Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving

I so love Thanksgiving... There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for and the delicious dinner and dessert...can you say yum :)  One of the delicious desserts I always make is Pecan pie.... It couldn't be easier to make and is absolutely yummy.  My husband has never had homemade pecan pie except for trying one of the ones that I just made. I had to go and buy extra pecans to replace the one that he dug into.  He was saying how yummy it was, and that it sure beats store bought ones.  I told him honey "everything" homemade tastes better... Nothing says lovin to your family & friends like a little bit of "homemade" something...

So from my family to yours Happy Thanksgiving!!!!  I love all of my friends & family.  Life wouldn't be the same without all of you.  Have a happy day and take a little time to enjoy....

Pecan Pie
6 oz Pecan halves (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup Karo Syrup ( I use 1/2 light & 1/2 cup dark but you can use whatever you have on hand)
2 Tbls butter, melted
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 pie crust
Whipped cream or Ice Cream optional

Preheat oven to 350.  In bowl with whisk,  mix 3 eggs until beaten.  Add Karo syrup, butter, sugar, vanilla & pinch of salt.  Wisk well to combine.  Mix in pecans with large spoon.  Pour mixture into pie crust.  Place pie pan on a oven proof baking sheet (to protect oven from spills from pie) and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top of pie lightly springs back when touched (be careful pie and filling is very hot).  Let cool completely.  Serve with whipped cream, or ice cream (optional).  Refridgerate leftovers.  Enjoy

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Pumpkin & More Pumpkin

I so love fall.... love, love, love it... nothing says fall like recipes calling for pumpkin in them.  One of my favorite things in the whole world is my mom's Pumpkin bread.  It is the best pumpkin bread that I have ever had... yum yum yummy :)

My oldest son shares my love for pumpkin... It was his 18th birthday the other day (gosh where does the time go?) so I made him Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake (no bake kind) and Pumpkin fluff that you eat with graham crackers, sliced apples or gingersnaps... yum 

I am always on the lookout for other pumpkin recipes... lots this time of year get posted....always trying new ones....

Pumpkin Fluff

1 15 oz can of pumpkin
2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1 container of coolwhip
1-2 Tbls of powdered sugar
(optional) I mix a couple of Tbls of graham cracker crumbs, 1 Tbls sugar and 1 Tbls of melted butter together until comined and crumbly. 
Dippers of your choice:  Gingersnap cookies, graham crackers, or apple slices (I sprinkle mine with cinnamon sugar and a little lemon juice, and I serve them immediately because they don't keep)

Mix pumpkin, spice, coolwhip & powdered sugar together combining well.  Sprinkle with graham cracker crumb mixture for dressing up the top of the dip:)  Let sit for a couple of hours to let the flavors develop.    Serve with dippers of your choice

Pumpkin Bread

3 1/3 Flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2/3 water
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 cup oil

Preheat oven to 350. Grease & flour 2 loaf pans.
Whisk dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon).  Mix sugar, eggs beating until combined with electric mixer.  Add water, pumpkin and oil mixing well.  Add dry ingredients slowly mixing with mixer until combined (don't overmix or your bread will be tough).  Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Adjust cooking time if necessary. 

Pumpkin cheesecake (No Bake kind)

1 pkg. light cream cheese, at room tempature
1 pkg.cheesecake instant pudding mix, dry not made into pudding)
1 container coolwhip
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin
1 graham cracker crust (can be store bought or homemade your choice)

In large mixing bowl with electric mixer beat cream cheese until fluffly (about 1 minute).  Add dry pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and milk.  Mix until combined, & a little thickened about 2 minutes.  Add cool whip mixing until combined.  Pour into crust, smoothing out.  Place into fridge and let sit a couple of hours until firmed up.  Serve with additional cool whip if desired.  Enjoy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Carne Asada

In my never ending quest to cook more "ethnic food" for my son Charlie, I attempted tonight to make my first ever Carne Asada... which if you don't know what that is... it is meat cooked until it is falling apart in a spicy sauce served with flour tortillas and various toppings of your choice kinda like a taco in a soft shell.
I am so glad that I ventured into unknown territory because they turned out absolutely wonderful....  Well Charlie ate 6 "tacos" and gave me the ultimate compliment...saying mom I like these so well we could have these once a month.  (That is another thing he says we eat the same stuff all the time... which as you all know I do cook a variety of stuff not Spaghetti on Monday, Mac & Cheese on Tues... etc)  anyway, they were tasty, delicious and very easy..  I served them with my homemade torillas and various toppings (sour cream, lettuce, tomato, avacado, cheese) .  Give them a try.... enjoy

Carne Asada

1/4 of a pork loin (about 2-3 pounds) left whole
1 onion, peeled cut in half lengthwise, and sliced into thin half moons, and seperated
2 cans enchilada sauce (I used one can mild, and the other can hot, your choice)
seasoning blend (I made a seasoning blend of seasoned salt, pepper,cumin, chili powder, paprika, )
2-3 Tbls sugar
To Serve: (toppings of your choice, lettuce, cheese, tomato, sour cream, lime juice)

Mix your seasoning blend.  Set aside. Pour half the enchilada sauce in crockpot, place  the onions ontop of the sauce.   In large Crockpot place pork loin.  Sprinkle seasonings liberally over pork loin, pour remaining sauce over meat.  Turn meat coating all with the sauce, sprinkle with remaining spice blend.  Cook on high for around 4 hours, turn meat over.  Turn heat down to low cook for around 2-3 hours until meat is falling apart.  Turn crockpot off.  Remove meat to platter and with 2 forks shred meat.  Spoon a little sauce over meat.  Serve with tortilla and toppings of your choice.  Assemble like a taco.  In bowls spoon a little sauce, sprinkle sauce with a little lime juice, dip tacos in sauce and eat.... Enjoy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Taco soup with Homemade Tortillas....

Can I get a YUM!!! Homemade tortillas...  they are my latest craze.... I am absolutely addicted to them... I was never really crazy about tortillas... the ones that are store bought have this really weird taste to them.. I think it is the chemical preservatives in them to keep them "fresh".  All I can say is yuck... every once in a while I would have one with fajitas but again it was not often and I usually didn't finish it.  Ate all of the stuff on the inside of the tortilla and left the tortilla.  In my quest to make different dishes.. (remember from a previous post my son Charlie says mom we don't eat enough "ethnic foods") ... I was like okay... so onto teaching myself how to make more ethnic foods..... Tonight I am soaking the beans to make homemade mexican pinto beans for refried beans (to put on these tortillas with a little cheese) can't wait... yum.. :) It took a little while to learn to get the right torilla consistency with the dough... and how to roll them out and cook them, but it was sooooo worth it.  Hot steamy yummy tortillas, with a little butter, (and jam as my 5 year old likes them)... I will NEVER buy a package of tortillas again.... Try them... they are a little bit of work.. but absolutely delicious....
Taco Soup... a creation that is really easy and yummy with these tortillas... Kinda like tortilla soup ....

Taco Soup

1 lb. hamburger (ground chuck)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 stalk celery chopped
1 can beef stock
2 cans diced stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup water
splash of worchester sauce
2-3 Tbls sugar ( I use a combination of brown & white sugar)
1 packet Taco Seasoning mix
1 can each of corn, & black beans drained and rinsed
seasonings of your choice ( I use, chili powder, paprika, cumin, no salt seasoning blend, parsley flakes, red pepper flakes,seasoned salt)
Toppings of your choice (I use sour cream, shredded cheese, and green onions thinly sliced)
Tortillas, or tortilla chips broken up (optional)
Hot sauce,a few dashes(optional)

Brown meat, onion, celery salt & pepper until meat is done and veggies are tender, breaking meat up and draining if there is alot of fat.  Add rest of ingredients stirring well.  Bring to boil, and then turn down heat simmering for around 1/2 hour. Serve with toppings of your choice and tortillas (or tortilla chips).  Enjoy


2 cups flour (additonal needed for counter top and to dust rolling pin)
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup very warm water

In bowl whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, & salt.  Add remaining ingredients mixing until all comes together in a ball.  Knead dough on flour dusted counter for about 30 seconds until together smooth and elastic.    Place back in bowl.  Place a clean dish towel over bowl letting dough rest for 15-30 minutes.  On flour dusted surface grab about a ping pong ball size of dough (or golf ball size) roll in your hands to make a ball.  Place on floured surface pressing down with your hand to flatten dough.  Sprinkle round with a little flour.  Roll moving dough in circular pattern until very thin.  Cook ( I use a Presto griddle with electric thermostat, the kind for making pancakes) on 400 degrees, it seems to regulate the heat and cook the tortillas evenly.  You can also go online and find a tortilla pan or use any heavy frying pan completely dry and over medium high heat.  Watch these carefully, you will see bubbles almost immediately pick up and if they have golden brown speckles on them flip and cook other side until tortillas are a light golden brown .  Enjoy.  Delicious with butter.  Enjoy (Watch out these are addicting :)  LOL

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Potato... Soup & Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

This post starts with the humble potato.... Yummy... 110 calories and no fat... some people don't eat "carbs" and think about the humble potato as "the enemy".. I am like give me a break... a little carbs won't kill ya... might even make you nicer... LOL  that is what I feel about Diet Coke & Chocolate... a little every day will sweeten my butt up & make me nicer!!! (so I've been told ....lol )

Went to my parents house and saw a recipe on the counter... My sister Danielle makes the best potato soup EVER!!! I saw her recipe on the counter with various other ingredients, potatoes, onions etc.  I asked my mom what she was doing and she said making potato soup.  I was very impressed ..go mom....:)  mom had back surgery a couple of months ago and in the last couple of years hasn't been well enough to cook but thank God she is doing better and has resumed some lost activities... Yeah momma...
So while my mom played with baby Jackson I made soup... I had lots of ham, potatoes, & veggies leftover so I thought why not do what Danielle & I did last time we got together to make this... make Scalloped potatoes & Ham too... cook once eat twice is what I say, one less mess to clean up later which is always a good thing...

Danielle's Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups diced peeled potatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled & chopped
3/4 cup cubed ham
salt & pepper to taste
3 cups water
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. garlic & onion powder
seasoned salt & pepper
chicken bouillon cubes, or chicken bouillon base or granules

In large soup pot, place onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, ham & water. Lightly salt & pepper.  Bring to boil over medium high heat. Add a couple of chicken bouillon cubes, or base.  Turn heat down and simmer on low for about 30-45 minutes until vegetables are tender. Turn heat down to low.   In another saucepan melt butter, whisk in flour.  Cook whisking for a couple of minutes to cook out the "raw flour" taste.  Whisk in milk, garlic & onion powder, and seasoned salt & pepper to taste.  Continue whisking occasionally until mixture is boiling and thickened.  Add thickened roux to soup, stirring well until blended.  Turn heat up and cook until boiling and mixture has come together and thickened.  Taste & adjust seasonings if necessary. 
**Note** Instead of the water you can use some chicken stock, or part chicken stock & water ( Omit chicken bouillon/base if doing this).

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham
3 lbs. potatoes peeled , cut in 1/2 lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 package cubed ham (or use leftover ham, cubed)
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
2-3 cups milk
1/4 tsp onion, garlic powder
seasoned salt . regular salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease large baking dish.  Place potatoes, onion, ham & celery into baking dish, mixing well.  Lightly salt & pepper mixture.  In saucepan, melt butter, whisking in flour until mixed.  Cook roux mixture for about 2-3 minutes .  Add milk, garlic & onion powder, seasoned salt & pepper.  Whisk occasionally until mixture is thickened.  Pour over potatoes mixture, mixing until all is mixed well. Place covered (with foil or baking dish lid) and cook for 1  hour.  TURN HEAT DOWN to 350, uncover and cook until potatoes are tender and top is lightly browned and center of casserole is bubbling and hot. around 15-20 more minutes.  Enjoy