Saturday, September 29, 2012

Easy Homemade Pumpkin Butter

So, yeah, more pumpkin.

What can I say?  I think I'm in love...

Just kidding.  I'm not that crazy.  I just happen to rarely use up the whole can of pumpkin in one recipe, causing me to make something different, causing me to eat it and, causing me to remember how amazing pumpkin is, causing me to open another can, causing the cycle to repeat itself.

Oh, wow.  It's only my second pumpkin post of the season and I'm already ranting like crazy.

That's probably because the two recipes that have been posted are just a few tiny little fraction of everything I've made.  Let's just say that the before mentioned cycle has been repeated, oh, I'd say around 4 times.  Perhaps that gives you a better idea of the amount of pumpkin dishes I've prepared.

You'd think I'd be tired of pumpkin by now, wouldn't you?

Definitely not the case.  I'm still going strong, and will probably get even stronger as soon as the really chilly weather rolls in.  In fact, I do believe that on the first truly fall morning, I'll be sure to spread some of this delicious pumpkin butter on my toast, and enjoy it with a big cup of steaming tea.  And then I'll probably make a good 12 more pumpkin desserts.

Mmmmm.  That day will certainly be a delicious one.

Super Easy Pumpkin Butter
(makes around 1 small jar, depending on how much you let the butter thicken)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • pinch cloves
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (if you want a sweeter butter, use more)
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Then, pour mixture into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring often and scraping down sides to prevent sticking, until mixture has thickened into desired consistency.  I wanted my butter pretty thick so I let it simmer for a long time.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Store in an airtight container, or jar, in the fridge.  Some ideas on using your pumpkin butter include spreading it on toast, topping pancakes with it, stirring it into oatmeal, or just eating off a spoon.

The proof of how tasty this stuff is, is right in the pictures.  It tasted sooo amazing, that by the time I even got around to getting my camera out, the jar was more than half empty.  Yes, it's that yummy.  So good that even my shouts of "Don't eat that yet, I haven't taken pictures!" were ignored by my family members, as they dunked in their spoons.

Oh, well.  At least it proves that the recipe was a success.  A big success.  Try making it and I guarantee you, and your family members, won't be able to resist, either.

Revisited Recipe of the Day: 

Lemony Pound Cake

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Peach Cobbler Baked Oatmeal (My 100th post!)

You are now reading Mix it Up's 100th post!

Even now, as I write this, I'm having a hard time believing it.  To be honest, in my mind, this still seems like a baby blog that's slowly working it's way up to the "big guys", even though I know I've made some huge progress from the start of Mix it Up to now.

For example, now I've started to create some of my very own recipes, instead of just slightly tweaking others.  I'm glad I have, too, as it's definitely a great feeling when you think up something, try it out, and then get to devour it later on.

In fact, today's recipe is actually one that I though up all by myself.  I wanted it, I tried it out, and I absolutely loved it.

What was it, you ask?  Peach Cobbler... breakfast style.

I took a classic Peach Cobbler... and then made it healthy, easy, delicious enough for breakfast.

Surprisingly, it wasn't all that hard.

All you've got to do is think a little bit outside of the box.  Sub oatmeal for the buttery topping, throw in some extra spices, and, then, after much thought, omit the sugar (don't worry, you can't notice).  Now that I think about it, you could even add some greek yogurt (or frozen greek yogurt) on top, to complete the dessert-for-breakfast theme.

So, you see, this breakfast dish really isn't all that different from it's dessert twin.  You just have to go in with an open mind, and then prepare for it to be blown by the amazing-ness of the following recipe.

Peach Cobbler Baked Oatmeal
(serves 1)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • pinch cloves
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp applesauce
  • 2 tbsp water, milk, or other liquid
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped peach
Combine all ingredients, but peaches, into a small bowl, and mix well to combine.  Gently stir in peaches.  Pour mixture into a greased microwave safe dish (a ramekin, for example).  Microwave for around 3 minutes, or until it is firm and no longer watery.  Let cool a bit before either eating strait from the dish, or breaking into smaller pieces and serving in another plate/bowl.  (You could try to keep it whole, like a cake, but when I attempted this it just fell apart, so do it at your own risk)

Can you believe that only that short list of ingredients and, at the most, 5 minutes of your time, can lead to such a heavenly breakfast.  I'll admit, I was a bit doubtful at first.  That is, until a took a bite.  Major yummy-ness I tell you.  Just give it a go and you'll see.

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Healthy Pumpkin Squares

(the first recipe I ever posted!  These are the start of everything you see on the blog today)
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Here we go, everyone.

My first fall recipe of the season, and, boy, is it a good one!

Cute little oatmeal cookies, filled with pumpkin flavor and bursting with sweet raisins.  I'd be surprised if your mouth isn't already watering.

No, really.  Are you sure there isn't drool dribbling down your chin?  Maybe you want to check a mirror...?

All joking aside, these really are great cookies.  They make a perfect snack, lunch-box treat, or maybe even breakfast.  You could even follow in my footsteps and try one six for dessert.

Or, have a cookie at all of the above times.  You can never have too many pumpkin cookies during fall.  Trust me, it's not possible.

I haven't even mentioned the healthy-ness of these cookie yet, have I?  Sorry, I was too caught up with the awesome taste.  I'll get to that now...

These cookies are completely gluten free (if using gluten free oats) and vegan, and contain no butter or oil.

Don't worry, though.  These cookies are more like a snack than an actual dessert, but the taste is definitely not lacking.  And a snack cookie is not a bad thing either, it means you get an excuse you eat cookies more!

Anyone who thinks more cookies is a bad thing is downright crazy.

Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats (gluten free, if desired)
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (to make this, you can grind oats to a fine powder in a food processor or coffee grinder)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar (if you have a big sweet tooth, you may want to add more)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp water
  • 2 tbsp raisins.
Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine all dry ingredients (not raisins) in a large bowl and mix well.  In another bowl, stir together all wet ingredients.  Pour the wet into dry, and mix to combine.  Add in raisins.  If mixture is too dry, feel free to add more water.  Shape dough into small balls, and line up on 1 or 2 parchment paper lined cookie sheets.  Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes (mine baked for 9).  Let cool before removing from cookie sheets and serving.  If you have any leftovers (which I highly doubt), store them in an airtight container.

So there you have it.  The pumpkin craziness has officially begun.  You'd better expect a ton more  fall recipes coming your way, and I'm not even done experimenting yet.  I've still got a whole bucket load of recipes that I want to try out.  Don't blame me if I'm still posting about pumpkin in January, ok?

But, so that hopefully that doesn't happen, I need some answers for you all.  Would you rather see a fall cake, breakfast, or spread recipe next?  I'm stuck on what to post.  Seriously, answer in the comments... I need help!

And don't forget to make these cookies!  If they were delicious enough to be the first fall recipe posted, they have to be good.

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Strawberry Oatmeal Cookies

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall Recipe Round-up

Today marks the official first day of fall.

Even though I feel as if fall started weeks ago, knowing that it's actually begun makes me realize how fast summer flew by.  And I have to admit, I'm going to miss the sunny days and gorgeous weather.  However, I'm still super excited for fall.  After all, there are so many great things about the season, one of the main ones being the food.

Oh, how I love fall foods.  Pumpkin and soup and everything that makes you feel all warm and cuddly inside.  Yum!

To make sure you guys don't miss out on any of the delicious meals you could be having this fall season, I've put together a list of awesome recipes that are perfect for the crisp weather of autumn.


1. Healthy Pumpkin Squares

When I first came up with the idea to do a fall themed post, these squares instantly came to mind.  They're one of the most viewed recipes on the whole blog, and with good reason too.  The great pumpkin flavor and  lovely texture certainly shine throw, showing that simplicity can very well be a good thing.

2. Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffin

It's hard to imagine fall without apples.  They're everywhere you look, it seems.  This muffin pairs the great taste of apples, with that of comforting cinnamon to make one muffin you have to try.  Plus, the single portion and microwave baking, make this treat something you can achieve in minutes.

3. Chickpea "Meatballs"

There's no doubt that meatballs are great at any time of the year, but they seem all the more comforting as the weather begins to cool down.  These Chickpea "Meatballs" are no exception.  Though they're completely vegan, I'm sure they're do the trick of warming you up on a cool day.  Try them with rice for a unique spin on spaghetti and meatballs.

4. Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

Cinnamon Rolls = great fall breakfast.  The only problem?  They're not so healthy.  If you're craving all that cinnamon sugar delicious-ness (which is not unusual for me at all), but don't want the extra guilt, these muffins are absolutely perfect for you.  And paired with a steaming cup of coffee?  Mmmmm...

5.  Roasted Chickpeas

These guys will become your new go-to snack.  I swear.  They're one of those things that's impossible to stop shoving into your mouth... and that's coming from someone who doesn't even like chickpeas.  If that doesn't show you something about how great this recipe is, I don't know what will.  Don't forget to use fall spices to season for a delicious autumn twist!

6.  Fudgy Pumpkin Crownies

First off, if the picture above isn't enough to already make you click want the recipe, then there's definitely something wrong with you.  These "crownies" are part cake, part brownie, and all delicious.  There's also pumpkin in them, which makes them totally fall-worthy.  If you make these (which you must), try not to eat the whole pan, even though the tummy-ache you would get afterwards would probably be worth it.

7.  Apple Snack Crisps

I'm sure all of you go apple picking around this time of year.  Assuming you do, you're gonna have a lot of apples to deal with some time or another.  Why not put some of those apples to use by making Apple Snack Crisps.  They're a great snack, and couldn't be easier because basically all you do is slice, coat, and microwave.

8. Multi-Grain Waffles

Waffles on a chilly Sunday morning are like the definition of heaven in breakfast world.  If possible, these waffles elevate that feeling even more.  With a unique nutty flavor, they're unlike any waffle I had even tried before... and I love them.  Next time you wake up and feel the slight bite in the air, make sure to give these a try.

9.  Eggplant, Chickpea, and Tomato Casserole

This thing is just plain good.  It's warm, hearty, and, though surprising, really healthy.  I loved it when I had it during summer, and I plan to have it again sometime in the upcoming couple weeks.  When eggplant, tomatoes, and chickpea combine, some kind of comfort food magic happens.  You won't believe your taste buds.

10. Oatmeal Dried Fruit Cookies

Last, but not least, a cookie recipe.  One studded with dried fruit and filled with oats to be exact.  Oatmeal cookies are perfect for fall, in case you didn't know.  Sweet and chewy and hearty and absolutely amazing while snuggling under a blanket with a good book.  It's so so good.

That's all for this post, but definitely not all of the fall recipes I have to offer.  I plan to completely bombard you with fall recipes in the upcoming months.  I've already used up at least 3 cans of pumpkin.  The only problem now, is deciding what to post first.  Do you guys want apples or pumpkin or gingerbread first?  It's so hard to choose!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Carob Chia Cookies

This isn't just a chocolate cookie.

It's more unique than that.

There are tons of chocolate cookie recipes floating around the web.  Some have even been shared on this blog already (my Chocolate Cake Cookies for example).

What there aren't tons of, however, are Carob and Chia Seed Cookie recipes.  I'd bet most of you have never even seem one before.

So, you see, these are most definitely not just chocolate cookies.  These are so much more special than that.

You know what else these cookies are?  Extremely delicious and healthy!

The total best of both worlds.

Except, maybe, there's a bit more of the delicious world, because you cannot tell that these are healthy.

Carob Chia Cookies - original recipe can be found here

  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds, whole
  • 3 tbsp carob powder
  • 3/4 cup flour of choice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well, until everything is combined.  Scoop onto a sprayed cookie sheet and place in freezer for around 15 minutes.  Put cookies straight from freezer to oven, and bake for roughly 15 minutes.

If you've never had carob before, these cookies are a great way to give it a try.  They've got a sweet and almost fruity taste that really does make them one of a kind.

Although, if you don't have carob powder, or don't like the taste if it, cocoa would be a fine substitute and would still (most likely) yield some very yummy cookies.

Side Note: Check out won one the giveaway here.

Revisited Recipe of the Day

Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chickpea Burger

You know what's extremely weird? Sometimes I actually prefer a meatless burger to an all-beef one.

I'm not a vegetarian. I eat meat and seafood often. But, still, most of the time, my burger cravings are for something filled with beans and vegetables, not beef.

Strange, right?

I think it has to do with that heavy feeling you sometimes get after eating a classic hamburger. You know, when you feel like someone secretly tied invisible weights to your shoes?

I hate that feeling. Like, a lot.

It's just not a good way to go about your day, in my opinion.  Simple as that. No matter how good my most recent meal might have been, if I have to go around with that awful stomach ache for the next few hours, it probably wasn't worth it.

Also, if I'm already completely filled up after the main course of a meal, it probably means that dessert, is not such a good idea.

And me without dessert = very very bad.

So, getting back to the point, when I had a burger craving a couple nights ago, these Chickpea Burgers definitely hit the spot.

They were super fast to throw together (especially if you prepare the patties ahead of time), full of flavor, and perhaps most importantly, left me without that icky feeling that I despise so much.

Needless to say, dessert did make an appearance that night.

Vegan Chickpea Burgers - original recipe can be found here

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/8 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 can chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin

  • Drain and rinse chickpeas, then set aside.  In a food processor, combine oats and sunflower seeds, and blend until coarsly ground into crumbs.  Chop carrot into small pieces, and add to food processor along with remaining ingredients.  Process until well combined, stopping to scrape down sides if necessary.  Form mixture into 4 equal sized patties.  In a skillet, pan fry patties for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until they're lightly browned.  Serve with lettuce, tomato, or anything else you can think of!

     A bit more about the burgers since I spent most of this post rambling on about annoying belly aches:
    - They're light. Don't get me wrong, the taste is totally delicious, but some of you out there might want to help yourself to two, especially if you're not planning to serve with a side dish (or dessert) of some sort
    - If you like falafel, these burgers are right up your alley. The taste is similar and the texture is too, though these burgers are healthier because they aren't deep fried.
    - If you have some extra time before your planning on serving these burgers, I highly reccommend you freeze the already made patties before pan frying them. This helps the burger keep its shape, and makes the meal come together even more quickly when it's time for dinner to be served.

    Now, without further ado, I tell you "Enjoy!" and please think if these burgers next time you want a light and delicious meal that won't leave you weighed down afterwards.
    Revisited Recipe of the Day:

    Carrot Chickpea Hummus


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    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    Giveaway Winner Announced!

    I don't know if you've noticed, but lately, my posts have been a bit less frequent than usual.  Sorry.

    This time of year is really really busy at my house, and I'm just trying to adjust to the new schedule I've got going on.  No worries, though.  I will keep posting recipes when I can and, hopefully, that will become more often as things progress.

    With that being said, today I don't have a lot of time, so this will just be a quick post, but an important one no less.

    Why?  Because you get to find out who won all of the free stuff!

    The giveaway that Celestial Seasonings very kindly sponsored ended yesterday, and now it's time to announce the winner.

    Congratulations to Gena!

    Because Gena did not contact me in time, a new winner has been selected.  Let's all give another congratulations to Gabrielle.

    To claim your prize, please email your shipping information to me at, so I can pass it on to the folks at Celestial Seasonings.

    Please Note: If I don't receive an email from Gena Gabrielle in one weeks time, I will be picking another winner.

    Thanks everyone who entered, and have a wonderful day!

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    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

    Simply delicious.

    When I want a dessert, and I want it now, that phrase is something I've come to love.

    To me, it means that a recipes is easy, fast, and still just as gratifying as one that could have taken hours to prepare.

    Now, you may very well be thinking that I'm out of my mind right now, because that last sentence sounds pretty darn close to impossible.  But, trust me, it's not.

    For if it was, these Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats would not exist.

    With only 4 ingredients, all of which are probably already somewhere in your kitchen, and no baking time required these bars are pretty much as simple as it gets.  And, oh yeah, they taste amazing too.

    See?  Simply Delicious isn't just a fantasy of mine, it can and has been achieved.

    Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats - original recipe can be found here
    • 3 cups rice crispy cereal of choice
    • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 1/2 cup honey (maple syrup or agave will also work for strict vegans)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    In a large bowl, measure out your cereal.  Set aside.  Next, in a small saucepan, melt together the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla over medium heat.  Once melted, pour over your cereal and mix until everything is coated and there are no dry spots.  Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper.  Pour your peanut butter and rice crispy mixture into the pan and press down firmly until flat.  Place pan in freezer for half hour before cutting and serving your Rice Crispy Treats.  Store any extra bars in freezer.

    Next time you need a fast and easy crowd-pleasing dessert, this should definitely be the page you visit.

    The recipe can easily be doubled, or even tripled, and, that's be honest, everyone loves peanut butter.


    Side Note: The Giveaway is now over.  To find out who won, head over to this page.

    Revisited Recipe of the Day: 

    Single Serving Double Peanut Butter Cookies

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    Saturday, September 8, 2012

    Kid-Friendly No Bake Cinnamon Roll-ups

    It's that time of the year again.

    Back to school.

    Back to school often means busy mornings, lots of school supplies, and hungry kids that need a good afternoon snack.

    I've got a great recipe today, that can help make busy mornings and afternoon snacks a lot less stressful.  It won't, however, make the absurd amounts of school supplies any more manageable.  Meaning, don't send your 6 year old to school we these instead of crayons.

    Although, with that being said, you most definitely can send him/her to school with these in their tummy, for that will certainly end much better.

    And when they get home?  Just throw together a couple more for a totally satisfying afternoon snack that any kid will enjoy.

    In case you happened to skip over the title of this post, the amazing little treats I'm going on and on about are No Bake Cinnamon Roll-Ups.

    They're fast, easy, and picky-eater approved.  I'm sure that's music to most moms' ears right about now.

    Kid Friendly No-Bake Cinnamon Roll-Ups - inspired by this recipe
    (makes 2 rolls, like in the pictures)
    • 2 slices white bread
    • 2 tbsp butter (or something similar, like Earth Balance), softened
    • 1 tsp cinnamon (or as much as looks appropriate) 
    • 1 tbsp sugar (again, use whatever seems correct
    Cut the crust off your bread, so that it forms a neat rectangle.  Then, with a rolling pin or large cup, roll out the bread until it's as thin as you can get it.  Depending on the type of bread you use, this can be very easy or surprisingly difficult.  Once your bread is flattened, spread a generous amount of butter on each slice.  Then, sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over, making sure to coat evenly (please note that the measurements listed above are just estimations as I usually go by eye on this step).  Roll up your bread tightly.  You may have to use a bit more butter to make it stay rolled up, and not just fall apart when you let go.  For presentation, if desired, you can cut off the edges of the rolls so that the spiral is more visible.

    I promise that these will be a hit with almost any kid you offer them too.  And, when they're as simple as sprinkle, roll, and serve, it won't even be a problem if someone asks for seconds.

    In fact,  these Cinnamon Roll-Ups are so easy, that, with a bit of help, any child could even make them on their own.

    Hey, parents!  How's that for less stressful?

    Revisited Recipe of the Day:

    Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

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