Fall

Pumpkin & Cinnamon Chip Cupcakes

flower cupcake
flower cupcake

Hey all, its Therese again with another fall themed recipe. I hope you enjoyed my last recipe, I know I did. Sticking with my orange gourd vegetable theme, I decided to make pumpkin cinnamon cupcakes with whipped cream cheese frosting! I cannot express to you, through this post alone, just how amazing these cupcakes are… you will just have to make it yourself!

I based my whipped cream cheese recipe off of Living Better Together’s whipped cream cheese. I like to make each recipe my own by tweaking the recipe a bit so I added cinnamon to the whipped cream cheese.

After never hearing of their existence, before walking around Walmart, I decided to add cinnamon chips to my cupcake recipe. The rest of the recipe is based off reading around twenty various pumpkin cupcake recipes on Pinterest that were all basically the same ingredients, but to give props to a specific recipe (which really helped in teaching me how to bake the cupcakes): Tracey’s Culinary Adventures brown butter pumpkin cupcakes.

Sticking to the fall theme, I wanted to make a dish that would be great for the season… the season of football. Everyone loves their wings, dips, and beer but what about dessert? Dessert is our ultimate goal anyways… These cupcakes are perfect for tailgating with their festive, football baking cups. I decided to bring these cupcakes to the Alabama-Tennessee game in Knoxville this weekend. However, I taste-tested one with one of my lucky roommates this afternoon and they are MELT IN YOUR MOUTH DELICIOUS- the perfect mixture of salty and sweet.

I also purchased some frilly pink baking cups (mostly so I could take SUPER CUTE pictures) to display how pretty these desserts are! I am saving these cupcakes for our girls’ night in tonight for "TGIT" and red wine.

Pumpkin & Cinnamon Chip Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 15 cupcakes

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cinnamon Cupcakes

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • wine
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cinnamon chips
  • 2 large eggs

Whipped Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

For Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, line cupcake pan with baking liners
  2. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, pour into bowl and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cinnamon chips.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar (be sure to pack down in measuring cup), granulated sugar, eggs, and add the butter. Once well mixed, add the dry ingredients to mix together.
  5. Divide the batter into the baking cups, inside cupcake pans, fill until about ½ or ¾ full.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (be sure to rotate the pans about 10 minutes in)
  7. Cool the cupcakes before adding the frosting

For Frosting

  1. Let the cream cheese soften by either setting out while baking cupcakes or soften in microwave (but not me-- I recommend microwaving for 30 seconds)
  2. Mix the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar in medium bowl and whisk at medium speed (if you own an electric mixer)
  3. Add heavy whipping cream and whisk until the frosting forms peaks
  4. If the frosting is not thick enough, let sit in fridge for a bit and whip again
football
football

Sweater Weather

Headshot Hello readers, my name is Therese Bridges and I will be Suzanne's intern for the next few weeks. I am currently in the middle of my dietetic internship and I will be aiding with her blog and social media. A little about myself: I am from Mobile, AL, recently graduated from the University of Alabama, and my day revolves around planning my meals. I am looking forward to my time with Suzanne and I hope you enjoy my posts!

Now onto the point.

Fall has always been my favorite season. Ever since I was a kid diving into a large pile of leaves in my front yard, I appreciated the weather and beauty of autumn. As I have grown older, my admiration has evolved to include football and food (I still enjoy a good pile of leaves, though).

Hot chocolate and fire pits are on the top of my sweater weather list. However, any one of my friends will tell you, I crave soup once the temperature drops to 70 degrees (I know this is dramatic and in fact, not cold). My favorite soup in the fall is butternut squash. Let me create an image: Sitting in front of the fire, curled up in a comfy sweater, eating butternut squash soup, and laughing with your friends.

To make this image possible, I am sharing a delectable recipe that you are sure to enjoy. My mother has made this soup for the family before and it is even delicious served cold. **I made this for my sick roommate and, not taking any "credit", she feels significantly better today.**

This soup could serve a large dinner party of 8 or last one person for a week of meals. I made it a bit spicier than advised by my mother but I find that it adds an extra kick.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Based on recipe in Williams-Sonoma Everyday Roasting Cookbook, with some personal tweaks

Pumpkin seeds inspired by Panera Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup

Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serves 8 to 10 people

Ingredients:

  • 1-  4 lb butternut squash, peeled & cubed
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 or 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, line baking sheet with aluminum then brush with olive oil and arrange de-seeded butternut squash on pan. Roast squash for 13 to 15 minutes or until brown around the edges.

2. Once squash is done, set aside squash. Chop and arrange the onions on the same oiled up pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper on onions and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over onions. Roast for 12 to 13 minutes then set aside.

3. In a stockpot over medium heat, melt the butter with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add squash and onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add cayenne, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook vegetables, stirring for 2 minutes then add chicken broth (enough to cover vegetables). Bring to a boil then place lid ajar and turn to low heat/simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Let soup cool, then working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor.

5. Return puree to stockpot, taste and adjust seasonings then reheat soup. Serve soup and garnish with nutmeg and 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (available already made at most stores) on top of each bowl.

6. Enjoy! (preferably enjoying your favorite movie, sitting around a warm fire)

Butternut4edit

Gambling on Meat? Grass-Fed or Grain-Fed?

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Confused by the hype of grass-fed versus grain-fed beef? Is grass-fed beef really worth the extra expense?

Today NutriFocus highlights 4 good reasons to consider choosing grass-fed beef....

  1. Grass-fed beef is much higher in nutrient levels. Grass-fed beef tends to be leaner, and have higher levels of vitamins, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and beta carotene.  Grass-fed beef has shown to have 4x the levels of vitamin E and 6x the levels of Omega-3 (compared to grain fed beef) which helps reduce the risk of arthritis, obesity, insulin resistance, allergies and autoimmune diseases.  It is also a good source of CLA which is a healthy fat that protects against cancer.
  2. Grass-fed beef is better for the animals. Supports a natural and humane approach to sustainable farming BC the animals are allowed to roam free on the land.
  3. Supports local farming science. Raising livestock on pasture requires knowledge and skill -- it is a true science!!
  4. Grass-fed animals are healthy and drug-free. Cows fed grain can suffer digestive problems because grain is not their natural diet and is not digested properly. This can lead to the use of  antibiotics and other medications which ultimately pollutes our food supply and environment.

This NutriFocusRD original recipe won me major points with my husband so I could not resist sharing this easy, slow-cooker meal with my NutriFocus Family!!!  This chili is super easy, full of fiber, powered with protein, and packed full with vegetables!  It is perfect for a weeknight dinner or to serve at your next tailgating party!! Best news is... it is even better the next day!!!  Hope you guys enjoy!!

Organic Beef and 3-Bean Chili:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound organic, grass-fed ground beef
  • unnamed[3]
  • 1 Red Onion, Diced
  • 3 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, Seeded and Diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 (29oz) can Tomato Puree
  • 1 (15oz) can Red Kidney Beans, Drained
  • 1 (15oz) can Cannellini Beans, with Liquid
  • 1 (15oz) can Chickpeas, Drained
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin (optional)
  • ½ Tbsp Smoked Paprika (optional)
  • 2 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Basil
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce

Directions:

Place ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Season with 1 Tbsp Chili Powder, 1 Tbsp Cumin, ½ Tbsp Smoked Paprika, 1 tsp Garlic Salt, and Ground Black Pepper. Cook until evenly brown. Drain remaining liquid.

Place the beef in your slow-cooker. Add in onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic, tomato puree, drained kidney beans, drained chickpeas, and cannellini beans with liquid. Season mixture with 1 Tbsp chili powder, dried parsley, garlic salt, dried basil, oregano, black pepper and sriracha sauce. Stir mixture well. Cover and cook on low for 8-hours!

Garnish with shredded parmesan cheese and low-fat sour cream and serve alongside sweet cornbread muffins!

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unnamed[1]

To Locate Local Grass-Fed Farms, Check Out the Eat Wild Website for Farms Across the Southeast!