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Pumpkin Pie….Smoothie!

5 Nov

Ah pumpkin. And my new addiction to smoothies. Because they offer a sweet treat, without all those pesky calories that usually convert to fat that goes right to my ass, hips and thighs.

I love pumpkin pie, but let’s be honest – that crust is a killer when it comes to calories. And I just can’t bring myself to eat just the filling on a pumpkin pie, leaving behind the crust to be tossed or fed to birds. I blame my childhood. I was raised to clean my plate, and wasn’t permitted to leave the table until my plate was clean of all food. So, ya.

Since the fall starts the pumpkin food obsession in my house, I figured I needed a smoothie option. Hubs and I aren’t the only ones eating pumpkin. The chickens and ducks are enjoying a whole pumpkin. It’s helps keep them from getting bored when they are in their run, and it’s a great nutrient booster to their eggs! It will also supposedly help fend off intestinal parasites, which is always a good thing if you are a chicken. Plus, we’ll get nice orange yolks from all that pumpkin ingestion! Yay!

For us humans, pumpkin is also super beneficial. It’s loaded with fiber, so it’ helps you feel fuller longer, which in turns helps aid in weight loss. It contains beta-carotene, which helps our body prevent cancer, as well as help to keep us looking wrinkle free. 1 cup of pumpkin contains 564 milligrams of potassium, which is a great way to refuel after a workout. They also contain vitamin c, which can help ward off colds. Oh ya, and pumpkin tastes great, sweet and savory!

This recipe tastes decadent. The key is blending it for a longer period of time to get that creamy ice cream like richness without all the fat. Don’t get lazy and only blend it for a minute. Go for 2-3. It makes ALL the difference! For those calorie conscious folks, this recipe is only 114 calories per serving. If you were to drink the whole recipe, that’s still only 228 calories – and you will be so full I don’t think you’ll be ABLE to finish it!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon molasses

1 gram of Stevia sweetener

1tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup non fat milk

1 cup ice

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until about double in size. You want to blend it for about 2-3 minutes. This will create lots of air bubbles and make the smoothie taste rich and creamy like a milkshake! Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Don’t be intimidated, it’s just a pumpkin roll!

27 Dec

I’m not sure why, but some people are intimidated by anything that involves rolling up a thin cake with a filling inside. Sure, there is always the possibility that the cake can crack or filling can ooze out, but is that really a cooking failure? You can still eat it! It will still taste delicious even if it doesn’t look as pretty as you think it should.

That being said, as long as you follow the basics and have a nice moist cake, pumpkin rolls and jelly rolls are easy peasy!

This recipe is an adaptation of the Cook’s Country recipe. They know their stuff. I love Cook’s Country – they take all the guesswork out of it for you and stop you from wondering when trying a new recipe if it’s going to be worth it. This is because they are already giving you the best tested version of it!

I only use a double batch of the cream cheese filling for this as I like to be able to still taste the pumpkin in the cake, but don’t feel the single batch is enough filling. Feel free to use the single batch recipe below, or double like I do.

Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

INGREDIENTS

  • 1cup cake flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 batch cream cheese filling recipe (see below)
  •  Confectioners’ sugar for dusting finished roll

INSTRUCTIONS

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and 18- by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet and line with greased parchment paper. Whisk flour, spices, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl; set aside. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs and sugar until pale yellow and thick, 6 to 10 minutes.

Add pumpkin and mix on low until incorporated. Fold in flour mixture until combined.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake until cake is firm and springs back when touched, about 15 minutes. Before cooling, run knife around edge of cake to loosen, and turn out onto clean sheet of parchment paper that has been dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Gently peel off parchment attached to cake and discard.

Roll cake and fresh parchment into log and cool completely, about 1 hour. (notice all that powdered sugar all over the counter and the stuff on the counter. That’s what happens when you slap the cake on the parchment!)

Gently unroll cake and spread with frosting, all the way to the edges, leaving 1inch of space at the far end. Re-roll cake snugly, leaving parchment behind. Slice off rough ends (and eat them like it’s your job!) Wrap cake firmly in plastic wrap and chill completely, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. I slice mine in half and freeze each piece wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap to enjoy later!

Cream Cheese Filling

Ingredients
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened but still cool
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 ounces cream cheese , softened, cut into 4 pieces (DO NOT soften in microwave!!!)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese one piece at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until no lumps remain.

Pumpkin Spice Gingersnaps

13 Dec

So if a pumpkin mated with a gingersnap, you would have these cookies. There, I said it. They have that ginger bit with the smooth pumpkin aftertaste. mmm. Oh, and they are HEALTHY. I know. A healthy cookie. I decided to make these because I do love pumpkin (DUH!) and gingersnaps, and why not have a cookie option that isn’t going to go straight to my ass this Christmas!

This recipe is an adaptation of this recipe over at Simple Bites. I had to make some modifications due to what I had on hand, but it was still healthy changes!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Gingersnaps

1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup turbinado sugar plus 1/4 cup for rolling the cookies (unprocessed raw sugar, I got mine from Trader Joes)

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon ginger

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon for rolling cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.

Sift together flours, baking soda, kosher salt , ginger and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. In the bowl your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together with the paddle attachment until fluffy and creamy, about three minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. To the butter mixture add: molasses, pumpkin puree, white vinegar, and the egg. Beat well. Add dry ingredients and stir on low speed to combine. Turn off mixer and remove paddle. Roll the dough into 36 1-inch balls.

Combine the 1/4 cup turbinado sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Roll each dough ball into this mixture and return to baking sheets, 12 per tray, evenly spaced. They will puff up and spread only a little bit when baking.

Bake cookies for  8 minutes on the middle and lower shelves of the oven, rotating the pans once midway though the baking time. Let cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets before moving to wire racks. After cooling completely, eat up, or layer between waxed paper and freeze in an airtight container.

Fall adult beverage: Pumpkin Rum Punch

24 Oct

I served up this punch at a ladies party I had at my house recently – it was a unanimous hit! Not one person tried it and didn’t like it – none that admitted it anyway! Obviously, you have to be a fan of pumpkin to enjoy this punch. It is loaded with pumpkin flavor, kind of like pumpkin pie in a glass, but less sweet. Next time I make it i’m toying with adding about 1/2 cup whipped cream vodka along with the spiced rum to make it even more pumpkin pie like. Whatever you do, don’t sub ground cinnamon for the cinnamon sticks. It creates a gritty substance that is hard to strain out, and will also alter the color of the punch.

This would be a great companion to Thanksgiving, so I’m thinking about making a double batch – one for home, one to take! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Rum Punch

serves 12

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 12 cups water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 29-ounce can pure pumpkin (NOT Pumpkin pie mix)
  • zest of 1 lemon, cut using a vegetable peeler
  • 1 cup spice rum (I used Captain Morgan)

Directions

Combine 12 cups water, brown sugar, pumpkin, and cinnamon sticks in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil.  Add lemon peel and let simmer for 15 minutes. Let mixture cool, then refrigerate until the liquid is cold and the pumpkin pulp settles to the bottom, 2 to 3 hours, or overnight.

Working in batches, ladle the liquid into a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl or pitcher. Discard the pulp and lemon zest. Return the cinnamon sticks to the punch, add the spiced rum and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over ice and add a cinnamon stick if you so desire.

This can be made without the rum as well for a non-alcoholic version.

Breakfast or dessert, you decide. I choose both for these pumpkin cinnamon rolls!

17 Oct

I know, I know. Another pumpkin recipe. But it’s one of my favorite flavors and just says “fall” to me. Yes, the pumpkin speaks to me, so there. And the most fabulous thing about these pumpkin cinnamon rolls, other than them tasting fantastic enough to make my husband make moaning noises while stuffing one of these into his pie hole, is that there is NO KNEADING! Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! I made these this past saturday while I was cleaning the house. I mixed up the dough, let it rise for an hour. Slapped on the filling, rolled them up and let them sit for about 30 minutes before popping them into the oven for 25 minutes. The original recipe is one from The Kitchn, but I had to edit it as they glaze sounded too sugary, I didn’t feel there was enough cinnamon flavor in the filling, and they didn’t say anything about adding the yeast to warm water – the warm water helps activate the yeast. So below is my edited version, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as we do! If you want, you can skip the glaze because they’re good all by themselves….but I added to the glaze because i’m a rebel like that.

Based on what you’ve told us so far, we’re playing this track because it features electronica roots, trip hop roots, rap influences, beats made for dancing and surreal lyrics.

Before glaze

No-Knead Pumpkin Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze
Makes 12 rolls, Adapted from The Kitchn

Dough
1/4 cup warm water, about 170 degrees
1 tablespoon yeast (1 package)
1 cup skim or 2% milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 cups all-purpose flour

Filling
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Glaze
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup skim or 2% milk
1 cup brown sugar
pinch salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan on the stove top until the butter is melted. Combine this with the sugar in a large heat-proof mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Let the milk mixture cool until you can touch it – I speed up the process by putting the mixture in a cold bowl that has been placed in the fridge for about 10 minutes.Stir in the yeast and pumpkin. Add the salt and five cups of the flour all at once, stirring until all the flour has been absorbed – I used a dough whisk to speed up the process.  The dough will be sticky, but should come together in a shaggy ball. If it’s still more the consistency of cookie batter, work in an additional 1/2 cup of flour, 1/4 cup at a time.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1-3 hours in a warm place. Your dough will double in bulk.

To shape the rolls, sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and drop the dough on top. Pat it down into a rough rectangle and using a floured rolling pin, roll it into a rectangular shape about a half an inch thick, longer than it is wide. Sprinkle more flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking.

Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the brown sugar and the spices. Spread mixture over  dough, leaving an inch of bare dough at the top and about 1/2 in on the edges. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch it closed at the top.

Spray your baking dish(es) with nonstick cooking spray . Using a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into individual rolls 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick. Place them into your baking dishes so they have a little  room on all sides to rise. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let  rise until they have puffed up, about 30 minutes. They will rise more in the oven so don’t worry if they aren’t touching yet.

Ten minutes into your dough rising, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. When ready, bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and starting to get toasty at the edges.

Prepare the glaze – In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter. When the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the brown sugar has melted. Stir in the powdered sugar and whisk to remove any chunks of sugar. Glaze will be pourable but not overly runny.

gettin their glaze on

Let the baked rolls cool for about five minutes and then pour the glaze on top. Eat right away. Share if you feel like it. Any leftovers can be reheated in the microwave for about 30 seconds. These also freeze well, just double wrap in saran and then a layer of foil.

Bliss on a plate.

Mason Jar Obsession – Streusel Topped Pumpkin Pies

12 Oct

I must admit, I am smitten with this idea. Single servings of dessert at hand, totally ready to be made portable if needed or to send home with guests and a party favor. For those of you that are skeptical about the idea of cooking individual pies in mason jars, you can still follow this basic recipe using your pie plate. It will work with the same result, but I will warn you – it’ll be a lot less cute.

To follow this recipe and have it look like mine, you will need a total of 12 4oz jelly jars. There will be enough pumpkin filling for exactly 12 jars.

Here is a list of the total things required:

case of 12 4oz jelly jars

1 can Libby’s pumpkin pie mix, prepared (follow can directions)

1 batch oatmeal streusel topping (recipe at bottom of post)

optional: whipped cream

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Place your 12 mason jars on a small rimmed baking sheet. Fill mason jars with pumpkin filling up to the lower rim of the jar (the part underneath the threads for the screw bands – this will leave you 1/2in headspace to put your streusel and still be able to put a lid on the jar). Once you are done with this, sprinkle the tops of each jar with the oatmeal streusel topping – you will have a little bit left over, no worries.

Put pie laden cookie sheet in the oven and let them bake at 425 for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, lower temp to 350 degrees and let bake for 50 minutes. Once they are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool to room temp. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy! Any leftover pies, put canning lid and screw band on and store.

Oatmeal Streusel topping

4tbsp room temp butter

1/2 cup quick oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1tsp cinnamon

combine all ingredients in a bowl using a fork or your hands until they resemble a streusel topping.

and it continues….pumpkin bread with streusel topping

26 Sep

I warned you. The pumpkin obsession continues with this lovely bread recipe topped with a delicious streusel that is not quite as unhealthy as one would expect! I found this recipe over on  Tasty Kitchen. My recipe is the one listed below, which has been modified slightly to meet my tastes. It’s a great bread. Moist and delish without that wet texture that some puree breads can sometimes get. The streusel topping is a great touch and adds a little unexpected crunch.

I love mine with some cream cheese or warmed up under the broiler with some real butter. It’s great at breakfast with some scrambled eggs, or for dessert after dinner.

This freezes fantastically as well, if you manage to have any left to freeze. Yield is 2 loaves.

Pumpkin Bread with Streusel Topping

Ingredients

  • ¾ cups Butter, Softened
  • ¾ cups Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 2-½ cups Pumpkin Puree
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ¾ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Allspice
  • ½ teaspoon Grated Nutmeg
  • ½ cups Buttermilk

FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING:

  • ¼ cups Butter, Softened
  • ½ cups Brown Sugar
  • ½ cups Oatmeal
  • ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 350º F.

Spray two 8″ loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray and lightly flour.

For the topping – mix together all the topping ingredients using a fork or your hands until combined thoroughly.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add in the vanilla and eggs and mix until just incorporated. Stir in your pumpkin puree.

In a separate bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Whisk the mixture together until it looks even and smooth.

Add half of the flour mix to the pumpkin mixture, blending well. Beat in buttermilk. Add remaining flour mix and beat lightly until smooth.

Pour batter evenly into the two prepared 8″ pans. Cover each with half of the topping mix.

Bake at 350º F for 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If additional cooking time is required, do so in 5 minute increments.

Remove from pans and let rest on cooling rack. Slice and serve.

If freezing, let cool completely and then wrap in a double layer of saran. To serve, let thaw in fridge overnight.

Streusel close up