Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Getting nutty

I decided that I wanted to try something a new for a snack on Thanksgiving so I board through my starred recipes on my Google Reader. After combing through every delicious recipe that I have marked from all of the blogs from the ladies on the WC board, I decided to make the Holiday Spiced Nuts from Bean's Bistro. I'd never had spiced nuts but thought they sounded really good and the local grocery store had nuts on sale, perfect timing!

These were incredibly easy to make, took almost no time at all, made the house smell incredible, and tasted great. Everyone who tried them has already asked me to make them again and I've decided they are being added to the holiday gift baskets.

Spiced Nuts

1 Egg White
1-2 tsp. Water
3/4 C. White Sugar
1 Tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp. Salt
2-2 1/2 C. Plain Dry Roasted Peanuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg white and water until good and foamy.
Fold in the sugar, pumpkin spice, and salt. Blend until consistent.
Stir in peanuts to coat.
On a cookie sheet, pour out the coated peanuts in a flat layer. Any remaining glaze should be poured on the nuts.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven and IMMEDIATELY pour into a bowl. Break apart the nuts. As they cool, occasionally stir to keep large hunks to a minimum. Allow to cool before eating.

Makin' Whoopie.... pies that is

So for Thanksgiving D and I went to my parents house and then did a second round of sweets and snacks with his parents. So I decided to make something pumpkin to go along with my pecan pie. Well, my mom makes the pumpkin pie every year, so no need to do that. So when my fall issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray came I was interested by the Pumpkin Whoopie Pie recipe. So after the food goddess on the WC board deemed them yummy, I decided those would be my pumpkin-y contribution to Turkey Day.

They were really easy to make, which is saying something since this was only the second time I had ever made icing. And everyone really loved them, which is always a good sign. I doubled this recipe, since it was going to more than one house, and it made more than enough pies.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Makes 12

Prep Time: 35 min

Bake Time: 10 min


1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, 1 stick melted, 1/2 stick softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon plus 2 pinches salt
1 2/3 cups flour
4 ounces cream cheese, chilled
1 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, the baking powder, the baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour.

3. Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop 12 generous mounds of batter, spaced evenly, onto each baking sheet. Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the cream cheese. Add the confectioners' sugar and the remaining 2 pinches salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; mix on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

5. Spread the flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting. Top each with another cake.

Pecan Pie

So this year for Thanksgiving I decided to make my second ever pecan pie. I had never even eaten one before I made my first pie last year. But D and his parents really like them, so I agreed to make one. I used the recipe on the back of the Karo Syrup bottle because I had been assured by mothers and grandmothers that it is the best recipe. I think it is pretty good, although I really have nothing to base that on!

Pecan Pie

From: Karo Syrup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 55 to 60 minutes

Yield: 1 pie

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup Karo® Light OR Dark Corn Syrup (I used light)
2 tablespoons butter OR margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans
1 (9-inch) unbaked or frozen deep-dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Beat eggs slightly with fork in medium bowl. Add sugar, Karo® Corn Syrup, butter and vanilla; stir until blended. Stir in pecans. Place pie dough in pie pan. Pour pecan filling into pie crust.
Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bacon, Cheese, & Potato Chowder

So I can't believe that my first blog post of actual food is going to be one with no pictures (we ate it too fast and it wasn't very pretty) and a recipe that uses Cream of soup. However, we tried this the other day and it was incredibly good. I will admit that I did not have high expectations going in: the recipe seemed almost too simple and my one and only other attempt at soup did not go well. But this far exceeded my expectations and even D liked it: and he is not a soup guy. The original recipe is from the kraft website but I think I first saw it on the WC board. This is a really good, quick meal that is perfect for the cold, rainy weather we've been having. Enjoy, and I promise to take pictures of stuff from now on.

Bacon, Cheese & Potato Chowder
from Kraft

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 30 min
Makes: 6 servings, 1 cup each

3 cups fat-free milk
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of potato soup
2 cups frozen Southern-style hash browns
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, crisply cooked, drained and crumbled (I used pre-cooked bacon to make it faster)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (I didn't have any on hand so I omitted them)

Mix milk and soup in large saucepan. Stir in hash browns. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 10 min., stirring frequently.

Ladle into six soup bowls.
Top evenly with the cheese, bacon and onions.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My food blog

So, I took the plunge and made a food blog. I'm so inspired by all the amazing blogs that so many people on the food board I go to have that I have been thinking about making my own. So, when I got a new camera with a cuisine setting on it as a birthday gift I took it as a sign that it is time to start my own blog. I can't promise greatness, but I can promise that you'll see my successes and my failures. I'll let my failures be your learning situations too. So, hopefully, you'll stick with me and together we can have some cooking fun.