Apple Cider Cupcakes

My sweet Momma is a Halloween baby and turns 70 today!

We celebrated big over the weekend with lots of family, food and of course yummy cupcakes!

I was looking for some inspiration for cupcakes when I happened on a recipe where you replace milk used in most cake recipes with apple cider. That sounded like the perfect seasonal recipe so I adjusted the recipe to fit what I needed, gathered together eggs, flour, vanilla, apple pie spice, etc…. ad got to baking!

I loved how the cupcakes turned out and they were so moist! Honestly using Apple cider was a fantastic call! The fact the cider was fresh from Crow Mtn Orchard nearby made it even better!

I used a basic decorators buttercream icing tinted with Wilton gel colors for decorating.

Momma loves seasonal flavors and this was a great way to utilize her favorite!

Let’s not talk about the candles… seriously y’all , sometimes you have to improvise.

Here is the full recipe you can print for Apple Cider Cupcakes

BTW…. If you aren’t a fan of icing, serve these babies up hot with butter. Yep, they make fantastic muffins, too!!

Happy Halloween Y’all!

My Hallmark Movie Baking Moment Gone Wrong

Ah… the joys of fall!

I try to savor every one of them; a little at a time as not to burn out on pumpkin spice and of course the traditional autumn bucket list.

It doesn’t always work out the way I wanted and mistakes are generally made.

I suppose I could stress and fret over things, but as parenting four kids taught me, what is the point!?!

Sometime’s you just have to go with the flow.

Last week, Tammie (Talking With Tami) and I headed up to Elijay, Georgia in the north Georgia mountains to pick apples at the beautiful BJ Reece Orchards.

Aren’t we so cute?

It was the perfect 65° Autumn day in Georgia with lots of Rome Beauties to pick from and a gorgeous drive as well!

Girlfriend days are always valued and treasured, as well as much needed, and picking apples is so much fun and most relaxing!

Tammie and I decided we would use the fresh apples we picked to make a yummy apple crisp to enjoy over the weekend.

Gathering together all the ingredients like apples, oatmeal, butter, cream, flour and brown sugar we prepared two pans in the kitchen for our apple crisp.

Everything went so smoothly and seemingly perfect as we sliced and melted and mixed and crumbled the ingredients.

It was truly picture perfect.

As I said, not everything always goes as planned, despite how well you prepare.

If you recall, I mentioned having everything I needed, plus two pans. Tammie and I were just going to split the recipe, so I added more apples. About six more apples to be exact, so our pans were full.

The crisp baked up nicely, and was so pretty when done.

Tammie and I sat down to taste it all served up in autumn bowls, the fresh baked crisp topped with whipped cream…

And y’all…. it was so very, awfully dry!

Oh you could taste the tart crisp apples, but My picture perfect, Hallmark, apple picking and making dessert moment was ruined.

My Apple crisp was dry!

Then I remembered the extra Apple I added so we had enough in each of our dishes…. I didn’t compensate by adding extra of the other ingredients.

So what do you do when you have a dish you want to serve, and no time to make a new one?!

{There was an actual purpose in choosing this dessert}

You Improvise of course.

Heavy cream is what makes this dish so juicy and yummy, so I drizzled heavy cream over the top, sliced a few pieces of butter and popped it back in the oven until heated through again.

Definitely not as good as making it correctly the first time, but still good enough to share, and with no leftovers.

So here is your Lesson of the day: As holiday baking commences pay attention when you are baking, embrace your failures, improvise and pretend you did everything absolutely correct the first time as you set it on the table (after traveling with it to Tennessee) for your Momma to eat as part of her birthday weekend celebration.

Here is my Deep Dish Apple Crisp recipe in full so you can print it off! Keep some extra cream & even butter on hand for emergencies.

Happy Monday y’all!!

Fall Fresh Fruit Salad

Despite the heat and humidity in this early fall, nothing is more enjoyable than strolling through your local farmer’s market on Saturday morning, then preparing a meal! The little market In Snellville is my favorite Saturday morning adventure. Audley and I will often wake early just to go over and pick through the seasonal fruits and veggies while planning our meals for the week.

Snellville Farmers Market

Market Flowers

Local Figs

Right now we are at the very last of nectarine season and fig season. As we were strolling through the market I was concocting a yummy, but healthy supper in my mind using some of the fresh goodness around me. What I came up with was such a hit, the family was disappointed that it disappeared so fast.

Fall Fresh Fruit Salad

 

Honestly this is so easy and versatile that it doesn’t warrant a recipe card (I added it at the end of the post so you have a shopping list). I’m going to tell you what I used for this super easy and flavorful supper, giving you the opportunity to let your own creative juices flow!

Salad Ingredients

There are no measurements for the salad, as you will create it to fit your own personal tastes and the number of people dining at your table. I’m just here to share suggestions!

Slice your nectarines and figs, then toss into the mixed greens. Cook your bacon crisp (I used a whole package for four of us), but not over cooked, and dice the prosciutto to sauté. After draining the excess grease from the bacon and prosciutto, add it to the salad, reserving a couple of pieces for your dressing. Add your pecans as well.

My bacon vinaigrette is not a traditional vinaigrette dressing as I use less oil than most people. But the dressing simple to whisk up and consists of white balsamic vinegar, stone ground mustard, honey, garlic, bacon, bacon drippings! When the ingredients are well mixed, drizzle over the salad and toss together. Don’t over saturate the salad with dressing or you’ll take away from the fresh fruit flavor!

You can serve this with grilled salmon, rotisserie chicken, a steak, or just enjoy it on its own!

It’s that filling and satisfying!!

What I love about salads of this type is you can swap the fruit for whatever is in season (pears and apples for example). You can also swap up which nut you add (cashews & walnuts for example). I chose pecans as living here in Georgia they are plentiful, fresh and so delicious!!

Click here for a printable recipe for this Fall Fresh Fruit Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette.

Have a great weekend y’all and eat well!

Sugar Factory Atlanta!

Happy almost fall boys & girls!!

Have I ever missed you all, but sometimes we just have to have a little time for ourselves to regroup, refocus and decide exactly what we want to do!! I am back and do I ever have a great restaurant to share with you this Foodie Friday!

If there’s one thing I’ve discovered in the 2 1/2 years we’ve been living in Atlanta it’s that you can find something for every palette in the family and have a blast doing so!

The latest in food and fun here in Atlanta comes in the form of the Sugar Factory in the heart of Midtown. This is the 16th Sugar Factory location, and I can totally see why the company is growing! I was invited to pop in last night for a little tasting and can’t wait to return for a night out again soon!

 

 

With fun decor from chandeliers to a candy wall & tufted benches, music, monstrous burgers (that’s what they’re called!) & salads, so many unique libations, desserts galore, the Sugar Factory is the perfect place for lunch with the kids, a girls night out, birthday celebrations and just a casual night out with friends.

It’s loud, trendy and will definitely make the perfect setting for any adult night out!

 

Last night I was able to taste a few items from the menu including bruschetta, the Big Cheesy (this one includes macaroni and cheese), shrimp, several drinks and of course I couldn’t go without sampling a fabulous over-the-top-milkshake!

 

“Sugar Factory is all about celebrating the sweetest moments in life. We want to create a fun, unforgettable dining experience for any age, at every location,” said Sugar Factory Owner Charissa Davidovici. “We are all about treasuring family fun and are looking forward to welcoming the Atlanta community to our newest restaurant.”

The drink menu is expansive and all I love dessert in one way or another. I do love the fast that any of their drinks can be made without alcohol, so those of us who do t really drink can still have a cool glass and drink, too!

 

 

Just a few quick observations:

1. This isn’t McDonalds or Chic-Fil-A. If you decide to take children plan your budget ahead of time and plan to spend money. Milkshakes begin at 20$. Lunchtime may not be as hectic as the evenings. After all this is still a bar.

2. If you are looking for an intimate spot for a date, this is not the place to go. It’s loud, colorful, and you will be seated very close to other patrons!

3. In the mood to celebrate?! This is the place! Not only is the food over the top, so are their celebrations!! Grab the girls for a night out, your closest friends to feel young again, or several couples needing a casual night and head on over!!

4. Make a reservation. Definitely make a reservation. Without one you may be waiting two hours for a table!

I’m looking forward to taking my own family when Bradley comes home on leave from the Marines in a few weeks. He’s a sugarholic and this screams our young Lance Corporal’s name!

Check out the Sugar Factory on your next weekend getaway to Atlanta.

The Sugar Factory

1080 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
470-428-4395

‘Til next time!!