Kale, Pine Nut and Ricotta Honey Pizza

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Pizza is an American favorite in the homes of everyone.  Changing up the monotony of pepperoni or cheese can be challenging; but, this kale, pine nut and ricotta honey pizza deviates from boring.

The mix of ingredients have a variety of nutrients.  Kale not only is a green vegetable, it, like celery, is zero calories and high in fiber.  Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.  The pine nuts should be used in moderation but provide essential fats.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I used Pam in place of olive oil to save calories and lower the fat content.
  2. Be sure to toast the pine nuts.  They take only two minutes stovetop and can burn easily.  Toasting the nuts provides a nutty aroma.
  3. I used honey in place of nutmeg.  The honey gives the pizza sweetness and softens the tart flavor of ricotta.
  4. Use as much of the ingredients as you’d like.  The toppings should proportion to the size of your pizza.
  5. I used an eight-inch Boboli pizza crust that was premade.
  6. I used the ricotta in place of sauce by spreading it along the crust.  Then, place pine nuts and kale sporadically.  Layer the top with mozzarella and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has browned.
  7. Kale takes a long time to cook–making pre-cooking the kale necessary for adding it to
    the pizza.

The pizza is sweet, savory and easy to make.  Within fifteen minutes, you have dinner on the table that will surprise your family.  Pepperoni, peppers and other boring flavors take a back seat to the new and improved taste of the pizza above.  Family and friends will think you spent hours preparing a delicious meal.

Leave a comment with your favorite pizza toppings.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

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Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

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With fall almost over, I have been on a pumpkin buzz.  These pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls are worth those extra calories.  They are simple, but delicious.  The cinnamon rolls work well on Thanksgiving morning for all of your family and friends or during any festive occasion.  Making pumpkin desserts are my specialty and these rolls do not disappoint.  With all the chaotic Thanksgiving cooking, start off with a delicious meal that will wow guests and still leave time for you to sleep in.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. We used Pillsbury Cresent Rolls.  You can also use Pillsbury Grands or your own dough
    of choice.pumpkinpiecinnamonrolls3
  2. I used my homemade pumpkin puree.
  3. I used half the amount of butter.  You just need to brush the dough lightly.
  4. I used the dough as one single sheet; however, I suggest separating the cresent rolls and making cinnamon cresents.  The cresent rolls already have perforated edges that cause the filling to leak out and the dough is difficult to cut.
  5. The cinnamon rolls took about 20-25 minutes to bake completely.  Be sure to keep the tops from burning and the centers cooked all the
    way through.
  6. Be sure to cream the cream cheese in the mixer.  It will help soften and incorporate the powdered sugar better.
  7. Add the powdered sugar in gradually to prevent a mess and allow an even mixing.
  8. As you mix the powdered sugar into the cream cheese, you’ll notice that the frosting will become runnier and more of a glaze.
  9. Be sure to frost your cinnamon rolls right away because the frosting will harden if sat
    too long.

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These treats are far from healthy, but everything is okay in moderation.  Right?!  They make a great grab-and-go breakfast meal without all the hustle and bustle of taking hours to make.  Using the Pillsbury dough, alleviates all the time spent in perfecting the dough.  The recipe proves that delicious meals can be achieved in under an hour.

The sweetness of the frosting and the savory, cinnamon filling pair nicely together for decadent, sugary treats.  Since the dawn of time, pumpkin and cream cheese have been partners in crime.  The cinnamon rolls are just the hint of sweet needed after dinner or for a boost along with morning coffee.

Leave a comment with your favorite breakfast combinations.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Pumpkin Pecan Butter

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pumpkinpecanbutter2Beware: if you are on a diet or trying to stay slim, do not read any further!  I’ve recently found this pumpkin pecan butter.  It combines my two favorite categories: nut butters and pumpkin desserts.  With a few simple ingredients and 15 minutes, you have a delicious spread for breads, crackers or an empty spoon.

My favorite part of this recipe is the use of pecans.  Roasted pecans have a sweet almost caramelized flavor.  The concentration of heat draws out the deep nutty flavors of any nut.  Pecan butter is a healthier substitute to Nutella with more protein and healthy fat while still obtaining that sweet tooth flavor.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Roasting the nuts are important because it draws out the oils within and enhances
    the flavor.pumpkinpecanbutter3
  2. I used pure maple syrup because it has a sweeter more natural taste.  I only used three tablespoons because the pecans already create a sweet treat.
  3. The vanilla balances the flavors and tones the sweetness down.
  4. I used my own pumpkin puree.  It lacks the preservatives and aftertaste of canned pumpkin.
  5. The pumpkin adds a second dimension of flavor and gives the butter a creamy, light and tan appearance.
  6. Be sure to scrape the sides of the processor down to incorporate all
    the ingredients.
  7. To ensure it lasts for a longer period, I suggest refrigerating the butter in an
    airtight container.

Toasted, delicious and a sweet addition to any snack.  You’ll want to be sure to have family or friends around who you can share with.  The pumpkin pecan butter is highly addictive.  Use it in sugar cookies for a pumpkin pecan butter stuffed cookie or a morning breakfast toast spread.  The possibilities are endless and delicious!  This butter is a perfect taste of fall and Thanksgiving.  It’ll make your house fragrant and wow your guests.

Leave a comment with your favorite pumpkin recipes.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Pumpkin Spiced Pepitas

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Orange is the new black when fall comes around the corner.  Pumpkin spiced desserts and delicacies become the new favorite flavor.  One of the best holiday traditions about fall is carving pumpkins.  Not only will you have a decorative door step piece, but the leftover seeds make a delicious and nutritious snack.

Pumpkin seeds are also known as pepitas.  They are light and octangular in shape.  When cooked, they turn a golden brown and provide pallets with a crunch.  These seeds provide a large about of zinc, antioxidants and other vitamins for our bodies.  For ¼ cup of roasted seeds, you gain a variety of nutrients for 180 calories.

pumpkinspicedpepitasHere are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use as much all spice as you want.  Keep in mind that it is a strong spice; I used about ¼ a teaspoon for my ½ cup of pepitas.
  2. I used another ¼ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.  It provides that pumpkin flavor and a subtle taste to balance the all spice.
  3. I made my own allspice–even mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and ground cloves.
  4. Roast the pumpkin seeds in a 400 F oven.  Mine took about 13 minutes.
  5. Keep a close eye on them, flipping them to roast them evenly.  Once golden, take them out to keep them from burning.

Pumpkin seeds can be a great snack in the mid-afternoon to keep those munchies away.  Since they take more time to chew and digest, they are a great snack that keeps you satisfied.  Now, you won’t have to waste all the parts of a pumpkin when enjoying your annual carvings.

Add a glass of hot apple cider and enjoy your pumpkin spiced pepitas.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from
The Cooking Bug.