Tag Archives: Pumpkin

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats (Water Bath version)

You all know I loves me some pumpkin oats.  I especially love steel cut oats, but remembering to soak them the night before is kind of a pain.  I have been obsessed with the slow cooker lately, but have not been as happy with how overnight oats come out.   They can get burned on the edges and really don’t need to cook overnight. However, I am not willing to get up at 3 am to start the oats for breakfast, know what I mean?

There are 2 brilliant solutions to this, which I wish I had come up with, but I didn’t.  One is to use a programmable light timer to have the oats start cooking at a set time.  I need to get a light timer to try this some time.

The other is the water bath method.  This allows you to turn the cooker on when you go to bed and the water bath slowly cooks the food without burning it.  I have made 2 different kind of steel cut oats this way and love it!

What you need is a smaller baking dish that fits inside your slow cooker.  Ours happen to be souffle dishes, but whatever works for you.  Place a shallow heat proof plate (or a tinfoil snake) underneath the bowl so that it isn’t sitting directly on the bottom of the slow cooker.  You want to fill the crockpot with water to about halfway up the side of the inner dish.  Not to the top or it will bubble over into your food (not good).  This will gently cook the oats and not burn them, making cleanup much easier.  The oats come out with a more pudding texture, too.

My version of the pumpkin oats for 4 servings:

  • 1 cup of steel cut oats (not the rolled oats)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (you could just do water, I wanted a bit of creaminess)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 40 grams of dried cranberries
  • pinch of salt

Spray the smaller cooking dish with cooking spray.

Mix the oats, cranberries, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl.



Then mix in the almond milk, water and pumpkin.  Place the smaller cooking vessel into the crockpot and fill with water to come halfway up the side of the smaller dish.  Then pour in the oat mixture.

water level


Put the lid on,  turn the heat to low and kiss it goodnight.



This cooked for about 8 hours by the time I got up on New Year’s Eve and came downstairs.

It will not look like much when you open the lid.


Not really appetizing, eh? LOL.  Oats just don’t photograph well.  Anyway, give this a good stir and it will look much, much better.

I topped mine with a tablespoon of real maple syrup.  This recipe is unsweetened, so add what you like.

pumpkin oats

They are wonderfully creamy soft this way.

This recipe makes 4 servings (1-1/4 cup each approximately).  To reheat, just add a little water and heat in the microwave or on the stove top.

Nutritional info per serving:

213 calories,  3 grams of fat, 39 grams of carbs, 7.5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein.

** If you want to sweeten during cooking, try adding 1/4 cup of sweetener of choice to the mixture.  I would avoid cooking with artificial sweeteners because I believe they will break down with the long cooking time, but I don’t know for sure.  I like doing it unsweetened because then I can top with whatever I want, like maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, etc.

Healthy Heart Weekend is here!

It’s here!  The Healthy Heart Weekend!  You can still sign up through the weekend if you are just seeing this for the first time.  Send me your photos  to javaqueen01 (@) yahoo.com and what you did any time this weekend and I will do a round up post on Tuesday and pick the winners of the drawing.  I’ll be biking this weekend…indoors…

We’ve got to move it, move it!

Kicking off the Healthy Heart Weekend with this workout!

Exercise Set/rep/weight Muscle worked
Seated Cable Lat Row 3 sets of 10 at 50# Back
Dumbbell Incline Fly 3 sets of 10 with 15# DBs Chest
Dumbbell Squats 3 sets of 10 with 25# DBs (50# total) Lower Body
Reverse Crunch 3 sets of 15 Core
Stiff-legged Deadlift 3 sets of 10 with 25# DBs (50# total) Hammmies and low back
Bent Lateral Raise 3 sets of 10 with 10# DBs (20# total) Shoulders

I would have used the squat cage, but some guys had camped out in it. I didn’t want to work in because it would have been loading and unloading the barbell and I didn’t want to do that.  I walked some on the treadmill and then came home to breakfast.

Pumpkin oats topped with some creamed honey and toasted pecans.

Plus pour over coffee.  John is ordering the new coffee maker since I bought the espresso machine.  I hope it comes by next weekend for our Mardi Gras party!  Eeek!  😯

Busy work day today.  A new doctor was added on my account and I have to say that I love his voice!  That was a nice bonus today.

I was feeling the pumpkin love again for lunch today.  This is one of those times when I am eating what John calls my ‘weird food’.  This is a pumpkin protein shake made with just pumpkin, almond milk, cinnamon and unflavored protein powder.

I really like this shake, but most people probably wouldn’t because it is not sweet at all.  I just love the pumpkin flavor.  I realized that there wasn’t much fat in this meal, so I had some cashews with it.

For the Pixie lovers – she was being cute today.  Pixie is one of those weird cats that loves to have her tummy rubbed.  Most cats will go ballistic and scratch when you rub their tummies, but Pixie rolls right over when you come up to her.  She is very expectant here.

I don’t need my tummy rubbed, but I do like it filled with lattes!

I was so productive with work that I finished up early!  Yay for that on a Friday!  I even had my guitar practice done before dinner.  Sweet.  I had turkey again.  Here I said how tired I was of it, but nothing else was thawed out and I didn’t feel like an omelet.  So, I cooked up the turkey with some taco seasonings and put it on a potato with some sour cream.  It was really good!

Tonight is relaxing night.  I will ride the trainer for a little bit, but then have a quiet evening.  John is feeling a little better, but not enough to go paint the town red.

I will have a chocolate snack tonight as well.

This is really, really good, too.  Did I mention that Albany is getting a Trader Joe’s?  Now I will only have to drive an hour to pick up stuff.  They are supposed to open in late spring of this year.  Hopefully it really will be that soon.

Have a great Healthy Heart Weekend!

Pumpkin Pie Bars – grain free!

How about a Monday recipe post for a change?  Seeing as you all don’t want to see me on a weekday without the espresso machine… One is on the way, though.

And….. my magazine article came out and I have not gotten a copy yet, so I will talk about that on Tuesday!!  Eeeee – I am nervous!

So, here are the pumpkin pie bars that I messed around with and made grain free.  They came out quite good!



  • 1-1/2 cups of almond flour (see note below if you don’t have almond flour)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 7 oz (approx 3/4 cup) of lowfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Line a 9×9 baking dish with either a parchment or foil sling.  I didn’t do this and I think it will be easier if you do to get these out.

In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, sugars, and cinnamon together.

Add the butter and using your hands, knead the butter in like you would a pastry dough.

It will look like this:

Reserve 3/4 cup of this crust mixture.  Press the rest into the bottom of the 9×9 pan firmly.

Crust and reserved crumbs:

In the same bowl as you mixed the crust in (saving dishes!!), mix the egg, pumpkin, yogurt, spices, and salt.

Pour over the crust.

Jiggle the pan to make sure the filling is even. Now evenly sprinkle the reserved crust over the top.

Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.  The time may vary by 5 minutes or so depending on if your pumpkin came out of the fridge, which mine did.  You just want the center set like a pumpkin pie would be.

Cool completely and serve or refrigerate.  Slice into 16 pieces.  These are a little hard to get off the bottom of the baking dish, so I would recommend the sling.  It’s mostly the edge pieces that stick.  Eat with a fork!

I don’t have the nutritional info right now as I haven’t had time to do it.  They do have more fat due to the almond flour, but the pieces are small,and I certainly wouldn’t tell if you ate two.  😉

* if you don’t have almond flour, you can make these as a grain crust with 3/4 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of ground nuts (pecans or walnuts).

Pumpkins galore!

We narrowly escaped the snow for the Northeast!  We were predicted for a lot of snow, but it just skirted us and we only had a dusting.  Thank goodness because twice in 1 week for October would have been too much to handle.   I feel for the people a little south and east of us that were pounded.

It was a more quiet weekend around here.  What better thing to do than to carve pumpkins right before Halloween?

We use the Pumpkin Master patterns and bought a new booklet this year for a change.


Pumpkin carving tip:  Photocopy the pattern and reduce or enlarge to the size of your pumpkin so the pattern fits.

You put the pattern on the pumpkin and poke little holes through the pattern to transfer it to the pumpkin.


Then you can open the top and clean out the guts.

Thick pumpkin!!! I am saying right here and now that pumpkins stink when you open them up. I love pumpkins, love looking at pumpkins, love eating pumpkin,  but they smell when raw.

We don’t save the seeds.  I remember toasting pumpkin seeds and then never really liking them.  The seeds aren’t the same as the pepitas anyway.  Too fibrous.

Pumpkin carving tip: After you have transferred the pattern, wipe it with cornstarch so you can see the pattern.

Then cut out the pattern, making reference to the paper pattern so you don’t cut the wrong stuff.  Not that I have ever done that!

You can take a break from the carving with some homemade kettle corn, too!  Use oil to pop your corn (coconut is best!). When you put the kernels in to the hot oil, add 3 tablespoons of sugar to the kernels and pop as usual. Sprinkle with salt when it is done.  Voila, homemade kettle corn super easy!

Optional, but tasty!

Pumpkin carving tip:  Scrape the inner wall of the pumpkin thinner behind your pattern.  This will make it easier to carve and easier to see when back lit.

This one is one of my new favorite patterns, it came out so cool!

This witch is stirring a pot, but John said she looks like she is rocking out with a guitar.

John did an ad lib with his pattern and added a couple things. He made the RIP headstone and added a crescent moon. He is such a rebel!

Who says kids get all the fun on Halloween?

Non bagel day!

Rainy, rainy morning.  No biking today.  The people at the cafe also mentioned that fact that we didn’t bike there :mrgreen:   (might be that we are known for biking around these parts!) It still was supposed to be bagel day, though.  Except there were no wheat bagels available.  So what did I have instead? Pumpkin coffeecake!

This was good, but I was really full from it.  It actually kept me full for hours! Not sure I liked the sugar feeling, though.  I definitely don’t eat stuff like this for breakfast very often and not likely to change that.

Work was hard today.  Very difficult dictator all day long and it hurts my brain.  It always amazes me how being mentally exhausted also makes you physically tired.

I decided to boost my brain with a big protein hit for  lunch with chicken salad.  This was about 4 ounces of chicken!

Mixed with some mayo, curry powder, chopped apple and grapes.  Good stuff.

We have cold weather now.  High in the mid 40s, so Pixie was glommed onto me, which is fine.

Then she stretches out.

I had to move her at that point as I don’t type with 1 hand.

I took a break to make the lattes again today, but I skipped the liquor  :mrgreen:

Along with some nuts:

I finally slogged through work.  My brain was totally fried.  I couldn’t even think about dinner.  I stood there snacking on pretzels.  Don’t you love those times? Almost went to get a slice of pizza, but John decided to cook up a cube steak for us.  I couldn’t even muster up the energy to cook up any veggie, so I just cut up a pear  😳

One way to get the energy back up up?  Hit the gym!  My mother and I now belong to the same gym, so we hit the gym tonight.  Wednesday night is mother/daughter night and we get together for something.  What better than being active?

I made mom go into the Iron Den LOL!

Exercise Set/rep/weight Muscle worked
Split Squats 3 sets of 10 with 65# bar Lower body
Single Dumbbell Row 3 sets of 10 with 20# DBs (40# total) Back
Flat Dumbbell Fly 3 sets of 10 with 20# DBs (40# total) Chest
Horizontal Wood Chop 3 sets of 10 at 30# Core
Calf Raise 3 sets of 10 at 80# Calves
Triceps Pull Down 3 sets of 10 at 30# Triceps
Upright Row 3 sets of 10 with 15# DBs (30# total) Shoulders
Stiff Legged Deadlift 3 sets of 10 with 20# DBs (40# total) Hamstrings and low back

Weird seeing this table at the end, isn’t it? I can’t even remember the last time I did a nighttime gym workout. I think at least a couple years!

It felt good to work out.  You never, ever regret a workout.

Afterwards we stopped for a bit of decaf:

Today’s pink item?  Soap colorant:

This was used for my big soap order this week.

The Breast Cancer Site

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones

Fall is all about the pumpkin n’est pas?  I am loaded for bear with pumpkin now.   I wanted to make my whole wheat pumpkin scones, but since I am limiting the wheat, I wanted to see how well making them gluten free would turn out.  Turns out pretty well, as a matter of fact!


  • 2 cups of gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill) *see note below
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons of xantham gum
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 stick of cold butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon of milk.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, xantham gum, both sugars, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

(yeah, I am totally stealing the photos from the wheat scone recipe, but the technique looks exactly the same!)

Dice the butter into small pieces.  Make sure it is very cold butter. Add the butter to the dry mixture.

You can use a pastry wire cutter to mix in the butter, but I find that clean hands are your best tool for this job as you get a much better mixing.  You want the mixture to look kind of sandy when finished:

Combine the eggs, pumpkin and milk together and mix well.

Add to the dry ingredients.

Mix until everything is just moistened and turn out onto a well- floured surface.  Keep some flour nearby for dusting, as the dough will be very sticky.  I used probably a couple extra tablespoons of the flour to keep the dough from sticking.  Use more flour than the below picture.

Press the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 an inch thick, flouring your hands or the dough surface if need be.

Cut this in half the long way. Cut each half into 3 equal pieces, then cut each of those squares on the diagonal so that you have 12 pieces (each half of the above dough will make 6 triangles).


Carefully move the scones using a spatula to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.


Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.  Do not over bake.  These will not rise quite as high at the wheat scones. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Then enjoy!  Top with whatever you choose.  Me, I am partial to glaze.

For a quick frosting for 1 scone, mix 1 tablespoon of reduced fat cream cheese or neufchatel (not fat free, ever) with 1 tablespoon of confectioners sugar with a about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of milk to get a glaze consistency.

Nutritional stats:  Per scone (with no glaze). 156 calories, 5.5 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbs, 2.5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein.

If you add the above glaze, it will add 70 calories and 3 grams of fat per scone.

John was quite pleased with these scones.  He said if I hadn’t told him they were gluten free, he would not have guessed.  They are maybe a little more dense than wheat scones, but quite good.

** Note on the GF flour.  I used Bob’s Red Mill All purpose GF flour.  If you use another flour, make sure that it can be subbed 1:1 with regular flour in recipes. The package should state how much per cup of regular flour you need.

Gluten-free Monday

Hope you all had a very good weekend.  Mine was quite nice.  It all goes too fast, though.  I won the football picks for the week – so all is supreme in the land of Lori!  I did fix John breakfast this morning because I felt bad about gloating, which is quite unusual (the cooking breakfast part, not the gloating).  I made pumpkin custard oats for both of us!

Mine was topped with some of that lovely maple cream.  My goal was to eat gluten free today.

John got some molasses cooked in with his and pecans on top with maple cream.  Libby’s better get on the ball.  I have 1 hoarded can of pumpkin left.

Did you know that almond milk can go bad?  I did not.  I opened up an almond milk that we bought yesterday a month before its expiration date.  This is what it looks like.  This was supposed to go in my coffee.

Curds and whey anyone? :barf: It didn’t smell, thank goodness, but I did have to go to the store today to exchange it.

I was really productive today.  Much, much better than on Friday.  Must be because I won the football picks.   You know when things go well, they just keep going well, right?

Lunch time!

I really mean it now.  No more tuna for a looooong time.  This was so dry, even though I mixed it with light mayo.  The last of the hurricane Irene stash.  Even if we get some other weather prediction like another hurricane or blizzard or whatever, I am not buying more tuna.

I did, however, enjoy my afternoon latte!

This is topped with a drizzle of honey and some cinnamon.  A miel, in other words.  I don’t sweeten my lattes, but I do like a little drizzle of something on the foam.

Before getting dinner ready, I decided to make some gluten-free banana bread.  I am using Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour mixture.  My first foray into the multiple non-gluten flour blends.  While that was in the oven, I heated up dinner.

Chicken thigh, mango and sauteed brussel sprouts.  This was good!  The mango was just perfectly ripe.  I really should eat mango more often – it is such a tasty fruit.

After dinner I took a walk.  Come with me…

Someone has a tasty dinner planned  😯

Fall decorations abound now:


My shadow:

When you are 5 feet 2 inches tall, seeing your legs this long is really exciting!

My Broncos are on TV tonight for Monday Night Football.  However, it is the 2nd game which starts at 10:15 p.m.!  I will be asleep by the end of the first quarter, I think.

So how did that gluten-free banana bread come out?

Triple dipple thumbs up!  Gosh this was good.  You would never even guess it was gluten free, either.  I will post the recipe tomorrow.


Go Broncos!!

On pumpkin and C25K week 5!

Okay – I guess I am not alone leaving my nails buff nekkid!  It just seemed like I read a lot about manicures, but then after thinking about it, why would one announce that they were *not* doing their nails? (lightbulb moment).

Today was the start of week 5 for Couch to 5K.  I can’t believe it is week 5 of that already!  This week has 3 different workouts.  Today was a 5 minute warm up, then 5 minute run/3 minute walk with 3 repetitions.  Sometimes the walking irritates me because I am one of those persons who will plow through something until it is done and hates to stop.

I came in and started a banana bread breakfast pudding and got a pot of coffee brewing.  It was 50 degrees out for my run today!  I love the mornings at this time of year here in the Adirondacks 😀

Also a note on my pumpkin.  I stash pumpkin.  After the shortage a couple years ago, I totally learned my lesson.  I can’t believe I am going to share a secret, but check the little mom and pop grocery stores for pumpkin.  That is where I get a majority of my pumpkin stash from when the big stores are out.

My grain for the day was included in lunch.  I got this box at Aldi’s and it was only $2.

I forgot this stuff is cracknola.  I think it might have been a mistake to buy it as I forgot how much I loooooooove this stuff.

I had half a serving with some Fage 2% and strawberries.  Yummers.

I was having a hard time focusing on work today.  You know the kind of day I mean.  A little work… a little email… a little work… a little facebook.

Then it was latte time!

The rest of the afternoon crept by.  I just was not motivated to work, but I pressed on and finally finished.  Just in time for dinner!

The big BBQ chicken salad with feta cheese.  Nom, nom.

I spent the better part of the evening after dinner making up some orange marmalade.  I hope this comes out as it is for my jam exchange.  Damn this was a lot of work!

I thought peach jam was a lot of work, but this was definitely more.  That’s why I like making the berry jams.  Much easier 😀

If this cools down and sets up enough, I might be having some on top of ricotta cheese for a snack! It’s either that or ice cream down the street :mrgreen:

Tomorrow is bagel day!  Bagel day!  I haven’t had a bagel in over 3 weeks.

No-oodles and sleep masks

Monday already!  John and I lifted our No TV ban last night.  That was 7 days of no TV.  I honestly hardly missed it at all except for in the mornings when it is my habit to turn on the TV after my shower to check the Weather Channel.  Nice to know that if we had to get rid of the TV for whatever reason, I would be fine – just don’t take away my internet! :mrgreen:

I slept in later this morning until 7:30.  I had trouble sleeping last night.  The full moon filtered in and kept me awake.  We are going to do something about the light tonight.

So, I got up and decided to get right to work seeing as we have been so busy, and we still were!  Feast or famine and I will feast as long as possible.

I did break after a bit and made up breakfast.

The pumpkin cake topped with coconut butter and peach jam!  Gosh, I am liking this!  It does make me a little thirsty, though, which I think is from the coconut flour?  Keeps me full!

Lunch break.  I made a different salad today, how about that?  Last night I made up a honey mustard dressing.

I used 2 tablespoons each of mustard, macadamia nut oil, honey, and apple cider vinegar.  Since they are all equal parts, you can make as much as you want.  I added a little bit of salt and pepper, shook it up and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  The flavor was much better today.  About 45 calories per tablespoon.

I had cooked chicken and a chopped hard boiled egg and added the dressing.

Porch lunch!

After doing more work this afternoon, I grabbed a date and then headed out for a bike ride.  I would have gone tonight, but rain was in the forecast.  Catch as catch can.  That seems to be the biking motto this year.

Solo ride for froyo.  Coopers Cave should be called The Place of Too Many Choices.  This is only part of all their flavor choices.  They customize yogurt and soft serve for each person.

I chose to get rum cheesecake topped with toasted coconut!

See the eagle eye I have on my bike in the background.

So good!

I then booked it home.  Total miles – 15.1.  Average speed:  13 mph.  Calories burned 464 (buh-bye yogurt, and then some).

Then it was back to work until dinner time.  Pixie always steals my seat when I leave.

I just always have to get at that tummy with my hands when she rolls over like this. Too tempting.

I decided to give another psuedo noodle a try for dinner.  No-oodles.

Long-time readers my remember my dislike of the shiratake noodles.  However, these are made with yam flour (aka glucomanan).

The noodles had somewhat an odor in the bag, but not as strongly obnoxious as the shiratake ones.  I made a cream cheese sauce with

  • 2 tablespoons of neufchatel cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of milk (1%)
  • salt and pepper

Quick and easy sauce that was, too!  I tossed the sauce with some steamed broccoli, cooked shrimp and the no-oodles.

Looks pretty good, no?

I did like the sauce.  The noodles?  Okay, but still with that odd texture like gummy bears or something. They don’t have the toothsome-ness of pasta.  No way around that.  I doubt I will purchase them again, but they weren’t bad.

This was a lot of food and I wasn’t hungry for my planned pear, so I am saving that for tonight’s snack.

I did sneak out on a mission for Operation Sleep to KMart and found this!

A sleep mask! I just never thought to look in the froofy bath section for these.  And it is bamboo and earth friendly to help me sleep even better 😉  $3.99 is much cheaper than buying new light blocking window coverings.  Now we will just see if my tossing and turning self can keep this on overnight.

Operation Sleep continues…

Brand love

When talking about Fage the other day, I thought I would also share some of the other foods brands I love.  Normally, I find no-name brands to be just fine the majority of time. However, there are some foods where I am extremely brand loyal.

First off?  I love fresh blueberries, but alas, they are not always affordable.  When I buy frozen, I never get any brand other than Wyman’s.

Whenever you see the blueberry topping, rest assured it was from Wyman’s.

My pumpkin:

I prefer Libby’s.  Not sure what it is, but the pumpkin is almost sweet and always consistent.  I get other brands when Libby’s is out or I am totally stockpiling, but only if Libby’s is out.

Laughing Cow:

I like LC as a spread.  I actually don’t think of it much as a cheese as a condiment.  I have no desire to try other spreadable wedges.

If I want the real deal cheese, I like Cabot.

I have found that I actually like their reduced fat cheeses as they still melt and are quite tasty – as is the full fat versions.  We usually get the 50% fat ones.

And the broccoli that you see on this website almost every.single.day?

Yep – frozen!  And it has to be the baby broccoli florets.  Not regular florets.  Not chopped broccoli.  Not broccoli spears.  Baby broccoli florets. Period.  There usually are 1 to 2 pounds of this in my freezer at all times.

That’s where my loyalties stand! No company paid me to say this either, or gave me any free stuff.  Not that I would turn down free  stuff…  😀

Question:  What are some foods that have to be specific brands for you?