Sunday, November 22, 2015

Whole Grain Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Yes, that's right, I'm not done with pumpkin yet. In fact, I think pumpkin is something we should be using more frequently throughout the year, not just in the fall. It's healthy, cheap, and easy to use in so many different recipes, sweet and savory. Today I have for you a whole grain pumpkin muffin that uses whole wheat flour and oats mixed with the pumpkin and a bit of butter for richness. Lightly flavored with all those nice fall spices and a small bit of sugar for a little sweetness. I found these muffins to be a filling way to start my day in a hearty and healthy way and I think you will too.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Spicy Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup

It's squash season at the farmer's market and grocery store, I just wanted to let you know in case you've missed the giant piles of butternut, spaghetti, acorn, delicata, hubbard and other squashes that seem to have taken over everywhere produce is to be found. I don't know about you, but I never tire of delicious winter squash, never. I love the sweet and creaminess of this extremely versatile vegetable. You can eat it on it's own, sweet or savory, you can add it to salads, soups, stews, chili, pasta, or you can add the mashed flesh to baked goods, smoothies, oatmeal...the list just goes on and on.

I have been baking up squashes left and right over the past couple of weeks. I love having already cooked squash sitting in the fridge, ready for whatever I feel like making. One of my recent creations was this delicious soup. With a couple of cups of cooked butternut squash hanging out in the fridge and some red lentils that have been trying to make an appearance for some time now, I knew a simple soup was just the thing. The perfect thing to sit down to on a cool autumn afternoon.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Pumpkin Scones with Cranberries and Pecans

Scones are one of my absolute favorite breakfast treats, but they are one of those things I just don't seem to get around to making very often. I'm not really sure why, they are so easy to throw together. Truly, they come together in just minutes, and usually with just a few ingredients. So last week I finally managed to get my act together and whip up a batch of scones, and since it's November I decided on pumpkin scones with some cranberries and pecans. They came together in a jiffy and baked up beautifully. A perfectly delicious fall breakfast. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pumpkin Oat Cookies

The other week I grabbed a large can of pumpkin while at the grocery store with no specific purpose in mind. It's fall, so I knew I would have no problem finding something to do with it. One of my favorite things to do with canned pumpkin, which I have been doing all week, is to throw it in my morning breakfast smoothie. Add a couple shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg and it's pumpkin pie for breakfast - but healthy! I love added vegetables to my breakfast and not even noticing. 

As soon as I got home with the pumpkin though, the baking bug hit. I just needed to bake something pumpkin-y! After a little browsing I finally decided on this pumpkin oat cookie recipe. The oats with the pumpkin seemed like the perfect combination. I added in some pecans and dried fruit and the whole thing came together to create a soft and buttery treat, the perfect afternoon pick-me-up or after dinner snack. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Funfetti Cucpakes

Last month, one of my good friends threw a golden birthday party for her husband. I offered a helping hand, and so was asked if I could make some cupcakes for the party. Funfetti was the request which got me excited, I had never made a funfetti cupcake before, but have always been a big fan of sprinkles! I used my trusty go-to butter cupcake recipe and threw in a half a cup of sprinkles. Voila, funfetti cupcakes! Super easy and super fun! I frosted them with a basic American buttercream that is always a hit. As far as cupcakes go, it doesn't get much simpler than this. So if you're looking for a fun and easy way to add homemade cakey goodness to your next party, look no further. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tahini Honey Granola

When I lived in Dearborn a couple of years ago I totally and completely fell in love with Middle Eastern food. There is no better place to have this happen, besides the actual Middle East that is. Because of this, I have lots of those Middle Eastern spices in my cupboard, I find myself drawn to various Middle Eastern cookbooks anytime I'm at the bookstore, and I crave some good shawarma, hummus, falafel and homemade pita more than I would like to admit. It is just all so good. 

One of the things I also know have in my fridge at all times is tahini. I first bought it to make hummus. I love my hummus full of lemon and tahini so I really have to have it on hand. Through the last few years though I've started using tahini in various other applications; sauce and dips, salad dressings, drizzled over roasted vegetables, on top of toast with a little honey, in my smoothies for a hint of nuttiness, you get the picture. I love creaminess it adds to everything, along with that nutty flavor. 

So the other day when I was almost out of granola I got to thinking about making a tahini granola. There are many recipes out there for peanut butter granola, so why not try tahini instead? I added honey for a little sweetness and cinnamon, allspice and cardamom for flavor. A little orange zest at the end adds a nice kick of brightness and almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds joined the oats for extra crunch and flavor. In the end it turned out a delicious batch of granola with all of these delicious flavors melded together to form a wonderfully balanced granola, one that I highly recommend trying. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oatmeal Cups

I've been busy on my current rotation, it's been good, just some long days. Because of this, these oatmeal cups have been the perfect solution. They are super simple to whip together, and easy for a grab and go breakfast when I don't have much time to make anything else, or much time to spend eating breakfast. Having these in the freezer keep me from being tempted to waste my money on something less than nutritious at the hospital cafeteria, or buying something processed from the grocery store that is never as healthy as something I can make on my own. They freeze up so well so you can bake up a big batch and always have them on hand for busy mornings. They're definitely something you can feel good about eating.