Caramel Apple Dark Cherry Crisp

Caramel Apple Dark Cherry Crisp

Look at this, Guys.

It’s a miracle: a seasonal dish, ON. TIME.

I know! Who kidnapped me and replaced me with an organized, punctual imposter?!

I’m still trying to figure it out too.

Meanwhile though, let’s talk Crisp.

As in crisp that’s perfect for backyard barbeques. As in July 4th barbecues. As in crisps that feature summer cherries and good ol’ Granny Smith apples for a hearty dose of Americana dessert on this, our American holiday.

Crisps are easy. They’re all the goodness of pie, without the hassle of crust.

So, when you’re considering what you want to be nibbling as the sunset turns to night sky and the crickets start to chirp and you’re all anticipating the first firework, give this recipe staunch consideration.

It’s star-spangled yum.

Ooo. And make sure to serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream – because even if you don’t like ice cream (*ahem*)¬†there’s no better way to eat warm, subtly caramel crisp than with a scoop of melting sweet cream.Caramel Apple Dark Cherry Crisp

By the way – there should be a recipe category called, “Paleo, But You’d Never Know It”.

Because this is, but you wouldn’t.

And also? It’s gluten free.

If you’re not proponent of butter in your Paleo dishes – you can swap it out for coconut oil – although, I make no promises about how that will bode for the caramel element of the filling. Best of luck, and let me know. ūüėČ

Caramel Apple Dark Cherry Crisp

Yield: about 8


    For the Crisp topping:
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons (light colored) maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons really cold butter, cut into cubes
  • For the Fruit filling:
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 cups diced Granny Smith apple
  • 2 cups pitted and halved dark red cherries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 5 tablespoons light colored maple syrup


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crisp:

In a medium sized bowl, combine the pecans, almond flour, almonds, arrowroot powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. stir with a fork to combine. Add in maple syrup and stir again. Crumble will stick together in clumps. Work cold butter in with fingers. Pinch it into the crumbs as evenly as you can, but some butter-chunks will remain. That's OK. When finished, put crumble in the fridge until ready to use.

For the filling:

Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add butter and allow to melt as the skillet heats.

In a medium bowl, toss together diced apple, cherries, lemon zest, arrowroot powder, cinnamon, and salt. Toss to combine. Add in maple syrup and toss again. Add all ingredients to butter in the hot skillet. Cook until a thick, caramel sauce forms, stirring constantly (this will only take a couple minutes depending on the temp of your skillet. Continue to cook and until apples are crisp-tender ( about 3 - 5 more minutes). Remove from heat. Remove crisp topping from the fridge and use fingers to crumble it over the top of the fruit/caramel mixture as evenly as possible. Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, until the edges are bubbly and the crisp topping is golden brown.


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Homemade Beef & Bean Burritos + Taco Sauce (from scratch)

Homemade Beef and Bean Burritos & DIY Taco Sauce

Every day here in the Sunshine State, it is roughly one billion degrees outside. (Please let’s not talk about our hair in the accompanying 100% humidity.)

And, every day, at roughly 3 pm, the sky grows dark and a deluge opens up and soaks the living bejeezus out of all things outdoors.

And, also? Once the deluge commences, for some mysterious reason, the air conditioner seems to work extremely well. Like I’m digging out my fleece pants and hoodie sweatshirt and cranking it up to 80 degrees so I can stop my teeth from chattering.

This comes from living in a sub-tropical climate for a double-digit number of years. We become like reptiles. We need the sun to stay warm.

So in the summer, around 3pm, the sky grows dark, it starts to rain, and I’m really cold.

Therefore, cozy comfort food cravings begin.

Like burritos.

So even though burritos don’t seem like summer food, for reptiles they are.

Reptiles¬†‚ô• burritos. (I’m pretty sure about that, but don’t mark¬†that as your final answer if it ever shows up on a legit test about animals and the foods they love. More research is necessary, I’m sure).

So I know burritos are not rocket science.

I’m not here to pretend they are.

I’m just here saying that when you put them together like this and you share them with friends, they’ll devour them, then they’ll fight over who get’s the last one.

And they’ll be super happy when you bring more for round two a few weeks later.

Burritos = friendship makers.

For reals. Homemade Beef and Bean Burritos & DIY Taco Sauce

Aaaaaand, when you make the sauce and the spice mix initially, you’ll have plenty extra left over to make burritos¬†a few more times in the future ¬†without the extended (reallynotsoextended) prep.

And the “taco” sauce? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it would be pretty spankin’ good as an enchilada sauce too. Or with some huevos rancheros, or in a nice little homemade salsa.

All I’m saying is, you’ll be happy to have leftovers.

Homemade Taco Sauce and Beef and Bean Burrito Filling

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: about 10 -12 large-ish burritos, with leftover sauce and spice mix

Homemade Taco Sauce and Beef and Bean Burrito Filling

This sauce as just as satisfying as store bought versions, but so much healthier. If you are following a Paleo regimen, or just prefer not to use refined sugar, light-colored maple syrup is a fine substitution for the sugar in the recipe. Just throw the ingredients in a pot before you start browning meat and it can simmer away while you finish up your burrito filling.


    For the Taco Sauce:
  • 1 (17.64 oz) carton Pomi strained tomatoes
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • For the Burrito Spice Mix:
  • you could go here, which was my starting point. We've since altered it to the recipe that follows. I also like to make a larger batch - so that the next few times around all I have to do is pull it out of the cupboard already mixed and ready to go:
  • 4 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon crushed, dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • For the Burrito filling:
  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 can (or 1 3/4 cup) blackbeans, drained
  • 4 tablespoons taco/burrito spice mix
  • 1 cup of water
  • tortillas
  • and toppings of choice:
  • shredded cheese
  • guacamole
  • diced tomatoes
  • shredded lettuce


For the Taco Sauce:

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook on a low simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the fridge, tightly covered. You can also freeze portions for later use.

For the Burrito Spice Mix:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk to mix well. Set aside. (Store in an airtight container at room temperature).

For the Burrito filling:

Over medium heat, in a large skillet, borwn the beef. Drain.Reduce heat. Add in spice mix and water. Stir and cook over med-low heat until water is mostly evaporated. Remove from heat, serve hot on tortillas with cheese, sauce, and desired toppings.


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* I have marked this recipe as Paleo because both the filling (if you remove the beans) and the sauce (when you sub maple syrup for the sugar) are Paleo compliant. However, Paleo eaters – you’re on your own when it comes to tortillas and cheese!

Easy Peanut Butter Sugar Cookies

Easy Peanut Butter Sugar Cookies

This, right here, is my split (food)personality showing up for you on bright, shiny display.

Do I want to be healthy? Yes.

Do I sometimes follow a Paleo regimen? Sometimes, but not so much lately.

Do I bake cookies? Yes. Almost all times.

Is sugar bad for you? *Ahem*.

I guess. . . if you want to get all scientific-y and high-and-mighty truthful about it.

Am I exercising and counting calories and trying to shed the most sticky, annoying 4 pounds on earth? Yes.

Sometimes, does a girl just want a freakin’ cookie?!

That was a rhetorical question.

Because, of course.

Just like everyone else this time of year, we’ve been on the superbusy train.

I don’t have time for intricate, hours long recipes for my high-calorie, non-healthy sweet fix.

For one day, I didn’t care, and these cookies are what came of it.

Small, soft in the middle, crispy on the edges, and a cinch to make Рjust mix, sugar dip, and drop on a tray.

No refrigeration, smooshing down, or fork-tine stamping required.

If you make them small enough (36 cookies per batch), my rough calculations are that they are about 90-100 calories each.

And I’m just going to throw this out there because it IS summertime and all – these would make¬†ideal sandwich sides for a middle smoosh of¬†Moose-Tracks ice cream. (I know – coming from the girl who doesn’t like ice cream. But can anyone really turn down Moose Tracks? I probably could, actually, but you know – would anyone else? Would you? Now I really want to know. Club Moose Tracks or not?? Ok, but even as I write this, I’m thinking, if someone handed me a peanut butter sugar cookie/Moose Tracks ice cream sandwich, I’d for sure eat it.)

It’s like window shopping for the junk-food deprived, folks. I’ve been dreaming in high-fat, calorie dense sweets lately.Easy Peanut Butter Sugar Cookies

Aaaaaand, we’re headed into summer with a wham-bang start!

PS – Do you guys have a summer bucket list??

What are you going to do for the next 10 weeks?

I want to know – ’cause I might steal your ideas so we can keep this house clicking at a nice happy tic.

Easy Peanut Butter Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Total Time: 24 minutes

Yield: 36 cookies

1 cookie


These cookies are quick and simple, and for that reason, I abandoned the traditional baking order of mixing dry ingredients in a different bowl beforehand. Here, you mix everything in one bowl, starting with wet and ending with dry. The only additional bowl you'll need is a small one - for dipping the dough in granulated sugar before you bake. **A note on measuring your flour: For this recipe, I went with the stir, scoop, level method. This means you'll stir and fluff your flour with a fork while it's still in your storage container. Then use a spoon to lightly add it to your measuring cup, then level off the top with the flat side of a butter knife. If you want to eliminate the spooning step, you can gently scoop up your flour in a quarter-cup measuring cup (being careful to scoop lightly and not pack the flour into the measuring cup), then level it with the flat side of the knife.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup crunchy, natural peanut butter ( I used Jif Natural)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (table salt would work too)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar (for dipping)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer, add butter and peanut butter. Cream together. Add sugar and cream again.

Add in vanilla and egg. Cream together.

Add in baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup all purpose flour and mix just until incorporated. Add in 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour and mix until incorporated.

Scoop dough by heaping teaspoons, dip or roll in granulated sugar, and place on parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake at 350 degrees F, for 7-10 minutes, or until bottom edges are just turning golden.


Sara| Home is Where The Cookies Are