Homemade Bounty Bars Recipe

Most of the time when I feel like making something in the kitchen I want to make it immediately. So I go in and rummage through cabinets and the fridge to see what ingredients I have and start from there. I wanted to make something that didn’t require too much energy so I decided on a chocolate treat with minimal work involved. I decided to make Bounty bars. For those of us in the states it is like a Mounds bar. A Bounty bar is typically found in the UK and Canada but can be found in specialty shops, etc internationally. I am lucky enough to have had them and was happy to make some at home. I also didn’t have the corn syrup and marshmallows needed to create the base for Mounds or an Almond Joy so I kinda had to go this route. 

You will need:

*7 oz bag of coconut flakes

*14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk

*2 cups chocolate (I used chocolate chips but you can buy chocolate specifically made for candy)
You’ll also need wax paper and either a double broiler or a microwave for the chocolate. 
Optional: extracts for the coconut blend and sea or kosher salt for the chocolate to enhance the flavor. Though these are not used typically. 

Mix the condensed milk and coconut together. Use 1/4 cup less condensed milk for not so “milky” bars if you prefer that. 


I added 1/2 a teaspoon of almond extract but coconut or vanilla work too. They are not needed or required however. I added it for my personal tastes. 

Form into bars with your hands and set on wax paper. Freeze for 30-60 minutes. I put mine in the freezer then cleaned the house a bit. Leaving them longer doesn’t hurt them. 

Melt chocolate! Either in a microwave with a microwave safe bowl or in a double boiler. I didn’t temper mine as I had a toddler helping and forgot. You can temper yours by melting in increments before adding more chocolate and then setting the bowl or pan in cold water. Seeing as I don’t have pictures of this I would refer to a YouTube video for help if you need it. If you don’t temper it you will run into the issue of it cooling fast and making not so pretty bars. 


I used two forks to toss the bar around. Use whatever you have handy. Spoons, chopsticks, etc. I had also added raw almonds for a crunch in some pieces as you can see here.

Set to cool. Wax paper would have been best but you may get a pooling of chocolate so I went this route of using a greased cooking rack. 

Let the chocolate set for a few hours then enjoy! 

Candied Pumpkin Spice Nut and Seed Medley Recipe 

Every year one of my aunts sends around treats of candied nuts. I have been dreaming about tasty candied nuts and seeds so I decided to make some because I couldn’t wait. Impatient much? This is a large batch for entertaining, big families, gifting or saving to eat all by ones self. Teehee! The recipe is easily cut in half. They are spicy, sweet and salty all in one. I used almonds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), walnuts and pecans. You can use any blend you would like or just one but or seed! It’s super easy and tasty!

You will need: 

*2 lbs of raw unsalted nuts or seeds. I used 8 ounces each of almonds (about 1.5 cups), pepitas (about 2 cups), walnuts (about 2.5 cups) and pecans (about 2 cups). It’s easier to weigh it all but if you can I gave approximates for measuring. 

*2 egg whites 

*1 cup white sugar 

*1 cup brown sugar 

*2 tablespoons water 

*1 1/2 tablespoons salt 

*1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

*1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

 

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare two baking sheets with non-stick aluminum foil.

Measure out nuts and seeds. 

Blend nuts and seeds together. 

Measure out sugar, salt and spices. Blend well. 

Whisk egg whites and water until frothy. 

Add egg mixture to nut and seed blend. Mix with spoon or with hands.

Scoop everything into the bowl with the sugar mixture. Toss together until everything is coated evenly. 

Evenly place ingredients onto baking sheets.

Bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Stirring every ten minutes. 

Cool completely and then enjoy!

Crispy Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Pumpkin seeds are probably my favorite thing about taking apart pumpkins. Sure, purée is amazing when you are using sugar pumpkins but making Jack O’ Lanterns and other decor you won’t be eating makes the work somewhat of an unrewarding job when cleaning them…except for the seeds! It is a long and time consuming process but so worth it! I might have cried when I burnt a batch before. Seriously. 

The other day, I cleaned out the “guts” from a sugar pumpkin destined to be purée. To start you simply need a pumpkin and to use whatever method you decide on to remove the guts. It depends on what you’re doing with your pumpkin. So we will start with the guts. 

You will need:

*Pumpkin guts! These are the stringy fibers and seeds. 

*Salt

*Oil

*Seasonings of choice. You can make salted, cinnamon sugar, cayenne, pumpkin spice, etc. Here I am making salted because they are my favorite. 

*Tools such as bowls, strainer, spoon, etc. Read the entire recipe before beginning to make sure you have everything you need! 

Pull seeds out of pumpkin fibers. Toss or compost the fibers. This is time consuming, slippery and messy so take your time. They don’t need to be perfectly clean. 

Soak seeds overnight in salted water. This is a method my mom taught me. They somehow create crispier and more flavorful seeds as well as helping prevent sticking a bit. 

Strain seeds. Rinse if you are making sweet seeds to remove salt. Most of the extra fibers should slip off of the seeds and stick to the strainer as well. Thanks salt water! 

Place in a flat container to dry. This can take several hours depending on the amount of seeds in the container, temperature in the home, etc. You can see some extra fibers here. Remove them or leave them. They don’t hurt the seeds. I wouldn’t use paper towels or a rag to help. The seeds will stick to it! Which is a PAIN to deal with later. I prefer waiting over using the oven to dry the seeds. 

Once dry cover with just enough oil to wet the seeds. I prefer to use my clean hands to massage the oil in and around. 

Add seasonings and toss the seeds. 

Roast in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or so. Stirring halfway through. Be sure to get the seeds on the sides especially. 

Let the seeds cool completely after removing from the oven then enjoy! 

Homemade Edible Play Dough 

Yesterday was a busy day. Cooking, cleaning, baking and mommying. A friend suggested I make my toddler play dough to help keep her happy and busy when I can’t be hands on with her. I have been wanting to make play dough for some for quite a while but never got around to it. I have made it before when I was younger for my baby sister and kids I babysat over the years but it was time my little one had some too. This recipe is safe for toddlers in case they decide to eat some. It makes quite a bit too! I ended up giving half to the neighbors!

You will need: 

*2 1/2 cups flour (unsure how gluten free flours would work if you are curious)

*2 cups hot water 

*1/2 cup salt (I used Kosher)

*3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used melted coconut) 

*1 tablespoon cream of tartar

For coloring and/or flavoring you can use 2 packages of a powdered drink such as Kool-Aid or use food coloring and either food grade “kids safe” edible essential oils or flavoring extract. For the second option I would experiment with what works for you to determine how much you need. 

Start heating up water. I used a pot on the stove top but you can use a tea kettle or a microwave. 

Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar. 

Add flavoring and oil. Mix well! 

Add food coloring to the water if you are using it. 

Pour water into flour mixture. 

Mix! Mix! Mix! 

If you need to alter the color a bit feel free to here.

You will need to mix for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth, flexible and cool. Alternatively, you can knead it once it cools for the same amount of time. Kneading produces a better dough I have found. 

Store in an air tight container when not in use. Have fun! 

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup Recipe 

While waiting impatiently for my pumpkin seeds to dry today I decided to make some pumpkin spice coffee syrup. I considered buying some but realized I had everything to make my own! Other than a nice pump container to keep it in. Which I worked around. This type may not last as long as commercial syrup but at least I know exactly what is in it and it tastes great! You can also use this thin syrup in place of regular syrup, to replace honey in Fall baking, etc. It isn’t limited to just coffee! 

Read all the instructions to make sure you have all the tools and ingredients you need before beginning!

You will need: 

*1 1/2 cup water

*1 cup brown sugar 

*1 cup granulated sugar. You can switch out sugars to suit your needs, tastes, etc. I used white sugar as I ran out of Tamarind. 

*1/3 cup pumpkin purée 

*1 tablespoon vanilla extract

*2 teaspoons cinnamon

*2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 

Add sugars and water to a pot. Turn onto medium heat and whisk for a few minutes until the sugars fully dissolve. 

Add spices! You can use more or less than listed to suit your tastes. Whisk a bit before adding the pumpkin.

Add in pumpkin and whisk for a minute. I used homemade purée so it never really got creamy like canned purees can. 

Reduce heat to low so the concoction will not boil and then continue whisking to prevent burning. Simmer 8-10 minutes. I did ten minutes due to my homemade purée not breaking down as easily as store bought. 

Once finished immediately strain using a fine strainer or cheesecloth. This worked for me. 

It helps to do it in sections as it can clog. 

Use a spoon to scrape the bottom and help flow. 

Add vanilla extract to syrup and stir well when finished straining. You can add it before straining but I prefer this method. You can save the chunky leftover bits of purée and spices to bake with.

Place in containers! I didn’t have anything with a pump so I used this bottle. It’s actually kind of fun and makes me feel all witchy! 

The rest I added to jars. 

This should stay for about a month based on your home temperatures, etc. Adding a spoonful of honey to the mix while cooking can help preservation as well. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the mix for 3-4 months but it may come out thicker and in larger portions so be careful when pouring. Enjoy! 

Homemade Pumpkin Purée 

Making pumpkin purée is one of my favorite things to do as a family in the Fall. Even though my husband isn’t here and it isn’t technically Fall it was still a family affair! My toddler helped pick out the pumpkin and was intensely curious and observant during most of the process. Pumpkin purée is fairly easy to make. Just time consuming! We use pumpkin pie/sugar pumpkins for ours. It tastes so much better than the canned purees…but I admit I love those as well. This purée will last about 3 days refrigerated and about 3 months frozen. Deep freezing should allow it to keep longer…but honestly…it never lasts long because there are always yummy recipes you’ll want to make with it! 

You will need: 

*Sugar pumpkin (ours said “Pumpkin Pie Pumpkin” on the sign at the farm stand when we bought it)

*Kosher salt 

Wash and dry your pumpkin! 

Cut a little bit of skin off of each side to create a flat surface to help the pieces stay upright when baking. You’ll be cutting it in half so you just need two. One of each opposite ends. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut your pumpkin in half! Careful…they can get super slippery! I cut it in sections then pry it apart. 

Scoop out the guts! Use a spoon or ice cream scooper. Save the insides to make pumpkin seeds later!

Place pumpkin halves on container of choice. I prefer glass and this one has sides if they end up slipping around when I remove them from the oven. If you use a cookie sheet or other metal pan I would cover it in parchment or aluminum foil. 

Sprinkle with Kosher salt. You don’t actually need this much in my hand. I just poured a lot to toss in with the guts to prep them for baking tomorrow. 

Bake for 30-50 minutes. It really depends on your oven, size of pumpkin, amount of pumpkins you’re baking, etc. I would start testing the meat by poking it with a butter knife after 30 minutes. When it goes through easily and smoothly it’s done! 

Remove from oven and cool completely. About an hour. 

Use a spoon to help peel all the skin off. Toss or compost skin. 

Add meat to blender to purée. You may need to do it in sections depending on your blender. Ours has a little tool to shove things down but I still had to turn it on high and push down hard to get it all puréed as I added it all at once. You do not need to add water. The meat will release moisture as you go. 

Put in a container with a lid to save or use immediately! Enjoy! 

Pecan Bars Two Ways – With and Without A Heath Toffee Topping

I have been wanting to bake for weeks now but felt held back by the part of me that had 100 pumpkin recipes on their mind but no pumpkin and the part of me that has been too tired with a husband at sea, a toddler to keep up with, pregnancy and most recently a stomach bug. So much fun right? The combo left me in bed unsure what to do except for watching Netflix, crocheting Yule presents and reading when I wasn’t Mommy-ing. Today, I finally got the push to make these pecan bars! You can make them two ways! One with Heath bar bits like I added here or alternatively with an extra half a cup of pecans and no Heath toffee. Up to you! It’s a very easy recipe to alter. I just happened to have Heath bar pieces my mother in law sent last week so I thought I would put them to use. 

For the CRUST you will need:

*3 cups flour

*1 cup brown sugar 

*1 cup/ 2 sticks melted butter (or butter substitute)

*1/2 teaspoon salt 
For the FILLING you will need:

*1 cup brown sugar 

*1 stick or half a cup of butter (or butter substitute)

*2 cups of pecans if not using Heath bar OR alternatively 1.5 cups pecans and half a cup to a cup of Heath bar bits. Crushed or whole are fine. I already had these crushed from a previous recipe. You can also simply use chocolate bits.

*1/3 cup honey (you can try maple syrup if looking for a vegan alternative but the flavor may be strong)

*2 tsp sweetened condensed milk (heavy cream was in the original recipe or you can use a nut milk)

*1 tsp vanilla (optional)

*1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice (optional)

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then cover your chosen pan (I used glass) with non-stick aluminum foil. Or grease regular aluminum foil before use. I would suggest a deeper pan around two inches deep as the contents will bubble. 

To make the crust mix all the ingredients well. 

Dump into prepared dish and press down evenly from corner to corner. 

Bake for 20 minutes. 

About 5 minutes or so before the crust is done baking start the filling! Mix the butter, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk and honey together in a pot. Stir on medium low for 2 minutes. 

Mix in vanilla and spices if so desired. They are optional. 

Add in pecans. Stir. Turn heat off and set aside until the crust is done. 

When the crust is ready remove from the oven and immediately pour in pecan mixture. Use a spoon or other tool to even it out. 

Bake 10 minutes before adding the Heath topping. Bake an additional 10 minutes after you have evenly added the topping. If you do not plan on adding a topping let bake untampered with for 20 minutes until done. 

Once finished let cool completely before removing from pan using the foil and slicing into bars. Enjoy! 

Banana-Pumpkin Bread Recipe

There are two things I never say no two: banana bread and pumpkin bread. Today was one of those days where they both sounded good. Good thing I had some frozen extra ripe bananas (they may be ugly and smooshy but they are super sweet!) and pumpkin purée I could take out to defrost and use. 

This recipe makes two yummy loaves. Eat fresh, freeze one for later or gift a loaf to a friend! 

You will need

*5 cups all purpose flour 

*4 extra ripe bananas

*4 eggs (ground flaxseed works as a vegan alternative)

*2 2/3 cup pumpkin purée 

*1 cup honey (maple syrup or agave can be used as an alternative)

*1 cup sugar. I prefer half white and half brown sugar in banana bread but all I had was white sugar today. Raw sugar works too. 

*1 cup nuts (optional). I chose pecans. 

*4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or to taste for the spices)

*2 teaspoons cinnamon 

*1 teaspoon salt

*1/2-1 cup other add ins like chocolate chips, etc. 

*butter or oil to grease bread pans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Mash bananas together with the pumpkin purée. I forgot to here but it helps.

Add in honey, sugar and oil. Mix well! 

Add in dry ingredients and mix until smooth. You can fold in the nuts and anything else you might want to add in after but I chose to put them in here. 

Grease two bread pans. I used a brush with room temperature butter. 

Pour or scoop the mixture into the two bread pans evenly. 

Bake for 1 hour up to around 1 hour and 15 minutes. Depends on your oven, add ins, et cetera. 

Pop out of bread pans after a minute or so then let cool before consuming (I know it’s hard to wait). Enjoy! 

Pumpkin Coffee Creamer Recipe

As soon as Fall items began to appear in July we started stocking up. We love Fall so much we even were handfasted in it and had a Fall and Norse themed reception. Our home includes Fall decor and color schemes all year round as well. This Summer despite the heat we have been burning Pumpkin Spice candles and my husband keeps an eye out for pumpkin spice flavored goodies alongside me. When I found pumpkin spice coffee a few days ago at Target (Archer Farms brand) I snatched it up! We’re obsessed and we’re not ashamed to admit it! Going home with the coffee I wanted to use a special creamer along with it. My regular varieties wouldn’t do. Luckily, I had all the ingredients to make my own Pumpkin Creamer! It’s easy and delicious! I made a large batch to test it out with a friend. You can easily cut the recipe in half or double it for big batches! 

You will need: 

*3 cups milk of choice. I used cashew milk as its thicker than my almond milk but you can use other milk alternatives, half and half, whole milk, plain vegan creamer, etc. 

*4 heaping tablespoonfuls of pumpkin purée (I may have made mine overflow because mmm PUMPKIN)

*4 tablespoons of REAL Maple Syrup (you can also use brown sugar, agave or even molasses but I would cut the amount of molasses in half) 

*1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (more or less to taste)

*1 tablespoon cinnamon (more or less to taste)

*1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

Add all ingredients together! I put everything except the milk in first purely to show the ingredients for this post.

Turn heat on high and began whisking constantly and consistently. 

Keep whisking until concoction begins to boil.

Turn off heat and continue whisking for another 30 seconds or so (my pan gets super hot so I don’t just leave it in case of burning). 

Let cool! You can use it immediately in coffee or chill in the fridge. I tend to use refrigerated creamers as my additive to cool hot coffee. On hot days I drink cold brew so having cool creamer helps with that as well. Shake well before using! 

This should last about one week in the fridge. It depends on how often you open it, take it out, fridge temperature, etc. If you drink coffee a lot and blow through creamer I would make a large batch of this and keep jars of it in the freezer to last you all season! Defrost in the fridge for a day or two and use! Enjoy! 

Homemade Chicken Broth/Stock

We love soup. There really isn’t more to say about it! Any time of the year is soup time. Even when it’s hot! In the past few months we have been unfortunate enough to purchase two boxes of stock that were opened. The second we even looked at the seal but apparently not hard enough. When we have fresh herbs and such handy we just let the soup we are making create its own broth. For these however I was making really basic chowders that needed something already made for it. I KNEW BETTER than to just buy some but sometimes when you are pregnant and without much time and just want a bowl of chowder before you scream at someone…then you buy store bought stock. Luckily, I had some dried ingredients I used to create a quick stock after opening another already opened box. Sometimes I’m not always so lucky though.

We had another super convenience food buy recently as well. A store made rotisserie chicken. We also picked up a raw chicken to cook the next day. I used the carcasses and odd uneaten bits to turn into a broth. I started with just one in a enameled cast iron pot. I added vegetable scraps, dried herbs, spices and a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to help pull goodness from the bones. I noticed even on low the container would get too hot. So I transferred it to a crock pot with another carcass and set it on low for about 4 hours then on warm for another 20 or so. I wasn’t keeping too close of track. Some recipes say 8 hours is good while others suggest 24…so choose what works for you! 

I strained off the chunky bits and put the stock in mason jars to freeze. Mine had some fat and such in it that rose to the top but that tasty goodness will be delicious in future recipes. When you want to use them just leave out to defrost! We use stock often so these jars were a good size for us but you can portion them differently easily! 

There are many health benefits to stock made like this compared to store bought. Minerals from the bone marrow, potassium, protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, etc! You can get similar or all these and more from other animal broths/stocks as well. Vegetable broth is also very healthy if not moreso! Happy homesteading!