Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Banana Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips


    Another homemade fall treat for your autumn season! I went off of this original recipe: http://alidaskitchen.com/2012/09/12/pumpkin-banana-muffins/ and made a few changes. Like adding the chocolate chips for one! These muffins were delicious and very filling. My husband described them as more of a breakfast muffin than a snack muffin.


1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (or you can do all whole wheat or white if you choose)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 bananas, mashed
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate chips


-Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tins with baking spray.

-Whisk together your dry ingredients in a large bowl: both flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.

-In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients: brown sugar, bananas, pumpkin puree, oil, eggs and vanilla.

-Add wet ingredients to dry, gently fold and do not overmix. Here's where you can add your chocolate chips- I added about half of a small bag of chocolate chips. You can add more or less than that depending on your tastes. I love me some chocolate. Fold into the mixture and once again, do not over mix.

-Add mixture to muffin tins and bake at 350. The original recipe says to bake for 11 to 13 minutes for mini muffins and for 13 to 15 minutes for standard muffins. Mine took almost 20 minutes to bake. Pretty much just bake them until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Little Miss Allie

     I couldn't not share these photos of this little darling girl. I got to spend a some time with little miss Allie, Makenzie and Dylan last week and we captured some precious moments. She is so sweet and adorable, there were so many tiny words coming out of her mouth that made me melt.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Homemade Crockpot Apple Sauce

     Homemade apple sauce is super easy and delicious to make! I buy a bag of whatever's on sale or not too pricey- these ones were Fuji apples I believe. You can use whatever kind you prefer. Peel the apples and then dice them up.

     Throw them in the crockpot with a few teaspoons of water, a drizzle of honey (in place of sugar) and roughly 1/2 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice (which usually consists of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice) and 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon. I honestly don't really measure much when I do things like this, so you can adjust the amounts of spices you would like according to your tastes. 

Mix it all together and throw a lid on it. Turn it on high and let it be for 3-5 hours. This makes the BEST homemade air freshner ever by the way. It smells amazing.

Of course I didn't take a picture of the final product.. but once the apples are nice and mushy, mash them together with a vegetable masher. Or if you want the consistency to be really pureed you can throw it in a blender if you so please. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Brit + Tony Fall Photoshoot

 On a beautiful fall day last week I took photos of my long-time friend Britni, her boyfriend Tony and their two Great Danes, Natty and Niko. I also snapped a few of Britni's parents for their 23rd wedding anniversary. The colors turned out to be beautiful and the sunlight just perfect.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Homemade Chai Tea Latte Recipe


   I promised I would deliver on the fall recipes, and today I did 3 of them. So here's the first: Homemade Chai Tea Latte, served hot or iced. I started making this over the summer and it is a very good recipe. I based it off of a few different recipes that I found online. Overall, it's pretty simple, and you can go a lot of different directions with the chai concentrate. So here's what you need:

To make the chai concentrate: 

- 8 Vanilla Chai Tea bags (I like to buy the boxes of Bigelow)
- 4 cups of water
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- dash of black pepper
- honey (optional)

-Bring the water to boiling in a medium saucepan. If you want to make a larger quantity of the concentrate, just go by the rule of 2 tea bags per 1 cup water.

-Once the water is boiling, add the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, dash of black pepper and a drizzle of honey if you so please.

-Take the tea bags and tie them together at the top, it makes it much more manageable to keep track of them all.

-Steep the tea bags in the boiling water, give it all a good stir and then remove from heat and throw a cover on it. When steeping the tea bags be careful to not let the tags catch fire from the burner! I don't want any readers with a fire on their hands! I usually make this when I'm doing something else so I'll leave it sitting there anywhere from 15-60 minutes. The longer you let it steep the more concentrated the flavors will be.

-When it's done steeping, you can either make a hot chai tea latte by following the directions below or you can throw it in a mason jar with a cover or whatever else you would like to store it in and put it in the fridge to cool. I have kept the concentrate in the fridge for up to a week and it was still good.

To make the latte (served iced or hot):
-chai concentrate
-milk of choice (I use almond milk)
-sweetener of choice: sweetened condensed milk is really the secret ingredient that gives you that coffee shop taste. You can also use sugar, or whatever you prefer.

To give it a Pumpkin Spice twist:
-Add a bit of pumpkin spice coffee creamer.

I usually do 1/2 chai concentrate and 1/2 milk with a 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk. In this case I actually did 1/2 concentrate, 1/2 milk and then just a dash of pumpkin spice coffee creamer, and it turned out pretty fantastic. So this is where you can really experiment with your own taste buds and see what you prefer. Serve hot or iced, either makes a delicious drink.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Busy as always. Working 40 hours a week and keeping up with pictures and friends and family proves to be challenging! Welcome to the world of being an adult I guess? Luckily I actually really love my job, so it's a lot easier to spend that much time away from home. I have blog post ideas in my head but I just need to take the time to actually implement them! I'm hoping to do one later this week about a yummy fall drink so stay tuned for that. Otherwise.. here's what I've been up to.

Currently watching: Parks and Rec Season 5 (amazing.. love every character on this show)
Currently reading: A Clash of Kings (2nd book in Game of Thrones Series) and simultaneously "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan
Currently loving: Fall.. obviously :) 

I feel like living in an apartment you don't get as good of a chance to experience the changing seasons with only two windows and a balcony on the third floor that doesn't really allow you to just go outside and hang out if you want. I mean you can, but it's sitting on an ugly balcony overlooking a parking lot and parking garages.. so, ya know. But I love walking down to the beautiful Lake Como by our place. It's always nice down there and people are friendly. Anyways, here's some pictures of my life recently!

Labor Day weekend campfire at the cabin.

Fall flavored candles!

Scarves and boots!

Family birthday dinner at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul

Dad taking a selfie on his 50th birthday.

Apple Orchard hay ride with my darling.

Tanner playing with our little niece, Annabelle.

Renaissance festival!

More Renfest fun. I was drinking Pumpkin cider... delicious. 

Kat socializing with some of the Renfest town folk.

Yummy, yummy mead. If you've never had it, try it when you get a chance. It's honey wine. Delicious to say the least.

A beautiful October 1st at Lake Como.

Most recent cabin weekend in Northern Minnesota.

Feeling very out of character with flannel and hunting gear on, but it was necessary for this cold, rainy four wheeler trip.

Cozy night at home beginning my new book.

*Note all these photos were taken on my phone, so obviously it's not the best quality. Don't judge. :)

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