Desserts, Other, Recipes

Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

Happy Halloween! I love candy as much as the next girl, but if I was being really honest I would tell you that I prefer fruit-based dessert more than chocolate-based desserts. Hence sharing a fruity dessert on the day ‘o candy, right? 🙂 But this isn’t just ANY fruity recipe. It’s a versatile sweet treat that’s healthy enough for breakfast and indulgent enough for dessert. Say whattt? Yup! Breakfast or dessert, it don’t matter. Originally I set out to make an apple crisp–using apples from a recent trip to the apple orchard, natch. But then I spied some pears in the fridge (from my brother-in-law’s parents’ house!) and added those bad boys in. Extra yum!

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

Since I was making this recipe as part of a recipe contest for Steviva, I wanted to make the crisp topping a little healthier than usual. (If you want, you can find Steviva on FacebookTwitterGoogle +,  Pinterest, and Instagram.) Instead of loads of butter and sugar in the crisp topping, I decided to toss in additional crunchy elements… chia seeds and sliced almonds, to be exact. And let me say… what a great idea! The crisp topping turned into this fanastic crunchy, granola-y layer. It actually stayed crisp in the fridge for a few days until we polished off the leftovers. Amazing! I used just enough Steviva Blend (erythritol and pure stevia) to sweeten up the topping a little bit. Plenty of warm fall spices and apple and pear flavor come through. This might be one of my new favorite recipes! It’s delicious served with vanilla yogurt or ice cream, and I think it would be perfect with a bit of whipped cream too! Enjoy!

My recipe for Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping has been submitted for the Steviva Blogger Recipe Challenge. Product samples received in exchange for posting this recipe as part of the recipe challenge. #steviva #sweetandeasy

one year ago: Apple Cider Pancakes
three years ago: Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin
four years ago: Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote
five years ago: Pumpkin, Kale, & Black Bean Stew
six years ago: Individual Pumpkin Pie Parfaits
seven years ago: Aunt Charlotte’s Tex Mex Corn

Baked Pears and Apples with Crispy Granola Topping

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

Ingredients:

for fruit

  • 8-10 cups chopped pears and apples, unpeeled in 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

for topping

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup Steviva Blend
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2-4 tablespoons sliced almonds, optional
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • vanilla yogurt, ice cream, whipped cream, etc. for serving, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 10 inch round baking dish with cooking spray. (A square baking dish or pie pan would also work.)

In a large bowl, toss together pears, apples, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Spread in prepared pan.

In the same bowl, stir together oats, Steviva Blend, chia, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If desired, stir in almonds. Cut butter into small chunks, then use a pastry blender or two knives to cut butter into the oat mixture until it is evenly distributed in tiny pieces. Sprinkle over fruit.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until topping is golden brown and crispy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then serve with some vanilla yogurt, ice cream, or whipped cream, if desired.

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Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad
Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake #Choctoberfest

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

This post for #Choctoberfest is sponsored by Imperial Sugar. I have received sample products for writing this post. All content and opinions are mine. Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar… this fall favorite is sure to please!  

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

Yayyy it’s #Choctoberfest, aka a week-long celebration of all things CHOCOLATE! If you haven’t already, please check out the giveaway posted earlier today here. You don’t wanna miss it! #promise 🙂 I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the world’s biggest chocolate fan or anything like that, but I do like a chocolate treat every now and again. Chocolate is my jam when it’s combined with other deliciousness, such as peanut butter, pumpkin, or in this case… apples!

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

This cake is a riff on one of my favorite fall treats (and one of the most popular recipes on my blog!): Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake. The original cake is a delight… I never can decide what part is best: the cake full of sweet bites of apples or the crunchy cinnamon sugar topping. But guess what guys?? This chocolate-y version might be even better! I made a few changes to the original recipe in order to add cocoa powder to make this incredible cake (using water instead of buttermilk and then adjusting the amount of baking soda and flour) but otherwise this is just a fun twist on the original.

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

Since this yummy cake has the word “sugar” in the name and uses two types of sugar in the recipe, it’s only fitting that Imperial Sugar has sponsored this post as part of #Choctoberfest. They’re our gold sponsor for the event and are honestly SO great. I’ve been using their sugar exclusively since this event last year. I am not brand-loyal to very many things at ALL and I often buy generic, but when baking, I can tell that the quality of Imperial Sugar far outweighs any other brand I’ve tried. I’m not just saying that because they’re a sponsor… but it is 100% true. Imperial Sugar products are pure cane sugar, not beet sugar, and are GMO-free. I also love the family-friendly focus of their company.

Sweet things happen when families are together in the kitchen. Since 1843, Imperial Sugar has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations. This holiday season, create some lifelong memories when you bake with love and Imperial Sugar.

I know it might sound a bit cheesy, I was thinking about family as I made this cake. I actually made it over the course of a few hours on Saturday morning. Early that morning, I went running with a friend. My toddler stayed home with my husband, and after I got home, Ben went out for a run. He’s training for a half marathon so I knew he’d be gone for awhile. My son played and ate second breakfast while I ate my breakfast and enjoyed some coffee. We read books for a bit and then I thought it was safe to head to the kitchen to bake. I got about halfway through mixing together this cake when my son’s head collided with a kitchen drawer. Baby tears, commence! He just couldn’t be calmed down with any of the normal methods… so we curled up in an armchair and cuddled. Soon he was out like a light. It’s been awhile since he’s napped in my arms (or taken a morning nap!) so this was a treat. Even though my half finished cake batter was hanging out on the kitchen counter and my plan for the day was thrown off. After he woke up, I was able to return to the kitchen and finish mixing up my cake. When it came out of the oven and I took that first bite, I knew I had a winner. And I’ll always remember the first time I made the chocolate version of cinnamon sugar apple cake with my son playing at my feet. ❤ He won’t remember it, but he loved every bite I shared with him. I know I’ll make it for him again in the future. I hope you and YOUR family/loved ones enjoy this cake!

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake - Sweet chocolate cake studded with fresh apples and topped with cinnamon sugar... this fall favorite is sure to please! #Choctoberfest #ImperialSugar #sponsored #ad

Check out all the other recipes shared for #Choctoberfest at the linky below!
An InLinkz Link-up

P.S. Looking for some sweet treats for Halloween? Imperial Sugar has you covered! Find out more about Imperial Sugar by following them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube.

one year ago: Old Fashioned Chocolate Cobbler
two years ago: Beef Stroganoff 

three years ago: Homemade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
four years ago: Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting
five years ago: Apple Peanut Butter Muffins
six years ago: Pumpkin, Sausage, and Spinach Lasagna
seven years ago: Southwestern Pepperjack Baked Penne

Chocolate Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

  • Servings: 20
  • Print

adapted from my Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed (I used Imperial Sugar)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (not dutch-process)
  • 2 cups chopped apples, unpeeled – I like Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Crispin, Jonagold, Winesap, etc.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (I used Imperial Sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, water, oil, and egg. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Mix in flour and cocoa powder. Beat until smooth, then fold in apples.

Pour batter into prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon, then drizzle melted butter over top. Mix gently with a fork to combine, then sprinkle over batter. It will not fully cover the batter, but it will bake up fine.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cake begins pulling away from the edge of the pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pairs well with ice cream!

Disclosure:  Though I received products for free as part of my participation in #Choctoberfest, I was not compensated in any other way and was not asked to provide positive feedback.

Breakfast, Oatmeal, Recipes

S’mores Oatmeal

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert… S’mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert... S'mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

looove oatmeal for breakfast. No matter the weather, I could eat oatmeal almost everyday (and sometimes I do!). Sometimes I like them cold (yay overnight oats!), and sometimes I like them hot (made with milk and topped with berries and almonds)… and sometimes I like them baked (but not in the pot nine days old #thankyouverymuch).

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert... S'mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

Flahavan’s recently sent me a fun little oat-licious care package that included a box of their famed Irish Oatmeal and some packets of quick-cooking steel cut oats. Both were DELICIOUS! There’s something to be said about enjoying oats from Ireland made by a family who has been in the oat business for over 200 years. I think these people know oats! And what Flahavan’s is known for is their flaked oats that cook up fast (only three minutes on the stovetop!) and creamy as can be. Thank you, Flahavan’s, for letting me try your amazing oatmeal! Now I know what all the hype with Irish oats is… and I’ll be seeking them out. If you’re curious, you can find out where to buy them yourself here.

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert... S'mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

Naturally, I had to fancy up my first bowl of Flahavan’s oats. Since Ben was out when I made my morning oatmeal, I decided to top my oats with a combo that only I would enjoy… S’MORES! Ben does like s’mores, but s’morifying other recipes isn’t really his jam… oh well, more for me! So I wasn’t basically eating dessert for breakfast, I chose to be intentional about the amounts of marshmallows and chocolate chips I added to my oatmeal. That way I didn’t go overboard! Is this is a bowl of oatmeal I’d eat everyday? No, probably not. But it’s a fun treat! The best part is that these oats cook up in just a few minutes and are the absolute creamiest oats I’ve ever tasted! I think some of that is the marshmallows stirred into the hot oats, but it is also the Irish oats doing their thing. 🙂 Hope you enjoy!!

one year ago: Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole
two years ago: Cheesy Taco Muffins
three years ago: Coconut Curry Popcorn
four years ago: Guacamole Salsa
five years ago: Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
six years ago: Sausage Egg Apple Strata

S'mores Oatmeal

  • Servings: 1 but can be easily scaled up
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal (or other old-fashioned oatmeal)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla
  • 15 mini marshmallows, divided
  • 1 tablespoon graham cracker crumbs, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sliced, toasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Combine milk, water, Flahavan’s Oats, and cinnamon in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until liquid has absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and half of the marshmallows and half of the graham cracker crumbs. Stir until melted, then transfer to a serving bowl. Top with remaining marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, almonds, and chocolate chips. Enjoy immediately!

Disclosure: I received samples of Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal to try. However, I was not required to blog about them or provide positive feedback. I was not compensated in any other way. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Flahavan’s for some great oats! 

Main Dishes, Pork, Recipes

Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year’s? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress… and it tastes even better! 

Disclaimer: This recipe was created for the Cape Cod Select Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge. Please follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I was sent free cranberries for recipe development purposes, but was in any other way compensated for my time, ingredients, etc. 

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

While I am not much of a “meat and potatoes” sort of girl, the one special cut of meat that I do appreciate is the pork tenderloin. Large hunks of meat tend to scare me a little bit. In college, my roomie and I always said that we would be “real adults” when we bought our own meat. We were joking around, but it’s sort of true… and then I married a man who loves his meat–so I had to get out of my comfort zone! Thankfully pork tenderloin, at least in my experience, is ridiculously simple and hard to mess up. Plus it tastes amazing! Pork tenderloin is incredibly versatile, and my recipe today combines lots of great winter flavors that the whole family is sure to love.

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

Normally, I make my pork tenderloin with some sort of marinade or sauce. And that’s true here…but I ALSO stuffed it, hassleback style, with cranberries and pears and goat cheese. MMMM! The cranberries and pears get all roasted and yummy–the perfect combination of tart and sweet–and when you add in the melty goat cheese, it’s just like a party on your plate! There’s nothing better! 🙂 For this recipe, I used Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries. These cranberries are utterly wonderful–and a great way to enjoy cranberries every season of the year. This was the first time I had used Cape Cod Select products and I was really impressed with their freshness and quality. Check ’em out at a store near you!

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

After the pork is done cooking, all the excess cranberries, pears, and juices from the meat aren’t going to go to waste–you can make a quick, savory cranberry sauce by pulsing everything together with an immersion blender or food processor. Spoon the savory sauce with the pork to keep it moist with every bite or use it as a dipping sauce. It’s in this sauce that the flavors of the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, rosemary, and cinnamon that was poured over the pork before cooking really comes through! The double dose of cranberry goodness is sure to spice up your pork and your dinner!

one year ago: No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars
two years ago: Orange Spritz
three years ago: Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies
four years ago: Cranberry Orange Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup
five years ago: Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
six years ago: Cranberry Scones

Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • freshly ground pepper
  • sea salt
  • 2 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 large pear, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until soft. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Evenly scatter half of the onions in the bottom of a roasting pan or other oven-safe dish. Place rest of the onions in a medium bowl.

Slice pork tenderloin by cutting 3/4 of the way through, approximately 1/2-1 inch apart. Place in pan.

Stuff each opening with 1 slice of pear and 5-6 cranberries. Place remaining pear slices and cranberries around the pork tenderloin.

Pour maple syrup over the onions in the bowl, then add Dijon mustard, rosemary, and cinnamon. Stir together, then season with pepper and salt to taste. Pour mixture over pork, then sprinkle with goat cheese.

Cook for 35-50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F and pork is no longer pink in the center [unless you prefer it rarer]. Pork takes about 15-20 minutes per pound to cook through, and I found it needed a little longer probably due to the pears and cranberries.

Transfer cooked pork to a serving platter and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Pour drippings from pan, including excess fruit/onions, to a medium bowl. Use an immersion blender to puree everything together into a chunky, savory cranberry sauce. Add a little water to thin if desired. You can also use a regular food processor. Serve savory cranberry sauce on the side and enjoy!

Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake for #Choctoberfest

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special!

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest

I think we need a little dessert around here, don’t you? Most of what I been up to in the kitchen [and sharing on the blog, when I have had the chance] this summer has been savory… dinner, mostly, just to keep us fed amidst the newborn days. But lately I’ve had the urge to bake! I think pregnancy made me into more of a chocoholic than I have ever been before, but I still love me some fruity desserts too. 🙂 The best desserts are those that combine fruit and chocolate into one lovely package… like this banana cake that’s studded with chocolate chips and laced with a little bit of espresso flava! It is absolute PERFECT for Chocotoberfest!

Psssst…. don’t forget to enter the giveaway here. 🙂

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest

I think that we can all agree that sometimes we buy extra bananas just to have them on hand for baking. Or is that just me? Haha. Anyways, this banana cake is a fabulous way to use up extra bananas languishing on your counter or popped in the freezer. It is a banana cake for people who like bananas–the flavor is definitely present, but if you aren’t the biggest banana fan on earth, don’t worry, as it is also tempered by the rich chocolate and coffee flavors too. There’s something in this cake for everyone! I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize how perfect the sugary/spicy/salty crumb topping on this cake is also. Don’t omit the salt! It definitely adds a hint of something special to this cake… enjoy!

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest
two years ago: Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice
three years ago: Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheese
four years ago: No Bake Tropical Energy Bites
five years ago: Garlicky Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil
six years ago: Pillow Cookies

Banana Espresso Crumb Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

from The Sweets Life

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 mashed ripe bananas, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup [1 stick] unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour [can use 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour & 3/4 cup all-purpose flour if you wish]
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee [or 1 1/2 packets of Starbucks Via or other packaged instant coffee]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

for crumb topping

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon coarse salt [I used Kosher salt–use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon depending on how salty you like things]
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 or 9×9 square pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together bananas, sugar, butter, half and half, and egg. In a larger bowl, whisk together flour, instant coffee, and baking soda. Fold wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until just moistened. Gently stir in chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

In another bowl, make the crumb topping by mixing together flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over dry ingredients, then toss with a fork gently until crumbs form. For larger crumbs, toss less. Sprinkle evenly over cake batter.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Do not overbake–sometimes it can be hard to tell with banana baked goods whether they are done or not, so if you are in doubt, take it out and let it cool a little bit and check it a few more times.

For clean slices, cool before cutting. Slices of this cake reheat well in the microwave!

Check out other chocolate recipes of the day for Choctoberfest at the link below!