1
5 Ingredient Sugar Free Pumpkin Cookies
2
P+M Upstate Adventure: Painting the Interior of the Shipping Container
3
Slow Cooker Wild Crab Applesauce
4
Tomato Picking Time, 2 pound tomatoes!
5
5 Minute Mexican Burrito Bowl
6
Creamy Roma Tomato Soup
7
Marinated Overnight Italian Diced Tomatoes (No Boiling or Peeling Needed)
8
Truffled Three Cheese Flatbread
9
Serving Toes Breakfast (A Post For The Cat Moms)
10
Video Tour of the Garden!
11
MINI SUGAR FREE Apple Muffins
12
Picking Corn In The Garden (And How To Grow!)
13
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Balls (AKA What To Make When a Cake Falls Apart)

5 Ingredient Sugar Free Pumpkin Cookies

HEALTHY SUGAR FREE Pumpkin Cookies! These Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies only need 5 ingredients! This easy recipe makes the best soft cookies that everyone will love! Make sure to add chocolate chips on top to make them extra delicious! 

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!
HEALTHY SUGAR FREE Pumpkin Cookies! These Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies only need 5 ingredients! This easy recipe makes the best soft cookies that everyone will love! Make sure to add chocolate chips on top to make them extra delicious! 

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.  
Enjoy!
HEALTHY SUGAR FREE Pumpkin Cookies! These Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies only need 5 ingredients! This easy recipe makes the best soft cookies that everyone will love! Make sure to add chocolate chips on top to make them extra delicious! 

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P+M Upstate Adventure: Painting the Interior of the Shipping Container

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.

Before:
before-6

 

After:
shipping-container-after-painting

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Slow Cooker Wild Crab Applesauce

SUGAR FREE SLOW COOKER Wild Crab Applesauce! This is a easy crockpot recipe that makes delicious homemade applesauce! It’s great for crab apples but you can use other apples too! I love canning this healthy applesauce to last all Winter long!

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!
SUGAR FREE SLOW COOKER Wild Crab Applesauce! This is a easy crockpot recipe that makes delicious homemade applesauce! It's great for crab apples but you can use other apples too! I love canning this healthy applesauce to last all Winter long!

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!
SUGAR FREE SLOW COOKER Wild Crab Applesauce! This is a easy crockpot recipe that makes delicious homemade applesauce! It's great for crab apples but you can use other apples too! I love canning this healthy applesauce to last all Winter long!

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Tomato Picking Time, 2 pound tomatoes!

I hope everyone enjoyed Tomato Week on BFG! I posted recipes for Marinated Overnight Italian Diced Tomatoes, Creamy Roma Tomato Soup and 5 Minute Mexican Burrito Bowl.  Now it’s time to introduce you guys to the stars of the garden, the tomatoes!

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!
big-tomatoes

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5 Minute Mexican Burrito Bowl

This recipe is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Minute® Ready to Serve Rice. All opinions on flavor are my own.  Enjoy this quick Burrito Bowl!Tracking Pixel

Vegetarian Mexican Burrito Bowl that includes rice, refried beans, corn, tomato, pepper and salsa.  Perfect for work lunches or quick dinners as it only takes 5 minutes to make!

Day 3 of Tomato Week!  Monday was Marinated Italian Diced Tomatoes.  Tuesday was Creamy Roma Tomato Soup.  Now I want to show you how to easily use fresh tomatoes in a Mexican dish. 

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.   

Vegetarian Mexican Burrito Bowl that includes rice, refried beans, corn, tomato, pepper and salsa. Perfect for work lunches or quick dinners as it only takes 5 minutes to make!

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Creamy Roma Tomato Soup

Comforting Creamy Roma Tomato Soup using roma tomatoes.   This recipe is perfect for when you are picking a overabundance of garden ripe tomatoes! 

We’re back for Day 2 of tomato week! Yesterday was Marinated Italian Diced Tomatoes, today is all about one of my favorite comfort meals: tomato soup!  

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.

Comforting Creamy Roma Tomato Soup using roma tomatoes. This recipe is perfect for when you are picking a overabundance of garden ripe tomatoes!

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.  
Comforting Creamy Roma Tomato Soup using roma tomatoes. This recipe is perfect for when you are picking a overabundance of garden ripe tomatoes!

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Marinated Overnight Italian Diced Tomatoes (No Boiling or Peeling Needed)

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!

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!

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!   

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!

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Truffled Three Cheese Flatbread

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! 

Delicious Truffled Three Cheese Flatbread with grape tomatoes and arugula! Ready in under 15 minutes! Only 650 calories per serving!

Delicious Truffled Three Cheese Flatbread with grape tomatoes and arugula! Ready in under 15 minutes! Only 650 calories per serving!

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Serving Toes Breakfast (A Post For The Cat Moms)

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.  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!

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! Read More

Video Tour of the Garden!

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!
Check out the video tour of our garden! Want to see what's growing in Upstate New York?

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MINI SUGAR FREE Apple Muffins

MINI SUGAR FREE Apple Muffins Recipe! These easy to make muffins are perfect for apple picking season! They are simple to make and made with ingredients everyone has in their kitchen! I love them to work for breakfast or a afternoon snack! 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.  

MINI SUGAR FREE Apple Muffins Recipe! These easy to make muffins are perfect for apple picking season! They are simple to make and made with ingredients everyone has in their kitchen! I love them to work for breakfast or a afternoon snack! Makes 20 mini muffins.

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Picking Corn In The Garden (And How To Grow!)

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.

Step by step instructions on how to grow Sweet Corn. It's easy to grow!

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. 

Step by step instructions on how to grow Sweet Corn. It's easy to grow!

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.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Balls (AKA What To Make When a Cake Falls Apart)

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.  

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!

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!

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!

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