Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lightened-up Pumpkin Bread with an Fluffy Pumpkin Spread

This pumpkin bread is lightened up so you can afford to lather up the spread on these slices.
Years ago, I found this recipe in a healthy cooking Taste of Home cookbook. Proving to my children they couldn't taste a difference in this recipe compared to the ones full of fat, I gave them a blind taste test. Each one picked the less fattening version as tasting better. Yay!

Whether you want to try this one or use your favorite stand-by recipe, you must try the spread. I'm afraid my children don't eat pumpkin bread without this now. It makes a lot, so we usually run out of bread before spread. So begins the cycle. Make more bread. Run out of spread. Make more spread for the leftover bread. Repeat.

Lightened-up Pumpkin Bread (courtesy of Taste of Home)

2 1/4 c. sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/3 c. cake flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c. canola oil

1. In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, buttermilk, applesauce and oil. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.

2. Transfer to two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Pumpkin spread

1 16 oz. container of Cool Whip
1 large (5 oz. ) pkg. Instant Vanilla Jell-O pudding mix
1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin
1/2 - 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

In a large bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cucumber Mini Toasted Bites and a STEAL on a Mandoline Slicer

I can't get enough of these little cucumber toasty bites. Adapted from Taste and Tell's blog I have made these several times and probably have eaten more than my share. They are a quick and unique appetizer I think you'll like.

Cucumber Mini Toasted Bites 

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 of a (.06 oz.) package of dry Italian season dressing mix
1 baguette
1 English cucumber, sliced
1-2 T dill weed
olive oil

Slice baguette and brush each slice with a little olive oil.
Toast them in an oven at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
Blend the cream cheese, mayo and Italian dressing mix together.
Once baguettes are cooled, spread dressing on top of each slice.
Top with a cucumber.
Sprinkle dill on each one.

I recently bought this Mandoline Slicer that made slicing the cucumbers much easier. It's very affordable, but you can get it for a steal at 40% off with a special code for my readers. Use code ZI6ZU5ST at checkout and you'll get $8 off! I've always wanted one of these. This is a simple one that is so easy to use and cleans up well in the dishwasher. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Book Darts

I know a lot of you love to read like me. Indeed if you are truly like me, you have a million books in the works at a time, so you need a lot of bookmarks.

I found these darling little Book Darts  a while back that spoke to me. I attend a book club where we often want to refer back to a part of the book for a discussion. Rather than have a bunch of sticky note/flags, these darts come in handy for marking a spot. Of course, they can also just be a sole bookmark in the book you're reading.

They are pliable and can fit just a few pages to a clump of pages. 

By the way, have you read this Melissa Michael's book? I am only into it a chapter or so, but I can tell it will be a game changer for me.