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Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

In the last year I have discovered baked oatmeal.  It has become a favorite in our house ever since.  It is more filling and satisfying in a whole new way.  When I found The Oatmeal Artist: Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal, it sounded right up our alley.  We love pumpkin anything and why not add it to oatmeal.

Personally this recipe was not sweet enough for my taste or the kids.  This could easily be increased by switching out half the syrup for brown sugar.  Sweetness is always a to taste thing, so try it with the original recipe and add a bit of sprinkled sugar on top if needed.  The texture is spot on combining soft oatmeal without being gooey with a bit of spice and flavor.

I find making baked oatmeal for breakfast or a take a dish brunch works well.  Most people won’t bring the same dish, no toppings are needed when you do a baked oatmeal, and if it cools down it is ok.  My favorite baked oatmeal is my Berry Baked Oatmeal.

Pumpkin Pie Baked OatmealPumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Tbs maple syrup or brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients until smooth.  Add in the dry mixture.

Spread into a lightly greased 9 x 9″ baking dish.

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

You can sprinkle or stir in any of the following:

chocolate chips, coconut, dried fruit, nuts, or pumpkin seeds.

Bake 22-25 minutes or until set.


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Slow Cooker Caramel using Sweetened Condensed Milk

Well all I can say was making caramel using Slow Cooker Crockpot Caramel using Sweetened Condensed Milk has a learning curve to it.  I myself am not a caramel fan but this did turn out rather well.  For my birthday we decided on doing an ice cream sundae bar for guest.  I made a batch of homemade hot fudge and thought I should give one more option.  Caramel is Mr.Picky’s choice of syrup so I looked up the instructions and made us some caramel.

I went with the option of using my slow cooker.   I did not find it safe to have my stove going to two hours while I had a list of chores to do.  Don’t get me wrong this was simple to make, there are only two steps how do you go wrong?  Well apparently one of my jars did not seal tightly and after about 3 hours my water in the cooker was milky.  I dumped the water and started again after tightening the jar back down.  My timing took a bit longer but I think it was due to having to reheat the water.

Jar on left is frozen and the jar on right is from the fridge.

Jar on left is frozen and the jar on right is from the fridge.

In the end the results were worth it and now I have an extra jar frozen for future use.  I figured I might as well make two jars since I was going to have the slow cooker going all day anyway.  To reheat the caramel or soften it just microwave with the lid removed for less than 30 seconds or place the jar in a pot of hot water.

We ate the leftovers the next day with sliced apples.  It tasted better than the little tubs of caramel you can get for apples.  This recipe will serve a lot of purposes.

Caramel using Sweetened Condensed MilkCaramel using Sweetened Condensed Milk:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pint jar with lid and screw band

Pour the sweetened condensed milk in the jar and screw the lid tightly.

In a slow cooker place the jar(s) and cover with warm water.  Turn the temperature to low and cook about 8-8 1/2 hours, depending on how hot your slow cooker runs.

When the caramel in the jar looks the right color to you pull it out it is done.  Be careful the jar is hot, I suggest using tongs and placing the jar on a wood board or towel to cool enough to open.

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Apple Cranberry Dumplings

Cranberry Apple DumplingsFor as long as I can remember my mom has made Apple Cranberry Dumplings. I love them and they are so delicate but rich in flavor.  This is a great time of year to make apple dumplings.  I am sure we will have a pan served at Christmas dinner.

Don’t let their cinnamon roll appearance fool you. They taste more like apple pie, meets biscuit with a little spice added.  The best part of this recipe is that there is no rising time.  It takes about 15 minutes to put together and 40 to bake.  You can have a dessert in 1 hour that looks and tastes like you spent all day on it.

Apple Cranberry Dumplings:


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ cup butter


  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup milk


  • 4 cups or 4 large apples peeled and grated
  • 1 cup drained cooked cranberries or 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Make dough by sifting all dry ingredients and cut in shortening.

Gradually add milk, tossing together into a dough. Turn out on floured board to mix a soft dough.

Lightly roll dough into 18×12 rectangle.

Rolled Dough

Rolled Dough

Now that your dough is rolled out time to make the syrup.  Combine syrup ingredients except butter and boil together for five minutes. Remove from heat and add butter.

Spread the dough with apples, cranberries, and nuts evenly.

Spread the filling, feel free to use helping hands!

Spread the filling, feel free to use helping hands!


Roll up like a jelly roll from the 18″ side. Cut into 12 slices and place in lightly buttered 9×13″ pan.

As funny as they look, they will bake nicely.

As funny as they look, they will bake nicely.

Pour hot syrup slowly over all.

Cranberry Apple Dumplings

Pour the hot syrup carefully as not to disrupt the filling.

Bake in 425° oven for 35-40 minutes until the edges begin to brown.

Golden Brown and Ready to eat!

Golden Brown and Ready to eat!

Serve warm with cream or half and half.

Apple Cranberry Dumplings //

Whole Grain Waffles and Peaches

While peaches are fresh and fragrant I try to eat them as long as the season lasts.  I was given a few really ripe peaches.  I chopped them up with about 1 Tbs of sugar, after peeling them.  The container was ready in the fridge for whatever I had in mind.Fresh Peaches

My daughter is always suggesting waffles and pancakes for breakfast.  Whole Grain Waffles are at least healthy especially when you don’t serve them with syrup.  We feasted on waffles and fresh peaches.  They were amazing, in fact as I type this I feel the need to go make some more as a midnight snack.  Even Mr.Picky opted for no syrup.

I say mix up the syrup topping and trade it in for fruit.  Whether you have fresh peaches or frozen it will be a lot better than all that sugar to start the day.  Maybe some bananas and berries would be wonderful.  Grab a fork and dig in.  I know I have shared this recipe before for the waffles but it is so good it deserves a second go around.

Whole Grain Waffles and Fresh Peaches

Whole Grain Waffles:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cup milk (skim works fine)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (or 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup applesauce)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mix eggs, milk, applesauce, and vanilla in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl combine remaining dry ingredients and whisk, or sift together.

Add dry mixture into egg mixture and stir until smooth but do not over mix.

Pour into a hot waffle iron and cook until golden brown.  Enjoy with the topping of your choice or eat them plain, I know my kids love the leftovers cold.


Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie

Grandma Ople's Apple Pie


Apple Pie by Grandma Ople Recipe – is Mr.Picky’s favortie apple pie.  Grandma Ople must be almost as good of a cook as my own grandma to come up with a recipe as good as this one.

I have made this recipe for years and it always turns out wonderful.  I use my never fail pie crust recipe and it turns out great.  With this recipe the apples are not overly sweet and do not become mush.  When making apple pie I would hesitate to use a different recipe.  If you haven’t tried it give a try the next time pie is calling your name.

Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie:

  • I recipe for a double 9 inch pie crust, try never fail pie crust
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6-8 granny smith apples or other hard apple, peeled cored and sliced


Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water,cinnamon, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.

Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice or a crust with some wide slits cut into it. Gently

pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, bake pie for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 35-45 minutes, or until apples are soft.

No More Pancake Mix

Old Fashioned PancakesThis recipe Old Fashion Pancakes-Allrecipes is a great easy recipe.  You can throw it together almost as quick as a pancake mix and tastes twice as good.  Mr.Picky gets a craving for pancakes once in a blue moon, but when he does this is the recipe I go to.  I prefer my grandma’s recipe,pumpkin or applesauce pancakes.  If you would rather have a good plain pancake you can’t go wrong.

The recipe makes verily puffy pancakes, which aren’t quite my style.  If you like them, then by all means.  For those of you who don’t I add about 1/4 cup of water until the batter is the consistency I like.  These pancakes do brown up just perfect.  I use either a cast-iron on medium or for a crowd my electric griddle turned to 350 degrees.

Old Fashion Pancakes:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbs butter, melted

Sift or whisk the dry ingredients and make a well in the center.

Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.  At this point if the batter seems thicker than you like your pancakes, add a bit of water until you reach the desired consistency.

Cook the pancakes over a medium heat 2-3 minutes per side.

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup Recipe

Buttermilk Caramel Syrup

Alongside our waffles this morning instead of the usual maple syrup we tried Buttermilk Caramel Syrup Recipe — Creations by Kara.  It was wonderful, this recipe yields a lot so I would suggest making only half the recipe.  Mr.Picky said he would stick to maple syrup but he did try it.  I would love to serve it in addition to maple syrup at a big brunch.

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