Saturday, October 28, 2017

Steviva Blogger Challenge: Low Carb/Low Sugar Mini Pumpkin Pies #Steviva #Nectiva #sponsored

Disclaimer: I received free product for the purpose of this post, and an incentive of a potential cash prize if my recipe is chosen as a winner. As usual, I would never share a product I didn't support or highlight a company I did not agree with.

Hello all and welcome to my contribution to the Steviva Blogger Challenge! Bloggers were challenged to make either a sweet or savory dish using a Steviva product. I actually really like Stevia, it's my sweetener of choice when I'm trying to avoid sugar. Unlike other artificial sweeteners, stevia comes from a plant, and therefore is less chemical-laden.

For these mini low carb pumpkin pies, I used the Nectivia syrup. It's half stevia, half agave, so it has 1/4th of the carbs and calories of sugar or agave.

Friends sampled these for me, and they were definitely a win. Especially with an extra drizzle or two of syrup and a dollop of coconut cream on top!

You can find the Steviva brand on their social media below:


Let me know what you think of these low carb, low sugar mini pumpkin pies!

Low Carb Low Sugar Mini Pumpkin Pies for the Steviva Blogger Challenge
for the crust

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp coconult milk
  • 2 tbsp nectivia

For the filling

  • 1 can pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 can coconut cream (reserve the rest of the can for the topping!)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup nectivia

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper wrappers and spray with cooking oil of choice.

-Prepare the crust by putting all ingredients into a food processor and pulsing until it forms a dough. Use a bit extra coconut milk or almond meal until the desired consistency is reached.

-Roll out the dough to 1/4" thickness and cut out circles that are slightly larger than your muffin tin wells. Press the dough into the tins and smooth out any wrinkles.

-Prepare the filling by whipping all the ingredients together until they are a uniform color. Spoon into the crusts until nearly full, just enough to ensure the filling won't spill out during transport.

-Bake for 40 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown and the filling is set.

-Top with extra coconut cream and a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice.

Monday, October 23, 2017

MONSTER MASH MONDAY - Pumpkin Poo aka EASY Pumpkin Spice Mallomars


Hey guys, and welcome to Monster Mash Monday! Need some inspiration for Halloween food? Here you'll find all my recipes to have a kick ass Halloween Party! HALLOWEEN IS NEXT WEEK! Now that we're only a week away, I'll be posting like a madwoman trying to get all my recipes out. So keep checking back! Missed the last ones in the series?? Check them out here: Eerie Alien Eggs, Candy Corn Marshmallow Treats, redRUM cocktail, Pumpkin Muffins, and Caramel Apple Martini.

Okay so, these aren't really spooky, I just called them poop because if pumpkins could poop maybe it'd look like this? I dunno. They're just fall-themed. Aka pumpkin spice. Because I'm basic as hell and if you've been around a while you should know this.

The only thing creepy about these is how good they are. And how simple! There's no baking involved, and they come together rather quickly. They're a super crowd pleaser, too. I had the notion I'd make it all from scratch... and then decided I wanted to go the lazy route. Because sometimes the lazy route is the best route. And the results were perfect!

Fill a ceramic pumpkin with these bad boys and watch them magically disappear!

Easy Pumpkin Spice Mallomars

  • 24 ginger snap cookies
  • 1 jar marshmallow creme
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 12 oz white chocolate
  • 2-5 drops orange food coloring
  • ~2 cups confectioner's sugar

-Line up the ginger snaps on a baking sheet lined with wax paper for easy removal

-Gently fold together the marshmallow creme, pumpkin spice, and pumpkin puree. Add confectioner's sugar until the mixture holds its shape (I used about 1.5 cups). Spoon or pipe marshmallow onto the ginger snaps. Let set in the fridge for 10 minutes, until the marshmallow is just barely tacky when touched.

-Melt the white chocolate (I did this in a microwave in 30 second intervals, but follow the instructions on the package!) and stir in the food coloring.

-Dip the marshmallow cookies into the white chocolate. Replace on cookie tray, and refrigerate until firm.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

MONSTER MASH MONDAY - Caramel Apple Martini


Do these pictures look familiar? This post originally appeared on my old blog, Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine, which I unfortunately let expire. I'm posting some of my favorites on this blog so that I don't lose them forever.

Once upon a time,  years ago, when I may or may not have been underage at a party, an older friend handed me the most amazing drink. I was barely in college and so far my alcohol experiences had been "whatever is sweet and doesn't taste like booze." Needless to say, I always had quite the hangover, but that's besides the point. 

The drink handed to me tasted EXACTLY like a caramel apple--my favorite fair treat. At the next party I requested this drink again, but it didn't come out quite the same (though he did create a cotton-candy drink that tasted DIVINE so that helped). For years, I've been searching for the perfect caramel apple martini recipe. And I think I finally found it.

The secret ingredient? Apple cider. It helps tone down the apple pucker and bump up the real apple taste. With the vanilla and butterscotch flavors, it gives the unmistakable flavor of biting into a caramel apple. One that may get you drunk if you continue to indulge.

While this cocktail is perfect for Halloween, it's equally great all autumn long.

Caramel Apple Martini

  • 2 oz Sour Apple Pucker
  • 2 oz Buttershots
  • 2 oz vanilla vodka
  • splash of apple cider
  • caramel sauce, for the rim

-Dip a chilled martini glass in caramel sauce, set aside.

-In a shaker filled with ice, shake together the rest of the ingredients.

-Serve cold.

Monday, October 9, 2017

MONSTER MASH MONDAY - Healthier Pumpkin Muffins


Do these pictures look familiar? This post originally appeared on my old blog, Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine, which I unfortunately let expire. I'm posting some of my favorites on this blog so that I don't lose them forever.

Hey guys, and welcome to Monster Mash Monday! It's 3-ish weeks until Halloween and I am re-posting my favorite Halloween recipes from my old blog! From now until my favorite holiday arrives, check back every Monday for a new Halloween recipe. Missed the last ones? Check them out here: Eerie Alien Eggs, Candy Corn Marshmallow Treats, redRUM cocktail.

These aren't as scary as my alien eggs, but they're pretty tasty and definitely fall.

October is here! And while the air in Texas is still a balmy 70-80 degrees, it's still my favorite time of year. And knowing a harsh winter is unlikely this far south, I can actually enjoy it! --even if the impending hurricanes are freaking me out a little, heh. I do miss the pretty colors of the New England fall, though. Sigh. But I am coping by eating all the apple spice and pumpkin things I can get my hands on.

This is a recipe re-do of the pumpkin muffins my old roommate in Boston used to make. Someone reminded me that this was TEN YEARS AGO and I freaked out just a little. Anyway, I was hankering for a batch recently and was shocked to find the original recipe required THREE CUPS of sugar. That's a flour-to-sugar ratio of ALMOST 1:1.

As my nearing-30 butt (literally, Wednesday) is ever-increasing (and I want to save some calories for a post-Halloween candy binge, don't judge) I figured these needed some lightening up. I added some more nutritious flours and cut the sugar down by two thirds.

The result? Not bad! My coworkers loved them, and an online calorie counter clocks them in at just 144 calories per muffin. Enjoy!

Lightened Up Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 24 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

-In a large bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

-In a separate bowl, beat together pumpkin, sugar, maple syrup, eggs and water. Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture; beat until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.

-Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Friday, October 6, 2017



It's the last day of #PumpkinWeek! Be following the hashtag on your favorite social channel to see all the yummy goodness we're cooking up this week. And scroll down to see the list of all the other bloggers participating!

I really need everyone to appreciate the placemats in the background here. I searched for them at FOUR DIFFERENT TARGETS. I saw them at a Target back in mid-September, then thought I could get better placemats online, quickly learned I could NOT, and searched the city for cheap, cute, Halloweeny placemats.

Like LOLWUT why are placemats and THROW PILLOWS SO EXPENSIVE??

Anyway, this ice cream is bomb, it's super super duper easy, and so tasty and fall-like. Do it. Do it now.

Also check out the rest of the awesome pumpkin recipes today!

Savory Pumpkin Recipes:

Pumpkin and Fish Stew from A Day in the Life on the Farm.
Pumpkin Chili from Making Miracles.
Pumpkin Crab Soup from Hardly A Goddess.
Pumpkin Pasta from Caroline's Cooking.
Thai Pumpkin Curry from Palatable Pastime.

Sweet Pumpkin Recipes:

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Bread from The Freshman Cook.
Fall Harvest Pumpkin Sourdough Muffins from Cooking With Carlee.
Pumpkin Spice Milkshake from Family Around The Table.
Pumpkin Pie Cream Horns from Mildly Meandering.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Snowball Cookies from Love and Confections.
Pumpkin Spice Thumbprint Cookies from The Bitter Side of Sweet.
Pumpkin Spiced Banana Bread from Daily Dish Recipes.
Pumpkin Tiramisu from The Redhead Baker.

Easy Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup crumbled graham crackers
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

-In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, condensed milk, pumpkin spice, cream, and milk.

-Mix together the graham crackers and butter.

-Freeze in an ice cream maker until desired consistency is reached. Fold in the graham cracker mix. Freeze 2 hours, or until firm.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


It's Day 3 of #PumpkinWeek! Be following the hashtag on your favorite social channel to see all the yummy goodness we're cooking up this week. And scroll down to see the list of all the other bloggers participating!

This, right here, is an epic use of leftovers, if I do say so myself. 

So, what do you do with barely-stale pumpkin beer bread?

Well, if you're me, you make awesome pumpkin beer bread pudding.

Extra points: I made the bread "healthy"--so that cancels out all the sugar I added to it for THIS recipe, right?

Uhhh... sure.

Here are today's #PumpkinWeek recipes:

Pumpkin Drink Recipes:

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Syrup from The Nifty Foodie

Savory Pumpkin Recipes:

Blackened Steak Tacos with Roasted Pumpkin, Sweet Corn and Red Bean Salsa from Bacon Fatte
Chicken and Pumpkin Curry from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Pumpkin Beer Bread Pudding from Forking Up
Pumpkin Habanero Salsa from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Pumpkin-Poblano Salsa from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Pumpkin Risotto with Garlic and Sage from Making Miracles
Pumpkin Sausage Mac and Cheese from Daily Dish Recipes
Pumpkin Sausage Skillet Dinner from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Pumpkin Walnut Sage Pierogi from The Crumby Kitchen
Savory Pumpkin Sage Biscuits from Kudos Kitchen by Renee

Sweet Pumpkin Recipes:

Healthy Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins from Feeding Big
Maple Pumpkin Monkey Bread from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Pumpkin Chess Pie from The Spiffy Cookie
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from Amy's Cooking Adventures
Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with a Pecan Oat Crumble from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
Pumpkin Cream Puffs from Mildly Meandering
Pumpkin Dump Cake from Seduction in the Kitchen
Pumpkin-Nut Crumble Cake from Hardly A Goddess
Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Spice Cookies with Pumpkin Dip from An Affair from the Heart
Stuffed Pumpkin Cupcakes from The Freshman Cook
Whipped Pumpkin Pie Honey Butter from Love and Confections.
White Chocolate Pumpkin Biscotti from The Redhead Baker

Pumpkin Beer Bread Pudding
  • 1 loaf pumpkin beer bread, cubed (I tore mine by hand, you can slice for a prettier presentation)
  • 1 can organic pumpkin puree (or 12 oz of homemade)
  • 3 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 large apple, cubed
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • caramel sauce (optional topping)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or grease a square baking dish, or a casserole dish as I have here.

Toss bread with melted butter, set aside.

Whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs, milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract until smooth and well combined. Toss with bread and apple chunks, and pour into baking dish.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until set. The pudding should be moist but spring back when poked. Drizzle with caramel, or apple cider caramel like I have here (recipe coming soon!).

Monday, October 2, 2017



Do these pictures look familiar? This post originally appeared on my old blog, Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine, which I unfortunately let expire. I'm posting some of my favorites on this blog so that I don't lose them forever.

Hey guys, and welcome to Monster Mash Monday! It's 4-ish weeks until Halloween and I am re-posting my favorite Halloween recipes from my old blog! From now until my favorite holiday arrives, check back every Monday for a new Halloween recipe. Missed the last ones? Check them out here: Eerie Alien Eggs, Candy Corn Marshmallow Treats.

The Shining is my favorite horror book, by my favorite horror writer (duh) Stephen King. I actually read it for the first time when I was just 11, after telling my dad "Goosebumps just aren't scary to me anymore" he handed me a worn out copy he'd read a handful of times. (I guess he was forgetting King's penchant for awkward sex scenes? yikes...) I lost that one, but later bought this one for my personal collection--

A year later, he let me rent the movie during a sleepover. I loved it, all of it. It was creepy and captivating and a true work of horror. It began my long-held love of Stephen King that continues to this day. I agree that the book and movie are very different works, and that the book is worlds better, OBVIOUSLY, but both are solid in their own right.

What's better than watching one of your favorite horror movies--it's SO different than the book, so it's not my absolute favorite, just close--while drinking a drink inspired by it? Not much, especially when you're a horror/Halloween nut like me!

Since this was one of my favorite childhood books (as weird as that sounds, hah!) I based on another childhood favorite, a Shirley Temple, with a spicy kick. Something dark, something innocent, it works thematically. Stay with me here.

RedRUM Cocktail

  • 1 oz spiced rum
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1/2 oz grenedine
  • 1/4 oz lime juice
  • 2 cocktail cherries

-In a cocktail glass (martini preferred) pour in the grenedine and then the rum, being careful not to disturb the grenedine.

-In a cocktail shaker, shake together the remaining ingredients. Carefully pour on top of the rum.

-With a small spoon, spoon more grenedine around the edge of the glass for a bloody effect. Garnish with cherries.

Sunday, October 1, 2017



Hey 'all, welcome to Pumpkin Week! This is my attempt to keep the fall spirit going, even though it's hot as hell here in Texas. Thankfully, even though it's warm in Texas it's falltime everywhere else.

This is why I am SO excited to be participating in #PumpkinWeek, hosted by Love and Confections. A bunch of bloggers have all pledged to do delicious pumpkin recipes this week to celebrate everyone's favorite gourd. Woo! Pumpkin!

I love pumpkin beer. And Shipyard's Pumpkinhead is my favorite. Last year I actually drove all over Austin looking for this delicious brew, and had to go way out of my way to track it down. I got a 12 pack and sipped it slowly for months afterwards.

Beer bread is SO EASY, and I amped it up with a few extras. Feel free to add cheese or herbs or whatnot to make it even more delicious. I feel like you can edit this recipe a whole bunch of different ways--but I really wanted to preserve the pumpkin flavor.

Here are today’s #PumpkinWeek recipes:

Pumpkin Drink Recipes:

Pumpkin Pie Moscow Mule from Love and Confections.

Savory Pumpkin Recipes:

Goat Cheese and Sage Pizza with Pumpkin Crust from The Spiffy Cookie
Pickled Pumpkin with Sage and Autumn Spices from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Pumpkin Beer Bread from Forking Up
Pumpkin Beer Cheese Soup with Herbed Croutons from The Crumby Kitchen
Pumpkin Chili from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Pumpkin Corn Chowder with Shrimp from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Pumpkin Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce from Hardly A Goddess
Pumpkin Focaccia Bread from Cookaholic Wife
Pumpkin Ravioli with Parmesan Sage Cream Sauce from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Pumpkin Rosemary Hummus with Sizzled Garlic from Amy's Cooking Adventures
Pumpkin Stew with Chicken and Black Beans from Palatable Pastime
Spicy Pumpkin Soup from The Chef Next Door

Sweet Pumpkin Recipes:

Brown Butter Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from The Redhead Baker
Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bundt Cake from Cooking with Carlee
Easy Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake from Daily Dish Recipes
Jumbo Pumpkin spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping from Family Around The Table
Kaddo Bowrani (Afghan Pumpkin with Yoghurt Sauce) from Caroline's Cooking
Pumpkin Blondies from It Bakes Me Happy
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal Bars from The Nifty Foodie
Pumpkin Madeleines from Mildly Meandering
Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites from Making Miracles
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal from Seduction in the Kitchen
Pumpkin Pie Tassies from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Pumpkin Scones from The Freshman Cook
Pumpkin Spice Donuts from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Pumpkin Spice Donuts from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
Pumpkin Zucchini Bread from Feeding Big
Pumpkin Zucchini Streusel Bread from An Affair from the Heart
Ridiculously Good Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cake from Bacon Fatte

My grand plan was to make bourbon whipped cream to top them with. Extra alcohol, extra fun!, right? Unfortunately, life had other plans. Like the fact that my only whipping cream was shelf-stable Trader Joes kind, and I didn't realize it needed to be refrigerated for at least 6 hours. So I did the Pinterest Trick where you wrap it in a wet paper towel and freeze for ten minutes. Although the package was cardboard and not glass, it seemed to do the trick.

Then, I had the brilliant idea to make the cream "stretch" by adding some light cream I had for another recipe. Surely THAT would work, right?

Eh, not so much. Somehow, I went from sugary-creamy-alcohol-mixture to butter. No whipped cream in the middle. Maybe it was the cream debacle, maybe it was the bourbon curdling the cream, who knows. But, I knew the beer bread was on deck for a recipe, and just as I predicted: they were a match made in heaven.

Healthier Pumpkin Beer Bread

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1 heaping tbs pumpkin pie spice (or, equal amounts ground clove, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and two parts cinnamon, mixed together and portioned out to one heaping tablespoon)
  • 3 tbs pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbs sugar or 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 bottle pumpkin beer (I used Shipyard, feel free to use your own favorite or any kind of beer for a different flavor!)
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter and flour a bread pan.

-Mix together all dry ingredients until well blended. Add in maple syrup and beer, and mix until batter is sticky (there will be lumps).

-Pour or spoon batter into bread pan and cover with melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Accidental Bourbon Butter
(use my frantic method above, or the one I mention here, which probably will work better)

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (plus 1/2 cup light cream?)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp bourbon

-Blend or whip together all ingredients with a hand mixer. If you make it to the whipped cream stage, keep whipping until the solids and liquids separate.

-When the mixture is chunky, pour through a colander that has been lined with cheesecloth or paper towels. Gently squeeze out all excess liquid. Spoon butter out of the cloth and into an airtight container. Refrigerate until firm.

Halloween Spooky Food Roundup

My awesome Halloween Party spread last year!

Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays, if not my MOST favorite. Every year I plan my costume months in advance, and try to put together an epic Halloween party where I make tons of spooky food.

Check out all of these awesome recipes if you're having a party tomorrow or over the weekend!