Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Hi guys! I hope every one is having a fabulous Thanksgiving! While I’m gone I have arranged a few lovely ladies to do some guest posting. Today the lovely Beth from Kitchen Courage is sharing her squash pie recipe! I love reading Beth’s blog, because not only does she share great recipes; she always has a fun story to share as well.

Take it away Beth!


P1090073 by betherann

Hello, fabulous fans of the fittest Whit in town!  Happy turkey day to the Americans, and happy holiday season to the rest!  Before I get on with this guest post, let me just gush for a moment about Whit.  As a fellow blogging (check me out at www.kitchencourage.com), running, yoga-ing sold-out-on-God gal, I find so much encouragement in her posts here, as well as excellent meal ideas (my current favorite from the Getting Fit kitchen: microwaved fruit topped with yogurt and cereal — yum!).

Okay, enough of the rabid blogger fan-girl.  Let’s save that for Twilight, shall we?

When Whit suggested sharing one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes with you, I knew immediately what ingredient would be the star: pumpkin!  I am a pumpkin (and squash) addict.  I simply cannot get enough.  I put pureed pumpkin into just about everything : chili, salad, yogurt, eggs, peanut butter — and the list goes on!  And that does not even touch on the non-pureed forms of squash, like the ubiquitous butternut squash fries, roasted maple-drizzled acorn squash, or spaghetti squash smothered with salsa and avocado.  Have I mentioned that I like squash?

When you add squash to the Thanksgiving holiday, the result is, naturally, pumpkin pie.  Tasty and amazingly spiced and creamy and — I’m gushing again, aren’t I?  Still, of all the pies in the world, pumpkin pie is not only delicious, but it also happens to be the healthiest.  The pumpkin variety of this dessert tends to clock in with more nutrition (fiber!) and less desired dessert fallout (sugar!  trans fats!) then its apple or pecan brethren.  If you want to indulge without going too crazy, pumpkin pie is the way to go.

Of course, pumpkin pie is good all year round.  What to do then?  I’ll share my solution to that conundrum — my recipe for Harvest Spiced Squash Pie.  I first created this for the Royal Foodie Joust in autumn of 2008 (read my unveiling post here: http://www.kitchencourage.com/2008/10/apple-er-acorn-of-my-eye-squash-pie.html).  This is a crust-less of pumpkin pie that not only makes a fantastic addition to your Thanksgiving Day table, but also doubles as an any-time nutritious treat.  I’ll confess, though — the leftovers of this pie constituted more than one lunch or dinner!  The fact that my husband doesn’t like pumpkin at all was good news, because that simply meant more pie for me!

In the recipe below I used a combination of acorn squash and canned pumpkin puree, but feel free to substitute in your favorite mashed squash.  Also, I garnished this particular pie with orange maple syrup, which added a surprising flavor twist.  As with all of my recipes, I encourage you to play with this and make it your own.  For more nutritious recipes, pumpkin-themed or otherwise, stop by Kitchen Courage (www.kitchencourage.com).  Thanks for reading! 

For the pie:
1.5 cup skim milk
1/2 cup egg replacers (or 2 eggs, beaten)
1/2 cup acorn squash, mashed
1.5 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp sage
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray (I use a spray with a canola oil base).
To harvest the acorn squash, slice it in half. Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. (I saved the seeds and roasted them while the pie baked — simply sprinkle them with cinnamon and sage and leave them in the oven for about 15 minutes or until browned and crispy-dry. I let mine go for too long and burned them, but I like them that way!) Fill a slightly concave plate with water and place one half of the acron squash face down in it. Microwave until the skin is tender (at least 5 minutes, often closer to 10 depending on the squash’s size). Let the squash sit until cool enough to handle, then scoop out the flesh (or, alternatively, peel the skin away if tender enough). Mash the flesh slightly. One half of a small acorn squash provides enough for this recipe, but feel free to experiment with different ratios of acorn squash to pumpkin puree (for which I used canned pumpkin).

Making pie by betherann

In a blender, combine the milk, eggs, cornstarch, and vanilla. Add the acorn squash and pumpkin and continue to blend. A lovely froth will foam over the surface of the mixture. Add the rest of the spices and puree for at least two minutes. Scrape down the blender’s sides with a spatula every so often. When fully integrated, pour the mixture into the pie pan.

Harvest spiced squash pie by betherann
Bake 50-60 minutes, or until browned at the edges and cooked through the center. The pie will not be completely solid, but should hold its form when sliced. The pie will rise substantially while baking, so you may want to either use a deep dish pie pan or place the regular sized pie pan on top of a baking sheet.
Allow the pie to cool before slicing and serving. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings, or try my orange maple syrup with a sprinkling of roasted acorn squash seeds and a dollop of rich Greek yogurt. This pie tastes great fresh or chilled!

For the syrup:
1 T orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used sugar-free)
1 generous shake of cinnamon
(Use as much or little cinnamon as you prefer. My "generous shake" came from a Costco-sized jar of the spice, so it probably amounted to at least 1 teaspoon, if not more. Trust your palate on this one!)

Combine the concentrate, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir until blended. If you like your syrup warm, heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Harvest spiced squash pie by betherann

Happy Thanksgiving, and may the squash be with you!
Beth of Kitchen Courage  🙂


Thanks so much Beth! This looks fabulous and I can’t wait to try it!

PS: Beth mentioned Twilight above? I finally saw New Moon last night! OMG…so good! 😀

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As most of you know, I have been reading The Shack over the last few weeks.

What? You didn’t know that?

Well I have.

So now, the time comes for me to weigh in on my thoughts.

Personally, I loved the book. I know it is a controversial book, with some people not agreeing with the message, and others feeling mislead by the style.

I went into the book knowing it was a work of fiction. So is Pilgrim’s Progress. It does not make the book any less moving or spiritual.

I can truly say that The Shack changed my life.

There are only two books I can say that about, and coincidentally they are both spiritual/religious books.

1. The Message Bible

2. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

Both of these books had a great impact on how I viewed spirituality and my personal relationship with Christ.

The Shack had an even greater impact.

The way the author portrays the Holy Trinity and Jesus’ relationship with God is incredible. He weaves a story, so brilliant and believable, that it brings you to tears at points and highs of exhilaration at others.

My favorite part was how he noted that ‘on Papa’s hands he (Mac) saw the same marks as on Jesus’ hands’ when he explained that God never forsook, nor left Jesus on the cross. He instead wrapped him in his arms and was pierced with the nails as well. It reiterates the point that God will never leave us, nor forsake us either. He will always be there, wrapping us in his arms and holding us tight as we face controversy and sorrow, death and sadness. He is there when we experience true love, miracles and wonder as well. He loves us as we love our own children.

It is said that there is no greater love than that of a mother and a child. After reading this book, I tend to disagree. I truly believe that God loves us greater than we, as humans, can comprehend. If you know the love of a mother, or you are a mother yourself, just stop and think; if you had created something with your own hands, and not just your body, how much you would love it. How much God must love us, to create us in his image, and give us this wonderful world to live in.

A world full of peanut butter, running shoes and spinach.

You knew I had to go there, didn’t you?

Sorry, but truly, those are things I LOVE, that would not be possible, had God not given them to us.

So, in conclusion I say, definitely read The Shack. It may present God in a whole new light, one you had never seen him in before. It may change your relationship with Him. Or, you may not like it at all, and totally disagree with me.

Hey, God made us all different for a reason.

He is still quite fond of us all in our own special way.

PS: The ending of the book? Incredible. Incredible.

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Augh, I don’t know what has gotten into me! I was so tired still this morning, that I turned over and hit the snooze button continuously until I could hit it no more. I finally drug myself out of bed at 6:45 again. I am not in love with this new habit.

I am however, in love with my Whole Foods preserves.


DSCN0547 DSCN0548

This morning was PB&J pita toast.

So good, so fast.

I actually got to eat that in the kitchen instead of the car, and it was totally portable. Just goes to show how fast it really was.

Slowly but surely I am getting back into my work groove. Who knows, by Friday I will probably be all settled in, and then it will be over.


This was over too soon.


Mushroom and Spinach wrap

  • 1 flat out
  • spinach
  • 3.5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 laughing cow wedge

I just sauteed the mushrooms and spinach in a pan for a few moments and then plopped it in a wrap with some Laughing Cow, and called it a meal.

With some plummies on the side, o’ course.




Now if snack time will just hurry up.

It’s gonna be AMAZING.

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like a kite

So due to late night Elvis posing and blog posting + coffee consuming, I did not go to bed until well in the morning.

*Note to self: Do not blog, twitter or facebook whilst on a caffeine high.

After a not so satisfying night’s sleep I woke up to consume more coffee…


Yes, I know it’s empty. Cause I drank it all, that’s why.

Not alone of course.


With a blueberry muffin parfait, cause no one likes a lonely coffee.


Blueberry muffin parfait was so delicious, I may have to recreate it tomorrow.


Good thing it’s so easy.

  • 1 TJ’s vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 blueberry muffin
  • blueberries
  • kashi crunch
  • flax (sprinkled over the top.)

I kind of did not want to finish it.

Alas, all good things must come to an end.

Until tomorrow morning…when we shall meet again.

Unfortunately for you guys I shall be back at lunch.

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Sleep, oh glorious sleep. I have decided I don’t get enough of it.

I think I made up for it with my impromptu nap last night + sleeping in until 6:20 this morning. I did not do a morning workout, opting instead for a nice long shower and pancakes.

mmmmm pancakes.


Blueberry pancakes topped with mashed banana syrup. Mashed banana syrup is 1 banana + 1 teaspoon maple syrup mashed together for optimum yumminess factor. I also had miscellaneous blackberries and raspberries on the side.

Very much what I needed to get my day started, not to mention it kept me full until lunch time.

I decided on pita pockets again since mine were so delectable yesterday.


Pita pockets + more rainier cherries (my new obsession).

What’s in those pockets?


Sneak peek!


  • shrimp
  • 1/2 a tomato
  • small bell pepper

which was cooked in hot sauce and popped in the pockets, then topped with spinach.

Fab-u-liss. Or fabulous bliss. Whichever way you care to put it. Mine is shorter, ha!

I treated myself to a strip tease at snack time.


Work it Clif!

Speaking of hotness, he hopped in the microwave for 20 seconds. Oh babay!

When I got home I also snacked on some unpictured edamame things. Like a few crackers and few chocolates.

Then I hit the basement for some quality Jillian time. In the words of Cecily, who was attempting to be my workout partner: ‘That lady hates people! She makes them work hard!’ Oh to be four again!

I finished up with some Yoga for Core which was sorely needed. Don’t wanna neglect that core!

I then headed upstairs for a protein fix.

My favorite grain, quinoa!


Very cheesy. Just like a good pick up line.

I play the field, and it looks like I just hit a home run with you.

More of those cherries + bloobs.


I also snacked on some unpictured watermelon that Mama D cut up.

Cheesy Quinoa


1 cup dry quinoa

4 cups spinach

2 cloves minced garlic

Drizzle of olive oil

1/2 white onion

1 cup water

1 cup almond milk

2 laughing cow cheese wedges ¼ cup feta cheese (or any combination of cheese you choose.) 


Set some time aside to rinse the quinoa to remove the bitter outside coating. You’ll need a sieve or a very fine meshed strainer. Heat the olive oil on medium heat, then add onion.  Saute until onions are soft and fragrant. Add garlic and quinoa and continue cooking for a couple minutes. Add liquids and bring to a boil. Return to medium heat and cook for 10-15 more minutes, stirring frequently. When liquid is nearly reduced, add spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, leaving pan on hot burner, and add cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

This recipe is based off of one from my pal Kacy over at Low and Behold. It’s one of the best quinoa recipes I’ve ever tried. Veddy, veddy good. Thanks for sharing it Kacy!


The bible talks about sharing:

Proverbs 15:17 (The Message)

Better a bread crust shared in love than a slab of prime rib served in hate.


Now I must be off, for I have some muffins in the oven.


Blueberry muffins, Jenna style! Thanks for sharing as well, Jenna!


PS: I will probably have to sample at least half of a muffin before bed.


That’s all!

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*read at your own risk*

With his adorable crush on Ginny Weasley. Although not as detailed as it is in the books, Harry’s love for Ginny is sweetly portrayed in ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.’

Severus is creepy as always.

Severus is one of my favorite Harry characters period.

Followed closely by Dumbledore.

There were sniffles heard when these two clashed.

Hermione continued to moon over Ron.

I love Ron, but Hermione is not only a talented little witch, but she is not lacking in the looks department. Get your head together boy!

Romilda, or worse Lavender…what are you thinking???

Luna delivered chuckles.

She is another favorite of mine. I love her costumes and her silly dreamy voice. She never fails to make me giggle hysterically.

I really don’t want to give away a lot of details, although if you have read the books, you have them all. I loved the last books because Harry and Co. were starting to grow up and experience teenage angst. Who doesn’t love some good teenage angst, especially if the teenagers can concoct love potions and curse one another?

You knew I couldn’t leave our resident bad boy out. Draco and his ‘secret mission’ take up much of the plot line.

That’s ok. I like Draco. He is sufficiently creepy. Even more so under the protection of Snape.

All in all, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince delivered. I love the books and as always the movie did not disappoint. The ending was sweet and sad, just as the book is; but if you had not read the book it definitely does not leave you on the edge of your seat wondering what happens next. It gives too much closure. Of course I know what happens in Book 7, so I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment of Harry Potter!

The verdict: Definitely worth your time and money. Go spend your $10.00 and 2.5 hours. You will not be disappointed.

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That’s what I am going to end up with if I continue my relationship with these hotties.


I had one with a baby monster for brekkie this morn.


bloob love.

Baby monster contained:

  • 1/2 frozen naner
  • 1.5 handful spinach
  • 1/2 scoop PB
  • 1/2 scoop DCD
  • 1/2 scoop whey protein
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 4 ice cubes


What was equally as yum was lunch.

I have been dreaming this up since my lunch at Panera Monday.


A tomato-mozzarella wrap.

  • 1 flatout
  • 3 slices tomato
  • 1 LC cheese
  • 1 spoonful marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

I cooked in a skillet for about 5-7 minutes for optimum meltiness.


Angels were singing.

Served with some of my sorely missed squash + onion.


and cherries of course!


You really can’t beat $1.99 a lb! I may or may not have picked up another bag today.


I wolfed that down and hightailed it over the the hospital.

Why you ask? Well just to see the most beautiful baby in the world! My friend Courtney and her hubby are the proud new parents of gorgeous little Brooklyn Kate, and it was imperative that I give her a visit. I wanted to take her home with me. Babies are so sweet. Except for that pooping thing.

I hightailed it back outta there before I started picking up strange men to be my baby daddy was late for my lunch break.

The rest of the afternoon was uneventful.

Except for some random muffin consumption around 3.


I feel a muffin top coming on!

I was a lucky duck and got off work a little early which allowed for a trip to TJ’s.

PB Puffins, dark chocolate edamame and almond milk here I come.

On the way home I snacked on this new find:


Oh babay.

Now I am going to finish up this post so I can get ready for my BIRTHDAY WEEKEND! Yes I am having a whole birthday weekend.

Starting at CABO FISH TACO with my girls and ending up who knows where? There’s gonna be some lake time fo’ sure and some cake time most definitely!

Stay tuned cause birthdays = gifts. *hint hint*


Acts 20:35 (NIV)

…’It is more blessed to give than receive.’

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