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  • Whipped Cinnamon Pumpkin Butter

    How to make Whipped Cinnamon Pumpkin Butter

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    If you use fresh pumpkin puree, make sure it’s not too watery. If it has a lot of extra moisture, wrap in cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess water.


    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
    Pinch salt
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
    1/4 cup honey
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin puree. Beat until very well combined. Continue beating, gradually adding the remaining pumpkin puree, until completely incorporated. Add the honey and vanilla and beat until thick and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

    Serve or store in the fridge in an airtight container. Bring to room temperature before using.

  • Garlic Parmesan Soft Pretzels

    How to make Garlic Parmesan Soft Pretzels

    Yield: 12

    Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes


    Pretzel Dough

    1 1/2 cups warm water
    1 tablespoon white sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    4-4 1/2 cups flour
    1 tablespoon corn starch
    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) melted butter
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup Johnny’s Garlic Spread and Seasoning (*or use 1 1/2 Tbs garlic salt)
    1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

    Baking Soda Bath

    9 cups water
    2/3 cup baking soda

    Egg Wash

    1 large egg
    1 tablespoon water
    Salt for garnish (Large crystals)


    1. Combine water, sugar, salt, and active dry yeast in a stand mixer
    2. Let yeast proof by letting it stand for about 5 minutes. When it starts to foam, move to next step.
    3. Using a kneading hook attachment, turn your mixer on, and slowly add flour, corn starch, and melted butter a little at a time.
    4. Mix on low to combine ingredients.
    5. Add in parmesan cheese and garlic spread and let combine
    6. Increase to medium speed, and knead for 5-7 minutes, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Kneading allows the gluten to develop, so do not skip this step.
    7. Remove from bowl, put a little oil in bowl, and put dough back in, cover, and let rise until double in size.
    8. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
    9. Line sheet with parchment paper
    10. Bring 9 cups of water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
    11. Divide dough into 12 even balls, and form into pretzel twists
    12. Once water is boiling, place each twist, one at a time, into boiling water for 30 seconds.
    13. Remove, and put on cookie sheet, about an inch or so apart, and continue until all pretzels have had a water bath.
    14. Beat egg yolk and water together and brush over top of pretzels with a pastry brush
    15. Sprinkle with large crystal salt and bake 13-17 minutes until golden brown.
    16. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve.

    Rachael Yerkes at Eazy Peazy Mealz

  • Ultimate Muffins

    How to make Ultimate Muffins

    Yield: 12 muffins

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Buttermilk is the best for making ultra moist and flavorful muffins. However, you can also use whole milk.


    2 cups (9 ounces or 254 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 cup buttermilk
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract (if desired)


    Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners or coat with nonstick cooking spray (or both).

    In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

    In a liquid measuring cup beat together the buttermilk, butter, egg, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir JUST until combined, do not overmix. Divide evenly among the muffin tin cups.

    Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400°F (don’t forget this!!). Continue baking until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about another 12 minutes.


    Add about 1 cup chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, candy, etc.

    For fruit muffins:

    1 1/2 cups fruit (such as berries, apples, etc.), finely chopped and well drained

    If using fruit, add in with the dry ingredients to make sure the fruit stays evenly distributed and doesn’t sink to the bottom.

    Banana muffins:

    3/4 cup mashed overripe banana (from about 2 small bananas)

    Add in with the wet ingredients.


    1/2 cup peanut butter, Nutella, Biscoff, etc.

    Add with the wet ingredients.

    Lemon Poppy Seed

    2 tablespoons poppy seeds
    1 large lemon, zested

    Add the poppy seeds with the dry ingredients and the lemon zest with the wet ingredients.

    Cocoa Muffins

    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

    Add in the cocoa with the other dry ingredients and increase the melted butter to 6 tablespoons and increase the buttermilk to 1 1/2 cups.

    Cinnamon Sugar Topping

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    4 tablespoons butter, melted

    Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Dip the cooled muffins in the butter then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

  • Skinny Feta Dip

    How to make Skinny Feta Dip

    Yield: 2 1/2 cups

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes


    1 cup 1% lowfat cottage cheese
    1/4 cup boiling water
    1 cup lowfat sour cream
    1 cup feta cheese (4 ounces)
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 garlic clove, peeled
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


    In the work bowl of a food processor, process the cottage cheese and water for 30 seconds, until smooth. Add the sour cream, feta, oil, lemon juice, garlic clove, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and process for 30 seconds, until combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the parsley. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, so the flavors can blend together. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary before serving. The dip can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Season with additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste before serving.

    From The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bites

    How to make Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bites

    Yield: about 30 bites

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 40 minutes

    You can also press this mixture into an 8×8-inch baking pan to make bars.


    2/3 cup natural peanut butter
    1 cup dry old-fashioned oats
    1/2 cup ground flaxseed
    1/2 cup chocolate chips
    1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)


    In a medium bowl stir together all of the ingredients with a spatula or clean hands until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firmed and no longer sticky.

    Use a small spring-loaded scoop or two spoons to make balls about 1-inch in diameter. Store the balls in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 1 month.

  • Spanakopita Bites

    How to make Spanakopita Bites

    Yield: 30 bites

    Find frozen phyllo cups at most grocery stores near regular phyllo dough in the frozen section. It's often near puff pastry and premade pie crusts.


    30 frozen phyllo cups (2 15-count packages)
    10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 cup chopped shallot or onion
    Salt and pepper to taste
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    6 ounces feta cheese
    2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
    1 large egg
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest


    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the phyllo cups on a large baking sheet and set aside.

    Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and season with salt and pepper. Saute until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly.

    Add the spinach, feta, parsley, egg, nutmeg, and lemon zest, stirring to combine. Spoon the mixture into the phyllo cups and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot.

    To make in advance freeze the cooked cups for up to 1 month. Reheat from frozen (do not thaw) in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, or until warmed.

  • Pizza Hummus

    How to make Pizza Hummus

    Yield: About 4 cups


    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup tomato paste
    2 teaspoons dried oregano
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    2 garlic cloves, peeled
    3 cups canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
    1/4 cup tahini
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


    Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomato paste, oregano, and basil and cook until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the garlic, garbanzo beans, garbanzo bean liquid, tahini, lemon juice, and salt. Puree until smooth and creamy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

    From Food Network Magazine October 2011

  • Spiced Pumpkin Cream Cheese

    How to make Spiced Pumpkin Cream Cheese

    Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 5 minutes


    8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    1/4 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/8 teaspoon cloves
    1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    pinch salt
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


    Using an electric mixer, food processor, blender, or immersion blender, beat cream cheese, pumpkin, and sugar until smooth. Beat in spices, salt, and vanilla. Refrigerate mixture for at least 1 hour before using.

    From Better Homes and Gardens via Ezra Pound Cake

  • Cookies & Cream Popcorn

    How to make Cookies & Cream Popcorn


    1/3 cup popcorn kernels, popped
    10-15 chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped
    6 ounces white chocolate, chopped


    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place popcorn and chopped cookies in a large bowl. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until smooth. Pour white chocolate over popcorn and cookies. Stir until chocolate is well-distributed. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet in one layer and let set.

    Adapted from Sing for your Supper

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