Saturday, October 23, 2010

Jumbo Banana Cranberry Muffins

 2 ¼ cups flour

 1 tablespoon baking powder

 ½ teaspoon baking soda

 ½ teaspoon salt

 1 cup of craisins

 2 ¼ cups ripe mashed bananas

 ½ cup sugar

 ½ cup sour cream (not low fat)

 ¼ cup vegetable oil

 3 large egg yolks

 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.

2. In another bowl, mix the mashed banana, sugar, sour cream, vegetable oil,

egg yolks and vanilla together.

3. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until the ingredients are mixed well.

4. Fold in the craisins

Spray a jumbo muffin tin with Pam. Fill the well greased tins nearly full. The batter is enough for six jumbo muffins.
Bake for 8 minutes at 400degrees. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 14 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let muffins sit for 5 minutes and remove from pan to rack to cool.

Some tips….

 Don’t be afraid to fill the tins almost to the top. They need to be almost full so they get a nice dome on top.

 The time to cook will depend on your oven. I have never seen two ovens that cook alike!

 When the muffins cool, I wrap them in saran wrap and put them in a zip lock bag in the freezer. They freeze well, and only take a few seconds to defrost in the microwave.

 Hope you like them, my husband is not a big muffin fan and he loves them.

(recipe from my mom, Barbara)

Cranberry Scones

So sure enough, as soon as "recipe writer's block" sets in...Mom comes through! My mom is a wonderful cook and has shared several of her recipes with me. The bonus to all this, my mom also possesses the gift of baking in which I slack a bit in that department :)  Thanks mom for having that special knack of  knowing just when I need you....ALWAYS!

 3 cups flour

 1/3 cup sugar

 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

 1 teaspoon salt

 ½ teaspoon baking soda

 1 tablespoon grated orange peel

1 ½ sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces

 1 cup chilled buttermilk

 ¾ cup craisins

 ¼ cup or less of sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Line baking sheet with parchment paper

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl

Mix in orange peel

Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal

Mix in craisins

Gradually add buttermilk, tossing with fork until moist clumps form

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface

Knead briefly to bind dough, about 4 turns

Form dough into 1 inch thick round

Cut into 8 wedges

Transfer wedges to baking sheet

Sprinkle sugar on scones

Bake until tops of scones are lightly brown, about 18-24 minutes

Let the scones cool on a rack

 I use the large clear sugar crystals you find in the baking isle

 I mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and then sift them

 The scones freeze well, just wrap in saran wrap, and place in a zip lock bag

 This recipe makes 8 large scones, they are very simple to make and look like you bought them in a fancy bakery

 Keep an eye on them in the oven as oven temperatures vary, mine are usully done in 18 minutes.

(recipe from my mom)

Cranberry Butter

 2 tablespoons craisins

 ½ cup boiling water

 ½ cup salted butter, softened

 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

In a small bowl combine craisins and boiling water, let stand 10 minutes

Drain well and finely chop craisins

Stir together the butter, craisins and powdered sugar. Cover and let chill for at least 1 hour

(recipe from my mom)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Sage Soup

Fall is my favorite time of year. The crisp cool air along with the warm inviting aromas of cinnamon, pumpkin and apples. And of course the all the comfort foods. Even though Iowa is experiencing an Indian Summer with temps in the 80's, it won't be long until the chili will be simmering and the mulled apple cider fill our mugs. The next several recipes will use all the bountiful fall offerings and I hope they bring comfort to you as well. Happy Harvest to all!

4 tablespoons butter

4 onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

6 pounds pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

5 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried

3 cups light cream

1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

Black-Pepper Croutons, optional

In a large pot, heat the butter over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, stock, salt and dried sage, if using. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the pumpkin is tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the fresh sage, and simmer 5 minutes longer.

Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain the puree back into the pot and add the cream. Stir in the pepper. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Top with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, and croutons, if you like.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Candy Corn Cookies

My mom came across this recipe and it's just too cute not to share. Looks like fun and I can't wait to try them!

1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Orange paste or gel food color
Yellow paste or gel food color

Line bottom and sides of 9x5-inch loaf pan with waxed paper or plastic food wrap. Set aside.

Combine butter and 1 cup sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, orange juice, orange zest and salt. Continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking soda. Beat until well mixed.

Divide dough into thirds. Press one-third of white dough evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Place another one-third of dough back into same bowl. Add small amount of orange food color; mix until color is well blended. Press orange dough evenly over white dough in pan. Place remaining one-third of dough into another medium bowl. Add small amount of yellow food color; mix until color is well blended. Press yellow dough evenly over orange dough in pan. Cover with plastic food wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight).

Place 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl; set aside.

Heat oven to 375°F. Invert loaf pan to remove dough. Peel off waxed paper. Place layered dough onto cutting surface. Cut loaf crosswise into 1/4-inch slices using sharp knife, trimming edges to make even, if necessary. Cut each slice into 6 wedges. Place 1-inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Immediately place warm cookies in bowl with sugar; roll in sugar to coat. Place cookies onto cooling rack. Cool completely.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Martini


1/2 oz Sylk Cream Liqueur
2 oz vanilla vodka
1/2 oz pumpkin liqueur or pumpkin spice syrup
1 tsp whipped cream
cinnamon stick for garnish


Pour the Sylk Liqueur and vodka into a shaker filled with ice.
Shake well.
Add the pumpkin liqueur or syrup.
Shake again.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Top with a teaspoon of whipped cream.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Mad Pasta

1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup grated romano cheese
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1/2 yellow onion
1 lb. of penne
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup of butter
2 oz. of pancetta or lean bacon
1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper, depends on your heat level :)
2 tsp. dried basil

In a medium pot, saute onion, pepper and bacon in oil and butter. When the mixture is golden brown, add the wine. Once the wine is evaporated then add the diced tomatoes. Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes. Cook patsa according to pkg. directions, drain and coat with the sauce mixture. Top with cheese and serve with warm bread.

Bagel Dip

Hoenstly, I never heard of dried beef until I moved to the midwest. My wonderful friend Katie, whom we hit up all the time to make a batch of this yummy goodness decided to share the recipe with me. It may sound a little strange but it truly is yummy and a wee bit addicting :) Make a batch for yourself and see what you think!

16 ounce jar real mayo

16 ounce container real sour cream

2 tablespoons dried parsley

2 teaspoons dried dill weed

2 packages dried beef (not corned!) Hormel is the brand I used.

2 packages bagels, sliced into bite size pieces.
Chop the beef into small pieces and combine well with all other ingredients. This can be served right away with your favorite type of bagel, bagel chips or even veggies.

Fiesta Wontons

24 wonton wrappers
1 brick of cream cheese
1 can of Frito Lay Southwest Enchilada Bean Dip
1can of Frito Lay jalapeno Cheddar Cheese
1 can of Rotel, hot with habeneros (drained )

Spray 2 muffin pans with cooking spray and heat oven to 350. Gently press each wonton wrapper ino the muffin tin to make little "cups." Then equally divide the cream cheese, bean dip and jalapeno cheese into each wrapper ( about 2tsp. each.) Bake for 18-20 or until wontons are golden brown and cheese is bublly. Remove from oven and eually top off with the Rotel. Quick and easy crowd pleaser :)