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Sunday, April 25, 2010

TURTLE PUMPKIN PIE (lord help us!!!)

1/4 c + 2 tbsp caramel ice cream topping, divided
1 graham cracker pie crust
2 oz chopped pecans
1 cup milk
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
8 oz Cool Whip, thawed

Pour 1/4 c caramel topping into pie crust, sprinkle with 1/3 c pecans. Whisk together in a large bowl milk, pudding mix, pumpkin, and spices until blended. Stir in 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip; spread mixture into crust. Chill at least 1 hour. Top with remaining Cool Whip, drizzle with 2 tbsp caramel topping, and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Serves 10.

SERIOUSLY?!?!? 2 of my favorite things together in one place...

Harvest Chicken Chowder

2 tsp olive oil
4 onions - chopped
3 garlic cloves - minced
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cubed
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 celery stalks - chopped
1 carrot - sliced
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 12 oz. can evaporated skimmed milk
1/4 c. parsley - minced
1 Tbsp. minced fresh sage or 1/2 tsp. dried
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
fresh ground pepper

In a nonstick dutch oven, heat oil. Add onions and garlic; cook, stirring as needed, until softened, about 5 minutes

Add chicken, broth, celery and carrot; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring as needed, until the chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender, about 10 minutes

Add pumpkin, milk, parsley, sage, and thyme; return to a boil, stirring as needed. Serve sprinkled with pepper.

Makes 4 servings ~ 317 Calories / serving ~ 6 Weight Watchers points / serving

I actually measured the whole pot so I could figure how much they considered a serving, and it made about 7 1/2 cups, so a serving is a little less than 2 cups.

My variation: I actually left the onions out (4 seemed like quite a few anyway) because picky Dh won't eat onions, but I added extra carrots since I had some to use up. I also added a little ground red pepper for extra spice - YUM! I thought it was delicious and filling, but Dh didn't agree. He's more of a simple meat and potatoes type of guy, and this soup was just a little too different for him.

ETA - I also used regular chicken broth instead of low-sodium. I still thought it needed more salt, but maybe my taste buds are off???

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

1 c unsalted butter
1 c sugar
1 c pumpkin
1 egg
1tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 c walnuts
1 c raisins

2 c sifted confect. sugar
1/4 c butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
3 T whipping cream, OJ or rum

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir into butter mixture until well blended. Add nuts and raisins.

Drop by teaspoonful onto parchment paper, about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Cool.

For the icing: Cream conf sugar and butter. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Drizzle over cookies. (I only used a 1/4 of the icing and drizzled using a sandwich baggy with the corner cut).

Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal

4 cups water
1 cup steel cut oats
1/4-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or more to taste)
2-4 tbsp brown sugar (or more to taste)

Boil water, add oats and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat until oats are tender. Remove from heat, stir in pumpkin, milk, vanilla, spices and brown sugar. Adjust seasonings and brown sugar to taste.

Here is the Pumpkin Gooey Butter Coffee Cake

Bottom Layer:
1 Package Yellow Cake Mix
1 egg
1 stick of melted butter
Mix all above ingredients together and press into bottom of a 9*13 inch baking dish.

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
3 eggs
1 stick of melted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg

Beat the cream cheese till smooth and add in pumpkin till smooth again. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and butter till all mixed together. Next, add in powdered sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and mix till all combined. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake and bake for 40-50 min. in a 350 degree oven.

Variations to the cake:
Use crushed pineapple (drained 20 oz.) instead of pumpkin.
Use 2 ripe bananas instead of pumpkin.
Use chocolate cake mix, and 1 cup of creamy peanut butter instead of pumpkin.

***I'm thinking the chocolate and peanut butter sound pretty good!!!

My family makes regular gooey butter cake all the time. It's super simple. The bottom layer is the same, and the filling is similar. It's 2 bricks of cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 stick of butter, and 3 eggs (I think). Bake the same amount of time and dust with powdered sugar after it comes out of the oven! NUM-YUMMY!

I have one can of pumpkin left from last year, and I might be making this tomorrow morning. It is DELICIOUS!!!

Pumpkin Walnut Cookies

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp lemon juice
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup coarsely chopped Diamond Walnuts

Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in pumpkin, vanilla, lemon peel and juice. Resift flour with baking powder, salt and spice; blend into butter mixture. Stir in walnuts. Drop by tablespoonsful onto greased baking sheets 2 in apart. Bake at 375 degrees 12 to 14 min. makes about 2 1/2 doz. 3" cookies.

To decorate: Spread cookies with a vanilla buttercream frosting and make "face" with walnut pieces and candy corn.

Layered Walnut Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup Diamond Walnuts
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 can (1 pound) pumpkin
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs, separated
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
1 9" baked, cooled pie shell (I find a deep dish shell works best)
Diamond walnut halves for decoration

Chop walnuts fine, set aside. Soften gelatin in water in a 2 qt saucepan. Stir in pumpkin, 1/2 cup of the sugar, milk, lightly beaten egg yolks, spice and salt. Heat just to boiling, stirring constantly. Turn heat very low and cook 5 min., stirring. Remove from heat; add vanilla and cool. Chill until mixture thickens slightly. Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 2 Tbsp sugar, beating until stiff. Fold into pumpkin mixture along with chopped walnuts. Beat cream with remaining sugar until very stiff. (Don't let it turn to butter!) Turn half pumpkin mixture into pie shell and spread level. Top with 3/4 of the cream and spread in even layer. Spoon on remaining pumpkin filling. Decorate top with remaining cream in dollops around the edge and place a walnut in each dallop of cream.

Pumpkin Ricotta Risotto

2/3 c canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/2 c ricotta cheese
Olive Oil
1 c Arborio Rice
1/2 tsp salt
3 c broth - chicken or vegetable

Combine pumpkin puree with ricotta cheese. Stir mixture until the two ingredients are thoroughly blended and set aside.

Lightly coat saute pan with olive oil and heat. Add rice and stire until lightly coated in oil. Add salt and then broth one cup at a time, stirring constantly. Make sure all water is absorbed before adding the next cup. Continue stirring until risotto is creamy.

When risotto is done, immediately combine with pumpkin-ricotta mixture. Stir thoroughly, ensuring that all of the risotto is coated.

Serve with salad or green beans.

Serves 4.

Pumpkin Blondies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups granulated sugar (or brown sugar)
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
½ cup chopped, toasted nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree. With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate and butterscotch chips (and nuts, if using) with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.

To serve, lift the cake from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off the foil and using a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

1/4 c margarine or butter, softened
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
2/3 c pumpkin
1/2 c buttermilk
2 eggs
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I used cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger b/c that's what I had)

Streusel Topping:
1/3 c flour
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp cold butter or margarine

For muffins:
Cream together margarine and sugars. Add all remaining ingredients and mix together. Pour into muffin tins. In a separate bowl, cut together streusel ingredients and sprinkle over muffin batter. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Makes one dozen muffins.

Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp
1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 1/4 c. pumpkin puree (this about 1 15oz can)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Insert cupcake liners into your muffin or cupcake pan.
In a large bowl cream together the butter and the sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add the eggs to the creamed mixture only one at a time. Mix well after each egg. Beat well.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, the ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt. Once blended, begin adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time. Alternate with the milk, stirring after each addition. Mix until completely integrated.
Add the pumpkin puree and the vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Fill the cupcake liners 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Maple Buttercream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Beat the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl with a mixer set on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Continue beating, and add the maple syrup and vanilla. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, increase the speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Chill for 1 hour before using.

Pumpkin Roll

* 3 eggs
* 1 cup white sugar
* 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
* confectioners' sugar for dusting
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons butter, softened
* 8 ounces cream cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs on high for five minutes. Gradually add white sugar and pumpkin. Add flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Spread batter evenly in pan. Sprinkle walnuts evenly on top.
3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately turn out onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners sugar. Peel off paper and roll cake up in the towel, starting with the short end. Cool.
4. To Make Filling: Mix confectioners sugar, vanilla, butter or margarine, and cream cheese together till smooth.
5. Carefully unroll the cake. Spread filling over cake to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up again. Cover and chill until serving. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Pumpkin Apple Butter

Estimated Times:
Preparation - 10 min | Cooking - 1 hrs 30 min | Yields - 48 servings (1 tablespoon per serving)

Try this thick and delicious pumpkin-apple butter the next time you make homemade bread. Fresh bread spread with homemade apple butter (with pumpkin as the base) is a rich treat!


1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 medium apple, peeled and grated
1 cup Apple NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® All Natural 100% Juice
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

COMBINE pumpkin, apple, Juicy Juice, sugar and pumpkin pie spice in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with buttermilk biscuits, breads, corn muffins or hot cereal. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Recipe makes 3 cups.

Nutella Pumpkin Pie

1 package pie crust dough mix (for 9-inch pie)
1/2 cup Nutella
1 cup sweetened condensed milk, divided
2 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare the pie crust according to the directions on the box and line it in a 9-inch pie plate. Using a fork, press the dough around the edge of the plate. Line the pie with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans, uncooked rice or pie weights so the crust holds shape while baking. Pre-bake the shell for 10 minutes. Remove the dried beans, uncooked rice or pie weights and the aluminum foil from the pie crust and turn the oven down to 325 degrees F.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, blend the Nutella with 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk and 2 egg yolks, stirring until mixed thoroughly. Carefully spread mixture evenly into the pie crust and bake for 30 minutes until puffy and just set.

In a second medium bowl, stir together the remaining sweetened condensed milk, 2 whole eggs, canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Gently spoon the mixture of the baked brownie layer of the pie and continue to bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream.

Yield: 12 servings

Pumpkin Cheesecake

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of ground cloves
Dash of ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 Graham Cracker Crust (6 oz.)
1 cup thawed Whipped Topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and spices in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; beat just until blended.

Pour into crust.

Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Top with whipped topping just before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Terrific chili for a chilly autumn day...

1 lb lean ground turkey
¾ cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped green bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
Two 14.5oz. cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
15 oz can pure pumpkin pureé
15 oz can kidney beans, with liquid
15 oz can Great Northern beans, with liquid
15 oz can tomato sauce
4 oz can diced green chilies
2 tsp ground chili powder
1½ tsp ground cumin (or more to taste)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1½ tsp oregano
½ cup water

* Brown meat in large pot. Remove meat and place on paper towels to remove excess fat. Wipe any remaining fat from the pot and coat pot with cooking spray. (I didn't remove the meat. I just cooked the onions and green peppers with the turkey as it was browning....there wasn't much fat because I used lean turkey)
* Sauté onion, bell pepper and garlic; sauté until tender. Return meat to pot. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Simmer 30 minutes to 1 hour. If chili is too thick for you, add more water, and adjust seasonings as needed.

Pumpkin Dip

8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp frozen orange juice concentrate

Use electric mixture to combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Gradually add in pumpkin puree. Add spices and orange juice concentrate. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with ginger cookies or sliced apples.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. allspice or ground cloves
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Makes 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. (note: 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon)

Lyn's notes: This is very easy to make and is typically a hit at parties during this time of year. I usually serve this with Honeycrisp apples and Anna's Ginger Cookies - they are Swedish and therefore can be found super-cheap at IKEA. Otherwise, many grocery stores carry them.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Yogurt

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin, canned

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, adding yogurt, milk and pumpkin puree. Mix well. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Spoon the batter onto a preheated, oiled griddle, using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes slowly over a low-medium heat for approximately 4-6 minutes, flipping after 3 minutes.

Yields: 12-4 inch Pancakes

Lyn's notes: Sounds like a weird combination of ingredients, but these are really good! They also freeze well.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

SUBMITTED BY: Star Pooley on
"I make this recipe during the holidays. It is moist, and freezes well! I bake them in coffee cans, and wrap them in colored cellophane to give as gifts."

READY IN 1 Hr 30 Min
Original recipe yield 3 - loaf pans

* 3 cups white sugar
* 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 2/3 cup water
* 4 eggs
* 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)[GROSS. Skip these. :lol: ]


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 1 pound size coffee cans, or three 9x5 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Fill cans 1/2 to 3/4 full.
3. Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool on wire racks before removing from cans or pans.

P.S. I like my pumpkin bread with FROSTING. But I'm that cupcake addict you know and love, so feel free to skip the extra sugar!! :)


4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 (16 oz.) can (2 c.) pumpkin
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 (13 oz.) can milnot
1 box yellow cake mix (do not use pudding cake mix)
2 sticks butter, melted

Mix ingredients in order listed: eggs, pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt and milnot. Pour into ungreased 9x13x2 inch pan. Sprinkle cake mix over filling. Pour melted butter over top of cake mix. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour until knife comes out clean when inserted at center. Serve warm or cold, plain or with Cool Whip.

NOTE: Keeps well frozen. yummy *licking lips and anticipating Fall*

Pumpkin Fudge Recipe

From Gooseberry Patch Flavors of Fall.

1 hour | 30 min prep

5 dozen squares

2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (12 ounce) package white chocolate chips
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan, combine the first 6 ingredients; heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently.
Continue heating until mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly.
Continue boiling until candy thermometer reaches soft-ball stage (234-243 degrees).
Remove pan from heat; stir in chocolate chips until melted.
Add in remaining ingredients; stir to mix well.
Pour into a buttered 13x9 inch baking pan; cool to room temperature.
Cut into squares; stor in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

I usually add a little more pumpkin and a little more spice for a more pumpkinny flavor. Beware---it's addicting!

Pasta with Beans

6 ounces (dry) multigrain pasta (I used bowtie)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c EVOO
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (I drained but did not rinse - also I used Gr. N. Beans which I think were the wrong ones but it tasted great)
6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c pine nuts (I omitted these)
parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, return to warm pan and cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, place tomatoes in a baking dish and drizzle with 2 tsp EVOO, salt and pepper, toss to coat evenly. Bake about 10 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining EVOO and cook garlic and red pepper just until fragrant. Add beans and cook until warm throughout.

Place tomatoes in a large serving bowl. Add pasta, spinach and basil, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Toss to combine. Top individual servings with pine nuts and parmesan cheese.

Chicken lettuce wraps

Joy Bauer

Serves 4

Nutrition Information

Calories – 298
Protein – 27 g
Total Fat – 9 g
Saturated Fat – 2 g
Cholesterol – 80 mg
Sodium – 610 mg
Carbohydrate – 34 g
Fiber – 5 g


• 4 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
• 2 stalks celery, finely diced
• 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
• 1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely diced
• 3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons grated or finely minced fresh ginger
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 pound ground chicken (at least 90% lean)
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/3 cup bottle Chinese plum sauce
• 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 1 teaspoon hot chili paste, such as sriracha (or to taste)
• 1/4 cup unsalted roasted cashews, chopped
• 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish (optional)
• 1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce


Liberally coat a large skillet with oil spray, and preheat it over medium-high heat.

Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, water chestnuts, scallions, ginger, and garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften slightly, about 5 minutes, adding a tablespoon of water at a time as necessary to prevent scorching.

Reapply oil spray if necessary, and add the ground chicken to the skillet. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, breaking the meat into a fine crumble with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Season with the salt and pepper.

Add the plum sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili paste and stir to coat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until heated through.

Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the cashews and cilantro. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Clean the lettuce and break off 12 individual leaves (trim away the stem end of the leaves if they are tough). Fill each lettuce cup with roughly ½ cup of the chicken mixture. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake

Cinnamon Roll Batter:
2/3 c white sugar
1/4 c unsalted butter (at room temp)
1 egg (at room temp)
1/2 c. half and half
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cheesecake filling:
2 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese (at room temp)
1 c sugar
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 TBSP flour
3 eggs (at room temp)

Cinnamon Filling:
1/3 c butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
3 TBSP cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 oz chream cheese (at room temp)
3 TBLS unsalted butter (at room temp)
2 tsp vanilla
1 c powdered sugar
(1 TBSP lemon juice, optional)

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a 9 inch Springform pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

Using a mixer cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg, half and half and vanilla. Beat for another minute. Scrape down bowl.

Combine the sifted and creamed ingredients. Mix on low speed until throughly combined.

Spread half of the batter onto the bottom of the Springform pan. It will be sticky and thick so spray your hands with baking spray and press down. It may be a thin layer, but trust me, it will rise up during baking.

Using a mixer (and a clean bowl) beat cream cheese and sugar for 2 mins on medium high speed. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.

Add the vanilla and flour and beat for another minute.

Pour all of the cheesecake batter on top of the cinnamon roll batter in the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon filling over the entire top of the cheesecake.

Take the rest of the base batter and drop spoonfuls over the entire top of the cheesecake. Once finished, take a knife to swirl the ingredients together. This is hard to do as the batter is pretty thick, just do what you can.
I hope you will forgive me for neglecting to include a picture of the recipe swirled with the knife. I forgot to pick up the camera after I laid down the knife.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, cake will be puffy and lightly browned. Let cool for 20 mins at room temperature and then cover and move to fridge for 4 hours (or so).
Make frosting. Using a mixer (and a clean bowl) beat the cream cheese and butter together. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, beat to desired consistency. (add lemon juice, if desired).

Chicken Casserole

3 Chicken breasts (or 1-2 pounds of chicken) cooked and shredded
2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup (I used the almost fat free stuff)
2-3 cups cheddar cheese (I like sharp)
Egg Noodles (at least a 6 serving bag)
1/2 cup milk (* see below)
Salt and pepper to taste (I use 1 tsp. salt, and .5 tsp. of pepper)

Cook chicken and shred. Cook egg noodles to desired consistency and drain (I like my nods a little al dente and they finish cooking in the oven). Start heating soup on stove and add in milk. Once it's warm, add in 2 cups of cheese and wait till it has melted. Once melted, add in chicken and noodles. Mix together and place in baking dish (I use a 9 by 13 glass dish). Sprinkle remaining cheese on top OR sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Bake at 350 till the edges become bubbly. Let cool for a few and serve!

(This is one of those recipes that I use my Crockpot for. I cook frozen chicken breasts all day long on LOW in the Crockpot. The other day I added in a cup of white wine and 2 chicken bouillon cubes. When I get home I cut the chicken (just so when it shreds you don't have majorly long pieces) and stir it to shred it. I kept the juice this time, instead of draining it off. There was about a quarter cup of juices in the end, so I just added in 1/4 cup of milk. It was still perfect! You can also use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Just shred it at home and add it in. It's delicious that way too and really is super quick.)

This is one of those recipes that remind me of my childhood. My mom used to make this for us as kids, and it was always a favorite. When I was preggo, I craved this. It freezes well and goes over great as a meal to take to a friend. It's my easy go to recipe to make after someone has had a surgery or a baby. I've never gotten a bad review on it!

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bars!

1 c. peanut butter
1 stick of butter, softened
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. chocolate chips, divided

Beat peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in the flour and salt. Stir in 2/3 cup of the chocolate chips. Spread into a greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 20-25 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Edges should be lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips. Let stand for 5 minutes, then spread the softened chips evenly over the bars. Cool in a pan before cutting.

Enjoy! I know I did. ;)

Caramel Brownies

1 box German chocolate cake mix
1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup evaporated milk (for brownies)
1 1/2 sticks butter / margarine
1 bag (14 oz) caramels
1/3 cup evaporated milk (for melting caramels)
1 cup chocolate chip

Melt caramels and 1/3 c. evapoated milk in the microwave. Check and stir often. Keep warm. Mix cake mix, melted butter, nuts, and 1/3 c evap. milk. Press half of this batter into a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over all. Next pour hot caramels over all. Crumble remaining brownie batter over the caramel. Return to the oven and bake for 16 minutes. Cool before cutting.

Chicken and Dumplings

1 c chopped onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
¼ dry sherry
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 14 oz can fat free less sodium chicken broth
1 10 ¾ oz can condensed reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
4 pds chicken pieces skinned
1 cup frozen peas
¼ c water
2 tblsp cornstarch

2 c. baking mix (Bisquick)
2/3 c fat free milk

1. Heat dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic sauté 5 minutes. Stir in sherry and next 4 ingredients to mushroom soup. Bring to a boil. Add chicken pieces bring to a boil. Cover reduce heat, simmer 35 minutes or until chicken is tender.

2. Remove chicken, cut meat from bones into bite size pieces. Discard bones, chill chicken 15 minutes

3. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stir with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan and stir well.

4. To prepare dumplings, combine baking mix and milk, Drop dough into chicken mixture to form 16 dumplings. Bring to a simmer, cook 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until dumplings are done.

Serving size 1 ½ cup and 2 dumplings. Calories 373

Christmas Cups

phyllo dough cups
Brie Cheese
Jalapeño Jelly (green)
Seedless Raspberry Jelly (red)

Place phyllo cups on baking sheet. Cut the waxy edge off the brie cheese, and cut into small squares. Put one square in the bottom of the phyllo cup. Using a baby spoon place a small spoonful of jalapeño jelly and raspberry jelly on top of the brie cheese (next to each other so you can see the color variation). Bake just until the cheese is melty. Allow to cool for just a few minutes unless you want to burn the roof of your mouth. These things are great! I don't know what oven temp is best. I just put them in with whatever else I was cooking at the time and they always came out great!

Will spell check later when I get home!

Pancetta Wrapped Asparagus

Stalks of as broken at ends but kept long
pancetta (one piece for every piece of asparagus)
parmesan or asiago cheese

Boil water and drop asparagus in water for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and place in cold water to stop stalks from cooking. Dry off. Shred your parmesan or asiago cheese. I used asiago and it was super yummy. I just like it better. Wrap one piece of pancetta around each stalk of asparagus, with the shredded cheese going in-between the pancetta and the asparagus. Make sure the pancetta is tight and place seam side down on baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees until the pancetta is cooked (10-15 min), and it's starting to brown just a big. Serve HOT.

These are SUPER tasty. I didn't even know I liked asparagus until I tried these! The original recipe called for prosciutto, but the store was out. I grabbed the pancetta instead and was SO happy I did. It took it to a higher level!

Puff Pastry with Ham and Cheese

(spin off of Ina's)
1 box puff pastry
1 Egg
Ham of your choice (recipe called for black forest but the Virginia Ham was half the price)
Sliced Cheese (recipe called for gurere I think. I used smoked gouda... again, half the price and was very tasty. I had Jason use our slicer and slice the cheese thin)

Defrost puff pastry. Roll out 1 sheet so it is around .25 inch thick and in the shape of a rectangle. Layer ham and cheese on bottom layer of puff pastry. I think I did a layer of ham, then cheese, then ham again since the ham was sliced deli thin. You want to leave a lip around the puff pastry though so the second later has something to stick to. Roll out second puff pastry till it's around the same size as first. Make an egg wash using the egg and a table spoon of water. Using a brush, brush on the egg mixture around the edges of the puff pastry. Put second layer on top. Cut long lines on top so the air can escape while cooking. Brush whole top with egg wash and bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 min.

This recipe is SOOOO VERSAITLE. You could really use any ol' lunch meat and cheese combo. They were very tasty. The original recipe called for mustard, I skipped it. Not everyone in my family is a fan of mustard. I think this would be so tasty made after thanksgiving with leftover turkey. I'm thinking a layer of apple butter, turkey, and some brie cheese.... YUMMY fall flavors that are TO. DIE. FOR. GOOD!

Maple-Oatmeal Scones

Makes 16 scones

3/4 cup currants (I didn't use these)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Place currants in bowl, and cover with boiling water.
Whisk together flours, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Add butter pieces, and rub into flour mixture with fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Whisk together milk and maple syrup. Stir into flour mixture just until dough comes together. Drain currants, and stir into dough.

Transfer dough to well-floured work surface, and knead 2 to 3 times, or until smooth. Pat into 1-inch-thick square. Cut 16 scones with 2-inch round cutter, and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until light brown on top.

Nutritional Information
Per SCONE: Calories: 141, Protein: 3g, Total fat: 4.5g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbs: 23g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 145mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 9g

Chocolate Chocolate Mint Cookies:

Makes about 4 dozen.

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract****
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 10 ounce bag of mint or mint+chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla.
Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir into butter mixture until well blended.
Mix in the chips. Drop by a rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or just until set. Cool on pan for about 2 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack.

****So this is the important part--when making these for the first time, my sister ran out of vanilla so she substituted one of the teaspoons of vanilla with one teaspoon peppermint extract--this is what MAKES the cookie in my opinion! So, instead of 2 teasp vanilla do 1 teasp vanilla and 1 teasp peppermint extract :)


Sugar Cookie Surprise Cookies

1 roll sugar refrigerated sugar cookie dough
12 grasshopper cookies (or thin mints if you want to really impress your guests!)
1/4 c chopped pecans

Slice sugar cookie dough into 24 slices. Arrange 12 slices on an ungreased cookie sheet. Place one grasshopper on each slice, then put another slice of dough on top. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake according to dough instructions. When the cookies bake, the 2 layers of sugar cookie dough combine to hide the grasshopper surprise!

People like my in-laws who aren't very smart will spend hours trying to figure out how you got the grasshopper cookie in the middle...


(this recipe was originally for use in my cookie press. However, the cookies would not come OUT of my cookie press, so instead I rolled them into balls, rolled the balls into sugar and then either baked them as balls, or flattened the balls with a glass. The balls were chewier than the flattened balls....)

1/2 cup butter, soft
1/4 cup margarine, soft
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1 egg
4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
2-1/2 tsp all spice

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter and margarine until fluffy. Gradually beat in brown sugar. Add molasses and egg, mix well. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and allspice.
2. Amended part: Roll into balls and roll balls in sugar. Bake as is, or press flat with glass. Bake for 8-10 mins. Cool on wire racks.

Peppermint Meltaways

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup corn starch

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 TBSP butter, softened
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1-2 TBSP milk
food coloring (red/green) if desired
candy canes or crushed candy (we used peppermint kisses crushed up...OH SO GOOD!)

1. Combine butter, powdered sugar and peppermint extract in large bowl. Beat at medium, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low, add flour and cornstarch. Beat will until mixed. Refrigerate until firm (30-60 mins).
2. Shape into 1-inch balls, bake 2 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350F, 12-15 mins, or until edges slightly browned. Let stand 1 min, remove from sheets and cool completely.

Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies (we dipped the tops of the balls in the bowl of glaze). Sprinkle with crushed candies. YUMMY.

Rosenmunnar Swedish Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup any flavor fruit jam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add sifted flour, and mix well. Shape dough into 1 inch diameter balls and place on cookie sheets. Imprint your thumb in the center to make a 1/2 inch indentation. Fill with your favorite preserves.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown at the edges.

Pepparkakor Cookies

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup molasses
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 tablespoon baking soda
2/3 cup butter
1 egg
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Place butter in a large, heatproof bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat brown sugar, molasses and spices just to boiling point. Add baking soda and stir in. Pour this mixture over the butter and stir until it melts.

Beat egg and mix in; add flour, a cup at a time, and blend thoroughly. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead 1-2 minutes. Wrap in waxed paper and chill until firm (about an hour).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Roll out to approximately 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured board and cut into desired shapes (this is what makes the cookie - thin thinnest you can roll it the better!). Place on greased baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from sheets and cool on racks; may be decorated with piped icing or whatever else you like!

Almond Joy Cookies:

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups chocolate chips
2 cups sweetened coconut
2 cups chopped almonds

1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F Lightly grease cookie sheets.
2. Combine dry ingredients, set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stir in the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until well mixed then stir in the chocolate chips, coconut and almonds. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

We made them pretty small--maybe a 3/4 inch ball before baking. And it made upwards of 150 cookies. Baked for 7 minutes and then cooled on sheet for 3. You might want to cut the recipe in half. I mixed it in a stand mixer but then dumped it into a huge bowl and mixed the almonds, chips and coconut in by hand.

Five Minute Foolproof Fudge:

1 1/3 C. evaporated milk (not a whole can, but close)
3 1/3 C. white granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 C. chocolate chips (semi sweet)
4 C. marshmallows
2 tsp. flavoring (vanilla is traditional, my family uses orange. It's milder than you'd think. YUMMO YUM YUM! Image)

in a heavy saucepan, combine milk, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, then boil for 5 minutes. Stir CONSTANTLY.
Remove from heat and stir the chocolate chips, marshmallows and flavoring in vigorously.
Pour into 9x13 pan, and let cool.

The end.

Grandma Thill's Banana Bread

1 cup softened shortening
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups mashed bananas (about 5-6)
1 cup nuts

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs and buttermilk. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add to mixture. Add bananas and nuts.
Pour batter into greased bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Smaller pans bake for 35-40 minutes. Bread is done when toothpick comes out clean, do not overbake. Yields 3 or 4 loaves depending on pan size.

Lindz's #1 Turkey Pot Pie (or chicken, whatever you've got on hand...)

approx 2 cups leftover turkey, cubed
1 large can Homestyle Veg-All
1 can corn, drained
1 can green beans, drained
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of celery
1 cup chicken broth

1 cup milk
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup Bisquick
1 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 9x13 casserole with nonstick spray, spread turkey in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme to taste. In large bowl, mix vegetables, soups, and broth. Pour over turkey, spread evenly in pan and smooth out top. In small bowl, whisk together ingredients for topping and then pour evenly over top of the veg/soup mixture. Make sure it covers the entire top. Bake uncovered for 45 mins or until top bakes up and browns.

This is probably my most favorite comfort food recipe ever. I make it at least once a month with leftovers from a rotisserie chicken or other chicken dish. And of course, with turkey after Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Blue Owl Baked Potato Soup

4 large baking potatoes (I personally recommend Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes)
2/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup flour
6 cups milk (whole or 2% is best)
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
4 green onions, chopped (Keep the white parts and place in water. They will re-grow! Thanks Reverb)
12 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (Plus extra’s for topping)
1 ¼ cups (5 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 8oz. container sour cream
1 heaping TBS. chicken base

Wash potatoes and prick several times with a fork. Bake in a preheated, 400 degree oven, for 1 hour or until done. Let cool. Cut potatoes into half inch cubes, leaving the skin on if desired.

Melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and bubbly.

Add in potato cubes, salt, pepper, green onions, crumbled, bacon, cheddar cheese, and chicken base. Cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream. Add extra milk if necessary for desired thickness. Garnish with additional bacon and cheese if desired.

Recipe Yields 10 Cups

This recipe is the BOMB… Yep, I said it… it’s the BOMB! Ignore the calories and make this. It is SOOO good!

One Pot Chili-Mac

Olive Oil
1 medium sweet onion, very finely chopped
1 pepper, diced
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 can red kidney beans, drained (or, if they are ready-to-eat, not drained)
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 jar (26 oz) marinara sauce (I use Barilla or whatever is on sale)
1 package (1.25 oz) chili seasoning
1/2 box of elbow macaroni or other small pasta
Water (measure from the empty 14 oz. can of tomatoes)

*Shredded Cheese
*Sour Cream
*Minced Chives

Saute onion and pepper in oil, add ground beef (or turkey/chicken) until cooked in a large Dutch oven. Add marinara sauce, beans, tomatoes, and chili seasoning; simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; add macaroni and a 14.5 oz. can of water; cover and simmer on low for about 15 minutes or until pasta is tender; garnish* with cheese, sour cream and chives, if desired. Sit back and enjoy!

Chicken Enchiladas With Creamy Green Chile Sauce

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cup chopped cooked chicken
1 cans (about 4 ounces) chopped green chiles
8 flour tortillas (8-inch), warmed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
OR Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 ounces)

1. Stir the soup and sour cream in a small bowl.
2. Saute the onion and chili powder until the onion is tender. Stir in the chicken, chiles and 2 tablespoons soup mixture.
3. Spread 1/2 cup soup mixture in a 2-quart baking dish.
4. Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down into the baking dish.
5. Spoon the remaining soup mixture over the tortillas. Sprinkle with the cheese.
4.Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling.

Chocolate Cake Cookies

1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
2 Eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil OR 1 stick of butter
1 cup butterscotch or white chocolate chips

Mix cake mix, eggs, and vegetable oil in a bowl. Add in chips. Roll in balls in place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

*I tend to make these cookies instead of using break and bake. They are SO easy and really tasty. I think the chocolate/white chocolate combo tastes like an oreo cookie! YUMMY!!!

Chex Caramel Corn

1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Stick of Butter
1 TBS. White Corn Syrup
8-9 Cups Corn Chex
1 Cup Salted or Dry Roasted Peanuts

In a large pan, melt butter. Add in brown sugar and corn syrup. Heat till it's bubbly and begins raising in the pan. Turn off heat and add in corn chex and peanuts. Spread out on wax paper till cool and dry. Store in an air tight container.

*This recipe is best fresh. It's still good on day two, but is SOOO much better day 1.
** I like the corn chex more than the peanuts, so I add in more chex and less peanuts. It's totally up to you!

Whipped Sweet Potatoes (Yummy!!!)

3 lbs sweet potatoes, approx. 6 medium
4 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 chicken or veggie bullion cubes
6 T unsalted butter
1/4 c light brown sugar
2 T orange juice

Place sweet pot, carrots and bullion in heavy pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. Drain reserving 6T of cooking liquid and place veggies in a bowl. Mash with reserved liquid and remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or reheat covered at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Shepherd's Pie

(Measurements are approximate. I don't measure... I just add in)

2 lbs. ground beef (or turkey)
1 onion, diced
4 packets brown gravy (prepared)
1 bag frozen mixed veggies (carrots and peas only)
.5 package of frozen green beans
1 small can sliced mushrooms
2 TBS. tomato paste
Salt & Pepper to taste
Prepared Mashed potatoes (8-10 servings. I use instant... but homemade would be great)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Brown ground beef and drain off fat. Saute onion, and add ground beef back in bowl. While browning meat, in separate pot, heat veggies till soft and cooked through. Make gravy (in another pot). When veggies, gravy, and meat/onions are done, add all of them together. Mix in tomato paste and mushrooms. Put in bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Cover with mashed potatoes and sprinkle cheese. Bake at 375 till edges bubble.

Makes a lot. Next time I make it, I'm going to put it into 2 square pans instead of the 9 x 13. Then I'll only make half the potatoes, and freeze the meat mixture for future use. You could also just half the recipe. It would be easy to do. It's very filling and yummy!!!

Fiesta Chicken Burritos

1-1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
1 can (15 1/4 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (10oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 TBSP ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 pkg (8 oz) reduced-fat cream cheese
8 flour tortillas, warmed

Optional toppings: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes.

Place chicken ina greased 4 qt slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine the corn, beans, tomatoes, jalapeno and seasonings; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until chicken is tender.

Remove chicken; cool slightly. Shred and return to the slow cooker. Stir in cream cheese. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Spoon 3/4 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla; add toppings of your choice. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

(by Ellie Krieger)

Cooking Spray
1 lb zucchini (about 2 medium)
1T olive oil
1/4 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c plain dry bread crumbs
1/8 tsp salt
Freshly grated black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat baking sheet with spray.

Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch rounds. In a medium bowl, toss zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the parm mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, and place in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Bake zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Butternut Squash pizza

1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs) peeled
1 small yellow onion, sliced into 1/4-inch rings
3 TBSP olive oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1-lb package refrigerated pizza dough
1 tbsp cornmeal
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup fresh ricotta

Heat oven to 400. Cut squash into 1/2-inch thick slices, then cut each slice into 1-inch chunks. Place the sqaush and onion on a baking sheet and drizzle with the oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Roast until tender, about 20 mins. Transfer to a plate.

Increase oven temp to 450. Roll the pizza dough out 1/4 inch thick. CLean the baking sheet and sprinkle it with the cornmeal. Place dough on top. Scatter the squash and onion mixture over the dough, sprinkle with thyme and add dollops of the ricotta. Bake until golden, about 25 mins. Slice into wedges.

Man, my mouth is watering! And I just finished eating lunch! May have to go out and get myself some butternut squash!!!

Edited to add: this might be yummy with BACON too! It is a bacon day!! :lol:

Golden Squash Soup

4-1/2 to 5 lbs banana, buttercup, butternut, Hubbard and/or Turban squash
2 cups chopped green inions
1 TBSP snipped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme crushed
1/4 cup butter
5 cups chicken stock or reduced sodium chicken broth (3, 14.5 oz cans)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
3 TBSP snipped chives
Toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled (optional) --Yeah right!! :lol:


1. Wash and halve squash lengthwise; remove seeds. Place sides, cut sides down in baking dish(es). Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Turn cut sides up, bake covered for 20-25 min more or until tender. Cool slightly
2. Meanwhile, in dutch oven or kettle, cook green onions and thyme in butter over med-low heat for 10 mins or until tender.
3. Scoop squash out of skins; discard skins. Place about 1/4 of squash, onion mixture and chicken stock or broth at a time in food processor bowl or blender. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Repeat in batches.
4. Return all to dutch oven or kettle. Stir in pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover, simmer 20 mins
5. TO serve, ladle soup into warm bowls. Drizzle with sour cream and sprinkle with snipped chives. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds or crumbled bacon.

Make ahead tip -- soup can be prepared through step 4, then cooled, covered and chilled for up to 24 hrs Reheat to serve.

8 servings: Per serving: calories = 148, Fat=10g

Ok, now after typing that, I want to make it!!

Potage Parmentier (Potato & Leek Soup) – Julia Child


1 lb potato, peeled and diced (I leave skins on)
3 cups leeks, thinly sliced (white and tender green parts only)
2 quarts water
1 tablespoon salt
4-6 tablespoons whipping cream or 2-3 tablespoons softened butter
2-3 tablespoons minced parsley or chives

1. Simmer vegetables, water and salt together, partially covered, 40-50 minutes until vegetables are tender. (or just load them all into the crockpot and you are ready to go!)
2. Mash the vegetables in the soup with a fork, or puree in blender. Correct seasoning.
3. Off heat and just before serving, stir in cream or butter by spoonfuls. Pour into a tureen or soup cups and decorate with the herbs.
4. Good hot, cold or room temperature.

The following may be simmered with the potatoes and leeks at the start:.
Sliced or diced carrots or turnips.
Peeled, seeded or chopped tomatoes or strained, canned tomatoes.
Half-cooked dried beans, peas, or lentils, including their cooking liquid.

The following may be simmered for 10-15 minutes with the soup after it has been pureed:.
Fresh or frozen diced cauliflower, cucumbers, broccoli, Lima beans, peas, string beans, okra or zucchini.
Shredded lettuce, spinach, sorrel, or cabbage.
Diced, cooked leftovers of any of the preceding vegetables.
Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, juiced and diced.

I added a few cubes of veggie stock cubes. WIll use immersion blender in the crock once the potatoes get mushy. It smells so good already!!

Smiley Hot Dog Nachos

(because they WILL make you smiley!)

Tortilla Chips
Shredded Cheese (anything will work, but my favorite is the mexican blend by Sargento with queso quesadilla in it)
Hot Dogs (I buy Hebrew National because they make me feel smug. Like I'm buying the "good" kind. As if there IS a "good" kind :lol: )
Hot Dog Condiments (I'm a brown mustard and sweet relish kinda girl)

Cut the hot dogs in quarters lengthwise and then chop into uniform bits widthwise. Layer the chips on a plate and sprinkle the shredded cheese and hot dog bits over the top. Microwave until the cheese is all melty and perfect. Then sprinkle your condiments of choice over the top. ENJOY!!!

Smoky Slow Cooker Chili

Pork shoulder is usually sold in weights greater than a pound. Ask your butcher to trim off the amount you need, or look for pork shoulder steaks. (or trim what you need and freeze the rest for the next time ;) )Serve with corn bread.

Cooking spray
1 pound ground pork
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups chopped onion
1 3/4 cups chopped green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup lager-style beer (such as Budweiser)
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tomatillos, quartered
2 bay leaves
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans plum tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added pinto beans, drained
1 (7 3/4-ounce) can Mexican hot-style tomato sauce (such as El Paso)
1 smoked ham hock (about 8 ounces)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
8 lime wedges

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add ground pork to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to slightly crumble. Drain well. Transfer pork to an electric slow cooker.

2. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add pork shoulder; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Transfer pork to slow cooker.

3. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in beer; cook 1 minute. Transfer onion mixture to slow cooker. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, chili powder, and next 9 ingredients (through ham hock) to slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 hours or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaves and ham hock; discard. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and sugar. Ladle about 1 1/3 cups chili into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cilantro, 1 tablespoon green onions, and 1 tablespoon cheese. Serve each serving with 1 lime wedge.

Note: You can also cook the chili in a slow cooker on LOW for 8 hours. For cooking chili on the stove top, use a total of 12 ounces beer and simmer, covered, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the pork shoulder is tender.

Yield: 8 servings

CALORIES 354 (0.0% from fat); FAT 14.2g (sat 5.1g,mono 5.9g,poly 1.4g); IRON 3.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 82mg; CALCIUM 108mg; CARBOHYDRATE 26.4g; SODIUM 645mg; PROTEIN 28.5g; FIBER 6.8g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2009

Stuffed Peppers in the Crock Pot

1 lb extra-lean ground beef
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cups cooked instant rice
14 oz can diced tomatoes, not drained (I used italian style, but any will work)
4 large green bell peppers, cored and seeded

Combine ground beef (uncooked), garlic powder, onion powder, rice (cooked) and 1 can of tomatoes in medium bowl and mix well. Stuff mixture into cored bell peppers. Arrange bell peppers in crock pot. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-9 hours or high heat for 4-5 hours.

We had some leftover stuffing and peppers (Ryan, Allie and I ate 2 peppers), so we just cut up the peppers and heated everything up again in the microwave and had it with garlic bread. Yum!


freezable spaghetti

1) Make spaghetti noodles.
2) Cook a pound of ground beef with some garlic and onion flakes. (I usually do this in the microwave).
3) Add a jar of your favorite tomato sauce to meat and stir. Add to noodles. Stir.
4) In a big casserole dish, pour everything in. Cover with cheese.
5) Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes to melt cheese.
6) Serve for dinner.
7) Let the rest cool down. Then cut into meal-sized portions.
8) You can either freeze them individually or you can put them on a cookie sheet and freeze them and then pile them all in a Ziploc.
9) Alternatively, starting from #3---spoon spaghetti into muffin tins. Freeze. Put in hot water for just a sec to get them out of the tins and then pile into Ziploc for storage.

When you want to eat it, heat it up in the microwave. Sometimes you need to add just a splash of water to moisten things. We kinda like the drier spaghetti.

So, not a recipe. More like a process. You can add veggies to the spaghetti, too, if you are trying to be sneaky with the veggies.

We freeze lots of things (Mac N Cheese, Sloppy Joes/Manwhich, Chili) in muffin tins to form little hockey pucks of food for quick warm-up. Also freeze leftover chicken/beef/pork in broth to add to soup and noodles and rice.


Pumpkin Whipped Cream

Beat together 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 c confectioner's sugar, and 1 tbslp canned pumpkin puree until soft peaks form.

Marc's Aunt Sandy's Roast Pork recipe

It is DIVINE!!

For best flavor, marinate overnight

6 large cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 bay leaves, crumbled
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon of Crushed Red Pepper (calda de pimenta) Juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon of vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 3-pound pork loin

Heat oven at 500 degrees - Pork roast uncovered for 10 minutes. Lower heat to 300 degrees, cover pork and bake.

1.. Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic, bay leaves, and paprika.
Blend in the Pepper Paste or Crushed. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and mix.
2.. Cut crosshatches on the surface of the roast. Rub the paste all over the roast, pushing some of the paste into the crosshatches. Place meat in a lightly oiled roasting pan. Refrigerate overnight.

3.. Heat oven at 500 degrees - roast pork uncovered for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 300 degrees, cover the roast and bake it for about an hour or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Let the roast stand for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Tip: If you are planning to serve roasted potatoes with this dish, you can roast them in the same pan as the pork.

Instand Pudding Layer Dessert

(why this doesn't have a better name, I don't know... I would call it HEAVEN if I was choosing)

1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
1 C flour
1/2 C chopped nuts
8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 C powdered sugar
1 large tub Cool Whip
1 large box instant chocolate pudding
3 C milk

Cut butter into flour; add nuts. Press into 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20 min - then let cool. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until creamy. Add 1 cup of the Cool Whip and mix. Then spread over the cooled crust. Place in refrigerator until slightly set. Mix instant pudding and milk, pour over top of cream cheese mixture. Top with rest of Cool Whip. Sprinkle with more nuts if desired and refrigerate until ready to serve.

OMG it's all I can do to eat it straight out of the pan y'all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pure Guava Martini recipe

Scale ingredients to servings
8 oz vodka
4 oz guava juice
2 oz raspberry liqueur
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake with several ice cubes. Serve in a well chilled martini glass and garnish with fresh raspberries and sprigs of mint.

Different Salsa

1/2C Oil
1/2C Rice Vinegar
1/2C Sugar- Boil first three ingredients- add salt and pepper to taste
1 green pepper chopped
1/2C chopped celery
1 bunch green onion chopped
1 can pinto beans
1 can black eyed peas
1 can shoe peg corn (or sweet corn)
1 jar chopped pimentos
2 oz canned, chopped jalapenos (I use fresh)

Paula Deen's Gumbo

link to recipe on foodnetwork:
3 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons margarine
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped, plus chopped leaves for garnish
4 cups hot water
5 beef bouillon cubes
1 (14-ounce can) stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cups frozen sliced okra
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts
1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. Add the sausage and cook until browned, then remove. Sprinkle the flour over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of margarine and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until brown, about 10 minutes. Let the roux cool.

Return the Dutch oven to low heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine. Add the onion, garlic, green pepper and celery and cook for 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, to taste and the 1/4 bunch parsley. Cook, while stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups hot water and bouillon cubes, whisking constantly. Add the chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Just before serving add the green onions, shrimp and chopped parsley.

***Changes I made: I added 4 servings worth of instant brown rice. This required more liquid. I actually ended up doubling the amount water and bouillon cubes. When you reheat, it needs more water as well. It gets really thick, but is very tasty. I also added in a bit of hot sauce. There is nothing really hot in the soup, and it needed a little kick. I added a bit, and put out more for people to add in their own.

Margarita Cake

link on recipezarr:
1 package lemon cake mix
1 (4 ounce) package instant lemon pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup frozen limeade concentrate
1/4 cup water
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup gold tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec

Tequila-lime glaze
1 1/2 tablespoons tequila
1 tablespoon triple sec
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease& flour a bundt pan.
2Set aside.
3Combine cake mix, pudding mix, vegetable oil, limeade, water, eggs, tequila and triple sec in a large mixing bowl.
4Beat for 5 minutes at medium speed with an electric mixer.
5Pour batter in prepared bundt pan.
6Bake for 45-55 minutes or until inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.
7Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.
8Remove from pan and cool completely.
9Spoon tequila lime glaze over cooled cake.
10Glaze: Combine tequila, triple sec, lime peel, and sugar ina bowl.
11Stir until well blended.
12Add more powdered sugar for a thicker glaze

* I make two glazes. I don't know it if was necessary, but I decided to do it...not sure why really...Maybe for moistness. I mixed 1 sick of butter with 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of tequila, 2 T. of triple sec, and 1/4 cup of limeaid water mix over heat until it was bubbly. Then I poured it over the cake just after it came of out the oven, before I removed it from the bunt pan. It was good.

spinach orzo salad

for suprisingly few ingredients, it can be a little time consuming to make, FYI...but very much worth it!

1 lb orzo (recipe calls for it to be cooked in chicken stock to add flavor; you can omit, use water, vegetable stock...)
drain, if necessary, and add 2 Tbs EVOO. i'm usually fine with making 3/4 lb.
2 bunches fresh spinach, chopped
1-2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 c. basil, chopped
1 c. feta, crumbled
3/4 c. pine nuts, toasted

you can also toss in chicken or shrimp

combine all ingredients and toss with dressing

1/2- 3/4c EVOO
lemon juice and zest, to taste (i adore lemon, and usually end up using the juice and zest from at least 2)
fresh ground pepper, to taste
* i usually end up making a little extra dressing, to add each time i eat leftovers!

Honey Mustard Dressing

Mix the following together:
5 T. Honey
3 T. Dijon Mustard (I didn't have that, so I used 1 T spicy mustard and 2 T. regular mustard)
2 T. Rice wine vinegar

Peach-Berry Cobbler

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
3 cups fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons coarse granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees .
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, 1/2 cup white sugar, and baking powder. Mix in milk and 1/4 cup butter until smooth.
In a medium saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, cornstarch, and water. Mix in the peaches and blueberries. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Mix in 1 tablespoon butter and lemon juice. Continue cooking until the butter melts. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart ungreased baking dish. Evenly spoon batter in mounds over the hot fruit. In a small bowl, mix the coarse sugar and nutmeg, and sprinkle over the batter.
Place the baking dish on a shallow baking pan in the preheated oven. Bake cobbler for about 35 minutes, or until bubbly and a toothpick inserted into the crust comes out clean.

Cheesy Zucchini Boats :

4 zucchini, halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese Get ahead

Prepare and stuff the zucchini a day before. (we just made them and baked them the same day)

Preheat the oven to 375°. Using a small spoon, scoop out the zucchini flesh, leaving a 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick shell. Wrap the zucchini flesh in a paper towel and squeeze out any excess liquid; discard the liquid and set aside the flesh. Place the zucchini shells cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat. Add the zucchini flesh and onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Push the vegetables to the side of the pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the bread crumbs, and toast the bread crumbs for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the nuts and oregano, then combine with the vegetables; season with salt and pepper.

Flip over the zucchini shells and line the bottoms with the mozzarella. Pack in the filling. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top. Bake until the zucchini is tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.