Monday, December 28, 2009

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Chocolate Mint Brownies
Recipe from Elizabeth's mother

2 sticks margarine
4 one ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate
Melt together.

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
Beat together and add melted chocolate and margarine.

1 tsp vanilla
Add to above.

1 cup flour
Blend in.

Bake in a 9x13 pan at 350 for 20 minutes. They may need a little longer.

2 TBS margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 TBS milk
1 tsp peppermint flavoring
green food coloring

Cream sugar and butter. Add milk, mint, and food coloring. Spread on cooled brownies and refrigerate them for 20 minutes.

2 one ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 TBS margarine

Melt and spread on top FAST! Cut into small squares.
**Use the back of a spoon to spread on glaze. Spread quickly because it hardens fast.

Unfortunately I don't have pictures of these brownies because I forgot to take some when I made them for the in-laws over Christmas. My mom has been making them for years and I recently started making them when I want to impress people. Believe me, everyone you make these for will rave about them and want the recipe. They make a good amount and should be cut into small squares because they're pretty rich. My mom has dyed the frosting pink/blue for baby showers, and a co-worker has used orange flavoring rather than mint on occasion.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pecan Crescents

Pecan Crescents
From The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

1 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 cups powdered sugar

Pulse pecans in a food processor 5 or 6 times or until ground.

Beat butter and 3/4 cup powdered sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Stir in vanilla and ground pecans. Gradually stir in flour until a soft dough forms. Cover and chill dough 1 hour.

Divide dough into 5 portions; divide each portion in into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a 2-inch crescent. Place on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on wire racks. Roll warm cookies in 2 cups powdered sugar. Roll cookies again in remaining powdered sugar.

Yield: 5 dozen cookies

I made these for a cookie exchange at work. Yum! These are a variation on wedding cookies and taste just like a recipe my mom makes at Christmas. Nutty and sugary, you can definitely eat a handful at a time.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas House Decorations

Turkey and Cheese Enchiladas

Turkey and Cheese Enchiladas
Adapted from Betty Crocker's Quick & Easy Cookbook

1 lb ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 16oz container reduced fat sour cream
1 15oz can yellow corn, drained
1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
8 8-inch flour tortillas
1 10oz can enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook turkey and onion in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until turkey is no longer pink; drain. Stir in sour cream and corn.

Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/2 cup turkey mixture onto each tortilla. Roll tortilla around filling; place seam side down in baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake uncovered about 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Serves 4-6.

Very easy and tasty! Not much else to say about this other than we loved it and it heated up well for leftovers.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies
Recipe from Elizabeth's Grandmother

1 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 ts salt

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream butter. Add sugar gradually, creaming 'till light & fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together. Add gradually to creamed ingredients. Chill thoroughly (3-4 hours).

Roll on well floured surface to 1/8" - 1/4" thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 375 6-8 minutes. Cool.

I have never been able to perfect this recipe, but this was the closest I've come. When my mom makes these cookies, they come out golden and buttery. When I make them, they come out dense and floury. I used butter, but maybe margarine will work better next time. They're still good though, one of the best sugar cookie recipes!

Creamy Fettuccine with Shrimp and Bacon

Creamy Fettuccine with Shrimp and Bacon
From Cooking Light, August 2005

1 lb uncooked fettuccine
2 bacon slices (uncooked)
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 garlic clove, minced (I used bottled)
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
1 cup shredded carrot (I omitted)
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk (I used 1 cup fat free milk & 1 cup fat free half & half)
2 TBS all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well; keep warm.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 6 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan, reserving 1 TBS drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside.

Add shrimp and garlic to pan; saute over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add peas and carrot; cook 2 minutes or just until shrimp are done. Transfer shrimp mixture to a large bowl; keep warm.

Combine milk (or milk and half & half), flour, salt, and pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan; cook over medium heat 3 minutes or until thickened and bubbly; stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove pan from heat; add cheese, stirring until blended. Add milk mixture to shrimp mixture; stir until combined. Add pasta and 1/4 cup parsely, tossing gently to coat. Transfer pasta mixture to a platter, or divide evenly among each of 8 plates; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup parsley and crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Serves 8.

This fettuccine recipe rivals what I've had in a lot of restaurants. I liked that it wasn't heavy and I didn't feel ill after eating as often happens when ordered in restaurants. It doesn't taste low fat and is very filling. Definitely something we'll make again!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup
From Southern Living, November 1998

2 4oz skinned and boned chicken breast halves, cubed
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 14 1/2 oz cans low sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 10 3/4 oz can tomato puree
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
4 5 1/2 inch corn tortillas (I omitted)
Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro (I omitted)

Combine first 13 ingredients in a 4 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 6 hours. Discard bay leaf.

Cut tortillas into 1/4 inch wide strips; place on baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes. Stir and bake 5 minutes more until crisp. Serve with soup. Garnish if desired. (I skipped this part.)

Yields 10 cups.

Great healthy soup recipe for the slow cooker. We sprinkled with shredded mexican blend cheese before serving.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chex Mix

Nibble Stuff
Recipe from Elizabeth's Grandmother

Melt in pan:
2 sticks oleo (margarine)

1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp garlic salt
3 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1/2 box Cheerios
1/2 box Corn Chex
1/2 box Wheat Chex
1/2 box Rice Chex
1/2 box Nabisco thin pretzels (I used half a bag of pretzel sticks)
8 oz can peanuts
as many other kinds & amounts of nuts as you can afford

Mix it all up. Cover roaster. Cook 1 hour at 225 degrees, stirring occasionally. Remove cover, cook 1 more hour stirring occasionally.

You may have to vary the seasoning to suit your own taste. It gets stronger as it sets, so be careful.

The above recipe is copied exactly as written down by my grandmother. I had to ask my mom what "oleo" was! In addition to an 8oz can of peanuts, I added an 8oz can of Spanish peanuts and an 8oz can of mixed nuts. I don't think it needs any additional seasoning, and it definitely gets stronger as it sets so be careful if you add more!

This is THE BEST chex mix and definitely makes enough for a crowd.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mint Chocolate Delights

Mint Chocolate Delights
Nestle Tollhouse recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 butter cup or margarine, softened (I used butter)
2/3 cup granulated sugar (I used Splenda blend)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (I used Splenda blend)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 10 oz pkg Nestle Tollhouse Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels

Preheat oven to 325.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by well-rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 11-13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes approx. 4 dozen cookies.

I saw these chocolate chips in the Christmas section at Target and decided that I needed to make these cookies. They taste like cookie versions of chocolate mint brownies that my mom makes. Very good! I used my cookie scoop for the first time today. So easy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Santa Fe Chicken

Sante Fe Chicken
From Kraft Foods

2 cups instant white rice, uncooked (I used brown rice)
1 can (19 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 can (10-1/2 oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup (I used Campbell's Healthy Request)
2 cups water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese (I used 2%)

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix rice, beans, and pepper in a 9x13 baking dish. Combine soup, water, and cilantro; pour evenly over rice mixture.

Top with chicken. Spoon salsa over chicken.

Bake for 35 minutes; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4.

Very easy to throw together on a weeknight with ingredients you probably already have on hand. Chicken came out moist and the rice/beans/pepper has a wonderful flavor.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Easy Italian Pasta Bake

Easy Italian Pasta Bake
Adapted from Kraft Foods

1 lb ground turkey
3 cups whole wheat penne pasta, cooked
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/3 Kraft Reduced Fat Grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups Kraft 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

Brown meat in a large skillet; drain. Add pasta, sauce, and 1/2 the Parmesan. Mix well.

Spoon into a 9x13 dish; top with remaining cheeses.

Bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Serves 6.

I thought this needed more sauce, but Patrick liked it the way it turned out. He's not a huge fan of sauce anyway. Just a quick, easy meal that's good for a weeknight. We have a ton of leftovers and will be eating this throughout the week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon
From Rachel Ray 30 Minute Meals

2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
6 garlic cloves, crushed (I used bottled)
3 TBS fresh rosemary leaves stripped from stems
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced (I used bottled)
1 TBS grill seasoning
1/2 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450.

Arrange chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Add garlic, rosemary, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and grill seasoning or salt and pepper to the dish. Toss and coat the chicken with all ingredients, then place in oven. Roast 20 minutes. Add wine and lemon juice to the dish and combine with pan juices. Return to oven and turn oven off. Let stand 5 minutes longer then remove chicken from the oven. Place baking dish on trivet and serve, spooning pan juices over the chicken pieces.

This is a quick and easy recipe for when you have chicken breasts, but not sure what you want to make with them. The chicken had a lot of flavor and came out of the oven moist. Served with stuffing because the cook was having a craving!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oven-Roasted Green Beans

Oven-Roasted Green Beans
From Cooking Light, November 2005

2 lbs green beans, trimmed
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Place a jelly-roll pan in oven for 10 minutes. Place beans in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat. Arrange green beans in a single layer on preheated baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Serves 12.

No pictures for this one either.

Quick and tasty! Mine were a little on the crisp side, so next time I might leave them in for a few more minutes.

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Adapted from Cooking Light, October 2007

2 cups pasta sauce (I used Ragu Tomato, Garlic, and Basil)
Cooking spray
2 1/2 cups part skim ricotta (I used light Harris Teeter brand)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 large egg yolk
1 garlic clove, minced (I used bottled garlic)
24 jumbo pasta shells, cooked

Preheat oven to 350.

Spread 1/2 cup pasta sauce over bottom of a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine ricotta and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl, stirring well. Spread about 1 1/2 TBS filling into each pasta shell. Arrange stuffed shells in prepared dish; spread with remaining 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6.

Again, sorry for the lack of pictures. I'm sure you can imagine what stuffed shells look like though! :)

This is a tasty, and healthy, vegetarian stuffed shells recipe. Just a good, easy, basic recipe. I made it about 4 hours ahead and it's a definitely a make-ahead meal I'll have again!

Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, and Walnuts

Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, and Walnuts
Adapted from Coastal Living, December 2006

16 cups mixed greens
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
1 cup toasted walnut halves (I used untoasted walnut pieces
Lemon-Maple Vinaigrette
1 11oz pkg feta cheese, crumbled

Combine greens, cranberries, and walnuts in large bowl. Just before serving, toss with 2/3 cup Lemon Maple Vinaigrette, and top with feta cheese.

Makes 8 servings.

Lemon Maple Vinaigrette
From Coastal Living, December 2006

1 TBS dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I used bottled)
2 TBS maple syrup
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, but this was served last night when my parents and sister were over for dinner. I completely forgot to take pictures!

This salad was really good, and we got more than 8 servings out of it. The dressing is slightly sweet and is a good variation on a vinaigrette. I substituted feta cheese for goat cheese because it's cheaper, and didn't toast the walnuts. A good fall salad!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fall Cookies

Cookies for Santa
From Gooseberry Patch Christmas Cookies

2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 TBS + 1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups + 2 TBS all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375.

Blend butter, sugar and milk with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Add flour, baking powder and salt; mix to combine. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters; arrange on ungreased baking sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

This sugar cookie dough was very easy to roll out and cut. It didn't require extra flour, and didn't stick to the rolling pin. However, they didn't come out very sweet. I iced them with powdered sugar and milk icing, so hopefully that sweetens them up.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies

Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies
From Southern Living, December 2005

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups white chocolate morsels
6 oz dried, sweetened cranberries

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; set aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in white chocolate morsels and cranberries.

Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

These cookies aren't super sweet, but the combination of white chocolate and cranberries is wonderful. I'm not a huge fan of white chocolate, but these are definitely a hit. I imagine this recipe will end up as a regular in my Christmas cookie baking.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken

Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken
From Gooseberry Patch Harvest Kitchen

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
18 oz bottle barbecue sauce
3/4 cup cola

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker; cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Shred chicken; stir back into sauce. Serves 4-6.

Fast and easy! This is a great weeknight meal that you can put together in the morning and cook all day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Turkey Enchilada Casserole

Turkey Enchilada Casserole
From Sunset, September 2002

1 1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 TBS minced garlic
1 TBS dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp canola oil
1 29 oz can enchilada sauce
salt (I omitted)
12 6-inch corn tortillas (I could only find packs of 10 or 20, so I only used 10)
2 cups shredded reduced-fat jack cheese

Preheat oven to 425.

In a 5-quart or 6-quart pan over high heat, stir turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup enchilada sauce. Add salt to taste (I omitted this step).

Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half. Arrange a fourth of the halves evenly over the bottom of a shallow 3-quart casserole, overlapping to fit. Sprinkle a fourth of the cheese evenly over the tortillas, then top with a third of the turkey mixture and a fourth of the remaining enchilada sauce, spreading each level. Repeat to make two more layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey mixture, and sauce; top with another layer of tortillas and sauce, then cheese.

Bake at 425 until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Yields 6-8 servings.

Yum! I'd like to know if reduced-sodium enchilada sauce exists because this is a pretty salty casserole, and I even omitted some of the salt the recipe calls for. Overall very good and very easy. It could be made healthier by cutting down on the cheese to 1 1/2 cups rather than 2.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie
From Cottage Living, January 2005

1/2 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 14oz can low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups frozen baby corn blend
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 TBS chopped fresh dill, divided
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 refrigerated piecrust
1 large egg yolk
1 TBS water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt butter over medium heat. Saute onions 7 minutes. Sprinkle flour over onions. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth and next 3 ingredients; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add peas, corn blend, parsley, 2 tsp dill, and chicken. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9-inch deep pie dish.

Whisk together egg yolk and 1 TBS water, and brush underside of crust edge with egg wash. Place crust, brushed side down, over pie; crimp or use back of fork to seal rim of crust around dish. Cut 4 to 5 vents in the pastry. Brush top with egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp of dill. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and mixture is bubbling.

Very easy pot pie to make, and would be even faster using pre-cooked diced chicken. Next time I'll cut the butter to 1/3 or 1/4 cup because it was way to much for this recipe. A good fall and winter meal!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Philadelphia 3-Step Pumpkin Cheesecake

Philadelphia 3-Step Pumpkin Cheesecake
From Kraft website

2 8oz pkgs cream cheese, softenend
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash ground cloves
dash ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 graham cracker crust

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and spices in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; beat just until blended.

Pour into crust.

Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Cheesecake is my favorite dessert, but I'm not a fan of the time consuming ones that involve a water bath, so I frequently make recipes found on the Kraft website. I've made this one before, and it tastes just like pumpkin pie but with a cheesecake consistency. Great for fall!

It's rare that I can make a cheesecake that doesn't crack in the middle. I'll have to work on that.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Adapted from recipe by Hersheys

48 Hershey Kisses
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup peanut butter (I used reduced fat)
2 TBS + 2 tsp Splenda sugar blend
2 TBS + 2 tsp Splenda brown sugar blend
1 egg
2 TBS milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375.

Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl. Add Splenda sugar blend and Splenda brown sugar blend, beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into mixture.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes (I baked for 8) or until lightly browned. Immediately pressed an unwrapped Hershey Kiss into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Yield: 4 dozen

These are Patrick's favorite cookies and he asked me to make some for him to take to work this week. Hopefully there will be enough left because we keep eating them! There are one of my favorites to make at Christmas as well.

I wasn't thrilled with using shortening, but I don't make enough recipes that call for it to know what to substitute for it. I'll have to figure that out for next time.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
From The Piggly-Wiggly

1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 - 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg taco seasoning (I used low-sodium taco seasoning)
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup (I used Campbell's Healthy Request)
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup fat free sour cream (I used reduced fat b/c I had it in the fridge)

Add onions to bottom of slow cooker. Place chicken breasts on top of onions. Sprinkle taco seasoning on chicken. In a small bowl, combine soup, salsa, and sour cream. Add on top of seasoned chicken. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Serves 4.

This smelled so good while it was cooking and tasted even better! It will definitely go on our list of favorites. Very easy to throw together with ingredients you probably already have.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies
Adapted from Food & Wine November 1997

1 brownie mix (and associated ingredients called for on the box)
8 oz cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 TBS all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 baking pan.

Make brownie mix according to directions on box. Pour batter into 9x13 baking pan.

In mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger. Mix on medium-high until smooth. Stir in flour.

Dollop pumpkin mixture onto brownie batter. Swirl using a knife.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.

Yield: 24 brownies

These taste like brownies with pumpkin pie swirled throughout! If you don't love pumpkin, I'd suggest using 1/2 cup instead of a full cup. I should have softened the cream cheese a bit more because the pumpkin/cream cheese mixture came out slightly lumpy. It still tastes fantastic, but isn't as pretty as I was hoping for. Definitely a great fall dessert, and would be good at a Halloween party.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili
From Southern Living April 2006

1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz can tomato sauce
1.25 oz package chili seasoning mix
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Spoon mixture into a 5 1/2-qt. slow cooker; stir in corn and next 7 ingredients until well blended.

Cook at High 4 to 5 hours or at Low 6 to 8 hours.

Serves 4-6.

I cooked this on Low for 6 hours and it turned out perfectly! Great chili for a cool, rainy day.