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Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Having spent the majority of my life in a suburb outside of Chicago, I am an enormous Cubs fan. A gigantic, colossal, massive fan of this team that has not won a World Series since 1908. My father brought me to a game in the late 60's. I was mesmerized by the giant green baseball field and all the seats in the stadium. Before leading my siblings and me to our seats, we wandered close to the field, just above the Cubs dugout, to watch the players warm up. My father, a boisterous Irishman who was extremely proud of his six children, called to Ernie Banks from where we stood. "Ernie, come meet my kids", he exclaimed. Ernie Banks left the field and came to meet all of us and sign our program. Thinking my dad was a friend of Ernie Banks, it wasn't until I was well into my adult life that I realized they weren't friends. Ernie was just a pretty cool guy who was kind enough to meet a dad with his six children at the ball park.

Of course today, I am savoring every moment of each and every game that the Cubs are playing in the month of October. Tonight I decided that we would pretend to be at Wrigley Field and eat hot dogs for dinner. I needed something to go along with the dogs and remembered this roasted parmesan potato recipe that I had recently seen on Facebook. This would go perfectly with our hot dogs and chopped salad. The potatoes are tender on the inside; crispy on the outside. Make sure to get the extra seasoning mixture at the bottom of the pan. That's the best part.

A winning dinner....let's just hope the Cubs win as well.


Mini Apple Muffins

For me, apple cider donuts have always been part of autumn. Loading the kids into the car to visit an apple orchard, picking apples, and ending the trip with a fresh, warm cider donut was a tradition in our house. Today I rarely seek out an apple orchard to pick fresh apples, and I can get the taste of an apple cider donut by making these scrumptious mini apple muffins. Please don't let the boring name deter you! Moist and sweet on the inside, you might be tempted to pop one into your mouth fresh from the oven. But please wait......the topping is what makes these muffins go to the next level. Dipped in melted butter and then rolled in a sugar/cinnamon mixture, these muffins are truly a fall delight that will evoke all those wonderful memories of trips to the apple orchard and, best of all, biting into an apple cider donut.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Although the calendar might say autumn, it is not officially fall in my house until the first batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread is made. These are divine. The yummy pumpkin flavor is highlighted with just the right amount of spices, and the chocolate chips are the added touch of sweetness that make this bread a perfect little fall treat.

I have made these for so many years now that it's hard to remember where the original recipe came from, but when I dig out the instructions each fall I know just what I am looking for in my jumbled recipe holder. The ingredients, and very minimal directions, are jotted down on a yellowed sheet of paper that has been folded. Initially, I wrote it down in pencil, but throughout the years I have had to go over portions of it in pen to make it easier to decipher.

From my assortment of loaf pans, you can see that I have quite a collection. That works to my family and friends' advantage, because I often make these in a large batch* and pass them around for all to enjoy.

*I have one and a halved this batch; in one photo you will notice 3 eggs instead the of the 2 that the recipe calls for.


Pumpkin Apple Doggie Mint Treats

I love my dogs. With five grown children out of the house, the dogs have become the "children". They go on long walks with me; we hike together. The two of them like to share space with me on the couch, Sometimes, however, that space is far too close, especially when one of them does not have the best smelling breath. I think the culprit are the dirty toys that this said dog carries in his mouth constantly hoping that I will decide to play with him. When I came upon this recipe for dog treats I decided to give it a try and hope that it helps. If nothing else, they love them, and I have plenty of treats in the house for awhile!


Sweet Potato and Onion Tart

As summer draws to a close and autumn sets in, I look for fall-related recipes for dinner.  By the time September is in full swing and October is fast approaching, I want a bit of comfort in my dinners. This dish brings many good flavors together and is a perfect fall meal. Depending on my mood, I might use Manchego cheese as opposed to Fontina. You could add crumbled, cooked bacon on top; you can substitute milk for the half and half to make it lighter. I especially love this recipe, because I take the leftovers and put them in the freezer. My husband and I then have another dinner when there is a night that we don't feel like cooking.


Chickpea Waldorf Salad

This is a delicious salad for fall with the addition of a fresh apple. A traditional waldorf salad typically uses mayonnaise as the dressing, and since I am not a big fan of mayonnaise, this recipe appealed to me. The yogurt combined with the apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard gave it a wonderful flavor, and the addition of the small amount of honey balanced the tart flavor that plain yogurt and vinegar alone can have.

The chickpeas can be added for a lighter, meat-free meal. The salad is colorful and full of flavor; perfect for a luncheon or, with the addition of grilled chicken, this makes a yummy weeknight meal.


Honey Apple Cakelets

September's arrival brings the start of the school, the beginning of Fall, and apples. I love apples and look forward to all the different types at the grocery store or farmers markets. These Honey Apple Cakelets are a perfect little sweet on a cool evening and are decadent enough to serve to friends at a dinner party. I made them with Pink Jazz apples but Fuji or Honey Crisp would work well. Since I love sugar, I was initially reluctant, because the cakes are sweetened with honey.  What a pleasant surprise when I discovered that these little cakelets are very good and just the right amount of sweet.

Stuffed Peppers

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

As evenings begin to cool down, I tend to search for dinner ideas that don't involve the grill but aren't the heavy casserole-type of comfort food that I seek out in winter. This dish was the perfect compromise. Make it vegetarian by adding a package of Chipotle Black Bean Crumbles instead of the ground beef. Served with a side salad this makes a simple weeknight meal.

watermelon peach cooler

Easy Watermelon Peach Cooler

Who doesn't like watermelon? This easy Watermelon Peach Cooler is a perfect summer treat for BBQ's or just a refreshing drink on a hot summer afternoon.

This Watermelon Peach Cooler is a great way to not only quench your thirst but to drink your fruit as well! It’s light and refreshing and delicious. So easy and only a few ingredients needed. The perfect drink to sit on the porch slurping on a warm summer {or fall} day. Enjoy!


baked cinnamon apples recipe

Baked Cinnamon Apples Recipe Copy

With their sweet, tart flavors and crisp, juicy bite, it's no wonder that apples are a star ingredient in classic dishes like pies and tarts.

  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins

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