Apple Crisp…from a container!

Soooo, most of the desserts and yummy things that we share with you all are made from scratch…I guess I find that if I make it from scratch it takes way more time and I can consider the activity as a hobby 🙂

…but sometimes you just have to use what is available!  🙂

Have you seen these in the grocery store?  My mom used to always have one of these in the pantry in the fall 🙂

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I did exactly what the instructions said….cored and peeled 4-5 apples, thinly sliced them, and placed into a 9×9 dish.

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The mix found within the container is then cut into about a half stick of butter and spread on top of the apple slices.

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Bake, serve, and voila!  🙂  YUM!

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Do you have any easy baking favorites that you enjoy in the fall?

 

reinventing the sack lunch

In an effort to save money over the past year or so, Brett and I have made a tremendous effort to not eat out.  🙂  While the occasional lunch or dinner out is definitely allowed, we have really focused on trying to pack a lunch almost every day and cook at home in the evenings.  Packing a sack lunch each day can get pretty monotonous though.  There are only so many times when I can make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich day in and day out.  🙂  So we’ve started reinventing the simple, sack lunch!

Just the other day, I took some goat cheese

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spread it on toast, and layered with some peach preserves.  YUM!

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Add some veggies on the side, maybe some yogurt and fruit, and you’ve made yourself a reinvented sack lunch 🙂

Do you have any tips for packing more interesting lunches??  🙂  We are always looking for new things to try!

 

 

homemade lasagna

Since the weather so quickly changed from a glorious fall to a much colder fall (brrr!), it seemed also time for some warm, baked dinners 🙂  I decided that a lasagna would be perfect!  Since I don’t have any preference towards a specific lasagna recipe, I grabbed a box of no bake lasagna noodles and followed the recipe on the back 🙂

I substituted cottage cheese for the usual call for ricotta.  I’m also pretty sure I used more cheese than was called for 🙂

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I tried finding a cheaper, canned marinara but I just couldn’t find anything labeled specifically as marinara besides a small handful of options.  Is there something else I could look for that would give me the same thing?  I ended up using the Prego version.

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I don’t really like the taste of Italian Beef and we have a non beef eater in the house, so I opted for ground chicken.  It didn’t give the same texture as a ground beef would but the end result tasted just fine to me!

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Between one of the layers of noodles, sauce, cheese/egg mixture, and meat I added a whole layer of sliced sunburst tomatoes.  I LOVE THEM!  🙂  I think it added a nice, fresh aspect to the lasagna.  I intended on also adding a layer of sauted onions and some sweet corn but both of those ingredients were still on the counter when the finished lasagna went in the oven.  Oops!  I’ll have to try them next time and let you all know how it tastes haha 🙂

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The end result was so good!  The cheese was bubbly and I didn’t notice a huge difference from having the cottage cheese instead of ricotta.  The no bake noodles were also a huge time saver.  Layering raw noodles takes a whole lot less time than cooking noodles and then layering them 🙂

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Do you all have any favorite lasagna recipes?  🙂  We’d love to try them!!!

homemade pumpkin bread

We decided to join the pumpkin revolution in our house!  🙂  Better late than never right?!  While grocery shopping, I found this recipe…and decided to go for it 🙂

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I followed the directions pretty closely except for the elusive, pumpkin pie spice ingredient.  We may have a lot of spices in the Casperson-Jones kitchen but that is not one of them.  I ended up combining about a tsp of nutmeg and cinnamon but it didn’t give quite the same kick as pumpkin pie spice has.  Once I finally googled what pumpkin pie spice was comprised of, I realized that I was missing ginger and allspice.  Drat!  🙂  Still, the pumpkin bread didn’t last long in the house so it must have tasted pretty good anyway hehe!

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I really want to cook something with a pumpkin from scratch eventually…I kept talking about it this fall and still haven’t done so yet.  One Day!  And don’t worry…I’ll let you all know when we try!

What are your favorite fall treats?  Do they involve pumpkins??  🙂

mixed berry sherbet

The sherbet and ice-cream trend in the Casperson-Jones household continues!  Brett requested a mixed berry sherbet and a mixed berry sherbet we made 🙂  I used a recipe found here but instead of half and half, I used 2% milk.  I also did not blend the fruit….though maybe I should have haha 🙂  There are some fairly large chunks of fruit in the sherbet.  I did use a potato smasher though while cooking the juice, fresh fruit, and sugar so the fruit was pretty well spread throughout.  I also used vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean.

I added the vanilla (about half a tablespoon) to the sugar and orange juice in a pan

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I washed about 3.5 cups of fresh, beautiful blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries and added them to the pan.  (fresh and quite sour haha!)

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The fruit, sugar, juice, and vanilla were simmered for about 10 minutes, mashed, and then allowed to cool to room temperature

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I added the milk, stirred, and chilled in the fridge.

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The next day I put the mixture into the ice cream maker…and Voila!

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Anyone want to place a bet on when we’ll finally switch from these cold desserts to warmer ones?  haha!  🙂