Sunday, November 30, 2008

Good morning pumpkin!

After doing some fall baking, I always seem to end up with half a can of pumpkin puree in the fridge that ends up getting tossed. So this morning I thought I'd see what I could do to use it up. I dug deep into my pantry and found some Hungry Jack pancake mix, the "just add water" kind, since I rarely keep milk on hand. I added the pumpkin, and some spice and voila! tasty pumpkin pancakes!

Pumpkin Pancakes
2 Cups Hungry Jack "just add water" Pancake Mix
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Prepare as directed on box. Yum!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Dessert Extravaganza

I'm going to give you some terrific recipes to turn your kitchen from this:

To this:

First up, is our Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Pie.

I found this irresistible recipe on a fellow food blogger's page. Priscilla's Baking Adventures always has some great looking recipes, so I had to pick one.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Pie

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Create 'n Bake® refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup water
2 cups milk chocolate chips, melted

Heat oven to 350°F. In bottom of ungreased 10- or 9-inch springform pan, break up cookie dough. (I used a 9" pie pan) With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter and water until well blended. (If necessary, add additional water 1 teaspoon at a time until mixture is smooth.) Drop spoonfuls of mixture over baked cookie crust; press evenly to cover crust. Spread melted chocolate chips over peanut butter mixture. If desired, carefully swirl chocolate with fork. Garnish with pecan halves. Refrigerate 1 hour or until chocolate is set.

Next up is our pumpkin pie. We are going to two Thanksgiving Dinners, and both requested that I bring a pumpkin pie. Well of course I didn't want to just "bring a pumpkin pie." I had to spice it up a bit and make it something special. I found a recipe that incorporated a streusel topping with the pumpkin pie. So here we go with our second recipe:

Pumpkin Pie with Streusel Topping

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, chilled
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. Stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold into pumpkin mixture. Pour filling into pie shell.
Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. While the pie is baking, prepare the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Blend in the cold butter with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the chopped nuts. Sprinkle the topping over the pie.
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake an additional 40 minutes, or until set.


I know that not everyone loves pumpkin. Some people are nutty, like myself. So for those who prefer a bit more sweet gooeyness, I chose a Chocolate Pecan Pie. I can't wait to cut into it!

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
3 eggs
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Press pie shell into and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate.
Beat eggs, sugar, salt, margarine, and syrup with hand mixer. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into pie shell.
Bake until set, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool before cutting.


And last but not least...

This recipe hails from our Thanksgiving Queen, Martha Stewart. What's not to love? Pumpkin, white chocolate, all with a brownie texture??? I saw it on Cate's Kitchen, and had to try it!

Pumpkin-White Chocolate Blondies

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 package (12 ounces) white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.Lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). Peel off foil, and use a serrated knife to cut into squares.

Source: Martha Stewart


Sunday, November 16, 2008

You-Won't-Even-Miss-the-Carbs Casserole

In my quest to cut back on carbs, I'm trying out some new dishes. This one caught my eye because I'm a big fan of cauliflower, so this sounded yummy to me. Scott the carb eater even loved it!

Low Carb Sausage, Mushroom and Chicken Casserole

3-4 cups diced cooked chicken
1 lb pork sausage
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
1/2 lb mushroom, sliced
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
16 ounces frozen cauliflower, cooked well and drained
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon pepper
paprika (optional)

Brown the sausage with the celery, onion and mushrooms. Stir the softened cream cheese into the sausage mixture until well blended. Coarsely chop the cooked cauliflower. Mix all ingredients and spread in a greased 9"x13" baking dish. If desired, dust the top with paprika. Bake, covered with foil, at 350ยบ for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until hot and bubbly and top is lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes

Source: not sure! Whoops!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside!

It was a cold and rainy day, perfect for some stew! I made a big pot of this stew to pack for lunch the rest of the week.

Beef & Vegetable Stew

1 lb lean beef for stew
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 (15 ounce) cans beef broth
8 ounces fresh green beans
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, peeled and diced
1/4 cup frozen corn
bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
Italian seasoning to taste
2 Tablespoons corn starch

In a medium to large pot, heat 1/2 tsp olive oil; brown beef, onion and garlic. Add broth, tomatoes, veggies and seasonings. Bring to a boil; simmer, cover and cook on low for 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Mix corn starch with small amount of cold water and add to pot. Let boil for a few minutes until thickened. Discard bay leaf, serve.