Cookies that Won’t Turn You Into a Pumpkin

October 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

This is one of my favorite desserts of the fall and winter seasons. Pumpkin is so good for you! Not only is pumpkin loaded with vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids, but it’s also a good source of vitamins C, K, and E along with lots of minerals including magnesium, potassium, and iron. Wooo . . . that’s alot of punch to this bright orange veggie.  My mom has been making these cookies for as long as I can remember; she, however, makes the delectable original version.  Here’s my slightly “doctored,” eat clean version that tastes just as sinful.  I’ve included the original as well.

Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Mmm, one of my faves of the season!
Mmm, one of my faves of the season!
  • 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour (original 2 1/2 cups flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (2012 update:  my bro used pumpkin butter which made the cookie denser)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites (original 1 egg)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix butter, pumpkin, egg and vanilla in another bowl. Beat until light and creamy. Mix dry ingredients until well blended with the pumpkin mixture.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Smooth tops of cookies.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Cool on wire racks.

**Drizzle with your favorite homemade vanilla frosting recipe.

( I combine skim milk (about ½ cup), butter (about 2 tbs), powdered sugar (about 2 cups), and vanilla (about a teaspoon). I don’t have specific amounts. I blend these to taste.   2012 update:  My bro just made these for us; he used maple syrup instead of butter for the frosting.  Pumpkin & maple syrup combine to form one fine fall indulgence!

Disregard the Irregardless

October 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Grammar, Mini-Lessons

A student came up to me after class and asked if irregardless was a word.  This prompted GG’s latest mini-lesson:

Irregardless vs. Regardless

To answer my student’s question, irregardless is not a word.  It is a double negative, combining the words regardless and irrespective.  Yes, there can be double negatives in English as well as mathematics.  Let’s take a closer look:  Regardless means despite something or without regard.  If we say irregardless, we are literally saying without without regard.  This does not make sense!

Here’s an example of the correct usage of regardless:

Regardless of the obstacles, he persevered and overcame his hardships.

Regardless of the obstacles, he finished the race!

Regardless of the obstacles, he finished the race!

Between is Among the Difficult

October 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Grammar, Mini-Lessons

Here is another pair of words many of us interchange incorrectly.

Between vs. Among

Between A Rock and a Hard Place (cupcakes2 on Flickr)

Between A Rock and a Hard Place (cupcakes2 on Flickr)

Use between when you refer to to people, places, or things.

Example:  Kimm had to choose between going on a cruise and catching three Broadway shows.

Use among when you refer to three or more people, places, or things.

Example: The gold treasure was divided among the crew of the pirate ship.

Nuke and Eat Stir Fry

October 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Recipes, School's Out

I found this in a past issue of Women’s Health and made it the other night so that I wouldn’t have to worry about making lunches for the week.  I just savored my last portion for lunch.  I hunt for recipes like this that don’t taste as “clean” as they are.  The spices coupled with the fresh veggies and tender beef make for a satisfying meal that provide the right ratio of protein, carbs and fat.  This can also make for a perfect post-workout meal or delicious dinner.

An A+ Dinner

NUKE-AND-EAT ASIAN STIR-FRY   from Wurmwood10 on Flickr

Time-saving Tip: Make this recipe on Sunday, then freeze it in single-serving portions—you’ll have a healthy “fast-food: meal ready anytime you want it.

(I modified to make it even cleanier by eliminating extra salt, replacing one egg with two egg whites, and using low-sodium soy sauce.)

  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 4 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lb beef sirloin, sliced into 2″ strips
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 2″ strips
  • 1 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced into 2″ strips
  • brown rice (you can make a batch of this ahead of time as well and portion it along with the stir fry)

In a bowl, combine the egg whites and 1 Tbsp of the soy sauce, and stir well. Then add the sirloin strips and set aside to marinate. Next, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet while you mix the remaining soy sauce, the cornstarch, and the crushed red pepper in a bowl—this is your sauce, to be used later. Once the skillet is hot, stir-fry the garlic and ginger for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Then, at 30-second intervals, individually add the carrots, water chestnuts, onion, and scallions. Next, remove all the vegetables from the skillet and place them in a bowl. Put the beef-marinade mixture in the skillet, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour in the sauce, stirring and cooking until it’s thick and bubbly. Finally, add the vegetables back to the skillet, and cook everything together for a couple of minutes, or until hot.

Let it cool, then place individual portions in plastic containers and freeze. When you’re ready for a quick lunch, microwave the stir-fry for 3 minutes or until hot and serve with one serving of the brown rice. Makes 3 servings

Per serving: 486 calories, 42 g protein (2.2 g leucine), 45 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 7 g fiber

GG’s Tip:  You can substitute with other veggies you have on hand . . . broccoli, cauliflour, red peppers . . .

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