Friday, November 19, 2010

Another Breakfast -Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats

I have some type of oatmeal or hot cereal for breakfast every morning. My favorite is steel cut oats. I usually make a big panful during the week and then just warm up every morning. The nice part about doing this is I get to get creative on how to flavor it up each morning. This particular morning I made pumpkin pie flavored. I had some leftover pureed pumpkin that I had made during the week so it was easy peasy.

Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats

I cook up about 3c. of steel cut oats then I separate out the amount I eat which is 2/3c. The rest I refrigerate for the next mornings to come.

1 T. Pumpkin puree
pinches of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
Maple Syrup to sweeten
I just stir it all up and eat. You can add some extra sweetener and a spoonful of whip cream or cool whip but I try to keep it healthy in the morning.
It is really good and I don't even really like Pumpkin pie.

Some other renditions I have done are: Pina Colada Oats (Crushed Pineapple, coconut, some coconut milk and pineapple juice for sweetness.), Apple oats (Sometimes I use freeze dried and sometimes fresh with cinnamon and pecans), Butter Pecan (This amazing butter Pecan oil and toasted Pecans with maple syrup or stevia for sweetening) Yummy. The ideas are endless.

Apple Toffee French Toast with Apple Syrup

MMMM I love breakfast food. Funny thing is my husband brought this recipe home ripped out of a magazine. He said, "You should make this this weekend it looks so good." So I did. It was a recipe winner for Tree Top's Secret ingredient recipe contest. Not sure what the secret ingredient is maybe the toffee?. Anyway it was really good. The only thing I would change is add pecans to it. I like a little more crunch. I also like to have my french toast a little crisper so when you bake it make sure it gets a little crusty on top. If not give it a quick broil to toast it up a little because the ooey gooeyness will need a little balance of toastiness.

Apple Toffee French Toast
8 cups of French bread cut into 1 inch cubes
3 tart apples, peeled and chopped
8 ounces of cream cheese softened
3/4c. brown sugar
1/4c. sugar
1/4c. tree top apple juice or what you have
2t. vanilla divided
1/2c. toffee bits
5 eggs
3/4c. milk
place half the bread cubes in a greased 9x13 pan; top with apples.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with juice, sugars and 1 t. vanilla until smooth. Stir in toffee bits.
Spread over apples and top with remaining bread.

In another bowl beat eggs, milk and remaining vanilla until well blended, I also added a little cinnamon. Pour over french toast and and cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Bake 350 for 40-45 minutes uncovered or until a knife in center comes out clean.

Apple Syrup
1c. sugar
2T. cornstarch
1/2t. cinnamon and nutmeg
2c. apple juice
2T. lemon juice
5 T. butter
In a saucepan, mix everything together except butter. Bring to a boil whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute, then stir in butter. Serve over warm french toast.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jerk Chicken stuffed Sweet Potato

I love Sweet Potatoes and Yams and I love Jerk chicken. I love spicy food. I had something like this at a restaurant and loved  it so I created it at home. The mango, mandarin orange salsa provides some extra sweetness to balance out the spiciness of the Chicken and the sweet potato rounds it all out.

Jerk Chicken
3T. allspice
1/4t. nutmeg
dash of cinnamon
6 green onions sliced
3-4 garlic cloves minced,
1 inch chunk of ginger grated
3T. brown sugar or 2 T. agave nectar
3 jalapenos or hot chilies like scotch bonnet if u can find cut up.
1T. soy suce
1 lime juiced
1/2t. salt
1T. oil
2t. thyme
1 bay leaf
Puree all in blender and put over:
6 Chicken breast in a pressure cooker with 1/4c. water
Pressure cook about 12-15 minutes.
Shred Chicken
Bake sweet potatoes in oven or microwave until tender

Fruit salsa
1 mango diced
1 can mandarin oranges chppd
1/4c. chopped cilantro
3T. red onion
1 T. lime juice
salt to taste
pinch of cinnamon

Put shredded chicken on top of cut open sweet potato. put some of pan drippings on sweet potato too. Top that with fruit salsa and enjoy. I did three days in a row for lunches. My kids liked it too which I was a little surprised about.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Brownie Pecan Cluster Blizzard Ice Cream Cake

This is what my sister said she wanted for a birthday cake. She said she wanted some type of cookie crust with gingerbread cookies then a brownie like cake and ice cream with caramel and fudge and nuts. So this is what I came up with. I know she loves the pecan cluster blizzards at DQ. So I made a "Magic shell" out of milk chocolate chips, semi sweet and butterscotch chips.  You melt it with 1 T. butter and 1T. coconut oil. Then you stir into ice cream with chopped toasted pecans and it hardens into little bites in the ice cream.

So I made the crust with golden Oreos, gingersnap cookies and a little melted butter.  I patted into pan and then made Dorie Greenspans Brownie Cake. I divide the batter between 2  - 9 inch round pans, one of them being the one with the crust.

After I made the cake I had better ideas for the crust. Like toffee graham crackers ground up with the gingersnap cookies or pecan shortbread. Oh well another time.

The brownie cake was pretty good I was hoping for more of a cakey brownie to soak up a little ice cream but it was still good. More like a denser chewy brownie. Maybe you have a cake recipe you'd like better.

Crust Recipe
15 golden oreos
15 gingersnap cookies
4 T. melted butter
mix al together and press into 9 inch pan

Brownie Cake
1c. flour
1t. baking soda
1/4t. salt
1 stick butter cut into pieces
5 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
3 eggs
1/2c. brown sugar
1/4c. sugar
3T. corn syrup ( I think this makes the cake a little chewier)
1/2t. vanilla
Melt the butter and chocolate together just until melted.
Whisk eggs and sugars together the corn syrup and vanilla. whisk in chocolate mixture and gently stir in dry ingredients just until incorporated. Pour half  into buttered lined baking pan and the other half into crust. Bake 350 20-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean.. Cool. Then remove single cake and cool completely.

 Ice cream
Use 1 half gallon of vanilla that has been softened
Take 1/2c. semi sweet. 1/4c. milk chocolate and 1/2c. butterscotch chips with 1T. butter and 11/2T. coconut oil
Melt and stir until shiny.  Sprinkle 1/2c. to 3/4c. chopped toasted pecans on ice cream. Pour your melted chips over pecans and stir until all mixed in and  chocolate mixture has hardened. Then spread on completely cooled cake with crust and top with a layer of hot fudge. Then top with second cake. Put in freezer for few3 hours then frost with caramel frosting and drizzle with more "Magic Shell".

Caramel frosting
3-4c. powdered sugar
1/2c. butter
caramel sauce until frosting consistency
1/2t. vanilla
mix well and taste to make sure enough caramel sauce has been added to make nice and caramel tasting.

Apple Streusel and Toffee filled Cake

I love this cake. I didn't get good pictures of it and it didn't look as pretty as usual. I was in a huge hurry making it. I made two cakes this weekend for my sister's birthday. She couldn't decide between two different cakes so I did both. I'll post the second ice cream cake following this one.

This cake is very sweet. Might be over the top for some people but, I like my desserts super sweet almost to the point of gagging. Kinda weird I know. Maybe it's so I will eventually have to stop eating it.

The cake is chock full of apples, streusel and toffee bits. Then it is frosted with either caramel frosting between the layers and then cream cheese frosting on top with caramel drizzled on it or cream cheese frosting  in between and on top with caramel drizzle. This time I did cream cheese on all of it.

Here is the cakes cooling before frosting. See the streusel on top. Here it is in the fridge trying to speed up the frosting setting since it is so hot in my house today.

All done ready to transport to my sisters. Sorry about the pics.

 Apple Streusel and Toffee filled Cake
1C. oil
2C. sugar
2 eggs
3c. flour
1t. baking soda
1t. baking Powder
1t. cinnamon
3C. diced or grated apples about 4 large
1c. nuts ( I use Pecans my fav.)
1t. salt
1t. vanilla

Mix wet ingredients together and dry ingredients together then mix together and stir in apples

1/2c. flour
1/2c. brown sugar
3 T. Butter and 2t. cinnamon
mix til crumbly 
add in 1/4c -1/2c. toffee bits
Line with parchment or wax paper 2-  9 inch round pans and grease.
Put some batter in pan .then sprinkle streusel then put batter on top and more streusel. Do this to other pan as well.
Bale 350 about 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool
10 minutes on rack then remove from pan. Let cool

Caramel Frosting
8 oz. Cream cheese softened
1/4c. butter 
2t. vanilla
1c. brown sugar
Beat until all mixed and no graininess is left. 
Frost in between layers of cake

frost top with Cream cheese frosting

Cream cheese Frosting
8oz. softened cream cheese
6 T. butter
1t. vanilla
3c. powdered sugar
 mix until fluffy and smooth

Drizzle caramel sauce over top of cake and pool a little in middle you can garnish with Pecans and toffee bits in middle

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cauliflower Blue Cheese Soup

I made a cauliflower blue cheese soup for dinner as well.
This was my first time trying it and it was really good. I looked at some recipes on the internet and this is what I came up with.

Cauliflower blue cheese soup

All the healthy vegetable goodness

After it's been pureed.

Cauliflower Soup

2 carrots sliced
2 celery stalks sliced
1 onion chopped
1 T. butter
Saute veggies in butter until tender then add:
1 cauliflower chopped up cook a couple of minutes then add:
1/4c. sherry
21/2c. chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2t. thyme
1/4t. white pepper
cook at a simmer until all is tender about 10 -15 minutes.
Puree in blender or with immersion blender stick.
Then add 3/4c. milk
1/4c. cream stir until all blended then add
 1/4c -1/2c. gorgonzola cheese until melted.
salt to taste.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

Bring on the Pumpkin
I'm using up my pureed pumpkin I made last week. I have made pumpkin cornbread which was delish, pumpkin Granola and now these. These are some of my favorite muffins almost like a cupcake their so good.
 Mixing up the flour and sugars

Adding the pumpkin puree, so pretty.

 eggs, and oil

folding in the grated apples

 Baked to perfection. Yum!

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

21/2c. flour
2c. sugar
1 T. Pumpkin pie spice
1t. baking soda
1/2t. salt
11/4c. pumpkin
2 eggs
1/4c. oil
2c. apples grated or finely chppd

1/4c. sugar
3 T. flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
3 T. butter
3 T. chppd pecans (You can omit these if your not a nut fan)

Mix all your dry ingredients together then add wet and fold in apple. Fill muffins liners almost to top (this makes about 18). Blend topping with pastry blender or 2 forks til crumbly and sprinkle over top.
Bake 350 30-35 minutes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cocoa Krispy Carmellow Treats

O.K I had to post a dessert.

This is another easy but oh so yummy treat. I love, love rice crispy treats and I've made tons of different kinds. This one I got the idea when I was walking through the grocery store and saw caramel vanilla marshmallows. Yum! I love marshmallows too and have made those in different flavors also. Anyway back to the idea. I thought oh! chocolate goes well with caramel so I bought cocoa crispies and the marshmallows and went home and got started. Everyone loved it. I made some other treats that day but these were the ones I kept going back for.

Cocoa Krispy Carmellow Treats Recipe
Make rice crispy treats like you normally would but with cocoa crispies and caramel marshmallows and double it.  So basically 1 cube of butter and 8 cups of caramel marshmallows melt then stir in 10 c. cocoa crispies.  Put half in a buttered 9x13 pan.  Then take another bag of plain mini marshmallows and sprinkle over top of that.
Then you can either make a recipe of caramel (That's what I did but its a lot more work but so worth it.) or melt a bag of caramels in a saucepan or microwave with  a few tablespoons of evaporated milk or until  thinned out and all melted. Pour this warm over the marshmallows then press the rest of the krispy treat over the top of that. Put wax paper over it and press down firm enough to get it all to stick together. Let cool, then cut and eat a ooey, gooey caramellowey treat, then another and another unless you have self control.;)

Oh Ya a little tip:  One of the times I made this it made it easier to press the 2nd half into another 9x13 pan with wax paper on bottom. Then I just had to flip it over on top of the caramel and press it down to adhere.

First Post Ever - Lime Chicken

Well here it goes or starts..everyone is always saying I should start a food/recipe blog. I love to cook and bake and am always doing just that. I like to try new things and invent some too. Like most good cooks I can barely follow a recipe exactly. I always have to put my own spin or twist on it. That's what can make it better or just to your own taste. I cook almost every night of the week except Thursday that's leftover night:) and Friday that's date night and we usually go out to dinner. I can't promise that I will post what I make every night but the really great recipes I will for sure.

Since Fall has begun I get to cook/bake certain things I wait to make until then. For example,  all things Pumpkin, a lot of recipes including apples, soups, and chilis. So of course you will be getting some things with certain ingredients in abundance.  But....... My first post isn't any of them. Today I am making a super simple but yummy chicken filling or topping for tacos, burritos, stuffed poblanos, or salad. It is...

Lime Chicken 

5 breasts of chicken
1 can of sprite
1 tsp of salt and pepper
1t. cumin
1-2 T. chipotle in adobo sauce pureed
2 garlic cloves minced
2 limes
1/4c. chopped cilantro

You throw 5 breast of chicken in a crock pot with a can or 1 1/2c. sprite, a tsp of salt and pepper, 1 tsp cumin and 1-2 Tablespoon of chipotles in adobo sauce pureed. (I buy a can and puree the whole thing and store in refrigerator.) We eat a lot of mexican and we like it HOT! You can adjust the amount according to your taste for spiciness. (Is that a word?) Add 1 -2 cloves garlic minced,  Then turn it on to low and let cook for 4-6  hours. Then shred and add the juice of 2 limes and 1/4c. of chopped cilantro. You might need to add more lime juice to taste along with salt and pepper to taste. You can add more ingredients if you are stuffing it in peppers, like green chilies, corn, black beans, and of course cheese. I usually serve this over a salad of romaine with some black beans or pinto, sometimes some rice, cheese, avocado and pico de gallo. My kids eat it in a tortilla with cheese, salsa and sour cream. This recipe is super versatile you can make it to your tastes. So make it to yours and enjoy.