Simple Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe – The Tailored Spoon

Don’t have a bottle of “Pumpkin Pie Spice” hanging around in your kitchen? Or maybe you have checked the date on the side of the bottle and expired back when your youngest entered Middle school or before we had cell phones.  Please toss it now and make your own!  Don’t be afraid! Totally easy!  If you have Ground Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg, Ground Ginger and Ground Allspice, then you can create Pumpkin Pie Spice. It probably will take all of 5 minutes.

 How Long will my Spices Last?

Spices lose their potency and they are normally good for a year or so. But whole spices can keep for a while longer up to two years.  You can keep spices for years, but they lose their flavor and the potency. Not sure, when you purchased that bottle of Tumeric? Throw it out and get a new bottle.  When you buy it, make a note of when you got it.  Then when you aren’t sure. You will always have the note.

Find a small jar. A spice jar will work well too, especially a wide mouth one.  Use those 4 ozs. wide mouth canning jars from Ball.
Like these at Target or use whatever you like. The one in the photo I purchased at Target a few years ago in their dollar Seasonal section.  Love the idea of the cork.  I think I paid like 3 dollars for it.  It holds a good cup and a half of the Pumpkin Pie Spice. Measuring spoons.  Did you ever notice that most measuring spoons don’t fit in the spice jars, especially the teaspoon? These measuring spoons solve that problem. The greatest invention ever and is on my kitchen gadget list.

Gather your spices:

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Allspice
  • Ground Cloves (optional)

It helps to have a mini funnel for filling up the jar. Don’t have a funnel? Use some parchment paper, fold it, pour it in and fill it up that way.

  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon Ginger, 1/2 Allspice, and 1/2 Nutmeg.
  • 2 tablespoons Cinnamon to 1 teaspoon each of Ginger, Allspice, Nutmeg.
  • 3 tablespoons of Cinnamon to 1 1/2 teaspoons each of Ginger, Allspice, and Nutmeg.  The aroma is mesmerizing. I see visions of Pumpkin Pie dancing in my head! Remember the ground cloves are optional. Replace it or swop it!

In a small bowl or on parchment paper measure out your desired spices. If using a bowl stir together the spices. Use a mini funnel or fold some parchment paper in half and pour into a small spice jar. Stir or shake the bottle to mix.  Store in an airtight container. That’s it! You’re all set to make your next pumpkin pie and scones (hint, hint, future post.)! I will have more spice mixes and handy-dandy card sized printables to print for reference! Stay tuned!

Author Karen @ The Tailored Spoon

Yield 1 serving 2.5 Tablespoons

  • 1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves (optional)

In a small bowl or on parchment paper measure out your desired spices. If using a bowl stir together the spices. Then using a mini funnel placed in the jar pour into the jar. or fold parchment paper in half and pour into small spice jar.

Be flexible with your spices.  Depending on flavor preference, different spices can be substituted. 

These measurements yield: 2.5 tablespoons.  

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If you enjoyed this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! You can also connect with me on PinterestTwitterFacebook.  Subscribe to Tailored Spoon’s Mailing list! You will be notified of updates, the future Newsletter, and other freebies! If you have any questions at all, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook with you!

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Simple & Quick Stovetop Apple Pie Filling – The Tailored Spoon

I have been waiting forever now for Fall. Here in this part of the country where I live I can attest to the fact that we don’t have “Normal” seasons. While everywhere else is transitioning into sweater weather, we are still in shorts and tank tops. In the middle of October, Boo!  I guess you could call this “Fire Season.”  It totally skips “winter” and we head into Spring!  In about 10 minutes time you can have your house smelling of Apple Pie! The recipe is very simple:  Apples, lemon juice, spices, cornstarch, and water. The only time-consuming part could be prepping the apples. It would also depend on what method you use to peel, core and slice your apples.  If you have one of those gadgets that do everything. I call you lucky! Here is one on Amazon. They are priced inexpensively, but if I bought every kitchen gadget out there, I would need some therapy. Hi, I am Karen and I have a kitchen gadget addiction. 🙂

 Just Skip to the Recipe Please!

Seriously, I love this time of the year.  When there is just a hint of crispness in the air (at night) and I can cook Easy Maple Fig Preserves, Simple Maple Fig Bars with Pecan Crumble and have my pumpkin spiced lattes (iced).  It’s not sweater weather here yet.  But I believe it is slowly heading our way. Very slowly… That is why I love baking.

Let’s Get Started!

This Simple and Quick Apple Pie Filling is just what it says. A simple pie filling cooked on the stovetop.  Skip the slow cooker unless you are cooking for an army or canning.  It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.  That’s pretty much all the time that you will need.

Start by washing, peeling, coring, and chopping five medium cooking apples.   This is the only step that might take a bit.  I usually sit at the kitchen table, pull the garbage can towards me. This way I can just toss the apple peels when I accumulate a pile of them.

Add to a large bowl, the lemon juice, and apple pieces. Toss together and set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, add sugar, and spices. Stir to combine.  In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water. Add mixture to saucepan.

Turn Heat to medium and stir until combined. Add the apples, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.  Simmer, covered for 10 minutes until apples are slightly soft and filling has thickened to preferred consistency. Be prepared to have your place smell like cinnamon and apples!

 

Allow to cool and spoon into tightly covered jars and store in refrigerator up to a week. You can use this filling for pretty much anything. Topping on pancakes, cheesecakes, ice cream and how about waffles?

Prep 20 mins

Cook 10 mins

Total 30 mins

Author Karen @ thetailoredspoon

Yield 4-5 cups

  • 5 medium cooking apples (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar*
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups water*

Peel, core and chop apples into half-inch pieces.

Add to a large bowl, the lemon juice, and apple pieces. Toss together and set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, add sugar, and spices. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water. Add mixture to saucepan.

Turn Heat to medium and stir until combined. Then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 10 minutes until apples are slightly soft and filling has thickened to preferred consistency.

Cool and place in tightly covered jars and store in refrigerator up to a week. 

*You can use white sugar in place of brown sugar.  It will just be a bit sweeter tasting. 

*The amount of cornstarch can be reduced. It will all depend on the thickness of filling you desire. 

*Depending on how thick of a consistency you desire, water can be reduced or increased. 

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If you like this recipe, don’t forget to PIN IT! 

If you enjoyed this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! You can also connect with me on Pinterest, TwitterFacebook. You can also subscribe to Tailored Spoon’s Mailing list: You will be notified of updates, the future Newsletter, and other freebies! If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook with you!

This post has affiliate links. If you decide to buy through the Amazon link, I earn a small commission and you are not paying anything extra. You are just helping a blogger out by purchasing through Amazon. 🙂

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Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Topping – The Tailored Spoon

It Is a Peanut Butter & Chocolate Haven

My oldest son turned 20 years old last month and we talked about what kind of cake he would like for the big day.  He is a chocolate fan and requested a dessert that has chocolate and Oreos in it somewhere. It didn’t matter really. In this family, everyone has their differences.  Since this dessert would be eaten by everyone on his birthday, but not all enjoy chocolate.   I was in a dilemma.  I know what you are thinking…it’s your son’s big day it shouldn’t matter!  I am the people pleaser.  I decided I would try to a make a cheesecake.  Let them eat cheesecake!  I compromised and made this Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache Topping. It has a yummy peanut butter Oreo crust and garnished with other chocolate goodies, like Peanut butter cups and more Oreos. It’s a Peanut Butter-Chocolate Extravaganza! It turned out so good and was a hit!

If you love cheesecake like I do, then any kind of cheesecake is good. But I have to say that a New York Style Cheesecake with a Cherry Topping is like I have won the Lottery. OMG. Hand it over.  I can’t have cherries, so I will settle for a Strawberry Topping.

For the Love of Cheesecakes

But I do love a cheesecake and this Peanut butter cheesecake with Ganache will do just fine. Cheesecake is relatively easy to make and that is probably understated, but I think that some of us would rather avoid the baking process.  Baking cheesecakes are kind of art, experimentation and require some amount of patience.  Very intimidating if your very first one ends up with cracks.  No worries! Just cover them up. There is always the next time. There is a couple of baking methods you can try: water bath method and the low then slow method.  The method I use results in a wonderful cheesecake with no cracks. You are cooking the cheesecake at a high temperature for 15 minutes, then reducing to a very low oven temperature for 200 F. for the remainder of the time needed. It comes out perfect! No water bath needed.  Cheesecakes are a bit fussy and there is always much talk about the type of pans to use, how long to bake them, etc.  Here are some things that I have learned about cheesecakes:

Just Skip to the Recipe Please!

Tailored Tips:

  • One can never have too many cheesecakes.
  • Do not overmix the filling it can cause the batter to have too much air.  This makes the cheesecake puff up when cooking and then shrink or deflate, creating those old familiar cracks.
  • Underbake rather than overbake. You want the cheese slightly wiggly-jiggly in the center. If that’s a term. Let it chill and set in the refrigerator.
  • Make it the day before & plan ahead. Cheesecakes take time to set. None of…I will just whip something up. Not gonna happen. Unless you decide on a no-bake cheesecake.

There are 4 types of Cheesecakes: In a nutshell.

  • Italian: Made using Cottage cheese or Ricotta
  • German: Made using Quark: Which is a custard-style light cheese that is not aged, Farmhouse style cheese.  Makes for a nice and light cheesecake. This is want to try someday. Mmmm good. There are many recipes for making your own Quark, here is a simple recipe by allrecipes.com. Or maybe the local health food or deli store might have it.
  • New York: Traditional American Cheesecake using Philadelphia Cream Cheese, incredibly rich. A little goes a long way. (my favorite)
  • French: Normally a no-baked Chiffon version, that is light and fluffy.

A Short and Sweet Bit of Cheesecake History.

It all began with the Ancient Greeks in 234 BC.  The cheesecake was all the rage then and they even gave small cheesecakes to their Olympic Athletes. When the ancient Romans conquered Greece they found out about their secret and figured they could do one better. Cato a Roman Emperor came up with 2 versions of Cheesecake: a sweet and a savory. The recipe was nothing like today’s Cheesecake.  By 1000 AD the cheesecake was popular all over Europe.  Everybody had their own recipes and they looked more like the cheesecakes we know then just pounded blocks of cheese with honey and wheat flour and bake in a brick oven.

Pushing forward 700 years, the English colonies made cheesecake very popular. So popular that in 1730 Philadelphia built a “Cheesecake House” Tavern.  Hence the name Philly Cream Cheese that we cook with today. Beer and Cake anyone? Bet you didn’t know: The ever-popular 1/3 fat Neufchatel Cheese was discovered by a dairy farmer 140 years before the Heavier full cream cheese made by Kraft 1912. Maybe that is more than you wanted to know about Cheesecake and cream cheese but it’s good trivia. :-).  Enough history, let’s get on with it! Maybe your kids will be impressed. Neither if mine were not.

Start with the crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You will be reducing the temperature later. Grease only the sides of a 9 x 3-inch springform pan and then the bottom with circle parchment paper.  Set aside. Crush 24-30 peanut butter Oreo cookies in a food processor or a Ziploc bag with a rolling-pin. Remember to save a few for garnish and eating! Combine with 1/2 cup of room temperature/softened unsalted butter. Pulse several times until it becomes a buttery crumb consistency.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Press evenly with your fingertips into the bottom of the pan to form an “out-of-this-world” crust.  Put the crust in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.

Peanut butter Cheesecake Filling:

In a large bowl take the four softened cream cheese bricks. I don’t like the term bricks because bricks are hard, cream cheese is not.  Make sure they are full fat. Add the cup of white sugar, 3/4 cup of yogurt for a bit of a tang, the cup of creamy peanut butter, and vanilla extract.  Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to combine for about a minute or so. Start to add the eggs one at a time to the mixture stopping after each additional egg to beat with the mixer. Remember the tip, don’t over mix, just incorporate one egg at a time.  You don’t want the batter to accumulate so much air that the cake decides to inflate like a balloon while cooking and then deflate.   What does that give the cheesecake? Cracks.

Time to Bake:

Remove the crust from the refrigerator that has been chilling.  Pour the prepared decadent creamy rich filling into the crust. At this point, I am drooling and must have the self-control to keep from dipping my fingers in the filling.  Spread it around evenly.  It’s now ready to bake.  Note to Self: Make a day ahead. The End.

Important Baking Steps:

  1. Place in 350 degrees F. oven and bake for 15 minutes. No more, no less.
  2. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees F. Bake for 2 hours until the cheesecake no longer looks shiny.
  3. After baking your determined time, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit inside for another two hours.

Tailored Tip: It is important to remember not to open the oven to check on the cheesecake. All to together now. “Cracks”. If you have a light inside your oven flip it on before you start baking.

2 hours later…I am back. Now you can take out the cheesecake that has been in the oven. Guess what? It’s time to chill the cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator and allow it to set. That is reason making cheesecakes is a bit time-consuming.

Meanwhile, the following day… (Sounds like a novel doesn’t it?)

The Topping

It’s time to take out the cheesecake out from the refrigerator. With a knife loosen the sides of the cheesecake.  Doing this will make it very simple to remove when you are ready for the topping.  begin to gently pour the Ganache on top of the cheesecake starting in the middle and working your way out in a circular motion. It should just drip off the sides.  Wonderfully Chocolate Rich Ganache Topping. (pronounced Gon-nosh)Oh, my.  The best part about it? It is so easy to prepare. It requires truly only two ingredients. I was so surprised about how something so fancy and decedent could be so easy. Makes you look like a pro. So, so simple! If you are not familiar with Ganache, it is a Chocolate Glaze that is out of this world that can be used on top of cookies, bread, ice cream and anything else. It is made by using Chocolate and heated heavy cream.  Also if you’re not careful you could start to eat by the spoonful. Sinful indeed. 🙂

The Chocolate Ganache I made used semi-sweet Chocolate, but I am sure dark chocolate, white chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, and even unsweetened chocolate could be used. Depends on your flavor preference.

Simple and Quick Chocolate Ganache 

  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate squares
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of butter to give it some sheen (optional)
  • dash of salt (optional)

You can make it two ways:

(Quickie Microwave version): In a small glass bowl add the chocolate squares and then add the heavy cream.  Place in microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the cream begins to bubble, depending on the wattage of your microwave. Then leave it in the microwave for about 2 minutes. This allows the hot cream to melt the chocolate. Then remove from the microwave and whisk together until creamy. Add the 1 teaspoon of butter and salt.  You’re done and ready to put this Ganache on anything: Strawberries or otherwise.

(Stovetop version): In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to bubble. Then pour over chocolate and let it sit for a bit. Leave alone and forget about it! Then come back and say hello to your little friend. Start stirring until it all comes together and it becomes smooth and creamy. Add the optional butter and salt at this time

Let’s Garnish! Doesn’t it sound like a dance move or something? Sorry, too much coffee today.  I put on top, a mix of two different Oreos: Peanut Butter, and Original Oreos. I used 10 each to make it a total of 20. Crumbled them into fine crumbs and sprinkled on top. Then I split in half 4 Peanut butter Oreos and placed them on the cake. Finally, with a knife, I sliced in half about 8 Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and placed them in the center. You can choose to use any type of toppings.

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Simple Maple Fig Bars with Pecan-Oat Crumble – The Tailored Spoon

These layered bars have a soft, sweet buttery and nutty pecan crumble oat crust with cinnamon-sugar.

Are you ready for fall? I am. I confess I was longing for cool crisp weather back in August. The Fall Season is my favorite time of year.  When we pull out the Halloween decorations and hunt for pumpkin scented candles.  This is the time where I enjoy baking the most.  Yes, I so love pumpkin everything! Since I was born a bit late and have this infinity for Halloween.  November birthday. But since I have some of my Maple Fig Preserves in the refrigerator, I decided to bake this recipe.  These are incredible tasting Simple Maple Fig Bars with Pecan-Oat Crumble. The first bite was insanely good and so was the last. There are none left in the house. At all. I believe they lasted only one day.

These bars have three simple layers.  The first layer is a soft, sweet buttery and nutty pecan-rolled crumble oat crust. The flavor is sweet and nutty. The second layer is the fig filling, using my easy Maple Fig Preserves. Any filling could be substituted. Maybe your favorite jam? Add the Buttery Pecan-Oat Crumble on top and sprinkle on some Cinnamon-Sugar.  Bake until lightly brown and crunchy.  Oh so good!  It is the perfect flavors of Fall!

Just skip to the recipe! 

Baking the bars are simple enough.  Can’t decide what taste you’re in the mood for? Ask your kids! The only difficult thing about these bars is deciding on the filling.  The kitchen tools I used for this recipe is probably what you have in your own kitchen.  I used my food processor to prepare the crumble.  But if you have some mixing bowls, a spatula, pastry blender and your hands.  That outta do it. Nothing fancy.  Our Great Grandmothers kept things simple.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9 x 9 square baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Make sure you leave about an inch or two of parchment up 2 sides of the dish. It makes lifting the bars out of the pan so easy. Nothing sticks!  No fuss, no mess. I swear by parchment.  It makes cooking so much easier! Meanwhile, prepare the pecans. Grind about 3/4 cup of pecan pieces in a Nutri Bullet, (that is what I used) or food processor until it resembles fine crumbs. Ever tried using a coffee grinder? I have heard that works as well. It should yield about 1/2 cup or slightly more. You can be the judge.

The Pecan-Oat Crust

In a large bowl or bowl of a food processor, add the one cup of all-purpose flour*, 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats,* and the ground pecans*, packed brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisked until combined or pulse a few times with the processor.  Whisk or pulse until combined. Then add the softened room-temperature butter and almond extract. Using a pastry blender, fork, your hands or food processor, cream together ingredients or pulse for 30 seconds with the Processor until blended and resembles soft crumbs. This Pecan-Oat crumble will smell delightful. A reminder of cool crisp nights and warm cider.  Reserve one half of the buttery crumble and set aside. 

With the other half of the crumb mixture, you set aside to form a crust by pressing with your fingertips on the bottom of the 9 x 9-inch prepared baking dish.

Middle Filling Layer

This is where it becomes mind-boggling. What to use for a filling! If you have a jar of fig preserves, You can use any fruit jam. Be adventurous! If you don’t have a recipe, try my Easy Maple Fig Preserves. It’s a keeper! Figs have a short growing season, and fresh figs are not normally available after September. Try using dried Turkish figs and blend with water.  It will be more like a spread than preserves.  Spread on top of the crust the Fig Preserves. Using the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it around evenly.

Top Layer

Take the other half of the Pecan-Oat crumb topping and generously sprinkle on top of the filling layer. Then garnish with cinnamon-sugar.  Stick in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.  Until it looks lightly browned. It’s a good length of time.  Anything less and you would lose that wonderful slightly crunchy top.  Mmmm good. Then remove from the oven and smell the yummy goodness.  You will have to wait at least 15 minutes for it to cool.  Then just lift it out of the pan, slice into squares and dig in!

Tailored Tips:
  • Need more servings? Just cut the squares in half.
  • Make sure to always spoon and level when measuring flour.  Having a food scale helps too. Not having the correct amounts can really change a recipe.  But I know not everyone has one lying around.  Other scales maybe, but that kind won’t work sorry. 🙂
  • Gluten-Free Option? Replace All-purpose flour with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to1 Baking Flour and Gluten-Free Oats.

Prep 20 mins

Cook 40 mins

Total 60 mins

Author Karen

Yield 9-18 squares, depends on portion size

Crust and Topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats*
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans= equates to 3/4 cup of pecan pieces*
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups Maple Fig Preserves or other fillings*

Garnish:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper or foil and set aside. 
  • To a large bowl or food processor add dry ingredients: flour*, oats*, ground pecans,* packed brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. 
  • Whisk or pulse until combined. Then add the softened room-temperature butter and almond extract.
  • Using a pastry blender, fork, your hands or food processor, cream together ingredients or pulse for 30 seconds with the Processor until blended and resembles soft crumbs. 
  • Reserve one half of the buttery crumble and set aside. With the other half of the mixture form a crust by pressing with your fingertips on the bottom of the baking dish. 
  • Spread the Fig Preserves on top of the crust with the back of a spoon or small spatula. 
  • Take the second half of the crumble mixture and sprinkle on top of the filling and garnish with 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon-sugar. 
  • Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for a least 15 minutes. Then lift out with parchment paper and slice into squares. 

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If you really want to make this don’t forget to PIN IT!

If you enjoyed this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! You can also connect with me on Pinterest, TwitterFacebook and you can also subscribe to Tailored Spoon if you would like to be notified of updates and future freebies! If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook for you!

Recipe inspired by http://www.motherthyme.com/2016/12/oatmeal-fig-jam-squares.html

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Helpful Tips for Tailored Meal Planning – The Tailored Spoon

If you think about it we all enjoy eating the “the comfort food”. Who doesn’t like the idea of sitting down, perhaps with some warm apple pie loaded with vanilla ice cream and a cup of hot cider get you all warm and fuzzy? It does to me. Even our ancestors loved to gather for meals. It is what keeps our society together. Food. But dinnertime can be tiring as well. Maybe you feel like you are cooking for 6 instead of 4.  You would rather just cook one version of spaghetti, instead of two? Tailoring your meal planning may help. Read on friends. 🙂

It is a common occurrence, many kids with Autism don’t like certain foods, tastes, and textures. It’s a big, big deal. My son was diagnosed over nine years ago. Little did I know, I was doing more harm than good with my son, when he was six I would feed him 2-3 helpings of Spaghetti at the table just so he wouldn’t have a meltdown! What? Uh, not a great idea. What WAS I thinking? Pushing ahead nine years and many lessons learned, I decided to change his eating habits… slowly.  It didn’t happen overnight, but it has changed his behavior and weight for the better.  It has been a challenge for years to have my son try new foods. Getting him to be flexible is the key.

So why I am telling you this? I have learned a thing or two about food preferences, diets, palates and meal planning. I’d like to share it with you!  This Here Blog is “My Happy Kitchen.” (Insert silly Western Music Here).

This post is for ALL families whether they are atypical or typical. We could all use some helpful tailored meal planning.

1. Flexible with the Food

Many issues with food can be sensory. I believe that everyone one of us has a food quirk. For me it is peaches. Too much peach fuzz thank you. I take a bite of a peach and my arm hair stands up. Talk about goosebumps!  Just thinking about it, makes me shudder. My 20-year-old son prefers raw vegetables. But really he prefers no vegetables. Ha! If your youngest kid won’t eat string cheese and I mean the stretchy-stringy-hot-out-of the-oven-cheese(mine will not touch the stuff). If that’s the case, try having them explore beyond their “Zone.” I will admit, it’s not easy. Maybe offer an alternative, like cottage cheese (“White Cheese” as my son calls it, Autism=literal thinker).   At least they will be getting the protein they need. Not a fan of the cottage cheese? Keep on trying new foods. Take your kid out of their comfort zone and just give them a little push. If they have a meltdown, try something else. This applies to bigger kids as well. My Hubby? He doesn’t like chocolate “flavored” things, only real chocolate.  I began Tailored Spoon so I can share with you adaptable recipes to food.  Ever thought about hiding the Broccoli or spinach in the spaghetti sauce?  I know it has been done before.  I am also aware that many of us have dietary restrictions, sensory disorders, and food allergies.  Try one food at a time, if that’s what it takes. Take baby steps, add something else to the table one meal and see how it goes. It doesn’t hurt to experiment.  As Parents we are all Scientists, heck we wouldn’t get anywhere if we didn’t try things! Let’s call it flexible food and try something new.

2. Become a Label Reader

Be conscious of the food you eat. I am such a label reader and I won’t buy it if the food label has 50+ ingredients. Obviously, when kids have too much sugar the behavior skyrockets.  My youngest son has self-stimulatory behaviors, can’t focus and his attention span is two seconds. So sugar is an issue for him.  Say your child likes yogurt, and they want only those name brand ones for kids that are filled with sugar.  You know the ones, with all the added sugar, on top of the sugar already existent. How about the yogurt tubes, make your own tube yogurts? I believe that really yummy food does not have to come in a box that stares at you from the shelf in from the grocery store saying buy me I am lonely. I feel a story coming on.  Well, maybe just an interesting fact: Take sugary cereal boxes, for example, there is a reason why grocery stores stock those cereals in the middle of the shelf.  It makes it hard for adults to see, but it is the perfect height for kids and it makes you want to buy it. Frightful if you ask me. I know label reading can become such a daunting task in the store and you will probably drive your kids crazy.  BUT if you do it often enough.  After a few times, it will become easier and you’ll be outta there in no time!   This is a very good image from Cornell University regarding their very interesting article on Cereal Box Psychology.  I would avoid the cereal aisle if you can.

Downright Creepy. The boxes are stalking the children.

3. Just Think Out of the Box and make a list!

Just a quick example: This would be perfect for weekday lunchboxes. Measure yogurt in a 1/2 cup (4 ounces) sized Glad Containers. I would even get the kids to help!

  • Plain Greek yogurt or any type of plain yogurt. The sugar content will be different for each brand.
  • Stevia, honey, or another sweetener. Maple Syrup. Also if you use plain yogurt. Most likely you will not need to add in an additional sweetener if you choose to use add-ins.
  • Add-Ins: A fresh fruit or favorite jelly or preserve, granola, chocolate, ever tried cake sprinkles? The possibilities are endless!

Note: the add-ins are your preference and they are not necessarily brimming of sugar. If you do your research on each of these there are better alternatives.

Put about ¼ of a cup of yogurt in a small plastic cup, add ¼ teaspoon of Stevia or omit altogether, then add some blueberries, cut up strawberries, or raspberries.  Experiment with different sweeteners, try a bit of honey or even maple syrup! That is what I use.

Eating right does not need to be expensive and do your research.

Some Good Tailored Tips:

  1. Buying a large container of Plain Greek yogurt is a better deal than buying 4 packs of those “fun” yogurts. You’ll be saving money as well. Dairy-free yogurt works too. I never attempted to make my own yogurt.  But this is the age of the internet. I guarantee there is a recipe out there. 
  2. If the fresh fruit in your area is a little more expensive, then it’s generally not “In Season.” Try your mixing in your favorite jelly or jam instead. Yum! 
  3. Be adventurous and make your own!  Reason number 529 on why I began The Tailored Spoon Blog. 

My opinions are strictly my own and this is what has worked for me.  I am no way asking you to follow what I did.  Everyone has a right to their own opinions and solutions! Many of us have dietary restrictions and what works for one person might not work for another.

The recipes on my blog will not be restrictive but will be consistently adjustable and versatile in a way that it fits your family! In a nutshell, I believe that if you want a better lifestyle to eat a more nutritionally balanced meal with families that require adaptable recipes. It will take time, patience and experiment from the cook in the Kitchen. The idea is to cook with real food and tailor it your family. Just remember any recipe can be adaptable, adjustable and versatile! No worries!

Don’t have the time to experiment? Keep your eyes peeled for good recipes in my kitchen and yours!

Don’t Forget to Pin It!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to connect with me on PinterestTwitter, hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram and Facebook. If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook with you!

If you have found some solutions or food ideas, please comment!  I love reading them and responding when I can. Thanks so much!

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Strawberry Crumb Coffeecake – The Tailored Spoon

Originally Posted September 17, 2017; Updated February 14, 2018

A delicious strawberry crumb coffee cake filled with fresh diced strawberries and topped with a sweet crunchy but moist strawberry crumb topping made with freeze-dried strawberries.

I originally posted this recipe at the beginning of the fall season in September of 2017.  I decided with Valentine’s Day being tomorrow, this would be a really great recipe to post.  It is red, pink and delicious! This recipe is so awesomely good.  I love the fact that it is made using freeze-dried strawberries.  This recipe doesn’t have to be necessary for breakfast either.  Make it for a dessert.  It takes no time at all and you could probably whip it up just in time for Valentine’s Day dessert.  It probably doesn’t matter when you make it though because it will just as good if you decide to bake the coffee cake at midnight.

Can you feel the love in the air?  The weather here where I live has been so hot. I am so ready for Fall! You know what that means? Baking, cooking, and more baking. Time for comfort food all around. I love this time of year! I can tell you that Fall is my favorite season. I start to get excited about the holidays coming, especially Thanksgiving and Halloween, but not necessarily in that order! Since Fall is approaching and it’s finally the end of summer, I want to share a recipe that will get all your family into the kitchen feeling warm and fuzzy.

Jump to Recipe!

Strawberry Crumb Topping Coffeecake! It’s a yummy Strawberry version of everyone’s favorite, Cinnamon Coffeecake but made using my Simple Homemade Baking Mix. The strawberry crumb coffeecake has bits of strawberries in the batter and the crunchy buttery crumb topping is made with a secret ingredient, finely crushed, freeze-dried strawberries! This Coffeecake is so moist, You won’t able to stop with just one piece! Oh so good!

Strawberry Crumb Topping:

Combine in a medium-sized bowl 1/3 cup of baking mix or Bisquick, 1/3 cup of white sugar, 2 tablespoons of firm butter. Cream together the ingredients with a pastry blender or just get your fingers work the mixture until it resembles crumbs and blended. I used a hand mixer on medium then high for 2 minutes. I found it to be the quickest way. Now the fun part. 🙂 To prepare the crumb topping strawberry colored and flavored we are going to create a fruit powder. Simple Fruit powder is a great substitute for the flavor powdered gelatin and you don’t have to use food coloring. Transform frostings, glazes for cakes, bread, and try it on yogurt! Be creative.

Simple Fruit Powder:

You will need the freeze-dried fruit and a food processor, blender, coffee grinder or a rolling pin. It doesn’t matter.  The idea is to end up with a fine powder that will be mixed in the crumb topping giving it a pretty pink color and the flavor of strawberries!  It smells so wonderful by the way.  Oh so good. When I discovered freeze-dried strawberries, I never turned back, thanks to https://sallysbakingaddiction.com. Blend in a food processor, grind or crush the strawberries with a rolling pin and set aside.

Note: 1/2 cup of Freeze-dried sliced strawberries=about 3 tablespoons. I used about 3/4 cup of the freeze-dried strawberries. Yielded about 5 tablespoons.

Strawberry Coffeecake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch x 3-inch springform pan or a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.  While you are waiting for the oven to heat up, make the coffee cake batter.  Take approximately 9 freshly washed, hulled strawberries and dice them. Set aside. That should yield about one cup. In a large sized bowl combine two cups of the baking mix, milk, white sugar, and separately whisk the room temperature egg, then at it to the batter. Stir well until combined either by hand or electric hand mixer. With a spatula fold in the diced strawberries. Make sure all of the strawberries are mixed in.  We don’t want any left behind. The batter will be very thick and pour into the greased pan, then spread it until even. Now comes the fun part. Take the strawberry crumb topping that you set aside and sprinkle it evenly on top. It should look something like this:

Yummers! I totally love the pink crumbles! Don’t worry if it’s not. We aren’t here to judge. It will probably be just as yummy anyway! Place coffee cake on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes. Checking it periodically. When you are finished remove the coffeecake, smell the strawberry wonderfulness and let cool on a rack for about 10-15 minutes. When cooled, slice and eat away! Can you see those nooks and crannies filled with bits of strawberries? That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

This recipe is perfect for the weekend mornings or Valentine’s Day Dessert. Have a slice with your morning coffee, tea and share it with special ones in your life! Make even easier on yourself and make it the day before. That way you can just grab it from the refrigerator in the morning and warm a slice up in the microwave for 30 seconds. Also, your kids won’t be waiting impatiently for breakfast.  They will be so excited to devour it.  If your kids are like mine. I think they have broken the world’s record for speed eating! This coffee cake came out tasting moist and delicious. It also could be tailored to use with any kind of freeze-dried fruit! I can already taste the possibilities!

Prep 20 mins

Cook 22 mins

Total 42 mins

Author Karen at The Tailored Spoon

Yield 6-8 slices

Strawberry Coffeecake:

  • 2 cups baking mix or Bisquick
  • 2/3 cup milk*
  • 3 tablespoons sugar*
  • 1 extra large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced

Strawberry Crumb Topping:

  • 1/3 cup baking mix or Bisquick
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup of sliced freeze-dried strawberries, blended to form a powder*
  • 2 tablespoons of firm butter

Coffeecake:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9-inch x 3-inch springform pan or a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.  
  3. Take approximately nine freshly washed, hulled strawberries and dice them. Set aside. Yields about one cup.
  4. In a large sized bowl combine two cups of the baking mix, milk, white sugar, and separately whisk the room temperature egg, then add it to the batter. Stir well until combined either by hand or electric hand mixer. But do not overmix.
  5. With a spatula fold in the diced strawberries. Make sure all of the strawberries are mixed in.  We don’t want any left behind. The batter will be very thick. Pour the batter into the greased pan and spread until it is even.
  6. Take the strawberry crumb topping that you have set aside and sprinkle it evenly on top.

Strawberry Crumb Topping:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl combine 1/3 cup of baking mix or Bisquick, 1/3 cup of white sugar, 2 tablespoons of firm butter.
  2. Cream together the first three ingredients with a pastry blender or just get your fingers work the mixture until it resembles crumbs. Or use a hand mixer on medium for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the crushed freeze-dried strawberries and stir to combine.

*I used buttermilk, but you can use any kind of milk.  

*This isn’t overly sweet. You may want to increase the amount of sugar based on your preference.  Try brown sugar too.

* 1/2 cup of sliced freeze-dried strawberries = 3 tablespoons of crushed strawberry powder.  Since the recipe requirement is 3/4 cup that amounts to approximately 5 tablespoons.  You can vary the amount of strawberry powder for taste.

Gluten-Free Option: I found this Gluten-Free Bisquick Recipe at GlutenFreeBaking.com to make this Coffeecake gluten-free. 

Modified & Inspired recipe from Betty Crocker 

Courses Breakfast

If you liked this recipe don’t forget to PIN IT! and share it with your friends!

If you made this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! You can also connect with me on Pinterest, TwitterFacebook. and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog because you’ll get a freebie.  If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook for you!

Recipe modified & Inspired by Betty Crocker & #sallysbakingaddiction

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Simple Homemade Baking Mix – The Tailored Spoon

I am one of those people who walks into a grocery with their kids with the promise of being fast.  Unfortunately, sometimes I don’t keep my promise. Sorry kids. I try to take less than a few hours to shop.  Honestly, I can’t help it, I confess. I am a label reader. Every item I get my hands on in the store I read the label, checking for ingredients.  I can never pronounce what is on the side of the box.  I love the science of food, but food shouldn’t be complicated. You are also saving money making your own. That is why I changed my family’s way of eating, cooking, and began this blog. Oh, and I love food! Real Food=Recipe of Simple Homemade Baking Mix!  Made from scratch with stuff we can pronounce and have been around forever.

Just get to the recipe!

Making this recipe is so simple.  I feel like I have discovered gold when I find recipes like this and get to share it with you.  I get giddy. I must be a food nerd or something. 🙂  It literally takes no more than 10 minutes to prepare.  If you have a food processor or mixer: 10 minutes tops. But if you are preparing without plugging in a single appliance and using your hands as a tool, then add on an extra 5 minutes.  It really depends on how fast you are. This mix only has four ingredients!

Some of the baking mix recipes I have read have added sugar.   This recipe has no sugar added.  It is your preference and if you care to add some.  Two tablespoons would be a good start if you want just a hint of sweetness.

Food Processor Method:

Add to your food processor bowl 4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled. Followed by baking soda, and salt. I have an 11-cup size food processor, but I would not use anything smaller than an 8-cup. This recipe can yield quite a lot, especially if you double the recipe.

Cut the shortening into cubes and put in food processor bowl.  One stick of shortening=1 cup.  Then pulse processor 2 to 4 times until the mix resembles soft crumbs. Put in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. Recommended containers are Tupperware, oxo products or just use an airtight jar like I did.  This works just as well. This recipe is so simple and convenient, it might not last that long in the refrigerator!

Very Similar to Bisquick!

 Simple by hand Method:

Grab a large bowl and add to it the 4 cups of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir to combine. Then slice into cubes the 1 cup of shortening and add to the bowl. You can buy shortening by the stick or can.  I prefer the stick for baking and I use the can for steps like greasing baking pans and dishes. Don’t have shortening, use butter! If you have a pastry blender, use one to combine the shortening with the mix until it resembles soft crumbs. Don’t have a pastry blender use your hands and with your fingertips cream together the mixture.  Storing the mix is the same is the same for both methods.

You can use it to make pancakes, waffles, biscuits, casseroles or anything else you can think of!  I found a really good Gluten-Free Bisquick Recipe at GlutenFreeBaking.com if you need a really good Gluten-Free Bisquick­ Mix.

If you liked this recipe don’t forget to pin it!

If you made this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! You can also connect with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here in my kitchen at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook with you!

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Simple Blueberry Muffins

If you have been reading this blog, you might notice that I absolutely love blueberries! I tell myself that I might turn into one some day.  Just like our friend Violet, in Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory.  I hope that’s not the case.  I always keep a fresh stash of 3 or 4 of those little bins in the refrigerator that you buy in the produce section.   I sprinkle them on my granola, my yogurt and and on top of pancakes! Have you tried my Banana Blueberry Quick Bread?  It’s moist, yummy, filled with over ripe bananas and plump blueberries.

Get Your Kids in the Kitchen

This Simple Blueberry muffin recipe is also pretty special.  Because I get to share the recipe with my kids. I feel it’s so important to get your children in the kitchen no matter what their age or ability. It really gives them the opportunity to acquire the life skills needed to function independently. My son has Autism, and this is such an important skill for him to have. Also he gets to lick the spoon after we finish! Totally exciting for him.  Second, it brings the family together.  Who doesn’t like cooking with their kids, grandkids, and students, or the neighbor kids next door? It also gives the them the ability to shine and have a sense of accomplishment.

 Just Skip to the Recipe Please!

 Let’s Get Our Muffin On

Gather your supplies and ingredients.  This recipe make 12 muffins. I have never made mini muffins so I could not tell you the yield of mini muffins.  Go for it and let me know in the comments. I love to find out how many the recipe makes. It can also be doubled.

In your muffin tin place paper parchment liners in the cups. Don’t worry if you don’t have parchment. Use an alternative like the foil liners.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl measure out the flour, baking powder, and the salt. Stir briefly until combined.  In a smaller bowl add the 1/2 stick of room temperature (unsalted) butter.  Beat the egg, then add the brown sugar and milk.  The brown sugar will give the muffin a hint of molasses. Stir to combine about 2 minutes.

Just a note: The wet ingredients should all be at room temperature.  Adding ingredients that are not at room temperature will make your muffins dense because none of the fat has been allowed to separate when cold.  Use all the dairy ingredients at room temperature will make your muffins light and fluffy.  I can hardly wait!  Now if you are making pie crust, that is an entirely different science. Stay tuned for a future recipe.

Another Noteworthy Tailored Tip:  Don’t overmix the batter.  It can make the muffins dense and chewy.

Pour your bowl of wet ingredients into the larger bowl of the dry ingredients. Mix well until combined. Then fold in with a spatula those beautiful blueberries, saving a few for garnish.

Fill each muffin cup with batter up to 3/4 full.  I use a cookie scoop. Garnish on top with a few blueberries and sprinkle a bit of Turbinado sugar on top. If you’re unfamiliar with Turbinado sugar it is similar to brown sugar but lighter in color with a subtle flavor of molasses. It is not finely granulated like white sugar. Using both brown and Turbinado sugars will gave the muffins a nice unique sweetness to them.

Place prepared tin with muffin batter on middle rack of the oven and cook for a full 20 minutes. When done let cool on a wire rack for approximately 15 minutes.

Cook 20 mins

Total 20 mins

Author Karen @ the tailored spoon

Yield 1 dozen

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 extra large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter*, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries*
  1. Prepare your muffin tin with parchment cupcake liners.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  3. Take a large bowl and measure out the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
  4.  In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg. Then add the 1/2 cup(stick) of the room temperature butter, brown sugar and milk. Whisk to combine. 
  5. Take the smaller bowl of the wet ingredients and combine with the dry ingredients. Stir just enough to combine
  6. Fold the cup of Blueberries into the muffin batter.
  7. Fill each muffin cup with batter up to 3/4 full.
  8. Place prepared muffins on middle rack and cook for a full 20 minutes. 

Dairy & Gluten-Free Alternatives:

*Gluten Free Flour may be used. I use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-free Baking Flour. No other ingredients necessary.

*Almond milk may be substituted

*In place of butter, vegetable oil or applesauce could be used.  If you are using applesauce. 1/4 cup. 1 cup=1/2cup. The flavors should be similar but lower in fat.  

Fresh or frozen blueberries can be used.  But fresh is best!

Before baking garnish with a few extra blueberries and sprinkle some Turbinado sugar on top. 

Nutritional values will differ depending on ingredients used. 

Courses Breakfast, Baking

These are so good for breakfast, slightly warm with some melted butter.  They will not last long in a house full of hungry people!  This recipe is so great for the kids since it takes only 15-20 minutes to prepare. This Simple Blueberry Muffin recipe is totally kid friendly.  You have to offer a reward right? Awesome Blueberry muffins! Why do you think I cook and bake, just to take pictures of the food? Heck no. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the end product. Yummers.

 If you liked this recipe don’t forget to pin it!

If you made this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! I am also on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here in my kitchen at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook with you!

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Easy Fig Maple Perserves

A wonderful sweet preserve made with figs, 100% pure maple syrup, lemon juice, sugar and no pectin required! 

A few weeks ago, I would never have imagined about making Easy Fig Maple Preserves, Jam or any recipe with figs. When folks knock on my door, I usually want to hide.Those who visit my house are usually trying to sway me to buy solar panels, cable TV, or the newspaper. But this time when there was a knock on the door it was my friendly neighbor across the street! She came bearing bags of fruit. “Do you like figs? Our tree has exploded with them.” Fig Newtons are the closest I have had to Figs. Until Now.
Fun Fig Food Fact: Fig Newton Cookies have been in stores since 1891. 126 years. That is a while ago.

I did a bit of research on the topic of figs.

A Very Short History of Figs

Figs are a very deep-rooted fruit (not a fruit but a syconium) eaten in the period of the Ancient Romans and Greeks. Also, historians looked to have written evidence of the Sumerians eating figs about 2000 BC. In 1520 the Spanish Missionaries brought Figs to California, hence the common name “Black Mission Figs.” There are several other varieties of figs that come in various colors, sizes, and regions.

I am in Southern California and the Figs* my neighbor gave to me was a bag of the Black Mission Figs. This type of fig is very sweet, juicy and a dark purple skin color. They make for darn good preserves. Like “I want to put this on everything” kind of preserves.

Just Skip to the Recipe!

There is a slight difference between a jam or jelly and a preserve.  A jam or jelly has absolutely no skins when using the fruit, but for the preserves, the skin is left on. For this recipe is very simple, only 5 ingredients! Since figs come in various shapes and sizes, use whatever kind is available in your area.  Here in Southern California, I used Black Mission Figs in this recipe grown here.

Black Mission Figs

If you are lucky enough to have a fig tree or awesome neighbors who come bearing figs, or harvesting from the tree in your yard. You will also need a fresh lemon. Maybe you are fortunate enough to have a lemon tree in your yard! If you don’t happen to have a lemon tree or a lemon. You can use bottled lemon juice, but fresh is always better and cheaper! Gather the sugar from your pantry and the 100% maple syrup from your refrigerator.

Let’s Get Our Preserve On.

Start by slicing the figs into quarters or halves. Your preference. It will all depend on whether you prefer chunks of figs or puree. Me? No chunky-monkey here. I love it smooth. Remove stems and slice the figs* into quarters. In a saucepan add the water and sugar. Heat over medium-high stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Approximately 5 minutes.This will make a nice sugar-syrup base for the preserves. Then add the figs to the saucepan, fresh lemon juice, and the pure maple syrup. Yes, the good stuff. Bring the saucepan to a boil on medium-high, stirring frequently to combine. Approximately 10 minutes.Reduce the heat to low, partially cover with lid. Let simmer for 50-60 minutes or until the mixture thickens. The fun part? Smelling the aroma of the figs slowly simmering through the house. Oh man!

After the mixture has been cooling, pour into a food processor. I own this one. You can also use an immersion blender or potato masher, blend or chop to desired consistency. Chunky or puree, it is your choice. Pour into a 16-ounce canning jar or other. The preserves should be stored up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator or 3-6 months in the freezer. Then enjoy the perks of your labor! You can spread it on toast and it might be good on pancakes, How about an AB & J? Almond butter and Fig Preserve sandwich. Make your own “Fig Newtons! It might be good spread on a crunchy cracker with feta cheese! I have discovered that Figs are a “Spoonful of Goodness.” Try making some. The fig will not disappoint you. 🙂

Prep 10 mins

Cook 50 mins

Total 60 mins

Author Karen| The Tailored Spoon

Yield 2 cups

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of ripe fresh figs*, stemmed and quartered
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of 100 percent pure maple syrup. 
  1. Remove stems and slice the figs* into quarters.
  2. In a saucepan add water and sugar.
  3. Heat over medium-high stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved. About 5 minutes.
  4. Add to saucepan the figs, fresh lemon juice and the maple syrup. Bring saucepan to a boil on medium-high, stirring frequently to combine. Approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover with lid. Simmer for 50-60 minutes or until the mixture thickens. 
  6. With a food processor, immersion blender or potato masher, blend or chop to desired consistency. 
  7. Pour into a 8 ounce canning jar or other. Can be stored up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator or 3-6 months in the freezer. 

*Any kind of fig may be used. 

Courses Vegan, Appetizer

Cuisine Jams, Preserves, Spread, and Sauces,

If you liked this recipe don’t forget to pin it!

If you made this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! I am also on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. If you have questions, please ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook for you!

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Three Veggie Quesadilla – The Tailored Spoon

What? A Three-Veggie Quesadilla?

Since I am only 30 minute drive from Mexico I might as well share a recipe that has the vibe.  Lately those Mexican dish vibes seem to be sticking with me. We are home of the Legendary Baja Fish Taco, what do you expect?!  The next best thing is my Three-Veggie Quesadillas. I opt for simple and quick during the summer. The quesadillas are for any season or anytime. Three Veggie Quesadilla? Yep, only three veggies. Why three you ask? Simple, easy and my very favorite combination! Also you don’t have to stop at three, add more if you choose. Bring out the Mariachi Band! I recommend these for lunch after you have had a nice dip in the pool.  My brain is all thoughts on cool.  These are of course, vegetarian, gluten-free and you don’t have to put the oven on! Just a burner to warm up the tortilla.  You can handle that, right?

Just Skip to the Recipe Please!

Our summer here has been so warm. It began in June as summer normally does, which around here is relatively mild.  The day begins with typically “June Gloom; “A nice cloudy overcast morning and by the afternoon the sun is shining.  But not this June.  The weather just decided to suddenly be hot, humid every day and it hasn’t stopped. Throw in some monsoonal moisture and boom! Welcome to instant sauna and trying to avoid the kitchen.

Enough about the weather, let’s talk quesadillas. This recipe is wonderful.  It is one of my own favorites. I found that my immediate family, are not fans. Okay with me. Just more for me to eat savour. The IT husband is a burger fan, that likes Sushi, the oldest son is a Chicken fan, the youngest has Autism and his palate is off the charts!  Me? I like most everything but beets and beef tongue. An acquired taste I might add. Normally quesadillas are made with flour tortillas.  But this quesadilla is made using corn tortillas and disguises itself as a taco. But in my half-glass, half- empty opinion, it is a quesadilla because it is prepared like one.  We are not just stuffing a taco shell here. Stick with me folks and see how it turns out.  You won’t be disappointed. 😊

Is your mouth watering yet?  All it takes to prepare is some corn tortillas, shredded monterey jack cheese, sliced avocados, sliced tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts.   These are so unbelievably good.  I can’t stop raving about them.  The melted monterey jack paired with the creamy smoothness of the avocado, plus the sliced fresh tomatoes. Man O Man!  I use Roma tomatoes because they bring out the flavor and then…wait for it. Then filling it with alfalfa sprouts or broccoli sprouts gives the quesadilla the ultimate crunch and texture factor. OMG! When you take a bite, if that is not mouth-watering enough, top it off with Sweet Chili Sauce for an incredible taste experience.  Frying the tortilla in butter or oil also brings out the flavors.

Grab an 8 inch frying pan.  It can be non-stick, cast iron or whatever you feel comfortable to cook with.  You can either spray the pan with non-stick, canola/vegetable oil or use a dab of butter. Then place a tortilla on the pan and sear the tortilla on medium heat. While it is warming up and when it begins to bubble, turn it over and place about 1/4 cup of shredded Jack cheese only on one half. Then with your tongs fold the tortilla together and flip when the cheese melts, remove from the pan.

This recipe has been locked inside my brain for a couple of decades. There has never been a physical one until now. Yay! I first tasted this veggie quesadilla about 35 years ago when I was in high school.  It was passed down from my Uncle to my Grandma at the time!  I guess you could call it a family heirloom! It’s one of those aspects of life that you never forget.  The taste of food and the memories it imparts to us.

Now take the quesadilla (uh… taco) with the melted gooey cheese that you set aside. Add the tomatoes, the yummy sprouts, and around three slices of avocado. Top it off with the Sweet Chili Sauce. By this time I can hardly wait to eat it.  You can devour it in one sitting. I don’t get to do that much, so more power to you. 🙂 This recipe can be tailored to fit you, your family, your friends or your kid’s class at school.

Prep 10 mins

Cook 5 mins

Total 15 mins

Author Karen @ The Tailored Spoon

Yield 2-4 servings

  • 4 Corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese*
  • 2 Tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 or 2 Avocados, sliced
  • Alfalfa Sprouts*
  • Sweet Chili Sauce*
  1. Spray an 8-inch fry pan with cooking oil or use a dab of butter. Heat pan to medium. 
  2. Place a corn tortilla in the pan to sear one side being careful not to overcook, flip over with tongs.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of Jack cheese to one half of tortilla.
  4. When cheese is melted fold tortilla in half and remove from pan. Set aside and cool
  5. Open up quesadilla and add sliced tomatoes, avocados and sprouts. Then top it off with some sweet chili sauce.

These are incredibly simple!

*Go ahead and add any type of cheese you would like. 

* Use any kind of sprouts.  

Also, you don’t have to stick with just three vegetables.  Feel free to add anything else and pile it on! 

This is my favorite*Sweet Chili Sauce

Courses Lunch, Dinner

Cuisine Mexican

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If you made this recipe feel free to let me know in the comments or hashtag #tailoredspoon on Instagram! I am also on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.  If you have questions as well, ask me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Thanks so much for gathering here at the Tailored Spoon! I love sharing the recipes that I cook with you!

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