Category Archives: Pumpkin

Crockpot Chicken White Bean Pumpkin Chili

Long name, huh?  I’ve been *trying* to be good with the diet lately, and one of my favorite winter foods is my white chicken chili.  Unfortunately it’s not the healthiest thing in the world.  Needless to say, I was thrilled when in the current recipe swap, I received a recipe for a white bean chili – that’s “skinny.”  Thanks Ellie!

The original recipe called for using ground turkey, but to make it more like the one I like I opted to use chicken, I just used some shredded meat from a roast chicken.  I’m sure that didn’t alter the calorie count too significantly.  The chili was really great, it wasn’t exactly like my regular recipe since you’re not adding the gobs of cream, but it tasted great all the same.  The only thing I would caution you on is to watch the cumin.  I’m going to cut down the amounts in this recipe because what it called for was really way too much cumin.  Serve this on a cold winter night – it’ll be great to come home to and your soul will be happy :)

P.S.  Don’t worry about the pumpkin flavor – it adds nutrients and you honestly don’t even taste it – ask my husband!!  ;)

Crock Pot Chicken White Bean Pumpkin Chili
Recipe adapted from Ellie’s blog, The Wanna Be Cook

1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can pure pumpkin puree’
4.5 oz. can chopped green chilis
1 can low-sodium chicken broth
optional toppings:  fat-free sour cream or greek yogurt, chopped cilantro, lower fat cheese.


Add all ingredients to a slow cooker sprayed with nonstick spray.  Stir well to incorporate and cook either on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.  Serve and enjoy.

Crock Pot Chicken White Bean Pumpkin Chili

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Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

Happy Halloween!  Not only is it Halloween today, but this is my 400th post on the blog!  I have a few posts lined up for the coming days, but wanted this one to be something really good.

I have been seeing this recipe pop up on many blogs lately and wanted to try it.  For one thing, I love all things pumpkin.  I also love browned butter.  And let me tell you, this frosting is what dreams are made of.  It was all I could do to tear myself away from the frosting bowl.  You can’t help it, your first bite makes you just sigh in delight.  My 3-year-old even loves them, and she’s picky as all get out!

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting
Recipe from Prevention RD, originally from Betty Crocker

2/3 cup white granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Browned Butter Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 tbsp 1 % milk
1/3 cup butter


  • Preheat oven to 375.  In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if you use a hand mixer) beat together the sugars, butter and 1 tsp vanilla, scraping occasionally.
  • Mix in pumpkin and eggs until well incorporated, then beat in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  • Drop dough by heaping tablespoons full onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I used a silicone baking mat). Bake 10-12 minutes or until done.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  • While they are cooling, make the icing.  In a medium bowl mix together the powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and 3 tbsp milk.  In a small saucepan, melt 1/3 cup butter over medium heat, stirring constantly until it turns a golden brown.  Pour into the powdered sugar mixture and beat on low-speed about a minute, or till smooth.  If needed, you can gradually add more of the remaining tablespoon of milk to make it creamy and spreadable.  Generously frost the cookies – I found it easiest to dip them into the icing and place back on the wire rack to let the icing harden some.

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread with Buttered Rum Glaze

I don’t know what I did before I discovered my great love for all things pumpkin.  It is such a versatile ingredient, able to go smoothly into dishes savory or sweet and hold its’ own.

When I saw the picture for this recipe from Sunny Side Up in San Diego, I drooled.  The bread in itself looked delicious, that it incorporated pumpkin and rum was the icing on the cake.  Or the bread.  ;)  It was a little bit labor-intensive, but it wasn’t hard.  And it was delicious so I really think it’s worth the time.

Excuse the little powdered sugar globs in my picture, I couldn’t get them mixed right.  Oh well, didn’t affect the taste!

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread with Rum Glaze

Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread with Buttered Rum Glaze
Recipe from Sunny Side up in San Diego

2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
1 envelope active dry yeast
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour

1 cup white granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 tbsp butter

Buttered Rum Glaze:
2 tbsp butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp rum (I used spiced rum – just seemed right!)


  • In a small saucepan, brown the 2 tbsp butter, letting it get a rich golden brown.  Remove pan from heat and add the milk, return it to the stove to heat through.
  • Pour the milk/butter into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and let it cool till just warm.  Add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar and allow to proof – takes about 8 minutes to look cloudy.
  • Add the pumpkin, salt and 1 cup of flour, mix well.  Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time until all mixed then let the mixer knead the bread for six minutes, until smooth and elastic and slightly sticky.  If the dough is too moist, you can add more flour 1 tbsp at  a time – but I didn’t need to.
  • Move to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes.  (To do this, I preheated my oven to the lowest heat setting, then turn it off before adding the dough to rise)
  • While that’s rising, brown 2 more tbsp of butter, add the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well until it is a crumbly mixture.  Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside.
  • When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip out onto a floured surface and knead for one to two minutes with your hands.  Roll out to 20×12 inches and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly all over it.  Press the sugar into the dough with the palms of your hands.  Cut the rectangle into six strips, then lay the strips on top of each other and cut them in half, then each half into thirds – you’ll have six squares.
  • Stack the strips vertically into the loaf pan, cover with the towel and allow to rise for 30-45 more minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Bake the bread 30-40 minutes, until the top is a golden brown.
  • Prepare the glaze:  Heat the butter, milk and brown sugar in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat and stir in the rum and powdered sugar.  Spoon over bread.

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread with Rum Glaze

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Pecan Buttercream Icing

Are you getting tired of my “its Fall!” posts yet?  I hope not, because here is another one!  And I can guarantee this won’t be my last.

Last week I was cooking dinner when my daughter spotted the pictures of cupcakes on the bag of flour.  For the next week she asked me every day if we could make cupcakes.  Finally, Saturday I gave in.  I didn’t feel like going to the store though (I cannot stand the supermarket on the weekends!) so I decided to “make do” with what we had in the house.

The end result was pretty darned good, if I do say so myself.  And if you don’t want to hear me say it, just go check with the neighbors, my future sis-in-law, or my parents.  I made the cupcakes out of a box mix (gasp!) with some extras thrown in and the icing was based on the icing used at my daughter’s third birthday party, but infused with Godiva Caramel Pecan Bark coffee I received as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker’s program.  I hope this coffee will be available in my own because I would cry if I couldn’t make these cupcakes again!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Pecan Buttercream Icing
Recipe a Cooking With Christen original
(Inspired by this cake recipe and this buttercream recipe)

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup pure pumpkin puree’
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
1/4 cup Godiva Caramel Pecan Bark coffee, brewed

2 sticks butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp brewed Godiva Caramel Pecan Bark Coffee
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
pinch of salt
1 tsp meringue powder (optional)


Mix all cupcake ingredients together and fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way full.  Bake according to package directions, until a toothpick inserted in a cupcake comes out clean.  Set aside on a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.


Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer (with paddle attachment – scraper if you have it) and mix on low until just mixed.  Increase the speed and mix 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Ice as desired.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Pecan Buttercream Icing

Turkey Chili with Beans and Pumpkin

As you can probably tell, we love chili!  It’s one of my favorite cold weather foods.  You’re probably looking at the title and thinking “pumpkin in chili??  No thanks!”  But really you can’t even taste the pumpkin.  It’s pretty much only there to give the chili a little more nutritious content.  It also gives it a nice color.  I admit, I was a little nervous about how this was going to taste, but I’m on a mission to cook some healthier things in 2010.  Normally when we have a “red chili” our go-to recipe is Tony’s He Man Chili, but my husband said he actually preferred this one over Tony’s!  It was nice having something healthy (ground turkey instead of beef, loaded with beans and tomatoes and pumpkin!) and delicious.  We served ours with Mexican cornbread

Turkey Chili with Beans and Pumpkin
Source:  Erin’s Food Files

1 tbsp olive oil
1 package frozen seasoning blend
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey
2 cans diced tomato (one was fire-roasted)
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pure pumpkin puree’
1 can zesty tomato juice (the kind you drink)
1.5 TBSP chili powder
1/2 TBSP cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 can beer


Heat olive oil in a deep nonstick pot.  Once hot, add the turkey and cook until no longer pink.  Add the seasoning blend, half of the jalapenos and the garlic and cook until they are soft.  Add the beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, tomato juice and seasonings and mix well.  Simmer for 30 minutes (good time to make some cornbread!).  Serve hot with garnishes of your choice.

Turkey Chili with Beans and Pumpkin

Creamy Pumpkin Penne

As promised, I’m going to try to bring more healthy recipes to the table this year.  I saw this recipe for creamy pumpkin penne on the blog Cara’s Cravings, and it sparked my curiosity.  For one thing, pumpkin in pasta?  I have a bunch of cans of pumpkin I bought after the holidays, so I wanted to use some of it!  Also, instead of using heavy cream, she uses cottage cheese that she puree’s.  Interesting.  I decided to give it a go and was very impressed.  I couldn’t find chicken sausage in my town, so I used turkey sausage and it was very good.  It had a nice “winter” taste to the dish, even my daughter (who is the pickiest eater – EVER) ate it.  My husband loved the turkey sausage, he said that you really couldn’t even tell the difference between it and pork Italian sausage, other than it was less oily.  I think I’ll look for chicken sausage though so I can try it with that!  Here’s my adaptation of her recipe…

Creamy Pumpkin Penne


1 box Ronzoni Smart Taste penne pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp sage
1 pkg sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
pinch nutmeg
5 oz. spinach
seasonings to taste (cayenne, salt, Tony’s, onion & garlic powder)
parmesan cheese for topping


Cook the penne and set aside.  While it’s cooking, heat olive oil in a deep nonstick pot.  Add onion and cook till soft, then add sausage, sage and garlic.  Once the sausage has cooked a little while and is a little more firm, remove and cut into slices, then return to the pot and cook till no longer pink.  While the sausage is cooking, put the cottage cheese, pumpkin and milk into a blender and puree until no lumps are left.  Add this sauce to the pot with sausage, mix well and season to taste.  Add pasta and spinach.  Mix well and cover to let the spinach wilt.  As soon as it’s wilted, serve, topped with parmesan cheese.

Creamy Pumpkin Penne

Ginger Pumpkin Truffles

While trying to plan our Thanksgiving menu, I also had to plan entertainment ideas for the week for my 8 year old niece and nephew who were visiting me for the week.  I decided to knock out two birds with one stone and had them make these Ginger Pumpkin Truffles from Lindsey’s Kitchen.  My nephew wasn’t too into the project, but my niece had a blast.

Ginger Pumpkin Truffles


1 pkg Golden Oreos, crushed finely
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
2 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate squares
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
crushed pecans for garnish


In a large bowl, mix the crushed oreos, pumpkin, cream cheese and 1/2 tsp. ground ginger.  Once well mixed, form into small balls and place on a plate.

Cover a pan with wax paper and set aside.  You could also use a silicone mat in place of the wax paper.  Melt chocolate in a double boiler and add the cinnamon and the remaining ginger.  Mix well.  Gently dip the balls into the chocolate, coating them evenly.  Place on the pan.  Once all balls are coated, sprinkle pecans on top for garnish.  Refrigerate until hardened.  Remove from the pan, place on a pretty dish and serve.

Ginger Pumpkin Truffles









The Verdict:  This was VERY messy but they were fantastic!  They were a huge hit at our Thanksgiving dinner, though they were often referred to as “those chocolate balls.”  My tip for making this is that after you form the balls, refrigerate them for a while to harden and they will be easier to dip.  Very delicious though!

Pumpkin Puree’

I love holiday baking, and pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors to add in.  I’ve always bought the cans of pumpkin puree’ and it always seems like I end up using half the can (about a cup) and throwing the rest away a week later.  Since Halloween is over, the pie pumpkins are on sale at Wal-Mart for twenty-five cents per pound.  I bought two for less than two dollars.  With them, I made my own puree to freeze for holiday recipes. 

Pumpkin Puree’


2 pie pumpkins (also known as “small pumpkins” or “baking pumpkins”)



Preheat oven to 375.

Remove the top from the pumpkin, like you would if you were carving a jack ‘o lantern.  Remove all the seeds from the inside (save them for spicy garlic and parmesan roasted pumpkin seeds!) and cut the pumpkin into quarters.  Place in a casserole dish (you may have to do two batches, depending on the size of your casserole) and add water until the pumpkin is about half-covered.  Bake for about an hour, or until soft.  Allow to cool enough to handle and gently scrape the “meat” away from the skin.  Discard pumpkin skin and puree the rest, adding very little water if necessary.  Two pumpkins made five cups of puree for me.

To store:  Place 1 cup worth of puree in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and mark the contents and the date.  Place in the freezer.

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Pumpkin Puree’

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Loaded into the freezer!









The Verdict:  Well taste-wise, it tastes like pumpkin puree.  Good thing because that’s what it is!  This was a major savings, seeing as how 1 can is about a buck fifty and has about 1 3/4 cups of puree per can.  And I made 5 cups for about the same price.  And it was so easy!  There is no reason why you should not do this!

Happy Halloween! (Harvest Cupcakes)

Tonight after trick or treat we’ll be attending a Halloween Party.  I’m really bummed that it’s not my parents’ annual Halloween Party, but they held their last one last year.  It’s not going to be Halloween without it :(  Anyway, I never show up empty handed when I’m invited somewhere, so I decided to make these sweet treats for tonight’s party.  I got my inspiration from Stephanie Cooks blog, though I did change some stuff…

Harvest Cupcakes


Cupcakes (I made cupcake versions of the pumpkin spice cake, just minus the chocolate chips)

Icing (I used store-bought cream cheese icing)

chocolate decorator icing

Harvest leaf sprinkles

Candy-Corn Pumpkins


Evenly spread your icing over the cupcakes.  Pipe the chocolate decorators frosting on (or get your husband to do it like I did!) in the shape of a tree.  Carefully put the sprinkles to look like leaves on the tree.  Cut the pumpkins in half and place under each tree.  Or put piles of leaves under the tree (my dad’s idea!).  I did half of each.

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Cupcakes with Piles of Leaves






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Cupcakes with Pumpkins






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The cake plate holding both!






The Verdict:  Sooo fun!  I haven’t eaten any yet but the cake is always a hit – so much so that I had it as my birthday cake!  So I’m sure the cupcakes are going to be delicious!  I’m not very artistic so my husband piped all the trees on and I think he did a great job!  I can’t wait to bring these to the party!

Spicy Garlic & Parmesan Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

When we’ve carved pumpkins in the past, we always just threw the seeds and all out.  I decided to save the seeds from the pumpkin my husband and daughter carved last night, and make some roasted pumpkin seeds.  I’ve never actually had roasted pumpkin seeds, nor has my husband so we’re not sure how they’re SUPPOSED to taste, but we think they turned out pretty good!  I got the recipe from The Novice Chef’s food blog and with my love of garlic, it sounded like something I’d like!  Not to mention today is Halloween and garlic keeps the vampires away!

Spicy Garlic and Parmesan Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


pumpkin seeds (I ended up with probably 3/4 of a cup)

olive oil


garlic powder

cayenne pepper

parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 300.

Remove seeds from pumpkin “guts” and wash well in a colander.  Try to get all the pumpkin bits you can out.  Dry as well as you can on paper towels and put into a small ziploc bag.  Add about a teaspoon of olive oil (forgive me but I didn’t measure anything!) and estimate the rest of the seasonings based on your preference for the seasoning.  Note that you don’t want to put a ton of cayenne!  Close bag and shake well, coating all the seeds.  Cover a pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Spread the seeds out over it as evenly as you can, in a single layer.  Bake for about 40-50 minutes, turning halfway through.

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Spicy Garlic and Parmesan Roasted Pumpkin Seeds





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The pumpkin our seeds came from…it’s rockin’ now!








The Verdict:  Well it’s a lot of work having to separate the seeds from the pumpkin goo, but I think it’s worth it.  It’s one of those holiday traditions that may not be the EASIEST thing but should be done.  These had a wonderful taste, now I can’t wait to do the pumpkins that are on our front door display!