11 Easy Fall Harvest Tarts

It’s finally baking season—which means it’s time to turn that oven back on and start getting inspired by the new fall harvest. Right now, pumpkins are aplenty, apples are picked fresh, and cranberries won’t be limited to just the freezer section. Take advantage of these seasonal fruits by trying some easy and delicious tart recipes.

Check out the recipes here

Image by: Green Healthy Cooking

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Healthy Apple Pie

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s easy to let indulgences get out of hand. That’s why I’ve already prepared myself a healthier version of the all-American favorite, the apple pie. With limited butter and sugar, I would say this is about half the amount of calories as the real deal, and it tastes great too!

For the Pie Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
2⁄3 cup butter or 2⁄3 cup shortening
5 -7 tablespoons cold water

For the Filling:

4 Gala apples cut in slices
2 tbsp. butter, dash of sugar, dash of cinnamon

Assemble and bake pie crust at 375 degrees until cooked through. In the meantime, cook the apple slices in butter, sugar and cinnamon on the stove until soft. After the pie crust is done assemble the apple slices in a rosette pattern, starting from the outside. Voila!

 

 

 

Easy Tomato Tart Recipe

For an easy, vegetarian dish that will use up the last of the summer tomatoes, look no further than this rustic tart. All you need is a frozen pie crust thawed, chive and onion cream cheese (7.5 oz), 2 eggs, 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese and ripe and juicy tomatoes. Combine the cheeses with the whisked eggs and pour into pie pan, placing sliced tomatoes on top. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 25 minutes or until slightly browned edges. YUM!

8 Spooky Halloween Party Ideas

The scariest day of the year is just around the corner (no, not April 15th), but Halloween! With both kids and adults enjoying the fun of this holiday, why not create a perfect Halloween party that will be remembered for years to come? Here are 8 creative party ideas for your next spooky soiree.

  1. Hire a Fortune Teller

Hiring a professional entertainer takes an otherwise ordinary party to another level. Keep your party guests amused by hiring a real-life fortune teller for personalized readings. It doesn’t stop there because there’s countless other professionals just waiting to be hired for your next gig. Think scary clowns, hypnotists, psychics, and even sword swallowers!

  1. Escape Room

Who says you need to host a party home? Why not have it at an ever-trendy Escape Room? Gather your guests, dress up (if you wish), pay the entrance fee and get ready for a mind-blowing experience. Basically, your group will be locked in a room and you must solve puzzles and riddles to escape. You must succeed before the time runs out or you’ll be trapped forever…foreveeeer. Kidding, but it is a unique party idea that will be a hit for ages 8 and up.

  1. Sinful Sips

No party is complete without a signature cocktail, and for Halloween time there are countless drink recipes (both boozy and non-alcoholic) out there that will add a little fun to the party menu. Like this Blackberry Margarita, or even this whimsical Witch’s Heart Martini. Take the drink prep off your shoulders on the big day by hiring a bartender for your event, some may even dress up in the theme of your choice!

  1. Creepy Private Venues

If Halloween is THE holiday for you, why not rent an entire venue for your event and invite all the ghouls and monsters you know? This is a cost-effective way to host corporate events, large family gatherings and school functions with minimal cleanup and an all-included price. This isn’t limited to hotel banquet halls, but laser tag centers, bowling alleys, or (gasp!) graveyards. Deck out your space in fun, eerie decorations and leave the rest to the professionals.

  1. Photo Booth (With Plenty of Scary Props!)

We’ve all heard of photo booths at weddings and birthdays, but Halloween seems like a fantastic opportunity too. Stock up the prop section with plenty of masks, vampire teeth and cat ears or go an easier route with these free printables.

  1. Eerie Treats

With bakers at the ready this holiday season, it’s as easy as a phone call to get some one-of-a-kind desserts for your next Halloween party. Simply show them photos of your idea and leave it to the professionals. The sky’s the limit with ghost cupcakes, vampire cookies, or these ever-so-creepy monster truffles.

  1. Haunted House at Home

Haunted houses and Halloween go hand-in-hand, and this party idea is made easy with professional prop rentals. Did you know there’s no need to buy that pricey fog machine you’ve been eyeing? Instead you can rent it, along with lighting, skeletons, and a graveyard. Haunted house made easy!

  1. Fright Night Games

Planning games is a way for kids and adults alike to get in on the Halloween fun. Think simple like pin the bowtie on the skeleton, pumpkin decorating contest or the classic bobbing for apples. Make it even more memorable by getting professional carnival games brought to you!

Photo by: Michael Whitbank

10 Savory Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

It’s no secret pumpkin feels right at home in pies and lattes, but this versatile fall vegetable also works in warm soups, rich pasta sauces, and even French fries. With its heavenly scent and many health benefits, pumpkin should actually be used every single day. Here, we rounded up 10 savory pumpkin recipes that will have even avid PSL drinkers seeing their favorite ingredient in a whole new light.

Find the recipes here

Photo by: Love Lola Blog

Fall in Love with Pears, Again.

It’s officially FALL! Bring on all the flavors that epitomize this wonderful season like apples, persimmons and my personal favorite- PEARS! I love baking with poached pears because they turn out so soft and easy to eat. I usually buy the brown bosc pears, peel them, and stick them in boiling water with some cinnamon, honey and sugar. In about 10 minutes the entire house smells like literal heaven.

Once your pears are cooked, you can prep your pre-made puff pastry by defrosting it from the freezer. Once soft, you can cut the pear in half, de-seed and place on the puff pastry (keeping the stem, of course!). Lightly brush the sides with eggwash, stick in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until edges are brown. Once done, drizzle with caramel sauce, dulce de leche or simply powdered sugar. Voila! An easy, classically Fall dessert!

Exploring Saint Remy de Provence, France

If you are a foodie in France and want some authentic French cuisine alone with an impeccable night’s stay I highly recommend checking out Le Chateau des Alpilles in Saint Remy de Provence. It is a charming place with gorgeous design in every room, a spacious pool and an amazing on-site restaurant that allows you to sit outside, listen to the cicadas and sip your favorite wine.

Find more about my European trip on my Instagram and check out the fabulous chateau here.

20 Dessert Recipes Using Lavender

Lavender isn’t just for scents and soap anymore, it’s now making its way into the kitchen—and we aren’t complaining. If you’re wondering how to take ordinary desserts to the next level using the delicate scent (and color!) of this edible flower, we’ve got you covered. Most of these 20 delicious recipes call for dried lavender (unless otherwise specified) and will immediately transport you to Provence.

Click Here For Recipes!

Feature Image by: Cookie Named Desire

14 Fancy Grilled Cheese Ideas

A grilled cheese sandwich is the ultimate comfort food and a childhood favorite. And even though it may seem hard to top the simple melted American cheese version, these recipes succeed. Fancy cheeses, rustic veggies, and unexpected flavors (pizza grilled cheese, anyone?), take this beloved sandwich to the next level. Here are 14 reasons to get out your skillet and give the grilled cheese a major makeover.

Click Here for Recipes!

Featured Image and Recipe by: Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 slices whole-grain bread (such as Eureka! Organic Bread)
  • 4 tablespoons Spinach Basil Pesto
  • 4 slices Arla Dofino® Creamy Havarti (or 4 ounces, grated)
  • 2/3 cup sliced artichoke hearts (from jar or can, drained)
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling on sandwich

Directions:

  1. Butter the outsides of the bread with butter. Spread the insides of the bread slices evenly with pesto. Put a slice of Havarti on the bottom piece of bread, add artichoke hearts, and top with another slice of Havarti. Place the other piece of bread on top, creating a sandwich.
  2. Heat a large skillet or griddle pan over medium-low heat and place the sandwiches butter side down. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt and the bread is golden brown. Carefully flip the sandwich over and cook for an additional about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with sea salt. Cut sandwiches in half and serve immediately.

10 Ice Box Cakes for Easy Summer Entertaining

Our grandmothers were onto something. With literally no baking or cooking required, the icebox cake is extremely easy to prepare, making it this season’s dream dessert. Sandwich the tender cake layers with creamy filling, seasonal fruit, or your favorite flavors, and summer hosting is so much easier. Scroll through for 10 varieties of icebox cakes that will let you spend more time by the pool instead of heating up the kitchen.

Click Here for Recipes!

Summer Berry Cake

Feature Image by Molly Winters Recipe by Camille Styles

Ingredients:

  • 3 pints high-quality ice cream (I used Strawberry Basil, Coconut & Avocado Curd, and Blackberry, Lime & Basil, all from Lick. Use whatever flavors you love, but don’t cheap out: this is the time to break out the good stuff.) 
  • 1/4 cup jam, in a flavor that coordinates with your ice cream (I used blackberry)
  • 1 frozen all-butter pound cake (you could also make your own in a loaf pan, but… I kept it old-school and used Sara Lee)
  • 1 pint fresh berries

Instructions:

  1. Spray a 10 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides. Coat parchment with cooking spray, then line with plastic wrap, allowing an overhang on all sides. Do your best to smooth out the plastic as much as possible, as this will result in a smoother surface on the finished cake. Spray the plastic wrap with cooking spray.
  2. Remove 1 pint of ice cream (this will form the top layer) from the freezer and transfer to a bowl. Let sit for a minute or two, then stir with a spoon to loosen up the consistency so that it’s spreadable (you don’t want it melted, just soft.) Spread in an even layer on the bottom of the loaf pan. The more even you get it, the straighter your “layers” will be in the finished product. Transfer pan to the freezer, and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
  3. Remove the second pint of ice cream from the freezer and allow to soften in the same way. Spread in an even layer on top of the first layer, then return to freezer for 2 more hours. Next, spread a thin layer of jam across entire surface of ice cream and allow to freeze for at least an hour. Remove the third pint of ice cream from the freezer, allow to soften, then spread in an even layer on top of the jam. Return to freezer and freeze until firm.
  4. Take the pound cake out of the freezer and, using a very sharp knife, slice the cake into 3 long horizontal layers. Reserve two of the layers for another use; you’ll only be using one of them in this cake. Depending on the size of your pound cake, you may need to trim a couple inches from the side of the cake to make it fit in your loaf pan.
  5. Remove pan from freezer and top with the cake layer. Lightly press it into the ice cream to make sure it “sticks,” then cover cake with the plastic wrap overhang. Freeze until firm (cake can be made 3 days in advance.)
  6. When you’re ready to unmold the cake, wrap a damp, hot towel around the entire pan, and use a sharp knife to loosen all around the edges. Invert onto a serving platter, remove parchment paper and plastic wrap, and trim edges for a neater appearance. Top with berries and freeze until ready to serve.