Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin’

Caramel Frosted Pumpkin Mini Cakes

One of my favorite bands, Paramore, is playing in Nashville tonight. Originally when I had planned on going out of town for Thanksgiving, I was going to stop and see that show on my way out. Unfortunately that is no longer my plan as I decided to stay put and save money. I did see them with No Doubt a couple years back and with Jimmy Eat World before that so it’s not too heart breaking – except that they are the headliners this time. You better believe I will be cooking dinner tonight while dancing around to their music, pretending I’m there. Not that that’s different from a normal day in my kitchen…

Caramel Frosted Pumpkin Mini Cakes 1

In other news, today is National Cake Day! With Thanksgiving nearly upon us I am throwing as much pumpkin at you as I possibly can, including these mini cakes. These individual cakes are made by cutting rounds from a thin sheet cake. The rounds are layered and frosted with a caramel cream cheese frosting and then topping with caramel sauce and candied pecans, resulting in eyegasms. Who wouldn’t want their own personal mini cake?

You can use the leftover cake scraps to make cake balls or if you’d prefer to avoid scraps, make these into cupcakes instead.

Caramel Frosted Pumpkin Mini Cakes 2

One year ago: Arugula Pesto Pasta

Three years ago: Caramel Apple Pie
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Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

Normally for Single Serving Sunday I try to share recipes that only make one serving, but with the upcoming Thanksgiving feast I decided to do something special – a Thanksgiving meal that serves two. Many recipes for Thanksgiving produce a magnitude of servings, but what about the people out there only cooking for two, or four? This menu I have prepared easily serves 2 with leftovers. Because who doesn’t want leftovers from Thanksgiving? That being said, the turkey could serve four but if you have hearty eaters you may want to double the sides.

This dinner consists of a slow cooker turkey tenderloin with gravy, Greek yogurt-rosemary rolls, bagel-bacon stuffing, roasted brussels, twice baked sweet potatoes, cranberry-pomegranate sauce, and pumpkin crème brulee for dessert. Take a moment to be jealous.

 Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin

My turkey tenderloin came out so juicy and flavorful that it will be hard to convince me to cook a whole turkey in the future. It literally fell apart when I lifted it out of the pot. By using a slow cooker I was also able to do whatever the heck I wanted in the oven, which is a huge perk for those of us with only one oven (one day I hope to be spoiled with a double oven). Even the gravy was amazing after cooking in all those delicious juices.

Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin with Gravy

As you are aware, I have a habit of adding Greek yogurt to anything I possibly can so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it shows up here in dinner rolls. The rosemary really sold me on these rolls. If you don’t like rosemary, please substitute for another herb because they will rock your world with their subtle herby-ness. You can also prep these the day beforehand and refrigerate before the last rise. The next day, take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to bake them.

Greek Yogurt-Rosemary Dinner Rolls

Then there’s the stuffing. I’ve seen stuffing made with all types of bread but this was the first recipe I had seen using bagels. I originally set aside two corn muffins for stuffing, but those were thrown into the freezer once I discovered I could use a bagel instead. I freaking love bagels! And I was not disappointed by the trade-off, especially since there was bacon involved.

Bagel and Bacon Stuffing

For a green side I chose brussels sprouts. Only a couple Thanksgivings ago I discovered that I no longer hated them and actually became obsessed. As a result, they are nostalgic to me at this time of year. Just a simple roasting and a drizzle of balsamic is all they needed.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Growing up we usually had both regular mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes but knew I would burst if I tried to add both onto this already long lineup. I went with a twice baked sweet potato that is topped with pecans and coconut. Although it is less sweet than a marshmallow topping, it has a crunchier topping that will make you forget about those puffy white things (no offense marshmallows, I still love you).

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without some cranberry sauce. This version uses pomegranate juice for a more complex flavor. This can be made the day beforehand or even a few days before to minimize the amount of work you have to do on the big day. But if you do have to whip it up the same day, rest assured that it will only take 20 minutes.

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce

Of course, once you’ve stuffed your face you’ll still find room for dessert, right? Especially for pumpkin crème brulee. I know you may initially think it’s a crime to not have pumpkin pie but it’s basically pumpkin pie and crème brulee all in one. Are you really going to be upset by having both?

Pumpkin Creme Brulee 1

Now for some tips on how I timed everything in order to be hot and ready all at the same time. An hour before turkey is done cooking (mine only took 4 hours), take rolls out of fridge (if prepared the night before), toast the bagel for stuffing, and prep the brussels sprouts. Bake the stuffing and brussels at the same time and with 20 minutes of cook time remaining, add the sweet potatoes and rolls to the oven. At that time, remove the turkey from the slow cooker and prepare the gravy. Slice up the turkey and serve! Then once your belly has digested a little to make room for dessert, torch the creme brulee just before you’re ready to dig in.

 Pumpkin Creme Brulee 2

One year ago: Buckeye Cupcakes

Two years ago: Apple Blackberry Pie

Three years ago: Cranberry Sauce
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Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce

With my dissertation behind me and only 21 days until I graduate and get hooded for my Ph.D. you’d think I would be care-free and excited. Not so much, more like the same old stress and anxious. I am still working on a couple last experiments per reviewers comments on my paper, job hunting, and worrying about what I am going to do if I don’t have a job lined up by the end of January when my lease runs out. With any luck that last item won’t become a reality, but in the meantime it’s a good time for some comfort food.

Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce 1

Stuffed shells are great comfort food. Those big shells hug in their cheesy goodness of a filling while being wrapped up in a warm blanket of sauce. Sounds like the life, doesn’t it? This sauce happens to be extra special because it is a pumpkin alfredo sauce with sage. Now wait, don’t get discouraged thinking you have to make your own alfredo sauce (but you can if you want). This recipe uses a premade jar of alfredo mixed up with pumpkin puree and a couple other flavor additions to create a great fall pasta dish.

Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce 2

One year ago: Individual Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Two years ago: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Three years ago: Veggie Lasagna
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Pumpkin Baklava Bars

After making peanut butter baklava bars I immediately knew I wanted to try it out with pumpkin for the holidays. As much as I loved the peanut butter version, how could it not be just as good if not better with pumpkin? With the cinnamon, honey, and nuts floating around in there it was meant to be.

The result is what I imagine would happen if pumpkin pie and baklava got together and made babies. With a sugar cookie base, pumpkin-walnut filling, crispy fillo topping and completely coated in honey, it’s two deserts in one. As a bonus it’s easy to make and  therefore should definitely make it for your upcoming festive gatherings.

Pumpkin Baklava Bars 1

As far as the job search is going, I have applied to many, but no hooks just yet. I just have to keep applying for those which interest me and I am qualified for and hope for the best. I probably should track down contact numbers to HR or whoever I can find to inquire about my applications. Unfortunately several to which I have applied explicitly say that calls are not welcome. Ugh… Thankfully I have a couple little projects to fiddle with in the lab to keep me busy in the meantime and will be resubmitting my paper now that I have finished addressing reviewers comments. Having that paper in press will definitely improve my CV!

Pumpkin Baklava Bars 2

One year ago: Baked Purple Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Marshmallow Glaze

Two years ago: Gluten-Free Cake Batter Pancakes
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Chocolate Pumpkin Pancakes

Not only is it another Secret Recipe Club reveal day, but it’s also National Chocolate Day! As a result, my recipe selection for today from Vintage Kitchen Notes involves chocolate. But before I talk about that, you should check out some of Paula’s other recipes such as Grilled Eggplants with Honey and Spices, Brown Sugar Cheesecake, and these festive White Chocolate Dulde de Leche Ghosts. I also almost made her Chocolate Walnut Sheet cake for today but I hadn’t treated myself to pancakes in awhile.

I ended up choosing her recipe for chocolate pumpkin pancakes. The original recipe used chocolate chips, but I decided to mix in cocoa powder instead to spread the chocolate throughout the pancakes. The chocolate flavor wasn’t as pronounced, but I liked the added flavor in addition to the pumpkin and cinnamon. And I went ahead and sprinkled some mini chocolate chips on top anyway. It’s a fall breakfast treat!

Chocolate Pumpkin Pancakes

Two years ago: Halloween Brownie Roll Out Cookie Sandwiches
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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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Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

If you recall, last week I posted a savory recipe for a Chicken & Sweet Potato Potpie using the Baker’s Secret 9-inch pie pan. Today I am sharing a sweet recipe using their muffin/cupcake pans because who doesn’t enjoy a good festive cupcake?

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes 1

The combination of pumpkin and chocolate is not visited enough, in my opinion. I discovered the joy of those two flavors mixed together when I made the Pumpkin Kissed Gingerbread Brownies. This time they come together in the form of a cupcake, with a cinnamon buttercream. Complete with fall leaves sprinkles.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes 3

Don’t forget to enter to win your own Baker’s secret pie pan and muffin pan by clicking HERE and using the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of the post. Giveaway ends tonight!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes 2

Two years ago: Stuffed Flank Steak with Potato Cakes and Amaretto Chocolate Cheesecake
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Pumpkin Spice Brownies

Last fall I saw a few bloggers post about two-ingredient pumpkin brownies, which only requires a box of brownie mix and a can of pumpkin. I was skeptical but finally decided to try it out this year except I added in a couple more ingredients such as cinnamon, frosting and pumpkin spice M&M’s I found at Target.

Be warned, if you do not like dense fudgy brownies these are not for you. But if you do then stick around and stay awhile! As you can see from the pictures of these brownies, they are so fudgy that they actually look like fudge. I also think that the additions made them taste a little more like pumpkin than they would have otherwise. They really are a great way to make a slightly healthier Halloween treat!

Pumpkin Spice Brownies 1

Speaking of Halloween, while snapping photos of these brownies on my porch I spied a huge spider in the top corner of my porch, resting on an approximately 3-foot wide web spanning from the roof to the handrail. Commence freak out! His/her abdomen was about the size of a nickel. Add a head and legs and you’ll understand why I quickly snapped these photos and ran inside.

No I did not attempt to kill it, because when it comes to bugs, I don’t like feeling when I kill them and when they are that big that’s exactly what will happen. Besides, the spider was basically floating in the air on the web so it would’ve been hard to squash without catching it first. Who has a flame thrower I can borrow? I don’t think my kitchen torch will cut it.

In the meantime, thanks for the Halloween decorations?

Pumpkin Spice Brownies 2

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate with Oreo Crumbs
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White Chocolate-Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Sandwiches

Today at 1pm (CST) is my seminar for my dissertation defense – “Signal Transduction and Transcriptional Regulation Pathways Essential for Azole Resistance in Candida albicans“. So why the heck am I posting today? Because I always bake something for my committee at every meeting and I HAD to bake over the weekend in order to get out of my head for a little while.

It also happens to be national white chocolate day. To celebrate this momentous occasion I decided to finally cave and bake something fall-ish and pumpkin. Enjoy the fruits of my stress, and then check back later today as I will be posting again to let you know the verdict!

White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Two years ago: Healthier Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
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Guest Post: Pumpkin Pie Streusel Bars by Chip Chip Hooray!

I never thought that by joining the food blogging world that I would (virtually) meet so many awesome people, let alone meet them in person. Back in March I actually had the surreal pleasure of meeting Joanne, Kayle, Jennifer, Lauren and Tara. Even though I had never personally met Tara beforehand, she offered up her apartment as a place to rest my head (apparently I don’t come off as a complete psycho). Upon my arrival into NYC, I new we were going to be friends after having Thai from one of her favorite restaurants for dinner and a visit to a very expansive bakery for dessert (and subsequent leftovers for breakfast the next morning). We’ve already discussed an encore visit (which hopefully Tracey can join us for without any hiccups this time).

I am very happy to have Tara, of Chip Chip Hooray!, guest posting for me today. In addition to being an awesome person, she makes awesome food such as mini cookie dough donuts with chocolate glaze and biscoff white chocolate pancakes. She’s even made a typewriter cake – holy impressive! Stay turned to see what she has to share with you. P.S. She just got engaged!!

One year ago: Speculoos S’mores Cheesecake Bars

Two years ago: Baked Falafels

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Pumpkin Pie Streusel 1a

Hi friends! I’m Tara from Chip Chip Hooray!, and I’m super excited to be guest posting on The Spiffy Cookie today. I’m fairly sure Erin was one of the first bloggers I ever followed, and one of the handful I’ve been lucky enough to meet in person. I’m totally in awe of the way she juggles a full-time job as a researcher and Ph.D. student with her daily blogging life. Plus she’s just endlessly creative – she is constantly coming up with awesome uses for peanut butter, cake batter, and chocolate. Love it!

I’m here to lend a blogging hand to Erin while she finishes up all her awesome Ph.D. dissertating madness. You rock, Erin! I know how hard she’s been working on this (when she isn’t making Petri dish cookies), and how much of a relief and an accomplishment it’ll be when she’s finished. A virtual cupcake toast to her!!

So in the spirit of fall – which just happens to be my favorite season – I brought some pumpkin-y, streusel-y goodness to The Spiffy Cookie today. Read on, y’all.

Pumpkin Pie Streusel 2

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