Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

Welcome to my world!

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Entries in pumpkin (16)


Healthy Pumpkin Pie Mousse

Healthy, delicious pumpkin pie mousse that's a perfect autumn snack! 5 ingredients and it couldn't be easier.

How was your weekend?

Ours was really nice. Though Saturday was a wash {literally; it rained all day, leaving us zoo-less}, Sunday was unbelievably fall-like and wonderful. It was sunny, breezy, and chilly enough to comfortably wear a cute jacket, something that is so fleeting here in the Northeast. Some years, it seems as though the summer goes straight into winter; as though 90 degrees and humid is an appropriate precursor to the mid-30s. I believe this entire fall is going to be beautiful weather-wise!


Last week, I got back on Dukan and hard. I essentially restarted the plan with 3 Attack Phase days (aka, protein and fat-free dairy only). It was so, so hard. I was really hangry and I found it more difficult than when I had started back in May. Since I've gained about 5 pounds back and my once comfy pants were getting tight, I knew it was time to get back in the saddle.

One thing that really got me through last week was cottage cheese. Sweetened with vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and Splenda, this was truly a treat and I looked forward to it every day. It tasted like rice pudding. And I don't know about you, but there's nothing bad about that. I thought that the only thing that could make this better was to add pumpkin.

So once I could begin incorporating vegetables, I did. Happily, pumpkin is an approved food in the Cruise phase. I added pumpkin and some pumpkin pie spice. And I blended it all together. And then it was like pumpkin pie filling, only without copious amounts of calories. I really enjoy this as a special treat in the afternoons or evenings. To make it even more decadent, I have also been known to add a little fat free whipped cream on top. It's filling and delicious and certainly makes the days on the Dukan Diet feel nothing like depravity.

I do find that there is a slight aftertaste with this and I'm not sure if it's caused by the cottage cheese or the Splenda. Either way, I don't mind it, just want to let you know in case those kinds of things bother you. I bet you could sweeten this with honey or maple syrup and it would be divine.


Pumpkin Pie Mousse {Dukan-friendly!}

2 C cottage cheese (I used 2%)

1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

4 Splenda packets, or sweetener of your choice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Or, if using an immersion blender as I did, place all ingredients in a tall sided bowl or large glass measuring cup. Blend until smooth.


Serve chilled.


What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? What are your go-to foods that get you through a tough day?


Also: pumpkin pie trifles, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin picking.


Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

I made these in advance of Halloween a couple of weeks ago. Our lovely neighbors invited us over for dinner and so I thought a festive, pumpkiny cupcake would be a nice, sweet treat following the meal.

And I got to use my awesome Halloween platter which I love so much!

Aren't they sweet?

These cupcakes were super duper easy (mainly because I adapted a box cake mix), moist and topped with a spice cream cheese frosting...perhaps one of my most favorite things in life.

I know it's a bit past Halloween, but with the craziness of the last week or so, I'm just getting around to sharing these now. I think they would be delicious on a Thanksgiving table, or even for a fall weekend treat!



Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

for the cupcakes:

1 box spice cake mix

1 15oz can pumpkin puree

3 eggs

1/3 C canola oil

1/3 C water

for the frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 C unsalted butter, softened

3-4 C confectioners' sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the cupcakes, mix the cake mix, pumpkin puree, eggs, oil and water in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer for 30 seconds on low speed. Up the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners and distribute batter among the cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.

Once cooled, make the frosting.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Add one cup of sugar at a time and beat until thoroughly combined (Note: use 3 or 4 cups depending on desired taste and consistency). Mix in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Frost cupcakes and top with sprinkles or decoration of choice.


Delicious, autumnal cupcakes. I heart them.

And to prove it, I ate a lot of them. Baby TAA was nevery happier. It's my mission to ensure that she shares my love of all things pumpkin.

So there you have it. One of my favorite pumpkiny treats this season!

What is your favorite treat of the season?


Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Happy October 1 everyone! Though weeks and months seem to be blowing past faster and faster, I'm happy to say a big hi! to October. October through December marks my favorite time of the year and this morning welcomed me with a cool breeze coming through the window, the sun shining and the opportunity to wear my leather jacket. 

Oh, and to eat some pumpkin pie oatmeal for breakfast. 

We can't forget about the food at times like these.

I have been waiting for the perfect time to break out the pumpkin-oatmeal combo for the season, and what better day than October 1?

This warm and hearty breakfast came together in a snap this morning. It was filled creamy, oaty, cinnamony goodness and I just adore the happy orange color. I topped it with a handful of sliced almonds for a bit of crunch.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

(serves 1)

1 C milk of your choice

1/2 C old fashioned oats

pinch of salt

1/4 C pumpkin puree

pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon

sweetener of your choice (I used a little brown sugar)

Heat the milk and salt over medium-high heat. Once starting to boil, add the oats and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. While cooking, stir in the pumpkin puree. Stir frequently so the oats don't burn. Toward the end of cooking, stir in the pumpkin pie spice and sweetener. Top with sliced almonds. Enjoy immediately.


And I did :D

How are you kicking off October?