Archive | November, 2013

Got leftovers? Make a Turkey Pot Pie!

27 Nov

ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 26, 2011:

One of the best things about having leftovers from Thanksgiving is being able to enjoy the feast for days to come. Although we do not have Thanksgiving at home, the recipe I am posting today is one of my favorite ways to use leftover turkey, so I thought I’d post it here for you, in case you  get tired of turkey sandwiches.

Turkey Pot Pie

INGREDIENTS

1pkg. (ten oz.) frozen peas and carrots (or whatever veggies you like in your pot pies)

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 can College Inn Chicken Broth

2/3 cup milk

2 1/2 to 3 cups cut up cooked turkey (or chicken)

Pastry for two 9″ crust pie

DIRECTIONS

Rinse frozen peas and carrots under running cold water to separate. Drain.

Heat margarine in 2 quart saucepan over low heat until melted.

Stir in flour and pepper.

Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat.

Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.

Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in turkey and vegetables.

Pour turkey into pastry lined dish, flute the top crust.

Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown, about 35 minutes.

Here’s to friends and pumpkin pie cupcakes

25 Nov

I’m thankful for being able to stay connected to friends from “way back when” who are both near and far.

ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 16, 2012

I went to a high school outside of my hometown, with kids from all over my state and a neighboring state. Therefore, I met people there I would not normally have had a chance to meet, had I attended my local high school. Upon graduation we all went our separate ways, but we always tried to keep in touch.

At first we kept in touch by letters and the occasional phone call, but today with technology the way it is, we keep in touch by email and things like Facebook as well.

We’ve attended and/or been in each others weddings, we’ve visited each other when new babies were born, and gotten together when one or another of us were in town, visiting from wherever we had now settled, and even bumped into each other at the occasional swim lesson or scouting events. Each year though, at Thanksgiving, we try to get together to share a meal, whether it’s breakfast or dinner, just to catch up before another year goes by.

The photo here is last year’s picture after our Friday after Thanksgiving breakfast. We have another one scheduled for this year. Pictured here are high school friends Lia, Jenn, Nicole and I. We missed Bethany that year but she’ll be there this year!

A delicious treat!

My friend Nicole is in the fushia sweater, and today’s recipe was posted on Facebook by her, a couple of weeks back. I printed it right away but I only just got the chance to make it this week. She wrote that she’d made these pumpkin cupcakes by Baker Chick for all of the teachers at her school where she is the school librarian. I bet they loved them! I know I did! They got thumbs up from almost everyone here at our house, and I thought they were even better the second day; just like a slice of pumpkin pie in a cupcake wrapper!

The recipe states that these cupcakes puff up when cooked and then shrink back down, which is exactly what they did. Baker Chick also says that the fact that they shrink down is great because it gives you the perfect place to squirt some whipped cream, and she was right about that as well.

This was an easy recipe and didn’t take too long. I found my cook time to be slightly longer than the 20 minutes stated, but I just kept checking them every 2-3 minutes til they were done.

I hope you get a chance to try these out this week! Thanks to Nicole for sharing, I’ll see you soon! Thanks to Baker Chick for a great recipe!

Two bowls, simple ingredients.

PUMPKIN CUPCAKES
INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 15-oz can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup half and half

 

Cupcakes puff up when they’re first cooked….

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or silicone liners. *If using paper liners, lightly coat them with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and half and half until well combined.

Add in dry ingredients and whisk until no streaks of flour remain and batter is smooth.

Distribute batter evenly in the muffin tin. (they should be about 3/4 of the way full.)

Bake for 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan. (They will sink as they are cooling.)

Chill cupcakes before serving. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream.

…..and shrink down when cooled.

Makes 12

Pumpkin Palooza Recipe of the Day: Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

22 Nov

Done….

Originally posted on November 14, 2011

The recipe I’m sharing today is one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Each year this is what we have for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, and we grill it, which is superb! The kids all watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade while they eat their grilled bread. I also usually make mini loaves of this to give the individual teachers as a gift, as well as two loaves to put in the faculty rooms at the kids’ school and my husband’s school as a thank you to everyone. Last year I think I tripled the recipe, if I remember correctly and had to mix it in a huge stock pot. Not sure what my plan of attack will be this year, but I have already stocked up on my cranberries and my pumpkin!

Enjoy!

PUMPKIN CRANBERRY BREAD

INGREDIENTS

2 cups pumpkin puree (1 can of One Pie Pumpkin = 2 cups)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
4 eggs, large
1/2 cup Canola or Vegetable oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
12 ounce package of fresh or frozen cranberries

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease loaf pan(s). You can either use two large loaf pans or 3 mini loaf pans.

Beat together pumpkin, sugar, water, eggs and oil.

Sift in remaining ingredients except cranberries. Mix just until smooth.

Gently fold in cranberries.

Pour into loaf pan(s) and spread evenly.

Bake in the center of oven for 60 – 70 minutes for large loaves, less time (40-50 minutes) for smaller loaves or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Do not overbake or bread will be dry.

Cool in pan on a rack for 10 – 15 minutes. Turn bread(s) out onto rack and finish cooling.

Bread may be made in advance, covered and chilled for up to four days.(When I make two loaves for us I often save one to eat and keep one to freeze to eat at a later date.)

Pumpkin Palooza Recipe of the Day: MaryLou’s Sweet Potato Casserole

20 Nov

This is MaryLou. She makes a kickin’ Sweet Potato Casserole!

ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 22, 2011:

Who is MaryLou, you ask? She’s my mother-in-law and she makes the best sweet potato casserole EVER!!  She knows how much I love it, and even if it’s NOT Thanksgiving, she’s often made it when we visit. I am always sure to sit myself next to the Sweet Potato Casserole at the table, whenever she makes it.

Since 450 miles is a LONG way to go for a bite of her casserole, she let me have the recipe in November 2004. I am now sharing it with you. You are very lucky. :)

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups sweet potatoes boiled and mashed

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup margarine

Mix thoroughly and pour into buttered casserole dish.

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

1 cup light brown sugar packed

1/2 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans (this is a 6oz. pkg. halved pecans or so my notes say)

1/2 cup margarine melted

Mix with fork and sprinkle on top

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes

“Sit down and enjoy!”

German Apple Cake

18 Nov
German Apple Cake is a recipe I loved, growing up.

German Apple Cake is a recipe I loved, growing up.

ORIGINALLY POSTED OCTOBER 17, 2011

**I decided to re-post this today, November 18, 2013 because I made it this weekend for our friends who came for dinner. Making it reminded me of this post, so I thought I’d run it again for my newer followers who may have missed it.**

Growing up, this was one of my favorite recipes that my mom made. I have one specific memory also, of a time (the ONE time) when my mom was sick and my dad helped us make this recipe for her. I still think of that each time I see the recipe or eat this cake.

As with all of my recipes it’s super easy and of course, super delicious.

What’s your favorite apple recipe for fall?

Ingredients:

3 c. chopped or shredded apples

1 c. oil

2 c. flour

1/2 c. choc. chips (or a few more if you love ‘em as much as I do!)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together by hand in large bowl.

Grease and flour bundt pan.

Pour batter into pan.

Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cool 1/2 hr. before removing from the pan.

*Photo of chocolate chips from Google Images Editor at Large

Fun Friday: My fun new Pampered Chef toy: The microwave egg cooker

15 Nov
This could possibly be one of my top favorite Pampered Chef purchases ever.

This could possibly be one of my top favorite Pampered Chef purchases ever.

I have a new toy from Pampered Chef. I got it at a recent party I went to this fall and it’s made my life so much easier.

When I went to the party in September, the stoneware microwave egg cooker was a special that month, so my consultant had it on hand, cooking an egg in it (which I ate) to show us how easy it was to use.

It was SO easy.

I was sold, instantly.

In this egg cooker, you can make fried eggs, poached eggs, scrambled eggs, little egg omelets, and over hard eggs.

I use ours often to make egg sandwiches for breakfast, for lunches. I also make open-faced ham and egg on english muffin breakfasts.

I.Love.It.

One of our new favorite breakfast and lunch menu items, since acquiring the microwave egg cooker.

One of our new favorite breakfast and lunch menu items, since acquiring the microwave egg cooker.

The microwave egg cooker was affordable. It’s not huge, so it’s easy to store, which is key in my small kitchen. And it’s SO easy to use. SO easy.

To make the eggs above, I melted a little pat of butter in each well in the microwave, cracked my eggs in the wells, poked the yokes with a fork and cooked them for one minute and ten seconds.

Done.

Breakfast. On a week day.

I was recently asked to give a list of some of my “must haves” and this was definitely at the top of my list. It got me thinking though, what are some of my top favorites besides this?

1) My two scoops. I use one small one for scooping cookie batter and one medium sized scoop for scooping cupcake and muffin batter.

2) My large scraper

3) My micro scraper. I use the large one when I cook and this one to clean out the last of my Nutella from the jar.

4) My weighted whisk. This has taken the place of a hand-mixer when I mix cake batter, brownie mix and scrambled eggs.

5) My mini food chopper. I’ve chopped onions, celery, carrots and more in this little chopper. For a small tool it does a big job!

6) My stoneware mini loaf pan. I’ll be pulling this out next week when I make my mini cranberry breads for Thanksgiving.

7) My stoneware large bar pan and my stoneware pizza stones (I have large rectangle and small round and use them both for pizzas, for cookies, for crescent rolls; and I use the large bar pan for my granola bars, for cookies, and for nachos on a Friday night.

8) My Deep Covered Baker in which I can cook a whole chicken in the microwave in 40 minutes.

I think the things I like best about Pampered Chef tools is that they last, they’re good quality and they seem to always know exactly what I need, before I know I need it.

Like my microwave egg cooker.

I’m hosting an online party this month, so I’ve linked over all of my top faves to their spot in the online catalog in case you want to take a look!

At the moment, all I know is that I can’t wait until Pampered Chef comes out with their newest product that I didn’t know I needed!!

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

13 Nov
Lunch or dinner, this was a great new recipe!

Lunch or dinner, this was a great new recipe!

Things are constantly getting lost in our house.

“Have you seen…”

“Does anyone know where…..”

“I can’t find my……”

This recipe is one of those lost items. I’d ripped it out of a magazine over the summer. It’s from the June 2013 Woman’s Day magazine. I thought it sounded great.

My husband’s family is Lebanese, he loves Lebanese food, especially tabbouleh, and so does Elizabeth. I love it as well. I thought for sure it’d be a hit.

If I could find it.

Once I ripped it out and showed him, he agreed it sounded great, and then I never saw the page again.

Until last week.

We happened to move the couch away from the wall to get something one of the kids had seen fall back there, and lo and behold…my Woman’s Day recipe!

It just so happened that we’d made quinoa the night before as a side dish for our dinner. We had leftovers and it was in the fridge already.

With the quinoa cooked and cooled previously, this was a super-easy lunch to throw together in the morning before school for Don and Elizabeth’s lunchboxes. I even had sliced cucumbers leftover from the day before too, so I was really already on my way.

The votes came back with big thumbs up for the new salad. I sent wheat pita pockets on the side. Elizabeth scooped hers up with the bread, Don put his right inside the bread.

We had a little bit leftover and they used it as a side dish one night with dinner.

This is a great, quick tabbouleh and if you like Middle Eastern foods, give this a try!

QUINOA TABBOULEH SALAD

Woman’s Day June 2013

In a medium bowl, whisk together:
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice1 Tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon olive oil
a pinch each of salt and pepper

Add:
3/4 cup cooked quinoa1/2 cup canned chickpeas
1 plum tomato, chopped
1 seedless cucumber, chopped

Toss to combine.

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