Tag Archives: pumpkin

Pecan-Pumpkin Drops with Sriracha-Honey Butter

What is it about winter that makes baking so appealing? By the time the holidays roll around, I’m dying to start cookie baking. And even though that is all done with now and our lives are back to normal, baking is still appealing. Is it because of the weather? When it’s warm out, we don’t want to stay in the house, let alone to do something that requires turning on the oven. But in the winter, it just feels so right. Is it nesting? These Pecan-Pumpkin Drops didn’t require me hitting the grocery store for ingredients and neither did the Sriracha-Honey Butter I smeared on them! This combination of recipes was easy and didn’t require me going out in the cold for anything!

Pumpkin and pecans, along with a little nutmeg, make up the primary flavors in these petite little muffins which are a perfect on their own or as an accompaniment to your winter meal. Served warm with a little butter or cream cheese would be oh-so-lovely but the sriracha-honey butter I smeared mine with gave these muffins another jolt. The sweet and spicy butter blended with the mellow pumpkin makes for a flavorful melt-in-your-mouth combo. Eat these muffins, and the butter, however you like. Just make them. Both. And stay warm!


Preheat oven to 425°F. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl, stirring with a whisk; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.


Combine pumpkin and buttermilk in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.


Add pumpkin mixture and chopped pecans to flour mixture, stirring just until combined.


Drop batter in mounds of about 1/3-cupfuls onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.


Bake at 425° for 14 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheet; cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm.


For the Sriracha-Honey Butter, combine butter, Sriracha, and honey in a bowl.


Chill until ready to serve.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It


  • Muffins: Cooking Light magazine
  • Butter: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothies

Well, how was your Thanksgiving? Did you eat too much? Drink too much? I’m happy that I didn’t overstuff or overserve myself and today I feel really good! But despite all the good food I ate yesterday, I didn’t finish it all up with a healthy piece of dessert. So, when I woke up this morning craving something pumpkin, I looked in my refrigerator and decided that I could get some pumpkin dessert flavor for breakfast without a lot of ingredients or calories. These Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothies were just what I needed!

Pumpkin puree, almond milk, cream cheese, and spices are blended together with a little bit of sweetener making this pumpkin cheesecake in a glass. I love the flavor and creaminess of almond milk but you can use regular milk if you like. I also used a packet of Splenda but if you are a sugar person, go for it. Really, I was a little surprised just how well this turned out. Maybe I should have thought to do this last night after dinner?

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothies (makes 1 large or 2 small smoothies)

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 ounce cream cheese (1/3-less fat or regular)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 packet Splenda or 2 teaspoons sugar

Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!





Banana Pumpkin Smoothies

After all of the cheese and wine I consumed last week in Buenos Aires, I need to get it together. Quite frankly, I’m tired of chicken, have no desire for salads, and can’t eat any more eggs. When I get into an eating rut like this, where I want to eat healthy but can’t stand to eat the same old, same old, I like to replace a meal with a smoothie a few times a week. It’s the middle of October so it feels completely appropriate to break out the pumpkin. This Banana Pumpkin Smoothie is the perfect fall meal that tastes more like a treat and keeps my pants fitting.

Vanilla yogurt, canned pumpkin, orange juice, and frozen banana are the basis of this smoothie which is jazzed up with warm spices and a hint of brown sugar. Right around now, you can find all kinds of recipes for pumpkin pie smoothies but what makes this one unique and different is the addition of the banana and fresh orange juice. I always have slices of frozen banana in my freezer just for smoothies like this but if you don’t, a fresh banana will work fine, you just may want to add extra ice. I never thought to combine orange and pumpkin together but the flavors marry perfectly, giving this drink a light freshness you don’t typically get with fall pumpkin flavors. I’m sold.


Combine yogurt, pumpkin, ice, orange juice, brown sugar, spices, and banana in a blender, and process until smooth.



Garnish with dash of ground cinnamon, if desired. Serve immediately.


Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

You’ve got to be kidding me with these.


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have witnessed my shock at the discovery of these pumpkin-spice morsels. Have these been around before and I just didn’t notice? I usually go to the grocery store with a list of things to buy and I’m pretty good at not impulse buying. But these chips? You better believe I scooped them up. The morsels themselves taste like little bites of pumpkin pie so I was pretty happy to find a recipe for Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies on Nestlé’s website which makes them taste even better.

Oatmeal cookie dough is spiced up with cinnamon and nutmeg and kept soft and chewy with the addition of canned pumpkin. The pumpkin spice morsels add even more pumpkin flavor which is irresistible for any pumpkin lover. And even better? There is no egg is this recipe so eat as much dough as you want! They are buttery, soft, spicy and packed with flavor. These cookies taste like little slices of pumpkin pie which are a perfect little Autumn snack.

 photo 4 (2)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or foil; lightly grease. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl.

photo 1

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until combined. Add pumpkin.

photo 2

Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels.

photo 3

photo 4

Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

photo 1 (2)

Bake for 12 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

photo 2 (2)

Store tightly covered.

photo 3 (2)

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: verybestbaking.com

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the northeast is getting pummeled by Hurricane Sandy right now.  This is the second hurricane that has hit the Philadelphia area in a little more than a year and for those of us not used to it, it is two too many.  As I write this, I still have power but considering I lost power for days last year with Hurricane Irene, I’m fully expecting to lose power again.  I’m a little more prepared this year though: I’ve loaded my kitchen table with my emergency necessities (which you can see here – and yes, that includes bourbon) and I have a flashlight this time which will prevent me from using my iPhone to see in the dark (and hopefully reduce my risk of dropping said iPhone into the toilet à la last year).  Because losing power is inevitable, I had to make food this past weekend that wouldn’t require refrigeration.  Which means I’ll be eating these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins for days.

Canned pumpkin and mini chocolate chips are mixed into a simple muffin batter to create a moist, light, flavorful treat.  These muffins have a lot of butter and sugar so they are not low-fat but given my circumstances of enduring the hurricane, I’ve got more to worry about right now than calories.  The recipe calls for 3 to 4 cups of flour but I only used 3 cups and it was plenty.  This batter is thick and makes puffy muffins like the kind you see in bakeries – yum.  I used mini chocolate chips which I’ve come to love more than regular chocolate chips.  These muffins are really, really good.  I just hope I’m not sick of them by Wednesday.

The ingredients:

Blend the pumpkin, brown sugar, butter, and eggs in a large bowl mix until creamy.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg).  Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined when batter is moist and thick.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Scoop or spoon the batter into greased muffin tins or muffin liners.

Bake in an oven preheated to 350ºF for 20 to 25 minutes.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  The Idea Room

Baked Pumpkin and Sausage Penne

October is my favorite month by far. I love sitting outside on a cool night with a fire pit and have my clothes smell like woody smoke. I love freaking myself out by watching random horror movies which can always be found somewhere on cable all month. I love putting an extra blanket on my bed and crawling under the covers on a chilly Sunday to watch football. And I love the scent that comes wafting to my nose the first time I break open a can of pumpkin for the season. Since I’ve had pumpkin in pasta before and liked it, I figured this recipe for Baked Pumpkin and Sausage Penne would be right up my alley. Pasta, yum. Pumpkin, yum. Sausage, yum.

Fresh sage is added to browned spicy sausage and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, canned pumpkin is mixed with milk, egg yolks, cream cheese and spices to create a rich sauce. The pumpkin mixture is added to the sausage and pasta and poured into a baking dish where it’s topped with panko crumbs and more cheese. Fresh sage, which mixes so perfectly with pumpkin, adds an earthy, herby flavor boost and the panko topping creates a crispy topping. As much as I love pumpkin, this was a little bit too pumpkin for me. I think a little less pumpkin and maybe the addition of ricotta might make for a better dish. I used parmesan cheese instead of Asiago cheese and used less than half of what the recipe called for so maybe that would have made a difference. This makes 8 big portions so by the last bite, I’d had enough. Next time I’m craving pumpkin and pasta, I think I’ll make Pumpkin-Ricotta Stuffed Shells instead.

The ingredients:

In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat. Cook until browned, about 8 to 10 minutes, breaking apart with a wooden spoon. Stir in sage and cook 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside. Pour off and discard drippings.

In the same skillet, whisk pumpkin, milk, cream cheese, egg yolks, 1 cup of the Asiago, the nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Stir over medium heat until cheeses are melted.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water 1 minute less than package directions, about 9 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to pot. Stir in sausage, pumpkin mixture and reserved pasta water. Mix well to combine.

Transfer to a 13 x 9 x 2-inch dish and top with panko and remaining 2 tbsp Asiago.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Turn broiler on HIGH and broil 1 to 2 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Additions: None

Omissions: None


  • Whole-wheat penne
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Overall Rating: So-So

Source: Family Circle Magazine

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns

Okay, I admit that starting the New Year with sweet, decadent Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns isn’t necessarily what you might want to look at if you are resolving to eat healthy in the new year. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! I’ve had this recipe tucked away for a long time but never made it because recipes with yeast always intimidate me. Not only do you have to get the warm water just the right temperature to activate the yeast, the dough needs time to rise, usually more than once. My patience is usually much more suited for quick breads but now that I’ve made this recipe successfully, I’m intimidated no more! Yes, these are still a little time consuming and require patience but my, oh, my, are they worth it! The pumpkin isn’t overpowering but adds the slightest bit of flavor and the cinnamon streusel filling is warm, homey, and exactly what you want in a roll like this. Even if you are watching what you eat, these buns are lower in calories than most cinnamon rolls so don’t feel guilty about indulging just this once.

The ingredients:

Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit for 5 minutes.

Add in flour, pumpkin, milk, melted butter, salt, and nutmeg. Mix with a hand mixer until combined and smooth.

Roll dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Place dough in a bowl sprayed with non-stick spray, making sure spray covers all of the dough. Cover and place in a warm place for 45 minutes until the dough has doubled in size. Dough is ready when an indentation from two fingers remains.

While dough is rising, prepare the filling by adding sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in cold butter.

After dough has risen for 45 minutes, punch down the dough and allow to rise for another 5 minutes. Place dough on a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle. Sprinkle the filling over the dough, leaving a slight border.

Starting with the long end, carefully roll the dough into a log and cut into 12 pieces.

Place rolls into a pan and bake in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

While rolls bake, mix the powdered sugar, hot water, and vanilla in a small bowl.

After the rolls have cooled slightly, poor the glaze over the top.

Serve the buns while still warm.

Additions: None

Omissions: None


  • Canned pumpkin for homemade pumpkin purée

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

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