“Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes — Officially Autumn!”

When not hard at work sweating over a laptop working on his adventure stories, Little Red Bear and I like to sweat over the kitchen stove whipping up treats and goodies for the other story characters.

With the Fall Equinox, it became officially Autumn at 3:02pm on Friday afternoon here in the midwest. Never mind that our temperatures have hovered in the mid to upper 90s all week. It will change soon, and before we know it there will be the welcoming fall chill in the air as we reach for sweaters and jackets. And leaf rakes.

We had so many amazing looking recipes coming our way this week that it was difficult to narrow it down to just a few to share with you today, with some undoubtedly to be carried over to next week.

Each week we try to select a mix of sweet and savory recipes to keep it balanced, but in coming weeks and as the fall and holiday season progresses, are thinking about doing a week here and there devoted solely to one theme — all Fudge, all Halloween Treat items, all Pumpkin stuff, all Homemade Candies, all Christmas Cookies, like that for example. If you would be interested in our doing that, please let us know in the comments and we will get to work on it.

If you are new to our Sunday morning recipe sharing and missed the first Little Red Bear Recipes Post explaining what we are doing, simply tap on the link to check it out.

Grab your apron and here we go!

Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

This beautiful bundt cake caught our eye because it is made with a sweet potato puree. That alone means it qualifies as a ‘health food’, right?  Rich and moist,  the cake is swirled throughout with sweet, maple-flavored cream cheese and topped with a maple praline frosting. How many “m’s” in Yummmm?!?

Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Bundt Cake Recipe

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets

Perfectly suited for dinners, snacks, sports viewing lunches, or party treats, Chicken Nuggets are so versatile with nearly universal appeal. This recipe seeks to copy a favorite.  Easy to prepare and so much better than hauling them out of a grocery freezer bag. There is an included recipe to prepare a homemade Honey Mustard Dressing, Little Red Bear’s favorite (the honey!), for dipping the nuggets.

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets Recipe 

Disney’s Apple Caramel Pie

Apple Pie and Autumn go together like Little Red Bear and honey — a perfect pairing! This is the Apple Caramel Pie served in the Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney World’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. If the caramel did not make it special enough, the crust is made with a sugar cookie bottom!  This delightful apple pie will be perfect not only all thru the fall season but also for coming holiday dinners. Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?  Now you’re talkin’.

Disney’s Apple Caramel Pie Recipe

French Dip Sliders

One of my favorite sandwiches is a French Dip Roast Beef Sandwich! What Little Red Bear and I both liked about this recipe for French Dip Sliders is that it used sliced roast beef from the deli, not having to go to the time and trouble to cook a whole roast at home first. So that makes it a wonderful and easy dish to prepare for afternoon football viewing lunches, after leaf raking lunches on a chilly afternoon, book club meetings to discuss “The Adventures of Little Red Bear” stories, and other friendly gatherings.

French Dip Sliders Recipe

Flavored Pie Doughs

We don’t try to hide it and keep no secrets here — Little Red Bear cannot make a decent pie crust to save his soul. A champion at biscuits, not so much with pie crusts. So we were both amazed this week when our favorite bread flour maker, King Arthur Flour, included a link to Flavored Pie Doughs in their message.  Who knew pie dough could be flavored? So, here is the information from their site, on how to prepare Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Flavored Pie Doughs. I think Little Red Bear is headed back to the kitchen for another try or two! The thought of an apple pie in a peanut butter flavored crust is intriguing.

Flavored Pie Doughs from King Arthur Flour Recipes

As an added bonus, while discussing flavored pie doughs, we came across a recipe for a pie dough made from Pecans and Cinnamon.  That got our attention, too!  But a word first — the recipe calls for “dehydrated sugar cane juice.”  Unfamiliar with that and never having used (or seen it!), I got busy and did some research. From the best I can tell, it’s basically the same thing as sugar. While cane juice is extracted from the sugar cane plant and then evaporated to form the crystals, white sugar has its juice filtered first to remove some of the brown solids. The evaporated cane juice has trace amounts of the solids remaining, supposedly making it more natural, hence healthy. The two sugars are nearly identical, basically 50% glucose/fructose in the end,  no matter which way it is processed first. Long story short, it is fine to substitute either plain white or brown sugar in equal measure for the dehydrated sugar cane juice.  So if the idea of a Pecan and Cinnamon Pie Crust excites you like it did us, then go for it! Simply use the sugar you normally would in a recipe.

Pecans and Cinnamon Pie Crust Recipe

Cream Cheese Pecan Cookies

Described as a tangy and buttery shortbread cookie, studded with bits of toasted pecans, LIttle Red Bear insisted on including this recipe.  We both liked its flexibility too, allowing for the substitution of your favorite nut in place of the pecans if you wished — pistachios, walnuts, cashews, or something else. These would be a real treat in a holiday cookie exchange or on a buffet table! ‘Elegant’ could certainly be used to describe these beautiful cookies. And a perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot tea.

Cream Cheese Pecan Cookies Recipe

Creamy Crock Pot Corn Chowder

Chilly days are surely on their way, and this Creamy Crock Pot Corn Chowder has a little bit of everything to warm both the tummy and the heart — corn kernels, chunks of carrots and potatoes, along with meaty chunks of ham in a rich and creamy broth. And, best of all, it cooks by itself all day, unattended in the crock pot.  Winner, winner, creamy nourishing soup for dinner!

Creamy Crock Pot Corn Chowder Recipe

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Imagine, if you can, a layer of delicious chocolate chip cookie covered over with ooey-gooey caramel sauce, topped with another layer of chocolate chip cookie.  Yeah, we know. Hard to imagine but here it is!  Cut into bars, these treats are perfect for Halloween, afternoon treats, and holiday buffets. Wrapped individually, these also freeze well, allowing them to be made in advance of the hectic holiday season, or to simply have at hand anytime.  Like, right now, for example.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Recipe

If you enjoy these recipe features, please tap the Like button below and feel free to Comment and let us know, and we will be on the lookout for more interesting and fun recipes to share with you each Sunday morning as we go along.  And remember, all of these recipes are added each week to our “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes” board on Pinterest for you to access anytime and find those from previous weeks if you missed them.  I invite you to follow and check out my other Pinterest boards while there.

If you have a family favorite or vintage recipe that you would like to share, please snap a photo and send it along to us. We’ll be happy to add it in for the benefit of others.

Family Time is the Best Time!

Sunday family dinners are special times when families step away from busy weekday schedules, get together, and share not only a meal but also important ‘together time’, as well.  Staying connected and involved. It is so easy for us to both feel and become disconnected in today’s hectic, fast-paced world, with all family members being pulled in so many different directions between work obligations, school, after school and social activities. It happens to us before we know it. And I don’t know of anyone yet who has had a successful, meaningful, or long-term relationship with a cell phone.

We all benefit from, but children especially need a home base and safe place to feel secure, confident, and loved. That connection and anchor has always been and will always be family. There is no substitute. Little Red Bear and I hope that you and your loved ones can enjoy family together time today.

Thanks as always for spending part of your day with us! We would be honored if you recommended our site and pages to friends and family.  Little Red Bear and I look forward to your visits here, and hope that in our own way we help to make your day special, too! We’ll be back every Sunday morning with more of Red’s selected special recipes, so be sure to subscribe in the top right column and follow along to be notified of every new post.

Wishing everyone a wonderful coming week. Kindness costs nothing and can turn someone’s life around. Be the reason someone smiles today! – Jim (and Red!)


“The Adventures of Little Red Bear” Stories —  Sponsored in Part by —
myra cookson’s pie pantry & goodies shoppe — Featuring homemade delights sourced from only the finest local, fresh ingredients. check our coupon in “squirrelly world” for a free ‘singing lily’ with your first purchase. centrally located in the heart of downtown butterfield.

(Read about Myra Cookson’s  Pie Pantry & Goodies Shoppe in the Little Red Bear Stories!)


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~ About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends ~

                               “Learn how to cook. Try new recipes. Learn from your mistakes.                         Be fearless and above all have fun.” – Julia Child


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“Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes — Heading into Autumn!”

With Hurricanes Harvey and then Irma ravaging friends in Texas, Louisiana, Gulf Coast, Florida, and the Caribbean the past few weeks, Little Red Bear and I decided to pause in the recipe sharing out of respect for all of those displaced, losing their homes, and suffering. Somehow, it just didn’t seem like the time while family and friends were being battered by the storms.  And so many are still in need of our help.

But — now we’re back to share some awesome new recipes which came our way in the interim.  We are heading into the Autumn Season, our very favorite time of year around these parts.  Halloween will be here before we know it, followed rapidly by Thanksgiving, and then the Christmas, Hannukah and holidays seasons!  Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice!

Time to bring in a fresh supply of fall spices and baking powder. Dig out the baking sheets, loaf pans, and muffin tins. Dust off the cooling racks and measuring cups. Pull out the mixing bowls.  Little Red Bear and I are big fans of both quick and yeast breads, so watch for a few of those in the coming weeks, too.

If you are new to our Sunday morning recipe sharing and missed the first Little Red Bear Recipes Post explaining what we are doing, simply tap on the link to check it out.

Ready — Set — Apron — Here we go!

Autumn Barm Bread

This quick bread recipe looks delightful for a taste of fall.  It calls for a few more non-staple pantry ingredients than I normally look for, but the promise of fall aromas baking and the taste of this bread caused me to share it.  An award-winning recipe, this might be one to make up in double batches! (And that fiddle bow bread knife in the photo is just like the one Little Red Bear and I have — love it!)

Autumn Barm Bread Recipe

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie with Streusel Topping

Little Red Bear loves Apple Butter. I love Streusel Toppings. Put them both together in a Pumpkin Pie — my, oh my!  With a slightly crunchy pecan streusel topping, this pie looks amazing for the fall season and coming holidays!

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie with Streusel Topping Recipe 

Southern Fried Corn

When two of my favorite words are put together — Southern and Fried — it seldom matters what follows, it’s always good!  Southern Fried Corn is delicious, with a hint of sweetness for a perfect side dish.  But when you mention Southern Fried Corn, the “Great Onion Debate” frequently follows — do you put the onions in or not?  For Little Red Bear and me, the onions add an extra depth of flavor and sweetness. What kind of onion — sweet Vidalia or Red?  Doesn’t really matter. The Vidalia or other sweet onions may add just a bit more sweetness, but I like the red onions for the hint of extra color they add, too. Either way, this is a winning side dish.

Southern Fried Corn Recipe

Butter Pecan Cookies

As in the words ‘Southern Fried’, the words ‘Butter Pecan’ never seem to sneak by unnoticed, either.  Butter Pecan Cookies — Buttery, soft and chewy with toasted pecans!  And a little extra brown sugar for more flavor.

Butter Pecan Cookies Recipe

Basil & Garlic Vegetable Pasta with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Bears and men cannot live on cookies and pies alone. Take our word, we’ve tried. It’s not that it ended all that badly, new belts and larger pants size aside, of course. This recipe from McCormick Seasonings, one of my favorite spice brands, is definitely a keeper.  I love penne pasta because it is the perfect size for adding in broccoli and other vegetables to make a wonderful unplanned primavera dish with whatever I have on hand at the time. One could also use Whole Wheat Penne, the Veggie Penne made with tomato puree and carrots, or another favorite of mine, Rainbow Rotini, in place of the regular penne pasta. The white penne as called for will give the most striking color presentation, though.  For this recipe, note that it calls for ‘White Balsamic Vinegar’, not the regular which I add to salads all the time. Also, the recipe simply calls for ‘sliced bell pepper’.  If you want the beautiful color presentation as in the photo, be sure to pick up a red bell pepper from the grocers, not a green.

Basil & Garlic Vegetable Pasta with Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin is the flavor of the season, so why fight it?  These Pumpkin Bars will be perfect from now clear thru New Years.  If you feel inclined to test the theory, just make up a plate anytime and watch them disappear.  Little Red Bear likes the fancy little pumpkin candies on top, too!  Around Halloween, any little candy treat toppings would be great.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Maple Butter Acorn Squash

Little Red Bear and I love squash, particularly Butternut and Acorn squash in the fall. Real maple syrup and butter are the secrets to this one.  Easy-to-make and a perfect side dish for fall meals.  Don’t you just want to dive right into that mapley-buttery pool of goodness awaiting in the bottom?

Maple Butter Acorn Squash Recipe

Caramel Apple Pie Fudge

If ‘Pumpkin’ is the official flavor of the season, then ‘Caramel Apple’ must have been a close runner-up. At least in these parts, it is! And adding Caramel Apple Pie flavoring to fudge?  Someone has been eavesdropping on Little Red Bear’s dreams again.

Caramel Apple Pie Fudge Recipe

If you enjoy these recipe features, please tap the Like button below and feel free to Comment and let us know, and we will be on the lookout for more interesting and fun recipes to share with you each Sunday morning as we go along.  And remember, all of these recipes are added each week to our “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes” board on Pinterest for you to access anytime and find those from previous weeks if you missed them. Follow and check out my other Pinterest boards while there.

If you have a family favorite or vintage recipe that you would like to share, please snap a photo and send it along to us. We’ll be happy to add it in for the benefit of others.

Thanks as always for spending part of your day with us!  Wishing everyone a wonderful coming week. Random acts of kindness cost nothing but can yield the greatest rewards. Brighten someone’s day this week with a smile! – Jim (and Red!)


This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free blog to be able to offer the most pleasurable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits here, please consider Becoming a Patron of this site and my writing work, helping my friend Little Red Bear and me to be able to continue improving and expanding our outreach to others. 


“Nothing brings people together like good food.”

Family Times — Together Times — The Best Times!


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly, Multi-generational Stories and Fun for All Ages!
~ About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends ~

                     “What do we live for if not to make the world less difficult for each other?”                – Mary Anne Evans (aka pen name George Eliot)


Introducing “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes”

My oldest son is a classically trained chef.  I like to imagine that having cooked all my life myself, that I helped to contribute a little more to his interest and education than merely a pile of cash for culinary school.

Admittedly, with everyone grown and off on their own now and not doing as much heavy cooking as when raising four children, I am still always on the lookout for interesting new recipes, techniques, and ideas for both of us, in addition for Little Red Bear, who is a noted cook himself.  Little Red Bear is widely regarded as baking the best biscuits in the Tri-County area, and renowned for his famous weekly Friday Night Fish Fries, as readers of his adventure stories are aware.

Accordingly, we have many recipes for a wide variety of dishes and treats that come our way each week, and a few always seem to catch our interest more than others.  It occurred to us, Little Bear and me, that we could share some of the more notable recipes each week with you here, especially with the fall holidays and cooking season around the corner soon.

Each week we will feature a few of the recipes which caught our eye, and link directly to the original recipe provider for you.  In addition, I have set up a new Pinterest Board for “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes”, to make it easy for re-pinning or referring to in the future for everyone. And check out my thousands of other recipes, art and information on other Pinterest boards, as well.

Recipes shared here are simply the ones which stood out as looking exceptionally good, creative, and not unduly cumbersome or requiring deluxe or overly expensive ingredients, skills, tools, or equipment to prepare. Recipes for ordinary folk like Little Red Bear and me, no chefs-in-training here.  Calories, fat grams, salt content and other dietary issues do not enter into it. Little Red Bear’s only criteria for judging a recipe in the end is – “Did it taste good?”

I personally do not eat much meat and no seafood other than fish (because Little Red Bear’s fried fish is staggeringly delicious!), but will share recipes for others because we are not pushing any agendas here. We have not tested all the recipes shared, so do not vouch for them.  It’s all about sharing information and enjoyment.

So then, to begin here are a few of the top recipes which grabbed our attention this week –

Poached Apples with Glazed Pecans

These take me back to the poached apples my Mother would make in the fall and winter, filling our home with the scent of cinnamon apple goodness.  Little Red Bear likes to mix in some Cinnamon Red Hot Candies into the sugar mix when baking.  Per the recipe — “Poached Apples baked in a lovely bath of apple cider that simmers into a wonderful syrup.  Serve them stuffed with glazed pecans, hot or cold with a dollop of whipped cream.”

Poached Apples Recipe

Sprinkled Butter Cookies

Little Red Bear loves melt-in-your-mouth Butter Cookies during the holiday season. The fun sprinkles make these festive cookies perfect year round. Per the recipe — “Rainbow Sprinkled Butter Cookies! These delicious cookies are easy to make and use evaporated milk to make the cookies extra soft! They melt in your mouth!  Roll them around in colored sprinkles to make them more fun!”

Sprinkled Butter Cookies Recipe

BBQ Pulled Sweet Potato Sliders

Having some veggie-loving friends over for a barbeque?  These sliders, made from nutritious shredded sweet potatoes really caught our eye this week.  “Yummy and good for you!” Little Red Bear exclaimed.  With shredded sweet potatoes, onion, red cabbage and carrots, these are veggie-packed awesome!

BBQ Pulled Sweet Potato Sliders

Apple Pecan Monkey Bread

Apples and pecans in a pull-apart Monkey Bread dripping with sugary, buttery goodness for the autumn and holiday seasons!  The aroma of this baking will get anybody out of bed on a chilly morning!

Apple Pecan Monkey Bread Recipe

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies

A “Fluffernutter” is a sandwich typically made with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff served on white bread.  These sandwich cookies are a playful take on the original with a toasty marshmallow and chocolate center sandwiched in between classic, soft and crumbly peanut butter cookies. I would like to tell you that these were delightfully delicious, but Little Red Bear ate them all before I could try one. So, we’ll go by his word on it, I suppose.

Fluffernutter Sandwich Cookies Recipe

Oven Fried Pickles

Little Red Bear and I both loved fried pickles!  With this recipe using one of my favorite ingredients, Panko Crumbs, to add extra crunchiness, and being oven-baked instead of deep-fried for a more healthy treat, we both felt these would go perfectly with any barbeque or fish fry. We like to keep it simple and dip them in Ranch Dressing.

Oven Fried Pickles

Blackberry Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

Little Red Bear and I both love blackberries and blackberry dishes in all forms, so when this Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting landed in our inbox we both took notice. Shared on my Facebook page, it immediately started gathering Likes and Shares. The all-natural flavor and color come from an infusion of fresh blackberry puree. How many times can we say “Wow!” to describe this one?

Blackberry Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

If you enjoy this new recipe feature, please tap the Like button below and feel free to Comment and let us know, and we will keep on the lookout for more to share with you each week as we go along.  And remember, all of the weekly recipes are already pinned on our new “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes” board on Pinterest for you to access anytime.

If you have a family favorite or vintage recipe that you would like to share, please snap a photo and send it along to us. We’ll be happy to add it in for the benefit of others.

Thanks as always for spending part of your day with us.  Good food is even better when shared with good friends. Be the reason someone smiles today!  – Jim (and Red!)


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“Kitchens are made for bringing families together.”

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child


Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

“Laughter is brightest where food is best.” – Irish Proverb