Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Gingerbread

This awesome quick bread fills the kitchen with spicy holiday scents while it bakes. SO yummy! It also freezes well.

3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
3 - 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 - 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (or use cooking spray) two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, and eggs. beat until smooth. add water and pumpkin and beat until blended.
In a medium bowl, combine ginger, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, flour, soda, salt and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all dry ingredients are moistened (do not over mix). Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pans. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Yield: 2 loaves.

Source: allrecipes.com

Our Favorite Breakfast Pizza

Heather and I invented this pizza when we wanted something quick and yummy for breakfast one morning. It is delicious!!

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (more if you like)
Favorite desired toppings (cooked bacon sausage or ham, chopped bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc.)

Preheat oven to 375. Unroll crescent roll dough onto a cookie sheet, pressing seams together to seal. Beat eggs and milk together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray and scramble eggs over medium heat until almost set (don't cook all the way, otherwise the eggs will be rubbery on the pizza). Spread eggs onto crust. Top with cheese and toppings. Bake in preheated oven for approx. 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rolo Cookies

Do you ever have left over candy? Especially at this time of year. Well I seem to have rolos around the house and this recipe is a perfect use for them. This is a delicious cookie. I would even venture to say that it is totally acceptable for those Christmas cookie plates that we all like to give to our neighbors. However, for me it is that cookie that satisfies all chocolate fixes that a girl could need. It. is. that. good. If you didn't know what they were you would think it was just a normal chocolate cookie, but as soon as you bite into it, you know it isn't just another chocolate cookie. With it's gooey caramel center it is sure to please everyone!

2 1/4 C. flour
3/4 C. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 C. Sugar
1 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 C. chopped nuts (your choice - I prefer walnuts)
60 Rolo candies - or one bag
4 tbsp. sugar

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking soda; blend well.
  • In a large bowl, beat sugars and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs; beat well. Slowly add flour mixture; blend well. Stir in 1/2 cup nuts.
  • For each cookie, with floured hands, shape about 1 tablespoon dough around caramel candy, covering completely.
  • In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup nuts and 4 tablespoons sugar. Press one side of each ball into nut mixture.
  • Place, nut side up, on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from sheet.

source: www.cooks.com

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Microwave Caramel Popcorn

We just tried out this recipe. For us caramel corn has been difficult to make. We don't know why. We figured that we just hadn't found the right recipe for us. Besides which, I am not patient enough to stir my popcorn in the oven every 15 minutes for an hour. We thought this recipe was easy and delicious. I hope you enjoy!


4 quarts (16 cup) popped popcorn

1 Cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  • Place the popped popcorn into a large paper bag. Set aside

  • In a 2 quart dish, or other heat-proof glass dish, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Heat for 3 minutes in the microwave, then take out and stir until well blended. Return to the microwave, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in the baking soda.

  • Pour syrup over the popcorn in the bag. Roll down the top once or twice to close the bag, and shake to coat the corn. Place bag into the microwave and cook for 45 seconds. Remove, shake, flip the bag over and return it to the microwave. Cook for another 45 seconds. Dump the popcorn out onto waved paper and let cool until coating is set. Store in an airtight container.


  • Be quick when pouring the syrup onto your popcorn. You want to get as much of the corn coated as possible.

  • Our microwave cooks on the warmer side. If yours does not, you may want to cook the popcorn for 1 minute 10 seconds as opposed to 45 seconds.

  • Don't get the syrup on you! It's hot - I found out the hard way. I just can't keep myself from trying the ooey gooey syrup!

source: www.allrecipes.com

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Those of you who know me I am a fan of ALL things pumpkin. Heather, not so much. I appreciate the fact that she lets me go crazy with the pumpkin stuff in the fall, even though they're not her favorite. These muffins are so moist and flavorful, and they are perfect for fall and Halloween class parties. You can also substitute mini chocolate chips and make them into mini-muffins for a bite-size treat. They are especially tasty when served warm right out of the oven!

4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, and mix in the sugar, pumpkin, and oil. In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Blend carefully into the egg and pumpkin mixture just until moistened. Gently stir in chocolate chips. Transfer to muffin pans, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pans and cool on a wire rack.

Yield: Approx. 30 regular size muffins, 70-80 mini muffins.

Source: allrecipes.com

Slow Cooker Chili

We found this recipe and made it for our neighborhood chili dinner and trunk-or-treat over Halloween weekend at O.K. Ward park. It was excellent, especially because we just threw it in the slow cooker in the morning, and it just simmered all day while we got the kids costumes ready and did other things. Feel free to adjust ingredients to suit your family's tastes. For instance, if you like a spicier chili, add additional tabasco or a chopped seeded jalapeno pepper. Enjoy!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
3 (15 ounce) cans dark red kidney beans (I sometimes prefer to use a variety of beans in my chili. last time I used two cans pinto beans and one can kidney beans. It turned out great. You can also use small red beans or black beans if you like as well).
3 (14.5 ounce) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes (last time I made this we didn't have these on hand, I just used canned diced tomatoes instead, and added a little extra garlic. It came out perfect).
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 generous dash worcestershire sauce
1 generous dash tabasco
1/2 cup red wine or beef broth
1 to 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste, if desired*

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic until beef is evenly browned. Drain fat and season to taste with salt and pepper. In a slow cooker (ours is 5 quart size) combine the ground beef mixture, beans, tomatoes, celery, red bell pepper, and red wine vinegar. Season with chili powder, cumin, parsley, basil, worcestershire sauce and tabasco. Stir in tomato paste, if desired. Cook on high for 6 hours, or low for 8 hours. Pour in wine or beef broth during the last two hours.

*This recipe without the tomato paste makes a rather "soup like" batch of chili. If you prefer a thicker chili, add as much tomato paste as you would like to achieve your desired consistency. (2 6-ounce cans of tomato paste is perfect for our liking. . . not too thick, not too thin).

Yield: 8-10 servings

Source: allrecipes.com