Pumpkin Butter

by Amy on 3 November 2015

Homemade Pumpkin Butter | www.FearlessHomemaker.comI don’t think I’ve mentioned it on the blog yet, but our toddler daughter started preschool recently! After 2+ years of being with mama every single day, she now goes to preschool two half-days a week. It may not sound like much, but it was a big change for both of us, and I’m happy to report that, after a little adjustment/transition period, she now *loves* school. She is constantly talking about her friends, her teachers, and their daily activities, and is so happy on the mornings that I tell her it’s a school day. And this mama is loving having a little free time to herself every week. =)

Each month, her classroom has a different theme. The month of October was dedicated to all things Fall, and they had a special week devoted to pumpkins — pumpkin crafts, pumpkin songs, pumpkin decorating, and pumpkin snacks! The teachers asked for parent volunteers to make a couple pumpkin-based foods for the kiddos to try, and I signed up for pumpkin butter. If you haven’t had it before, pumpkin butter doesn’t actually contain butter, but it has a thick, creamy, butter-like consistency. It’s made of pumpkin puree, sugar, apple juice, and spices, all cooked slowly over low heat until thickened and delicious. The flavor is heavenly — it tastes a lot like pumpkin pie, with a wonderful balance of pumpkin flavor, subtle sweetness, and warm autumn spices.

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Pasta with Kale and Walnut Pesto

by Amy on 25 October 2015

Pasta with Kale and Walnut Pesto | www.FearlessHomemaker.comToday, I’m participating in a fun blogger event — the Secret Recipe Club. How does it work? Every blogger is secretly assigned another blog + chooses a recipe from that blog to make. On reveal day (today!), all of our posts go up at the same time, + everyone gets to see who was assigned to their blog, which recipe they chose, + how it turned out. Fun, huh?

This month I was assigned Bewitching Kitchen, a blog with amazing recipes from a variety of cultures (author Sally is Brazilian-born and raised, and has since lived in Paris, California, and Kansas, so her blog features recipes and cuisines from all over the world). I decided to make her Pasta with Kale Pesto, as I adore a traditional basil pesto, but had never tried a kale version, and was intrigued.

And y’all, I LOVED this meal. The pesto has a wonderful kale flavor that is brightened up with a lemony punch and a bit of tartness from the Greek yogurt. Between the walnuts and the kale, it’s more textured than a traditional basil pesto, which I loved – it has a beautiful body and substance to it. And while it was hearty, it actually felt a lot lighter to me than a traditional basil pesto – perhaps because it uses an olive oil/yogurt mixture, instead of just olive oil. All in all, a perfect autumn spin on pesto, and a fabulous meatless meal that will be going on regular rotation in our kitchen.

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Autumn Orzo with Caramelized Vegetables

by Amy on 20 October 2015

Autumn Orzo with Caramelized Vegetables | www.FearlessHomemaker.comDo y’all cook with orzo? This rice-shaped pasta is one of my pantry stapes that I love so much for its versatility. It works great in quick homemade soups, it’s excellent in pasta salads, and fantastic in baked pastas and casseroles. Plus, it’s very popular in our home because it’s much easier for toddlers to scoop up and eat than long pastas (like spaghetti and fettuccine) are. I had a half-pound of orzo hanging around my pantry last week and decided to use it in a new-to-me recipe, highlighting some of my favorite ingredients — a meatless fall pasta dish with sweet potatoes, mushrooms, kale, ginger, onions, and garlic, all glazed with a super savory soy/balsamic sauce.

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Roasted Smashed Potatoes

by Amy on 13 October 2015

Roasted Smashed Potatoes | www.FearlessHomemaker.comYou’d be surprised by the number of recipes in frequent rotation at our household that aren’t actually on this blog at all. A lot of them are basic-yet-fantastic side dishes, like these roasted smashed potatoes, that I just never think to photograph and properly write-up. However, last time I made these (to accompany a scrumptious steak), I realized that they had a combination of deliciousness + simplicity that meant they really needed  to get on this blog ASAP. So, I grabbed my camera, snagged a few pictures, and I’m so thrilled that I can now share ’em with you.

These potatoes are truly heavenly. The potato skin gets wonderfully golden and crisp, while the inside is perfectly soft and creamy. It’s like a beautiful hybrid between roasted potatoes and mashed potatoes. With this recipe (and many of my recipes), I tend to have a “simpler is better” mindset, and for that reason, I serve these very simply, with olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you do want to dress them up more, you absolutely can — with sour cream and chives, or parmesan and garlic, or rosemary and thyme, for example. Actually, as I write this, some of those dressed-up versions sound amazing — I may actually have to try those myself next time I get a craving for smashed potatoes. =)

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Disney On Ice - Let's Celebrate! Nashville performance giveawayDisney on Ice Giveaway - Nashville October 1-4, 2015You may remember that, a few weeks ago, I hosted a giveaway for Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! in Nashville. We had the pleasure of attending a performance ourselves this weekend, and I wanted to share my experience. While I was excited to attend myself (because I grew up loving movies like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast), I was most excited about the idea of taking our 2-year-old daughter. She had never seen ice skaters before, nor had she been to a big performance like this before, so we were really eager to see her reaction.

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