Mini Pumpkin Pies - Do the Little Monster Mash with @OXOTot #Sponsored

The past few months have been busy, so it's no huge surprise that the holidays have snuck up on me. I'm not sure where the time went, but there's only a week until Thanksgiving and I haven't even planned our menu yet. I'll admit I'm a little out of practice at menu planning, it's been years since we've stayed home for a holiday, which is why I've spent the past few days trying to get a handle on what I want to serve so I can write up the mile-long shopping list that generally accompanies one of my fabulous feasts.

Rather than save the best for last I decided to tackle our dessert spread first. We'll likely have a handful of children around the table so I've decided make a healthier version of our holiday favorites, starting with these mini pumpkin pies. OXO has once again sent us some tools from their OXO Tot line, so make sure to keep reading after the recipe for our full review of the products we used during the development of this recipe.

  Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Little Monster Mash OXO Tot blogger outreach campaign. They have provided me with a set of tools from their OXO Tot line, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Little Monster Mash OXO Tot blogger outreach campaign. They have provided me with a set of tools from their OXO Tot line, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Mini Pumpkin Pies for Tots

makes 6 servings


 


The great thing about this recipe is that it's flexible, you can easily adjust the ingredients as your little one grows. For younger children feel free to remove the butter (but not the milk) and scale back on the spices. The cooking time will be the same, but it will change the final texture. Older children love a little sugar mixed in, extra pumpkin pie spice, and a fun topping. To get them involved make sure to let them decorate their own mini "pie".

Ingredients


15 ounces canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or more to taste)

optional toppings

whipped cream
crushed graham crackers
maple syrup
leftover pie crust scraps (dipped in cinnamon sugar then baked)

 

Directions
 

 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl combine pumpkin, melted butter, milk, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice, then blend until smooth. Spoon mixture into OXO's glass baby blocks or another 4 ounce oven-safe container and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown. Make sure not to fill past the 3 ounce marker-line so you have room for expansion as the eggs bake.

Don't forget, you'll need to adjust the baking time if your containers are larger than 4 ounces.

  • Serve immediately with one of the optional toppings listed above or allow to cool on a wire rack for an hour, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Notes

 

This recipe makes slightly more than will fit in the OXO Tot glass blocks. Rather than scale the recipe down to fit in 4 containers I like to put the extra in a small oven-safe dish, add a bit of sugar (either white, brown, or both) and bake it along side the kid-friendly "pies". This way I have a small treat to eat during nap-time or later in the day when I need a sweet pick-me-up that won't leave me feeling guilty. 

A note on freezing:

Because this is technically a custard pie it will likely start to separate in the freezer, so while you can freeze it the texture will change and may not be appealing to a picky little one. I would do a test freeze and thaw of a single container to make sure your little one won't balk at the change in texture.

Want more great ideas to help you feed your tot? Check out our recipes for Easy Crockpot Applesauce, Gingerbread Applesauce, and Homemade Spaghetti O's.

Make sure to keep reading for our OXO Tot product review!

Today we'll be looking at the Glass Baby Blocks, Food Masher, and Feeding Spoons from the OXO Tot line.

Product Review: OXO Tot Glass Baby Blocks, Food Masher, and Feeding Spoons

Review


Glass Baby Blocks

When my son was first starting on solids I tore the internet apart looking for small glass containers like this, but there really wasn't anything remotely similar on the market at the time. I eventually settled for a plastic set which has served me well over the past few years, but not all of the containers have held up to the abuses I've put them through (they eventually developed cracks in the bottom from being smashed in my diaper bag, which is why I was interested in a glass set in the first place.)

The bottoms of these blocks are made from borosilicate glass, which unlike plastic will never break down and can be taken straight from the fridge or freezer to the microwave or oven to be reheated as needed. You don't even need to defrost the food first, which is a huge plus when you're in a hurry (and let's be honest, when you have a screaming, hungry child you are always going to be in a hurry!)

What I really love about these containers is that they have a million and one uses beyond baby food. I use mine to store small amounts of chicken stock, fresh herbs in olive oil, leftover bits & bobs, and even salad dressing—the containers are leak-proof so they're great for tossing in lunch boxes. They're definitely not a one use product, which isn't something you can often say about a product designed for kids.

If you like the design, but aren't keen on using glass around your little one OXO does make a plastic version that comes in a variety of sizes.

Food Masher

At first I wasn't sure how much use I'd get out of the food masher, but I'm perfectly willing to admit when I'm wrong, there are some well-thought-out features included in the design that make this much more efficient than using a fork. First of all, the masher handle comes apart, so you can store everything inside the bowl allowing you to toss it in the diaper bag and go, without having to worry about bits of leftover food getting everywhere. This feature alone makes it worth the purchase price, I can't count the number of times I've tossed my mashing utensils in my diaper bag, leaving behind stray bits of food on my diapers and other whatnots. But the feature I really like are the teeth on the side of the masher, they make short work of stringy foods like sweet potato and I was able to have a nice smooth consistency in no time at all, which isn't always possible with a fork. This ended up being a real winner and as an added bonus it's really great at making small amounts of guacamole, so even after the baby is done with mashed food it's still useful in the kitchen.

Feeding Spoon Set with Soft Silicone

The soft silicone tip of this spoon is perfect for little ones just starting out with solid food and the material is gentle on the skin should you need to scrape stray bites off their face, neck, or belly (my kid can't possibly be the only one who has managed to get food stuck in his belly button, right?)


Where to Purchase


OXO Tot Glass Baby Blocks — OXO.COM or Amazon

OXO Tot Food Masher — OXO.COM (not yet available on Amazon)

OXO Tot Feeding Spoon Set with Soft Silicone — OXO.COM or Amazon

 

Disclosure


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Little Monster Mash OXO Tot blogger outreach campaign. They have provided me with a set of tools from their OXO Tot line, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Monster Mash with OXO Tot

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)

The holidays are always a hectic time for us since we live so far from home. It’s a six hour drive (or longer if we’ve had a recent snowfall) so I like to pack a treat to eat on the road. Monday I spent the morning alternating my time between baking and rounding up every last thing we think we need for the trip back to St. Louis. Somehow we always pack twice as much as we actually need, but once the car was loaded up we hopped in and made our way home.

Even though I’m not in charge of cooking a single thing for the holiday meal this year I still hate to come empty handed. The pumpkin pie spiced pepitas I made for our trip are perfect to bring along to all of our family gatherings. They only take a few minutes to make, especially if you buy pre-hulled pumpkin seeds (look for them in the health-food section, the baking aisle, or with the snack nuts) and you can make them in advance if need be. Toss the seeds with liberal amounts of butter, salt, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice—bake for a few minutes—and you'll have a tasty treat to share with your friends and family. They'll be gone in minutes, so make sure to bring extras!

Pumpkin Pie Spice Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pepitas
makes 8 - 10 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
12 ounces (2½ cups) pepitas
⅛ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
sea salt, to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl combine melted butter, pepitas, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes, stir once, and bake for an additional 8 minutes.
  • Once the pepitas have been removed from the oven allow them to cool for 30 minutes and top with sea salt before serving.

Notes

Leftover pepitas can be stored in an airtight container. They'll stay fresh for at least 5 days, but ours are usually long gone before then.

Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a staple in this house for any holiday meal and in the past I've often spent hours in the kitchen preparing huge batches of fluffy potatoes loaded up with sour cream and butter. Several years ago I was looking to add a bit of variety to our holiday menu so I started making mashed sweet potatoes for our Thanksgiving dinner. They quickly became one of my favorite side dishes to prepare, if only because they are much less time consuming to make than regular mashed potatoes. There is no peeling or boiling involved and very little mashing, so it is a huge time saver during an already jam packed week. I need every extra minute I can get during the holidays, don't you? They also make an excellent side dish to chicken or pork and I make them often when sweet potatoes are in season. This year I decided to dress them up a little bit with some cayenne pepper, cumin, ginger and white pepper just to give them a little kick. If you're looking for something just a little bit different this year give these a try, I'm positive they'll become a staple in your home too.
Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

3lbs sweet potatoes (this ended up being 4-5 medium potatoes)
4 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons maple syrup (I used Grade A Golden Amber)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ginger 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub potatoes, place on a foil lined baking sheet, and puncture each potato with a knife or fork (to allow steam to escape.)
  • Bake for 1 hour if using medium sized potatoes, or longer if using large sized potatoes. Large potatoes can take up to 2 hours to bake. If you're in a hurry, or the oven is in use, you can also cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave on high for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Remove potatoes from the oven or microwave and let them cool before removing skins.
  • Scrape the potatoes into a mixing bowl, then add melted butter, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, white pepper, cumin and ginger.
  • Use a mixer or potato masher to combine ingredients. Serve the potatoes immediately, or make this dish ahead of time and reheat the day of your event. Enjoy!

Green Bean Casserole with Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Mushrooms

One of my all time favorite holiday side dishes has always been French's green bean casserole. I'm a bit addicted to French's French fried onions, I like to put them on everything, although I'm perfectly happy to eat them straight out of the can. I know that I could make my own onion strings, but during the holidays I'll use whatever I can to save a little time here and there. Speaking of saving a little time, I still use canned soup and frozen green beans in my recipe and there is nothing wrong with that. This recipe is a classic for a reason and I just don't feel the need to mess with it (much) although I do like to make the recipe my own in some small way. This year I've classed things up a bit with some caramelized onions, apple wood smoked bacon, and an assortment of sliced mushrooms. I hope you enjoy my take on this holiday classic.
Caramelized Onions
Time: 30 minutes Makes: 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon salted butter
1 small yellow onion
1 skillet

Directions:

  • Cut onions to desired size, for this recipe they were diced so you'll want to watch them a little closer so they don't burn.
  • Over medium-low heat melt the butter in a medium sized skillet 
  • Add onions, stir to coat with butter, and let them cook. Make sure to check them every five minutes or so and give them a good stir to keep them from sticking to the bottom of your skillet.
  • When onions have reached the desired color, remove them from heat and allow them to cool. I stopped cooking mine after 25 minutes since I didn't want them very dark.

Notes

When choosing your skillet for making caramelized onions, stainless steel or cast iron is preferred, but non-stick works as well. In fact, I ran out of available cookware and ended up using a 10 inch non-stick skillet because it was the only thing clean.

These will store refrigerated for several days when kept in an air-tight container, so feel free to do this step in advance.

I forgot to take a photograph of the caramelized onions, but here are the mushrooms, bacon and onions all mixed together. Don't they look delicious? 
Green Bean Casserole
Time: 50 minutes Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients:

3 pieces of bacon 
4 oz package of assorted sliced mushrooms (I used baby bella, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms)
½ Cup caramelized onions
18 ounces Progresso Creamy Mushroom soup
½ Cup 2% milk
2 packages frozen green beans
2.8 ounce package French's french fried onions
fresh ground black pepper, to taste 

Directions:

  • In a large skillet cook three slices of bacon and set aside on a paper lined plate to cool.
  • Add sliced mushrooms to remaining bacon grease and cook until tender. Set aside to cool and allow bacon grease to drain.
  • Dispose of remaining bacon grease, but do not put it down the drain.
  • In a large bowl combine, green beans, cream of mushroom soup, milk, caramelized onions, crumbled bacon, and mushrooms. Add black pepper to taste, then stir until everything is well coated with cream of mushroom soup.
  • Transfer to a baking dish, top with a liberal amount of French's onions and bake 350°F for 30 - 40 minutes.

Notes

This dish will store refrigerated for several days when kept in an air-tight container so it can be made in advance and baked the day of your gathering. If you do plan on making it in advance make sure you don't add the French's onions until you are ready to bake.

Inspiration for this recipe:
French's Green Bean Casserole