Monday, October 28, 2013

Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes

Crash Hot Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4.

One of the best sides I've had in a while.
Source: The Creekside Cook

  • 1 & ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon New Mexico chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 10 coarse grinds of black pepper
  • 2 medium to large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Set a 3 quart sauce pan of water with a teaspoon of kosher salt on a medium flame until it begins to simmer.
  2. Oil a large baking sheet, or cover with parchment paper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together all of the dry spices, and set aside
  4. Peel the sweet potatoes, and cut into 1 & ½ inch thick slices.
  5. When the water is simmering, add the potato slices and cook for around 10 minutes, until the slices are getting a little soft.
  6. Remove the slices to a cooling rack. You can leave them on the rack until they cool off and the outsides are dry, or if you are in a hurry, blot all of the moisture from the surface of the slices. This is important – they have to be dry on the outside or they won’t get crispy.
  7. Start the oven preheating to 400ยบ
  8. Lay the slices of sweet potato on the prepared pan, and use a water glass to gently compress each slice – you want them to flatten out and the edges should get kind of ruffly.
  9. Mix the butter and oil together.
  10. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread a thin layer of the oil and butter mixture on each slice.
  11. Sprinkle some of the spice mixture over each slice, and press onto the surface lightly so that it sticks to the potato slices.
  12. Gently turn oven each slice, and repeat the oil/butter and dry spice application as you did on the first side.
  13. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the bottom of the slices is getting caramelized and crispy.
  14. Carefully flip over each slice and roast another 10 minutes or so, until both sides are crispy and the spice mixture has melted together and turned all nicely brown.
  15. Serve immediately.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Makes about 4 dozen.

Oh so fluffy, and perfectly pumpkiny.  Welcome, fall cookie.
Source: Sweet Pea's Kitchen

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Adjust the oven racks to the upper-and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon for rolling in a shallow bowl. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1½-inch ball, roll the ball in the sugar mixture, and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and just beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets about 5 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Recipe Notes:
The dough can be made through step 3 and either covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen.
To freeze the cookie dough, portion into individual balls, roll in the cinnamon and sugar, and freeze on a parchment- or wax-paper-lined plate (don't let them touch or they will fuse together) until completely firm, 2 to 3 hours. When ready to bake, reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and increase the baking time to 17 to 22 minutes.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Makes 12 muffins.

These are delicious for kids and adults alike!  Love the oatmeal in them... yum!
Slightly adapted from: Mom Foodie

  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup low fat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup peeled and diced Granny Smith apple (roughly 1 large apple)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla, salt and sugar.
  3. Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Add the oats and apples, mix until evenly distributed. Allow to rest a couple minutes, then spoon into muffin cups. Fill almost full.
  5. Place in oven to bake for 20 minutes. Remove and cool.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Gina's Salad

Gina's Salad

An extremely delicious salad.
Source: my friend, Gina

herb blend greens 
1 endive, quartered and sliced thinly
1 apple (matchsticks)
dates (small chop)
goat cheese

2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. honey or agave (I used agave)
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 shallot, finely minced
1/3 cup olive oil

Top greens with endive, apple, dates, and goat cheese.  Mix together dressing and pour atop greens.  Toss and serve.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cookies 'n Cream Cake Batter Cookies

Cookies 'n Cream Cake Batter Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen.

When you have a few great things, it just makes sense to combine them, right?
Inspired by these recipes: The Domestic Rebel and Chef in Training

1-1/2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup Funfetti cake mix
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed Oreo cookies
Additional sprinkles, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together.  Add in pudding package and cake mix and beat until well blended.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Slowly add flour mixture until fully incorporated.  Stir in white chocolate chips and crushed Oreos, and additional sprinkles (if using).

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Easy Crockpot Applesauce

Easy Crockpot Applesauce

An easy, delicious applesauce. 
Slightly adapted from: One Organic Mama

15 apples of your choice
2 cups water (approximately)
3 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves
***I added 1/4 cup brown sugar to sweeten it up a bit

Cut and core apples.  I cut them in half, in half again, and then cored them.  Go ahead and leave the skins on, because it is waaayyy easier, they add nutrition, and you won't be able to taste them in the end.

Cover the bottom of your crock pot with about 1/2-1" of water, add apples and spices (and sugar if using), and mix up.  Cook on high for about 4 hours.

Once your apples are soft, use your immersion blender to puree.  Let cool and serve, store, or can.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte

Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte

Makes 1 latte.

Save yourself loads of money and make this at home!
Slightly adapted from: Foods for the Soul

1 c skim milk
1 tbsp pumpkin butter
1 + ½ tbsp sugar-free vanilla syrup (OR 2 packets Splenda + 1 tsp vanilla extract)
tiny pinch ground cinnamon
tiny pinch ground nutmeg
tiny pinch ground ginger
2 shots hot espresso OR 6 oz hot strong coffee

In a small pot, combine the milk and pumpkin puree (and Splenda, if using).  Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the  milk begins to simmer.  Whisk vigorously until frothy.  Turn heat down to low, and add in the vanilla syrup (or vanilla extract), cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.  Whisk until fully incorporated.

Pour the espresso of coffee into a mug, and pour the milk mixture on top.  Sip and enjoy!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Caramel Apple Streusel Pie

Caramel Apple Streusel Pie

Makes 1 pie; Serves 8-10

Probably the best apple pie I've ever made.  Will make again and again.
Pie crust: Mimo
Filling adapted from Nutmeg Nanny 
Streusel from Indulge
Caramel addition inspired by Chocolate Covered Everything

Mimo's Pie Crust:
1 stick butter
2 T. sugar
1 cup flour

6 cups apple chunks (I used 6 granny smith apples here)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Caramel Sauce:
4 T. butter
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. heavy cream
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. caramel ice cream topping

Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For pie crust:

Heat butter in a saucepan until melted.  Add sugar and mix until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat.
Stir in flour until fully combined.  Pat into pie pan.  

For filling:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare dry ingredients in a large bowl, set aside. Core, peel, and slice apples. Transfer into large bowl with dry ingredients. Top off with vanilla and lemon juice. Toss to coat apples well. Set aside while you prepare caramel sauce.

For caramel sauce, start by melting your 4 Tbls of Butter in a large saucepan.  Then add in the 3 Tbls of brown Sugar, Heavy Cream, and Vanilla and cook for 3 minutes over medium low heat constantly stirring.  Add in 1/2 cup of Caramel ice cream topping or sauce into your homemade sauce and stir to combine. 

To this delicious caramel sauce, add in your apple mixture and stir to combine.  Pour apple filling into pie crust.

For streusel topping:
Combine the flour, superfine sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir the melted butter and vanilla together in another small bowl. Gradually stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture, just until evenly moistened (you may not need all of the butter). Squeeze the mixture in your hands until thoroughly combined. Crumble the mixture in the bowl to make fine crumbs with some small lumps.

Top pie with streusel topping.  Cover loosely with foil.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 and continue baking for an additional 35 minutes.  Cool and enjoy.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Seven Layer Bars with Pumpkin

Seven Layer Bars with Pumpkin

Serves 16-24, depending on how you cut them.

This recipe is as delicious as the original, but the pumpkin layer makes it perfectly autumnal.
Slightly adapted from: Vanilla Sugar

Pumpkin layer:
1 egg
8 ounces of plain pumpkin puree
½ ts pure vanilla extract
a few dashes of cinnamon
a few dashes of pumpkin pie spice

1 ½ - 2 cups crushed graham crackers (depending on how thick you like the crust)
12 tbsp. unsalted butter
¾ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, I omitted the nuts entirely)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
½ cup butterscotch chips (I didn't have these, so I chopped up caramels to use instead)
¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (optional to toast, I did not)
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 350° F. 

Heavily spray with nonstick or line a 9 or 10-inch cake pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  If using parchment or aluminum make sure to spray that too with nonstick cooking spray. 
Melt the butter over medium heat; add in the graham crumbs, and mix well.

Using your fingers or a spatula spread crumbs into pan, making sure to get all the edges. If you want to prebake this for 10 minutes to help it get crisp then go ahead. 

In a small bowl mix the pumpkin puree with the egg; add in the vanilla extract and as much spice as you want. I did about 4 shakes of cinnamon and 2 shakes of pumpkin spice.  Then place a layer of the pumpkin mixture on top of the graham.  Do not spread the pumpkin mixture to the edges —you don’t want it to seep out.

Then add the layer of pecans, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and toasted coconut.  Next pour the condensed milk evenly over the entire dish. 

Bake until the top is golden brown and mixture is set in the middle (no jiggly), about 25-28 minutes. 

Cool on a wire rack for a couple hours.  I then put mine in the fridge to help it firm up to make the slicing much easier. Remove the bars from the pan.  Then using a very sharp knife, cut into bars.  If the slicing is sticky, it helps to wet the knife with warm water.

It’s best to store this in the fridge. Keeps about 2 days then it gets soggy.