Count Chocula!

Hi Friends! I took not one, but 2 trips to Target this past weekend. I might have a shopping problem but I was on the hunt for ghost-shaped Peeps for my upcoming Ghostbusters themed dinner party this coming weekend! I didn't have any luck(hopefully Walgreens will have them) but I did come across the monsters cereals from General Mills.

To my memory, I haven't tried any of them so naturally, I went for Count Chocula and HELLOooo childhood. It's a cross between cocoa pebbles(favorite!!) and cocoa puffs. They're a somewhat obscure ghost shape(or is it a bat?) and come with little marshmallows in other obscure shapes like bats, mountains?, ghosts?? If anyone knows what these shapes are supposed to be, let me know in the comments!

I know it's not a recipe but hey, it's what I ate for breakfast this weekend. Run out to Target and get your monster cereals while they're still available! Happy Haunting! -J

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Pumpkin Carving & Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Seeds!

Hey BB fans! Thought I would post this little video and let you know I'm also on YouTube. My channel covers quite a few topics like entertaining, home decor, and recipes(not just breakfast!). I post once a week and would love if you could subscribe and give me lots of thumbs ups if you enjoy the videos!

Sweet Potato and Smoked Turkey Hash

Did anyone else receive 20 pounds of sweet potatoes in their CSA box this week? Luckily this recipe came to me last night knowing I had a smoked turkey leg to use up. 2 down, 12 to go! There might be a gnocchi making party in my near future as well. Check out my recipe for sweet potato gnocchi on my YouTube channel too! Let me know if you have any ideas on how to use the rest of these sweet potatoes. Would love to hear your ideas in the comments!

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Smoked Turkey Hash (serves 2)
2 cups sweet potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (about 2 medium sized potatoes)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, lightly chopped
salt & pepper

olive oil
1/2 white onion, sliced into half moons
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 green onions, thinly sliced, separate white parts from green
1 cup smoked turkey, cubed or pulled into small pieces
2-4 eggs, cooked however you choose

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dice your potatoes(peeling them is optional) and chop your thyme. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Roast for 18-20 minutes turning once halfway through.

While the potatoes are baking, prepare your onions and garlic. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil to barely coat the bottom, white onion, white parts from the green onions, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent then add the turkey. Cook both until they are starting to caramelize.

At this point, your potatoes should be done! Add them to the pan and toss until everything comes together. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Turn off the heat then add the green onion tops. Serve with your choice of eggs. We went with poached but anything goes here. Enjoy!

How to Throw a Fall/Autumn Brunch Party!

Hi Friends! The weather is finally cooling off, the sun is setting earlier, and everywhere we go I see spiderwebs and pumpkins! We're finally in the thick of Fall and I LOVE it! To celebrate all things Fall, I threw a Brunch party the last weekend of September. I thought I would share some recipes and details on the tablescape I created so you can throw your own breakfast bash!
The table decor started with an adorable runner I picked up for $10 at TJ Maxx. I love it because it doesn't scream Halloween or Thanksgiving but it has a great mix of colors. The pattern is paisley-like with a few pumpkins thrown in. 
Next, I picked up an assortment of pumpkins, squashes, and apples from Trader Joe's and clustered them in the center. Originally, I had a floral arrangement but it was just too tall to be able to talk over. This brunch was all about gabbing with my girls so the lower centerpiece worked well. It also tied in well with the runner!
For the table settings, I mostly used what I had. White plates are my jam so the food really pops. I also have gold utensils which I thought tied in with the theme really well. The glassware is inherited from my grandmother and was perfect for the apple and white wine sangria my friend brought, garnished with a cinnamon stick! The napkins were a cheap buy at World Market for just $1.99 a piece. I loved the pattern play with the stripes and runner. Lastly, when I was at TJ Maxx I saw these adorable Fall-ish party crackers. They were a great icebreaker as we all went around reading off our lame jokes and set the party mood with our colorful paper crowns! :) 
THE FOOD! I started the party in the kitchen with a plate full of apple cider 'doughtnuts'. These are more like muffins that are baked then dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar. I made a caramel sauce with reduced apple cider to mirror the flavors. You can find the recipe for the doughnuts at Sally's Baking Addiction
Arguably, my most favorite breakfast ever is eggs benedict. I was combing through my head for ideas on how to make this Fall themed and came up with this great recipe for Southern Eggs Benedict on Sweet Potato Biscuits. The savory sausage patty with the sweet potato biscuit hits all the right notes. Not to mention, you could throw my 5 minute hollandaise recipe on a shoe and I would eat it. 
I had to have something pumpkin in the mix and why not the most decadent thing I could think of? These Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing were indulgent and absolutely delicious!
One of the gals also brought a roasted squash, quinoa, goat cheese, and arugula salad. This was the perfect side to help break up the heavy mains I cooked!  
To send the girls off, I decided to make Smitten Kitchen's Pepita Brittle. I couldn't believe how easy this recipe was now that I have a candy thermometer. I'll definitely be keeping this one in my repertoire for the holiday season. I packaged the brittle in little cellophane bags and tied them with gold and white striped twine.
Another TJ Maxx purchase were these small scented candles from Everyday Luxe($3 each). I made sure to grab alllll of the Fall scents like Apple Cider, Harvest Festival, and Pumpkin Spice. 
Lastly, while in line at World Market, I was sucked into purchasing these mini bottles of pumpkin spice syrup. Long story short, they were on sale and I needed to hit a minimum so I could use a coupon. :) I added some brown twine to jazz them up a bit.
I hope you are able to enjoy the Fall season while it lasts! It will be December before we know it(which I also can't wait for)! 
What's your favorite part of the Fall Season? Would love to read your comments below!

Pumpkin Spice Granola

Pumpkin Spice Granola 
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup hazelnuts
1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 tsp of kosher salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2.5 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup pumpkin puree

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F(about 163 C). Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Mix gently until all is combined thoroughly. Spread the mixture on a large baking sheet. 
Bake for about 40-45 minutes, turning the mixture every 15 minutes to evenly brown. Once golden brown, remove from the oven and let cool for at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container(I use mason jars) for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy with the best fall fruit you can find and your favorite yogurt!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Hi friends! This recipe is a gem and I did quite a bit of research before settling on it. They came out wonderfully sweet and pillowy with gooey centers, just as a cinnamon roll should! The pumpkin isn't overly pronounced but the spices and color are what make it so very 'Fall'. Give it a try!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: 
I used a recipe from a lovely blog called Averie Cooks. I followed the recipe almost to a T minus these 3 little details:

  • I made the dough the day before a brunch party so I let the first rise happen over night in the refrigerator. When I woke up that morning, I took the dough out of the fridge and left it at room temp for 2.5 hours until I rolled it out. 
  • I added chopped pecans to the cinnamon sugar mix(totes optional but I like a bit of crunch)
  • I added 1 tsp of vanilla to the cream cheese frosting