Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

I have never purchased pre-made hashbrowns but decide to for this recipe. After tasting the end result, I think that it will be just as easy and tasty to shred potatoes myself. This dish is nice and hearty for a cold night and is the perfect addition to a potluck!

2 cups of cheddar cheese
1 10 3/4oz can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup onion (diced)
1/4 cup of butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 39oz bag of shredded hashbrown potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Defrost potatoes. Grease a 9x13 baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the 1st 7 ingredients. Then fold in the potatoes. Pour in to your pan. Bake for 1 hour.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

I am usually not a huge fan of cheesecake but this recipe is simply wonderful. The pumpkin is the perfect addition! The recipe is orignally from Martha Stewart and has been tweaked to my liking.

Chocolate graham crackers (about 5 oz)
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 packages bar cream cheese, (8 ounces each)
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside. In a food processor, blend cookies with sugar until finely ground (you should have about 1 cup crumbs); add butter, and pulse until moistened. Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and press gently into bottom. Bake until fragrant and slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Place cream cheese in a stand mixer; blend until smooth. Add sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, and salt; mix until combined. Set aside. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Add 1 cup pumpkin mixture; stir to combine. Set aside.
Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into prepared pan. Drop dollops of chocolate mixture onto pumpkin mixture; swirl. Bake until cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan. Cover; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Using overhang, transfer cake to work surface. With a knife dipped in water, cut into 16 squares. Serve.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Smoky Cheese Ball

Cheese balls are the perfect appetizer to throw together for a party. Plus, it's very easy to make! This recipe is compliments of Martha Stewart's website.

1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp steak sauce (I use Worchestire)
1/2 cup toasted pecans

Place all ingredients except pecans into the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment and mix until combined. Transfer mixture to the fridge. Let chill overnight. Roll mixture into ball. Place nuts in a shallow dish and roll ball in nuts to coat. Serve with crackers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Organic Pumpkin Dog Treats

My dog, Sydney, should be able to enjoy fall treats too, right? :) I used leftover pumpkin puree from our Halloween carving pumpkins and was able to pick up the flour at Whole Foods. If you don't have a Whole Foods nearby, any organic grocery should carry this flour. Sydney loves these treats and I love making them for her! The recipe is from the Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook Kit.

1 cup oat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup fresh pureed pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/3 cup water

Preheat over to 350. Combine all ingredients together and mix until a dough forms. Roll into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. They can be placed close together as they don't spread while cooking. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Taco Seasoning

It seems like every time I go to make tacos I'm out of seasoning, so I decided to start making my own. It's very easy to make and I guarantee that you will enjoy it!

Serving size: equivalent to one package of taco seasoning

1 heaping T. chili powder
2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t. dried oregano
dash cayenne pepper
Combine spices together in a bowl.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pumpkin Roll

It's that time of year for wonderful pumpkin treats! Pumpkin rolls are an excellent after dinner treat and pair well with coffee, whether it be morning, afternoon, or night! Before the husband and I carve our pumpkins for Halloween, we cut the top off and get out as much pumpkin "meat" as we can to use in lieu of prepackaged pumkin puree. This saves us a trip to the grocery store and uses something that would otherwise go to waste!

3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Grease and flour a jellyroll pan (large cookie sheet with sides). In a mixing bowl, beat eggs on high for five minutes. Gradually add white sugar, pumpkin, and lemon juice. Add flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and ginger. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until it springs back when touched. Loosen edges with a knife. Turn out on two dishtowels that have been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Roll up cake, and let cool for about 20 minutes.

To Make Filling: Mix confectioners' sugar, vanilla, butter or margarine, and cream cheese together till smooth. Unroll pumpkin cake when cool, and spread with filling. Reroll, and push aside the dishtowel. Unroll long sheet of waxed paper. Put pumpkin roll on waxed paper. Dust pumpkin roll with powdered sugar. Twist ends of waxed paper like a piece of candy. Put pumpkin roll in refrigerator and chill overnight. Before slicing, dust with powdered sugar. Serve chilled.

Chicken Fried Rice

My husband is a big fan of Chicken Fried Rice so I tend to make it often. It's a great dinner and any leftovers reheat nicely. I also love my Calphlon wok and this recipe gives me an excuse to get it out and use it!

1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
3 cups water
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 carrots, peeled
1 1/2 cups cooked medium chicken
1/4 cup chopped green onion
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons soy sauce

In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside and allow rice to cool. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet and cook chicken until no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Whisk eggs and scramble in skillet. Pour vegetable oil in wok and heat for 2 minutes. When the wok is hot, add in onions and carrots. Mix well and cook for 3 minutes. Mix in cooled rice and chicken and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix in green onions, eggs, pepper, soy sauce. Cook for another 4 minutes, stirring continuously, until everything is blended evenly.

Chicken Florentine

I love creamy sauce pasta dishes so I was excited to make Chicken Florentine. The dish turned out delish with the perfect ratio of sauce, pasta, veggies, and chicken. It wasn't too time consuming and tasted like something from a restaurant!

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed (or fresh!)
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
8 ounces penne pasta

Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Saute in olive oil until no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan and bring water to a boil in a separate pot for the penne pasta; once boiling, add pasta and cook according to the package directions. To the melted butter saucepan, add garlic, lemon juice, and mushrooms. Sautee until mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add cream of mushroom soup, Italian seasoning, half and half, parmesan cheese, spinach, and mozzarella cheese. Heat on medium low until a creamy sauce is made. Add cooked chicken and bacon bits. Add pasta. Stir to combine.