Thursday, October 3, 2013

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Vegetarian Stuffed Sugar Pumpkins

This is a great entree for 2.
To fill additional Pumpkins, simply increase the amount of ingredients to accommodate the additonal Pumpkins.

Sugar Pie Pumpkins ( these are not the Pumpkins that you carve for Halloween) These are the ones used to make homemade Pumpkin Pie.
I posted a recipe for Pumpkin Pie made with these Pumpkins.

2 Sugar Pie Pumpkins (cut the tops off and reserve them) scrape out the seeds and clean out the interior.
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 package of Morning Star Bakon Strips, cooked until crisp and crumbled
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 C diced onion
3 1/2 C elbow macaroni
1 (10oz.) box of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3/4 C grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 pound of grated Gruyere Cheese
1 C heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cut the tops off the pumpkins and clean out the seeds
Season the interior with salt and pepper to taste

Heat a saute pan with oil and saute onion until translucent
Cook Elbow Macaroni according to package directions ( until Al Dente)

In a large bowl, combine well:
Crumbled Bacon
Onion
Macaroni
Spinach
Parmesan
Gruyere
Pack tightly into the 2 Pumpkins
Pour 1/2 C of cream into each Pumpkin

Replace the tops of the Pumpkins and place them on a rimmed baking sheet, line with foil if desired.
Bake about 1 1/2 hours.
Serve hot, from the pumpkin and be sure to eat some of the flesh of the pumpkin as you eat the filling.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!







Vegetarian Lentil Loaf ( not Vegan )

This is a great alternative to a "meatloaf"
I have posted my favorite meatless loaf recipe here on my blog using vegetarian crumbles.
Here's another variety using vegetables.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

3 C cooked Lentil
2 TBS Heavy Cream
Process in a Food Processor

Add the following ingredients and mix by hand in a large bowl.
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/2 C diced Onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 C Mashed Potatoes
3/4 C grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Eggs
1/2 C Ketchup
2 tsp Mustard Powder
1 tsp dried Oregano
Form into 2 equal sized loaves and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Topping:
3 TBS Ketchup
2 tsp Brown Sugar
Mix well and brush the top of each loaf.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes
Increase the heat to 450 degrees and continue baking for 10 minutes.
The loaves should be firm and golden brown

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

It's Pumpkin season...... don't throw out the seeds.

They are delicious when they're roasted and seasoned. They make a great snack.



How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Clean the seeds. ...
  • Boil for 10 minutes in salt water. ...
  • Drain the seeds in a colander and dry lightly with a paper towel or tea towel.
  • Spread out on a baking sheet pan, lined with Parchment Paper, in a single layer and roast for 60 minutes.
  • Remove the paper and leave the seeds on the pan.
  • Drizzle with Olive Oil and sprinkle with Sea Salt. (I like to add chopped fresh Rosemary.
  • Return to the oven and continue roasting for an additional 15 - 20 minutes.





Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dallas Morning News Taste Section 10/2/2013

 October is State Fair time. Today's issue was about Award - Winning Fair recipes. It's an annual competition and a time for Texans to enter their best recipes at the State Fair. The Fair is held in Dallas, Texas.

One of the stories was about a contestant that won in 1996 and the recipe was judged by Julia Child.The recipe was published in todays paper. It's Sue Rainey's Ultimate Chocolate Cake with Caramel Whipped Cream Filling. The story was interesting, but I didn't feel the need to publish a Chocolate Cake recipe. I decided to write about another recipe and talk about one of my favorite Pastry Chefs.
Rebecca Rather lives in Fredericksburg, in the Hill Country, of Texas. She is one , if not my very favorite, pastry chef.
I follow her blog, I have all of her cook cookbooks and I embrace everything she creates. She obviously has a Texas Twist to everything she does. I highly recommend trying to find her cook books if you are interested in how we cook, eat and entertain in Texas.

This is the recipe that won Lillian Greenslade first place in the Fall Family Favorites category last year at the State Fair. She based it on a recipe from Fredericksburg chef Rebecca Rather, Pastry Queen. I want to add the original recipe at the end of this one. Lillian made some changes and I think it's important to include the original recipe at the end.


Southern Fruitcake:

3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 C sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS lemon extract
2 C flour
1 TBS baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 C chopped, toasted pecans + additional for garnish
1 C chopped dates
2 1/2 C (mixed) chopped dried apricots, cherries and pineapple + additional for garnish
3/4 C Apricot or Peach Preserves / Jam,( not jelly).
Brandy

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Brush a 10" Bundt Pan with my Pan Release Recipe ( on the blog under Tips, Hints and More)

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment:
butter
sugar
Beat until creamy and smooth, at least 2 minutes

Add:
eggs
vanilla
lemon extract
Beat 1 minute

Add:
flour
baking soda
salt
Beat just until well combined

Fold in:
pecans
dates
dried fruits
jam

Spoon batter into the pan
Bake 1 1/2 hours, until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan
Cool completely in the pan

When cooled, remove from the pan
Brush the top of the cake with the Brandy and wrap the cake in heavy foil.
Refrigerate for several weeks and brush the cake with Brandy each week.
Decorate the cake with additional fruit and pecans.


This is the original recipe from Rebecca Rather's , The Pastry Queen Christmas.



Aunt Milbry's Fruitcake:


3/4 C ( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 C sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 C all purpose flour
1 TBS baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 un-peeled Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
2 C pecans, toasted and chopped
1 C chopped dates
1 C chopped Calimynra Figs
1 C mixed dried fruit, such as, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, golden raisins, chopped apricots or chopped peaches
3/4 C high quality preserves, such as apricot, pear, peach or fig
Brandy for brushing on top of the baked cake  (optional)

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
Grease a 10 inch Angel Food cake pan with butter or cooking spray

Using an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for 1 minute.
Add flour, baking soda and salt and beat on low speed until just combined.
Stir in the apple, pecans, dried fruits and preserves.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. ( it may have a few wet areas where the jam is concentrated, but it will firm up as it cools.) Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan; this will take a few hours. Using a pastry brush, paint a light layer of Brandy on top of the cooled cake., if you like. Wrap the cake in heavy-duty aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 2 months, brushing with the optional Brandy once a week.

TIP:
For an elegant dessert, slice the fruitcake and serve with Bourbon Whipped Cream:
Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat 2 C heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Stir in 2 TBS Bourbon and 2 TBS powdered sugar.
Serve immediately atop a slice of fruitcake.


I hope that some of you will make this cake for the Holidays.
I know I will.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!













Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

These are incredible. They are perfect for Fall.
I'll make them for Halloween.

Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 TBS butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
1 C pumpkin ( you know!, not Pumpkin Pie Filling)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 TBS flour
1 1/4 C flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 C butter, cut into pieces
2 1/4 C sugar
4 eggs
1/4 C whole milk
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 C coarsely chopped pecans

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees
Line a 9"X 13" baking dish with foil extending over all 4 sides
Spray the foil with a vegetable cooking spray
Set Aside

In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer:
cream cheese
1 TBS butter
Beat 30 seconds
Add 1/2 C sugar, beat well
Add:
1 egg
pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon
ginger
Mix until well combines
Stir in 1 TBS flour
Set Aside

In a small bowl:
1 1/4 C flour
baking powder
salt
Whisk well, Set Aside

In a saucepan:
melt chocolate and 3/4 C butter just until melted and smooth
Remove from heat
Gradually add 2 1/4 C sugar
Add:
4 eggs, one at a time
Beat in:
milk
2 tsp vanilla
Gradually mix in flour mixture and combine well

Spread Chocolate Mixture evenly in the pan

Spoon mounds of Cream Cheese Mixture evenly over Chocolate
Use a narrow offset spatula and gently swirl the Cream Cheese into the Chocolate
Sprinkle with Walnuts

Bake 1 hour
Cool in the pan on a wire rack
Remove by lifting the foil edges and place on a flat surface
Cut into squares

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Crock Pot Thanksgiving Recipes!

I'm taking a deeper look at the concept of Slow Cookers used for Thanksgiving dinner. We have 1 oven, and 1 Toaster/Convection oven and every year we wish we had a double oven. The Solution to that problem may be the use of our.... 4 slow cookers and our Triple Banquet Slow Cooker.
This morning I've been busy researching various Slow Cooker recipes that we would embrace for Thanksgiving.

NOTE:
I have to add an update to this post. We had double ovens installed and they are amazing. One of them is convection. We will still use all of the Slow Cookers during the Holidays.

Here are my choices:

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Peaches.

2 pounds of dark sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 C peach pie filling
2 TBS butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Spray a 4 QT. slow cooker with vegetable cooking spray
Put potatoes in the cooker
Add :
peaches
butter
salt
pepper
Mix Well

Cook on high 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours.
Potatoes should be tender but still a bit firm.


Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes:

5 pounds of red potatoes, cut into cubes, peeled or not
1 - 8oz. container of sour cream
1 - 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 C heavy cream
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 C butter. softened
salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in a pot of water
Cook until tender , but still firm   (15 minutes)
Drain
Mash potatoes in a large bowl with sour cream, cream cheese and heavy cream and baking powder
Put in a 4 QT. slow cooker on low for 2 - 3 hours.
Just before serving, stir in butter, salt and pepper.



Slow Cooker Creamed Corn:

2/3 C flour
1/3 C butter
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 C evaporated milk
1 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 - (14oz.) can of creamed corn
2 C frozen corn, thawed and drained

Spray the cooker with vegetable cooking spray

Combine all ingredients in the pot, Mix well.
Cover and cook on high for 2 -3 hours.


Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Pudding: ( see note at bottom of recipe)

1 - (15oz.) can of pure pumpkin ( not labeled Pie Pumpkin)
1 - (12oz.) can of evaporated milk
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C flour
14 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
2 TBS butter, melted

In a large bowl:
Stir pumpkin with a spoon, to soften
Add 1/4 C of the milk and blend well.
Add remaining ingredients and beat well.

Spray a 3QT. slow cooker with vegetable cooking spray
Add pumpkin mixture
Cover and cook on low for 5 - 7 hours, until set
Cool at least an hour before serving.
Serve with Shortbread cookies.

Note:
cooking time may vary based on the size of your cooker.

If the pot is less than 1/2 full, cook on low for 3 -4 hours.
It it's 1/2 - 2/3 full, cook on low for 5 - 7 hours.
This rule may be considered for other recipes. Always check the progress of the cooking.



Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!