Fruit Pizza

This time of year it seems like all the desserts focus on pumpkin or apples and are full of fall spices. I love all those flavors, but it can be nice to have something a little different every now and then too. This fruit pizza has a sugar cookie crust, a sweet cream cheese icing and can be topped with your favorite types of fruit. It’s perfect to take to a pot-luck and it’ll offer some great variety among all the other fall themed desserts!

Recipe Title


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cream of tarter
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Various fruits- strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, peaches, grapes, pineapple, etc.
  • Fruit jam (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cream butter, shortening, sugar, and flour until a lumpy dough is formed. Add the eggs, salt, baking soda, cream of tarter, and almond extract. Blend until just smooth, being careful not to overbeat.
  3. Spread evenly on the bottom of a large rectangular cookie sheet. You can use a rolling-pin to spread it out if necessary. Cook for 8-9 minutes until very, very light brown; err on the side of underbaking. Let cool.
  4. Mix sugar and cream cheese until smooth, spread on the cooled crust.
  5. Slice and place fruit on top of the frosting. This can be done in a decorative pattern, or just piled on- it’ll be beautiful either way. If you’re using fruit that browns quickly, like bananas or peaches, heat up a bit of fruit jam to brush over the surface of the fruit to minimize browning.
Source: A Southern Family Recipe

Pineapple Casserole

Admittedly, this isn’t a beautiful or colorful dish. But what it might lack in the appearances category, it more than makes up for in taste. This pineapple casserole is a family recipe from Kentucky, and it’s one of my favorite side dishes to have around the holidays. It sounds like an unusual mix of flavors, but they combine for a wonderful mixture of savory and sweet.

Thoughts about this recipe

  • A total of 40 oz. of pineapple is necessary for this recipe. I like to use 20 oz. of pineapple chunks, and 20 oz. of pineapple tidbits for some variety in size and texture, feel free to use all chunks or tidbits if you’d prefer.
  • You can modify the amount of sugar, from 3/4 to 1 cup, depending on the level of sweetness you like.
I’m participating in a holiday recipe exchanged hosted by  My Baking Addiction and Good Life Eats. This week is focused on delicious holiday side dishes and is sponsored by OXO
Pineapple Casserole


  • 40 oz. pineapple tidbits, chunks, or a combination; drained, reserve the juice
  • 3/4-1 cup sugar
  • 5 tbl. flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups Ritz crackers, coarsely crushed
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Pour pineapple in a 9 x 12 pan
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Add to the fruit and stir together.
  4. Combine the melted butter and 1/4 cup pineapple juice, pour over the fruit.
  5. Sprinkle cheese over the pineapple, and then top with the crushed crackers
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until lightly browned on top.
Source: Aunt Beth

Mushroom Tart

I have to be honest and say that I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms. However, everyone who does like mushrooms loves this recipe. The filling is rich and creamy and it’s delicious with a flaky, buttery crust. This is a great side dish for a holiday meal or potluck!

I’m participating in a holiday recipe exchanged hosted by  My Baking Addiction and Good Life Eats. This week is focused on delicious holiday side dishes and is sponsored by OXO

Mushroom Tart


  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 onions, chopped
  • 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 tbl. flour
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tbl. sherry
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh rosemary, diced (optional)
  • 2 pie crusts (homemade or store-bought)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and adjust the rack to a low position.
  2. Heat butter in a sauce pan until melted and hot. Saute onions until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until slightly softened, but not mushy.
  3. Stir in the flour and then add the cream. Boil lightly until the mixture thickens. Add salt, pepper, sherry and rosemary if you’re using it. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place the bottom crust in a pie pan and prick with a fork, bake for 10 minutes. Pour in the filling and top with the second crust. Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is lightly browned.
Source: Family friend, Karla

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These muffins have basically everything you could want in a muffin- a moist, pumpkiny, spice filled cake, sweet cream cheese filling, and a light streusle topping.  All the different components make this a slightly time-consuming muffin, but it just takes a little planning ahead to freeze the cream cheese mixture for a few hours before you need it. I made the cream cheese mixture the night before and put it in the freezer so it would be ready to go in the morning.

Starbucks has a similar  muffin, but this homemade version is far superior!

I’m participating in a holiday recipe exchanged hosted by  My Baking Addiction and Good Life Eats. This week is sponsored by Spice Islands

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins


  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tbl. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 15 oz. pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tbl. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 tbl. unsalted butter, cold
  1. Mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Transfer to a piece of plastic wrap and form into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the cream cheese tightly and put in the freezer for at least two hours
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda.
  4. Use a mixer to combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, and oil. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Make the topping by using a pastry cutter (or two forks) to combine the butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon until it’s coarse and crumbly.
  6. Remove the cream cheese from the freezer and cut into 24 slices.
  7. Place 1-2 tbl. of batter into each muffin tin. Add a slice of cream cheese, and top with another 1-2 tbl. of batter. The cream cheese will rise some as it bakes, so make sure it’s near the bottom of the tin. Sprinkle generously with the topping; the topping will mostly melt into the surface of the muffin, so you can add quite a bit!
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes: 24 muffins (I had some leftover batter, you might increase the cream cheese portion by 50% if you want to use all the batter- or you can just make some muffins without filling)
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

Caramel apple cider is one of my favorite drinks and this recipe turns that drink into a cookie! These cookies have just the right flavor balance of apple, spices and caramel all of which blend together for a great cookie that tastes like fall. The original recipe called for individual caramels to be wrapped inside each ball of cookie dough. I found some Kraft Caramel Bits at Wal-Mart last time I was there and decided to use those instead and they worked well, adding a bit of caramel into each bite.

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Chicago Metallic

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1  (7.4 oz) box Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Drink Mix (not sugar free)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 cup Kraft Caramel Bits (or 14 oz bag Kraft Caramels)
  • Caramel sauce for decorating (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper
  2. Use a mixer to combine the butter, sugar, salt, and all 10 packets of the apple cider drink mix. Cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Gradually add the flour mixture and Kraft Caramel Bits to the mixing bowl and mix until just combined.
  4. Scoop cookie dough in 1-2 tbl. sized balls. If using caramels rather than Caramel Bits, flatten the ball of cookie dough and press the individual caramel into the center, then wrap the cookie dough around the caramel.
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the cookies are every so slightly browned around the edges, err on the side of underbaking. Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Once cool, drizzle with caramel sauce if desired. Serve at room temp, or heat for a few seconds in the microwave before eating
Makes: 3-4 dozen cookies
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Roasted Autumn Vegetables

I’m not sure where to start in describing how fantastic these roasted vegetables are. Delicious and healthy? Check. Quick and simple? Check. Colorful and beautiful? Check.  The roasted vegetables make a great meal when paired with a thick slice of crusty bread. This recipe makes a ton of food which is perfect since it re-heats wonderfully and the leftover veggies are good on their own, over rice or pasta or, my favorite, mixed with some scrambled eggs. I made this meal for dinner last night and spent all day looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch!

I’m participating in a holiday recipe exchanged hosted by  My Baking Addiction and Good Life Eats. This week is focused on fall meals that can be made in one pot and is sponsored by Le Creuset.

Roasted Autumn Vegetables 


  • 2 red potatoes
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 dark red beet
  • 1 squash
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 1 cup asparagus
  • 1-2 peppers (red, green, or yellow)
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Italian seasoning to taste (I used about 2 tsp.)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Wash, peel (if necessary), and coarsely chop the vegetables into large, bite sized pieces.
  3. Place vegetables in a large roasting pan
  4. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and mix to combine.
  5. Cook in the oven for about 35-45 minutes. Stir the vegetables once or twice while they are cooking. Check a piece of potato for doneness, continue roasting until thickest vegetables are al dente.
  6. Serve with a bit of butter (if desired) and crusty bread
Makes: 4-5 large servings
Adapted from our family friend, Bets’ recipe

Veggie and Rice Soup

I’ve always liked the idea of including rice in soup, the rice makes it so much more filling and satisfying. This soup is a great way to use up some leftover rice and whatever vegetables are left in the fridge at the end of the week. In addition to being tasty, this soup is quick and easy to put together!

I’m participating in a holiday recipe exchanged hosted by  My Baking Addiction and Good Life Eats. This week is focused on fall meals that can be made in one pot and is sponsored by Le Creuset

Veggie and Rice Soup


  • 2 tbl. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbl. minced garlic
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 3-4 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian herb mix
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  1. Pour the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are tender. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the celery, carrots, cauliflower and broccoli and cook for about 5 minutes until they are tender. Pour in the vegetable broth, rice, tomatoes, Italian herb mix, salt, pepper and parsley. Cook over medium heat until the mixture simmers, then remove from heat and serve.
Makes: 8 servings
Adapted from: Picky Palate

Chocolate Biscoff Brownies

If you haven’t tried Biscoff Spread before, then let me assure you that it’s fantastic. It tastes just like those amazing Biscoff Cookies, but it’s in a spread form that has the consistency of peanut butter. I usually eat it with apple slices, or on a banana and it’s great that way, but as good as it is with fruit, I figured it’d be even better with chocolate- and it is!

These brownies are moist and delicious with perfectly chewy edges. You can visit the Biscoff website to find a store near you that carries the spread; if it’s not available locally you can also order it from Amazon.

I’m participating in a holiday recipe exchanged hosted by  My Baking Addiction and Good Life Eats. This week is focused on chocolate and is sponsored by Scharffen Berger

Chocolate Biscoff Brownies


  • 3/4 cup Biscoff Spread
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temp
  • 2 tbl. sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbl. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease a 9 x 13″ pan
  2. Combine the Biscoff Spread, cream cheese, 2 tbl. sugar, and 1 egg in a mixer. Beat until well combined, then set aside.
  3. In a different bowl, combine the cocoa, salt and baking powder, then set aside.
  4. In a sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the sugar and stir to combine. When the mixture is hot, but not bubbling, remove from heat. Stir in the cocoa mixture, followed by the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour and stir until just combined.
  5. Pour the brownie mix into the prepared pan and smooth evenly. Drop the Biscoff mixture  on top of the brownie batter and use a knife to swirl the mixture together.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes
Source: Bake at 350

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I discovered Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB) about a year and a half ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. I usually find standard buttercream recipes to be too sweet and the flavor gets overwhelmed with the powdered sugar- not so with SMB! To make SMB frosting, you start off by heating your egg whites and sugar in a double boiler until the mixture is hot and the sugar is dissolved. The egg whites are then beaten until light and fluffy at which point copious amounts of butter are added. From there, you can add all kinds of different flavors, I’ve made chocolate, vanilla bean, caramel, and strawberry, they’re all delicious! The frosting is definitely rich due to all the butter, but it’s not overly sweet and it carries a variety of flavors really well.

I’m participating in a holiday recipe exchanged hosted by  My Baking Addiction and Good Life Eats. This week is focused on chocolate and is sponsored by Scharffen Berger

Thoughts about this recipe

  • SMB frosting can be a little persnickety when it comes time to mix in the butter and flavorings. Don’t panic if it starts to look curdled, or soupy, just keep beating away. It’ll come together eventually. Promise.
  • This is great on cakes, cupcakes and cookies and the texture works well for decorating and piping.
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream


  • 2 tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  1. Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler. Stir in the cocoa powder and set aside to cool.
  2. In a double boiler, whisk the egg whites and sugar together. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Remove from heat and use an electric mixer to beat the eggs until they are fluffy and hold stiff peaks, about 6 minutes.
  3. On a medium-low speed, add the salt and butter a few pieces at a time. Once all the butter is added, turn the mixer on high and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until combined.
Makes: About 2 cups
Adapted from: Cupcakes

Mini Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Potato Quiches

I forgot to spray my pan, so my quiches stuck, they’ll come out prettier if you remember that step- opps!


Quiches are a tasty, relatively quick meal that are great with a huge range of ingredients. This was my first time putting caramelized onions in a quiche and it tasted great, it was definitely worth the extra time that it took to cook the onions. I also threw some pepper jack cheese into the mix which that added just the right amount of kick to help these quiches stand out. The little mini quiches are great if you’re feeding a group and they also freeze and re-heat well if you aren’t!

Mini Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Potato Quiches 


  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 tbl. olive oil
  • 1 cup spinach, packed
  • 1-2 small potatoes
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 oz. pepper jack cheese, grated or cut into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a sauce pan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the chopped onion and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the onions caramelize. Add a bit more olive oil as the onions cook if necessary.
  3. While the onions are caramelizing, cook the potato(es) in the microwave until they are tender. Chop the potatoes into small, bite sized pieces.
  4. When the onions are nearly done, add the spinach. Cook and stir for about a minute until the spinach wilts.
  5. Mix the eggs and milk, whisk until combined. Stir in the spinach, onion, and cheese. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the egg mixture equally into the muffin tins and then drop in the potato pieces.
  7. Cook for approximately 20 minutes. The quiches are done when they look set and don’t jiggle when the pan is moved. Let the quiches cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Makes: 12 mini quiches
Source: An Annie Original