Thursday, December 30, 2010

Favorite Recipes of 2010

     I can't believe I have been blogging for a year....and I can't believe it's the end of the year 2010. In the spirit of things, I'm posting about my favorite posts of the year. I tried to pick a couple meats, breads, and desserts. I'm not so great on the side dishes...maybe that should be my goal for this year. Anyhow, by category:

Beer/Pepperoncini Pot Roast



Mahogony Pork

Portobello Pizzas
 
Beer Batter Pizza Dough

Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Brownies with peanut butter frosting

Apple Cinnamon Babka. In fact, I'm making this for our New Year's Eve party tomorrow night.

Have a great New Year. I look forward to reading and trying out your new recipes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chocolate Chubbies

Sorry about the cookie overload on the recents posts. It goes with the season, right?
     I saw this post on Evil Chef Mom and knew I had to try them despite the name "chubbies." My circumstances were definitely not the same as hers, but she is right about one thing...sometimes you just need a cookie....and sometimes you need a Chocolate cookie!
     These were just the right cookie for me that day. Notice the amount of flour in the recipe...now notice the amount of chocolate...They were really more like brownies in the shape of cookies, which I think is the best of both worlds since I like the edges of brownies anyhow....and they never seem to come out of the pan in the perfect square shape like they should I've even tried that perfect brownie pan thing...it works...sometimes. Anyway, back to these cookies...They are so good! The only changes I made was that I used peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips and I didn't add pecans or walnuts.

1/2 c unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
9 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (or 1/2c+1Tbl cocoa and 3 Tbl oil)
1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c (12 oz) peanut butter chips (or semi sweet chocolate)
Optional: 1-1/2 c chopped pecans and 1-1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • Preheat oven to 350*. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
  • Bring 1 inch of water to simmer in saucepan over low heat. Put the butter in a heatproof bowl and melt over the water in the saucepan. Add semisweet chips and unsweetened chopped chocolate. Stirring until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Whip the eggs on Medium until foamy. Increase speed to high, Add sugar, then vanilla. Whip about 3 minutes until eggs are very thick.
  • Reduce mixer speed, add warm chocolate. 
  • Stir in flour, peanut butter chips (and nuts). The dough will be somewhat soft.
  • Using a meatball scoop, place dough on cookie sheets about 1-1/2 inches apart. 
  • Bake immediately (if you wait, the cookies won't be shiny)
  • Bake until set around the edges 17-20 minutes. 
  • The edges should release easily even if the center of the cookie seems soft. Don't overbake.
  • Reduce mixer speed


    Cookies on FoodistaCookies

    Monday, December 27, 2010

    Minnie's Cookies

         I'm not sure who Minnie is or was, but she sure made a good cookie. These are my very favorite cookie. My Mommaw used to make these for us when we were younger. I think they might have been her favorite too, because I don't remember her making many other kinds of cookies.
         I always make these around Christmas and usually a couple other times a year, too. They are always a big hit with their simple peanut butter flavor. You can add some optional drizzle on top for a special treat.

    1/2 c sugar
    1/2 c honey or Karo syrup
    3/4 c peanut butter
    3 c Special K (or corn flakes)
    OPTIONAL: 1/2 c chocolate chips+1/2 c butterscotch chips= melt and drizzle atop
    • Bring sugar and Karo syrup to boil
    • Add peanut butter and Special K
    • Stir until coated.
    • Drop on cookie sheet or wax paper to cool. Drizzle if desired.


      Peanut Butter

      Sunday, December 26, 2010

      Snickerdoodle Swirls

           I came across this recipe while flipping through an old (2002!) Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Gifts magazine I had saved. I love this magazine because of all its great gift ideas and recipes. These swirls caught my eye because they are different...and they were on a huge spread on the page before the recipe section. I gave these to some friends in these great boxes that are perfect for giving away special treats.

           I really think my mom's snickerdoodle cookies are about the best ever. It might be because they are soft, while most people make kind of crispy or firm snickerdoodles. I'm not sure why, even people who usually make soft cookies, make firm snickerdoodles. I just looked in my history and realized I've never posted her recipe, so maybe I will get around to that one day. Until then, here is the recipe for the delicous and beautiful snickerdoodle swirls. These really do taste wonderful, and I think they would have to be firm in order to create the swirl.

      Makes about 60 cookies
      1/3 c sugar
      1Tbl cinnamon
      1/2 c butter, softened
      3oz cream cheese, softened
      1 c sugar
      1/2 tsp baking powder
      1 egg
      1 tsp vanilla
      2-2/3 c flour
      1 Tbl butter, melted
      • For cinnamon sugar mixture, combine 1/3 c sugar and 1 Tbl cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
      • Beat the 1/2c butter and cream cheese for about 30 seconds. Add the 1c sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined. Add egg and vanilla. Then add flour.
      • Divide dough in half. Roll one half of the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 12x8 rectangle. Remove top sheet of wax paper. Brush dough with half of melted butter. Sprinkle with 2 Tbl of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
      • Starting from one of the short sides, roll up jelly-roll-style, removing wax paper as you roll. Seal edges. Repeat with remaining dough, butter, and 2 Tbl cinnamon-sugar mixture.
      • Roll each log into remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Wrap each log in wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours or until firm.
      • Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. 
      • Bake @ 375* for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool about 1 minute, then transfer to wire rack.


      Cinnamon- القرفه on FoodistaCinnamon- القرفه

      Monday, December 20, 2010

      Menu plan Monday

      Just a quick note to share my menu for the upcoming week. I probably won't get the recipes posted until after Christmas sometime. Like all December's, this one has been crazy!
      I look forward to all the good food and time spent with family while trying to keep the season in perspective.  Merry Christmas to all of you!

      Breakfasts:
      Omelets
      Brown Sugar Cinnamon toast
      Turkey sausage, egg, and cheese roll ups
      Holiday Do-nuts (an old family recipe)

      Dinners:
      Stromboli and salad
      Italian Chicken and Potato bake and green beans
      Captain Crunch Chicken Nuggets, Mac N'Cheese, Broccoli
      Homemade Chicken Pot Pie, salad
      Meatloaf, Mashed potatoes, salad
      Crock Pot Spaghetti

      Monday, December 13, 2010

      Pork Tacos with homemade tortillas

           When we go to Mexican restaurants, which is probably more often than our budget allows, my husband almost always orders a pork dish. I'm, really trying to do a better job of sticking to said budget. This recipe is one that I came across (bravo.tv) that seemed relatively healthy and easy to make at home.
           I used premade salsa, but you could definitely make your own for an even fresher taste.

      Tortillas:
      ¾ cup oats, pulverized
      1 ½ cup flour
      ¼ cup olive oil
      ½ cup cold water
      1 Tbl salt 
      Filling:
      2 lbs pork butt
      2 Tbl chili powder
      1 Tbl garlic powder
      1 Tbl onion powder
      Salt & Pepper
      Water
      Salsa 
      Optional toppings: cheese, sour cream, guacamole
       
      • For the Tortillas: Place dry ingredients in a stand mixer with dough hook. Add wet ingredients and knead for 5 minutes. Allow dough to rest for at least 20 minutes. Using a tortilla press, press golf ball size portions between parchment paper. On a dry griddle over medium-high heat, cook tortillas until lightly brown.
      • For the Pork Carnitas: Season and rub pork with spices, salt, and pepper. Roast for about an hour or until meat is done. Discard liquid. 
      • Pour roasted tomato salsa over pork and reserve in warm place.
      • To Assemble: Warm tortillas wrapped in a damp towel in a low oven. Place tortillas on plate. Top with pork and salsa

      Friday, December 10, 2010

      Apple Dumplings & Mtn Dew

           I first had this recipe at one of our small group meetings. The friend who made it tortured us as we tried to guess the addictive ingredient that helped make this taste so good. While her husband wasn't giving in, she finally caved and told us there was Mountain Dew poured over the top before the dumplings were cooked. Yes, Mountain Dew! I think it must make the sauce crystalize or something. But one thing I do know, is that this is a delicious treat.
           I made this for a breakfast pitch in and I had no leftovers. You could also make this for dessert or take them to a dinner party, too.
      From Allrecipes.com

      2 large apples, peeled and cored
      2 cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
      1 cup butter
      1 1/2 cups white sugar
      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      1 (12oz) can Mountain Dew
      • Preheat the oven to 350*. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
      • Cut each peeled, apple into 8 wedges and set aside. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.
      • Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew over the dumplings.
      • Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown.

      Monday, December 6, 2010

      Menu Plan Dec. 6-Dec. 9

      I guess I forgot to post my menu plan in time to link it with the others at OrgJunkie, but I'll go ahead and post it here. As always, December is proving to be extremely busy with lots of travel and eating out. This is not good for our pocket book, but nothing can be done about that. I was trying to stick to familiar favorites this week to make it a little less stressful.

      Breakfasts
      English Muffin Sandwich
      Best Ever Pancakes
      Apple Pie Oatmeal
      Omelettes

      Snacks
      fruit and yogurt parfaits sprinkled with Uncle Sam Cereal 
      fruit-bananas, apples
      carrot sticks
      rice cakes and peanut butter

      Dinners
      Enchilada Chicken
      Meatloaf
      Grilled Cheeseburgers
      Ham Steak

      Thursday, December 2, 2010

      Apple Cinnamon Babka

      After watching an episode of Seinfeld last night.....

      I wondered what "Babka" is.
      I decided to try to make a version of this using apples that are going soft...and my new cinnamon chips I found at the store this week. I agree with Jerry on cinnamon.This is no "lesser babka."

      The verdict? It's like apple pie and cinnamon rolls and coffee cake all rolled in to one! Amazing. I have plans to put other fruit/chip/nut combinations together to make new flavors.

      start start 4 hours ahead!
      Dough
      4 oz warm milk
      1-1/2 tsp yeast
      1/4 c sugar
      1 egg, plus 1 yolk
      2-1/4 c flour (I part whole wheat)
      1/4 tsp salt
      5 Tbl butter, cut into pieces, room temp
      Filling
      2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
      1 cup cinnamon chips
      1 c brown sugar
      Streusal Topping
      1/4 c butter
      1/2 c flour
      1/2 c brown sugar
      2 tsp cinnamon
      • Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy.
      • Whisk eggs, sugar, and yeast mixture until combined. 
      • In bowl of stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Add egg mixture and beat until flour is incorporated. 
      • Add butter and knead 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms.
      • Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour 

      • Butter a 9x5 loaf pan. Add parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.
      • Punch down the dough and let rest 5 minutes. 
      • Roll dough into a 16inch square. Brush edges of the dough with egg wash.
      • Spread apples, cinnamon chips, and brown sugar over dough leaving about a half inch around edges. 
      • Roll dough up, pinching sides to seal as you go. 
      • Twist  the rolled dough 5-6 times to make it longer, then fold into a horseshoe shape.
      • Cross the ends to form a figure eight and twist a couple more times. Fit the twisted dough into the prepared pan. 
      • Let rise 45 minutes.

      • Preheat oven to 350*
      • To make streusel, combine butter, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using fork (or pastry cutter), cut into butter until mixture is about the texture of coarse bread crumbs. 
      • Sprinkle on top of loaf. 
      • Bake 50 minutes, rotating pan after 25 minutes.
      • Turn temperature down to 325* and bake 20-30 more minutes, until golden and knife comes out clean.
      • Don't underbake. Cool on wire rack.

      Grilled/baked chicken parmesan

           I love Italian food. I used to always order Chicken Parmesan...before I discovered Chicken Marsala...and Chicken Lasagna.
           Generally speaking, Italian dishes are not very good for your waistline, but this version of a classic dish is actually pretty healthy...and it still tastes great, too! You really don't even miss the breading that generally comes on chicken parmesan.
      Adapted from  Biggest Loser Family Cookbook
      The original recipe says to grill the chicken...but it was 25* yesterday. I added in alternative directions.
       

      1 lb chicken breasts
      Olive oil in sprayer
      Salt, to taste
      Pepper, to taste
      1/2 c marinara of your choice
      mozzarella cheese, shredded
      parmesan cheese
      • Preheat oven to 350*
      • Preheat grill to high. (or preheat skillet to med-high)
      • Mist both sides of chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken (or cook in skillet) until no longer pink inside. Transfer to baking dish.
      • Heat the sauce on low until warm. Top each piece of chicken with about 2 tablespoons of sauce, followed by mozzarella and parmesan cheese. 
      • Bake for 3-5 minutes, or just until the cheese is melted.

      Healthier Joe Pasta

           I mentioned before that my family ate sloppy joe sauce instead of spaghetti sauce when I was younger.I guess it came from my mom growing up in a family of 5 kids. I think Mamaw wanted to make everyone happy, so they had a choice of sandwich or pasta.
           Our favorite was always No-Fuss, but I haven't found that in years. In my previous post, my homemade version was fantastic, but not really very healthy. I have come up with a better way that still tastes great. You could still serve this on a bun if you wish. We chose whole wheat pasta this time around.
      Total cost for dish (with pasta): $4.75/6servings

      1 lb ground meat (chicken, turkey, beef)
      1 Tbl vinegar
      2 tsp Worcestershire
      1-1/2 tsp honey
      1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
      1/2 c chopped onion
      1/3 c chopped green bell pepper
      8 oz tomato sauce
      1 (12oz) bottle  Chili Sauce
      1/4 tsp chili powder
      1 box pasta (or buns/bread)
      • Brown meat. 
      • Meanwhile, combine vinegar, worcestershire, and honey.
      • Drain meat. Add onion, bell pepper, tomato sauce, chili sauce, red pepper, chili powder, and vinegar mixture. Stir to blend.
      • Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer 20 minutes or until thickened. 
      • Serve over cooked pasta or on toasted buns.

      Monday, November 29, 2010

      Menu Plan Monday Nov30-Dec 3

           Well, we are getting back into the swing of things. It was so nice to have a long weekend to travel and see family. We were sure glad to be home at the end of it though. My goal is to try to make our days at home this month as normal as possible. Here is what we will be eating this week...

      Looks like there will be a few new recipes coming.

      Breakfasts
      Apple Pie Oatmeal
      Breakfast Banana Split
      English Muffin Sandwich
      Best Ever Pancakes w/ Maple Praline Syrup

      Dinners
      ham, corn on the cob, broccoli
      healthier sloppy joe pasta, asparagus, carrots
      grilled chicken parmesan, asparagus, garlic potatoes
      chicken burrito
      crock pot ribs

      Looking for more ideas? Head over to orgjunkie for lots of menu plans updated every Monday!

      Sunday, November 28, 2010

      Mamaw's Persimmon Pudding

           I meant to post this before we left for Thanksgiving the other day, but I ran out of time. This persimmon recipe is another family favorite, and I always miss it when we have Thanksgiving with my husband's family. So, this year I decided to make it for myself them. Apparently persimmon's are not as common as I thought, and most people have never even heard of them. This is news to me...since where I'm from, we have a persimmon festival every year! Here is a link with info about Indiana persimmons.
           When J told his dad I would be making persimmon pudding, he wasn't that excited. I guess he had some a long time ago, and wasn't a fan. After everyone else at the table had tasted this and liked it, he decided to try it again and he really liked it. I told my Mamaw it was big hit and she said she got the recipe from a lady in town who had won several local contests with the recipe. It is delicious!
           This time around, I had extra batter that wouldn't fit into my pan, so I made some mini-puddings using a mini muffin tin. These are just the right size for a little snack.

      2 cups persimmon pulp
      2 cups sugar
      2 eggs, beaten
      1/2 tsp salt
      1-1/2 cups flour
      1 tsp baking soda
      1 tsp baking powder
      1/2 tsp cinnamon
      1-1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk +1-1/2 Tbl vinegar)
      1/4 cup cream (or milnot)
      1/4 cup butter
      • Cream pulp and sugar
      • Add beaten eggs and beat well.
      • Put baking soda into buttermilk and stir until foamin stops. Add to pulp mixture alternately with dry ingredients which have been sifted together.
      • When all is blended and well mixed, add the cream and butter. 
      • Stir into greased pan (approx 8x12)
      • Bake about 1 hour @ 350*
      • Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

      Persimmon on FoodistaPersimmon

      Monday, November 22, 2010

      Crock Pot Turkey

           I mentioned this in my Menu Plan a couple of weeks ago, and I am finally getting around to posting. The plague Sickness has been going through our house, and it has been crazy! Anyway, just in time for the Big Day, I give you Crock Pot Turkey.
           My mom always hosted Thanksgiving for our family. She was in charge of the turkey and homemade noodles. In fact, my Papaw won't come unless there are homemade noodles! Somewhere along the road, she found this recipe for turkey in the crock pot, and hasn't made it another way since. It's very moist and requires no cleaning of the "yucky stuff."
          The directions here say to use a baking bag, but I didn't have one. I just put the turkey straight in the crock pot and threw in the water and butter. It is more difficult to clean up my way, and it doesn't change the flavor of the turkey in the end. 
           I have been buying a turkey breast every couple of weeks and cooking it, then dividing it into two ounce baggies to eat as a snack during the day. A 4lb turkey ($9.99 @ Aldi) gives you about 14-2oz bags, and you can freeze the ones you won't get to for a couple of days.

      3-4 lb boneless turkey breast
      1 stick butter
      1 cup water
      1 lrg baking bag (I didn't use this, but it would make it less messy to clean!)
      1 Tbl flour (I didn't do this either)
      • Place 1 Tbl flour in bag and shake. 
      • Place turkey, without gravy packet, in bag.
      • Add stick of butter and water. 
      • Tie bag. Poke a few holes in top of bag to let steam escape.
      • Place bag in crock pot and let cook all day on low (7-10 hours).
      • Remove to serving dish, and pull apart with fork.
      • spoon small amount of broth over turkey and toss.

      Monday, November 15, 2010

      Menu Plan 11/14--11/20

           As I was planning my menu this week, I was surprised to see that Thanksgiving is next week. I can't believe it's here already. Only a week and a half left of my mostly salt/fat/sugar free diet/gym makeover. It's been hard...and I've cheated. I even ate a slice of Perfect Party Cake while celebrating two friends' birthdays. But, I can wear my pre-baby clothes, and I feel great so I know I'm getting healthier. Anyhow, enough on that...Here's what I'll be eating this week

      Meatballs (we didn't get to last week) potato, asparagus
      Homemade pizza (also didn't get to that)
      Baked Chicken of some type, potatoes, broccoli
      Crock Pot Ribs w/homemade BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes, broccoli
      Taco salad w/ refried beans
      Chicken Marsala, roasted garlic potatoes, asparagus
      Deep Dish Spaghetti

       Head on over to OrgJunkie.com to see some other Menu Plan Monday plans

      Tuesday, November 9, 2010

      Dinner Knots

      Apple Pie Recipe coming soon
           The other day, the day of the pot roast, our friends came over for dinner. I didn't have time to run to the store for extra supplies because the neighbor's baby I watch was still napping. I thought we needed some type of bread/dinner roll to go with our roast. We almost always have oatmeal dinner rolls, which I love, but there weren't any frozen and I thought I'd try something different. The recipe I found in a Better Homes and Garden's Cookbook, is a basic yeast roll recipe but it tastes so good!
           I made my rolls into knots, but you could make crescents, Parker House rolls, or cloverleafs too.
           I used white whole wheat flour for my rolls. To substitute whole wheat flour for all purpose flour, you need to take out 2Tbl flour for each cup you use. I took out 9Tbl since I used 4-1/2 cups flour. Since this is a recipe using yeast, you will also need to add wheat gluten in order for the bread to rise correctly. Add 2tsp wheat gluten for each cup of wheat flour used. I added 9tsp of wheat gluten.

      4-1/4--4-3/4 c flour (I used wheat, see note above)
      1 pkg yeast (or 2-1/4 tsp yeast)
      1 cup milk
      1/3 cup sugar
      1/3 cup shortening or butter (I used equal amounts of both to equal 1/3c)
      1/2 tsp salt
      2 eggs
      • Combine 2 cups of flour (adjust if using wheat flour!) and the yeast. 
      • Heat milk, sugar, shortening/butter, and salt just til warm (120*)
      • Add milk mixture to flour mixture along with eggs. Beat on low for about 30 seconds, scraping bowl. 
      • Beat on high for about 3 minutes.
      • Use a spoon to stir in (or stir setting on stand mixer) as much of the remaining flour as you can. I ended up using 4-1/2 cups of flour total.
      • Turn dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic; 6-8 minutes. 
      • Shape dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Turn once to grease surface. 
      • Cover and let rise in a warm place til doubled-about an hour....The time is not a concern, be sure it is doubled!
      • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half, cover, and let rest for about 10 minutes.
      • Lightly grease baking sheets.
      • Divide each half of dough into 16 pieces. 
      • On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a rope. Tie in a knot. 
      • Place 2-3 inches apart on greased baking sheet. 
      • Let rise til doubled; about 30 minutes (again, time doesn't matter-make sure they are doubled!)
      • Bake in 375* oven for 12-15 minutes or til golden brown.
      • Spread butter on top as soon as they come out of the oven.

      Bread

        Monday, November 8, 2010

        Beer, Pepperoncini, and Pot Roast


             I never would have thought of combining these ingredients: beer, pepperoncini, and pot roast. It must have been a man that first thought up this recipe. My MIL sent me the recipe last week, and I was skeptical. Of course, Jonathon was all about it. So, we tried it...and even braver, people came over and ate it with us. I'm always nervous about trying new things out on guests, but it sure is flavorful and probably the most delicious pot roast I've ever had.
             We served ours with a side of mashed potatoes, salad, and homemade dinner rolls. My MIL said they eat it as a sandwich on hard rolls, and combine the leftovers with noodles for dinner the next night.
             I would say this doesn't really count as a "penny-pinching" meal because the pot roast is so expensive. But, it's still cheaper than going out to eat!
        Cost breakdown $15.47

        Beer $1 Trader Joes
        3lb Roast $11.07
        sliced Pepperoncini $1.92
        Dry Zesty Italian Dressing $1.48
        • Put everything in the crock pot. Drain Pepperoncini's before adding.
        • Cook on low 6-8 hours

        Pot Roast

          Menu Plan Monday Oct7-13

               Last weekend was a little crazy, and I didn't get my menu plan posted. I actually didn't even make it to the store until Tuesday because of travel and Miss E's bronchitis. She is much better now, in case you were wondering. This week, I'm on it. There are a couple of new things on here, but I'm also  trying to get some things out of my freezer. My goal has been to freeze things we can't eat, but as a result I have ended up with an overflowing supply! I'm also still trying to watch the fat, salts, and sugar intake. Although, I'm not being as strict about it as I was at first, I feel that some effort to monitor those things has to be healthier than not paying attention to them at all.

          Breakfasts
               Apple Pie Oatmeal
               Turkey sausage and fruit
               Frozen Amish Pancakes
               Frozen Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
          Lunches
               Leftovers
          Dinners
               Pot Roast (new recipe!)mashed potatoes, rolls
               Crock Pot Turkey (new recipe coming soon!) green beans, potatoes
               BBQ Chicken Potatoes, Broccoli
               Meatballs (This is becoming a regular), potato, asparagus
               Pork Fried Rice
               Portobello Pizza, garlic mashed potatoes
               Homemade Pizza Night w/frozen dough, sausage marinara, and mozzarella chunks


          Wow, looking back, I need to get some variety in our sides. I seem to focus more on the main dish and have potatoes for side every night. I will make my husband not so picky....eventually!
          Maybe I should follow my own advice and head over to Orgjunkie to see what other people are eating this week.

          Sunday, November 7, 2010

          Making your own Pumpkin Puree

               I don't know about where you live, but it has been hard for me to find pumpkin. Sometimes I can find the larger cans of pumpkin, but the 15oz cans have all disappeared. Solution....Make your own! It's easier than you think.
               We don't carve a jack-o-lantern here, mainly because I don't want to touch or smell the insides. Since Halloween is over, and I didn't want my pumpkin to go bad before I got to make something useful out of it, I toughed it out and made my own pumpkin puree. I ended up with 10 one cup bags of puree from one pumpkin. Of course, your yield will depend on the size of your pumpkin.
               I made all of my daughters baby food because it's healthier, cheaper, and tastes better. You can use pumpkin puree starting at 6-8months old. I have baby food ice cube trays, but you could just use any ice cube tray and cover it with foil. Just freeze puree in ice cube trays (I use my meatball scoop to put it in), and then add to freezer bag after frozen. Each cube is about 1oz of baby food, so you can use as many as your baby needs. I used this website to help if you are interested in making your own baby food.
               After you have all this pumpkin puree, start baking. Use a recipe or just add a couple tablespoons to your normal pancake batter. This year, I've used pumpkin to make muffins, cinnamon rolls, and cupcakes.

          • Preheat oven to 350*
          • Cut pumpkin in half, and clean out the seeds and guts. gross.
          • After it's cleaned out, cut those halves in half so you have four pieces.
          • Place them, cut side down, on a Jelly Roll Pan,
          • Add a little bit of water to the bottom of the pan
          • Bake for 45-60 minutes until skin starts peeling off.
          • Take out of oven, and cool enough that you can touch it.
          • Scoop the flesh out of the skin and put it in your magic bullet, food processor, or blender.
          • Puree...I had to add a little bit of water to get it smooth.


          Pumpkin

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