Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Witches and broomsticks and pesto...oh my!

Cute witch (and pattern) found here

I probably should have started October with a warning:  Our family REALLY likes Halloween.  No, not just a little, REALLY, REALLY likes Halloween.  So much so that our house has become a neighborhood destination for Halloween weekend, and we have been in the local paper the last 5 years running. 

Don’t believe me?  Check out our website: http://millcreekhauntedhallow.com

After you see the lengths we go to when decorating our yard, it may make more sense why at least half of our meals in October are Halloween themed!

On that note, here is what we had for dinner last night:

Pesto Flatbread Witches

1 package (8 to 9 oz) naan bread, or what I used...which is what the good people at QFC happened to mark down that day:

2 tablespoons of prepared pesto sauce OR...if like me, you start cooking without checking for ingredients first, you can use the buttery-pesto spread from the Cheesy Bat Biscuits:
     2 tbsp butter
     ¼ cup Parmesan
     1 tsp dried parsley
     1 tsp dried basil
About ¾ cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Using Halloween cookie cutters (I got mine in a big bin of seasonal cookie cutters from Michael’s) cut out shapes.  (I was running with a witch theme, so I used the witch head and cat shapes.)
Place on baking sheet.
Spread pesto in a thin layer over bread.
Top evenly with cheese.
(If you are more ambitious than I, you can cut decorative shapes and faces or whatever out of red peppers.)
Bake 8 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Pretzel Carrot Broomsticks

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
½ cup shredded cheese
¼ cup salsa (the recipe called for ½ cup, but I chose to only use ¼ cup, because little kids do tend to have more sensitive palates.)
2/3 cup julienned carrots (I cut up baby carrots, but you could also buy “matchstick carrots” at the grocery store, and save yourself some time)
9 pretzel rods, broken in half

Mix the cream cheese, shredded cheese, and salsa.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until chilled.
Place one heaping tsp of cheese mixture on the end of each pretzel half, round into a ball.  Roll the dip on the shredded carrots…or just place them on one at a time, whatever works!

The verdict:

5 thumbs (mostly) up!

The dip for the broomsticks was especially popular.  #3 and #4 both pulled all of the carrots off their brooms, and ate the dip, then asked for more! 
I think next time I would use a slightly different dip recipe, one that included some pureed veg, especially since the carrots were the least popular part.

Oh, and I probably should have mentioned this 3 recipes ago, but here is the book that I got the recipes for Cheesy Bat Biscuits, Toasted Cheese Jack O' Lanterns, Pesto Witches and Carrot Broomsticks:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Because I didn’t have enough ways to make grilled cheese

Glow in the dark Jack (and pattern!) found here

I pulled out my trusty Halloween cookbook yesterday, and thought I’d try to involve #2 in the dinner making process, so I let her pick what to make for dinner.  After (repeatedly) saying no to dessert recipes (“But, why can’t we have chocolate whoopee pie spiders for dinner?”), she settled on “Toasted Cheese Jack O’ Lantern Sandwiches.”  Really?  All of the crazy ideas in this book, and she wants grilled cheese?

But, hey, I asked for her help! 

The interested thing about this spooky sandwich recipe is that you toast the grilled cheese in the oven!  First time for everything.  It does make sense, since cutting holes in the top piece of bread would make it pretty messy if I flipped it in a frying pan the way I usually do!

Here's the recipe:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread butter on one side of four bread slices.
Place bread slices, butter side down, onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Top each with one slice of cheese.  (I used Tillamook Cheddar, house fave)
Cut out shapes from 4 additional slices of bread.  
Place on top of cheese.  Butter tops of bread with faces.
Bake 10 to 12 mins or until cheese is melted.

I served the sandwiches with Campbell’s Tomato Soup, made with milk, the only brand/way all four girls will eat tomato soup…which leads me to the question, is it me?  Did I somehow encourage this narrow vision of what food should be?  How is it that even my 4 year old can tell the difference between Campbell’s canned, and Trader Joe’s boxed tomato soup?

Anyway, the verdict is:

Four thumbs up!

I was a little surprised; after all, the toasted sandwiches came out much crunchier than the usual grilled.  However, one moment made all of that careful cutting of shapes out of the bread worth it:  when #4 sat down at the table and saw the Jack O’ Lantern face smiling on her plate, she giggled! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bats and ghosts for dinner...must be October!

Adorable bat found here
It's October!  Fall weather has fallen with it's usual, graceful THUD...which always inspires harvesty and Halloween-inspired foods.

I know I'm not the only one, but I do have an usually large collection of Halloween cookbooks.  Seriously, I have dozens!  And every year, I pick up another one...or two...or three...

Anyway, you shouldn't be surprised to find out that while at the grocery store today, with only soynut butter on my list, I decide to make a Halloween themed dinner...of course, I didn't have any of my cookbooks with me, so I HAD to buy a new one!  Oh, look, I don't have that one!  Squeee!

Anyway, this particular recipe appealed to me for it's simplicity, and potential to appeal to all 4 girls.  After all, at it's heart, it's pretty much just bread and butter!

Cheesy Bat Biscuits

1 can jumbo buttermilk biscuits
3 tbsp butter (or margarine), divided
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp dried basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Flatten each biscuit in shape just large enough to fit 3 inch bat (or whatever shape your kids might like: trains, cars, cats, etc) cookie cutter.
Cut out shape, discard scraps (I have to admit, I couldn't throw out that much dough, so I rolled and rolled, and rolled and rolled and squished and rolled some more until I could cut out some pumpkin shapes...but they contracted and made very sad, wrinkly pumpkins.)
Place biscuits on baking sheet.
Brush with 1 tbsp butter.
Bake 7 minutes. (The biscuits will NOT be completely done, that is ok!)

Meanwhile, mix remaining 2 tbsp butter, parm, parsley and basil in a small bowl.

Split biscuits in half.  (They're hot!  And admittedly, kind of a pain to cut in half...)
Spread about 1 tsp cheese mixture on bottom half of each biscuit, top with remaining biscuit half.  Bake 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

I served the bats with mashed potato and pea ghosts:

The ghosts are super simple!  Just make instant mashed potatoes, spoon into a ziploc bag, cut a small corner off, and pipe into a ghost shape. 

And the verdict:

Five thumbs up for the bats!

I actually love the flavor of the cheese mixture.  This is one I want to save to use on everything, it is a super simple version of pesto! 

The ghost were not so popular.  #3 in particular, refused to touch the ghost, but asked for a bowl of potatoes.  Go figure!

Oh, and from my 15 year old:  "Everyone likes it when you make something from a book.  Just don't make any recipes up any more!"  Hmph. Thanks. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One big squash=lots of baking fun!

Happy squash rattle found here
Squash.  Squish.  Squish-squash-squashity-squish-squish-squoosh...

Ok, now that I got THAT out of my system...

I greatly admire people with green thumbs.  I do not have a green thumb.  I have whatever the opposite of a green thumb is.  Brown thumb?  No, wait, that just sounds gross...

Anyway, my mom is one of  those people with an amazing green thumb.  I want her to spend spring at my house making things grow.  Another fabulous person in my life whose green thumb I am frequently a benefactor of is my mother in law.  So far this fall, we have enjoyed a variety of lettuce, corn on the cob, and my oldest has enjoyed her tomatoes...I don't know why out of 6 of us, she is the only freak weirdo gourmand who likes to eat raw tomatoes.

Last week, my husband came home with another harvest from my mother in laws garden:

(I actually had to post this photo on facebook to ask what they were.  Yellow squash and the fattest zucchini I've ever seen, as it turns out!)

I cut up the yellow squash, steamed it, and pureed it.  Then I put in in my freezer in 1/2 cup portions.  I knew "Deceptively Delicious" had several recipes that called for yellow squash, and I was excited to try them...So excited it only took me a week to get out the cookbook...oops.  Oh well!

Quick tip:

Yellow squash blends very well into boxed macaroni and cheese, even the white cheddar kind!  When I was pureeing the squash, I took 4 tbsp and replaced the butter in a box of TJ's Shells and White Cheddar:

My little monkeys didn't even notice the difference!  #2 noticed the slight color change, but she said it tasted the same.

I did finally get out the cookbook and defrost some squash today, and here is the recipe I made:

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes Muffins

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup yellow squash pureee
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil  (I think I have mentioned it before, but use canola, not vegetable!  Canola is much better for you.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour (Sigh.  Normally I would use TJ's White Whole Wheat Flour...but when I asked my husband to pick some up, apparently the only words he heard were "White Flour".  So, I in this recipe, I used my last 1/4 cup of whole wheat, and the rest is just white.)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (Ha!  I almost typed "cup"!  Those would have been some nasty cupcakes!)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

(The recipe also has instructions for frosting, but I found the muffins were sweet enough without them!  Which is also why I called them muffins...no expectation of frosting if you tell them it's a muffin!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat muffin pan with cooking spray.  (Yet another aside...the recipe claims it only makes 12 regular size muffins, but she must be using bigger muffin pans that me!  I made 12 regular size AND 24 mini muffins!)

2. Put the pumpkin, squash, brow sugar, water, oil and vanilla in a large bowl, and beat until well blended. (I'm just full of parentheses today!  I just used a bowl and whisk, but you could use a mixer...I just didn't want to lug my KitchenAid out...that thing is heavy!)

3. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix thoroughly.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups.    For the mini muffins, I used a spoon:

4. Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and spring back to the touch.  10-12 minutes for the minis, and 20-25 for the bigs.  Turn the muffins out on a rack to cool.

Finished muffins:

And the verdict:

Five thumbs, way, way up!  I think the littles each had 5 of the minis for snack!

PS, Quick shout out to all of the MOPS mommies who stopped by, this is for you:

Cute ghost mop found here

Monday, October 3, 2011

Apple cr...oops...compote!

Tiny crochet apples (and pattern!) found here
Today I was supposed to be writing about this:

Crockpot Apple Crisp recipe here

But, through a series of mistakes and interruptions, it didn't happen.

I started with a big bowl full of tiny apples, delivered to my door by a friendly neighbor with an abundant apple tree.  (I really should pick the apples off the tree in my backyard.  They're quite tasty, but it is a rather tall tree...and I'm not a big fan of ladders.)

I started the Crockpot Apple Crisp recipe, got halfway through...and realized I was out of butter.  So, I took the apple mixture, covered it, put in the fridge, and planned on finishing it the next day...but went to the zoo instead.  I finally got the apples out again Sunday evening, but by then it was too late to start a crockpot recipe, so I cooked the apples in a big saucepan, and served them over waffles.

Predictably, #1 loved them, #2 nibbled, and the littles would touch the apples, but loved the waffles.

Note to parents: maybe it's just my kids, but apparently having waffles for dinner causes small children to be extremely hyper right before bedtime!  As much as the girls love breakfast for dinner, it may be a while before I do that again.

Here's the recipe for Apple Compote:

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 Granny Smith (or homegrown!) apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch wedges 
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, ginger and cinnamon. Stir in apples; toss to coat.  Put in the refrigerator up to 2 days.
Pour apple mixture in a large saucepan.  Add about 1/2 cup of apple juice (enough to cover the bottom of the pan).  Sprinkle a generous amount of pumpkin pie spice over top, and stir in 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
Cover, simmer for 10 or so minutes, until the apples are soft and most of the juice is evaporated.
Serve warm over waffles or pancakes.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Family Classics: Spinach Balls

Fuzzy green ball found here
I remember when I was a kid, sometimes my mom would host parties.  They would be office parties for my dad, or Super Bowl parties, or whatever.

My favorite part of mom's party prep was the appetizers she made.  My two all time favorites were spinach balls and sausage balls.

Spinach balls has become my go-to holiday dish to bring to family gatherings, and is now a favorite of my husband's family too!

So, I thought, what the heck!  I'll try it out on my kids.

Here's the recipe:

Clarke Family Spinach Balls

2 boxes chopped spinach (10oz frozen package)
     Cook spinach then drain and squeeze out moisture (Very important!  Squeeze all the moisture out!)
In a large bowl, combine spinach with following ingredients: (you will need to get your handy dirty, the best way to mix is my hand.)

1 package,16oz, Pepperidge Farm Stuffing mix (crumbly, not cubed!)
1 large, finely diced onion...(I should mention, I hate chopping onions.  It is my least favorite cooking prep activity.  If you are ever at my house for dinner, and you ask, "Is there anything I can do?", don't be surprised if I hand you an onion and a knife!)
6 eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup parmesean
1 tbsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp thyme

Shape into balls (size of golf ball) and place on greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 325 for 16-20 mins.
Spinach balls should be warm an firm to the touch.

Recipe makes approx. 5-6 dozen spinach balls.

By the way, as much as I love spinach balls, the ball rolling step is time consuming.  All together from frozen spinach to warm balls, it took just over an hour.

And the verdict:

Three very enthusiastic thumbs up from husband and the bigs, and two "no way, yech" thumbs down from the littles.

Another lesson learned...I served the spinach balls as a side with this pasta I picked up at Cost Plus World Market:

I thought it looked fun and interesting.  Silly me.  I should know that my children (especially my persnickety four year old!) do not see "fun" and "interesting", they see "new", "different", and "gross!"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Family Classics: Golden Oats

Crochet cereal (and pattern!)found here
Oatmeal, it's for breakfast, right?  Most days, yes. If you are like me, you have a secret love affair with the Maple and Brown Sugar flavor instant oatmeal...but maybe that's just me.

Also in my standard pantry stock:  a great big canister of whole oats.  I usually get them out for cookie recipes, but tonight they were the star in one of my all time favorite recipes from my childhood:

Golden Oats and Herbs

I liked them so much, for years they were my requested birthday meal.  I forget how easy they are to make, until I pull out the recipe again.  (By the way, quick shout out to my Mom, without whom none of these recipes would be here to share...especially since I had to ask her for them about 20 times each before I finally found a recipe filing system that I could find things in.  Thanks Mom!)

Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 cups Quaker Oats
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp margarine or butter, melted
3/4 cup vegetable broth (or, if you are not a vegetarian who always has a bunch of veg broth on hand, chicken broth will do just fine)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
2 tbsp parsley flakes

Combine oats and egg in medium bowl, mix until coated.  Add oat mixture to butter in large skillet.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until oats are dry, separated and lightly browned. Add remaining ingredients, continue cooking, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until liquid evaporates.

When I was a kid, Mom always served the oats with a bratwurst-type sausage, cooked in a sweet/mustardy sauce (that I should get the recipe for!), but, having no sausage (and no clue how to cook it even if I did) I served the oats with chicken nuggets. 

The verdict:

Four thumbs, way, way up!  And,#3, being contrary, refused to try them.  Oh well, maybe next time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Family Classics Week: Frito Casserole

Crochet corn toy found here``
When you were a kid, did you have certain meals that when Mom said, "We're having ____ for dinner!" you came running?

We certainly did! 

I've decided to try some of those classics on my kids, we'll see if they become new favorites too!

One of our family's all time favorite meals is a unique combination called "Frito Casserole"...actually I have no idea how unique it is!  My grandparents made it, my mom and her sisters all made it, and I know that several of my cousins still make it for their kids, but I have no idea where it got started. 

There are several versions of the Frito Casserole recipe, even within our family.  Here's the one I use:

Frito Casserole (Clarke style!)

1 onion, chopped (I like Walla Walla sweets)
1 green pepper, chopped

Saute onion and green pepper in a small amount of canola or olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed, or garlic powder
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp chili powder (note: do not accidentally use super-extra-hot habenero chili powder...like my husband did the last time...yeouch!)
3 or 4 cans of pinto beans
2 cups water (or more if needed)
1 cup shredded cheese
1 can drained whole olives

Simmer for 30 mins.  Serve in a bowl over Fritos.
(Optional: To make with meat, brown 1/2 pound ground beef with onions and green pepper, drain well.)

That's it!  It makes a big pot of soupy casserole, and it is soooo good.  I can personally put away at least two big bowls...and eat leftovers for days.  Maybe it's nostalgia, but I love Frito Casserole.  The kids...well, they'll get used to it!  The older two already love it, and we're working on the littles.

The official tally:

Three thumbs up, two thumbs down.

(I lost my thumb graphic in the Great Laptop Crash of 2011, I should be able to replace it soon!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pizza, Pizza: Easy Easy!

Pizza (and pattern!) found here
In all fairness, I feel I should warn you: this recipe was born of exhaustion and caffeine abuse!  I was at the end of a very busy and long day, and I made the mistake of drinking a "Rockstar" canned coffee drink.  It contains caffeine, ginsing, taurine, caffeine, guarana, caffeine, b-vitamins and sugar.

Lessons learned:  1.  No one should ever, ever drink anything containing guarana.  It's very, very bad for you. 
2.  No one past the late-night-cramming sessions age should drink anything containing caffeine at 5pm.
3.  Weird recipes happen when Mom consumes caffeinated, sugary beverages before cooking dinner!

My inspiration for dinner was a bag of baby spinach that was fast coming up on it's expiration date.  I threw in in the double-boiler, and steamed it briefly until the leaves were wilted.  Then I pureed the spinach in my fancy-schmancy new food processor (woo-hoo!).

Next, I layered tortillas into a super simple pizza, in this order:

Tortilla, cover with about 2 tbsp of spinach puree, sprinkle with parmesean, and a little bit of shredded cheese.

2nd tortilla, cover with marinara sauce, and cover with plenty of shredded cheese.
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 mins.

I made two, but I really only need one for all four girls.

Not surprising, #1 and #2 were extremely suspicious, and not happy about the green layer.  #1 said the combination of spinach and marinara tasted "weird", but #2 actually like it.  #3 and #4 picked theirs apart, just like they do with their sandwiches.  The biggest surprise?  My husband loved it!  He has already requested that I make it for our annual Halloween party!

Official tally:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Show the love, vote!

Knit apple found here
Readers, I would like to take a moment to thank you for being here...thank you.

Now, while you're here, would you mind terribly popping over to best.king5.com, and voting for My Kids Hate My Cooking as the BEST food blog in Western Washington?

You, may I say, rock.  Thank you for reading, and another recipe disaster and/or success is coming soon!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Macaroni Pie-tooie!

Happy tomato found here
It was about 3 o'clock yesterday when I started thinking about dinner.  This is unusual for me.  Most days I start thinking about dinner around 5.  Which probably explains why we've been eating a lot of simple, fast to make meals.  Yesterday though, I realized early on that we had done all of our quick go-to meals in the last week!  The last week of summer infected the whole family with a bad case of the lazies. We had pizza (twice), hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled cheese, cheese and crackers...so I figured it was about time to actually make something a little more complicated.

As with many things in my house, complicated is risky.  Chances are good that the more work I put into a recipe, the more likely the kids are to reject it.

Tonight's recipe experiment: Macaroni Pie  (adapted from the Deceptively Delicious "Spaghetti Pie" recipe)

6 oz uncooked macaroni (or any other shape pasta)
8 oz (about 1/2 package) Yves Meatless Ground
1/2 cup broccoli puree
1 large egg white
2 tbsp parmesean
2 cups bottled marinara sauce
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup carrot puree
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente.  Drain in a colander.
3. In a small bowl, mix the Meatless Ground with the broccoli puree, egg white, and parm.
Form the mixture into 1/2 inch balls.
4. In a large bowl, stir the cooked pasta, marinara sauce, cottage cheese, carrot puree, and salt and pepper.  Spoon the mixture into the pie plate and smooth the top.  Place meatballs on top (the recipe says "scatter", but how do you scatter meatballs?), and sprinkle cheese on top.
5. Bake, uncovered, until the center is firm and the cheese is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.

Not surprisingly, this didn't go over well with the littles!  #4 only ate the macaroni, #3 refused to touch anything but the garlic bread I served it with, and #2, although she ate it, she protested loudly about the "icky" tomato sauce.  Husband and #1 actually really liked it...in fact, my husband ate the leftovers the next day for lunch!

Official tally:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Healthy doughnuts?

Silly doughnut found here
So, healthy doughnuts:  cruel myth, or delicious reality?  According to Jessica Seinfeld, author of Deceptively Delicious (still one of my current favorite cookbooks), you can make a doughnut healthy and tasty.  And, since my wonderful husband just bought a doughnut mold pan for me, I get to test it out!

A note on doughnuts in general:  I hate doughnuts.  That is to say, I looooove doughnuts and can eat my weight in them if no one is looking.  Which is why I hate doughnuts.  They are one of the truly, awfully, no redeeming value bad for you foods that I simply can not resist.  Especially if I have one.  Then, I am toast.  Or, if you are what you eat, I am doughnut.  So, the possibility of a doughnut that a)doesn't taste like fried and glazed heaven, and b) isn't all that bad for me the kids, is very exciting.

The other thing I was excited about with this recipe is that it calls for pumpkin, which I had leftovers of in the fridge!  I love using leftovers.  (That might make me weird.  I don't know, I think that may be the first time I've said/typed it out loud.)

Without further ado (or rambling...) here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Doughnuts

1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
(note: I was fresh out of sweet potato puree...ie: never had any...so I used 1 cup of pumpkin)
1/2 cup skim milk
1 large egg white
1 Tablespoon trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread (or butter)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (or, you guessed it!  TJ's White Whole Wheat Flour...that reminds me...I need more!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
Coat mini-doughnut mold or mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, pumpkin and sweet potato purees, milk, egg white, margarine and vanilla. 
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon and mix until completely incorporated.

Pour the batter into a gallon-sized plastic bag and cut the bottom tip off of one side of the bag.   Then, squeeze the batter into the doughnut or mini-muffin mold.
(Note: make sure to only fill the doughnut molds halfway!  This was my first time trying out the doughnut pan, and I filled the first couple waaaay too full.)
Bake until the tops are lightly browned and toothpick comes out clean when inserted, about 10 minutes.  Turn the doughnuts out onto a rack to cool. Coat with confectioner's sugar when cool.

You might wonder, with a recipe that makes a dozen, why is there only one little lonely doughnut on the plate?

There probably would have been 5 thumbs up, but my kids ate the doughnuts so fast, my husband never got one!
That said, I actually was not perfectly happy with how these turned out.  I would definitely make them again, but with some tweaks. Tweak #1: more pumpkin pie spice!  I thought these were a little bland.  Tweak #2: Well, ok, not technically a tweak, rather a correction...I would use the sweet potato, or maybe banana instead of another 1/2 cup of pumpkin.  Again, bland.  Tweak #3: Double the recipe...after I buy another doughnut pan!