Monday, October 23, 2017

Apple Crisp Shortbread Bars

Good morning! Did you have a nice weekend? Mine was great, we were in Florida for a wedding and were able to spend time with a wonderful friend so it was a relaxing getaway. I am ready though to be  back in my routine, I have missed my morning yoga classes and my pups. 

I made these Apple Crisp Shortbread bars for a friend before I left out of town and they are delicious!  If you like apple crisp and apple pie than you with love this easy recipe that combines both of your favorites. The buttery shortbread crust with spicy apples and a crumbly topping are the perfect Fall treat. 

Apple Crisp Shortbread Bars
Recipe from Life Straight Up


1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour


3 large apples, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg


1/2 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter-melted or room temperature

Preheat the oven to 300" F. The line an 8 x8 baking ban with parchment paper making sure to leave a couple of inches on the sides so that it is easier to lift out the bars later. 

Place butter into your mixer and turn on high for 5 minutes or until the butter turns white then mix in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Once combined, add in the flour and stir well. Press the mixture into the parchment lined pan and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking mix the  filling. In a bowl, combine the apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until the apples are well coated and set aside. 

For the topping,  mix flour, 3/4 up brown sugar. Cut in the butter and mix together until small clumps form. 

Remove the crust from the oven and turn the heat up to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle one half of the topping over the short bread crust, then layer the apples on top. Then sprinkle the remainder of the topping evenly on top  of the apple filling and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before placing in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. Remove from the baking dish by lifting out the parchment paper and cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Hot Chocolate Finds

Hot drinks on cool days what could be better? I know that many like tea, coffee and cappuccinos, my favorite hot drink is hot chocolate. I actually do not wait for cool weather to drink it, I have it every morning.

I blend my own chocolate to make a very rich, European style drinking chocolate and I savor every sip. 

If you are a hot coco or hot chocolate lover here are a few fun mugsornaments and even signs for your holiday hot chocolate bar! I got this plaid thermos last year to take my favorite beverage on the road with me. 

If you are looking for delicious chocolate recipes check out my other blog, Once Upon a Chocolate Life for lots of my favorite hot chocolate recipes. Or check out my hot chocolate Pinterest board! 

 Have a great day!

Friday Favorites from Wife Mama Foodie, Honest Yum, Sequins & Stripes, and More

This post may contain affiliate links. 

Image from Honestly Yum

I love "junk food" not so much chips and candy but pasta, tacos, and pizza. I actually call those foods "Friday foods" because that is how I like to start the weekend, with something comforting and casual.  So this Apple, Bacon and Rosemary Pizza from Honest Yum is on my list for next Friday. Tonight I am going out with friends, hopefully for Mexican. 

Superfood Breakfast Cookies from Wife Mama Foodie

Do you eat breakfast? Typically for breakfast I try to eat eggs and avocado on sprouted grain bread but sometimes I get adventurous and eat oatmeal or even cold cereal. I might have to totally change my diet for these scrumptious looking Superfood Breakfast Cookies from Wife Mama Foodie! I mean what it there not to love about cookies for breakfast? 
I have made several pumpkin things already this Fall, including Thai, Coconut Pumpkin Soup and Classic Pumpkin Bread this week I am going to try one or maybe all of these 9 Pumpkin Recipes from Taste of the South

Image Sequins and Stripes

I have never made pumpkin butter but this recipe and the cute tags from Sequins & Stripes looks easy and delicious. 

Image House of Turquoise

Fall is all about the pumpkins if you ask me, but not necessarily orange and white. Isn't this green and turquoise porch from House of Turquoise fabulous!

You might have heard me mention a time or two that I love Scotland and would love to live there. My dream is a little cottage but perhaps if I ever won the lottery I might be able to live in one of these Spectacular Castles and Estates featured on Country Life.

I recently read, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan. 

From the cover: 

As England becomes enmeshed in the early days of World War II and the men are away fighting, the women of Chilbury village forge an uncommon bond. They defy the Vicar’s stuffy edict to close the choir and instead “carry on singing,” resurrecting themselves as the Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. We come to know the home-front struggles of five unforgettable choir members: a timid widow devastated when her only son goes to fight; the older daughter of a local scion drawn to a mysterious artist; her younger sister pining over an impossible crush; a Jewish refugee from Czechoslovakia hiding a family secret; and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past. 

A beautifully written book of interesting women(good and bad) trying to survive during the difficult times of WWII, who have the bond of the choir to offer them comfort. I loved this book and hope a sequel comes out soon. 

SaveSave For the person that likes to make a statement, loves Smeg refridgerators and has very deep pockets. 

These interesting refrigerators are a collaboration between Dolce Gabbana and Smeg and cost $50,000! For that price I hope they have smart capabilities  and order your food and stock it too!

If you are looking to add a little excitement and whimsy to your Thanksgiving celebrations here are a few things you might life, to include photo props and an entertainment set.

Did you read, eat, make or do anything interesting this week? If so, please share, I love to hear what you are up too. 

 Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Just Curious...Have You Ever Been Sexually Harassed?

Good morning! This week the papers have had non-stop coverage about Harvey Weinstein and the sexual harassment claims that have toppled him from his prominent perch of "top Hollywood producer."

To be honest when I first heard the story, my first thought was, "I've heard that before" and indeed I had, several years ago when an actress, whom I cannot recall her name, said that he had harassed her. About that time there were rumblings that he had done it to others, and as quickly as the story came it was gone. There was even a mention that "this stuff" happens all the time in Hollywood and no one talks about it.

I remember thinking this weekend, "where there is smoke there is fire." I thought perhaps there were many more to whom this had happened; but that they did not think they could come forward because to date nothing had happened to Weinstein so they did not want to jeopardize their careers or future opportunities.

I never thought about any of this and how it affected my life until I read a story in which they quoted Donna Karan, and she said( I am paraphrasing here) "that we must also consider how these women were dressed when these things happened to them." Really? What does that have to do with anything?

That one statement brought my own claims of sexual harassment to the forefront of my mind because the same question was asked about me.

I don't want to go into all of the details but I will say that it happened to #metoo while I was in graduate school. I was not assaulted but I was inappropriately touched and was the recipient of many, many weird, sexual stories from a professor. After a year I reported him and I was the one investigated, and one of the first questions asked of all of my fellow students and professors was, "what did she wear to class?", "Did she dress appropriately?"

I am curious, what do you think about the Harvey Weinstein stories? Do you think all of these women speaking out will help to end this sort of behavior? Or do you think it will continue? Do you believe that "not everyone knew?"

I have to be honest, I think it will continue, not only in Hollywood, but in schools, in the workplace and wherever there is a man or a woman that has some sense of power and makes you feel as if you are powerless.

I also do not believe that not everyone knew. Granted they may not have been the target of this man but people talk, and tell stories and apparently for over 30 years people were talking. Lets face it, if the public heard some of the stories how did they people in this mans' sphere of influence not hear them?

Do you think that Harvey Weinstein deserves a second chance? Do you think he will get one?

Have you ever been the victim of sexual harassment at work, school or somewhere else?

If you are curious about the #metoo movement and the origin of "me too" read this article.

Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts. I hope that you have a great day?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

10 Comfort Foods for Fall

Good morning! This morning it actually felt like Fall. In fact I wore a jacket to yoga which I haven't done since April. Immediately my mind went to warm, comforting, cozy food.

Chili and Jalapeno Corn Bread

Here are 10 comfort foods that I would be more than happy to eat often over the coming months.

Image from Saving Room for Dessert via Pinterest

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup from Saving Room for Dessert

Image Pinch of Yum via Pinterest

Beef Short Ribs and Gravy Image a Family Feast

Easy Potato Soup from Plate Cravings

Image Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Image The View from The Great Island

Guinness Coffee Irish Stew

Image Jo Cooks

Swedish Meatballs

I did notice that all of these foods have either cheese, gravy or a sauce. All of which are a great thing to keep you warm and fill your belly on a cold day!

What is your favorite comfort food? Do you have a link to it on your blog? If so please share or just tell us about it!

Have a great day!


Classic Pumpkin Bread

Good morning! Did you have a nice weekend? Mine was great, we went out with friends in Saturday for dinner and a play and Sunday we relaxed, read and caught up on things around the house. It has been raining here for what seems like weeks, although I think it has only been 5 days, but the sun finally came out on Sunday so it was the perfect end to the weekend. 

In the last few weeks I have made 2 kinds of pumpkin yeast rolls, 2 kinds of pumpkin bread, a pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin brownies and pumpkin pasta with browned butter and crispy sage. Just in case you hadn't realized Fall is my favorite time to bake(and eat) because I love all of the spices and flavors. 

Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite things to make not only because I love its sweet, and spicy taste but also because it is a great treat to give away or mail to your favorite people.

This bread is a classic and although I have my own favorite recipe I am always open to trying new ones. I found this recipe from Baked by An Introvert on Pinterest.

If you are looking for some Fall recipes check out my Fall Baking Board on Pinterest. 


1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground  Cloves 


On a baking sheet, take 4 connected sheets of paper towels and fold in half. Spread the pumpkin across the folded sheets and set aside for 10 minutes. 
Preheat the oven to 350, adjust the oven rack to the lower third rung. Prepare a 9x5" loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl combine the oil, cooled butter, granulated sugar and the brown sugar, mix with a whisk until combined well. Then add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each one. 
Transfer the drained pumpkin into the bowl with the wet ingredients, add the buttermilk and mix well. 
In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda and the spices and mix with a whisk. Then combine with the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients until just incorporated with the wet ingredients. You do not want to over mix. 
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
Remove from oven, cool on a air rack for 30 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Or eat warm, it is delicious plain but it is also very good with butter!

Have a great day!

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