Pumpkin Walnut Spice Bread

 

 

While we were out shopping today, updating our fall wardrobes for BBS Season (blazer, boots and scarfs) we joined a parade. The Parade of Homes that is! We were cruising down a neighborhood street, windows rolled down, belting out the words to Haley Reinhart’s song “Free” (such a sassy song!) and noticed crowds of people walking up and down the street. We got out of the car and followed the crowd into a 2 million dollar home! That’s right TWO MILLION $$$! Can you guess which room we toured first? Yeah, the kitchen…stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, a center island to serve our guests cheese plates and fancy wine, incredible cabinet storage space for all our gadgets (once we get them), and large windows to allow natural light to flood into the kitchen (so great for blog pictures).

 

So in ten years when we’re big executives (yeah, we’ll be executives at age 32. Can’t limit our ambition), we’ll each have a TWO MILLION $$$ house. We’ll cook and take blog pictures, and of course share them with you. Life will be great. And in the fall, the sweet aroma of pumpkin spice bread baking in the oven will waft throughout our homes. Mmmmm…

When we got back home we pretended this was real life and made pumpkin spice walnut bread. We already love our (future) lives as big execs. Happy double dipping!  

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe and soft bananas
  • 2 ½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 2 Tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup walnuts chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using a hand mixer on medium speed, blend bananas and yogurt in a small bowl.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to low and add eggs until well combined.
  4. Add pumpkin and blend on low to combine.
  5. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients.
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until the batter is well mixed.
  7. Spray a bread pan with non-stick spray and evenly pour batter into the pan.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  9. Serve warm, slathered with sweet butter or peanut butter or jam. Enjoy!

Your Mom’s Apple Crisp

Growing up apple crisp was always a Sunday night treat, especially in the fall. After an afternoon of running around collecting logs for our “house” that we were building in the back woods, running through the swamp to get “ingredients” for the pond soup we were going to cook, and chasing after bugs in the mud, we would come back inside to the heavenly aroma of apple crisp baking in the oven. Our mom was (and still is) pretty awesome.

Today, we made the apple crisp for Mom. We used honey crisp apples…

And got to use a super fun kitchen gadget! The apple corer! Not only does this bad boy peel and core the apple…

…it slices it into bouncy rings! We may have each sneaked an accordian apple into our mouths while making the crisp. (Not the whole thing at once though. We’ve been told we have big mouths, but not big enough to fit an entire apple!)

If you’re longing for that feel good, Mom-made dessert, this is the perfect treat. Happy double dipping!

Recipe- adapted from the Betty Crocker Cook Book

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 6 medium honey crisp apples, cored, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg

Method

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Core, peel, and slice apples.

3. In a medium bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon and nutmeg to make the crumble topping.

4. Layer apples in a greased 8×12 baking pan. Sprinkle crumble evenly on top.

5. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes.

6. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Twiced Baked Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Apple, Goat Cheese, Cinnamon, and Honey Pecans

We had a familiar guest at the dinner table last night. A familiar guest who was sporting a new do. Our guest was dressed up, spiced up, and absolutely delicious! No, we are not describing our dream man…our guest was a twiced baked sweet potato with all the fixings!

We baked the sweet potatoes in the oven until they were soft. Then we scooped out the velvety orange flesh and mashed it, mixing in cinnamon, ground cloves, chunks of honey crisp apple and creamy goat cheese. We placed the mixture back in the skin and heated it in the oven until the apples were warm and the goat cheese was melted and creamy. As a final touch we topped the stuffed sweet potatoes with crunchy pecans which we had toasted with honey over the stove.

Served with grilled chicken, roasted veggies and a fresh mixed greens salad, our guest was the star of the meal! Although the pumpkin beer was a fierce competitor.

Happy double dipping!

Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium honey crisp apple
  • 1.5 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/3 pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves (nutmeg would be delicious as well!)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Using a fork poke holes in potatoes and wrap each potato in aluminum foil. Place in oven and cook for 45-60 minutes.

2. Remove from oven and let cool unitl cool enough to handle. (about 15 minutes)

3. In a medium bowl combine goat cheese, cinnamon, cloves. Mix together.

4. When cool, cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon gently scoop out the flesh. Make sure to keep the skin in tact.

5. Combine sweet potato flesh and apple slices with goat cheese mixture. Then scoop the flesh and goat cheese mixture back into the potatoes skins.

6. Re-warm the sweet potatoes in the oven for 5-10 mintues.

7. While the sweet potatoes are warming, toast pecans and honey in a sauce pan over low heat on the stove for 3 minutes. Pay close attention to make sure the pecans do not burn! (we made this rookie mistake once)

*Note: You can prepare the sweet potatoes ahead of time, up through step 5. When you are ready to serve just re-heat them. This is a great time saver if you’re hosting a party!

 

Turkey Kale White Bean Harvest Stew

Fall fall fall! Fall la la la fall! Or autumn if you’re sophisticated and prefer to use that term to describe the best season of all! Fall!

Here are five things we love about fall. Ready? Ok!

  1. BBS: boots, blazers, and scarf season. We can’t take credit for coining this term. We overheard a marketer at our company describing how she loves to layer her outfits and so BBS is the season for her. We’re also all about the layers! Bring on BBS!
  2. Honey Crip Apples: Did you know that a scientist at the department of horticulture science at the University of Minnesota invented these bad boys? It’s a cross between a Macoun and a Honey Gold. Explosively crisp! Our fellow Minnesotans are awesome.
  3. Pumpkin Spice Lattes: Starbucks or Caribou, these are so good.
  4. Eating homemade stews/chili while watching Sunday afternoon football: The warm fuzzy feeling of the delicious food can make up for a big loss.
  5. Pumpkin beer: A new discovery and yummy!

Yesterday we enjoyed a few of our favorite fall things…like Turkey Kale White Bean Harvest Stew! We used fall veggies, kale (a power green and a trendy veggie), carrots, and red beets (although golden beets work too). We used ground turkey which we had on hand, but Italian sausage would be quite tasty as well.

We enjoyed the stew with a nice cold pumpkin beer, which we’ve decided would be really great in the stew. We have left overs, so we might try this tonight.

Happy fall! Happy double dipping!

 

Recipe- adapted from Eatliverun.com

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 medium beets (red or golden), diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 15 oz. cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ lb. ground turkey
  • 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme

Method

  1. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add thinly sliced leeks. Sauté for 5 minutes. Then add turkey.
  2. Brown turkey. Then add carrots, beets, and celery. Toss to combine and continue cooking for another 6 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a large pot, and cook over medium-high heat.
  4. Add kale and beans, and cook until kale just starts to wilt.
  5. Add chicken broth, red pepper flakes, and pepper. Bring to a boil. If you need more liquid add water as necessary.
  6. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes or until veggies are tender.
  7. Serve with your favorite bread and enjoy with a pumpkin ale!

Hot BBQ Chicken

 

We like to experiment with different chicken marinades. During the week we seem to eat a lot of chicken, but we don’t blog about it because our busy schedule gets the best of us. By the weekend we’re usually bored with chicken, and so we don’t make it.

 

But, yesterday we were craving some good protein. And since it’s still summer (until Tuesday!), it’s BBQ season. We decided to experiment and try this hot BBQ marinade. We mixed cayenne pepper and chili powder for the hot element, and added apple cider vinegar, honey, and brown sugar for the sweet BBQ flavor.

 

On the scale of 1 to 10, it was an 11. Justin  (our sous chef) thought so too.

Happy double dipping!  

 

Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar

Method

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk together.
  2. Cut 3 slits into each chicken breast. This allows the chicken to absorb the marinade better, and makes for a very juicy chicken breast.
  3. Place chicken breasts into a large zip-lock bag and pour in marinade.
  4. Place in refrigerator, and let marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Grill on medium indirect heat for 7 to 10 minutes per side. Or until chicken is cooked through all the way.
  6. Enjoy!

MN Local Eats: Fresh Walleye, Northern, and Bass

Hot dish, bars (called cookies in other areas of the country), pickle on a stick (well, really any food on a stick), and home of Betty Crocker’s kitchen…what’s more Minnesotan than that? These are some of your traditional Minnesota eats.

We work with a lot of people who are from out of state, and new to Minnesota. So, when we told them about our blog, they asked “what’s a traditional Minnesotan food? Do you eat a lot of hot dish?” While this may be true for some, it’s a little stereotypical. Here was our response (slightly sarcastic), “St. Olaf did occasionally serve tator-tot hot dish, usually during finals when students needed good comfort food, but we do not eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…or even once a month for that matter.”

 

For us, traditional Minnesota eats means local food. Fresh caught fish, home grown corn and tomatoes, and fresh herbs from the garden.

Friday morning, our fisherman (Mr. Z), reeled in dinner. He caught two walleye, a northern, and a large mouth bass. He filleted them for us, and then we tossed them in some flour, sprinkled them with lemon and herbs, and grilled them until they were deliciously crispy. We served the fish with local corn and tomatoes from our aunt and uncle’s garden. It’s fun to see exactly where your food comes from! That is Minnesotan.

 

Happy double dipping!

The Fisherman and his catch! This is the northern. 22 inches long!

Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 6 filets of fresh MN fish (walleye, bass, or northern…whatever is biting that day!)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour or bread crumbs (to dip the fish in)
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices

Method

  1. Filet fish (enlist a fisherman for help, or just buy the fresh filets from the grocery store)
  2. Heat grill.
  3. Soak filets in a bowl of water for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Place flour in a bowl, and lightly coat both sides of the fish in the flour. Do this for all filets.
  5. Drizzle aluminum foil with olive oil, and place fish on foil.
  6. Chop basil and thyme and sprinkle on fish.
  7. Squeeze lemon on fish, and also place a few slices on top.
  8. Grill on medium heat for 15 minutes, until outside becomes slightly crispy.
  9. Serve with fresh local veggies. Enjoy!