"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?" - Kathleen Kelly (You've Got Mail)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

15 oz. can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
2/3 c. water
3 c. sugar
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 c. dried cranberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 3 7x3 loaf pans. In a large bowl mix together pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well mixed. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until blended, do not over mix or bread will turn out rubbery. Fold in the pecans and cranberries. Pour into the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes.

This is by far my favorite thing to bake during the fall! It makes a huge batch so its fun to give away a couple loaves and keep one for us.
I only have 2 loaf pans, so I use the rest of the batter to make muffins. Makes 9-12. Make sure you only bake them for 20-25 minutes.
This bread is equally yummy without the pecans and cranberries.
Be sure to get pumpkin puree...lots of people make the mistake of buying pumpkin pie mix instead.

Adapted from allrecipes.com

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chicken Fajitas

1/2 c. italian salad dressing
2 tsp. lime juice (fresh or bottled)
1 bell pepper
1 onion
2-3 chicken breasts

In a large pan on med/high, heat the salad dressing and lime juice while thinly slicing the bell pepper and onion. Place vegetables in the pan and saute for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly slice the chicken breasts. Add to the pan and saute another 10 minutes. Once chicken is cooked through turn the heat all the way up and cook everything for another 5 minutes, or until it gets some color and crispiness, stirring often. Serve in warm flour tortillas with your favorite toppings. Makes 4-6 fajitas.

Notes: I like to use italian dressing because it has the garlic and other spices in it already. Adds such a good flavor!

Biscuits and Gravy

8-10 biscuits (I use Bisquick mix)
1/2 lb. ground sausage
1/2 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. flour
2 1/4 c. milk
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare biscuits according to the package directions. Set aside to cool. In a large frying pan, brown the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces. Add butter and let it melt completely. Stir in the flour and coat the sausage, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in the milk, stirring to make sure the flour gets dissolved. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until gravy begins to thicken. Turn it to low and and mix in the eggs, cheddar, salt and pepper. Continue to cook on low until gravy becomes thick. If it gets too thick, simply add more milk. Serve on split biscuits.

Notes: This meal works great for breakfast and dinner!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Glazed Chewy Whole Wheat Spice Cookies

Cookie Ingredients:
1 c. white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 2 cookie sheets. In a large bowl combine the first 11 ingredients until smooth. Add in flour, 1 cup at a time. In a small bowl mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, roll in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake! Cool on racks. Makes 24 cookies.

Glaze Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
8 tsp. milk
sprinkle of cinnamon
sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice

Mix all 4 ingredients until smooth. Once cookies are completely cooled, spoon the glaze over the tops and allow to dry before storing.

Rotate cookie sheets in the oven half way through the baking time to allow them to bake more evenly. Most ovens aren't the same temperature towards the top as they are near the bottom and vise-versa.
If you only have cinnamon on hand, just use that! Don't worry about the nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice.
These cookies are equally yummy without the glaze.
Be sure not to over bake or cookies will not be soft like they're supposed to be.

Why I started a food blog...

Last night while talking with my husband it struck me that I really need a creative outlet. I don't paint. I don't draw. I don't play music. I don't write poems. I bake and I cook. And that's about it! He went on to tell me that I "am an amazing cook!" and "I should go to culinary school!" and "You're so much better then you think!" etc. etc. And while I don't claim to be amazing, I do love to be in the kitchen. I love to create things for people to eat and enjoy. So here it is...an "outlet" for my creativity! I hope you enjoy :)