Today is the day. The girls have been watching the calendar and waiting for the arrival of fall. I’m not sure why, I’m still not ready for summer to be over! But alas, fall has arrived and it did so with the typical rain. In my attempt to hang onto summer for as long as possible I have held off on making any sort of pumpkin flavored dishes until the actual start of fall.
To celebrate the arrival of the new season I made the girls pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. Not just pumpkin flavored pancakes, pumpkin shaped as well (or roughly pumpkin shaped, ha!). I used this almond flour pumpkin pancake recipe to keep them grain-free.
We’ve changed our breakfast routine around here because of school and preschool schedules. The girls come downstairs when they wake up and serve themselves small 1/2 cup bowls of cereal. Then later in the morning I’d make the three of us an actual breakfast around nine or so and then we wouldn’t have anything more until lunchtime at noon. This worked well for our family since the three of us would be home all together in the morning and allowed us time to sit down together to start the day. Also, since we’d had a substantial breakfast at 9 am there was no need for additional snacking until lunch time. Now that we are on the go in the mornings between getting Isabelle to school and then Lexi to preschool all during our usual breakfast time we’ve had to adjust. We totally don’t have it figured out yet and are making little tweaks to make breakfast work for us. At first we were letting Isabelle have additional cereal and the fruit we normally would have at 9 with her cereal. But then Lexi started school and the schedule changed again. Giving them even more cereal in the morning was not the solution. At least not one that I felt good about. I’d like them to not eat the cereal at all but it is something they enjoy since they get to do it all themselves (they grab their small containers, cereal bowls, spoons, and small containers with milk in them and pour everything into the bowl).
Numerous times last year I’d ask Isabelle if I could make her an actual breakfast instead of having cereal and the answer was always no. They love the independence. So we compromised. They get a small bowl of cereal on school mornings and then I make them a small breakfast with some fruit next to it that they eat shortly after cereal. All this means I have to adjust my own breakfast ritual to accommodate theirs. Now I’m attempting to eat my substantial breakfast bright and early instead of at the later 9 am. Which is hard for me! I’m hungry in the morning but prefer a small holdover snack of fruit until a little later on. It’s all an adjustment.
To keep the fall theme going I made the girls caramel apple bites for snack. Now that Isabelle is not getting a snack provided by someone else (and filled with sugar and grains) at school we can have the occasional after school treat (wish I could say the same about Lexi). For the past few years now I’ve made this caramel recipe for our fall apples. The caramel is made of heavy cream and honey. Yep, that’s basically it! Obviously since it’s made of honey and cream the taste is more honey like than sugar syrup like but it does set up and get firm like the standard caramel recipes. I just love that this recipe is so simple and made with stuff you would regularly find in my house.
Caramel apples aren’t complete without the fun little add-on toppers. I used some chopped peanuts and mini chocolate chips, coconut, M&Ms, and peanut butter M&Ms (because those were my favorite to get at the Fair). My attempt to make these more bite size than whole apple wasn’t a complete win since I chopped the apples into thirds and attempted to dip them this way. They dipped ok but the caramel doesn’t stick to the inside of the apple as well as to the peel while they are setting. So we used a spoon to scoop up the remaining caramel to eat with our apples bites or just eat on its own (yep that also happened).