Monthly Archives: October 2013


Sugar Cookies




This year my kids were NINJAS!!!! And boy did they play it up.

My friend Desi has the best sugar cookie recipe.  It’s my go to sugar cookie recipe.  With the holidays and cookie exchanges just around the corner you will want this recipe in your arsenal.

This week I have to bring 30 pumpkin shaped sugar cookie to my daughter’s kindergarten class. This recipe was perfect for that task!



Start by creaming your butter and sugar.


Add in your eggs and vanilla,


and sour cream.  Yes, sour cream.  It keeps these cookies so moist and tender.


Whisk together your dry ingredients.



Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ones.


Mix until combined.  One of the best things about this sugar cookie recipe is the dough doesn’t have to chill. You can use it right away.


Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. I like to do it in batches.


Roll out about 1/3 inch thick.  These cookies are better if left on a little on thicker side.  If you want thin crispy sugar cookies then by all means, roll it out thinner.  I like soft sugar cookies.



Cut out whatever shapes you are using. Rerolling the scraps until you have used all your dough.



Bake at 375 for 7-10 minutes.  Mine were done at about 7 and half minutes.  The tops will not have any color, and the bottom will have just started to turn a light brown.



Cool completely and then decorate to your liking.


I like to keep these Wilton sparkle gels in my pantry.  They last forever and are great for things like this.

Sugar Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sugar Cookies
Serves: a lot!
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
  3. Add in the vanilla and eggs. Beat well.
  4. Add sour cream. Beat again.
  5. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients.
  6. Flour your work surface well.  Roll out dough to about ⅓ inch thick.  Cut with cookie cutter.
  7. Place on un-greased cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes.  Start checking at the 7 minute mark. Cookies will still be white on top and a very light brown on the bottom.
  8. Cool well and frost with your favorite frosting!
  9. Eat!


Autumn Squash Soup

Have you guys tried the Autumn Squash Soup at Panera Bread?  It is soooo good.

I can’t afford to eat there every day so I knew I would have to come up with my own recipe.


Start by chopping up a small yellow onion,


and cooking it in some extra virgin olive oil in a big soup pot.

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Then to deal with the butternut squash.  I like to chop off the top and bottom, and then cut it in half to make it more manageable.

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Then take your knife and cut all of the skin off.  The cut your peeled halves in half (does that make sense?), scoop out the seeds, and cut into one inch cubes.


Add the cubed squash to the onions.


Then add in some sliced carrots.

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Stir in your apple juice and chicken stock, and cook until very tender over medium low heat. About 45 minutes. It will depend on how small you cut your squash.

Once its very tender blend until smooth. Then stir in one can of pumpkin puree.


Then add the curry powder, cinnamon, and honey.


Stir in your cream and the juice of half a lemon.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.


Garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve with a big chunk of crusty bread.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Autumn Squash Soup
Prep time
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Total time
Autumn Squash Soup
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 3 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • juice of half a lemon
  • ¼ cup cream
  • pumpkin seeds for garnish
  1. Cook onion over medium heat in extra virgin olive oil in a big soup pot until tender.
  2. Add in butternut squash, carrots, apple juice, and stock. Cook until tender.
  3. Blend with an immersion blend until very smooth.
  4. Stir in canned pumpkin puree, curry, cinnamon, and honey. Heat thru.
  5. Add the cream and lemon juice. Check for seasoning and add salt if needed.
  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds.
  7. Eat!


Jello Oranges

This is such a fun snack idea.  I took these to my son’s preschool class last week and they loved them!

The kids that are always too busy to eat, sat down and ate every last morsel!


Start with some oranges.  Any kind will do.


Slice them in half and scoop out all of the flesh.  Be careful not put any holes in the orange rind.


Once they are all scooped out, place in a muffin tin.


Mix together the orange flavored jello and boiling water. Then pour into a measuring cup.


Fill each half with the hot jello mixture.  Put in the fridge until firm.


Slice them up like normal oranges.  So cute!  This also works with lemons or limes, just use the coordinating jello flavor.

Jello Oranges
Prep time
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Total time
Jello Oranges
Serves: 12
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 6 oz package orange jello
  • 6 oranges
  1. Cut the oranges in half and scoop out the flesh being careful not to puncture the rind.
  2. Mix together the boiling water  and jello.  Place in a measuring cup or any container that is easily poured from.
  3. Put the orange halves in a muffin tin and fill with the jello. Refrigerate until firm.
  4. Slice up like normal oranges.
  5. Eat!

Salt and Lemon Boiled Artichokes with Balsamic Dill Mayo

I love artichokes.  I love this dipping sauce maybe more than artichokes.

I think I eat artichokes sometimes just to eat the sauce.

Bonus: my kids love artichokes too.  I think because they are an interactive vegetable.


Get your self some nice green artichokes.  These are huge ones.


Trim them up.  I just cut off the bottom and a few of the very bottom leaves.


Put them in a pot with a sliced lemon and about a tablespoon of salt.

Cover with water, put a lid on the pot, and boil away.

Mine took about an hour and 15 minutes. You want a fork to go into the stem portion without any resistance.


While the artichokes are cooking, make your sauce. Mix together mayo, balsamic vinegar, and dill.

Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.


When are artichoke are done, drain them and serve with the sauce.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Salt and Lemon Boiled Artichokes with Balsamic Dill Mayo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Salt and Lemon Boiled Artichokes with Balsamic Dill Mayo
Serves: 4
  • 4 artichokes
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ cup of mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of dill
  1. Trim the artichokes.  Place in a big pot with the lemon and salt.  Cover the artichokes with water, put a lid on the pot and turn on the heat to medium-high.  Cook until for tender.  Start checking them at 45 minutes but they can take as long as an hour and 15 minutes.
  2. Mix together the mayo, vinegar, and dill. Place in refrigerator.
  3. When the artichokes are fork tender drain them and serve with the sauce.
  4. Eat!

Pumpkin Roll

You can’t have a pumpkin week without a pumpkin roll. This dessert is so impressive, and pretty easy.

When I make it I like to double the recipe and make two, they freeze beautifully.


You start by beating together the eggs and sugar until thick.


While the eggs and sugar are beating stir together your dry indgredients.

Flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, and cinnamon.

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Add the pumpkin to the eggs and beat it up.  Then add the dry ingredients.


Pour into a well greased 15×10 baking dish and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.

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While the cake is baking get your kitchen towel ready.  Sprinkle a clean kitchen towel heavily with powdered sugar.


When your cake is done, immediately get it out of the pan onto the prepared kitchen towel.

Then roll it up, short side of the rectangle first.

One secret about this recipe is only let it cool for 30 minutes.  You still want the cake to be a little warm and pliable when you add the filling.


Then mix up the filling.

Cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Yum.


Then unroll your cake, and spread on the filling and roll it back up.

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Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or overnight.

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Slice it up and serve!

Pumpkin Roll
Pumpkin Roll
  • For the cake:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • powdered sugar
  • For the filling:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Beat together the eggs and sugar until thick. Add in the pumpkin.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients and add to the wet.
  3. Grease a 15x10 baking dish well, pour in batter and bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched.
  4. Sprinkle a kitchen towel heavily with powdered sugar.
  5. When the cake is done and still hot place on prepared kitchen towel and roll it up, short side first. Cool for 30 minutes.
  6. Mix together filling ingredients until smooth.
  7. Unroll cake, spread on filling, and reroll.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Can be frozen.
  8. To serve, unwrap, and slice.
  9. Eat!

Recipe from Libby’s Pumpkin.


Pumpkin Quesadilla

Now I know this sounds weird but hear me out.

Just try these pumpkin quesadillas and you will be hooked.

Another quick and easy lunch idea.


Mix together some pumpkin with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.


Spread about a 1/4 of a cup of the pumpkin mixture on a quesadilla, then top with goat cheese, and pecans.


Top with another tortilla and cook in a skillet sprayed with non stick spray over medium high heat

until heated thru and golden brown on both sides.


Slice up and eat!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pumpkin Quesadillas
Prep time
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Total time
Serves: 4
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped pecan
  1. Mix together the pumpkin puree, cumin, chili powder and some salt and pepper.
  2. Spread ¼ cup of the pumpkin mixture on a tortilla. Top with 1 oz goat cheese and 1 heaping tablespoon of pecans.
  3. Top with another tortilla.
  4. Repeat until you have 4 quesadillas.
  5. Spray a skillet with non stick spray. Heat to medium high heat.
  6. Cook the quesadillas until heated thru and golden brown on both sides.
  7. Eat!

Pumpkin Parfaits

Talk about a quick an easy dessert!

These are sooo good and so pretty!

They seem like they take a lot of effort but are very easy.


Start by whipping some cream with some powdered sugar.

Then stir together some pumpkin with sweetened condensed milk and pumpkin pie spice.

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Place some flour, oatmeal, sugar, salt, butter, and oats in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Mix up until the butter is the size of small peas.


Spread on a baking dish, and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.


Crumble up the pieces in your hands.


In individual serving dishes, layer the pumpkin mixture, whipped cream, and oatmeal crumble.


These sure do make a statement!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Parfaits
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pumpkin Pie Parfaits
Serves: 4
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • ⅓ cup powered sugar
  • 1 can or 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 stick of butter
  1. Whip the cream and sugar together until stiff peaks.
  2. Mix together the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Mix the flour, sugars, salt, oats, and butter in a stand mixer until its the size of small peas.
  4. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degree for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.
  5. When cool enough to handle, break into small pieces.
  6. In serving glasses layer the pumpkin mixture, whipped cream, and oat crumble. Repeat.
  7. Eat!

 Recipe notes:

Instead of individual servings, you could also use a trifle dish.


Pumpkin Pasta

This pumpkin pasta dish is quick and easy.

Very yummy too.  My kids gobble this up.  Add a salad and bread and you have a complete meal in 30 minutes!


Start by cooking some onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil.


Then stir in your pumpkin and chicken stock.


Side note: Have you guys seen this at Trader Joes?  Shelf stable whipping cream.

I like to keep a couple in my pantry for recipes like this.


Add in your cream.


Then stir in some cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.


I like to use fusilli or penne in this pasta dish.  Whole grain or whole wheat is great!
Cook according to package directions.


Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and top with parmesan cheese!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pumpkin Pasta
Serves: 4
  • 1lb whole wheat fusilli or penne
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 cups or 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • ½-3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  2. Sautee onion and garlic in oil.
  3. Add in chicken stock and pumpkin. Stir in cream and heat thru.
  4. Add in the cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  5. Stir in cooked pasta and top with shredded parmesan.
  6. Eat!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These are to die for.  They are so good. Its seems like they always disappear very quickly from house!

They have a few steps but they are soooo worth it!


You start with the wet ingredients.  Pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla, sugar, and oil. Mix them up.


In a separate bowl combine your dry ingredients. Mix the wet and dry together.

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They make your topping.  Flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon. Yum.  Mix it up until crumbly.

I just used my hand mixer.


Then mix up the cream cheese filling.


Here are the three parts of the muffins.  Batter, filling, topping.


Line two muffin tins with liners. Add about 2 tablespoons of batter to each liner.  Then add in 1 heaping teaspoon of cream cheese filling.

They cover the filling with 2 more tablespoons of batter.  Top each muffin with the streusel topping.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 350, or until it tests done with a toothpick.



Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Serves: 24
  • For the muffin batter:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon clove
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups or 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the cream cheese filling:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • For the streusel topping:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the muffin batter: Mix together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Add to the wet ingredients and mix.
  3. For the cream cheese filling: mix together all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  4. For the topping: place the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Cut in the butter using a hand mixer until crumbly.
  5. Line two muffin tins with paper liners.
  6. Place 2 tablespoons batter in each liner. Top with 1 heaping teaspoon of cream cheese filling. Cover the filling with 2 more tablespoons of batter. Sprinkle each muffin with some of the topping.
  7. Bake at for 20-25 minutes or until the muffins test done.
  8. Eat!

Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Making your own pumpkin puree is so simple.

Start by picking your pumpkin.  There are so many varieties out there to choose from.

I used a pie pumpkin that I picked up at my local supermarket.


You start by cutting the pumpkin in half, and scooping out the strings and seeds.


Place it flesh side down in a baking dish, add about an inch of water, cover, and bake at 350 degrees until fork tender.

Mine took about an hour and half.


See the fork marks?  It should have no resistance.


Scoop out the flesh and place it in a food processor.

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Then just give it a whirl.  I didn’t need to add any water to mine, but you might need to to get the texture you are looking for.

From this small pie pumpkin I got about 3 cups of puree.


This pumpkin puree can be used in any recipe calling for canned or fresh pumpkin.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Fresh Pumpkin Puree
Fresh Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 pumpkin, any size of your choosing.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree.
  2. Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out the strings and seeds.
  3. Place flesh side down in a baking dish, add an inch of water, cover.
  4. Bake until fork tender, about an hour and half.
  5. Scoop out flesh and place in food processor. Blend until desired consistency.
  6. Use in any recipe calling for pumpkin puree.
  7. Eat!