Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Get Ready to Play....

Name that Substance!

Ok, this is a toughie! But...can you NAME THAT SUBSTANCE?!

Tick Tock.....clock is running down!

Is it something Jackson might have puked up?

Perhaps something that has formed in the bottom of my refrigerator?

Could it possibly be the remains of my busted pancreas?!?

Or BBBRRRAAAAIIIINNNNSSSS? (Zombie reference. It's okay if you didn't get it.)

No, no, no, and no, but good guesses!

Believe it or not, this is something far more delicious then its outward appearance!

But first, let me help take your mind off its appearance by telling you about one of my new favorite ingredients, Liquid Smoke. If you've never used it, go out and buy some right now. Have you ever smelled a freshly open bag of BBQ potato chips, that lovely, spicy sweet scent? And you get the disgustingly delicious, artificially flavored mesquite goodness glued to your fingers? It's as though someone taken the experience, grounded it up, and turned into liquid form! In other words, it's like heaven in a bottle.

 With that distraction underway, this, my friends, is actually my vegetarian version of a McRib sandwich. Because despite my loving description of fast food (chips included), I actually have no interest in consuming any of those things. I just wanted to sell you on the Liquid Smoke. I haven't eaten McDonald's in at least 5 - 6 years (besides Apple Dippers, a girl's gotta live!).

Obviously, I'm sure this taste nothing like a real McRib sandwich, but it was worth the recipe adventure!

McVegan BBQ Riblet Sandwich!

1 c vital wheat gluten flour
1/3 c nutritional yeast
2 tsp paprika
1 - 2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp peanut butter (weird, but you can't really taste it)
2 tsp liquid smoke (you may want to use less if you don't think it smells like heaven)
1 c water (possibly more depending on the mixture)
1 c BBQ sauce
Rolls of your choosing for consumption

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Once mixed, add all the wet ingredients. Combine until mixture starts to come together.
3. Knead your seitan (didn't know that's what you were making, right?!) for a few minutes. It will seem a little wet. That's okay because you want to be able to flatten it into a 8x8 inch baking pan.
4. Once you're done kneading, flatten seitan into a greased baking dish. I had a little bit of a hard time with this and add a sprinkles of water here and there to help it out. Once in the pan, score the seitan into pieces so it will break apart more easily after baking.
5. Bake 25 minutes. In the meantime, begin thinning out your BBQ sauce. You want to be able to coat the the pieces completely.
6. Once done baking, break apart the seitan pieces and toss with more BBQ sauce. Then, place back into the oven for another 15 - 25 minutes. I wanted my pieces to be less chewy, so I left it in there longer.
7. Let the seitan stand for 15 to 20 minutes before adding more BBQ sauce and enjoying on a roll!

Note: That this has a consistency more similar to other products on the market when left over night and then gently reheated the next day.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Soul Mates

After you made my Pumpkin Cupcakes, did you save the remaining vanilla cake mix because you were too cheap to just throw it out knowing that eventually you'll come up with some recipe for it? Has it been sitting in your pantry all this time, staring you in the face, taunting you because you have no idea what you can do with it?

Really?! Me too!!!! We must be soul mates!

Well, Soul mate, I'm here to offer you a solution for that douchey cake mix, Spiced Mini Bundt Cakes. This recipe was inspired, not only by that taunting Betty Crocker box, but the mini bundt cake pans I recently came across in my kitchen. I forget all the cool/cute cooking and baking stuff I have!

Some of you might be thinking, "She bakes an awful lot for a diabetic!"

Well, first, I'd tell you to shut your pie hole, Diabetes Police! Being a type 1 diabetic doesn't necessarily preclude me from enjoying any particular food. It just means that I have to take insulin for it. Second, I usually dramatically reduce the amount of sugar in most of my baked good recipes. Lastly, I live my life by the principle of "moderation" (except for when it comes to Dirty Pickle Martinis and tequila shots, ugh). When I make baked goods, I'm either eating them in very small portions over a series of days or bringing them to someone else's house to get high blood sugar on!

I'm a considerate diabetic like that. 

Spiced Mini Bundt Cakes 
Makes 3 mini cakes
You could also add a drizzle of royal icing to help spruce them up!

1 cup vanilla cake mix
2 tbsp apple sauce
1 egg
2 heaping tsps pumpkin pie spice (might as well use it up, right?)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (for some extra spice)
1/4 c milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Using an electric beater, combine all ingredients until smooth.
3. Pour into prepared mini bundt cake pans or a cupcake pan.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gobble, Gobble!

I cried my way through last year's Thanksgiving dinner.

Having only been diabetic for two months by that point, I was still navigating my way through diabetic eating. Actually, that description is far too kind. It was more like......Having only been diabetic for two months by that point, I was still pouting and temper tantruming my way through diabetic eating.

I still was finding my bearings and obsessing over every blood sugar number I had. I avoided eating some of the usual favorites, like homemade stuffing and canned cranberry sauce. Nothing says yummy, or high blood sugar, like gelled, ruby reb high fructose corn syrup in the shape of a can! Mmmm....

You can be rest assured that there will be no crying at the Thanksgiving Day table this year! Besides that fact that it made my dinner soggy, I feel like I have a much better grip on eating as well as accepting that I may possibly have a high blood sugar after eating for 5 hours straight. Though it's my goal not to have high blood sugar, it's bound to happen at some point!

To help the ol' pancreas out a bit, I came up with two yummy Thanksgiving recipes that are low (or lower) in carbs that could easily replace the traditional favorites. Make them and give me thanks! :)

Oh....but first, a comment or two on ingredients. First,  Whole Foods has Pumpkin Puree for $1.25/can! I know! I was excited too! Second, I use Pumpkin Pie Spice in this recipe, which feels like a little bit of a cop out. Usually, I like to add my own flavor combination. However, Trader Joe's has this awesome Pumpkin Pie Spice mix, that include cinnamon and cardamom. Really good. Also, this recipe uses only 1/3 the amount of sugar (depending on how much you add)!

Pumpkin Pie Pudding - aka Crustless Pumpkin Pie

1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 12 oz can evaporated milk - I used fat free, but you could easily use 2%
2 eggs
1/4 - 1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all the ingredients into a bowl until well combined.
3. Pour pumpkin mixture into a prepared baking pan or ramekins.
4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until mixture is set, but with a slight jiggle. Less if using ramekins.

Because you're saving some carbs on the crust and reduced sugar, I give you permission to add a dollop of whip cream!

Mashed Cauliflower - which could easily replace those traditional spuds!

1 large head of cauliflower, broken into smaller pieces
4 cloves of garlic, whole with skins on
1/4 c milk
1/4 c olive oil, divided
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss cauliflower and whole garlic cloves with enough olive oil to coat. Salt and pepper.
3. Place cauliflower in oven to roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until pieces are golden brown. May be less depending on your oven.
4. Squeeze garlic cloves into food processor. It should come out pretty easily.
5. Add cauliflower, milk, and more salt and pepper if desired. Puree cauliflower, streaming in an extra tablespoon or two of olive oil, until you have reached desired consistency. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

I want a DAD!

And I'm not talking about fathers! Love you Dad! I'm talking about Diabetes Alert Dogs! YAY!!!

Recently, we had a volunteer therapy dog visit one of our groups at work. While the owner was insanely quirky (which is putting it insanely nicely), she told the children about the different uses for therapy/service dogs, which includes Diabetes Alert Dogs, or DADs. DADs are used to help detect hypoglycemia by picking up the scent of a person whose blood sugar is dropping. That might be the answer to my zombie/scent question, huh? They are also trained to get necessary items to treat hypoglycemia, such as candy, juice, etc. and to help a person stand if they have fallen.

While this isn't the first time I heard of DADs, it suddenly dawned on me, "Hey wait! I can have a DAD!!!" Sorry, Dad. Though I do (sometimes) love Jackson, I desperately want a dog. One that can come with me to work, cuddle up on the couch, and fetch me a beer whenever I need one!

In fact, I think it is a very clever way to buck the system. I'm diabetic! Of course I need my dog at work! It doesn't matter what it says on the lease, he's a service dog! What do you mean I can get my own beer? 

I realize that this kind of dog is not completely necessary for me right now. They're usually used for diabetics who develop Hypoglycemia Unawareness, which is exactly how it sounds. Eventually, over time, some diabetics lose their ability to sense low blood sugar as their bodies have adjusted to its symptoms. Very dangerous. I'm definitely not at the point yet. Thankfully, I'm pretty far from it since I still feel the symptoms of hypoglycemia not only as they happen but for 15 - 20 minutes after it's been treated!

But, whatever. I'm still putting a DAD on my Christmas list this year! And, to be clear, a short 61-year old man who talks too much, is usually late, and makes sloppy sandwiches is not what I'm looking for underneath the Christmas tree. Got that, Mom?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Call Me Classy!

Now that my last post referencing my pooping habits was enough to solidify my position that I'm a pretty classy gal, I feel I can share this recipe.

Generally, I'm not fan of those sneaky, make-your-kids-eat-veggies-without-them-knowing-it cookbooks. I feel it only furthers the disconnection between what we eat and where our food comes from. It's the reason why so many children think that chicken nuggets are an actual part of the chicken and potato chips are considered a vegetable.

However, I came across a recipe for "sneaky" mac & cheese that I thought could be classed up a bit and appropriate for adults! It uses winter squash puree (which helps to replicate the artificial neon orange color from the box, totally classy). I made individual portion sizes for our party and baked them in aluminum foil liners! Because nothing says good etiquette like eating mac & cheese out of your hand from aluminum foil!

This is a pretty basic recipe that can definitely dressed up. You can add in a bunch of different veggies, possibly bacon, different cheeses, etc.

Winter Squash Mac & Cheese

1 box of pasta shells
1 - 2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp flour
1 c milk
1 box of frozen winter squash
2 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
pinch of nutmeg

1.Melt butter over medium heat in heavy bottomed pot. Once butter is melted, add chopped onion. 
2. Place winter squash in microwaveable bowl and heat for 2 minutes. 
3. Add garlic and cook for 1 - 2 minutes. 
4. Stir flour into the pot to create a roux. Let the roux cook for several minutes, until it browns slightly. 
5. Once roux is browned, slowly whisk in the milk, scrapping up whatever brown bits have formed on the bottom of the pan. 
6. Once milk has been fully incorporated, add the winter squash puree. Stir frequently as the puree may not be thawed all the way through. Let the mix simmer slightly and start to thicken. Add grated cheese.
7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Boil water and cook pasta as per package directions. 
8. Once pasta is done, drain and combine pasta with cheese sauce. Add to your baking vessel and top with extra shredded cheese and paprika. 
9. Bake in oven for 15 - 20 minutes, depending on how well done you like your mac & cheese. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Beans, Bean, Good for Your Heart....

....the rest of that line doesn't really apply to me. Farting is not my thing. Though I am mighty open about sharing my crapping habits! Every day. 9:30 AM. Like clockwork!

Beans and I are good friends. I love to eat them, as I do most of my good friends. Weird. They're a complex carb with lots of fiber who are nice to my blood sugar. While I still need to take insulin for them, they do good things for my sugar, heart, and digestive track!

Now that I've open this post with TMI (Too Much Information, Mom), let me share with you a recipe I prepared for our Halloween soiree. Yes, soiree! I'm trying to class it up here after all the poopin' talk!

Rosemary-White Bean Dip

1 - 2 garlic cloves, depending on your taste. This is raw garlic and can be rather potent.
1 can cannelli beans, drained
1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a food processor, process garlic cloves until the pieces stick to the side of the processor. Scrape down.
2. Add all ingredients through cannelli beans to lemon juice. Turn process on.
3. Slowly add olive oil and puree until desired consistency is reached. You may want to use a little more olive oil if you're looking for a thinner dip. Serve with cut veggies and pita chips!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Which is More Awesome?

The iPhone or the Insulin Pump?

It's been about two months since I started on the insulin pump. It has been two week since I joined the rest of the society and got myself an iPhone. Both devices are very exciting! Because they are so awesome, I've decided to put them in a head-to-head competition to see which piece of technology reigns supreme! It's like Iron Chef, only the nerdy techie version!

Let's review. The iPhone is awesome! It allows me to listen to music all day at work, fulfills all of my important "need to know this NOW" googling needs, hone my zombie killing skills, and prevents me from walking one full avenue block in the wrong direction before realizing it! The insulin pump certainly doesn't do that!

The iPhone is slimmer and weighs less then the insulin pump. It doesn't need to be worn on my body at all times. However, this may actually count as a disadvantage. Knowing me and my occasional absent mindedness, it's probably better that the insulin pump is attached to me, otherwise, there is a great risk of me either losing it, forgetting it, or dumping a bowl of oatmeal onto it. It happens more times then I care to admit.

The iPhone can provide me with hours of endless entertainment, where as I would struggle to be entertained by the insulin pump. There's only so many buttons one could push without causing a massive, life-threatening episode of hypoglycemia.

Both allow me to calculate my insulin needs, the insulin pump through the Bolus Wizard, the iPhone through the CalorieKing app. However, the insulin pump is able to provide me with a life-saving hormone that happens to be deficient in my body. It's as close a fake pancreas as one can get (at least without the use of some cloned sheep). The iPhone does not have this capability (although I hear they're working on that too).

The pump also prevents me from having to give myself multiple injections that caused nasty bruises and needle marks on my stomach. Besides making me look as though I have a large tumor on my side, the insulin pump allows me to shoot up in a less instrusive way. Lastly, the pump allows me to give myself a more accurate dosage of insulin to promote overall general health and ultimately led to longer life. Whereas the iPhone may be discovered to cause actual tumors in a few years! Who knows?

It was a split decision and a tough one, at that! But the win goes to...............The Insulin Pump.

But only by a slim margin. And only because it happens to save my life.

See, I do have my priorities straight, Mom!

I <3 my iPhone!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wonder Food!

I'm not sure if you noticed, but I have a lot of food crushes. It's a requirement of being an official fat kid. If I had more time on my hands (and if you actually had any interest in it), I could probably go through all of my posts and list the very many ingredients and dishes that I'm enamoured with. Eggplant, oregano, farro, eggs, sauces, dips...the list goes on.

Surprisingly, peanut butter has been under recognized for its special place in my heart! Sure, I taught you how to make your own, but then I never shared any of my delicious peanut butter creations with you! Well, that stops now, my friends. I have been denying you for far too long!

Plus, peanut butter has wonderful qualities for diabetics. It won't raise my blood sugar and will even help stabilize it. It's recommended that I eat peanut butter with fruit and other carbs since the healthy fats will slow down the absorption rate of the carbs in my body. My CDE actually called it a "Wonder Food," like it should be wearing a cape and some kick-ass Batman underroos!

This recipe is very versatile. You can use it as a dipping sauce like a satay (as I did for our Halloween party). You can thin it out and use it as a dressing for salads. Put it in a stir-fry. The possibilities are endless!

Spicy Peanut Sauce 

1 - 2 garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 c peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 - 1/3 c vegetable broth (depends on how thick or thin you want the sauce to be)
1 - 2 tsp srichacha (optional)
1 tsp sesame oil
canola oil
salt and pepper

Method #1
1. Place garlic cloves into a food processor or blender. Blend until garlic is minced. Grate ginger into processor.
2. Add all of your ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined. You can choose to add a little more broth to thin it out.

Method #2 - good for those of you who don't like the flavor of uncooked garlic and ginger
1. Heat some oil in a small pot. Add the garlic and ginger to the pot and cook until fragrant (about 60 seconds).
2. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and broth whisking as you add the ingredients. Bring to a simmer.
3. Once the ingredients blend together, you can add the srichacha, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or two longer.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Red Handed

12 voicemails
35 e-mails
2 meetings

Those are the averages for my work days before 10:30 AM. Those numbers only get exponentially higher as the day continues. Hectic. Chaotic. Ridiculous. Those are all great words to describe my work day.

My work space, on the other hand, can be rather quiet, calm, desolate even! There may be whole days where I won't have a single person walk through my workspace (usually on Fridays when I'm the only sucker sitting in the office). Initially, it was a little isolating. Now, I relish the emptiness. I deal with people all day long. I love days when I don't actually have to see any of them!

At times, I may take this desolation for granted. I get use to it. I forget that other people do actually work in the building and may occasionally find the need to walk through my space. This becomes particularly problematic when I'm caught with my hand down my shirt. Which I, of course, blame on diabetes. Isn't everything diabetes fault, after all?

When you work with impulsive, grabby, snot-handed little kids and are on the insulin pump, you find creative ways to hid it, especially on days where you fancy up and wear a dress to work. On those days, I will place my insulin pump in my bra strap.

Recently, I was sitting at my desk, preparing for lunch, and realized I needed to bolus (take a dose of insulin) for my meal. Without thinking, I casually reached my hand down the front of my dress (this is starting to sound seductive, isn't it?), when at that exact moment the socially awkward IT guy decides he needs to update my anti-virus software.

Now, what's the appropriate response to someone catching you with your hand down your shirt? Why it's to blurt out "I'm not feeling myself up! I'm on an insulin pump!" of course?!?

Because that definitely makes it less awkward.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Curried Crack

This recipe is inspired by a local restaurant/bar in my 'hood, Queens Kickshaw. My very first time to Queens Kickshaw lasted about 6 hours and included at least 4 orders of these pumpkin seeds! When Heather first had them, she looked at me quite seriously and said "You need to make these!" 

And so I have!

They are highly addicting and something that you may consider grinding up and snorting. Consider yourself warned. I take no responsibility for whatever may get logged up your nose. 

Curried Crack (aka Pumpkin Seeds)

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 large egg white
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp curry powder
1 ½ tsp coarse kosher salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 ½ c pumpkin seeds 


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment; spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk egg white, lime juice, and oil in large bowl. Add next 4 ingredients; whisk.
  3. Add pumpkin seeds; toss. Transfer to baking sheet, spreading evenly.
  4. Bake until toasted and fragrant, stirring often, about 24 minutes. Cool on sheet. 
These can definitely be made ahead.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

ZA Liability

It was established long ago that I would be a serious liability in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse. And then I got diabetes.

Now, I'm not a big television watcher, but I got sucked into a show on AMC last year called the Walking Dead. This show scares the hell out of me, gives me nightmares, and creates an unreal fear that zombies are walking through my neighborhood at 2 AM. Obviously, I watch it religiously week after week.

After each episode, I try to think of the many ways I could survive the Zombie Apocalypse in spite of diabetes. This includes me looking up how long insulin can last outside of the refrigerator before it goes bad, how long I could sustain on a high protein diet before my body would start to process the protein as carbs, and whether zombies will be attracted to my scent if I ever go into ketoacidosis. You may be surprised to learn that I haven't been able to come up with an answer to that last question, but I'm certainly working on it!

In an attempt to hone my zombie killing skills, I downloaded the iPhone app Contract Killers: Zombies. In this game, I'm responsible for shooting zombies to protect myself and others. Obviously, this is just a game and NOT an indication of my actual performance during the Zombie Apocalypse. But let's just say, my zombie killing skills need some work!

Does being able to see the sight of blood, give injections without problems, remain calm in crisis situations, and crochet some kick-ass scarves help my chances at all? :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Silver Lining on the Crap Cloud

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, it was not a happy time. Obviously, being sick for several months and being told you have a chronic illness is not like finding the Golden Ticket! It fucking sucks. I was pissed about it. I was sad. I was angry. At times, even a little resentful, especially when I would see others with unhealthy lifestyles in perfect health.

During this time, there was a lot of "Why me's?" I am healthy. I exercise. I eat well. Why me? Coming on the heels of a bad break-up, where insecurities were swirling around inside my head, I thought that diabetes was the universe's way of saying that, yes, there was, indeed, something inherently wrong with me. It was the cherry on top of the proverbial shit cake.

Depression definitely set in and my future became harder to picture. Suddenly, getting married, having children, living past the age of 30 seemed like far away possibilities. That marathon I planned to run at 60 years old would never happen. Instead, I would now have to worry about poor circulation, amputation, blindness, neuropathy, kidney failure, high cholesterol, heart disease, the list goes on. I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. Life seemed bleaked. My relationships suffered.

However, since that I time, I have made some significant progress. I don't see my life as cursed the way I once did. I have let go of a lot of those initial thoughts and feelings. On my optimistic days, I think, of course I got diabetes! I'm one of the best people to get it! I would have an easier time integrating diabetes management into my life then most people. Eat healthy? No problem! Want me to exercise? Got it covered! Need to not be squeamishness about blood and injections? I can work on it.

On less optimistic days, I think shit happens, in all its crappy glory! There's no rhyme or reason to it. In those moments, I let myself be angry or sad. I acknowledge that sometimes being diabetic can suck and try to move on from there. 

What I have realized in the last few weeks is that, on most days, I don't even think about it! It has become a natural part of  life, the way that brushing your teeth or feeding your obnoxious cat at exactly every fucking morning no matter what day of the week it is, does! You don't necessarily think about it, but you certainly do it every day. Although Jackson definitely has me consider otherwise!

When I reflect on diabetes, I am now able to see some of the positive qualities I had lost track of. Like that I'm resilient. Strong. Intelligent. I'm fun! I have a wicked sense of humor, particularly when it comes to amputation! I'm going to be a great wife and kick-ass mother! I have awesome people in my life who love me. Diabetes didn't change those things. It enhanced them!

Instead of seeing diabetes as the universe snubbing me, maybe it is the universe kicking me in the ass! Of letting me know that I am a much better person then what I had been telling myself. That a stupid boy and broken pancreas doesn't define who I am. I do.

Either way, I come to realize that it's all about looking for the silver lining on the crap cloud. It's there somewhere. You just have to find it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Here a Pumpkin, There a Pumpkin....

Everywhere a pumpkin!

Now, I'm definitely a summer baby. I love warm days, sundresses, and flip-flops. There's a part of me that gets a little depressed every fall when the days grow shorter and the frost is always days away. However, as I have aged, I've definitely developed an appreciation for Northeast falls and all of its flavors. As soon as the leaves start to change, I want to start eating pumpkin and I don't want to stop until I'm the color of an Ommpa Loompa!

On a completely unrelated topic (but will make sense to you in a minute), I've previously mentioned my dislike for a particular semi-homemade television "chef" whose made millions by combining Campbell's soup and pre-cooked rice and selling it to the American public as a healthy dinner! But for some reason, when it's party time, Sandra Lee keeps appearing in my kitchen! Bitch. 

For our recent Halloween party, I wanted to include my obsession with pumpkin into the menu and the only recipe I could come up with included the use of a pre-made cake mix. Whatever. If Betty Crocker perfected a recipe, why should I mess with it? I wasn't sure if this recipe would really work until I made the batter. I tried a little taste before putting the cupcakes into the oven. And my head exploded because it was so fucking good! Just from tasting the batter!

Make these. Now.

Pumpkin Cupcakes!

1 1/2 c canned pumpkin
2 cups vanilla cake mix
1/2 c milk, at room temperature
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake molds with paper liners. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, cake mix, milk, oil, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice.
3. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the mixture on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.
4. Using a small ice cream scoop, fill the prepared molds with the batter.
5. Bake until puffed and golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting, about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween, Baby!

Ugh! Never. Drinking. Again.

But I will certainly make this menu again!

This past weekend, Heather and I decided to have a pre-party costuming party. Friends came over to enjoy cocktails and munchies before heading out into a blizzard for Halloween festivities. Uh, hello, Mother Earth, it's still fucking October! This ridiculous weather sort of fucked up the party theme since it was based on the fall season and not the Christmas season, but whatever. Food was still eaten. (Too many) drinks were still consumed. Costume contests were won! Bags were puked in! Dancing was enjoyed by all. Wahoo!

Note to self: Black lipstick further accentuates your chompers!

Occupy Halloween

Fall-Inspired Halloween Menu

Dips & Snacks
Rosemary-White Bean Dip
Thai Peanut Dip with mixed veggies
Roasted Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Bruschetta (recipe below)
Curried Pumpkin Seeds

Spicy Deviled Eggs
Winter Squash Mac & Cheese
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sliders

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Booze - Just writing out these names makes me feel queezy.
The Dirty Bloody Martini
GINger Tonics (recipe below)

Here's a couple of recipes to hold you over.

Roasted Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Bruschetta

2 pears, diced
1 wedge of blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 c walnuts, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. Place diced pears onto to tray and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until pears are slightly caramelized.
3. Let pears cool before adding the blue cheese, walnuts, oil and salt & pepper.
4. Toss to combine. Enjoy with toasted bread or crackers.

GINger Tonics - This is actually so simple it doesn't even deserve a whole recipe.

1 (or 3 depending on how sloppy you'd like to get) part gin
2 - 3 parts tonic
fresh ginger grated (to taste) into the glass.

Mix all together and enjoy!