Sunday, November 30, 2008

Country Corn Chowder

This recipe can be made in under 15 minutes! My co-worker's mother bought me a package of Pioneer gravy mix because she wanted me to try this recipe! The original recipe is below. I decided to add chunks of chicken and a small can of Mexi-corn for extra flavor! This is a great comfort meal for cold nights and it definitely makes enough for leftovers.

Country Corn Chowder
from the back of the Pioneer Gravy Package
2 cups Pioneer Biscuit Gravy, prepared
17 oz. can whole kernel corn, undrained
17 oz. can creamed style corn
1/4 cup onion, minced
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

Stir all ingredients into gravy.
Serve hot.
Makes 6 cups.
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Quick Pumpkin Applesauce

I was craving a pumpkin treat today, but didn't have time to bake anything. I decided to mix up a little pumpkin combination that turned out to be quite delicious. I loved how all the flavors blended and the raisins plumped up perfectly. Next time I have this, I might add some cranberries instead of raisins and maybe top it with a few graham cracker crumbs.

Easy Pumpkin Applesauce
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 tbsp raisins
dash of pumpkin pie spice
dash of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together and heat in microwave for 1 minute. If you use unsweetened applesauce, you may need to add a little sweetener.
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Friday, November 28, 2008

The Holidays Are Here!

I used my new Snoopy Christmas dessert plates for the first time today. It was my way of welcoming the Christmas season! I bought them two weeks ago, and I was so excited to use them to serve my mom and grandma some of my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Do you have special plates/dinnerware that you look forward to using during the Holiday season?
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Maple Cornbread Muffins

I knew there would be plenty of rolls at the Thanksgiving table, so I decided to bring a second bread option. This recipe is very flexible and you can use your choice of flour, milk, and margarine. The sweet maple taste intertwined beautifully with the cornbread flavor. These muffins were extremely moist and had just the right texture. They would be perfect for little mini turkey sandwiches when you are eating leftovers the next couple of days! How do you all use the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner? Any special recipes out there?
Maple Cornbread Muffins
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup rice milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons margarine, melted (I used Earth Balance)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
Stir in the applesauce, rice milk, and maple syrup.
Slowly add the melted margarine while stirring.
Pour the mixture into greased or paper cup lined muffin pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody! I have a long list of all the things I am thankful for in my life, but this year I get to add all of you to this list. I never knew when I started my blog that I would meet so many amazing people. I am truly thankful for all of my readers and new found blogging friends. May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Questions of the day: I have always been fascinated by finding out when families enjoy their big Thanksgiving meal. My family has always eaten around 1:00. I like this time, because then later at night, some leftovers can be enjoyed. So when does your family feast?
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

There have been many versions of these muffins floating around all the food blogs. I am very excited to say that all my vegan and non-vegan friends can enjoy this one! There are no eggs or dairy in this one, especially if you use a non-dairy margarine like Earth Balance and non-dairy chocolate chips from Enjoy Life. Of course, dairy products could be substituted when making these muffins. I made these for my potluck breakfast at work today, but couldn't resist trying one last night! I had trouble stopping at one! They were so moist and delicious! They almost tasted like mini pumpkin bread puddings! I can't wait to have another one!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
1-3/4 cups oat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1/4 cup apple sauce
2 tablespoon apple butter
1/3 cup rice milk
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients.
Mix wet ingredients and then stir in dry ingredients.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin tins 2/3 full.
Bake 30-35 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The First Holy Yum! Award

The first Holy Yum! award is a recipe that truly fulfills a pumpkin lover's dreams! Congratulations to the first winner:

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Thanksgiving Giveaway Winner!

Before announcing the winner....don't forget that The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving episode is on tonight at 7! I love when Woodstock and Snoopy are buttering the toast! What is your favorite part?
And the winner is:
Heather at HangryPants

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Holy Yum!

I created this award in honor of Veggiegirl and her famous phrase "Holy Yum!" I find myself saying this many times when I come across fabulous recipes when browsing through all your wonderful food blogs. I decided that I would give this award away once a week to a post/recipe that made me say "Holy Yum!" What do you guys think? Stay tuned! The first winner will be announced tomorrow!

P.S.- Award logo designed by Zesty!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Award Party

I feel so honored to have received 4 awards within the past week! The first one is all mine, no sharing allowed. The other three I will be sharing with one or two bloggers each, but the winners are welcome to share with as many bloggers as they desire!

Jessie @ The Hungry Mouse just did her second installment of Fabulous Food Blogger Awards, and she chose my blog! I am so honored. If you have never visited Jessie's site, check it out! I love her Decadent Sweet Cream Rice Pudding.

Shelby @ The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch is an inspiration to me, so I was so excited when she gave me this award! The yummy recipes that appear on her blog everyday inspire me in the kitchen. Check out her White Hot Spiced Chocolate!

I am passing this award to:

Stephanie @ Fun Foods on a Budget is one of my many daily reads! There are always tasty creations appearing on this blog. Check out the Chocolate Chess Pie!

I am passing this award to:

Coco @ Balance, Joy, and Delicias! gave me this award! She is an amazing cook and such a sweet girl! She knows the way to my heart! Check out her Easy Pumpkin Muffins!
I am passing this award to:
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Giveaway!

I decided to have a giveaway to celebrate the upcoming holiday! The prize for one lucky randomly drawn winner will be a surprise package of fun holiday edible treats. To win, leave a comment here telling me your favorite Thanksgiving recipe or the strangest food that has ever shown up on the Thanksgiving table at your celebration! Submit all your comments by Monday, November 24, at midnight.

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Friday, November 21, 2008


Taylor from Luvli Foods Inc. invited me to have a sneak peek of their new product, Smashies, a convenient, no mess on-the-go fruit sauce snack. I love that these are organic and contain no added sugar! I took one of these with me today, and enjoyed it in the car between work and the gym. I am quite sure the other drivers around me at the stop light were wondering what I was eating as I squeezed this pouched applesauce into my mouth. The verdict: It is a nice smooth applesauce that is more tart than sweet. I would buy this for snacks and to put it my oatmeal. The best part is that the pouches are resealable, just in case you don't consume it all at once. According to the website, three more flavors are coming out soon! They are fun for kids, but definitely enjoyable for adults too! What do you think would be good flavors for the next applesauce pouches? I vote for maple cinnamon!
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pumpkin Cake by Charlie of Back to the Fridge

Greetings Pumpkin Fans,

Charlie here, from Back to the Fridge. I've been a fan of Megan's Munchies for a couple months now. In fact, I believe this is my very first comment. So you can see, as soon as I discovered the emphasis placed on the large orange squash around here, I was hooked.

Of course, I'm one of those people who loves to read about food and recipes, yet never actually gets around to making anything. I felt bad about this here, considering how many tasty munchies I've seen pictured. So I finally decided to do something about it. I made my own recipe and asked Megan to post it. (Seemed like the only way I could claim to have made something found on this site!)

So without further babbling, I give you Chuck's Pumpkin Cake. (Well, okay, just a little more babbling.) The "Chuck" in this recipe is my dad. (Yes, I'm a junior.) I have no idea where he got this recipe. All I know is it's been in the family for as long as I can remember and it's always been a big holiday favorite. It's high time the rest of the world found out about it.


1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 cups pumpkin
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Combine oil and sugar. Yum. I think I would actually eat oil and sugar as a dessert all on its own. What more do you need?

Add eggs and beat until smooth. In spite of the fact this photo makes it look like the beaters are about to break the sound barrier, this is on low speed:

Next, combine all the dry stuff in a separate bowl. Although the recipe calls for three teaspoons of cinnamon, I really don't think it would hurt to toss in a little more. I mean, it's cinnamon. What could go wrong?

Now add the dry stuff to the sticky stuff. I don't have one of those fancy collars to go around my mixing bowl, so I've found using a big tablespoon gets the job done. Check out my big job-getter-dunner tablespoon in action:

Once that's all mixed, add the pumpkin. You'll find the job-getter-dunner tablespoon also miraculously works on canned pumpkin. I also highly recommend keeping a cell phone next to the mixer in case you need to alert the media. "Hello, Media? This is Charlie. This cake's gonna kick butt!"

Ahhh... now we come to the controversial step: the molasses. My mom swears the real pumpkin cake recipe does not include molasses. However, the sheet of paper I'm looking at, typed up and printed out by my dad himself, clearly says molasses is an ingredient. So just put it in.

Ahhh... now we come to the OTHER controversial step: the chocolate chips. Most people freak out when I tell them, "It's pumpkin and chocolate chips." They give me a look as if I said the final ingredient was okra and beets. Chocolate has improved countless desserts for eons, and suddenly it's weird to put them in a cake? I really don't get it. So just put 'em in.

At this point you will all thank me for NOT uploading the photo of me licking the beater like a three-year old. Now pour into an ungreased (and sticky-less, if you have it) tube pan:

Ready for the worst part? Bake for one hour. I know! An entire hour must pass before you can eat this. I'm working on a version that bakes in twenty seconds. I'll let you know how it goes.

Anyway, for now, it's one hour at 375 degrees. When the timer goes off, stick a toothpick in the cake. It will very likely NOT come out clean. Put it back in another fifteen minutes. Once it passes the clean toothpick test, let it cool, then flip it out:

WARNING: This is not diet food. This is holiday food. As prepared, here is the nutritional info for a 1/16th slice of the cake:

If you're doing Weight Watchers, that's about 10 points for one slice of cake. Yes. I know. So if you're like me, and really would like to not gain a hundred pounds over the next two months, here's an alternate version: reduce oil from 1-1/4 cups to just 1/4 cup. Replace with 1 cup of applesauce. Leave out the molasses. If you do that, you now have this:

That's only six points. And to be honest, 1/16 of the cake is a pretty thick slice. You could easily get 20 or 24 slices out of this big, thick cake and still feel happy. By that time you're probably down to 240 calories or so, and maybe 4 points.

You might wonder what this caloric reduction does to the outcome? Here are two slices side by side:

The slice on the left is the lighter variety. It's definitely not as heavy and comes out a bit more spongey. The slice on the right is the high octane version, and darker due to the molasses. It's definitely heavier and richer and you can taste it. Which one is better? Well, I've tested both among a fair sized group and found opinions split down the middle. Some actually prefer the lighter version. All depends on what you're in the mood for.

For actual readable and printable versions of the recipes, click for the heavy version and here for the light version.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sweet Potato Love

My favorite dish at the Thanksgiving table is the sweet potato casserole! The casserole my family enjoys is the traditional sweet potatoes mashed and mixed with brown sugar, milk, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and topped with marshmallows. We have almost burnt the marshmallows several times! I want to know how your sweet potatoes are served! What do you add to the mix? Do you mash them or cut them into pieces? Feel free to share your recipes if you want! Here are some fun recipes using sweet potatoes...just in case you don't use them all for Thanksgiving!
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Kitchen Helper Had Surgery and an Award

No cooking tonight! I just can't do it without my kitchen helper! We took Shelby to the vet yesterday because he didn't seem to be feeling well, and we ended up having to take him to the animal hospital immediately for surgery because he had over 30 kidney stones. We were able to pick him up today, and I am trying to keep him comfortable. I hate seeing him in so much pain. You get to enjoy his cute picture tonight instead of food!

I was given this award by the authors of two wonderful blogs: Thinspired and Pumpkin and Spice. I highly suggest checking them both out as well as the blogs that I am awarding.

1. Post the award on your blog
2. Link those who gave it to you
3. Link the original posts
4. Pass it on to five deserving people
5. Post these rules for your recipients

I am passing this award to the following blogs:

Barbara Bakes

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Gingerbread Bagels

What a way to start the day....a gingerbread bagel and a nice cup of hot coffee from Panera. This doughy delight was full of ginger bits, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, white chocolate chips, and cinnamon chips. I love gingerbread and can't wait to make some gingerbread treats for the Holidays. Here are some recipe links to some fun Gingerbread recipes that I have tried or plan to try soon:
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Banana Pudding Squares

Want a creamy delicious dessert? Try this one! This banana pudding treat would be great for parties or office potlucks. This is definitely a guilt free dessert because it calls for mostly low fat and fat free ingredients. I actually used one box of French vanilla pudding and one box of banana cream pudding when I made it. I also topped the squares off with crushed Nilla Wafers instead of chocolate.

Banana Pudding Squares
link to recipe at Kraft Foods
35 Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers, finely crushed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia Neufchatel Cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Fat Free Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
3 bananas
2 pkg. (1.5 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Pudding
3 cups cold fat-free milk
1/2 square BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, grated

Combine crumbs and margarine; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch dish. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
Mix Neufchatel cheese and sugar in medium bowl until blended. Stir in 1-1/2 cup cool whip; spread carefully onto crust. Set aside. Cut bananas crosswise in half, then cut each piece lengthwise in half. Arrange over Neufchatel cheese mixture.
Beat pudding mixes and milk with whisk 2 min. Spoon over bananas. Spread with remaining cool whip; sprinkle with chocolate. Refrigerate 3 hours before serving.
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

I guess this is more of a flavor combination than a recipe. I found this recipe for Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing in one of my Kraft Food and Family Magazines. The first step is to pour canned apples for pie into the bottom of the pan. Then you place your pork chops on top of the apples, and top it all with prepared stuffing. Cover with foil and bake it for 40 minutes at 375 degrees, removing foil for the last 10 minutes. You can use your own recipe, or use the boxed stuffing if you are short on time. I will admit that I didn't partake in the pork chops because I am not a fan, but my husband said that they were very tender and paired well with the apples and stuffing.

The whole time I was preparing this, I was thinking about old Brady Bunch re-runs and Peter Brady:
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Cajun Shrimp and Grits

Tonight's dinner was full of flavor. I mixed a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with some mixed vegetables and Cajun spices. I poured this over some grits and added some shrimp. I used San Gennaro grits that come in a roll just like precooked polenta. This was my first experience with grits, and I really liked them. They tasted a lot like polenta to me, but were not as thick. What are some other ways that you all enjoy grits? I would like to try them as a breakfast dish.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cherry Cheese Rolls

These rolls are great for breakfast or dessert! The Kraft recipe for these rolls called for blueberries, but I substituted cherry pastry filling. You could probably use preserves in this recipe. Of course, my mind is headed in the pumpkin direction. These would be great with a pumpkin cream cheese filling. These were so easy and quick to make, and would be perfect for a Sunday morning brunch.

Cherry Cheese Rolls
1 pkg. (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup cherry pastry filling, divided
PREHEAT oven to 375ºF. Unroll dough into four rectangles; firmly press perforations together to seal.
COMBINE Neufchatel cheese and sugar; spread onto dough rectangles to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top evenly with cherries. Bring opposite corners of rectangles together; press together to seal. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
BAKE 11 to 13 min. or until golden brown.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chili Challenge

Gloria over at Food and Flavors of San Antonio is having a Chili Cook-Off Challenge. Head on over there to check out the rules and great prizes. I am entering my Black Bean Pumpkin Polenta Chili. Do you like chili? What is your favorite version: vegetarian, turkey, black bean, white bean, etc? Is chili popular in the region where you live?

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mystery Treats

It is field trip time again. Come join me at Florida Foodies Restaurant and Travel Magazine to find out about these mystery treats. Can you guess what they are?

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Holiday Flavors

With the Holidays approaching, the store shelves are filling up with Holiday flavored goodies. Here are some of the fun holiday flavored foods that I have discovered and might just have to try. All were found at Target or WalMart. Which ones would you like to try?

Blue Bunny Eggnog Ice Cream Sandwiches

Old Fashioned Candy Cane Creme Oreos

Archer Farms Yogurt- Bread Pudding, Pumpkin Pie, Sugar Cookie, and Eggnog

Archer Farms Milk- Chocolate Mint and Pumpkin

Archer Farms Pancake Mix- Gingerbread, Pumpkin Spice, and Chocolate Mint

Archer Farms Cheesecake- Eggnog, Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry Walnut, and Almond Amaretto

Archer Farms Coffee- Gingerbread, Pumpkin Spice, Southern Hot Toddy, and Spiced Almond Toffee

Nabisco Gingerbread Graham Crackers

Gingerbread Poptarts

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Parmesan Crescent Rolls

Tonight was leftovers and salad night. We needed some warm bread or rolls to accompany our leftovers. I had some refrigerated crescent rolls, so I headed over to Pillsbury's website to find a way to add some extra flavor to the rolls. It doesn't get any easier than this, and the result is warm, doughy, and cheesy! These rolls are a perfect addition for any meal!!!

Easy Parmesan Crescent Rolls

1 (8-oz.) can Pillsbury Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Sprinkle each with scant 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese. Roll up each, starting at shortest side of triangle and rolling to opposite point.

2. Place rolls, point side down, on ungreased cookie sheets; curve each into crescent shape. Brush each with beaten egg; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

3. Bake at 375°F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Black Beans and Rice with Pumpkin Vinaigrette

If you love beans and rice, you have to try this unique dish. I found a recipe for pumpkin vinaigrette and decided it would taste good with black beans. All the flavors blended so beautifully. I topped mine off with some chopped cilantro! This dish would be good hot or cold. I can't wait to have the leftovers, because I know the flavors will be even better after marinating longer together.

Black Beans and Rice with Pumpkin Vinaigrette
4 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups black beans
4 Tbs Pumpkin Puree
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Clove Garlic
1 Tsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/8 Tsp Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
Finely chop or mash the clove of Garlic.
Put all ingredients except the Olive Oil into a bowl.
Whisk all ingredients together.
Mix well.
Add Olive oil and whisk well.
Combine rice, beans, and vinaigrette and mix well.

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Six Random Things

I was tagged by Gloria of Cookbook Cuisine with this six random things about me Meme. Here are the rules and six things about me.

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. I have not had a fast food hamburger in over 15 years. If you see any red meat on my blog, it was served to my husband and I did not partake. I am not a red meat or fast food fan.

2. I am a speech language pathologist and I love my job. I work with a variety of children with various issues including autism, down syndrome, hearing loss, articulation, etc.

3. Part of my job involves helping children who have feeding issues. Some are newborns just learning to feed and others are older children who have eating issues due to sensory difficulties.

4. I have a passion for dragonflies. I love to collect anything involving dragonflies, and I love taking pictures of them.

5. I am loving this food blog gig and all of the fabulous people I am meeting along the way! Thanks for following my blog!
I decided to just go with 4! I am passing this on to my friends at the following blogs: