Category Archives: Food + Drink


How to Make a DIY Caramel Apple Bar

I love putting together a great dessert bar, as evidenced here, and basically every other party I’ve thrown … well, ever. I love the ease of a dessert station – especially when you can add a mix of homemade goodies plus store-or bakery-bought sweet treats that don’t require any baking or extra work, other than a little prep. Sometimes, after creating a big meal or party, the last thing you want to do is focus on baking dessert after dessert.

And caramel apples, well, they’re delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. I mean, who doesn’t anxiously await the fair to have one huge caramel apple? I also love that caramel apples just scream fall, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, a simple dessert bar, like a DIY caramel apple bar, seems just right.

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Dipping slices into your favorite sauces and toppings sounds kind of ideal, right? So the DIY caramel apple station it is.

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

A DIY caramel apple bar is creative, inventive, and totally lets your guests play with their food, in the best kind of way. Basically, this is the kind of dessert station everyone will love and is perfect for the grownups, and especially the kids. We loved it so much (because of course we went to town on the leftovers after we shot these photos), I’m planning to serve up some variation of this the next time we have friends over. It’s perfect for inviting friends and their kids over, but I’m also thinking this would be a big hit at book club.

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

With everyone’s favorite topping and dipping options — like toffee bits, crushed peanuts, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips —  a caramel apple bar has a little bit of everything. It’s the easiest way to get really creative with your dessert, and the legwork to set up a DIY caramel apple bar is pretty minimal. Win, win.

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

How to Make a DIY Caramel Apple Bar

Ingredients

  • apples
  • melted chocolate (white, milk, and/or dark)
  • melted caramel, jarred caramel sauce, or cold caramel fruit dip (in the produce section at the supermarket)
  • Nutella
  • marshmallow sauce or fluff
  • crushed peanuts
  • chopped almonds or almond slivers
  • toffee bits
  • mini chocolate chips
  • peanut butter chips
  • mini M&M's
  • mini marshmallows
  • shredded sweetened coconut
  • crushed graham crackers
  • crushed pretzel pieces
  • sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Cut apples into slices. I used a mix of large red and green apples. Store in an airtight zip-top bag, and spray a little lemon juice or lemon-lime soda on them, toss to coat, in order to keep them from browning too quickly. Try to serve within a few hours of cutting your apples.
  2. Set out bowls of your dips (melted chocolate, Nutella, caramel sauce, etc.) and toppings (crushed peanuts, toffee, chocolate chips, etc.)
  3. Serve with plenty of napkins - this is one sticky, sweet dessert!

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

After putting together this DIY caramel apple bar, I had all of these other topping ideas; I’m thinking s’mores apples (a.k.a., adding crumbled graham cracker and marshmallow fluff to the mix), chocolate peanut butter pretzel apples (with melted chocolate, crushed pretzels, and peanut butter chips), and Nutella apples (because, Nutella.)

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Tell me this isn’t making you want to chop up on apple, break out the chocolate and various toppings, and get messy?

A DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterincA DIY caramel apple pie bar is the kind of easy dessert station everyone will love. This set-up is delicious, nostalgic, and so much fun. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

If you put together your own DIY caramel apple bar, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your sweet creations!

Psst … if you love apples, you have got to try our salted maple caramel apple pie, apple crisp shortbread bars, and slow-cooker apple crisp.

Photo by Annie Watts Photography for Glitter, Inc.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Salted Maple Caramel Apple Pie Recipe

Our love affair with fall desserts continues with this salted maple caramel apple pie recipe that you are sure to FREAK out over. It’s a spin on a more traditional apple pie that will have you wondering why it took you so long to start drizzling homemade salted maple caramel sauce on ALL of the apple things. I mean, of course a caramel-soaked apple pie is going to taste incredible. The apple pie here is standalone amazing, but let’s be honest: the caramel is the real hero here; and it’s a total crowd-pleaser, so get ready to impress everyone.

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Salted Maple Caramel Apple Pie Recipe by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

This maple caramel apple pie recipe is just about the most perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert spread, and maybe it’s just me, but a leftover slice of pie the morning after Thanksgiving, well that’s pretty much post food coma heaven. And this maple caramel apple pie? Yeah, it happens to be just as amazing cold as it is warm out of the oven. Served with a big cup of coffee, of course.

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Our brilliant food contributor, Hope, created this maple caramel apple pie recipe, and it might just be our new favorite pie. And that’s saying something, because, well … PIE.

From Hope:

Maple caramel apple pie is the ultimate twist on the classic American apple pie. Buttery pie dough is packed with fresh apple slices then drowned in maple caramel and baked to perfection. The maple caramel is really what makes the pie so amazing – it is so good you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful!

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Salted Maple Caramel Apple Pie Recipe

Yield 1 pie

Ingredients

Pie Crust

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup ice water, or more as needed

Maple Caramel Sauce

  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt

Apple Pie Filling

  • 8 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (I used 9 small apples)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • a few pinches of salt
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¾ cup salted maple caramel
  • turbinado sugar, for top

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon cream or milk

Instructions

Make the Pie Crust

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter and toss in the flour mixture to coat. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it is the size of walnut halves.
  • Make a well in the middle of the butter-flour mixture and add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time. Mix after each addition just until the dough comes together.
  • Separate the dough into two equal balls. Roll out the dough balls into small rounds, wrap them in plastic wrap, and chill well before rolling to their full size for baking.

Make the Maple Caramel Sauce

  • In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the maple syrup and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir frequently. This should take 6-10 minutes.
  • Stir in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, stirring frequently. The butter will bubble as it hits the hot sugar-syrup mixture. Continue to heat for another 2 minutes, stirring a few times.
  • Pour in the cream and sea salt and cook for another 10-15 minutes, continuing to stir a few times a minute. You can make this as thin or thick as you like, but the caramel is done cooking when it becomes thick and doesn’t slide off of a spoon. If you prefer thinner caramel, reduce the cooking time. I cooked mine for the full 15 minutes and the resulting caramel was deliciously thick.
  • When the caramel is done, let it cool for a few minutes in the pot before transferring it to a jar. If the sauce thickens too much while you make the apple filling, reheat it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time.

Make the Apple Pie

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a pie plate with butter and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine apples and lemon juice. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and flour and stir to evenly coat the apples. Set aside while you prepare your crust.
  • On a floured surface, roll out one of your pie dough disks into a 10 to 11 inch circle, so that it will drape over the edges of your pie dish. Gently place the rolled out dough into your greased pie dish and pat the edges of the pan into the bottom edge.
  • Layer the apples onto the pie dough. Keeping the apples flat will help the pie as it cooks. Don’t pour the excess liquid from the apple bowl into the crust – it will make the pie soggy (and no one wants a soggy pie). Pour the maple caramel on top of the apple filling.
  • On your floured surface, roll out the second pie dough disk into a circle large enough to touch all edges of your pie plate and the bottom pie crust. Cut the circle into strips to create a lattice pattern on the top of your pie. Re-roll any leftover pie dough scrap and cut out leaves to decorate the edges. When you are pleased with your design, crimp the edges all around your pie.
  • Brush all of the dough with your egg wash, sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is golden. Mine didn’t need the full hour, so begin checking at 45 minutes. Let the pie cool for at least 1 hour before serving. It can be served warm, room temperature, or cold. I find it most delicious when it is warm, but easiest to cut cleanly when it is cold. Enjoy with a generous scoop of ice cream!

Courses dessert

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Goodness, I love the way fresh apples and sugar bake down into caramely pie perfection.

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

If you haven’t jumped on the homemade caramel sauce bandwagon, now’s the time. No matter the flavor – in this case, salted maple – homemade caramel is incredibly good. It’s the kind of thing you’ll make once and wonder why you’d been missing out for so long. And this maple caramel sauce in particular was made for fall. The delicious caramel flavor is complemented perfectly with pure maple syrup. Let’s just say, you’ll have a hard time saving any for the pie.

And, as Hope suggests, maple caramel sauce is so versatile. Pour it over ice cream, mix it with some caramel, layer it in a cake, swirl it in brownies, stir it in your coffee, serve it with your pancakes; the list goes on and on.

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

By the way, no need to let the “salted” factor scare you – its subtle, and sweet, and the pinch of sea salt adds the perfect balance and contrast to the rich maple caramel and sweet and warm apple filling.

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Don’t be shy with that homemade caramel; that is, if you have any left.

 

Prepare to FREAK out over this spin on a more traditional apple pie drizzled with warm homemade salted maple caramel sauce. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Love this maple caramel apple pie recipe? Head to our recipe page to check out what we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen!

If you make your own maple caramel apple pie, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your sweet creations!


Lexi

Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail

I love a great fall cocktail or drink, and this pumpkin ginger bourbon punch cocktail is no exception. Pumpkin ginger bourbon punch cocktail, a play on the more classic Kentucky Mule, is quintessential fall.

With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and other fall gatherings on the holiday horizon, it’s nice to have a fun, seasonal punch cocktail recipe ready when guests arrive. Ever notice a signature cocktail can make a party or event feel all the more special?

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall drink recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

As for this pumpkin ginger bourbon punch cocktail, the homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup is the star of the show; and it’s topped with smooth bourbon and spicy ginger beer. What’s not to love? Make a batch or two of the simple syrup to keep on hand and you’ll be the hostess of the season!

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall drink recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Our awesome food contributor, Hope, dreamed up the recipe for this fall punch cocktail, and the result is amazing.

The pumpkin ginger simple syrup used to create this ginger bourbon punch is full of fall spices and makes any cocktail (or mocktail) taste like fall in a cup. The pumpkin flavor is present without being too strong for the drink. We love ginger beer in any drink, especially in the colder month. It adds a bit of warmth and spice and makes the punch cocktail cozy and comforting. The combination of the subtly sweet pumpkin ginger simple syrup, bourbon, and ginger beer tastes like a Kentucky Mule with an autumn twist. It is cinnamon-y sweet and warm with a touch of pumpkin and some heat from the bourbon and ginger beer.

We love serving this one on ice – crushed or one big cube – and of course, dipping the rim in cinnamon sugar to give the glasses a fun sparkle. It is delicious!

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall cocktail recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail

This perfect fall drink recipe - ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving - combines homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer. What's not to love?

Ingredients

Pumpkin Ginger Simple Syrup

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground allspice
  • pinch of ground cloves

Pumpkin Bourbon Punch

  • 1 to 1 ½ ounces pumpkin ginger simple syrup
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 3 ounces ginger beer
  • Lemon juice, for the rim
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, for the rim

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, mix all of the simple syrup ingredients together and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for 6-8 minutes, stirring often. Strain the simple syrup through a sieve to remove the ginger root.
  2. On a plate or shallow dish, mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Pour the lemon juice into another plate or shallow bowl and dip the rim of the glasses in lemon juice, then in cinnamon sugar.
  3. Stir (or shake) the bourbon, ginger beer, and pumpkin simple syrup together, pour into the rimmed glasses, top with ice, and serve!

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall cocktail recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

How perfect would this be served at a Halloween or Thanksgiving celebration?

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall cocktail recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

That cinnamon-sugar dipped rim adds such a festive (and sweet!) touch.

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall cocktail recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Cheers!

Foodie blogger Lexi of Glitter, Inc. shares a perfect fall cocktail recipe, and spin on a classic Kentucky Mule, combining homemade pumpkin ginger simple syrup, smooth bourbon, and spicy ginger beer, ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Ginger Bourbon Punch Cocktail by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

SHOP THE POST | CLICK LEFT & RIGHT ARROWS TO EXPLORE

 

Love this pumpkin ginger bourbon punch cocktail recipe? Head to our recipe page to check out what we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen!

If you make your own pumpkin ginger bourbon punch cocktail, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your delicious cocktail creations!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

Breakfast is one of those things that we all know we need, we know is good for us, and yet, on most busy mornings, we can’t seem to get it together enough to serve a balanced, healthy breakfast. I even struggle with this on the weekends. Part of it is the planning. I mean, really, who wants to plan for breakfast? Then of course, there’s the actual cooking of a somewhat good-for-you breakfast that feels like the last thing on your busy day (or even lazy day) to do list.

Although still new-ish to me, the slow cooker (or crockpot) has totally blown my mind as of late. I don’t know if maybe I was living under a rock, but my goodness, a slow cooker makes life easier. It’s basically a kitchen wizard and makes meal-making SO much easier. You dump all of your ingredients in, set it, and forget it.

And you can MAKE BREAKFAST IN IT. I know; right!?

I’ve already tackled dinner (and dessert) in our slow cooker: this 3-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Thai Coconut Curry Chicken and Hearty Chicken Vegetable and Quinoa Soup have both become slow cooker staples in our kitchen, and if you’ve never tried dessert in a slow cooker, allow me to introduce you to slow cooker/crockpot apple crisp. SO good. (By the way, this Instant Pot basically does it all – slow cooker, rice cooker, pressure cooker – and you’ll love it.) But breakfast; it totally works too!

Introducing, slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut outs …

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Our awesome food contributor, Hope, put together the recipe for these slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut outs, and the result just might be your new favorite fall and winter breakfast.

From Hope:

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are the easiest fall breakfast. They are hearty, delicious and healthy, with heaps of cinnamony flavor. Throw everything together overnight for the perfect breakfast on those busy, crisp mornings.

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc = Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Want the recipe? Scroll down for the yummiest slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut outs.

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy, with heaps of cinnamony flavor. Cooking them in a slow cooker also makes it an unbelievably simple breakfast option on those busy, crisp fall and winter mornings.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 apples, cut into small chunks (I used Honeycrisp)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Optional Toppings:

  • apple slices or chunks
  • fresh berries
  • nuts (like walnuts or pecans)
  • pepitas
  • milk
  • maple syrup
  • honey
  • brown sugar
  • peanut butter or almond butter
  • shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Spray the bowl of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Stir together all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and set on low for 6 hours to 8 hours. 6 hours works well, but 8 hours will give you even softer oats. If you are around, while the oatmeal is cooking, stir once or twice. If you are not around to stir, it may stick to the sides a bit, but should still be fine. I made it once without stirring for 6 hours and once when I stirred at 3 hours (of 6) and both tasted great.
  2. Serve the oatmeal hot with extra milk, maple syrup, apple slices, and nuts on top.
  3. Any leftover oats can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge (use jars for on-the-go breakfasts!). Stir in a splash of milk before reheating to bring back some of the moisture.

Courses Breakfast

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

I’m such a big fan of steel cut outs. Also often referred to as Irish or Scottish oats, steel cut oats are a type of oatmeal that are processed by chopping the whole oat groat into several pieces, rather than rolled. Steel cut oats take longer to cook than regular oats, and have a hearty, chewy texture; a.k.a., they’re perfect for cooking in a slow cooker or crockpot. (We love this brand!)

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

It’s so satisfying to have an entire hearty meal ready to go in a crockpot. You just throw all of your ingredients in and let that slow cooker work its magic.

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Don’t forget to serve your slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut outs with all of your favorite toppings. A few tasty suggestions for topping your oats:

  • apple slices or chunks
  • fresh berries
  • nuts (like walnuts or pecans)
  • pepitas
  • milk
  • maple syrup
  • honey
  • brown sugar
  • peanut butter or almond butter
  • shredded coconut

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats are hearty, delicious and healthy. Using a slow cooker also makes it a simple breakfast option. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Love these slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats? Head to our recipe page to check out what else we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen!

If you make your own slow cooker apple cinnamon oats, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) or let us know in the comments so I can live vicariously through all of your sweet creations!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Our Favorite Harvest Salad

I’m so excited to share one our favorite salads; the harvest salad.

Full disclosure: this harvest salad is totally a knockoff of the harvest bowl at sweetgreen; but I fell so madly in love with the salad on my first trip to sweetgreen in NYC a few years back, that I’ve never been able to order anything else from the place on trips to both NYC and DC. Soooo, I figured out how to make our own version of our favorite harvest bowl salad at home. And basically now I feel like I’m winning at life. I get excited about food, guys.

How to make the most amazing knockoff version of the harvest bowl salad at sweetgreen. This one is salad done right. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Our Favorite Harvest Salad by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

It’s kind of amazing how a few simple ingredients can completely transform an ordinary salad. I actually think my husband loves this harvest salad (and that’s a bold claim when it comes to salad), because it resembles an actual meal. Full of amazing harvest-y ingredients like kale (yeah, not his favorite, but I can totally get away with it in THIS salad!), apples, roasted sweet potatoes, wild rice, white cheddar cheese (though you can use goat cheese as well), toasted almonds, and shredded chicken, it’s all so, so good.

This harvest salad is hearty and cozy and so filling without being terribly bad for you, thanks to a lighter balsamic vinaigrette.

How to make the most amazing knockoff version of the harvest bowl salad at sweetgreen. This one is salad done right. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Our Favorite Harvest Salad by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

The trick to this harvest salad is coating every delicious bite in that savory sweet balsamic vinaigrette dressing. At sweetgreen they toss the salad like crazy. I mean, they’re master salad tossing experts. I think that’s half the secret to any great salad place. They get every inch of that salad coated in dressing and it tastes SO good that way. Your best bet is to put it in a really big mixing bowl or in a large tupperware container with a lid and shake, shake, shake.

How to make the most amazing knockoff version of the harvest bowl salad at sweetgreen. This one is salad done right. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Our Favorite Harvest Salad by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Okay, okay, I hear you! You want that recipe …

How to make the most amazing knockoff version of the harvest bowl salad at sweetgreen. This one is salad done right. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Our Favorite Harvest Salad by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc. How to make the most amazing knockoff version of the harvest bowl salad at sweetgreen. This one is salad done right. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc How to make the most amazing knockoff version of the harvest bowl salad at sweetgreen. This one is salad done right. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Our Favorite Harvest Salad by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Delicious Harvest Salad

A homemade twist on everyone's favorite sweetgreen harvest bowl salad, this one is salad done totally right.

Ingredients

  • kale (chopped well)
  • diced apples
  • diced, roasted sweet potatoes
  • wild rice
  • diced white cheddar cheese (goat cheese works well too, but I just love white cheddar)
  • toasted almond slivers
  • chopped grilled or shredded chicken
  • balsamic vinaigrette

Instructions

For the Sweet Potatoes:

Dice one or two whole sweet potatoes. Spread evenly on a baking sheet (I like to cover my baking sheet in a piece of parchment paper or tin foil for minimal clean-up), toss in one to two tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to one hour. Allow to cool.

NOTE: You can easily store your roasted sweet potatoes in a tupperware for a few days after roasting to keep adding to your salad.

For the Balsamic Vinaigrette: 

In a mason jar, combine:

1-2 tablespoons honey1 tablespoon dijon mustard1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper, finely ground1 garlic clove or shallot, minced1/4 cup balsamic vinegar3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Screw the lid on tight and shake vigorously. Store in the refrigerator. Also, shake well before serving. Enjoy!

You can also use your favorite store-bought balsamic vinaigrette or balsamic vinaigrette mix.

For the Salad:

Prepare your wild rice according to the instructions on the package. Allow to cool.

Toast an even layer of almond slivers on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a toaster oven or the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

You can use either chopped grilled chicken or shredded chicken. (We sometimes shred a roasted chicken from the grocery store and sometimes just make an extra grilled chicken breast or two from dinner the night before and store the cooked chicken in the refrigerator for the next day's salad.)

Dice all of your remaining ingredients up well and toss everything together, generously coating in dressing.

Cuisine salad

How to make the most amazing knockoff version of the harvest bowl salad at sweetgreen. This one is salad done right. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc How to make the most amazing knockoff version of the harvest bowl salad at sweetgreen. This one is salad done right. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

And now I’m officially craving this harvest salad. Again.

How to make the most amazing knockoff version of the harvest bowl salad at sweetgreen. This one is salad done right. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc How to make the most amazing knockoff version of the harvest bowl salad at sweetgreen. This one is salad done right. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc How to make the most amazing knockoff version of the harvest bowl salad at sweetgreen. This one is salad done right. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

Love this harvest bowl salad recipe? Head to our recipe page to check out what we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen!

If you make your own harvest salad, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your sweet creations!

Photography by Annie Watts Photography for Glitter, Inc.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you so much for clicking through and helping to support this little blog business of mine! Read more about our site, privacy, and disclosure policies here.


Lexi

Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting

Goodness I love fall desserts. Typically, I make all of the apple and pumpkin things all season long, but today, I’ve got something just a little different for you … with a pumpkin spin. This incredibly moist spiced pumpkin cake recipe topped with a rich and fluffy chocolate frosting is bound to be your new favorite fall addition.

Now it may seem a little funky to pair something like pumpkin and chocolate, but let me tell you, if you’ve never tried the unexpected pairing before, NOW is the time. You’ll be amazed. Pumpkin and chocolate were practically made for each other; especially a moist and slightly spiced cake and a rich and fluffy chocolate frosting. This pumpkin cake recipe is where it’s at.

This incredibly moist spiced pumpkin cake topped with a rich and fluffy chocolate frosting is perfect for fall. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Our genius food contributor, Hope, dreamed up the recipe for this pumpkin chocolate cake, and the result is dreamy.

From Hope:

Filled with spices and topped with fluffy chocolate frosting, this pumpkin cake recipe is amazingly moist and so perfect for fall. It is always a crowd pleaser and my go-to cake for fall parties, but is still easy enough to have with everyday dinner!

This incredibly moist spiced pumpkin cake topped with a rich and fluffy chocolate frosting is perfect for fall. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting

A perfectly moist pumpkin cake, filled with spices and topped with fluffy chocolate frosting, this cake is so perfect for fall.

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cake

  • 2 ⅓ cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 ¼ cups (18 ounces) pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 ⅔ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, yolks and whites separated

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Instructions

To Make the Pumpkin Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter 3 8-inch round cake pans, then line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and butter that as well. You can also use non-stick cooking spray for this step.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, combine the pumpkin, oil, sugar and salt. With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg yolks one at a time, making sure each yolk is fully incorporated (or almost fully incorporated) before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when you are done.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, just until the ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix. Pour your batter into the bowl you just used for the dry ingredients (or into another large bowl) and set aside.
  5. In the now semi-clean bowl of your mixer, whisk the egg whites until they are frothy and white. They will still be fairly liquidy, not fully whipped. Fold the frothy egg whites into the cake batter until they are no longer visible (but be careful not to over mix). Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake on the middle rack in the oven, with enough room for it to rise.
  6. Begin checking the cakes after 35 minutes (mine have taken anywhere between 35-50 minutes), removing them when a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The middle will set and cook a little longer from the heat of the pan as the cake cools. Let the cake cool in its pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes, or until the cake is pulling away from the pan. Transfer the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  7. NOTE: You can make this cake ahead of time! After it cools, wrap it well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few days, or freeze for a few weeks. If you freeze the layers, let them thaw in the fridge before frosting them.

To make the chocolate frosting

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth and fluffy. This will take a few minutes.
  2. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the salt, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar until combined. Add the vanilla and slowly add the milk, one tablespoon at a time. Mix on medium speed until the frosting is soft and silky, but not too thin. Scrape down the bowl and add more milk if it is too thick to spread. Add the melted, cooled chocolate and mix until it is fully combined. Mix on medium-high for 1 more minute to make the frosting light and fluffy.
  3. Spread the fluffy fudgy frosting generously between the layers and all around the outside of your prepared pumpkin cake. Enjoy!

Courses dessert

Cuisine cake

This incredibly moist spiced pumpkin cake topped with a rich and fluffy chocolate frosting is perfect for fall. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Just look at that decadent fluffy chocolate frosting!

This incredibly moist spiced pumpkin cake topped with a rich and fluffy chocolate frosting is perfect for fall. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc

I’m a big fan of baking cakes to bring to parties and events. This pumpkin cake recipe is relatively simple to make and any time you bring homemade cake anywhere, everyone is wildly impressed. I mean, come on, who doesn’t LOVE cake?

By the way, we love this cake caddy; it’s under $10 and works like a charm to transport cakes.

This incredibly moist spiced pumpkin cake topped with a rich and fluffy chocolate frosting is perfect for fall. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

By the way, a leftover slice of cake the next morning with a big cup of coffee = bliss.

This incredibly moist spiced pumpkin cake topped with a rich and fluffy chocolate frosting is perfect for fall. Click through for the recipe. | glitterinc.com | @glitterinc - Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Fluffy Chocolate Frosting by North Carolina foodie blogger Glitter, Inc.

Love this pumpkin cake recipe? Head to our recipe page to check out what we’ve been whipping up in the kitchen!

If you make your own pumpkin cake recipe with fluffy chocolate frosting, be sure to tag me on social media (@glitterinclexi) so I can live vicariously through all of your sweet creations!


Lexi