Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe

Since late August, I’ve been attempting to pumpkin all the things. The problem is, it’s still hot around here, so while I’ll occasionally indulge in a proper Pumpkin Spice Latte, I still needed a pumpkin fix that was more suitable to drink while wearing shorts and flip flops.

This Pumpkin Spice Smoothie isn’t like the drink at Starbucks- it features actual pumpkin and some delicious spices, not just “pumpkin pie spice”- which is delicious, but doesn’t have any nutritional value. It’s the perfect beverage to make for a mid-afternoon snack, a trip through the school pick-up lane, or on the way to work in the morning. The recipe below makes one serving.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe- even uses real pumpkin!

Ingredients:

¼ C. canned pumpkin
1 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. cold milk
¼ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix well. I actually put all the ingredients into a large quart jar and gave it a few good shakes and it turned out really well!

2. Pour into a glass and serve immediately. If you would prefer it a bit thicker simply add a handful of ice and blend before enjoying.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie- uses real pumpkin!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin?

{Psst- like pumpkin? Check out my DIY Pumpkin Body Scrub, my Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce, or my No Bake Peanut Butter Bite Pumpkins, which don’t actually contain pumpkin but are SUPER cute.}

{Not So Scary} Mummy Cupcakes

Well, it’s officially October, which means that there’s less than a month until Halloween! It seems like everywhere we go, there are creepy crawlies and spooky monsters. Most of it is fun and exciting, but Shane does have a tendency to get a little nervous around some of the scarier things. At just barely five years old, he’s a bit skiddish, and so we tend to focus more on the silly and completely made-up monsters like Frankenstein, vampires, and of course, mummies!

If you have any Halloween parties on the horizon {whether you’re throwing one or you’re attending one}, you may be on the lookout for some cute Halloween desserts. Spooky Halloween treats can be really fun, but when you have young kids, it can be a bit much. {Although I personally think the gross stuff is hilarious.} These mummy cupcakes are age-appropriate for even the littlest of Trick-or-Treaters, so they are perfect for any event!

Not So Scary Mummy Cupcakes- Perfect for even the littlest Trick-or-Treaters!

Mummy Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
3 egg whites
1 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

Frosting ingredients:

½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
5-6 tbs milk {you may want a little more or a little less depending on how thick you like your frosting}

You’ll Also Need:

12 count muffin tin sprayed with non-stick spray or cupcake liners
1 package of small Wilton googly eyes
6 oz. Wilton white chocolate candy melts

*Wilton products can be found at local craft store or major retailers {or on Amazon}

Cupcake Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the sugar, butter, vanilla, milk and eggs and mix well. Stir in flour, baking powder and mix well.

3. Pour the batter evenly into the muffin tin and bake 15-20 minutes.

4. Around 15-16 minutes insert a toothpick into one of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean, they’re done! Let the cupcakes cool completely prior to frosting.

Frosting directions:

1. Using a hand mixer, combine the softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and a few tablespoons of milk {start with 3-4}. Beat until light and fluffy, add in another tablespoon or two of milk and continue to beat until nice and fluffy {about 3-4 minutes on high}.

2. Once your cupcakes are completely cooled, you can generously frost them and give each cupcake two eyes.

3. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the white chocolate candy melts in 30 second increments. Stir every 30 seconds until melted and let cool 4-5 minutes.

4. Scoop the melted chocolate into the small sandwich baggie and snip the end. Starting at the top of your cupcake go back and forth over the top of the frosting gently, squeezing the baggie to give the illusion of fabric strips. Once done, place the cupcake on a plate and place in the fridge to set.

5. Repeat with all the other cupcakes and allow to set in the fridge. If not serving immediately, store in a cool and dry place.

*Makes approximately 12 cupcakes.

Not So Scary Mummy Cupcakes for Halloween

What’s your favorite Halloween creature?

susiesignature

Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce Recipe

I live in a desert. One that’s in the middle of a giant drought. It hardly ever, ever rains here. So the fact that I managed to get soaked to the bone not once but twice today is even more impressive, actually.

The first time was when I decided to take the boys to the park before school for a picnic lunch. It was in the low 90’s outside so I wanted to enjoy the “perfect” weather. We had just sat down to eat at a bench when it started coming down really hard. We were covered by a metal roof so when the thunder started, we made a run for the car- and got completely soaked in the process. We had to go home {with minutes to spare before class} so that Shane could change before class started.

The rest of my day went on very similarly- not just the rain part, but the bad luck. I had plans to meet “the girls” for dinner since our friend is in town from Australia, and I was really looking forward to the ravioli at my favorite Italian restaurant. When I got there and was trapped in my car for twenty minutes because it was hailing, I almost just went home. I didn’t have an umbrella {though the wind and rain would have just blown it away anyway} and the second I finally stepped out of my car, it was into a solid foot of rushing flood water. I made it into the restaurant totally soaked and completely freezing.

photo

It was just one of those days. Days like today give all new meaning to the term “comfort food” and I can promise you that I appreciated every bite of that warm ravioli! While I don’t have the faintest clue how to replicate their delicious vodka cream sauce {I’ll work on that!}, I do have a delicious and fall-themed version for you today!

This Pumpkin Parmesan sauce is perfect for a cool fall day. The sauce is creamy, rich, and filling and can be served over cheese ravioli or any of your favorite pastas. You can even use it as your macaroni and cheese sauce! This sauce comes together quickly and you can make it an even easier meal by using frozen pasta to get dinner on the table in no time!

pumpkinparmesan

Ingredients:

-½ cup Pumpkin Puree

-½ cup Parmesan Cheese

-2 cups Beef Broth

-3 cloves Garlic {crushed}

-1 ½ cups Heavy Cream or Half & Half

-½ tsp. Nutmeg

-3 Tbsp. Butter

-3 Tbsp. All-purpose Flour

-Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Create a roux by melting butter in a large pan over medium heat and whisking in flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden {it will have a slightly nutty aroma}

2. Sautee crushed garlic into roux for 1 minute.

3. Whisk in beef broth, cream, pumpkin, salt and pepper-simmer on low for 10 minutes until sauce begins to thicken, stirring occasionally.

4. Add parmesan and nutmeg, stirring well to combine all.

5. While sauce is cooking, boil one bag of frozen cheese ravioli {or prepare your preferred pasta} according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

6. Drizzle sauce over ravioli, dust lightly with nutmeg, and serve!

Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce

What’s your favorite kind of pasta?

Monster Rice Krispies Treats

We have just five weeks until Halloween {I know, right!?} and so everything around here is about to start getting pretty scary! We’re pulling out all the cobwebs, ghosts, and black cats and getting into the spooky spirit. Of course, it’s not Halloween without some sweet treats!

These Monster Rice Krispies Treats are creepy yet cute- and delicious, too! They’re perfect for the little monsters in your life.

Monster Rice Krispies Treats for Halloween!

Monster Rice Krispies Treats

Ingredients:

-1 8ct. Box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats

-12 oz. Wilton dark chocolate candy melts

-1 snack size container of Mini Oreos

-1 snack size container of regular Oreos

-Multicolored chocolate candies (m&m baking candies work well too!)

-Small sandwich baggie

Directions:

1. Gently pry apart several of the Oreos, making sure that the white filling stays intact. {So, try not to lick it all off. That’s the hard part!} These will be your monsters eyes.

2. Heat the Wilton dark chocolate in a microwave safe dish in 30 second increments. Stir every 30 seconds until melted. {It took me about 3 minutes to melt 12 oz.} Allow to cool 3-4 minutes before dipping your Rice Krispies treats.

3. While the chocolate is cooling, I played around with the shape I wanted my monsters. I left a few regular size and rounded the edges with my hands. The others I cut in half and shaped into circles. They are nice and soft and easy to work with so have fun with it!

4. Dip the treats one at a time into the chocolate. Use a spoon if needed to completely coat them and lift them out with a fork, allowing the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.

5. Lay each treat on a plate and place an Oreo or two {white filling side up} on each monster as eyes before the chocolate sets.

6. Repeat dipping all of the treats and giving them eyes. Set the plate in fridge and allow the treats to set for about 15 minutes.

7. Remove the treats from the fridge. Scoop a few tablespoons of the chocolate into a sandwich baggie and snip the end. Place a small dot of melted chocolate right in the middle of each “eye” and stick a multicolored candy on. Again, have fun with it- it doesn’t have to be perfect and messy monsters are super cute!

*Makes approximately 8 servings. Store in a cool dry area if not serving immediately.

RCMonsters2

What’s your favorite Halloween treat?

Easy Kid-Friendly Pizza Sandwich Recipe

Now that Shane is in school five days a week, it’s more important than ever to keep his little body fueled. He takes after me and gets cranky if he’s even a little hungry- plus I also worry that he won’t be able to focus in class if his tummy is rumbling.

Shane Kindergarten

Since he is in PM kindergarten, we eat both breakfast and lunch before he goes to class, giving us plenty of opportunity to fill his belly. However, a lot of the time we are out and about in the mornings- whether we are going to our music class at Gymboree, story time at the library, or just running errands. That means that I don’t always have a whole lot of time to make something for lunch before it’s time to pack up and go, so we are always looking for fast and easy lunch solutions that are kid-friendly.

One of our new favorite lunches are these pizza sandwiches. They use Oscar Mayer’s new Old World Style Classic Pepperoni and are so easy to put together- Shane can even help!

Easy Pizza Sandwiches- Kid friendly and quick!

Easy Pizza Sandwiches

Ingredients:

Bread or Roll of your choice

Oscar Mayer Old World Style Classic Pepperoni

Kraft sliced mozzarella

Sprinkle of dried oregano

Pizza sauce

Directions:

Place all ingredients onto roll on a baking sheet- personalize quantities to your taste

Place in oven and broil open-faced, watching closely, until cheese begins to melt

Remove, let cool, and enjoy!

Optionally, you can include a small cup with more pizza sauce for dipping!

There are no complicated steps and you don’t even have to wait for the oven to preheat, so it’s the perfect lunch for a busy weekday!

Oscar Mayer Old World Style Pepperoni and Salami

Oscar Mayer has several great new Old World Style options that kids and adults will both like, including Classic Salami, Cracked Black Pepper Salami, Classic Pepperoni, and Turkey Pepperoni. All of them come in sandwich-ready slices, so you could easily mix up your sandwiches- whether they are pizza sandwiches or not. Each of the items in the Old World Style line has up to 8 grams of protein per serving, helping keep little bellies full for longer- making for the perfect ingredient for school lunches!

You can find Oscar Meyer products at your local grocery store in the refrigerated meat section. They just came out in August, so if your store doesn’t have them yet, keep checking back!

What is your favorite quick lunch?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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