Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts #CranberryWeek

Looking for the perfect treat for breakfast on Thanksgiving or Christmas? Look no further than these Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts!

Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts 1

You know what I love more than holiday dinners? Holiday breakfasts. Dinners always seem to demand a certain amount of structure and tradition – but anything goes for breakfast.

These Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts are on point with the seasonal flavors, but they’re not fussy and can be made the day before, so they’re perfect for a holiday.

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The pecans and cranberries are chopped pretty small using the food processor, which makes an even flavor and texture throughout the doughnuts. There’s also orange juice and zest in these. The orange flavor doesn’t come through strong, but it does add a nice balance!

Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts 2

I’m excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week – now in it’s third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #cranberryweek on social media for more ideas all week long.

Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts 4

Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts
(from Inspiring Pretty)
Makes 1 dozen

For the doughnuts:

3/4 cup cranberries
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. orange zest
2 1/4  cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cups milk

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
3 Tbsp. heavy cream

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray your doughnut pans with non-stick spray.

Add the cranberries, pecans, and brown sugar to a food processor. Process until chopped into small, even pieces.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and sugar until creamed. Stir in the vanilla, eggs, and orange zest.  Stir in some of the flour mixture, then some of the milk – alternating until all combined, ending with milk. Stir in the cranberry mixture.

Spoon the batter evenly into the doughnut pans, filling halfway. Bake for 10-14 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool completely.

When the doughnuts are cool, add all of the glaze ingredients to a small bowl and stir until well combined. Drizzle or pipe over the doughnuts.

Fresh Corn Salsa (9)

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Cranberry Orange Muffins #CranberryWeek

Cranberry Orange muffins are my favorite. I love cranberry and orange together, and this time of year always feels like muffin weather. Curl up with one of these and a hot beverage and you’ve got the perfect fall treat.

Cranberry Orange Muffins 1

These are an easy one to mix up and I love that it makes a relatively small batch – great for a small family brunch.

The flavors are bright. Orange juice and orange zest make the batter a sunny color, and the fresh cranberries add a great tart bite to these. I love these fresh out of the oven, but you can also pop them in the oven or toaster to warm up the next day and they’re also fabulous.

Cranberry Orange Muffins 2

I’m excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week – now in it’s third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #cranberryweek on social media for more ideas all week long.

Cranberry Orange Muffins 3

Cranberry Orange Muffins
(from Joyful Healthy Eats)
Makes 12 Muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup cranberries
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp. grated orange zest

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake papers.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in cranberries.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, orange juice, orange zest, and coconut oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Fresh Corn Salsa (8)

Halloween Muddy Buddies

What are you being for Halloween this year? So far, we’ve got a purple dinosaur and Frankenstein’s monster. (And I’m hoping it doesn’t change at this point, since I bought the fabric to make them!)

HalloweenPuppyChow

As much as I love Halloween, it can be a little hectic. Aside from making costumes, we have two trunk or treats to prep for, the preschool costume parade, and classroom party – not to mention Halloween itself. Oh, and all the “real life” stuff happening this month too.

Sometimes, you just need something quick and easy. These muddy buddies are quick and easy. Mix them up in about ten minutes and you’ll be off to your Halloween party in no time.

Need some more Halloween inspiration? Here are some more fun ideas for the holiday:

 

HalloweenPuppyChow2

Halloween Muddy Buddies
(from A Southern Fairytale)
Makes a large bowl – about 13 cups

5 cups corn Chex cereal
5 cups rice Chex cereal
2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups Nutella
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup chocolate cake mix
2 cups Autumn Mix M&Ms
1/2 cup candy corn
1/2 cup Indian corn
1/2 cup candy corn pumpkins

Dump all the Chex in a large bowl.

Add the powdered sugar to a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Add the cake mix to another gallon-sized ziplock bag. Set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and Nutella. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir well, and continue to microwave in 15 second intervals until smooth and creamy.

Pour the melted Nutella over the chex and gently stir to combine until all the cereal is coated. Divide the cereal in half. Add half to the bag with powdered sugar and half to the bag with cake mix.

Seal the bags and shake until everything is well coated. Pour out on paper towels to rest and cool for at least an hour.

Combine coated cereal with candies and serve.

Halloween Muddy Buddies

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

I can’t believe we’re already talking back to school, but here we are. I feel like we lost most of our summer to the move (because, we did), so I’m sort of wishing these next few weeks would slow down a bit. We still have a lot on our summer bucket lists that we want to check off!

But, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit excited about back to school. I can’t wait to get everyone back on a routine and have life be somewhat normal again. This move, man. It’s really thrown us off our groove!

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I’m also excited about getting the kids back on some sort of normal eating schedule. What is it about summer that makes them want snacks ALL THE TIME? As soon as I was mixing these up they were both in the kitchen, asking incessantly when they’d be done.

These totally got the kids’ seal of approval. And mine. I know no-bake granola bars are generally more popular, but in my opinion, you just can’t beat the chewiness you get from baked ones. They would make a really rocking lunchbox treat or after school snack.

And if you’re looking for more back-to-school inspiration, I’m linking up with some other bloggers today. From quick breakfasts to specials treats – and everything in between – they’ve got you covered:

 

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Peanut Butter Granola Bars
(adapted from Just a Taste)
Makes 18

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Like a 9×13″ pan with parchment and spray with non-stick spray.

With an electric mixer, beat together the peanut butter, honey, egg, oil, and vanilla until smooth.

In another bowl, combine the oats, sugar, and salt. Add the oats to the peanut butter mixture and stir until evenly combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and pat down evenly.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are golden-brown. Set on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

Cool completely, and then slice into 18 equal pieces.

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Kids in the Kitchen: Banana Blender Muffins

The kids’ nap schedules have been wonky lately, so I’ve been getting some solo time with Julie while big brother naps – which means she’s been getting some kitchen projects of her own. Our favorite has become blender muffins.

BlenderMuffinsJulie

The idea behind blender muffins is that you just dump all the ingredients in to mix, then pour into the muffin pan. It’s super quick and easy and only takes about five minutes – which is about her attention span.

The payoff is a great, healthy snack or an easy breakfast!

Kids can:

  • Peel the banana
  • Help measure ingredients
  • Add ingredients to the blender
  • Help star/stop the blender
  • Help pour the batter into the muffin tin

Adults will need to:

  • Crack the eggs
  • Put the muffins into the oven and take them out

BlenderBananaMuffins2

Blender Banana Muffins
(from Baked in Arizona)
Makes 24 Mini Muffins

1 cup peanut butter
2 medium sized ripe bananas
2 eggs
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
Dash of vanilla, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a mini muffin pan. Set aside.

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into muffin wells.

Bake 8-9 minutes.

 

www.KateRecipeBox.com (1)

Kids in the Kitchen: Easy Guacamole

For Christmas, my cousin gave Jake his own set of cooking tools – a mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, an apron… the works. He’s absolutely enthralled with it. We rearranged a cabinet so all of his stuff could be kept where he could reach it and – you guessed it – he’s been begging to help with dinner nearly every night since.

I love cooking with the kids. I really do. But on a Thursday evening when I’m just trying to get something on the table before everyone start melting down, the last thing I want to do is slow down enough for toddler hands – so I’ve been working on giving him his own, supplemental project to help with.

JakeGuac

Like guacamole as I work on the burritos.

This, by far, isn’t the fanciest guac recipe out there, but it’s perfect for a kid to help with (or do mostly themselves – Jake did!)

Kids can:

  • Scoop out and mash the avocado
  • Stir everything together
  • Older kids can measure the lime juice and salt, younger kids can add in pre-measured ingredients

Adults will need to:

  • Cut the avocado and remove the pit
  • Chop the tomato
  • Measure ingredients, if working with a younger child

 
Guacamole

Easy Guacamole
 (from Jake’s Amazing Chef set!)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

2-3 ripe avocados
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
Tortilla chips, for serving

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash.

Stir in the lime juice, tomato, and salt.

Serve with chips.

www.KateRecipeBox.com

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Instant Pot Cheesy Southwest Spinach Dip #FootballFoods

I’ll be honest: I gave up on football months ago. The Giants were awful – and then they pulled the stupid stunt of benching Eli and we stopped even pretending we were going to watch.

But, if you aren’t as pessimistic and are looking for a fun munchie for the Super Bowl, I submit to you this awesome take on spinach dip – made in the Instant Pot! You could totally do this on the stove top, too, but the Instant Pot speeds it up nicely and makes it a little less hands-on – which is awesome if you’re hosting a party.

This dip is creamy and flavorful without being spicy. And you can tell yourself there’s a whole pound of spinach in there to make yourself feel better as you shovel it down. (Remember, we talked about compromise the other day?)

We served this with cubed up pumpernickel bread, but it would be great with other types of bread and veggies too!

Also, I’m linking up with my #FestiveFoodies friends today who are also sharing #FootballFoods – you can check them out here:

SouthwestSpinachDip

Instant Pot Cheesy Southwest Spinach Dip
(adapted from The Cents able Shoppin’)
Makes about 4 cups

1 Tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. fresh spinach
3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup half and half
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 4-oz. can sliced black olive, not drained
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. chipotle pepper sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Hit the sauté button and add the olive oil. When hot, add the garlic, spinach and tomatoes. Let cook until the spinach is cooked down and then turn off the sauté.

Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, cover, close valve, and set the manual cook time for 4 minutes. When finished, do a quick pressure release. Stir everything until well combined then scoop into a bowl to serve.

Southwest Spinach Dip

One Bite Spaghetti and Meatballs #Tresomega #OrganicsForLife

Disclosure: This post is part of the Tresomega Nutrition Blogger Recipe Challenge. I received complimentary products to use in this post. All opinions are my own.

I have a plan for Christmas this year. Instead of doing the big ham dinner that involves being in the kitchen for hours, we’re just going to make a bunch of appetizers and spend the day hanging out. It sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

This is one of the dishes I’m planning to make. It’s filling enough that it could count as a meal, but it’s also something we can eat while lounging around the Christmas tree. It’s pretty much the prefect holiday bite: spaghetti smothered in a to-die-for alfredo sauce, topped off with a miniature meatball and some homemade tomato sauce. And some more cheese just for good measure. Are you drooling yet?

This recipe features Tresomega Gluten-Free Organic Quinoa Spaghetti. We have a few gluten-free family members so we’ve tried a bunch of gluten-free pastas and I can say that this is hands down the best one I’ve tried. My husband – who grew up in a very Italian family – admitted he wouldn’t have know it was gluten-free pasta if I hadn’t told him. Win!

For more recipe inspiration, you can visit them on Facebook and Twitter. You can purchase Tresomega products at: Tresomega.com. Sams.com, Amazon.com and Walmart.com.

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One Bite Spaghetti and Meatballs
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 3 dozen

1 box Tresomega Gluten-Free Organic Quinoa Spaghetti
1/2 cup butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 oz. cream cheese
5 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 tsp. garlic power
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
1/4 tsp.  salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
36 small meatballs – homemade or frozen
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese, for topping

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, combine the butter, whipping cream and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat – stirring frequently until all melted together. Stir in 2 minced garlic cloves, the garlic powder, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook, whisking frequently, until smooth. Add the parmesan and stir until melted. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes more.

Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray.

Using a fork, twirl up some sauce-coated spaghetti and place in the well of a mini-muffin tin to form a little next of spaghetti. Press down slightly to pack and add more spaghetti if necessary. Repeat until all wells are filled.

Bake for 15 minutes.

While the spaghetti bakes, combine the remaining ingredients, except parmesan cheese, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.

When the spaghetti is done, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then use a spoon to scoop out the spaghetti bundles and place on a serving platter. Top each bundle with a meatball, 1-2 tsp. of sauce, and parmesan cheese, to taste.

OneBiteSpaghettiMeatballs2

 

Candied Spiced Nuts #improvcooking

Even though it’s October (and the weather is still feeling like August…), I’m starting to think about Thanksgiving. I know, I know, but I get to host this year and I’m pumped! We’re not sure if we’ll have a big crowd or just the four of us, so I’ve got several menus floating around in my head.

I knew this month’s Improv Challenge theme, Sugar and Spice,  was perfect for trying out some of the recipes I’m considering. Sugar and spice is SO fall – apple spice, pumpkin spice – but I couldn’t get these nuts off my mind, so they won out.

This is such an easy recipe – the slow cooker makes it totally hands off. Just mix, let the slow cooker do it’s thing, then spread them out to cool. They were so good – and a perfect pre-Thanksgiving dinner snack!

CandiedSpicedNuts

Candied Spiced Nuts
(adapted from Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet)
Makes 3 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups almonds
2 cups pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves

Grease the crock of a slow cooker and add the nuts. Add the sugars and cinnamon and stir. Add the water and stir until everything is evenly combined and wet.

Cook on high for 3 hours.

Remove nuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool. Sprinkle with remaining  seasonings. Once fully cooled, store in an airtight container.

You can check out the other Sugar and Spice themed recipes that bloggers made here:

Kids in the Kitchen: Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

Today, I’m kicking off a series of kid-friendly recipes – ones they’ll be able to help make and like to eat. I generally get a lot of questions about how I incorporate Jake into the cooking process. There’s nothing really earth-shattering about my approach: I just let him jump in wherever he can. Yes, it’s sometimes a mess. Yes, we have plenty of over-mixed muffins. But, he’s learning – and that’s important.

These mini muffins are a great place to start if you want to get your kids involved in the kitchen. They’re super simple and come together quickly. These definitely ebb on the healthier side of muffins – if your little one has a big sweet tooth, try mixing in 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips.

Kids can:

  • Mash the sweet potato & banana
  • Help measure ingredients
  • Mix
  • Help spoon the batter into muffin wells

Adults will need to:

  • Crack eggs
  • Put the muffins into the oven and take them out

SweetPotatoBananaMuffins

Sweet Potato Banana Muffins
(from The Lean Green Bean)
Makes 1 dozen mini muffins

1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup mashed bananas
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Divide evenly between muffin wells.

Bake for 18 minutes.