Sunday, November 30, 2008

For Serious Pumpkin Lovers!

This recipe is actually a staple at any Holiday table now-a-days! I got this recipe from a good friend of mine and it seriously has changed my life!!! Everyone is always asking me to make this for the Holidays!! It is super delicious! I wasn't going to disclose the secret, but it is absolutely delicious and I wouldn't want you all to miss out on it! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Dump Cake
(recipe from The Wyatt's)
1 29 Ounce Can Pumpkin
1 12 Ounce Can Evaporated Milk
3 Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
3/4 Cup Melted Butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first six ingredients until well blended. Pour batter into a 9x13 greased baking pan. Sprinkle cake mix on top. Cover with Pecans. Pour melted butter over top of the cake. Bake for about 50 minutes or until you shake the cake and it doesn't wiggle!
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
Mix ingredients and pour icing over warm cake. Let cool. Serve with Cool Whip!


So I subscribe to Rachael Ray's "Everyday with Rachael Ray" Magazine. I actually used last years Thanksgiving Magazine to make almost all my recipes this year!! I didn't get to make them last year, so I thought since I was hosting I would pull it out and try them this year. I had a lot of success, thanks Rachael!! This recipe was one my husband actually told me I HAD TO MAKE!!!
Carmel Apple Layer Cake
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 sticks (1 pound) plus
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 crisp apples (about 1 pound), such as gala, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup store-bought caramel sauce
Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Using an electric mixer, combine the flour, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, the baking powder and salt. Mix in 2 sticks butter at low speed until the mixture is crumbly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, 1/2 cup cream, applesauce and vanilla. Mix into the flour-butter mixture at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to release the layers, invert onto the rack and let cool completely.

In a medium skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add the apple slices and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender and the juice is syrupy, about 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons cream and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 2 sticks butter and the confectioners' sugar until light and creamy. With the mixer on low, slowly mix in the caramel sauce.

Place 1 cake layer on a cake plate; spread the apple filling evenly on top, then cover with the remaining cake layer. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, cover the top and sides of the cake with the caramel frosting, swirling the top to make a decorative pattern.

My Thanksgiving Tablescape

This year, the family decided to come down and have Thanksgiving at our house. This was actually the first Thanksgiving my husband and I have hosted at the house!! I also took it upon myself to make the turkey (which was a first for me) and I will post about that later!! Everything turned out great and I can't wait to share all the recipes with you!

With all the family coming down, I wanted to do something special for my tablescape. So this is what I came up with...
We had to bring in a long table to have extra space, so our table isn't too fancy...and nor are the plates LOL! Anyhow, I was in Yankee Candle awhile ago and bought 2 large Harvest Candles, 2 Autumn Wreath votives (which I placed in glass jars) and they also had those festive looking confetti leaves! I also bought fall napkins and Indian Corn to help bring it all together!

For the name tags, I just wrote each name on a leaf and placed it on the plate! Everyone loved it and the house smelled amazing!!! :o) I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving...I will be posting my recipes shortly!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh how I love thee...let me count thy ways!

So since I have been in my accident I have had a lot of time to look at recipes! A friend of mine (who knows my love of pumpkin and how much I have struggled not being able to bake) sent me this EASY recipe from Southern Plate. I was so excited about it because when I saw the recipe it only called for....get ready two ingredients!!!
I was so all about this, since my recent condition has me incapable of doing very much at all. So I tried this out and let me tell you they were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!! I even let the hubby take them to school today since I wasn't able to make my favorite pumpkin rolls this year. Here is the recipe from Southern Plate.
Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Streusal
1 box spice cake mix
1 can pumpkin
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. In mixing bowl, place all ingredients. Mix until well blended. Scoop into muffin tin. Make topping.

1 C Brown Sugar
1 Stick Margarine (I used Smart Balance 50/50)
1 C Flour

Stir together flour and brown sugar, breaking up any lumps. Cut in margarine. Spoon or sprinkle on top of muffins, pat down slightly. Bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
These muffins are by far some of the best muffins I have had in a long time! You seriously NEED to try them out!! They are actually pretty healthy too (minus the topping) with only having the mix, pumpkin, and water!!!

Getting back in my grove...attempt #1!

If you are looking for something cheap and convenient, my friend let me introduce to you .... THE PIZZA ROLL! I was craving a little comfort (and quality time with my kitchen) yesterday and went looking through my recipes. I came across this family favorite and decided it was perfect. After being out of commission from my kitchen I wanted something simple, yet satisfying. It turned out perfectly...very tasty and comforting with hardly any effort!

1 10 ounce refrigerated pizza crust dough
2 Tablespoons Garlic Butter melted (I just made my own using Garlic, Garlic Salt and Butter)
2 Tablespoons Pizza Sauce
1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup (maybe more) sliced Pepperoni
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan/Romano Blend Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place Garlic Butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted. Open pizza crust dough and roll out on a cutting board or flat counter surface. Brush melted Garlic Butter over top of crust. Rinse brush and brush Pizza Sauce over crust. Sprinkle Italian Seasonings over top of sauces. Next, arrange your pepperoni in a single layer. Sprinkle Mozzarella and Parmesan/Romano Blend on top of pepperoni. To roll the pizza crust, carefully start by folding over one end (long ways) about 2 inches. Pat down. Then continue folding/rolling until it is finished and the seam side is down. Place roll on a greased baking sheet seam side down. With a sharp knife, cut slits about 1/2 inch deep every two inches. Place in oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest for several minutes before serving. I also brushed the rest of my leftover Garlic Butter on top before serving. You can also serve this with a side of Pizza Sauce for dipping! Hope you like it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I miss my kitchen :o(

I am sure I don't have many followers that read my blog, but for those of you who do, I am sorry for the lack of posts. I was in a pretty serious car accident on November 13 and since then have not been able to really spend quality time with my kitchen. It has now been a week and I am still struggling to get better...slowly I am seeing a light...ok maybe a glimmer! I am hoping to be able to get back in the swing of things soon...I have dishes I had high hopes for making for Thanksgiving! Until then, happy cooking/baking to all of you out there, I hope to join you again soon.

Much love,

Friday, November 7, 2008

I say "Potato"!

I love Potato Soup!! Back when I lived in Ohio there was a restaurant (Bennigan's) that had the BEST Potato Soup ever!!! They actually went out of business, but I always had searched for a recipe to make that beloved Potato Soup they served. My friend had sent me a recipe awhile ago for a knock-off version of the soup, and I did some research on Food Blog Search. I found a recipe on Baking Delights Blog and decided to combine it with some of my Potato Soup recipes I had tried in the past...this is what I came up with!! It was so delicious!!

Not Quite Bennigan's Potato Soup...
8 Large Potatoes Peeled and cut into bite size pieces
6 Tablespoons of Smart Balance 50/50 Butter
1 Onion Finely Chopped
3 Ribs of Celery finely chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic Minced
3 Tablespoons of Flour
2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
2 Cups of Half and Half
1 Cup Skim Milk
2 Tablespoons Garlic Salt
Freshly Cracked Pepper
1 Cup Shredded Velveeta
Boil potatoes until soft. Drain and set aside. In a deep soup pan, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery, cook until soft (not browned). Add the minced garlic, garlic salt and fresh cracked pepper. Stir to coat the celery and onion. Add the flour to create a Roux (it helps thicken the soup). Let the flour absorb all the melted butter until it gets thick. Once it thickens add the Chicken Stock, Half and Half and Skim milk. (I waited to add the milk just to see how thick it was, and added milk for the consistency I wanted) Once combined turn heat to low and let simmer. Take about 1 cup of potatoes and mash them. Add the mashed and bite size pieces of potatoes to the soup. Stir. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Top with cracked pepper, shredded Velveeta and garlic salt if desired.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I bow down to thee Cesar!!

Calling all you Cesar Salad lovers...yes, this tastes as good as it looks!!! I love it when other food blogger's leave comments on my blog, because half of the time it winds up taking me to a food blog I have never read!! That is what happened this time. I found this recipe on Whippin' It Up. I knew right away I HAD TO MAKE IT!!! My husband and I love Cesar Salad!!! What a great idea!!! I can't believe I never thought of it!!!
Chicken Cesar Salad Pizza
One Pizza Crust of your choice
1 cup Cesar Dressing
Parmesan Cheese
2 Chicken Breasts cooked and cut into bite size pieces (I boiled mine)
2 Roman Lettuce heads, washed and cut into bite size pieces (I buy the ones that come in a 3 pack and just used 2 of those)
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Bake the Pizza Crust according to the directions on the package. Take it out of the oven once it is baked and put half of the Cesar Dressing on the crust. Top with Parmesan Cheese and place back in oven to melt the cheese. Place the bite size chicken pieces on top. Then place the Roman Lettuce on top of the chicken. Top with remainder of the Cesar Dressing and sprinkle with more Parmesan Cheese and Fresh Cracked Pepper!
THIS WAS SOOOOO YUMMY!!!!! (excuse the paper plate...I was going for easy clean up last night! hehe!)

Time for a Casserole!

So now that the clocks are turned back and it is getting dark WAY to early....I find myself wanting to not go to the gym, to eat comfort foods and go to bed early! I was reading Pinch My Salt when I saw this recipe, and I thought...yes Tuna Casserole what a great idea for dinner!! I made a couple changes to the recipe and it turned out fantastic!!

Tuna Casserole
(recipe adapted from Pinch My Salt)
6 oz. egg noodles (wide or extra wide), cooked (I used Kluski noodles)
1 small can of tuna, drained and flaked with a fork
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 cup frozen peas, cooked
1/2 cup (or more) grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup (maybe more!) Bugles (crushed)
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together first six ingredients until well combined. Spread into a small greased casserole dish then sprinkle Bugles and Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and serve warm.