With a few recent huge changes in our lives, my husband thought it would be a good idea for me to get a smart phone, and have more information at my fingertips to make things easier.
I obviously had ZERO complaints.
I've been begging him for a while now to make the switch, but we really couldn't afford the luxury of anything more than a flip phone. This didn't stop me from annoyingly pestering him though; saying things like:
oh, we're lost? if we had a smart phone, we could just find out where we are or how to get there.
oh, we want to find this specific store? if we had a smart phone, we could just look it up in a flash.
oh, we forgot to write down the directions or location or time or anything else? if we had a smart phone, i could just jump on my email right now.
poor guy. I was relentless.
But he's very wise with our finances, and stuck to his guns. Sometimes it makes me crazy, but ultimately, I am 100% grateful to be married to someone who knows how to save, knows how to budget, and knows how to put up the wife shield when I get whiny and teach me how to use our money wisely. It makes moments like Monday when we purchased our first Android much more special - because we had to wait for it.
Of course, the first thing I did was set up my email, facebook, instagram (follow along at @bakingwblondie), lds tools, online scriptures, GPS (already used it like crazy), pinterest, netflix, google talk, google drive, and synced up our calendars (heaven). Any other free app suggestions are fully welcomed!
It has been heaven, and I'm addicted to speaking into the phone to write my emails and text messages. I've also learned quickly that I need to put the dang phone down and enjoy life. What a freaky little temptation that thing can be.
Speaking of temptation...
These pumpkin pie crumble bars are the crumbliest, creamiest, flavorful little bars you'll have this season. The roasted pecans have such a pleasant warm after-taste, and the crumble has quickly become my go-to recipe for crust/crumble topping.
The filling, though, was the best. I loved that it used a whole cup of pumpkin. I usually buy a large can of pumpkin, and then the recipes I've chosen to make only have 1/4 cup here and there... not the makings of using up that can quickly. So the race begins, and I try everything I can to use up the can, and not let it go to waste. This recipe is a great way to use up that last half of canned pumpkin! You mix it in with cream cheese and a few of our favorite Fall spices - then you sandwich that goodness between two heavenly crumble layers.
Like pumpkin pie, this is best served cold - and with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a heaping scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Pumpkin Pie Crumble Bars with Roasted Pecans
makes an 8x8 inch pan-worth of bars
1 1/3 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1 C old fashioned oats
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1/2 C roasted pecans, coarsely chopped
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 C pumpkin puree
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg white
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t grated nutmeg
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
pinch of salt
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 C roasted pecans, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 inch pan, line with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In the bowl of your stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugars, salt and oats. Add cold butter mix on medium speed until the butter is broken up into the dry ingredients (resembling "peas & carrots"). Toss in chopped pecans and mix for 10 more seconds to incorporate.
3. Remove about 2 C of the crumble mixture from the bowl and save in the refrigerator for the crumble topping.
4. Dump the remaining crust mixture into the prepared pan, and evenly press crust in the bottom of the pan with your clean hands :) Make sure it's even, and place in the refrigerator. It's filling time.
5. To make the filling, place cream cheese and pumpkin in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat cream cheese on medium for about a minute until smooth and light. You don't want little white chunks in the batter, so switch to the whisk attachment if needed. Add egg and egg white, beat to combine. Add the spices, salt, and vanilla. Beat to thoroughly combine.
6. Remove crumbs and pressed crust from the fridge. Pour creamy pumpkin pie filling you've created over the pressed crust. Sprinkle generously with crumb topping and then top with roasted pecan pieces. Bake for 20-45 minutes or until center no longer jiggles (I ranged it higher, because mine took almost 50 minutes to finish - so set the timer for 20, then make the call by adding more time, watching it every 5-10 minutes or so).
7. Allow to cool completely - I just put mine in the fridge until it set. Serve chilled with vanilla bean ice cream!
recipe adapted from: joy the baker