Nutty "Bloody" Brain Dip and a GIVEAWAY!

This time of year is my absolute favorite. The weather is changing, sweaters and boots get dusted off, and scary movies are on heavy rotation in our house.

Each October, the hubs and I have a tradition of watching 31 days of scary movies. No matter what, we try and fit time in for a flick. If we have to skip a night for some reason or another, we try and do a double feature the next night to make up for lost time. We take turns picking our movies, usually put together a snack, turn off all the lights and dive right in.


DIY Pantry: Pumpkin Pie Spice


It seems like every year when I start baking up a storm in the fall I have to search through my spice rack to find the coveted pumpkin pie spice. A lot of times I can't find it and have to buy a whole new bottle. Then, of course, 2 days later, I find my old jar from last year and have an overabundance of pumpkin pie spice.  Being that I only use this spice blend a few months out of the year, 2-3 jars of it is way, way too much. 

Well, it stops this year. I am NOT buying any more from now on. I am making my own and you should too! Why? Because you can make it in small batches and you probably have everything in your spice rack already. So, why not really.

I like this recipe because it makes just enough to get me through the season and nothing will go to waste. And if I need more, it is easy to throw together another batch. 

So far this season I've used this mixture to make a batch of my Pumpkin Granola and I've added a bit to my yogurt in the morning for a spicy kick. I really, really, really want to make a batch of my Pumpkin Doughnuts, but I am going to hold off until after the BIG DAY! I bet it would be good sprinkled over a little roasted squash though! 

DIY Pantry: Pumpkin Pie Spice
Quit buying multiple jars of pumpkin pie spice and try your making your own small batch for the season!

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons  ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • generous pinch cardamom


Measure all the above spices out in a small bowl. Mix them together with a whisk or fork to ensure no clumps. Store in an airtight jar and enjoy! You can use freshly grated nutmeg if you don't have ground. If you don't have ground cloves, but have whole ones stored away in your spice rack, you can ground the whole ones up in a coffee grinder.

Prep time: Total time: Yield: About 2 tablespoons




IFBC Roundup: Days 2 & a wee bit of 3

Ok! I'm ready to share the rest of the conference with y'all. It was a packed schedule, but the gals and I were super excited to get started and learn/eat all the things that we're being offered. 


Spaghetti Squash the Easy Way (Microwaved!)

Hey there, squash season. Good to see you again! 

There are so many beautiful, delectable squashes out there and tis' the season to eat them all. I'm a huge fan of spaghetti squash, but I have a serious pet peeve about how people describe it. People actually try and claim it tastes like pasta.  Let's not make ourselves a fibber and say it tastes anything like or even comes close to pasta. I mean, if it makes you feel better to think that way, that's cool. But don't try and convince someone else that it is the same thing. Just tell them this stuff is tasty and good for you. Make some this week and share it with a friend. Every one should get on this band wagon. 

Even though I think it is cruel to compare it to pasta, it is great to use spaghetti squash like you would pasta. I love it with traditional meat sauce, olive oil with lemon, salt and pepper, or a little sauteed spinach and garlic. Add some grilled chicken, sausage, or shrimp and you've got yourself a meal.

I usually roast my spaghetti squash in the oven, but hot damn, it has been blazing outside this week!! There is no way, no way at all, I plan to turn on my own until these temps come down. So cooking this squash this way not only saves time, it also keeps the kitchen cool on these hot October days. 

Now that it's Fall, spaghetti squash is every where. Buy one and try it out! Maybe you are lucky enough to 1. have air conditioning and don't mind using your oven (lucky) or 2. actually are experiencing the fall season right now and it is pleasantly cool outside. Where ever you are. Get one cooking...!

Microwaved Spaghetti Squash
Take 1 medium spaghetti squash and carefully pierce it all over with a sharp knife. Place in the microwave and cook on high for 6 minutes. 

Then open the microwave and rotate the squash. Cook again, on high, for another 6 minutes until squash is tender to the touch. Add another minute or so if the squash is big and isn't quite tender at this point.

When it is done, let it cool for a few minutes then cut the ends off and cut the squash down the center.

Scoop out the seeds. 

You'll see the stringy fibers of the squash underneath the seeds. 

Take a fork and scrape the squash. Season and add toppings to your liking.




IFBC Roundup: Day 1

I took a little break from training last weekend and scooted up to Seattle for a quick visit with my dear blogging bests and also to attend the International Food Blogger's Conference put on by Zephry Adventures. I've only been to one other food blogging conference before and I have to say, they were pretty different in comparison. They were both good, just different. Food Buzz seemed to be more focused on the food part, stuffing your face, and networking whereas IFBC had tons of delicious food, but also had several breakout sessions all related to either food, tech, or writing. I was actually really excited about the breakout sessions and eager to learn some new things to help grow the blog and improve my writing in general. There were pluses and minuses about the presenters and the content, but overall, I think the information I learned was pretty useful for my future blogging efforts. 

So, here's a bit of the weekend, mostly my favorite parts, in a few words and lots of photos (I took over 300!).
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