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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall Harvest Baked Acorn Squash

Tonight's dinner is a nice light vegetarian meal highlighting the flavors of fall:  an acorn squash baked with maple syrup and cinnamon, then stuffed with a quinoa-apple-walnut stuffing.  I made this recipe on a gray fall day and it seemed to fit right in with the fall weather.  This recipe is for 2, but could easily be doubled or even tripled.

1 acorn squash
1 T. maple syrup
1 t. cinnamon
1 T. butter
Cut the squash in half.  Scoop out all the seeds and stringy parts.  Place in baking dish.
Place 1/2 T. butter in each half followed by 1/2 T. maple syrup in each.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon.
Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. 
3/4 c. quinoa
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 t. salt
Put the quinoa, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes.  Stir in:
1/2 diced apple
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 t. cinnamon
Spoon the stuffing into the baked squash and serve.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2 ingredient pumpkin muffins

Truly only 2 ingredients:  1 box of spice cake mix
                                          1 16 oz. can of pumpkin
Combine the two ingredients with a mixer.  Spray a cupcake pan with Pam.  Put the batter into the cups.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Couldn't be simpler and really quite delicious

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pumpkin Chai Latte

OK maybe you don't want to bake with about a chai spiced tea with pumpkin?  I tried this with my breakfast this morning...and I will definitely make it again.  I used a couple of chai teabags instead of the black tea bags just because I like my chai spicey.

1/4 c. + 1 T. pumpkin
2 T. pure maple syrup
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/8 t. allspice
1/8 t. ginger
2 c. milk
2 bags of black tea

In a saucepan heat milk, all spices, maple syrup and pumpkin.  Stir frequently.  Bring just to a boil and then add tea bags.  Steep for 4 minutes and serve.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

I love baking pumpkin things in the fall.  Luckily, my family likes pumpkin.  So here is my latest yummy treat.  You will need a doughnut pan, or one of those mini doughnut baking machines to make this recipe.  This recipe comes from the King Arthur Flour website.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée (canned pumpkin)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus a heaping 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Beat everything together until smooth.
Add 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, stirring just until smooth.

Lightly grease two standard doughnut pans.

Fill the wells of the doughnut pans about 3/4 full, using a scant 1/4 cup of batter in each well.

Bake the doughnuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. If you’re using self-rising flour, bake for the longer amount of time.
If you’re making muffins, they’ll need to bake for 23 to 25 minutes.
Remove the doughnuts from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, loosen their edges, and transfer them to a rack to cool.

While the doughnuts are still warm (but no longer fragile), gently shake them in a bag with cinnamon-sugar.

Starbucks Pumpkin Muffins

I am a regular Starbuck's customer, but I have yet to see these in my local Starbucks.  Nevertheless, these are spectacular, delicious, super yummy muffins.  You should make them today and share them with all your loved ones.   They will love you even more!

This recipe has 3 main steps so it is a bit time consuming.
  • Sweet Cream Cheese

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Mix all 3 ingredients well and set aside.

  • Candied Pumpkin Seeds

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Combine sugar, water and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly.
  • Add in pumpkin seeds.  Boil3 mnutes. Pour on a plate, separating seeds as much as possible.

    Muffin Batter

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs 
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugr
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
Mix sugars, oil, and pumpkin puree.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add in remaining ingredients.
Beat just until well mixed.  Put cupcake papers in muffin tin.  Fill 2/3's full.  In the center of each muffin place 1 T. of the cream cheese mixture.  Push down into the muffin.  Sprinkle with seeds.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

Well it is October 1st, and the season of pumpkin is upon us.  Why not start out with a few extra yummy pumpkin recipes for breakfast? Tonight my grand daughter wanted breakfast for dinner so we cooked up some pumpkin french toast and welcomed the fall/pumpkin season!  I found this recipe on the blog "Closet Cooking."

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 8 slices of bread
Whip eggs, milk, and pumpkin together well.Whip in vanilla, spices and brown sugar.   Dip both sides of thebread slices into egg mixture.  Cook over medium heat on a griddle or in a frying pan until brown on one side.  Flip and cook the other side.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Garden Harvest Cucumber and Tomato Salad

It is the end of the summer when the garden is bursting with all kinds of veggies.  We seem to have an abundance of tomatoes and cucumbers this year.  So for a quick salad, fresh from the garden, I made up this little salad to go along with dinner tonight.  Light, refreshing and healthy too!

2 large English cucumbers
1/2 onion
2-3 tomatoes

3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar or balsamic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. oregano or basil

Cut up veggies in slices.  Toss with dressing and serve!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Garlic Pesto Chicken with Tomato Cream Penne

My daughter made this recipe tonight.  It was delicious and made enough for a crowd!  She found the recipe on My Recipes.  It has a savory sauce and nicely seasoned chicken pieces. 

  • 1 bottle(s) Lawrys Herb and Garlic Marinade
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Pesto
  • 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts 
  • 8 ounce(s) Penne Pasta 1/2 box
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Olive Oil 
  • 3 clove(s) Garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon(s) Pesto
  • 1/2 cup(s) chicken broth 
  • 8 ounce(s) Tomato Sauce
  • 1 cup(s) half-and-half 
  • 1 tablespoon(s) Flour as needed
  •  Pour marinade and pesto in a bowl or glass baking dish.  Cut the chicken into strips.  Place into marinade mixture over night in the refrigerator.
  • Cook Pasta in boiling water until tender.  Drain.
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan.  Saute the garlic over medium heat.  Stir in the other 2 T. pesto, chicken broth and tomato sauce.  Bring to boil , reducing by half.  Mix the half and half and flour and add to tomato mixture.  Stir and thicken.  Add in the chicken and pasta.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Let It Bean Salad

A refreshing change from potato and macaroni salad for summer dinners or a picnic ...also healthy with lots of fiber.  This is a recipe taken from the Looneyspoons cookbook.

2 c. fresh or frozen cut green beans, cooked and cooled
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 c. corn
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1 c. diced red or orange bell pepper
1/2 c. chopped parsley

Mix all these ingredients together.   Then mix and add dressing.  Cover and refrigerate overnight for the best flavor.

1/4 c. safflower or olive oil
1/4 c. vinegar
2 T. sugar
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. celery seed

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lemon Cooler Cookies

When I was growing up they sold a boxed cookie called Lemon Coolers.  They were light, lemony deliciousness.  Recently on the blog, "Uncommon Designs" I came across a recipe for these cookies.
They are perfect for the summer.  They only make 3 dozen so portions aren't a problem--anyway they are gone before you even become worried about that.  My gand daughter thought they were so good that we should just sit and eat them all and not worry about sharing with anyone.  To her disappointment, she got 3 and we saved the rest.

2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
The topping:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Preheat your oven to 350.  Then line cooky sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Beat butter, powdered sugar and regular sugar until well creamed.
Mix in vanilla, eggs, and lemon extract.
Then add flour, baking powder and salt.
Finally add in the lemon juice, and the zest.
Roll into balls and put on cooky sheets.  Bake for 15 minutes.

For the topping mix the zest and powdered sugar.
When the cookies are done let them cool for 4 minutes then roll in the powdered sugar mixture and allow to continue cooling.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Snickerdoodle Waffles

My grand daughter is a big fan of breakfast for dinner.  So one busy evening, I decided that this recipe was just the thing for a simple and quick dinner.  You can use the recipe and make up the batter, or cheat and mix some cinnamon and vanilla into a Bisquick waffle mix recipe.  Then dip and serve.  Watch for smiles all around!
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk warm
  •  1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
Mix all ingredients.  Cook in waffle maker.  After cooking, dip waffles in melted butter and then cinnamon sugar.  Serve as is or with maple syrup.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Lemon Berry Angel Food Cake

This cake is beautiful but the whipping cream melts fast.  My suggestion is to assemble it and then freeze it.  Defrost shortly before serving and it should stay as nice as when you made it.

1 angel food cake
1 jar lemon curd
whipped cream
2 c. raspberries or strawberries
2 c. blueberries or blackberries

Cut the cake in half, making two layers.  On the bottom layer spread lemon curd-just enough to cover the cut 1/2.  Sprinkle with half the berries.  Cover with whipped cream.  Place remaining layer on top and repeat the lemon cur, berries and whipped cream.  Freeze until almost ready to serve.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Berry Spinach Salad Gone Nuts

I had this salad at a recent potluck and just had to ask for the recipe.  It combines all the wonderful flavors of summer.  It would be great with some shrimp or grilled chicken or grilled fish added in for a dinner salad.

1# spinach leaves
1 c. blueberries
1 c. sliced strawberries
1 c. raspberries
1 c. nuts (I used mixed nuts)
1/2 c. feta or blue cheese
Combine all these ingredients well.  Mix with dressing.

1 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
Mix well and add to salad.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lou's Vegetable Salad

Yesterday at the bus garage potlluck there were too many tasty dishes to describe.  This one was brought by Lou and is a perfect summertime salad.  No need to worry about mayonnaise spoiling in the heat.  Lots of vegetables so very healthy.  Other vegetables can easily be added or used to replace ones your family doesn't like.

1 head of cauliflower, broke into small pieces
1 head of broccoli, but into pieces
3 carrots, diced
(Optional:  green pepper, red onion, olives, mushrooms)

Marinate all the vegetables in Bernstein Italian dressing overnight.  Use 1/2-2/3 of the bottle.
Nest morning, crain all dressing and add the following vinegar dressing:
Vinegar dressing
1 c. sugar
1 c. vinegar
1 T. salt
Bring this to a boil and cool. 

After mixing in vinegar dressing add optional vegetables.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

3 Berry Slab Pie

Wednesday is the last day of work for all the staff at the bus garage where my sweetheart works...another end of a school year.  The day will be celebrated with a BBQ potluck.  I decided a nice slab pie would be a great addition as a dessert.  It can be served topped with ice cream or whipped cream.

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk
1 egg yolk
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
6-8 c. of berries in any combination-I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

Pie crust
Mix flour and salt.  Cut in butter using a food processor until the butter is crumbly.  Slowly mix in the milk and egg yolk.  Form into 2 balls of dough-one larger than the other.  Flatten the balls to disc shape, wrap in saran wrap and put in freezer for about 20 minutes.

Take dough out, roll the larger ball into a large rectangle, slightly bigger than a 13 x 9 pan.  Put into a 13 x 9 pan.  It should cover the bottom and sides.  Roll out the remaining dough for the top.

Mix the berries, sugar,  and cornstarch.  Pour onto the pie dough in the 13 x 9 pan. Spread to cover crust.  Add top crust over the berries.  Cut several slits on the top crust.  Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Chicken is Going To Scarborough Fair

My sweetheart suggested the name for this because of the main herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme that flavor this dish.  This is a light meal that is perfect just by itself.  It would be equally good with substitutions of zucchini or broccoli for vegetables.  It is an easy one skillet dish.

2 chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalk celery, sliced
1 can bamboo shoots, drained
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/2 t. thyme
1 t. parsley
1/4 t. sage
1 t. rosemary
1 1/2 c. cooked rice (I used wild rice)

Put 1T. canola oil in the skillet.  Add all the vegetables and chicken.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is well done.  Stir in the lemon juice, spices and rice.  Serve

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lemon Scones

Thanks to Maria, I received a big bad of luscious big lemons from California this week.  Nothing like those little ones at the grocery store.  Yummy!  Tonight after school I baked up this batch of lemon scones.  Wonderful with breakfast for dinner...something we are doing once a week thanks to all the eggs our chickens are providing.  These would also be great just with a cup of tea.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Roasted corn, avocado and shrimp salad

It is beginning to heat up here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  Tonight I just did not want to heat up the kitchen.  This salad with a few slices of french bread were perfect.   Open a bottle of wine and enjoy on your deck in the sun.

  • 2 ears of sweet corn, shaved off the cob
  • 3 strips of bacon, cooked and dice
  • 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled with tails on or off
  • 4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/3 cup grated Fontina cheese (optional) 
  • 1 egg, hardboiled
  • 1 c. chopped celery

  • buttermilk pesto dressing
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayo or Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredient well with a whisk.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mango Curried Chicken and Pasta Salad

I had this for lunch recently at a local restaurant and wanted to try to see if I could make something similar at home.  This salad would be great without the meat for those of you who prefer a vegetarian meal.  It is a nice lunch or light dinner.  I found this recipe on Eating Well.
12 0z. penne cooked al dente
1 tablespoon curry powder,
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 c. plain yogurt
 1/3 cup mango chutney
1 t. turmeric
1/2 re pepper chopped into thin strips
1/2 c. green onion (optional).

Mix all ingredients together and chill until served.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Green tea Martini

Another refreshing martini from the Martini Chronicles website.  Depending on the green tea you use you may or may not need to use the honey.  I made mine with Sobe green tea and no honey and it was plenty sweet.

1.5 Oz of Your Favorite Gin
4 Oz of Brewed and Chilled Green Tea
2 Tsp of Honey
Lemon Wedge (For Garnish)

Shake ice, gin, tea and honey in a shaker.  Pour into a martini glass.  Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon slice on top and garnish with the other 1/2 of slice.