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Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin’

gluten-free pumpkin pecan boyfriend bait

I know, I know. Not the best keyword-rich title for a recipe post, but these cupcakes lead to hanky-panky. I thought I better mention that right off.

Sometimes I just can’t help myself. Off-the-wall recipe titles often trump SEO in my world. I understand that’s not the best strategy for improving online search results, but it’s so much more fun. Plus, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to mix cupcakes with sex.

According to a recent study by the Taste and Smell Treatment and Research Foundation, essence of pumpkin is the way to a man’s heart. Or, at least to his boy parts.

Dr. Alan Hirsch and his smart-smelling colleague, Dr. Jason Gruss, conducted an in-depth plethysmographic (don’t even ask) study on the food smells men find most sexually stimulating. Empirically documented through hemodynamic testing (so to speak).

The results are in and guess what, ladies? No need to wear high heels or buy expensive perfume (not that I do either). Just stick a doughnut in your pocket, munch on some licorice and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice in your hair. You’ll be irresistible.

But, be careful. I’d think twice before setting bait for the doughnut guys.

The Top 10 Odors Male Volunteers Responded To
actively responded to, like in a physically noticeable way)
1. Pumpkin pie and lavender
2. Doughnut and black licorice
3. Pumpkin pie and doughnut
4. Orange
5. Lavender and doughnut
6. Black licorice and cola
7. Black licorice
8. Doughnut and cola (doughnuts and cola? seriously? who are these guys?)
9. Lily of the valley
10. Buttered popcorn

So — the way to a man’s heart (with a stop here and there) is through pumpkin pie spice and doughnuts? I bet men wish the reverse was that simple.

Doughnuts versus shiny, sparkly things.

Men are from Mars via Dunkin’ Donuts and women are from Venus via the jewelry store (or in my case, Bent Gate Mountaineering).

Here’s a recipe for love ~
Gluten-free pumpkin pecan boyfriend bait cupcakes
(I threw in some chocolate so the ladies would also be in the mood)

what you need
1 and 1/2 cup Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking & Pancake Mix
1 and 1/2 teaspoon 5-spice blend *
1/3 cup organic Turbinado sugar (or another form of sugar)
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla (I used Madagascar vanilla — sniff and swoon)
1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (I used Farmer’s Market canned organic pumpkin pie mix, it smells divine)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but recommended for obvious reasons)

what you do
• In a medium bowl, whisk together Pamela’s mix with the 5 spice blend. Set aside.
• Place melted coconut oil and sugar in mixer bowl and mix on medium speed until well blended. Blend in eggs (one at a time), vanilla and pumpkin pie purée.
• Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until well blended.
• Fold in chopped pecans and chocolate chips.
• Fill paper-lined muffin tins 3/4ths full and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 22 to 26 minutes (depending on your oven temperature), or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. You can also use silicone baking cups.
• Cool on wire rack and see what happens.

* I use Frontier Chinese Five Spice powder. Oh my gosh, the research team should have set their standards higher than doughnuts and popcorn. This stuff is heavenly. It’s a bit exotic though, so if you want to play it safe, use cinnamon (1 teaspoon) and nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon).

* I didn’t make this research story up. Here’s the official study. Anybody up (no pun intended) for a gluten-free version of this research?

You might also like the smell of garam masala and Moroccan stew. Very sensual.

Peace, love and sexy cupcakes.
P.S. I almost forgot. These cupcakes are wonderful! Top with cream cheese frosting or vanilla ice cream and serve at your own risk. And selectively.

pumpkin maple Grand Marnier ice cream


I hope you haven’t lost trust in me when it comes to ice cream. Maybe I deserve it. Was it the sweet corn ice cream? Or the vegan chocolate chip, beet ice cream? I guess I don’t blame you, but you absolutely must give me one more chance because this pumpkin, maple, Grand Marnier ice cream is a winner. I’m not kidding, I can hardly keep the freezer door shut long enough to let it totally set up. I keep tasting it to make sure I’m not dreaming. Or delusional.

Okay, it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty dang close. Let me go taste it one more time and I’ll let you know for sure.

Yep, it’s a 9.5. If it was a little creamier, I’d give it a 10. The pumpkin purée is a touch grainy. Just a touch – like a nano-touch, so keep reading.

I’ve been receiving pumpkins in my Grant Farms CSA box on a weekly basis lately. Sweet, yummy, organic, sugar pumpkins. I’ve made soup, muffins, custard, pancakes and even cookies out of pumpkins. But never ice cream. Until today, and I’m happy to say I’ve found a new favorite dessert. I’m serving it tomorrow. After a day of skiing and a dinner of traditional New Mexico stacked, red chile enchiladas. With an organic poached egg on top. I’m shaking things up a bit this Thanksgiving.

pumpkin, maple, Grand Marnier ice cream
what you need
ice cream maker
1 and 3/4th cup half and half, well chilled
1 cup pumpkin purée, unsweetened and unspiced
3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably grade B (here’s why)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* optional: 1 – 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
I used 1 teaspoon because I was afraid it would be too strong, but I think I’ll try 2 next time. The Grand Marnier idea came from David Lebovitz’s adaptation of Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox’s pumpkin ice cream recipe.

what you do
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend on medium-low speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Turn on ice cream maker, pour ingredients into freezer bowl per manufacturer’s directions and let mix for about 30 minutes until thickened. Transfer to a storage container and freeze.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
P.S. I just tasted it again, it’s not grainy. Trust me.

gluten-free pumpkin coconut custard


This time last year, I was a make your own pumpkin puree from scratch virgin. Aaah, but I was seduced by a Grant Farms sugar pumpkin and have never looked back.

Canned pumpkin? No way.

Well, maybe, but only in out-of-season desperation.

I received two small sugar pumpkins in last Monday’s CSA box and I’m guessing I’ll probably get more in today’s delivery, so I decided to make a batch of puréed pumpkin last night and see what I could come up with. Oh my gosh, this maple pumpkin coconut custard was so good that I ate a whole ramekin of it at 6:45 AM this morning after my early morning yoga class.

Yes! I love breakfast custard. Okay, as a nutritionist, I’m not suggesting you eat dessert for breakfast, but I must admit, it was a rather nice way to start the week.

gluten-free maple pumpkin coconut custard
(adapted from a maple pumpkin recipe from Eating Well)
what you need

1-1/3 cup light coconut milk
1 cup puréed pumpkin, no sugar or spices added *
3/4 cup maple syrup (I used organic, grade B)
3 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
whipped cream (if you want, but not necesary)
crystallized ginger and chopped pecans for topping
6 small ramekin or custard cups


what you do
1. Either make your puréed pumpkin from scratch or use canned (no sugar, no seasoning). Cut and clean out the pumpkin seeds and messy pulp, leaving the meat. Put the pumpkin in a roasting pan (I use glass) skin side down, fill with about an inch of water and cover with foil. Place in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 40-50 minutes or until the meat of the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven being very careful not to spill the hot water on yourself. Cool and purée in a blender.

2. To make the custard, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a kettle of water on the stove and heat it up for the water bath. Line a roasting pan (I use a 9 x 13 inch glass pan) with a folded kitchen towel to prevent the ramekins from clanking around on the glass pan while cooking.

3. Heat the coconut milk over low heat in a small saucepan until barely steaming, but not boiling.

4. Whisk the syrup, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Slowly blend in the warm coconut milk, a little at a time so the eggs don’t cook.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Blend well.

6. Add the pumpkin purée to the liquid mixture and whisk until blended.

7. Spoon the mixture into 6 small ramekin cups (about 3/4 cup each). Skim the foam from the top and place ramekins in the prepared roasting pan. Pour the boiling water into the pan about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Avoid splashing any water into the ramekins. Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes until custard is just set, but still a touch jiggly in the center when shaken. Do not cover while baking.

8. Transfer ramekins to a wire rack and let cool for about 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until fully chilled (at least an hour).

9. To serve, top with a dollop of real whipped cream if desired. Sprinkle with crystallized ginger and chopped pecans. These steps are optional, but they sure do add to the custard. I love the crystallized ginger!


You might also like . . .
Nutrition tips and roasted pumpkin chunks
Gluten-free buckwheat pumpkin pancakes

Go forth and let yourself be seduced by a sugar pumpkin!

Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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