Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins

I love unusual muffin pans (and a lot of other kitchen goodies) and I found the perfect one for fall with acorn shapes so I had to take it out for a test bake.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup pumpkin (I used fresh baked)
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

In a medium bowl, mix together pumpkin, oil and eggs.  Stir in sugar and spices.  Add in the remainder of the dry ingredients.  Bake at 325° and it will depend on what size muffin tin you use for the length of time but fill the cup 3/4 full.

Makes 36 acorns.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Brown Sugar Lil' Smokies

Today was a going away party/potluck at work.  I was requested to bring these by the girl leaving (ok, she crossed off what I wrote down and filled this in).  I'm going to miss her critiques of my recipes and knowing when something was too dense, encouragement to try new recipes and bringing me a sample of something to recreate.  Oh, and she was nice.  It's makes it all the sadder when someone leaves that is nice.  Anyhow, true to give me a recipe and I will tweak it.  To me, brown sugar needs cayenne whenever I'm making a savory recipe.  The picture is of the 3 that were leftover.

Brown Sugar Lil' Smokies

1# Lil' Smokies
3/4# thick sliced bacon
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne
3/4 cup brown sugar

Cut the bacon slices into thirds, wrap around the Lil' Smokies and secure with the toothpick.  Place on an aluminum foil baking sheet.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in 1 cup of brown sugar and cayenne.  Pour over the Lil' Smokies and then sprinkle the 3/4 cup on top.  

Bake for 15 minutes at 375° and then raise the temperature to 400° and bake for an additional 15 minutes. 

I let these cool and put in my crock pot overnight to bring into work.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Caramel Apple Butter Pancakes

Happy National Pancake Day!  It was a good excuse to create a new pancake recipe and I really didn't have anything else planned so it was a win-win dinner.

Caramel Apple Butter Pancakes

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 cup caramel apple butter (see recipe here ~ )

Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Pour in buttermilk and large egg.  Mix until dry ingredients are moistened and fold in apple butter.  Let sit for 10 minutes before cooking pancakes.

Makes 20 pancakes

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Turkey Pot Pie

I had my first pot pie a couple of years ago and it was one that I made of how I imagined one would taste (but better since it was homemade). I had never been tempted to pick one up by looking at the pictures in the freezer area of the grocery store.  Well I've made a few since then from scratch with the exception of the pie crust.  I only make them with the bottom crust and then use my own "cover".  A friend once suggested using mashed potatoes as the topping and it does work really well.  I've been thinking about this turkey pot pie for awhile but it just didn't seem like a summer food so when the furnace came on, it was time.

Turkey Pot Pie

1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup potatoes, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup peas
1/2 cup green beans
1 tbsp celery flakes
1 cup turkey, diced
2 cups stuffing

Combine cold chicken broth, milk and cornstarch in a large saucepan.  Turn on medium heat and when it starts to thicken, add in vegetables.  Allow to thicken to your desired consistency and pour into the baked pie crust.  Top with stuffing and bake at 325° for 30 minutes.

I made my own stuffing using 1 cup diced of both sour dough bread and pumpernickle.  I sprinkled it with 2 tsp of sage and let sit overnight to dry out.  Before I put on top of the pot pie, I melted 2 tbsp of butter and cooked 1/4 cup onions until transparent and added in the bread cubes to toast.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cinnamon Apple Syrup

I continued the taste of fall into my breakfast this morning.  I've had a good weekend of freezing corn, canning homemade marinara sauce and caramel apple butter and making chili.  Unfortunately we had a hard freeze last night so my afternoon will be spent cleaning out and putting away planters and maybe making some grapevine wreaths.

Cinnamon Apple Syrup

2 cups unsweetened apple juice
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp sugar

Whisk apple juice and cornstarch together in a large saucepan before you turn on the burner.  Once blended, whisk in sugar and cinnamon.  Thicken over a low heat, stirring frequently.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chambord Raspberry Ice Cream

I'm really grasping tightly to the last of summer despite the 30 mph winds outside.  This is a nice ice cream that isn't heavy and not too sweet.

Chambord Raspberry Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
12 ounces fresh raspberries
2 tsp Chambord 

In a large saucepan, combine heavy cream, milk, sugar, honey, vanilla bean and heat to a simmer.

In a food processor or blender, puree the raspberries.  Remove cream mixture from heat and whisk in raspberry puree.

Cool mixture and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.  

Remove from refrigerator, add in Chambord and pour into ice cream maker and run per manufacturer's directions

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Italian Meatball Sub Sandwich

Gameday!  Time for a quick sandwich to make before the game begins ~

Italian Meatball Sub Sandwich ~

Italian Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg slightly beaten
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp Italian seasonings
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together until completely blended.  I chose to bake them because of the large quantity but you can also fry them.  I made them on the small side for sandwiches.

Makes 26 meatballs.  
Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F.

Heat your favorite red pasta sauce for the sandwich and extra for dipping.  Toast the inside of your submarine buns so they don't get soggy from the sauce and top with mozzarella cheese.  Serve warm.

The games have begun ~ enjoy!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sausage Potato Soup

It's a beautiful day in the valley.  I did all my cleaning and laundry early so I could go out and enjoy it.  I have an overabundance of veggies in my refrigerator so I made this soup to use some of them up and to freeze for the coming cooler days.

Sausage Potato Soup

2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
3/4# country beef sausage, sliced
3 potatoes, diced
4 ears of corn, shucked and kernels cut off
2 dashes hot sauce
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Put chicken broth and milk in crock pot on medium heat.  Add in sliced sausage and potatoes.  Let cook for 2 hours.  Add in corn, paprika, garlic powder and hot sauce.  Taste.  I found that my sausage was salty enough that I did not need to add additional salt.  I did add in pepper.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nutella Icing

I baked cupcakes for a birthday yesterday and here's the icing I made using Nutella.  I would have added a little Frangelico but the birthday girl is expecting.


Nutella Icing

1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
4 oz Mascarpone
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup Nutella
1 tsp Frangelico (optional)

Whip cream until peaks form.  Add in Mascarpone and powdered sugar.  Mix in Nutella.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Beer Cheese Fondue Dip

Football season is back and with it wonderful foods to snack on while watching the games.  Here's what I made today and it's perfect for dipping breadsticks, apples or chips.  

Beer Cheese Fondue Dip

1 large garlic clove
1 cup beer (I used Blue Moon)
2 cups Monterey Jack/Colby shredded cheese
2 tbsp flour
1 dash hot sauce

Cut garlic clove in half and rub the inside of a small crock pot with both halves.  Pour in beer and let warm up.  When the beer is warm, sprinkle the flour inside the bag of shredded cheese and shake the bag to coat the cheese.  Gradually add to warm beer.  Add the dash (or more to taste) of hot sauce.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pear Bread

I love fall.  The sound of early fallen leaves making their journey down the street.  Pears are one of my many favorite fruits and the smell of this bread baking added to my peaceful afternoon.

Pear Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
6 oz Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 cup pears, diced

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs, vanilla, milk and yogurt.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Gently fold in diced pears.

Put in a greased bread pan.  Bake at 350° for 70 minutes.

The mixture will seem really thick but remember as the pears heat up, they will release their juice into the batter.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Orzo, Ham & Cheese

I'm freezing some more sweet corn tonight so I needed another easy dinner and this is a combination of the ingredients that I had on hand.

Orzo, Ham & Cheese

Orzo, 1/2 box cooked
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup ham
1 cup peas

Cook orzo per package instructions, drain and put in a greased casserole dish. Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Stir in flour and let thicken.  Gradually add in milk and allow to thicken again.  Blend in cheese, peas and ham.  Add into orzo and bake for 30 minutes at 350°.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Raspberry Honey

I received a Christmas gift of raspberry honey a couple years ago from my parents.  I absolutely loved it and they've looked ever since for it to buy again as a gift with no success.  I've found some sold on the internet, but the price is very high so I decided to make my own and it's so easy.  I just had it on toasted ciabatta buns but it would be excellent on any bread or pancakes/waffles.

Raspberry Honey

1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup honey

Cook raspberries in a small saucepan over a low heat.  All you want to do is have the raspberries release their juice.  Pour 1/2 cup honey in a jelly canning jar.  Strain juice into the honey, do not press down on the fruit.  Pour the other 1/2 cup of honey in and gently stir to combine.  Refrigerate.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Caramel Zucchini Cake

I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend.  I had a relaxing weekend that I spent with my parents.  When I returned, I had some leftovers from last weeks CSA basket to use up and zucchini was one of them.  I was going to originally make brownies but ended up with a cake.  

Caramel Zucchini Cake

2 cups zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup oil
6 oz Greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg
3 tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

In a large bowl, place zucchini, oil, yogurt,egg and vanilla.  Mix together and add in dry ingredients.  Pour into greased 9 x 9 pan.  Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.

Caramel sauce -

25 caramels (1 oz)
3 tbsp milk

Heat in a microwave safe bowl and stir until caramels have completely dissolved.  Poke holes in cake and pour caramel sauce on top.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips on top.