Tag Archives: featured

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread and Mini Loaves

I’ve been wanting to make pumpkin bread with chocolate chips in it for quite some time and I thought while I was at it, I’d make some mini-loaves too. Mini-loaves make great food gifts for the holidays, and just about everyone I know loves pumpkin bread and chocolate chips. So you can’t go wrong when you put them together!

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Teatoxy Detox Tea

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Some of you are devoted coffee drinkers, while some of you prefer tea. And then there are some who love both, which is the category I fall into. I’ve been drinking a little more tea lately, though, since coffee tends to keep me up at night!

Recently I received a package of three Teatoxy Detox Teas to try. These teas are created in Thailand from organic ingredients that have detox benefits. As you can see from the photos, they’re really pretty teas–almost as pretty as potpourri!

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The Morning Blend, designed to boost metabolism and increase alertness, is a blend of lemongrass, rose hips, peppermint, apples, rooibos, blackberry leaves, hibiscus, and marigolds. The soft peppermint flavor is refreshing–a nice way to start the day.

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The Energize Blend is an organic blue detox tea blend created with lemongrass, Pandan leaves, Moroccan Rose Petals, Bluechai, and Lavender, which is designed to increase energy, fat burning, and suppress your appetite. It has a nice mild flavor and a pretty blue color which turns purple if you add some lemon juice.

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The Calm Me Blend includes organic hops, hibiscus, peppermint, cornflower, marigold, goji berries, and dried lemon slices. It’s supposed to help promote better sleep and is rich in antioxidants. I liked the light lemony flavor of this tea–it’s very soothing. I think this blend was my favorite!

If you like tea, you may want to try these out. They would also make a great gift for any tea drinkers you know!

So which category do you fall into…coffee drinker, tea drinker, or both?

Apple Almond Coffee Cake

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Do you like breakfast pastry? Or how about coffee cake? If you do, then I think you’d really like this recipe, because it’s a combination of both. It has a thin, rich cakey layer that’s topped with apple pie filling and drizzled with a creamy glaze, which gives it that pastry touch. So it’s the best of both breakfast worlds!

This Apple Almond Coffee Cake is great if you need to make something that serves a larger group of people, too, because it’s made in a 10 x 15″ pan. If you’re not crazy about apple pie filling, you can substitute another fruit pie filling like cherry or peach–I thought apple would be good for autumn. This would be great for a special breakfast or brunch any time of year, but since the holidays are coming up, you may want to keep this in mind for a holiday weekend brunch. It could also work as a dessert too, served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of whipped cream on top.

APPLE ALMOND COFFEE CAKE by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes a 10 x 15″ pan, about 16-20 servings

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

ICING:

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 Tablespoons Half & Half (light cream)
  • 4 Tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted or untoasted, for sprinkling on top of icing

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The coffee cake before it goes in the oven (left) and after it is baked and glazed (right)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line a 10 x 15″ rimmed baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder; add to the creamed butter/sugar mixture and mix just until combined. Spread 3 3/4 cups batter evenly into prepared 10 x 15″ baking pan.

Spoon pie filling into a medium-size bowl and cut apples into smaller chunks with a knife. Stir in cinnamon, blending well, then spoon and spread filling, in a thin layer, onto the batter to within 1″ of edges. Spoon remaining batter in small dollops over the filling.

Bake at 350˚F for 22 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool coffee cake in pan on a wire rack.

In small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, almond extract, and Half & Half (light cream). Drizzle over warm or cooled coffee cake (you don’t have to use all the glaze if you just want a light drizzle). Sprinkle glazed coffee cake with sliced almonds. Let glaze set at least 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

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Did I mention this coffee cake was especially good in the morning with a nice hot cup of coffee? It helps make getting out of bed a little easier on a chilly morning! 🙂 Do you have a favorite coffee cake recipe you enjoy making this time of year?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener, Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy, Show and Share at Coastal Charm, and Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner.

Autumn Bouquets

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I am such a jar and bottle-saver! I save glass jars and bottles of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I was starting to get quite a collection and running out of space to put them, so I thought I’d make some autumn bouquets to give to my flower-loving friends.

I love the variety of sizes and colors of these bottles! Each one of them had some sort of food item in them–after the contents were used up, I removed the labels on each bottle so I could reuse them as vases and tied autumn-colored ribbons around them before filling with flowers.

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These three glass bottles were all once containers for vanilla, almond, and orange extract.

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These two jars originally had jam in them.

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Another unique-looking bottle and jar: the small clear bottle in the foreground was from Cracker Barrel (it was a miniature maple syrup bottle–the kind they give you when you order pancakes). The larger brown glass jar in the background is actually a vitamin jar. Who would’ve thought it would make such a great vase?

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This vintage-looking soda bottle was from Cracker Barrel, too–they sell a variety of vintage sodas in their country store, and some of them have such great designs, you hate to toss them out!

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This bottle is one of my favorites–it has a long neck and a rounded base, so no worries about this tipping over! This originally had some white wine vinegar in it.

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And this large bottle had some apple juice in it–I love the detail of the leaves at the top of the bottle–much too pretty to get rid of!

Most of my labels came off pretty easily just by soaking the bottle in hot soapy water–I left the bottles in the water overnight. But sometimes I come across really stubborn labels, and on those, I sometimes use nail polish remover. I’ve also heard that Goo Gone works too, although I haven’t tried that yet. If you use products like these, make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area.

Are you a glass jar and bottle-saver too? Using them as vases is one way to upcycle them. Do you have other ways of reusing pretty jars and bottles?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy and Show and Share at Coastal Charm.

Big and Small Things

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The God who created, names, and numbers the stars in the heavens also numbers the hairs of my head….He pays attention to very big things and to very small ones. What matters to me matters to Him, and that changes my life.

ELISABETH ELLIOT

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.