Posts Tagged ‘pepitas’

Healthy Vegetarian Taco Salad

This colorful vegetarian taco salad comes together in minutes. Quinoa, black beans, corn and kale will fill you up while the spicy avocado dressing satisfies the taste buds

Healthy Vegetarian Taco Salad 1

I go through phases with my food cravings and lately it has consisted of arugula, kale, Mexican food, and ice cream. So why not combine two of them in this healthier taco salad? Other than the quinoa, this vegetarian salad requires no cooking and comes together very quickly making it a great salad for lunch or a weeknight dinner to beat the lingering summer heat. It’s made even healthier by serving it in a bowl of purple cabbage leaves. Crunchy like a tortilla without the guilt. As a bonus it even looks pretty!

Healthy Vegetarian Taco Salad 2

Two years ago: Roasted Cherry Brownie Cheesecake
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Sea Salt Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups and a Bar & Bean Giveaway

Did you know that this coming Monday, October 28th, is National Chocolate Day? I’m here to tell you to not just celebrate it with any old chocolate, but try something new. Bar & Bean is an online marketplace for small-batch craft chocolate (less than 250 tons annually). The makers of the chocolates they stock are working to reintroduce and redefine a flavor that has been dominated by large producers.

Bar and Bean

I was sent Bar & Bean’s Baker’s Set which is a mix of 5 craft chocolate bars:

(1) Ritual Chocolate – based in Denver, CO and started by 2 individuals: Robbie and Anna. Balao 75% Cacao – characterized by citrus and nutty notes. Only 2 ingredients: cacao and sugar.

(2) Poco Dolce – based in San Francisco, CA and started by Kathy Wiley. “Poco Dolce” literally translates from Italian as “not too sweet”, which aligns with the company’s mission of staying on the “savory side of sweet”.  Bittersweet with Sea Salt – light sprinkling of Grey Sea Salt.

(3 & 4) Escazu – based in Raleigh, NC and started by Hallot and Danielle. Uses an antique roaster and stone grinder to make chocolate in a more traditional method to bring out flavor complexity. Chipotle Chili & Vanilla – 74% dark chocolate that is complemented with a spicy kick of chipotle chili. Pumpkin Seed and Guajillo Chili – 73% dark chocoloate with roasted pumpkin seeds and guajillo chili.

(5) Dick Taylor – based in Aracta, CA and started by two college buddies Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor.  Dick Taylor uses only organic cacao and organic cane sugar in its bars. They roast their beans in their modified Royal #5 coffee bean roaster. Aged for at least 2-4 weeks to further develop and stabilize flavor. Fleur de Sel – 74% Dominican Republic with hand harvested sea salt.

Bar and Bean 2

The first bar I tried was the Escazu Pumpkin Seed and Guajillo Chili Dark Chocolate bar, and it inspired me to incorporate pumpkin seeds into the pumpkin peanut butter cups I had been planning to make for today, which is National Pumpkin Day (and also the usual PB+Choc Saturday). Then I went after the two sea salt bars because that’s one of my favorite things in special chocolate. And as a result the pumpkin peanut butter cup with pepitas then got a sprinkle of sea salt on top as well!

Unfortunately, I did not leave enough leftover to make these cups completely out of the chocolate I was sent, but the recipe was inspired by all the craft chocolate I got to try. These little cups are the perfect combination of pumpkin, chocolate, and peanut butter in order to fully celebrate. To make the celebration even better, be sure to find the Rafflecopter widget after saving the recipe in order to enter to win your own set of craft chocolate.

Sea Salt Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups 1

As for the PB+Choc portion of today’s celebration, today Ohio State plays Penn State which means many people in my life are enemies on this day. Hopefully it will only last the day. Penn State is coming back after a 4OT win against Michigan, so it should be a really good game. They are still not eligible to play in the B1G or National championship games, so it’s really to the benefit of the conference as a whole if we win O:-). However, I don’t particularly want to go to the Championship game either because as good as I do believe we are, I am not sure we are at the same level as Alabama or Oregon. As much as I hate to admit it.

Sea Salt Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups 2

Two years ago: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and Apple
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Guest Post: Pumpkin Spice Pizzas & The Dollop Book of Frosting Giveaway

Only a few weeks ago, I discovered that not only did Heather “Cupcakes” Saffer of Dollop Gourmet win Cupcake Wars, but she is from my hometown Rochester, NY! We’ve already discussed how the next time I am back in town we need to bake cookies and, obviously, frost the crap out of them. After seeing her Ultimate Dude Cupcakes, I think we will be a dangerous duo and might need to wear elastic waist-band pants for this adventure.

But what does all this have to do with you? Well I am excited to have her posting here today for the finale of her cookbook blog tour for The Dollop Book of Frosting! I have a pre-release copy already and just from flipping through the recipes, it has exceeded my expectations. I love frosting but tend to stick to cream cheese or peanut butter frosting, however I think she has converted me. I had no idea there were so many uses and unique flavors for frosting!

And it gets even better because you have until Friday, September 20th to enter to win a grand prize package of frosting-related things and a signed copy of her cookbook. To find out how to enter, stick around and read what Heather has to share with you. Also, if you have any questions for her leave them in the comment section at the bottom of this post as she will be checking in throughout the day to respond.

P.S. I know that I said all I wanted for a graduation present was for someone to format my dissertation, but I have just one more request: I need this t-shirt. “FROST THIS” – I love it!

One year ago: Loaded Baked Potato Dip

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Hello Spiffy Cookie readers! (I love saying that.)

I’m Heather—frosting lover, Cupcake Wars winner (gotta hang onto that 15 minutes!), parenthesis over-user, and author of The Dollop Book of Frosting!

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And the cookbook (and writing it) is what I’m here to talk to you about today.

First off, I want to throw Erin some super-thanks for having me as a guest blogger. She’s got her nose to the grindstone finishing up that dissertation so I’m happy to take a load off her writing schedule for today. Also, I’m honored to have the attention of her faithful readers (you!)!

If you haven’t heard of The Dollop Book of Frosting (it doesn’t hit store shelves until this Wednesday) then I’d like to inform you that it’s not your average frosting cookbook (is that even a thing?).

I mainly wrote The Dollop Book of Frosting to debunk the myth that frosting is just for cupcakes and cookies. Because it’s not. Not even kinda. Frosting is for everything. I think Erin would agree.

DollopBookofFrosting

Writing a cookbook is a pretty intense experience so it helps to come up with a solid strategy before you start. One of my initial thoughts was that I needed to include a variety of flavors—pumpkin being one of them.

In all honesty, I’ve never understood the fall pumpkin craze. I love pumpkin but when we’re talking pumpkin coffee and pumpkin milkshakes all we’re really getting is pumpkin flavoring. When you’re craving pumpkin aren’t you craving real pumpkin? I know I am.

Which is why I decided to devise a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting using real pumpkin.

DollopFWMediaPumpkinSpice_Page_2

But first a quick backstory—

In creating this very recipe for the cookbook I thought it would be neat to cut a whole pumpkin and bake and then puree the insides of it to add to the frosting. So fresh!

Well, either I wasn’t lifting enough weights back then or I bought an extra tough pumpkin because I couldn’t for the life of me cut through that thing; and I just about sliced my hand off in my efforts.

So I switched to canned pumpkin. But I swear it’s still real pumpkin—it’s just much safer to open.

And luckily it turned out so deliciously creamy, pumpkin-y, and fabulous!

I really hope you enjoy and use this Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting and Pumpkin Pizza recipe this pumpkin season.

The decorate-your-own pizzas are a fantastic snack for your pumpkin carving parties and any leftover Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese frosting can be used to fill pumpkin muffins, dip gingersnaps into, or serve atop pumpkin bread with a tall glass of pumpkin beer.
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Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal

Memphis may be experiencing highs in the 80s and lows only in the 60s, but that doesn’t stop me from craving a warm breakfast. The great thing about this oatmeal/cereal is that you can prepare it the night before and then reheat it in the morning, complete with some great toppings. It even has some quinoa in it instead of just being all oats so it’s packed with extra protein. And by the way even if you are not a quinoa fan, it blends right in. Which got me to thinking, maybe I should try adding quinoa to granola bars?

Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal

One year ago: Blueberry Oatmeal Bagels
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Chili-Lime Roasted Butternut Salad

Get out your grocery list because you need to make this tonight. Yes, I am ordering you to make a salad which is strangely out of character. As you may have noticed I do not eat many salads, but this is the best salad I’ve ever had. EVER. To the point where I would pick this salad over pizza. This is monumental, folks and I am already putting butternut squash back on my grocery list to make this again.

The recipe says it should serve 4, but two servings disappeared before I knew what happened. I never know roasted butternut squash could be so magical! Even the dressing was just a bonus and almost wasn’t even necessary. Seriously, why are you still reading this? Go and let your taste buds rejoice!

Chili-Lime Roasted butternut Salad

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Pumpkin Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Waste not: I hope you saved your seeds after carving pumpkins for Halloween (or from making homemade pumpkin puree) so that you can roast them up! Usually I only add a little salt but I decided to add something more, such as the uncreative addition of pumpkin pie spice! Such a non-novel idea isn’t it? Haha but anyway they are good, despite their obviousness.

My favorite part of making roasted pumpkin seeds is running my hands through the seeds while rinsing them. They feel slippery and fun! Makes me want to jump into a pool of them and swim around.. am I alone on this one?

PUMPKIN SPICE ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS

Ingredients:

Whole, fresh, unshelled pumpkin seeds

Olive oil

Pumpkin pie spice

Salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings, then drain. (This is easiest just after you’ve removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried.)
  2. Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat.
  3. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and salt and bake until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes.
  4. Let cool and store in an air-tight container.

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes

Pumpkin Granola

I am still looking for baked good donations for the bake sale I am hosting in honor of Run for Dave on Oct 2. Please e-mail me at spiffycookie at gmail dot com if you are interested in contributing to the bake sale!

I have never made granola before. I made granola bars once, but never granola itself. So in the spirit of trying new things and the fall season which is nearly upon us, I decided to make pumpkin granola – a recipe I have been eyeing for months but now feel it is appropriate.

Did you know that granola is easy to make? Because it is. And you should definitely make this one in particular because it’s inhalable. Mix in yogurt, serve it with milk, or just snack on it by itself. How you get it into your belly isn’t important, just make sure it gets there soon and frequently. At least that is what I prefer.

PUMPKIN GRANOLA

Makes approximately 6-1/2 cups

Ingredients:

5 cups rolled oats

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup applesauce

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, spices, and salt. Mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated. They will be moist. Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and stir. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and stir in dried cranberries and pepitas. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Source: Adapted slightly from Two Peas & Their Pod

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