Two pumpkin recipes this week!

Is it too much pumpkin?

I still have many cans of pumpkin in my pantry so. Prepare yourselves.

Anyway, let’s talk about making mornings easier today.

Because I get my kids out of bed at 6:15 and we’re (trying very hard to be) out the door at 6:55.

Three kids.

That’s 6 shoes that inexplicitly go missing in the middle of the night. Every single night. How does this happen? Why is one shoe outside if the other is under the bed?

I. Don’t. Understand. It.

Tell me I’m not alone. Tell me you have also found yourself sneaking into the neighbor’s garage at 7 am because your kid swears he left his shoes there.

Click for the full recipe


I’m breaking all my rules with this one.

Normally, stuff in my favorite cake would be a big no no in my house. I like my coffee cake to be just cake with a ton of crumbly topping. And then I just eat the crumbly topping off and leave the rest in the pan.

But this cake really called out to me for some reason!

It’s got the cake and the crumbles that I love but it also has a layer of cheesecake-y filling and a layer of sweetened strawberries.

It’s good. It’s really, really good.

I caught both the baby and the husky trying to sneak a piece off the counter so… I mean, that probably doesn’t tell you much since both will eat pretty much anything… but, yeah I’m not sure where I was going with that one.

You should just make it. And don’t tell me you’re not a sweet breakfast person. Because I’m not either. But cake for lunch? I can get into that.

One year ago: Sweet and Tangy Chicken
Two years ago: 
Fluffy Pancakes
Three years ago: PB&J Cookies
Four years ago: Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Six years ago: Chicken Piccata

Strawberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake


For the cake and crumb topping:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cream cheese filling:
1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
For the strawberry filling:
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray an 8-inch springform pan with baking spray.
  2. To make the strawberry filling:
  3. Combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry in a bowl.
  4. Mix the strawberries and sugar in a pan and heat over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the strawberries have released their juices. Stir in cornstarch slurry; continue stirring until it has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you work on the rest of the cake.
  5. To make the cream cheese filling:
  6. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and egg and continue beating until everything is smooth. Set aside.
  7. To make the cake:
  8. Combine the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or just 2 forks, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure 3/4 cup of the mixture and set aside. Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  9. In another bowl, beat the sour cream, egg and vanilla extract until well blended. Using a hand whisk or a spoon, stir gently into the flour mixture until just incorporated. Batter may be a bit lumpy. Set aside.
  10. Spread the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the batter. Spread the strawberry filling on top of the cream cheese filling. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup crumbs over the strawberry filling.
  11. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing the cake.



It is officially acceptable to start posting pumpkin recipes! I started making pumpkin stuff weeks ago but I haven’t even been taking photos because I’m so weird about waiting until October 1. But you better believe I am celebrating with a pumpkin spice latte and one of these babies for breakfast.

Anyway, one of my favorite fall treats is the pumpkin roll but those are kind of annoying to make. You’ve got to roll it in a towel covered in powdered sugar and then wait forever for it to cool and HOPE it doesn’t crack or break apart or anything like that. These bars are for those of us that hate all the pumpkin roll drama but still want the pumpkin cake with some cream cheese.

They are perfection and they taste like breakfast, if that makes sense. Like they aren’t so sweet that they’ll make you feel ill all day if you have one for perfect. It’s basically pumpkin bread and pumpkin bread is a perfectly acceptable breakfast food, right?


Now go make something with pumpkin!

One year ago: Pumpkin Walnut Muffins
Three years ago: Chicken with Cider & Bacon Sauce
Four years ago: Black Bean Burgers

Pumpkin Roll Bars


Pumpkin batter:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 (15 ounce.) can pumpkin
1/4 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with aluminum foil or spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and water until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin/butter mixture and combine until well blended.
  4. Spread about 2/3 of the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  5. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla until smooth.
  6. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the pumpkin batter. Dollop the remaining pumpkin batter over the cream cheese batter and spread out as evenly as possible. Use a table knife to swirl together the cream cheese and top layer of pumpkin batter.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center of the pumpkin batter springs back when touched. Cool completely in pan, then cut into bars.



Y’all remember this time last year when I excitedly bought a can of pumpkin only to realize it had expired 2 years before?

I feel like I never really got over that. Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely beating down Starbucks’ door the day the PSLs were released but I just haven’t been excited to bake with pumpkin this year. But I’m still craving those fall flavors, you know?

So I was catching up on my DVR’d shows this past weekend and saw the Pioneer Woman making a carrot cake and, ding ding ding, immediately knew how to get my fall flavor fix! Carrot cake muffins! With sweetened cream cheese in the center!

You can’t go wrong with a muffin like this. The only way these could be better is if they had a ton of pecans in them! These were very moist and I didn’t even have to adjust them for the altitude! The carrots aren’t super obvious – you could probably get away with adding more than a cup. And like I said, pecans would be an excellent addition! And raisins! Mmm!

Carrot Cream Cheese Muffins

about 16 muffins


For the filling:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese (low-fat is fine)
1/4 cup sugar
dash of vanilla
For the muffins:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed; about 2 large carrots


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line or grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. To make the filling, microwave the cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl for about 40 seconds on low. Stir in sugar an vanilla. Set aside.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, water, and vegetable oil until light. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and beat until just moistened. Add carrots and beat just a couple seconds until the carrots are dispersed.
  5. Put about 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup. Add a heaping tablespoon into the center of each cup. Top with another couple tablespoons of batter, making sure the cream cheese is completely covered.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center (of the actual muffin, not cream cheese) comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Repeat with remaining batter (or use a second muffin tin if you have it.)

Carrot Cream Cheese Muffins - carrot muffins filled with a sweetened cream cheese mixture! These are a great alternative to pumpkin in the fall!


This weekend is the best weekend of the year. No, my husband is not coming home. More important y’all.

College football, obviously.

It’s kind of sad since my husband isn’t home and all but lucky for him, his absence has made me more sympathetic to the Alabama cause. See, he is an Alabama fan and I am an LSU fan and since those 2 are typically the best teams, college football discussions get pretty heated. Last year he was in the field during the Alabama/LSU game so I did this to the baby and sent him pictures:

Amazingly, we are still married.

Like I said though, somehow I’m becoming more of an Alabama fan without him here to harass. Last week I impulse bought a houndstooth scarf and didn’t even realize what I’d done until I was out in the parking lot. Something is obviously very wrong with me and I hope to get over whatever sickness this is before he comes home.

But anyway, this is also my favorite time of year because I get to make (and blog!) a ton of fun appetizers! So get excited! Lots of football food coming your way in the coming months!

This is a real simple appetizer that is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s a dip that’s layered with onion and chive cream cheese, pizza sauce, pepperoni, and cheese. You can, of course, add whatever you like – peppers, mushrooms, Parmesan, sausage, pretty much anything goes!

One last thing: y’all remember when I did that leftover makeover? Well BlogHer has a fabulous Pinterest board filled with leftover makeovers (including mine!) that you should definitely check out. Lots of good things happening over there! Go find dinner inspiration!

Layered Pizza Dip


1 (8-ounce) container cream cheese with chives and onions
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup small pepperoni (or big ones, diced)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In an ungreased 9-inch pie plate or similar dish, layer all ingredients in order listed.
  3. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and dip is bubbly.
  4. Serve hot with crackers, bagel chips, or tiny toast pieces!

Layered Pizza Dip! Make this for your next party!