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Pumpkin Bread – Go Big or Go Home!

That's a whole lotta pumpkin bread!

That’s my motto above, “go big or go home.” Fortunately for me, this recipe totally fits the bill. Full of fall flavors and reminiscent of pumpkin pie with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, this recipe makes a moist bread consistently has people raving. Because it makes 3 large loaves per batch, prepare yourself with a large mixing bowl. I use my KitchenAid mixer which, aside from small amounts of flour that end up airborne, makes mixing this recipe is a snap. I bought a 3-pack of 9 x 5 non-stick loaf pans from Wal-Mart for roughly $5.00. Since I’ve made this recipe numerous times over the last year or so, the small investment has totally paid off.Creative types can customize the recipe by adding raisins or chocolate chips. I sometimes top my loaves with chopped pecans or walnuts. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m thinking about adding a cream cheese swirl to my next batch. Try it slathered with a little butter or whipped cream cheese.

By adjusting the baking time you could make smaller loaves or mini loaves to use as gifts. Just wrap the loaves in a little cellophane tied with some raffia or colored ribbon and wait for the squeals of delight!

In the unlikely event you have leftovers, this bread freezes well wrapped in tin foil.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large can pumpkin puree (29 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9×5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  5. Optional: sprinkle with 1/8 to 1/4 cup chopped nuts per loaf, if using.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.

Kat’s Tip:

Make sure you buy pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix which already has spices mixed into it.

Kat’s Second Tip:

It can be difficult to measure the mixture equally between the three loaves. This means that they may not all be done at the same time. I use a wooden barbeque skewer as sort of bit toothpick. I makes a nearly invisible hole but allows you to make sure the loaves are cooked through.

Makes 36 slices

Nutritional information – values are approximate per serving:

Calories 247Total Fat 10.3 g Cholesterol 35 mg Sodium 570 mg Total Carbohydrate 36.8 g Protein 3 g

Recipe source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pumpkin-bread-iv/detail.aspx

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Breakfast, Desserts, Holiday, Uncategorized

 

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Blue Cheese and Bacon Potato Casserole

Bad things happen when I don’t have food in the house. Since I’m single and no one else is relying on me for sustenance I can get away with a bare cupboard. Except that when the cupboard is bare I tend to skip meals. Or make a meal out of the 1/4 cup of pepitas that I was saving for my next batch of home made energy bars. Or a can of black olives. Or an avocado.

One such night I was lounging in front of the TV and realized I was starving. I was down to odds and ends in the pantry. Recalling that I had a petite sirloin left over from another meal, I googled “steak+cous cous+blue cheese” and discovered a recipe for steak with a mouthwatering marinade, a blue cheese/sour cream topping and a side dish of cous cous. I miraculously happened to have all the ingredients so I rushed into the kitchen. The results were fabulous and I went to bed a happy camper that night knowing that I had a thoroughly healthy dinner (as opposed to no dinner at all, or a pickle).

A few days later I was embroiled in emails flying back and forth with my brother as we planned the family Easter dinner at his house. When he told me he as cooking a beef roast (a rare thing in my family), I offered to make the marinade and he accepted. I also decided to morph the blue cheese/sour cream “dressing” into a blue cheese/sour cream potato casserole to which I added chopped bacon, just because I was in the mood. Everyone loved it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag frozen southern style hash brown cut potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon butter, margarine or olive oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped scallions (green and white parts)
  • 2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, preferrably white pepper
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray and 8 or 9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Heat butter, margarine or oil in a skillet until hot but not smoking. Add onions and garlic. Saute over medium heat until soft (3 to 5 minutes).
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture. Stir until the flour disappears.
  4. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly, until well combined.
  5. Add the spices and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens up the consistency of cream. Remove from heat.
  6. Add the blue cheese and the frozen potatoes and stir until well combined.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bacon crumbles, if using.

Bake about 40 to 45 minutes until the poatoes are heated throughand the top turns golden brown.

Serves eight

Nutritional information – values per serving are approximate:

Inspiration: Weight Watchers Smart Choice Recipe Collection – 1995

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Asian-style dressing

I made this dressing as part of the Pampered Chef Potato Bar cooking show and it was delightful. It actually lasted quite a while in my fridge and its really easy to prepare:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup olive or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1″ fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar

Directions:

  1. Mince the garlic and mince or grate the ginger. Pampered Chef has a Garlic Press and/or Microplane Zester that would be perfect for this job.
  2. Combine the ingredients in a measuring cup
  3. Stir and serve
  4. Store the remainder in a covered container in your refrigerator. Keeps indefinitely but should be gone before then.
 
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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Salads, Uncategorized

 

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