Now that Thanksgiving is behind us and you’re all deeply entrenched in the seasonal favorite of the moment, peppermint, I feel that it’s safe to bring up a topic that has been weighing heavily on my taste buds.


Pumpkin was last season’s “it-food” and nary a food blog neglected to cover it.  Pumpkin made an appearance on Facebook posts and Twitter tweets, Instagram and recipe after recipe after recipe.  Pumpkin chili.  Pumpkin rolls.  Pumpkin cookies.  Pumpkin oatmeal.  Pumpkin ice cream.  Pumpkin soup.  Pumpkin coffee.  Pumpkin smoothies.  Pumpkin bread.  Pumpkin pancakes.  Pumpkin pasta.  Pumpkin fudge.  And of course pumpkin pie.  Ugh.

Not ugh for pumpkin pie.  I LOVE pumpkin pie.  I even asked for it instead of cake for my birthday this year.  Of course what I got was cheesecake and I had to make the birthday pie myself a few days later, but no worries.  I love making pumpkin pie almost as much as I love eating it.  And that’s pretty much all the time.  I love eating pumpkin pie all the time.  Not just in the fall.

But I segue.  My love of pumpkin pie is not the issue here.  The world’s fickle love of pumpkin only surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday is.

That’s right, I’m calling you all out.

Because here’s the thing.  Here’s the thing that has been bothering me like squash bugs on a zucchini plant.


I’m sure there are a few of you out there who roast your own pumpkins to get your seasonal fix, but I’m guessing the majority of you bust open your can opener and crank open that store bought 15 ouncer to mix in with your morning oatmeal and grande extra gigante foamy latte frappe cappuccino spiced chai soy half caf coconut coffee.

So may I repeat.


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Wow, the end of the month sure does sneak up on a Challenger doesn’t it?

If you’re new to these parts, I’ve been participating in the Foodie Pen Pals program sponsored by The Lean Green Bean pretty much since I started blogging.  Okay, so that means it has only been three times so far, but they’ve been three really good times.  Fourth time’s a charm too, right?

Foodie Pen Pals works something like this:

1) I send a foodie package to a new randomly assigned friend.  Hi Angela!

2) A new randomly assigned friend sends me a foodie package.  Hi April!

3) I do something super awesome with the ingredients, like creating and winning the Chopped Challenge (Glazed Chocolate Bunny Cinnamon Pancake Bread on a Cliff), winning again in the rematch (Pita Encrusted BBQ Gnocchi, Gnocchi Spaghetti BBQ Meatloaf w/ Breadsticks, Chocolate-dipped Pretzel Sandwiches) and oh yeah, winning for the third time in the Copy Cat Challenge (Homemade Caramel Apple Butter). Then I post about my triumphs on the last day of the month.  Hey, It’s my blog, I can win against myself if I want to.

4) You all love me forever.

Number four is optional, but my fragile ego highly recommends it.  Right then, let’s get this party, er Challenge, started.

1) Did everybody say Hi to Angela over at Happy Fit Mama?  Go on, don’t be shy.  Please come back though because I’m not done here yet.  If all goes according to plan, you should find a post on her blog highlighting what I sent her.  My ego would like you to tell her she clearly had the BEST Foodie Pen Pal ever this month.

2) April from April’s Mooseathon sent me a package.  Much like I like goats, apparently she likes moose. She indulged me in my gluten-free month and sent me the following fabulous package:

Tangy Pineapple Chips – they were oh so tangy so yay for truth in advertising

Gin-Gins – also quite tangy, like chewing on a quick burst of fire (this is funny later if you keep on reading and you like AC/DC)

Cheesy Poofs – !!!!!! (in case you can’t decode that, it means I love cheesy poofs)

Cocoa Power Cookie – that’s some powerful cocoa

Pumpkin Ginger NRG Bar – less pumpkin, more ginger, all bar

Honey Nut Rice Cakes – probably the best rice cakes I’ve ever had


Thanks April, you rock the party that rocks the party!  Seriously, I couldn’t have done it without ya.


3) I do something super awesome with the ingredients.  Normally this means I embark upon the Chopped Challenge and endeavor to use all the ingredients in one dish or meal.  This month is no exception.  I accept the Challenge.  Not only do I accept the Challenge, but I’m going to whip it, whip it good.

I’m really sorry for this people, but I just couldn’t help myself so without further adieu, I’d like to present this month’s Chopped Challenge . . .

My apologies to AC/DC for this.

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