Pumpkin Waffles and Apple Cider Syrup

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The minute the cooler weather arrives, I am trolling for pumpkin and apple recipes.   I found this recipe on Allrecipes and it’s so good!

The syrup is a little sweet for me so I think I would cut down on the sugar next time to maybe 1/4 cup since the cider is sweet already but otherwise I would keep everything the same. I made the syrup first and then made the waffles.

Pumpkin Waffles and Apple Cider Syrup

Waffles:

2 1/2 cups flour
4 tsps baking powder
2 tsps cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups milk
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat your waffle iron.

Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, salt and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.

In another bowl, stir together the pumpkin, milk, and egg yolks.

Whip the egg whites in another clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form.

Stir the flour mixture and the melted butter into the pumpkin mixture and stir to just combine.

Using a whisk or a spatula, fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, stirring gently until mixed. Fold in remaining egg whites.

Cook waffles according to the directions of your waffle iron.

Syrup:

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsps butter

Stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon n a saucepan. Stir in the cider and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until it begins to boil Boil until the mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it melts.

Serve warm

Makes 6 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Easy Potato Soup

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My house was freezing yesterday which made me think of soup which made me think of potato soup.  Convoluted thinking, yes, but I am addicted to potatoes so it’s an easy way to feed that addiction.  Besides, Mr. Meat Eater was out of town and he hates potato soup so it was the perfect choice.

This is a very easy recipe.  I know I’ve made a similar recipe before that seemed to take half a day but this one sure didn’t.  Just make sure you remember to bake your potatoes earlier in the day.  I also didn’t want to open a package of bacon for 3 slices so I used real bacon bits bought at the store.  It’s a recipe that would be easy to make vegetarian by leaving off the bacon and switching the chicken broth for vegetable broth.

Easy Potato Soup

3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsps flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups chicken broth
2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup half and half
1/2 tsp Tabasco
shredded cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp; drain, reserving 1 tbsp drippings. I used real bacon bits instead of cooking bacon so I used 1 tbsp butter, melted, instead of saving the bacon drippings. Set bacon aside.

In the drippings or butter, saute onion and garlic until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, basil, and pepper and mix well. Very gradually add the broth while whisking to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the potatoes, cream and Tabasco and heat through but do not boil.

Garnish with bacon or bacon bits and cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Sweet Potato Muffins

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The first time I had sweet potato muffins was in Colonial Williamsburg years ago.  I loved them and when I came across this recipe in a cookbook from Bruton Parish Church   (located in the historic area), I knew I had to try them.  If you don’t tell anyone they are sweet potato, they will think they are pumpkin.  I had to do that with Mr. Meat Eater to get him to even try one and he ended up eating at least 4 or 5 in one sitting.  They are really good!  I did confess later on that he had been eating sweet potato and he was shocked, LOL!

I did, as usual, change them to suit me but really very little.  I used less sugar ~ 1 cup as opposed to 1  1/4 and I used currants instead of raisins because I think they taste better in muffins since they are smaller so there is no need to chop them.  I also used 1 1/4 tsps of cinnamon since I don’t like nutmeg and didn’t have any.  The recipe said it makes 12 but I made 15.

The cookbook is called Beyond Loaves and Fishes and it is one of my favorites.

Sweet Potato Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I used canned)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shopped raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 400º.

Cream butter and sugar together and add eggs and mix well. Blend in the sweet potatoes.

In another bowl, mix the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. Add this mixture alternately with the milk to the sweet potato mixture. Be careful not to over mix.

Fold in the pecans and raisins.

Spoon batter into greased muffin cups filling about 2/3rds full. Sprinkle with sugar if desired (I didn’t do this).

Bake for 25 minutes. Cool and remove from tins.

Makes 12-15 muffins.

Happy Cooking!

Easy Chicken Chili

4 Comments

Don’t faint ~ it’s actually a NEW post!!!! I needed a long break from thinking about food ~ as much as I love to cook, I do need a break from even thinking about it once in awhile.

Quite a bit has happened since I’ve been gone from the blog. The most important being my daughter got engaged and Mr. Meat Eater was out of work and is now back at work. The wedding date is June 9, 2012, and we are very excited and I’m sure you will get sick of me talking about it in the months to come. As for Mr. Meat Eater ~ he can never fully retire or we will kill each other.

I loved this recipe ~ it’s a bit spicy but not bad and you can always make it spicier if you prefer by adding hot sauce before eating.  It’s easy to make but it needs to simmer on the stove for about an hour so keep that in mind.

Easy Chicken Chili

2 poblano chili peppers, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsps olive oil
2 (14.5 oz) cans zesty chili style dice tomatoes (I used Del Monte)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 (16 oz) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12 oz) can beer or 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used beer)
1 envelope white chicken chili seasoning (I used McCormick brand)

Put the olive oil in a Dutch oven and heat. Saute the first 4 ingredients over medium-high heat for 8 minutes or so or until tender.

Add the diced tomatoes and the next 5 ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.

Serve with desired toppings.

Makes 4-6 servings

Happy Cooking!

Raspberry Coffee Cake

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I have another recipe for a raspberry coffee cake that involves my springform pan and while it’s not hard to make it seems more complicated than it needs to be.  This recipe takes all the yumminess of that more complicated recipe and makes it so much easier.  I think it tasted better because it WAS so easy.  Try it and see what you think!

Raspberry Coffee Cake

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened (I used light)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and beating until mixture is smooth.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this to the cream cheese mixture at low speed until the mixture is well blended.

Spread into a greased 9×13 pan. Spoon preserves over the top and swirl carefully with a knife. I used more than 1/2 cup preserves ~ more like 3/4 cup.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until the cake begins to leave the sides of the pan.

Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Cut into squares.

Makes 12 ~ 15 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Goat Cheese and Mushroom Tart

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This is such a simple appetizer but packs loads of flavor.  It was a huge hit at our party and with my family.  I made it again the next day so we could have a bigger piece.  It would be great as a light supper as well as an appetizer.

Goat Cheese and Mushroom Tart

Mushroom Filling:
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
3/4 cup coarsely shopped onion
2 tbsps butter
salt to taste
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Tart:
1 refrigerated pie crust
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
Leaves from 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

To make the spread:
Clean the mushrooms, remove stems and cut into quarters. Place the mushrooms and onions in a food processor and finely chop ~ I just chopped finely by hand.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the mushroom/onion mix, salt and thyme and saute for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and saute for 5 minutes longer or until most of the moisture has evaporated and the mixture is like a paste in texture.

Spoon into a small bowl and let it stand until cool. Add lemon juice, mayo and Worcestershire sauce and mix well.

This filling may be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated until needed.

For the tart:

Preheat the oven to 450º. Let pie crust stand at room temperature according to package directions. Unroll the pastry on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Spread the mushroom filling evenly to within 1 1/2 inches from the edge. Sprinkle with cheese and thyme. Fold in one edge of the pastry toward the center covering part of the filling. Work around the edge, pleating as you go.

Bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350º and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool pan on wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Holiday Salad

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My daughter served this salad on Thanksgiving and it was sooooo good.  I know the bowl looks really messy and I’ll take the blame for being a messy salad tosser.  The recipe called for a raspberry vinaigrette and I couldn’t find just a plain raspberry vinaigrette so I used a raspberry-pomegranate vinaigrette and it was superb as well as being fairly healthy.  This salad is chock-full of yummy ingredients and the color just makes it perfect for the holidays.   The recipe came from allrecipes originally.

Holiday  Salad

1 (10 ounce) package Italian-blend salad greens
1 (5 ounce) package spring mix salad greens
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 medium red apple, cored and chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (8 ounce) bottle raspberry vinaigrette ~ I used about 1/4 to 1/3 of the bottle

In a large salad bowl, toss all of the ingredients except the dressing.

Just before serving, drizzle with vinaigrette and toss.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Cranberry Eggnog Streusel Muffins

2 Comments

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Mr. Meat Eater and I went to Richmond to have Thanksgiving with our daughter and her boyfriend.  My daughter cooked her first Thanksgiving dinner and it was FANTASTIC!!!   I am happy to pass the torch!  We missed having our son with us to enjoy the meal but he had dinner at Disney World so we were all jealous.

Here are some pictures:

And this is how we felt when our turkey comas set in:

On to the recipe…this muffin recipe is fantastic!  I found it in the December issue of the Food Network magazine and it’s a keeper.

Now, I would do a few things differently when I make them again.  First of all, this recipe makes way too much streusel.  I like streusel as much as the next person but really I could have gotten away with about 1/4 to 1/3 of the amount of streusel.  I hate wasted ingredients and that’s what I felt about this streusel.  I think I could get away with using less butter in the streusel, too.  I made the full recipe and 1  1/2 sticks are just too much.  Butter is too expensive to waste it.  The rest of the recipe worked OK and the outcome is delish!

Cranberry Eggnog Streusel Muffins

Muffins:
1 cup dried cranberries, rough chop
1/2 cup rum
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cups eggnog
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla

Streusel (Full recipe so cut it down if you want):
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375º. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan, mix the rum and the chopped cranberries. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, brown sugar and salt.

In another medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, eggnog, eggs and vanilla. Fold dry ingredient mixture into wet mixture. Batter will be lumpy. Do not overmix. Fold in the cranberries.

Scoop batter evenly into prepared pan ~ I use an ice cream scoop.

For the streusel, mix all ingredients together until it looks like lumpy, wet sand. Sprinkle with fingers over the tops of the muffins.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Test with a toothpick before removing from oven. Cool in pan for a few minutes then carefully remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Happy Cooking!

Mary’s Cranberry Apple Casserole

3 Comments

This is fabulous!  Mr. Meat Eater and I were practically fighting over it.  It’s a very easy dessert to make and, frankly, I wouldn’t be above eating it for breakfast.  It’s certainly perfect for the upcoming holidays.

Thank you, Mary, for sharing this recipe with me ~ it’s going to be a favorite in our house!

Mary’s Cranberry Apple Casserole

Filling:
2 cups fresh whole cranberries
3 cups peeled, cored, and chopped apples (I just sliced mine because I am lazy)
1 cup sugar (I used about 3/4 cup since my apples were very sweet)
1 tbsp. flour

Topping:
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup uncooked oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Heat oven to 350º.

Mix the filling ingredients and pour into a 8×8 or 9×9 square, greased casserole dish.

Combine the topping ingredients and spoon over the filling.

Bake for 45 minutes or until apples are tender.

Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes about 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake

2 Comments

Wow ~ this coffee cake is wonderful!  A must make and  perfect for the upcoming holidays or anytime you need a special coffee cake.

It looks more complicated than it is ~ it’s really easy and best of all it looks like you have spent hours in the kitchen.

Cranberry Pecan Coffee Cake

Topping:
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 1/4 cup whole fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans

Cake:
1/2 cup butter at room temp
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream (I used less fat sour cream)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350º. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum to prevent any leaking (I did have a little leaking but the foil caught it).

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and set aside (I just whisk it all together since I don’t own a sifter).

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar and 1/3 cup butter and bring to a boil. After it comes to a boil, pour it in the bottom of the ungreased springform pan. Sprinkle the cranberries (whole) and pecans over the top of the butter/brown sugar mixture. Make sure that they spread out over the entire pan.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream. Spoon this cake mixture over the the top of the cranberry mixture already in the pan.

Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes then invert onto serving platter and carefully remove pan.

Makes 8 -10 servings.

Happy Cooking!