In the Kitchen ~ October Edition

October! What a beautiful month it is!
I forget every year. . . and every year I am re-introduced and so pleased
to become re-acquainted with this lovely month in our Pennsylvania seasons!


Pumpkins, mums, sweet apple cider, harvested crops, long shadows,
leaves turning scarlet, crisp air, blue skies by day, and a warm golden glow
cast over everything in the evening. What is there not to love?

And it’s nearly over too. Where has the month gone?
I’ve been itching to post and share some of the beauty we’ve enjoyed,
but alas, have had such endless computer problems.
Endless, until now, we hope!


October has been full of days at home.
{Much needed after our traveling hither and yon in September.}
My young students beginning their more formal studies with books and pencils,
paints and scissors, sorting nickles & dimes, and counting by 10’s.

There has been time for sitting cozy ’round our new outdoor fireplace,
while sipping tea or listening to their daddy read Bible Stories before bedtime.

I have had a little more time to settle down for reading,
and to do a little more creating in the kitchen too,
which always leaves me feeling inspired & accomplished. :)

In addition to husband’s “regular” expectation of numerous pumpkin pies during Fall,
I have also been pleased to try out these seasonal baked goods . . .
Some of them have not fallen in line with my trim & healthy way of eating,
but they make my husband happy, as well as family and friends along the way.
And I will admit to taking a bite here, or a small little piece there.
All in the name of  my favorite season, of course.

I laughed out loud recently when reading words my husband’s cousin wrote
about sometimes feeling panicky that she won’t have enough time to take in
all the lovely sights and smells and flavors of this glorious season!
And I agree with her. I’m one of those that fits in as many pumpkin lattes as possible,
as many fresh, crisp apples as the waistline can stand, whether plain or in a baked treat,
as much cinnamon and cloves and chai . . . .
and whatever it is that speaks Autumn and makes the heart feel alive!
{Thanks for the laugh, Carolyn, and for putting words to my feelings that day!}

All photos are mine, unless otherwise noted.


Starbucks Pumpkin Pound Cake


This moist, pumpkin bit of deliciousness was first served to me by
my friend Clarita while in her home last month.
I love how when I make it now, not only does my family love it,
but I have sweet friendship memories tied to it as well. :)
I don’t normally copy her in recipe posting,
but this cake, as well as a certain quiche she introduced me to
which has become somewhat of a staple in my week,
are just so good that I had to re-share them here.


French Apple Tart


This French Apple Tart caught my eye while browsing online recipes.
It’s a bit time consuming to make on the first go because of all the steps,
but the second time around will be much easier.
Either way, I think the three bites I got, and the rave reviews from church friends
at a fall party two weeks ago were worth the extra effort.
My first attempt didn’t turn out quite as beautiful as other pictures
Instagram “French Apple Tart” brings up amazing works of art!!},
so that’s another aspect I’d love to improve on my next try!

Definitely remember to serve with vanilla ice cream,
or fresh whipped and slightly sweetened cream. Mmmmm.


Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_5392-640x392{photo from}

Now these, my friends, are the best almond floor chocolate chip cookies I’ve tried so far!
If you’ve been around me lately at all or follow me on Instagram,
you might know that my recent favorite cookbook has been Against All Grain by Danielle Walker.

My friend Marla is making dietary changes for the sake of her family’s health,
and is the one who introduced me to this inspiring book!
Many of the recipes can be used in the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating,
adapted slightly to fit, or the sweet delights that call for honey or maple syrup
can simply be enjoyed in a small amount and you can still feel pretty good about it all! :)
I find myself doing some of both, and either way, these cookies turned out great!

{The first time I made these I used xylitol, stevia, water and just a couple of tablespoons of honey
to equal the amounts of sweetener that were asked for in this recipe.
This past time, I made them exactly as given in the book  using coconut sugar and honey,
and while the texture is a little better, the taste in my opinion is a little more “honey-ish” .}

So far, in my baking with almond flour,
I have only used the “meal” purchased from my local health food store.
I’m so excited to be placing my first order of real almond flour online this week,
and I expect my baked goods to taste and look even more “real.”


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


{photo from}

This recipe goes way back to my family at home.
My mom found it in a Country Woman magazine, I think. Remember those?
And it’s still a quick and yummy recipe that I reach for during pumpkin season.
Nothing fancy or unusual. Just good pumpkin and chocolate in one bite.
I use half whole wheat flour, and at least half of the oil can be substituted with applesauce.


Now I’ve also been trying out Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
from the AAG cookbook. They include pumpkin & chocolate chips,
but use almond flour instead of wheat flour, and are a great alternative.

I’m not going to include the recipe here since Danielle hasn’t posted it on her blog,
but maybe you can ask me in private . . . or buy this beautiful $20 book for yourself.
You can purchase through my amazon affiliate link here . . .
or pick it up at Costco like I did. :)



Mozzarella Caprese Quiche


And this is the a fore-mentioned quiche which I seem to make over and over again.
Crustless. Because that’s how I eat my quiche.
So easy. So flavorful. So filling. So beautiful!


Lasagna Soup

I first had lasagna soup early in the year at my friend Cindy’s house.
We thought Spring was coming, but on the way to her house, it snowed. A lot!
And this soup was so perfect and delicious on that wet, cold day.
I got the recipe from her, which after my computer crash last month, is lost.
I’ll have to ask her for her version again, but this recipe came close to what I remember her serving.
I just used cottage cheese instead of the ricotta cheese, because that’s what she did.
But either would be great, I’m sure. Mmm, so good!

As the recipe notes, it’s best to keep the pasta seperate til serving.
Especially if you think you’ll have leftovers.
Because you know how pasta is in liquid . . . it kinda keeps growing
and soaks up all the extra juices hanging around.

Also, in case you’re wondering, yes I do enjoy pasta now and then
in my Trim Healthy Mama eating, thanks to the Dreamfield Pasta brand,
which doesn’t spike blood sugar levels.
It’s a winner when you need a bit of a pasta fix!

Oh, and those breadsticks?
Those are Rosemary Breadsticks made with almond flour!
They hit the spot and can also be found the the AAG cookbook.
Hmm, you’d think I’m promoting that book or something!
Not really. Just loving my own copy of it, that’s for sure.


Butternut Squash Rounds

For lack of a better name, I’ll call them rounds.
My gramma and mom used to make them whenever butternut was in season.
They would saute these thin slices in onions and butter,
add a slice of cheese, and then we would eat them on bread with juicy tomato slices.

Mine were similar, but I used goat cheese, skipped the bread,
and ate them with a piece of salmon. So good.


Pumpkin Spice Latte

IMG_1800 1
Ok, so after posting an instagram picture of my latte the other day,
some friends were asking for the recipe.

So here is the original recipe in all it’s sugary, carb-laden glory.
It’s good! I caved and made half a batch just to taste it before I gave it out here. :)

But when I first saw this recipe recommended by Edie at,
I tweaked it to fit into my THM day.
So whether you want the original or my tweaked version,
the choice is yours. :)

Trim & Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte (Shelly’s Version)

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup half & half
1/4 cup xylitol
a few dashes of stevia for added sweetness to taste
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Blend the above ingredients well and store in a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.
When you’re ready for your latte, add 1/2 cup of this mixture to a strong cup of hot coffee (8 oz).
Top with a bit  (or a lot) of slightly sweetened whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings.

Have fun with this!
And go enjoy the few remaining days of Beautiful October!

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10 Responses to In the Kitchen ~ October Edition

  1. Tilda October 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

    You make it look so fun and easy to follow a healthy eating plan. I still have a lot of learning to do. Wish I could be there to sample your stuff.

  2. Clarita October 30, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    Oh my goodness, what inspiration for my cooking!! Pictures sell me every time, and these pictures are STELLAR! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Pumpkin Pound Cake and Quiche. They are still two of my favorites, even though I’ve made them SO many times.

    And I can’t wait to try some of these new recipes, AFTER I can taste and smell again {i.e. horrible head cold}. Crazy how not tasting or smelling takes all desire out of eating and cooking! But especially that French Apple Tart – the very looks of that is amazing!

    YOU, my dear friend, have been one of the main sources of me learning to actually love cooking. For that, and for many other things, I’ll be forever grateful. :) xoxo

    • Shelly October 30, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

      Oooh no. Sorry about your head cold! And glad to be of service to you in the inspiration department, because now I’m only reaping benefits as a result. :)

  3. Andrea Esh October 30, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Wow, these recipes look great. I honestly want to pin every single one. Just the inspiration I need, because I have been in a cooking slump lately. I am totally making lasagna soup this week. :)

    • Shelly October 30, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

      I hope you love the soup, Andrea! :)

  4. Jenny October 30, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Pretty pictures! Especially the first two. I too adore fall and echo the quote from cousin!

  5. amber. October 30, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    okay! clearly i shouldn’t read some of you girls blogs before lunch!! i’m starving now and it’s a “i have to go to the grocery there’s no food in the house kind of day” so it’s killing me extra. ha! :))

    i’ve printed the recipe’s you linked so i can try them. that’s something new i’m trying.. to print out recipe’s straight from the blog instead of copying them down by hand, like i’ve done in the past. i’d love to put together a little album of blogging recipe’s :))

    happy wednesday there! xo

    • Shelly October 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      You’re funny! I guess it could be kinda bad to read food posts when a shopping trip is in order! My cupboards are a little bare right now too and I can’t wait to go restock at Costco and a favorite discount store! Oh, and I like your idea of printing recipes off right away. That’s something I keep telling myself I neeeeed to do. Because when technology fails or your just in a hurry and don’t feel like searching for something, those printouts would be so great.

  6. Rachel October 30, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    oh wow!! this post is so beautifully inspiring! you must be Quite the cook Shelly!!
    i’m coming back to jot down recipes too.
    happy Wednesday!

  7. Adil September 22, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    February 16, 2012 I like your photographer. That was a nice warm day in October. I never thhuogt it was going to get cold but then shortly after that day it was freezing.That’s okay because when it gets cold outside I get to cuddle with you.

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