Monthly Archives: October 2016

Autumn in the Kitchen

I like being in the kitchen at this time of the year.  So many recipes that I love are slow cooked dutch-oven meals, or baking and none of those are really suitable for 100 + degree summer days.  Anyway, I thought I’d do a quick post on some of my seasonal favorites and a few new recipes I’ve tried this Fall.

This first recipe is a tried and true, faithful and favorite in my house.  Part of my motivation for doing this post, was so I could have an easy-to-find digital record of the recipe.  You can see from the picture that my recipe card is looking a little worse for the ware.  Every fall when I decide to make the first batch of Pumpkin cookies of the year, I go searching through my disheveled recipe folder and there is always a moment of panic when I can’t find it in the folder.  I usually find it floating around in the dusty back corner of my cookbook cupboard, but I’ve decided it would be best to have a back up…just in case (kindly ignore the terrible spelling on the recipe card!) Autumn in the Kitchen | InAnOrchard14 years ago my sister-in-law Andrea brought these pumpkin cookies to Thanksgiving dinner and I fell in love with them.  I jotted the recipe down and I’ve been making them ever since.  They are the most requested cookies I make.

I will give you fair warning though, as delicious at these cookies are, the recipe is an odd one.  It breaks so many of the rules I know about baking cookies, and yet they turn out tender and amazing every time so I’ve never messed with method.Autumn in the Kitchen | InAnOrchard

The recipe includes the sugar in the dry ingredient list which is so very odd.  It also asks you to cream together butter and pumpkin puree which doesn’t really cream well at all…but like I said, somehow it works.  The dough is very sticky so I recommend using a cookie scoop to form the dough balls.  This will make the process go so much more quickly, and it will give you uniform cookies which is important for even baking.Autumn in the Kitchen | InAnOrchardThe cookies have a soft, tender, and cake-like texture with that oh-so-perfect pumpkin spice flavor.  Once the cookies have cooled I make a caramel icing to ice the tops of the cookies.  The icing sets up but not hard like a Royal icing.  It’s a big recipe that makes about 4 dozen cookies and I love that because I can pass them out to friends and neighbors.

Autumn in the Kitchen | InAnOrchard

 

So here is the recipe in full:

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Cream together-

1 cup butter, 1 16 oz. can of pumpkin puree, 2 tsp. vanilla, 2 eggs (like I said, this doesn’t really cream well so just mix until the eggs are incorporated and the butter is in tiny pieces)

In a separate bowl mix together-

4 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. of baking powder, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp. salt, 2 cups of sugar

Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until it’s completely mixed (batter will be thick and sticky).  Scoop onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Caramel Icing

1/2 cup butter, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 2 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir in brown sugar and heat until boiling, stirring constantly.  Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat and let boil for 2 minutes while continuing to stir.  After the 2 minutes is up stir in the milk and bring mixture up to a boil again.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.  Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Ice the cookies immediately while the icing is still nice and spreadable.  As you spread the caramel the icing might start to set up on you; just beat in a little milk to get it workable again.

 

This next recipe is a new one I tried just a few weeks ago.  A delicious fall salad called Autumn Butternut Squash and Pearl Couscous Salad, and you can find that recipe here.  I served it for lunch with homemade honey wheat bread.
Autumn in the Kitchen | InAnOrchard

I love the flavor of the roasted butternut squash and the texture of the Couscous!  The only addition I made was to add feta cheese because I love feta on ALL SALADS.  If I was to make the recipe again the only thing I would tweak is the dressing.  I felt like the dressing was a little too sweet and not complex enough.  I would adjust the ratios to include more apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, and salt…just to balance the favor out a little.

Autumn in the Kitchen | InAnOrchard

These rolls are my children’s favorite and I often make them at the beginning of the week to make sandwiches for the kids school lunches.  I’ve made them for years and this is the recipe I use: “Best Rolls Ever”

Autumn in the Kitchen | InAnOrchard

SO much caramel corn this Fall!  Do you ever get on a recipe kick and obsessively make the same thing over and over?  I do, and lately it’s been Caramel Corn which gets devoured in one afternoon.  It’s also great for packing in school lunches (if there’s any left to pack). I like the Better Homes and Gardens Caramel Popcorn recipe Autumn in the Kitchen | InAnOrchard

 

I also spent a delightful afternoon helping test a vintage, sourdough leavened bundt cake with my friend Bonnie (of Alchemy Bread Co).  I was the official nutmeg grater and taste tester.  You can’t imaging how good those little spiced bundt cakes tasted fresh out of the oven and coated with homemade whipped cream.  Heaven…absolute heaven.  Autumn in the Kitchen | InAnOrchard

And that’s a little glimpse of my kitchen these last few months, along with other seasonal favorites like Potato Chowder, Pot Roast, Apple Crisp, and Slow Cooked Meat and Gravy with mashed potatoes. I’d love to hear your favorite and faithful Fall recipes!

Hopefully I’ll be back soon, with a post about the baby shower my sister-in-law Jessica and I threw for our sister-in-law Angela.

See you soon my friends, April

Summer Pinecrest Trip {2016}

It’s nearly November but I couldn’t let another week pass without sitting down to write about our trip to Pinecrest.  It’s become a summertime tradition that the kids look forward to so much, and I want them to be able to read about our trips to the cabin, so for the sake of keeping memories…

This past July, over the week of Justin’s birthday, we loaded the minivan up and headed to the Pinecrest cabin.  We’ve been so fortunate to be able to rent the same cozy cabin for 4 summers now, in fact it hardly seems like summer if we don’t make it to the lake!

I packed all the really important things for myself, library books, embroidery, and of course flowers from the garden.
Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

We woke up the first morning on Justin’s birthday.  He got up early to make us all a special breakfast.Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

His famous chorizo breakfast burritos that we all happily gobbled upPinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

Miss P is the Queen of bedheads
Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

We tagged along with Justin as he did a round of disc golf Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

Miss E spent the entire trip diligently recording all our comings and goings in her new journalPinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

Of course it wouldn’t be Justin’s birthday without homemade berry pie.  Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

We enjoyed pie and coffee from the back deck of the cabin that evening.  After dark we hunkered down and watched Five Mile Creek episodes and relived my childhood :)  Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

The next morning Grandpa and Grandma Wolfe, Uncle Jared and Aunt Jess and the cousins came up to spend a day on the lake with us.  Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

You can never have too many floatation devices Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

She loved the water, but every once in awhile the coldness of the lake would catch up with her, and she’d need to spend some time bundled up in beach towels. Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

These girls thought it was the best fun to get soaking wet in the lake and then roll in the gritty, dusty sand.  Their mothers cringed at the thought of all the sand they’d need to rinse from their hair later that eveningPinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

We rented a few canoes and everyone took turns paddling around the lakePinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

This photo makes me laugh!  I can’t remember what kind of comments were being shouted from the shore but it obviously got Grandma pretty animated and Grandpa laughing

Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

Even Miss P got a turnPinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

Uncle Jared stayed bone dry until he reached the shore :)  Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

The $2.99 floats I bought from Target earned their keepPinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

We brought everyone back to the cabin, threw kids into tubs and showers, and got everyone changed into clean, dry clothes.  The men went to pick up pizza and we enjoyed a fine night filling our bellies with good pizza and watching the sun set behind the trees.  The cousins headed back down the mountain but Grandpa and Grandma W stayed the night and spent most of Monday at the lake with us again.Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

We spent our whole vacation lounging at the cabin or the lake.  Normally we try to take some hikes but on the very first day of our trip, Miss E got a bad blister on the back of her heel, and G ended up leaving home with only flip flops…so hiking was no longer an option.Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

Is there anything better than soft-serve Snack Shack ice cream cones?Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

The last night of vacation we packed a picnic dinner.  We swam at the lake until late, and had a small BBQ while we waited to watch a movie at the Pinecrest, Movie Under the Stars amphitheater.  Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

We took a moment to snap a few pictures of kiddos.  I love those happy sun-kissed faces!Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

I really, really love these pictures of the boys

Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

Sometimes I think they’re more like puppies than boysPinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchard

We huddled together eating popcorn and watching The Secret Life of Pets (which was a big hit with all the kids).  When the movie ended we loaded sleepy kids up in the van, headed back to cabin to throw our luggage in the car, and took the long drive back down out of the mountains.Pinecrest 2016 | InAnOrchardAnother beautiful summer by the lake.  Another year of fun in the funky cabin.