Wednesday, September 25, 2013

pumpkin cream cheese muffins

these are a fun and healthy treat with a surprise filling
adapted from
makes 21-24 muffins


for the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. honey

for the muffins:
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

for the topping (optional):
4 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
7 Tbsp. rolled oats
3 Tbsp. turbinado (coarse) sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces

1. To make the filling combine the cream cheese and honey in a bowl. Beat with mixer until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag and pipe 24 equal dollops onto parchment or wax paper. Freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.
2. To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line muffin pans with paper liners or grease. In medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda; whisk to blend. In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, and applesauce. Mix until blended. Add in dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
3. To make the topping, combine flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. whisk to blend. Add in the butter and cut into try ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks (or handy dandy tupperware food mixer) until mix is coarse and crumbly. Transfer to refrigerator until ready to use.
4. To assemble muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom (about 1 Tbsp). Place the dollop of cream cheese on top. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, covering the cream cheese completely. Sprinkle each with topping if desired.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving (because the filling is hot).

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

roasted acorn squash

Roasted squash topped with buttery crunchy walnuts and sweet dried fruit. Tastes like fall!
adapted from


2 acorn squash
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4-1/2 cup dried fruit,  (I used a combination of cranberries, golden raisins, and figs)

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Carefully cut each half into 4 wedges.
3. Place wedges in large baking dish and drizzle or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and brown sugar.
4. Bake for 1 hour or until soft and caramelized around the edges.
5. When squash is almost done, in a small saucepan over medium add the butter, walnuts, and fruit. Cook until butter is melted, then drizzle over squash. Drizzle with some maple syrup for extra sweetness if desired, or hot sauce for a spicy twist.

Monday, September 16, 2013

pumpkin bran muffins

A healthy fall treat. Great for breakfast, snack, or along with soup.
adapted from


1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk (or add slightly less than 1 Tbsp. vinegar to milk)
1/4 cup oil or applesauce (if you choose applesauce then spraying the paper liners helps the muffins not to stick)
orange mascarpone cream for serving (optional) Mix mascarpone with orange zest and honey to taste

1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat bran, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, buttermilk, and oil (or applesauce).
4. Fold the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
5. If desired serve the muffins with orange cream.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

apricot mango fruit roll-ups

100% real fruit roll ups. Simple to make. Adapted from Great Kitchen Stories
I decided to make these for our daughters first day of kindergarten. This is a new phase for us and I sure I will be delving into healthy lunch recipes!
makes 8-12 roll-ups per batch


1 large ripe mago
7 oz dried apricots
1 orange (the juice)

1. Preheat oven to the lowest temperature (mine is 170º). Puree ingredients in blender until smooth. Spread 1 1/2-2 cups (so you may have some pure left) on greased or sprayed parchment paper (I lightly greased mine with coconut oil).
2. Put in oven with door slightly open. Leave in for 5-8 hours until puree is not sticky
3. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut and roll them with wax paper or parchment paper when they are still warm. Depending on how many you want you can cut them along the short or long side of the pan and can choose the width.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

peach caprese salad

Peach season in upon us! This variation of caprese uses juicy peaches in place of tomatoes layered with creamy mozzarella and fresh basil and is finished with a delicious reduced balsamic glaze.


1 large peach
1 8 oz. ball fresh mozzarella
8 fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. reduced balsamic vinegar. (I used the recipe from mountain mama cooks but made half)
salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Cut the mozzarella into 8 slices, each about 1/4 inch thick
2. On a serving platter, arrange the cheese, basil leaves, and peaches in a fan pattern, alternating them in that order.
3. Drizzle with oil and balsamic and sprinkle with salt and pepper.