Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

  • Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 2/3 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used a little less)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans. (I used one regular loaf pan and two small loaf pans)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, applesauce, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (My little loaves took about 35 min, my big pan about an hour- watch closely!)

I have another pumpkin bread recipe on this site that has a glaze and chocolate chips, but it is different enough from this one I had to include this recipe as well.  I love how this baked, and the bread is yummy!  A little more dense, less crumby than my other harvest bread.  And the loaves cooked evenly and came out of their pans as well!  How great is that.  I guess I have Crisco with flour spray to thank for that.  I also put the pans in the middle of the oven for most of the time, then one rack higher the rest.  I did add a little glaze to one of the loaves, just to see how it tasted.  The glaze was about 2 T. melted butter, about 1/2 c. powdered sugar, and a little cinnamon.  The glaze on the photo above was a bit runny, but I didn't care.  Good!  I know it still feels like summer out there but I'm ready for the fall favorites!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Frosted Banana Bars

  • Banana Bars
  • (allrecipes.com)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 (16 ounce) container cream cheese frosting (I made my own using 1 pkg cream cheese, 2 c. powdered sugar, 1 t. vanilla and a little milk) 


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan.
    2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter. Finally, mix in the mashed banana. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
    3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow bars to cool completely before frosting with the cream cheese frosting.

    I don't know what happened to me!  I used to be anti-banana, anti-pumpkin (in cooking).  My VT brought me over these babies a few weeks ago and I was skeptical, but after eating them the taste won me over!  These are good without frosting as well.  The kids loved them.  And, bonus, they make a lot!  Now today I'm going to make pumpkin bread.  If it's a winner, I'll post it soon!

    Pizza sauce, 15 minute dough, Papa Murphy's Veggie Knock-off

    Exquisite Pizza Sauce

    • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
    • 6 fluid ounces warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
    • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
    • salt to taste
    1. In a small bowl, combine tomato paste, water, Parmesan cheese, garlic, honey, anchovy paste, onion powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and salt; mix together, breaking up any clumps of cheese.
    2. Sauce should sit for 30 minutes to blend flavors; spread over pizza dough and prepare pizza as desired.

    15 Minute Pizza Dough

    • 2 1/2 c. flour
    • 1 Tbsp. sugar
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup hot water 
    • 1 Tbsp. Rapid Rise or Bread Machine yeast
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    Preheat oven to 450°. Mix dry ingredients together. Add hot water and olive oil. Mix for five minutes (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook but by hand works too). Let rest 10 minutes. Press dough on pizza pan, pizza stone, or jelly-roll pan. Bake at 450° for 3 minutes. Take out of the oven and cover with toppings. Return to the oven and bake 8-10 minutes more. Makes one large pizza (16-18 inches).

    The pizza sauce was good!  I threw in what I had and it all worked out.  I can't really imagine buying anchovy paste.  I don't know what that would contribute and it sounds kind of gross. 

    This dough was so fast, I had to keep it for that reason alone!  It tasted good too, of course.  On the photo you'll see caramelized mushrooms and onions.   My dream pizza, but not Russell's!  He hates mushrooms, poor sap.  Sam picked the mushrooms off his pizza, eating ONLY them.  Good boy.  Well, at least 3 of us like mushrooms in the house.

    Papa Murphy's CopyCat Gourmet Vegetarian Pizza with Creamy Garlic Sauce
    -1 unbaked pizza crust (either homemade or store-bought- the homemade crust is what I used in the picture and it is amazing!)
    -1 recipe Creamy Garlic Sauce (see recipe below)
    -Fresh spinach
    -Sliced zucchini
    -Artichoke Hearts
    -Minced Onions
    -Grated Mozzarella Cheese
    -Parmesan Cheese
    Spread pizza crust in pan (I used a small 8" cake pan for this recipe). Spread creamy garlic sauce on top of crust. Add fresh vegetables (and any other toppings you like), sprinkle cheeses on top, and bake according to crust directions.
    Creamy Garlic Sauce Recipe 
    This sauce is amazing! I love to use it in place of regular tomato pizza sauce. This will make enough sauce for one very large pizza or about 3 personal-sized pizzas.
    1 cup ranch dressing
    1 Tablespoon minced garlic
    1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese
    1 tsp garlic salt
    Dash of minced green onions
    Dash of Italian seasoning
    Mix all ingredients together and use as desired. 

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Two great Coconut Oatmeal Cookies from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

    Coconut Oatmeal Chewies
    (from melskitchencafe.com)
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to cool room temperature
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 1/2 cups flour
    1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
    1 cup quick oats
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl cream together the sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or lined (silpat or parchment) baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, until the cookies are set but not overly browned (bake a few minutes longer for a crispier version).
    I like these cookies.  They are the flatter, chewier kind, which I normally don't go for, but I like these babies.  They have great flavor, and besides being great for everyday, they would be a great accompaniment to a fruit ice cream.  The coconut flavor isn't too strong, either.    

    My Favorite Cookie- Coconut/Chocolate Chip Oatmeal (blended) great for in muffin pans for use with ice cream!
    • 1 cup oatmeal (not quick)
    • 2 1/4 cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoons vanilla
    • 1 cup coconut
    • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the top 4 ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend about 30 seconds until coarse. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter for 30 seconds until light in color. Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Next, add the dry ingredients then add the coconut and chocolate chips.
    2. Shape cookie dough into balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Let the cookies cool slightly before removing them from the pan to a wire rack. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

    A fancy but simple chicken sandwich- trust me on this!

    Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Apricot Sauce

    • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Pounded To Even Out Thickness (I missed the point a little by crockpotting my chicken in a little apricot and dijon to save time)
    • Sliced Sourdough Or Other Crusty Bread ( I used regular bread and french bread and both were good)
    • Apricot Preserves
    • Mayonnaise
    • Dijon Mustard
    • Cayenne Pepper (Optional)
    • Baby Spinach
    • Red Onion, Sliced Thinly

    1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and grill until cooked all the way through. Wrap in plastic wrap and efrigerate until needed.
    2. Combine equal parts apricot preserves, Dijon mustard, and mayonnaise. Add cayenne to taste. Refrigerate until needed.
    3. To assemble, spread apricot sauce on two slices of bread. Add chicken breast, baby spinach, and red onion slices.
    4. Serve cold or drizzle with olive oil and brown on a panini grill.(I don't have one of these so I just flattened in a pan with a heavy pan placed on it to squish out the air- it worked well!).

    --This is my type of sandwich!  I loved the apricot-dijon sauce.  It tastes very similar to a honey-mustard flavor in the end-don't be scared off by the apricot preserves.  We always have them on hand for the apricot chicken we love. I am all about sauces that are different and fun.  I also like any sandwich that includes spinach, because we always have it available and I like it better on this type of thing than lettuce.  

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    Purple Cow Shakes

    Purple Cows
    • 3/4 c. grape juice concentrate
    • 1 1/2 c. milk
    • 2 c. vanilla ice cream
    Combine all in blender.  

    These were in the RS pass-along cards this month but I've made these several times and really like the different flavor!  Plus, they are so pretty!

    Spinach and Artichoke Dip

    Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
    • 1 lb. frozen spinach (thawed and strained)
    • 2 blocks cream cheese
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 2 cups not marinated artichoke hearts (drained)
    • 1/2 cup half & half (or just sub in some mayo)
    • 2 tsp seasoning salt
    • 1 diced tomato (optional)
    Place all ingredents into a mixer.  Using the flat paddle attachment blend till smooth and creamy.  Place desired amount in a glass containter and bake for 10 min at 350 degrees or microwave for 30 to 45 sec.  Top with diced tomatoes.  Served with tortilla chips.

    Here's another one from allrecipes.com that I like too.

    Spinach, Artichoke Alfredo Dip
    • 4 cloves garlic (or sub in some garlic powder, about 1/2 t.)
    • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
    • 1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo-style pasta sauce
    • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Place garlic in a small baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat. When cool enough to touch, squeeze softened garlic from skins.
    3. In an 8x8 inch baking dish, spread the roasted garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and cream cheese.
    4. Cover and bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and bubbly. Serve warm.

    I really love my dips!  This is a great way to think you're eating healthy...but it's not that bad, right?  Especially if you call it dinner!  Feel free to add some cooked chopped chicken if you want!

    Brown Sugar Muffins

    Brown Sugar Muffins
    • 1 stick of butter, softened
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 cups flour

    Mix together for about 5 minutes, until very smooth and creamy. Then fill muffin tin about 3/4 the way full. Bake at 375 for approximately 18-20 minutes until lightly brown.

    These were good!  They are quick to make and best complement a simple meal or soup.  They'd also work well for breakfast!  The brown sugar makes them quite melt-in-your mouth-ey.