Archive for October, 2009

IMGP3853These pumpkin muffins are so yummy and healthy and a must make recipe for fall. The more healthy ingredients, the less guilt, so I add raisins and walnuts to the mix. Pumpkin is also super healthy for you- it is high in beta carotene, zinc, potassium, and fiber. So if you need any excuse for eating pumpkin treats, you have them now! ūüôā Here is the recipe for my pumpkin muffins. Enjoy!


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ¬Ĺ cup milk
  • 2¬†eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¬Ĺ cup¬†canola oil
  • 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup raisins (more if you like, I put up to 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts¬†(more if you like, I put up to 1 cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare muffin tins by placing paper cups in them.
  3. Combine wet ingredients including pumpkin and sugar in a large mixing bowl and mix together.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and then gradually add this mixture into wet ingredients. Mix together by hand or using an electric or hand mixer. Add the raisins and walnuts at the very end and fold in with a wooden spoon.
  5. Spoon heaping amounts of batter into the muffin cups to about 2/3 of the way full.
  6. Place pans in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until cooked through, testing with a toothpick.


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IMGP3825I made this chicken chili last fall, and it was absolutely to die for. I don’t know why I haven’t made it since, but since I have been stuck inside for the past 2 days due to an early snowstorm in Colorado, which dumped about 18 inches of ¬†snow, I was getting a little stir-crazy. So I ventured out to the grocery store, got the ingredients for this chili, and got to work! I did a few things differently than the recipe, so feel free to just follow the recipe as is, or try what I did. Here is what I did differently: I boil the chicken instead of cook it in oil, which is a¬†little¬†more time-consuming, but we like pulled chicken better. Other than the chicken, I do everything in the crockpot (in the same order listed below), heated on high for the first two hours, then turn it to low until we are ready to eat it. I also don’t use hot sauce and I serve my chili with sides of corn, green pepper, avocado (if I have it), cornbread or corn muffins and/or brown rice. Those are my suggestions for sides, let me know if you have any other ideas! Tonight I made brownies too for dessert. It will be a yummy dinner!


  • Cooking spray
  • 2¬† pounds¬† skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2¬† cups¬† finely chopped onion
  • 2¬† garlic cloves, minced
  • 2¬† teaspoons¬† ground cumin
  • 1/2¬† teaspoon¬† dried oregano
  • 1¬† teaspoon¬† ground coriander
  • 2¬† (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 1¬† cup¬† water
  • 2¬† (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (such as Goya)
  • 1¬† (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2¬† teaspoon¬† hot pepper sauce
  • 1¬† cup¬† (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2¬† cup¬† chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2¬† cup¬† chopped green onions


  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cumin, dried oregano, and coriander; sauté 1 minute. Stir in chiles; reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes, partially covered. Add the chicken, water, cannellini beans, and broth; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in hot sauce. Ladle 1 cup of chili into each of 8 bowls; sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and 1 tablespoon green onions.

Nutritional Information

  • Calories:¬†233 (23% from fat)
  • Fat:¬†5.9g (sat 3.1g,mono 1.6g,poly 0.5g)
  • Protein:¬†32.7g
  • Carbohydrate:¬†11.7g
  • Fiber:¬†3.4g
  • Cholesterol:¬†78mg
  • Iron:¬†3.2mg
  • Sodium:¬†694mg
  • Calcium:¬†180mg

Recipe courtesy of: Mercy Ingraham, Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2004













Corn Muffins














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Everyday I find little nuggets of wonderfully interesting and valuable information in my inbox, courtesy of Lei Chic.¬† The topics cover all of the fantastic places, people and things found here in Hawaii (if you live here and you haven’t registered for their e-mails you’re missing out!) and have been the source of great ideas and wonderful finds more times than not.

Case and point, the most recent message I received contained the following recipe for a Pumpkin Patch cocktail created by the talented team at Downtown’s thirtyninehotel (love this place).¬† This thing looks decadent to say the least (hello! cream cheese frosting on the rim of the glass!) but it’s an interesting take on pumpkin-yummness that I thought I would share.¬† Plus, what could be better than a marriage of pumpkin pie and a delish martini?!?¬† I’m thinking this could be a fantastic addition to Thanksgiving as well.¬† Give it a try and let me know how it goes…



Photo Credit: LeiChic.com

¬ĺ oz Vanilla Vodka
¬ĺ oz Sailor Jerry spiced rum (or another brand of spiced rum)
¬Ĺ oz carrot juice
2 tbsp. canned pumpkin
¬Ĺ oz heavy cream
Cream cheese frosting
Graham cracker crumbs
Grated nutmeg


Roll a martini glass rim in cream cheese frosting, and then in graham cracker crumbs. Add all other ingredients to a mixing glass, and shake with ice. Strain the drink into the glass. Finish with some fresh grated nutmeg on top.

Not in the mood to make it yourself?  Head down to thirtyninehotel, 39 Hotel Street, Chinatown where they will be serving them up this weekend!

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detailspg_cartons_reg_rmcPretty much ever since I have been in high school, I have been OBSESSED with the Carnation Instant Breakfast products. These are packets of flavored powder that you mix with skim milk to create a healthy and nutritious drink. I love to have these for snacks, since it is something filling to have in between meals, but it is also a great choice for breakfast, either made into a smoothie, or to have with some fruit to make a more balanced breakfast. 

So how nutritious are Carnation Instant Breakfasts? They have twice the protein of an egg, twice the calcium of yogurt, and over 21 essential vitamins and minerals per serving. With one cup of milk, the drinks have about 220 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving. Drink one Carnation Instant Breakfast a day and you are on your way to better health!

detailspg_RTD_vanMy favorite flavors are Rich Milk Chocolate and French Vanilla, but their other flavors are Classic Chocolate Malt, Strawberry Sensation, and Dark Chocolate. You can get them in No-Sugar Added too, if you are watching your sugar intake. In addition to the powder packets, you can also buy the Rich Milk Chocolate and French Vanilla flavors in ready to drink bottles, so no mixing required! 

Want to learn more about these products? Check out their website for more information, including where to buy them and recipes!

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images_2My friend Nancy told me about this Pumpkin Cake Recipe that she found in the November 2009 issue of Cooking Light Magazine. I immediately grabbed my magazine and found the recipe. It looks delicious and like a perfect treat for Halloween and Fall! I’m going to make it this weekend, just in time for the Halloween Festivities! ūüôā

Here is the recipe, straight from the Cooking Light Magazine!


  • 10.1 oz all purpose flour (2.25 cups)
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • Cooking spray


  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar¬†


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To prepare cake, weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuirng cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. 
  3. Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 tsp vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, to sugar mixture, beat well after each addition. Add pumpkin puree; mix well. Fold in flour mixture. Spread batter into a 13×9 inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  4. To prepare frosting, combine 2 tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and cream cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until combined. Graudally add the powdered sugar, beating until well combined. Spread frosting evenly over top of cake.  

Yields 24 servings; serving size: 1 piece

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Beef Stew_Food and Wine

Photo Credit: F&W Magazine

As I sit here flipping through the most recent edition of Food & Wine magazine over lunch, I am compelled to add a quick post of this recipe so that I don’t forget it…because that would just be a damn shame.¬† Judging from the picture, and the recipe explanation that emphasizes the use of only red wine for the sauce – no water or stock – this might just be perfection in a pot.¬† As the chilly weather sets in, this version of chef Jacques P√©pin’s boeuf bourguignon is going to be a new favorite I’m sure…

Here is the recipe straight from the F&W site:

Prep time: 1 hour

Total prep/cook time: 2 hrs 40 min

Serves: 4


  1. 2 pounds beef from the flatiron part of the shoulder
  2. 1 tablespoon butter
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. Salt
  5. Pepper
  6. 1 cup finely chopped onion
  7. 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  8. 1 tablespoon flour
  9. 1 bottle of red wine
  10. 2 bay leaves
  11. 1 sprig fresh thyme
  12. 15 cipollini or pearl onions
  13. 15 cremini mushrooms
  14. 15 baby carrots
  15. 5-ounce piece of pancetta
  16. 1/4 cup water
  17. Dash of sugar
  18. Chopped fresh parsley


  1. Buy about 2 pounds of beef from the flatiron part of the shoulder. Remove the skin or sinew from the top. Alternatively, use lean beef chuck in the same manner. Cut the meat into 8 pieces.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350¬į. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast-iron pot that is attractive enough for the table. Arrange the meat in one layer in the pot, and season it with salt and pepper. Cook on top of the stove over high heat for about 8 minutes, browning the meat on all sides.
  3. Add 1 cup of finely chopped onion and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic. Cook over moderate heat for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon of flour. Mix in well so that the flour doesn’t form lumps. Stir in 1 bottle of red wine. Add 2 bay leaves, a sprig of fresh thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir well and cover.
  4. Place the pot in the oven and continue to cook for about 1 1/2 hours; the meat should be soft and tender and the liquid properly reduced. The recipe can be prepared to this point up to a day ahead.
  5. For the garnishes, peel 15 cipollini or pearl onions, wash 15 cremini mushrooms and peel 15 baby carrots. For the lardons, you will need one 5-ounce piece of pancetta. Bring the pancetta and 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for about 30 minutes; drain. Cut the pancetta into 1/2-inch slices and then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons.
  6. Combine the onions, mushrooms, carrots and pancetta in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water and a good dash each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes; at this point, there should be practically no water left. Uncover and cook over high heat, sautéing the vegetables until nicely browned on all sides, about 4 minutes.
  7. To serve, mix some of the vegetables and lardons into the stew and sprinkle the rest on top as a garnish. Add a little chopped fresh parsley and serve.
And because you can never have enough wine…

Pairing Suggestion

Though Jacques‚Äôs hearty stew is inspired by boeuf bourguignon, classically flavored with red Burgundy, he prepares his version with the rich red wines of the southern Rh√īne, particularly those made from the Carignan grape. Two great wines to seek out‚ÄĒfor cooking and drinking‚ÄĒare the gently tannic 2004 Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss Perri√®res, from the Costi√®res de N√ģmes region, or the wild herb-scented 2004 Domaine de Nizas Carignan.

Ah yeah, can you say YUMMMM!

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Tabbouleh is a Lebanese dish, made¬†traditionally¬†of bulgur,¬†chopped¬†parsley,¬†mint,¬†tomato,¬†spring onion, lemon juice,¬†olive oil¬†and various seasonings. I have never made tabbouleh before, becuase it always seemed so complicated, but then I saw it in the grocery store in a box that included all of the basic ingredients. You can’t get much easier than that! The brand that I found is Near East, and I immediately trusted that it would be yummy, since I love all of their rice and couscous varieties. I picked up a box of tabbouleh as well as some fresh ingredients- a tomato,a cucumber, and some carrots to add some color and vitamins and nutrients to the tabbouleh. I also got some salmon, since I thought it would pair well with the tabbouleh (and it did!)

The instructions on the box are easy to follow, just know that it is a bit of a time-consuming dish (you need to let it chill in the fridge to let the bulgur absorb the water for 30 minutes and then another at least 60 minutes after stirring in the tomato, lemon juice, and olive oil), so make it well in advance before you want to eat it.

Tabbouleh is a great side dish and pairs well with tofu, chicken, seafood, and steak. Since it is served cold, it is best to have for a fall or summer dish. It’s also¬†nutritionally¬†very good for you- it has 120 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and low sodium, sugar, and carbs per serving.¬†

Want to pick up a box of the tabbouleh that I got? Click here and you can learn more about it, exactly how to make it, and where you can buy it.


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