Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pumpkin Caramel Pound Cake

So yummy! Erin and I had to try a piece shortly after we got the glaze on it. It was good! Mom gave me the recipe - I don't know where she got it. But - this is so good - I gave the rest away for people to take to today so I wouldn't eat it all! :)
Pumpkin Caramel Pound Cake
Grease and flour 10 flat tube pan
2/3 cup crisco all-vegetable shortening
1 stick butter, softened
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup Smucker's Hot Caramel Ice Cream Topping
1 cup canned pumpkin
5 eggs
3 cups A/P flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each: ginger, cloves, allspice
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice

2 cups confectioner's sugar
3 Tbsp. Smucker's Hot Caramel Ice Cream Topping
2-3 Tbsp water (eyeball)
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
350, cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, then caramel and pumpkin. Mix all dry together and add in - then add to pan and bake for about 90 minutes, testing doneness with a knife. Let cool 10 minutes in pan, put on cooling rack, let cool completely. For glaze: Sift sugar, add in caramel and water till the desired glazing consistency. Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with walnuts - EAT and ENJOY!

Butterscotch Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Ok, so the pictures not great and I ended up having to improvise a little when I realized I hadn't bought enough of one of the items - but it was still a yummy trifle! :) Very fall-y.

Pumpkin Trifle (with gingerbread and butterscotch too)
Homemade Gingerbread: (This was not fun. I used a recipe I had, but realized it had no eggs in it, so I had to find another one. But, the final product was yummy - for gingerbread).
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger (fresh grated would be the best)
1/2 tsp baking powder and soda
1 stick butter or shortening
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
Grease a 9 in round cake pan, mix dry, add to wet - bake for 35 minutes. Let cool.
Tear apart and save for trifle.
4 cups cold skim milk
4 1oz pkgs butterscotch pudding mix
1 can pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger, nutmeg, and allspice
1 carton free cool whip
Mix up pudding, add in the pumpkin and spices. Layer in a glass bowl starting with gingerbread, ending with cool whip (should get at least 2 good layers). I crumble a little bit of gingerbread right on top.
Enjoy it. I've made it for thanksgiving each of the last 3 years - it is good and not bad for you compared to other holiday desserts!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

White Chicken Chili

This recipe I got from Phyllis - she is a great cook (even though she says she doesn't do it anymore). It is great and one of my most requested recipes. Great for an evening like this - cold and cloudy! Serve with tortilla chips and salsa, football (if you are lucky), sour cream, cheese, chives, etc.

White Chicken Chili

Olive Oil

1 large onion, diced

2 large garlic cloved, diced

1 4lb chicken, cooked (save broth) and deboned, cubed

1 1/2 cup dried great northern beans, cooked, drained

1 can corn (or 2 ears) drained

green chilis (if desired)

cumin, red pepper, pepper, salt - to taste

1 cup monterey jack or cheddar cheese


lime chips

lime wedges

sour cream


avocado wedges

Saute onions till transluscent. Add garlic - saute 1 minute. Add everything but the chicken and cheese. Bring to boil. Add in chicken and warm that up. Add cheese right at the end.


Apple Scone Cake

Any one who likes apples and scones, will love this cake. I got the recipe from and tweaked it a little bit - yummy! :) New one of my fave recipes!

Apple Scone Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted chilled butter (cut into pieces)
1 egg
1/2 cup (minus 2 tbsp) milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
3 tbsp sugar
cinnamon to taste

350, buttered 9 in pie pan
mix dry ingredients, chop in butter till it looks like coarse meal. Mix together egg, milk, and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture - do not overmix. Then knead the dough 5 times. 1/2 the dough - press into the bottom of your pan and slightly up the sides. Then add in the apple mixtures (sugar and cinnamon). Take the rest of the dough and drop biscuit them on top. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 45 minutes.

YUMMY! :) Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Kitchen Gadget that isn't worth it

Since I work at a kitchen store for the holidays, I get to see a bunch of gadgets, some are good, some definitely aren't worth it. I just wanted to tell you about this one today. I'll also share some positive things later, so check back.


1. Alligator Chopper - they may save chopping time (and they do work) but the time they save chopping, they take away b/c it takes so long to clean them. It took me 20 minutes (no kidding) to get all of the little food particles out of the grooves. I used a sponge, then a fork, then a paring knife which worked the best.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Baked Apple Oatmeal

We had this this weekend in Indiatlantic Beach. It was great. A1A Diner's is a little more cake-like but the chef couldn't be talked into giving us the recipe. So, I took this one from and tweaked it a bunch. So, this is what I got. Yummy - especially on a cold morning!

Baked Apple Oatmeal

3/4 c. sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 3/4 cups quick oatmeal
1/2 large apple - diced

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time. Add in milk. Mix in dry ingredients. Fold in apples. Pour into a greased 7x11 pan, top with a mix of brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 300 for 40-45 minutes. Let set for about 5 minutes - serve warm with fruit and milk.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A1A Diner and Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Ok - this weekend in Indiatlantic Beach, FL - there was a little beach diner we went to each morning for breakfast. Cheap (about 5$) and good with healthy options. The above is an egg white veggie omelet with whole wheat toast. The next morning we all had the Baked apple oatmeal - turned out great. We kept talking to the chef - but he wouldn't give us the recipe. So, I created my own after modifying one I found - so I'll post it later in the week.

This Brown Sugar Pound Cake recipe is great. One of the best cakes I've ever eaten. The glaze can be described as a soft divinity glaze. The maker of this cake is Margie Vann, or MeMa called by her grandkids. She was a lady in the church I grew up with that taught us Sunday School, is a great cook, and everything else. She worked at Publix for a long time.

2 sticks butter
1/2 stick crisco
1 box and 1 cup dark brown sugar
5 eggs one a time
1 tsp baking powder
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

1 stick butter
1 cup walnuts
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp milk

Cream butter and crisco. Add in brown sugar and cream. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Put in flour and baking powder 1/3 at a time. Once well mixed, put in milk and vanilla - mix well. Pour in greased and floured 10 in bundt pan. Bake at 325 for 85 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove and place on cooling rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, after caked has cooled, melt butter on stove over medium heat. Put in walnuts, too. Take off heat once melted. Stir in box of powdered sugar, vanilla (or other flavoring of your choice), and milk to consistency that you want. Pour over cake. EAT and ENJOY!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Restaurant Reviews: Cheesecake Factory & Chen's Kitchen

Went to two totally different restaurants this weekend. Different in many ways:
1. Atmosphere - Cheesecake is high, fancy, but comfortable and Chen's is a whole in the wall with a neon sign at the end of a strip mall with a Food Lion in it in a small town in Franklin County.
2. Food: CF is all-american food with the best cheesecake's outside of NYC. CK is chinese-american with the best General Tso's chicken I've ever eaten. I would honestly say I like Chen's better.

CF - Last night I went with Michelle who had actually never been, because there is a Maggiano's down the mall strip from it. She usually goes there. I had the house salad which was great, their pumpernickel bread with oats on top - too much of it, and the black bean soup, which I didn't like because it was pureed instead of whole black beans. The balsamic on the salad was worth every penny I spent. I even asked for some to go with my salad I had leftover! I passed on the cheesecake b/c it isn't my birthday yet. If anyone knows how to make the balsamic dressing from there - please share the recipe!

CK - I went with my friend Maggie who lives in Franklinton. This place I found by my friend Randy who loves it too. It has been about 3 years since I ate there, but it is still great. This time I chose something healthier - the broccoli with garlic sauce and white rice. I also got some Egg Drop Soup. That is always a winner. I didn't eat much of it though, because it is very high in sodium (the only thing bad about Chinese food). But, the garlic sauce wasn't as spicy as I like it, but the broccoli was very al dente' (so Dad wouldn't like it). It was very good.

So, now I get to eat at home today - enjoying leftovers and not wanting to go grocery shopping before I go to FL this weekend. :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Brunswick Stew

This is yummy stuff. I've said before that I love soups. I make them all the time in the winter. This has worked itself up to the top 5 of my soups. I have worked from a Cooking Light recipe and have made it my own.

Brunswick Stew

2 large red potatoes, cubed, skin on
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
Olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 cup frozen lima beans, thawed
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 box and 1 can low sodium, ff chicken broth
4 sliced of cooked bacon - diced
3 cups cooked chicken
spanish paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt and pepper to taste

In a big soup pot, swirl olive oil and saute onions. Right before they are done, add garlic. Then add everything up to the bacon. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the chicken, bacon and seasonings. Cook for about 15 more minutes, till flavors meld together and chicken is heated.

Serve with bread: we had sourdough and french this week. My girls loved it. I only had about 1/2 cup left for lunch leftovers the next day.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tarter Cobbler

This is a light, tart apple cobbler - with much more fruit than cobbler. It is good - if you like things tart. I usually mix the apples to give it more depth of flavor. Enjoy - serve it with some vanilla ice cream. Oh, I took it from a Cooking Light mag and changed some things...

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, chopped
6 cups apples - braeburn and granny smith make a good blend
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch

Mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients. Slice apples, toss in cranberries. Toss to coat with dry ingredients, pour over the top with oj mixture (3 last ingredients). Top with chunked butter. Bake in square pan at 375 for 40 minutes. yummy

Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread & Pumpkin Butter Bars

I don't even remember where or when I got this recipe, but it is really yummy and great for fall. I made some for Michelle, the office, and then divided some for other tastes here and there.

3 cups flour
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups sugar
1 can pumpkin
4 large eggs
1 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup dried cranberries

Mix all dry, then mix into the wet. Bake in loaf pan for 55-65 minutes at 350 until knife comes out clean. Enjoy! (oh, spray only the bottom of the loaf pans and don't overmix!)

The other bar on the plate is some William-Sonoma Pumpkin Butter bars. This is made with W-S' exclusive pumpkin pecan butter that they only sell between Sept-Dec. So, stock up! I do.
After Laura and I had a time trying to read my encrypted recipe card, we did figure it out. They are so good.

1 box yellow cake mix, divided
1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, divided
3 eggs, divided
1 jar pumpkin butter, found at W-S stores nationwide
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Take out 1 cup of the cake mix. Melt 1 stick butter, the remaining cake mix and 1 egg. mix together and pour in the bottom of 9x13 sprayed pan. Press down. Then take pumpkin butter, 2 eggs, milk - mix that up and pour on top of the cake batter. Then take 1 cup mix and rest of ingredients and mix up (chopped up butter) and then sprinkle that on top. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Yummy! These are also good with 1/2 jar of W-S Cranberry relish they are selling right now too!

Slimmed-Down Pumpkin Pie

This is actuall pretty good. I definitely like pumkpin pie cold as to right out of the oven. I took it too work, after I gave some away to some girls, but I had some more and baked it in a custard dish - had 2 bites of it tonight. Yummy! This is adapted from a Cooking Light recipe:

Pumkpin Pie

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 can ff evaporated milk (12 oz)
1 large egg
2 egg whites
1 can pumpkin

Mix all that together and pour it in a regular frozen pie shell. Bake on lowest position at 425 for 10 minutes, then change temp to 350 and bake for another 50 minutes or until pie is set. This is so easy! :) Serve with cool whip. Stephanie - I hope you liked it. 200 calories, 7 fat or less b/c I used ff and not reduced, and 3 grams fiber

Restaurant Review and Ode - Lucky 32 (Raleigh)

I love this place! It was a sad day on Saturday when it was going to be the last time I would eat there. LUCKY 32 is my fave restaurant in all of Raleigh - and it is the state capital. Now, they do have other ones, but the one in Cary just isn't as great. The atmosphere is swanky, contemporary. We sat outside because it was such a gorgeous day. I introducted Claudia to it, and she loved it too.
I had the Citrus Grilled chicken salad. They had a ff honey mustard dressing and then the salad was great. Chicken was moist and marinated in an orange dressing of some sort. But the salad had blueberries on it - that was a surprise and walnut bread crumbs. I shared some of Claudi's appetizer - crab and artichoke dip with the bread and these little parmesan crisps - just the right crispness and parmesan cheese baked on top. Then for dessert we had the sorbet (raspberry, lemon, and mango) with cinnamon shortbread cookies. Sorbet was amazing - cookies were a little soggy, or stale. So be it.
Enjoy the pictures - Claudi took them. Bye bye 32 - you were a nice friend while you are were here. Randy, MG, Vic, my parents, Claudie - all will agree. Laura I think used to even work there. Oh, what a sad day...