Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Wontons

Yes...it's another pumpkin recipe! I have never tried these before, but I have seen recipes for these little delights on several recipe sites. I was surprised to find that these tasted like miniature pumpkin pies! They were so easy to make and they filled my house with such a wonderful pumpkin spice smell! This recipe is from Vegetarian Times. Here is the recipe. The best part of this recipe is that you can make any flavor "mini pies" that you want. I think I am going to try some made with my sweet potato butter as as filling. I also have some chocolate ideas for these!

My Favorite Pumpkin Pies

Source: http://www.readycrust.com/
Both of these pie recipes are from the Keebler Ready Crust site. The first one is a Double Layer Pumpkin Pie that I make several times during the Fall. The girls at work request it every year. I make it with fat free cream cheese and fat free cool whip. The second pie is a Creamy Pumpkin Pie that is easy to make. I sometimes use butterscotch pudding instead of vanilla!! Again, I use fat free versions of all the ingredients.
Double Layer Pumpkin Pie
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 Keebler® Ready Crust® Graham Pie Crust
3/4 cup cold milk
2 packages (4-serving size) vanilla flavor instant pudding & pie filling
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1. In medium bowl whisk together cream cheese, 1 tablespoon milk and sugar. Gently stir in whipped topping. Carefully spread in crust.
2. In large bowl beat 3/4 cup milk, pudding mix and spice with wire whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in pumpkin. (Mixture will be thick.) Carefully spread over cream cheese layer.
3. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until set.
4. Garnish as desired. Store in refrigerator.

Creamy Pumpkin Pie http://www.readycrust.com/recipe_detail_template.aspx?recipeid=890
1/2 cup cold milk
1 package (6-serving size) vanilla flavor instant pudding & pie filling
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 1/2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 Keebler® Ready Crust® Graham Pie Crust
1. In large bowl beat milk, pudding mix and spice with wire whisk for 1 minute. (Mixture will be very thick.) Whisk in pumpkin. Stir in whipped topping. Spread in crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until set.
2. Garnish as desired. Store in refrigerator.

A Concert and Some New LaraBars

Last night I had a blast at the Kenny Loggins concert...but first the pre-show! I was on my way to meet my friend, and I decided to stop for some snacks because I knew we wouldn't have a chance to get dinner. When I walked over to the "bar wall," I was shocked to finally find the famous Peanut Butter LaraBar that everyone has been raving about lately! I also found a LaraBar that I have never heard of before. It was a kid's bar called Jamfrakas. I ate the PB LaraBar waiting for the concert to begin. It was just as delicious as everyone has reported...pure PB heaven. On the way home, I was hungry, probably due to all the dancing I did at the concert. I tried the strawberry Jamfrakas, and I liked it. It was similar to the typical LaraBar, but it had more crispiness throughout due to the rice crisps. This will definitely be my snack of choice when I don't want the higher calorie originals...this one is only 110 calories.

Now, the concert report...My friends and I were lucky enough to get wristbands, which gained us access to front row center spots! It was amazing being that close! Of course we jammed out to Footloose, Danger Zone, Your Momma Don't Dance and Your Daddy Don't Rock and Roll, and I'm Alright, but my absolute favorite of all time is House at Pooh Corner.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes

Gloria over at Cookbook Cuisine inquired the other day about the idea of pumpkin mashed potatoes. I was intrigued, so I took a peek around the internet and found several recipe options. Check them out! I will be trying one of these soon. I just don't know which one yet. Anybody want to experiment with me?

Pumpkin Mashed Potato 2

Pumpkin Mashed Potato 3

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Penne with Spinach and Tomato Ricotta Sauce

It was Italian night tonight. This is one of my favorite recipes, and I have been craving it recently. This is definitely a warm and creamy comfort food full of Italian flavor! I used skim milk and fat free ricotta to make this dish low fat! I also used gluten free penne made with rice flour for the first time, and it tasted wonderful!

Penne with Spinach and Tomato Ricotta Sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
6 cups baby spinach
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
1/3 cup skim milk
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
fresh or dried basil
Heat olive oil in a large skillet and start water to boil for pasta.
Add garlic to skillet and cook until tender.
Stir in spinach, tomatoes, and nutmeg, and stir frequently until spinach is wilted.
Stir in the ricotta, milk, and Parmesan cheese.
Add pasta to boiling water and cook until tender.
Cook until sauce appears creamy, about 5 minutes.
Put the spinach and tomato mixture into a large bowl.
Drain pasta and add to the sauce.
Toss the pasta and sauce together.
Serve with basil sprinkled on top.

Pumpkin Bagel French Toast Bites

This was the perfect Fall Sunday breakfast. I used a pumpkin bagel from Einstein's, but you could do this with your favorite bagel flavor if you are not a pumpkin fan! I cut up my bagel into chunks and then let the chunks soak in the milk/egg mixture for 3 minutes. Then I cooked it on the stovetop (a griddle is on my wishlist!) until both sides of the chunks were turning a golden brown! I topped my bagel french toast off with some natural maple syrup! Below is the egg/milk mixture I used for one bagel.

Milk/Egg Mixture Used in This Recipe:
2 eggs
1/4 milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon
5 drops English Toffee Stevia (your choice of sugar can be used-I would suggest brown sugar)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pumpkin Favorites and Finds!

With all the pumpkin I have been eating, you would think that I would look like a oompa loompa....but I don't, so I will keep on eating it. I am still eating my pumpkin leftovers, so today's post includes some of my favorite pumpkin products and some pumpkin products I am planning to try as soon as I find them!

I look forward to the Pumpkin Spice Clif bars showing up on the shelves of Whole Foods every year. They are full of pumpkin spices and raisins, and are topped with a buttery vanilla icing!

Source: http://www.benandjerrys.com/I haven't found this one yet, but it sure does sound delicious. Of course, pumpkin cheesecake sounds wonderful, but the graham cracker swirl is what has me searching for this one!

Source: IHOP Corp/Marketwire
The IHOP pumpkin pancakes bring back so many memories for me including breakfasts trips to IHOP around the holidays with my family and late night trips to IHOP in college. This is an annual tradition for me. The carrot cake pancakes are pretty tasty too!

This tea combines the wonderful pumpkin spice flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and clove. I love this one with skim milk. It makes a wonderful treat at nigh because it is decaf!
Source: http://bestbuycandy.com/
I found this pumpkin pie salt water taffy on an Internet search the other day, and I think I will have to order it for my Halloween and Thanksgiving candy jars!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Jumbo Pumpkin Ravioli in Sage Cream Sauce with Peas

This was my first time to try this out, and I was very happy with the result. This was a very savory and creamy dish! These raviolis are fun and easy to make and delicious to eat! I actually used skim milk and fat free cream cheese to make my sauce, and it still tasted like a rich cream sauce.
won ton wrappers (square or circle)
1 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Mix cheeses, pumpkin and nutmeg in a bowl. For each ravioli, put one tablespoon mixture in the middle of a wrapper. Moisten edges and places another wrapper on top. Press down on edges to seal. Cook one at a time in boiling water for 2-3 minutes each. Remove with a slotted spoon and repeat for all raviolis. This recipe makes about 18 raviolis.
1/2 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package fat free cream cheese
2 teaspoons sage
2 cups skim milk
6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup cooked peas

Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and sage stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan cheese and peas. Remove from heat when sauce is the consistency you desire.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Low Fat Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

I have enjoyed all the pumpkin recipes I have made recently, but this is my absolute favorite so far. These cookies are chewy gems full of the wonderful medley of pumpkin, spices, and oats. They would make wonderful breakfast treats. I love that these are low fat and full of the goodness of oats and pumpkin. I used oat flour and substituted pumpkin pie spice for the cloves and nutmeg. I might have to try these with chocolate chips next time!

Low Fat Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies



1 c. pumpkin

2 egg whites, whipped

1 c. brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. cloves

3 c. rolled oats

1 c. raisins

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine pumpkin and egg whites. In a separate bowl combine sugar, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, oats, and raisins. (Batter will be very dry at first.) Mix ingredients together just until moistened.Drop cookies by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, 2" apart. You can leave the cookies in the shape of a ball (the baked cookie will still be a ball) or flatten them out with the bottom of a glass before baking.Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
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Guest Post: Double Ginger Gingerbread Cookies with Pumpkin

When I first entered the blogging world in July, I did not realize how many wonderful friends I would make and how many amazing blogs I would find. One of my first friends I made was Cory over at zestycook. If you have not visited this blog yet, it is a must see. There are so many amazing pictures and recipes! I asked Cory to do a guest post under one condition...it must invovle pumpkin. Well....not only did he include pumpkin, he combined it with gingerbread, my other favorite seasonal flavor. ENJOY!!

Well hello everybody! I am zestycook and I have been asked to do a special guest post for Megan today. I am very honored to do so and was actually quite nervous. The recipe I am going to share with you with a simple gingerbread cookie with a twist. I know Megan is a huge fan of pumpkin and it is the pumpkin season so I tried a slight variation to the standard gingerbread cookies and added some pumpkin puree. I was quite confident the flavour would compliment the existing flavours and I was indeed correct. These moist puffy cookies whether served warm or cool are one of my favorite fall treats. I hope you give them a try and let Megan and I know how you got along.
Thanks so much,

The length of baking time will affect the texture of these cookies -- less time results in a chewy cookie, while more time yields a crisp cookie. At 8 minutes, I turned out cookies just the way we liked them -- chewy in the centre and a little crisper on the edges. Experiment and bake just one cookie at the start to ensure an accurate timing for the desired cookie texture.

1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons (10 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1/4 cup (50 mL) plus 2 tablespoons (30 mL) fancy molasses
2 tablespoons (30 mL) golden corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) salt
1 large egg, well beaten
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
Decorating icing, optional (see recipe)

In small bowl, combine crystallized ginger and 2 teaspoons (10 mL) flour; toss to coat and set aside.
In large (10-cup/2.5 L) heavy saucepan, combine butter, molasses, pumpkin puree and corn syrup.
In small bowl, combine ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, soda and salt; stir until blended. Add brown sugar and stir until spices are well blended.
In small bowl, combine ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, soda and salt; stir until blended. Add brown sugar and stir until spices are well blended.
Add sugar mixture to molasses mixture; stir to mix. Place over medium heat and stir until mixture just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stirring constantly, gradually add egg; stir until egg is well blended. Stir in 1/4 of the flour. Stir in crystallized ginger. Add remaining flour in 3 additions, stirring well after each addition; let dough stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. (The texture of the dough will be similar to cooked fudge.)
Meanwhile, line a pie pan with plastic wrap, letting wrap extend over edges enough to completely cover dough. Scrape dough from saucepan into prepared pie pan, overwrap with plastic wrap to seal tightly. Place in refrigerator overnight or until firm enough to roll out, about 5 hours. (Make ahead: Dough can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days.)
When ready to use, remove dough from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or until pliable enough to roll out.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface until 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick. Using metal gingerbread figure cutter (we used a 43/4-inch/12 cm cutter), cut into shapes. (Gather any dough scraps and knead together until they form a smooth ball, then reroll and cut more cookies.) Place on parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake at 400 F (200 C) for 8 to 10 minutes or until puffed and set around the edges. (Do not let edges of gingerbread men start to brown. Cookies will become firm when cool.) Let cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes, then transfer cookies with a spatula to wire rack to completely cool. (Make ahead: Layer cookies between wax paper and store in a tightly sealed plastic container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or place in freezer plastic bags and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Thaw cookies in sealed bag before removing from bag.) Decorate with icing, if desired. (Fresh baked and cooled cookies can be iced and frozen for up to 2 weeks).
Makes about 20 gingerbread men.

1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons (22 mL) milk, about
In medium bowl, beat together icing sugar, butter and enough milk to make icing of piping consistency.
Makes about 1/2 cup (125 mL).

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Potato Chowder

Your regularly scheduled pumpkin programming is being interrupted by Mr. Potato Head, who feels that another food needed a little attention for at least one post! Tonight he presents a Potato Chowder Recipe!

This recipe is from Kraft and is very versatile. The chowder is very smooth and creamy...perfect comfort food for a Fall night. Instead of using hash browns, I used diced potatoes. I added corn and omitted the bacon and onions. This recipe can be made lighter by using low fat or fat free cheese.

Potato Chowder
3 cups fat-free milk
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of potato soup
2 cups frozen Southern-style hash browns
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, crisply cooked, drained and crumbled
2 green onions, thinly sliced

MIX milk and soup in large saucepan. Stir in hash browns. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 10 min., stirring frequently.
SERVE topped with cheese, bacon and onions.

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Coffee Love

In addition to pumpkin and oatmeal, I have one other major addiction. I LOVE flavored coffees. As I drank my Autumn Harvest blend this morning, I thought that I would share some of my favorite flavors and links to where to buy them. ENJOY!

Pumpkin Pie Flavored Coffee

French Toast Flavored Coffee

Gingerbread Flavored Coffee

Egg Nog Flavored Coffee

Cinnamon Sticky Bun Flavored Coffee

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

If you read my last post, you probably guessed that I would be trying one of the pumpkin recipes tonight! You are SO right! Of course I would! I decided to try the brownies because I had all the ingredients on hand. The brownies were very moist and tasty. They had more of a cake texture than a brownie texture. I added a little extra stevia clear because the batter did not taste sweet enough! I would definitely make these again, but I would add a little more cocoa and more chocolate chips!!! My brownies decided to pose with the awesome apron and spatula that foodbuzz surprised me with in the mail today! If you haven't checked out foodbuzz, you should! It is a great places for foodies to share recipes and food information. Check it out in my sidebar!

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/detail.aspx?ID=473
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1/3 cup brown sugar blend (such as SPLENDA)
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels

Directions:PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Spray 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.COMBINE pumpkin, sugar blend, egg, egg whites and oil in large mixer bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Add flour, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, salt and nutmeg. Beat on low speed until batter is smooth. Stir in morsels. Spread evenly into prepared pan.BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 2-inch squares.
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Chocolate Footprints

Gloria of Cookbook Cuisine gave me a sweet chocolate award! I would like to spread chocolate footprints all over the blogs of all my sweet readers and loyal commenters! This one goes to all of you!! Gloria asked me if I thought pumpkin and chocolate would pair well. Of course they do! Check out these links:

Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Bread

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Pumpkin Polenta Cake

Today was a rough day and nothing seemed to go right. When I finally got home, I was in search of some major comfort food. Of course I turned to my old tried and true friend...PUMPKIN! I found this recipe on the allrecipes.com website. I made a couple of my own substitutions. I used agave nectar instead of brown sugar, and I substituted one tsp. pumpkin pie spice and one tsp. cinnamon in place of the listed spices. I also used lowfat vanilla yogurt instead of plain yogurt. WOW! This definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite pumpkin recipes. I guess it tasted more like a sweet pumpkin cornbread, but it definitely can be a dessert or an addition to dinner. It is the perfect blend of sweet corn, pumpkin, and spices. I topped it off with vanilla yogurt and a touch of cinnamon. This recipe serves 16, but I only made half of the recipe.

Pumpkin Polenta Cake


2 cups canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
2 cups dry polenta

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
In a blender or food processor, blend pumpkin, butter, eggs, and egg whites. Mix in the brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Blend until smooth, and transfer to a medium bowl.
Mix yogurt and polenta into the pumpkin mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly before slicing.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Faux Pumpkin Risotto

Yes...it is pumpkin again!! Tonight's dinner was a faux pumpkin risotto. I had no risotto in the house, so I decided to use brown rice. I was surprised at what a wonderful savory taste this dish had. A nutmeg laced pumpkin taste with creaminess added by ricotta cheese. The peas were thrown in for color and to add more veggies! This is definitely my new comfort meal! If only I had one of rubybean77's gingerbread cupcakes for dessert.

Faux Pumpkin Risotto

serves 2

3/4 cup cooked brown rice

1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese

1/4 cup pumpkin

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Combine all ingredients and heat on stove top until warm or in microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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Froth on the Pumpkin

Based on all your comments, you are OK with my pumpkin obsession...so more pumpkin delights to come! This morning I delighted in a delicious cup of pumpkin spice coffee. My favorite part was the froth that graced the top! I created the fluffiness with one of the best kitchen gadgets ever...the mini frother! In all it's battery powered glory, it allows me to create coffee house drinks in my own kitchen. I highly recommend getting one if you are a coffee lover. Mine came from IKEA!
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pumpkin Drop Biscuits

I promise that after this post, I will take a break from my pumpkin craze...at least in terms of posting. Nothing will stop me from eating more pumpkin creations. These doughy delights would be perfect on the Thanksgiving table! They also would be tasty on a Fall morning with maple syrup and butter. I made these gluten free, but you can use any all purpose baking mix.

Pumpkin Drop Biscuits
makes 12 biscuits

2 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose baking mix

2 cups skim milk

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 tblsp water


Mix baking mix, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice.

Stir in pumpkin, milk, and water until all is moist.

Drop into 12 heaps onto baking sheet prepared with non-stick spray.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. If tops start to brown too fast, reduce heat to 375 degrees for the last 5 minutes.

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My Annual Einstein's Smile

It is hard to get up and go to work on Saturday mornings, but this morning a little treat made it easier. Every Fall, Einstein's Bagels has Pumpkin Bagels and Autumn Harvest coffee. Today was my first pumpkin bagel and coffee this year, and I was in heaven! I love the Autumn Harvest coffee. It has a smooth buttery caramel taste. Happy Fall everyone!

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Tomato Polenta Tart and My Other Kitchen Helper

I didn't get a chance to go to the grocery store today, and my ingredients to pick from were slim tonight. I decided to create something that might please my palate. It turned out better than I ever expected. It was almost like a mini pizza with a polenta crust. I am going to make this again when I have more veggie toppings and mozzarella cheese.

Tomato Polenta Tart

1/4 cup dry polenta

1/2 cup water or chicken broth

1 tsp Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup canned or fresh tomatoes

Italian seasoning


Mix polenta, water, and cheese in a mug.

Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.

Stir and microwave again for 1 minute.

The polenta should be thick.

Pour polenta onto plate and shape into a crust.

Mix Italian seasoning (to taste) into tomatoes.

Top crust with tomatoes, top with desired amount of Parmesan cheese, and microwave for 1 minute.

Introducing my other loyal kitchen helper:

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