Category Archives: Recipes/Cheap Grub

The Delicious Bewitching Season

I see the changing of seasons as a very fickle time. Like a werewolf during a full moon, I get a little peculiar right before the switch. I tend to wrestle with the clothes in my closet, only to have flung about three outfits on the floor each time Al Roker tells us what the weather is up to in my neck of the woods. Hot, then cool. Sandals, or boots. Transitioning isn’t easy.

But, more importantly, when fall finally decides to stop playing games and make a commitment, the air turns crisp and all I can think of is one thing: pumpkins.

So orange. So pudgy. And they’re just plain delicious.

I liken this to how Ralph in A Christmas Story describes his father’s love (passion) for turkey:

Now it is well known in the midwest that the Old Man is a turkey junky, a bonafide golly turkaconis freak.

I guess I’m what you would call a bonfide golly pumpakonis freak, or, as I discovered two years ago, I am a pepophile: a lover of all things pumpkin, although I use the word sparingly since the word may be misconstrued.

I’ve got pumpkin on the brain, and so for last night’s dinner, CP and I made pumpkin mac and cheese, thanks to the blog, Healthy Food For Living.




Although it turns out as more of a pumpkin cheese sauce, since it’s not baked, it was still oh so delicious, and the pumpkin added a little je ne sais quoi to the dish. We also added bacon because, what the hell, and we have an unnatural obsession with the cured meat. With some red wine, it is the perfect comfort food for the fall.

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Pop Treat

When I was a kid, I was an extremely picky eater. As I’ve mentioned before, I was so picky (how picky were you??) that I honestly ate white bread and ketchup sandwiches for lunch when I was six years old. I did not like melted cheese or raisins. I also did not like crusts.

Disliking crusts as a child is not an uncommon finding, but what was unique was the way in which I would discard crusts, or “find” crusts on items you wouldn’t think had them, like Pop Tarts.

Yes–Pop Tarts have crusts. If I bit into any part of a Pop Tart that did not have any trace of the sweet strawberry or blueberry jam filling, out of my mouth it went. BLEH. I left the crusts behind on my plate like chicken bones.

Cut to 20 years later, and I’ve gotten better about crusts. In fact, I even like them, especially when crusts are chewy. (I also developed a habit of secretly coveting slightly stale food just for their chewiness factor.) I have also found that Pop Tart crusts are even better when they are HOME-MADE, as I delightfully discovered upon baking my own as a Valentine’s Day treat for CP.


  • Pie crust, I used refrigerated since I don’t know how to make my own…YET
  • Jam–I used seedless strawberry
  • Glaze (recipe below)


Preheat the oven to the temperature setting on the pie crust box. I set my oven for 450.

Unroll the pie crust and let sit for about 10 minutes so that it reaches room temperature. I didn’t have a pizza cutter to cut out a large square, but found that using the dull side of a knife works well. Then cut the square into whatever size rectangles you want. I used a 9” pie crust and got six rectangles out of the dough, perfect for three Pop Tarts.

Place a spoonful of jam in the center of a rectangle and top with another piece of crust. Crimp all four edges with a fork. Repeat until all of the pie crust is used.

Bake the pop-tarts for about 7 – 8 minutes or until slightly brown.

Once cooled, top with the glaze. Since I was a little late in getting to the store, all the red sparkly sugar was gone! Luckily, I had red food coloring, and just added it to the glaze to make it pink.

To Make the Glaze:

  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • milk to thin

Add milk a little at a time to make the powdered sugar thick, almost syrup-like. When the Pop Tarts have cooled, top with the glaze and let dry.

P.S.: Fun fact alert–for any one of you reading this that loves Ghostbusters, when I pulled the Pop Tarts out of the oven, some of the jam had leaked out. Not a problem at all–easy to clean up–but what made me laugh was that the bubbling strawberry jam instantly made me think of the goo from Ghostbusters II, so much so that I took a pic of it.