Eat. Drink. Love.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

I know I don’t normally post on a Sunday, but we are going to make a little exception because with Thanksgiving just a few days away, I feel the need to squeeze in one last pumpkin recipe for you guys for the season. Up until last year, I actually had never had pumpkin butter, just apple butter. I was seriously missing out. After a trip to Trader Joe’s, I threw a jar in my cart and immediately dug into it when I got home and fell in love. Just hand me the dang spoon!

This pumpkin butter is basically fall in a jar: Pumpkin puree, apple cider, cinnamon and spice. It’s sweet and luscious and perfect for spreading on toast, bagels, muffins, pancakes, apple slices, you name it! I always love coming up with a nice homemade gift every year and this pumpkin butter definitely fits the bill! You can hand them out friends and family or your co-workers. It also makes for a great hostess gift for Thanksgiving. You can put in cute jars and make nice labels and ribbons to decorate.

Homemade Pumpkin Butter

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Well, all, our sweet baby girl arrived on Tuesday and we are in absolute baby heaven and also completely exhausted. I’m so excited to introduce you to our sweet little Madeline!

Maddie Hospital

It’s been a whirlwind of a few days. I’ll do a nice and long post on her birth story once we are settled. We just got home from the hospital this afternoon and are just trying to adjust to being home and keeping up with this little peanut, but I will be doing my best to try to keep up with the blog!

Here’s another Thanksgiving side dish for you. Sweet Potato Casserole is definitely one of my favorite Thanksgiving sides. And I have to admit my favorite part about it are those gooey marshmallows on top! Though in my family, my mom and I were the only ones that ever ate the sweet potatoes so we didn’t always make it. This version is simpler than other versions as it doesn’t contain eggs or too many other ingredients. It comes together pretty quickly and I think you could actually make it the night before Thanksgiving if you are worried about oven space and time.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Apple Walnut Stuffing

Apple Walnut Stuffing

If you were to ask me what my absolute favorite Thanksgiving dishes is, it would be easy. It’s the stuffing. Always and forever. I dare say I love the stuffing more than the turkey or any other side dish on the table. If you put the stuffing in front of me on the table, I will probably eat the whole dish. Alright, you get the point, I love stuffing!

Apple Walnut Stuffing

And while I like all different varieties, my favorite version contains lots of apples and chopped walnuts! I love the added texture from the baked apples and crunchy walnuts. Now, I’m not gonna lie, I do take a shortcut with my stuffing and use a combo of the prepackaged cubes along with some fresh toasted bread. I love the ease of using the bagged bread cubes, but I also like to add some of my own toasted bread as it gives the stuffing that more homemade look and taste. The other key is to add eggs. I know not everyone adds eggs to their stuffing, but I so recommend it as it binds the bread together and adds this wonderful richness.

Ok, now I can’t wait. Is it Thanksgiving yet?

Cheddar and Gruyère Scalloped Potatoes Gratin

Cheddar and Gruyère Scalloped Potatoes Gratin

Are you guys ready for some Thanksgiving side dish ideas? I am and I’ve got a few to share with you over the next couple of weeks!

At this point, I have no idea what kind of Thanksgiving we are going to have. Yes, I’m still pregnant. Her due date is not until Tuesday, but I’m well aware that she might just decide she is not ready yet and we might find ourselves with an induction during Thanksgiving week. Ugh. Please pray and send positive labor vibes my way that she will arrive sooner rather than later. Sometime in the next 10 minutes would be great actually. I want to enjoy a good Thanksgiving dinner, darn it!

To start the side dishes off, we’re going with potatoes. My husband has been asking me to make some “cheesy” potatoes for a couple of months now and I finally got around to meeting his request. And boy oh boy, did we love these. Obviously not the healthiest side dish on this blog, but for Thanksgiving or for any other night you just feel like a little splurge, this is the perfect side! Warm and delicious potatoes baked in a cheesy sauce. What’s not to like?! I used a combo of cheddar and Gruyère cheeses and thought it was the perfect match. The Gruyère adds richness with a little nuttiness. So dreamy! While this is a great side dish for Thanksgiving, it would also be great served with steak or even grilled or roasted chicken!

Cheddar and Gruyère Scalloped Potatoes Gratin

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Shortcuts are pretty much my best friend these days. I’m just too tired to make a big fancy meal, especially after working all day. I have no shame when it comes to kitchen shortcuts. You just have to use them sometimes! One of my new favorite secret weapons?

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Foster Farms Crispy Strips. Don’t get me wrong, I love to make Chicken Parm from scratch with my homemade sauce that simmers for hours, but we don’t all always have time for such things! This Easy Chicken Parm recipe is a great alternative to making it all from scratch. You don’t have to worry about defrosting the chicken, breading it, cooking it, and all that jazz. I really like the Foster Farms Crispy Strips. I’m usually very picky about frozen chicken, but I was pleased with the quality and flavor and I like that the strips are also all natural.

While I didn’t use my usual tomato sauce recipe, I did still mix up a semi-homemade version that was ready in about 20 minutes. If you are still looking to cut down on time, you can also use your favorite jarred sauce. This is a great recipe to have on hand that the whole family can enjoy and it’s ready in a flash. Serve it with a side of pasta and a salad and dinner is ready!

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Pumpkin Mug Cake

Pumpkin Mug Cake

Someone pass me all of the cake. I need more cake. Now at 38 weeks pregnant, to say I am so ready for this baby to get here is an understatement. I’m officially uncomfortable. I feel so swollen and my feet can barely fit into even just a pair of sandals! The worst part now? My hands going numb. Seriously, this is the worst. And they don’t just go numb, they also just hurt and feel so sore, especially at night and especially when I lie down. This of course means that sleeping is no longer enjoyable. I know I should just get used to it, but it would be nice to get at least a few more good sleeps in before the baby comes! I’ve resorted to sleeping in a recliner as it helps a little bit, but it’s not the same. I want sleep, hands that do not go numb, and cake.

Let’s talk more about cake. This pumpkin mug cake. First, I love a good mug cake because they take just a few minutes to make and it makes just enough for one serving so I’m not left pulling a Miranda à la Sex and the City where I lose all self-control and keeping going back for more. This pumpkin version is perfect for the season. It’s warm and comforting with just the right amount of sweetness. Really, the perfect quick dessert to eat while snuggled up in a warm sweater or blanket!

Pumpkin Mug Cake