Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I wanted to make some cookies for the season and these sounds super yummy. I altered the recipe a bit to make it a little healthier. It made 6 dozen small cookies.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 (15-oz) can pure pumpkin
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease baking sheets.

Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and both sugars in large mixing bowl. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract; mix well. Add in flour mixture. Stir in raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoons (for smaller cookies) or tablespoons (for bigger cookies) onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for ~12 min for smaller, 14-16 min for bigger cookies - until set in center. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The grocery bakery often has this kind of cookie, and I always buy them when I see them. I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit so I could make my own! This makes 6 dozen cookies - but they won't last long. ;)

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin puree
4 cups flour
2 tbsp baking soda
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.

In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, eggs, and canned pumpkin puree. Once smooth, add baking soda, cinnamon, pie spice, and salt. Slowly add flour until dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 9-11 minutes. Let cool on cooling rack before serving. (These were MUCH better after cooled - otherwise the chocolate was too gooey.)

My Favorite Cornbread

This cornbread was so moist & delicious! Even my dad, who isn't a fan of cornbread, LOVED it! This would be perfect with a big pot of chili. :)

2 cups cornmeal
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine cornmeal and milk; let stand 10 minutes. Grease a 9x13 baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix in the cornmeal mixture, eggs, and oil until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chicken Florentine Skillet

I saw this recipe in a little Betty Crocker magazine and thought it sounded delicious. I changed it up a bit to suit my family, and also to stretch it for a second meal for my freezer. Since my family can't eat an entire box of pasta (and I don't like half boxes sitting in my pantry), I put it in a casserole dish with some extra cheese on top & freeze. So easy to pop it in the oven another night for a quick & easy dinner!

16 oz mini farfalle pasta
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
4 tbsp flour
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp butter
1 lb chicken breast tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (6 oz) bag fresh spinach leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, in a small bowl stir 1/2 cup of the half-and-half, the flour, salt, and nutmeg until smooth; set aside.

In a large pot (I like my dutch oven), melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned. Stir in tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach. Cook about 5 minutes, until mushrooms are tender. Reduce heat to low. Stir in pasta and half-and-half mixture. Cook about 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in remaining 2 cups half-and-half. Sprinkle cheese over top. Cover; let stand 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.

Minestrone Soup

I love to make soups once the weather turns cold. This one was a bonus, as the crockpot does the cooking for me! My whole family loved this soup - my kids especially liked the little pasta. I liked that the veggies were still a little crisp. You might want to have more broth on hand for the leftovers (there's plenty!). This soup will freeze well too.

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-oz) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
2 bay leaves
salt and ground black pepper
2 cups cooked ditalini pasta
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cups fresh spinach
parmesan cheese (shredded or grated)

In a slow cooker, combine broth, tomatoes, beans, carrots, celery, onion, thyme, sage, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours.

Thirty minutes before the soup is done cooking, add ditalini, zucchini, and spinach. Cover and cook 30 more minutes. Remove bay leaves and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tomato Florentine Soup

This recipe came from *my favorite* a Cuisine at Home book. It's not hard and oh, so yummy! I think it's best topped with homemade croutons, but store-bought would work as well :-)

1/2 c. chopped shallots
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. chopped garlic
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1/4 c. dry white wine
2 cans whole tomatoes in juice (28 oz. each)
2 c. chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1/4 c. fresh basil
3 T. sugar
2 t. balsamic vinegar
1 bag (5 oz.) baby spinach, chopped
Crumbled blue cheese

1. Sweat shallots in oil in a large pot over medium heat until soft, about 5 min. Stir in garlic and pepper flakes, and cook 1 minute

2. Deglaze pot with wine, simmer until nearly evaporated, then add tomatoes, broth, and basil. Increase heat to med-high, bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to med-low, and simmer 10 minutes.

3. Puree soup with a handheld blender, or in batches in a food processor, until smooth. Bring soup to a simmer.

4. Stir in sugar and vinegar. Just before serving, stir in spinach and season with salt and pepper.

5. Garnish each serving of soup with croutons and blue cheese.

Quick and Easy Crab Bisque

Crab bisque sounds exquisite, but this recipe takes only a half hour to make and is SO flavorful! Although it's "quick and easy," though, it's not very cheap to make. Pasteurized lump crab meat can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery close to the fish counter. I got it on sale, but it was still $15. This recipe is FANTASTIC!

2 c. diced leeks
1 c. diced carrots
1 c. diced celery
2 T. minced garlic
2 T. olive oil
4 T. flour
1/2 c. dry white wine
3 c. heavy cream
3 c. milk
2 bottles clam juice (8 oz. each)
Salt, black pepper, and hot sauce to taste (I used quite a bit of each)
1 1/4 c. pasteurized lump crab meat
Minced fresh chives

1. Sweat leeks, carrot, celery, and garlic in oil in a large pot over medium heat until carrot is soft. Add flour and cook for another minute

2. Deglaze pot with wine and simmer until nearly evaporated. Stir in cream, milk, and clam juice. Bring to a boil and season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Puree soup in batches using a food processor. Stir in crabmeat and serve. Top with fresh chives.