Sunday, October 31, 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Pumpkin Cream Puffs

Happy Halloween all! I love Halloween. I tend to take advantage of any available excuse to dress up and act ridiculous. This year I was a German beer girl and wore a dirndl. I went out with some friends to enjoy a lot of drinks...perhaps one too many...meh, it was a holiday. Here's me and Shawn...yeah he's creepy.

THESE CREAM PUFFS ARE AWESOME! I seriously ate like 10 when I made them...that's terrible I know. I was having a german potluck with some lady friends (recipes coming soon) and I remembered how I went to Schmidts, a german buffet in german village and they had huge cream puffs so I decided I had to make some kind of fall cream puff. So naturally I went for pumpkin...of course. I remembered seeing a recipe for cream puffs once that used pudding so I was inspired by that idea and came up with these....LOVE THEM! :)

Pumpkin Cream Puffs
Adapted from


1 3.5 ounce package instant pumpkin spice pudding mix
1 1 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cool whip
1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs

powdered sugar
pumpkin pie spice


Mix together pumpkin and vanilla instant pudding mix, cream, cool whip, pumpkin and milk. Cover and refrigerate to set.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a large pot, bring water and butter to a rolling boil. Stir in flour and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.

When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pudding mixture, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding into the shells. Dust with powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

Look at how much fun we have with holidays at the bakery :)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies

There aren't many combinations that go together as perfectly as peanut butter and chocolate; at least in my eyes. There are great combinations out there; peaches and cream, pumpkin and spice, salty and sweet...the list is goes on but nothing is quite as divine as peanut butter and chocolate.

Halloween is coming up which makes me want to eat 600 reese cups and carve pumpkins. Reese's might be my favorite candy (along with whatchamacallits, snickers and peanut m&ms...oh yeah and cherry twizzler bites). Okay so I have lots of favorite candies but reeses are a classic...I even made a reese cupcake back when that was AWESOME!

This brownie is a delightful combination of chocolate and peanut butter. I had actually made these a few months ago and just found the post draft hidden away. How could I forget to post this!? It's too amazing not to share! I made these for Shawns family for letting us use their car to drive up and visit my family in Minnesota. That meant the WORLD to me so I wanted to make them something super duper delicious. These are just that!

Heads up: refrigerate them, they'll be less messy! The origional recipe called for chopped salted peanuts on top which I'm sure would taste fabulous but I didn't have any :( boo...

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies


Brownie Layer:
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Layer:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ganache Layer:
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8-inch pan with cooking spray.

For the brownies, microwave the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a microwavable bowl at high power until the butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir until combined, then mix in the vanilla extract. Meanwhile, beat the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and add in the chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chunks. Spread the brownie mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the brownies are set and a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean, about 22 to 28 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.

For the peanut butter cookie dough: Add the butter and brown sugar to a large bowl and mix until creamy. Mix in the milk and the peanut butter, then stir in the flour and salt. Spread the peanut butter cookie dough evenly over the cooled brownies.

To make the ganache: In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the dark chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream, uncovered, on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Continue stirring until the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Spread the ganache over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate until the dough and ganache are set, about 1 hour. Cut into 16 squares and arrange on a serving platter to serve.

SIDENOTE: I just finally finished reading "Wicked" just in time for Halloween. I LOVED it! I'm just really bummed I couldn't see it when they were on broadway here in Columbus :(...Up next: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rocking Veggie Spinach Dip

I couldn't tell you how many types of spinach dip I've had. I've had it warm, cold with artichokes without artichokes, with tortilla chips or sourdough bread. I love them all but I narrowed down my favorites and took ingredients and ideas from them and made one rocking spinach dip that I just love!

I had been striving for a long time to get it to my liking and get it just right. I personally love it and once had an ex who requested it for his birthday so if you like spinach dip, give this a try! My ultimate favorite is to eat this cold with sourdough bread....mmm...mmm....mmm!

Rocking Spinach Dip
Dame Good


8 ounces neufchatel cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonaise
1 packet (1.4 oz) dry knorr vegetable soup mix
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
3/4 cup green onion, chopped
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup reduced-fat Italian shredded cheese
salt, pepper to taste


Mix cream cheese, sour cream and mayonaise until completely combined. Add the rest of the ingedients and mix well. Refrigerate a couple of hours before serving. Serve with sourdough bread or tortilla chips.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

I was having a crazy moment, most likely daydreaming about my love of buffalo-flavored anything, when I decided to make up a recipe. Most of the time I adapt recipes to my liking or use one as inspiration and put my own twist on it or come up with a great idea and google similar recipes to guide me through my own. But I decided I wanted to make a buffalo chicken burger, without the help of any other recipes or people...except for Shawn. I forced Shawn to help me so that if they were bad I could blame him.

Thankfully, they were nothing short of awesome. Shawn did the grilling because I'm not too good with knowing when meat is done and he did great. Theres nothing sexier than a man working a grill and knowing how to handle his food. Needless to say this was a well-done team effort.

If you're obsessed with buffalo like Shawn and I, check out this yummy dip and this amazing mac and cheese. These recipes DO NOT disappoint.

Buffalo Chicken Burgers
Dame Good


1 cup fat free sour cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
1/2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup celery, chopped (use food processor for smaller pieces)
1/4 cup hot sauce (I used Franks Hot Buffalo. If you don't like heat as much as I do I would reduce this a bit)
1/2 cup reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup chopped onion
salt, pepper to taste

2 lb ground chicken
1 (1 oz) pack dry ranch seasoning
1/2 cup reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup hot sauce (Franks Hot Buffalo)
1/2 cup celery, chopped (use food processor for smaller pieces)
salt, pepper to taste

1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles (or whatever is remaining)
8 whole wheat buns
condiments/toppings of choice (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles etc...)


Preheat indoor/outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Spray or oil the grill. Mix all of the burger ingredients (chicken, ranch, blue cheese, hot sauce, celery, salt and pepper) and form meat mixture into 6-8 patties.

Cook the burgers about 5-8 minutes on each side. While burgers are grilling, assemble the sauce by mxing all of the sauce ingredients (sour cream, buttermilk, worcestershire, celery, hot sauce, blue cheese, onion salt and pepper).

Assemble burgers to your liking. We put down lettuce, then the burger, then topped the burger with blue cheese crumbles, a dallop of the sauce and tomatoes. We ate them on whole wheat buns.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

I have been on an absolute pumpkin "binge" if you will. This happens to me in the fall, I go a little crazy. I was stalking other peoples blogs and noting their recipes and came across pumpkin bread pudding a LOT! I have never even heard of this! I have never made bread pudding but it's something I love to eat. While I love the traditional pumpkin desserts, I thought it a good idea to try out a new thing or two.

This tasted JUST like pumpkin pie. This recipe asks that you use bread crumbs and its was delicious but I am intriguied to know what it is like with bread chunks. Regardless, I loved this dessert. The recipe called for raisins but I didn't care for that so I ommited them and I added toasted pecans to give it a little "oomph" but its great even without them :) Oh and this is a lower-fat version and you'd never guess! I topped with fat free whipped topping and it was tastyyyy...mmmm...pumpkin

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Adapted from

8 slices whole wheat bread
1 cup egg substitute
2 1/4 cups skim milk
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pecan halves


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 2-quart casserole dish and set aside.

Crumble the bread by hand or food processor to make bread crumbs. Combine the egg substitute, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, spices and vanilla. Fold in and bread crumbs. Top with pecans.

Pour mixture into prepared casserole and set dish in larger baking dish which has been partially filled with hot water. 7 Bake 1 hours or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Herb Mustard Glazed Salmon

I am not a HUGE fish fan. I love sushi, smoked salmon and fish tacos and can tolerate milder-flavored fish like tilapia and salmon (depending on the recipe). I know it is good for you so I try to find recipes that pair fish up with some of my favorite flavors. A favorite of mine is this salmon I made a while back that was made with an asian barbeque sauce (I ate it so fast I couldn't get any pictures to post it...oopsie). That is my go-to salmon recipe but wanted to switch things up. I decided to give this Giada recipe a try and I'm glad I did. It was fairly easy and quick and quite tasty.

Herb Mustard Glazed Salmon


2 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
6 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 lemon wedges


In a mini food processor, combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, wine, oil, Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard. Grind the mustard sauce until combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard to the sauce and stir to combine. Set aside mustard sauce.

Preheat the broiler. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil with nonstick spray. Arrange the salmon fillets on the baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Broil for 2 minutes. Spoon the mustard sauce over the fillets. Continue broiling until the fillets are just cooked through and golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.

Transfer the fillets to plates and serve with lemon wedges.

Monday, October 18, 2010

S'more Cookie Bars

This is something that I have seen floating around the food blog world for a little while now and was dying to try. I made these along with the lemon blossoms. They were a little messy but that didn't seem to bother anyone. If messiness turns you off (like it does me...usually) then pop them in the refrigerator and everything sets nicely. These are definitely a new favorite of mine...Ps, if you're a S'mores fan like myself...try out these cookies I made a while back...they are AWESOMEEEEE! There's something so comforting about S'mores. They remind me of campfires. While nowadays I don't do much  any camping, I loved it as a kid.

S'more Cookie Bars


1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized milk chocolate bars
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.

Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick.

Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff.

Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned.

Cool completely before cutting into bars

Friday, October 15, 2010

Beef Cookies: Dog Treats!

I try to make Kirby dog treats every other week or so. Not only is it better for them but its soooo much cheaper. There are tons and tons of easy dog treat recipes online. Whats great is you can just throw everything together and your pup will still love them. I love making him treats when I'm in the mood to bake but my body is telling me "no, no I don't think so".

*Fun facts about Kirby...he chases his own tail in circles until he gets so dizzy he falls. He snores really loud. His gives away free kisses (whether you want them or not) :)

Beef Cookies
From Unknown


1/2 cups cornmeal
6 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
2/3 cups beef broth
2 cups whole wheat flour


Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients together. Knead the dough until mixed thoroughly. Roll out to desired thickness (about 1/4-1/2 an inch). Use cookie cutters to shape. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. *I like to bake them for 30 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the treats in the oven for about 15-20 minutes so that they dry out and are hard cookies.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs and Spicy Tomato Sauce

When it starts getting cooler out I (and I'm sure everyone else) really craves good warm comfort food. Something warm and full of carbs and super filling is really comforting in the fall and winter months. Pretty soon I'm going to jump on the soup train and make some warm yummy soup to come home to and warm up with.

This recipe has turkey meatballs instead of the traditional beef. I was worried they wouldn't be as moist but let me tell ya' I didn't miss the beef at all. The meatballs were moist and flavorful. The different vegetables in them gave them an interesting texture that was much better than the one-note texture you get from most meatballs. I absolutely love this sauce as it is spicy and I love it hot :) This recipe is definitely a keeper and I don't even have to feel guilty about it as this is an Ellie Krieger recipe. She's all about eating healthy and light and has yet to dissapoint me.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs and Spicy Tomato Sauce


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, liquid included
1 teaspoon finely minced canned chipotle en adobo and sauce, or more to taste
2 teaspoons chopped oregano leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Cooking spray
1 pound ground turkey meat
1 slice fresh whole-wheat bread, crusts removed, pulsed into crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/2 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 box (16 ounces) whole-wheat spaghetti


Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil for pasta.

Make Sauce:
In a 4-quart saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, chipotles, oregano, rosemary, and salt. Bring all the ingredients to a low boil, reduce heat and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until liquid has evaporated slightly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. While sauce is cooking, make meatballs.

Preheat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine the turkey with all other ingredients in a large work bowl. Form into 2 1/2 -inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes, or until browned and almost entirely cooked through.

Meanwhile, remove rosemary sprig from sauce and add fresh basil. Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and cook additional 10 minutes, or until sauce has slightly thickened and meatballs have absorbed some of the sauce. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the whole-wheat spaghetti according to package directions.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and meatballs, toss and heat through over medium heat. Divide evenly among 4 pasta bowls and garnish with parsley and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan.

Yield: 6 servings (1 serving equals about 1 1/3 cups pasta and sauce, plus 2 meatballs

Turkey Meatballs
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