Baked sweet carrot fries

Sweet carrot fries
Sweet carrot fries

Happy November, everyone! October seemed to go by fast, probably because I had so many events on my calendar from family gatherings like my aunt’s wedding to pregnancy related doctors appointments and tests.

The other day, my sister’s 4-year-old son asked “what’s next” after Halloween. He can be shy, but apparently he loves social events. It’s nice that he looks forward to those times and he may be thinking about when he will see his cousins next. Well, the day after Halloween is his uncle Paul’s birthday (my husband), then a baby shower, Thanksgiving, and another baby shower. Before we know it, Christmas Eve will be here. I’m very much excited for Christmas because my sister and brother who live out of the area will be visiting.

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Mom’s French apple pie

Mom's french apple pie

Today I was looking back through old blog posts and found this one from 2015 where I wrote that making apple pie with my mom’s recipes was one of my goals for before I turned 24. I totally forgot about that, but now I’m a few months away from 28 and I can say that I finally did it.

I made apple pie using my mom’s recipe for French apple pie this past Sunday for her birthday. We had a small gathering and it seemed that everyone loved it. I’m so glad it came out good, but how could it not?  Apple pie is the best. I’m sure using the amazing Jonagold apples my husband bought us in Oak Glen made it even more delicious.

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Teriyaki meatballs with udon noodles

Teriyaki meatballs with udon noodles

Hello, friends. I’ve been working on a few new recipes, but I want to test them out a few more times before sharing them with you. For today, I have an easy dinner idea that I have done a few different ways plenty of times over the past three years or so. It’s not really a recipe, but I hope you still get inspiration from it and try it out yourself.

I like having the ingredients on hand for an easy meal like this so I can have a healthy lunch or dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.

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Apple spice French toast

Apple Spice French Toast 3

I’m so glad it’s fall! Or at least, it feels like it should be fall. Even though it’s still 90 degrees in Southern California and will stay around those temperatures until late October, most likely. But just 12 days until it’s officially fall!

I’ve started decorating the house for fall with a fake leaf garland above the mantle, candles, a few small decorations, and later in the month, I’ll put the Halloween things out. I’m not too crazy about Halloween because I’m a baby and it used to scare me growing up. You will never see me at a haunted house. I’m getting into the idea of Halloween a little now though, especially because my husband and his family like it.

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One pot spaghetti with meat sauce

one pot spaghetti and meat sauce

I love cooking, but I hate washing a million dishes. So if I could make a great tasting meal that doesn’t use multiple dishes, I’m all for it. With this recipe I can make spaghetti and meat sauce all in one pot without even having to drain it.

With very little chopping or measuring, you can throw a delicious meal together using only one pot. This spaghetti and meat sauce recipe is great for weeknights.

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Apricot horn cookies

apricot almond horn cookies

I have a grandma who is not technically my grandma. She is my cousins’ grandma. But she is my Grandma Irene. I’ve called her Grandma Irene since the time I was a little kid. If you were to meet her she just might introduce herself to you as Grandma Irene too because that’s who she is.

You see, she’s not technically related to me because she is my cousins’ grandma on their dad’s side and we’re related because our moms are sisters. It’s confusing to explain. She’s part of my family though.

She’s smart and determined. She took college classes when her children were grown. She walks three miles just about every day. She’s giving and kind. She cares for animals, including injured birds and the dog she loves so much. And just about every Christmas she would make these delicious apricot horn cookies.

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Chocolate peanut butter hearts

chocolate peanut butter hearts

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and to celebrate I’m sharing an easy recipe for homemade candy that you can share with your love, your friends, or just keep to yourself.

Paul and I both love chocolate peanut butter candies, so I made some festive chocolate peanut butter hearts. I kept it simple by only using four ingredients, but I think the end result is still impressive.

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Oat oven meatballs

My mom has made oven meatballs many times over the years, including for family parties. I’ll have to share that recipe sometime. This is based on her amazing meatballs but slightly different. I just always have to mess with a good thing.

I scaled down her recipe to serve about 4 to 6 servings instead of about 8. She makes hers with bread crumbs and red onion. I swapped the bread crumbs for oats and left out the red onion. You can almost get the original recipe out of this. Here I am pulling back the velvet curtain on recipe development.

barbecue oven meatballs

What I love about these meatballs is that they’re so juicy, but they get slightly crunchy on the bottom from the pan. Also, you must make them with the sweet and tangy barbecue sauce listed below. These meatballs would also go great with other sauces, such as marinara or teriyaki. I recommend serving them with rice or another grain.

If you’re making them for a party, I recommend shaping them smaller and keeping them in a slow cooker with the sauce to keep them warm.

The meatballs can be frozen without the sauce and the sauce can be refrigerated for up to a month.

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