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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

I'm not sure what could be more easy than these 'muffins'. I say 'muffins' because I thought they were more like cupcakes. Either way, they're really delicious, and a good way to sneak a veggie into an unsuspecting family member. The 'muffins' are extremely moist and tender and take no time at all to make. Perfect with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, especially when they're still warm and the chocolate chips are all gooey...mmmm. Plus, they're not too bad for you (I think it's a Weight Watcher's recipe) at around 115 calories each (~2 points). Excuse me while I go make some more. I think I'll try this method with a spice cake mix, too, perhaps with butterscotch chips...

Chocolate (Pumpkin) Muffins

1 box devils food cake mix
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
2 egg whites
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix together all ingredients. Spoon batter into lined muffin pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Makes ~24 muffins.

Recipe from Real Mom Kitchen

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Turkey & Stuffing Meatloaf with Cider Gravy

Before Thanksgiving arrives and you eat so much turkey that you never want to see it again, give this recipe a try. I know, I know...it's another Rachael Ray recipe. But this one is my favorite recipe I've made from her vast collection. I made it several times last year, and even my husband liked it (and he doesn't like meatloaf!). It's a nice twist on a comfort food dish that's perfect for Fall. This recipe makes quite a bit, so I shape it into 2 smaller loaves instead of one gigantic loaf. After all, leftovers are great, too! Oh, and don't forget the gravy - it's what 'makes' the meatloaf.

Turkey & Stuffing Meatloaf (Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray)

2 McIntosh or Gala apples, peeled and cut into small dice
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 pounds ground all-white-meat turkey or a mix of dark and white meat
3-4 ribs of celery, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. poultry seasoning
1 large egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups stuffing mix
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, add the apples and lemon juice and toss together. Add the turkey, celery, onion, poultry seasoning, egg, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

In a medium size bowl, add the stock and the stuffing. Toss around, letting the stuffing soak up the liquid, then add it to the bowl with the turkey. Mix everything together well, then turn it out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and shape it into 2 loaves. Coat with EVOO (I used a spray), transfer to the oven and roast until brown and cooked through, about an hour.

Cider Gravy (Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray)

4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
2 cups apple cider
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and ground black pepper

In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in the cider and stock. Let thicken, season with salt and pepper, then serve.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fudge Icing (or Candy)

Some families have recipes that are the highlight of every get-together. Often they've been passed down from generation to generation, and sometimes there are some tricks that are lost along the way that contribute to specific results. This is one of those recipes. I know my great-grandmother used to make this icing, and she was so good at it, she could pour it over (& between) a two-layer yellow cake. My dad has championed mastering of the recipe, but results have been varied - depending on the weather, etc. I've made it several times, with fairly consistent results, and I'm happy to post the recipe that we use on a 9x13 yellow sheet cake. It make take some practice, but this icing is totally worth it. Actually, it's worth it whether you put it on a cake or not. :) *Note, the texture is the key. If it cracks when you cut into it, you've probably got it right (though it will be messy); you can always score it before slicing for cleaner edges.

Fudge Icing (or Candy)

2 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder (heaping)
1/2 cup milk
1 4-oz. stick margarine (I use BlueBonnet)
2 tsp. vanilla
dash salt
2 Tbsp. karo Syrup (light or dark) (I use light)

Mix the cocoa and sugar together first in a 3-quart saucepan, then add the milk and mix thoroughly. Chop up the margarine into small lumps and add to the sugar-cocoa mixture. Cook over medium heat until the margarine melts and the mixture begins to boil and bubble.

Once it boils, wait for 3 minutes then start to test in cold water. When a few drops forms a firm ball in the bowl of cold water it is done. (Usually 8-10 minutes of boiling is enough.) [I've found that cooking it, using a candy thermometer, until it reaches 170 F yields good results.] Set the pan off the heat. (Original directions say to put the pan in a pan of water until the bottom of the pan thickens, but I skip this step). Pour over the cake quickly or pour into a greased dish to harden. Let cool completely before cutting/serving.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

He's Here!

Actually, he's been here for almost two weeks. And we're loving having a new member in our family. :)

I've got several new recipes to post, some of which are from last fall. But, they're good ones! Be sure to check back in coming weeks for fall yumminess.

Meanwhile, I'm going to go kiss those cute little fingers.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Apple Dumplings

It's apple season! And, if you're looking for a quick, easy, and tasty dessert, this is for you! I saw the recipe on the Pioneer Woman's blog and tried it while I had family in for the week. I wouldn't be surprised if Paula Deen had something to do with the recipe development due to the copious amounts of butter and sugar. I decided to scale it down a bit, so here's my modified version. It's still not low-cal, but it's more pleasing to my palette.

Apple Dumplings

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 small can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Recipe adapted from Ree Drummond