Thursday, October 30, 2008

Salmon Cobb Burgers

On my quest to find recipes for the Meal of the Week, I came upon this Burger recipe, in the November issue of Rachael Ray's magazine. I'm always looking for new ways to use canned Salmon, so I thought I'd include it in to my recipe selection. These were really good. I especially like the way the lemon mayo, complimented the salmon and didn't taste gross with the tomato and bacon. The salmon was not overwhelming, so I was happy about that too. I used seasoned bread crumbs with cheese, since that is what I had on hand. I also used sour dough bread, instead of callagh bread. MIL injoyed hers as well, though she thought it could use onion and lettuce. DS ate his up, starting with the bacon, then tomato and then the salmon, LOL. I'd make these again.

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Salmon Cobb Burgers
via Everyday with Rachael Ray

one 14.7oz can salmon, drained and picked over
1/2C bread crumbs
1/4C flat leaf parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs EVOO ( extra virgin olive oil)
1/4 C mayonnaise
1 lemon, halved, plus grated peel from 1/2 lemon
Eight 1/2 inch thick slices challah bread, toasted
1 tomato, sliced
4 slices cooked bacon

In a large bowl, combine Salmon, breadcrumbs, 2Tbs parsley, the egg and mustard. Shape into 4 patties. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat, turning once, until golden, about 4 mins on each side. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon peel and remaining parlsey. Spread the lemon mayonnaise on 4 slices of toast. Top each with a tomato slice, a squirt of lemon juice, a salmon patty, a bacon slice and a toasted bread slice.

This post is linked to Saturdays with Rachael Ray over at Taste and Tell and January 2011 Culinary Smack Down.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Caramel Pear Scones

This week was my turn to contribute recipes for the Meal of the Week game on my Baby Center cooking board. I chose 3 recipes, which I have never made before and the Caramel Pear Scones was one of them. I made these Sunday morning for breakfast. I wasn't sure how they would turn out, since I ended up having to add and extra 1/2 C of flour, to the dough, since it was super sticky. I was pleased when I bit into a warm, light and airy scone. The flavors were wonderful. The nuts added a much needed savoriness to them, since the frosting is super sweet. My mother in law commented on how lucky my children are, to have a Mommy that can cook so well. I guess she really enjoyed them.

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Caramel-Pear Scones via Cooking Pleasures Magazine

2 C flour
1/3 C brown sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbs butter, chilled and cut up
2-3 pears, peeled and chopped ( about 2 1/2C)
1 egg
1/2 C plus 1 Tbs whole milk
1/4 C chopped walnuts

1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C butter
2 Tbs whole milk
1 C powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 425ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in large bowl. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in 6 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles large peas. Stir in pears.
2. Beat egg and 1/2 cup of the milk in small bowl; stir into flour mixture until moistened. (Mixture should form soft ball. If too wet, add 2 to 3 tablespoons flour. If too dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons milk.)
3. On lightly floured surface, roll or press dough into 11-inch round 3/4 inch thick; cut into 8 wedges. Carefully lift wedges out with floured spatula; place on baking sheet. Brush with remaining 1 tablespoon milk; sprinkle with walnuts. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool.
4. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is melted. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk; return to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Drizzle over scones.
8 scones

PER SCONE: 465 calories, 18.5 g total fat (10 g saturated fat), 5.5 g protein, 71.5 g carbohydrate, 65 mg cholesterol, 460 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Apples, Apples, everywhere

Well, we finally got to the Orchard, like I had been hoping we would. Actually it was more of a pumpkin patch, than orchard, but we did manage to get apples. So with all these apples sitting around, I was in search of a recipe that would use up quite a few. I lucked out when someone reviewed an Apple Cake recipe, on my Baby Center cooking board. Once again I have to thank those wonderful ladies!! It called for 6 cups of apples, so I decided to give it a try. It is quite a delicious cake. The frosting itself is dangerously good. Mr.B has been inhaling any piece left unattended and my mother in law has made a pretty good dent in the cake as well, LOL. I made a bundt cake, instead of using my 9x11 inch pan. It's a bit more dense, then I think it's suppose to be, since I had to add milk, due to not having enough shortening. The batter is suppose to be thick, so don't be alarmed.

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Apple Cake

½ c shortening
2 c sugar2 eggs
3 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
6 c raw apples

Cream shortening and sugar together. Add eggs. Stir together dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in apples. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes. Frost cake while warm.

Caramel Frosting

½ c butter
1 c brown sugar
¼ c milk2
½ c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a pan, combine butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla. Frost warm cake.
Cindy's note's~ I cut the nutmeg in half and reduced the sugar by half a cup.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pasta dinner

Last night's dinner was superb! I received 2 thumbs up, all around. I think if Hubby could have given 4 thumbs up, he would have, LOL. Once again, I can't take credit for these recipes. They are courtesy of the wonderful women on Baby Center's CFYF board. Our menu consisted of Alfredo Ravioli Bake and Soft Italian Bread Sticks. Hubby raved about both dishes, even asking if I had made the bread from scratch. For some reason I overlooked the chicken in the recipe and since all my chicken was frozen, I omitted it. When I informed DH about this fact, he said it was a great mistake and it was perfect the way it was. The Ravioli was rich and creamy and the bread light and fluffy. A great comforting and filling pasta dinner.

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Alfredo Ravioli Bake

2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (16-ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
1 (25 to 27 1/2-ounce) package frozen spinach and cheese filled ravioli
1 large (1 cup) red bell pepper, chopped
8 ounces (2 cups) mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in 12-inch skillet until sizzling; add chicken pieces. Cook over medium-high heat until chicken is lightly browned (4 to 6 minutes). Add mushrooms; continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink and mushrooms are tender (4 to 6 minutes). Do not drain.
Spread 1/2 cup sauce into greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Arrange single layer of frozen ravioli over sauce; drizzle 3/4 cup sauce evenly over ravioli. Spread with 1 1/2 cups chicken and mushroom mixture, 1/2 cup red bell pepper and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients, except remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheeses are melted. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Cindy's notes: I omitted the chicken and used a cheddar jack cheese, since we had no mozzarella. Hubby suggested bacon next time, which I think would be a great addition.

Soft Italian Bread sticks

1 c warm water
3 T soft butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 c bread flour
2 T sugar1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 T melted butter
1 T grated Parmesan cheese

Place all dough ingredients in bread machine pan according to manufacturers directions. Select dough setting. When dough cycle is complete, turn out onto floured board and divide dough in half. Cut each portion into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a 4 to 6" rope. Place 2" apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until doubled. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately brush with butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Notes: Be careful not to over bake or they will become tough. Freeze any extras. Place closer together for "pull-apart" bread sticks. Dough can also be baked as loaves of bread.
Cindy's notes: I omitted the Italian seasoning and decreased the garlic powder to 1/2 a tsp. I also brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled Parmesan before baking. Once out of the oven, I brushed them again with melted butter.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Let's get Naked!!!

It's not what you think, LOL. I was suppose to go to my girlfriend's house this past Friday, but our sitter stood me up. I had made Knock you Naked Brownies, for the occasion. Once again this is a CFYF find on Baby Center and I can't thank these ladies enough!! Just reading the recipe I knew these would be sinful. I never thought I'd be fantasizing about these brownies night and day. It takes all my will power, to not eat one for breakfast. Hubby finally tasted them last night and suggested I make these, at least once a week. They must be good for him to suggest that, since he isn't a big dessert eater. These can rival any store bought brownie and win!

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Knock You Naked Brownies

1 box German chocolate cake mix
1 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 pkg. (14 oz.) vanilla caramels, unwrapped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix, nuts, 1/3 cup evaporated milk and melted butter. Press half of the batter into the bottom of a greased 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 8 minutes. In the microwave or top of a double boiler melt caramels with remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When caramel mixture is well mixed, pour overbaked layer. Cover with chocolate chips. Spoon remaining batter on top of morsels. Return to oven and bake 18 minutes (or less for gooier brownies). Let cool before cutting.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Creamy Chicken with Broccoli and Noodles

I found this recipe in Reader's Digest about 6 years ago. It's one of my go to meals, when I'm not sure what to make for dinner. It's super easy to make and I think it's really delicious. Think of Chicken Stroganoff. Creamy and tangy, due to the sour cream. Mr.B loves it since it has all his favorites in it, chicken, noodles and broccoli.

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Creamy Chicken with Broccoli and Noodles

1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/4 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
2/3 C chicken broth
2 C egg noodles ( or bow tie pasta)
2 C broccoli, chopped
1/2 C sour cream

In a large skillet, Cook chicken in oil, with thyme, until golden. Remove and sprinkle flour, salt and pepper into pan and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, until mixture thickens slightly. In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta, adding broccoli in half way through cooking process. Drain, reserving 1/2C of pasta water. Return to pot, add sauce, chicken and sour cream. Toss to coat; adding pasta water if too dry.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

While browsing one of my favorite blogs, A Year of Crockpotting, I came upon this recipe. I knew immediately that Hubby would love this, so I copied it. I didn't want a ton of leftovers, so I converted the recipe to an oven bake recipe. Of course Mr.B thought it was too spicy and it was, LOL. It was just above my heat tolerance and that was using half the amount of hot pepper sauce recommended. The sharp creaminess of the blue cheese made this a very delicious dish. I definately will be making this again sometime. The flavors are very close to Buffalo wings with blue cheese.

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Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

uncooked traditional lasagna noodles--
4 already cooked chicken breast halves--
jar of prepared pasta sauce--
1 cup buffalo wing sauce--
3 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers--
tub of ricotta cheese (15 oz)--
2 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella and cheddar blend)--
1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles--
1/4 cup of water (add at very end)

The Directions.

use at least a 5qt crockpot, or cut back on the amount of ingredients.
In a large glass bowl, combine cooked and chopped chicken breast, the pasta sauce, and 1 cup of buffalo wing sauce. Ladle a big spoonful of the sauce into the bottom of your crockpot. Cover with a layer of uncooked lasagna noodles. You'll have to break them to get a proper fit. Add a smear of ricotta cheese to the top of the noodles. Add a layer of chopped bell pepper. Sprinkle on a handful of shredded cheese. Repeat layers until you run out of ingredients.
Add the bleu cheese crumbles, if desired. Put the 1/4 cup of water into your empty pasta sauce jar and shake. Pour the liquid over the top of the entire lasagna.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 4-5. When cooking time is complete, unplug and take off the lid of the crock. Let it sit for 20 minutes before cutting into. Or it will fall apart. Ask me how I know this...

Oven directions: follow same directions as above, using a casserole dish and omitting the 1/4C of water, at the end. Bake in a 375 degree oven, for 1 hr.

Don't break the chain

A friend sent this to me, I feel so special!!

As a recipient of this award, there are rules to follow. I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must pass it on to seven others! The questions are as follows:

1. Where is your cell phone? dead

2. Where is your significant other? Chili's

3. Your hair color? brown

4. Your mother? sweet

5. Your father? stressful

6. Your favorite thing? Cake

7. Your dream last night? weird

8. Your dream/goal? remission

9. The room you're in? dark

10. Your hobby? cooking

11. Your fear? breaking the chain and having all kinds of bad things happen to me

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Debt free and living large!

13. Where were you last night? home

14. What you're not? patient

15. One of your wish-list items? sleep

16. Where you grew up? nowhere

17. The last thing you did? ate

18. What are you wearing? socks

19. Your TV? off

20. Your pet? cat

21. Your computer? sucks

22. Your mood? crabby

23. Missing someone? perhaps

24. Your car? Big

25. Something you're not wearing? a tie

26. Favorite store? Target

27. Your summer? Hot

28. Love someone? sometimes

29. Your favorite color? purple

30. When is the last time you laughed? today

31. Last time you cried? Monday

The bloggers that I'm nominating (I don't know 7 other bloggers that I would send this to - is that sad?):

Don't Touch the Cactus
Tami's Blog
Jenn's Boys

Now, for you recipients of this award, here's the deal:
* Display your award.* Nominate at least 7 other blogs.* Enjoy your award!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dijon Crusted Chicken with Whipped Autumn Vegetables

These are 2 recipes from the Meal of the Week on Baby Center's Cooking for your Family. I knew we'd love the chicken and since I had never tried parsnips, I was excited to try the vegetables. The chicken was delicious. Now I'm notorious for over cooking meat. I grew up with a woman who killed meat. So I was very pleased when I cooked my chicken perfectly, last night. It was nice and golden and so juicy. I loved the saltiness of the Parmesan and the slight tang from the Dijon mustard. DS ate the chicken, but I think if I would have offered him something else, he would have left the chicken there, without looking back, LOL. The vegetables were a different story. I'm not sure if it was the unfamiliarness of the parsnips, or the strong taste of the reduced apple juice, but I was not a fan of the veggies. Mr.B took one bite, made a horrible face and refused to eat more, LOL. I had added a few Tbs of brown sugar, in hopes of it helping, but the vegetables on their own were just not so great. Now if you ate the chicken and vegetables at the same time, it wasn't so bad, LOL.

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Dijon Crusted Chicken Breasts

1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon reduced-fat margarine

Place the first six ingredients in a shallow bowl. Brush chicken with mustard; roll in crumb mixture.
In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil and margarine over medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Whipped Autumn Vegetables

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 3 large)
3 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Place the sweet potatoes, parsnips and apricots in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring apple cider to a boil; cook until reduced to 1/4 cup.
Drain vegetable mixture; cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor. Add the butter, salt, pepper and reduced cider. Cover and process for 1-2 minutes or until blended.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Soup's on!

I've really been in the mood for soup, lately. I'm not sure why, since it's still 80+ degrees here. So I came upon a recipe for Broccoli, White bean and Cheddar Soup, in my email news letter from Eatingwell.com. I only read the ingredients and not the instructions, so didn't know it was a pureed soup. I waited until 5:30 to start making the soup, so puree or not, there was no turning back, LOL. I was apprehensive about Mr.B eating this soup, but thought I'd let him try it, since he loves broccoli cheese soup and beans. After pureeing it and seeing that the soup now had a nice tinge of green, I was even more worried. I let him taste it and he said it was very "YUMMY", so I was very pleased. He ate his whole serving, which is very rare now a days. This soup is delicious! The tanginess of the cheese and the creaminess of the beans make you feel like you are eating an indulgent cream soup. I froze the rest, certain that DH would turn his nose up at it, LOL.

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Broccoli, White Bean & Cheddar Soup
Makes 6 servings, scant 1 cup each

1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 pound broccoli crowns, trimmed and chopped (about 6 cups)
1 14-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

1. Bring broth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add broccoli, cover and continue cooking until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in beans, salt and pepper and continue cooking until the beans are heated through, about 1 minute. 2. Transfer half the mixture to a blender with half the cheese and puree. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining broccoli mixture and cheese. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information
Per serving: 153 calories; 7 g fat (4 g sat, 0 g mono); 21 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 11 g protein; 6 g fiber; 437 mg sodium; 435 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (94% daily value), Vitamin A (25% dv), Calcium (21% dv).1/2 Carbohydrate ServingExchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 lean meat

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lets talk Waffles!!

For Christmas last year, I asked for a waffle iron, since I was feeling a bit guilty about feeding Mr.B so many frozen waffles. I'm trying to be more aware of what my family is eating and find it is very easy to do, if I make a lot of things from scratch. So I got my waffle iron and use it on average once a week. Mr.B loves waffles and pancakes, so it is a win win situation. I feel better about knowing exactly what is in our waffles and Mr.B gets to have one of his favorite breakfasts. He really loves when I make a fruit compote to pour onto of the waffle with real fresh whipped cream.

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Homemade Waffles with Citrus Scented Berry Compote
4 Tbs butter, melted
2 eggs
1 3/4C milk
3 Tbs sugar
2 C flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C frozen mixed berries
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp orange zest
juice from 1 orange
1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with 1 Tbs water
Preheat waffle iron. Mix together the eggs and sugar, adding the melted butter and mixing well. Add dry ingredients and milk. Whisk well, to ensure no lumps.
Meanwhile in a small sauce pan, combine berries, sugar and orange juice, over medium heat. Cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Add in orange zest. Add a bit of cornstarch and water mixture, until berries come to desired thickness. Cook 1 minute longer.
Pour batter from cup or pitcher onto center of hot waffle iron. Bake until steaming stops, about 5 minutes. Remove waffle carefully. Top with Berry Compote and a dollop of real whipped cream.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Easy and impressive dinner for Hubby

Last night was the fist night in about a week, that Hubby was home for dinner. He had been working so hard, that I decided to make him something a bit fancier than our usual fare. My Baby Center cooking group had a great stuffed chicken recipe as one of the Meals of the Week, so I gave it a try. It turned out really pretty and Hubby had 2 helpings. Mr.B wasn't to thrilled about the stuffing and sauce, but he ate the chicken, LOL. I was a bit put off by the amount of poultry seasoning called for, since I'm not a fan of sage. Next time I will use less, and believe me, there will be a next time. This would be a great meal to entertain with. It is not difficult at all. I made some changes, since I used ingredients I had on hand and will include the changes at the end of the recipe.

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Apple Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breasts(via Southern Living)

2 bacon slices, diced
1/2 cup peeled, chopped Granny Smith apple
1/2 cup dried cranberries, divided
1 tablespoon fine, dry breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons apple brandy or apple juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet.
Sauté chopped apple in reserved drippings over medium-high heat 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in bacon, 1/4 cup cranberries, and next 3 ingredients.
Cut a 3 1/2-inch-long horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast, cutting to, but not through, other side, forming a pocket. Stuff apple mixture evenly into each pocket. Wipe skillet clean.
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, and cook 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken, and keep warm.
Add remaining 1/4 cup cranberries, apple juice, apple brandy, and salt to skillet. Stir together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water until smooth; stir into juice mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until thickened. Spoon over chicken, and sprinkle with pecans and parsley.

My changes:
-used chicken cutlets, instead of breasts. I spooned some filling on the widest past of the cutlet and rolled it up. Fried seam side down fist and voila!
-used Fugi apple instead of Granny Smith
-used Cherry flavored Craisins, instead of plain
-used less cinnamon
-used half chicken stock for gravy
-added a tiny bit of grated onion ( used my micro plane) when sauteing the apples
-I also used real bacon bits, instead of bacon and omitted the pecans, since we were out.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fall is here, or is it?

I needed to use up 1 C of pumpkin, so I searched Cooks.com for a recipe for cookies. I found Great Pumpkin Cookies. They sounded very good, but I was skeptical about the amount of oil they were calling for. I had the bright idea of substituting the oil with apple sauce. That was I didn't feel so guilty. BIG mistake. The cookies turned out rubbery, not my idea of a good cookie. Mr.B likes them, so I guess it wasn't a total loss. I will try these again, using butter instead of oil, to see it they are better.

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4 cups unsifted flour
2 cups oatmeal
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups oil
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1 egg1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup raisins

Combine flour, oatmeal, spices, and salt. Set aside.Cream oil, sugars, egg and vanilla on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup Libby's canned pumpkin and mix 1 minute more. Add the remaining flour and pumpkin alternately. Stir in nuts and raisins.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased sheet baking sheets. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until firm and lightly browned.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Unbaked dough can be frozen in air tight container. Thaw in refrigerator and bake as directed.

Cindy's notes: I halved the recipe, and decreased the brown sugar to 1 C. The cookies are still plenty sweet, due to the raisins.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Apple Pumpkin Muffins

The cooler temperatures have arrived and soon Halloween and Thanksgiving will be upon us. I love this time of year. The smell of a crisp autumn day, and the warmth accompanied by the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg.

One of the recipes for the Meal of the Week, from my Baby Center cooking group, was Apple Pumpkin Muffins. I don't really cook with pumpkin much, except for the occasional pie or cake, so I figured I'd give it a try. These muffins are so moist and delicious. A bit sweet, but I love sweet, LOL. Some of the ladies suggested cutting down on the sugar and substituting, half of it, for brown sugar. I think I will try that next time. I used sweet Fugi apples, since that is what we had in the crisper. I think it pairs perfectly with the pumpkin. I'm thinking of making these for a girls night, I will be attending in a few weeks.

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Apple Pumpkin Muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped peeled apples

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons cold butter or margarine

1. In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.