This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

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Yay for celebration week!  It is our 3 year anniversary.  I love October (and the last 11 days of September).  It is a great time of the year for our family!

A fall salad with roasted squash, pears, pecans, goat cheese, cranberries – and a maple mustard vinaigrette.  I’ll post recipe later.

The Angus Barn chocolate chess pie

King’s Hawaiian Breakfast Casserole

Turkey Enchiladas

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Pumpkin Ravioli (date night in)

The rest will be eaten out – and some of the above will be eaten with friends.  I love sharing food with good friends.


This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

posted in: The Charming South Kitchen | 0

Menu this weekthe

Bring on October.  These last two weeks of September through October are my favorite of the year.

The weather in ATL has been kind of rainy – but definitely cooler.  Thanks to the gym my jeans and other clothes are fitting better.  And I’m getting to wear lightweight scarves.  Both of my boys were born within 4 weeks of each other (different years of course) and my mister and I celebrate our anniversary in between their birthdays.  It is full and packed with love and fun celebrations and highlights of the year for sure.

This week here is what’s going down in the kitchen.  Right now it is a total mess because we’ve had my parents here as a vacation follow-up so we’ve done more and I’ve not felt like cooking. Hello Monday.  Time to declutter.

Trader Joe’s Chicken and sweet pepper sausages – mashed potatoes – mixed vegetables

Jiffy corn waffles

Egg noodles with Trader Joe’s Pesto Gouda and some sweet grape tomatoes (trying to flash back to summer real quick)

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Taking these to our Brinner Fellowship Meal at our church on Sunday night.

Brinner for one night featuring some hawaiian rolls

And you know the normal sandwiches, quesadillas, and chicken nuggets during the day to feed some hungry and growing boys.

What’s cooking in your Fall kitchen this week?

Spiced Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fall equals apples to me.  And I had a reason to make a cake today: because I had a bag full of apples.  And I had a spice cake mix so all I had to do was run to my neighborhood Publix and get some cream cheese.  Because we all need some good creamy rich cream cheese frosting every now and then right?

Fall Baking

This is simple and moist and definitely a winner.  Enjoy tonight!

Spiced Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Moist, perfect fall cake with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting
  • 1 boxed spice cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chopped, peeled gala apples
  • 1 8oz package of cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4½ T unsalted butter
  1. Mix cake according to box instructions.
  2. Add in apples before baking.
  3. Spray pan and cook according to box instructions.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Mix cream cheese and butter.
  6. Add in vanilla
  7. Add powdered sugar until frosting is smooth.
  8. Frost cake.
  9. Eat.
  10. I cut circles out of the cake and just set a double layer and made naked cakes with just layers of cream cheese frosting. Sprinkled some cinnamon on top.


Apple Scone Cake ala mode with Red Hot Drizzle

Apple Scone Cake

One of the true joys about living near the mountains is picking apples.  We actually picked apples in Canada on our honeymoon.  So fun to do something you enjoy with the man you enjoy most in the world.

Apple Picking in Canada

Picking apples is great exercise and you get healthy food out of it – just don’t get most of your exercise from doing squats to pick up the ones from the ground.  Worm eaten apples aren’t worth it.

I also remember crab apples.  My grandparent’s dirt road used to be lined with apple trees and we would run up and down the roads, getting dirty and eating sour apples.  Ah, the joys of childhood.

I can’t wait to take my boys apple picking – to see their joy when they can hold what they pick in their little bitty hands and hold it up as if to say This is my apple!  They love wandering around with anything in their hands, so apples will be just the treat for them!

Eating Apples


This recipe is topped with some delicious additions to make it even better.  First, I most give a shout out to the Mister.  He said he would like this cake better with a caramel sauce.  I’ll work on that babe.  Talenti Gelato is amazing and their containers make great desk accessories – and its made right here in Marietta where we live. Their Tahitian Vanilla Bean is rich and deep.  (Side note to any Talenti people reading this: can my boys and I come do a tour and taste testing?)  Then I tried my hand at melting down red hots in apple juice – and it worked as a chewy magic shell.  It basically made the dish pretty.

Apple Scone Cake ala mode with Red Hot Drizzle
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted chilled butter (cut into pieces)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup (minus 2 tbsp) milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • cinnamon to taste
  1. Mix the dry with the butter and run it in your food processor till you get coarse crumbs.
  2. Add in the liquid and combine.
  3. Put half of the mixture on the bottom and side of a deep dish pie pan (that's been sprayed). Dough will be sticky.
  4. Thinly slice two apples and arrange on top of the dough.
  5. Then drop the rest of the dough on top like drop biscuits. Top with cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes on 350.
  7. Top with ice cream and red hot drizzle.

This Week in the Charming South Kitchen

Eggs and Corningware

Yes, Fall has officially begun because we are now passed Labor Day!  Do you still wear white?  Just curious!?

Well, I’m definitely cranking out some warmer meals this week. The only thing that has been different about the Atlanta weather for the past week is we’ve had a lot more rain. I love the big storm clouds.  I don’t love the fact that the storms seems to come during my boys’ nap time.  They aren’t fans of constant thunder!  Oh, well, I will train them right!

Pot Roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions

Beef Tips over Basmati

Chili (from a friend through a freezer meal exchange that I will be sharing) and cornbread

Fish tacos and cole slaw

Homemade Cheeseburger Helper – will share with you my adapted recipe

Baked Potato Bar

Baked Ravioli and Homemade French Bread

And i’m baking some soft batch cookies with fall candies.  Can’t wait to show you finished product!  And share them with a mom who is about to have another baby!

What are you cooking this week?

Snickerdoodles with Spiced Pumpkin Buttercream

Snickerdoodles with Spiced Pumpkin Buttercream

Bring on the Fall!  The weather hasn’t changed that much from last week, but the feel in my kitchen certainly has.  Earlier this week I made some of these: some friends and some little misters in our home devoured these.

They are all gone.


I had never made a snickerdoodle until I lived with one of the girls I discipled (while she was in college).  She loved snickerdoodles.  And the fun thing is – that as I read the directions, I read them wrong, and it turned out I like it better and now this recipe is my tried and true snickerdoodle.  Snickerdoodles are so easy and if done right they are perfectly soft and chewy for days.  We just had the last of these at lunch and they were still chewy. Success!

Fall Snickerdoodle Lineup

And seriously – one of the things that can make any bad day better for me is buttercream.  I love it – a true Hero! 🙂 But, it is also a bear to get perfect.  If you get your butter too soft – forget it.  I think I added too much pumpkin to mine trying to achieve the perfect pumpkin flavor – but below I’ve changed the recipe some.  I hope yours turns out better than mine.

These were a perfect way to start off Fall baking season!  And my favorite buttercream frosting is this one

Snickerdoodles with Spiced Pumpkin Buttercream
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Soft chewy snickerdoodles sandwiched with a soft and spiced pumpkin buttercream
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 T sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 /4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • My favorite buttercream recipe (for this recipe, don't use as much vanilla) - see link above
  • 1 T pumpkin puree
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, allspice, and pumpkin pie spice
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Cream butter and sugar, egg, then add vanilla.
  3. Add dry ingredients.
  4. Roll in one inch balls and then roll in sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  5. Let bake - mine took 11 minutes to come out perfect. 10-12 depending on your oven.
  6. Let cool.
  7. Follow directions on buttercream, adding in the pumpkin and spices to your taste!
  8. Sandwich and eat!


Patchwork Butternut Squash, Kale, & Chicken Pot Pie

Pot PIe

Bring on the Fall.  This week seems to be one of the hottest in the whole summer – just when I’m thinking of pumpkin lattes and vanilla and sweet potatoes.

I look forward to evenings when I can snuggle on the couch under a blanket with my hubs – watching a movie – after the boys go to bed – knowing that it is getting cool outside!

Patchwork Butternut Squash, Kale, & Chicken Pot Pie
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
A fall flavored pot pie with chicken, butternut squash, and kale
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 2 T evoo
  • 1¼ cup diced butternut squash
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 massive handfuls of chopped kale
  • ⅓ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 pie crust, torn in pieces
  1. Heat the oven to 350.
  2. In cast iron skillet, heat oil and butter. Add in onion and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minutes
  4. Add squash and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from pan.
  6. Cook the chicken in same pan until done.
  7. Combine the vegetables, chicken, spices, and cheese.
  8. Pour into a deep dish pie pan. Cut strips of pie crust and make a lattice or patchwork pattern out of them. Layer on top of pot pie.
  9. Cook for about 45-50 minutes or until top crust is golden brown.
I’d never made a pot pie until I moved back to Raleigh in 2010.  My boss’s wife – and friend – made a delicious one and said it was so easy – well, this one is too and has wonderful Fall flavors!





Link Love for Your Weekend

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Destination Fall : Link Love

We are quickly coming to the end of summer – I mean soon Labor Day will be here then you will start to see ads for Christmas.  Crazy.  Fall is definitely my favorite season of the year, so I wanted to share some of my favorites I’ve found this week to celebrate the upcoming season!

The Nester’s house is always cozy but I love her glimpse into switching seasons.

Since I could eat tacos all the time – these will be perfect for cheap and Fall

And this time of year at markets or grocers there is an abundance of zucchini – why not make several of these loaves and freeze them – then you can pull one out on the chili mornings that are to come, toast it, and slather it with butter, and drink with a beverage of your choice!

The Fall is a great time for our family because there are two birthdays that we celebrate – and we have to have an amazing cake!

These blondies have almost everything I love about fall in one pan…I’m glad that I should have reasons to bake them!

What are your favorite things about Fall?  And how are you celebrating the end of summer?

Pumpkin Butter Whole Wheat Millet Muffins

Pumpkin Butter Muffins

Fall – I think for a lot of us kitchen people its one of our favorite seasons.  Pumpkin.  Cinnamon.  Sweet Potatoes.  Apples.

But, I don’t think I had ever experienced a Fall season until I moved to North Carolina in 2000.  See, I grew up in central Florida.  The only two seasons we had were Summer and Christmas Day (and some years we only had one season).  I loved it.  I was close to Disney World though I only remember going in high school and college when I would do Night of Joy with the youth groups.  I was close to the beach (though we had a pool, so my Dad couldn’t figure out why we needed to spend money going to the beach).

But, I remember moving to Wake Forest, North Carolina to start seminary right before a huge snow storm – rethinking the whole moving north thing.  But, then fall came around at the start of my second semester.  I adored the sound the leaves made as I walked through them on my way to class.  I loved wearing jackets with my jeans (even though I would sport some flipflops usually).  I loved sitting down with a warm cup of chai or steamed milk or hot chocolate to study out on the lawn.  The bright blue Fall sky against the browns and yellows and reds of the leaves.  Gorgeous.


And of course, Fall brings pumpkin!  I could eat pumpkin goodies year round, but yesterday when I stepped outside for an early morning out, and felt the slightly cooler Atlanta air, I knew I was ready for Fall.  So, I whipped up these pumpkin butter muffins for my mister.  They were a winner. (This recipe was inspired by Joy the Baker)

Pumpkin Butter Whole Wheat Millet Muffins
Recipe type: Muffins
Cuisine: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
Hearty and healthy muffins, of course with some chocolate. Perfect for Fall mornings or evenings!
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 jar (10 oz) pumpkin butter (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup dry millet (I found in bulk aisle at Whole Foods)
  • ¾ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup milk
  • juice of ½ lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Grease or line 10 muffin cups
  3. Mix wet ingredients (up through vanilla)
  4. Combine dry and add to the wet mixture
  5. Mix the milk and the lemon juice then add to muffin mixture.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Spoon into muffins tins.
  8. Bake for about 19 minutes or until muffins are done.
  9. Cool and eat. My husband ate one topped w some raw honey this morning.

Pumpkin French Toast

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When the husband is gone, its a good idea to tantalize him to come back home if you send him delicious pictures of pumpkin French toast. Really – I did send him a picture and he said I was mean. I’ll make these again for him.
But, these are perfect with a topping of real maple syrup and whipped cream.

Pumpkin French Toast
Pumpkin French Toast

Serves 2-3 (depending on how hungry you are)

6 slices of day old bread (I used Panera’s Honey Wheat)
3 eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 T sugar
1 T light brown sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
cinnamon and allspice to taste
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
butter to cook with (gives it much more flavor than Pam or others sprays)
syrup, butter, whipped cream for topping