Recipe Swap: Pumpkin Biscuits

I can be kind of bossy.  Just ask my husband.

So when Mother Nature didn’t really cooperate with my request for fall weather, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I wore my skinny jeans and riding boots anyway.

I made my favorite acorn squash recipe.

I bought some gi-normous honey crisp apples.

Screw you Mother Nature, I’m making it fall anyway.

So when this round of the WC Recipe Swap gave me A Seasoned Greeting, I went straight for her pumpkin tag.

But, much to my dismay, there was only one pumpkin recipe!  Girl, we need to fix that!  What’s wrong with you?! (just kidding girl, luv ya.  But we need to work on this!)

Luckily, it looked like a killer pumpkin recipe.  I just kept coming back to it, unable to let it go for another recipe.  So I bought my first can of pumpkin for the season.  It was a beautiful moment, really.

So even though my weekend was nothing short of chaos, I made time for these beauties.  But as if it was meant to be, they came together in an instant – no mixer or food processor needed, took all of about 5 minutes to throw together and drop on the pan.  I had to wait for the oven to finish preheating!

So.  No excuses.  Find a reason to make these.

Recipe note – I did want them to be a little sweeter (yes, it’s a savory biscuit, but it needed to be a *little* sweeter), so next time I’ll double the honey in these.  The recipe below reflects this change.

Don’t forget to check out the links below to see the recipes that everyone else picked for the recipe swap!

One year ago: Tailgate favorites!! Game-Day Chili and Soft Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese Dip
Two years ago: Cranberry-Almond Granola Bars and Pasta with No-cook Tomato Sauce

Pumpkin Biscuits
adapted from Country Living, as seen on A Seasoned Greeting 

2 cups of AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ginger
1 stick of unsalted butter, cold and diced
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
15 oz pumpkin puree
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400.  Line baking sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add butter and toss to combine.  Add pumpkin and honey and mix to combine.  Add milk and stir until dough forms.  Drop biscuits onto prepared baking sheet, bake 20-25 minutes.



Veggie Hash and Eggs


Is it breakfast?  Is it dinner?


I’ve always been an advocate of breakfast for dinner.  Whether it’s pancakes, waffles, breakfast burritos, or hash.

Hash – i.e., an excuse to throw any and everything into a saute pan, cover it with an egg, and see what happens.  You really can’t go wrong.

That’s kind of what happened when I first started making this.

I was home alone and left to fend for myself for dinner.  I found some random veggies in the fridge and pantry – a few potatoes, zucchini, squash, a few bell peppers.  My new favorite meal was born.  It’s grown a little each time I’ve made it, and by the third or fourth time I made it, I figured it was time to share it.  I thought it was “too easy” to share and “not really a recipe.”  But we all need ideas to mix things up a little, right?

I can’t wait to take this recipe camping – camp food =/= healthy food like 99% of the time.  This would be great to do over the fire/stove in a cast iron skillet!

One year ago: Bacon Ranch Potato Salad and Watermelon Lemonade
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies and My Favorite Camping Recipes

Veggie Hash and Eggs
a PLFF original recipe
serves 2

3-4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 small sweet potatoes (or regular Idaho potatoes), scrubbed and diced
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large jalapeno, minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium yellow squash, diced
2 tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
4 eggs

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add potatoes.  Cook 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are almost tender.  Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno (add more olive oil, if necessary).  Saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes.  Add diced squash, season with steak seasoning.  Season to taste with more salt, if necessary.  Saute until squash is almost tender, about 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.

After squash gets added, cook eggs to the style of your choice (over easy is our favorite!).  Divide hash over 2 plates, top with eggs.


Chicken and Edamame with Orange Ginger Dressing

So here at the PLFF house we’ve been making a very conscious effort to eat a lot cleaner – we’ve done away with nearly all processed foods in our house.  We still have some ways to go, but we’ve taken leaps and bounds in the past few weeks.

And you know what?

It’s not that hard.

You choose better quality ingredients.

You actually taste your food.

You embrace the whole “less is more.”

And you find that at the end of the meal, you’re still satisfied.

And full.

And after several days without consuming anything processed, you start to notice.

You notice you’re  less tired and bloated.

You notice you have more energy, even though you haven’t had caffeine in days.

Then you wake up one day and realize you’ve drank the metaphorical kool-aid.  And there’s no going back.

And I’m ok with that.

Now don’t worry, that doesn’t mean we won’t still have cupcakes and whatnot around here. But you will be seeing a lot more clean eating recipes.

One year ago: Bug-themed cake and cupcakes
Two years ago: Taco Salad

Chicken and Edamame with Orange Ginger Dressing
courtesy of Confections of a Foodie Bride

1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
salt to taste
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup shelled edamame
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1/2 an avocado, diced
small handful of cilantro, minced

While brown rice in cooking, whisk together orange juice, lime juice, ginger and salt.  Add salt to taste.

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil.  Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.  Add in edamame, bell pepper, and cooked rice.  Remove from heat.  Add dressing and stir to combine.  Spoon into bowls and top with avocado and cilantro.


Gnocchi with Spinach and Butternut Squash

Most of the time when I make a vegetarian dinner, my husband responds with “It’s good, but it would be better with bacon.”

This meal was no exception.

Only this time, he was right.

(shhhh, don’t tell!)

We swapped the kale out for some spinach, added a few slices of bacon, and whoa.  Still relatively healthy, super satisfying, and easy to throw together on a weeknight.  Need I say more?

No?  ok then.

One year ago: Sausage and Pesto Pizza and Three Cheese Hot Artichoke Dip
Two years ago: Thyme Potatoes au Gratin and Chocolate Eclair cake

gnocchi with Spinach and Butternut Squash
adapted from Food Network Magazine

3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh chopped sage (or 1 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
3 big handfuls of baby spinach
16 oz package potato gnocchi
3/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese

Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add bacon and cook until browned.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.  Remove all but 2 tbsp of bacon fat from pan.

Add the squash and cook, stilling frequently, until softened and starting to brown, around 8 minutes.  Add the garlic, sage, and red pepper flakes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook an additional 2 minutes.

Preheat the broiler.

Add chicken stock to the pan and bring to a simmer.  Add spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes.  Add the gnocchi, stirring to coat.

Cover pan and cook until gnocchi is just tender, about 5 minutes.  Uncover and stir in 1/4 cup of cheese.

If desired, transfer to casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese and transfer to the broiler.  Cook until golden and bubbly, about 3 minutes.  Serve immediately.


Roasted Broccoli

If you’ve been around PLFF a while, this isn’t the first time you’ve seen this recipe.  Shoot, this isn’t even the second time you’ve seen this recipe.  But the first time, there was no picture.  The second time, there was a really bad picture.

So this may be the third time this recipe has been posted, but I’m pretty sure it will be the last.  Not that it will be the last time we eat it.  AT ALL.  I make this recipe typically once a week.  It’s hands down my go-to side dish.  Winter, spring, summer or fall.  It goes with everything.  And it’s freaking fabulous.  Anyone who thinks they don’t like broccoli just hasn’t had it roasted.

So when we needed a side for our elk tenderloin for my 24×24 event, adding the roasted broccoli was kind of a no-brainer.

Feel like you’re in a veggie rut?  Can’t get the kids to eat their veggies?  Look no further.

Favorite veggie side dish, hands down.

One year ago: salsa verde chicken and dumplings and sports cake pops
Two years ago: tortilla pie and caramel pie

Roasted Broccoli
adapted from Ina Garten

2-3 medium heads of broccoli, cut into florets
4 cloves garlic, peeled
olive oil
salt and pepper
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425.

Spread cut broccoli and garlic on baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, season liberally with salt and pepper.  Toss to combine.  Roast for 20-25 minutes, until broccoli bas browned.

Remove from the oven, zest lemon over top of broccoli.  Toss with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


Classic Minestrone Soup

Here it is, the beginning of a new year – full of resolutions of eating healthier and getting in shape. 

And I’ve started off the year with two cupcake recipes. 

Sorry about that.

Let’s start over.

This soup is everything people start looking for at the beginning of the new year – it’s healthy, quick, vegetarian, freezable, and can easily be doubled for extras.  Which is what I did, with visions of a healthier go-to lunch for the winter months when my typical salad veggies aren’t in season.  I portioned them out in individual sized portions and stuck them in the freezer to pull a few out each week for lunch.  Is working out well so far.  Below is the recipe for just a regular batch. 

And this can easily be adapted to meet the tastes of even the pickiest eaters.  Cannellini beans instead of kidney, zucchini instead of green beans, or all of the above.  It’s just a vessel for cramming as many veggies as you can into one soup.   Which, let’s be honest, after a few weeks of potlucks and cookies and extra calories, we can all use a little more veggies. 

Yes, even you.

Check out some of my other favorite soup and chili recipes!
Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup
Leek and Potato Soup
Chunky Italian Soup
Gameday Chili
Denver Green Chili
Chicken Chili

Minestrone Soup
adapted from Ellie Krieger, as seen in Food Network Magazine

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1/3 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or 1 1/2 cups frozen green beans)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
28 oz can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
14 oz can crushed tomatoes (no salt added)
6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
15 oz can low sodium kidney beans
1 cup elbow or ditalini pasta
parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook until starting to soften, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in green beans, dried herbs, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (adjust to taste), and cook an additional 3 minutes. 

Add the diced and crushed tomatoes and chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in kidney beans and pasta and cook until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.


Pumpkin Butterscotch cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

You’ve kind of seen these little gems before.  We may or may not have originally referred to them as “crack muffins.”  Everyone loves them and just can’t get enough of them.

For my very first catering gig back in October, I suggested these as a nice seasonal dessert treat.  Only I knew they would need just a little *something* to fit the occasion – a wine tasting for an investment firm.  Pumpkin and cream cheese frosting go so well together, and in what I see now as a pure stroke of genius, I decided to spike the frosting with a little cinnamon.


Like WHOA.

I knew they would be good, but I don’t think anyone expected the pure perfection that resulted from adding just a little bit of cinnamon frosting to these beauties.

Scott even called his brother and told him about it.  Since the original muffin recipe came from his mom.  Scott could hear through the phone as Nick turned to his mom at home and said “how come you never thought of putting cinnamon frosting on the pumpkin butterscotch muffins?”  Way to make brownie points with your mother-in-law….


If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t tried these beauties yet, now they have really entered into OMG-you-have-to-make-these-now territory.  Sure, pumpkin is usually a fall thing, but there’s no reason you can make them in winter too.  So you should. Like now.  And I still like them best in mini form.  But feel free to make them full-sized if you insist.

One year ago: Denver green chili
Two years ago: Pork Chops Cacciatore

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
original source unknown, with PLFF original adaptations

*recipe note: this is technically a muffin recipe.  To keep it from being too dense, I recommend keeping them in mini-form.  The frosting on the regular-sized ones doesn’t work as well as it does in the mini version.

for the cupcakes:
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup water
4 eggs
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 1/3 cups flour
16 oz can pumpkin puree
10 oz butterscotch chips

for the frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon

for the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350.  Combine sugar, oil, water, and eggs in a mixing bowl, beat until combined.  Stir together nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and flour in another bowl.  Beat gradually into wet ingredients.  Add pumpkin puree and butterscotch chips and stir to combine.  Pour batter into muffin pans lined with papers.  Bake mini cupcakes around 8 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

for the frosting:
Beat butter and cream cheese on medium high speed for 3 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl, return speed to low. Gradually add in powedered sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and cinnamon, beat on medium high speed for an additional minute.  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.


Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

“What are we having for dinner tonight?”

“Stuffed acorn squash.”

“What’s an acorn squash?”

*walks over the counter, picks up acron squash and holds it up for husband*

“oh.  It kind of looks like a green pumpkin.”

“Or an acorn.”

“oh yeah ….. that too.”

Clearly this was our first acorn squash experience.  And despite clear skepticism, Scott was a fan.  In fact, it got a ranger large thumbs up from both of us.  It was slightly time consuming, due to the hour-long roast of the squash in the oven, but it was so simple to throw together.  Perfect for a lazy Sunday.  And since they practically give away acorn squash this time of year ($.77/lb?!  done!), this will surely grace our menu plan a few times before the season is up.

and don’t forget to enter the massive chocoalte giveaway!!!

One year ago: re-post of Gooey Butter Cookies
Two years ago: Christmas cookies

Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
adapted from Prevention RD, originally from

2 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1/2 tsp ground sage, divided
3/4 lb bulk Italian sausage (or links, casings removed)
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped (I used Golden Delicious)
1 cup panko crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine melted butter, garlic, and 1/4 tsp sage.  Brush insides of each squash with the butte rmix.  Place squash on a baking pan, cut side up, and roast for 50-60 minutes, or until fork tender.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage.  Once browned, remove from plate to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.  Add onions and celery to the pan, cook until starting to soften, 3 minutes.  Add the apples and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Return the sausage to the pan and remove from heat.  Season with 1/4 tsp sage, salt and pepper.  Stir in panko and parmesan cheese.  Add the egg and stir to combine.

Divide the stuffing evenly among the four squash halves.  Return to the oven and bake an additional 20 minutes.  Yields 4 servings.

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup

Tis the season for soup!

I’m not sure about y’all, but come Friday night, I’m whooped.  Some people want quick and easy dinners for during the week after they get home from work.  But not me.  I’m way more likely to cook a complicated dinner on Tuesday night than I am a Friday night.  Tuesdays I’ve been at work all day, sure, but cooking is kind of my way to decompress at the end of the night.  But by Friday… not only is it the end of a long day, but it’s the end of a long string of long days.  Come Friday, I’m usually more concerned about pouring myself a glass of wine than I am about what we’re having for dinner.

So when I see recipes like this, with few ingredients and simple instructions, I knew I was going to be a fan.  And it was just as simple and easy as I hoped it would be.  It was creamy (without adding any cream), flavorful, and like so many good soups, it just seemed to warm me up from the inside out.  So  the next time you think you’re too tired to cook, pull out this recipe, pour yourself a glass of wine, and put your feet up.  You’ve earned it! 🙂

One year ago: Caramelized onion dip

Creamy Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup
courtesy of Giada DeLaurentis

3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp olive oil
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
2 lbs orange sweet potatoes, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 6-inch long stems of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
4 oz mascarpone (I subbed reduced fat cream cheese, worked fine)
3 tbsp maple syrup

In a large stock pot, melt butter and oil together over medium high heat.  Add shallots and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes.

Add sweet potatoes, rosemary and chicken broth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are very tender, 20-25 minutes.  Ladle, in batches, into a food processor and blend until smooth (can also use an immersion blender).  Add all of blended soup back into stock pot.  Whisk in mascarpone (or cream cheese) and maple syrup, stir until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Keep the soup warm over low heat until ready to serve.


Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Ange from the Tiny Tyrant’s Kitchen was in charge of the theme for this month’s What’s baking Challenge.  She chose “fall flavors” and challenged us to go outside the box from your usual pumpkin and apple.

*looks up at post title*

*looks down at picture*

Clearly, I didn’t do so good.

But I couldn’t help it!  When I think of fall, I think of two things – this pumpkin cake, and apple crisp.  Call me traditional, say I’m boring, but nothing scream fall like pumpkin and apple.  And this cake… ooho boy this cake.

I actually posted this on Thanksgiving last year, but felt it deserved a better picture and a new shout-out.  So maybe I’m staying inside the box for What’s Baking, but trust me, it’s worth it!

Oh, and be sure to catch the round-up of all of the fall-theme recipes next week over at the Tiny Tyrant’s Kitchen!

Calling this a “cake” is somewhat deceiving.  As I’m sitting here writing this post, eating the piece that I just took a picture of (what?!  what else was I going to do with it?), it strikes me that this pumpkin concoction is more like a strudel-y coffee cake than it is your traditional cake.  Which means it might make me feel a little guilty putting whipped cream on top, but it totally justifies eating it for breakfast, right?

Honestly, whatever you want to call this cake, it’s perfectly acceptable to eat any time of day.  It’s all the flavors of pumpkin pie baked into a tender cake with delicious crumbly goodness on top.  Even all you people who claim to dislike pumpin pie – I dare you to make this cake.  You’ll like it.  It’s all the yumminess without the pumpkin pie texture that seems to weird some people out (I think they are weird, but to each their own, I suppose…).

One year ago: Pumpkin Spice Chai Bread and a fall cookie arrangement tutorial (4 different posts)

Pumpkin Coffee Cake
original source unknown

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
2 large eggs
15 oz can pumpkin puree
12 oz can evaporated milk (I use 2%)
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350.  Coat 9×13 dish with cooking spray.

Mix sugar and spices together in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, beat 2 eggs.  Add in pumpkin puree and spice mixture.  Gradually stir in evaporated milk.  Pour in the bottom of prepared 9×13 dish.

Melt butter, then add to cake mix in a large bowl.  Stir until combined.  Should form a strudel-like mixture.  Sprinkle evenly over top of pumpkin mixture.  Bake for 45-60 minute, or until cake has set and top starts to brown.  Serve with whipped cream.