Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin’

‘Tis the season for good will, great food, and even better recipes.


I’m so happy to be a part of this holiday recipe challenge with Chobani and I can’t wait to share my recipe.

When I received the invitation from Emily at Chobani last week, I immediately said yes –sign me up!

No other time of the year honors the nothing-but-good spirit like the holidays! That’s why we’d like to take the opportunity to spread it through our most valued fans- our fabulous friends in the blogging community.

With the blessing from our own kitchen magician, Mustafa, we invite you to step into your kitchen and create a recipe of your choosing using Chobani. Add an extra dash of spice, a dollop of passion, a sprinkle of love- make it your very own!

The challenge?

Create a recipe using Chobani yogurt, sign this oven mitt and pass it along to another blogger to continue the recipe challenge. Sounds fun, huh?


Even better?

My recipe is super easy and quick to prepare – a must have during the busy holiday season.


Pumpkin Party Dip

  • 4 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 6 oz. plain Chobani yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  1. Beat cream cheese and yogurt until smooth.
  2. Add in pumpkin, sugar, and cinnamon and mix until all is combined.
  3. Serve with sliced apples, gingersnaps, or pita chips.


My favorite way to enjoy this dip? Definitely with gingersnaps.


I’m so happy to be sharing this recipe with you and I hope it ends up on your holiday table this season. Having healthier options during the holidays shouldn’t have to be boring – and using Chobani yogurt in this recipe adds such great nutritional punch to the dip that you don’t have to feel bad about indulging a little.

This dip is nothing but good.

As for the next blogger on this oven mitt train, I’ve chosen Holly, my favorite Everythingtarian, fellow yogurt lover, and my fundraising partner in crime. Make sure to check in with her this week to see what she cooks up with Chobani yogurt!

And make sure to check in with Chobani after the New Year – you’ll get to see all the recipes and visit each blog stop to explore even more delicious creations and healthy inspirations. One lucky fan will even win a special Chobani Kitchen prize pack of their very own, including an inspiring blogger oven mitt.


Here’s to happy, healthy holiday eating ; )

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I’ve never morphed one dessert into a totally new dish before. But there’s always a first time for everything.


On Thanksgiving Day, we made two desserts. One was a homemade berry pie and the other was this Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cider Sauce.

By Saturday afternoon, we still had about half the pumpkin cake leftover and half of the caramel sauce so Nick’s dad and I started brainstorming – what could we do with the rest of the cake and sauce to make sure we didn’t waste it?


I’ve had trifles before, but I’ve never tried making my own. And while we didn’t have the actual “trifle” dish, I think it came out perfect.

This is a great way to use up extra cake or sweet breads and it’s versatile enough to stand up to just about any flavor combination you could put together.


Pumpkin, White Chocolate, and Caramel Toffee Trifle

  • 4 cups cubed pumpkin / spice cake or bread
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 package White Chocolate Jello instant pudding
  • 1/2 cup Heath toffee pieces
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce (we used the leftover caramel cider sauce, but regular caramel – store bought or homemade – would also be delicious)
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  1. In bowl, whisk pudding mix into 2 cups milk and set aside to thicken up.
  2. Take caramel sauce (cooled, if you make your own) and stir in heavy cream.
  3. Beat cream and caramel mixture until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  4. In trifle dish or other large dish, layer half of the cubed cake/bread.
  5. Spread on half of the pudding, sprinkle half of the toffee pieces and top with half of the whipped caramel cream.
  6. Take the rest of the ingredients and do one more layer – cake/bread, pudding, and whipped cream – and top with the remaining toffee.
  7. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.


A fair warning?

This won’t last long.

And if you’re the one putting this together, make sure you taste the whipped cream on its own. It’s pretty incredible.


Don’t forget to donate and help Holly  + I raise money for Jovenes en Camino, an orphanage in Honduras for abused, homeless and orphaned children. Tis’ the season!

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Fall has always been my favorite season. Along with being able to wear jeans and a sweatshirt with flip-flops, this season brings me three of my favorite things: college football, changing leaves, and pumpkin.


While I’ve never liked pumpkin pie, I’ve found a ton of other ways to enjoy this winter squash.

Pumpkin is the perfect fall vegetable, whether you cook your own or buy the cans from the supermarket. It’s high in lutein and beta carotene yet low in calories for a large serving, making it a nutritional powerhouse and a great addition to a variety of recipes.


8 ways to think outside the pie:

  • Stir into cooked oatmeal and add fun toppings like granola, peanut butter or – my favorite – chocolate and butterscotch chips
  • Mix into your favorite cookie dough with a pinch of cinnamon
  • Stir into plain yogurt with cereal/granola/oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of salt, and honey for a filling breakfast or snack
  • Make a “pumpkin pie” smoothie or milkshake with pumpkin puree, milk/yogurt/ice cream, cinnamon, ice, and sweetener of choice
  • Mix with cream cheese, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and pecans and spread on bagels or toast or use as a dip for ginger snaps and sliced apples
  • Blend with cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger and use as a filling for French toast – perfect for a fall brunch or weekend breakfast
  • Blend with sautéed garlic, onions, cream/milk and seasonings for a rich pumpkin soup
  • Mix with ricotta cheese, garlic, and sage and toss with hot pasta

With pumpkin, there are tons of possibilities!

Do you have any non-traditional ways of using pumpkin? I want to know!

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I hope you’re not sick of pumpkin yet.

I realize that pumpkin recipes have been everywhere the past few weeks, but fall is just starting! Thanksgiving is still a month away, and my pumpkin “season” goes throughout the winter or as long as I can find it.


Whether or not you’re tired of pumpkin, you can’t deny that this time of year just screams for warm spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger.

And combining those with pumpkin, toasted pecans, and dark chocolate? Even better.

These scones would be great any time of year, but they’re especially delicious on a crisp fall morning or with hot tea as an afternoon snack.


And please – if you’re making scones, use real butter.

You can health them up any other way, but you have to have butter to get the right texture. There’s nothing more disappointing than biting into a scone that has the texture of a muffin.


Believe me – butter is necessary.

The great thing is you don’t need a ton of it! And, thanks to the moisture from the pumpkin, you can cut out the usual heavy cream. So while this recipe does call for butter, they’re much lighter than other recipes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Pecan Scones

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 oatbran
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 6 Tbsp butter, diced and chilled
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 flax “egg”  – 1 Tbsp flax mixed with 1-2 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp toasted pecans
  • 2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Mix flour through spices together in large bowl.
  3. Cut in butter (using pastry blender, hands, or two forks) until mixture resembles cornmeal.
  4. Stir in chopped nuts and chocolate chips.
  5. In separate bowl, mix pumpkin, flax egg, vanilla, and 1 Tbsp almond milk.
  6. Pour pumpkin mixture into flour and mix until dough just comes together.
  7. Dump dough onto floured surface and knead 5-10 times until dough holds together.
  8. Pat out to 1/2 – 3/4” thickness and cut into 8 wedges.
  9. Brush tops of scones with other 1 Tbsp almond milk and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar.
  10. Bake 15-17 minutes.


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We’ve been having some strange weather lately: highs in the 70s, strong winds, warm evenings.

But this morning looked like a creepy, foggy fall morning even though it was still in the 50s.


In fact, the weather has been so mild that I’ve been wanting overnight oats again. Cold breakfasts do not go well with cool mornings, but the past few days gave me a reason to have a few more bowls of overnight oatmeal before the weather truly turns.


This is definitely “fall in a glass”.


While working on a few recipes Monday, I cooked up a quick cranberry sauce:


Bring 1 cup fresh cranberries to a boil with 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 1-2 tsp fresh orange zest, and 1 diced orange. Cook/simmer until most of berries burst, take off heat, and let cool.


I used this cranberry sauce in another dish but knew I wanted to fit it in with something pumpkin, too.

Introducing, Overnight Pumpkin Cranberry Oats!

Oat base (mix up the night before and let sit in the fridge)

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup yogurt

In the morning, layer:

  • overnight oat mixture
  • cranberry orange sauce
  • wheatberries
  • chopped pecans
  • maple syrup


I added some wheatberries since I had some extras on hand that were cooked and needed to be used, but you definitely don’t need them!

I loved the crunch of pecans in this, though. It went great with the tart cranberries, the fall spices, and the little drizzle of maple syrup.

Do you use fresh cranberries? What’s your favorite way to have them?

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The Darkness

I love fall, but I am not excited about the dark mornings again.

I didn’t see daylight until almost 8 am today! It didn’t help that it’s also cloudy, but still – I miss the early light already.


My orange breakfast made up for it – tons of fall flavors!


Oatmeal pancake:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Topped with some pumpkin yogurt: greek yogurt mixed with pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and a spoonful of pear butter I got from a friend. It was the perfect topping! Sweet, tart, and spicy.


Nick and I split an orange on the side, and there’s definitely some coffee in my morning plans Winking smile


A great way to start a very busy Monday. I’ve got a long to-do list, but it’s all self-inflicted and mostly fun items. Better get to it!


What did you do this weekend?

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All I could think about last night was a big bowl of oatmeal.


Because I finally remembered to buy more pumpkin yesterday! And because oatmeal is quite possibly my favorite food ever.


Banana Pumpkin Trail Mix Oats



  • 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water, pinch salt
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • lots of cinnamon
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 3 Tbsp Nuts Over Raspberries TJ’s mix




Big bowl of oatmeal = big bowl of happiness


Plus some Hokie Milk –



See you for lunch!


Would you be interested in seeing a heart health series on this blog?

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I woke up craving some pumpkin and banana oatmeal! Too bad I had used the rest of my pumpkin in my oatmeal yesterday!I had already started thinking about what else I could eat, and then….

then I remembered that I had frozen some amazing pumpkin/chocolate chip bread a few months ago  🙂  I took a slice out of the freezer and popped it in the toaster oven for a few minutes while I made my oats.

The combination ended up being:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp (total) of walnuts and almonds
  • 1 slice pumpkin chocolate chip bread, crumbled on top

The outcome?



One bowl of amazing oats. I forgot how much I love this bread!  Good thing I still have a few pieces in the freezer  🙂

I also had about a cup of skim milk to complete my breakfast.


Monday at work is…..Monday at work. What can I say?  I hate when the alarm goes off on Monday mornings. For some reason, it’s worse on Mondays than on ANY other day, right?

Lunch today may seem a bit familiar to one last week. I used the last of the refried beans to make a wrap with ff cheese and hot sauce!


I also had a salad with romaine, tomato, avocado  and a little lime juice…


And some fruit!  Grapes and strawberries to finish off my meal.


Exciting thing about today – I’m going to a yoga class tonight! I’m SO excited. It has been a long time since I’ve been to an actual class, and this one is 1:30 long – it should be great. I’ve taken classes with this lady before and love her, so I am looking forward to this WAY too much  🙂

Around 4:30 or so, I’m going to have this snack to hold me over until and through yoga –


Greek yogurt + Pom arils + semi-sweet mini chips = love  ♥

Dinner, and the dinner post, will probably be a little later than normal. The class is from 6:15 – 7:45, and I won’t be eating dinner until after class.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Don’t forget to check out ANOTHER great contest over at Oh, She Glows!

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While not technically dessert, it sure did taste like it! So, following the advice of my Pampaw, I had one of my favorite oat concoctions ever.



Pumpkin Banana Oatmeal with Trail Mix

I made this with:

1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal

1/2 sliced banana (Tiff, just pretend you didn’t see this)  🙂

a little over a cup of water

pinch of salt

Cook in microwave. Then heat up about 1/3 – 1/2 cup pumpkin and stir in with some cinnamon. Topped with some Trader Joe’s trail mix. SO good. The chocolate gets all melty – this is definitely one of the best ways to start the day!

See you later for a recap of lunch and recipe review!

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