halloween treat

Pumpkin-chocolate whoopie pie
(recipe from the Nov. 2011 Everyday Food magazine)

The cookies
2 c. flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 c. pumpkin purée
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. melted butter
1/4 c. heavy cream

Whisk together the wet ingredients, then add the dry ingredients & whisk until just combined. Drop dough in 1-TBSP mounds onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for about 14 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. They're done when the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool completely before filling.

The filling
1/4 c. butter at room temperature
1/2 c. heavy cream
1-3/4 c. confectioners' sugar
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix with an electric mixer until fluffy. Spread on the flat side of a cookie, then press another cookie on the other side to make a sandwich.


chilly today. chili tonight.

3 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced (set some aside for garnish)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP chili powder
1 generous tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup(ish) beer (I didn't measure)
1 can red kidney beans
1 large can crushed tomatoes
(grated cheddar & diced onion for garnish)

In a heavy dutch oven pot on medium heat, cook the bacon until starting to crisp.

Add pepper, onion & garlic and cook until they start to soften. Mix in spices and cook for a few minutes.

Add ground beef. Break it up and cook until browned. Season with salt.

Stir in beer & beans. Then stir in the crushed tomatoes. Add more salt.

Cover pot, turn heat to low, and simmer for an hour. Stir occasionally.

Garnish with cheddar & some raw onion.

I made cornbread to go with the chili (not pictured). Click here for a simple & quick recipe. (note: I used turbinado sugar instead of white, and substituted 1/3 c. melted butter for the veg. oil)


baked sweet potato

-Wash the potato, poke all over with a fork, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse salt.
-Bake in a 400-degree oven for 50-60 min.
-Slice open, stuff with crumbled feta, and return to the oven, until the cheese gets a little melty.
-Top with greek yogurt, scallions, and fresh thyme leaves. Season with salt & pepper.