Fall is my Favorite

First of all, let me apologize for the silence over the last couple of months. One of my goals this year was to post at least once a week and we can all tell that didn’t happen. I don’t have a great reason, other than letting myself get busy and distracted. I can’t promise any huge changes, but my hope is to give this ol’ blog some more attention in the coming months.

So, lets get down to the business of why I’m here right now. Today is the first day of fall! And we all know what that means, right? Pumpkin.

I’ve been impatiently waiting for this day all summer and it’s finally here! The day that I can give in to my obsession of pumpkin infused food and drink and not be scolded for it still being summer. The day that fall wreaths and harvest scented candles are socially acceptable. Ah…a good day indeed.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup | Simply Mrs. Edwards

A couple of years ago, I brought you a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup. Although that recipe is a good one, I think I may have come up with a new one that is at least 2 times better. For starters, it calls for about 1/2 of the ingredients and is ridiculously easy. Instead of white sugar like the old recipe, I used brown sugar. That was a brilliant idea (if I may say so myself). It has a rich, molasses-y flavor that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside (if brown sugar can do that, and I propose that it can). Enough small talk…here’s the recipe!

 

 

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup | Simply Mrs. Edwards

Happy fall, ya’ll!

Mrs. Edwards

Butternut Squash Soup

Want to know a secret? Although I may have you fooled, I am really not that outgoing in my food choices. I’m also really quite timid when it comes to branching out and trying new-to-me cooking techniques. Surprise, surprise! A great example of me not straying from my comfort zone would be the butternut and acorn squashes that have been sitting on my counter for at least a month (more like 6 weeks). Every time I go into the kitchen, they taunt me. They sit there and remind me how little I know about cooking and how silly I am for not knowing how to use them. Well, I stepped out of the comfy zone last night, did a little research, and showed that butternut squash who’s boss! I read through about 1,200 recipes and finally decided I would just wing it and make it up as I went. Well, sometimes it pays to be adventurous. This was definitely one of those times- this soup is to die for! I not only conquered my fear of winter squash, but figured out how to roast it and made up a delicious batch of soup to boot! Let me tell you, this recipe is EASY. Hope you like it!

Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 medium/large butternut squash, roasted (instructions below)
  • 2 medium yams or sweet potatoes, baked until tender and peeled.
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 1/2 c. (or 2 cans) sodium free chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 package cream cheese (you can use light if you’d like).
  • Olive oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Cayenne Pepper (to taste)

To Roast Butternut Squash:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Because the skin is so tough, it’s helpful to soften the squash before you try to cut it in half to roast it. Pierce the skin of squash a few times with a sharp knife and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Place the whole squash in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until you can cut it in half lengthwise (it will still be pretty firm, but much easier than trying to do it without this step).
  3. Once you have the squash cut in half lengthwise (from stem to bottom), open it up and scoop out seeds and stringy stuff.
  4. Return to the foil lined pan. With the inside facing up, drizzle with olive oil and add your minced garlic, salt, and fresh ground pepper.
  5. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until your knife goes all the way through the squash easily.
  6. Remove outer skin before using your squash in your recipe. I found it helpful to flip it over and use a large spoon to peel off the skin. It should easily come off. Cube your squash and it’s ready to use!

To Make Soup: 

  1. Using a large soup pot or pan (I used my dutch oven- similar one found here), melt butter and cook your onion until it is tender.
  2. Add chicken stock, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Simmer until everything is heated thoroughly, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add cream cheese. Stir to combine.
  4. Using a blender (we love our Ninja Blender!) or an immersion blender, mix until smooth. You’ll probably need to do it in a few smaller batches.
  5. Return to pan and heat through. Do not let it boil.
  6. Garnish with plain yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche, pepper, extra cayenne, green onions, bacon, the options are endless!
  7. ENJOY!

This makes a pretty big batch, so you’ll most likely end up with leftovers. Hard to believe, but this soup is even better the next day! I heated some of the leftovers up in a pan for lunch, added a bit of milk to thin it out and devoured it. YUM.

The Squash Conqueror,
Mrs. Edwards

Butternut Squash Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 medium/large butternut squash, roasted (instructions below)
  • 2 medium yams or sweet potatoes, baked until tender and peeled.
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3½ c. (or 2 cans) sodium free chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 package cream cheese (you can use light if you'd like).
  • Olive oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
Directions
  1. To Roast Butternut Squash:
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  3. Pierce the skin of squash a few times with a sharp knife and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Place the whole squash in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until you can cut it in half lengthwise.
  4. Once you have the squash cut in half lengthwise (from stem to bottom), open it up and scoop out seeds and stringy stuff.
  5. Return to the foil lined pan. With the inside facing up, drizzle with olive oil and add your minced garlic, salt, and fresh ground pepper.
  6. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until your knife goes all the way through the squash easily.
  7. Remove outer skin before using your squash in your recipe. I found it helpful to flip it over and use a large spoon to peel off the skin. It should easily come off. Cube your squash and it's ready to use!
  8. To Make Soup:
  9. Using a large soup pot or pan melt butter and cook your onion until it is tender.
  10. Add chicken stock, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  11. Simmer until everything is heated thoroughly, about 15 minutes.
  12. Add cream cheese. Stir to combine.
  13. Using a blender or an immersion blender, mix until smooth. You'll probably need to do it in a few smaller batches.
  14. Return to pan and heat through. Do not let it boil.
  15. Garnish with plain yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche, pepper, extra cayenne, green onions, bacon, the options are endless!
  16. ENJOY!

 

Crock-Pot Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

You may have picked up on this at some point, but pumpkin is possibly my most favorite flavor. It’s good in coffee, it’s great for dessert, and I recently figured out that it’s perfect for breakfast, too! This recipe is easy-peasy and absolutely delicious! The best part is that you can set it before you go to bed and have warm, fall-flavored oatmeal by breakfast. It’s a win all around!

Crock-Pot Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

  • 2 c. steel cut oats- it’s important to use steel cut oats. Don’t use rolled or quick oats- they will get mushy!
  • 4 c. liquid- you can use milk, water, apple juice, almond milk, coconut milk- whatever suits your fancy (I used 2 c. milk + 2 c. apple juice)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  1. Begin by spraying your crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray (This is important! You’ll be chiseling oatmeal off of your crock-pot for days if you forget…)
  2. Add all ingredients to your crock-pot. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Serve plain, with milk, or with a dollop of yogurt.
  4. ENJOY!

The pumpkin eater,
Mrs. Edwards

Crock-Pot Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 c. steel cut oats- it's important to use steel cut oats. Don't use rolled or quick oats- they will get mushy!
  • 4 c. liquid- you can use milk, water, apple juice, almond milk, coconut milk- whatever suits your fancy (I used 2 c. milk + 2 c. apple juice)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin puree
  • ½ c. honey
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Begin by spraying your crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray (This is important! You'll be chiseling oatmeal off of your crock-pot for days if you forget...)
  2. Add all ingredients to your crock-pot. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Serve plain, with milk, or with a dollop of yogurt.
  4. ENJOY!

Homegrown Apple Pie

We spent this past weekend at my parents home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Their house is built in the middle of a 100+ year old fruit orchard. The original orchard was a huge area of land, but with parcels of land being sold and roads and homes being built, the majority of the fruit trees have either been cut down or engulfed by the surrounding forest. My parents own about 3 acres of the land and have made a point to keep the heritage of the orchard going. They have reclaimed and trimmed back old, abandoned trees and have seen amazing crops in recent years! This weekend we spent some time in that orchard picking apples. Homegrown, organic, delicious, apples. Here are a few photos of our apple picking afternoon…

Sweetheart Bridesmaid Dresses

One of biggest things I admire about my Mom is that she is incredibly talented in the kitchen and genuinely enjoys passing her knowledge on to me. I think it brings her a special kind of joy to see her daughter learning and loving the art of homemaking. This weekend she taught me how to make apple pie. It may sound crazy, but I had never made an apple pie before! A true homemaking crime, I’m sure! We used fresh golden delicious apples from the orchard and a tried and true recipe from my Mom’s arsenal to make the most delicious pie. It was a very simple process and is a recipe that I will be making again, very soon! 

Homegrown Apple Pie

Apple Filling  (my Mom’s recipe)

  • 7-8 medium/large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 3/4 – 1 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar (brown or white)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cinnamon sticks + 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Pie Crust (adapted from Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 2012 issue)

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. ice water

Combine apples, water, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium pot. Simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain excess liquid and set aside.

Place butter pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until hard (15-20 mins). Once butter is hard, combine flour, salt, sugar, and butter in a food processor.

Short Bridesmaid DressesPulse until mixture is coarse with some blueberry-sized clumps. Add ice water and immediately pulse until water is just incorporated.

Squeeze a small amount in your hand to make sure it holds together.

Lay out 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Empty half the dough onto each piece.

Fold edges of wrap together and gather dough into a disk. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.

Remove pie dough from fridge and partially unwrap. Place disc on a piece of parchment, leaving the plastic on one side. Roll dough into a circle about 1/2-inch bigger than your pie pan.

Press one piece of dough into your pan, leaving edges hanging over the edge.

Cut the second piece of dough into 3-inch wide strips.

Add filling into pan and spread evenly.

Weave dough strips into a lattice pattern over filling and press overhang onto the edge of crust. Trim the edge, fold under, and crimp.

Sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake at 375 F for 30-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Be sure to place your pie on a parchment lined sheet pan to catch any drips!

Let cool and ENJOY

Homegrown Apple Pie

Apple Filling  (my Mom’s recipe)

  • 7-8 medium/large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 3/4 – 1 c. water
  • 1 c. sugar (brown or white)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cinnamon sticks + 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Pie Crust (adapted from Martha Stewart Living, Nov. 2012 issue)

  • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 c. ice water
  1. Pie Crust: Place butter pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until hard (15-20 mins). Once butter is hard, combine flour, salt, sugar, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until mixture is coarse with some blueberry-sized clumps. Add ice water and immediately pulse until water is just incorporated. Squeeze a small amount in your hand to make sure it holds together. Lay out 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Empty half the dough onto each piece. Fold edges of wrap together and gather dough into a disk. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.
  2. Apple Filling: Combine apples, water, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves in a medium pot. Simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain excess liquid and set aside.
  3. Remove pie dough from fridge and partially unwrap. Place disc on a piece of parchment, leaving the plastic on one side. Roll dough into a circle about 1/2-inch bigger than your pie pan.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  5. Press one piece of dough into your pan, leaving edges hanging over the edge. Cut the second piece of dough into 3-inch wide strips.
  6. Add filling into pan and spread evenly. Weave dough strips into a lattice pattern over filling and press overhang onto the edge of crust. Trim the edge, fold under, and crimp.
  7. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake pie for 30-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Be sure to place your pie on a parchment lined sheet pan to catch any drips!
  8. Let cool and ENJOY!

This pie will most definitely be making an appearance again very soon. I may or may not have eaten pie for breakfast this morning. It’s healthy, right?! My Mom happily told me that I am now in charge of pies for Thanksgiving. With great baking, comes great responsibility apparently…

Eating Pie,
Mrs. Edwards

Criss-Cross Crock-Pot Applesauce

There is no denying it, fall is my most favorite season of them all (see what I did there?). I love the changing leaves. I love fall weddings. I love pumpkin. I love the cinnamony, spicy smells of fall. I love the sweaters and chilly weather. I love gearing up for the holidays. I love everything about it!  What better way to bring some lovely fall smells and tastes to our home than to make some tasty applesauce? I just so happened to have a whole bunch of apples and a new Crock-Pot that I needed to break in. I made this recipe up as I went and lucked out with some delicious applesauce! Ready for the recipe? It’s SO easy!

Crock-Pot Applesauce
(makes about 4 cups)

  • 8-10 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut in chunks
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick + 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup water or apple juice
  1. Place all of your ingredients in your crock-pot. Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6.
  2. Once your apples have softened, remove from your crock-pot (careful, they’re HOT!). Stir to blend and mash with a spoon or blend with an immersion blender.
  3. Serve warm or refrigerate in a covered container.
  4. ENOY!

If you’d like to make a larger batch, you could try your hand at canning some for later (some on canning tips here and here).

Hope you enjoy this yummy treat!

Totally applesauced,
Mrs. Edwards