Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins


  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 c nonfat, plain yogurt
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1.) Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2.) Beat together butter and sugar until smooth; Add the egg and combine; Add the pumpkin, yogurt, honey and vanilla and combine until smooth.

3.) In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Fold the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and combine until smooth.

4.) Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and place in the center of the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the muffin tops begin to turn golden brown.

Makes approx 12 delicious muffins!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

I am not a fan of eggplant. I know, I know, gasp! I had eggplant Parmesan at a friend's house when I was in middle school and I think it scarred me for life. I remember it being so mushy, slimy and well, gross. However, in an attempt to broaden my vegetable horizons, I purchased an eggplant at the store. P was a bit stupefied. "I thought you didn't like eggplant...." he mentioned when he saw it sitting forlornly in the vegetable bowl. Well, all good things must come to an end- my spiteful relationship with eggplant included. I can now officially say that I am an eggplant fan. Well, alright, that might be a little extreme, but I think I'm finally on my way there!

Something about Autumn seems to require meals involving roasted vegetables. I had an abundance of them in the kitchen, and chopped them all up and spread them ac cross large baking sheet with a thin spray of Pam along with salt, pepper, and a little Cayenne cumin. I baked everything at 425, flipped the veggies when they started to brown, and removed them from the oven when everything looked sufficiently squishy and browned (I really need to get better about paying attention to how long I bake things!).


From left to right: Eggplant (no skin- I'm not quite there yet), onion, acorn squash, red and orange bell pepper. I also added a zucchini and some mushrooms one everything else started to soften up.

I then boiled some rosemary pasta and threw a few stalks of asparagus into the hot water when the noodles were almost finished. I used about a cup of pasta and put tons of the roasted vegetables on top (I promise there's some pasta under there!).


Over the whole lot went some organic spaghetti sauce and goat cheese. Yum!


It was great to have leftover roasted vegetables and pasta for lunch the next day as well. And I'll admit, the eggplant was my favorite part of the whole meal. Any other good eggplant recipe suggestions?

Hope you're having a Happy Friday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Amanda's Ice Cream Sandwiches


As a belated birthday present to Ryan, we gathered with the Kabearys for a homemade pizza dinner. Amanda and Ryan graciously offered to bring dessert and wine, so I was immediately excited for some of Amanda's famous homemade cupcakes. She's such an amazing baker and always comes up with the most creative recipes so I couldn't wait to see what she had whipped up for all of us. I was even more excited to learn that Amanda had baked homemade molasses cookies to stuff with vanilla ice cream to make.... homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches! The cookies were soft and delicious but not overly sweet- a perfect taste of fall!

Here's the wonderful cookie recipe from Amanda:

soft molasses spice cookies

1/3 c sugar + more for dipping2
1/4c. all purpose flour- i use Pillsbury
1t baking soda1
1/2t cinnamon
1/2t cloves
1 1/2t ginger
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter- softened but still cool
1/3 c dark brown sugar
1 egg yolk1 t vanilla extract- it's worth it to buy a high quality vanilla.
1/2 c. molasses

preheat oven to 375.
whisk flour, baking soda, spices, and salt until combined in bowl (use paddle attachment if using a stand mixer) cream butter, white sugar, brown sugar on medium high until light and fluffy. about 3 min. reduce speed to med. low.
add yolk and vanilla. beat until well incorporated. add molasses and beat until mixed. scrape sides of bowl.
w/ mixer on lowest setting add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined- do not over mix!stir dough w/ rubber spatula to make sure no flour remains 1/2 c sugar in a bowl
form dough into 1 T size balls and roll in sugar before placing on baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
bake 1 sheet at a time about 11 min until cookies are brown and puffy. (cookies will look undercooked between the cracks)cool 5 minutes and enjoy immediately or...wait until cooled completely and scoop 1/4 vanilla ice cream, (or peach or ginger or whatever you feel like) on flat side of 1 cookie- top w/ another cookie and enjoy your ice cream sandwich!

Thank you Kabearys for a wonderful evening and the yummy treats!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time Flies

Another week and a half has flown by and I've been a delinquent blogger!
For the past month or two I've eaten little to no meat. I think reading "Skinny Bitch" scared the bajesus out of me and the idea of buying meat at the store just creeps me out now. Likewise eating meat at restaurants. So on Monday night I planned on making one of my new favorite veggies recipes: Sloppy Janes. Then I started craving meat. Weird, since that hasn't happened at all in my meat-free adventure. However, I am a firm believer that when your body is craving something you should listen. This doesn't always mean you should give in (my body often craves ice cream- I have learned to say no at least once in awhile), but it's worth evaluating to see if the craving has any merit. This craving seemed reasonable and I figured the perfect way to satiate my appetite. Granted, this task was made far easier by the fact that I grew up on a working cattle ranch. My parents still live on the ranch and we preg test, brand, bangs vaccinate, the whole nine yards. My "payment" for this grunt work is a freezer full of beef. Natural, local beef from an overly-familiar origin. The reason I stopped eating meat was because wondering where it came from freaked me out. Having access to our own beef removes all the guesswork, allowing me to enjoy a delicious, meaty meal every once in awhile. So, in a moment of sheer genius, I decided simply to add ground beef to the meal I had already planned for the night. Triumphant in my resourceful and creative solution I browned a lb of hamburger along with a sweet onion and then added a can of kidney beans along with two cans of diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne. And then I realized.... I made chili. OK, so I'm not the culinary genius I fancy myself to be, but it was pretty darn good.
Here's my plate along with baked sweet potato "fries" and steamed broccoli:
I also had some BBQ sauce with my fries and broccoli. Who knew steamed broccoli and BBQ sauce would be such a delicious combination?
Here's the calorie break down:
Ground beef (about 2 oz): 100 cals
Kidney beans (1/4 c): 50 cals
Diced tomatoes (1/2 c): 25 cals
Sweet potato (3/4 medium, no skin): about 80 cals
Broccoli (1 c): 50 cals
BBQ sauce (1 tbsp): 30 cals
Grand total: Just under 350- (my) perfect dinner size!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quick Lunch

Butternut squash soup*
Carrots and broccoli with red pepper hummus*
*Pacific Brand Butternut squash soup- good, not amazing, a little sprinkle of cayenne added a nice kick
*Sabra hummus- the best!

Autumn Squash

One of my favorite things about fall is acorn squash.
Inspired by Rhodey Girl's Recipe, I came up with this variation for a quick weeknight to enjoy one of Autumn's best treats.
The biggest hassle is prepping the squash, but it's well worth the effort. I think the easiest way is to quarter the squash, scoop out the seeds, and then remove the skin with a vegetable peeler. I then cut the squash into approximately 1 inch cubes. I baked them on a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and cumin at 425 until tender (about 20 minutes?). I'm used to eating acorn squash with butter and brown sugar, but this simple preparation was much tastier (not to mention guilt free!). I ate about 1/3 for dinner and reheated some of the leftovers in the microwave the next day and they were equally delicious.
Baked Acorn Squash
Definitely a new fall favorite!