Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pumpkin and Spinach Strata

This hearty strata is from Food and Wine magazine. Here's what they have to say about it: "A terrific make-ahead breakfast strata from baker and pastry chef Zoe Nathan, who uses multigrain bread to add a distinct flavor to this satisfying casserole." This really is good, but not just for breakfast, we ate it for lunch, too. I made a half recipe using a 9 x 9-inch pan and substituted spinach for the kale.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


This recipe from the website is really good. She says "We were once in a situation of too many pumpkins and no potatoes, so we had the idea of cooking the pumpkin same way we roast potatoes in Greece - that is with lemon juice and oregano. It’s so delicious, light and colorful!"

And she's right. I left out the yeast, but would probably add it next time as I'm trying to develop a taste for it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pumpkin Soup with Chicken Sausage

This soup recipe came from the October 2012 Food Network Magazine. I wasn't much impressed with this recipe. The broth was watery and not particularly flavorful. Most of the reviewers that like it had spiced up the flavor in some way.  I questioned when I was adding the 2 1/2 cups of water at the end and debated not doing it and now wished I hadn't. I replaced the chicken apple sausage with vegetarian. I love the fried sage leaves on top, but not enough to make this again. And I wonder where they got the hefty 522 calories per bowl number. My vegetarian sausages had 1,000 calories total or less than 200 per serving, but with only some chicken broth and vegetables for the rest of the ingredients, I don't know where they got that large number. If you decide to make this I would read all the reviews online and decide what else you might add to it. The picture came courtesy of the Food Network. I apparently didn't take a picture of mine.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pumpkin Black Bean Tamale Bake

This recipe came from the website The idea of her website is to help you create monthly menus from seasonal products and fill your freezer to boot. Although I didn't spend a lot of time on the website, it appears you can buy monthly memberships. I used crumbles instead of ground beef and cut the oil in half in the cornbread. My cornbread did not rise like hers did, but that could have been due to my fiddling with the recipe. I felt the casserole part was a little bland (in all fairness, she was feeding it to toddlers) and could have benefited from some seasonings like chili powder, garlic, salt & pepper, adobo, etc. I made mine in individual ramekins and froze the extras.

Monday, March 4, 2013

"3 for 100" Mini Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe from Libby's was in the coupon section of the newspaper, along with a coupon for canned pumpkin. While I love the idea that I get to eat three muffins, they are really little. I used some homemade granola for the topping rather than buy a box of cereal, which worked fine. I had a hard time getting them out of the papers on the first round so I sprayed the cups with Pam and they came right out. After all they aren't big enough to leave half of it it the paper cup. We liked these and they would make great kid's snacks or lunch bag treats.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baby Cakes

This recipe is very similar to the one I used, which I can no longer find on the web. Sometimes I gather recipes and it's a year or more before I try them. One thing I would change in both recipes is to cream the sugars and butter before adding the eggs, vanilla and honey. It just doesn't work adding them all at the same time. My butter never completely combined, but it didn't hurt the final product. My recipe called for 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin and jars of applesauce and apricot baby food, while this one mixed that up a little. I made them in a mini-muffin pan and it made 57 muffins at about 60 calories each. These little bites have a lot of sugar in them in my opinion. White sugar, brown sugar, honey and the baby food has concentrated apple and grape juices. I chose not to frost them and instead eat them in the mornings or as a snack instead of using them as dessert.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rigatoni with Sausage, Pumpkin & Tomato

This recipe came from the October 2012 Rachael Ray magazine. As pointed out by a reader, the online version has a typo that the magazine version does not - 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water instead of 12 cups. Right off the bat you'll notice that I didn't use rigatoni, but some spiral whole wheat pasta that we had in the house. I also replaced the sausage with vegetarian sausage. Both the Hub and I like this and plan on taking it for lunches. If I made it again I would punch up the vegetables and cut back on the pasta, but I'm just like that.