Sunday, November 30, 2008

Menu Week: Dec 1

Here we are: the holidays are definitely already in full swing. That means, you bake and take, eat healthy when you aren't at parties, and eat wisely when you are at parties - remembering that there is usually another party to go to.
So...this is the week ahead of me:
Fall Pork Stew (cooking now)
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Sarah Foster recipe)
Peanut Butter Blondies
Wintermint Brownies
Granola (Sarah Foster Recipe) are parties:
SBTS Secret Sister Secretary Luncheon (Tuesday)
CBMW Christmas party
Gift Exchange Brunch for Crossing Women

Happy first week of December! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hot Cheesy Corn Dip

Got this recipe from closet cooking and also Emeril - but changed it a little. This was great served with Tostito Gold chips - and hot while the cheese is still gooey!

1 bag frozen corn (12 oz), thawed
2 T butter (1 each)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 green onion (white and green), chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
s/p to taste
1 block monterey jack cheese
1/3 cup light mayo
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 handfuls of grated 2 % sharp cheddar cheese.

Saute the corn in 1 T butter for about 5 minutes. Set aside. Saute pepper and onions about 2 minutes in other pat of butter. Add rest of veggies, for another 2 minutes. Mix all together with the rest of everything - topping it with the cheddar cheese. 8x8 pan, lightly sprayed with pam. 20 minutes at 350. Yummy - and definitely has a kick!

Deep Dish Crunchy and Sweet Sweet Potato Bake

Ok - a long name for sweet potato casserole. I got this recipe from my friend Beth - her in-laws make this. I tweaked it to not make it so rich and sweet because i like it better medium on the sweetness. But, this is so yummy! And I had to use real sweet potatoes.

5 large sweet potatoes (bake, take out of skins)
1 stick salted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1/2 cup milk

Bake in a deep dish baker (round, Pampered Chef). Spray, 400, 20 minutes.

1 cup cornflakes, crushed with your hands
1 stick salted butter, melted
1/c cup chopped pecans
2 handfuls coconut (how can this stuff get any better?)

Melt butter, stir in rest. Spread on top of casserole. Bake at 350 for another 18-20 minutes or until browned.
So creamy and then crunchy and sweet on top. I'd rather have it crunchy and sweet than with marshmallows.

Orange Cranberry Sauce

This is a Cooking Light recipe. One thing on the Thanksgiving table has to be somewhat good for you - right?

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup oj (fresh squeezed if possible)
1/8 cup honey (I got mine from Dr. Wilder when he harvested it down in GA this fall)
1/8 tsp all-spice
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup water
1 bag cranberries

Put all in a medium saucepan. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat. Stir occasionally. Cook until thickened and cranberries have burst. I like some still whole. It was pretty good - still tart. I doubled the recipe. And for 1/4 cup of it - 80 calories! Much less than a piece of pie!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Using Leftover Vegetables

This weekend I finally had some time to work on the kitchen - and the fridge. I realized I needed to use up some vegetables - so I went to work last night.

Egg White omelete with mushrooms, grape tomatos, and cheese
4 egg whites
3 mushrooms - sliced
5 grape tomatoes - halved
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
2 T 2% sharp cheddar cheese
cook over mid-high heat the veggies first, then add eggs - cook till done. Enjoy!

Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms
7 large red potatoes
3/4 mushroom container,
Peel potatoes, cube
Wipe mushrooms and slice (not the stem)
2 T butter, 2 T olive oil - dot around - sheet pan, pepper
425 for 18 minutes, then toss, then cook for another 20. Enjoy!

Lemon Gingerbread Muffins

This recipe had already been tweaked by Noodle Nights and Muffin Mornings from a Cooks' Illustrated recipe - so I pretty much left it the same. It probably makes about 16 or so muffins because I made 12 and had extra batter. Sorry for no pictures - this one would have some good ones, but I need to get a new camera - mine quit working this weekend.

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup molasses
1 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly

Lemon Glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
juice of a large lemon

375 middle rack, spray muffins tins, dry, wet, fold together till just mixed. Bake for 18 minutes. Lemon glaze while warm.
These were actually better than I thought they would be. I've been wanting to try them, but gingerbread is usually more dry than these muffins were. I was pleasantly surprised!

Monday, November 24, 2008

ManCube Chocolate Chip Muffins

The mancube is some guys who work in our copy center/mailroom/store here at Southern. They are very helpful and fun and all-around great guys! So, we had a huge project due last week and they were a huge help to me! Chocolate Chip muffins are great rewards.
This is one I got from Bake or Break - love the blog. These turned out a little too dark on top. Here is how I would adjust them for next time: use a regular not a dark muffin tin. Keep temp at 375, lower cooking time from 22 minutes to 20 minutes. Everything else would be good to go.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp powder, soda, cinnamon, salt (just realized I forgot the cinnamon in these, so you can leave out or put in)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips ( I like the difference in the chips)

375, lined, and lightly sprayed. Mix flour through salt. Mix eggs through vanilla. Combine, fold in chips. Bake 20 minutes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Menu Week: Thanksgiving

Yes - the week of Thanksgiving. This one I will be staying here, housesitting, and eating at a professor's house just like I did last year - finishing off with the Florida Gator game against in-state rival - Florida State. This is what I'm cooking so far this week, but could add some things too. And, going out with people is in this week too. More on that later:
Orange Cranberry Sauce for T-day lunch
Pecan Topped Pumpkin Bread for Secretary B-day breakfast
Sweet Potato Casserole for T-day lunch
Chocolate Chip Cookies for just because
Chocolate Chip Muffins for the ManCube

Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone. May you continue to know the grace of God in your life - and know that everything we celebrate comes from His Good hand and is ours because of the glorious Cross of Jesus!

Taste of Owensboro: Rolling Pin and Moonlite BBQ

Went to Owensboro this weekend to hang out with new friends, the Martins and Whitakers. Saturday morning tradition at the Martin's house is donuts from the Rolling Pin. I did have a little bit of a chocolate glazed no filling long john and a donut hole. The dough itself was so soft and tender - not tough like some donuts. Chocolate was more icing then glaze. Donut hold was amazing - good flavor. Better then KK donut holes. Thanks Kerry for going out in 15 degree weather to get them - I was very glad to distract Andrew while you got out the door!
For dinner we went to the famed O-boro BBQ joint - Moonlite BBQ Inn. Known for its buffet and home cooking - I was thankful to hang out with the family and enjoy bbq. They had bbqd beef, pork ribs, mutton, chopped pork, bbq chicken. I didn't get any of the beef or mutton, but out of everything - the only thing I didn't like was the bbqd chicken - it was dry and overcooked. Sonny's is much better. The sides were amazing - mac and cheese, corn, green beans, cheesy broccoli, yeast rolls - you can't go wrong with country cooking! The desserts were a buffet in themselves - everything you could think of. I had a little bit of carrot cake and a little bit of coconut cream pie. Full and satisfied with good company - I journeyed back to the ville.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Best of Fall Cookies

Made these for small group tonight - the best small group in the state of KY - they eat what I bake!
I got the recipe from my fave cookbook - Sarah Foster - from Foster's in Durham/Chapel Hill.
These were great cookies! Best of everything that makes fall good - almost!

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Put flour and soda and butterscotch chips in a food processor and grind till chips are well-integrated. Cream butter, sugars, and egg. Add oats and pumpkin. Mix in flour till no more flour appears. Fold in chips and walnuts. Bake at 350 for about 13 minutes for bigger cookies on greased cookie sheet. Makes about 30. Enjoy with others and a glass of milk.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Menu Week - November 17

Ok - I'm a day late. But, today I actually have time to go grocery shopping. This week will be different and probably next week too, but will eventually get back in a routine. This week I'll just tell you what I'm going to be making - then will post the recipes when I make them:

Chocolate Chip Muffins
Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake
Pumpkin White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies - these are a favorite of mine, so they are already on here
Curry Honey Mustard Chicken and Roasted Butternut Squash

I love baking - and have a rule - bake and take!
The two main dish recipes are for my dinner this week and next - since I am housesitting next week. Cookies are for small group - with milk of course. Cookies are for sundaes for our dessert with dinner and friends on Saturday in Owensboro.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Birthday Pumpkin Pie

Tomorrow is one of my professor's birthdays, so he wanted Pumpkin Pie. Thankfully - I had everything in my cupboards so I wouldn't have to pick up things in NC. And I love pumkpin pies because they are fairly easy! Happy Birthday Dr. Richardson - thank you for your love for your students and your famed b-ball skills.
I got this recipe from the lovely and talented Tina Wright yesterday while I ate dinner at their home in Raleigh. Its very yummy, creamy, and not very heavy as some pumpkin pies are.

1 9-in pie shell - I just use a frozen one. Its easy!
1 14 oz can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (this recipe is one of their's)
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each nutmeg, ginger, salt

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Turn down oven to 350 and bake for 37-40 minutes or until done. Take out and cool - serve with Cool Whip.
I didn't let mine cool before putting foil on it to bring it to work this morning, so it sweated some - but still tastes yummy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Creamy Crumble Pumpkin Muffins

I have been wanting to make these for a while since I saw them on my google reader - finally made them for small group tonight (with leftovers for the office). This makes a ton of muffins. I made 24 and still had batter left over. They weren't as "cheesecakey" as I thought they were going to be - but everyone said they were good. you go...

3 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, soda
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin (1 1/4 cans)
1 1/4 cup canola oil

6 ounces softened cream cheese
3 T sugar
2 T heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour
3 T brown sugar
2 T sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
6 T unsalted butter, melted

350. Mix batter. Spray 24 muffin tins - fill 3/4 full. Mix cream cheese batter and put 1-2 tsp on top, stir in with a butter knife. Mix crumble topping and sprinkle generously on top. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Enjoy!

La Vida Java

I'm not one of those people that just go hang out in coffee shops just for the fun of it - to kill time. Except maybe the Caribou on Franklin Street by the mall in Chapel Hill. I love that one! :)
But, I found a new place last night while bonding with a new friend. Her friends own this great place and it opened about a year ago.
Colors are comfortable and cozy, great leather couch big enough for two people to lounge on and not feel like they are encroaching into each other's personal space, games galore (including one on Louisville trivia). Quiet even with people in there. Well-priced (a huge mug of their gourmet Guittard hot chocoleche for 3.75). They even gave it to me in a red mug which is fabulous! They sell local things there (jewelry, notecards, etc) but its not overtaking the place. Very nice and talkative.
So, since this place is only about 10-15 minutes from campus in the Lyndon area, I will try to make this a regular stop of mine. At least in the winter when I love hot chocolate! :)

Chris' Apple Pie

Chris Flora turned 25 on Monday. I always joke with him about being so young - well...I guess not anymore. He is a life-saver to me in the office, because I pass off most students to him on questions that are not in my job description! :) He makes my life so much easier!
Chris - happy birthday - and I hope you and your wife enjoyed the pie and the caramel syrup!
Oh, and this is from a new cookbook given to me by Lindsay - Lindsay, great reviews.
Chris' thoughts on the pie: "Great crust (I can't take credit for it, I used pillsbury roll-out crusts), the apples were cooked just perfectly, tasted like a pie from the Pie Kitchen" - Thanks Chris.

Pie crust for 2 crusts (I used the Pillsbury rolled ones. I don't have room in my kitchen to roll out dough, and it is so much easier)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 T flour
7 cups apples (I used a mixture of granny smith, winesap, and baking gala apples) - peeled, sliced
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 T cold unsalted butter
2 T heavy cream
1 T sugar

9 inch pie pan, roll one dough out for the bottom, pack into pie pan. Mix the sugars, flour, spices. Toss the apples and lemon juice. Mix together. Pour and arrange into pan. Chop up the butter into small chunks and place over top. Cover with other roll of dough. Cut off excess and crimp edges. Cut slits in the top. Glaze with cream and sugar.
Move rack to bottom of oven, bake at 450 for 20 minutes. Move to middle rack and cut hear to 375 for 35-45 minutes or until apples are done. Watch crust edges so they don't burn. Enjoy either ice cream, cool whip, or caramel syrup (or all the above). Let cool first for a couple of hours so the apples have time to set.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Menu Week - November 10

This week's menu will be short as I am leaving for Raleigh on Thursday after work. Can't wait! :) But, here we go!
Monday - Lunch with Brandi at 60West here in the St. Matthew's area. I think I am going for the veggie wrap unless they have amazing soup since it is cold but sunny here in the ville. Dinner will be an egg white omelette and then on to baking an 3-apple pie for Chris' b-day.
Tuesday - Lunch will be a pbj with pear butter that my friend Rachael made me and some pretzels and fruit. Dinner will be a salad with salmon on it. I am meeting a new friend for coffee at La Vida Java here in the ville after pilates.
Wednesday - Lunch will hopefully be my yogurt parfait if Founders has any and some pretzels. Dinner is an egg white omelette and apple. I'm going to try some pumpkin cheesecake muffins for small group - we'll see how they turn out.
Thursday - Lunch is some leftover soup. Dinner will be a sandwich - something easy to take with me in the car as a friend and I start our trek to RDU by way of WVa.
Friday - Lunch is at the Tea Room in Wake Forest with my friend Charity. Dinner is grilled chicken and veggies with friends Kasey and Frank
Saturday - Lunch is a healthy fall meal at the women's conference I am speaking at in Apex. Dinner is with one of the coolest families in the world - the Bacons - in Durham.
Sunday - Lunch is at the Wright's in Raleigh and dinner is on the road back to the ville.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Menu Week - November 3

Well, this week will be kinda crazy too - due to housesitting - but will get in some cooking this week:
Monday - Lilly's clam chowder for lunch. She made some on Wednesday and brought it to me at work - I look forward to heating it up! Egg White omelet and steamed broccoli for dinner (gotta use up the broccoli before it goes bad).
Tuesday - I should do something red white and blue in honor of Election Day, hmmmmm... Soup for lunch (either Tyler's or Lilly's). Oatmeal with mixed berries (r, wh, and b) after voting.
Wednesday - Soup for lunch (whichever one I don't have on Tuesday). Dinner will be chicken tenders and fresh green beans. Small group baking is an apple pecan cake - unfortunately most of my golden delicious apples are gone.
Thursday - Yogurt parfait (from Founders if they have any, they've been slacking). Egg White omelette for dinner with some veggies.
Friday - both meals will be on the road to B'ham.
Saturday - Hotel breakfast, lunch at my cousins house
Sunday - breakfast at cousins house, then heading back to the Ville.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Caramel Apple Pecan Crisp

I love caramel and apples together - but I don't like caramel apples - odd, I know. So, today I took a regular plain Betty Crocker recipe and made it my own. I loved it. The big pan is going to my pastor's house who just welcomed Sophie Grace into the world.

Caramel Apple Pecan Crisp (9x13 pan)

6 medium golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
2 T flour
1/2 cup scant brown sugar
1/3 cup cinnamon chips (or ground cinnamon) - I got mine from King Arthur - but I know Hershey's makes them too (just hard to find
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar
10 T butter, chopped
1/2 cup (2 palm fulls) of chopped pecans

Grease 9x13 pan. Toss apples with ingredients up to and including cinnamon chips. Pour in pan. Crumble the rest (save pecans) together and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 uncovered for 25 minutes. Add pecans to the top and bake for another 7-10 minutes, be careful not to let pecans burn.
I loved this! :) I'm glad the rest of it is going away so I don't eat it all! :)