Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

My sister Jennifer, emailed me this recipe last night and was wonderful enough to take a picture of her delicious creation.  These delectable cupcakes make a wonderful and low(er) fat alternative to other holiday desserts. 

  • If you don't frost them with the cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes are very low fat and choleserol free. Try frosting with thawed, fat free Cool Whip to keep them on the healthier side. Great for diabetics or those with dietary restrictions.
  • Try different flavored cake mixes for a variety of flavors. Spice cake, White, Yellow, Lemon, and even chocolate cake mix would all make yummy cupcakes. If you don't add the pumpkin pie spice,  the pumpkin flavor will only be a mild undertone of flavor.

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Pumpkin Pie Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 15oz can of pumpkin
1/2 c water
2-3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or use spice cake instead of yellow)

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz package cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Pumpkin Cake:
Add all ingredients for cake in a medium mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Follow the  directions on the box for a cake or cupcakes, baking times are relative to pan size and shape. Remove from oven and let the cake/cupcakes sit in their pan until completely cool (they will continue cooking in the pan). Frost with cream cheese frosting, directions below.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla and beat with mixer. Add in the powdered sugar. If you want to use a piping bag to frost the cupcakes you may want to add another 1/3 cup of powdered sugar to thicken up the frosting.

Thanksgiving Dishes All Linked Up

I've linked together some easy and delicious dishes that would work perfectly on your Thanksgiving table.  Check out the pages at the top of the blog (just below the big picture of the pumpkins) to view even more recipes by category.

The Turkey
Brined Turkey with Garlic-Herb Butter

Side Dishes
Mashed Potatoes Supreme
Fully Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Autumn Vegetables
Italian Style Green Beans
Easy Dressing
Maple Glazed Carrots
Butter Steamed Carrots w/ Chives
Cinnamon Maple Squash
Creamed Corn 2 Ways
Honey Glazed Balsamic Bell Peppers
Honey Lime Peas
Maple Fried Apples
Cran-Raspberry Relish

Apple and Bleu Cheese Salad w/ Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Cran-Raspberry Jello Salad

Pumpkin Biscuits
Pumpkin Cornbread
Homemade French Bread
Cheesy Italian Crescent Rolls

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Marshmallow Pie
Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Maple Rice Pudding
Apple Enchiladas
Caramel Pear Cake
Chocolate Pumpkin Tart
Pumpkin Tart

Friday, November 19, 2010

PieDay Friday-Pumpkin Marshmallow Pie

A classic Thanksgiving dessert meets a classic camp-fire dessert. This no-bake pumpkin pie is made sweeter by a toasted marshmallow topping.  It's so easy to make but it tastes like a lot of work and makes a striking presentation.

Check out 504 and Main for this week's Tickled Pink. You may find a few of my pies featured!

  • The marshmallows can be toasted using a creme brulee torch if desired.
  • Vanilla, White Chocolate or even Cheesecake flavored pudding mix can be used instead of butterscotch.

Pumpkin Marshmallow Pie
1 can pumpkin puree
1 13oz jar marshmallow creme
1 package butterscotch instant pudding mix
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
25-40 large marshmallows
1 graham cracker crust

In a medium mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree and marshmallow creme. Mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes or smooth and even. Add in pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon and mix until well blended.  Pour into graham cracker crust and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator and evenly top with marshmallows. Place in oven and carefully broil on high for 3 minutes or until toasted and browned. Serve immediately.

!!Friday Hops!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gooseberry Patch Downloadable Cookbook 3

Gooseberry Patch has done it again and published a free cookbook! This time it's full of tempting Meatloaf recipes. For every 10,000 fans they receive on Facebook they will offer up a new one. Enjoy!

25 Meatloaf Recipes by Gooseberry Patch

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prime Rib

When I go to a steak house, I almost always order the prime rib. It's thick and tender and just all around delicious.  When I think of prime rib I have an almost primal, Pavlovian response. It's a powerful cut of meat.

Filet's are petite, refined and dainty. A ladies cut. Sirloins and New York Strips are hearty men's fare. Then there is Prime Rib. It's served like a steak and looks like a steak but it's cut from a roast and an oven. It's marbled and covered by a layer of thick, gelatinous fat.  It's served with stain-your-shirt au jus and spicy horseradish. Before it's even cut into, it's almost vulgarly pink. It's wild and messy and intimidating and rich and juicy and utterly amazing. Prime Rib defies and defines exactly what a steak really is.

Until recently I had only ever had prime rib out, at restaurants. While at the market the other day I noticed they had small sections of prime rib roast on sale and there was no way I was walking away without one.
I choose a small 3 lb roast, since it's only my husband and I at home.  I got online and read a dozen different "recipes" for prime rib but they all studded the roast with garlic or onions, spiced it with pungent herbs or baked it too fast at too high heat. I knew none of those would do so I consulted the appendix of a few different cookbooks which gave me a pretty narrow field of cooking times and temperatures. I choose 350 degrees for 25 minutes a pound, and decided to season it with sea salt, coarsely ground pepper and just a few grinds from my steak seasoning grinder.
I wanted my roast rare to medium-rare (which is the only way to eat prime rib) so I knew the meat thermometer should read 120 degrees when it came out of the oven. When I did actually take my 3 lb roast out of the oven 75 minutes after I put it in, the thermometer read 121 degrees, so close to perfect I wouldn't change a thing. The seasoning ended up being just the right amount, nothing to detract from the natural flavor of the beef.
The "recipe" below is exactly how I prepared mine, au jus and all. Now you don't have to wait for a special night out to have perfect prime rib.

  • Don't use a lot of strong or pungent herbs or seasonings when preparing prime rib. They over-power the meat that you just paid so much for!
  • Don't trim off too much fat before baking the roast. The fat helps provide flavor and lock moisture into the meat. Trim it when ready to serve.
  • I find beef consomme closer in flavor to au jus that you find in a steak house than regular beef broth, though it can be substituted if needed.

Prime Rib

3-6 lb Prime Rib Roast,  tied with butcher's twine
Steak seasoning, if desired

Season all sides of Prime Rib with salt, pepper and steak seasoning if using. Place prime rib in a roaster or high sided pan and bake at 350 for 25 mins a lb (a 3 lb roast will cook for 75 mins a 6 lb roast for 2 and a half hours, etc). Remove from oven and tent loosely with foil. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving. Remove butchers twine. Slice meat fairly thick and serve with au jus if desired (directions below).

Au Jus

Pan drippings from Prime Rib Roast
1 10oz can Beef Consomme

Pour pan drippings into a medium saucepan and add beef consomme.  Bring to a low boil. Serve warm.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Apple Fritters

Tis the season for apples! I've posted several apple recipes lately but I just can't help it! Whether you eat them for breakfast like a doughnut or as a dessert pastry, apple fritters are a perfectly different, delight. 

  • Instead of making the glaze, try dusting with powered sugar while still very hot and it will great it's own "glaze".
  • The dough fries up a little darker than donuts, don't think that you are burning every batch. They are burned when they are black, not brown.


Apple Fritters

1 cup flour

 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup apple, diced

Glaze:2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, milk and beaten egg.  Gently fold in diced apples. Set aside.
In a medium skillet, add enough oil so that it is approximately 2 inches deep. Heat oil on med-high heat to about 320 degrees. Add dough in small batches, very carefully to oil in heaping tablespoons. Cook until brown and slightly puffed, about 1 minute, then flip. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until both sides are browned. Transfer to a paper towel to absorb excess oil (if not using glaze, dust both sides with powdered sugar immediately).  Drizzle both sides of fritter with glaze (directions below) while still hot. Allow glaze to set up, about 3-5 minutes and serve warm.

In a medium mixing bowl, add milk one tablespoon at a time to powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla and continue stirring or whisking until smooth.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

PieDay Friday-Apple Butter Pie

In the recent past I have offered up my recipes for Applesauce Pie and Apple Butter-Pumpkin Pie, and now it's time to let Apple Butter have the spotlight to itself.  Similar in texture to pumpkin pie but the flavor is all it's own. Whether you serve it with whipped cream, ice cream or all by itself, this pie is sure to please!

Apple Butter Pie

1 3/4 cup apple butter

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or maple flavored syrup)

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir until combined. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn down temperature to 350 and continue baking another 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before transferring to refrigerator. Let chill for 2-3 hours before serving.

!!Friday Blog Hops!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

PieDay Friday-Apple Cranberry Pie

The humble apple is tarted up with the sour twang of cranberries in this delicious, Autumn pie.

  • Choose a sweet apple for this pie to balance out the tart cranberries. I used 1 Fuji and 1 Pink Lady. Honeycrisp, Gala and Braeburns are also well suited for this pie.
  • For a less tart pie, substitute half of the cranberries for raisins or dried dates.
  • As with most fruit pies, it's best to place a baking sheet under the pie pan while cooking in case the filling bubbles over.

Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie

1 unbaked pie crust
2 apples; cored, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries, stems removed if neccessary
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 tablespoons pineapple or orange juice
Crumb Topping
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine sliced and peeled apples with cranberries. Toss to combine. Add sugar, brown sugar, flour and pineapple (or orange) juice and toss to coat fruit evenly. Pour mixture into unbaked pie crust (in a 9" pie pan/plate).  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter using your hands or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
After pie has baked for 30 minutes, sprinkle with crumb mixture, pat down gently and return to oven. Turn down oven temperature to 375 and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes (1 hour total bake time). Let cool at least 1 hour before serving.

!!Friday Blog Hops!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

PieDay Friday-Peanut Butter Halloween Pie

This pie is nothing but a delicious base for gaudy and fun Halloween candy! Yes it tastes great, but the real treat is decorating the top. I used a gummy bat, gummy worms, hard candy skulls and chocolate drizzled caramel corn. You can use whatever you like or nothing at all. Even better,  put out all kinds of candy and let everyone help decorate it.
This is such a quick and easy pie for a last minute dessert. If you purchase the crust, the "baking" time from start to finish is about 5 minutes.

The aesthetics of the pie will delight the kiddos and the taste (of the pie minus the candy) will delight everyone!

  • All of the candy I used (except the caramel corn) I purchased at Walmart for a combined total of $3.
  • Oreo and Keebler both make chocolate cookie crumb crusts. You can find them in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.
  • Even (perhaps, especially) if you don't decorate the top of the pie, it still tastes great.

Peanut Butter Halloween Pie

1 chocolate cookie crumb crust
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 container 8oz Cool Whip
1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping, optional
Various candy decorations if desired.

Mix together cream cheese and peanut butter. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until well blended, scraping the bottom if necessary. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour caramel topping into bottom of chocolate cookie crust and spread evenly. Spoon peanut butter filling on top of caramel. Decorate as desired.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Apples

Dear Readers,

I'll be out of town, visiting family for the next week or so. In the interim, I have scheduled posts for some of my favorite seasonal recipes from last year, yummy sounding recipes from other websites and a few new ones sprinkled in. I hope you enjoy them and will continue to join me along the way!

This recipe and picture come from Allrecipes.

  • You can use any type of candy or nut to roll the apples in. Be creative!

Chocolate Dipped Apples

10 small Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts, optional
1/2 cup candy-coated milk chocolate candies
2 pounds semisweet chocolate, chopped
Insert wooden craft sticks or lollipop sticks into the cores of the apples at the stem. Place the roasted peanuts and candies on separate plates. Set aside.

Place the chocolate into a metal or glass bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until melted. Remove from the heat. Dip apples into the melted chocolate, turning to coat completely. Dip or roll in candy or nuts, then place on a sheet of waxed paper. Repeat with remaining apples. Allow apples to set at room temperature until the chocolate is firm, about 20 minutes, before serving.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Risotto

Dear Readers,

I'll be out of town, visiting family for the next week or so. In the interim, I have scheduled posts for some of my favorite seasonal recipes from last year, yummy sounding recipes from other websites and a few new ones sprinkled in. I hope you enjoy them and will continue to join me along the way!

This yummy recipe comes from

Pumpkin Risotto

3 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled and cubed

4 shallots, chopped
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 teaspoons powdered saffron (optional)
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Wrap cubed pumpkin in foil and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. While it is baking, saute shallots in a little white wine, water or stock. In a separate pan, bring the stock to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. In a food processor, puree pumpkin and set aside. Add rice to shallots and cook 2-3 minutes over moderate heat stirring frequently. Add wine and saffron and cook, stirring constantly until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the pumpkin and 1 cup stock, stirring constantly. After that is absorbed, add the rest of the stock 1/2 cup at a time stirring constantly until absorbed until the rice is cooked (about 15-20 min). If you run out of stock add hot water. The risotto should be thick and creamy in consistensy and just a little runny. When done remove from heat, add the sage, parmesan, salt and pepper to taste

Friday, October 22, 2010

PieDay Friday-Sugar Cream Pie

Dear Readers,

I'll be out of town, visiting family for the next week or so. In the interim, I have scheduled posts for some of my favorite seasonal recipes from last year, yummy sounding recipes from other websites and a few new ones sprinkled in. I hope you enjoy them and will continue to join me along the way!

This pie is so delicious I can't believe I waited this long to post it! It's almost like an egg-less custard or Bavarian Cream pie. The pumpkin pie spice on top really adds a lovely flavor to what could be a boring pie. I've made this pie with and without spices on top and it's amazing what a difference just a sprinkling can make. If you don't have pumpkin pie spice you can dust the pie with nutmeg or cinnamon.

I really think this Sugar Cream Pie would make a lovely new holiday, baking tradition for any family.

Sugar Cream Pie

1 pie shell, pre-baked
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups cream
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 drops yellow food coloring, optional
6 tablespoons butter
pumpkin pie spice

In a large saucepan mix sugars, salt and cornstarch together, stir in cream. Once mixture is blended turn stove top to medium heat and bring to a boil. Add vanilla, food coloring and butter and continue cooking, stirring constantly until thickened, 10-15 minutes. Pour the mixture into pie crust and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice (not too much, just a dusting). Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool on counter for 30 minutes and serve warm or cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Maple Applesauce

Dear Readers,

I'll be out of town, visiting family for the next week or so. In the interim, I have scheduled posts for some of my favorite seasonal recipes from last year, yummy sounding recipes from other websites and a few new ones sprinkled in. I hope you enjoy them and will continue to join me along the way!

If you've never had homemade applesauce, warm off the stove before then you've been missing out! It's amazing the difference between an overly sweet but bland jar of applesauce you buy at the store and spicy, flavorful made from scratch applesauce. It tastes and smells like...home or at least somewhere warm, familiar and comforting. Sure it's a little bit of work peeling, coring, slicing and blending but every once in a while when you want a real treat, it's worth it!


For regular applesauce, omit the maple syrup and cinnamon.

Use a variety of apples when making applesauce, I usually use 3. Pick a tart apple (like Granny Smith), a sweet apple (like Fuji) and a crisp "in between" apple (like Gala) and use a combination to create a unique and flavorfull applesauce. For this recipe I use the ratio 2 tart : 4 sweet : 3 "in-between"You can add more or less cinnamon depending on your tastes. I don't like too much cinnamon in my applesauce so I tend to add a little less than a teaspoon. I do think some cinnamon compliments and helps blend the apple and maple flavors though.

I use an immersion blender to puree the apples. I find it's the easiest and most effective way to achieve the consistency I want, and I never have to transfer the applesauce out of the pan that I cooked it in. You can easily use a food processor (you may have to do it in small batches), a blender, or a food mill (I've used this method before and it works well).

Maple Applesauce

8-10 apples, peeled and cored (3 varieties of apples)
1 1/4 cup apple juice/cider (may substitute water)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional

Bring apple juice, maple syrup and lemon juice to a low boil. Peel, core and slice apples into wedges. Add apples to boiling mixture and sprinkle with cinnamon. Let the liquid return to a boil and turn down heat.

Simmer apples over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, apples should be soft and liquid should have reduced by almost half. Using an immersion blender (or food processor, blender or food mill) puree apples until desired applesauce texture is achieved. Serve warm or chilled, any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. This recipe makes about 4-6 cups of finished applesauce.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Dear Readers,
I'll be out of town, visiting family for the next week or so. In the interim, I have scheduled posts for some of my favorite seasonal recipes from last year, yummy sounding recipes from other websites and a few new ones sprinkled in. I hope you enjoy them and will continue to join me along the way!

This time of year I use pumpkin pie spice in such a large range of recipes, it dissappears quickly.  I use it in not just pumpkin recipes, but really anything that calls for cinnamon or nutmeg. 
When I do run out of it, it's nice to be able to throw some together. By mixing my own, I can also use higher quality spices than would normally be found in the pre-mixed variety. 

  • Many pumpkin pie spices don't contain ground gloves. I add a small amount mainly for the aromatics, less so for the flavor.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, optional

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Maple Apple Meat Marinade

Dear Readers,
I'll be out of town, visiting family for the next week or so. In the interim, I have scheduled posts for some of my favorite seasonal recipes from last year, yummy sounding recipes from other websites and a few new ones sprinkled in. I hope you enjoy them and will continue to join me along the way!

This semi-sweet mariade is delicious with chicken, pork chops, ribs and even burgers!

Maple Apple Meat Marinade

2 cups apple cider
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine the cider, vinegar, syrup, oil, and orange juice in a small bowl. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Add sage, cayenne, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
In a shallow glass baking dish, place the meat you are marinating. Pour the marinade over the meat, cover and refrigerate. Allow to sit for 3 hours, turning once.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal

When the frost is on the pumpkin, this pumpkin oatmeal will warm you up!

Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup milk, more or less as desired
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons brown sugar (or to taste)
maple syrup, as desired
1 tablespoon butter, optional

In a medium, microwave safe bowl, combine oats, milk, pumpkin, spices and brown sugar.  Stir together and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir mixture again (add more milk if desired) and microwave for an additonal 1 minute. Drizzle with mayple syrup and dot with butter. Serve warm.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

PieDay Friday-Impossible Brownie Pie

I spent Thursday morning pondering my weekly question of what pie I should make for PieDay Friday. I wasn't in the mood to make a crust, I wasn't in the mood to go out and buy any ingredients. I wanted something quick and simple that could be made with ingredients I had on hand. After racking my brain for a time a memory of pies past came to me. Impossible pies to be exact.
In the 1980s impossible pie recipes could be found on the back of boxes and in the pages of every magazine. The "impossible" part being that the pie made it's own crust. No need to roll out pie dough or pulverize Graham crackers. Typically a baking mix like Bisquick was involved and the "crust" that formed was a cake-like base.
I decided that an impossible pie was the perfect fit for my lazy mood. I did a little digging through old cookbooks and found a recipe that appears to have originated from Bisquick, for an Impossible Brownie Pie. It looked amazing! I made a few adjustments to suit my tastes and came up with this delicious and rich pie. Who knew laziness could be so rewarding?!

  • You can use regular baking mix instead of the buttermilk variety if that's what you have on hand. I used Pioneer Brand Buttermilk baking mix and liked the little bit of tanginess it lent.

Impossible Brownie Pie

4 eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
4oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk baking mix, like Bisquick
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the eggs, butter and sugars. Allow melted chocolate to cool slightly and beat into mixture.  Add baking mix, salt and vanilla. Beat for 2-3 minutes or until mixture is thick and silky. Pour into a lightly greased 9 inch pie plate and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until center is set. Let cool 15-20 minutes before serving.

Cinnamon-Maple Squash

Until recently I had never tried squash before. It was just one of those vegetables that flew under my radar. After spending an afternoon decorating for Fall with gourds of various sizes and shapes, it occured to me I should try it some time. Knowing that squash is kin to pumpkin, I decided to treat it as such and bake it with my favorite pumpkin accompaniments like maple syrup and brown sugar. I was relieved to find that it turned out perfect! A sweet and simple Autumn side dish that would fit in nicely on any dinner table.

  • A "medium" squash should be about 2-3 lbs.
  • A sturdy vegetable peeler or paring knife works just fine for peeling squash.
  • Don't skip the step where you stir the mixture after 30 minutes of cooking. If you do, the sauce may burn.

Cinnamon-Maple Squash

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
5 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Simmer until butter has melted, stir well.  Toss with diced squash to coat. Pour mixture into a lightly greased baking dish. Cover with foil and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and gently stir mixture. Continue baking for an additional15 minutes or until squash is fork tender. Serve warm.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

German Style Pot Roast

While this recipe is not a true sauerbraten, it is certainly reminiscent of one.  Slowly braised in a beer broth and seasoned with caraway seeds this roast has a slightly sweet and rich, unexpected flavor.  The bell peppers and green onions also provide distinctive flavors to the juices, making this anything but a typical pot roast!

  • For the best flavor use a dark or red ale like Guinness or Sam Adams Irish Red. Pale amber beers are too thin and lack a sufficient body for this dish.
  • Using small, whole potatoes prevents the potatoes from falling apart in the liquid and helps retain their natural nutrients. Small red or blue fingerlings may also be used.
  • I personally like this style of pot roast best, when served with a small amount of juice and not gravy. You can certainly use the braising liquid to make a gravy if you wish.
  • 1/2 lb of carrots may also be added if desired.

German Style Pot Roast

3-4lb chuck or rump roast
3 cups beef broth
1 cup beer, a dark or red ale is best
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
salt and pepper as desired
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 cup green onion, diced
1 lb baby white potatoes, whole

Season roast with salt and pepper as desired and place in a hot dutch oven. Brown all sides over medium-high heat. Add beef broth, beer, tomato paste, mustard, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, thyme and caraway seed. Stir to dissolve all ingredients in liquid and bring to low boil (uncovered).  Once mixture is bubbly, add diced bell pepper, green onion and potatoes. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for at least 1-1/2 hours (the longer it can braise, the better).  Remove potatoes and lightly salt and pepper them. Remove roast and slice. Serve roast in braising liquid or use the juices to make a gravy if desired.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Featured on Blackberry Cottage!

Susan over at Blackberry Cottage featured Pumpkin Tart today! Please stop by her adorable blog and say hello!

Blackberry Jam Cafe

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Buttercream

I jazzed up a spice cake mix with pumpkin and applesuace in this delicious recipe. Dense and moist, the cake is reminicent of pumpkin bread...and that's a good thing! I frosted it with a rich and creamy maple buttercream that perfectly compliments the deep Autumn flavors of the cake. A piece of this cake would be a terrific way to end an afternoon spent in a pumpkin patch or apple orchard!

  • I used apple cider in both the cake and frosting recipes, to add extra flavor. If you don't have apple cider on hand you can use water for the cake and additional milk for the frosting.
  • If you have a kitchen scale, use it to evenly divide the batter whenever making a dual layer cake. Set a cake plate on top of the scale and zero/tarre it out. Add some batter and take note of weight. Repeat with the next cake pan and add an equal amount of batter. Divide remaing batter between the two. The more even the amount of batter in each pan, the more even the cakes will cook and the less likely the chance for lopsided cakes.

Pumpkin Cake with Maple Buttercream

1 box spice cake mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
3 tablespoons applesauce
1/3 cup apple cider or water
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 recipe for Maple Buttercream Frosting, below

Combine all ingredients, except for frosting, in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well combined. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pansDivide batter equally between the two cake pans. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool slightly, remove from pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.  Spread a layer of frosting atop one layer of cake and top with the remaining layer. Continue to frost the top and sides of cake until completely covered. Sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to garnish. Cover loosely or with cake dome to store.

Maple Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks butter, softened (no substitutes)
6-8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk (2% or higher)
1/4 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring/extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, starting with 6 cups of powdered sugar. Beat until mixed well, adding more powdered sugar if needed.

Maple Monday-Maple Buttercream Frosting

Maple Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks butter, softened (no substitutes)
6-8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk (2% or higher)
1/4 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring/extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, starting with 6 cups of powdered sugar. Beat until mixed well, adding more powdered sugar if needed.  The frosting should be creamy but thick enough to hold a peak for 3 seconds.

Friday, October 8, 2010

PieDay Friday-Cranberry Cream Cheese Pie

I've had this recipe tucked in my recipe box for a while now but have been waiting until Fall to whip it out. Even though November might be a more appropriate month for it, I just couldn't wait any longer!
Using a can of whole berry cranberry sauce and gelatin for the top layer and a homemade cream cheese layer for the bottom, this sweet-tart of a pie is perfect for an easy Autumn dessert.

  • In lieu of cranberry or raspberry jello, you can also use cherry or even grape.
  • The apple juice can be substituted for water, orange juice, cranberry juice, cran-raspberry juice or almost anything else you wish.
  • If you make a cranberry sauce or relish from scratch, use about 1 1/4 cup of that instead of the canned version. This pie is a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • Grated lemon, lime or orange peel would make a beautiful garnish for the pie...I wish I had thought of that before I took the picture!

Cranberry Cream Cheese Pie

1 9 inch graham cracker pie crust
8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup apple juice, boiling
1 package cranberry or raspberry gelatin, 3oz
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce, 14 oz

In a medium mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Spoon mixture into Graham cracker crust. Set aside. Using a whisk, blend the gelatin and boiling apple juice together in a medium or large mixing bowl. Add cranberry sauce. Using the whisk, break apart the cranberry sauce (leaving the cranberries whole) and whisk into gelatin mixture. Slowly pour over cream cheese mixture. You may have some left over, don't overfill the crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until gelatin mixture has set up before serving.

!!Friday Blog Hops!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

This recipe comes straight from the Hershey's kitchen! Sweet and familiar, they make a delightful addition to your Autumn cookie arsenal.

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking or regular rolled oats, uncooked
1-3/4 cups (11-oz. pkg.) Butterscotch Chips

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in oats and butterscotch chips; mix well. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Roasted Autumn Veggies

This is my adaptation of a recipe I found on All Recipes. The seasonal vegetables are brightened by a splash of orange juice. This side dish is the perfect accompaniment to poultry or pork.

Roasted Autumn Veggies

1 small butternut squash, cubed
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3 Russet potatoes, cubed
1 red onion, quartered
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh, minced thyme
1 teaspoon fresh, minced parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to tastes

In a large bowl, combine squash, bell peppers, sweet potato, and  Russet potatoes. Separate the red onion petals into individual pieces and add them to the mixture. In a small bowl, stir together the thyme, parsley, olive oil, orange juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss with the vegetables until coated. Spread the veggies evenly on a high sided baking sheet or roasting pan
Roast at 475 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through and browned.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

PieDay Friday-Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Some things are so good on their own, that they are just begging to made into a pie.  Take for instance the humble chocolate chip cookie.  Beloved by adults and children alike. It's the standard against which all other cookies are measured. Even if it's not your very favorite cookie, you probably like it pretty darn well.  When I think of food items like this, I get the urge to make them into a pie.  Somehow, I made a blueberry muffin pie and root beer float pie before a chocolate chip cookie pie. I'm not sure how that happened but I am glad that I did finally get around to it.

This pie sets up almost like a reverse pecan pie. The chocolate chips sink to the bottom giving this pie a rich, gooey chocolate base. The top part resembles a pecan pie filling both in looks and to some degree flavor.  Bits of toffee arrange themselves throughout the entire filling and provide a satisfying crunch in every bite.  This is one decadent pie that will find it's way to your table again and again!


Stop by 504 and Main and tell Holly I said "Hi"! She has featured my Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie from last week along with some great crafts and table settings from other blogs. Be sure to link up with her Tickled Pink Blog Hop as well!


  • I used mini chocolate chips because that's what I had on hand. You can use mini, regular and large chocolate chips and achieve the same result.
  • Toffee pieces can be found near chocolate chips at most grocery stores. The only brand I know off-hand is Heath but I'm sure different stores offer others. You can also break up several Heath or Skor bars to equal one cup
  • If you prefer, walnuts may be substituted for the toffee.
  • Take care not to peak at pie while it's cooking. Every time you open the oven door heat escapes and the oven temperature drops. This means more uneven cooking and a longer baking time, which can lead to overcooked sides and a runny center. This goes for anything baked in an oven, but this pie is particularly sensitive to it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup toffee pieces
1 9 inch deep dish pie crust, unbaked

In a large bowl, combine lightly beaten eggs, flour, both sugars, salt, vanilla and softened butter.  Beat with an electric mixer until well combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and toffee pieces. Add to unbaked pie crust. Bake at 325 for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and center is set.  Allow pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Ham and Dumplings

I often wonder what classic dishes would taste like with different proteins than traditionally used. My curiousity has lead to some interesting combinations over the years. This is one particular interesting and tasty combination.  These ham and dumplings have a familiar comfort food quality about them while also being novel.  Serve this dish with a side of fried apples and your taste buds will thanks you!

  • I don't like vegetables with chicken and dumplings or in this case, ham and dumplings. If you do, onions can easily be substituted for the onion powder. Just saute them with the ham.
  • Don't drain the pan drippings after you have sauted the ham. The drippings help to create a rich ham flavor to the liquid stock.
  • For the ham, I used a store purchased ham steak and diced it up. You can also use leftovers from a baked ham for a uniquely different dinner.
  • If you have a bone-in ham, boil the bone and some of the ham in 5-6 cups water to create a true ham stock and use in place of the vegetable and chicken stocks. For a more layered flavor use 4 cups of ham stock and 1 10oz can of vegetable stock.

Ham and Dumplings

1 1/2 lbs ham, thickly diced
1 carton of vegetable stock or broth, 32oz
1 can chicken stock or broth, 10 oz
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dumplings, recipe below

Saute the ham in a large stock pot until cooked through . Add vegetable and chicken stock and seasonings. Bring the liquid to a low boil and add the dumplings (recipe below). Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the dumplings have thickened the stock, stirring occasionally.  Serve warm


2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth and let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. On a floured surface roll out the dough to about a 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into 1 inch rectangles and drop each one individually into the simmering stock.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banana Caramel Cake

This recipe comes from Smucker's website and the unexpected pairing of caramel and banana is delightful!

Banana Caramel Cake

No-Stick Cooking Spray

1 (16 oz.) box Yellow Cake Mix
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
2 ripe bananas, sliced
Smucker's Caramel Sundae Syrup, Ice Cream Topping

Heat oven to 350. Coat 13x9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.

Beat cake mix, cinnamon, eggs, water and oil in medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in mashed bananas. Stir in nuts. Spread in prepared pan.

Bake 34 to 36 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 45 minutes. Serve warm. Top each serving with sliced bananas. Drizzle with caramel syrup.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Simple Beef and Potato Stew

As the nights grow cooler, I find myself craving soups and stews more and more. Served with warm bread this stew makes a satisfying and comforting meal. It requires very little work and hands on time, so it's perfect to throw together on a busy night. 

  • The addition of vinegar in this stew isn't to add flavor so much as to tenderize the beef. When cooking with tougher cuts, like stew meat, a small amount of vinegar helps in tenderizing.
  • In this recipe 1/8 teaspoon of the spices, is basically a pinch.  I add just a pinch of each of the spices in my hand and throw them in together. If you have a favorite spice blend, you can add 1-2 teaspoons of that instead.
  • Carrots, garlic, bell peppers or celery would all make excellent additions to this stew. Add the vegetables your family enjoys. For every additional 2 cups of veggies, add 1 can or about 1 1/3 cups of broth or tomato soup (water can be added but you may need to adjust the spices a little).
  • Like with most soups and stews,the longer you let the flavors meld, the better it tastes.  That's why dishes that are heavy with sauces or liquids, often taste better the next day. Don't be afraid to let it simmer for several hours, stirring occasionally.

Simple Beef and Potato Stew

1 1/2 lbs lean stew beef
1/2 white onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2-14 oz cans  beef broth
1-10oz can tomato soup
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1/8 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon parsley
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat and add stew meat and onions. Saute until the beef has browned and onions are tender. Drain if necessary.  Add vinegar and toss with meat. Pour in beef broth and tomato soup, stirring to combine. Add cubed potatoes and spices. Bring to a gentle boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until potatoes are thoroughly cooked and flavors have blended.

Friday, September 24, 2010

PieDay Friday-Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

There is no dessert that can ever stand up to a pumpkin pie for me. From Libby's classic pumpkin pie to a fluffy pumpkin chiffon to a pumpkin cream pie, they are all winners in my book. This is one stands out above the rest though. When combined together apple butter and pumpkin make a splendid pairing. The apple butter somehow actually makes the pumpkin even more pumpkiny in flavor. The brown sugar and maple syrup are the perfect sweeteners and provide an almost caramel note.  If no one knew that this pie had apple butter and maple syrup in it they would just think that was an amazingly flavorful and delicious pumpkin pie.

  • With a standard 9" pie crust you might have just a little bit of filling left over.
  • You will notice that the color is more brown than the orange of a classic pumpkin pie due to the additon of apple butter. Take note of this when checking to see if the pie is fully baked, it will look like an overcooked traditional pumpkin pie but it may not be done yet.

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie

1 can pumpkin puree, 15oz
1 cup apple butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9" pie crust

Combine all ingredients except pie crust and beat until well incorporated and smooth. Carefully, pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake at 425 degress for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 375 and continue baking for an additional 20-30 minutes or until center has set and filling begins to pull away from sides of crust.
Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before transferring to refrigerator. Chill for 2-3 hours before serving.

!!Friday Blog Hops!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

The addition of chive flavored cream cheese makes these sandwiches gooey, creamy and full of flavor!

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

4 slices sourdough bread
4 tablespoons whipped cream cheese with chives
2 slices meunster cheese
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

Spread each piece of bread with 1 tablespoon of cream cheese. Place a piece of meunster on 2 pieces of bread and top each with the remaining bread. Brush/spread olive oil or butter on bread. Place on a preheated pan or griddle over medium heat and cook each side until lightly browned and cheese has melted.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cheesy Italian Crescent Rolls

After a week long absence...I'm back! I didn't go anywhere or do anything, I just needed a little blogging break. I rebooted my own hard-drive and am ready to start posting some fantastic, new Fall recipes.

I thought I'd ease back into things with these super simple crescent rolls.  I use mozzarella string cheese to fill these gooey little rolls and give them a nice "pull".  Sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning (the kind in a spice jar), these babies make an excellent alternative to garlic bread or even a yummy appetizer when served with a marinara dipping sauce.  Enjoy!

  • Try the garlic flavored crescent rolls for even more flavor!
  • Don't use shredded mozzarella for these, it won't achieve the same effect as string cheese or chunks of whole, fresh mozzarella  will.

Cheesy Italian Crescent Rolls

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
3 pieces mozzarella string cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

Unroll crescent roll dough and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut each piece of string cheese into thirds and place each third on each piece of unrolled crescent roll dough (you will have 1/3 left over).  Starting at the widest part of the dough, tightly roll each piece with the cheese tucked inside. Arrange seam sides down. Brush each crescent roll with melted butter and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve warm.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

PieDay Friday-Applesauce Pie

I originally posted this recipe on Between the Lines in July, when I was featured as a blog of the week, but I never showcased it on my own blog. As Autumn draws nearer I thought that now would be the perfect time to share it here on Pumpkin Tart.
My Applesauce Pie has a consistency similar to a pumpkin pie but tastes fresh and light. It's incredible alone and even better with a scoop of ice cream on the side!

504 and Main is featuring my Buttemilk Pie from last week on her Tickled Pink post today, be sure to stop by and show her some love!

Applesauce Pie

1 3/4 cups all natural applesauce (no sugar added)
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat just until combined (don't over-beat). Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn down temperature to 350 and continue baking another 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to refrigerator. Let chill for 3 hours before serving.

!!Friday Blog Hops!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gooseberry Patch Downloadable Cookbook 2

Gooseberry Patch  just released their second in a series of free downloadable cookbooks. It contains 25 different chocolate chip cookie recipes!  What's better than that?
Check it out as a slideshow, print or download it!

25 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes by Gooseberry Patch

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Potato and Tomato Salad

This recipe comes from the Hunt's website and sounded so delicious, I just had to share it! It's utterly different than any potato salad I've ever heard of and would make a delicious addition to any dinner or buffet table.

Hearty Potato and Tomato Salad

1-1/4 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 jar (6.5 oz each) marinated artichoke hearts, drained (optional)
1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, undrained
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
5 green onions, cut into thin slices (5 onions = about 1/2 cup)
1 ounce Italian dried salami, cut into thin strips (1 oz = about 8 slices)
1/4 cup Italian dressing

Place potatoes in large saucepan. Add enough water to completely cover potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain; cool slightly. Place in large bowl.

Add artichoke hearts, diced tomatoes with their liquid, the celery, onions and salami; mix lightly. Add dressing; toss lightly. Cover.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

PieDay Friday-Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk pie is an old Southern style dish closely resembling a classic Chess or Sugar Cream Pie. There are typically two styles of a buttermilk pie, one that utilizes a Bisquick style mix and is more like a custardy bread pudding. The other and more traditional style, like my recipe below, is a custardy filling baked in a crust. 
There is something so divine about a simple buttermilk pie. They're not blow your socks off amazing, but rather delicious in a comforting, unadulterated, smile at yourself kind of way.  Don't let the fact that it's made with buttermilk dissuade you from trying it out. The buttermilk gives it only a slight tanginess in the same way cream cheese gives many recipes a tanginess (though this tastes nothing like cream cheese). Give it a shot, you'll be glad you did!

  • Some people add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice to their buttermilk pies. I personally don't think this recipe needs it but go for it if you like.
  • The crust should be par-baked so it doesn't shrink too much and become soggy on bottom. Click on link in the ingredient list for instructions on par-baking.

Buttermilk Pie

5 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and both the white and brown sugars. Beat until creamy and smooth. Mix in flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, followed by both eggs, vanilla, salt and nutmeg. Slowly pour buttermilk into mixture while beating.  Pour batter into par-baked pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, turning pie around halfway through.
Serve warm or chilled.

!!Friday Blog Hops!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 cup roasted red peppers
1 package cream cheese, 8oz
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Swiss cheese, grated
3-4 green onions, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and Swiss cheese and cook over medium heat until cream cheese has melted. Fold in the drained spinach, roasted red peppers, green onions, salt and cayenne. Continue to simmer over medium heat until the spinach is warm and mixture is heated through (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently.

Serve warm (or chilled) with toasted bread, fresh veggies or tortilla chips.

!!Tuesday Blog Hops!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

PieDay Friday-Watermelon Chiffon Pie

I've been wanting to make a watermelon pie for some time now but haven't had the motivation to experiment too much with it.  Wednesday afternoon I  was flipping though my favorite cookbook on the subject, Pie by Ken Haedrich and came upon a recipe for a Watermelon Chiffon Pie. It sounded perfect! I was a little unsure about the combination of whipping cream and watermelon but decided to give it a go anyway. I'm  so glad I did because it was delicious! Unlike anything I've ever previously tasted, the novelty factor alone bumped up this 7 star pie to a 9 in my book. Creamy and light, it's a fantastic way to give Summer a proper send off!

Watermelon Chiffon Pie

6 cups of watermelon flesh
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 envelops of unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
Whipped cream for garnish

 Place the watermelon and the granulated sugar into a large bowl. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, liquefy the watermelon as best as possible. Set aside for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture in a sieve, ensuring you have 2 3/4 cup of watermelon juice. Discard the pulp and any extraneous liquid (or use the extra watermelon juice to make popsicles or cocktails).

In a large bowl, pour in 1/4 cup of watermelon juice and sprinkle the gelatin on top (do NOT stir the gelatin in). Set aside for 4 minutes, allowing the gelatin to dissolve. Meanwhile, place 1/2 cup of the watermelon juice in a sauce pan, and bring to a near boil. Whisk the hot juice into the gelatin mixture.

Pour in the remaining watermelon juice and combine with the gelatin mixture. Add the lime juice, cover and place in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, using an electric beater, beat the egg whites in a medium sized bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In a clean, dry and chilled bowl beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add the powdered sugar, and incorporate until smooth. Place in the refrigerator.

When the watermelon gelatin starts to firm (about an hour) remove and add 1/4 of the whipped cream. Beat in with an electric mixer until smooth. Gently fold in the egg whites and remaining whipped cream. You want to avoid pockets of white from either the egg whites or whipped cream. Pour into pie shell. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to chill 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with sifted powdered sugar and whipped cream if desired.

!!Friday Hops!!
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