Friday, September 30, 2011

Pumpkins and a Grocery Store Tangent

While I am still wondering where the first 9 months of the year went, I am so jazzed that tomorrow is October 1. I think of October as the month of all things pumpkin...including my two little pumpkins born in the middle of the month.

Pumpkin is a wonderful source of beta-carotene and potassium, and very versatile in baking. When you add pumpkin to a recipe there is no need for added oils.

Taking this into consideration and acknowledging the importance of a healthy lifestyle, I decided to make these Pumpkin White Chocolate Chunk and Candied Ginger Blondies from Picky Palate.

I did it for my healthy...because pumpkin is so nutritious.

These blondies are super yummy. They sound very sweet, but they really aren’t- they have a perfect balance of pumpkin, spice and chocolate. The ginger candies on top add a nice kick, but are a bit much for my kids. If you are not a fan of ginger candy, leave them off- they are an acquired taste, in my opinion. These blondies are just good without them.

For those of you who are not fans of white chocolate chips, I highly recommend the white chocolate baking bars from Trader Joes. They don’t have that fake chocolate taste and can easily be chopped up in place of chips.

Speaking of Trader Joes‘s, I have completely stopped shopping at the grocery store.

I have been a captive to the big chain grocery stores for years because it was the only place I could shop and keep all three children contained in one cart. Now that the boys have enough self-control to walk in the store without touching everything or breaking out in a wrestling match, I have a lot more freedom to shop where I want.

Trader Joes is my go to store. They are clean and well stocked, prices are competitive and often pretty cheap, and the employees are pleasant and helpful- what a concept! I was already sick of the awful customer service and quickly rising prices at the big chain stores, but this summer when they announced the stalled union contract negotiations and potential for another grocery worker strike I decided to stop shopping at traditional groceries all together.

If it is not stocked at Trader Joes, Sprouts, Costco or Target, I don’t need it.

I was able to get all the blondie ingredients at Trader Joes and the kids picked out this happy but ugly pumpkin for the porch.

Go enjoy some pumpkin yumminess. Happy October everyone!


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