Pumpkin Granola

I found this recipe online when I was searching for something to do with some leftover pumpkin puree that had been sitting in my fridge.  I played with the recipe I found at Two Peas and Their Pod and switched a couple amounts and ingredients around based on what I had on-hand at the time.  This was some of the best granola I’ve ever had–tasty enough to eat with plain yogurt!

Here’s what I did:


5 C rolled oats

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 C brown sugar

1/2 C pumpkin puree

1/4 C applesauce

1/4 C maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 C each raisins, dried cranberries, chopped pecans and pepitas


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine oats, spices, salt, pecans and pepitas. Mix well.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla.  Pour over oat mixture and stir until combined.  Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet.

3.  Bake for 20 minutes, then remove pan from the oven and stir.  Return to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until granola is golden and crisp.  Remove from the oven and stir in dried fruit.


Mrs. Nye’s Christmas Applesauce

Mrs. Nye’s “Christmas” Applesauce

Mrs. Nye gave me some applesauce once to try and I loved it.  It was pink and slightly sweet with a hint of cinnamon.  I asked her what kind of apples she used and for the recipe; she couldn’t remember what kind of apple she used so she brought one to me and told me to ask at the farmer’s market where she bought them!  Turns out they were Idareds and her secret ingredient was Red Hots candies.  I made this while my friend, Wendy, was visiting during the fall of 2012 and she remarked that it reminded her of Christmas—the slightly red color and hint of cinnamon sweetness from the Red Hots.

1 peck of Idared apples (about 15-20)

2 tbsp Red Hots candies

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Core the apples, cut into wedges, then half them.  Do not peel.  Divide apples into two large stockpots, add a little water and bring to a boil.  Once the apples start to soften, stir to begin mixing with a spoon.  Add 1 tbsp Red Hots to each pot.

Once apples are very soft, transfer in batches into a food mill and process.  Discard skins.  Combine both into one pot, add 1 tsp cinnamon and 2 tbsp sugar.

Makes about 8 wide-mouth pint jars (for canning).

lasagna, applesauce, cupcakes, pancakes and East Aurora

Saturday morning, Wendy, the kids and I walked to the farmer’s market in search of Idared apples for making applesauce.  A couple weeks ago, Mrs. Nye gave me some applesauce to try and I couldn’t believe how good it was.  I decided the weekend Wendy was here would be an excellent time to do some canning.  (Turns out Wendy isn’t that much of a canner; instead she preps everything and freezes MASS amounts of food all the time.  While single-handedly watching two youngsters running all over the house.  And her husband is never home because he’s an ortho-surgery resident at Hershey Medical Center.  Just call her super-mom.)

Our walk was a little challenging; the walk to the farmer’s market is A LOT longer with two little kids, and hot chocolate got everywhere.  But, we succeeded in buying the apples and made a quick trip into Tops to get the ingredients for dinner.

Upon returning home and cleaning up some hot chocolate-covered jeans, we all–even Andrew–headed out for brunch at Charlie’s.

Natalie snacked on some jam packets while we waited for our food.  Andrew and I split a daily special and I enjoyed my usual blueberry pancake; Wendy and Natalie split a ham and cheese omelet.  Baby Austin happily snacked on some Cheerios in a high chair next to us.  After lunch, Andrew went home while the rest of us went shopping at Fisher Price.

Instead of spending the afternoon on Main Street later that afternoon like we thought, Wendy and I prepped my favorite lasagna for dinner, while the kids napped.

Gary, Wendy’s hubby and “daddy,” called while we were finishing up and they got to video chat.  Adorable.  We missed you here, Gary!

Later that evening, we all–Andrew, too–headed out to Firefly for cupcakes.  Natalie enjoyed a Vanilla Birthday Cake, although she ate mostly the icing.

I worked on the applesauce while Wendy put the kiddos to bed and by the end of the night, we had seven pint jars to put away.

This morning, I went for my usual run at Chestnut Ridge with my running group–friends from school–and then came home to a very awake group!

I made pumpkin pancakes, served with a little applesauce (what wouldn’t fit into our jars last night) and maple syrup butter.  Andrew dined on two (well, one and a half) Manhattan Bagel “everything” bagels–I snacked on one on my way home from my run.

And the rest of the pancakes?  Into the freezer they went!

Natalie and Austin went down for an early nap after brunch, so Wendy and I headed out to Main Street and hit Vidler’s first.  I was totally impressed; Vidler’s is a big, busy place with people and stuff EVERYWHERE, and we simply wheeled around with a two-year-old and a stroller.   Wendy never once lost her cool.  She picked up some stocking stuffers and then we headed to Taste for a break and snacks.


After Taste, we toured the rest of Main Street, including the sewing store (where Wendy bought some fabric to make Natalie a dress–again, she’s domestic like that), Fowler’s (sponge candy and chocolate wings for Gary!) and Toy Loft.  Let’s just say Natalie and Austin made out on this trip in terms of presents.

We made a quick trip to Tops for Andrew-requests (zip-lock baggies and vanilla ice cream) then headed home to get the kids fed and in bed.  Us adults are watching the last available episode of Breaking Bad (Andrew is addicted, and I fear Wendy might be now, too), drinking wine and using our technology–Wendy her phone, me my blog and Andrew his Netflix.

It’s been so fun having Wendy and her kids here.  She’s an amazing mom (seriously, I am in such awe) and it’s so touching she braved the trip solo to come visit.  I hope she had as much fun as I did 🙂  I’m so blessed to have had (and still have!) such great girlfriends from college.