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Lately I’ve been craving lots of pumpkin. I like to blame that desire on this baby that’s been in my belly for 32 weeks now. So out of desperation and lack of desire to leave the house, I see what I can make with what I have around.

I found this recipe for bars and since I didn’t have enough cream cheese I decided to combine it with the pie recipe on the back of a Libby’s Pumpkin can.

They turned out to be just what I wanted.


Recipe (Carrie version):

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 tablespoons butter (softened)
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Pulse together in food processor til crumbly. Press most in 9×11 pan but save a bit for topping.
Bake at 350 for 15 min.
1 can of pumpkin
1 can of evaporated milk (12 ounce)
2 eggs
Softened cream cheese (3 ounces or more)
1 tsp. nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice (whatever you have of these)
pinch of salt, ginger, cloves
3/4 C. sugar
Mix together with hand mixer and pour into baked crust. Top with the rest of the crumbly toppings. Bake at 350 for 45 min.
Cool. Eat. Add whipped cream/ice know the drill.

Like a flat tasty pie:)

Jake and I are back in Lancaster for a spell and helping out with the family business – produce stand at a farmer’s market. This means we get LOTS of delicious fruits and vegetable that we rarely splurged on while we were in Alaska, although our little arugula garden grew splendidly there. While boxing up beautiful arugula at 4am I had the urge to make some kind of pear tart/pizza. So that is just what we did – sort of made it up from a hodge podge of recipes.

It was GOOD. More like a pie that got steam rolled, this hit the spot. We didn’t have bleu cheese or gorgonzola so we substituted sharp white cheddar – but I ended up loving it. Here we go…

To make one small flat tart (light dinner for two): 

– handful of fresh arugula

– thin slices of a ripe bosc pear

– sharp white cheddar – shredded (or gorg or bleu)

– dough! we didn’t have yeast so ours became more like a pie crust – but I recommend this! You will need flour, water, salt, flax seed (optional), baking powder, veg oil.

1. Mix together a cup of flour (we only had white), 1/3 c. water, 1/2 tsp salt, small handful of flax seed, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/8 c. veg. oil. Mix, roll up into a ball and flatten. Place this on a cookie sheet and brush with a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

3. Top dough with cheese, pear, arugula, and then a bit more cheese.

4. Bake for 10-15 min at 350. You can change this depending on your preferences of crispiness.

5. Remove, cool a bit, and drizzle with more olive oil/ balsamic vinegar.

6. EAT!

OPTION: wait to add arugula after it comes out if you want some of that bitterness to stay – otherwise it gets baked out:)





A delicious addition to your fall menu. Though I usually find leftover muffins to be dry and useless, I actually almost like these better the next day.

Adapted from The Muffin Baker’s Guide by Bruce Koffler

1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 T flaxmeal

3 1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg

1 t cinnamon

2/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup milk

1 egg

1/4 cup veggie oil

Preheat over to 400. Grease 12 muffins cups. Stir together the flours, salt, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, egg and oil. Combine the two mixtures; don’t over-mix. Divide batter between muffin cups. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from muffin tins and cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 muffins

We adore this stuff. I did significantly lower the sugar from the original recipe so if you want a sweeter butter, use an extra cup of sugar.

3 quarts unsweetened applesauce
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 t cinnamon
1 t cloves

Place all ingredients in a crock pot and stir. Turn on low and cook with no lid on until nice and thick. This takes a while, like all day. Stir it every now and then. When it’s thick, you can either open-kettlen can it or process it in a water bath. I usually open kettle. Put your clean jars in a 225 degree oven for about 20 minutes, boil your lids in a bit of water. Gather your rings. When the jars are hot, ladle the hot apple butter into them and seal immediately with the hot lids. Let sit undisturbed until cool. Remove the rings and wash the jars in hot, soapy water to remove any stickiness. You can also freeze this stuff, which is, of course, the easiest method.

This is one tasty creation (though Jada thought it was carrot cake so maybe the sweet potato flavor didn’t come through enough?). I got the original recipe from a friend’s cookbook but I changed it around so much that I think it’s safe to call it my own.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup plus 2 T all-purpose flour

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t ground ginger

1/4 t salt

3/4 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

1/4 cup applesauce (I used pear sauce)

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup oil

2 eggs

1/2 t vanilla

Mix the flours, leavenings, spices, and salt in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat the potatoes, applesauce, sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. I actually used my immersion blender because the potato was a little too chunky. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Don’t over mix. Pour into a greased 8-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. When cool, drizzle with the glaze.

Orange Drizzle

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1 t OJ concentrate

1 t room-temp butter

1/4 t vanilla

1 T milk (or enough to make a glaze)

Mix everything together until smooth. Drizzle on cooled cake. This stuff tastes like orange julius!

Yield: 9 pieces of cake

Just discovered that is having a fall pie countdown.

I LOVE pie so I wanted to share the news:)

So sweet and delicious.

5 sweet potatoes
1/4 cup water
2-3 T OJ concentrate
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 T butter
1 t lemon zest

Leaving the sweet potatoes whole, put them in a pot of water and boil them until soft. Let cool until you can handle them and take the peels off. Slice them into 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices and put in a greased 9×13 casserole dish.

Cook the water, OJ concentrate, sugar, and butter until boiling. Turn off heat and stir in zest. Pour evenly over potatoes. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, basting the potatoes once or twice with the pan juices. When they are nicely caramelized, they are done. Serve immediately.

This always gets eaten quickly!

5-8 apples, depending on size, any variety you like
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
2 T ground flax
pinch salt
3 T raw sugar
3 T fat (I use half oil, half melted butter)

Peel, core, and slice your apples. Sometimes I leave on some of the peels for nutrition but they do leave a chewy texture in your crisp. Mix the apples with the sugar and cinnamon. Arrange in an 8×8 inch baking dish. Combine the oats, flax, salt, raw sugar, and fat. Evenly distribute over the apples. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes, or until apples are soft. Enjoy warm or cool with milk or ice cream.

Don’t feel obligated to make this unless it looks good to ya! I’ll get the draft started later on and if you like, add your results sometime this month. Enjoy!

Recipe from Rachael Ray’s Everyday Magazine, October 2010

1 pound penne rigate pasta
6 slices bacon
2 T olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 cups baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 T parsley
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1) In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta for 7 minutes (the pasta will only be partially cooked). Drain, reserving 2 1/2 cups fo the cooking water.
2)Meanwhile, in an extra-large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain the bacon and then crumble in once it’s cool enough to handle. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan.
3) Add the olive oil and squash to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 7 minutes. Add the pasta and 2 cups of the reserved cooking water. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until the pasta and squash are cooked, about 5 minutes, adding additional pasta cooking water if needed.
4) Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach, garlic, and parsley. Season generously with salt and pepper; sprinkle with the cheese and crumbled bacon.

Serves 4.

I know, I said I’d stay away from the pumpkin for a while. I just couldn’t resist this one, especially since I had the exact amount of pumpkin sitting in a jar in the fridge, and some cream cheese that desperately needed used, and almost the perfect amount of graham crackers. It was just meant to be.

I got this recipe from a friend and adapted it to make it just a tad healthier.

1 9-inch graham cracker crust (recipe below)
14 oz cream cheese (1 3/4 blocks)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 t vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup pureed butternut squash or pumpkin
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch ground ginger

Beat the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until well incorporated. Spread 1 cup of this mixture on the bottom of your pie crust.

To the remaining batter, add the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Spread on top of the plain filling in your crust. Bake at 325 for about 40 minutes or until set in the middle. Cool and then chill a couple hours before serving.

Graham Cracker Crust
Recipe adapted from
1 cup (slightly generous) graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
4 T butter, melted
1/2 t cinnamon
Mix everything together and press into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 375 for about 8 minutes. Cool. Freeze or use immediately.

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