Pastry Wrapped Baked Apples with Nutella & Granola Recipe

Have you ever had a pastry wrapped, baked apple? It’s like having our own personal apple pie and if you stuff it with something you love? Pure delight!

These pastry wrapped, baked apples are stuffed with something I love, Nutella! I also added some granola for texture, but you can go full Nutella if that’s what you’re into! This does take some work in preparation time, but it will be well worth it to eat! Enjoy it my friends!

PASTRY WRAPPED BAKED APPLES WITH NUTELLA & GRANOLA
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 package of frozen puff pastry
  • Nutella
  • Granola
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Set out the pastry dough to thaw enough to work with while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and ground cinnamon, then set it aside.
  3. In a separate small bowl, beat the egg and the water together until combined, then set it aside.
  4. Peel the apples and then use a melon baller to scoop out the cores, leaving the bottoms intact.
  5. Coat the outside of each apple with the cinnamon sugar mixture and set them aside.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a pastry sheet to about a 9 by 10 inch rectangle, then cut the rectangle into 9, 1 inch strips.
  7. Repeat step 6 with the second pastry sheet.
  8. Starting at the bottom of the apple, begin winding a pastry strip around and up, slightly overlapping the edges of the pastry. Once a strip ends, align another strip and continue winding until you reach the top of the apple. Strips can be attached to one another by wetting your finger with water and smoothing dough together.
  9. Repeat step 8 with each apple until they are all wrapped in pastry and place them all on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat.
  10. Use the extra dough to create leaf shapes and attach them to the top of each apple by wetting your finger with water and smoothing the dough together.
  11. Lightly scoop some Nutella into the hole in the apple, then press some granola in and add more Nutella on top of the granola.
  12. Repeat step 11 with each apple.
  13. Lightly brush the pastry dough with the egg wash.
  14. Chill the apples in the refrigerator for 20 to 25 minutes.
  15. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  16. Remove the apples from the refrigerator and bake them for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
  17. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Homemade Apple Cider Recipe

Homemade Apple Cider
INTRODUCTION

Welcome back friends! Autumn is my favorite season and while pumpkin spice has its charms, I prefer apple cider!

My family and I are starting a new Halloween tradition this year that includes drinking apple cider (check back on Friday for more details) and I thought it would be special to create our own!

Please feel free to use this recipe to create some delicious apple cider for you and yours! This cider is sweet and spiced; I used all Honeycrisp apples, but you can experiment with the combination of apples to change the flavor!

Homemade Apple Cider
HOMEMADE APPLE CIDER

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 medium apples, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cloves
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • Water

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place the apples, cinnamon, cloves and sugar into a crockpot, then add enough water to cover the apples.
  • Cover the crockpot and cook the contents on low for 6 hours.
  • Once the 6 hours have passed, use a spoon to gently crush the apples, then allow them to cook for 1 more hour.
  • Once cooked, turn off the heat and allow the contents to cool slightly.
  • Slowly ladle and strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a large pot or pitcher, then strain it a second time; discard the solids.
  • Enjoy warm or cold!

Hen Wen’s Apple Porridge Recipe (The Black Cauldron)

Hen Wen's Apple Porridge Recipe
INTRODUCTION

Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking Hen Wen’s Apple Porridge from Disney’s The Black Cauldron.

The Black Cauldron Movie Poster
Hen Wen's Apple Porridge Recipe

This recipe is featured in the beginning of the film, when Caer Dallben asks Taran to feed Hen Wen the porridge he prepared for her. 

This porridge looks much more appetizing than the one in the film. I couldn’t help myself! I thought to myself, if I wanted to eat porridge with apples, I’d want the apples to be cooked separately to develop their flavor more and I’m sure Hen Wen would approve!

Hen Wen's Apple Porridge Recipe
HEN WEN’S APPLE PORRIDGE

APPLES

  • 2 apples, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar

PORRIDGE

  • 1 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1 3/4 cups of whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar

INSTRUCTIONS (APPLES)

  1. Peel and cut the apples into slices.
  2. Pour the water into a small sauce pan, then add the apples.
  3. Sprinkle the desired amount of cinnamon and brown sugar onto the apples and stir to distribute.
  4. Cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally to evenly coat and cook the apples.
  5. Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside for the porridge (see below).

INSTRUCTIONS (PORRIDGE)

  1. In a medium saucepan, boil the milk with the salt.
  2. Stir in the oats.
  3. Cook the oats for about 5 minutes over medium heat; stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the porridge from the heat and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, then stir to distribute.
  5. Spoon the porridge into two bowls and arrange the cooked apple slices (see above) on top. I arranged mine into the shape of a rose and I believe next time I’ll cover the porridge completely.
  6. Enjoy!
Hen Wen's Apple Porridge Recipe
Hen Wen's Apple Porridge Recipe

DIY Disney Decoupage Drink Coasters

Do you still have a VCR? Not many people have VCRs anymore. We do, although we don’t use it often.

If you don’t have a VCR anymore, what should you do with all your old VHS, including all those Disney films you grew up with? You could collect them, donate them, or recycle them. But wait! If you decide to recycle them, let’s remove the beautiful cover art and use it to make some drink coasters!

SUPPLIES
  • Disney VHS cover art
  • A “pair of compasses” tool
  • Scissors
  • An eraser
  • Ceramic coasters with cork bases
  • Mod Podge
  • A foam paintbrush
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Clean the coasters; wipe them down with a damp washcloth and allow them to dry.
  2. Remove the cover art from the VHS cases and, using a pair of compasses tool, trace circles that are slightly smaller in diameter than the diameter of the coasters.
  3. Carefully cut out the circles and erase any leftover pencil markings.
  4. Using a foam paintbrush, paint a layer of Mod Podge onto a coaster, then carefully place one of the cutouts onto the center, smoothing away any wrinkles or bubbles.
  5. Brush another layer of Mod Podge over the top of the artwork on the coaster in one direction (it will dry clear, but you will be able to see the texture once dry). 
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 on each coaster and allow them all to fully dry.
  7. Once dry, turn each coaster perpendicular to the original brushstroke and paint another layer of Mod Podge over the top so a crosshatch texture is formed when dry.
  8. Allow this final layer to completely dry and you’re ready to use your own personal Disney coasters!

Tiana’s Gumbo Recipe

Tiana's Gumbo Recipe From Disney's The Princess and the Frog

INTRODUCTION

Welcome back friends! This week we will be cooking up Tiana’s gumbo from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog!

Tiana's Gumbo Recipe From Disney's The Princess and the Frog

This recipe is featured at the beginning of the film when Tiana makes gumbo for her family and community. It’s one of my favorite moments in the movie, revealing the loving relationship she shared with her father and how much she looked up to him, her passion for cooking and her generosity within her community.

Tiana's Gumbo Recipe From Disney's The Princess and the Frog

Tiana's Gumbo Recipe From Disney's The Princess and the Frog

This recipe is delicious! Absolutely perfect for this time of the year or whenever you need something warm and comforting.

Tiana's Gumbo Recipe From Disney's The Princess and the Frog

Tiana's Gumbo Recipe From Disney's The Princess and the Frog

GUMBO
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 pound of smoked beef sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup of celery, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup of onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen orka, thawed
  • 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of cajun or creole seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1  pound of frozen cooked shrimp
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a dutch oven and brown the sausage in it.
  2. Remove the cooked sausage and set it aside.
  3. Whisk the 1/3 cup of flour into the butter and meat drippings until combined.
  4. Continue to cook the roux, stirring constantly, for about 10 to 20 minutes or until it turns a dark amber-brown. If it’s cooking too quickly, or starts to smell faintly burnt, turn the heat down a little.
  5. Stir in the bell pepper, celery, garlic, onion and okra until they are completely coated in the roux.
  6. Cook these ingredients for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have started to soften, stirring every 10-15 seconds.
  7. Once the vegetables have begun to soften, add the tomatoes and the chicken broth, stirring as you go to smooth the roux into the broth.
  8. Add the bay leaf, black pepper, cajun or creole seasoning, chili powder, hot pepper sauce and salt; stir to combine.
  9. Bring the gumbo to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  10. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Stir in the shrimp, then cover and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp thaw and cook through.
  12. Remove the bay leaf and serve the gumbo on its own or over cooked white rice. We recommend Jasmine Rice!
  13. Enjoy!

Homemade Tinker Bell Smash Cake Recipe (No Added Sugar)

Disney Tinker Bell Smash Cake RecipeZoey, our little Tinker Bell, is one year old! This year has been an unusual one (understatement of the century), but it has flown by faster than I could have imagined and I have been fortunate enough to spend the majority of it at home with her; grateful for every moment.

Like many one year birthday boys and girls, Zoey has not been exposed to much sugar. Now I don’t mind a little sugar, but I did not want to sugar bomb her all at once so I created a homemade smash cake with frosting for her without adding extra sugar.

This Tinker Bell petal smash cake is a variation of a banana bread recipe my family has made for years without added sugar and a variation of cream cheese frosting without powdered sugar. I would consider the cake a tame banana flavor and the frosting a tangy cream cheese flavor, smoothed out with the addition of a natural sweetener (I used agave nectar). I purchased a used Disney Infinity Tinker Bell figurine off of Mercari, gave it a good cleaning, and used it as a cake topper with the obligatory “1” candle.

Disney Tinker Bell Smash Cake Recipe Disney Tinker Bell Smash Cake RecipeShe was very tentative about smashing  her smash cake, almost like she wasn’t sure if she was allowed to. Even with her audience coaxing her she only tasted a little bit of cake I broke off for her and mostly just played around in the frosting. Her favorite part of the cake was the Tinker Bell figurine up top and she ended up fixating on that. And what the hey, as long as she had fun!

So let’s make a smash cake for the little Tinker Bell in your life!

Disney Tinker Bell Smash Cake Recipe

BANANA SMASH CAKE
  • 3 bananas, overripe
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup of flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
INSTRUCTIONS (CAKE)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grease two 6-inch cake pans, or line them with parchment paper.
  3. Cream the butter and bananas together with a (hand) mixer.
  4. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating each in with the (hand) mixer.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time, mixing and scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition.
  7. Pour the mixed batter into the prepared cake pans about half to 3/4 of the way full.
  8. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. The timing may vary depending on your oven so keep an eye on them!
  9. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in their pans for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. Mine were pretty flat. If yours do not turn out flat, cut the very tops off of the cakes to create flat tops for stacking and frosting.
  11. Frost your cake (see below).

Disney Tinker Bell Smash Cake Recipe

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (NO ADDED SUGAR)
  • 5 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 packs of cream cheese (8 ounce), room temperature
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons agave nectar, honey or maple syrup
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Green food coloring
INSTRUCTIONS (FROSTING)

*You can make the frosting up to several days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before frosting.*

  1. Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl until well combined.
  2. Add the agave nectar (or sweetener of choice), milk, salt and vanilla extract. Whip again, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of corn starch and whip until well incorporated. If at this point the consistency is right for you, you can move on to the next step. If not you can add cornstarch one teaspoon at a time until it reaches the desired thickness (careful not to exceed 2 tablespoons total).
  4. Divide the frosting four equal parts in separate bowls. Add green food coloring to each bowl of frosting, ranging from dark to light green. Put each shade of green frosting into a pastry bag.
  5. Pipe and smear frosting on the top of the first layer of cake and gently place the second layer on top of this.
  6. Begin the petals by piping a dollop of dark green frosting on the side of the cake at the base. Take a flat slender spatula or butter knife press gently into the dollop and smear it to the right. Pipe another dollop of dark green near the end of the smear and repeat all the way around the cake.
  7. Repeat this process with the next shade of green and repeat, but stop before you reach the lightest shade of green and the top of the cake.
  8. Pipe and smear a healthy dollop of the lightest green frosting onto the top of the cake and smooth it out with a flat spatula, then continue with the last layer of petals in the lightest shade of green around the top of the cake.
  9. Adorn your cake with decorations.
  10. Enjoy!

Disney Tinker Bell Smash Cake Recipe

DIY Peasant Belle Peg Doll

DIY Peasant Belle Peg Doll DIY Peasant Belle Peg Doll DIY Peasant Belle Peg DollPart of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create lasting, meaningful toys for her that are made with love and will be loved! Wooden toys are classic and beautiful, when created and treated right, they can last a lifetime; so let’s make some!

It’s no secret that Cameron and I love Disney. Zoey’s middle name was inspired by one of my favorite Disney princesses, Belle, and that Belle in her name has also led to another Disney nickname, Tinker Bell. I cannot wait to create a whole set of peg dolls for her, but these two characters hold the most significance until she begins watching the classics on her own.

We’ve created a Tinker Bell Peg Doll, check her out!

This week I’ll be sharing the steps I took to create a Belle peg doll in her blue peasant dress for Zoey.

DIY Peasant Belle Peg Doll

SUPPLIES
  • Blank peg doll (I used a “small angel” or “girl” shape/size)
  • Small, flat & fine tip paint brushes
  • Paint palette (or a tray for your paint)
  • Blue non-toxic acrylic paint
  • White non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Light blue non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Brown non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Dark brown non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Black non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Non-toxic varnish (I used Duraclear Ultra Matte Varnish)
INSTRUCTIONS

DIY Peasant Belle Peg Doll

DIY Peasant Belle Peg Doll

  1. With a pencil, lightly sketch Belle onto your blank peg doll. Belle wears a dress over a white blouse, I gave her sleeves so more of the blouse can be seen.
  2. Begin painting your peg doll with the base layers first. I started with the blue of her dress and hair bow, the white of her blouse and apron, and the brown of her hair. Allow this paint to dry before moving on to avoid smudging, then apply a few more layers of each until you’re happy with the colors and textures.
  3. Paint the very bottom and edges of the peg doll black to signify her shoes.
  4. After the base layers have dried, paint a border of light blue on the edges of her apron, shirt and hair bow. If you don’t have a lighter shade of blue, you can create some by adding a small amount of white paint to the original blue and blending.
  5. Paint dark brown accents on and around the hair, don’t forget her ponytail in the back!
  6. Taking something small and round (I used the opposite end of one of my smaller paint brushes) dip it in black paint and dot the two eyes. Using the finest tipped paintbrush you can find, give her an eyelash or two on each eye.
  7. Once the eye paint has dried, add a highlight dot to each eye with a fine tipped paintbrush and white paint.
  8. Using the same method as the eyes, dip the opposite end of a slightly larger paintbrush into light pink paint and dot the blush under each eye.
  9. With a little white paint, give her a few sparkles of pixie dust on the hem of her dress or wherever else you feel it will look right!
  10. Allow for all paint to completely dry, then apply a varnish and allow it to dry. You can apply as many coats as you want for the finish you want, just allow them to dry in between applications and before handing her over to your child.
  11. Voilà! Belle is done and ready to be played with! Enjoy!

DIY Peasant Belle Peg Doll DIY Peasant Belle Peg Doll

DIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll

DIY Tinker Bell Peg DollDIY Tinker Bell Peg DollPart of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create lasting, meaningful toys for her that are made with love and will be loved! Wooden toys are classic and beautiful, when created and treated right, they can last a lifetime; so let’s make some!

It’s no secret that Cameron and I love Disney. Zoey’s middle name was inspired by one of my favorite Disney princesses, Belle, and that Belle in her name has also led to another Disney nickname, Tinker Bell. I cannot wait to create a whole set of peg dolls for her, but these two characters hold the most significance until she begins watching the classics on her own.

We’ve created a Peasant Belle Peg Doll, check her out!

This week I’ll be sharing the steps I took to create a Tinker Bell peg doll for Zoey.

DIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll

SUPPLIES
  • Blank peg doll (I used a “small angel” or “girl” shape/size)
  • Small, flat & fine tip paint brushes
  • Paint palette (or a tray for your paint)
  • Green non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Yellow non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Light brown non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Light blue non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Light pink non-toxic acrylic paint
  • White non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Black non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Non-toxic varnish (I used Duraclear Ultra Matte Varnish)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. With a pencil, lightly sketch Tinker Bell onto your blank peg doll.

    DIY Tinker Bell Peg DollDIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll

  2. Begin painting your peg doll with the base layers first. I started with the green of her dress, the white of her wings and the yellow of her hair. Allow this paint to dry before moving on to avoid smudging, then apply a few more layers of each until you’re happy with the colors and textures.

    DIY Tinker Bell Peg DollDIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll

  3. Paint the very bottom and edges of the peg doll green to signify her slippers.
  4. After the base layers have dried, paint a border of darker green on the edges of her dress. If you don’t have a darker shade of green, you can create some by adding a small amount of black paint to the original green and blending.
  5. Paint an accent of lighter green on the inner layer of the dark green border of her dress. If you don’t have a lighter shade of green, you can create some by adding a small amount of white paint to the original green and blending.
  6. The wings can stay matte white, or you can add a pearly white finish to give them a sheen. Once the wings have dried, border and accent them with light blue paint.
  7. Paint light brown accents on and around the hair.
  8. Once the hair has dried, paint a small light blue ribbon around Tinker Bell’s bun.
  9. Taking something small and round (I used the opposite end of one of my smaller paint brushes) dip it in black paint and dot the two eyes. Using the finest tipped paintbrush you can find, give her an eyelash or two on each eye.
  10. Once the eye paint has dried, add a highlight dot to each eye with a fine tipped paintbrush and white paint.
  11. Using the same method as the eyes, dip the opposite end of a slightly larger paintbrush into light pink paint and dot the blush under each eye.
  12. With a little white paint, give her a few sparkles of pixie dust on the hem of her dress or wherever else you feel it will look right!
  13. Allow for all paint to completely dry, then apply a varnish and allow it to dry. You can apply as many coats as you want for the finish you want, just allow them to dry in between applications and before handing her over to your child.
  14. Voilà! Tinker Bell is done and ready to be played with! Enjoy!

DIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll DIY Tinker Bell Peg Doll

Homemade Teething Cookies Recipe

Homemade Teething Cookies RecipeLast week, we brought some of the beach to Zoey with edible “sand” made out of graham crackers and oatmeal. After she was done playing, I could not let good food go to waste so I made her some teething cookies with the remaining “sand”.

Not too sweet, but sweet enough to be called cookies instead of crackers, these treats are a hit! They are springy, yet firm enough to soothe her teething gums and she likes them!…Although so does my husband so I’m going to have to convince him not to eat all of them before she can knaw on a few.

Homemade Teething Cookies Recipe

INGREDIENTS
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Combine the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir them with a mixing spoon until a thick dough has formed. You may need to adjust the amount of water or coconut oil you add depending on how juicy your bananas are.
  3. Section the dough into smaller portions and (using a flat surface and a rolling pin) roll out your dough to 1/4 of an inch thick. You will need to use flour to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and surfaces.
  4. With a circular cookie cutter or a drinking glass (I used a drinking glass), cut cookies out of the dough and place them onto the greased baking sheet.
  5. Cook each sheet of cookies for 12 to 15 minutes. Be careful they are hot! Use the spatula or a spoon to test their springiness. They should be firm yet springy when pressed as they are brought out of the oven.
  6. Allow the cookies to cool before serving. These can be stored in the refrigerator for a little more firmness.
  7. Serve and enjoy, but please watch your baby as they eat this to make sure they handle the texture well!

DIY Edible “Sand” for Sensory Playtime

DIY Edible Sand for Sensory PlayIt’s the middle of Summer and I would love to take Zoey to the beach for the first time, but just about everything she picks up is quickly introduced to her mouth! I understand she’s figuring things out (and more power to her), but I’m not super enthusiastic about her ingesting beach sand. So, until she gets a little less eager to put everything in her mouth, why not bring a little beach experience to her?

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that teach and fascinate her. We can make edible “sand” that’s fun to play in and safe to eat out of graham crackers and oatmeal; let’s make it!

Check back next week for the homemade teething cookies I made with the remaining edible “sand”.

DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play

SUPPLIES
  • 1 box of graham crackers.
  • 2 cups of oatmeal (I used whole grain old-fashioned oats)
  • A food processor
  • A mixing bowl
  • A mixing spoon
  • A container for playing in the “sand” (I used a heavy casserole dish)
  • Beach or ocean themed toys (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Open the graham crackers and blend them in the food processor until they are a fine sand-like texture.
  2. Remove the graham crackers from the food processor and pour them into a mixing bowl.
  3. Measure the oatmeal into the food processor and blend it until it is also a fine sand-like texture.
  4. Remove the oatmeal from the food processor and add it to the mixing bowl with the graham crackers.
  5. Using a mixing spoon, stir the graham crackers and oatmeal together until well combined.
  6. Pour the edible “sand” into the container you’ve chosen for your baby to play in. I used a heavy casserole dish since Zoey’s not strong enough to flip it yet. You can always double or triple the graham cracker and oatmeal ratio if you want to fill a larger container.

    DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play
  7. Arrange beach and/or ocean themed toys in the sand for your little one to play with (optional).

    DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play
  8. Introduce the edible “sand” to your baby and enjoy!

    DIY Edible Sand for Sensory PlayDIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play DIY Edible Sand for Sensory Play