Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fresh Pumpkin Spice Loaf

Love LOvE LOOOOOVE this recipe :)
Of course the pumpkin puree can be substituted with canned pumpkin, but personally I love the flavor of fresh puree in baking over the canned stuff.

Fresh Pumpkin Spice Loaf

2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
4 eggs (whites can be used for lower cholesterol)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2/3 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla ext.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. all spice
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, applesauce, water and sugars and vanilla until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and pumpkin pie spice . Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.Bake for about 60 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

(please ignore the smudgy fingerprints of a little girl who just couldn't resist)

I have a gorgeous and most curly headed three year old, whom I would give the world to. She is a girl after my own heart who loves all the things her mommy does especially cooking. So naturally when she was given a couple pumpkins from our neighbors garden all I heard from her was how she wanted to make pumpkin pie with me. So we did! And it turned out so good, I've never made a fresh pumpkin pie pie from scratch before but man does it make a difference! I didn't make my own pie crust, oh come on give the 9 months along pregnant lady a break! :) But I do plan on making my own come the holidays this year.

To prepare the pumpkin puree you will need 1 small pumpkin. Cut off the stem top and discard, cut pumpkins in half and discard all the nasty membranes and seeds. Actually YOU should save the seeds and roast them but I can't stand the flavor. Cut each half in thirds. Take a large microwave safe bowl/dish and place about 1 inch of water in the bottom. Place the pumpkin slices in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap making sure to seal the sides well. Microwave for about 10-13 minutes or until the flesh can be pierced easily with a fork. The skins will easily (sometimes not so easily) peel off. From here you can mash the pumpkin or blend it up for the puree.
I ate a couple pieces right out of the bowl before i pureed good! I imagine it would be heavenly with a smudge of butter, parm cheese and a little salt and pepper :)
So here is the recipe I used, I found it online and made a couple slight changes :)

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

1 frozen pie shell
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups fresh Pumpkin Puree
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus

1 egg for glaze
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Use parchment paper to line the baking sheet then set it aside. Combine sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin spice, pumpkin puree, and 2 eggs in a large bowl. Beat well. Add evaporated milk and vanillla. Combine. Set aside.

Make the glaze: Beat the remaining egg, and combine with heavy cream. Brush glaze very lightly on edges of pie shell. Sprinkle edges with sugar. Fill pie shell with pumpkin mixture. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and continue baking for 30 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 8 servings

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spiced Sugar Cookies

What a great cookie recipe, just in time for fall too! Found this on Tasty Kitchen. I can only dream of these smushed together with some buttercream frosting! YUM

¾ cups Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 cup Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 whole Large Egg, Lightly Beaten
¼ cups Unsulfured Molasses
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
½ teaspoons Ground Cloves
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 cup Granulated Sugar, For Rolling Cookies

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the light brown sugar and blend until evenly incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Add in the beaten egg and molasses; blend.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer, in batches, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Chill the dough, covered, for 1 hour.

Scoop out the dough by the tablespoon, roll into a ball and roll in the granulated sugar. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, 3″ apart. Bake the cookies at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time.

Transfer the cookies, using a metal spatula, to a rack and let them cool

White Bean Chicken Chili

Hooray for new crock pot recipes!! I found this recipe this morning while browsing one of the blogs I follow, Chef Mommy. Can't wait for it to cool down so I can make this. Enjoy! If you happen to read this and have a favorite slowcooker recipe, do please share! Thank you!

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil
2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1-2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies (I'm a wimp and only used 1 can)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream (I used reduced fat)
1/2 cup whipping cream

cilantro, chopped (to garnish)
paprika, (to garnish)


1. Season the chicken with half the salt and half the pepper.

2. Then, in a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil for 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the chicken mixture to your slow-cooker. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings to slow-cooker as well. Cook on low for 4 hours.

4. After 4 hours, shred the chicken with a fork and stir in sour cream and whipping cream, let cook for another 15 minutes on low.

5. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of paprika, if desired. Serve immediately. This is especially good served with tortilla chips.

Makes about 6 servings.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

BBQ'd Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

I am smelling the smokey BBQ'd goodness of these from my crock pot as I type this. I can't wait for dinner!!!
Update: Yummyness factor is pretty serious here folks, this one is a definite keeper!
Recipe and picture from a great blog
Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
(Sauce adapted from Steven Raichlen via Serious Eats)

2 cups Ketchup
1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 cup packed Brown Sugar + 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon Molasses (didn't have)
1 tablespoon Yellow Mustard
1 tablespoon Chile Powder
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce (I used Franks Red Hot Sauce)
1 large onion, thinly sliced in half moons
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in half (I used 7 small chicken thighs)
1 + 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4-5 hamburger buns or soft rolls

1. In a medium mixing bowl whisk, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, chile powder, salt, pepper and Tabasco together until well combined.

2. Pour into crock pot, add onions and chicken breasts. Cook on low 4 hours or high 2 hours.
Remove chicken to a large plate or cutting board and cool to the touch. Keep barbecue sauce warm in crock pot. When chicken is cool enough to handle shred it by pulling it apart by hand. Return to crock pot and mix with sauce or add to a medium bowl and mix in additional sauce.

3. Serve on toasted buns with cheddar cheese.

Easy version: Use a rotiserrie chicken. Simmer the barbecue sauce in a saucepan for about 20 minutes while you 'shred' the chicken. Add the shredded chicken to the sauce, heat through and serve.

Shrimp Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

With the baby due in just 10 more days I find it incredible that I have the energy to actually get dinner prepared and on the table, get this... on time too! I made this last night and it was SUUUPER tasty. My three year old thought the shrimp was chicken and ate her entire plate. HA I love when that happens! If you are not a shrimp fan, I'm sure you can substitute it with chicken and still get great results.
Adapted the recipe and borrowed the pic from
Pioneer Woman.

You can click on the link for illustrated step by step instructions.

Shrimp Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

¾ pounds Penne Pasta (was out so I used Farfalle)
1 pound Shrimp (used ready to cook shrimp and salt and peppered those babies)
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole Onion (small)
2 cloves Garlic
½ cups White Wine (or To Taste) (used chicken broth instead)
1 can Tomato Sauce (8 Oz) (used about 12 oz.)
1 cup Heavy Cream (used 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup fat free milk)
Fresh Parsley, to taste
Fresh Basil - To Taste (was out so I used a good couple shakes of Italian seasoning)
Salt To Taste
Pepper To Taste

Fresh Parmesan to grate on top

Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.

Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of extra large shrimp. Heat about 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple minutes until just opaque. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Now, put the cooked shrimp on the cutting board and pull off the tails. Chop the shrimp into bite –sized pieces and set aside.

Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic.
In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your white wine. Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would rather not use wine, you can use low-sodium chicken broth instead (about ½ cup).

Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.

Now chop your herbs, about a tablespoon of chopped parsley and about the same amount of chopped basil, or if you’re feeling very proper, chiffonaded.

Now add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in your herbs and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Raspberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake


And that's really all I have to say about it :) I found this recipe and adapted it a bit from Tasty Kitchen.

2 1/2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Salt
½ cups Butter, Softened
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 whole Eggs
1/3 cup fat free milk (original recipe was much too thick so this helped thin it out a bit)
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Raspberries (mine were fresh but frozen)

1 cup Sugar
⅔ cups Flour
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Salt
½ cups Butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Cream the butter in a large bowl until light, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Mix the eggs in one at a time. Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Add milk until just incorporated. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, spoon the berries over the batter, sprinkle 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon over the berries. Top with the remaining batter.

For the topping, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and cut it into the dry mixture until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the cake.

Bake for an hour or until a tester comes out clean. (Mine was done in 35 minutes so watch the time!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

White Chicken Enchiladas

Update: Made this tonight for dinner as is - no changes, and it's fabulous, definitely keeping this one around!

Soooo... here is my re-vamped blog. It's not perfect but I wanted to simplify things on here.
Trying this one out for tomorrow nights dinner. I just don't see how this recipe can go wrong!

White Chicken Enchiladas

2-½ cups Cooked, Shredded Chicken
2 cups Reserved Broth From Chicken
3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
12 whole Corn Tortillas
1 whole Large Onion, Diced
3 whole 4 Oz Cans Whole Green Chilies, Diced
1 whole Jalapeno, Seeded And Finely Diced
1 teaspoon Paprika
½ cups Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 cup Sour Cream
2-½ cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Picante Sauce (optional)
Cilantro, Chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas for no longer than 20 seconds, just to soften (do not allow to become crisp.) Place tortillas on a large towel or stack of paper towels to drain.

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in separate skillet over medium heat. Add onions and jalapenos and saute for 1 minute, just to start the cooking process. Add chicken, half of the green chilies, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Stir together. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Add cream and stir, allowing mixture to bubble and get hot. Turn off heat and set aside.

In a separate large skillet, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together and cook over medium heat for one minute. Pour in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Whisk together and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the other half of the chilies. Reduce heat, then stir in sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese and stir to melt. Add 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

To assemble, spoon chicken mixture on top of tortillas, one by one. Top with plenty of cheese and roll up. Place seam side down in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

Pour cheese mixture all over the top of the tortillas. Top with extra cheese if you’d like, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle generously with chopped cilantro.

Serve with picante sauce, if desired.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Under Construction

I don't get to be on here as often as I like so when I get a few minutes to update things I'll put it all back into order :) Sorry for the mess!