Semi-Homemade Chocolate + Caramel Apples

Happy Halloween! It rained today in Milwaukee but luckily for me, I planned on making Chocolate and Caramel Apples today and not much else. I had never made these before, so I planned on taking the easy route. Semi-homemade is the way to go, unless you're a purist and absolutely want to make your own caramel. I bought ready-to-melt caramel bits, a bunch of granny smith apples, slivered almonds, chopped pecans, and 1 bag of chocolate chips.

Initially, I wanted to try something different by slicing the apples into thick slices and putting them on the sticks as pictured:

Easy Crockpot Gumbo

Slow cooker liners were on sale at the store, so I purchased a box and decided to utilize the Crockpot right away. Cold weather means hearty soups and meals! This recipe for Crockpot gumbo is so tasty and easy. Throw everything in the cooker and let it simmer for the entire day. Still mindblowing...

Homemade Candied Almonds

I'll never forget when I was younger my parents would take my sisters and I to the Wisconsin State Fair every year. 

During the day we would walk around and see the animals and then later at night we would go to the rides and play games.

The best part about State Fair was the food! You could get anything from regular food to exotic types of food such as the ostrich burger. Both of my parents tried the bison and ostrich one. I still remember the disgusted face I made when they told me what it was. The one food I always had to get were the candied coated almonds! They were my ultimate favorite. I could literally smell them a mile away. The crunchiness, sweetness, warmness from the cinnamon, everything came together so well and my taste buds were instantly dancing. The sad thing was, I had to wait til next year to get more. They're not sold anywhere else and usually they can be a bit pricey. A small bag would've cost you about $3 and big bag $5 for maybe a scoop more. 

Chicken & Spinach Rice Bowls

Got bacon in the fridge? How about chicken breast that you don't know what to make with? Any veggies in there too? I realized I had one huge chicken breast, a couple slices of bacon, and half a pack of spinach in my fridge...

Pork Chop Milanese with Risotto

Pork Milanese is one of my favorite things to cook. Milanese can be made with thin chicken breasts or boneless pork chops. This recipe is so easy, it's got about 5-ingredients or less if...

Sweet Pumpkin Fries

We are into the second week of October and I cannot get over my pumpkin obsession. Usually when this season rolls around, everyone is so tired of pumpkin things already but I get super excited every year! Yesterday, we made an All-Natural Pumpkin Honey Face Mask using the innards (aka pumpkin guts). We saved the seeds for roasting later and, I'm not one for wasting food so if I'm going to use a pumpkin, I am going to use the whole pumpkin, folks! After de-seeding and removing the guts yesterday, we cooked up the rest of it in this recipe.

Sweet pumpkin fries; familiar because they're prepared the same way you'd make sweet potato fries yet different because we're switching them up! This recipe is pretty impressive, I loved how well the flavors worked together. The texture is completely the same, and the color stays brighter than sweet potatoes! Start with a small pumpkin to make it much easier to work with...

All Natural Pumpkin Honey Face Mask

Last Thursday, I visited the farmer's market on a whim. I was headed towards the grocery store and saw the farmer's market was open so I figured I would try and get some fresh vegetables through there instead.

I scored a really nice assortment of vegetables, a bunch of apples, and a small pumpkin!

I wanted to test out a bunch of different pumpkin recipes so when I went home, I started preparing my pumpkin for multiple uses! First, I wanted to chop up my pumpkin into french fries so that I could make Sweet Pumpkin Fries. Very similar to sweet potato fries, but with pumpkin instead!

Of course the seeds are saved for toasting later. What to do with the pulpy insides of the pumpkin? Make a face mask!

There are surprisingly many skincare benefits in using pumpkin...

Banana Nutella Wontons (3 Ingredient!)

Banana + Nutella. We all know this combination is one of the best duos in the history of desserts. We also know that anything deep fried is automatically good, although not good for your health, still automatically good on the taste buds. These Banana Nutella Wontons are outrageously simple and easy to make, using only 3 ingredients! Wonton wrappers, which can be found at most grocery stores, Nutella, and bananas. Fool proof! 

Cinnamon Apple Iced Tea

As of this post, Wisconsin is undergoing this undecided weather mixture. Some days it's cold enough for hoodies, boots and it definitely feels like October... then on other days it's 75 degrees out, sunny, and perfect for shorts! 

October is usually when I stock up on boxes of tea. I found this Cinnamon Apple Spice flavor and have been waiting for the mood for tea to strike me so that I could taste it. Naturally, after I buy a new hot tea flavor, the weather decides to give us a series of really hot days! So it was time to make Cinnamon Apple Iced Tea!

The recipe is really easy to follow, most of your time is literally spent waiting for the tea to cool down. I used a vanilla simple syrup to give it a sweeter flavor. This simple syrup is something that you could use for a lot of other beverages, especially cocktails! I suggest keeping the extra simple syrup in a glass or plastic container with a lid, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Creamy Harvest Soup & Fried Bowtie Pasta

Some days, you just have to really make the effort to put some time and love into a meal. In return, that meal pays you back by filling you up in a warm and fuzzy way. Cooking doesn't have to be a rushed thing every single day, nor does it have to be a quick and easy hunger relief. If you have a day off or hours to kill, why not wind down by creating something worthwhile in the kitchen.

This Creamy Harvest Soup is complex but worth it! It's heartwarming and oh so amazing. And don't even get me started on these fried pasta bowties! I put more than I should've in my bowl. They are just too good. I'm a sucker for crunchy food!

I named this Harvest soup because it's got a little bit of everything: chicken, shrimp, crab, spinach, carrots. It can also be tweaked to be made with just chicken, or just shrimp, or just veggies! It's the perfect soup for you to pick and choose whatever meats, seafood, or vegetables you'd like to incorporate... 

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