Magic 7-Layer Pumpkin Bars


2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 16 whole crackers)
8 Tbsp butter, melted
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
2 golden delicious apples, shredded
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup salted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine graham crackers and butter and stir until well blended. Press mixture onto bottom of a foil-lined 8x8 pan.

Combine sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and stir until well combined. Pour mixture over graham cracker crust.

Peel and core apples. Coarsely shred the apples. Layer shredded apples on the sweetened sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle on chocolate chips, followed by the almonds and then finish by sprinkling coconut on top.

Place assembled pan in the oven and bake for about 25-35 minutes. Let cool in pan completely and then transfer finished pan to the refrigerator to chill before cutting.

This recipe is also linked to...

Food on Friday: Parsnips and Pumpkin

Beef Stroganoff


1 pound top sirloin steak, cut into strips
6 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup beef stock
1 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste


Heat a large skillet  over a medium-high heat and allow 2 Tbsp of butter to melt. Add the beef strips and cook on each side for just one minute, until golden brown and then remove from the pan and set aside. Don’t be worried that the meat isn’t cooked through, as it will return to the heat to cook again later.

Repeat the above step, but this time cooking the mushrooms. They may require a minute or two longer, just enough time so that they begin to take a golden color. Once cooked, remove them from the skillet and set aside for later use.

This time, repeat the first step, but with the onions and garlic. More cooking time will be required, as the onions need to become tender.

Once the onions and garlic have cooked, leave them in the skillet and add the white wine. Cook for just a few minutes so that the alcohol burns off and the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan come up. At this point add the coconut milk and beef broth, stirring until a consistent creamy sauce takes shape.

Return the beef and mushrooms to the skillet and allow them to simmer slightly for 5 to 7 minutes. You may need to turn the temperature down to prevent the sauce from boiling. Also be sure to check the beef, as you do not want to overcook it and make it chewy.

Serve as is or on top of some pasta. Bon apetit!

Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded coconut (I used medium)
1 1/4 cups oats


Cream shortening with sugar, add egg and vanilla and mix until fluffy.

Add flour, baking powder, salt, coconut and oats, mix well.

I use an ice-cream scoop to place cookie dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet (or you can drop by a spoon). Do not flatten balls as they'll flatten as they bake.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown.

When cool, store in a sealed container or cookie jar.


NOTE: I like to add 1 cup of mini chocolate chips into the batter when I add the dry ingredients.

Zucchini and Spaghetti Squash "Lasagna"


About 2 cups tomato sauce
1 medium zucchini thinly sliced (I used the slice setting on my cheese grater)
About 2-2 1/2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Ground pepper
Dried parsley flakes


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a casserole dish, smear a little of the sauce on the bottom to prevent sticking then begin layering zucchini, top with a bit of squash, dab on some of the ricotta, sprinkle with a bit of the shredded cheese, add some sauce repeat until you are out of ingredients. Be sure the save a bit of mozzarella cheese for the top.

Sprinkle the top with some ground pepper and dried parsley. Bake uncovered for at about 45 minutes until zucchini is tender.

During the baking process there will be a lot of water, no pasta to soak it up. About every 10-15 minutes use a turkey baster to remove some excess water.

NOTE: This recipe it even better double baked! You can easily make it ahead and then pop it back in the oven. Just like traditional lasagna, it’s better the next day!