The Greatest Autumn Bucket List of 2016

The Greatest Autumn Bucket List of 2016

A serious must to get the most out of your Autumn season!

How many can you honestly say you've already done this season? So far 13 but I can't blame myself though! Here in Southern California Mother Nature thinks its summer.. " The land of summer " I call it. I miss the seasons. I feel so backwards here. I know once we move we will be shaking in our boots when we experience any weather under 70 degrees but I think thats a given.  

It feels like just yesterday Immy (who is 5 now) just turned one in this picture and we were waiting for Skyler to come home from deployment. 2012 was a crazy year but so much fun! That fall season was so fun. The anticipation of waiting for Deployment coming to an end and being able to have our family under one roof. I will say this. The one thing you never tire of in the military is that you get to experience your first kiss more than once. Most would call me crazy but I would do it all over again to experience a first kiss like that again. Anyways enjoy the season and the cold weather! For those of us who live in the land of summer we can only hope mother nature will throw in a few below 80 degrees in here and there but until December you can expect at least one or two 90 degree days in the months that you would think would be colder. California has been good to us but I am counting down the days till we move on to better things. On to the next chapter of life. 

 

Pumpkin Spice Macarons

Pumpkin Spice Macarons

I'll just start out that these were delicious. They may have not been super pretty but they were delicious! And Yes... Skyler approved of these as well so they get that Sky Stamp of approval!

My friend from church told me that she uses a little cheat sheet with drawn circles on parchment paper under another sheet of parchment paper that is used so she can make perfectly circle macarons. Her macarons are gorgeous. This is my 3rd attempt at macarons so I say these are okay..

Obviously not gorgeous but they did turn out delicious and I only had to impress the family so it worked! 

I have used this recipe in other variations and it is a reliable recipe as long as you remember to whip the crap out of your egg whites. I'm talking STIFF PEAKS. My last blog post on Lavender macarons I had several people tell me their cookies turned into a runny mess. Your egg whites must be thick like whip cream consistency. Use a kitchen aid, hand mixer whatever you have that isn't your own hand or you will be sitting there forever. 

Pumpkin Spice Macarons

Ingredients:

  • 275 g. ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 250 g. confectioners' sugar
  • 6 egg whites + half egg white (separated as indicated in instructions)
  • 210 g. caster sugar
  • a few drops food coloring or food coloring gel
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 

Filling:

  • 8 ounce cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp clove

Materials:

  • Parchment Paper
  • Baking Sheets
  • Piping bag fitted with 1/2 inch round tip (you can also use a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off.)

Sift almond flour & confectioners’ sugar together in a bowl to remove any lumps, set aside. In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the 6 egg whites to a foam (or soft peak stage). Once they are foamy, add a third of the granulated sugar, whip for another minute until sugar is dissolved; add another third of the sugar, whip for another minute; finally add the remainder of the sugar and whip for one more minute. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the sifted mixture of almond flour & confectioners’ sugar into the egg whites. Add a few drops of food coloring as desired; keep in mind that the color fades a bit while baking. In a separate small bowl, whisk the remaining ½ egg white until frothy; then add to the final mixture, folding gently to slightly loosen the batter.

Transfer the mixture to the piping bag fitted with the round tip. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pipe macaron rounds 1 ¼-1 ½ inches. Lightly tap the sheets so the macarons spread fully.

Preheat oven to 300° Fahrenheit. Allow the macarons to sit uncovered until they form a thin shell on the outside (so you can lightly touch the macarons without the batter sticking to your fingers). This will take anywhere from 10 minutes up to an hour on very humid days. Bake for 15-17 minutes until they form a slight crust.

Allow to cool completely on baking sheet. Remove carefully & sandwich your favorite jam, frosting, or filling between two cookies—a little filling goes a long way. These should be stored covered in the refrigerator. If you can practice enough self-control, wait to eat these until they’ve spent the night in the fridge. I don’t know what it is, but something magical happens to these bad boys overnight & they taste twice as good the next day!

Harry Potter Pumpkin Pasties Copycat Recipe

Hogsmeade Pumpkin Pasties 

Pumpkin Pasties - Harry Potter

Clear back to 4th grade (I just turned 25) I remember sitting in school listening to Mrs. Scoles read Harry Potter and the Philosphers(Sorcerers) Stone. And the magic started then for me. I think there was a huge obsession with witches at that time in my life. I actually recall reading any kind of book that involved witches. In school I dressed up as a witch for the book The Little Witch for a book report as well as making a diorama of a witch scene from the book The Witches. With that being said I took a liking to the entire Harry Potter series, so when the movies came out you can imagine how fun it really was for myself as a little girl. 

In July I started the books over this time listening to them on Audible. I am currently about to finish The Goblet of Fire but can I just tell you how awesome it is listening to the books! I am a mom of routine which means I have a lot to do. So what better way to fold laundry or run on the treadmill than to listen to Harry Potter while I do it!

This last weekend we had a Harry Potter marathon. It started Friday and ended Sunday Evening. So Friday while Imogen was at school I baked Hogsmeade Pumpkin Pasties we also made Butterbeer to go with our Pumpkin Pasties. They were delicious! Imogen couldn't believe that we were eating the same food that Harry Potter had eaten while on the Hogwarts Express his first year on his way to Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry. He bought them when he had realized that Ron did not have much to eat on their train ride. 

 “What she did have were Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Drooble's Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, and a number of other strange things Harry had never seen in his life.”

 

You can bet that as soon as that bell rang Friday afternoon Imogen ran like the wind so we could race home to get our Harry Potter Marathon on.

Pumpkin Pasties Harry Potter

Both of my girls loved them and I know that Artis (the 7 month old) would have too had he tried them. And if you've read my blog before the ultimate judge of all my cooking is Skyler(husband) his opinion counts and I will say this. Nothing that does not get his approval makes the blog. So that should tell you just how delicious these were. Not to mention incredibly simple. 

Pumpkin Pasties Harry Potter

 

They are literally handheld Pumpkin Pies. Served best when warm. And of course eaten with a mountain of whip cream even though they really did not need it at all. 

Hogsmeade Pumpkin Pasties

Wizarding World of Harry Potter Copycat Recipe 

 

  • 1 Cup Pumpkie Pie Puree 
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 3-4 Chocolate chip Morsels (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Kerrygold unsalted butter 
  • 2 eggs
  • Pre-Packaged rollout pie crust.
  • Clove Spice & Brown sugar 
  1. Pre-heat oven at 350
  2. Mix pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and butter (softened) together.
  3. Roll out Pie crust. Using a circle cookie cutter or mason jar lid cut as many circles out of your pie crust as possible. 
  4. Mix egg mixture together to make and egg wash. Then brush the egg onto the cut out pieces of crust. 
  5. Cut an opening in the middle of your cutout pie crust for the pie crust that will be used to cover your pumpkin. ( I made a lightening bolt. )
  6. Place a tablespoon of the pumpkin mixture in the middle of the pie crust. After doing so place another circle cut out pie crust on top. Use a fork to seal the ends together.
  7. Sprinkle on ground clove and brown sugar over your egg washed pie crust.
  8. Place your pumpkin pasties on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  10. Serve Warm with lots of whip cream!

Enjoy! Let me know how you like it!