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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Speedy Chicken Noodle Soup

This is a recipe from my mother.  It's a great recipe to use shelf-stable ingredients and it literally can be ready in 15 minutes.

Time: prep & cooking time 15-30 minutes
Serves: 4-6

• 1 can cream of chicken
• 2 cans of water
• 1 chicken bullion cube
• 1 16 oz. can of Veg-All canned mixed vegetables
• 1 cup of cooked chicken (or 8-12oz. can of canned chicken)
• Salt
• Pepper
• Thyme
• Basil
• Egg Noodles (can use whole wheat, just adjust cooking time)

1. Mix water and cream of chicken soup until smooth in a pot.
2. Add bullion cube, chicken, vegetables, and spices.
3. Bring to a boil and then lower temperature and simmer for three to five minutes.
4. Add egg noodles as desired and cook for another 10 minutes on low. (Longer to make a thicker soup).
5. Serve immediately.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dinner in a Pumpkin

*Note this is one of my husband's favorite traditions and recipes that his mother always made. She said that she loved to fill the kids up with something fun & hearty before they went out trick-o-treating.
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 T oil
• 1-2 lbs. ground beef
• 2 T soy sauce
• 2 T brown sugar
• 1 4oz. can mushrooms, drained
• 1 can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
• 1½ cups cooked rice
• 1 8oz. can sliced water chestnuts.
• 1 small pumpkin, cleaned thoroughly & with a painted face.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large pan, sauté onion with oil. Brown the ground beef. Drain off grease.
3. Add mushrooms, soy sauce, brown sugar, and soup. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add cooked rice and water chestnuts.
4. Spoon mixture into pumpkin, put lid on, then put the pumpkin on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until the pumpkin is tender.
5. Serve on Halloween for a hearty yet festive meal before trick-o-treating.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Boiling the seeds first in the salty brine produces amazing results!

One medium pumpkin
Olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 if using a dark pan).  Cut open and clean out pumpkin.  Separate seeds from stringy core.  Rinse the seeds well.
2.  In a small saucepan, add the seeds to the water (about 2 cups of water for every half cup of seeds).  Then add half a tablespoon of salt for every cup of water (more if you like your seeds saltier).  Bring to a boil.  Let simmer for 10 minutes with the lid off.  Remove from heat and drain.
3.  Spread about a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a roasting pan.  Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan, all in one layer.  Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown 10-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.  When browned to your liking, remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a rack.  Let the seeds cool completely before eating.  Sprinkle lightly with extra salt or other spices to your taste.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Boo-Nilla Milkshakes

One of our favorite fun Halloween treats.  From Martha Stewart Kids.

Ghost Face:
4 tablespoons chocolate chips

2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of cinnamon

For the ghost face: Melt the chocolate either in a double-boiler or in the microwave. With a toothpick or paintbrush (or even your finger), paint a ghost face on the inside of a clear glass. Put the glass in the fridge to chill while you make the milkshake and whipped cream.

For the milkshake: In a blender, combine ice cream, milk and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. We added a few oreos (5-6) for a cookies and cream milkshake.

For the whipped cream (we usually omit this step): Whip cream until almost stiff. Add sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Beat until cream holds peaks. Put into a piping bag or ziploc and cut off the corner.

Take the glass out of the freezer. Fill with the milkshake. Top with the whipped cream. Serve with a spoon and a straw.

Note: I think you could use pumpkin ice-cream and paint jack-o-latern faces, black raspberry (purple) ice-cream and paint monster faces, or mint chocolate chip ice-cream and paint witch faces or frankenstein faces. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting

This recipe is from one of my former students.  Not one of my elementary students, one of my adult computer students.  The description she included is perfect, "A soft cookie with a candy frosting."  The penuche frosting is really amazing.  It actually makes me prefer these cookies over pumpkin chocolate chip cookies--and for a die hard chocoholic like myself that's saying something.  The simple frosting with caramel flavors compliments the pumpkin beautifully.  This frosting would pair well with any pumpkin baked good--drizzle on pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins.  Delicious!

1 C shortening
½ C packed brown sugar
½ C white sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1C chopped walnuts (optional)

3 tbsp butter
1/2 C packed brown sugar
¼ C milk
2 C confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets (or use parchment paper).

In a large bowl, cream together shortening, ½ cup brown sugar, and white sugar. Mix in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; mix into the creamed mixture. Stir in walnuts. Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Transfer to wire rack to cool.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the 3 tablespoons butter and ½ cup brown sugar. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute, or until slightly thickened. Cool slightly, then stir in the milk, and beat until smooth. Gradually stir in 2 cups confectioners’ until frosting has reached desired consistency. Spread on cooled cookies.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

A super yummy warm breakfast with all the flavors of fall.  Slightly adapted from Good Life Eats.
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, not quick cook
  • 1 Tbs whole flax seeds, optional (I used milled flax seeds)
  • 2 1/2 Tbs brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest (I've usually omitted this because I didn't have it on hand)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (half a small can)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 tsp butter, melted
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 4 individual sized ramekins*. Set aside.
Combine the oats through salt in a medium sized bowl with a wire whisk.   In a separate bowl, combine the vanilla, butter, pumpkin, and milk. Whisk thoroughly. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the oats. Stir until combined.
Divide mixture evenly between 4 individual sized ramekins. Place ramekins* on a baking sheet (this makes it easier to move in and out of the oven.). Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the topping: chopped pecans, butter, and brown sugar. After the oatmeal has baked for 10 minutes, remove and divide topping mixture evenly between the ramekins. Bake and additional 7 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

*Note if you don't have ramekins I think you could probably bake this in a small 8x8 glass pan.  I would increase the baking time slightly.

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll 
Source: Spencer Robinson’s mother
Time: (per roll) 15 minutes prep, 12 minutes baking, 30 minutes cooling
Serves: (per roll) 8-10

(for 3 pumpkin rolls & filling)
• 9 eggs
• 3 c of sugar
• 2 c of pumpkin (1 small can)
• 3 t Lemon juice
• 2¼ c of flour
• 3 t Baking powder
• 6 t Cinnamon
• 3 t Ginger
• 1½ t Nutmeg
• Dash of cloves
• 1½ t Salt
• Chopped pecans (optional)
• 12 t Butter (aka 4T)
• 3 (8oz.) packages of cream cheese
• 3 c powdered sugar
• 1½ t Vanilla

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Line jelly roll pan (15½ x 10½ x 1 inch) with waxed paper (you can also use aluminum foil or parchment paper); generously grease waxed paper with shortening. Set aside.
2. Beat eggs until fluffy and thick. Gradually add sugar, stir in pumpkin and lemon juice.
3. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Stir with a fork removing any lumps. Fold into wet mixture;
4. Pour one-third (≈2½ c) of the batter into jellyroll pan. Sprinkle nuts on top.
5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. While the pumpkin roll is cooking, generously sprinkle powdered sugar onto a clean tea towel.
6. Take the cake from the oven and loosen the edges. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Turn it upside down onto the towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Then immediately remove wax paper pulling gently. Trim off stiff edges of cake if necessary with a sharp knife.
7. While still hot, carefully roll cake and towel from the narrow end. Then cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Repeat steps 4-7 for other 2 pumpkin rolls.
8. Make filling by beating the cream cheese and butter until smooth, slowly mix in the powdered sugar, and then add the vanilla. Set aside.
9. Unroll jelly roll and spread one-third of the cream cheese mixture staying about 1 inch from the edges. Roll up (w/o the towel). Trim any uneven edges with a serrated knife.
10. Wrap in waxed paper or saran wrap and cool for at least 30 minutes to an hour in the refrigerator. Also excellent frozen.

Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake

Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake 
Source: Kraft Philadelphia® Cream Cheese Classic Recipes Cookbook
Makes: 12 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes plus refrigerating
Bake Time: 55 minutes

o 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
o ½ cup finely chopped pecans
o 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


o3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened (you can use neufchatel cheese)
o ¾ cup sugar
o 1 teaspoon vanilla
o 3 eggs
o ¼ cup sugar
o 1 cup canned pumpkin
o 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
o ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
o Dash ground cloves


Mix crumbs, pecans and butter in a bowl then press firmly into bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.

Mix cream cheese, ¾ cups sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, mixing on low speed until blended. reserve 1½ cups batter. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar, pumpkin, and spices to the rest of the batter mixing well. Spoon half of the pumpkin batter over the crust; top with spoonfuls of plain batter. Repeat layers. Cut through batter with a knife several times for marble effect.

Bake at 325F for 55 minutes or until center is almost set if using a silver springform pan. (Bake at 300˚F for 55 minutes or until center is almost set if using a dark nonstick springform pan.) Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake. Cool on the counter or in oven with door ajar for about 1 hour. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Butternut Squash with Baby Spinach

1 package (about 20oz) of pre-cut cubed butternut squash, or a medium size butternut squash cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 T Olive Oil with 1-2 T fresh herbs mixed in or 1-2 t dried herbs (I like rosemary and thyme)
3 to 6 oz baby spinach
1/4 dried cranberries

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Chop squash and onion.
2.  Combine squash and onions in a large shallow pan; drizzle with olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Toss lightly.
3.  Roast for 55 minutes, until tender and brown.  Add spinach and dried cranberries.  Toss to serve.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

The flavors of the finished dish are simple and subtle but definitely combine to be very tasty with just a faint hint of heat.  from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
*Serves 4
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons curry powder (yellow)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 medium red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (by seeding the jalapeno you lose most of the spice/heat but retain great flavor)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 cups hot cooked rice
Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Place in medium bowl. Stir together curry, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and chili powder. Sprinkle over chicken, tossing to coat evenly. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours.
In a large nonstick frying pan, stir onion, basil, garlic and peppers in hot oil over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chicken and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 5-6 minutes until no longer pink.
Combine coconut milk and cornstarch and whisk well to combine. Carefully add to skillet, whisking vigorously. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in ginger. Cook and stir for another minute. Serve over hot rice, quinoa, or couscous.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Apple Puff Pancake

Oven Puff Pancake

2 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 large eggs
½ cup flour
½ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Melt butter in 9-inch pie plate, in oven; brush marginer on side of pie plate.
  2. Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl with wire whisk or hand beater.  Beat in remaining ingredients except lemon juice just until mixed (do not overbeat).  Pour into pie plate.
  3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until puffy and deep golden brown.  Serve immediately sprinkled with lemon juice and powdered sugar.

Apple Puff Pancake
Prepare the Puffy Pancake batter as above.  Except sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and a ¼ teaspoon cinnamon on the melted butter in the pie pan.  Then arrange 1 cup thinly sliced, peeled baking apple.  Pour batter over apple.  Bake 30-35 minutes.  Immediately loosen edge of pancake and turn upside down onto heatproof serving plate.