Pumpkin pie filling – Secret Recipe Club

SRC day!

Secret Recipe Club

Jennifer Sikora seems like a pretty cool chick. She’s got a great hubs (high school sweethearts – adorable!), a couple teenagers,  and even a few cute canines. She also has a beautiful, brutally honest, totally happy ending. I loved reading about her life – and of course her recipes.

It was hard to pick, but finally, after noticing a sad little can of pumpkin in my pantry, I decided to make her pumpkin flan.

I adjusted it a bit, so mine’s more like little baked custards – otherwise known as pumpkin pie filling. Not much to look at, but so good. I’ve been eating them for breakfast. They turned out so nicely, I’m going to bake another batch with the rest of my can of pumpkin. If you aren’t watching your sugar due to an impending beach vacation, like I am, feel free to add some in with the nutmeg and vanilla. 1/2 C should do. I also used coconut milk in mine (the end result doesn’t taste coconutty – I just like the fatty richness it adds), but you could use whole milk or half and half if you wanted.

A little maple syrup on these goes a long way.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 3/4 C coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon stevia*
  • 3/4 cup solid-pack pumpkin

Preheat your oven to 350

Arrange ramekins** in a 9X13 or similar dish with sides (I used a giant skillet), and put about 4 cups of water on the boil (you’re going to bake these guys in a water bath).

Warm up your coconut milk just a touch (I microwaved mine for about 45 seconds). Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and nutmeg. Whisk in pumpkin, then coconut milk. Divide filling among ramekins, then place baking sheet in oven. Pour hot water into baking pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until set.

*I’m ok with a little stevia. It adds just a touch of sweetness. I don’t like swapping it one for one with sugar, though, because it starts to taste cloying and weird.
**I used 3 one cup capacity ramekins plus a mug. That’s what fit in the skillet I used to bake them.

And no, this guy wouldn’t touch them. But doesn’t he look like a sweetheart? (The other night, out of the blue, he asked me to “never post something humiliating about him on the internet.” I don’t think this counts, right?)

See all the Secret Recipe fun here:


Quick snack – warm apple cranberry sauce

I love pumpkin and all, but the seasonal treat I can’t get enough of right now is cranberries. I bought my first bag of the year yesterday. I have big plans for all kinds of baked delights studded with cranberries, but for now, this will do.

First, core and peel 2 Macintosh apples (or other apples that cook down into sauce). Add a handful of cranberries.


Next, put it in the microwave for 2 – 3 minutes. Stir every minute or so, and be mindful that your cranberries will pop. Try to keep them buried under the apples to minimize the splatter. Mash all together, and add a little sugar (1-2 t) if it’s too tart. I love how the cranberries turn it all pink.


For a bigger batch, you can cook it on the stove top. It’s awesome for breakfast or a bedtime snack.


This is probably the only recipe that my 6yo actually makes repeat requests for. (The other is bacon, but really, is that a recipe?)


  • 1/2 C milk
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C white flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/2 t salt

Beat milk, butter, and egg, then add the other ingredients. Mix until just smooth. Butter a hot skillet, and drop batter on in silver dollar sized amounts. Flip when the edges are dry and bubbles start to form in the middle. Brown the other side, and serve. I like mine with real maple syrup, while  the 6yo prefers the fake Log Cabin stuff. Lots of bacon never hurts either.

My sister gave me this fun pancake mold a few Christmases ago and it is a huge hit around here.

Egg shocker

Last night, I opened up a carton of eggs to make my son an omelet. Here is what I saw:

Hubs can always do something to make me laugh.

I love the teeth on this one:

If I ever feel sad, I can just remember that I have someone who loves me enough that he’ll draw different faces on each of ten eggs just to make me smile.

Apple butter muffins

Because it’s fall and because we have 2 jars of apple butter sitting around in the pantry, and because kids like something sweet for breakfast, we have these muffins. If you don’t have any apple butter, apple sauce would work just fine, especially the cinnamon kind. And if you have Transformers muffin cups, so much the better.

Apple Butter Muffins


  • 1/2 C butter
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 3/4 C apple butter
  • 1 1/4 C oat flour
  • 3/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 C buttermilk

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 4 T cold butter

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla in mixer. Mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add buttermilk to wet ingredients. Then add flour mixture and apple butter a little at a time, alternating between the two. Don’t overmix. Put  the batter into a muffin tin, lined with muffin papers. I put about a 1/4 C in each.

To make crumb topping, mix flour and sugar. Then cut in butter with fingers, knives, or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Top each muffin with about a teaspoon (or more) of streusel topping.

Bake for 17 minutes, or until muffins are just set in the middle.

I know it has weird ingredients (red #40?) but come on, clearly the Bloomfield Volunteer Fire Department is a worthy cause.

Homemade ricotta

In an apparent 180 degree turn from last weekend, when I chose to cook nothing, today I decided to make my own cheese. I’ve seen it in a few cookbooks and blogs lately, and it’s been something I’ve wanted to try for a while now.

We picked up some Snowville whole milk and whipping cream at the market today and we were off. I used Ina’s recipe, swapping out regular white vinegar for the white wine vinegar called for. It really was super easy and the 6yo helped as well.

Here she is, my first cheese:

I was surprised at the amount of whey left over after draining the curds. I’m going to do some exploring to see how we can use that up.

Bacon Cheese Mini-quiches

It’s Secret Recipe Club day! So fun. This month, my assignment was Hoosier Homemade: a guide, by dedicated homemaker Liz, to making your house a home. It’s a very extensive guide! I love her tips on menu planning and special events, but what I love most is her Cupcake Tuesday series. Look how adorable and creative:

Snow cone cupcakes

Sock Monkey Cupcakes

Classroom kids cupcakes (I can’t wait to make these for my daughter’s first grade class)

And there are about a million more awesome cupcake ideas.

As much as I wanted to try one of Liz’s fabulous cupcakes for my secret recipe post, I found myself with much less time than I’d like. Luckily Liz has many many quick fix ideas up her sleeve as well. I opted to try her Ham and Broccoli Quiche. Only I didn’t have ham or broccoli, and I didn’t feel like making a pie crust. Clearly, I am much less motivated than Liz.

Even with my lazy ways, I was able to whip up these mini crustless quiches based on Liz’s original recipe with just a few substitutions. They’re perfect for a quick dinner and for a late breakfast on the go the next day.

Bacon Cheese Crustless Mini-quiches

  • 5 slices bacon, fried, then chopped
  • 1 C shredded cheese (I used a mix of monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard (or regular mustard)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 7 cups of a muffin tin, or use Silicups. Beat eggs, water, salt, pepper, and mustard powder together. Pour into cups. Sprinkle cheese, then bacon over the tops. Bake for about 30 min, until egg is set. Let stand 5-10 minutes before eating.