Monday, October 31, 2016

flavorFALL ~ toffee apple dip

I grew up just loving Halloween.  Dad and I used to have so much fun on this day, each and every year, that I could not wait to get out of school and get home to put on my costume.  We would walk the neighborhood for hours.  Families were everywhere you turned, sitting in their front lawns, walking up and down streets, having parties.  It was fun and sweet.  I didn't understand at the time that part of what I really enjoyed about it was community.  Now I get it.  Now I can see that experiencing community in one's own neighborhood, these days, can kind of be hard to come by.  So, if you have it, be thankful.

We are in such a neighborhood.  The sidewalks are crawling, some families design makeshift haunted houses, many come to their doors to hand out candy in their own costumes, and little ones and big ones, alike, are sprinkled throughout as Star Wars characters, Disney princesses, and everything in between.  In a moment in America when so many seem to be at odds, I'm looking forward to an evening with others, an evening to have fun, a little slice of Americana, you could say.

We are planning to eat and hang with friends, as our kiddos come and go from house to house.  If you're doing the same, you may want to add this super-quick and easy sweet treat.  I am in LOVE with it.  It's a great blend of tang and sweet.  Buttery, creamy, crunchy.  And paired with a slice of Granny Smith apple, it immediately takes me back to a Halloween party at my elementary friend, Gretchen's, house in fourth grade.  This side says, "Haunted housing," "Apple bobbing," and "Trick of Treating," like nobody's business.  Grab the ingredients and enjoy in a few minutes time.  Everyone will be so glad you did!

*You might also want to try other flavorFALL recipes like perfect gingersnaps, or fresh apple cake with browned butter frosting.

Toffee Apple Dip

makes about three cups 

  • 2 blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 8-oz container Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 bag Bits o' Brickle
1. Beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add vanilla and Cool Whip, mixing until incorporated. 

3. Stir in brickle and serve with assorted fruit.

Recipe from The Lazy Daisy Kitchen.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

old-fashioned pancakes

There really is nothing better than cooking something your entire family enjoys.  It fills up my heart to hear a cheer, see a fist pump, or note an under-the-breath "Yes!" when I announce the meal we're having.  Such is the case every time I tell the boys we're having pancakes.  All three of them!  

I have tried numerous pancake recipes.  Numerous, I tell you.  But some have been too thick, some too tough, some with no taste whatsoever.  It's like a page out of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Thankfully, I have found the one that is just right.

This recipe is quick and easy and no-fail.  It's been my go-to for several months.  Sometimes we toss in a few chocolate chips or berries.  My favorite add-in combo is cinnamon and pecans.  It's really fun to experiment!  Do you have a favorite variety?

Saturdays are made for PJs and coffee, pancakes and syrup, and - of course - bacon, if you're in the Green household.  Wishing you and yours a lovely weekend!

Old-Fashioned Pancakes

serves 8
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Whisk together until well-sifted.

2. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour milk, egg and butter inside.  Mix until smooth.  

3. Heat lightly oiled griddle until hot.  Pour batter, 1/4 cup at a time, on griddle and cook until golden on both sides.

Recipe from All Recipes.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

flavorFALL ~ apple-ginger cake


It's finally the weather I've been waiting for, which begs for this cake.  A delicious and moist ginger-laced cake filled with cream cheese icing.  It has "Fall" written all over it.

I am fully ready for today.  I am finishing up some curtains for our rec room, and maybe I'll paint the bathroom.  I might whip up some soup I've been wanting to try, or maybe it'll get cool enough to have a fire, and I'll just plop myself down next to it and read the 99 magazines that have piled up on my nightstand over the last few months.  No matter, I'm anticipating a little break from the "full steam ahead" we've been doing for a while now.  

Of course, all of this will come after Luke's last football game for the season, which is bittersweet.  I'm proud of him, I have to say.  He's a little guy.  He wanted to give tackle football a chance.  He's played very little, but even standing in the heat and enduring long practices daily, he's had a big spirit of cheering and encouraging his team from the bench.  A modern-day Barnabas, I've said, and for that, I couldn't be more pleased.     

Happy Saturday to all.  Lean into this fall day and soak up the moments that bring some peace and a recharge we all need.  Brew up some coffee and give this cake a chance.  I'm telling you, it will round out your weekend beautifully.

Apple-Ginger Cake

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup apple butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup peeled and chopped Honeycrisp apple
Buttery Cream Cheese frosting

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.  Line bottoms with wax paper; coat paper with cooking spray.

2. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients.  in a large bowl, beat sugar and next 4 ingredients until smooth.

3. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk in 3 additions.  Beat 2 minutes.  Fold in chopped apple.  Divide between prepared pans.

4 Bake 27-30 minutes, until cake springs back when pressed lightly.  Cool 10 minutes.  Turn onto cooling rack, remove wax paper and cool completely.

5. Place one cake layer on a plate and frost top with half of the frosting.  Add second layer and frost top with remaining frosting.  Dust top with ground cinnamon.


1. Beat 8 oz softened cream cheese, 1 stick softened butter, 1/3 tsp vanilla extract and 1 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth.