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Cranberry Pear Acai Bowl

Pear Cranberry Pomegranate Acai Bowl
Fall is just flying by. How is it already nearly the end of the month?! Our new place has so many windows and our yard and our neighbors’ yards have so many trees. I’m sitting in my office now admiring the different fall colors I see out my window. As much as I love warm weather, I still think fall steals my heart. The colors alone! We’ve been discussing the changing seasons with our kids and we did decide fall is pretty amazing because of the bounty available to us. October is for sure pear season and it lasts well into winter too. We’ve been loading up with pears in the way we did with peaches. In other words, you can expect a lot of pear recipes over the next little while sprinkled in with some new Thanksgiving recipes. (But first we’ve got to make it to Halloween!) Açaí bowls are still one of our favorites for breakfast and snacks. Of course, because it is fall, I added some beloved fall fruit – cranberries, pears, and pomegranate. (more…)

Pumpkin Oatmeal Molasses Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal Molasses Cookies

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When I was growing up, we had this step-by-step cookbook that I loved to look at. By the time I was 8 or 9 years old, I was teaching myself how to cook. I was an avid reader anyway, and cookbooks were as intriguing to me as The Baby-Sitters Club series. I devoured both as quickly as I could. One of our favorite recipes was for Oatmeal Molasses Cookies. That cookbook, sadly, is long gone, as is that recipe. But the memory of those cookies remains. They were my grandfather’s favorite cookies, so we made them often. I haven’t found that recipe anywhere, though I’ve looked and looked. So I started experimenting to see if I could recreate it. Now, I’m these Pumpkin Oatmeal Molasses Cookies are not a recreation of that recipe by any means. They are completely different. However, these cookies were a happy accident that I came up with one night after my kids had gone to sleep. I remembered those cookies from my childhood and the soft, cakey pumpkin cookies my mom made every fall, and I decided to combine the two. And that’s how these cookies came to be. Right now they are the favorite fall cookie. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made them already!

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These aren’t your typical chewy oatmeal cookies. They really are what you’d imagine them to be – soft and pumpkin-y with a hint of molasses and a pleasing nubby texture from the rolled oats. I added plenty of pumpkin pie spice because that’s how we like them. You’d expect these to be more of a grown-up cookie, but my kids absolutely adore them. They aren’t quite as sweet as other cookies – just sweet enough to call them a cookie, but not too much that you can’t go back for a second (or third) one. :) (more…)

Pear Streusel Pie with Dried Fruit and Gluten-Free Crust (Pamela’s Products Giveaway!)

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I’m just going to say this: I am so proud of this pear streusel pie.  I know it’s only the middle of October, but you guys, I’m already planning my Thanksgiving menu and this is on it! I love Halloween, but Thanksgiving is like the marathon I’ve been training for all year long. I’m lacing up my apron, I’m grabbing my rolling pin, and I’m ready. October is all about the pears. Have you noticed all the varieties at the grocery store? Pears are fantastic in pie, but always seem to take a back seat to apples. They really shouldn’t. Pears and pie is a magical, happy thing.

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But I didn’t want to just make a pear pie. I wanted to make it really special and really autumnal, so I added a bunch of dried fruit. Because why not? I love mixing fresh and dried fruit – the blend of flavors and textures is pretty wonderful. And it works especially well here. I used a tiny bit of coconut sugar to sweeten the filling, but with all the pears and dried fruit, it doesn’t really need much. Plus, the streusel on top is plenty sweet and buttery. It really helps balance out the flavors and adds extra texture with a little bit of crunch.

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So. Gluten-free pie crusts can be tricky on a good day, and we won’t say what on a bad day. I usually opt for tarts because the crusts are easier to make and most of the time I just have to press them into the pan and they’re done.

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When I was deciding which recipe I wanted to develop next in partnership with Pamela’s, I decided that I needed to bite that bullet and make a gluten-free pie crust once and for all. The Pamela has a video (see below for the video, how to photos and tips) that shows how easy it is to mix up and roll out the gluten-free pie dough. I watched it several times in a row because I didn’t think it would be that painless…but it was! I can now say I’ve made a gluten-free pie crust successfully. (Pat on the back.) (more…)