Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Harvest Bread

Harvest Loaf Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I didn't have but it turned out okay)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (milk is fine..but careful on it- as you can see my frosting was a bit runny even after adding more powdered sugar so add milk lightly!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan (I used 3 little loaf pans instead). In a medium bowl, mix flour, soda, salt, 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ginger and cloves (I sprinkled a little cinnamon in there, too). Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Add flour mixture alternately with pumpkin. Stir in chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of the walnuts. Pour batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle remaining nuts on top.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 65 to 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. (it took about 40-50 minutes with the mini pans) While still warm, drizzle with glaze. Cool for 6 hours before serving.
  4. to make the glaze: In a medium bowl, combine confectioners sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix and add 1 to 2 teaspoons cream until drizzling consistency.
We loved these and they cooked well in the little pans! You might want to turn the pans around in the oven halfway through to ensure even cooking. The girls (ok, and Sam got bites) devoured this. I still don't like pumpkin pie but this pumpkin bread/cookie thing I am all about! I want to get Mom's recipe next....but I just used the one I found after a quick search on allrecipes and this was good too!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A festive meal

Mummy Dogs
(click here to see cute picture and recipe at pillsbury)
  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 8 hotdogs
  • 2 squares American cheese, sliced into 8 strips (optional)
1. Heat oven to 375.
2. Roll out crescents from can, making 4 rectangles by sealing 2 rolls together.

3. Cut into long strips, about 4 each rectangle. (supposedly you can get 40 but I did what was easiest)

4. Wrap a piece of cheese around the hotdog, then 2 strips of dough. Make it like a mummy if you are fun but just twist it around if you are like me.

5. Place on pan sprayed with cooking spray and cook for about 10 minutes or until rolls are cooked. Mine cooked pretty fast!

6. Add mustard for eyes and mouth.

Not the healthiest meal but very fun and I thought they tasted good too! Nothing like processed rolls, dogs, and cheese....every once in a while, right?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another creamy, fun soup!

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
(recipe from
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • ½ - 1 cup frozen corn
  • ½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup carrots, sliced
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 ½ cups chicken broth (can use 7 bouillon cubes plus 6 ½ cups water)
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (I used rice-a-roni wild rice blend)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (I used 1 large breast)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup slivered almonds (I skipped)
  • 2 cups nonfat half-and-half
  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, corn, chicken and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and sauté 3-4 more minutes. Then add flour and stir well.
  3. Transfer mixture to large pot. Over medium heat, gradually pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly until all has been added. Bring just to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer.
  4. Next, add the rice, salt, curry powder, mustard powder, parsley, ground black pepper and almonds. Allow to heat through and then pour in the half-and-half.
  5. Let simmer 1 to 1 ½ hours. Be careful not to let the soup come to a boil or it won't thicken properly - let it simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally.
I halved this recipe for our family and it was enough for 2 adults and 3 light kid eaters. I loved the mushrooms. It was creamy, had a good flavor! The curry didn't overpower at all; it just added a subtle, interesting flavor. I'll make this again. Russell hates mushrooms and I used a ton but he loved the flavor of the soup. Next time I'll cut them down for him. A great soup that is different and fun! The nonfat half and half was surprisingly rich and good. I'm sure regular would work, too!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Good Fall cookies!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1/2 cup shortening (I use Imperial)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; gradually mix into the creamed mixture. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light brown. Cool on wire racks.
I never made these before, because I didn't think I really cared for them, but I have changed my mind! Such a great cookie for this season, and really any time. When does canned pumpkin go on sale though? These are soft, yummy.....the kids like 'em, and less butter than most cookies. And a fruit (or a veggie?) in them. The house smells so good with these babies cooking...

Quick and yummy caramel popcorn- addicting!

Caramel Marshmallow Popcorn
  • 1 bag popcorn, popped (I used light butter)
  • 1 cube margarine or butter
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. mini-marshmallows (for the topping)
  • 1 c. mini marshmallows (that go w/the popped corn)
  1. Pop your popcorn however you want, then place in bowl with the 1 c. marshmallows.
  2. Melt the butter and brown sugar on the stove on low-medium, cook for two minutes. Add marshmallows, cook until all melted and mixed.
  3. Pour over popcorn and marshmallows, stirring well.
  4. Eat....yum.....
This is so fast and good! The marshmallow addition is really good, because they are not all the way melted when you mix in with the popcorn. I'd advise doubling the recipe. I've also microwaved this with good results. Just make sure to stir every 15 seconds or so after adding marshmallows.
Here is a recipe for basically what I'm thinking is the same thing, but microwave version.

Yummy Caramel Popcorn

  • 2 bags buttery popcorn (microwave and remove all kernels)
  • 26 large marshmallows
  • 2 cubes real butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar

  1. Microwave marshmallows, butter and sugar for 1 ½ minutes then take out and stir. Put back in for 30 seconds.
  2. Add ¼ tsp. baking soda and put back in for 8 seconds.
  3. Stir until frothy. Pour over popcorn and eat.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quick Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • Chicken: 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • garlic salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 T canola oil

  1. Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks (or leave them whole, but will take longer to cook in the oven).
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg.
  4. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through.
  5. Place in a single layer in a baking dish.
Mix sauce ingredients (below) together and pour over chicken.


  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 3/4 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3/4 c. chicken broth

  1. Bake for one hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 20 minutes if chicken is in small chunks or turn once if you keep the chicken breasts whole.

Yummmmmm! We loved this. Olivia, the pickiest, had thirds. Goes great with broccoli or stir-fry veggie blends or potatoes and rolls. Fast and like Chinese Sweet and Sour, only not as greasy or heavy.

Who wants some Hummus?

Extra Easy Hummus
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
In a blender or food processor combine garbanzo beans, garlic, cumin, salt and olive oil. Blend on low speed, gradually adding reserved bean liquid, until desired consistency is achieved.

This is good! I can see myself using this regularly as a snack- just out with the carrots and crackers. Garbanzo beans are high in protein and fiber, and by blending them up the weird texture of these beans goes away. I like the addition of cumin, which makes it a little mexican-ish. Quick and easy!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mrs. Sigg's Snickerdoodles
(, photo actual recipe from flickr)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
  3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.
These are excellent snickerdoodles! Make sure not to overbake. This is the only snickerdoodle recipe you'll need...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Warm, cheesy veggie -ful soup!

Super Soup
  • 2 turkey legs (I use 1-2 chicken breasts, cooked already)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 pound processed cheese, cubed (I usually cut that amount by 1/4 c.)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli
  • 4 cups water (I use half chicken broth, half water)
  1. Boil turkey in water until tender. Cut up meat, and add back into turkey broth.
  2. Add onions, potatoes, carrots, and celery. Boil until tender.
  3. Add frozen vegetables, and cook 15 minutes more.
  4. Stir in cream of chicken soup and cubed cheese. Cook over medium-low heat until cheese melts, stirring often.
This is one of my favorite soups! It takes some time to cut up the veggies but they taste so good in the soup it is worth it. How often do you like eating your veggies? Anika loves this soup, Isabelle eats it, so we do pretty well with it!