Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Martha, Ina and Ree

I went to a gathering of my book club the other night and my
good friend Pam brought some muffins she had baked.  Oh my goodness, were they ever good.  They were called Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins.  I thought right then and there, I should share these on the blog.  They would fit nicely with Kim’s pumpkin theme.

I asked Pam where she got the recipe.  She said “Oh, on Martha’s site”.

Well, I knew exactly where to go look for the recipe – Martha Stewart’s web site.  This led me to thinking about the whole technological communication phenomenon.  10 years ago you found a good recipe in a cookbook.  Or you anticipated that wonderful Southern Living or Better Homes and Gardens magazine in the mail.  Or if you were a real foodie you subscribed to Bon Appetit!

These days there are more TV shows, web sites and blogs than one human can imagine to find recipes.  However, we have become so accustomed to looking at certain sites or watching certain shows that we feel, in a way, like they are our friends.  Most of you probably know about Martha Stewart.  And some of you probably know about Ina Garten and a few of you may know about Ree Drummond.  But, when I talk about these people to my foodie friends, I only refer to them by their first names. Like if I saw them on the street they would know me.  I don’t think this is a good or bad thing – just interesting.

So, the following recipe came from my friend Pam, who got it from her friend, Martha!  We all hope you enjoy it . . . these little morsels are addictive so be sure and eat your share before you tell anyone else you made them – they will go fast.

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

10  tablespoons butter – room temperature
3   cups all purpose flour
2½  teaspoons baking powder
¼  teaspoon baking soda
½  teaspoon table salt
½  teaspoon nutmeg
1/4  teaspoon allspice
1/3  cup buttermilk
1 ¼  cups pure pumpkin puree
¾  cup light brown sugar
2  large eggs


¾  cup sugar
2 ½  teaspoons cinnamon
½  cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.  B utter 12 muffin cups or 36 – 48 mini muffin cups (this is the size I like to bake).  To make the batter:  whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and allspice.  In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk and pumpkin puree.  In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl as needed.  With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the pumpkin mixture.  Starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat until just till combined.

Spoon ½ cup batter into each of 12 muffin cups or use about 1 tablespoon for each mini muffin cup (fill the cups about 2/3 full).  Bake until center of muffin comes clean with a toothpick.  This is about 22 – 28 minutes for large muffin cups or 10 – 15 minutes for the mini ones.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in small bowl.  Mix the ¾ cup sugar and 2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon together in another bowl.  Working one at a time, dip top of muffin in butter and then in sugar mixture.  Place on cooling rack.  Continue with all muffins until done.

Happy Baking!


Friday, October 28, 2011

White Chocolate Latte

A new favorite product around our house is the Starbucks Via Ready Brew.  My pilot husband now keeps a stash of these in his bag at all times.  As I said in an earlier post I have been making quite a few lattes this fall, and these single servings are great for that.  One packet makes a single cup of coffee, and for this latte recipe I used one packet in 1/2 cup water. Now for someone who is a "real" coffee drinker I'm not sure if that would qualify as strong enough for this recipe, but for me it is perfect. 

White Chocolate Latte
(Serves 2)
1/2  cup espresso or STRONG brewed coffee
2  ounces white chocolate, grated
1  1/2  cups milk
Whipped Cream or Cool Whip

Stir grated white chocolate into the hot coffee.  Meanwhile place milk in microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until hot.  Whisk to make frothy. Add the frothed milk to the coffee. Top with whipped cream.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hawaii vs. Kansas

I don’t know what I would do if I lived in Hawaii.  Well, I would probably be on the beach a lot and enjoy fresh pineapple as much as possible.  Oh, and hopefully be on the beach a lot – I mentioned that already didn’t I?

What I am referring to is the lack of the changing of the seasons.  I am sure they have their own way of telling how time marches on but, from the plains of Kansas, it seems like it would be odd not having the distinct difference in seasons.  See, I love the changing of the seasons and have come to kind of mark my year by them. 

With the first frost last week came a seasonal change for me. A frost generally puts an end to my garden (which by this time of year is a welcoming thing to me).  I will begin the ritual of pulling cages off tomatoes (of which I picked none) – pulling all the plants out of the ground and getting rid of a few of those weeds which made their home along side my vegetables.

But this year I will also pull my row of Zinnias.  They died with the frost last week.  But, before they died, I picked several more bouquets of flowers.  I made a fall tablescape for a gathering I had and only used my red and orange Zinnias.  They were just delightful.

Back in August I told you I had picked over 700 blooms.  Well, I kept track of what I picked and (drum roll please) . . . I picked over 1700 blooms from my 7 packets of Zinnia seeds!!

What a great little flower.  I will always have a row of Zinnia’s in my garden – and they too will become a seasonal reminder that here in Kansas our landscape changes with each season, but, as every gardener there is always next year and next year I will have those wonderful little flowers to smile at me again!!

Happy Gardening,


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

I have been having my yearly love affair with pumpkin.  I've enjoyed a Pumpkin Spice Latte just about daily.  There is just something about fall and pumpkin. With the weather turning cooler I thought I would try making a Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal. In our family we like a hearty stick to your ribs oatmeal and this fits the bill.  This is a great breakfast that will keep your full until lunch. If you like you can add extra warm milk after you bake it if the oatmeal is too thick for your liking. These are the kind of oats I like.  They are kind of pricey but I love the heartiness of the steel coat oats.  Of course you can use good old Quaker as well.

Don't let the picture stop you from trying the oatmeal, it's not easy to take an appetizing photo of oatmeal.

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2  cup brown sugar
1  tablespoon butter, melted
1/2  cup canned pure pumpkin, not pie filling
1  tablespoon pure maple syrup
1  teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
1/4  teaspoon salt
3/4  teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2  cups oatmeal, quick cooking
1/2  cup pecans, chopped and toasted (optional)
warm milk, for serving if desired

In a medium bowl whisk together the milk and eggs.  Add the brown sugar, melted butter, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

Stir in oatmeal and chopped pecans, if using. 

Pour into casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.  I like my oval pyrex baker.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Italian Beef Dip Sandwiches

Here is a recipe that is great for a crowd or even a weekday when you're really busy and need something you can just throw in the oven and forget.  Your house will smell heavenly.  It is actually better if it is made the day ahead, which can be especially helpful if you are entertaining.  Another bonus is that it is so simple. All you do is throw everything in a Dutch Oven and throw it in the oven for several hours.  I have not done it in a crock pot, but I think it would work equally as well.

One note-If you are making this for kids or you don't like spicy foods you might want to leave out the peppers.  They don't really make the dish spicy, but they definitely give the meat and the dipping sauce a peppery tang.  My kids don't mind them, we actually like the added flavor that they add. If you like Peperoncini you will love this!

Italian Beef Dip Sandwiches
3-4 pound Beef Chuck Roast
4  tablespoons butter
1  large onion, sliced
1/2  cup soy sauce
1/2  cup cooking sherry
1  can beef consomme
3  cups water
3  heaping tablespoons Italian Seasoning
4  cloves garlic, minced
1/2  teaspoon kosher salt
1/2  teaspoon black pepper
1/2  (16 ounce) jar peperoncini and juice (optional) I used sliced rings because that is all I had, you can also use the whole ones.

To Serve you will need:
Crusty sandwich rolls
Butter, softened (to spread on rolls)
Provolone cheese slices
Peperoncini Peppers, if using

Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and saute for a few minutes until onion is tender.  Place chuck roast in dutch oven.  In a measuring glass whisk together the soy sauce, cooking sherry, consomme, water, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper.  Whisk in peperoncini and juice if using.  Pour over chuck roast.  You want the liquid to almost cover the meat. Cover pot with lid and place in a 275 degree oven for 5 to 6 hours or until beef is tender and falling apart.  Try to pull it apart with 2 forks and if it just doesn't fall apart put back in the oven for 30 minutes and keep checking until it is falling apart. Shred the beef using 2 forks.

If making the day ahead you can cover pot and put it in the fridge.  When ready to serve, remove the fat that has hardened on the top of the meat. Place on stove top and warm the meat.  Lightly spread sandwich rolls with butter and place under the broiler and toast lightly.  Drain some beef and place  on one half of the bun. Put peppers on top of the beef if using.  Top with cheese and place back under the broiler for a couple of minutes until cheese is melted.  Watch carefully!
Serve sauce in ramekin for dipping.



Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte

I have a confession to make.  I had never had a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks until Saturday.  Actually I never buy anything from Starbucks.  I just have better things to spend our hard earned money on, like 4 kids!  I have nothing against Starbucks, I just never think to go there.  Their Pumpkin Spice Latte has always intrigued me because I love pumpkin.  Here is my version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
(Serves 1)

1/2  cup milk
1  tablespoon pure Pumpkin puree
1  teaspoon brown sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
1  teaspoon white sugar
1/2  teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1  teaspoon vanilla
1  cup very STRONG coffee (or 1-2 shots espresso)
2  tablespoons cool whip or whipping cream
ground nutmeg, to sprinkle on top

In a small glass bowl or measuring cup whisk milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, white sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until milk is hot and frothy.  

Pour the milk mixture into a tall mug and add the hot coffee.  Taste and add more sugar or sweetener to suit your taste.  Remember it will sweeten with the addition of the cool whip or whipping cream.

Top with cool whip or whipping cream and sprinkle with nutmeg. 



Saturday, October 15, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Dip

An oldie but oh so yummy!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 (10 ounce) cans chicken (or equal amount cooked chicken)
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1  cup Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing
3/4  cup Frank's hot sauce
2  cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix chicken, cream cheese, dressing, hot sauce and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese.  Mix well.

Place in a casserole dish and top with remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serve with chips, fritos and celery sticks.

Heaven on a frito!



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Candy Corn and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last night as I was looking at my latest issue of Food & Wine  magazine I came across this recipe for Candy Corn and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Everyone in my family loves candy corn, with the exception of Caroline. If you remember from an earlier post she is the child that doesn't care for any homemade Macaroni & Cheese except for this Wonderfully Creamy One Pot Macaroni & Cheese.  Kind of a weird child, I know.  But I knew I had to make these cookies for the kids.    
These cookies were yummy, but this cookie recipe has a lot of steps.  We did enjoy them and I will definitely make these again.

Candy Corn and Chocolate Chip Cookies
1  1/2  cups flour
1/2   teaspoon baking powder
1/4   teaspoon baking soda
1  1/4  teaspoons kosher salt
1  1/2  sticks unsalted butter, softened
1  1/4  cups sugar
1/2  cup light brown sugar
1  large egg
1/2  teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cornflake Crunch (recipe follows)
2/3  cup mini chocolate chips (I used regular, that's all I had.)
1  cup candy corn (about 7 ounces)

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle beat the butter and sugars at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 minutes.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients, then beat in the Cornflake Crunch, chocolate chips and candy corn.  Mound 1/4 cup scoops of dough 4 inches apart on 4 parchment-lined baking sheets.  Flatten the cookies slightly and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in the center. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 15 minutes, until browned around the edges but still a bit pale in the center.  Let cool completely on the tray, then serve.

Cornflake Crunch
4 cups Cornflakes (5 ounces), lightly crushed
1/2  cup dry milk powder
3  tablespoons sugar
1  teaspoon salt
10  tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchement.  In a large bowl, toss the cornflakes with the milk powder, sugar, salt and butter until coated.  Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake until golden and fragrant, about 20 minutes.  Let the crunch cool completely.

Cook's Notes:
Although I did find this recipe to be a little involved, the cookies were very good.  The candy corn don't really taste like candy corn once they are baked.  They taste more like a chewy hard candy.  I have to admit that we did not wait the full 3 hours that they were supposed to sit in the fridge.  We put them in the freezer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Our candy corns melted and spread out over the baking sheet.  These are big cookies, don't crowd them and don't put them too close to the edge of the baking sheet or you will have candy corn dripping onto the bottom of your oven.  I would like to try next time not making them so big, of course the kids loved them that size. Even Caroline liked them!

I had to buy the dry milk powder for the Cornflake Crunch.  I found it in the baking aisle and it was about $3 for the bag. 

Let me know if you make them how they turn out for you.



October 2012 Update~I made again and did not add the candy corn to the batter and I made the cookies smaller. About half way through the cooking time, I removed the cookies from the oven and pressed the candy corn into the cookies. Return to oven and continue baking.

Shared at the following parties:
Our very own Weekend Potluck
Recipes for My Boys Thursdays Treasures
Walking on Sunshine Foodie Friends Friday
Katherine Martinelli Halloween Blog Hop
Six Sisters' Stuff Strut Your Stuff Saturday
Everyday Mom's Meals Church Supper

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Streusel Topped Pumpkin Bread with Apples

I love to look through my recipe box and see all of my old handwritten recipe cards.  Some are from my mom, some from friends of my mom and Dan's mom that were given to me when we got married.  I have recipe cards from old friends from the various places we've lived, and newer friends, but the cards that are the most special to me are those from my Nanny.  When she passed away I knew I wanted her recipe box, a little piece of her to keep near.  A lot of her recipes I don't even make, they seem so old fashioned to me. I do love to look at them and think of all the family dinners we shared when I was younger. 

Looking at my recipe box made me think of my recipes, which are mainly on my computer.  I do have a notebook where I keep the recipes for Supper Club, but a lot of those are printed from the computer.  Some are scrawled on a piece of scrap paper and some are written on recipe cards.  I have decided to do "cookbooks" for each of my kids for when they leave home.  It used to seem like that was so far away, but it's coming up quicker that I would like. I'm going to write each recipe by hand, and I'm not going to wait until they get married or move into their first apartment after college.  I want the cards to be yellowing like those in my box, and I hope they remember all of our favorite meals as a family as well.  I hope they will get the same joy looking at them as I have gotten looking at my box.

My pumpkin bread recipe comes from a neighbor who lived by us in Oklahoma when Dan was in the Navy.  I have used this recipe ever since she brought us a loaf to welcome us to the neighborhood.  The recipe card is written in her handwriting and I think about all the great times we had when we lived there every time I pull out the card to make the bread.  It is a great pumpkin bread recipe.  I love that it makes two loaves, because if you're going to take the time to make one, why not make two!  It freezes beautifully. Over the years I added the apples and the streusel topping for something different, but a lot of the time I just make the basic recipe.  If you want just plain pumpkin bread, just omit the apples and the topping, and it is still moist and fabulous.
Streusel Topped Pumpkin Bread with Apples

3  1/3  cups flour
4  teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2  teaspoons baking soda
1  teaspoon baking powder
1  1/2 teaspoons salt
2  2/3  cups sugar
2/3  cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
2/3 cup water
1/2  cup chopped Pecans
2  cups apples, peeled and finely chopped

Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup flour
3  tablespoons brown sugar
2  tablespoons cold butter

Sift together flour, pumpkin pie spice, soda, powder and salt.  Set aside.  Beat together sugar and oil until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time.  Beat in pumpkin.  Add dry ingredients alternately with water to dry mixture.  Stir in pecans and apples.  Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. 

In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and butter.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over batter.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 55 - 60 minutes or until tester comes out clean when inserted into center of the loaf.



Shared at these great parties:
Gooseberry Patch Your Pick of the Pumpkins

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Toffee Apple Dip

Last week when I walked into Dillon's, it felt like fall to me.  They had a big pile of pumpkins in the front of the store, and big pots of beautiful mums.   I started my usual round of the store and headed to the produce section and there they favorite Honeycrisp apples!  They are only available for a limited time, but they will keep really well in your crisper drawer.  If you have never had a Honeycrisp apple you have got to try one.  They are the right amount of crisp, juicy and sweet.  They are a fantastic eating apple, but they are also great for your fall baking.  Here is a recipe for a Toffee Apple Dip that my family likes in the fall.  There are many versions of this dip but this is our favorite.  Hope you enjoy it also!
Toffee Apple Dip
1  (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I used light)
1/2  cup brown sugar
1/4  cup white sugar
1  teaspoon vanilla
1/2  teaspoon cinnamon
1/8  teaspoon (a pinch) of nutmeg
3/4  cup English Toffee Bits (I used Heath brand, all they had were the Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits and my kids loved it!)
Apple slices for dipping

Place softened cream cheese in mixing bowl.  Add brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Beat with a mixer until smooth.  Stir in toffee bits.  Serve with apple slices.

Cook's note:  If you want to keep the apples from turning brown mix with some lemon juice or give them a quick soak in pineapple juice.



Linked to these great parties:
Our very own Weekend Potluck