Toasted Sugar & Spice Pumpkin Seeds

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These were probably the best pumpkin seeds I’ve ever had. I’ve always made pumpkin seeds as more of a savory snack, but now I know that sweet is definitely the way to go. I had to hide these from myself because I was eating them all, but it didn’t work because I found them. Seriously, even if you don’t THINK you like pumpkin seeds you need to make these because you may change your mind:)

For the pumpkin seeds (makes 1 cup):

  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, washed and dried
  • 6 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dry and toasted. Larger seeds may take longer. In a large bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons of white sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and sprinkle the remaining sugar over them. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar melts, about 45 seconds. Pour seeds into the bowl with the spiced sugar and stir until coated. Allow to cool before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe

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Pumpkin pie spice is a spice that we usually only use in the October-December time frame. You don’t have to buy a new container for that one pumpkin pie that you make once a year. You can make your own with ingredients that you probably already have.

For the pumpkin pie spice:

  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice

Add the ingredients to a ziplock bag and shake. That’s it!

Easy Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

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This ice cream is super easy and yummy. It captures the flavor of that delicious fall pumpkin pie and ice cream combo without all the work. I’m sure you could even make this ahead and freeze it if you wanted to. Kid-approved and delicious 🙂

For the sundae (makes 3 cups):

  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup animal crackers, crushed
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • whipped topping (I used Reddi-wip)

Mix together all of the ingredients except the whipped topping in a large bowl until just combined. Scoop the ice cream into individual bowls and top with whipped topping and an optional animal cracker. Enjoy!

Chocolate Root Beer Float Cupcakes

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So, I found this stuff called root beer concentrate and ordered it off Amazon to make these yummy-looking root beer float cupcakes. The concentrate came, and I was super excited to make these. I followed a recipe from howsweetitis.com and made these. As I opened one to “test it out” it just crumbled, but I didn’t have a problem with this the next day when I took them to my class. My teacher liked them, and my friend described them as tasting remarkably like root beer floats (that was the goal, I guess). So basically they were really good. Strange, but good. Plus, I got to drink the half-can of root beer leftover from the recipe:) So, if you’re looking for a great combination of your two favorite things (root beer and cupcakes), make these:

Root Beer Float Cupcakes (makes about 24):

  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons root beer concentrate
  • 2/3 cup root beer

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth and no lumps remain. Add cream, butter and vanilla, and mix until combined. Stir in sour cream. Sift dry ingredients together and add to wet mixture. Add root beer concentrate and root beer. Mix until batter is smooth. Line a muffin tin with liners and fill each cup 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool before frosting. 

Vanilla and Root Beer Frosting

  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon root beer concentrate

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth. On low speed, add powdered sugar one cup at a time, increasing speed to bring the frosting together. Add milk and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Remove almost all of the vanilla frosting, leaving behind about 1 cup in the mixer. Set vanilla frosting aside. Add root beer concentrate to remaining frosting in the bowl and beat until it comes together. Fill the cupcakes with the root beer frosting by cutting a small hole at the top of each cupcake and filling the cupcake with the filling. Frost the cupcakes with the vanilla frosting and don’t forget to top the cupcakes with a cherry.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

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I made this chicken for over 100 people at my church’s meal connection. I got a lot of compliments on it. The sweet and sour sauce is amazing, better then anything at a Chinese restaurant. This sweet and sour chicken has a sweet, mild, pleasant flavor, so adults and kids both like it. Seriously, I had a two-year-old wanting more chicken. It is delicious. The recipe is originally from melskitchencafe.com.

For the chicken:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt & pepper
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

For the sauce:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While the oil is heating, cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Place the cornstarch in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Put the chicken into the bag with the cornstarch and seal, tossing to coat the chicken. Whisk the eggs together in a bowl. Dip the cornstarch-coated chicken pieces in the egg and place them carefully in a single layer in the hot skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then flip each piece over to cook on the other side until nicely golden but not all the way cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish.
  3. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and pour over the chicken in the baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes (or until chicken is done), turning the chicken once or twice while cooking to coat evenly with sauce. Serve over hot, steamed rice.                                                                           

 

Note: if you want extra sauce, you can just cook the sauce ingredients over medium heat for about 8 minutes