Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crumb-Topped Apple Pumpkin Pie

I LOVE Thanksgiving and am so excited that it's next week! If you can't decide between making a pumpkin pie and an apple pie, this recipe is perfect for you! I like the combination of 2 of my favorite Fall foods in one unique dessert! Recipe from Taste of Home.

1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry (I used my Mom's Pie Crust recipe HERE)
2 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1-1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons cold butter
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (I substituted pecans)

On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry. Transfer pastry to a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; flute edges with your thumb. In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, flour, lemon juice and cinnamon. Spoon into crust.

In another large bowl, whisk the pumpkin filling ingredients. Pour over apple mixture. C
over edges with foil to prevent over browning, if necessary. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes.

For topping, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly; stir in walnuts. Sprinkle over pie. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until a knife inserted into pumpkin layer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 10 servings.

Kathy's Coffee Cake

I had a brunch with friends this week, so I made my favorite coffee cake. This recipe comes from family friend Kathy Newton and it is DIVINE! I remember being giddy when Kathy would bring this over at Christmas when I was younger.

Cream together:
       1 cup butter or margarine
       2 cups sugar
       2 eggs
       1 cup sour cream (I use reduced-fat sour cream)
       1 tsp. vanilla
       2 cups all-purpose flour
       1 tsp. baking powder
       1/2 tsp. salt

Spread half of the batter into a greased tube pan. Sprinkle with half of the topping (Below). Repeat with remaining batter and sprinkle with remaining topping. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50-60 minutes. Let cool in pan.

Topping: Mix well:
        1/2 cup brown sugar
        2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Shepherd's Pie

Mashed potatoes:
        2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
        2 Tbs. sour cream
        1 egg yolk
        1/2 cup chicken broth
        Salt and pepper, to taste
        2 pounds lean ground beef
        1 carrot, peeled and chopped
        1 onion, chopped
        2 Tbs. butter
        2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
        1 cup beef broth
        2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
        1 cup frozen peas
        1 cup frozen corn
        1 teaspoon sweet paprika
        2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine sour cream, egg yolk and chicken broth. Add the mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are very smooth.

While potatoes boil, heat sauté pan to medium-high heat and add ground beef. Season meat with salt and pepper.  Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook butter and flour together for 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas & corn.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Sprinkle potatoes with paprika and black pepper and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Remove from oven and top with chopped parsley. Serves 8.

Notes: I used yukon gold potatoes and 1 yam for the topping and we loved it! I cooked and then mashed the yam right along with the potatoes. Yum!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lion House Sweet & Sour Chicken

This has quickly become a favorite at our house. The sauce is delicious and it is super easy to prepare. 

6- 8 chicken breasts (or 10-12 tenders)
1 egg beaten
4-6 T. corn starch or flour
2 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. black pepper
1 c. vinegar (I use half apple cider vinegar)
1 c. chicken broth
7 T. ketchup
2 tsp. soy sauce

Method 1

Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt and pepper let stand for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325º. Dip chicken in egg then in corn starch or flour. Brown in hot oil and place in baking dish. Combine sugar, vinegar, chicken broth, ketchup, and soy sauce. Pour that over chicken, cover and bake for 1 hour at 325º. Turn chicken once or twice. Serve with rice or quinoa.

Method 2 (I prefer it this way) 

If you are short on time or are trying to cut calories skip battering the chicken and simply put raw chicken breasts in casserole dish, sprinkle with pepper and garlic salt and top with sauce. If using this method add 3 Tbs. cornstarch to the sauce and cook for 1 1/2 hrs or until sauce darkens and thickens. This method is how it is pictured above.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Zupas Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

My husband always gets this soup when we go to Zupas so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. We really liked it. It is a lot healthier than I would've imagined too (no heavy cream). Trick your kids into eating veggies, just tell them its cheese soup :) 

2 tablespoons margarine or butter (1/4 stick)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (2% would probably be best but I use skim and it is fine)
1 can (13 3/4 to 14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 head (2 1/2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup pepper jack cheese

In 4-quart saucepan, melt margarine or butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and salt; cook 2minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually stir in milk, chicken broth, and 1 1/2 cups water; add cauliflower and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. In blender (with center part of blender cover removed to allow steam to escape), blend cauliflower mixture at low speed in small batches until very smooth. Return cauliflower mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in mustard and 1 1/2 cups cheese until melted and smooth. Garnish soup with remaining cheese. Serve on its own or along side your favorite sandwich. (pictured here with ham and cheese crescent rolls)

Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls

These are so simple and are great for lunch or along side a soup or salad.

1 package crescent rolls
ham slices
cheese (we like swiss)

separate crescent rolls. place desired amount of ham and cheese on crescent dough. Roll up and cook according to package instructions. 

TIP: Make these fun for your kids and let them fill their own. Add veggies, honey mustard, or sprinkle with poppy seeds. The possibilities are endless. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cake

I love cinnamon rolls. My Mom and I have always said that if we had a last meal on Earth, they would be part of it. Believe it or not I have found something I love more...this cake. It has all the gooey flavor of a cinnamon roll with a fluffier cake texture, plus it is a lot easier to make than cinnamon rolls (no rolling pin required, yay.) This is great as a dessert but would also work for a breakfast/brunch. 

3 c. flour
1/4 tsp.salt
1 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Mix all the cake ingredients together except for the butter. Slowly stir in the melted butter and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes. 

2 c. powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Pour over cake while still a little warm. 
recipe from Life as a Lofthouse

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Healthy and Hearty Chicken Quinoa Stew

This is another recipe that I've been making for a few years and I can't believe I haven't posted it here yet. This yummy stew is from my friend Jenny from Picky Palate. It's my favorite of all her recipes. We love it!

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups sweet pepper, chopped (I get the big bag from Costco, love them!)*
1 large zucchini, quartered and sliced (my kids like it better peeled first)
64 oz. (8 cups) chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, scrubbed and cubed into 1 inch pieces
3 Cups cooked quinoa*

4 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked, shredded and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard*
1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce, I used Cholula (optional)
Kosher Salt, fresh cracked black pepper and Lawry’s Garlic Salt with Parsley, to taste
1 1/2 Cups fresh parsley, chopped

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, carrots, peppers and zucchini until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and tomatoes and potatoes. Increase heat to high just until broth starts to boil. Reduce to medium high and cook potatoes for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Reduce heat to low and stir in quinoa, chicken, dijon mustard, hot sauce and season to taste w/ salt, pepper and Lawry’s. Stir in fresh parsley and simmer until ready to serve.

*Alli's NOTES: To cook quinoa, use 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa and 3 to 3 1/2 cups water. Cook in the microwave (10-12 minutes) or in a small saucepan (20 minutes) or until almost tender. Quinoa will continue to cook when you add it to the soup, so it's best to undercook it a little.

I only use 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard and it seems like plenty. In a pinch, I've also used bell pepper in place of the sweet peppers.

The recipe says 8-10 servings, but it makes 12-15 when I've made this.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chicken Crepes

This was what I usually asked my Mom to make for birthday dinners when I was younger. They are SO good and work well for company or an elegant meal. This recipe comes from family friend Jean Hill. I just cut the sauce in half (the recipe listed below is my new change) because the original recipe makes oodles. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do! Pictured with BLT Coleslaw.
      4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

CREPES:  Mix in a blender until smooth:
      1 1/4 cups milk
      1 cup all-purpose flour
      2 eggs
      1 Tbs. butter, melted
      1 Tbs. sugar
      1 tsp. salt

Spray a non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and pour in about 1/2 cup of batter, swirling until it covers the bottom of the pan. Cook until it begins to bubble and carefully flip over with a spatula. Cook on the other side until edges just begin to brown. Repeat with remaining batter. Makes 12 crepes.

SAUCE: Mix in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick:
      1/2 cup butter
      1/2 cup all-purpose flour
      1 cup 2% or whole milk
      2 cups chicken broth
      1/4 tsp. salt 
      1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

      1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Lay a crepe down in the baking dish and fill with 1/3 cup shredded chicken and about 1/4 cup of sauce. Roll up and repeat with the remaining crepes. Bake for 25-30 minutes. 

Heat the rest of the sauce and pour over the crepes and sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese. Bake for 5 minutes more, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serves 6 (2 crepes each).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ham and Cheese Lasagna

This dish was in heavy rotation at my house about 10 years ago, then I misplaced the recipe. While looking through my file this week, I found it (I had ripped it out of a magazine) and was so excited to make this delicious and unique lasagna again. It's perfect for company because you can make it in advance and pop it in the oven when you're ready. The lasagna does need to sit for 15 minutes after baking so it sets up, so please keep that in mind. Recipe from Woman's Day magazine, 2/19/2002. Enjoy!

      2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) condensed Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup
      1 soup can low-fat milk
      1 can (14.5 ounces) no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes, rinsed and drained 
      1 Tbsp. dry mustard
      1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
      1 (15 ounce) container low-fat ricotta cheese
      2 large eggs
      1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
      3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
      12 uncooked, flat oven-ready lasagna noodles (such as Barilla)
      1 bag (16 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli florets, thawed, pressed dry on paper towels and finely chopped
      1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
      8 oz. thinly sliced deli ham
      1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, well-drained, rinsed and chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a deep 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2.  Cheese Sauce: Whisk ingredients in a small saucepan until blended. Heat, stirring constantly, until cheeses melt.
3.  Ricotta Layer: Mix in a small bowl until combined.
4.  Layer lasagna in prepared baking dish as follows:
  • Spread 1 cup hot cheese sauce over the bottom of the pan.
  • Top with 4 overlapping noodles
  • Half of the ricotta mixture
  • The chopped broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups hot cheese sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 more overlapping noodles
  • Remaining ricotta mixture
  • The sliced ham
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • The chopped red peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups hot cheese sauce
  • 4 more overlapping noodles
  • Remaining hot cheese sauce
  • Sprinkle top with 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
5.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 50 minutes or until sauce and noodles are tender. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 10.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Root Beer Float Cookies

We LOVE Root Beer around my house and when my oldest daughter found this recipe, I was excited to try it. Root Beer concentrate can be hard to find and is sometimes seasonal (Summer), but I can always find it at Wal-Mart, of all places! Recipe from 101 Gourmet Cookies for Everyone.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. Root Beer concentrate (aka extract)
4 cups flour
pinch of salt (about 1/8 tsp.)
1 tsp. baking soda

2-3 Tbsp. whipping cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream together sugars and butter until fluffy. Add milk, eggs and Root Beer concentrate. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour until firm then tool into 1-inch balls. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Frost with glaze.

*NOTE: I didn't have whipping cream, so I made frosting with 3 Tbs. softened butter, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 3 Tbs. evaporated milk and 1/2 tsp. vanilla.  

Lentil Barley Soup

I found this soup recipe at eatingwelllivingthin. *It's a vegetarian dish, but I added diced ham because I had some leftover after making my Mom's Ham & Noodle Casserole. It's full of veggies and good-for-you lentils and barley. Even my kids liked it! Pictured here with oyster soup crackers.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 celery ribs, diced
2 carrots, diced
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken or beef)
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup dry lentils
2/3 cup pearl barley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste

2 cups diced ham (optional)*

In a stock pot, heat oil over medium-low heat . Sauté onion, garlic, celery, and carrots in oil until onion is tender. Add broth, tomatoes, lentils, barley, oregano, rosemary, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for one hour or until lentils and barley are tender, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup water or broth if soup gets too thick before the barley and lentils are soft. Makes approx. TEN 1-cup servings.

(Without ham added) Per serving: Calories 151; Protein 8 g; Fat 4 g; Carbs 13 g; Sugar 2 g; Sodium 355 mg

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gingerbread White Chocolate Blondies

I've made this recipe 3 times now. The first time, I followed the recipe exactly, but the middle fell and the edges were too crispy. I made it twice more and tweaked the recipe quite a bit and... voila! These are soft and bake up perfectly. It barely resembles the original recipe, but you know I wouldn't put just any mediocre recipe on here. No offense, Martha! :) If you love gingersnaps like I do, these soft cookie bars will make you smile! Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart's Cookies

Makes about 18-24 bars (depending on how you cut them)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (12 oz.) package (1 3/4 cups) white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9" baking dish with aluminum foil and then spray the aluminum foil with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, soda, salt, and spices in a bowl and set aside. 
  3. Beat butter, sugar, molasses, egg and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy. Add flour mixture and mix well. Stir in white chocolate chips.
  4. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bake until toothpick poked in the center comes out clean, about 18-22 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes in pan, then lift tin foil out and continue to cool; cut into squares.
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