Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Pizza

From: Rochelle

Last night, Austin's work had an iron chef competition. Of course I was ALL over that one! The secret ingredient: Pumpkin! Huzzah! My favorite! I was this close () to making my favorite double layer pumpkin cheesecake, but I am SO glad I didn't because two others made it to the competition. I decided to make Pumpkin Pizza and oh my goodness readers, it was delightful! The best part? We won! : ) Try it out to break up your regular pizza night. It reminded me of something you would see at California Pizza Kitchen.

Pumpkin Pizza
Adapted from

2 C
*Roasted Pumpkin, Cubed
1 T
Basil Pesto (If you don't have this, use 2 t basil + 1 t garlic powder)
Prepared Pizza Dough
3/4 C
Cheese of your Choice (I used cheddar, but Mozzarella or Colby jack would be good)
2 T
Cashews, salted, roasted, and crushed
3/4 C
White Cream Sauce (See Recipe Below)
1/4 C
Feta Cheese, Crumbled (Goat cheese would be yummy too!)
2 T
Parmesan Cheese, grated
Extra Chopped Cashews and Parmesan Cheese, and Parsley (dried or fresh)

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

  1. Gently toss roasted pumpkin with basil pesto to lightly coat evenly. Set aside.
*To roast Pumpkin, I cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scooped out the seed and placed, cut side down in a glass dish. I added 1/2" of water to the bottom and covered in plastic wrap. I then cooked in the microwave for about 15-20 minutes. After which I carefully removed the plastic wrap, drained the water, and turned cut side up and placed into a 500 degree oven until browned, about 10-15 minutes.

  1. Roll out pizza dough and spread evenly with a layer of white sauce and cheese. Add crushed cashews and cubes of pumpkin. Drizzle with white cream sauce.

  1. Scatter crumbled feta cheese and grated Parmesan evenly over the surface.

  1. Cook pizza for 7 to 10 minutes at 500 degrees Fahrenheit until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cut into slices.

  1. Garnish with parsley, extra cashews and Parmesan cheese before serving.

White Sauce
3 T
 Butter or Smart Balance
1/4 C + 2 T
1 1/2-2 C
1/2 t
Garlic Powder
1 t
Italian Seasoning (or basil/Oregano mix)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1/3 C
Cheese of our Choice (Parmesan, Cheddar, or Colby Jack work well

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan and add in flour, stirring until thick and pasty.

  1. Slowly add milk, whisking together constantly to avoid lumps. Add garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until thickened.

  1. Stir in grated cheese until welted. Sauce will thicken further as it cools, so add in a bit more milk if needed.

This recipe makes more than enough white sauce for one large pizza.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Healthy Pumpkin Banana Muffins

From: Rochelle

These are GREAT muffins because they have pumpkin, banana, oats, AND applesauce in them, in addition to having whole-wheat flour! Talk about a power-packed breakfast! So yummy warm OR cold!

Healthy Pumpkin Banana Muffins

1 1/2 C All-Purpose Flour
2 C Whole-Wheat Flour
1 1/4 C Rolled Oats
4 t Baking Powder
2 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Salt
4 t Cinnamon
2 t Ground Ginger
1 t Nutmeg
1 t Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 Ripe Bananas, Mashed
1 C Applesauce
1 (15 oz) can Pumpkin
4 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 C Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar
1 C Walnuts, toasted & chopped (Optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease or line muffin tins with paper liners
3. Combine flours, oats, baking powder, spices, baking soda, and salt and wisk together until mixed well.
4. Combine wet ingredients and sugars in another bowl and beat until smooth, Gradually add in flour mixture. Beat just until combined.
5. Spoon into prepared pans or tins (fill cups until just about full).
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean.
7. Remove muffins from pan and cool on wire rack as soon as they come out of the oven.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

From: Rochelle

I LOVE fall because that means pumpkin is everywhere! I LOVE pumpkin probably as much as I love chocolate. . . . no joke. Pumpkin shakes, pumpkin frozen yogurt, pumpkin anything! When I saw this post on pintrest I KNEW I HAD to make it! Oh baby was it worth it! If you are craving some pumpkin. . . THIS is what you need to make!

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

4 Eggs
1 2/3 C Sugar
1 C Canola Oil
1 (15 oz) can Pumpkin
2 C All-Purpose Flour, Sifted
2 t Baking Powder
2 t Ground Cinnamon
1 t Salt
1 t Baking Soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8oz) pkg Fat-Free Cream Cheese, Softened
1/2 C Butter (or Smart Balance)
2 C Sifted Powdered Sugar
1 t Vanilla Extract
2 t Ground Cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, and oil, and pumpkin until light and fluffy.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flower, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix at a low speed until throughly combined and the batter is smooth.
5. Spread the batter into a greased 13x9 inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


by Pam

Pizza Dough
(makes four 8" rounds)

1 TB instant yeast (SAF is my favorite brand)
1 tsp honey
2 TB oil
1 C warm water
1 tsp salt
1 T. minced rosemary, optional
2 1/2 C. Whole Wheat Flour (hard white wheat is best)

Dissolve yeast in the warm water. My favorite herb to add to the dough is rosemary. Stir in remaining ingredients and beat vigorously about 50 strokes, until all is combined. Cover with plastic and let it rest 5 minutes while you prepare the toppings. Parmesan cheese is way less fat than other cheeses and much stronger flavor.

Form dough into 4 rounds. Fill one side with steamed veggies such as carrots, onions, sweet bell peppers, olives. We like turkey pepperoni or sausage. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Fold unfilled side over filling and crimp edge. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15-20 mins. Top with warmed pizza sauce and enjoy. These freeze great.

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's Pie
by Pam

6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1 finely chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
1 red pepper, chopped
2 cups peas
salt and pepper to taste
8-10 carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon crushed fennel, optional
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon worstershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth or Bragg's Amino Liquid

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large frying pan add onion and red pepper and cook until clear. Add ground beef, fennel and cook until well browned. Pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add ketchup and beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Next, spread a layer of mashed carrots, then peas and top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tomatilla Salsa

Tomatillo Salsa
from Pam

Last month I entered a salsa contest at my favorite garden nursery in town, The Backyard. Guess what?! I came in 2nd place! Hope you enjoy this salsa. It's great on burritos, etc. I like to bake plain corn tortillas dipped in salt water and baked for 30 mins. at 300 degrees.

1 pound tomatillos, husked
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 serrano chile pepper, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 cup water

Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chile pepper into a saucepan. Season with cilantro, oregano, cumin, and salt; pour in water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
Using a blender, carefully puree the tomatillos and water in batches until smooth.

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