Cream Cheese Pumpkin Pie

OK, so its Fall. I have to admit, I do like the Fall but I could skip winter and I love Spring and Summer. Anyway, Back to Fall. Its a time of all the pumpkin goodies to start coming out and the smell of Pumpkin lattes in the air. Its also time for me to start sharing some of my pumpkin desserts. I made this one a couple years ago and may make it again soon. Im not sure how it will fit in with my healthy eating.

I'm not a big fan of pumpkin pie but sometimes I like it if its not real spicy and it has to be loaded with whip cream.

Yea like that!!!

This recipe requires cream cheese and whip cream so its perfect for me.  I use more cream cheese filling than anything else. That's how I like it!

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. milk, divided
  • Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 pre-made Graham Pie Crust (one reg or two 6 oz size)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves  
  • Beat cream cheese, 1 Tbsp. milk and sugar in large bowl with whisk until blended. Stir in half the COOL WHIP. Spread onto bottom of crust.
  • Whisk remaining milk, pumpkin, dry pudding mixes and spices 2 min. (Mixture will be thick.) Spread over cream cheese layer.
  • REFRIGERATE 4 hours or until firm. Serve topped with remaining COOL WHIP.
It was delicious, but as I mentioned, I don't like a lot of spice and so next time I make it, I will use less clove.

Now its time to start decorating for the season. Of course I always wait until after my daughters birthday which is actually today and of course, the first day of Fall. Ill decorate while counting down the days til Spring.

Spaghetti Squash Bowl

I'm fixing to share with you a delicious way to get a serving of vegetables with the flavors of Italy. OK, really, its not that good but its close. I mean, nothing beats the real pasta and full flavor, fattening sharp cheeses. But hey, I'm trying to stay healthy and keep my weight down. I can say I have reached my weight loss goal so now I'm learning to eat right so I can keep it down. I'm gonna need it during the holidays coming up.

I have learned a new vegetables called Spaghetti squash. Something never heard of in my house until I started dieting. Its actually good. Not like Moms fried squash in an iron skillet good, but good. It can take the place of any pasta dish as a healthy substitute. You can find many recipes online for these big nuts but I'm going to share my "light one". It's under 200 calories per serving and you will not have that bloated guilty feeling that over eating can cause. However, you will feel full, very full.

Spaghetti Squash Bowl
1 spaghetti squash
1/2 cup of pasta sauce
1/2 cup of shredded low fat Mozzarella Cheese
2 Tablespoon Skim milk Ricotta
Dash of Italian seasoning and or Basil

1. Wash and dry the whole spaghetti squash.
2. Cut in half and scoop out the seedy center. (this is the hard part).
3. Spray the inside of each half with olive oil, salt/ pepper then lay open side down in a baking dish.
4. Bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.
5. Remove from the oven and let it cool just a bit.
6. With a fork, scoop and pull squash from edges to the center. You will see it fall off like spaghetti.

7. Place the spaghetti in a bowl and mix in the pasta sauce and Ricotta.
8. Return the spaghetti to the squash shells, layering the spaghetti and shredded cheese ending with cheese on top.
9. Place back into the oven and cook another 15 minutes.

That's it.

This recipe is made up by me using light indigents. But like I said, you can find other recipes online and adjust the ingredients to your liking (like add some meat). Experiment with it. I'm sure you can come up with something satisfying for the whole family. Kids will even like it. Just don't tell them its good for them!!

Nutrition Info: 1 serving = 1/2 squash.
Calories- 195
Protein- 14g
Carbs- 19g
Fiber- 5g
Sugar- 10g
Fat- 9g
Cholesterol- 25mg
Sodium- 316mg
Potassium 50mg

Down and Out

Down and out. That's how I have felt the past week or so.

I have been in some severe upper back pain. Thought I had another herniated disk so I was just giving it some time to heal with a little ibuprofen but that pain reliever was just not touching it. I still continue to walk my 3 miles each day and go to work. Somehow walking didn't make it any worst. Sitting was the hardest. The pain just kept getting worst. I mean, at times, I feel like I'm gonna be paralyzed and other times with the pain extending to my chest, having a heart attack. So im giving the walking a rest.

My husband has been great despite his own pain he endures in his knees from years of hard work. He makes sure I have everything I need and always lending a hand around the house and driving me to work at times. He is the best and I'm getting more spoiled each day.

After days of agony, I finally fell to tears and went to the doctor. I just knew one of those miracle steroid shots would add instant relief and I could stop wallowing. Little did I know when I was trying to tell him what my problem was. I was wrong.  I'm sure he's smarter than I am at this so I heard him out.

Upon examining me and triggering the main problem areas. He diagnosed me with muscle spasms which was causing a pinched nerve. Ouch is yes. That explained the numbness I have in my left arm and hand. No comfort here. He prescribed me some muscle relaxers (me like) and Prednisone. I put that off as long as I could......A day..... I'm turning to all I can for relief now. The relaxers are great but can only take them before bed because I turn into a noodle (me like).  I can finally rest at night but working during the day is a pain in the neck (you get it?).

Anyhow....The doctor did grant me one of those miracle shots before I left the office but I didn't get the relief I expected. He told me it could take up to 2 weeks of healing. Really?  Somehow I strained that muscle with lifting, reaching or bad posture. I have all three.

So I've been a little down and out and not much fun at home or work but I believe God can heal me on his time. I just need to ride it out. But quick please.

Five Minute Sweet Potato Chips

Hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day. Unfortunately, This Labor Day I had to work. However, I did skip out of work early. The work load was slow and Im having extreme back pain. Sitting still adds severe agony. I know what it is and plan to go to see the doctor about it. I have a herniated disk that flares up rarely but I hope to get relief.

Anyhow...I got home a few hours earlier than usual. My husband had some steaks ready to go on the grill. We had a nice little Labor Day dinner. I wish my daughter would have been home. This Labor Day she spent it at her own place, sitting around the pool enjoying time with friends. So, as long as she's happy, we are happy. Sorta. I mean, I miss her like crazy.

Being that I had some extra time in the kitchen, I made some home made sweet potato chips. I heard these are a great snack or side items and are better for you than regular potato chips.

They were so easy to make. I read how to make them and every site said to bake them at 300 degrees for two hours.
Oh no. I didn't have time for that.
So, I just placed the thinly sliced chips on a microwave safe plate, sprayed them with olive oil, a little salt / pepper and cooked them for only 3 minutes. That's all it took to have the perfect little crispy snack.
2 minutes to prepare, 3 minutes to cook. It cant get any easier than that.

We began eating them as fast as I made them. They barely made it to the dinner table.
If the sweeter side is what you'd rather have, try dipping them in some cinnamon & sugar. I tried it with some Land O lakes cinnamon butter spread and it tastes wonderful. I had to quickly put it away because its loaded with the calories I don't need.

After dinner we took a short walk and enjoyed the rest of the evening. It will not be long now until Autumn will arrive. Even though its still in the 90's here in North Carolina, the trees are already turning. That's just crazy.

Ive shared this at:
.cookng-and-crafting-with-j-j-link-up at pluckys-secondthought
amaze-me-monday at dwellings-theheartofyourhome
full-plate-thursday at mizhelenscountrycottage
the-wednesday-showcase at asavoryfeast
thursday-favorite-things-blog-hop at katherinescorner

Recipes Oldies But Goodies

My Daughter called up the other night wanting to know if I had a recipe for macaroni and cheese. I usually make mine in a crock pot (recipe here) but she wanted the one that bakes in the oven. This made my Husband and I run to the recipe box. The recipe box full of oldie but goodie recipes. These recipes were given down from as far as Grandmothers.

A few years ago I inherited some of my mother-in-laws recipes. She was a wonderful cook and a lot of her recipes were handed down from her older family and friends. Some of the recipes require items that you cant even find anymore. I have noticed that in a lot of old recipes, the amounts differ from today. I am sure she had a lot of recipes in her head that she didn't have to write down. That's how my Mom does a lot of her cooking as well.

We spent about an hour looking through them and laughing and remembering how our Moms would make things we liked or didn't like.

By the way, we found my Daughter a simple macaroni and cheese recipe. It was in one of the good ole old church recipe books made up of several recipes from ladies of the church.

While thumbing through some of those recipes, my husband pulled out an old recipe. One that was small and easy but yet made me think of how simple life was when we were small. How our Mothers would always have a remedy to make us feel better.

She didn't have to run out to the store, she could just make it herself.  Where do you find Paragoric? And did I just see 2 oz. of Whisky?  Every 30 minutes?
I think I feel a cough coming on.

Vintage Suitecase Ideas

I have been on this craze lately with vintage suitcases. I have a couple stacked up beside the bed in my daughters room as a night stand. I love how it gives the room a shabby chic or rustic look. I want to multi use them for something else but not sure yet what for. I think I will use one to house old photos or stationary as they sit pretty.

Looking around online, I found many ways to use old suitcases and it blew my mind. I'm on to something now. I want to keep collecting.

Now, sit back and enjoy some of these ideas I found online.


1. Used as a night stand can give you more storage than just a drawer. You have little treasure chests to hide your keepsakes and other items you don't use regularly.

2. Pet bed? Why not. Little fido needs some cute stuff to go along with your shabby style. I've see all kinds of these suitcase dog beds. They are so darn cute. Its like their own little bedroom with places to hide their toys and snacks.

3. In case you need an extra chair.

4. I like this one. Not sure where one would use this wine cabinet or where it would even look good hanging except in maybe a little retro camper or other small space. "Wait, there is an extra space on my office wall". hmm.

5. Add some chalk paint and make a sign. You can change it as the day goes by. Sounds fun.

6. Christmas is just around the corner. Not my corner but everyone else's corner. I'm not finished with vacation yet, but afterwards, I can just throw some presents or Christmas decorations in an old suitcase and be done.

7. I've seen this done at weddings. A keepsake box that your guest can throw in a card....or money.

8. This is too cute! Add a few legs and you have a table.

9. Again, not sure where this would look good hanging but I assume it would be darling in a tiny bathroom, small retro camper or small river shack or beach house.

10. You can lay a baby down for a nap and make a photo prop. Probably is the most use these suitcases get now days.

11. Not sure I could put dirt in one of these but this super cute! Its a little herb garden.

12. This has got to be the cutest thing ever! A doll house! Be sure to visit the link to this one for more ideas. You can make a desk, craft or sewing boxes, and more.

I bet you all want to go out and buy you some of these suitcase now, dont ya? Well, I found mine for nearly nothing at thrift shops. They can be found at yard sales too. Like they say "one persons junk is another persons treasure".