Pumpkin, You’re So Cheesy

by Sara on October 4, 2010

Hold on to your pies, pumpkins, because this post is packed with orange squash!

I've really missed you all! Truly! It's amazing how blogging begins to impact every facet of your life–I think about friends, food, workouts, my body etc. differently because of your wise words. And even if you aren't a blogger, I'm constantly thinking about my readers and the impact my words and thoughts may carry in your lives. I love the blogging community, I love blogging, and even though I've been a bit of a blogging break, in no way am I kissing blogging byebye. :-)

The truth is, I've been focusing my energy on mastering the ropes of life in Washington, DC. The past two weeks have been some of the fastest, craziest and busiest of my life. I left my job at Barnes and Noble, to take a position at Sweetgreen--an eco-friendly salad and frozen yogurt bar that sources most of its food locally. It's an AMAZING place to work, and I am in love with my co-workers and the company's mission! Check out Sweetgreen's website! (And if you live near DC, please stop by and say hello! I promise to mix up a mean salad for you!). 

In addition to studying hard and playing hard, I've also been re-evaluating my plans for next year. I may be staying in DC for grad school instead of heading west to California! More on that in a coming post. :-)

But let's talk about one of the more important things in life—like the amazing fuel that keeps us going during crazy times like these!

Now, it's no secret that I love frozen yogurt…My Twitter name is froyofoodie, and I've been known to down a pint of the stuff in one evening.

It's a rare occasion, however, that I don't have to open my wallet to feed the addiction.

But when you ask for a sample and are given this tower of soft serve, who needs to buy a cup?

 

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Largest sample ever!!

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Fro yo coupled with cupcakes = great combo! (Ufortunately the cupcakes weren't free!). :-)

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I couldn't eat it fast enough! Drip, drip, drip.

********************************************************************************************************

It's now October, which means my shelves are stocked with this…

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One of the best compliments to pumpkin, in my opinion, is CHEESE.

Over the past few weeks I've been drooling over Starbucks' pumpkin cream cheese muffins, so I decided to try mixing up my own version.

Pumpkin muffins

Pumpkinmuff2

These were delicious!! Please try them! 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 ounces) light cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg (or 1/4 cup egg beaters)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • MUFFIN:
  • 2-1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or gluten free baking mix)
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 24 pecan halves, optional

Directions

  • For the filling, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg and sugar until smooth; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  • Divide half of the batter among 24 greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Drop filling by teaspoonfuls over batter. Top with remaining batter. 

  • Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: about 2 dozen.

***If you're too tired or lazy to make the muffins above, how about buying a muffin and slathering this on top?

Pumpkin Cream Cheese

It looks kind of gross, but it's SO tasty! Promise!


Pumpkin-cream-cheese-dip-spread

  • 1  8-ounce package light or fat free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2  cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4  cup sugar
  • 3/4  teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2  teaspoon vanilla 

Mix everything together and store in the refrigerator. It's delicious on top of toast, bagels, or used to fill crepes or egg crepes. Or, if you're feeling really indulgent, eat it straight up like mousse! Mmm.

***One more pumpkin-cheese combo you may like…

Easy Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Pancakes2

  • 1 pouch instant oatmeal (or equivalent–maybe 1/3 cup?)
  • 1/4 cup  pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters (or two eggs)
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • sweetener of choice
  • vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice etc. to taste 

Blend everything in a blender or Magic Bullet. Cook on a griddle like you would regular pancakes. 

Note: the batter will be very thick!

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Newsflash: This may be the most exciting non-food-related news of the week! 

For all of you want-to-be-brides, brides-to-be, Disney princess lovers or all of the above….

Disney-Princesses-Wedding-disney-princess-10306028-700-525

Your dreams have come true! You can now have a happily-ever-after wedding by donning one of Disney's new princess-inspired wedding dresses! (Go to the website and click "See Us on Disney Living" to see the dresses). 

Ok, that's all for today! I'm going to do my best to be a more devout blogger, reader and commenter this month. :-)

Would you wear a Disney princess dress on your wedding day? Which princess/dress would you pick?

I don't think I'm that much of a Disney devotee! ;-) I've always loved Ariel, but I'm not a huge fan of her dress. I think I'd go with Belle's dress. 

AND

What's your favorite way to eat pumpkin?

Healthy: mixed with whipped cottage cheese. Unhealthy: pumpkin cheesecake 


  • http://lifeisbetterthanfiction.blogspot.com Meg

    Sara! I’ve been wondering what you’ve been up to… Glad to hear that everything in DC is going so well. I’m definitely trying out those muffins, they sound amazing.
    I think that my wedding dress was most similar to Cinderella, but not quite so poofy!
    My favorite way to eat pumpkin would have to be regular old pumpkin pie. I’ve been wanting to try out pumpkin enchiladas sometime soon though… :)

  • Julie

    I love Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffins! But I bet yours are better! The place you’re working looks awesome…I wish I could come try a salad!
    I love Jasmine but I don’t think she really had a wedding dress…I think I’d pick Belle’s too. :)

  • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Julie

    Meg–I’ve been wanting to try pumpkin enchiladas too! Want to come to DC and make them with me?

  • http://ieatasphalt.com Alex @ IEatAsphalt

    I cannot wait to try those muffins! I looove the pumpkin muffins from starbucks but do not love their $3 price tag.
    ARE YOU GOING TO JOIN ME AT GWU!?!?! Say yes. Seriously.

  • http://www.homecookedem.wordpress.com homecookedem

    Hey Pretty Lady!! Those pumpkin muffins look soooooo yummy!! :) My favorite way to eat pumpkin is probably pumpkin bread!! :)

  • http://ktbwood.wordpress.com katie

    I GOT SOO EXCITED TO SEE A POST FROM YOU!!
    love the pic of you with the froyo- gota love samples! SO glad you are doing well girl!!! hope you are living a life full of joy and health!!! i LOVE pumpkin :) love me some pumpkin oats!

  • http://myhealthiestlifestyle.wordpress.com Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle

    Girl, I will definitely be trying both those muffins and the pancakes!!! Yummmmm!

  • http://foodfunfabulous.blogspot.com Christina @ Food.Fun.Fabulous

    I love cheese and pumpkin so why have I never thought to combine them! Great recipes. And I’m super excited that you posted some Disney bridal stuff! I really liked Aurora’s!

  • http://www.healthydivaeats.com Katie

    Missed you girl! I have been absent form blogging too but could not give up blogging because of wonderful friends like you on here!!!! I am loving pumpkin everything too! I stocked my pantry with pumpkin last week! I can go through alot! I have been making pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin protein pudding!
    I love the muffins you made, those look so good!
    Love the froyo pics! U are so beautiful girl inside and out!
    I would love to come for a weekend visit! I love sweetgreen’s that place is awesome! So cool your working there!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Love ya!!!

  • http://www.hungrymeetshealthy.com christina

    look at these yummy recipes! oh my gosh those muffins look incredible. i’m glad you found a new job that you like! i loooooove ariel but i can’t be getting married in a tail, haha!

  • http://www.missymiller.wordpress.com Missy

    Pumpkin and creamcheese…now why didn’t I think of that!
    Thanks for the inspo–
    I am obsessed with whipped cottage chees, too so I will be experimenting plenty with these combos in the near future.
    ~Missy

  • Sally

    Your pumpkin muffins look so yummy! Remind me to try them. I want to come eat at Sweetgreen, but how would I ever decide on one of their great sounding salads (I looked at the website)?! I wish Boise wasn’t so far away! I love your photos…especially of your froyo samples!:)

  • http://www.TheHealthyApron.com TheHealthyApron

    I definitely LOVE disney (and those cupcakes!!) but did not wear a disney princess cupcake dress for my wedding. My hubby is smal so I didn’t want my dress to overwhelm him lol But my dreams did come true! haha

  • http://www.Biochemista.com BIOCHEMISTA

    Hope you are feeling better lady :) Excited to meet up next week!!

  • http://www.afshoes.com/ Air Force 1

    Reading your publish practically moved me to tears. Might your blog reap a lot more achievement.

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