October 17, 2011

Secret Recipe Club - Caramel Maple Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

A smoothie that is like "dessert in a cup"... I'm sold! and hooked on the blog I was assigned to for this month's Secret Recipe Club. I was assigned to Averie's blog, Love Veggies and Yoga. This was an incredible blog. Love veggies? Check. Love yoga? Check. A healthy living blog and one I am happy to start following.

This smoothie isn't really a "smoothie". It's thick, creamy, and rich. It very well could be a smoothie with more milk added in. I choose not to. I enjoyed this with a large spoon and two very eager taste testers. This was enjoyed by everyone. It is what I consider to be the best part of the pumpkin pie... the filling and whipped cream. It was suggested that this would be perfect served with some graham crackers for dipping. I can't wait to make this again and again.

I think this would even be a great dessert idea for Thanksgiving if you're not the traditional pumpkin pie kinda folks. This dessert is dressed up with a big ol' scoop of whipped cream, drizzled with caramel sauce, and sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon. Beautiful presentation and dinner guest worthy.

Makes 1 Serving

Stars of the Show:
  • 1/2 cup frozen pumpkin puree
  • 1 medium banana, frozen, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 tbsp caramel sauce, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, or to taste (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp pinch pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon, or to taste (optional)
  • pinch of other seasonings such as nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, or to taste (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract, or to taste (optional)
  • splash of milk, cream, nut milk, water (optional and only use as needed if you need something to help get the blending process going if your mixture is too thick otherwise)
And Action:

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend well. Serve immediately. Optional: Garnish with whipped cream, caramel sauce, and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.

Haven't had your fill of pumpkin yet? Check out what else Averie has:
Thank you Averie for the great recipe and for letting me have a peak into your kitchen!

October 13, 2011

Unkilled Hamburger?

(Image from a forwarded email.)

I'm sure some of you are wondering why I haven't been as active on my blog or commenting on yours as I have been in the past. Well, some big, BIG!!! changes have happened and I'm in the adjusting period. I have a lot on my plate and have been stressed to the max.

First, my relationship status has changed and the face of "The Pretend Chef" will be getting a new look in the future when I get the time. I'm thinking of doing a complete overhaul with new name as well.

Second, my living situation has changed. I have until the end of the month to move out of my current apartment and into a new one. What a slow process this is when there is nothing but oversized furniture and lots of things to sort through.

Third, this is the one I am struggling the most with... WORK! I had to get a job. I am no longer a stay at home mama. I never took a day for granted but I never thought it would be this hard going from my dream job to entering the work force again. I work full time now for a freight forwarding company and by day's end I don't have time or energy for anything else. I didn't realize how I put all of my happiness into the stay at home bit until I no longer was doing it. I want to be happy again and hopefully that will happen soon.

I've lost my passion for blogging and cooking. It makes me really sad. I'm hoping once the dust settles and I am in a routine that I'll be able to better manage time for my hobbies and get back around to checking out all of the yummies from your kitchens. 

October 03, 2011

Incredible Edible Nutty Putty

I was one of the lucky "Tastemakers" to try Planters Peanut Butter from the National Peanut Board. We were asked to come up with a delicious and nutritious snack using ingredients found in most homes. Not being a creative person I turned to MyRecipes and did a peanut butter search and checked a few of the dietary consideration boxes.

This recipe for Incredible Edible Nutty Putty was the first one I came across where I had all of the ingredients on hand. This not only makes a yummy treat but is perfect for a rainy day activity for the little ones. I couldn't get the dried milk to incorporate smoothly but Itty Bitty had no complaints about the slight crunch.

3 ingredients and some imagination and you've got a quick and easy treat for the kids.

MyRecipes.com and Oxmoor House, May 2007
Makes 1 1/2 cups (Serving size = 1 tablespoon)

Stars of the Show:
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey - I used agave nectar.
  • 1 cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • Decorations: colored sugar or candy sprinkles (optional)
And Action:

Stir together peanut butter and honey in a big bowl. Add dry milk, stirring until blended. Spoon a small amount onto a plate. Shape and decorate it anyway you wish before gobbling it up. Store remaining putty in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 1 week.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories: 81
Calories from fat: 59%
Fat: 5.3g
Saturated fat: 1g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.0g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.0g
Protein: 3.7g
Carbohydrate: 6g
Fiber: 0.7g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 0.3mg
Sodium: 66mg
Calcium: 38mg

October 01, 2011

Bauducco Panettone Specialty Cake

Bauducco Panettone is a moist ready to eat specialty cake that is a classic Italian holiday bread. Cake in a box delivered to my doorstep? I had no idea what to expect. After taking the cake out of the plastic wrap and removing the liner it looked like a giant muffins of sorts. The chocolate chip variety is the one Itty Bitty and I decided to slice into since we aren't raisin fans. The aroma was sweet and had a hint of orange.

I sliced it into nine servings and plated a slice for each of us. This cake is just what the box promised it would be... moist and delicious. You can enjoy it by the slice or check out their website which has recipe ideas. All of them sound amazing.

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received two free Bauducco Panettone Specialty Cake products. All opinions are my own.
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