Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Turkey and White Bean Chili

I hope everyone had a good Halloween weekend.

I had a rough time coming up with a costume idea. I tend to like to do silly or funny costumes rather than the scantily clad outfits that most girls my age adorn for Halloween.

I have always been obsessed with all things vintage and fascinated with the many different eras and decades prior to my lifetime. I love old hollywood glamour and everything from the 20's to now.

I decided to be a flapper. Not too creative, but pretty fun to twirl around in.

Trying to get the hair right was a pain in the butt. My hair is to my lower back long and pinning all of it up was not easy. I have never liked the way I look with short hair but you can't be a flapper without a just cant. It's like illegal or something.

I also feel that I must say. I have been a victim of ABC Family's 13 days of Halloween. Normally, I just get really into it around Christmas but they have been playing "Adams Family", "Practical Magic", and "Hocus Pocus" lie...who can resist that?! My productivity has gone down major points.

Thanks ABC Family...I'm sure my teachers will find you to be a legitimate excuse as to not having my work done.

Ps, they are already showing previews for 25 Days of Christmas. I don't know whether to jump with joy or cry. I love my some Christmas but I am not ready for my beloved fall to depart and be replaced by snow and 7 pounds in my mid-section.

Nope, not ready at all.

Speaking of 7 pounds...This chili is once again from one of my "food blogger idols" at Gina's Skinny Recipes. I have made pumpkin chili before and I liked it, but this one was waaaay better...and healthier...and easier...and cheaper.

Win. Win. Win. and Win.

Pumpkin Turkey and White Bean Chili
Adapted from


cooking spray
2 lb 99% lean ground turkey
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder, to taste
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
2 (15 oz cans) of white northern or navy beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
4.5 oz canned chopped green chile
2 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
fat free sour cream for topping (optional)
chopped cilantro and chives for topping (optional)
salt and pepper to taste


Heat a large heavy saute pan over high heat and lightly spray with oil.
Add meat and cook, breaking it up until white, about 5 minutes. Add to crock pot.

Add oil to the saute pan, then onions, garlic, sauté about 3 - 4 minutes;
add cumin and sauté another minute.

Add to crock pot. Add beans, pumpkin puree, green chilis, broth, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaves.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Remove bay leaves and adjust seasoning to taste before serving.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Pudding Muffins

I am slightly ashamed of myself.

We all know I love fall. This is my favorite time of the year to get in the kitchen and throw pumpkin in everything...and I have in fact been going crazy in the kitchen...

But I seem to be lacking the time to share all the fall goodies and things that make me squeel with delight.

It is already nearing the end of October and I haven't posted pumpkin-anything. What the heck!!

So to make up for it, I'm going to link some of my favorite fall recipes from the past and continue to try my best to share with you all of the things that have been making me fat, and happy.

Low-Calorie Pumpkin Bread (you can't even tell it's low-calorie, seriously)
Pumpkin Spice Granola (your house will smell a.m.a.z.i.n.g.)
German Pumpkin Cheesecake (one of my all-time favorite things I have EVER made)
Pumpkin Cream Puffs (the filling alone is to-die-for)
Pumpkin Roll (classic. just like Grandma made it)
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (you read right)

I decided to make muffins this year. I had this little box of pumpkin spice pudding just begging for me to do something with it...this recipe is actually for pumpkin bread but I swapped out the flour for some pudding and tried out the recipe for both pumpkin bread and muffins...

The bread didn't work out too well. But the muffins rocked. They were moist for days. Seriously.


1/2 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3.4 oz box pumpkin spice instant pudding (dry)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thai Chicken and Pineapple Stir Fry

Where in the heck is time going?!

I'm having a hard time finding time to blog. Let alone breath. But I'm hanging in there...barely.

My birthday came and went. I find that tends to happen as you get older. This has been a year of growth for me. I have learned a lot about myself and about the people in my life.

I have found that I so often spend time worrying about the people letting me down instead of appreciating the people there rubbing my back as I am crying over the people who disappoint me. I have an amazing select few in my life who make up for all of those who don't really care. Gosh, I'm lucky.

I've also found that I tend to confuse positivity with having high expectations. I strive to be a positive and optimistic person, but sometimes in doing that I set these high, sometimes unreachable expectations which only lead to disappointment. It's easy to forget to appreciate things for what they are, and accept people for who they are and what they offer you, rather than what they didn't. I will spend my 24th year here remembering that for sure.

I'm going into this year a more positive, open, understanding and thankful person. I have all the wonderful people in my life, or who were once in my life to thank for that...and all the moments I have that remind me of these things, and the many MANY other things I need to keep in the back of my mind at all times.

This is a rather serious post eh?

On a less serious note, I carved pumpkins for the first time in forever on my birthday. I have announced many times how much I love lazy sundays and my birthday was just that. I appreciate the simple things in life...and thankfully my birthday represented that.

I spent my birthday with someone who showed up at my door with Coldstone Birthday Cake Remix, took me to a pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins and carve "awesome" faces on "awesome" I mean slightly embarrassing but still humorous as they looked like a couple of 6-year-olds did them (this is ironic as we are a couple of old folk), then we had a very fancy candlelit dinner on my coffee table and devoured Taco Bell...yep, per my request. My birthday ended with an intense game of Cribbage...and I won. Perfect day :)

None of that has anything to do with Thai food...or chicken...or pineapple...or even stir fry. But here it is. It's yummy. And I am OBSESSED with Gina's Skinny Recipes. Literally.Ob.Sessed.

Thai Chicken and Pineaplle Stir Fry
Adapted from


1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp oil, divided
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 cups cubed assorted colors bell peppers (1/2-inch cubes)
1 red chili pepper, chopped (optional or to taste)
1 small white onion, chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1/2 cup chili sauce
cilantro leaves (for garnish)


Mix chicken and fish sauce in medium bowl. Add cornstarch; toss to evenly coat. Set aside.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger; stir fry 30 seconds. Add bell peppers,onion chili pepper if using and pineapple;stir fry 3 to 5 minutes or until peppers are tender-crisp.

Add soy and chili sauce; cook and stir until heated through. Remove from skillet.

Heat remaining oil in the skillet. Add chicken; stir fry5 minutes or until cooked through.Return bell pepper mixture to skillet; stir fry until well blended.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve with brown rice or plain.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cherry Almond Dark Chocolate Clusters

I turn 24 in 5 days.

I can't say I am particularly excited about it. 24 doesn't seem all that eventful, and I kind of like the number 23...and 24 is really close to 25 which is 5 years away from 30...


Yeah, these next 5 days can go slow if they want.

I'm cool with that.

I am looking forward to spending time with my friends and family watching some sketch comedy and enjoying a night of dancing and girlie drinks...I'm okay with that...but that's about it.

I made these little treats when I didn't feel like baking...and knew I would indeed devour more chocolate than I needed so I wanted something "light"-ish.

These are good if you're trying to get a quick and somewhat guiltless sweets fix...but they aren't a no-bake cookie thats for sure... I'll make an entire batch of those for myself for my birthday.

Yep, done.

Cherry Almond Dark Chocolate Clusters


1 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped


In a medium bowl, toss together the almonds and the cherries. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.

Melt half the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over slightly simmering water, over the lowest possible heat, stirring frequently. Make sure the water is not touching the top pan. Remove the double boiler from the heat and stir in the rest of the chocolate. Remove the top pan with the chocolate in it, gently wipe the bottom of it and set it aside for a moment. Replace the simmering water in the bottom pan with warm tap water. Put the pan of melted chocolate on top of the warm water. This will keep the chocolate at the right temperature while you make the clusters.

Stir the fruit-nut mixture into the chocolate. Spoon out heaping tablespoon-sized clusters of the chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Put them in the refrigerator to set for 15 minutes. Store and serve at room temperature.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...