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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin baking and thanksgiving just seem to go together so I decided to make a batch of pumpkin muffins for breakfast. And knowing my boys, if it has even a smudge of icing on it they will eat it right up!  So pumpkin cream cheese muffins happened! 

I really do love baking on the weekend mornings especially when I can try out a new recipe! This long weekend was full of trips to the pool for family swimming, long walks, family dinners and family time!  It was lovely to have a weekend where we didn't have a bunch of activities to run in between, but next weekend is going to be back to the usual... 2 birthday parties, PACE begins, Halloween potluck, swimming lessons and the usual family fun mixed in there!  
But back to the muffins.... Asher gobbled back two muffins faster than I ate mine and Fraser (the sweet tooth) basically clicked all the icing out of his, asked for a "dip spot"; you know a puddle of icing to dip it into and then ate it. 

The recipe itself was quick and easy to make, Fraser and Daddy cracked the eggs for me and mixed up the wet mixture while I started on the icing and the whole recipe came together quite quickly.  I do feel like I NEED to have at least two cans of Pumpkin Puree in the pantry at all times through the fall and winter just in case inspiration strikes!  

Once baked, I dug little holes out of the muffins to make way for the frosting because I never find it works to "inject" them with it but do what works for you. 

My icing wasn't very thick so the holes kept it all together and as everything cooled it thickened up more!  

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Muffins

For the Muffins:

  • 1-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds or walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup organic canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup almond milk

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tbsp organic confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin papers or silicon cups.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.  Then mix in 1/4 cup of the pumpkin seeds or walnuts. 
  3. In separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, pumpkin puree, olive oil, almond milk, and vanilla.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  4. Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with remaining pumpkin seeds or walnuts. Bake in center of a 375°F oven about 20 to 25 minutes or until muffins are golden and tops are firm to the touch. Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  5. While the muffins are baking, whisk together the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla.  (If the frosting is too thick, add a bit of Greek yogurt.  If too runny, add more confectioner’s sugar.)  Set aside.
  6. When muffins are cooled completely, inject each muffin with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting and enjoy! 

TIP: I dug out a little hole in each muffin with a chop stick so it made it easier to add the frosting. 

Original Recipe source Chris in Canada

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

I blended up this tasty Pumpkin Pie Smoothie to kick off Thanksgiving weekend! 🍂

I don't totally love the texture of a regular pumpkin pie but my mom makes an amazing cream cheese pumpkin pie and it's the best! It's surely not "clean" but it's all about balance, you can't be perfect all the time and there is no point depriving yourself either.  I firmly believe in the 80/20 rule and I do try to make treats in our house as "Real" as possible but sometimes it can't be avoided.  I'm pretty sure her pie calls for vanilla pudding mix and possibly cool whip although when I've make it I make real whip cream for it.  Those are two ingredients you wont find in my house but one slice of pie isn't gonna kill me!  

¼ cup water
¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop Vanilla protein power (I used vanilla Shakeology)
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp. pure maple syrup (or raw honey)
1 cup ice

1. Place water, almond milk, Shakeology, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

This is a great time to make your own Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix too.  I'm sure there will be a few other opportunities to use it over the coming months anyways!!

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Creamy Tomato Soup

It's a damp and rainy evening here in Victoria so we decided to make grilled cheese for dinner.  Nothing goes better with grilled cheese than tomato soup so I whipped up a quick batch of creamy tomato soup in less time than it took my husband to make the grilled cheese.  

This recipe uses a healthy tomato sauce recipe that I have been making for a little over a year now.  I tend to make a few big batches of it and preserve it in the pressure cooker so that we are stocked up all year long!  You can find the recipe for that sauce below. 

Creamy Tomato Soup

Serves 4 (1 Cup each)


3 Cups Grandma's Tomato Sauce
1 Cup Organic Vegetable Broth
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
4 tsp Shredded Parmesan Cheese


Combine Grandma's Tomato Sauce and broth in a large saucepan; cook, over medium-low heat, stirring frequently for 5-8 minutes.  Reduce Heat to low

Add greek yogurt. Mix well; cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute or until heated.  
Top each serving with 1tsp cheese. 
Portion Fix Container Count:  2.5 Green 1 Blue 1 Spoon 

Grandma's Tomato Sauce

I made a few of big batches of this tomato sauce a over the last few weeks with the tomatoes from the garden. 
I canned them to preserve for the winter months as I did last year so I just opened up a Jar to use for this tomato soup to go with out grilled cheese dinner tonight!

Here is the Recipe. 

Grandma's Tomato Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 40 min
Cooking Time: 1 hr  15 min


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 (6 oz can) tomato paste, no salt added
1/4 cup red wine
2 cans (28 oz each) whole peeled tomatoes [like San Marzano or Cento} crushed or pureed in a blender
2 Tbsp Honey
1 tsp sea salt
1/4  tsp ground black pepper
1 (3 oz) Parmesan (or parmigiano) cheese rind
3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil 


1.  Heat oil in large saucepan over me-high heat
2.  Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 5-6 min or until onion is translucent
3.  Add garlic and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 min.  Do not let tomato paste burn.
4.  Add wine;  stirring constantly for 2-3 min. 
5.  Add tomatoes, agave, salt, and pepper.  Bring to boil,  stirring frequently.  Reduce heat to low; gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 3 min.
6.  Add cheese rind; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
7.  add basil, mix well.

*The parmigiano rind is not totally necessary, but it is a great way to add depth to the sauce without much by way of extra calories. 

* You can sub the can of tomatoes for fresh tomatoes by chopping and blending them up in the food processor. I used about 6-8 cups of tomatoes but really it doesn't matter, the more the merrier!  

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