Looking for a easy pumpkin recipe? This is it! These Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies are made with just 5 ingredients! Add chocolate chips on top of the cookies to take it to the next level of yum! Recipe is Sugar Free, using maple syrup instead.
Fall is the best time of the year! The chilly weather is coming in. Apple picking is thought of as a weekend exercise. Apple cider is a appropriate drink any time of the day. You can put skeletons in your front yard. You can have as many pumpkins in your house as you want. Fall is all about the best recipes too – apples, pumpkins, cinnamon – yum, yum, yum!
With pumpkins ranging from munchkins to pie to giants in our house right now (all from the garden!) I have been baking a few at a time to preserve and enjoy the pumpkin inside of each. As we’re nearing the end of September I think it’s time we dive right into pumpkin season with a pumpkin cookie that is delicious and light on the calories.
What a difference a fresh coat of white paint makes in the shipping container!
It’s been a bit since I talked about the next plans for the shipping container. This Summer has been dedicated to getting the garden up and growing, with little time to do anything else on the land. With Fall arriving, we’re going to be spending some time getting the shipping container live-in already. If you guys didn’t read, Matthew and I bought some land in Upstate New York to build a weekend getaway. We got a shipping container delivered to turn into a house. We have big dreams, but we need to take baby steps due to time/budget. For the time being, we’re making it pretty and cozy to spend our weekends in as it’s a bit of a mess now.
We bought the shipping container used because it was much more economical that way. Even though we will have to do extra work, I definitely think it’s worth it for the price difference. In the next few weeks we’ll be working on walls, flooring and doors. First up is painting the interior of the container as it was dirty and had lots of marks due to cargo it spend lugging over the past few years. Eventually the shipping container will be insulated, so this is a temporary solution to making it feel like home while cleaning it up.
This is a easy applesauce recipe to make in your slow cooker with your wild crab apples! You don’t need to peel the apples! Even better there’s no sugar in this as we use maple syrup instead!
Because Fall is the best season and I know you’ll be apple picking soon I wanted to give you my Slow Cooker Wild Crab Applesauce recipe to enjoy! And guess what? You don’t even need to peel the apples! Throw them in the slow cooker and in 3 hours you’ll have delicious (and amazing smelling) applesauce. Enjoy!
Even though this recipe calls for Wild Crab apples, you can use any type of apple you want. I am using Wild Crab apples because I found 4 (!!) apple trees on the land in the last few weeks. It was a happy surprise finding them as now I have my own personal apple orchard!
We’re been transitioning to the new zone that we’re growing in this year to try to get a full load of tomatoes picked. Usually it doesn’t frost until November in NYC but this weekend in Upstate New York it’s going to be in the low 30’s at night (thankfully it goes back up!). The growing period for tomatoes is shorter now, but with a whole bed of tomato plants, we’re still picking pounds and pounds. We have our usual cast of tomatoes: cherry, Roma and beef. The cherry tomatoes are in full force and we’ve been picking them by the bucket. The beef tomatoes showed up next and we’ve seen them in massive size (see pics below). The Romas have started to arrive but there’s still quite a number of green ones. It might be a battle of temperature vs tomato once October comes around to see how long we can hang on to the tomatoes.
Let’s just get straight to the beef tomatoes because they are huge! I mentioned their size a few times but I wanted to show you guys just how massive they are this Summer. Can you believe it? Some of these tomatoes are close to 2 pounds!
I am loving this 5 minute burrito bowl right now because it’s quick, filling, delicious and uses fresh vegetables from our garden. It’s perfect for lunch (at home or take to work) because it’s so fast to make. I like preparing 2-3 bowls worth of ingredients in the beginning of the week, so I can just throw everything in a container, head to work and then microwave it once it’s lunch time. If you’re craving a quick Burrito Bowl for dinner, this is the recipe for you too! You could even add some extra protein to it, such as chicken or more beans.
There’s something romantic about tomato soup isn’t there? Maybe it reminds you of curling up with a warm bowl in Fall and Winter. Maybe it gives you memories of Mom opening a can of it as a kid. Or maybe you associate it with with the peak of garden season when you’re picking tomatoes by the basket. For me, it’s all 3 of these. Tomato soup is a favorite of mine, it’s one of those dishes that when you see on a menu you immediately know what you’re ordering. But the best tomato soup is homemade. It’s made with fresh tomatoes (preferably Roma/plum tomatoes), onions and a little bit of heavy cream with bread served on the side for dipping.
The first step to making homemade tomato soup is getting the tomatoes peeled and diced. If you’ve never made tomato soup from scratch, don’t worry, this is easy. Cut a small X in the stem end of each tomato. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water and blanch them for about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a pot of cold water to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin from the tomatoes (you can use tomato skins to make tomato powder!), remove the core, and coarsely chop the flesh.
These Italian Diced Tomatoes are marinated overnight with spices for full flavor. Unlike other diced tomato recipes no boiling, water bath or peeling is needed! Bonus how to make tomato paste below the recipe!
Let me welcome you to tomato week! If you didn’t see in last week’s garden video it’s raining tomatoes for us in New York so I’ve been spending lots of quality time with our lovely tomatoes in the kitchen! Today I’m going to show you these Marinated Overnight Italian Diced Tomatoes which are easy and delicious! Tomorrow is all about creamy tomato soup! Later this week I’m giving you a quick tomato/rice dish that is perfect for taking to work for lunch! And finally I’m going to pick tomatoes, lots of them, and show you many photos of them like any proud tomato Mother would. So let’s jump in to tomato week!
We use diced tomatoes frequently in recipes so I like to always have some on hand. Last year I only made a few homemade batches but we went through them quickly so this year I was determined to make at least twice the number of batches to freeze. There’s 2 ways to go about making diced tomatoes, there’s the longer process of boiling and removing the peels (which is delicious but it takes time), or there’s this way whith is also delicious but is quick! We are picking at least 50 pounds of tomatoes a week right now so I need to be careful of time, or I’ll have to quit my job because preserving vegetables can sometimes be a full time job! In this recipe, all you have to do is cut them up, marinate them over night in the refrigerator and then cook for 30 minutes. You can also duplicate this recipe as many times as you need per how many tomatoes you are picking. For example the recipe calls for 5 tomatoes but I quintupled it because I had so many tomatoes!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Home Chef. All opinions are 100% mine.
Delicious Truffled Three Cheese Flatbread with grape tomatoes and arugula! Ready in under 15 minutes! Only 650 calories per serving!
Matthew is back to school this week. No, not as a student, but he teaches classes at FIT and SVA in NYC. Not to brag as a proud wife, but he’s a awesome teacher. I know this because I see the looks the students give him at end of the year shows, and the followup emails that last for years after the students leave his class. Earlier this week after back to back classes that wouldn’t bring it home until 10PM, I wanted to make a dinner that I knew that he would love. So I made him these Truffled Three Cheese Flatbread which can also be described as white pizza (no tomato sauce). It was a big hit! He loved it!
Do you love your cat? Do you want to be the best Cat Mom ever? Then serve them a tray of food and treats and wait for the kisses in return!
It’s not going to surprise you guys but I love our cats. I really really really love our cats. Xanadu Pluto, FiFi Bofinkles, Brother Bear, Goblin, Toes, Essy (RIP) – I love you guys! I love you when you’re happy, I love you when you’re angry, I love you when you’re sick. I even love you after you throw up in my shoe (it’s especially funny when you do it in Dad’s shoe!). Because Toes is our baby (of the family – I know she doesn’t look like a baby, she’s a Maine Coon, she’s confident of her womanly body!) and I like to spoil her I decided I was going to surprise Toes with a breakfast fit for a Princess this week. Toes is somewhat of a food Monster, she lives for eating, so I know she was going to be one happy girl. Want to know the key to Toes heart? It’s soft food.
Check out the video tour of our vegetable garden! Want to see what’s growing in Upstate New York?
Hey guys! I made you a video tour of the garden. It’s like MTV Cribs but with vegetables instead of cars. What’s growing in September in our garden? Watch the video to find out!
This was our harvest last weekend! Munchkin pumpkins, 20 pounds of cherry tomatoes, corn, almost the end to cucumbers and green beans, Brussels Sprouts, cabbage, jalapeños, tomatillos, Roma tomatoes, beef tomatoes and some big pumpkins!
Mini Sugar Free Apple Muffins made with simple, non-fancy ingredients that everyone has in their kitchen! Recipe makes 20 mini muffins.
I am taking a break from sugar right now and I have to tell you, it’s hard. Everything has sugar in it! Or if you go to the grocery store and read the labels, it seems like nearly everything does, even food that you wouldn’t have guessed. English muffins? Sugar. Those delicious “natural” raspberry preserves? So much sugar! Multigrain bread? Sugar. Spaghetti Sauce? Sugar (make your own!). Granola and Crackers? Sugar. It’s crazy and pretty depressing.
It’s nearly impossible to find a sugar free baked good in the grocery store so I started making my own with simple ingredients. When I started researching sugar free recipes I was kind of put off by the complex, expensive ingredients that so many people were using. If you are just starting to go sugar free you probably don’t want to break the bank buying these ingredients because you aren’t sure if it’s going to work out or not. So I made these muffins with ingredients that you probably have already in your kitchen.
Fresh sweet corn – don’t you love it? I sure do. Follow our journey from seed to picking over 20 ears of corn!
We tried growing corn up on the roof for a few years and it grew..sometimes. In 2012 we had the best results on the roof, but each year before and after was hit or miss. Each year I talked Matthew into trying again, and each year we got small, if any, corn. Eventually Matthew had to give me a intervention and say that corn was a waste on the roof, why don’t we grow something else? After huffing and puffing and blowing the house down, I gave in, no more growing corn on the roof.
So this year, with our first proper growing in the ground, non-rooftop garden, I was determined to grow corn! Lots of it! A entire bed of it! We are still figuring out our growing schedule, but we decided to plant it in early June. By July it was growing, but not that tall, and I was becoming nervous because the (legit) farmers around us had corn that was 5 feet tall. I was worried we started too late. I was worried the ground wasn’t ideal growing conditions for our corn. Then August came and the corn just took off! It grew tall! It grew ears! It grew multiple ears on each stalk! The corn couldn’t control itself, it kept growing and growing and growing! Last, last weekend, we peeked at the corn and it was white, not the yellow/white combo it was supposed to be, so we gave it one more week. This past weekend, it was ready. We picked it. We ate it. I danced with it.
Technicals: We grow Xtra-Tender bicolor super sweet corn. I’m in Zone 5A. Corn seeds were planted directly in the soil June 6. We harvested on September 3. Seed packets say 73 days to maturity but ours took 89 days.
Did your chocolate cake fall apart? Do you have peanut butter in the cabinet? Then you can put them together to make these delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Balls! This recipe is easy to make and a life saver for cake disasters!
One minute it’s happiness, the next it’s sadness. One minute your cake is in the oven, smelling great, you’re surfing Pinterest for frosting ideas to really “wow”. The next minute your chocolate cake won’t come out of the pan, and then it does, in one million pieces. We’ve all been there. Actually I was there earlier this week. So before the tears and bad words come out I’m here to help you save the day.
These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Balls are so delicious that you won’t even mind ruining your cake. In fact, you might start ruining cakes on purpose to make these!
Easy step by step instructions on how to freeze green beans without blanching. These green beans will last up to a year.
If your garden is anything like ours right now you might be picking pounds and pounds of green beans. And if you’re anything like me, you really don’t want to turn on your stove to boil water to preserve your green beans during the Summer. Last year I started to freeze our green beans this way and they stayed extra fresh, keeping their bright green color and crunch. These frozen green beans last up to a year in the freezer making them a easy and economical way to save your green beans.
Step 1: Take a step back and admire your green beans because god damn, you’re amazing, you just grew green beans!
Mexican Vegetarian Lasagna recipe that is filled with veggies, ricotta and mozzarella cheese! Taco seasoning gives it a delicious Mexican flavor! This is easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time for a quick weeknight meal!
We are loving this dish right now in our house because it’s easy to make and filled with garden fresh veggies and comforting cheese. Many times I’ll prepare this lasagna earlier in the day so all I have to do is turn on the oven and throw it in when it’s dinner time. Whenever I make this I text Matthew a photo of the lasagna and he’ll text back hearts and swoony faces. Back-to- school season is one of the busiest times of the year, and families are on the lookout for easy meals that deliver big on flavor. This is a lasagna that the family will fall in love with.
This lasagna is filled with veggies that go perfect with the “Mexican” flavor. Most vegetarian lasagna recipes use eggplant and zucchini but I don’t . Why? That’s easy. We don’t grow those vegetables, hah. Case closed. Instead I use the veggies that are grown in our garden to make this as fresh as possible. There’s kale, tomatoes, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, onion and black beans stacked inside 3 layers of lasagna noodles, alongside ricotta and mozzarella cheese.
Arugula Refried Bean Burrito is a healthy Summer meal made with canned refried beans and fresh arugula. Dinner is made in 5 minutes!
Can you feel that Summer is here? I sure can. With the temperatures rising, the last thing I want to do is eat hot food. Even worse, I definitely don’t want to turn on my stove! These fresh burritos are full of vegetables and will cool you down. They’re perfect to take already made to work, or you can take all the supplies to the park for a picnic with friends and let everyone make their own.
You’ll need 4 flour tortillas. I found these low calorie (60) sundried tomato and basil tortillas in the grocery store that I love. My favorite canned beans are Goya (especially the Rancheros) and Rosarita. You can eat these directly from the can, or you can heat them in the microwave for 1 minute. If you’re going for homemade check out my Refried Black Beans recipe!
Feeling stressed? Unwind with this meditation playlist! It has everything from sessions that are 5 minutes to guided exercises.
This Summer I’ve had the pleasure of spending weekends surrounded by green grass, vegetables and silence Upstate in our garden. Working in a fast paced stressful industry, living in NYC where you are never alone, making sure my 6 babies are taken care of (Husband + Cats) and wondering if my student loan debt will ever disappear leaves me stressed and feeling anxious during the week. Sure, these stress issues are all things I chose for my life, but that still doesn’t mean I don’t contemplate or worry about them from time to time (I never complain about the cats though).
Last year I started meditating, first by myself, then trying some classes, and then settling by myself again, to see if learning correct breathing exercises and focused relaxation could help me. Turns out, meditation works great and I saw immediate results in calmness after just trying a few times. Meditation is a life long process, it’s not as easy as it looks. Focusing your mind on peace and tranquility is hard work, and something I still struggle with when meditating, but practice makes one stronger.
Hope you all had a great weekend everyone! We spent the weekend up on the land, camping over night. On Friday we ventured to the local County Fair where I ate my yearly funnel cake and kissed all the goats I could find. On Saturday we woke up on the land to cows moo’ing at a nearby field and sunshine. With the garden all built now (did you see my reveal last week?) we’re in full harvest mode, picking pounds and pounds of vegetables each week to travel back with to NYC.
So what’s growing? Lots of everything. We still have some of our spring veggies (kale, collards, cauliflower, etc). Our sugar snap peas are finally winding down, but still picking a pound every week. Then we have the beginning of the Summer veggies. We picked our first tomatoes and peppers this week, with hope that the corn will be ready next week. The weather Upstate is very different than growing in NYC due it’s colder temperatures so it feels weird to just only beginning to pick tomatoes. With that said, the weather is great because it can grow “colder” veggies in the Summer. For example, we picked Brussels Sprouts this weekend – in August! Awesome! Bonus awesome because this is the first time successfully growing Brussels Sprouts. Garden high 5s. I’m so excited to eat them.
We picked: Kale, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Carrots, Green Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Green Beans, Sugar Snap Peas, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, Onions, Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts. Whew.
So let’s dive in….!
This Summer has been all about potatoes! We dug up our first plant a few weeks ago, digging up a additional plant every weekend. When it’s time to dig up the potatoes it’s like Christmas morning – pure excitement! Matthew and I gather around the potato plant, digging it up with a shovel and our hands calling out each potato we spot. It’s one of my favorite garden activities! We planted Gold and Red potatoes. The Red potatoes came from “potatoes gone bad” in our cabinet in the Spring. The Red potatoes were a bit of a happy experiment!
The big reveal of our vegetable garden for our Upstate Adventure!
Can I get a drum roll please? After months of hard work, the garden is ready to be revealed in all it’s corn growing, pumpkin pollinating, tomato loving glory! I’ve teamed up with Lowe’s to raise the curtains on the garden and reveal it!
Are you ready?
In our Upstate adventure, building the garden was first on the list. Can you believe this was where we started a few months ago?
Thank you Success® Rice for sponsoring this post. Check out Success® Rice, the ultimate mealtime staple for busy back-to-school schedules.
Buttered Cabbage and Rice is a comfort food recipe that only takes 20 minutes from start to finish! It’s a great back to school dinner recipe!
This is a easy comforting meal filled with vegetables from the garden that I hope you’ll love as much as I do. Right now kids are going back to school, creating havoc on the Fall schedule. There’s school, sports, activities, homework and there’s also you! Don’t forget to take care of you! I wanted to create a recipe that would be ready in 20 minutes that is still wholesome with fresh ingredients – a meal you’ll feel good about serving the family. Enjoy!
The main vegetables in this recipe are cabbage and peas, 2 things that we have in abundance right now in the garden. I’ve always liked cabbage, but this Summer I turned into a real cabbage lover. I can’t get enough of it, especially sauteed and buttered! Yum. Our sugar snap peas are coming to a end this season, what’s left is those monster peas that are busting through the pods. The recipe calls for 1/2 peas so you can either use frozen peas (cook them first) or you can shell fresh peas. Use whatever you hand on hand and is easiest.