Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Few Fall Favorites

Immediately following Halloween, fall is over and it's time for Christmas.  All the stores seem to skip right over Thanksgiving.  It makes me sad.  I do love Christmas, but fall should be savored.  You should be able to buy pumpkin cream cheese a week before Thanksgiving!

I'm obsessed with pumpkins and everything pumpkin flavored...aside from pumpkin pie, which is weird.  I don't like it at all.  My challenge this year was to make some of my fall favorites with an allergy free twist.  Some turned out better than others, but just wanted to share some of the best ones!

 Donuts are one of the saddest things my little guy is missing out on, especially since we have a weekly breakfast date with our good friends at the donut shop.  Thankfully he shares my love for pumpkins so he has no problem eating up these guys!

Pumpkin Spice Donuts:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar

1 can pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup water
2 cups flour
Set aside a Ziplock bag full of cinnamon sugar.  I started off with 1/2 cup sugar and mixed cinnamon until it was a light brown color.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat all ingredients together except for the flour.  Slowly add flour to mixture until smooth.  Pour into donut pans or muffin tins.  I've made them both ways, but the donuts were better.  Bake donuts for 16-18 minutes and muffins for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool.

When donuts are still a little warm, coat with cinnamon sugar by placing into ziplock bag.  You can also sprinkle on top of muffins. 

My absolute favorite find this year was the Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte.  While grocery shopping at Target one day, they passed out free samples and immediately I was hooked.  And of course only a couple weeks later they cut me off!  They stopped restocking it all together!  So I decided to make my own version and it's just as good!!

Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte
1/2 cup Chai Tea Latte concentrate (I used Tazo Chai Latte)
1/2 cup milk (I used rice milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 teaspoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients and heat over medium-heat until warm.  Enjoy!

 Another Target fail this year was their lack of cranberry sauce!  How do you not have that!  I really need to start grocery shopping elsewhere...

So this was the perfect time to try making my own, I've always wanted to try it from scratch using fresh cranberries.  I'm all for easy, and this recipe was super easy, especially since you make it in the crockpot!

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce
1/2 bag fresh cranberries
1 orange (I used a mandarin orange), peeled
1/2 - 1 whole apple, peeled and diced very small
1/2 cup water
1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Place cranberries in crockpot and add water.  I added water to just barely reach the top of the cranberries.  Then add apples, sugar and cinnamon.  Peel orange into small pieces over pot so that you can capture all the yummy orange juice. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.  Let cool.  It's even better if you put in the fridge overnight.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving sides is sweet potato casserole.  The tragic thing is the best toppings all contain allergens we have to stay away from.  Marshmallows have eggs and the delicious streusel topping usually contains nuts.  So once I find an acceptable substitue topping for sweet potato casserole, I'll let you know.

What are some of your Thanksgiving favorites?  Have you tried a new spin on them?

Well that's it for me.  Hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving.  I know I have a lot to be thankful for this year.


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