Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Oat Scones

Starbucks has amazing scones, but they're huge and usually have tons of calories. Which is fine, if you're eating a scone for a meal, or if you split it or save some for later. But let's face it: you're going to Starbucks for a fancy drink and you're planning on eating the whole thing. That's why you're there!

If you look up a recipe for scones with the intention of making them at home, and, theoretically, lower calorie, I think you'll still be disappointed. Most recipes I found were still pretty hefty in calories.

So, I adapted a recipe to make it a little lighter. They came out fantastic! Around 100 calories, and not the size of a piece of birthday cake.

Pumpkin Oat Scones
(recipe and nutritional information)


1.5 cups wheat flour
1.5 cups oats
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup pumpkin
1/2 - 3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla


  1. Combine dry ingredients, then add in wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  2. Split dough into two balls. Roll each ball into a disk about 1/2" thick, and cut into 8 slices.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
I also made some apple butter in the slow cooker. The two were an amazing match. (The apple butter was also an amazing addition to a boring oatmeal packet, but I digress.) But, I'd recommend freezing half until you want them; I ended up throwing out quite a few because they got moldy. Sad times, but I'll be making these again!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vegetable Tart

Did you know that October was Vegetarian Awareness month? I meant to tell you. I'm sorry.

I'm not going to preach to you about how being a vegetarian is so wonderful, made me lose 50 pounds, or gave me a sense of moral superiority. I will say that eating less meat made me feel pretty good, and was fairly cost effective too.

In honor of pursuing a flexatarian diet, I made a veggie tart. You can get my recipe and nutritional information here; the original recipe here.

And I highly recommend that you do so. It was amazing.

I'm a little bummed the calorie count is so high, but it's like pizza. Delicious, delicious pizza. With less grease and more good stuff.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Ah, Halloween. Such a great holiday on it's own, on top of kicking off the Holiday Season.

The holiday weekend kicked off with my work party. I love potlucks where people take great pride in what they bring. You have never seen so much food in your life! I made a giant candy corn cupcake cake for my contribution.

We started the holiday proper with the annual Pumpkin run, and reminisced about the previous years when 3.1 miles seemed like crossing a continent. Even though a 5k has become a "light" run for me these days, I didn't feel so great that morning. I still did extremely well, but I missed my PR and 3rd place in my age division by five seconds. Ouch.

In fact, I'm sort of embarrassed about it. First, that I didn't keep up my continuous improvement. And then second, that I was upset about my time at all. Four years ago, breaking 30 minutes was my ultimate running goal. This year I did 27:53. The lesson here is to make this motivate me to work harder for next year!

Afterward, we had some celebratory pumpkin spice lattes and finished setting up the house for wine and Halloween candy tasting. It was a spur of the moment idea, and it came out well!

Even though the day was supposed to be about candy, I made a veggie platter and bruschetta. I'm happy to say while there was candy left over, the healthy stuff was gone! I have such smart friends. I also made popcorn balls and apple chips, although these were both fails. The apple chips were in the oven nearly all day, and never quite got crispy. The popcorn balls turned into a solid ball when I put them in a bowl; I didn't have a candy thermometer to check the temperature. But I'm sure these will appear in the future - they were much easier to make than anticipated!

When it got dark, we handed out candy to the neighborhood kids. My favorites were the under-five set; you can immediately tell they don't know what's going on yet, and they're not sure if they want to be a part of it. Too cute! We gave out candy until we ran out, except I discovered another two bags today! Those will have to go to the Operation Gratitude drive.

I used leftover cake batter from the cupcake cake to send candy corn cupcakes to work with the husband. From what I hear, they went over pretty well. And they do look rather cute, if I do say so myself.

I hope your Halloween was fun, happy, and safe! Now, on to Thanksgiving. I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Alright. This is the story of the Cherpumple.

It started with a link on my facebook page. That my husband happened to see and declare the most awesome thing he had ever seen. I saw it on a couple of cooking blogs, too; apparently it was a short-lived meem (although now it seems to have broadened into a bake-something-in-a-cake meem).

Here's the video. It's actually funny, even if you're not interested in cooking.

Here's the thing: I kind of laughed, and that was it. People don't seriously make this, do they?? Ah, but they do make cherpumples.

Husband was serious. Friend was serious. Suddenly a cherpumple was about to be born.

Basically, a cherpumple is three pies baked into three cakes. In this case, an cherry pie baked in a chocolate cake, a pumpkin pie baked in a spice cake, and an apple pie baked in a yellow cake.

In other words, a logistical nightmare on the proportions of cooking Thanksgiving dinner in one day.

Let's start with the supplies. Three cakes, three pies, and enough cream cheese frosting to last through Christmas. If you were wondering, here's proof cakes are better than pies: a pie costs around $5-6 to make, but you can totally make a cake for $3-4. I did manage to get a pre-baked apple pie from the bakery, but the cherry and pumpkin had to be baked. I got frozen pie crusts and canned filling. What, it's going inside a cake. No points for pretty.

Pie issues: the frozen crusts were underwhelming. They didn't come with a top for the cherry pie, but it doesn't really matter. They take an hour to bake. And, they're nine inches. My largest cake pan is nine inches. Leaving no margin for error dumping the pie in between layers of cake batter.

That, times three.

Cake issues: they took forever to bake. We used all of the cake batter, not 75% of it. Apparently the heat doesn't go through the pie very well, so it was jiggly on top in a circle over the pie. Each cake ended up taking around an hour to bake.

Six hours later ...


This monstrosity was in the refrigerator. We kind of rushed through stacking and frosting because after six hours you just want to eat some cake! Refrigerating helped it cool and set and stop tilting over.

After a week, a third is gone, a little slice is still in the refrigerator, and half is frozen. It's good, but only so good. At this point you could safely say baking a cherpumple should be an Olympic event.

Would I make one again? No. Not unless someone paid me, and it was for a group of ten or more people. I would consider making a single layer, though. That is way more manageable, and still funny.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Newlywed Chocolate Cookies

Lately I've seen a lot of articles on the internet about how your spouse makes you fat. Let's talk about this for a minute. You just got married, theoretically happy and in love, and everything is right with the world. Except those pounds that have crept on. And it's totally not your fault! It's that horrible person that just promised to love you forever!

Good grief, people.

Then again, maybe they got a cookbook as a wedding gift, and made these cookies. They will not last the day.

The secret is the melted chocolate in the batter. Oh dear. Just trust me on this one: go out to the store now, buy some chocolate, and get to work.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Let's widen our horizons for a moment.

All over the world, there's a dish of meat wrapped in a pastry crust. Sometimes they're sweet. It's hard to go wrong with something wrapped in dough. There are a lot of names, but let's roll with empanadas today.

This recipe was pretty helpful in getting the dough and the cooking time right. As for the filling, I put some beef in the slow cooker, and also made some slow cooker salsa chicken.

So, I guess you could say these take a lot of work. First, the slow cooker, to get the meat filling just right. Then rolling out the dough. That is my least favorite step of any recipe - getting the counter all flour-y and then trying to scrape up the pasty flour and dough bits. Ugh.

It's not that bad. Really. And in case you're wondering, the circles were cut out using a cereal bowl as a template.

I would say, just as good as Empanada's Place. But that place really rocks, nice people, and amazing prices. So you should check it out if you're around. Save your time for Facebook.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Macaroni & Cheese

Yes, I have heard of the Pioneer Woman.

I have nothing against her. She's probably really cool. But the recipes ... I don't know. I think I'm intimidated. And we'll talk about the butter chicken someday. Today we're going to talk about macaroni and cheese.

I'll grant that the blue box is rather underwhelming. Am I right? But sometimes you want Mexican food, and sometimes you want Taco Bell. Everyone knows they're not the same, but they both have their place in the world. Although, I'm actually a white-shells-and-cheddar type of girl.

First, I didn't use whole milk. I used skim. And margarine. And some regular mustard. And broccoli. Because I wasn't about to have dinner without some vegetables.

I'd make it again ... maybe for someone else. Because for a party, homemade macaroni and cheese sounds so. Can you imagine showing up to Thanksgiving with this? What? You don't have macaroni & cheese at your Thanksgiving dinners?