese Icing:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5-6 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
  • Plus, one more half stick of butter for the pan


Add all the dough ingredients to the pan in your bread machine in the order as recommend by your bread machine manufacturer.  (Usually all liquids/wet items, then seasonings, then flour, & a well in the flour for the yeast)

When the dough is done, remove it to a lightly floured surface & let it rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium/high heat, melt the butter - then add in the diced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon & cornstarch.  Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every so often.  Set aside to cool.

Roll out into a large rectangle.  Or, just push it out with the palms of your hands like I do.

This is the time where you get your hands into it.  You can use a utensil, but the hands work so much better!  Spread the softened butter onto the dough.  

Mix together the brown sugar & cinnamon.  Sprinkle the mixture on top of the butter.  Using your hands, press into the dough somewhat.

Distribute the apple mixture on top now.  

Carefully roll up into a long roll.  Don't worry if any of the insides come out...that's what it's supposed to do!  Once it's all rolled up, give it a nice squeeze with your hands all over to make sure it's all snug.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Place a half stick of butter in a 9x13 pan & place it in the oven for a few minutes to melt.  Remove when done.  Slice the cinnamon rolls in 1.5 inch rounds & place in the pan.  You will lose some filling, but thats ok.  After you get them all in the pan, using a spatula or chef's knife - scrape it from the counter & dump it on top.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  

Meanwhile, make the frosting.  Beat all the icing ingredients together until smooth & creamy.  Frost the apple cinnamon rolls while still warm.


Make sure you check out all the wonderful blog parties I link with!!

September 24, 2011

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

It's the 5th day in this apple-licious series, & I really hope you are enjoying it as much as I am!

Today, we're doing Caramel Apple Cupcakes.  These little gems have shredded apples inside of them with notes of cinnamon & nutmeg - and the tops are dipped in a bowl of caramel as a finishing touch.  

This recipe makes 2 dozen.  Just a warning though.  If you intend to keep them overnight, make sure you hide them from any other members of your house because if they are anything like my husband, half of them will come up missing during a 3am bathroom break.  

On to the recipe. 

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (prepared according to box directions)
  • 3 medium apples (such as granny smith) peeled & shredded
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 11 ounce bag of caramel bits 
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to the temperature stated on the cake mix instructions.  Mix the cake mix ingredients together.  Stir in the shredded apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, & nutmeg.

Pour the batter into greased muffin cups, or use liners. (I have a problem with paper cups sticking to almost everything lately, & I have switched to reusable silicone muffin cups.  Totally love them!)

Bake according to box instructions.  Let cool on a wire rack completely.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the caramel bits, heavy cream, & vanilla extract in 30 second intervels - whisking each time, until melted.

Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the caramel, giving it a little spin.  

Let them cool about 10 minutes before devouring them.  


Make sure you check out all the wonderful blog parties I link with!!


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