Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pumpkin Bread

2/3 c. shortening
2 2/3 c. sugar
4 beaten eggs
15-ounce can pumpkin
2/3 c. water
3 1/3 c. flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. ground cloves
2/3 c. each nuts and raisins
1 c. chocolate chips

Cream shortening and sugar. Stir in eggs, pumpkin, water. Sift dry stuff (through cloves) and add. Fold in remaining. Pour into 2 greased bread pans. Bake at 350º for 60 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from pan. Can glaze with powdered sugar, drop of milk, and vanilla.

Note from e: I tried another recipe from Cooking Light, but didn't like it nearly as much as I like this one from my mom. I didn't add the nuts or the raisins, but you can do whatever you want. Also, as I used two silicon bread pans, I had enough left over for two smaller loaves.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Spice Cake Mix (any brand)
1 Can 15 oz. Pumpkin
Chocolate Chips

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

notes: This recipe is an easy, great tasting treat. It takes a while to mix the ingredients and you may think you need to add moisture of some kind but no need. I generally use a half a bag of mini morsels and then you have enough left for another batch. Make sure you buy pumpkin and not pie filling. You may also add nuts of your choice. Because they are made with cake mix, the cookies bake up fluffy and get sticky after a couple of days of storage, so eat them up fast.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Black Bean Soup

from SIL Brittany

1 c. salsa
2 15 1/2 oz. black bean cans, drained and rinsed
2 c. chicken broth
1 t. lime juice
2 T. chopped cilantro

Heat salsa and then stir in beans and broth. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Pour 1/2 of the mixture into a blender and puree. Return to the pot and stir in lime and cilantro. Heat back to warm if needed.

e-notes: Ben and I LOVE this. It is so easy and so super good. I don't know how much lime I put in it last time, but I am sure it was more than 1 t. I didn't measure, I just squeezed (I can see my sister grimacing). Ben loved the extra "zing."

Grilled Chicken Tostadas

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 c. olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 t. salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 t. group pepper, plus more for seasoning
8 corn tortillas
Toppings such as: chopped lettuce, sliced tomatoes and avocados, fresh cilantro, and sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 375. Pound chicken breasts until about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer chicken to resealable bag and add lime juice, oil, salt and pepper.

2. Place tortillas on a baking sheet Brush tops with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until crisp and golden, 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside to cool.

3. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill chicken until cooked, about 5 minutes per side. Let rest until cool enough to handle; about 5 min. Cut into strips.

4. Serve the tortillas with toppings.

e-notes: I marinated the chicken for about 8 hours - I did it in the morning. I'm sure, though, much shorter would be sufficient. Since I don't have a cooking brush, I just sprayed my tortillas with Pam. I also cut the boys' tortillas into 4 triangles thinking that would be more fun and easier for them to hold and handle. (and although not shown, we did use sour cream)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Broccoli and Parmesan Puree

from martha stewart

3 T. olive oil
2 1/2 lbs. broccoli (2-3 heads), cut into 3/4 inche pieces (7 c.)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 c. plus 2 T. water
coarse salt
1/2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. plus 2 T. Parmesan cheese
freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli and garlic and cook until brightly colored and beginning to turn to golden brown, about 8 min. Add water and 1 t. salt to skillet. Cover, and cook until tender, about 10 min. Drain any remaining liquid from skillet.

2. Puree half the broccoli in a food processor or blender, and then tranfser to a large bowl. Puree remaining. Bring milk and cream to a gentle simmer in a saucepan. Add milk/cream mixture to blender and pulse to combine. Stir mixture into first batch of puree.

3. Stir in parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with additional parmesan

e-notes: ben and i really liked this - we just had it last nite! yum. we didn't do cream -just used milk instead.

Cinnamon Dumplings with Apple-Cider Syrup

from Martha Stewart

1 1/2 c. flour
2 1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. coarse salt
2 c. sugar
6 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 T. whole milk
4 c. apple cider

1. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Stir together sugar and 3/4 c. water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, without stirring, until sugar begins to melt and turn light amber, about 14 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar has melted and mixture turns medium amber, about 2 more min.
2. Meanwhile, work butter into the flour mixture using your fingers or a pastry blender until flour is incorporated but mixture is still crumbly. Whisk together egg, egg yolk, and milk in a medium bowl. Form a well in the center of flour mixture; pour in egg mixture. Stir gently with a fork until combined.
3. Remove sugar mixture from heat; slowly whisk in cider. Return to heat; bring to a simmer. Using your hands or a small spoon, divide the dough evenly into 12 pieces, and roll into balls. Carefully drop 6 balls of dough into the simmering cider syrup. Cook, turning once or twice to coat, until dumplings have tripled in size and are deep golden brown, about 20 min. Using a slotted spoon, transfer dumplings to a platter and cover. Repeat with remaining balls of dough. Divide dumplings among 6 bowls and serve with vanilla ice cream.

E-notes: I had trouble with the sugar mixture and getting it to a syrup. With 2 batches, my sugar turned to a complete solid. I think I cooked it too long? Anyhow, the 3rd time I just cooked the sugar and water until it was melted (it did not take that long!) and then added the apple cider from there. My mom made some water/cornstarch mix to thicken it up to our desired syrup consistency. It still tasted really good.

more e-notes: so i updated this by correcting about 1/2 a dozen typos - whoops! also, i hadn't made this in a while, but did so this evening. once again, i just heated the sugar and water on low until the sugar was dissolved. then added the cider. i mixed some cornstarch and water and added it to the cider mix. brought to a boil. then added the dumplings and cooked for 20 minutes. perfect. i tasted the dumpling dough (i always taste the dough of everything) and thought, "whoa, way too salty!" i was really worried and ben and i remembered we had this salt issue before. well, turns out it was totally fine and completely delicious. perhaps the saltiness goes away when cooked in the cider and eaten with the syrup and ice cream. okay, that's enough. . .

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Simmering Holiday Scent

**This recipe is a nice accent to your home as the holidays are approaching. The scent is essentially an all natural potpourri. I even put the ingredients in an attractive gift bag with the recipe included and give them as gifts to friends and neighbors.

½ sliced apple
½ sliced lemon
½ sliced orange
1 quart of water
1 bay leaf
½ Tablespoon whole cloves
2-3 cinnamon sticks

In a slow-cooker, combine the fruit. Cover in water. Top with bay leaves, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Leave slow-cooker on low. I use a small 1.5 quart slow cooker and it works perfect.

You can also simmer this on the stovetop on low. Be sure to watch it closely and add water as needed. I once ruined a pan because I left it unattended for too long.

Note: Cinnamon sticks can be expensive. Try looking for them on the Mexican isle of your grocery store, some dollar stores, or at World Market.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Apple Muffins

½ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cloves or allspice
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 apple (pre cooked and diced)

1. In a medium mixing bowl cream butter, and both sugars. Add eggs, and spices.
2. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Save a couple teaspoons of this mixture to dredge the fruit in. This keeps the apples from settling to the bottom.
3. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Then add the sour cream. Blend until moist. Next fold in the apples.
4. Fill muffin cups ¾ full, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 min.

Note: To pre cook the apples I dice them up and put them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Then I place them in the oven to cook while I am mixing up the batter.

Pistachio Dessert Salad

1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple (don't drain)
1 package instant pistachio pudding (leave as powder, don't make actual pudding)
1 8-ounce thing of CoolWhip
1 c. mini marshmallows
1 c. chopped nuts

Combine everything but the CoolWhip; remember, no need to drain the pineapple. Fold in CoolWhip. Chill for an hour (?) and serve. YUM!

Note from e: I use walnuts, but any nut will do. The strength of the flavoring from the pudding will transform any nut into a pistachio.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pumpkin Roll

¼ cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3 eggs (well beaten)
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. In a bowl, beat eggs with a mixer on high for 2-3 minutes. Gradually beat in white sugar. Next add pumpkin and lemon juice until combined.
2. Next add flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, ginger and nutmeg and mix until combined.
3. Grease and flour a 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Spread batter into pan; sprinkle with walnuts. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
4. Immediately turn out onto a kitchen towel dusted with powdered sugar. Roll cake up in the towel, starting with the short end. Let cake cool.
5. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, butter, and vanilla with mixer until fluffy.
6. Carefully unroll the cake. Spread filling over cake. Roll up again. Cover and chill until serving. Dust with additional powdered sugar, if desired.

Note: Flour sack towels work great as a kitchen towel

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dutch Apple Pancakes

1 1/2 t butter
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, & wedged
1/3 c honey
1/4 t ground cardamom
3 eggs
3/4 c milk
3/4 c flour
1/4 t salt
powdered sugar

Heat oven to 400F. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add butter. When melted, add apple wedges. Cook until softened and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in honey and cardamom, and remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients, except powdered sugar, until smooth. Pour over apple mixture. Bake until puffed and brown, about 20 minutes. Slide pancake onto serving plate. Serve immediately, cut into wedges, with powdered sugar sifted over.
Consider carefully before serving this recipe to a crowd!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Rocky Road Fudge Bars

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (save 2 oz. for filling)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows

1/4 cup butter
1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate, chopped
Reserve 2 o. of cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2. In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, baking powder, vanilla, 2 eggs and walnuts. Stir until well blended. Spread evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
3. For the next layer, in a medium bowl, beat the 6 ounces of cream cheese (reserve 2 ounces of the package of cream cheese for the next layer) with the 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/4 cup of butter. Mix until fluffy and smooth. Spread evenly over the first layer.
4. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of chopped nuts and chocolate chips over the second layer. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven. Then sprinkle the miniature marshmallows over the top and bake for 2 minutes longer.
5. Begin to prepare the icing while the bars are in the oven. In a medium saucepan, melt together the 1/4 cup of butter, 1 square of chocolate, remaining 2 ounces of cream cheese and 1/4 cup of milk. Remove from heat and stir in 3 cups of confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour over the marshmallows and swirl together. Refrigerate until firm, cut into squares.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

White Hot Chocolate - Martha Stewart

12 oz. good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 C. whole milk
2 C. heavy cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 oz. milk chocolate for garnish
peppermint sticks for garnish
whipped cream for garnish

Using a vegetable peeler, shave milk chocolate into curls; set aside.

Place white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl; set aside. Place milk and cream in a medium saucepan set over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around edges of pan, about 4 minutes. Immediately pour mixture over white chocolate. When chocolate begins to melt, stir to combine. Whisk in vanilla. Continue whisking until a light foam forms.

Serve immediately garnished with peppermint sticks, whipped cream, and chocolate curls.

Makes 8 cups

Notes: I only used 1/2 bag (6 oz.) of Toll House white chocolate chips and only 1 C. heavy cream. I did use whole milk and I think next time I will stick to skim or 1%, the drink was a little on the rich side. I skipped the peppermint because I couldn't find any but it would be easy to find come Thanksgiving/Christmas time. When preparing, I added the chips directly to the pot of heated milk and cream, no need to dirty and additional bowl.

October Theme: All Things Apple!

Yesterday, emily and I discussed trying something new on the Foodees: having a theme for the month. We thought this might be helpful because sometimes choosing something new to make or to share can be really daunting. Having a theme might help narrow that search. If there's anything that you'd like to suggest as a future theme, just add a comment to let us know.

Having a theme does NOT mean that all posts have to correspond to the theme. Again, we just thought it would be helpful and fun. But as always, feel free to post anything you want.

Given that I've already posted apple scones this month and given that it is such a great time for apples (I hear that other parts of the country are actually experiencing a real "fall"), we thought we'd declare October "Apple Month." So bring your great apple recipe finds our way!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Whole Wheat Apple Scones

(I was given some great apples at work and wanted to use them so I found this recipe!)

1 c. plus 2 T. flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 c. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 c. shredded peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 1/2 apples or 1/2 pound)
1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
2 T. milk
2 t. sugar

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine flours, 1/4 cup sugar, and next 5 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add apple, 1/2 cup milk, and vanilla extract, stirring just until moist (dough will be VERY sticky).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 4 times with floured hands. Divide dough in half; pat each portion into a 6-inch circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut each circle into 6 wedges, cutting into but not through, dough. Brush tops of wedges with 2 tablespoons milk, and sprinkle evenly with 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Notes from e: I really liked these. They weren't that sweet, though, so if you like your scones sweeter, maybe add more sugar to the top. And beware, the dough is really really sticky, but turns out fine. I didn't use as much milk on the tops as it just seemed a little too much, but should have used more sugar. But they tasted great for breakfast this morning! Oh yes, I ended up using 1/2 pound of shredded apples, which was more than 1 cup. It took about 1 1/2 large apples to get this amount.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Dark Chocolate, Almond, Cranraisin Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks) softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cranraisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Combine butter, sugars vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Mix until creamy. Gradually beat in flour baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips, Almonds and Cranraisins.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 9-10 minutes.

We always double batter and put 1/2 in the fridge or freezer. Bringing out for fresh hot cookies at any time.

She likes them too...and so will you!

Molasses Spice Cookies

3/4 c. shortening
1 c. sugar plus more for coating the cookies
1/4 c. dark molasses
2 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cloves
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. salt
2 c. flour
1 egg

In a large bowl in the microwave, melt the shortening. Add 1 cup of the sugar and the molasses and stir to blend (don’t worry if it doesn’t blend completely). Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and flour and mix well.

Add the egg to the cooled molasses mixture and blend well. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix well to form a stiff dough. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with wax paper, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least two hours.

Preheat the oven to 375º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Form the dough into 1" balls by rolling it between the palms of your hands. Roll the ball in the sugar until it is thoroughly coated. Place the dough balls on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 minutes for a softer, chewy cookie or 10 minutes for a crispier one (more ginger-snap-ish). They won't really look done at 8 minutes, but they'll set up once they sit for a bit.

Makes about four dozen, really tasty cookies. Chuck and I prefer these when they're softer, but you can decide which you like better. (Of course, they make about 6 dozen erin-sized cookies.)