Candied Bacon Maple Walnut Ice Cream | @stephmwise

Why yes, yes I am sharing a recipe for ice cream today. In October. I’m such a rebel, I know. I can just picture you shuddering in intimidation.

Or maybe that’s because we’re talking about cold ice cream in cold October? I dunno.

Here’s the real reason I made ice cream this time of year: BECAUSE IT’S ICE CREAM. OK, that’s only part of the reason. Another, more legitimate reason involves the fact that my darling husband, who has never undergone surgery in his life, is getting his wisdom teeth pulled today. And that means he may or may not require copious amounts of TLC in the form of copious amounts of this candied bacon maple walnut ice cream. I hear that candied bacon especially works wonders on the recovery process.

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Gluten Free Sage, Gruyere and Sausage Buttermilk Biscuits with Gravy | @stephmwise

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the biscuits and gravy that actually made me like biscuits and gravy.

Don’t get me wrong — I love me some good old comfort food. I’ll take a plate of fried chicken and mashed potatoes and extra-cheesy mac and cheese and those braised collard greens with ham my dad makes that are ahhhmazing any day. And I will obviously always take the biscuits. But biscuits and gravy? I just couldn’t get behind the combo.

Then I made these. And I tried them. And heavens to Betsy, they were delicious. I guess putting sausage and cheese and fresh sage in a biscuit and topping it with a creamy, buttery gravy will have a life-changing effect on people.

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Black Bean Butternut Squash Quesadillas with Chipotle Lime Crema | @stephmwise

Hidy-ho there, friends!

Pretend I didn’t just say that. Let’s start over.

I’m chatting it up with you from the land of corn, a.k.a. Iowa, where I’m currently hanging out with other blogger peeps in the cornfields (literally) and learning all about, well, um, corn. In case that wasn’t already clear. I’ll catch you up to speed on what, exactly, I’ve been doing here for the past couple of days soon, but today, we must focus on this glorious quesadilla.

I know the black bean-butternut squash combination in the ‘dilla is nothing new to the Interwebs, but it is to my face. And I’m kind of crying a bit because I hadn’t introduced it to my face sooner. The chipotle pepper in the crema might have a little something to do with that crying, too, as I am what one would call a “wuss” in the spice department. Orders mild every time ← that’s me.

But back to the ‘dilla. To me, a quesadilla with just cheese is sometimes just right (with extra cheese, please). But sometimes, it’s just so college-midnight-snackish. And in those times, I need black beans, taco-seasoned butternut squash, fresh lime juice, cilantro and boatloads of Monterey Jack cheese in my quesadilla. With chipotle lime crema on the side. MAMA.

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Slow Cooker Pear-Quince Butter | @stephmwise

How was your weekend? Ours was pretty great. We bought pumpkins and drank pumpkin beer and ate pumpkin mac and cheese and I almost bought a pumpkin Halloween costume for Avery (but I didn’t, because my deep-down Pinterest-driven-yet-not-so-crafty personality wants to DIY this situation so she will probably end up being a baby for Halloween).

And to answer your obvious question, no I am not yet sick of the pumpkin. Or of the apples, or the pears or the quinces.

Have you ever tried a quince? They’re admittedly not the most beautiful or convenient of fruits, but when they are baked — or in this case, slow cooked with brown sugar and vanilla bean and pears to a sweet, caramelized fruit butter perfection — they are quite tasty. And by quite tasty, I mean erase the “quite tasty” and replace it with “YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM.”

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A Trip to the Apple Orchard + an Apple Recipe Roundup | @stephmwise

It’s a funny thing, taking a four and a half-month-old to an apple orchard — because all she can really do is pick leaves off the apple trees and sit on pumpkins — but last weekend, we decided to do it anyway. Because it’s fall and it was beautifully warm and apple picking is what you do is what I told myself when I came home with 10 pounds of apples. Ahem.

A Trip to the Apple Orchard + an Apple Recipe Roundup | @stephmwise

Rest assured, if you are an apple hoarder like I am, I have an om-nom-nommy apple recipe roundup at the bottom of this post for you to use them up in — pies and breads and muffins and pizzas, oh my. But I digress. Because I’m first here to bombard you with a gazillion photos of apples, my baby girl, my baby girl with some apples, apples on trees in the backgrounds of photos of my baby girl — you get it.

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Pumpkin Zucchini Bread | @stephmwise

(This giveaway is now closed.)

Sweet, pumpkiny, zucchini-y, delicious loafy goodness right thurrrr. That’s what that is.

Have I had too much coffee this morning? Mayhaps. But it’s only because I heart you and I have exciting things to tell you about/give away to you today.

So here’s a fun-slash-kinda ridiculous factoid about me: Apart from that one time I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and was averse to it (it’s like I didn’t even know myself), I haven’t gone a single day without coffee since I was 15. Right? RIGHT? I blame this on my first job being at a coffee shop. Basically my entire life has been caffeinated.

Whether this is a good or bad thing is debatable. Though according to me, I think it’s been just fine. Me has also had two full cups of coffee already, so there may be a little bias.

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread | @stephmwise

But I can’t help myself. The best part of waking up is coffee in my cup (and definitely not the kind that goes with that jingle). There are few happier moments in my day than when I take my first sip of hot coffee yum-yumminess with a hearty breakfast sitting in front of me, waiting to be devoured. And if that breakfast is this pumpkin zucchini bread? EVEN BETTER.

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