Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hungry Girl's Caramel Pumpkin Pudding Cupcakes

So, I am a huge fan of all things cupcake and all desserts that include pumpkin. When I came across this recipe, I was looking for something to complete my early Thanksgiving dinner. Yep, I got a craving for cranberry dressing last week and decided to make an entire Thanksgiving meal for dinner one night just for the hubby and me. Turkey breast, mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus and homemade cranberry dressing all made for a delish Thursday night meal. Of course, though, any meal like that would need to be capped off with something pumpkin. This recipe popped into my inbox and I thought this would be the perfect night to try some pumpkin cupcakes.

This recipe was in Hungry-Girl's first cookbook. She has also posted a link to the recipe here. The recipe came together really well and the ingredients were simple and things that I usually have around the house. They took quite a while to bake up though - at least 20 minutes as opposed to 12. The frosting really came together easily and looked great drizzled on top of the muffins.

The taste of these cupcakes was outstanding, especially for a 100 calorie treat! I will definitely be making these again, though I don't really need the frosting. I'm happy with just the pumpkin cupcake! I think a traditional cream-cheese type frosting would be perfection, though I'm sure that would defeat the low-cal appeal of the original recipe.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday, 10/21/09

I grew up in a household that was filled with cooking routines. We had a rotation of maybe 10 meals that were repeated biweekly without fail (Meatloaf Monday, Taco Tuesday, Spaghetti Wednesday - you get the idea). This routine was most likely the best solution to meet the needs of a harried, working mother, picky kids, and a meat-and-potatoes husband, rather than any kind of unimaginative effort on my mother's part. However, being a kid who craved routine, I had no complaints about the consistency at the dinner table. I loved my mom's cooking and looked forward each week to my favorites (I still refuse to attempt pork roast because I just can't make it like my mother's).

When I finally began to live with Mr. R., my husband, I realized that not all kids grew up with moms who could make pot roasts in her sleep. Mr. R.'s mother was something of a gourmand, a woman who relished time in her kitchen and was known for her baking. As much as I craved routine and sameness, he craved variety and new taste experiences. So, about 7 years ago, I endeavored to not only learn how to cook, but learn to enjoy cooking.

This resolution coincided with a major need to drop some of those extra pounds that I picked up in college. Armed with a subscription to Cooking Light magazine, I set out to try something new. Over the years, my light cuisine resources have expanded: Martha Stewart's recipes (usually slightly modified to meet healthier standards), Hungry Girl, and are all sources on which I rely. I did finally drop those college pounds, but keeping them off is a daily challenge.

So, this blog will basically chronicle my lightened-up cooking experiences. I have become hooked on other cooking blogs and have a hard time finding blogs that focus on healthy choices. This blog will attempt to record my experiences and also challenge me in a variety of ways:

*As a photographer: I will always include pictures of the process and results of each recipe. I love looking at others' results, and I hate it when a blogger doesn't show me a picture of what they've just cooked! However, I am not a picture-taker and don't really know much about photography. Perhaps I'll pick up a few tips along the way to take the best pictures!

*As a writer: I am a high-school english teacher who HATES to write - really, I do. This blog will force me to do some kind of creative writing on a weekly basis.

*As a dieter/chef: Occasionally, I may talk about a struggle I am having in my weight loss/maintenance (where I am on this scale seems to change weekly!). Perhaps having a reason to always make healthy choices will encourage me to stay on track!

So, I am going to start this evening with a Hungry Girl recipe: Caramel Pumpkin Pudding Cupcakes. I have a ridiculous sweet tooth and especially love all things cupcake! Results forthcoming...
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