Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

Honey Walnut Cream CheeseWhen I was younger, I had a less than pleasant experience with flavored cream cheese. Nothing truly horrific, but bad enough that I steered clear of the stuff for years. Plain cream cheese was good enough for me. Until a friend introduced me to honey walnut cream cheese. There was no going back.

Sweet and perfectly creamy, honey walnut cream cheese is the perfect compliment to my favorite honey grain bagels and sweet bagels like cinnamon sugar. If you are allergic to walnuts, or just not a fan, omit the walnuts and enjoy a decadent honey cream cheese. Either way, this cream cheese is irresistible!

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Apple Butter

Apple ButterMy grandfather passed away several weeks ago, after a long battle with emphysema and lung cancer. Granddad grew up in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia, but spent the last few years of his life in Williamsburg, Virginia. Today’s recipe is inspired by a place he loved: Colonial Williamsburg. I love and miss you, Granddad.

When I was in elementary school, I was fascinated by the American Revolution. I was more interested in the time period than the politics and spent hours studying how people lived. My American Girl Doll, Felicity, provided a window into the past. Felicity’s character lived in Williamsburg in 1774, and I read her stories over and over, then dressed her up in historical outfits and made up my own colonial adventures. I was probably the only girl in my class who begged my parents to take me to Colonial Williamsburg rather than Disney World. We finally took a family vacation to Virigina and I finally got to see Felicity’s world first hand. (Unfortunately, this was before Granddad moved to Williamsburg- how he would have loved to take us!) I was able to bring back a little taste of Colonial Williamsburg with Felicity’s cookbook.

Felicity’s Cook Book provides historical recipes updated for a nine-year old palette and tips for throwing a proper 18th century party. I thoroughly enjoyed the cookbook as a child (and yes I did throw several colonial parties) and still find myself using it today. This apple butter recipe is easy (it was written for a nine-year old) and delicious. I’d describe apple butter as somewhere between apple sauce and jam, sweet, tart, delicious and perfect for fall.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Spice LatteI was running errands this weekend and was offered a free cup of coffee. I’m not one to pass up free food, so I accepted without hesitation. One problem: I don’t drink coffee.  However, I do drink coffee flavored drinks that are mostly milk and sugar! Pumpkin Spice Lattes have returned to Starkbucks and Caribou, and I have been craving pumpkin all week! I headed home with my piping hot, free coffee in hand, ready to make my own pumpkin spice beverage.

Coffee syrups are notoriously sugary, and never have enough pumpkin flavor for me. I decided to make my own. I was able to whip up a batch of pumpkin spice syrup before my free cup of coffee got cold.  Plus there’s enough pumpkin in this syrup to make my drink orange.  None of this wimpy may-or-may-not-contain-pumpkin nonsense! This batch made a generous amount of syrup, which means this girl is having pumpkin lattes and steamers for the next few days! Although I might have to brew my own coffee….

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