Category Archives: Seasons

baked pumpkin donuts

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One of the reasons I thrill when autumn comes along is the amount of pumpkin-flavored goodness there is to please our palettes. We discovered pumpkin donuts last autumn and our lives were forever changed. This year, I was determined to try my hand at a homemade recipe. I came across this recipe on Pinterest and it was so simple! I whipped it up this past Saturday morning accompanied by my two favorite sous chefs in the kitchen and we were thoroughly satisfied with the result. We added some chocolate chips to a few of the donuts, too, and the melty chocolate chips in the middle of the warm pumpkin donut were just perfection.

And, you guys, donut pans are super cheap on Amazon! I was thrilled when I came across this one for $6.79. And I was super pleased with the result it gave. I see many more homemade donuts in our future. Soon.

Baked Pumpkin Donuts

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus a heaping 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger (I would use the individual spices, personally.)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease donut pans. Place all ingredients, except flour, into a mixing blow and beat together until smooth. Add flour in and stir just until smooth. Fill the wells of the doughnut pans about 3/4 full. Bake the doughnuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, loosen their edges, and transfer them to a rack to cool. While the doughnuts are still warm (but no longer fragile), gently shake them in a bag with cinnamon-sugar.

Here is the original source of the recipe. In it you’ll also find instructions to make it into muffins, if you’d like it. Also, here’s another pin I came across for pumpkin donuts and this one has instructions for a caramel glaze, my friends. Yum.

I hope your homemade donut mornings are cozy and delicious, lovelies!

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pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing. My friends, my fall-sweet-loving palette has been so pleased. This icing. This icing. It is the perfect blend of cream cheese and powdered sugar goodness. You must make this before fall’s end. It’s sweet fall comfort in cake form. And what’s really better than that?

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Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing with Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I only had ground on hand)

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I only had allspice on hand)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 ounces) pumpkin puree

1 cup vegetable or canola oil

1 1/3 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, at room temperature, yolks and whites separated

for the frosting and the caramelized pumpkin seeds:

9 tablespoons butter, divided, at room temperature

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Pinch of cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (raw or toasted)

Directions:

1. THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan, then line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and butter that, too. (I buttered and floured my pan).

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into a bowl and set aside. Use the whisk attachment of a stand mixer to combine the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and salt. With mixer on medium speed, add the egg yolks one at a time, waiting for one yolk to be fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, turning off the machine as soon as the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. Whisk the three egg whites until they are frothy and white. Fold them into the batter using a rubber spatula until they were no longer visible (but be careful not to over mix). Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake on the center rack in the oven. Begin checking the cake after 40 minutes, (mine took 50 minutes. my oven can take a little while longer), removing the cake when a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in its pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes, or until the cake is pulling away from the pan, before inverting it onto a wire rack.

4. THE FROSTING: Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, beat together 8 tablespoons of the butter and the cream chess until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until the frosting is smooth with no dry traces of sugar.

5. THE PUMPKIN SEEDS: In a small saucepan over medium heat, caramelize a tablespoon of sugar until it is a rich reddish-brown color. You’ll want to stir the melted parts of the sugar towards the middle while avoiding over-stirring, which can turn the mixture dry and crumbly. Once the sugar is dark and fragrant, add the last tablespoon of butter and stir quickly until it has melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir until they’re evenly coated in sauce. Transfer the seeds to a plate lined with parchment paper so that they cool and harden. (I did not have pumpkin seeds, so I just grated a bit of semi-sweet chocolate over the top).

*The source of this recipe is found on the Food52 website here.

grateful today | 01

Yesterday was a delightful fall gift for our little family.  It was an entire day devoted to our 3 Musketeers posse, and it was so refreshing. Being together is our favorite way to be.

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This past week, especially, has taken it out of us, but friends, it’s been so good. The Lord has shown His grace and His strength in numerous, kind ways. We have felt so loved by those in our life, we have been left teary by the amount of people praying for us, friendships have been strengthened, our hearts have been full of peace in the Lord’s leading of our family, and the 3 of us have been knit together even more deeply. There is so much to be grateful for.

Today I am grateful for:

01 || The growth that comes in walking through difficult days.

02 || The 2 amazing humans I have been gifted to spend these days with.

03 || Playful zoo animals and crisp, cool fall air.

04 || Learning greater confidence in who the Lord has made me to be.

05 || Working on new projects and dreams with my man.

06 || All 3 of us cooking in our tiny, window-less, cozy, sweet kitchen.

07 || His mercies being new every morning.

08 || Chicken Soup and Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread.

09 || Our Little pooping in the potty! Celebrate those victories, my friends.

10 || Holding my husband’s hand.

I hope your weeks are starting off with delight and encouragement. How were your weekends? What are you all grateful for you today?

Happy Tuesday, dear ones!

 

autumn delights

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I dream about the arrival of autumn all the rest of the year long. I would be completely content if autumn lasted most the year, with a few weeks given to each one of the other seasons. Autumn has my heart, and I love soaking up all the delights it offers in its beautifully crisp, cool, pumpkin-filled, golden-hued way.

Pumpkins, sweaters, scarves, boots, books, blankets. candles, baking, hot beverages, falling leaves — just a few of my favorite pieces of fall.

01 // Twinings Pumpkin Spice Chai — I bought some of this for a friend last year and they loved it, so I think I need to pick up a box for myself.

02 // Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter — it’s oh so good on english muffins or toast in the morning.

03 // Emile Henry Artisan Pie Dish — you must bake at least one pumpkin pie during the fall. At least one.

04 // Octubre Pullover — I’m just really loving this.

05 // Irish Lambswool Scarf in Navy Tartan — I’m on the hunt for just the right navy tartan scarf.

06 // Hunter Original Tall Rain Boot — a boot dream of mine.

07 // Pride and Prejudice (Hardcover) — a classic and a favorite. I love being whisked away to England for little bits of time.

08 // French Spiced Orange Candle — a delightfully aromatic candle is a must during fall days.

09 // Horizontal Double Rib Throw — a cozy blanket = a fall necessity.

Share with me your favorite autumn delights? My heart is always open wide to learn of more ways to love this season.

sweater weather

It’s sweater weather, my lovely friends. Cool, crisp, delightfully cozy sweater weather. This thrills me. I would be more than happy to live in a place where it was almost always fall weather. Some of my favorite fall moments are spent in a cozied up at home in a sweater and big socks with a hot beverage in hand and a book on my lap. I get little heart thrills when I purchase a new sweater and I have my eyes on several that I’d love to fold up and stack on my closet shelf.

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01 // Factory Houndstooth Print Sweatshirt — JCrew Factory

02 // Checkmate Pullover — Anthropologie

03 // Factory Warmspun Swingy Elbow-Patch Sweater — JCrew Factory

04 // Lambswool Shirttail Sweater in Stripe — JCrew

05 // Whisper Stripe Pullover — Loft

06 // Waffled Pullover — Anthropologie

07 // Colorblock Textural Tunic Sweater — Loft

08 // French Quarter Pullover — Anthropologie

irish beef stew

Soups and stews are one of the perfect comfort foods that fall has to offer. And this one, this Irish Beef Stew, is one of the best we’ve found. It is the quintessential comfort stew. With some bread on the side to soak up more of that delicious sauce and you have the perfect dish to enjoy on a crisp, cool fall day. The aroma that fills your house as the stew is cooking throughout the day should be bottled up and sold as a fall candle.

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Irish Beef Stew

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 pounds beef chuck, excess fat trimmed, cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups stout beer
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
3 large carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large yellow onion, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 large rutabaga, cut in 3/4-inch pieces
1 large parsnip, cut in 3/4-inch pieces
(We’ve used potatoes rather than rutabaga and parsnip when we’ve made it)

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 C). Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in an oven-proof pot or Dutch oven. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Add beef in batches to pot in one layer, without overcrowding. Brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining beef. Return beef to pot and add to garlic. Saute 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook stirring, one minute. Add stock, beef, thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. The meat should be just covered with liquid. If not, add additional stock or beer to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and cover. Transfer pot to oven. Bake until meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

While the meat is cooking heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep skillet or large pot over medium heat. Add vegetables and lightly sprinkle with salt. Saute the vegetables until they brigten in color and begin to take on a golden hue, 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove beef from oven. Skim any fat on the surface of the liquid with a spoon. Add vegetables to the beef, stirring to combine. Return beef to the oven, uncovered. Bake one hour, stirring once or twice, until the sauce is slightly reduced, the vegetables are tender and the meat if fork-tender. Remove and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with mashed potatoes.

Happy fall eating, my friends.

september

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“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”                                                                                          — Jim Bishop

September has come, my friends. I thrill at the thought. September is dear to me for many treasured reasons, one of which is that is announces the entrance of my most beloved season, autumn. The delights of pumpkins, oversized sweaters, falling leaves, soups and stews, orange and red hues, pumpkin flavored goodness, evenings of hot tea and books, and walks in the crisp and cozy autumn weather, are ours to enjoy in droves this beautiful season.

I am soaking up this Labor Day holiday with my darlings, thankful for an extra day to be all together. We are planning the day out as we go, seeing what captures our fancy for our day off. Perhaps the purchasing of a pumpkin and some golden mums will be mixed in there somewhere.

Happy Holiday to you, lovelies! Enjoy your relaxation.

xoxo,

Jenny