Last Sunday Erik and I hosted friends over to watch the Vikings game. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that Erik is pretty fanatical about his football team. He has season tickets and never misses a game. I love the social aspect of football season; hanging with friends on Sundays and football food. But no so much football itself.

I set up a bloody mary bar with a bunch of add-ins and we had a chili bar with all the fixings. I also served corn bread, pumpkin scones and vanilla pumpkin malts. Stay tuned for the vanilla pumpkin malt recipe (so easy!) on Friday.
The bloody mary bar included a spicy mix, vodka, pickled asparagus, olives, shrimp, cheddar, pickles, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. We lined up mason jars and let guests build their own
I also set up a chili bar with a huge crockpot of chili (recipe below), sour cream, cheddar, onions and pickled jalapenos. We also had corn bread and chips with a spicy sausage queso dip that my friend Libby brought. It was delicious.  Erik grilled up a bunch of hot dogs so that people could make chili dogs. The guys especially seemed pretty happy about that. I’ve made quite a few chili recipes in my day. This one is really good. It’s made with 2 bottles of lager beer, which gives it great flavor. I ate this chili for a few days this week and the flavor gets better over time. You can definitely add cayenne or other spices to give the chili more heat. I wanted Juliet to eat it so I kept the cayenne out. She’s had it for dinner the past couple of evenings and likes it!

The corn bread recipe is below. It’s an easy recipe that starts with cornbread muffin mix. Add yogurt, corn, eggs and you are all set. I over-cooked the corn bread a bit so it was a tad dry, but overall very tasty.

Beef chili (recipe via Real Simple)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 12-ounce bottles lager beer (I used Stella Artois since that’s what I had in my fridge)
  • 2 19-ounce cans kidney beans
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • toppings (such as sour cream, pickled jalapenos, cheddar, red onions)

  • Directions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes.

  • Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

  • Add the beer, beans, the tomatoes and their juices, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with the corn bread and toppings as desired.

  • Rosemary Corn Bread (recipe via Real Simple)
  • Ingredients
  • 2 8 1/2-ounce boxes corn-bread mix
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 8-ounce container plain yogurt
  • 2 7-ounce cans whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves

  • Directions

  • Heat oven to 400º F. Lightly coat a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. 

  • Stir all the ingredients together. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

  • Bake 25 minutes or just until golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

  • When cool, cut lengthwise into 3 strips and then crosswise into quarters. Cut each square into 2 triangles. 

  • To serve, thaw and reheat in the foil in a 325º F oven for 10 minutes or until heated through.

  • We had a great time on Sunday and the Vikes won! Extra points for a happy husband. 

  • Interested in other game-day recipes? Check these out:
Buffalo chicken dip (terrible photos in this post but this is the best dip ever)
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On Saturday morning Juliet woke up with her eye swollen shut. She had been bit by a mosquito the day before at daycare right by her eye, so I knew the swelling was a result of that. It was freaky looking, and I was a bit spooked and worried. I called the nurse line at her doctor’s office and also consulted with a friend who is a pediatrician and they both assured me the swelling would go down and she would be fine.

While Juliet didn’t seem to be too bothered by the swollen eye, she had a bit of a cold and was pretty grumpy Saturday. So we decided to have a lazy day at home. The weather was perfect for it, cold and rainy, so I didn’t mind a day in. I think Juliet enjoyed it too. We played and played and played. I baked while she napped. I actually spent a lot of time in the kitchen while Erik hung out with Juliet. In addition to these scones I made applesauce in the crockpot and butternut squash soup. It must be fall!
I want to bake a thousand pumpkin recipes over the next month. I’ll have to settle for 4-5. I’ve never made pumpkin scones before and thought these would be a nice challenge. I craved anything and everything sweet when I was pregnant with Juliet, now I just enjoy sweets every once in a while. And I don’t like anything overly sweet. That’s why scones are great. This recipe only called for 7 tablespoons of sugar for the scone itself (not including the glaze, which could certainly be skipped). Scones are actually pretty easy. They seem intimidating but they are not much more difficult than muffins in my opinion. You just have to get a bit of practice in with cutting butter into a flour mixture. I’ve done it plenty of times since I’ve made my fair share of pie crust and other baked goods. But really, it’s easy. And you can do it with a pastry cutter, your hands or a food processor. For these scones I used my pastry cutter.

The glaze is (sort of literally) the icing on the cake. It is really easy to whip up (honestly, it takes a minute) and not only adds prettiness to the scones but also another hint of sweetness (but not too sweet, at all).

I’ve had too many dry scones in my day and these are not dry whatsoever. They are actually quite moist and go perfectly with your morning cup of coffee.

My little girl’s eye is looking much better today and she is totally back to her normal self, thank goodness.

Pumpkin scones with a spiced glaze (recipe via Brown Eyed Baker)

INGREDIENTS:

For the Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
6 Tablespoons cold butter
½ cup canned pumpkin
3 Tablespoons half-and-half or milk (I used whole milk)
1 large egg
For the Powdered Sugar Glaze:
1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
For the Spiced Glaze:
1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Use a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious; set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 3 times as long as wide. Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
4. To make the powdered sugar glaze, mix the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. When scones are cool, dip the scones top into the glaze, let it drizzle upside down for a moment and then place it back on the wire rack (I used newspaper to catch the dripping glaze).
5. To make the spiced glaze, while the powdered sugar glaze is firming, combine all of the ingredients for the spiced glaze. Drizzle over each scone with a spoon and allow the icing to dry before serving (about an hour).
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{Photo credits: Midwest Living}

I love the idea of a fall picnic. Picnics in the summertime are pretty common, but once fall’s crisp weather comes around picnics sort of fall off the radar. But who says you can’t bundle up in sweaters and scarves and cozy-up to an outdoor meal?

I am sooooo doing this.

Read More »

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How decadent and lovely does this pink frosting look?

I love a pretty bridal shower as much as the next gal. Especially a shower with delicious desserts. This French-inspired shower was submitted by Katherine, who works as a librarian in an isolated area of Maine, but exercises her creativity with event planning. 

This sweet shower was thrown for Katherine’s friend Keely. Here are the details as told by Katherine:

The theme of the shower was a mix of French and floral, paying homage to the color purple, one of Keely’s favorite hues. The flowers featured included: purple tinted roses from Ecuador, purple anemone, the Picasso Calla Lilly, mauve hydrangea, and tons of sweet purple pansies.

As for desserts, I wanted to pay homage to all things French. We had French bulldog cookies, Eiffel Tower cookies, macarons in shades of pink and purple, perfume-shaped cookies that proclaimed “Love Is So Sweet” in French, and Marie Antoinette cupcakes in purple and pink. 

The food was perfect rainy day fare and was handsomely created by my co-host and her daughters. We featured a menu of light sandwiches, homemade soup, fruit, and chocolate mousse. In keeping true to our Maine location, we featured a sweet vintage cork-board where everyone could write their advice to the bride on whoopie pie-shaped paper cutouts. It was a truly fantastic day, and we capped off the Memorial Day weekend by taking Keely and her mother to the coast of Maine for seafood and lighthouses.”

The dessert table atop a chevron tablecloth Amazing cookies that are too pretty to eatA beautiful and lush floral arrangement  Love the use of wine glasses for serving dessertI adore these bulldog cookies!And of course you can’t have a French-inspired bridal shower without macarons! I’m not sure which cookies are cuter, the bulldogs or these Eiffel Towers?What a beautiful bridal shower. The food looked absolutely amazing and the desserts decadant. Thanks so much to Katherine for sending this soiree my way. I hope the bride Keely has a wonderful wedding day!

If you have a party to share please send to eatdrinkpretty{at|}gmail{dot}com. I’m always looking for gorgeous events to feature on Eat Drink Pretty!

Vendor Credits

Eiffel Tower cookies: FlourDeLisShop Esty
French bulldog cookies: Peapodscookies Esty
Perfume Cookies: Cookies with Character
Cupcakes: Torri Bell Huston
Flowers: Noyes Flower and Plant Shoppe, Caribou, Maine
Photography: Connie Carman Gagnon Washburn, Maine
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I had time on Sunday afternoon to whip up some yummy pumpkin goodness, right in time for the first day of fall. I thought Juliet would enjoy baking with me, but in reality she was not interested and instead dug through the tupperware cabinets and banged on pots and pans. Regardless, we were still in the kitchen together hanging out and she was happy and so was I. I know she’ll love baking with me when she gets a little older. And while she didn’t care to help me bake she sure loved these cookies and kept asking for “moooreeee”.

These cookies are from Better Homes and Gardens and they are a recipe I pinned a while ago. I’ve made pumpkin donuts and pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bars but never pumpkin cookies. I think these are the best pumpkin recipe of all the pumpkin recipes I’ve ever tried.

These cookies are soft and really freaking delicious. The frosting is a perfect balance to give the cookies a bit more sweetness. I added extra pumpkin into the frosting because, hey, you can never have too much pumpkin.
My sister Katie and her husband Drew came over as I was taking the cookies out of the oven and they both gave a thumbs up. My coworkers are in for a treat Monday morning because I’m bringing about 40 of these into the office. If I don’t, I’ll eat them all myself by Wednesday. And that does not need to happen.I halved this recipe because I noticed it said this would make 60 cookies. And I sure the heck don’t need 60 cookies sitting in my house.

Melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin cookies (recipe adapted via Better Homes and Gardens)

Ingredients


cups butter, softened
cups granulated sugar
teaspoons baking powder
teaspoons baking soda
teaspoon salt
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground nutmeg
eggs
teaspoons vanilla
15 ounce canpumpkin
cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
Pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon (optional)

Preparation


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat 2 cups butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour.

2.Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreasedcookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

3.In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread frosting on cookies. If desired, sprinkle with additional cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Makes about 60 cookies.

Modifications: I added a tablespoon of pumpkin into the frosting to give it a hint of pumpkin flavor. This made it a little wetter than it should be so I had to add a couple additional tablespoons of powdered sugar. 
I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. We had amazing weather in MN and took a trip to the apple orchard. It is so much fun experiencing those things with a little one. Happy Monday!
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Baked mini pumpkin donuts

Like the whole rest of the world, I am in love with fall. Everything about it. The weather, colored leaves, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, Halloween, cozy fires, hay rides, sweaters, boots, my baby snuggled in blankets on stroller rides.

And the food. There is nothing better than pumpkin desserts, is there? And yes I will go ahead and admit that I am one of the millions obsessed with the pumpkin spice latte.

Over the years I have made a lot of pumpkin recipes. I thought I’d do a round-up because these recipes are way too good to be buried in the recipe index.

I mean…check out those pumpkin donuts. Need I say more?

Pumpkin spice muffins 

Who doesn’t love a muffin that is basically a cupcake that you can eat for breakfast?

Pumpkin bars

My mom’s awesome pumpkin bars. They are so delicious and moist and since you bake them in a baking sheet you end up with like 100 bars. So you can share with friends. But only if you want to.

Pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin turnovers 

I made my own pumpkin spice lattes once with homemade pureed pumpkin. That was a bit of a commitment but damn it made a delicious latte. I paired it with a pumpkin turnover (really easy, check out the recipe, trust me!)

Pumpkin whoopie pies 

My sister-in-law, Nikki made these pumpkin whoopie pies and adorable flags years ago for a family gathering. I’ve made them before as well and brought them to work for a pot luck. Big hit.

Pumpkin oatmeal cookies 

These cookies are really awesome for little ones. Juliet absolutely loves them. I make big batches and freeze them and she likes to eat them for breakfast and snacks. They aren’t super sweet but toddlers shouldn’t eat a ton of sugar anyway. These are naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup.

Do you love fall, too? Do you have any fall-inspired recipes to share? I started a fall Pinterest board filled with pumpkin and apple recipes plus decor ideas perfect for a fall dinner party, check it out.

Happy fall!

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