Sunday, November 25, 2012

Herbed Dinner Rolls

I found this recipe on page 89 of Taste of Home Bet Holiday Recipes issue.
I made these rolls to go with my Thanksgiving spread, while I didn't think the went particularly well with everything else I made I do think they would taste good with different dinner dishes.

1.5C all-purpose flour
4.5 tsp herbs de Provence
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1C buttermilk
1 tbs butter, melted
1/2 grated Romano cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease muffin pan.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, herbs de Provence, baking powder, and salt. 
  4. In another bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, and butter. 
  5. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened. 
  6. Fill greased muffin cups half full.
  7. Sprinkle with cheese. 
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
  9. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. 
  10. Best served warm. 
  11. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole

I'm not a huge sweet potato fan, but I had my first exposure to sweet potato casserole last Thanksgiving and I actually enjoyed it.
This is my fiance's Aunt Pat's recipe from last year, I made it this year and it turned out great.

4 huge sweet potatoes
2 yams
1C sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1C milk
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

for topping
1C brown sugar
1C walnut pieces
2/3C flour
2/3C butter

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Roast the whole sweet potatoes and yams on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet at 425 degrees until soft, about 45-60 minutes. Peel and cool until ready to use. 
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  4. Grease a 2qt casserole dish. 
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together yams, sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, salt, and vanilla  until mashed and smooth. 
  6. Put mixture into greased dish. 
  7. To make topping - in a small bowl, mix brown sugar, walnuts, flour, and butter with you (clean!) fingers until crumbly. 
  8. Sprinkle over top of dish. 
  9. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes until browned on top. 
  10. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. 
  11. Enjoy!

Copycat Chickfila Nuggets

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and I can honestly say that I believe that these nuggets are BETTER than Chickfila nuggets

1 package of chicken breasts (~1.25 lbs) cut into bite size pieces
3/4C milk
1/4C pickle juice (I just used what was in my Claussen jar)
1 egg
1.25C flour
2 tbs powdered sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1C peanut oil

  1. Whisk together milk, pickle juice, egg and put into a gallon sized Ziploc bag.
  2. Add chicken pieces to Ziploc bag and marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Combine flour, powdered sugar, salt, and pepper in a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Shake to combine.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade bag and add to flour bag.
  5. Seal and shake flour bag until all pieces are coated.
  6. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Gently place chicken in skillet with tongs (to not splash yourself with oil), in multiple batches as to not overcrowd the pan.
  8. Cook chicken ~3-4 minutes on each side.
  9. Remove chicken from skillet and place on paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
  10. Enjoy!

Copycat Chickfila Sauce

I LOVE Chickfila sauce.
I no longer eat at Chickfila because I feel like I can't support an organization that gives money to such despicable causes.
That being said, I have looked around for substitute/copy cat recipes.
I found this recipe on Pinterest and it is SPOT ON.

1/2C mayonnaise (I use Dukes)
2 tbs yellow mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs vinegar
2 tbs honey
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. In a small bowl combine all ingredients.
  2. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Enjoy!

Corn Bread Stuffing

I got introduced to corn bread stuffing last year when my Dad made it for Thanksgiving.
This year, I googled around to find a similar recipe to use this year and settled on this one.
I don't like the idea of stuffing a turkey, something about it touching raw meat just doesn't sit right.
It is perfect -- so delicious and dangerous!

1 pan of cornbread (I used Penguin boxed mix)
1 loaf of crusty French bread
1 stick butter
1 medium white onion, diced
2C celery, chopped
4C chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary

  1. Chop the corn bread and French bread into cubes, spread them out on a baking sheet to dry out for about 24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Grease 9x13 baking dish.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
  5. After butter is melted, add the onion and celery to the skillet and cook until the onions are almost translucent.
  6. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  7. Add basil, thyme, and rosemary and stir until combined.
  8. Place bread chunks into a large bowl and mix them up a little bit.
  9. Ladle broth mixture into bread bowl, tossing lightly as you go.
  10. Place into baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes until brown on top.
  11. Enjoy! 

Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

I made these mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and they were delicious, they also (and very helpfully) did not take up any stove or oven space. On top of being creamy and delicious, they were ideal for prepping in a small kitchen.

5 lbs Russet potatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5C chicken broth
1/4C butter, cut into small chunks
1.25C sour cream
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3C half-and-half
2oz cream cheese

  1. Peel and cube potatoes.
  2. Put potatoes, chicken broth, and butter into crock pot.
  3. Turn crock pot on high and cook for 4.5 hours.
  4. Roughly mash potatoes.
  5. Add garlic, sour cream, salt, pepper, half-and-half, cream cheese.
  6. Finish mashing until smooth.
  7. Enjoy!

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

I made this pie for Thanksgiving, to me it is the perfect marriage of apple butter and pumpkin -- both things that I love.  My fiance said that it was good, but that he would prefer more pumpkin.

I found this particular recipe in a Dixie Crystals Sugar ad in a magazine.

for pie
9" refrigerated pie crust
3 large eggs
1C pumpkin puree
1C apple butter
1/2C sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
pinch nutmeg
1/4C half-and-half

for topping
3/4C all-purpose flour
1/4C + 1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 stick cold salted butter
1/2C walnut pieces

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare pie crust in pie pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs until combined.
  4. Add pumpkin, apple butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and whisk until well combined.
  5. Stir in half-and-half.
  6. Pour into pie shell.
  7. Prepare topping by combining flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
  8. Using a cheese grater, grate very cold butter into small pieces directly onto flour mixture.
  9. Rub between your (clean!) hands to turn into small lumps and consequently into crumbles.
  10. Stir in walnuts.
  11. Sprinkle topping over pie.
  12. Apply pie crust shield (or aluminum foil) and place in oven.
  13. After 10 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  14. Bake until center of pie no longer trembles and has set, about 45-50 minutes.
  15. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator.
  16. Enjoy!

Apple Crumb Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

I made this recipe as a Thanksgiving dessert -- it isn't too sweet, but it is delicious.  It could probably make for a decadent breakfast food as well.

1 stick salted butter
1.5C brown sugar
2 large eggs
2C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt 
1C sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped (I used my Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor)

crumble topping
1/2C brown sugar
1/2C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbs salt butter, softened

brown sugar glaze
1/2C brown sugar 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
2 tbs water

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl (I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  6. Add dry mixture to butter, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla.
  7. Stir in apples.
  8. Pour batter into prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.
  9. To make topping - combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter. Mix until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  10. Sprinkle topping over cake and bake until golden brown and set, about 45 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and left cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes.
  12. To make glaze - combine sugar, vanilla, and water, mixing until smooth.
  13. Drizzle glaze over cake and let harden. 
  14. Enjoy!

Herbed Corn

I printed out a recipe from AllRecipes a while ago (I'd venture to say 2-3 years ago) and did not gotten around to making it until Thanksgiving. It is a perfect Thanksgiving side dish -- delicious, doesn't take up oven space, and easy to prepare!

When trying to find the recipe online, it seems to no longer exist.

The original recipe uses a lot of fresh herbs -- I kill everything, and therefore I use dry herbs.

12C frozen corn
1C water
1 stick butter, cubed
2 tsp dry parsley
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dill
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 dry thyme

  1. In a large saucepan, combine corn and water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 4-6 minutes until corn is tender.
  4. Drain.
  5. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  6. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sauteed Kale

I found this recipe from Bobby Flay, I made some alterations based on what I had and personal taste.
I typically eat my kale raw, but this particular batch was so bitter I couldn't do it.
Sautéing it was the answer!

1.5 lbs of kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2C vegetable stock
1.5 tbsp garlic infused red wine vinegar

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook until soft but not colored.
  3. Raise heat to high, add stock and kale and toss to combine.
  4. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Add vinegar, toss to coat.
  7. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Browned Butter Rice Krispy Treats

1/4C salted butter
10.5oz bag mini marshmallows
6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  1. Spray 9x9 pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In pot over medium heat, melt butter.
  3. Once melted, keep an eye on butter - cook until browned and slightly nutty (** be careful you can burn it really quick if you're not watching)
  4. Add marshmallows and pumpkin pie spice.
  5. Stir until marshmallows are melted.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cereal.
  7. Spread the krispy mixture into your prepared pan.
  8. Let cool / harden before cutting.
  9. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pumpkin Soup

As I've said before, I love pumpkin everything.

This year, I am trying my hand at cooking and baking with a real pumpkin --- not just the cans of pureed pumpkin that line my pantry.I am also trying to branch out and give soup a try, I have never been a soup fan but I am coming to learn that homemade soup is far and above the soup that comes in cans.

I found the following recipe in the November 2012 issue of Women's Health Magazine, the article is called "Tastes Better Together: Butternut Squash + Cayenne". I made a few substitutions based on what I had and I also cooked it a little longer to blend the flavors.

It was awesome, made about 4 servings and is pretty healthy for you. I served it with cornbread, which was a great complement to the soup.  I would definitely suggest giving it a go!

1/2C chopped white onion
1 tbs butter
3C cubed pumpkin, rinds on
1 Granny Smith apple - cored, peeled, and chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 3/4C chicken stock a la Book of Jimmy
1/2C fresh apple cider

  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in butter over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and reduce heat to medium.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth.
  5. Transfer back to the saucepan and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I have a love affair with chocolate chip cookies -- the dough, the cookies, the ice cream. All of it.
I found this recipe on Pinterest. I overcooked the cupcakes, so I adjusted the time.
I made few substitutions -- my favorite part is the frosting, and these were a hit with my volleyball team.

for cupcakes
3 sticks salted butter, room temperature
1.5C brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 2/3C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1C coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1C semisweet chocolate chips

for frosting
2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
6 tbs brown sugar
1C + 2 tbs all-purpose flour
7oz sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

for cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cupcake pans with paper liners (recipe makes 24 cupcakes)
  3. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Mix in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add dry ingredients to mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk.
  7. Mix until just incorporated.
  8. Blend in vanilla.
  9. Fold in chocolate chips.
  10. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners. Fill these to the top -- don't be intimidated, the batter has the consistency of cookie dough and it won't explode like regular cupcake batter.
  11. Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Let cool.
for frosting
  1. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until creamy.
  2. Mix in confectioner's sugar until smooth.
  3. Beat in flour and salt.
  4. Mix in milk and vanilla until smooth and well blended.
  5. Pipe frosting on to completely cooled cupcakes.
  6. Enjoy!

Oreo Truffle Brownies

I found this recipe via Pinterest.
It tastes like heaven.

2 sticks butter, softened
2C sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2C unsweetened cocoa
1 1/3C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 package Double Stuf Oreos
8oz cream cheese, softened
10oz chocolate almond bark (or regular melting chocolate)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl (I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer), cream butter and sugar together.
  3. Add vanilla, salt, cocoa, and flour until just combined.
  4. Pour into greased 9x13 pan.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool completely.
  7. Crush Oreos until finely ground by either blending in a food processor, or place into a Ziploc bag and beat it with a mallet.
  8. Using your hands, mash crushed Oreos and cream cheese until well combined.
  9. When the brownies have completely cooled, add Oreo truffle layer on top of brownies.
  10. Melt chocolate and pour over truffle layer.
  11. Cover and place in fridge until chocolate is completely set.
  12. Enjoy!

Bacon Macaroni & Cheese

I love mac n cheese. I love homemade mac n cheese more than any other kind of macaroni and cheese.
I found this recipe via Pinterest, to make it even more delicious I added bacon to it.

1 lb medium shell noodles
1/2 stick butter
1/4C flour
2.5C skim milk
2C shredded cheese -- I used a mixture from Giant super market called "Mac & Cheese Blend" -- it is a mixture of sharp cheddar, american, and swiss cheese.
1/4C cream
salt & pepper to taste
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

  1. Cook pasta according to directions, drain and set aside.
  2. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  3. Stir in flour to make a roux.
  4. Stir in a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Let roux cook for 1 minute, then add milk.
  6. Whisk until slightly thickened.
  7. Remove saucepan from heat.
  8. Add cheese and cream, stirring until cheese melts.
  9. Adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
  10. Stir in crumbled bacon.
  11. Combine noodles and cheese sauce.
  12. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Dump Cake

I love pumpkin. I love fall. I love fall and pumpkin together.
I found this recipe via Pinterest, but had to modify it based on allergies and what I had available in the house.
It was amazing, it made a ton, & I have already gotten requests for the recipe and to make it again.

1 box yellow cake mix
15oz can of pumpkin puree
14oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1.5C chopped hazelnuts
2 sticks butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9x13 pan.
  3. In medium bowl, mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Pour mixture into pan.
  5. Sprinkle entire box of yellow cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture.
  6. Top with hazelnuts.
  7. Drizzle melted butter over hazelnuts.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.
  9. Enjoy!

Apple Streusel Pie

I found this recipe via Pinterest. I made minor adjustments to accommodate what I had (and to use the pie crust I made).
I had to use an 8x8 glass Pyrex dish because my pie pan was in use for pumpkin pie, it was still a HUGE hit.

unbaked pie crust or a refrigerated crust from the store

for filling
1/4C sugar
2 tbs all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp allspice
6 macintosh apples, cored and chopped into small pieces (I used an apple slicer and then put the pieces into my Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor)
1 tbs vanilla extract

for streusel
1/2C all-purpose flour
1/2C brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
5 tbs salted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

for filling
  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and allspice.
  2. Mix in apple slices and vanilla extract.
  3. Toss until apples are well coated and no excess mixture remains.
for streusel
  1. In food processor, process flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon until combined.
  2. Add butter pieces and process about 1 minute, until butter is well combined.
the pie
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Roll out dough disk on floured surface, until it is about 13" round.
  3. Transfer to a 9" pie pan (I had to improvise and use an 8x8 glass dish).
  4. Pour in apple filling as evenly as possible to prevent spill over.
  5. Evenly sprinkle streusel topping over the apples.
  6. Bake about 45 minutes, until apples are tender and topping is golden brown.
  7. Enjoy!

Fresh Pumpkin Pie

I have never, ever made anything with an actual pumpkin before. I have always used canned pureed pumpkin.
This year, I made it a point to buy a pumpkin whose only purpose was to be cooked with.
I didn't buy a special kind of pumpkin, I bought an 8 lb pumpkin from the farm.
I used this recipe, the only modification being I used my own crust instead of a pre-made one and it was a huge hit!

Unbaked Pie Crust, or a refrigerated crust from the store.
2C freshly prepared pumpkin (see below for instructions on how to prepare pumpkin)
1/4C brown sugar
1/2C white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs, beaten slightly

how to prepare fresh pumpkin
*I found out the hard way, that it takes about 3.25 cups of raw pumpkin chunks to turn into 1 cup of prepared pumpkin puree. So make sure you have about 6.5 cups of pumpkin chunks!
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut pumpkin around the middle  (think like it's wearing a belt).
  3. Clean out the pumpkin gunk and seeds.
  4. Cut pumpkin into smallish chunks.
  5. Cut rind off of pumpkin.
  6. Place pumpkin chunks into a greased 4.5 liter (or larger) dish -- I used a glass Pyrex dish.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, until pumpkin is tender.
  8. Remove dish from oven, and put pumpkin immediately into a blender or food processor.
  9. Puree pumpkin until smooth.
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
  3. Pour into pie shell.
  4. Cover crust with pie crust shield or with pinched aluminum foil, to avoid burning.
  5. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees.
  6. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, bake for another 55 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. 
  7. Enjoy!

Pie Crust

I often buy the pre-made, refrigerated pie crusts from the grocery store.
This weekend, not wanting to leave the house to avoid hurricane crazed shoppers, I made my own crust.

I used this recipe, modified slightly to accommodate what I had in the cabinets.

This recipe is 1) delicious and 2) makes enough for 2 pies (or 1 pie with crust on the top & bottom).

I used this crust to make both a pumpkin pie and an apple streusel pie.

2.5C all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
20 tbs (2.5 sticks) cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4C Whipped Cream Vodka
1/4C cold water

  1. Process 1 1/2C flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined.
  2. Add butter and process until dough starts to clump (about 15 seconds).
  3. Spread dough evenly around the food processor blade, add remaining flour, and process until dough mixture is evenly distributed around bowl.
  4. Empty dough into medium bowl.
  5. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture.
  6. With a rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.
  7. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4" disk.
  8. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes (and up to 2 days).
  9. Enjoy!