Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping

Sweet Potato Casserole recipe with Pecan Topping | jessicagavin.com

Whoo hoo! My hands down favorite holiday is almost here, Thanksgiving! It’s all about the food, football, wearing pants that stretch and getting that food coma “glow” with family and friends, it’s the best. There’s also no better time to turn a starchy sweet root vegetable into a dessert masked as a side dish. Those bright sunny orange fleshed sweet potatoes (also known as yams in North America, but that just doesn’t sound as yummy) are pretty amazing to eat just simply roasted or steamed. They have this incredible natural sweetness, yet are packed with healthy vitamins like beta carotene and dietary fiber. What’s not to like about a carb that tastes good and is healthier for you? I wanted to get a little more creative with my holiday sweet potato casserole recipe this year, oh man it’s addicting… I could’t stop sneaking bites!… 

Read More »

Homemade Pumpkin Granola Mix

Homemade Pumpkin Granola Mix | jessicagavin.com #recipe #foodblog

So I was feeling a little breakfast boredom, especially since I’m a habitual oatmeal gal. You know I got to get in that heart healthy fiber! With Starbucks launching the pumpkin spice latte aka PSL (now trademarked, jeez) at the tail end of summer, I was mentally ready for some more spice and excitement in my mornings. The answer to my sunrise slump was a freshly baked tray of homemade pumpkin granola mix loaded with all of the pumpkin spices your heart desires, plus some whole roasted almonds, sweet dried cranberries and pepitas, oh my!… 

Read More »

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups | jessicagavin.com #recipe #cheesecake

Warning! This recipe is extremely easy to make which means you can satisfy your cheesecake craving at any moment, and may become highly addictive… Whew, glad I got that out of the way! Sometimes when I think about making cheesecake, I cringe. To make a cheesecake just right, it takes a lot of time and proper technique to nail the super decadent creamy texture. Not to mention you’ve got to fire up the oven, make a water bath, hope the top of your cheesecake doesn’t crack…urgh, the stress is unbearable at the moment. I have been seeing a lot of great no bake dessert recipe ideas, so I thought I would give these no bake pumpkin cheesecake cups a try! This is an especially clever dessert to make when you have run out of oven space during your holiday cooking marathon…. 

Read More »

Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

delicious pumpkin pecan streusel coffeecake | jessicagavin.com #fallrecipe

Dare I say, fall is finally making it’s appearance in Southern California? During our walk back from our favorite local breakfast spot this past weekend with my husband Jason and baby James, I finally noticed some indicators of autumn. Leaves are beginning to turn brown on the trees and just barely starting to cover the ground. Some of my neighbors have started to put up some spooky Halloween decorations, and of course pumpkins in their front yards. As we almost reached home and I finished sipping the last addictive ounces of my chai latte, I got a sudden urge to bake…. 

Read More »

Pumpkin Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Stack of Pumpkin Cream Cookie Sandwiches | jessicagavin.com #cookies #recipe

Dunk…wait for it…nom nom nom! Oh boy do I love Oreo cookies with an ice cold glass of milk so I can dip each bite, so yummy! I don’t know how it started but I remember playing a game of who would get the cream filled center with my friends, anxiously holding one side of the cookie, pulling the sandwich apart like it was some magical wish bone. The crumbly chocolate wafer cookies are filled with just the right amount of vanilla cream and is one of my favorite childhood favorite treats, darn you Nabisco! Now these cookies are my adult guilty pleasure, and no better time to indulge than during the holiday season…. 

Read More »

Chocolate Pumpkin Pecan Scones

Amazing pumpkin pecan scones with maple glaze | jessicagavin.com

Fall is finally here! This marks the beginning of my baking extravaganza. The first fall sightings were the giant bags of miniature Halloween candies exploding from the aisles in the grocery store. I also can’t forget those adorable mini pumpkins and sticky caramel apples. I try not to go to the market hungry because there are too many temptations right now. But boy, was I craving something pumpkin flavored, so I purchased my first can of Libby’s pumpkin puree. I couldn’t wait to think of a sweet treat to bake! So I decided to go all out and pack these buttery little pastries with my fall flavor arsenal, creating chocolate pumpkin pecan scones with maple glaze, boom!… 

Read More »

Pork Chops with Spiced Apples

pork chops with spiced apples in skillet | jessicagavin.com #pork

This week marks the official beginning of fall, which means cooler temps, mini pumpkins everywhere and cozy comfort foods. I was really sad to see the dwindling of summer produce at the market yesterday, but they were replaced by marvelous apples! There are so many varieties to choose from like honeycrisp, jazz or the traditional green.

It really depends on how you decide to cook the apples, and since I wanted to use them for a sweet and savory topping for this pork recipe, Fuji apples were my pick. Incredibly sweet yet sturdy when cooked down and sauteed, Fuji apples are great at infusing flavors into it’s flesh and staying nice and tender once cooked. I was excited to transition from using the grill during the summer time to breaking out my trusty cast iron pan to create my hearty and delicious pork chops with spiced apples recipe…. 

Read More »

Classic Macaroni and Cheese

cooking macaroni pasta | jessicagavin.com #food

Did I ever tell you that I studied cheese for 2 years during my master’s degree? Yep! I researched the flavors of different cheese and how to make them healthier for you. I got a degree in Dairy Science, and I loved it! So when I think about classic macaroni and cheese recipes, I get super excited because my fondness for this nostalgic comfort food goes beyond just pure enjoyment.

My love for macaroni and cheese began like most American kids born in the 80’s, with the classic blue box of Kraft mac n’ cheese that contained 2 essential ingredients: elbow noodles and packet of cheese powder that never completely dissolved. This was probably my first exposure to food science and I didn’t even know it! I used to add a slices of Kraft American cheese singles, you know, the ones you unwrap because I wanted my macaroni even more cheesy, and we didn’t buy the Velveta kind at the time.

I still to this day enjoy that blue box of mac n’ cheese, and always will. Although I wanted to try my own homemade version so I could switch up the cheese varieties because there are so many delicious types of cheeses and toppings out there. For this recipe though, I just want to create a classic macaroni and cheese recipe, because once you nail the béchamel cream sauce base, the possibilities really are endless!… 

Read More »

No Bake Snack Bites

Perfect No-Bake Snack Bites | jessicagavin.com #recipe

Being a new mommy is a life filled with smiles, cuddles, lots of love and diapers! Sooo many diapers! It can also be pretty demanding on the body and sometimes a quick burst of energy is needed to keep up with taking care of baby. These no bake energy bites are perfect for that one handed grab and healthy satisfaction needed to get through the day. If you’re always on the go, these no bake snack bites are a winner!… 

Read More »

Mini Nectarine Almond Frangipane Tart

nectarine almond frangipane tart | jessicagavin.com #sweets

The best thing about dessert is when you don’t have to share! I know, that may sound a little greedy, but sometimes you just want your very own pie. With that in mind, I thought that making individually portioned mini nectarine almond frangipane tarts would be a great way to indulge without going over board. It’s nice not having to give others a nibble of the good stuff, since everyone will have their very own tart…. 

Read More »