The Baker Upstairs

9.22.2017

Halloween Mini Pizzas

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These Halloween mini pizzas are adorable and so easy to make! A fun and delicious Halloween dinner the whole family will love!

These Halloween mini pizzas are adorable and so easy to make! A fun and delicious Halloween dinner the whole family will love!

Confession: my family has had our Halloween decorations up for over a week already! Halloween is our favorite holiday to celebrate as a family, and we go all out with decorations, scary movies, way too much candy, and fun Halloween food. My kids think about their Halloween costumes all year long, and love trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. My husband (who somehow always manages to be scheduled to work on Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, my birthday, etc.) is adamant about having the night off so we can enjoy the holiday as a family. As soon as those Halloween decorations appear in the stores, we decorate the house and get started celebrating!

These Halloween mini pizzas are adorable and so easy to make! A fun and delicious Halloween dinner the whole family will love!

These Halloween mini pizzas are always a favorite with my kids! They love being able to choose their own designs and help me roll out the dough, spread the sauce, sprinkle the cheese, and add the decorations. They come out of the oven super cute and tasty too!

This spider pizza is definitely my favorite! I'm not a big fan of real spiders, but these olive ones are pretty darn cute. :)

These Halloween mini pizzas are adorable and so easy to make! A fun and delicious Halloween dinner the whole family will love!

My girls loved the jack o'lantern pizza (mostly because they love pepperoni!).

These Halloween mini pizzas are adorable and so easy to make! A fun and delicious Halloween dinner the whole family will love!

The mummy didn't look quite as adorable after it was baked, but it was my kids' favorite one to make, because they loved tearing the strips from the string cheese. It was a great activity for my incredibly energetic six year old (although I think she ate as much string cheese as she put on the pizza).

These Halloween mini pizzas are adorable and so easy to make! A fun and delicious Halloween dinner the whole family will love!

These Halloween mini pizzas would be perfect for a Halloween party! You could easy double or triple the recipe and let each of the kids make their own pizza, or assemble them all in advance so they're ready to go. They would also be perfect for a fun dinner just before trick-or-treating!

These Halloween mini pizzas are adorable and so easy to make! A fun and delicious Halloween dinner the whole family will love!
Halloween Mini Pizzas

for the crust:
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 tablespoon yeast
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

for topping:
1/2 cup pizza sauce
pepperoni slices
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
string cheese
black olives

In a medium bowl, whisk together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit five minutes, or until bubbly. Add the flour and salt, and mix until a dough forms. Knead gently, adding more flour as needed, to form a soft dough. Cover and let rest 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 500. Divide the dough into six even pieces and let rest five minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner and sprinkle with cornmeal.

To make the spider pizza, pat the dough into a circle that is approximately five inches in diameter. Spread with pizza sauce, then top with mozzarella cheese. Cut a black olive in half lengthwise and place one half cut side down to form the body. Cut the end off an olive to form the head. Slice the remaining olive pieces into thin slices to form the legs and arrange on the sides of the body.

To make the jack o'lantern pizza, pinch a small piece of dough off of the ball and set aside. Shape the remaining dough into an oval pumpkin shape. Roll the small piece of dough into a stem shape and press to the top of the pumpkin shape. Spread with pizza sauce and top with mozzarella cheese and cheddar cheese. Cut slices of pepperoni into a jack o'lantern face shape and arrange on pizza.

To make the mummy pizza, tear the string cheese into thin strips. Pat the dough into a five inch circle and spread with pizza sauce. Place two olive slices near the top for the eyes. Layer the string cheese strips over the top of the pizza to look like a mummy's wrappings.

Place the pizzas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes, or until the crust is starting to brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
These Halloween mini pizzas are adorable and so easy to make! A fun and delicious Halloween dinner the whole family will love!

9.20.2017

Instant Pot Cinnamon Applesauce

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This smooth and sweet Instant Pot cinnamon applesauce is a cinch to make and has only four ingredients!

This smooth and sweet Instant Pot cinnamon applesauce is a cinch to make and has only four ingredients!

Homemade applesauce is where it's at! My kids absolutely love applesauce, and we go through it like crazy. I buy two big Costco-sized boxes of applesauce pouches every month for their lunches, and they never seem to get tired of it. There's something even more delicious about homemade applesauce, though! It has such a nice flavor, and I love that you can adjust the sugar level, depending on the sweetness of your apples. I've been canning applesauce every fall for the last few years, and it's a fun way to celebrate the season. We usually go pick around 50 pounds of apples at a local orchard, slice and boil them, and then process them using my KitchenAid grinder attachment. It's a ton of work, but so worth it!

This smooth and sweet Instant Pot cinnamon applesauce is a cinch to make and has only four ingredients!

This week, though, I found myself with around a dozen extra apples that needed to be used up. It wasn't enough to pull out the canner and do the whole complicated process, so I started doing research online and found this awesome recipe for Instant Pot applesauce. I'm sure you know by now how much I love my Instant Pot, so it was a no-brainer! 

This smooth and sweet Instant Pot cinnamon applesauce is a cinch to make and has only four ingredients!

This applesauce could not be simpler to make, and it tastes amazing! I used a variety of apples (some gala, some golden delicious, and some jazz apples), and I definitely think the flavor is better if you use more than one variety. I served our applesauce on the side with some roasted pork chops and potatoes for dinner, and it was delicious! 

This smooth and sweet Instant Pot cinnamon applesauce is a cinch to make and has only four ingredients!
Instant Pot Cinnamon Applesauce

10 medium apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot and toss to combine. Cover and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Let naturally release for 10-15 minutes, then pull the valve to release the pressure completely. Mash the apples with a potato masher, or blend using an immersion blender, food processor, or blender. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Don't forget to pin this recipe for later!

This smooth and sweet Instant Pot cinnamon applesauce is a cinch to make and has only four ingredients!

For more delicious apple recipes that are perfect for fall, check out some of my favorites below:



9.18.2017

Cheeseburger Pasta + 19 Juicy Cheeseburger Recipes

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This delicious and savory cheeseburger pasta is quick and easy to make, and sure to be a favorite with the whole family!

This delicious and savory cheeseburger pasta is quick and easy to make, and sure to be a favorite with the whole family!

Hey friends! Did you know it's National Cheeseburger Day? What better way to celebrate than with some delicious cheeseburger pasta? I took my favorite homemade mac and cheese recipe, stirred in some ground beef and diced tomatoes, and topped the skillet with some fresh chopped tomatoes and green onions. The result is a tasty meal that the whole family will love!

This delicious and savory cheeseburger pasta is quick and easy to make, and sure to be a favorite with the whole family!

This cheeseburger pasta is almost like those boxed pasta mixes that I loved as a child, but so much better because it's homemade! It's so flavorful and delicious, and I love the combination of savory meat, gooey and cheesy sauce, and tender pasta. It's perfect for a busy night when you don't have a lot of time to cook, but still want something delicious!

This delicious and savory cheeseburger pasta is quick and easy to make, and sure to be a favorite with the whole family!
Cheeseburger Pasta

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1/2 pound shell pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
for topping: fresh chopped tomatoes, green onions

Cook the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to form a paste. Let cook 2-3 minutes until golden. Gradually add the milk, whisking so there are no lumps. Let cook for a few minutes until thickened, then gradually add the chicken broth, continuing to whisk constantly. Whisk in the salt and pepper, then let the mixture cook for a few minutes, until thickened to desired consistency. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard and cheese until melted. Add the drained pasta, ground beef, and diced tomatoes. Return to heat and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through. Sprinkle with fresh tomatoes and green onions, and serve hot.
This delicious and savory cheeseburger pasta is quick and easy to make, and sure to be a favorite with the whole family!

For more delicious cheeseburger recipes, check out the posts below!

19 Delicious Cheeseburger Recipes!

Fantastic cheeseburger recipes from my Celebrating Food blogging friends:

Bacon Cheeseburger Pie from Creations by Kara
Cheeseburger Cobb Salad from Real Mom Kitchen
Tri-Tip Chili Cheeseburger from Hey Grill Hey
Instant Pot Cheeseburger Soup from 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Easy Cheeseburger Dip from Gather for Bread

and even more fantastic cheeseburger recipes from around the web:

Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza from Somewhat Simple
Cheeseburger Soup from Lil' Luna
Bacon and Egg Cheeseburger from Like Mother Like Daughter
Cheeseburger Egg Rolls from The 36th Avenue
In-N-Out Burger Copycat from Your Homebased Mom
Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs from Spend with Pennies
Cheeseburger Lettuce Wraps from Life in the Lofthouse
Baked Cheeseburger Bacon Sliders from Noshing with the Nolands
Old Fashioned Cheeseburgers from Martha Stewart
Rodeo Cheeseburgers from Center Cut Cook
All American Bacon Cheeseburger Dip from The Cookie Rookie
Cheeseburger Quesadillas from Culinary Hill

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