Is it just my imagination or have apple dishes taken a back seat to pumpkin spiced EVERYTHING over the past few years?! I have always loved pumpkin treats! I have shared that love here many times. I have made pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pies, pumpkin crisp, and pumpkin fudge. I have decorated with pumpkins. I have dressed my children as pumpkins. I’ve even supported pumpkins for a cause!

So, yes, I guess it is safe to say the apple has taken a back seat to the pumpkin. Let’s not forget this fabulous apple cake recipe or these applesauce cookies with frosting that is to die for! We have also had apples in savory dishes and “craft” projects.

Last fall, I purchased this lovely cookbook. (Ha! It didn’t come with Pork Chop Tuesday on it.)

Fall Baking

The pictures were all so lovely, and the recipes all looked so yummy!

The first one I tried was Cream Cheese Oat Bars. They were delicious! I didn’t think the name was quite right though, so I renamed them Apple Butter Bars. It was nice to have a non-pumpkin fall treat.

Apple Butter Bars

I had every intention to blog about these bars last fall. The above photo is from a couple of weeks ago. I was not happy with the ones I took last year. I tried to be all fancy–like I was a food stylist or something.

acorn plate

hay bales and denim

The lighting wasn’t right. My “props” weren’t quite right. Blah, blah blah!

So, my pictures sat there in my to-do file for a year.

This year I had plans to make the photos better, complete with step-by-step photos.

pantry ingredients

chopped cashews

I got as far as the chopped cashews and forgot to take any more photos. I started to scrap the whole post.

The recipe is just too yummy to not share. I hope you will try it along with some of the others listed at the top of this post.

Apple Butter Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups quick-cooking oats

2 cups chopped salted cashews

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup butter, melted

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 T lemon juice

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups apple butter

•Preheat over to 350˚. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.

•Stir together flour, oats, cashews, sugar and baking soda. You’ll want to use a pretty big bowl.

•Add melted butter and stir well.

•Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to used as the topping.

•Press the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan.

•Bake 15 minutes. Cool completely.

•Beat cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl at medium speed until creamy.

•Add eggs one at a time . Beating well after each one.

•Add the lemon juice and vanilla. Beat to combine.

•Spread apple butter over the cooled crust. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the apple butter. Sprinkle the reserved oat mixture on top.

•Bake until cream cheese layer is set–35-40 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

It’s funny the things you save.

I was recently going through a stack of papers, okay–recipes, when I came across this…

Kindergarten Kaleidoscoope

This was the weekly newsletter sent out by Megan’s kindergarten teacher–2002!!! Yes, I have a senior!

We loved Union Elementary. It was a small school in the country. We moved back to Arkansas right after school dismissed for the summer. Our only experience there was Kindergarten, but we loved it!

I remember the Fall Fun Fest. I remember the kids being excited. Grammy had sent Halloween shirts. They arrived just in time for the Festival. Megan wore her orange headband. Of course, Katie had to have one too, even though she hardly had any hair.

halloween sisters

kindergarten party

scary face

moon

scary face 1

Oh, we had such fun! We were so busy having fun, there was no time for pictures. Seems like Chip was helping some of the other Dads with some of the games. I was doing good to keep up with the kids.

On the back of the weekly newsletter was a recipe. That is why I saved it, of course!

Pumpkin Pancakes with Pumpkin Maple Sauce

Some of our weekend plans got cancelled. The air was cool and crisp. It was the perfect day to try out the Pumpkin Pancakes recipe. It only took me 12 years!

Pumpkin Pancakes topped with nuts

from above

We took advantage of the weather and enjoyed breakfast on the porch. Ahhh, fall!

Pork Chop Tuesday on the porch

Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 3/4 cups milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • a little butter for the pan

Mix the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients. Mix the wet with the dry.

Pour on a hot, greased skillet. Turn when you start to see bubbles.

Pumpkin Maple Sauce

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Heat ingredients in a saucepan until warm.

(The Sauce seemed more like a pumpkin butter to me. I bet if you added a little cream to it, it would be more “saucy”.)

Top with toasted pecans!

I love fall! Cooler temperatures, warmer clothes, and PUMPKIN!  If you are a pumpkin fanatic, like me, I’m sure you have been sampling pumpkin recipes left and right. I recently stumbled across a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake over at I Wash You Dry.

It got rave reviews from my critics!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Snap Crust

Yum! Huh?

I’ll get you started with the ingredients. Zip over to Shawn’s post for the “how-to”.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
For the Crust:
15 small gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup pecans
4 large sheets of graham crackers
3 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
Ginger Snap Crust
This crust is to die for! I LOVE the gingersnap and pecan combo!
For the Filling:
3 (8 oz packages) cream cheese, softened
1 (15 oz can) pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pumpkin Cheesecake Batter
I mostly put this picture in here because I was proud of myself for pouring cheesecake filling and snapping a picture at the same time! And it was an  ACTION picture!
Before and After baking pictures:
Cheesecake ready for the ovenBefore

Pumpkin Cheesecake-bakedAfter

Yes, I know there are tricks for keeping your cheesecake from cracking. Frankly, it doesn’t bother me. Load enough whipped topping on there and no one is the wiser!

See…

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Snap Crust

I can’t imagine this Pumpkin Cheesecake being any better than it was. However, I didn’t have time to make Shawn’s Salted Caramel Topping. I just used store-bought. You can get her recipe for the topping here.

Thanks, Shawn for this great recipe! I can’t wait to try the topping recipe next time.

Critics’ Corner

Chip: To paraphrase and old Reese’s commercial…”You got pumpkin in my cheesecake.” “You got cheesecake in my pumpkin.” Two great tastes that taste great together–Pumpkin Cheesecake

Megan: This was so good, I think it could substitute for the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Katie: Wheeeeeeee!!!! That’s Katie for “awesome”! : )

What a day we had yesterday! Typically I make pancakes on Saturday—every Saturday. I have been searching through cookbooks for new recipes. I came across this one for pumpkin waffles. It sounded yummy. It also afforded me the opportunity to use the waffle maker Mom and Dad gave us for our anniversary!

While this recipe comes from a Cooking Light cookbook, I didn’t exactly follow the recipe. We drink 2% milk, it calls for 1%. I’m sure that had an impact on the calorie count.

Pumpkin Waffles

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup 1% low-fat milk

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large egg, lightly beaten

cooking spray

•Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients in a a large bowl.

•Make a well in center of mixture.

•Combine milk and next 4 ingredients.

Yep, I cheated and used canned pumpkin!

I didn’t have any dark brown sugar. Use what you have, folks!

•Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist.

I do want to mention this about the canned pumpkin. I think it is a little more liquid-y than homemade puree. I noticed the first waffle was a little on the gooey side. Might be that I need to turn the heat up a little. I added a little more flour to the mix and the next waffle was better.

•Coat a waffle iron with cooking spray, preheat. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter per waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter to edges. Cook until your little light goes off, or according to other directions you might have-5 to 7 minutes.

Be sure to sip coffee out of your PCTuesday coffee mug! Isn’t it great! My hubby does the sweetest things for me!

About the only thing that would have made these better would have been some toasted pecans on top! Then again, don’t toasted pecans on top make everything better?

Critics’ Corner

Chip:  It was a little sliver of autumn topped with butter and syrup. Apparently, autumn tastes pretty good, at least with butter and syrup.

Megan:  I think this is one of my favorite ways to eat waffles.

Katie:  They were pretty good. I could taste the pumpkin well. I wasn’t just wild about it. One being the lowest and 100 being the highest I would have to say it was a 98. But it was pretty close to 100.

That was just for starters!

We headed into town to the Argenta Farmers Market.

Chip really wanted a nice beefsteak tomato. Guess were were a little late in the season to find tomatoes. They had plenty of squash though!

I ended up buying some local honey. Not that I needed honey. The tiny little bear was just so cute! Sorry, no picture. (Bad blogger! Shame on you!)

We left the farmers’ market and headed down the interstate to a wonderful antique  junk shop. Sorry, no picture of the outside. My photographer didn’t get the message. I don’t even know the name of the shop. It’s in Bryant, AR just off the service road. If you pass it you have to go a couple of miles before you can turn around and come back and go a few more miles. Ask me how I know!

This is what it is like on the inside:

I was in heaven!!!

We, ok, I had a blast! Everyone else had fun at first. I cut my looking short and left empty handed, for the sake of the children.

Nothing a trip to Wendy’s at 1:30 wouldn’t fix! No wonder the were getting grumpy!

After lunch were were on to our next stop…the new Apple Store! (You should hear angels singing right now. If you don’t, you must be using a PC! haha)

I had to go drool on the iPad2. It was just so cool! And WOW, look at that great looking website! Hmmm, something familiar about that!

That was lots of fun! Katie read a whole chapter in the Beezus and Ramona that was on one of the iPads.

Anthropologie was right next door, so we had to go.

Our last stop took us to the “Big Dam Bridge” at Murray Park.

Taking pictures helped my heebie jeebies. I really only got them when someone would get close to the side. Don’t ask me to explain it. Yes, I know they weren’t going to fall.

You can just barely see the flags in the picture below. We were way on up there!

It was a great, fun-filled day! We all slept good last night. Today was a good day of rest. I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow holds—most likely laundry.