Apple Cinnamon Scones

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

You guys...I may have landed on the best fall pastry ever. I'm not joking. On a whim, I decided to whip up this recipe for Apple Cinnamon Scones, and I kid you not...they are maybe...ok yes they are... the best scone I've ever had. Think cinnamon roll flavors combined with fresh apples from the orchard. Yum. Yum. YUM.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

APPLE CINNAMON SCONES | Yield: 12 scones | Total Time: 40 minutes


2 3/4 C unbleached all purpose flour
1/3 C sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp + 1/2 tsp Apple Pie Spice or ground cinnamon, divided
1 stick (8 Tbsp) cold butter, cubed
1 medium apple, diced (OK to leave on the skin)
3/4 C cinnamon chips
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C unsweetened apple sauce
3 Tbsp coarse turbinado sugar


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large food processor, add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and 1 tsp Apple Pie Spice. Pulse to combine. Add cubed butter, and pulse until everything is mixed together and crumbly. (NOTE: if you don't have a food processor, just use a pastry blender to cut in the butter.)

In a separate large bowl, whisk together apple sauce, vanilla, and eggs. Add dry mixture from food processor, to bowl, and stir until moistened. Gently fold in diced apple and cinnamon chips.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and sprinkle with flour. (If you don't have parchment paper, just use an ungreased baking sheet). Divide dough into two equal parts on floured parchment, and form into two flattened circles about 6" wide and 3/4" thick. Use a pastry cutter to cut each circle into 6 wedges. Separate the wedges, brush with milk, and sprinkle with a mixture of 3 Tbsp coarse turbinado sugar, and 1/2 tsp Apple Pie Spice.

Bake at 425 degrees for 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown, and edges don't look wet or unbaked.

Serve warm...and try to stop yourself after just one!

Smoothie City

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lately, it has been smoothie city in our house. Over the summer, C learned how to drink from a straw, and after acquiring a couple new awesome sippy cups with straws, we've been indulging in many...many smoothies. 

 Not only are smoothies a healthy breakfast or snack option, but they're also great for cooling down on a hot day, and good for my peace of mind knowing that C is getting plenty of healthy fruits...and occasionally his diet now that he's eating mostly table food. Typically, the table food he gets is reasonably healthy too, but he trends towards favoriting the bread, pasta, crackers, and cheese rather than the antioxidant and vitamin-rich veggies and fruits that he should be eating. Watching him eat, I'm guessing that this is because bread is easier to pick up than a slippery veggie or fruit, but all the same, smoothies have been a lifesaver for our family. C has grown to like them so much, that he has even been known to come back for second servings!

Along with this Tropical Spinach Smoothie I previously blogged about, here are a couple of other smoothie recipes from True Food Cookbook that we've been enjoying:

8 strawberries
1 banana
2 Tbsp coconut milk
2 tsp simple syrup
1/2 C ice

*Strawberries can be substituted for peaches, mangos, etc. Or add those in too if you want more than a single serving. If you are looking for a little more protein, I love adding vanilla Greek yogurt to this recipe.

1 banana
1/2 C Greek-style vanilla yogurt (1 container)
1/2 C apple juice
1 Tbsp flax meal
1 Tbsp almond butter
2 tsp simple syrup
1/2 C ice

Protein shake to the max! The Weekend Warrior is packed with energy, and a great start to the day.

Look Mom! All done!

There are so many amazing smoothie recipes to try that it's easy to find just about any type of flavors you could possibly want. With cooler fall temps just around the corner I'm looking forward to trying this Pumpkin Smoothie, this Apple Pie Protein Smoothie, and this Carrot Cake Smoothie. Just because I think it has potential to be the best thing since sliced bread, I'll be adding ingredients for this Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie to my grocery list. Sounds amazing right? Pretty much Girl Scout Cookies in a cup...could the world possibly come up with anything better?

Do you have any great smoothie recipes?

UI Homecoming Weekend

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Last weekend was The University of Iowa Homecoming weekend. It was also the weekend that we packed up the car with C in tow to head back to our old stomping grounds in Iowa City, and take C to his SECOND game at Kinnick Stadium.

The festivities started on Friday when we arrived mid-afternoon for some quality not-gameday-focused time spent downtown walking around the pedmall, and taking C to the Homecoming parade. We enjoyed making some stops at a few of our favorites...Z'maricks for a late lunch, Hands Jewelers to compile a wish list have our rings cleaned and checked, Bread Garden to pick up some wine for T & I and snacks for C, and finally, Wig & Pen for a takeout Union Jack before heading back to Uncle B & Aunt C's to get settled in for the night before the big game.

As expected, C absolutely loved every minute of the day, and had so much fun playing on the playground in the Pedmall, checking out all of the shiny glass cases at Hands, and being completely enthralled by the amazing people watching and various bands and floats at the Homecoming parade.


This is the best snap I could get of the three of us at the parade since C was waaaay more interested in watching all of the little kids holding out bags for candy and trinkets, and seeing all of the fanfare surrounding the different floats at the parade. His heart was won over my a nice lady who picked him out amongst the masses and brought him this pink bead necklace. Oh...and the guy from Procter & Gamble who gave him a toothbrush!

Saturday morning got off to a bit of a late start after C decided to finally sleep in when not in his own bedroom. He's had a super difficult time sleeping when we've been traveling lately, so we weren't sure how the night was going to go. He surprised us all by sleeping a full 12 hours, and didn't wake up until 8:30 Saturday morning. Maybe we need to visit IC more often!

In further hiccups of the morning, after getting everybody packed into the car and making a quick stop for coffee...because lets be real...I don't care what game it is, the world just doesn't exist before coffee...we found a parking spot on our relatively trusty street of choice for game day parking, unloaded C into the stroller, and then realized that we had left the cooler with his milk and snacks sitting on the kitchen table. UGH. T saved the day and went to retrieve it and we made it to the tailgate with just under an hour until kickoff. Maybe not exactly how we pictured the morning going, but we made it in one piece, and had just enough time to have a little snack before heading into the stadium. 

C did a GREAT job at the game, and was a little super fan throughout. While he did need to have his own ticket to get into Kinnick (BIG 10 rules...ridiculous I know), he ended up sitting on T or I's lap for the first half of the game, and then stood up and played for most of the second half when some of the fans in neighboring seats had to leave early. The Hawks won, C got to clap and cheer as loud as he wanted, and everyone had a great time.

By the end of the afternoon, C was completely wiped out, and after stopping at a post-game tailgate, didn't even make it to the car before falling asleep. I think we're going to put the day down as a big success!

The Fall Bucket List

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to tick off quite a few items on our fall bucket list.

Friday night, we piled in the car and hit up my hometown's homecoming football game. My youngest brother, C's Uncle T, is a senior this year, and was on the homecoming court. Coronation was at halftime of the game, and while he didn't take home the crown, we had lots of fun watching all of the festivities and cheering the Wildcats to a homecoming victory.

Saturday was the perfect day to get some fresh air and head out to the field for C's first combine ride of the season. From the moment he saw the combine harvesting beans across the field, he was a man on a mission. Grabbing hold of both T & I's hands, C marched us lickety-split across the field to investigate what was going on and see if he could get a ride. Luckily, nearly my entire family was on hand and all were more than happy to oblige.

In between adventures, C got to play with cousin J and learned important things like how to pull a wagon, how to play the piano, and how to speak 'truck', cousin J's language of choice.

To round out the weekend, we snuck in a morning trip to the Community Orchard where there is an amazing fall playground area set up for kiddos and adults alike. I seriously think that T may have had more fun than C! There was a pedal cart track, corn box, bounce pad, train playground, swings, animals to see, and even a multi-level goat playground! C tried feeding the goats, but decided he'd rather view from afar than get his fingers nipped. It was a chilly morning, but luckily, the timing was perfect to warm up inside afterwards with a warm apple dumpling/slice of caramel apple pecan pie/hot apple cider/autumn spice coffee/etc., or if you were a little guy, a hot grilled cheese from a perch on Grandma's lap!

Happy Fall everyone!
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