"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

Thursday, September 18, 2008

pumpkin bread with & without chocolate chips

i love pumpkin! i hold my breath for fall every year so i can break out the canned pumpkin & whip up some bread & cookie & muffins!!! here is one of my favorite pumpkin bread recipes. i like it with & without chocolate chips- also it's good with cream cheese frosting!

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar (or i use 1 cup of Turbinado Sugar (raw) & 2 cups if white)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 mini/regular chocolate chips (optional)

Topping: (optional- you can also use a cream cheese frosting- recipe below)
4 tblsp butter
pumpkin pie spice or cinamon
sugar (raw or white)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans- or 2 9x5 & about 6 muffin cups (use liners)
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Stir in choc chips. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes(for the 7x3) & about 1 hour & 10 min (for the 9x5) & about 20 min (for the muffins) in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Once the pans come out, while the bread is still hot, poke holes all over the top of the loaves- melt about 2 tblsp butter per loaf over the top- then sprinkle with the cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice & sugar!

what i like to do is pour the mix without choc chips first- then i simply stir the choc chips into the other half of the mixture so i have half & half! also, the muffins are just because there is a bit of excess if you use the 9x5 pans- if you choose to just fill the pans instead of making about 6 muffins, just tack on another 5-10 min of cooking time!

p.s. notice my pumpkin platter!! hehehe! i love it!

also- some people love to top with cream cheese frosting insteaad of the butter & sugar:

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Beat 8 oz. cold cream cheese (not hard, but it doesn't need to be softened) with 5 Tbsp. softened butter and 2 tsp. vanilla until combined. Gradually add 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar (sift AFTER you measure out the 2 cups) Continue to add more sifted powdered sugar until you reach a consistency and sweetness that fits your taste.

Enjoy! God Bless!
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quick quesadillas

since brandon doesn't like Annie's Mac & Cheese with weiners nearly as much as i do, i had to make him his own "special" dinner. i wanted to get rid of some leftover i had lying around so i threw this together:

You'll Need:

4 soft tortilla shells (i used the leftover shells from taco night!)

2 chicken breasts (i used the Perdue chicken from my below post)

shredded cheese & butter

salt, pepper & garlic powder

melt some butter into a pan: while that's melting go ahead & spread butter on the tortillas & slice up the chicken into strips. sprinkle some cheese on one of the tortillas & lay the chicken over the top. then sprinkle with salt, pepper & garlic. add some more cheese & lay the other tortilla over the top. fry up both sides in the pan until browned & the cheese is melted.

this will make 2 of them and they're pretty filling. enjoy! God Bless.

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1 bag Bertolli 3 Cheese Tortellini
4 tblsp butter
1/2 cup (give or take) parmesean cheese
salt & pepper & basil

cook the totellini according to the directions- drain & toss with the butter, cheese & season to taste. Simple & tasty. God Bless.
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chicken & rice

Perdue has new chicken breasts that are pre-marinated. i usally make my own & let them sit overnight, but sometimes i'm lazy. we had the garlice & white wine ones when we went camping and this week i picked up the black pepper ones. i baked them @ 350 for 20 min & i made some rice pilaf & steamed broccoli.

Enjoy! God Bless.
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Digiorno has a new pizza- Fococcia!!! we had the sun dried tomato & basil and it was awwwwsome!!!

omg- i love pizza!!!!
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need i say more!?!?
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Monday, September 8, 2008

baked oatmeal

i love oatmeal- it fills me up and warms me up. my husband on the other hand, does not. lame! so when i make it i have to make it for one- but when i make baked oatmeal, it's for like, 6. but no worries, unlike regular oatmeal, baked oatmeal can be eaten over the course of several days & still taste awesome! so this is why i make it with on worries that it won't get eaten.

Baked Oatmeal
2 1/4 c. quick cooking oats (or 2 3/4 c. old-fashioned oats)
2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c. raisins or other dried fruit

1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
1 tsp. cinnamon

2 shakes of nutmeg
2 shakes of allspice
1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/3 c. milk

4 egg whites, lightly beaten (or i use 3 whole eggs)
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Milk, yogurt, sugar, and/or fruit (optional; for topping)

Preheat oven to 350° Spray an 8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine oats, sugar, raisins, walnuts, spices (cinn, nut, etc) and salt. Mix well. In a medium bowl, combine milk, egg whites (or eggs), oil and vanilla and mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until center is set and firm to the touch. Cool for a couple minutes.

You can eat it with milk or yogurt, sugar or fruit- or whatever you eat oatmeal with. Store any leftovers in the fridge, covered tightly. Enjoy! God Bless!

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crusted salmon

i love salmon- and i love this stuff: it's seriously sooo good & sooo easy when you're not in the mood to mix up panko, seasonings & etc etc.

so just follow the directions on the package:
olive oil
crusting mix
bake for 15-20 min
and you'll have awesome, quick salmon.

Yum! God Bless
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chocolate chip cookie bars

when i'm too lazy to make cookies, but i still want cookies, i make cookie bars. no scooping and cooling- just slap the dough onto a jelly roll pan and bake.

Original Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.)
NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

* i also add:
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts.

Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

Enjoy! God Bless!
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Thursday, September 4, 2008

happy birthday cake(s)

my friend megan turned 25 on the 25th- so i made some caked for her party:

Tiramisu Cake
Chocolate Cake IV

these cakes required lots, and LOTS of chocolate!!!
Tiramisu Cake:
For the cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 sticks butter at room temp.
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one a time, plus yolk, beating well after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed and alternatively add the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Begin and end with the dry ingredients.
Pour into 2 greased 9 inch baking pans, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

For the espresso syrup:
mix together 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar in a saucepan and heat just to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1 Tb. coffee liqueur.

For the filling and frosting:
8 oz. mascarpone
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tb. coffee liqueur
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Cream together the mascarpone, sugar vanilla and liqueur in a large mixing bowl, until smooth.In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to firm peaks. With a light touch, fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.

To assemble the cake:
Remove the crowns of the cakes to make them flat, place one cake on a plate and soak the layer with the espresso syrup. Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over, gently press the chopped chocolate on top of it. Top it with the other cake, pour the remaining of the espresso syrup.

For the frosting, dissolve 1 tsp. espresso powder and 1 tsp hot water and add to the remaining mascarpone and spread over the side and top of the cake. Decorate with dusted cocoa powder if wanted.
Chocolate Cake IV:
PAM Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
CRISCO Vegetable Shortening
1/2 (4-ounce) semisweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
1/2 (4-ounce) bittersweet chocolate baking bar, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups firmly packed DOMINO Light Brown Sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup boiling water
Garnish: dark chocolate curls
1. Coat 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms of pans with wax paper; grease wax paper with shortening, and set aside.
2. Melt chocolates in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth.
3. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla.
4. Sift together cake flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in 1 cup boiling water. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
5. Bake at 350° for 28 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
6. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread top with 4 tablespoons Coffee Liqueur Ganache Icing* Spread half of Mocha-Chocolate Cream Filling* evenly over ganache on cake layer. Top with second cake layer; spread top with 4 tablespoons Coffee Liqueur Ganache Icing and remaining Mocha-Chocolate Cream Filling. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining Coffee Liqueur Ganache Icing on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.
Makes 12 to 14 servings
Coffee Liqueur Ganache Icing
3 (4-ounce) bittersweet chocolate baking bars, finely chopped 1 1/4 cups whipping cream 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
1. Place chocolate in a bowl.
2. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat just until cream begins to boil. Pour over chocolate in bowl, stirring until smooth. Stir in butter and liqueur. Let mixture stand 45 minutes or until spreading consistency.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Kahlúa for coffee liqueur.
Makes 2 cups
Mocha-Chocolate Cream Filling
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules 1 cup half-and-half 1 cup butter, softened 1 cup DOMINO 10X Confectioners Sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Spoon mixture into a small bowl; cover surface of mixture with plastic wrap, pressing wrap onto surface, and let stand 30 minutes or until cool.
2. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add cooled cocoa mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla, beating until mixture is the consistency of whipped cream.
Makes 1 1/2 cups
WHEW! enjoy (i like the Tiramisu cake best!!!)
God Bless
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