chicken parmesan sliders + free printables!

I was asked to participate in the #scarytastyeasy campaign, sponsored by Tyson at Sam’s Club. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

Happy Monday! Who else is super excited for Halloween? I absolutely love this time of year and look forward to it all year long. The past few years we've always had things come up during the month of October and haven't been able to do all of our fall traditions, but this year (through sheer force of will on my part, I think) we've actually managed to cross a lot of things off our fall bucket list. We've made caramel apples and Halloween sugar cookies, we've seen the pretty fall leaves and visited the pumpkin patch, and we've got plans for some fun Halloween parties. And speaking of Halloween parties, these chicken parmesan sliders make the perfect party food! They are super quick and easy to make, and so tasty too!

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creamy pumpkin shells and cheese

Wow, it's about time for a post, right? This week (like most weeks) has been really busy, and I haven't been feeling like blogging. It's funny, because I have a ton of fun posts saved up that I have photographed and edited, but I have the worst writer's block when it comes time to sit down and write the darn post. I'm hoping to take some time this weekend to knock out a few posts so I can share all my fun Halloween recipes before this season (my favorite time of year, by the way) is over!

In any case, this creamy pumpkin pasta is perfect for an easy fall dinner and tastes unbelievably good! I'm always a little skeptical about using pumpkin in savory dishes, but the pumpkin makes this pasta incredibly flavorful and savory. It's definitely subtle and not overpowering at all, but it adds a lot of richness and depth of flavor. I also love that this is so easy and quick to make! It's definitely going to be on the menu all fall long!

Creamy Pumpkin Shells and Cheese

8 ounces shell pasta (I used large shells)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned)
3/4 cup grated cheese (I used muenster)
bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350. Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to form a paste, and cook 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, until incorporated. Slowly add the chicken broth, continuing to whisk, until the sauce has thickened. Whisk in the salt, pepper, and ground pumpkin, and let cook 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the grated cheese until melted. Toss the cooked, drained pasta with the sauce. Pour into a 9 x 9 baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbling around the sides. Enjoy!


peach crumb bars

Yes, I know it's a little past peach season, but here in Utah the peaches often aren't ripe until September, which means I'm posting a fresh peach recipe in October (lucky you!). My mother in law has peach trees that produce more fruit than she can use, and she is super nice to share the bounty with us. This year we bottled about 14 quarts of peaches and a triple batch of peach jam, and had just enough peaches left over to make these peach crumb bars. Yum! If you don't have fresh peaches on hand, these also work great with canned or bottled peaches (I've made them with both fresh and canned and I like them equally well). The crumb topping is so delicious and buttery, and the sweet juicy peaches make these bars extra special. Geoff and I are always debating about whether the peach version or the blueberry version of these bars is better, but I think I'll just have to keep making both versions over and over so we can debate their relative merits. :)

Peach Crumb Bars

for the bars:
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter
1 egg, lightly beaten

for the filling:
5 cups peaches, peeled and diced (about 7 peaches)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil or spray with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two forks, then mix in the egg to form a crumbly dough. Press half of the dough into the prepared pan.

To make the filling, toss the peaches with the lemon juice. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then toss with the peach mixture. Spread the peaches over the dough in the pan,  the crumble the remaining dough over the top, covering the peaches evenly. Bake 45 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let cool before cutting into squares. Enjoy!

adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker
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