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!


Tips:
  • 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.


Tips:
  • 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 SeasonalRecipes.com


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!

Tips:

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. 

Tips:
  • 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?!

Tips:
  • 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.

Tips:
  • 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!


Tips:
  • 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!


Tips:
  • 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.


Tips:
  • 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.
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