Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

With fall in full swing nothing says fall like pumpkin and I've got some recipes that will put your taste buds in the fall mood. The first one is Pumpkin Bread and this one has quickly become a family favorite. In fact my wife took a loaf to work and was receiving raved reviews on it.

The recipe makes three loaves, but I made a dozen muffins and two loaves with no problems. My two year old loves these muffins for breakfast and their something quick an easy to warm up for her in the morning.
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree or 1 cup homemade pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water 3 cups white 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
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/ teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, 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.

Bake four about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. For muffins bake time is about 30 minutes.

Recipe found on, Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread by Laurie Bennett


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Baked Pumpkin

A few weeks ago we made our annual trip to a local pumpkin patch. It's an amazing place with lots of activities, plenty of stuff for kids of all ages to climb on, a petting zoo, and loaded with everything you could need for fall cooking. While we were there I grabbed a couple of small baking pumpkins, at the time I had no idea what to make with them but it sounded fun. Once I got home I did a quick search and found plenty of tips on pureeing them as well as what to cook make with it.
Baking the pumpkins is incredibly easy, but will likely take a couple of hours from start to finish. The first thing that needs to be done is to cut out the stem, you can cut around it like your carving a jack-o-lantern or just cut flat under it until you've removed the toughest parts. Next you need to cut the pumpkin in to fourths and remove the seeds. You can rinse and dry the seeds for roasting later, but I've never been a fan of roasted pumpkin seeds so I just tossed them. Place the pumpkin quarters in a 375ºF oven for 1 1/2 hours until the pumpkin is tender, you should be able to pierce it easily with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then just use a spoon to remove the flesh.

To Puree you can use a food processor or a blender, it's easier to work in small batches to keep it from becoming to watered down. I used the food processor and then added a water a tablespoon at a time while running the food processor, this helped to get the right consistency. I then stored the pumpkin puree in the fridge for a week while I used it in some upcoming recipes. Oh and feel free to snack on the roasted pumpkin while your pureeing it, it's absolutely delicious that way.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

This is something I have been wanting to do for a while and just never got around to doing, make chicken noodle soup from scratch. It was pretty easy to do and the end result is well worth it. The only downside is that I chose the recipe when the temps were in the upper 60's, well the day I got to make it it was almost 90.  Which could be why my little girl was only so-so about it, it was just to warm for a hot bowl of soup. I'll have to try it again this winter when I need a warm bowl of soup.

10 cups water
1 cup carrots, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 cup onions, chopped
1 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 roasting chicken
3 cups wide egg noodles, uncooked

1. in 4-1/2 to 6 quart slow-cooker bowl, combine water, carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, 4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper.
2. Place while chicken on top of vegetables.
3. cover slow cooker with lid and cook as manufacturer directs on low setting 8 to 10 hours or on high 4-5 hours.
4. Transfer chicken to cutting board. Discard bay leaves. Add noodles to slow-cooker; cover with lid and cook (on lo or high) 20 minutes.
5. While noodles cook, remove and discard skin, fat and bones from chicken; shred meat.
6. Skim fat from soup and discard. Return to soup to serve.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Moink Balls meat Mobbles

Ok so this is what happens when your on a diet and fail at explaining a recipe and what your intentions are. You get lean ground beef and turkey bacon when you needed real bacon and beef with just a touch more fat as to not completely dry out on the smoker. So when life gives you turkey bacon and lean ground beef, you make Mobbles........I don't see that catching on like Moink Balls. If you've never heard of Moink Balls well then you need to head on over to the BBQ Grail's site and have a look. I will be trying these again, but with the proper ingredients next time.

I fixed these for a tailgate party we had a few weekends ago and their well received, but I'm sure they would of been much better had I asked for the proper stuff.

I really fell down when it came time to make these. I made meatballs with no seasoning which lowered the flavor bar. I did use two eggs and 1/4 cup of flour to help act as a binding agent for the lean ground beef. i then wrapped them in a slice of bacon and dusted them with some Head Country BBQ Rub. The then rested on the smoker four about an hour and a half until reaching an internal temp of 160ºF, which then they were sauced and finished up for another 10 minutes. They made a great finger food and I plan on attempting these again, hopefully sooner then later.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Sunbutter Truffle Brownies

I found this recipe off of my wife's Pinterest and I'm so glad I made it. It's absolutely delicious and I will be making it again for our family Halloween party that's quickly becoming a family tradition. Halloween is one of my favorite holiday's and we decided that the best way to celebrate it with a newborn was to have a party at our house with dinner and snacks. Well when our daughter was diagnosed with a peanut allergy we quickly realized most Halloween candy was going to be off limits due to containing or possibly containing peanuts. Which means I can no longer enjoy the wonderful Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Well when I saw this recipe that combines chocolate and peanut butter, I knew I had to try making it and simply substituting Peanut Butter with Sunflower Butter. The end result was a treat so rich, delicious, and filling that I knew this is what Peanut Butter Cups dream of being. I highly suggest you try this recipe, you will be so happy you did.

Brownie Base
I used my brownie recipe or you can use any recipe as long as it will fill a 9x13 pan.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Sunbutter sunflower seed spread (Recipe originally called for peanut butter)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom only of 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray or shortening.

Prepare and cook brownies according to recipe and allow to cool completely, about 1 hour.

In a medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set. For brownies, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sweet Cornbread!!

I posted this recipe last Memorial Day when we had our low country boil. It was a great recipe, but I knew it wasn't quite sweet enough for my taste, so when I made it this time I was sure to make some subtle changes. I added an extra tablespoon of sugar, bringing the total to three instead of two, and added in a tablespoon of honey for good measure. The end result was spot on, and my wife who is not a big fan of cornbread had her fair share of seconds.

While this is probably not anything new to some, I found that I prefer crumbling in a piece of cornbread into my chili and soups instead of some bland saltine crackers. I hope some of you give it a try, you might just like it!
Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
2 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil or melted butter

1. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. Add the 1 tbsp butter to a 10 inch cast iron skillet or a 9x1-1/2 inch round baking pan. Place in a 400º oven about 3 minutes or until butter melts. Remove pan from oven; swirl butter in pan to coat bottom and sides of pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine eggs, milk, honey, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Pour batter into hot skillet or pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Serve warm.

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