Pumpkin Spice Cobbler w. Cinnamon Biscuits

by Sarah on November 24, 2015 · 0 comments

I was going to go with another dessert, because I wondered, “Is having a maple spiced kale salad with winter squash AND a pumpkin spiced dessert a little too much?”

But Mama Smart said, “When else CAN you get away with this much pie spice at a meal but this time of year?”

Good point.IMG_20151122_200531_485 (1280x1280)

Pumpkin Spice Cobbler

(Serves 6-8)

Adapted from Taste and Tell’s Pumpkin Cobbler

Pumpkin Custard

  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (fat free works fine)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup grated sweet-tart apple (Fuji, Honeycrisp)
  • 1/3 cup  flour
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp. apple pie spice + 1/2 tsp. ground ginger)
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Cinnamon “Biscuit” Topping

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 5 tsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • whipped cream, for serving  (I recommend COCONUT whipped cream!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Stir together custard ingredients and pour/scrape into an 8″ square baking dish.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Use a fork to “cut in” butter until mixture is crumbly.
  5. Stir in milk, just until the mixture comes together.
  6. Drop dough (“dollop”) on top of the custard.
  7. If desired, sprinkle another tablespoon or two of sugar over the top.
  8. Bake 40-45 minutes until biscuits are set. (A toothpick should come out clean…from the biscuit part.)
  9. Serve with whipped cream.

Note: Custard and dough can be assembled in advance and stored in the fridge. Remove from fridge 15-30 minutes before assembly and baking.


One of my proudest achievements as the coordinator of the Graduate School’s mentoring program has not been the incredible workshops that I’ve put together this year…but the fact that the snack selection–that has been deemed “so healthy” [or at least “the better bad choice” ;)] has been so well received by the students.5bba5694-7652-49a9-9b99-d5d65b817021

Of course, it’s hard to ‘sell’ slightly smushed, but not overripe, bananas. [See bottom right.] 1f41cedd-1648-465a-b435-a13855bf92c2I ended up with only four remaining–I love my hungry, hungry hippos grad students–and it seemed to me that this could not be better timed with this month’s Recipe Redux theme.Presentation1

But, as I mentioned, despite being smushed, the bananas weren’t at the “I’m so ripe and sweet that the only logical next step is banana bread” stage. So I got creative…and I pseudo-caramelized them to bring out some more sweetness.IMG_3752 (1280x853)

And THEN I turned them into bread.
IMG_3768 (1280x853)

And it truly is a QUICK bread…at least in preparation.

(I tested this by mixing and pouring immediately after the evening workshop when all I really wanted was sweatpants, hot tea, and my couch.)

The cooking time, however…let’s just say I went through a LOT of toothpicks.

IMG_3772 (1280x853)

[As a side note, one of my proudest moments as a BLOGGER was this post for another, perhaps even more delicious, banana bread…written to the tune of the Britney Spear’s classic, “…Oops, I Did It Again.” Check it out. You’ll see.]


Caramelized Banana Brown Sugar Bread

  • 1/4 c. applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar, separated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. apple pie spice (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans, walnuts, or both
  1. Cook mashed bananas and 1 Tbsp. brown sugar over medium heat (in a nonstick pan) until beginning to brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together applesauce, oil, and sugars.
  4. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  5. Mix in “caramelized” mashed bananas, beating well. (A few chunks are actually a good thing!)
  6. In a separate bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, spices (if using), and salt. Add to banana mixture and beat until just blended.
  7. Pour batter into loaf pan.
  8. Bake for an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean!


It was a Friendsgiving to remember.IMG_20151115_192649

And I–not surprisingly--made kale salad.IMG_3932 (1280x853)

Because the lady at the farmers’ market sells a GINORMOUS bunch of kale for only $2..and I had a tummy full of kale by the time I was done…the actual amount I used is a bit of a best guesstimate.

I trust you will adjust your dressing accordingly.

(And it is REALLY good so go ahead and make the whole batch, even if you don’t use it all.)IMG_3939 (1280x853)

The secret dressing ingredient is lemon hummus…a trick for vegan creaminess I learned in the Sabra #TwoSpoons recipe contest which…I won! (Sort of.)IMG_3917 (1280x852)

Apparently you can trust me on all kale-ient* issues.

*Totally a reference to health behavior…salient issues, kale-ient issues. Watch out: NERD ALERT.IMG_3934 (1280x853)

Roasted Sweet Potato, Pear, and Kale Salad with Spiced Maple Dressing

  • 16 cups kale (a GIANT bunch)
  • 1 1/4 cup ripe, firm red pear, chopped (1 medium pear)
  • 3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 6-8 pitted dates, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. pepitas (shelled pumpkin) seeds, roasted
  • s + p
  • dried thyme leaves
  • cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Creamy Spiced Maple Dressing
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash, de-stem, and chop kale.
  3. Toss sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil, and salt, pepper, thyme, and cayenne (to your liking).
  4. Roast potatoes 15 minutes (or so) until tender. Remove from oven.
  5. Toss kale with 1/2 cup dressing, using hands to fully coat and “massage.”
  6. Allow to rest 30 minutes (if you have time).
  7. Add sweet potatoes, pears, and dates. Toss well.
  8. Add more dressing if desired.
  9. Sprinkle with pepitas just before serving.

Spiced Maple Dressing

(Makes about 1 cup)

  • 3 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1/4 cup. water
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 6 Tbsp. lemon hummus
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice (or more, if desired)
  • salt (pinch)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.

Note: You can simply shake in a Mason jar, or whisk vigorously, but he hummus may no incorporate as well.


By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by siggi’s yogurt and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.IMG_3715 (1280x853)

I was uber excited about the latest Recipe Redux contest because it features siggi’s–a yogurt I love so much I’m in the (volunteer) Culture Club devoted to promoting it at all possible opportunities. siggi’s is made from SUPER simple ingredients, with hardly any added sugar, especially in comparison to some other yogurts with similar protein profiles. [I’ve also never met anyone who wasn’t a convert after trying it…]siggiscontestredux

The story goes that siggi’s came to be when it’s founder, Siggi Hilmarsson, moved to the U.S. and was nostalgic for the yogurt of his youth. I’m not sure about y’all, but this time of year is brimming with nostalgia, making it only appropriate that this Healthy Holiday Recipe Redux challenge also have a hint of nostalgia…with a healthy, simple (siggi’s style) twist!siggis_healthyholiday_reciperedux

Although, to be fair, we never ate Waldorf Salad in my family.

Not at the holidays…or any time.IMG_3705 (1280x855)

But I hear it could be brimming with nostalgia for some people.

(So I hear read on the internet.)IMG_3694 (1280x853)

Me? I just love roasted fall fruit and siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice yogurt, as well as EASY recipes that are generally crowd-pleasing. (Brother Smart would NEVER eat traditional Waldorf Salad because of the mayonnaise…THIS however…)IMG_3746 (1280x853)

Adding pairs to the traditional apple addition adds just a touch of something special, and roasting grapes brings out a sweetness that you’ve got to try to believe. And trust me on the savory herbs…the subtlety of flavor burst combination is incredible.IMG_3659 (1280x853)

Plus, roasting grapes practically gets you to raisins,* so you can add the much more seasonal dried cranberries instead.

*Not really.IMG_3733 (1280x853)

If you’ve only got walnuts, then you’re good, but if you can swing pecans (or both), well…why not wal–nut?

Because…toasted pecans.IMG_3670 (1280x854)

Technically, I’m entering this in the appetizer category, but I’m not going to hide the fact that it makes great breakfast, snack, or really, even slightly savory dessert. Make it an eat it whenever you want. (Just save some for others. This IS the season of sharing.)IMG_3721 (1280x853)

Autumn Spice Waldorf Salad with Roasted Seasonal Fruit

  • 1 1/2 cup firm, ripe pear, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped Granny Smith apple
  • 3 cups red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • pinch of allspice
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts or pecans (or a combination of the two)
  • 3 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 1 5.3-oz. container siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice skyr yogurt*
  1. Toast nuts in a toaster oven (or in a 300 degree oven) for about 5 minutes, just until fragrant. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Spread pears, apples and grapes on a metal baking sheet.
  4. Spray with cooking spray, then toss with thyme, rosemary, and allspice.
  5. Roast 15 minutes, until fruit is tender, but still holding shape.
  6. Allow fruit mixture to cool completely. (You can put in the fridge to accelerate the process.)
  7. Stir skyr yogurt into fruit mixture, coating all pieces.
  8. Just before serving, stir in dried cranberries and nuts.

NOTE: Steps 1-7 can be completed a day in advance, but wait on the nuts and cranberries so they maintain their crunch!



Sweet & Sour Turnip Bisque [Vegan]

by Sarah on November 8, 2015 · 0 comments

IMG_3693 (1280x853)This recipe was inspired by two menu items at Epiphany, a local restaurant for which I do social media photography and posting in exchange for a free meal every now and then. The first was a dish of, yes, Sweet & Sour Turnips with Red Cabbage Puree that I was too busy doing a happy chair dance while eating to photograph. The second was a Roasted Turnip Custard that is made with (astonishingly) three ingredients and absolutely no dairy.

The flavor, though? I couldn’t believe my taste buds. Seriously.IMG_3587 (1280x1280)

It got me to thinking about taking advantage of the natural flavors of good, fresh, local ingredients.

This ‘bisque’ has more than three ingredients, but it plays on the natural sharp tang of a turnip, with the sweet caramel of a sweet potato, and a little extra sugar burst from carrots. Rounding out the profile is a sour splash of vinegar, creamy nutty nut milk,* richness from maple syrup, and smoked almonds on top….just because.

*How else to describe it, really?IMG_3682 (1280x853)

This should ideally serve two.

But it only served one in THIS kitchen.

Sweet & Sour Turnip Bisque [Vegan]

  • 3 medium turnips, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1 small sweet potato, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. diced sweet onion
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cashew (or almond) milk
  • s + p
  • pinch of allspice
  • 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1-2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped smoked almonds (optional)
  • pinch of dried dill (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine turnips, carrots, potato, garlic, and onion.
  3. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and allspice. Toss well to coat.
  4. Pour vegetable mixture into a roasting dish or spread on a metal lipped pan.
  5. Roast vegetables until very soft.
  6. Allow vegetables to cool, then combine with cashew milk in a high speed blender or food processor.
  7. Process until smooth.
  8. Heat bisque in a sauce pan until simmering.
  9. Just before serving, stir in vinegar and maple syrup.
  10. Sprinkle with chopped smoked almonds, a bit more allspice, and dried dill (if desired).

Snickers Granola

by Sarah on November 5, 2015 · 0 comments

After the not-so-subtle, but confusingly indirect hint that “We needed to get some Halloween candy”* I did what any good Halloween supporter does and bought a giant bag of candy from Sam’s Club.

*And by “we” do you mean you? Me? Together we will frolic through Candyland?0004000050116_A

Apparently 135 pieces (and I even sprung for the CHOCOLATE bag of SNACK SIZE, not the small, useless (not so) “fun” bites or the fruity candy…gross) was not enough, because The Professor came home with 5 MORE bags of candy.

The combination of torrential downpours and the fact that we really don’t have that many kids around us meant there was a LOT of candy leftover. And since the Snickers were “mysteriously”* NOT disappearing, I did what any good food blogger would do:

*The Professor is anti-peanut. Oh the irony.IMG_3630 (1280x853)

I turned them into granola.IMG_3608 (1280x852)

There is no really recipe, but I’m sure you are good at winging it, eyeballing it, and all those other terms for just going with the flow.IMG_3611 (1280x854)

Snickers Granola

So this is like psuedo healthy in the way all granola is psuedo healthy…but I must say it’s really good even without the actual Snickers in it…it just might require extra chocolate chips or extra agave to make chunks since you won’t have melting caramel candy in there to do it for you. :)

  • 3 cups or so of rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup (ish) of chopped unsalted peanuts
  • 3 Tbsp. (?) of raw sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. (maybe more) of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. agave
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • salt
  • 8 fun-sized Snickers bars, chopped up really well
The agave and oil are really just to help get the cocoa powder to stick (and sweeten and crisp up everything) so you can start with less…I sort of did a “turn of the bowl” thing.
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl.
  2. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes, rotating pan and stirring after 15 minutes.
  3. Let cool completely to crisp up and then put away. (Although eat as you wish.)
***I cooked the Snickers right in with everything else, but you could add in the last few minutes if you wanted the chunks to stay together and be more recognizable…I just liked them all melty.IMG_3619 (1280x852)

Happy Halloween!

by Sarah on October 31, 2015 · 0 comments

There is no law of Jack O’ Lanterns that says you can’t carve the same basic pumpkin every year.


I shall call him Clarence.


Nutty Maple Rosemary Granola

by Sarah on October 21, 2015 · 0 comments

This recipe is nutty in more ways than one.IMG_3451 (1280x853)

And I’m not talking about the four actual nut varieties (plus three seeds) involved.reciperedux_nuts

I mean, who puts nutritional yeast and black pepper in granola?

And rosemary?

With crystallized ginger for good measure?IMG_3459 (1280x853)


That’s who.*

*And I’ve actually done it before.IMG_3447 (1280x853)

Savory granola is addictive, delicious, and really just a jazzier verson of the spiced or herbed nuts you make around the holidays. Plus, you can dress it up and take it anywhere. From roasted butternut squash and pears…IMG_3488 (1280x853)

–in solid or soup* form–

*Thickened with roasted potatoes. NatNuturally.IMG_3502 (1280x853)

–to sweet pumpkin yogurt.IMG_3507 (1280x853)

Holidays, schmolidays, really, though.

Who needs an excuse?

Not Nut me.IMG_3438 (1280x853)
Nutty Maple Rosemary Granola

  • 1 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped raw walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. raw pepitas
  • 2-3 Tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger (optional…unless you are me)
  • 1 1/3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax + 2 Tbsp. warm water (flax “egg”)
  • 1/2 tsp. maple extract (may substitute vanilla)
  • 3 Tbsp. Grade B maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Whisk together flax and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts, seeds, and dry seasonings. Stir well.
  4. Once flax “egg” has gelled, stir in maple syrup and extract.
  5. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary
  7. Bake on a cooking sprayed metal baking sheet (with sides!) for 20 minutes, or until browned but not burning.
  8. Allow to cool before storing. (It will continue to crisp as it cools.)IMG_3509 (1280x853)



By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra Dipping Co. LLC, and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I received coupons for free product used in testing this recipe. I was not compensated for my time.sabra_twospoons_reduxTasked with remaking a tailgate recipe using at least #twospoons of Sabra hummus provided me an opportunity to think outside of the box container a little bit. Because while I often jazz up my store-bought hummus, I rarely serve it as anything but a dip.IMG_3034 (1280x853)Since I’ve already made NORTH Carolina style slaw–with, yes, ketchup– I thought I’d go a little further south, and use a Carolina BBQ sauce (mmmmm….mustard….). And instead of cabbage, let’s beef* up the iron benefits with kale.

*Pun intended.IMG_3428 (1280x853)[The fact that I know BBQ Sauce and Sabra Lemon Twist Hummus are exceptional when paired together is a result of my tendency to mix anything and everything together at least once. Like a test kitchen in my mouth.]IMG_3407 (1280x852)

And although when I said the words kale-slaw to The Professor, he visibly shuddered, I knew that remaking a traditional tailgate dish in a healthier, fall-ier way would be just the ticket.* No mayo or dairy required, and two heaping spoonfuls of hummus a day will fulfill your bean recommendation for the week(Hello, fiber. I will compensate with extra dessert at the tailgate now.)

*ANOTHER pun. Touchdown.IMG_3408 (1280x853)

Creamy Carolina BBQ ‘Kale-Slaw’ with Pears & Smoked Almonds 

  • 1 10-oz. container Sabra Lemon Twist Hummus
  • 3 Tbsp. South Carolina-style BBQ Sauce (mustard and vinegar-based)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 12 oz. chopped kale leaves only
  • 1 firm, ripe pear
  • 1/4 cup smoked almonds, sliced or chopped
    1. In a food processor or blender, combine hummus and BBQ sauce. Blend, adding water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until creamy. (This may need to be adjusted based on your BBQ sauce’s consistency.)
    2. Squeeze in lemon juice.
    3. Shred kale leaves using a food processor’s shredding attachment (or super finely chop).
    4. Stir together dressing and kale.
    5. Using the same proccesor attachment, shred pear (or finely julienne).
    6. Mix pear into kale, just until incorporated.
    7. Sprinkle almonds on top before serving!



The OXO Good Cookies campaign supports Cookies for Kids Cancer, an organization founded by two “OXOnians” whose son was struggling with pediatric cancer. IMG_3380 (1280x852)This fall, OXO will be donating $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for each blog post dedicated to this campaign, up to our $100,000 commitment.cookiesforcancerOXOI would have participated anyway, but the fact that OXO sent me a Cupcake Baking Kit, including the AMAZING non-stick pro 12-cup muffin pan, a 4-piece decorating bottle kit, and a cupcake icing knife.IMG_3105 (1280x853)
 Although, selfishly, I wish I had also received the cupcake corer from OXO, because then I could have put the boozy apples IN the cupcakes nd not just on top. :)IMG_3353 (1280x853)
Now, I realize cooking with alcohol might not be the best choice for a baking campaign for kids…
IMG_3125 (1280x853)
….but I happen to know a 3 1/2 year old who was inspired to dance about them.IMG_3140 (1280x853)
And not because she was intoxicated, thankyouverymuch.IMG_3300 (1280x851)
(She had her own “extra special” cupcake with no boozy apples cooked in the leftover cider.)IMG_3375 (1280x853)
Spiced Hard Cider Cupcakes

Inspired by Eat Live Run’s Apple Cider Cupcakes

(Makes 10-12)

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup demerrara or turbinado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup grated apple (I used Braeburn)
  • 1/2 cup hard ginger or cinnamon cider
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease or line muffin tin.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  4. Beat in vanilla and eggs, one at a time.
  5. Beat in flour and baking powder until thick batter forms.
  6. Beat in salt, spices, and grated apples.
  7. Pour cider into the batter and beat just until combined.
  8. Scoop cupcake batter into muffin cups, filling at least 3/4 of the way up. [I like bigger cupcakes, so I just make less than 11.]
  9. Bake 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool 5-10 minutes in the pan, then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Maple Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  1. Beat together cream cheese and butter until creamy.
  2. Beat in powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time.
  3. Beat in brown sugar.
  4. Stir in maple syrup.
  5. Allow to chill in the fridge until ready to use.


Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a recognized 501c(3) public charity duly incorporated under the laws of the state of New Jersey. Your donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. 100% of proceeds raised by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer fund pediatric cancer research.

In 2015, OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through product proceeds, bake sale matches and other fundraising efforts.IMG_3338 (1280x853)