There are two words that I think are the most beautiful words in the world. They’re not “I do”, “Pay raise”, or “Free samples”. Pumpkin pancakes are, in fact, the most beautiful things in my world..

Pumpkin pancakes are life. They literally give you life and the energy you need to do things (thank you ATP). I will crave pancakes if I go too long without them, and I consider them to be a healthier alternative to heroin. Because it’s pumpkin season, I really wanted to try and find some pumpkin pancakes to satisfy my taste buds. Of course I knew the best place to find these would be at Pumpkin Joe’s – a store more commonly called Trader Joe’s from December to August. Pumpkin Joe’s has every pumpkin related food you can crunch, chew, or sip. That’s where I found the pumpkin pancake mix that changed my life.

tjpancakes

One cup of mix makes about 6 to 8 pancakes. When I first looked at my measuring cup I didn’t think it would be enough but trust me, it’s enough for two people. Place the dry mix into a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, 3/4 cup of milk, and 1 egg and pour into the dry mix. Mix lightly, until the large lumps disappear but don’t overmix! You want fluffy pancakes, don’t you?

Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a skillet. I set my oven to medium-low heat, because it heats very quickly and anything higher than that would have resulted in sad, burnt pancakes. Set it just high enough for the butter to melt and sizzle, but not much higher. Pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto the skillet. I let my first pancake cook for about one minute per side, but the other pancakes will cook slightly more quickly. You know the pancake is ready to be flipped when bubbles begin to break through the top, particularly in the center, and the sides look cooked and firm. Watch it carefully! Don’t turn your pancakes into sad cakes.

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I find that cooking your pancakes on a buttered skillet makes them more golden brown and tasty, so I always melt another tablespoon of butter in a skillet after each pancake. When finished, transfer your pancakes onto serving plates and drizzle them with the sugar of your choosing. I like to use honey because it’s nature’s natural sweetener 🙂

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Happy fall friends, who’s in the mood for cookies?

If you waved your hand in the air furiously, keep reading. If not, keep reading – I’m sure this pumpkin-spiced chocolate chip cookie is worth your time. Yes, you read that right. But this cookie is special. Not only was it approved by me and every happy unicorn in the world, but it is also made in a mug. Yes, a cookie in a mug.

Last year, I stumbled upon the wonderful world of mug cookies, as I like to call them. I like making cookies this way because it is perfect for lazy gals like yours truly. Instead of waiting 10 minutes to preheat your oven and another seven for the cookies to bake, you can whip up a cookie in a mug in just a few minutes. And if you don’t trust yourself around a dozen freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, this is also perfect because it enough to satisfy your cookie craving without going overboard.

Happiness is possible with just a few ingredients:

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3 TB flour
Dash of salt
1/4 TS vanilla extract
1/4 TS pumpkin spice
1 egg yolk
1 TB butter
1 TB white sugar
1 TB brown sugar
Chocolate chips
Your favorite microwave-safe mug 🙂

First, melt 1 TB butter in a microwave-safe mug, which will take about 15 seconds. Mix 1 TB white sugar and 1 TB brown sugar in with the melted butter until smooth. Add 1/4 TS vanilla extract, 1/4 TS pumpkin spice, dash of salt, and egg yolk and mix until well blended. Finally, add 3 TB flour and chocolate chips.

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Microwave for 40-60 seconds, depending on microwave’s power. Cool for 1 minute and ENJOY! Add ice cream for extra yumminess.

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Is it winter, yet?

Maybe not, but I am one of those people who will eat whatever/whenever as long as I am in the mood for it. Ice cream in December, soup in July, as long as I want it, I’ll have it. What about you?

I’ve had this tortellini chili recipe pinned on my Pinterest board for the longest, and I thought it was about time to knock this one out, even if it is only September. Trust me, you’ll love this no matter what the of year.

One thing I love about this dish that it is all done in one pot, which means less dishes to clean up!

ingredients

You will need just a few simple grocery store ingredients on the path to righteousness:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, or garlic powder
  • 1+ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 8 ounces whole wheat cheese tortellini
  • sour cream
  • sharp cheddar cheese

onions

The first thing you’ll do is heat the oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir fry for about three to five minutes, or until the onions are fragrant and transparent. I also like my onions to be a little browned, which they will be in no time. When the onions are finished add the garlic cloves, or garlic powder to substitute, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Toss together and cook for another minute. At this point the onions will be a little brown and will turn out yummy.

toretllini

Next, add everything else!*

*in a certain order though

Add the ground turkey to the onions and cook until the turkey is browned. This took me a little less than 10 minutes. Drain out any grease.

Add the broth, beans, tomato, and oregano. Be careful not to overflow the pot, which almost happened to me. Carefully stir the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the tortellini. Cook for about 10 more minutes, until the tortellini is tender.

tortellini

Congrats, you’re done!

Spoon out the chili into a bowl and be sure to add a dollop of sour cream and sharp cheddar cheese, if you aren’t lactose intolerant. My boyfriend is, so I’m much more conscious of dairy products now than I used to be!

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Good morning, friends. It’s time for breakfast.

If you love cinnamon and apples and warm comfy food, you will have to try this spicy chai quinoa recipe for breakfast. I am also obsessed with chai tea, so my fellow te-addicts will get a kick out of this. Quinoa (pronounced key-no-ah) is a good replacement for oatmeal. It has a much earthier, grainier texture that you don’t want to knock until you try.

I got this recipe from YouTuber Megan Rienks’ Healthy Breakfast Ideas video.

Ingredients

I made this recipe a little differently than Megan. I used fresh ginger instead of ground, and nutmeg instead of cardamon. It still turned out great, so don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients you don’t have on hand, and add your own creative spin.

Ingredients:

*1c almond milk (I used original unsweetened), and extra for serving

*1/2c quinoa

*1 apple

* 1/2tsp cinnamon, and extra to sprinkle on top

*pinch of nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and salt

*some Stevia to sprinkle on top

Almond milk quinoa

Pour the almond milk into a small pot, and add the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Whisk it together and bring to a boil.

Quinoa

Add the quinoa and whisk it in. Cover the pot and reduce heat to LOW. The quinoa will take about 15-20 minutes to cook. It should be soft and all of the almond milk should be absorbed. This is a great time to start chopping up that apple.

Cooked quinoa

Transfer the quinoa to a serving bowl. Pour a little more almond milk into the bowl and top with the chopped apple. Sprinkle some Stevia on cinnamon on the top and enjoy!

Spiced Chai Quinoa

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I like apples.

I also have a tendency to dive into some late night baking. I saw this Apple Crisp Pizza recipe on (you guessed it) Pinterest, and I just had to make it. It’s been sitting in my Desserts board for a long time, and I finally got around to trying this thing out.

ApplesThis may be a surprise, but one thing you need to make an apple tart is apples. The recipe called for four, but I really should have used about two or three. It depends on the size of your pie pan, and mine was pretty small. My apples were overflowing!

I cut them into little square-rectangle pieces (and ate some of them…yum). I think I used Gala apples. They were sweet, but not too sweet.

Apple Toss

Mix the apples in a bowl with some cinnamon, sugar, and flour. I added a dash of vanilla for fun.

Apple Toss Coated

And toss it all together. There was a lot of loose mixture at the bottom that didn’t stick to the apples. I didn’t add that to the pie.

Apple on Pie Crust

Glorious! I used a pre-made Pillsbury pie crust for this. I probably should have gone 100% homemade, but I’ve never had much luck when it comes to pastry dough. The pre-made dough wasn’t that great in the end. It was really thin and tasteless. (But the finished product was still great!)

 

What I love about apple pie, is the crumble. It’s the best part in my opinion. The crumble for this crisp is mostly brown sugar and oats, two things that I love to eat (especially together). But, my pie pan was really small, and I should have cut down the amount of crumble I added to the top of this. When it was finished baking, the top was still a little white, and not golden brown. And the crumble wasn’t cooked through all the way in the thickest parts.

 

Enjoy this with a drizzle of caramel syrup, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This tastes great when it’s nice and warm! Yum!