Autumn Recipe Inspiration + Other Fun Stuff

October 27, 2017

I really wanted to share my Autumn Recipe index since I am sure it will be winter in about a week. Life’s been busy around here so I am a gal of few words this time. Sorry. #novembergoals

Autumn Recipe Inspiration

Pear and Potato Salad with Pickled Mustard Seeds and Sausage. This is a winner.

Hasselback Potatoes with Kale Pesto. I used this chimichurri sauce instead. I used a full bunch of cilantro and no parsley and I think I added an extra clove of garlic. I really like the addition of oregano here.

Buttery Celery Tortellini. I haven’t tried this one yet but the combo seems interesting.

Cheesy Baked Gnocchi with Kale. Just good ol’ comfort food here.

Sticky Sesame and Ginger Pork Meatballs with Soba Noodles. This recipe is absolutely delicious and surprisingly easy. I used half pork and half beef for the meatballs and Costco has been carrying a Ramen Noodle made with brown rice and millet that is an awesome noodle substitute.

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken French Bread. Try this for Sunday night football or for a World Series game. Your husband/boyfriend/family/friends will love you!

Caramel Affogato with Cinnamon Churros. OMG, what a decadent treat. This could be shared with friends next to a warm fire in minutes. Just pick up a couple churros from Costco the day of and the rest is easy peasy!

Carrot Cake Thumbprint Cookies. These have been on my to-make list for awhile now. You will get an insta report soon!

Cream Cheese Cake. I’ve tried a number of cheesecakes but still searching for ‘the one’. Guess this recipe is next in line with Thanksgiving around the corner.

Cocktail of the Month. Dogear this one for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Other Fun Stuff

C&H Jeans. I bought the Rocket High Rise. Seriously the best pair of jeans I’ve owned. Worth every dollar.

Metallic Lipstick. I’ve been wearing brick metal and bronzed burgundy. Perfect Fall colors and I also bought Flamingo Floss for our upcoming Mexico vacay! They are currently buy one get the second 50% off!

Mamacita Tee. All you mothers need to rock this tee! They have other styles too if the V isn’t your look.

Indy Brand. Snuggle up on the couch with one of their cute comfy sweatshirts.

The Flower Hat. Check out their shop on 10/30 and order Julio’s favorite bulbs.

Thanksgiving Inspiration

November 22, 2016


Hey, its Thanksgiving week so I thought I would share a couple inspiring recipes and tips for Thursday’s feast. Still keep your tried and trues but it never hurts to mix things up a little. Keep in mind I haven’t tried any of the recipes listed below but they all look holiday worthy! Let me know if you find a winner.

Cocktail -Try this festive twist on the Moscow Mule, ’cause who doesn’t love a super cold copper mug filled with refreshing ginger beer?!

Apps – I like antipasto platters because there’s a little something for everyone to nibble on. Sometimes I will invite guests to bring one small bite which makes for an interesting board and cost friendly. Those darn meat and cheese boards can get expensive!

Main – Spicy Turkey Breast (Been there done that, maybe you want to scratch the big bird too), Crock pot Three Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Focaccia Stuffing with Leeks or this Wild Mushroom stuffing looks pretty good too and Radicchio Salad with Manchego Vinaigrette (looks like a time saver).

Sides – Dinner rolls from your local baker (save yourself some time here) and I think homemade cranberry sauce is worth every extra minute in the kitchen.

Dessert – Okay someone has to try this deep dish pie, its looks so so good. And if you need something gluten free and dairy free try this Pumpkin Tart.

Table Inspiration – Check out the magnolia leaf runner and after you’re done with Thanksgiving Dinner place it on your mantel for Christmas!

If you’re feeling a panic attack settling in right about now then I recommend (drum roll please) TURKEY POT PIE! It’s genius. I am pretty sure you’ll find every ingredient from the Thanksgiving menu wrapped in a delicious pastry dough. Just saying, you could hit the hot springs all morning/afternoon and come home to a bubbling pie. Think about it. Here’s an article to guide you through your non-traditional dinner.

Good Luck and remember don’t sweat the small stuff! XO Kate

Thanksgiving Leftovers & Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

November 27, 2015

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins


Happy Thanksgiving! I know it’s been a little quiet over here for a couple of weeks. Sorry about that. But I’m back and just in time for the holidays. Phew, because this is my favorite time of the year to be in the kitchen. So many sweet treats to bake. My sister and I actually already baked 8 dozen sugar cookies. I am feeling inspired this year if you haven’t noticed from my holiday board. However, I am pretty sure the creators behind these cookies or should I say ‘edible art’ have to be professionals!

So what did everyone make for Thanksgiving this year? Did you host and have the honor of cooking the turkey?

We ate the tried and true standbys; turkey and homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing and mashed potatoes, broccoli quinoa casserole, and pumpkin and apple pie. I created a new salad with kale, Brussels sprouts and candied hazelnuts. Nat recently visited Spain and Portugal so she was feeling inspired by the Spanish and made a sangria. Mom tried a recipe for chocolate chess pie. Yes, it sounds like we had a lot of pie and we did. Four to be exact. Just what I needed right before I squeeze into my bathing suit for a week. Oh well.

The best part of the day was that I didn’t have to host or cook the turkey. I volunteered my sister and her husband for both. Thanks Kels and Dave. The smoked turkey was delicious. You may be smoking turkey from here on out!

So now you have an entire fridge of leftovers. The real reason behind the feast; so we can eat pie for a week. No seriously, there is usually a lot of leftovers and I can only eat so many turkey and cranberry sandwiches. So I have two ideas for you this year; Shepherd’s pie and these pumpkin cranberry muffins.  Shepherd’s pie is a great way to use up leftover turkey, gravy, roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes. And these muffins aren’t too sweet, which I like. And let’s not forget the cranberry tucked away in the middle of the muffin. I mean who doesn’t love a little surprise!

Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving leftovers

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins / makes 8 large muffins

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. spelt flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt, dried orange peel and nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 c. leftover pumpkin puree (8 oz.)
Leftover cranberry sauce
Demerara sugar and pecans

Preheat oven to 350.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add wet ingredients minus the cranberry sauce and fold everything together until just blended; do not over mix. Spoon the batter into a greased muffin pan, filling each cup halfway. Add a generous teaspoon of cranberry sauce and fill cup with batter to three-quarters full. Sprinkle with sugar and rough chopped pecans.

Bake for 20 to 3o minutes until golden brown. If you insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin it should pull out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter of coarse!

Happy Holidays! And remember, there’s always something to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad

January 21, 2015

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

It use to be my mom who hosted every holiday dinner. Now, my sister’s and I contribute Christmas Eve dinner. Its predictable that I am designated salad and dessert every year. For some reason, my sister’s believe I am some kind of green salad goddess. I repeatedly tell them to use quality oils but they would much rather refuse the advice and eat my greens. So for Christmas Eve dinner this last year, I decided to substitute the standard leafy greens for shredded Brussels sprouts.

I think it’s safe to say this salad is tried and true. I started the recipe prior to Christmas. Adding a little more of this and a little less of that and have been eating it ever since. So I am bit tired of shredding and eating sprouts. On a positive note, it keeps well in the fridge so leave a little for the next day. I generously garnished a veggie burger and called it lunch for multiple days. I won’t say how many!

Give it a try while you can still find fresh Brussels and pomegranates. It’s seasonal and healthy and good way to keep that new year’s resolution from vanishing.

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad / Serves 6 to 8 as a side salad

1 lb of Brussels Sprouts, shredded (thinly by hand or use a food processor)
Olive Oil
1/4 – 1/2 red onion, diced
1 pomegranate, seeded
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
4 oz. feta
1/2 orange, zest and juice
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
Extra virgin olive oil

Whisk together the zest and juice from half lemon and orange with 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Drain rinsed garbanzo beans and pat dry. Spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbs. olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. cayenne. Bake for 20 minutes and then scrape baking sheet with a spatula. Bake another 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Set aside.
Heat a large cast iron pan to medium high and add 2 Tbs. olive oil. Swirl pan around so olive oil coats the entire surface. Once pan is hot, add shredded Brussels sprouts. Saute for about 7 minutes until softened with brown bits. Transfer to a serving bowl and continue with the second batch of shredded Brussels sprouts. If you have a large enough pan you may get by doing this once but I prefer two batches so the sprouts cook evenly with plenty of brown bits.
Add diced onion to serving bowl. The size of onion will dictate whether to use only a quarter or up to half. Spend the extra time dicing away. No big onion chunks in this salad.
Add roasted garbanzo beans, pomegranate seeds and feta to serving bowl (reserve a little feta and pomegranate seeds for garnish). Toss all ingredients together with vinaigrette. Top salad with remaining feta and pomegranate seeds.
Enjoy the New Year with this festive and vibrant salad!

Eat seasonally, Stay Healthy!

Bourbon + Apple Cider + Kombucha

December 20, 2014


Christmas Cocktail

It’s really quite simple with only three ingredients. And to be honest, I make it often minus the kombucha. But with only two ingredients, be mindful in selecting a bourbon and apple cider. Quality is key here. I use the apple cider made with the apples from our trees each year. It’s fresh and unpasteurized.  So I often bring it to a boil with warm spices like cinnamon, star anise, and clove and let it simmer and perfume the kitchen for a bit.

Apple Cider Cocktail // 1 drink
1 oz. bourbon
1 oz. apple cider
1 oz. gingerade kombucha
Brown sugar

Place ice in a cocktail shaker. Add bourbon, apple cider and kombucha. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the cocktail glass and dip in brown sugar. Strain the drink into the glass. You can add more ice to the glass if you like. Garnish with a thin slice of orange peel.

Be Merry and Bright!

Pumpkin Tart

November 20, 2014

pumpkin tart


I am sharing a Thanksgiving Day recipe. It’s a pumpkin tart with a chocolate glaze and crust made with graham crackers, pecans and dates. Pumpkin is a favorite of mine except for pumpkin pie. I think I ate too much pumpkin pie with my Dad when I was just a girl. So I wanted to create something similar to pumpkin pie that I might like. So of course I added chocolate and an irresistible crust.

I made the pumpkin puree from scratch. My Mom had a Sugar Pumpkin from the garden in cold storage so I thought, why not. I cut the pumpkin in half, removed the seeds and gunk, and baked it at 400 degrees until soft. (Note: I added a little water to to the baking pan so the pumpkin would steam.) Baking time will vary with size. I think it took about 45 minutes for a medium sized one. I let it cool just enough where I could handle it and then I peeled the skin back on most of it and the remaining I scooped with a spoon. I pureed the pumpkin using a food processor. Looking at it on a baking tray, I thought I would barely get enough for one tart. Bad judgement because I have made two tarts now and probably have enough for 2 more. Pumpkin puree is not a lot of work but obviously takes more effort than cracking a can.

It’s officially Winter here in Montana. We have been experiencing the Arctic Blast. Subzero temperatures and snow for over a week now. Dad says we need the South wind to come through and clear the weather. Not sure I like the sound of wind either. Tough decision but I think if I had the choice I would pick the cold over the wind. Fortunately, we worked most the cattle the week prior to the Arctic Blast when temps were in the 60s. We worked the last group yesterday and I am happy to say temps peaked in high 30s! Hard to believe 30s feels comfortable now.

arctic blast

Pumpkin Tart

12 graham crackers
1 c. pecan halves
6 medjool dates, pitted
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

5 oz. chevre goat cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. each of nutmeg and ginger
3 eggs (2 yolks and 1 whole)
15 oz. pumpkin puree (1 can)
2 Tbs. cream
1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. chocolate chips (60% or higher)
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. cream
2 Tbs. light corn syrup

1 tsp. pepitas, chopped
Whipped cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor combine all ingredients for the crust. Pulse until mealy and clumps when pressed together with fingers.
Grease a 11-inch circular tart mold with butter. Empty crust mixture into tart mold and press along sides and base to form an even crust. Bake for 12 to 15 or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool.

With an electric mixer and whisk attachment, combine goat cheese, sugar, and spices. Whip until creamy. Add egg yolks and egg, beating after each addition. Add pumpkin puree, cream, and vanilla and continue whisking until all ingredients are combined and filling is smooth. Pour filling into cooled tart crust and bake for 40 minutes or until center does not jiggle. Remove from oven and cool.

Using a double broiler, add chocolate, butter, and cream. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Stir in corn syrup without incorporating air. Remove and pour over cooled pumpkin tart. Spread evenly. Garnish with pepitas and whipped cream.

Best eaten day of. No problem here.


Pumpkin Tart

Vogue Gardening + Apple Frangapaine Tart Drizzled with Salted Caramel

October 30, 2014

Vogue Gardening


It has been a couple weeks since my last post. I have been busy traveling and also testing apple recipe after apple recipe, both savory and sweet. I tried an apple and brussel sprout pickled slaw that topped my favorite squash soup. I grated apples for a chia seed breakfast porridge. Of course a variety of pies, tarts and galettes. But I finally decided to share this apple frangapaine tart drizzled with salted caramel. I thought it might be a Thanksgiving Dinner worthy dessert! It is quite simple but does include multiple steps. If you are in a pinch, the prep time could be greatly reduced with store bought dough, almond cream, and caramel. But the homemade version is well worth the time. Plus this recipe makes two tarts. One for eating directly from the oven, the other is meant to be frozen and baked on a cold morning.

I have also wanted to try Aran’s Gluten Free Apple Hazelnut Oat Cake and Cider Baked Apples.

I had the pleasure of working with the very talented Trisha Jones earlier this Fall. She is self-taught photographer that strives for a more natural, less edited imaged to truly capture what is unique about the subject. Trisha resides in Three Forks, Montana and covers the valley shooting expressive portraits. Her ambition and energy is contagious and I hope to collaborate again. You can view some of her work on Instagram here and Facebook here. Thank you Trisha for this vibrant shoot.

Picking Apples


Apple Frangapaine Tart Drizzled with Salted Caramel


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Make the almond cream. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.
3. Butter tart mold and make pate sucree dough.
4. Spread a thin layer of apple butter on the bottom of the crust and then refrigerate for 15 or so minutes. If you do not have apple butter, it can be eliminated.
5. While dough is chilling, peel and core 3 apples. Thinly slice and try to keep the shape of half an apple.
6. Spread half the almond cream on top of apple butter and arrange apples on top.
7. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until crust is golden brown and the frangapaine is puffed and golden.
8. Make the salted caramel while tart is baking.
9. Drizzle salted caramel over tart and serve. Best eaten the day of!

Note: The second assembled tart can be frozen for up to 2 weeks. Bake directly from freezer, adding several minutes to baking time.

Apple Frangapaine Tart Drizzled with Salted Caramel


WHAT YOU’LL NEED For the Pate Sucree Dough // Recipe from SF Baking Institute

329g (2 2/3 c.) all-purpose flour
142g (1 1/8 c.) Powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
148g (1 stick + 2 Tbs.) Butter
112g (~6 large) Egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
66g (2/3 c.) Almond flour

Sift the flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, almond flour, and salt and add to a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle.
Add the butter and mix on medium low speed until mealy (course corn meal texture).
Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix on low speed until the dough comes together.
Divide dough into two equal discs. Use parchment paper to roll out. Sometimes I place a yardstick on each side of the disc while I roll out dough to help get the correct thickness (~1/4 inch). Do not pull or stretch dough when forming to mold. Trim edges at an angle starting with the outside. Place on a baking sheet. Makes (2) 4.5-inch x 13.75-inch rectangular tarts. I used this tart mold here.


WHAT YOU’LL NEED For the Almond Cream

1 stick of butter, room temperature
½ c. granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 ¼ c. almond flour
¼ c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. rum

Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and rum and scrape the bowl as needed. Add the almond meal and flour and mix until incorporated. Almond cream can be refrigerated up to 5 days or frozen for 2 months.


WHAT YOU’LL NEED For the Salted Caramel

½ c. granulated sugar
¼ c. cream
2 Tbs. butter
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Heat a small saucepan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, sprinkle a small amount of sugar into pan and allow the sugar to melt without gaining too much color. Continue to sprinkle sugar and swirl pan to fully melt each addition. Once all the sugar is completely melted, cook to a deep reddish brown. (Note: the lighter the color of caramel, the sweeter.) The color can change rapidly. Be cautious to avoid burning the caramel.

Remove from heat and add warm cream mixture in batches, stir rapidly. Be careful, the mixture will splatter and steam. Add vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Sometimes it helps to reheat the caramel after adding the cream mixture for a smooth consistency. Cool until slightly thickened. Caramel can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Apple Frangapaine Tart Drizzled with Salted Caramel

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