Homemade Spiced Apple Cider – Slow Cooker

Apple picking season begins in August. It’s a sign that fall is almost here. Apple cider is a great recipe if you got some fresh picked apples. It is super simple and easy to make. This recipe is delicious and will make your house smell like fall.

Homemade Spiced Apple Cider

Ingredients

  • 7 Apples (assorted apples: gala, red delicious and granny smith)
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons of whole cloves
  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Water
  • *Optional: Sugar, maple syrup or brown sugar
  1. Slice apples and oranges into wedges.
  2. Add apples, oranges, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg into slow cooker.
  3. Add enough water to cover all ingredients.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours OR cook on high for 4 hours.
  5. Mash fruit with a spoon or potato masher to release all juice from fruits. Add sugar to taste if you would like.
  6. Strain mixture using a sieve or cheesecloth. Discard solids.
  7. Store cider in refrigerator for up to 7 days. You can also freeze for 3 months.

Recipe Tip: Warm-up cider and serve with a splash of spiced rum!

The best thing about this recipe is that you can control what ingredients are in the cider. You can add as much or as little sugar as you would like. There are no preservatives, so you know exactly what you’re drinking.

I hope you enjoy this delicious warm cider this season!🍂

Pumpkin Spice Creamer

The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte comes out tomorrow! For those of us who love fall more than anything, this is a sign we can finally start wearing cute boots and burn pumpkin candles. Usually, I don’t buy a PSL when it comes out as I want to avoid the lines. So, I celebrate by making a pumpkin spice coffee at home. I like to make my own pumpkin spice creamer because the list of ingredients in store-bought creamers is so long with ingredients I can’t even pronounce. This recipe is super easy with just five ingredients you can pronounce. This creamer can easily be made vegan. You can use oatmilk, vanilla coconut creamer or almond milk.

Pumpkin Spice Creamer

Servings: 6 Preparation Time: 15 minutes

  • 1 1/2 cups of half and half (or your milk of choice)
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  1. In a saucepan add the maple syrup, pumpkin spice and pumpkin puree. Heat for about 5 minutes on medium-low heat.
  2. Slowly add the milk and stir at the same time. As soon as the mixture comes together turn off heat. Add vanilla and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool.
  3. Add to a bottle that fits two cups of liquid. Store in the refrigerator. The creamer is good for 7 days. Enjoy!

Autumn Centerpiece Under $30

Autumn is right around the corner. One of my favorite things to do is decorate my house. I mean who doesn’t love the pumpkins, candles and plaid? On a visit to the craft store I found a couple different pieces that I thought would make a great centerpiece for my coffee table. This is just an idea of some cool finds at craft stores to inspire you to create your own centerpiece.

I spent less than $30 on my centerpiece. I bought a total of six items and used an old tray I had at home to create it. You can go to your favorite decor or craft store and buy any of these pieces. I went to Michael’s. Other great stores to find budget friendly decorations are Dollar Tree and even the 99 Cent Store.

Here’s what I got:

  • Bag of assorted pumpkins for $9.99
  • An small orange pumpkin for $3.99
  • A faux white mini berry stem for $1.99
  • A faux round leaf eucalyptus stem for $9.99
  • A ‘Hey Pumpkin’ sign for $9.99
  • A 2.75 in x 6 in pillar candle for $4.99

I used a 20 percent off coupon which brought everything down to just under $30.

I started with my metal tray and added my pillar candle, orange pumpkin and the sign. Then I added all of the small pumpkins around the tray. Next, I took the eucalyptus stem and cut off some pieces and placed them around the tray. Then I used the berry stem and placed it around as well. I didn’t use glue or tape. The pumpkins hold down the stems perfectly.

This is a fun little project to make if you like DIY decorations.

Beef Cobbler with Scones

It has been a while since I posted anything. It was really hard to find any inspiration. I finally ran into Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines. I found myself in a world of farmhouse and cozy food. I felt inspired by the summer as well. I live in Las Vegas and let me tell you something, IT IS SO HOT. It is about 110 degrees today, no joke. I just keep thinking of the perfect fall weather. I want crisp cool air. So I finally felt inspired to make a cozy Beef Cobbler.

I know usually when you think of cobbler you think Berry Cobbler or Peach! But who says you can’t have a savory and hearty cobbler. This recipe is definitely a labor of love. It has quite a bit of prepping and waiting to do. Please know that it is soooo worth it. It is warm and cozy and perfect for a Sunday dinner with the family. You will definitely want to pull this recipe out when you are trying to impress someone. Let’s get started!

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Gather your ingredients. Above I have some stew meat which I picked up on sale at my grocery store. This dish completely tenderizes the meat and using a cheaper cut of meat does hurt.

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To your flour add salt and pepper. If you want to add a little more flavor you can add seasoning salt.

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Next you will want to roll the individual pieces of beef on the flour.

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Make sure each piece is coated evenly.

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Heat your olive oil or butter on medium-high heat on a heavy bottom pot.

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Brown the meat in the pot for about 3 to 4 minutes. You only want to give the meat a crust, you are not trying to cook it through. Make sure that you allow the meat enough room to cook. You only want to do a couple of pieces of meat at a time. Additionally, try not to move the meat around too much, again you want to give the meat the opportunity to brown.

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Start to prep your veggies. Above I use a full bag of frozen pearl onions. They are very sweet. If you can’t find pearl onions you can cut a large onion into chunks.

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Cut the carrots into chunks. I used two large carrots. I washed them but didn’t really bother peeling them. I never peel my carrots, but feel free to peel your carrots.

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Also wash and dice your celery.

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Also wash and slice your mushrooms. If you want a more meaty texture you can add your mushrooms whole without the stems.

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Of course don’t forget some garlic!

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I used tomato paste from a tube. It’s easier than opening a can and only using a couple of tablespoons at a time.

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A large bay leaf or two small bay leaves will do.

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Once you finish browning your meat add a little more oil if the pot is too dry. Add in your carrots, onions, celery and bay leaf.

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Next add in your mushrooms and your tomato paste.

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Next, add your wine and your beef stock. If you don’t want to use wine you can just leave it out completely. You don’t have to add more stock or water in its place.

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Cover you pot with a lid or foil and put in the oven for 2 hours on 350 degrees.

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Once this baby has in the oven for two hours check the meat with a fork. If the meat is tender you can pull it out. You can check for tenderness by trying to pull the meat apart with a fork. If it pulls apart easy then the meat is ready. If it is still tough then just put it back in the oven for 45 more minutes to an hour at the same temperature.

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When the stew is ready remove the bay leaf.

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Also remove about a cup and of liquid from the pot. The juices of the meat make the stew very watery.

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Also use some of that liquid to make a slurry with cornstarch or arrowroot powder.

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Add the slurry to the stew and stir. It will begin to thicken.

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Top the stew with your biscuits and put back in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. You can brush the tops of the biscuits with butter or coconut oil.

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Serve the stew warm with some parsley and a nice glass of red wine. If you have any questions or comments about this recipe let me know in the comment section. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

You can print this recipe below.

Beef Cobbler Recipe – Download – Print

Beef Cobbler

Servings: 6

Author: Melanie, Coffee n’ Spice

Ingredients

Stew

3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or butter)*, plus a little more

3 tbsp of All Purpose Flour

2 lbs Beef chuck, cut into cubes

1 bag of frozen Pearl onions

2 large Carrots, diced

1 Celery rib, diced

1 dried Bay leaf

1-2 Garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp of Tomato paste

1 – 32 oz carton of Beef Broth, low sodium

1 cup of Red Wine,whatever you have on hand

4 oz of sliced mushrooms

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch

4 tbsp of stew cooking liquid

Scone Topping

1 cup of All Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting

1 ½ tsp of baking powder

½ tsp of salt

2 garlic clove, minced

3 tbsp of very cold butter or solid coconut oil*

6 tbsps of any milk*

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 F. For the stew, start by heating the oil on a heavy bottom pot, preferably something with a lid, to a medium high temperature. While you wait, mix the flour on a plate with salt and pepper to taste. Take your beef and roll it in the flour. This will give the beef a nice crust. Once the oil is ready, you will want to add only couple of beef cubes at a time. Just to brown for about 3 minutes. You will want to do that with all in a couple of batches. Once the meat is browned, you can set it aside on a plate.

Next, add more oil if the pot looks to dry and then add your onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, bay leaf, and any remaining flour from the beef. Brown the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Add your garlic and tomato paste and let it cook for only a minute. Immediately add your beef broth and wine. Let it reduce for about 5 minutes. Add your salt and pepper to taste and cover it and put it in the oven for two hours.

While you wait, you can start making your scones. Put in all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Add in you butter or coconut oil and cut it into the flour until it looks like little pebbles, you can use pastry cutter or forks. Add the milk and knew two or three more times until it just comes together. Dust some flour on a clean surface and roll out the dough to be about ½ inch thick. Cut out the scones with a 3 inch a circle cutter and you should get about 6 to 8 scones. Put them in the fridge while you wait for the stew to finish cooking.

Once the stew comes out of the oven, remove the lid and take out bayleaf, and increase the oven temperature to 425 F. Scoop out about a cup of cooking liquid from the pot. Use tbsp of the liquid and add the arrowroot powder and make a slurry. Add the slurry to the pot and stir. Add your scones to the top of your stew. You can brush the top of the scones with butter. Place the pot back into the oven for 15 minutes. Once the stew comes out of the oven, you can serve as soon as it’s not too hot.

Notes: In the recipe I made I used extra virgin olive oil. Additionally, I used coconut oil that I let sit in my fridge for 10 minutes, you can also use Earth Balance vegan butter sticks for the scones or real butter. I also used plain almond milk for my scones.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Challah

First of all I want to say that my house smells amazing. Your house can smell amazing too! I made this delicious cinnamon and chocolate challah this morning and the bread perfumed my little old apartment. My dogs didn’t seem to mind the wonderful smell of baking bread either. They were both adorable and sat by the oven the whole time my challah was baking.

Now, I have to confess I have never made challah before until this week. Let me tell you, it’s super easy to make! When I was thinking earlier this week what I should make for the blog, I couldn’t forget how awesome last week’s Kanelbullar came out, so in the same cozy and hygge-filled spirit, I wanted to make homemade bread. Challah is one of those bread recipes that is not super difficult to make. In fact, a traditional challah is one of the easier yeast breads to make. So, I decided to make my challah a little different by adding… chocolate and cinnamon, of course. And because I love myself, too.

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You want to combine your flour, sugar, and salt.

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You will also want to activate your yeast with water and a pinch of sugar.

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It is ready when it is foamy.

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Make sure you whisk you all of your dry ingredients.

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Just give the yeast about 10 minutes to activate.

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Have your 2 whole eggs and extra egg yolk ready. In another bowl, save the egg white and set it aside for later.

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Once your ingredients are ready, you can start making the dough!

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Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add your eggs, yolks, and oil to the center.

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Knead the dough for about 6 minutes. The dough will be a firm ball.

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Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover that bowl with plastic wrap.

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Meanwhile, you can start making the filling.

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Simply mix sugar, oil, cinnamon, and salt together.

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Once your dough has doubled in size, you are ready to roll.

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Damn Gina!!

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Put the dough out on a floured surface and divide it into three even pieces.

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Roll out each piece into a rough square and spread the filling on the dough, leaving some room around the edges.

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Sprinkle-dinkle the chocolate chips over the filling.

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Roll each square of dough up into a tube.

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They will be about the same size.

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You will want to roll each piece of dough into a rope of about the same size. Pinch the ends of the rope to seal the filling.

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Next, you will start making the braid. You will do this like you would braid hair or yarn.

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It will look roughly like this. Or better. Let the dough rise for another 30 minutes.

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While you heat up the oven to 375 degrees F, you can brush the dough with the egg whites you set aside. This will start a crust on the bread.

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Right before you put the dough in the oven, brush the dough with egg white again.

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You can bake it for about 35 to 45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 190 on the center of the bread.

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Awe, look at that cutie in the corner. Pickles is just waiting for a crumb to fall, but that’s not happening.

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Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Challah

Servings: 1 loaf
Author: Melanie, Coffee ‘n Spice
Recipe Adapted from The Kitchn

Ingredients

Dough
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees F)
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cane sugar (regular white sugar works too)
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs (reserve the white of one egg for the egg wash)
1/4 cup vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
Filling
1/3 cup vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 dash salt
½ cup of kosher semi-sweet chocolate chips*

*If you don’t need to keep a kosher table, you can substitute melted butter for the oil in this recipe. You can also use non-kosher chocolate chips as well.
Directions

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a small bowl (I used my liquid measuring cup, to make it easier to pour), and add a healthy pinch of sugar. Let the yeast stand until you see a thin, frothy layer across the top. This will take about 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk together sugar, salt, and 4 cups of your flour in the bowl of a standing mixer with the hook attachment, or you can mix it by hand in a bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the 2 whole eggs, egg yolk, and oil. Whisk these together to form a slurry. Make sure to scrape the flour from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Next, pour the yeast mixture over the egg/flour mixture. Mix the yeast, eggs, and flour with the hook attachment of your stand mixer.
  5. Knead the dough for 5 to 6 minutes with a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed. Or you can turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes. If the dough seems very sticky, add a little more flour. Once the dough is soft, smooth, and holds a ball shape, it is ready.
  6. Let the dough rise until it has doubled. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place somewhere warm. Let the dough rise for about 90 minutes.
  7. Separate the dough into three equal pieces. Roll each one into a square with a rolling pin. Spread the cinnamon-sugar mix on the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch around the edges. Then sprinkle some of the chocolate chips over the spread. Next, roll each piece of dough into a long rope, roughly 1-inch thick and about 16 inches long. Make sure to pinch the ends of the rope as you roll to seal the filling.
  8. Next is the fun part: gather the ropes and squeeze them together at the very top to seal them together. If making a 3-strand challah, braid the ropes together like braiding hair or yarn and squeeze the ends together when complete. After you have your challah braided, you will want to line a baking sheet with parchment and put the loaf on top. Make sure to braid the dough with the seam of the rope facing down or your filling will spill out. Sprinkle the loaf with a little flour and drape it with a clean dishcloth. Place the pan somewhere warm and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
  9. Brush the challah with egg white that was set aside while you preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. When ready to bake, whisk the reserved egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush it all over the challah once more. Make sure to get in the cracks and down the sides of the loaf.
  10. Bake the challah for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking. The challah is done when it is deeply browned and registers 190°F in the very middle with an instant-read thermometer. Enjoy!

Print – Download – Cinnamon Chocolate Challah Bread

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Well, that’s all I have for you guys today. I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Let me know what you think. If you decide to make this recipe and it turns out looking better than my challah, post a picture. Enjoy your weekend!

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{Kanelbullar} Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

If you haven’t heard of hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) yet, you have been missing out on a good thing. Hygge is a Swedish practice. If you ask me the rest of the world needs to get on this Swedish hygge bandwagon. I first ran into hygge through Pinterest. I would search for ‘cozy’ and I kept running into “25 ways to fill your life with Hygge” and finally, after trying it out, I started to realize that hygge is the magnificent thing I have been missing in my life.

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Hygge has truly allowed for me get to know myself. Many people enjoy hygge regularly and don’t even know it. For example, if you have ever enjoyed a nice warm cup of coffee with a couple of candles on a cold or rainy day, then you have experienced the essence of hygge. Hygge is about all things cozy, and is commonly practiced by Scandis during the cold seasons. Not to say that you can’t practice hygge any other time! Hygge is all about closeness, warmth, and coming together.

Now, the reason I’m rambling on and on about hygge is because part of hygge is treating yourself to comforting food, like a delicious pastry. Now this also opens the door for conversation about fika (also a Swedish thing). Now in Sweden people take a fika break for coffee and a bite (a pastry, really). This delicious Kanelbullar recipe is a take on a traditional cinnamon roll from Sweden.

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First, let’s start with making our dough.

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Once you have allowed for the dough to rise, you will want to roll it out like a rectangle and then spread the filling.

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Now, fold the dough and create a tri-fold. You will want to lightly roll out the dough to allow the folds to adhere to each other.

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Next, you will want to run a knife or a pizza cutter through the dough vertically to make strips. About 9 to 10 strips will come out of this dough.

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ATTENTION!! This part is important!!! For the shaping of the buns, you want to take a strip of dough and lightly roll it out to make it longer. Be careful to not let the filling spill out.

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Next, you will take one end of the dough and hold the other end. You will want to roll the dough to create a twist. (See below)

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You can roll the dough with the palm of your hand. (See below)

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Press super lightly! You don’t want the filling to seep out.

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Keep rolling until you have twisted the whole strip of dough…

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…just like so!

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It should look roughly like the picture above. Make sure to not break the dough or twist it too hard.

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Once you have your fancy twist, you will want to roll the dough onto itself to make a bun.

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Tuck the end of the dough under the cute little bun you made.

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It should look just like this.

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You can place the buns on a non-stick or greased cookie sheet.

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Cover them and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

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Don’t they look so pretty?

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Before the buns go into the oven, coat them with a light egg wash.

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Let them bake for 12 minutes at 400 degrees F.

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While the Kanelbullar bake, I had a cozy coffee photo shoot inspired by my week of hygge.

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Honestly, I was trying to practice my photo taking skills. They need some work.

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As you can tell, I couldn’t get the picture to be brighter…

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…But I still thought the shoot was cozy. Thanks for helping me, Eric.

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Back to the bunz! Look how yummy they look!

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They are not done yet.

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Coat them with warm maple syrup and add the traditional pearl sugar on top.

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Don’t they look sooo good? No wonder I had three…

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You can have them for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or whenever. Who cares? IT IS HYGGE. YOU CAN EAT IT WHENEVER YOUR HEART DESIRES.

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I like having my Kanelbullar for my fika. Coffee and bunz.

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Recipe re-adapted from Bronte Aurell

Kanelbullar ~ Swedish Cinnamon Rolls

Servings: 9 buns

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of dry active yeast
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk* (110 degrees F)
  • 1/3 cup melted vegan butter*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cane sugar (granulated sugar works too)
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 egg (left over egg will be used for egg wash)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons room temperature vegan butter*
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of warmed maple syrup
  • Pearl sugar, for sprinkling

Directions

Add warm milk to stand mixer and sprinkle active dry yeast over milk. Let it bubble for about 10 minutes. Next, add in the melted butter and the sugar to the milk and mix.

In a separate mixing bowl, add the flour, cardamom, and salt. Mix them well and add to the milk mixture with the dough hook attached. Mix for 2 minutes and then add the 1/4 egg. Continue to mix this until it forms into a dough ball and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.

Once the dough is mixed, cover with cling wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes. While you wait for the dough to rise, make the filling. Add all filling ingredients to a separate mixing bowl and just mix together with a spatula.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. If the dough is too sticky, you can sprinkle more flour and knead by hand until it comes together. Roll out the dough to a rectangle that is about 1/8 of inch thick.

Using the spatula, spread the mixture evenly on the rectangle. Next, fold the dough like a tri-fold. Lightly run your rolling pin over the dough to seal it together.

Next, run a knife or a pizza cutter through the dough vertically to make strips. About 9 to 10 strips will come out of this dough.

Take one strip of dough and twist it a few times. Next, curl the dough into a knot to form a bun. You can tuck the ends of the dough under the bun. Place them on a greased baking sheet or a non-stick baking sheet. Make sure to allow for space between each bun. Cover with a kitchen cloth and let the buns rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the buns with the remaining of the egg. Bake the buns for 12 minutes.

Once the buns come out, brush them with warmed maple syrup, and add the pearl sugar.

Store in a airtight container for up to 5 days.

*I use dairy-free products, but dairy products like whole milk and butter work well in this recipe.

Print – Download – Kanelbullar

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Please let me know, by commenting below, what you guys think of this recipe. If you try it, let me know how it went. I hope you enjoy these just as much as I did. Happy Hygge!