Posted in Recipe

Pumpkin Spice M&M bark

If you’re more than a little obsessed with pumpkin and see autumn as the perfect time to eat all. the. pumpkin. things., this recipe will likely be your bliss.

Dark chocolate Pumpkin Spice M&M bark

I stumbled upon Bree Hester’s Halloween bark late last year, which planted a seed for this year. And when I saw the new Pumpkin Spice M&Ms, I knew I had to create my own take on Bree’s recipe. Stat.

Pumpkin Spice M&M bark

Ingredients:

  • Pretzel sticks
  • 10 ounces dark chocolate morsels
  • 12 ounces white chocolate or white candy melts
  • 1 bag Pumpkin Spice M&Ms
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Orange sugar sprinkles

Dark chocolate Pumpkin Spice M&M bark

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Have your assistant break up roughly 40 pretzel sticks into bite-sized pieces.Dark chocolate Pumpkin Spice M&M barkDark chocolate Pumpkin Spice M&M bark
  3. Melt dark chocolate on 50% power in 30-minute increments, until melted.
  4. Evenly spread dark chocolate over parchment paper.Dark chocolate Pumpkin Spice M&M bark
  5. While chocolate is still warm, sprinkle with broken pretzels.Dark chocolate Pumpkin Spice M&M bark
  6. Place in refrigerator and allow to cool completely.
  7. Melt white candy melts according to package directions.
  8. Spread melted white candy over pretzel layer.
  9. Top with M&Ms and chocolate and orange sprinkles.Dark chocolate Pumpkin Spice M&M bark
  10. Place in refrigerator and allow to cool thoroughly.
  11. When completely cooled, break into small pieces and store in refrigerator. (If you don’t eat it all in one sitting, that is!)

Dark chocolate Pumpkin Spice M&M bark

Peanut butter M&M blondies

We had a rough morning, y’all.

Katie’s first playdate with a new friend had to be rescheduled because her brother so inconveniently spiked a fever and was a pile of misery. Two piles of misery, if I’m honest.

Her disappointment, combined with his lethargy, called for drastic measures.

And sometimes, my friends, the only answer to a rough morning is baking something fantastic.

My pantry isn’t exactly stocked with baking ingredients since the big whole foods purge this spring.

Blondies were the perfect solution since they require very few ingredients (all of which are pretty basic) and they’re ready to eat in no time.

These brought a ray of sunshine into an otherwise gloomy day…

peanut butter M&M blondies

Recipe for the blondie base adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter M&Ms
  • 1/8 cup dark chocolate bits
  • One mopey helper

Directions:

  1. Butter an 8×8 glass pan.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave.
  3. Combine melted butter and brown sugar in the bowl of your mixer and beat until smooth.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  5. Add salt and then slowly incorporate the flour and beat until smooth.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, mix in M&Ms and chocolate bits.*
  7. Pour into buttered glass pan.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 22-25 minutes, or until cooked in the middle and golden brown on the outside.
  9. Cool on rack completely before cutting.

*For an amazing list of ideas creative ways to customize these blondies, visit Smitten Kitchen.

little girl baking, katie

peanut butter M&M blondies

peanut butter blondie M&Ms

Farro with roasted rainbow carrots and onions

roasted carrots, rainbow carrots, farro recipe, vegan recipe

A couple of months ago, I challenged myself to go on a strictly whole foods diet.

I thought it would be tough.

It wasn’t. Like at all.

In thirty days, I lost six pounds without making any other changes. In the thirty days after that, I lost another four pounds. And while that part was lovely, the best part about the new diet is it brought with it more energy, clearer skin, better sleep and no afternoon slump.

But, well, stress reared its ugly head in my life and the only cure for stress is cake. Wait, that can’t be true, right?

So, it’s time to get back on track. I’ll be sharing some of the things I make with you here in the months ahead. I promise, I’ll only share the creations that actually taste good.

When I was eating clean, I bought a bag of farro because I’d read about what a good source of protein it is. I’m not vegan, but I’m not great at cooking meat and I’m beyond bored with chicken, so I’m always looking for a simple protein source. Farro is also a great source of fiber a complex carb, which helps to keep you feeling full and regulates your blood sugar.

When our CSA box arrived this week, it was overflowing with the most fantastic rainbow carrots. I knew I would want to roast them and considered serving them with quinoa, but decided quinoa was too delicate for the chunky carrots. So, I grabbed the farro and took a chance.

And wow… it was perfect.

This dish was truly fantastic and requires very little hands on time. Bonus!

Farro with roasted rainbow carrots and onions

  • 1 c. farro
  • 3 c. water
  • 10-12 whole rainbow carrots with stems trimmed (purple, yellow, orange and red)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence

To prepare the vegetables:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Wash the carrots well, but don’t peel them.
  4. Arrange carrots and onions on the baking sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt, fresh pepper and Herbs de Provence.
  5. Roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
  6. Carefully cut carrots into bite-sized pieces.

rainbow carrots, roasted carrots rainbow carrots, roasted carrots

To prepare the farro:

  1. Thoroughly rinse and drain the farro.
  2. Add farro to lightly-salted water in a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil for 15-18 minutes or until it’s al dente and the liquid is absorbed.

farro

Top farro with carrots and onions and enjoy!

farro, roasted carrots, rainbow carrots, vegan recipes

Salted caramel and dark chocolate popcorn

salted caramel popcorn

All it took was a trip through Costco, a run in with a sample cart and a taste of salted caramel and dark chocolate popcorn and my life was changed.

Dramatic? Perhaps.

But friends, salted caramel AND dark chocolate AND popcorn? It just doesn’t get much better than that. continued

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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