Sunday, October 30, 2011

Baked Cinnamon Chips and Caramel Toffee Dip

I made these to go with this.
Baked Cinnamon Chips and Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip. 
The chips were easy to make; made about 15-20 tortillas in about 2 hours, which was a fairly large bowl full.  The toffee dip was better with apples than with the chips.  Definitely, check these recipes out!

Hot Caramel Apple Cider

Recipe by Our Best Bites
1/2 gallon apple cider (64 oz or 8 C)
1/2 C orange juice, fresh squeezed or good quality bottled like Simply Orange
1 orange
8 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (if yours are more than a year old- buy new ones!!)
1/4 t ground allspice
1/3 C jarred caramel sauce* more to taste if needed
optional: caramel flavored syrup
sweetened whipped cream (or from a can is fine!)
*For a delicious twist, substitute maple syrup for the caramel sauce in this recipe.
Pour 8 cups of apple cider into a large stock pot on the stove pot. Set heat to medium-high. Add orange juice, cinnamon sticks, and allspice.
Thoroughly wash your orange and then gently stab the whole cloves into it. If you find it hard to do that without destroying the cloves, use a toothpick to poke little hole first and then insert the cloves.  (If you are doubling the recipe, you can still just use one orange, just double the number of cloves you poke into it).
Gently drop the whole orange into the pot. Bring cider to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer on low for 60 minutes and longer if you wish. If you’re keeping the pot on the stove for an extended period, keep an eye on the orange. If at any time it splits open, remove it from the pot. If the white pith is exposed it will add a bitter taste to your cider. If you’re going to have the pot warming for hours on end, take out the orange. After you’ve simmered for an hour, add caramel sauce and stir to combine and dissolve. Add more caramel to taste if needed.
When ready to serve, ladle into mugs, top with whipped cream, and give it a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

**This was delicious!  Such a wonderful fall recipe.  Doubled it for the Halloween party; about 20 adults and we had extra.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Chili

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • -1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
  • 1 (28 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup white sugar


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef until brown; drain. Stir in onion and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes. Stir in beans, tomato juice, diced tomatoes and pumpkin puree. Season with pumpkin pie spice, chili powder and sugar. Simmer 1 hour.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 409 | Total Fat: 16.4g | Cholesterol: 69mg

 **We threw a Halloween party yesterday and served some great, festive foods!  Here's the first one; I was reluctant to try, but it was a hit!  A good chili for kids, if they don't like spicy as this is sweet. More recipes to come!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tomato-Basil Chicken and Cashew-Rice Pilaf

1 T. Butter
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 can (14 oz.) Italian seasoned tomatoes (if not already cut up, coarsely chopped)
1/2 c. julienned FRESH basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat butter in skillet. Add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent, 5 min. Increase heat to high; add tomatoes and cook until liquid is almost evaporated, 5-10 min. Add cream and bring to boil; boil until slightly thickened, approx 3 min. Stir in basil, salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in shallow baking dish; pour sauce on top. Bake for 20-25 min.(Serves 4)

by Stephanie Jensen

1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1 c. uncooked regular long grain rice
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
1/2 c. cashews, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. chopped FRESH parsley

In large saucepan, melt butter. Sauté onion until soft. Add rice; stir until coated. Stir in broth and salt. Cover; simmer 24-30 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in cashews and parsley.(Serves 4)

****AMAZING!!!!!!  We loved this recipe and it was SO fast and easy to make!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Put a generous dallop of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of the batter. I put mine a little too high on a couple and the cream cheese poked out the top. Oops.
For the topping, you are supposed to cut in the butter with a pastry blender. I usually start doing it that way then end up mixing it with my hands. Just make sure you pop it back in the fridge if you use your hands because it's supposed to be cold.

Source: Annie's Eats
Makes 24 muffins
Print Recipe

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree (see Note)
1¼ cups vegetable oil

For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Note: A standard sized can of pumpkin is 15 ounces, just shy of 2 cups (16 ounces). You could open another can if you want and freeze the extra or just use one can which is what I did. The amount is so little I don't think it makes a difference in the final product.

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil. Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours. The mixture will still be somewhat soft but firmer.

To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. I always get inpatient here and mix it together with my hands so that it looks like the texture of wet sand. I know you aren't supposed to do it this way but I'm impatient. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.

To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well. You want to put the cream cheese lower than you think because it will rise a lot during the baking process. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely. Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. I like them warm, cold, and room temperature.

**Another recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything!  LOVE these!  They are pretty time consuming, but well worth it!  Delicious!  

Italian Sausage Soup with Cheese Tortellini

adapted from Allrecipes

1 pound Italian sausage (I usually use Jimmy Dean so I don't have to deal with removing the casing)
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
5 cups beef broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red cooking wine
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 cup thinly sliced or diced carrots
1/2 tablespoon packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups green beans or sliced zucchini
8 ounces fresh tortellini pasta (can be found by the cheese...I used Buitoni)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In a large pot, brown sausage. Remove sausage and drain.

2. Saute onions and garlic in drippings. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

3. Skim fat from the soup. Stir in beans and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.  Serve with warm garlic bread.

*Just be aware that if you save this soup for leftovers the pasta tends to drink up the broth so the result is a really thick soup if you eat it the next day.

**Made this tonight-Owen and I loved, Mr.I-hate-vegetables (Parker) didn't!  Made a lot!  Taken from  LOVE her recipes!