fall food

Spinach Artichoke Penne with Chicken

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Cooler weather is here and that means it’s time for comfort food! There is just something about when the temperatures begin to drop and wanting a nice warm casserole. Plus casseroles are the perfect thing for busy moms, they tend to be quick and easy to put together which is perfect for weeknight dinners or that holiday party that someone forgot to tell us about. I love that with a few ingredients I can have a complete, tasty dinner for my family with minimal effort, like my husband’s favorite, Spinach Artichoke Penne with Chicken. It is what happened when holiday party food meets dinner.

Spinach Artichoke Penne with Chicken | My Hot Southern Mess


Apple Cinnamon White Cake

Kid’s have headed or are heading back to school , which means summer is sadly winding down and fall is just around the corner. I think we all know what that means all of our favorite fall foods and not just pumpkin everything. I love pumpkin as much as the next person but some foods are being left behind in the pumpkin’s shadow like apples.

I love apples and I am still mad at myself for never taking my kids apple picking when we lived in an area surrounded by apple orchards in New Jersey. I’m thinking this fall we may need to take a road trip to find an apple orchard where we can pick our own apples. We buy apples by the bag around here and i’m lucky if the last more than a couple days. I wonder how long a bushel of apples would last around here? I do know one thing I would have to hide some of the apples so I could make some yummy apple goodies like Apple Cinnamon White Cake.

It is very likely you have seen a picture of Apple Cinnamon White Cake from Allrecipes on the internet. The picture was taken by a fellow Allrecipes Allstar and it went crazy in the social media world. I’ve seen it on Facebook and Pinterest multiple times and have been wanting to make it myself for a while.  The kid’s had taken a break from the summertime devouring everything in the house and I saw a couple apples left in the crisper drawer so off to work I went. Since I wanted to eat this Apple Cinnamon Vanilla Cake I adapted the recipe to gluten free and let me tell you it was delicious!


Apple Cinnamon White Cake |Country Girl Gourmet

Apple Cinnamon White Cake

adapted from Allrecipes.com


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
  • 1-2 apple (depending on size), peeled and chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated; add vanilla extract.
  4. Combine  gluten free flour blend, xanthan gum and baking powder together in a bowl; stir into creamed butter mixture. Mix milk into batter until smooth. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan; add half the apples and half the brown sugar mixture. Lightly pat apple mixture into batter. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer; top with remaining apples and brown sugar mixture. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a finger or spoon.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.

Semi Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes

It is that time of year again, time for pumpkin everything! Over the weekend I decided it was time for pumpkin for breakfast but what I wasn’t sure. With hungry kids begging for pancakes the decision was made for me, if they wanted pancakes.. pumpkin pancakes they would get. Since I was also trying to get out the door for my weekend long run I turned to a box of pancake mix. It was then Semi Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes were born.

Semi Homemade Pumpkin Pancakes

makes approx. 24 pancakes

1 28oz box  Hungry Jack Wheat Blends Pancake Mix

4cups Water

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 (heaping)tsp Cinnamon

1/2tsp Nutmeg

1/2tsp Ground Ginger

1/4tsp Ground Cloves

1. In a bowl, whisk together pancake mix, water, pumpkin, cinnamon,nutmeg, cloves and ginger until well blended. Be careful not to over mix.

2. Spray griddle with nonstick spray and pour pancake batter on hot griddle (to desired size).

3. Cook pancakes over medium heat approximately 2 minutes or until bubbles appear, then turn pancakes over and cook for 2 more minutes.
4. Serve and top with your favorite pancake toppings such as butter, maple syrup, whipped cream, pecans or enjoy plain.