Magazine Girl brings Fun Gingerbread Recipe

December 5, 2007 at 7:17 pm | Posted in carrot puree, Dessert | 1 Comment

My friend Rebecca enjoys her magazines. She likes everything from Sunset to People, Parenting to Cooking Light…and so do I. And every few months she brings me a huge bag of magazines to enjoy. This past month was no different, but this time among my stack of celebrity gossip and decorating ideas was a small newspaper/food network special edition periodical called Holiday.

Inside Holiday was a piece on winning desserts and one recipe in particular, the Gingerbread S’mores Bread Pudding, instantly drew me in. It is from Carolyn Pendley in Oklahoma City. She says, “I developed this recipe for a class I taught on herbs and spices. I wanted a way to showcase ginger and yet satisfy my chocolate sweet tooth. I also wanted an unusual dish to serve during the holidays in place of a traditional dessert.”

I’m sure Carolyn’s original recipe is the fabulous. But in an effort to try a veggie, I added carrot puree and dropped the butter and sugar amounts. She also called for crystallized ginger to be folded into the cake and 8 oz of Heath or Skor toffee bits to be sprinkled in the s’mores, I omitted these.

Gingerbread S’mores
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 T unsalted butter at room temp
3/4 cup light molasses
2 large eggs
1/2 cup carrot puree
2 cups flour
2 t baking soda
1 1/4 t ground cinnamon
1 1/2 t ginger
1/2 t salt
1/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup boiling water
1 bag large marshmallows
1/2 bag chocolate chips
1 cup half and half

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 inch pan with non-stick spray.
Using an electric or standing mixer, beat sugar and butter until blended. Beat in molasses. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in carrot puree. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt into liquid and mix until blended. Slowly beat in whipping cream then boiling water. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on rack then cut the cake into chunks and remove from pan. S’mores:
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a random manner, layer the gingerbread chunks and marshmallows in same 9×13 inch pan. (I did not clean the pan, but I did try to get out most of the crumbs). Sprinkle with chocolate chips then pour half-and-half over the gingerbread. Bake for 15 minutes. Watch the marshmallows, after about 8 minutes you may need to cover with foil to prevent the marshmallows from burning. Serves 12.The skeptic in me: Are you serious? 1/2 cup of carrot mush over 12 servings is not a nutritional boost. Give your kids a multi-vitamin and be done with it already. This dessert has cream, marshmallows, chocolate chips, sugar and butter…there is no way some carrots are going to make it nutritionally sound.

The hopeful in me: All true, however, taking the originally recipe and lowering the sugar and butter amounts by adding carrots…well, that’s something.


November 27, 2007 at 3:16 am | Posted in carrot puree, Family Meals, spinach puree | 2 Comments

Baby Spinach, so easy and so good for you! I’ve made these hamburgers a couple of times now and each time my kids raved and ate.

Hamburgers (with spinach and carrots)
1.25 lbs lean ground beef
1/2 cup baby spinach puree*
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Shape patties, some big for adults, some mini for the kids. On a non-stick pan sprayed with cooking spray, cook hamburgers 5-7 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are. Mom Tip: While the patties cook, have the kids cut out buns using wheat bread and cookie cutters. Tonight my kids used gingerbread, Christmas tree, and stocking shapes. My son refused to let me photo his tree shaped burger, but it was so cute!

*Baby spinach is super easy because there is no cooking necessary! Just grab a big handful of clean baby spinach and put it in the food processor.

carrots carrots carrots

October 29, 2007 at 11:29 pm | Posted in carrot puree, how to puree | 1 Comment

First, inspiration came when I saw Megan’s recipe, “The Monkey Bread Goes Wild For Garlic”, I sat up and took notice. Come on now, this looks sooo good!

And Sara Moulton’s recipe for Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup would be oh-so-good with the bread (I just omit the mushrooms).

So I headed off this morning to my local Trader Joes and picked up the necessary ingredients for this great make ahead soup.

There, I picked up this big bag of baby carrots. Hmmm…some for the soup, some for carrot puree, and some for cruidites before dinner tonight.

Here’s how my 24 oz bag of carrots was divided into these three recipes:First is easy, just take a sandwich size ziploc bag and put in enough baby carrots for a vegetable plate, about 1/3 of the bag.

Then, take out the second 1/ 3 of carrots out of the bag and cut them up for the Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup. Finally, take the last 1/3 of carrots, microwave cook for about 4 minutes, puree, and then package them into 1/2 cup amounts in snack-size ziplock bags. Don’t forget to label the carrot puree bag with the date, contents and amount packaged.

Not My Grandmother’s Bran Muffins

October 29, 2007 at 10:02 pm | Posted in breakfast, carrot puree, flaxseed meal, sweet potato puree | 1 Comment

My grandmother is the picture of health. At 86 years she amazes me. Not only can she keep up, she usually sets the pace. And what is she eating? Bran muffins for breakfast. Trouble is, I don’t remember her bran muffins tasting any good. Hmmmmm.

Today I’m in a baking kind-of-mood so I made the recipe for bran muffins again (apple cinnamon muffins), this time omitting the apples. Thing is, my daughter didn’t like these. She thought they were too plain because they didn’t have the apples, go figure. I guess I’ll be noshing on these myself for the next couple of weeks.

Tip: Store these in the freezer, and defrost as needed in the microwave for an easy breakfast.

Turkey Burgers

October 27, 2007 at 1:39 am | Posted in carrot puree, Family Meals | 1 Comment

Turkey Burgers for All! I love a meal that we can all enjoy. Here’s what I did:

  1. Mix a pound of ground turkey with 1/2 cup carrot puree, 1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs, garlic powder, seasoned salt, salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Heat a pan with some olive oil or just spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Form small patties for the kids (cook 5 minutes one side, flip and cook another 5 minutes on the other side, check for doneness by cutting one open with a knife).
  4. While the turkey burgers cooked, I took some whole wheat sandwich bread and cut out Halloween shapes with cookie cutters.
  5. I had my kids assemble their own burgers.

Mom tip: For the adults, just make a couple of bigger burgers, garnish with spinach, tomatoes, cheese and red bell peppers.

And yes, my hubby liked them too (even had a second)!

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

October 12, 2007 at 8:55 pm | Posted in breakfast, carrot puree, flaxseed meal, sweet potato puree | 2 Comments

Fiber, Fiber, Fiber! The American Heart Association, says that “fiber is important for the health of the digestive system and for lowering cholesterol.” According to Dr. Oz, we American’s don’t get enough fiber in our diets. Flaxseed is a great way to get our needed daily fiber plus, it’s high in omega-3s, fabulous!

In search of flaxseed, I headed to my local Trader Joe’s and found “Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal”. This flaxseed meal was also highly used in Jessica Seinfeld’ book, Deceptively Delicious. Here’s my take on Mini Bran Muffins using carrot and sweet potato puree…

  • 1 1/2 cup white flour
  • 3/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 3/4 cup oat bran
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1/2 cup carrot puree
  • 1 granny smith apple peeled, sliced cut into small pieces
  • 1 fuji apple peeled, sliced and cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix together Flaxseed meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Then mix in sweet potato puree, carrot puree and the 2 apples. Mix the milk and vanilla into the beaten eggs then add them to the mixture. Fill mini-muffin cups.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes. Take care not to over bake.

The big question is, would my kids eat them? Out of the oven, they smelled delicious. The warm apple and cinnamon smell filled out house. My daughter came running and with her first taste, “yummm”. Little does she know I just filled her with flaxseed meal, oat bran, apples, carrots and sweet potato.

Mom Tip: I got my kids involved in this recipe with my Pampered Chef, “Apple Peeler/ Corer/ Slicer”. They love this tool, plus, the apple is so appealing in it’s long ribbons, they snacked on the apple slices while I finished making the muffins.

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