Breakstone Blogger Challenge Final Recipe + Voting Opens!


I dreamt about tonight’s dinner the entire way home this morning!

It combines all of my very favorite things, you see. Balsamic reduction, roasted brussels sprouts and caramelized onions – into one sensational supper: Stuffed Acorn Squash 3.0 – MMMMMM!!! (Here’s versions 1.0 and 2.0!)


I started by popping some brussels sprouts and tofu into a piping hot oven to start roasting (same seasoning and cooking times as last time) then got to work on the stovetop.


In corner one we’ve got the balsamic reduction. That’s ~1 cup balsamic vinegar simmered over medium heat until it reached the consistency of thin maple syrup – about 10-15 minutes (Tip: the balsamic reduction will continue to thicken after it’s taken off the heat so plan accordingly!)


In corner two we’ve got perhaps my very favorite thing out of ALL my favorite things – caramelized onions!!! I sliced a large, white onion then cooked it in 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.

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Since it wasn’t a sweet onion (like a Vidalia) I added ~1 Tablespoon sugar to the skillet when the onions started to brown.

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Now usually I just add drizzles of olive oil, or gradually turn down the heat, when I feel like my onions are going to burn. This time though, I kept the heat on medium and added a couple tablespoons of water whenever I felt like things were getting too hot.


Worked like a charm!! The onions took on that gorgeous, caramelized color and flavor without a single slice burning!

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Now I’m not going to lie to you – caramelizing onions takes a wee bit of babysitting. I stir mine every 2 minutes or so, for a good 30-35 minutes, but it’s a good Sunday evening activity and the results are SO worth it. :D


Finally I turned the burners off, took the veggies out of the oven, microwaved half a roasted acorn squash (leftover from Friday’s lunch) and piled it on!

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Perhaps not the most photogenic of dinners, but holy. cow. – sweet, crispy, garlicky, roasted GOODNESS IN MY MOUTH!


Honestly I want to drizzle balsamic reduction over everything… ;) It get’s so sweet and thick – you would have NO idea it was just heated up balsamic vinegar if I didn’t tell you.


I put most of the caramelized onion on top, but saved a wee bit for a big Kitchen Sink Salad I’m packing for lunch tomorrow. Saved some balsamic reduction to drizzle on top, too – wheee! :D


Ahhh, good Sunday night dinner if I ever had one. I heart Fall/Winter produce. :)

Breakstone Blogger Challenge Update!

Well, it’s time. Time to reveal my third and final recipe for the Breakstone Triple Churned Sour Cream Blogger Challenge. I saved the best for last – dessert!


Just a little background – I’m one of 3 bloggers competeing to win a fabu prize by incorporating Breakstone’s Triple Churned Sour Cream into 3 family-favorite Holiday dishes. Here’s the deal – YOU all get to vote on who you think the winner of the competition should be!


I went for a Thanksgiving theme for my competition dishes. First I lightened up my Father-in-Law’s favorite appetizer, Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jelly Dip, with cool sour cream.

Next I mixed it with savory wild rice and stuffed it in a bacon wrapped turkey breast for my Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast with Creamy Wild Rice Stuffing entree.

For zee finale, I added sour cream to my favorite pumpkin-flavored dessert, Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies, to make a crazy moist, perfectly poppable, sweet Thanksgiving dessert!


Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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Makes 30 whoopie pies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add pumpkin puree, sour cream, egg and vanilla extract. Beat until creamy.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three batches, being careful not to over mix.
4. Drop 1 Tablespoon batter onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating the pan half way through. Let cookies cool for one minute on the cookie sheet then remove to a cooling rack.
5. Pipe cinnamon cream cheese frosting between two cooled cookie halves and sandwich together.
6. To make cream cheese frosting: cream 1/4 cup softened butter, 4oz cream cheese, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until combined. Gradually mix in 2-3 cups powdered sugar until desired consistency of frosting is achieved.


Ben loathes pumpkin flavored desserts (I’ll never understand it) but the first time I made these I caught him popping MULTI pumpkin spice whoopie pies when he thought I wasn’t looking…muwahahaha! I’m telling you, these babies will covert any skeptic! :D

So now that I’ve revealed my appetizer, entree and dessert recipes, this is where you come in (and trust me, you’ll want to hear this) – you can vote for my dishes everyday from Monday, November 15th, 2011 to Sunday, December 19th.

Every time you vote you’re automatically entered to win a $1,000 Grand Prize or one of four weekly prizes of $250 – WIN/WIN, right?


I promise I won’t harass you too much during the next month to vote, but if you think about it, want to bookmark the voting site, tweet, facebook or stumble this post, I wouldn’t hate it… ;) Thank you, thank you, THANK you in advance!

Ok, that’s my spiel. Wish me luck!!!!!

Off to go relax before the start of another crazy week – see you!


What are some foods you CAN’T live without?

I CAN’T live without Honeycrisp apples. Obsessed, I tell you!

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  1. BACON!
    For real though… bananas, peanut butter, yogurt, and chocolate.

  2. Lauren 11.14.2010

    Oh my is right!!! This recipe sounds fantastic!!!!

  3. Sarah 11.14.2010

    Peanut Butter!! Your dinner and your holiday dessert looks great!

  4. Rachel 11.14.2010

    I cannot live without applesauce or peanut butter. I have one of the two at least once a week, if not more frequently!

  5. Bridget 11.14.2010

    Wow! That looks amazing! I can’t live without red salmon or avocados. I eat salmon regularly since I don’t eat meat. I have never met an avocado that I don’t like. :)

  6. LOVE that stuffed squash idea! I always get stuck on southwestern ones. Gonna try it!!

    And I couldn’t live without…..apples and dark chocolate!

  7. I can’t live without peanut butter.

  8. Liz @ Blog is the New Black 11.14.2010

    Does sugar count?! Anything with sugar- particularly chocolate, I love. Your din din looks fantab!

  9. Imwaytoobusy 11.14.2010

    I couldn’t live without strawberries and blueberries. I eat them year-round (thanks to frozen fruit!).
    Those whoopie pies look delicious!

  10. I love caramelized onions. And I probably can’t live without those pumpkin whoopie pies…as soon as I make my first batch.

  11. peanut butter! and pumpkin!

  12. kate 11.14.2010

    i might go with chocolate. so predictable, i know!

  13. This looks AMAZING. What can’t I lived without? Nut butter. I love it sooo much.


  14. Nut butters (AB, & PB)!!! FYI, Honeycrisps are $9.99 for 12 at Costco. Just splurged on a case yesterday. =)

  15. Mimi 11.15.2010

    Those may be some of the most delish looking whoopie pies ever… and that’s saying something. (;

  16. My vote is in! I won’t say who I voted for, but I’m sure you have an idea. ;)

    Chocolate is my addiction. Anything chocolate. Okay, almost anything.

  17. Voted! I tried your appetizer this weekend and it was phenom!! Everything looks great and I shall be trying all :smile:

  18. jen 11.15.2010

    How can one not like pumpkin desserts? I can’t get enough of ’em!

    Just voted, and tweeted! Good luck girlie!

    p.s. thanks for entering my giveaway! ;)

  19. dmcgirl 11.15.2010

    Cheerios, I am so dedicated to them right now! ;-)

  20. Daisy 11.15.2010

    VOTED! good luck Kristin!

  21. I can’t live without bread. I really can’t. Close second…peanut butter :)

  22. Carrie 11.15.2010

    My vote has been cast! Hope you win – and by the way, what do YOU win? I hope it’s something cool, love reading your blog!! Keep it up – you’ve definitely inspired me to try a few new things. My husband loved the Maid-Rites. He knew exactly what they were…it was my first time having them.

  23. Erin 11.15.2010

    I finally made your caramelized onions tonight. They took a long time to cook (maybe 45 minutes) BUT they were delish in a blue cheese (low-fat laughing cow blue cheese) caramelized onion frittata with a balsamic reduction. Yum! I cannot live without my mini-chocolate candy bars from Trader Joe’s. They are bigger than a “fun size” chocolate bar and give me the after-lunch sweet fix that I crave!

  24. Traci 11.17.2010

    Those onions look amazing (coming from someone who drinks 18-year old balsamic vinegar straight)!

  25. IowaGirlAtHeart 11.18.2010

    I voted and Liked! – good luck!

  26. […] actually not that long, and includes ingredients for homemade irish cream, salted caramels, pumpkin whoopie pies, peanut butter dough balls, chocolate coconut truffles, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. some […]

  27. […] i hinted at the amazing goodies from mama pea, gina, and kristin. yup, i made them […]

  28. Amanda 12.03.2010

    Hey Kristin!

    First of all, I vote for you everyday – I think all of your recipes look amazing! Second, I made your whoopie pie recipe for my family’s Thanksgiving celebration and they were a HUGE hit! Everyone was a newcomer to whoopie pies, but my family is toootally converted. They were moist, dense, and perfectly spiced – thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Lots of luck in the contest girlie!

  29. […] holiday-themed dishes – Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jelly Dip, Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast & Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies by clicking […]

  30. […] Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies […]

  31. […] A big scoop filled my bowl, which I drizzled with my other secret ingredient balsamic reduction! […]

  32. […] several months – I’ve had IGE’s Pumpkin Whoopie Pies recipe bookmarked for the next time I decided to get crazy and attempt more […]

  33. […] My three recipes are Sweet & Spicy Pepper Jelly Dip, Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast with Creamy Wild Rice Stuffing and Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies! […]

  34. […] is actually a recipe from one of the other women I competed against in the Breakstone Blogger Challenge last November. Thanks […]

  35. […] and topped with unGodly amounts of caramelized onions!!! […]

  36. […] and drenched the whole thing in sweet & syrupy balsamic reduction. […]

  37. […] For the icing – I made homemade cream cheese frosting with this recipe. […]

  38. Brittany 07.29.2011

    Your meals always looks so delish! I cannot live without peanut butter. I even tried for a day and I couldn’t resist!

  39. […] Drizzled with balsamic reduction. […]

  40. Donna 10.26.2011

    The pumpkin spice whoopie pies are awesome! I am definitely going to start making more of your recipes that you have posted! They all look so yummy and beautiful in your pictures!! Do you have a suggestion for the best way to store the whoopie pies if needed? I made them for a gathering Friday lunch and it is Wednesday evening.

  41. Kathe 11.21.2011

    What is the url to vote? I can’t get any of the links above to work. Thanks

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