Change is definitely in the air! From asparagus  to apples, peaches to pumpkins, the foods and seasons are changing as we settle into comforting smells and memories of the harvest season.  Change your daily routines with a new recipe from our 12 months of recipes, Sign up for a class in Richmond, or craft a new recipe from your Kitchen a la Cart to enter the “Sauce it Up” contest. 
“It’s never too late to change your life for the better. You don’t have to take huge steps to change your life. Making even the smallest changes to your daily routine can make a big difference in your life.”
-Roy T. Bennett, The light in the Heart.


Cooking Tip of the Day: Heart Healthy Baking Tips

Prepare muffins and quick breads with less saturated fat and fewer calories. Use three ripe, very well-mashed bananas, instead of 1/2 cup butter, lard, shortening or oil or substitute one cup of applesauce per one cup of these fats!


Use plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt or fat-free or low-fat sour cream instead of full fat versions. You can’t tell the difference!


Another way to decrease the amount of fat and calories in your recipes is to use fat-free milk or 1% milk instead of whole or reduced-fat (2%) milk. For extra richness, try fat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk!


Click here to read more Cooking Tips for Kids.

Monthly Recipes: October

Pumpkin Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 3/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/8 t ground cloves
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Step 2 Line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin wrappers or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Step 3 In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cloves, cranberries and cinnamon.
  • Step 4 In a medium bowl combine sugar, pumpkin, buttermilk, brown sugar, canola oil and egg.
  • Step 5 Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in your pumpkin mixture. Stir until just moist.
  • Step 6 Fill muffin cups ⅔ to ¾ full. Bake for 16-18 minutes.

Yields 12 muffins


Fruity Fractions

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 5 minutes Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • 12 mini pita breads (1 per student)
  • 3 pears, thinly sliced (1/4 pear per student)
  • 6 slices of muenster cheese (1/2 slice per student)
  • 6 t honey (1/2 t per student)
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Step 1 Give each student a mini bread, brush with olive oil and cut into quarters or eighths
  • Step 2 Have students work together to cut pears in half and then in quarters. Give each student a quarter and slice the pear thinly.
  • Step 3 Add a slice of muenster cheese to each pita triangle and top with pear slice.
  • Step 4 Lightly drizzle and small amount of honey over pita.
  • Step 5 Bake in toaster oven at 450 F for 5 minutes or until pear is soft and cheese is bubbly. Enjoy!

Serves 12

Creamy Squash & Pear Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 sliced pears
  • 1 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, diced, no skin
  • 2 t butter
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t fresh ginger
  • 1 seeded jalapeño pepper, if desired.
  • Step 1 In a large stock pot combine butter, diced onion, pears and squash. Cook until tender.
  • Step 2 Remove and puree in a food processor, adding 1/2 cup of vegetable broth if needed.
  • Step 3 Put back into stock pot and add remaining ingredients. If you want to kick it up a bit, add the jalapeno pepper with the onion mixture so it is pureed.
  • Step 4 Serve with crème fraiche and garnish of thinly sliced pear.

Pumpkin Milkshake

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • 8 cups of vanilla ice cream
  • 4 T vanilla
  • 4 T pumpkin
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 3 cup of milk, almond, or soy milk
  • Step 1 Combine all the ingredients in a blender and whirl away!
  • Step 2 Garnish with a little whipped cream, cinnamon and pumpkin spice if desired.