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The Great Pumpkin

3 Nov

I wouldn’t say that I’m a big pumpkin fan, but this time of year it always sounds good. It’s cold, it’s rainy, there was Halloween and now Thanksgiving approaching, I want comfort food – the reasons go on and on for wanting pumpkin.

Fortunately 1 can can go a long way. Here are three recipes I made with just 1 can of pumpkin.

First, we have pumpkin and ricotta pasta casserole. I had high hopes for this, but it was kind of a letdown. I think that you have to really love pumpkin to like it. The first couple times I ate it, it was pretty OK but then I just got sick of it. And I even halved the recipe so there wouldn’t be as much leftover. I wound up throwing out the last serving as it sat in the fridge for waaaay too long. So if you just adore pumpkin, I’d say this give a try. Otherwise, save the (not cheap) pecans for something tastier ….

Pumpkin pecan granola. This I would definitely recommend. It was my first time making granola, and I plan on doing it more often! It was super easy but still felt rewarding because I got to pull a big sheet chock full of granola out of the oven, and now I have a ton of breakfasts (yogurt & granola at my desk every day) already covered. I think I took it out of the oven a little soon though – it’s more chewy than crunchy, so there’s a lesson for next time. The recipe makes quite a bit of granola, so if you’re making it for just yourself, as I was, you may want to consider making half a batch.

Finally, I made chocolate chip oatmeal pumpkin cookies. They turned out OK. They’re kind of a healthier cookie as there’s no butter (though I wouldn’t actually call them healthy). The chocolate chips are definitely key here; without them, I don’t think the cookies would be very good. Shocking, huh? Who knew chocolate was good?

If you’re in the mood for chocolate chip cookies, but want something a tad healthier, I think these are worth a shot. The great thing about this recipe is that even if you wind up not liking the final product, the recipe is for a small batch, so it’s not the end of the world if you don’t like the cookie.

So there you go – 1 can and 3 recipes. I even had a tiny bit left over but I threw it out. I am pumpkined out.*

* OK, not quite – I really want to try these.

It’s just too complicated

19 Jan

Please read Paula Deen’s “recipe” for English Peas and then read the reviews below. You won’t be sorry.

And while you’re at it, check out Rachael Ray’s “recipe” for Midnight Bacon.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a career change, and I think I’ve found my new calling: Food Network star! You should see me fry an egg! I even boil pasta! On the stove!

What’s cookin?

12 Jan

The past few days I’ve tried to get back in the kitchen (not that I was ever really THAT in the kitchen to begin with) and try out some new recipes.

First up was this chocolate peanut butter pie. I’ve been waiting a long time to make this. I knew that I had to make it for some sort of event where I would not be able to eat it, as I knew that if I kept it at home, I’d eat it all in 2 days.

We have a themed¬†monthly potluck at church, and this month the theme was legumes. Since peanuts are legumes and because peanut butter is delicious, I knew it was time to bust out the killer pie. It should come as no surprise that the pie went very quickly – I didn’t even have any. But, lucky for me or unfortunately, depending on how you view it, not all of the batter fit into the crust, so I wound up having my own mini pie waiting for me in the refrigerator at home when the potluck was over. And oh man, is it good!

Last night I made¬†Squash, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Pasta with Basil. I know, right? It was pretty good although I used whole wheat shells for the pasta, and as much as I try and try, I just don’t really like whole wheat pasta (with the exception of this recipe for cauliflower and pasta). It would have been better with regular pasta, but it was still good and I’m looking forward to the leftovers.

Then tonight I made Smoked Salmon Feta Couscous, which is a ridiculously easy meal. I couldn’t believe it took as little time as it did. I was going to boil some frozen vegetables as a side, but the couscous was ready before I even had time to think about the vegetables, so I said screw it and enjoyed my veggie-less meal, thankyouverymuch.

Made anything tasty lately?

I scream, you scream, we all scream banana!

22 Jun

This is how I feel about what I just made:

!!!

Intrigued? Check it: Frozen Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Chip Milkshakes

Peanut butter milkshakes are my favorite, so I was very excited to try this somewhat healthier version. And I have to say it’s pretty darn good. It’s not the same as a regular milkshake, but it’s a lot closer than I expected it would be. I definitely recommend giving it a go, and I definitely plan on making it again. I’m not a huge chocolate chip fan, so next time I’ll probably use chocolate syrup. Actually, now that I think about it, Nutella would be amazing. But Nutella is amazing on everything – which is why I have banned it from my apartment.

The recipe also gave me a chance to use my food processor for the first time. The food processor I got for Christmas. Yes, six months ago – that food processor. The one I was dyyyyyyyying to get and was so excited about that I let it collect dust for half a year. There’s a needs vs. wants lesson in there somewhere.

To recap:

Delicious “milk”shake? Check.

Food processor does in fact work? Check.

The recipe made two servings like it said it would? Check.

Pretended like it was one serving? Check.

What’s Cookin?

29 Mar

I’ve made a couple new dishes lately that turned out to be pretty bland, but fortunately I came across one winner: cheese and caramelized onion pizza. It’s sooooo good, you guys. I’ve never cooked caramelized onions before, and while I didn’t do a stellar job of it, the onions still turned out well. (This could have something to do with the fact that I got a new stove/oven, and I’m amazed at how much better it cooks. It’s just faster and cooks more evenly.)

The pizza is not exactly cheap, as prosciutto is rather expensive considering how much you get. And fontina isn’t really low cost either. But I think the cost is worth it, as it’s a nice change from the usual tomato sauce and mozzarella pizza.

Made anything noteworthy lately?

Gluten-free tips

6 Mar

No, I’m not going gluten-free, but I know a few people who are, so in honor of them (I am inspired by their efforts and self-control), here are a few budget-minded links from Wisebread:

Tips and treats

1 Mar

Tip time!

Treat time!

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