Some Favorite Fall Recipes!

With the weather getting cooler and spending a little more time inside, I’ve made it a goal of mine to get more creative in the kitchen!
Cooking has always been a love of mine; but I’ll be honest… I hate wasting a perfectly good day inside when the weather is beautiful outside!
Cooking healthy, nutrient dense foods is a top priority of mine. Not only does it make me feel good (mentally) knowing that I’m fueling my body with all the “good” foods, but also physically too!
Obviously “everything in moderation” is important when it comes to food…but cooking with whole foods and minimizing process foods is always a good habit to have! So here are some of the most recent recipes that I’ve been dabbling with, and have been a success in the Morris household!

Copycat Peanut Butter Pumpkin Reese’s
Sweet treats have a special way to my heart…I hate to admit it…BUT IT’S TRUE! I made a version of these copycat Reese’s back around easter time and LOVED THEM. So, why not make them festive again and turn them into Pumpkins!
I know I’m not the only person who likes the seasonal Reese’s anything (hello more peanut butter filling(: )

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Pumpkin Candies made with plant-based, grain-free and gluten-free ingredients. Plus they have extra protein in them!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
Yup, another pumpkin recipe! Tis the season to make everything pumpkin.
I love making this recipe as both a bread and muffins! They’re so tasty (and guilt free) that Kwin and I usually finish the batch off within days.

Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Breadwith Collagen Peptides for an easy and healthy pumpkin bread recipe, perfect for breakfast or snacking!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust (Dairy-Free + Gluten-Free)
Who else has tried countless cauliflower pizza recipes, and had MULTIPLE failures? I know I can’t be the only one…
Pizza is Kwin’s favorite meal, so trying to make a “healthier” version for us both to enjoy has been a goal of mine. Well I’m pleased to announce that Rachel Mansfield has done it AGAIN! This recipe was a huge success, and is now a staple in our household meal plan.

gluten free cauliflower crust

Spaghetti Squash Taco Bake
Such a quick and easy recipe to make! I love spaghetti squash, Kwin on the other hand isn’t the biggest fan. Win for Megan! He absolutely LOVED this recipe!

Bowl of cheesy low carb spaghetti squash taco bake topped with veggies.

15-Minute Crispy Chicken (GF, DF)
How could one go wrong with a good crispy chicken tender? Like HELLO CHILDHOOD FAVORITE!
The breading of store-bought chicken tenders are usually disgusting and leaves me feeling so sluggish/gross afterwards. Rachael Devoux is a genius when it comes to making “healthy” swaps on favorite recipes. Thanks to ‘Simple Mills’ crackers for the breading mixture, plus Flax Seeds (added protein &Fiber!) and this is also a new favorite.

Simple Cashew Chicken Stir-fry
I tried this one out on a limb because Kwin was craving a ‘Chinese’ dish. It was super easy to make and very tasty!

VEGAN CURRY RAMEN NOODLES
OH MY GOSHHHHH this recipe is a must! Especially with the cooler weather coming in and soups making more of an appearance on the meal plan. My mom made this for us after Fitz was born; and Kwin&I about died.
Ramen noodles use to be a guilty pleasure of mine growing up.
If you like curry… MAKE THIS…you won’t regret it!

Overhead shot of two bowls of curry ramen noodle soup garnished with fresh cilantro

General Tso’s Tofu
Another ‘Chinese’ dish for Kwin; and we both really liked it! If you aren’t into Tofu, you can easily swap it out for a different plant based protein or even chicken!

An overhead shot of a dish with white rice and general Tso's tofu on top

Ultimate Vegan 7-Layer Dip
HOLY COW, this seven layer dip was AMAZING! Tastes just like a seven layer dip…except with some homemade vegan sour cream!
This would be a huge hit for a football game or any other type of get-together.

the best vegan 7 layer dip | RECIPE by hot for food

Sweet Potato Toast
Such a simple breakfast alternative to toast! The sweet potatoes provide extra micro and macronutrients profile that a piece of toast is lacking.
This has become a new favorite of mine- topped with Almond Butter or Avocado is what I like best(:

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Toast 4 Ways on a gray countertop

A little copyright note… I am not a food blogger, nor do I take aesthetically appealing photos of my food (let’s be honest I’m usually too hungry for that and forget!) All the pictures in this blog are from the original recipes! So all rights go to the original authors(:

Fall Favorites!

For those of you who don’t know me…FALL IS MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR! Like if fall could be 9 months out of the year (with summer being the other 3 obviously,) I think I would be the happiest girl in the world!

I’m not sure I can chose my favorite thing about it: the cool temperatures (hello jeans+sweatshirts,) the beautiful colors of the leaves, football games, outdoor activities or pumpkin spice lattes. Either way, the vibes of Fall are just something I look forward to all year long.

This year was especially fun and special; being that it’s Fitz’s first Fall experience! Does anyone else feel like Northern Michigan really lucked out this year with some warm, sunny and colorful days! Kwin and I definitely took advantage of this with lots of hiking, biking and “fall-ish” activities. Let me know if you enjoyed any of these too; or if we need try some new things next year!

Hiking and Biking

  • Vasa Single Track– HIGHLY recommend going here for an epic bike during the fall! NMMBA has done an awesome job recently of creating more trails for you to explore all over the state land in Williamsburg, MI. You can also hike or RZR on designated trails.
  • Electric Bikes on the backroads– We invested in some Electric bikes a couple years ago, specifically for bike rides like these! We are able to cover so much ground, and still enjoy the ride. Plus adventuring on back dirt roads is always so much fun with Kwin. Shoutout to Oma Jo for hanging out with Fitz so we could have a little day date!
  • Home Sweet Home– We’ve spent so much time over the past five years working on trails around our property. I’m not lying when I say they are my favorite trails to hike! The dogs can be off leash, so many different trails to choose from, and the beauty of the landscape makes it great too!
  • Mt. Holiday– A local favorite for skiing in the Traverse City area is also a favorite for hiking year round! Climbing to the top of the main ski hill really gives you an epic view of both East and West Grand Traverse Bay!
  • Marquette Trip– Our annual UP fall trip took place in Marquette this year. It was a beautiful and sunny weekend; filled with lots of hiking! Some of our favorites are Hogsback, Sugarloaf, Deadriver Falls and catching sunrise on Lake Superior. Fun fact… FOUR years ago Kwin and I got engaged on top of Hogsback Mountain; and look at us now with our beautiful baby girl in the same spot! This hike will always have so much special meaning to me.

Fall Treats

  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes– I’m usually not for frilly drinks, I’m pretty lame and just prefer a good black coffee. BUT this time of year calls for all the frilly pumpkin drinks I can get my hands on. If you’re in the Traverse City area…. go to Espresso Bay and get their pumpkin spice latte (it’s made with REAL pumpkin, no fake sugary syrups) YOU WONT REGRET IT.
  • Third Coast Bakery– Donuts aren’t really my jam, and I usually only have one pumpkin donut a year. However, after trying one of there HIGHLY RECOMMENDED GF donuts… I was converted to a donut person. Lets just say we made it a Sunday tradition to get a few of these bad boys! If you’re in the Traverse City area and looking for a bakery that is Gluten Free and very allergen friendly (soy, dairy and some items even egg free) give this place a try! I haven’t had a bad bakery item yet!
  • Pumpkin Patch– Is it really fall if you don’t go to a pumpkin patch? Unfortunately with COVID, this wasn’t the “usual” pumpkin patch experience…but we still made the best of it!

Sports

  • Lions Games– Even though the lions let us down 75% of the time, we still spend our Sundays cheering them on!
  • Elk Rapids Sporting Events– I love fall because of all the sports! And with Kwin taking a break from coaching this year, we had more time to go support the other teams; like football, soccer and volleyball! Fitz is enjoying going to all these games too. I’ve got a feeling she’s going to be a little sports star!

Family Fun

  • Sauna Season – I missed out on sauna season last year, due to being pregnant. But let me tell ya, I’m so excited the weather is cooling off and the sauna is being lit again!
  • Hot Tubs– Kwin and Fitz have some fun bonding time in the hot tub before “tubby time” almost daily! My heart melts watching her splashing around in there and interacting with daddy. She really is a water lover already.
  • HalloweenEEEEKKK, I was looking forward to Halloween so much! In fact, Fitz rocked three outfits and looked absolutely adorable in all of them. Dottie from a ‘League Of Their Own,’ A Polar Bear, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle!

Writing this on our first wintery day -hello white stuff&40mph winds– and getting a little sad that fall has come to an end. We are lucky in Michigan to experience all four seasons, as it really makes you appreciate whatever season you are currently in.
So I’ll sign off hear and say: Until next year Fall!

Fall Colors Trip 2017… “This is AMAZING…HOLY COW!”

With the horizon being painted oranges, reds, yellows, and greens…how can one not be tempted to take a beautiful picture? YOU CANT! 

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year; I love the cold mornings and nights, the smells, the sound of crinkling leaves, the colors of the trees, and all the other fall festivities. Kwin and I, over the years, have created many fall traditions: like paddle boarding Elk Lake and Smith Lake, evening runs and bikes, weekend hiking adventures, etc. A special one that started three years ago was heading up to Michigans’ Upper Peninsula, to catch “peak” fall colors!

This year Kwin, myself, and ten other friends set out to continue this tradition on a weekend adventure. We first stopped in Marquette spending the morning biking around the awesome trails and downtown. We then ventured the rest of the way to our cabin just outside the Porcupine Mountain State Park.

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We always find cool pit stops on the way to break up the trip. This time we found some cool water falls, and the guys were able to do some cliff jumping too!

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 I really don’t think we could have hit the leaves at any better of a time! 

Our weekend was full of lots of hiking both at the cabin and the Porcupine Mountains; Swimming in Lake Superior, saunas, campfires, and enjoying time with good friends!

PS. If you’re looking for the best BBQ in the Upper Peninsula, hit up JW’s in Bergland…amazing food, especially after a day of hiking!

 

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Now, if anyone knows Kwin and I, you know that we had to get some paddle boarding in on this trip too. We have always wanted to paddle at Lake of the Clouds, and figured that doing it for the first time in the fall would be amazing…and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!

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Tahoe SUP inflatable paddle boards are awesome for traveling, especially when you have to hike to your destination!

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Michigans’ Upper Peninsula “Peak” fall colors is usually a week or two before here at home. WHICH MEANS MORE FALL COLOR FUN FOR US! Stay tuned for more of our fall adventures, because like I said earlier it’s both Kwin and I’s favorite time of year!

Check out Kwin’s video here!

Happy Fall everyone, not get out and enjoy it while it lasts!

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Camping, Oh how I love you!

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words ‘Camping.’ For me it’s the smell of campfires, tinfoil dinners, s’mores, sleeping under the stars, friends, and the great outdoors.

Summer time in Northern Michigan means camping all the time! Whether it be on the shores or Lake Michigan, at the Traverse City state park, or deep in the woods somewhere; there are plenty of places to go. Kwin and I prefer camping over staying in a hotel anyway, so I wanted to share some of our favorite places!

Good Harbor Beach

Falling asleep and waking up to the sound of Lake Michigan water crashing up on the shoreline is one of the most relaxing things ever! We love this location for camping, not only for the scenic sunrise and sunsets, but also because we can hop on our paddle boards and be to Pyramid Point in just a short 3 mile paddle! This beach is pretty big so you are able to find a place away from most people and it’s also dog friendly!

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Lake Michigan Shoreline

This place was new to us this summer, and let me tell you IT’S AMAZING! This camping location is right along Lake Michigan shoreline, which means beautiful sunsets and surrounded by huge sand dunes. We were lucky to be there on a hot, yet windy day which was perfect for some surfing-SURFS UP! This place, like Good Harbor, is pretty big so finding your own space was no issue at all.

Tourist Park Munising

Right outside of the Pictured Rocks national park is this awesome campground. Kwin and I usually prefer not to stay in campgrounds, just because they can be so crowded…but we decided to give this place a try and I’m sure glad we did! Not only is it right outside of the ‘Pictured Rocks’ national lakeshore, but it is also right across from Grand Island. While there we decided to paddle board across the 1/2 miles channel to the island and catch a beautiful sunset. This campground was pretty spacious and we didn’t feel cramped at all!

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Fishermans Island

Another campground, but like the one above is nothing like a “normal campground.” Here it is pretty rustic, spacious and almost every campsite it private due to the woods. It is also right along the Lake Michigan shoreline just outside of Charlevoix. We loved camping here for many reasons:

  1. We were able to paddle board a lot and had a beautiful beach to hangout at with the dogs
  2.     We were able to hop on this awesome biking trail that starts in Charlevoix   and goes all the way to Harbor Springs! It was so much fun, especially because most of the trail rides along Lake Michigan!

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Au Train

In the Upper Peninsula, it’s a lot easier to just pull off on the side of the road and camp where you feel like it! Kwin and I love doing this especially along the Lake Superior shoreline. Not only are you on the lake, but you are able to get both a beautiful sunrise and sunset from the same location-YOU CAN’T BEAT THAT!

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We had a jam packed summer, and lots of camping adventures…but don’t think we are stopping anytime soon! The fall is also great for camping; enjoying the fall colors and cuddling up on the chilly nights.

Get out and enjoy the remaining camping whether everyone!