Mini Caramel Apples

ImageCute, bite-sized, and easy to make. Make the caramel in the microwave, and use a melon baller to scoop out mini “apples.”
Suggested: use a tart apple, such as Granny Smith, or a tart/sweet apple such as Honey Crisp or Jonagold.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 cup light Karo syrup
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Stir. Continue this cycle (microwave for 2-3 minutes, then stop and stir) four to five times, until caramel turns a nice golden color.
  2. Remove from the microwave (caution, the bowl will be hot!), and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Using a melon baller, scoop bites from an apple.  Pat the apple bites dry with a paper towel.
  4. Using 3-6 in wooden skewers (cocktail skewers or longer skewers cut in half), skewer the apple bites (put the skewer through the center of the skin on each bite.)
  5. Dip the bites in the warm caramel. For that gourmet apple look, leaving part of the apple skin showing.Image

Optional: After dipping in the caramel, dip the bites in toppings such as colored sugar, festive sprinkles, or chopped nuts.

Hint: Put the dipped apples in small cupcake liners to keep from sticking to each other and keep things neat.


Banana Pancakes – Skinny & Gluten Free



  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 whole eggs

That’s it.

  1. Mix together in a bowl, making sure the banana is completely mashed.
  2. Set heat to low to medium. Spray your pan with some Pam or coconut oil.
  3. Scoop some of the batter into the pan & give it about 20-30 sec, flip, and done! Serve and eat!

*Some advice would be to make them small so its easier to flip.

Under 250 calories, nearly 14g of protein! No processed anything! These pancakes are GLUTEN FREE.

Keep Your Carved Pumpkin Fresh for Weeks

ImageWe’ve all seen what our carved pumpkin looks like after a week or two. Sagging, looking moldy. That smiling face your child carved is now a pathetic frown. The intricate carving of your favorite team logo has just collapsed, leaving a unattractive blob for viewing.

I just found out about this tip, and will be giving it a try to keep our jack-o-lanterns fresh for a longer period of time.

  1. After you scoop out and carve your pumpkin, dip it in a large container of bleach and water (use a 1 tsp:1 gal mix). The bleach will kill bacteria and help your pumpkin stay fresh longer.
  2. Drain your pumpkin upside down until completely dry.
  3. Add 2 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to a quart of water. Brush or spray this solution onto your pumpkin to keep it looking fresh for weeks.

Apple Praline Bread

Nothing like bread…especially Apple bread…baking in the oven on a winters day. The house smells wonde1011249_10151430394571652_590739900_n[1]rful! And this bread is to die for!

1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup nuts (walnut or pecan or a combo), divided

For the praline sauce:
¼ cup brown sugar and ¼ cup butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Set aside. (I used stoneware loaf pan for perfect cooking)

Using an electric mixer, beat together the sour cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed for a couple of minutes until well blended. Stop the mixer and then add in the flour, leavening agents and salt. Continue to beat on low until well combined.

Fold in the apples and half the nuts into the batter. Transfer the batter into the greased loaf pan.
Sprinkle the rest of the nuts on top and then press them lightly into the batter. Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in the loaf pan for about 20-30 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. So it doesn’t get too dark, I suggest using a light colored loaf pan.

For the praline sauce:

In a small sauce pan, place the butter and brown sugar. Using medium heat, bring to a boil. Lower the heat and then simmer lightly for about one minute, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and then drizzle over the bread. Cool completely.

Cinnamon Rolls made with Crescent Rolls

So it’s Labor Day 2013… after lazing around in bed watching TV with the husband and kids, I wanted cinnamon rolls. Unfortunately, there’s no handy-dandy tube of ready-to-bake in the fridge. (Once in a while we’ll buy some.)  Hmm… what’s a mom to do? If I make the dough from scratch, we still have to wait for the dough to rise.

I wish I had a better photo, but they disappeared about 30 seconds after I took this!

BUT – there on the shelf – a tube of crescent rolls!  Leftover from last week’s mini chocolate Nutella rolls I made for a picnic (pinned HERE), it’s time to improvise!

Ingredients – Rolls

  • 1 large, or 1-2 small rolls of crescent dough (pictured is a roll of Pillsbury large, flaky rolls)
  • Butter, softened
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Ingredients – Frosting

  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Orange flavoring (optional)
  • Orange or lemon zest (optional)
  1. Open the roll, spread out and separate the dough into its pre-cut triangular pieces.
  2. Slather (love that word, don’t you? slather… it promises all sorts of good things). Where was I? Oh yeah… slather the dough with butter.
  3. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and sugar.  (Yes, even though I’m a conservative, I’m liberal when it comes to using tasty ingredients 🙂 )
  4. Roll up, and place in buttered pan.  (More butter!) I used a 10-in glass pie pan.  You could also use an 8×8 pan. The rolls should be close to each other, but not touching in the uncooked stage. Leave them a little room to expand.
  5. Sprinkle the tops with more cinnamon and sugar and make it look pretty. I added a little pat of butter on top of each roll, just for good measure.
  6. Bake until done.  Use the guidelines on your roll of dough, but add a few more minutes because the rolls will be touching each other and thus will take slightly longer to be completely done. (I’m all about it being an exact science, can’t you tell?)

The Frosting

  1. Put some powdered sugar (about 1/2 cup) in a small bowl or cup.
  2. Add a little bit of vanilla (1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon). I also added orange flavoring as we like our rolls with the orange-flavored frosting.
  3. Add milk, a few drops at a time, and stir until you get the right consistency for drizzling over the rolls. Do this slowly – it’s easy to add too much! Then you need to add more sugar, then more milk… it’s a vicious cycle.
  4. If you have an orange or lemon laying around, add some fresh orange or lemon zest to the frosting. It notches that citrus flavor up to the next level.
  5. Drizzle the frosting over the warm rolls and serve!