Tired of Apples Yet? Not me!

It’s been over a week now since we visited the apple orchard… and we STILL have apples. Are you surprised though? We got 10 pounds of apples for two people. That’s a little much. I’ve still been enjoying every bite of it though. Apples with peanut butter. Apples in salads. But the master of all apple concoctions is…. (drum roll please) APPLE SPICE CINNAMON BUNS. Oh yes. I went there.

I found this recipe initially on one of the food blogs I follow called Honeystuck. She is a vegetarian who also shares a good amount of vegan recipes. She is also located in Charlotte! Imagine that. ūüôā I decided to blend her recipe along with a recipe from my Chloe Coscarelli cookbook for regular cinnamon buns that I have made before. They were delicious but a pain in the butt to make because the freaking yeast took hours to rise. I guess I had forgotten how long it took because this time the yeast did not rise AT ALL. It sat in my kitchen for the entire afternoon and nothing happened. It ended up being spilled by Eric accidentally after cleaning up dinner. So that was that. Find an alternative.

Lucky for me I also own a Breville bread maker who happened to have a recipe for cinnamon buns. Okay guys… back in action. So I took the recipe from my Breville bread maker and used the apple mixture for the inside of the cinnamon buns from Honeystuck. I actually doubled the amount of apple mixture because i wanted it oozing with apples. ¬†I still used the icing recipe from the Chloe Coscarelli recipe. You can’t mess that up: water and sugar.

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What resulted was mouth watering, gooey, apple deliciousness. My mouth is literally watering just thinking about those. I decided to make two batches.

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We are having lots of folks from other offices visiting our office this week so I thought what better way to welcome them! I also have my dad coming in town to help a neighbor with painting so I’m sure he will munch on a few and take some back home to my mom. Who would deny cinnamon buns? Even Eric who is not a fan of cinnamon flavored foods loved it. They are THAT good.

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I also found via YouTube that Chloe Coscarelli also has a recipe for pumpkin cranberry cinnamon rolls with maple frosting. Those will definitely be made for Thanksgiving.

If you don’t have a bread maker, I would suggest popping over to Honeystuck’s blog¬†for the dough mixture.

Otherwise see below:

Apple Spice Cinnamon Buns

Breville Dough (turned vegan):

1 cup non-dairy milk (at 80 degrees)

2 servings of egg replacer (2 tbsp egg replacer powder & 3 tbsp water)

1/4 cup Earth Balance (cut bite sized pieces to throw in)

1 tsp Salt

1/3 cup sugar

4 cups bread flour

2 1/4 tsp active yeast


1.) Throw ingredients based in order above into bread maker bowl.

2.) Set to Dough-Bread setting on Breville Bread Maker and done!

Apple Filling from Honeystuck (1 serving): 

  • 1 large apple, diced (should be one heaping cup)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

*Note: You could also probably use margarine instead of the coconut oil for a more cost friendly version. Coconut oil is expensive if you don’t already have it on hand.¬†


1.) Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

2.) Microwave for 1 minute then stir until coconut oil is melted.

Putting it all together: 

1.) Roll out the dough into a good sized rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Breville says 13 inches long and 6 inches wide. I did it a little more than that to get 17 cinnamon buns.

2.) Add apple filling on top of dough.

3.) Roll into a tight roll.

4.) Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 or however many buns.

5.) Place buns close together in a casserole dish.

6.) Let it sit for 45 mins to rise.

7.) Bake at 350 for 30 mins or until golden brown on top.


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 tbsp of water


1.) Place sugar in a mixer or bowl.

2.) Stir in water until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

3.) Drizzle icing over top the cooked buns until you are satisfied.

Lastly… ENJOY! I know my co-workers are going to be happy to see me! ūüôā


NC Mountains Apple Pickin’

After making the apple crisp dessert the other week, I have been itching for a trip to the mountains to visit an apple orchard. Eric and I went with one of my old roommates several years back and I haven’t been back to one since. I googled apple orchard and what do you know… Sky Top Orchard is the first hit. Seems pretty popular. So I decided I was going. After finding out that this place was also only 36 mins away from Tupelo Honey Cafe, I knew another stop was mandatory.


If you have seen my post from another trip I had to Asheville, you will see why I love Tupelo Honey Cafe so much. I’ve been back twice more since that trip and every time the food is out of this world. I loved it so much that I bought the cookbook and I am actually making a black bean burger from from the cookbook this week for dinner. I’m seriously obsessed. Luckily, we are getting one of these restaurants in Charlotte in the coming months. Let me tell you, I will be first in line.

We invited my mother-in-law on our day adventure as well, and I’m so glad we did. I am very fortunate to have a mother in law who is amazing. We have so much fun hanging out. So off we went bright and early Saturday morning up to the mountains. We got to the Orchard right at 9 am which was when they opened. Note to others: that is the way to do it. The place was packed by the time we were ready to leave. So getting there early is the way to go if you want a peaceful experience and not one with a bunch of crowds and chaos.


You would not believe the amount of apples they had. I was blown away with just the large selection of apples in the front store. Once you are ready to pick some apples, they hand you a map of the farm. Looking out from the store, you can see apple trees for days. Plus there are so many different types of apples. Apples I have not even heard of.  They even have a sample table which is a great way to try all the different kinds of apples. We just wandered around the orchard picking apples as we chose. We ended up picking several different kinds.


Eric loves Granny Smith apples, so we got a good amount of those for him. We also got my favorite apples: Fuji; love me some Fuji apples. Then we picked up a bunch of random apples in twos including: Rome, Cameo, Arkansas Black, and Pink Lady. I’m sure we will not be able to tell the difference now between all of the apples, but we picked the nonetheless.


After picking apples we headed back to the storefront where we browsed through all the jams, jellies, butters, and apples. They also have fresh apple cider and apple pies. We all bought cider but Eric’s mom bought an apple pie (I need to ask her how it was). It looked mighty tasty!


But the best part of the trip is the apple cider doughnuts. OMG… you walk up to the stand to¬†purchase doughnuts and the heavenly smell of sugar and fried bread is in the air. It’s enough to make anyone salivate. I of course had to buy a dozen and it took all I had not to eat them all while holding the warm package in my hands. Ohh they are delicious. Eric and I had several with apple cider for breakfast the following day. You HAVE to heat them up. They are 10X better warm. Throw them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes and its sheer perfection in your mouth.


The views at the top of the orchard were also wonderful. You can pick your apples while enjoying the mountain views in the background. The air was crisp and the leaves were just beginning to turn. The skies were overcast which all came together to make a perfect day for apple picking. I plan to make it a tradition to go up there every year. And hopefully with Sarah and James, Eric’s sister and boyfriend. This is an experience that everyone should have. Nothing like a day in the NC Mountains.


We went home with 10 pounds of apples each. Now I’ve got several dishes in mind this week with all these apples. We are having apple, fig, and Gruyere cheese paninis this week, apple based salads, grilled apple, and I may even make some apple cinnamon buns with whatever is leftover next weekend.

How are you celebrating fall?

Got Tomatoes? Make Some Sauce.

I am still in shock that our tomato plants are still producing fruit. I have not done a thing to these plants, other than water them, for the past two months and they are still providing ample amounts of tomatoes.

I expect however that these days will come to an end as we are nearing the fall season with cooler temperatures. But until then, I’m going to keep enjoying the fruits of my no-so-much labor.

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We had a huge amount of tomatoes recently. After seeing a blog post for fresh tomato sauce, I decided to give it a second go. Eric and I attempted fresh sauce before after seeing a vendor at the Matthew’s Community Farmers Market create a savory sauce with only one pan. Well needless to say our first attempt ended up in a watery attempt of a tomato sauce. It was still tasty, just a bit on the watery side.

I think I found the key: you have to de-seed the tomatoes. Well that makes sense! That cuts out half of the water! That explains it. So this time, I made sure to remove all the seeds / juice from the tomatoes prior to cooking. This involved quite a bit of labor and time; mainly because most of my tomatoes were cherry tomatoes which involved a lot of scooping.  It was definitely worth it though.

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I got the tomato sauce recipe from the Oh She Glows blog. I used my fresh tomatoes along with my fresh basil (another item that has limited days left).


This recipe is so easy and delicious. It’s definitely worth trying (even with the labor of de-seeding the tomatoes).

Fall Season Dessert – Apple Pie

I really want to visit one of our NC Apple Orchards this year. Eric and I went with friends several years back. You can go pick you apples, enjoy the beautiful views, and even devour as many apple cider donuts that you want (that’s the best part). Just thinking about those apple cider donuts makes me salivate.

I’ve bought a lot more apples lately from the grocery store. If I was not so lazy, I would make my way up to the farmer’s market and get some local ones (this is the sad truth). Either way, apples are a great “to-go” snack. I usually like to eat them around 3 PM when those sweet cravings hit. Throw some peanut butter on some apple slices and you are good to go till the end of the work day.

My favorite apple at the moment is fuji. I usually buy a bag of organic fuji apples for $6.99 a bag at our local Earthfare. Not bad if you are comparing this price to the prices of pears, grapes, or berries. Especially considering the bag usually comes with 10 apples. So with that being said, I had several apples left from the week. One apple was used in my first ever homemade vegetable stock (post coming soon) while I decided to save the last 4 apples for this delicious dessert.

At the time, I didn’t realize this dessert was going to turn out so good, but man, it is tasty. I used an old recipe from my blog post called “Easy Dessert for Two” where I used left over berries to create a small portion cobbler. I used the same base of that recipe to create an apple pie flavored treat.

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This dessert turned out amazing. I savored every bite shortly after baking. I’m saving the rest for dessert cravings through the week.

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I have a feeling this dessert might end up being a staple in our house with left over apples.

Apple Pie Cobbler

Makes 6 servings


4 Apples, chopped into bite sized pieces.
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1/2 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Apple Pie Spice
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon


4 Tbsp All-White Purpose Flour
4 Tbsp Brown Sugar
4 Tbsp Earth Balance (cold, cut into pieces)
4 Tbsp Rolled Oats
6 Tbsp Walnuts (or nut of your choosing; I would do walnuts, pecans or almonds)
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  For the filling, toss all ingredients together and split between the ramekins (save any juice from mixture and disperse between all ramekins).
3.  For the topping mix flour and brown sugar in a bowl. Add butter, cut into small pieces, and toss to coat. Mix with fingers until crumbly. Mix in the oats and the nuts. Divide evenly over top apples. Gently press to make sure none of the topping slides off.
4.  Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven and bake about 20 minutes or until top is golden and crisp.
5.  Let sit for 15 minutes to cool.
6. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if you choose (but it’s so good, you don’t even need it).
Tip: What you don’t finish you can save for the rest of the week. Place aluminum foil over top of the ramekins and store in the fridge. Pull out and reheat at 325 for 11-15 minutes with foil still covering the top.¬†

Is It Fall Yet? I’ve Got Pumpkin Fever

As soon as the pumpkin spice latte was announced I was struck by pumpkin fever. I was already struck by fall fever in early August when we had a week of fall like weather. It was glorious but such a tease since the temperatures went back up to 80 and 90 the following week. ūüė¶

I’m ready to pull out my scarves, sweaters, and boots. I’m ready to sit outside w/ a glass of wine in the somewhat chilly air with the smell of burning leaves. Ahh I cannot wait! Fall is definitely my favorite season.

Is it too early to decorate the house like fall? Previously I have skipped decorating for Halloween just to give myself more time with my fall decor.

Regardless, I have had some pumpkin puree in my pantry for a while now that I had been holding out on to get me through these summer months. I decided to use it on pumpkin spice muffins to enjoy this week. At least I can enjoy the taste of fall if nothing else!

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After making the muffins, I saved a little pumpkin puree to make myself a homemade pumpkin spice latte the next morning.

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This recipe is super simple and you probably have everything except the pumpkin in your pantry (unless you are a pumpkin hoarder like me).

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Since Eric and I are mainly eating vegan I substituted the egg for 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce and earth balance for butter. Also to make it healthier, I substituted the applesauce again for the vegetable oil as well. Finally I didn’t put the full 2 cups of sugar in them. Since I’m eating these mainly for breakfast, I don’t like when muffins are too sweet. Not to mention the 1/2 cup of apple sauce that I put in there should add extra sweetness as well.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins


3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or oat flour
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or earth balance for vegan)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce)
1 egg (or 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce)
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (puree not pie filling; about 1 15 oz can)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries or raisins
1/4 cup unsalted walnuts or pecans

1.) Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
2.) In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine raw sugar, melted butter, oil, eggs, pumpkin and water. Beat for 90 seconds, or until well mixed.
3.) Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices, stirring until no streaks remain.Stir in nuts and cranberries; stirring only until all ingredients are mixed.
4.) Place muffin cups in muffin holders and fill 2/3 of the way full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (check on them frequently though because for some reason they baked quicker than I expected).


How do you plan on celebrating the beginning of Fall?