Caramel Apple Blondies

If you’ve hung around here long enough, you’ve heard many times from me that “I’m no baker”.  It’s been nearly 2 years of food blogging at this point, and I’m tellin’ ya, I’ve spent the past 600-someodd days cringing at the thought of baked goods.  You know how they say that you should stick to what you know?  Well, baking has been a foreign and scary world for me, one that I much preferred to avoid as much as humanly possible while still running a food blog.

Caramel Apple Blondies.  Browned butter, brown sugar, apples, walnuts, and caramel come together in this delicious fall dessert! | hostthetoast.com

But that all changes today.

I’ve been seeing a lot of delicious blondie and brownie recipes lately, and one particular recipe called out to me.  “Morgan, stop being such a freakin’ baby and bake me,” it said.  “Use browned butter and walnuts and lots of brown sugar to make it your own!” it begged.

And believe it or not, I did it.  I baked my little (very nervous) heart out and wound up with these Caramel Apple Blondies.

The Caramel Apple Blondies turned out so moist, sweet, flavorful, and fall-ish, I could hardly believe it.  Is fall-ish a word?  It is now.  It was autumn in my mouth.

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Loaded Buffalo Chicken Nachos

The best things in life are meant to be shared.  Please remind me of that this upcoming football Sunday when I am HOARDING these Loaded Buffalo Chicken Nachos to myself.

Don’t be surprised if you find me whispering “my precious” over them and viciously swatting away the hands of friends and family members who are eager to try a bite.

Loaded Buffalo Chicken Nachos.  Could this be any more perfect for football season?  Shredded buffalo chicken, cheesy ranch queso, blue cheese crumbles, pickled jalapenos, and chopped green onions!  The ultimate appetizer! | hostthetoast.com

Seriously, I will tackle you linebacker-style if you try to grab a nacho in all of its buffalo chicken glory without asking nicely first.  Be warned.

So, it’s football season and I’m all amped up because my team is doing well for a change, and I’m going all-in with the appetizers this year.  And everyone knows that the number one way to do appetizers on game day is to load up on the buffalo sauce.

Note my other buffalo chicken recipes.

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Mexican Stuffed Peppers (Chorizo-Stuffed Poblanos), R-R-R-Remix

Do you want to know the absolute worst part of being a food blogger?

I hope you said yes; I’m going to assume you said yes.

The WORST part of food blogging is that you almost never have the time to make a recipe more than once or twice.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers.  Roasted poblanos stuffed with chorizo, rice, beans, corn, and cheese!  So good, I had to make them again. | hostthetoast.com

Think about it– you spend all this time coming up with something delicious, adjusting it until it sends your tastebuds on a utopic journey of awesomeness, until you’re so proud of it that you can’t wait to share it with the world (or at least the worldwide web), and then you pretty much never make it again because you’re the “kill two birds with one stone” type and can’t bring yourself to cook anything that takes more than 10 minutes unless it can also be featured on the blog.  Seriously, it’s a lot of cooking.

And you can’t feature something on the blog twice.  Or can you?

I bet you know where this is going.

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Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

I remember watching Bride Wars with my old roommate, Jackie, as we sat on our broken, hand-me-down futon, with Chinese food containers nested in our laps and cheap wine on the side in plastic cups like true broke college students.

Cauliflower Fried "Rice".  Healthy, low-carb, and seriously tasty!  Tastes so much like the Chinese takeout but without the guilt!  Easy to make, too! | hostthetoast.com

In the movie, two best friends get engaged at the same time and then nearly ruin their friendship (and their weddings, and their relationships) because of their “bridezilla”-esque behavior.  It’s generally supposed to be a funny movie, but when Anne Hathaway’s boyfriend proposed to her in the movie as they ate Chinese food and watched TV, Jackie turned to me with a dead serious look on her face.

“That’s how I want to be proposed to,” she said. “Not because I think it’s cute or comfortable.  Just because I really love fried rice that much.”  She shook her nearly-empty white container as a testament.

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Crock Pot White Bean Chicken Chili

We’re half-way through September and we’ve got out feet firmly planted in soup season, which makes me a happy gal.  Is there anything better than slurping up a big bowl of broth-bathed meat, noodles, and veggies?

That was a rhetorical question– the answer is yes.  Yes, there is, by a margin.  Her name is Chili.

Crock Pot White Bean Chili.  This creamy white chili is absolutely delicious and easy to make in the slow cooker.  Also, it doesn't use any canned soups! | hostthetoast.com

The one thing that can make me swoon more than homemade chicken noodle soup is a big batch of chili, preferably with beans (even though I know that’s essentially sacrilege to Texans.  Sorry, I guess.)  If you’re right there with me, giving the “two thumbs up” and drooling over the thought of tender, creamy beans soaking up the spices, then you’ll probably like what I’m about to throw at ya.

Ready for it?  Crock Pot White Bean Chicken Chili.  BAM.

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