Archives for category: Vegetarian

I’ve always wondered how hard it was to make pumpkin puree, so I went ahead and made it!  It definitely isn’t hard, but requires a little time.  And if you plan on roasting the seeds afterwards (you should!)- your oven will be running for a long time.  Not necessarily a bad thing when it’s getting chilly out!

Pumpkin puree can be used for any of your pumpkin needs.  It’s awesome in pumpkin pies and makes it truly homemade.  It is good in many other baked goods, such as Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, Pumpkin Pancakes, Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles, or Pumpkin Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Slice pumpkins in half, as pictured.

Scoop out the insides and save the seeds if you plan on roasting them.

Place the pumpkin halves on a foiled lined baking sheet, open side down.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, remove from oven and let cool.

Scoop out the soft pumpkin with a spoon and put in a food processor or blender.

There you have it, pureed pumpkin!

Is it obvious yet that I just love squash this time of year?  I received a lot of nice squash in my produce bin and decided to roast it up.  The nice thing about squash is that it doesn’t need a whole lot to be delicious, especially when roasted.  The thing is, most recipes involve disturbing amounts of butter and brown sugar.  I promise you that although tasty, it isn’t necessary.  Squash is great to have on hand, since it will keep for a month or so.

-2 Small Acorn Squash, washed and cut into wedges
-1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
-Salt and Pepper, to taste
-1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375F.  Lightly drizzle olive oil on top of the acorn squash on a baking sheet.  Shake on some salt and pepper, to your preference.  Add chopped rosemary on top and bake for 30-35 minutes, until fork tender.

My grandmother makes the best snickerdoodles on the entire planet.  When Christmastime comes around, we all gather around in her kitchen and sample her cookie platter.  It’s full of delicious traditions, which I really cherish.  And although I absolutely adore grandma’s snickerdoodles, I wanted to try a Fall variation because I just might not be able to hold out until the holidays.

These cookies are super soft and fluffy.  They aren’t the typical snickerdoodle texture since they have the pumpkin in them.  They puff up nicely and keep well for a few days in a sealed container.  This recipe makes about two dozen cookies.

-3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
-1 Cup Unsalted Butter
-1 Cup Sugar
-1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
-1 Egg
-1 teaspoons Vanilla
-3 3/4 Cups Flour
-1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
-1/2 teaspoon Salt
-3/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
-1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

For the coating:
-1/2 Cup Sugar
-1 teaspoon Cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Stir in pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla and mix until incorporated.

In a separate medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low speed.

On a small plate, mix together cinnamon, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice for the coating.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll balls into small ping-pong ball sizes. Roll each dough ball in the coating the place on the baking sheet.  Gently press down on each ball with the bottom of a glass to flatten a little.  Bake for 13-14 minutes.  Allow to cool for a minute on the pan, and then remove onto a cooling rack.

When the leaves start changing color, it’s time to get the fireplace ready, sip hot apple cider, and bring out the Fall recipes.  I love making squash during this time of year.  It’s so hearty!  No one likes a boring squash recipe, so I’ve mixed up the traditional butternut squash by roasting it with olive oil and garlic.  At the end, stir in some chopped kale and shredded Parmesan, and you have a delicious and healthy side dish to any meal.

-1 Large Butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces
-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
-Salt and Pepper, to taste
-1 Cup of Kale, washed and chopped
-1/4 Cup of Shredded Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400F.  Toss the peeled and cubed squash into a 9×13 baking pan with olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper.  Do not add kale or cheese.  Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, until the squash is fork tender.  Add the kale and Parmesan, gently mixing in with a utensil.  Put back in the oven for five minutes, until kale is wilted and starting to get cripsy.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Fall weather is here and that means I’m on another pumpkin kick.  Pumpkin pancakes are the perfect start to a chilly morning!  They’re dense but fluffy, naturally sweet, and filling!

Also, other delicious pumpkin breakfast recipes I’ve made are Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles and the famous Pumpkin Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast.

-1 1/2 Cups Milk
-1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (not Pumpkin Pie Filling!)
-1 Egg
-2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
-2 Cups All Purpose Flour
-3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
-2 teaspoons Baking Powder
-1 teaspoon Baking Soda
-1 3/4 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
-1/4 teaspoon Salt

In a bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, egg, and oil.

In another bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated.
Heat a griddle or skillet to medium heat.  Scoop the batter in 1/4 cup amounts.  Flip once bubbles rise to the top and edges lift.

Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.  Sprinkle with some toasted pecans and powdered sugar and serve with warm maple syrup!

Now that Summer is wrapping up, I am finally sharing this incredible ice cream recipe with the world.  I had made a couple batches of other flavors of ice cream, but this one is life-changing!  I love cheesecake, I love strawberries, and I love ice cream…what more could you want?

Go grab some fresh strawberries while you still can and give this a try!

-12 Ounces Strawberries, hulled and sliced
-8 Ounces Cream Cheese
-1 Cup Sour Cream
-1/2 Cup Half & Half
-1 Cup Sugar
-1 Pinch Salt
-3 Graham Crackers, crushed

Puree the strawberries and pour into a medium sized bowl.
Add sour cream and cream cheese.

Add half and half, lemon juice, sugar, and salt.  Mix well until it is all incorporated.

Chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours, until well chilled.  Pour into ice cream maker and make according to manufacturer’s directions.  During the last 5 minutes, add the crushed graham crackers.  Freeze overnight.

Scoop and serve!

After being inspired by a good friend’s fritatta with Swiss chard, I decided to try it on its own.  Swiss chard is buttery and delectable when sautéed (even without butter!)  It is one of the most healthy vegetables out there, second to spinach.  I don’t suggest eating it raw because it is a little tough and bitter, but once cooked down, it completely changes character.  If you haven’t tried it, I highly suggest giving it a shot!

To prep:  Rinse and pat dry the chard leaves.  Cut the leaves off from the stems and then into bite sized pieces.  Discard the stems for this recipe.  I’ve seen recipes out there for the stems, so if you’re feeling creative, do a quick search!

-1 Large Bunch of Fresh Chard
-1/4 Cup Onion, finely chopped
-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
-2 Tablespoons Water
-Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
-1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder
-Salt to taste

Heat skillet to medium heat.  Add olive oil, onion, and crushed red pepper. Cook for a minute or two until onion is translucent.  Add the chopped Swiss chard leaves, toss to coat, and cover for 3 minutes.  Remove the lid and add 2 Tablespoons of water.  Cover for another 3 minutes.  Serve immediately.

One of my friends recommended a local company that delivers produce.  It’s super convenient!  Each week I pick out online what I want in my produce bin.  They label whether each item is local, grown in the US, organic, etc. Prices start at $35 for the basic vegetable and fruit bin, and it includes delivery.  It’s plenty of food for two!  I’ve really been enjoying it because it has encouraged me to try out some things I’ve never had before (Saturn Peaches!  Pluots!) and to implement things I wouldn’t normally use in recipes.  Not to mention, I’m supporting a local business and local farms!  It actually ends up being cheaper than buying my produce at Whole Foods, so all in all, I’m very happy with the service!

The folks at Green B.E.A.N. Delivery offered me a discount to write an honest review.  In return, I also received a promo code to share with my readers.  You’ll get $15 your first order from them, which makes your first order $20!  The promo code is 15TDC.  If you try it, you’ll have to let me know what you think!

Here’s a few pictures of what I’ve been getting!  Everything is super fresh and gorgeous.  Usually it’s also better looking than what I can find in the stores!

The food comes in a green insulated bin with a freezer pack.

Spinach and green beans.
Red skin potatoes.

Gala apples.

Yellow peaches.

Everything has been great with Green B.E.A.N. Delivery so far!  Feel free to check out their website at

This is one of my favorite salads of Summer.  It’s a standby in my house because tomatoes and cucumbers are always in abundance, especially if you have a garden!  It’s refreshing and perfect to accompany a good fresh meal on a hot day.  It’s also good to take to a cookout because you don’t have to worry about it sitting out for too long.

It’s even better the second day after the flavors have had a chance to mingle together.  If you like onions, I’d suggest thinly slicing some red onion to add as well.  I don’t like uncooked onions so I leave them out.

-2 Large Ripe Tomatoes
-1 Large English Cucumber
-Handful of Basil
-3 Tablespoons Italian Dressing

Cut the tomatoes into wedges.  Wash and peel the cucumber; cut into slices and then halve.  Chiffonade the basil and sprinkle on top.  Stir in Italian Dressing and add more to your personal preference if needed.  Simple yet delicious!

I had a gorgeous pint of blueberries and wanted to use them for breakfast.  I make plenty of pancakes and waffles, so I decided to make a buckle to enjoy with coffee.  A buckle is cake-like and has a crumb topping.  It is called a buckle because the crumb topping crumbles and looks like it has buckled.  It is said that buckles emerged from the New England area.

The best thing about this recipe is that it’s flexible.  You can use other seasonings (I prefer cinnamon, but you could use something like cloves, or allspice, in moderation.)  You can also use other fruit you have on hand such as  blackberries.  Whatever fruit you decide to use, make sure it’s nice and ripe!  You could even add some lemon zest to the batter if you’d like a slight lemony flavor and aroma.  However, biased as I may be, I think this recipe is great as-is.


For the cake:
-2 Cups Flour
-1 teaspoon Baking Powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
-2 Ounces Unsalted Butter
-1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
-1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
-1 Egg
-1/2 Cup Milk
-2 Cups Fresh Blueberries

For the topping:
-1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
-1/3 Cup Flour
-1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
-1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
-2 Ounces Butter, chilled and cubed tiny

Preheat oven to 375F.  Grease a pan (I used a 9 inch tart plate, but a 9 inch glass baking dish will do) with cooking spray or butter.  In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powered, salt, and cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, beat together sugars, egg, and butter until creamy.  Add in milk.  Slowly add the dry mixture until incorporated.  Once well mixed, stir in blueberries by hand.  Pour into the baking dish.

To make the topping:  Combing flour, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or a knife and fork.  Continue until butter is the size of small pebbles.  Evenly sprinkle the mixture on top of the cake mixture.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until golden.  Allow to cool for five minutes before eating.