November 30, 2010

Cranberry Sauce

Another one of my husbands favorites from our Thanksgiving Day dinner was this cranberry sauce. Sweetened with maple syrup and cranberry juice.  Amazing.  Try it.  You won't regret it.

Add one bag of fresh cranberries to a large sauce pan. Pour in one cup of 100% cranberry juice

Then add the maple syrup (REAL maple syrup).

Add a splash of orange juice

Stir well and then turn the heat onto high.

Watch out for those bubbles, some of mine spilled over the edge.

Cook for 10 minutes or until the juice is thick. You can skim the foam if you'd like.  I didn't.

Now place this wonderful goodness into a jar and refrigerate.  Its delicious, enjoy.

You can find the recipe here: Cranberry Sauce

November 29, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Pie

Today begins my Thanksgiving dinner and dessert items, so prepare yourselves!  One of the biggest hits of our dinner was dessert.  My husband said this is one of the best pies hes ever eaten and has already requested it again for Christmas dinner.  I made all my recipes from the same blog this year and was very happy with them all. I hope you'll give this one a try this holiday season; its a keeper for sure.

Start by crushing up the graham crackers either in a food processor or by putting them into a bad and beating the heck out of them with your rolling pin. One of these methods is also a stress reliever. :-)

Next add the melted butter and the powered sugar and mix until the entire mixture is damp.

Press this mixture into a pie plate and refrigerate until solid.

Next, in a medium saucepan add the vanilla pudding mix.  The Cook and Serve kind, a 3 oz box.

Now add the half and half, and spices and whisk together.

Refrigerate until cool so that it cuts easier. You'll also notice that I didn't top mine with the fancy graham cracker/brown sugar topping that she suggests.  This is mostly because I forgot.  Since I'm making it again soon I'll be sure to try the topping. Enjoy!

Here's where you can find the recipe: Pioneer Woman's Pumpkin Cream Pie

November 22, 2010

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

Let me start out by saying that I wasn't able to get a picture of this on a plate with me ready to dig into it because I made it for a work function, and didn't bring my camera to the function.  I am told that it was very good however.  I will be making it again just to verify and give more details.  This was very easy to make, and I didn't get any cracking like I sometimes do with other cheesecake recipes.  This is probably due to the mixture that is added to the top layer. 

I'm sorry for the lousy photographs you are about to see.  I made this at night so.....

Above I have mixed together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  Mix until smooth and then add the eggs and blend again. 

Remove 1 cup of the mixture and pour it into the bottom of a graham cracker crust.

With the remaining cream cheese mixture add the pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Once mixed, carefully fold in the whipped topping.

Pour the pumpkin cream cheese mixture over the first layer of cream cheese and carefully smooth it out.

Sorry, I was in a hurry and put it in the oven before I took a picture of it. 

Here it is cooked, it had a beautiful orange color and was sort of firm around the edges while the center wasn't quite set all the way.  This is what you want.  This also made my house smell really good.  Quick and easy dessert, I wish I could comment about its taste but honestly I didn't even get to try some at my company event.  I was told it was very good though.

Here's where you can find the recipe: Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

November 15, 2010

Apple Squares

Yes its true, I still haven't used up all my apples. I made this recipe for the first time when my family and I recently drove up to Boston.  My husband said he wanted apple pie.....not very portable and even harder to eat while driving.  I found this recipe and I'm so glad I did, it's full of apples and portable too.  Can't go wrong here.

In the bowl above is the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Here we have the brown sugar, white sugar, and butter.

After those ingredients have been mixed, add the eggs.

Incorporate the flour mixture.

Add the apples and stir by hand to combine.

Pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan.

Top with cinnamon sugar mix and bake.

Bake until it turns nice and golden on top.

Let cool before cutting into squares.  The texture is very much like a moist cake.  The apples chunks are perfect.  I left out the nut option and just added more apples in their place.  My husband can't get enough of this so I had to take the rest to work, to save ourselves from it.  Enjoy!

Here is the original recipe, my modified version will be below: Apple Squares

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter - melted
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups apples - peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a bowl and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl add the melted butter and both sugars and mix to combine.  Next, add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix.
Slowly add the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture until combined.  Add the chopped apples and stir by hand to combine so the apples don't break apart.  Pour into a prepared 9x13 inch dish and top with the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the top begins to turn a golden brown.  Let cool in the pan before cutting.

November 12, 2010

Apple Dumplings

Before I begin, let me just say that this is a totally wonderful dish that will probably shorten your life...I'm just sayin.

I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs ( and knew I would have to make it.  I did succeed in avoiding it for an entire six months and then the stupid apples came into season and I bought a bunch and I HAD to use them up.  Right? Right!

First, buy two 8-ounce refrigerated containers of crescent roll dough.  Peel two apples, core them, then cut them into 8 pieces. Now wrap each apple in a crescent roll triangle and put them into a 9x13 inch dish.

Melt two sticks of butter.  This is only the beginning of the reasons I tried to avoid it....

Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar.  Do you feel your arteries clogging yet? Don't stir the sugar until it dissolves, in fact just stir it until its all wet from the butter and then stop.

Turn off the heat and add the vanilla.

Pour the mixture over the apples wrapped in crescent dough making sure to cover all the apples.  It will be lumpy and that's what you want.

Now pour 12 oz of Mt. Dew around the outer edges.  I don't know why you just pour it around the outer edges but I bet Pioneer Woman can answer it for you if you ask her.

Sprinkle the tops with Cinnamon.

Put into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.

The tops get nice and crispy while the bottom stays soft and the sauce forms into a nice thick syrup...

Pioneer Woman suggests serving this with vanilla ice cream and putting some of the syrup over the top.  I would have totally done that if I'd have had vanilla ice cream.  This is one of those quick and easy desserts that you will just keep going back for more.  That's one reason I tried so hard not to make it.  But I'm glad I did, now please come over and help me eat it.  Help!

Here's where you can find the recipe and detailed instructions:
Apple Dumplings

November 8, 2010

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

There I was, minding my own business looking through the pantry for something sweet to eat.  I knew I wanted something different, and something sort of seasonal and there before me on the back of a Craisins (Sweetened dried cranberries) bag was this recipe.  How bought that.  Just what I needed.  So I made them, I ate them, I like I ate some more....

Begin by mixing the butter and the sugar together.

Mix until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time and mix each thoroughly before adding another.

In a separate bowl, add Old Fashioned Oats


Baking soda and salt

Add the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture slowly until its all combined.

Add the craisins

I had this White Chocolate bar in the pantry but you can also use white chocolate chips.

Chop up into chunks, unless you're using chips....then leave alone.

Add the chocolate in with the Craisins

Mix by hand to ensure the chocolate chunks don't get broken into smaller pieces.

Use a teaspoon to dollop the dough onto a cookies sheet, I used parchment paper because I love parchment paper very much.  My cookie sheets thank me when I use parchment paper. 

I baked mine for exactly 10 minutes and they came out perfectly.

I think I ate all the these display cookies.  I felt like I should since I'd touched them all already and stuff.  It wouldn't have been right to put them back.  What, don't look at me like that...

Here is photographic evidence of the exact recipe, but in case you don't have a magnifying glass on you I'll retype below.

2/3 Cup butter, softened
2/3 Cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 Cups Old-Fashioned Oats
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 6-ounce package Craisins
2/3 Cup White Chocolate - cut into chunks

Preheat the oven to 375.

Mix the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, mixing well after each addition. 
In a separate bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, and salt and mix.  Add the flour mixture into the sugar/butter mixture slowly until well combined.
Add the craisins and white chocolate and stir until incorporated.  Drop by rounded teaspoon onto a ungreased baking sheet (or use parchment paper like me).  Bake for 10 minutes or until the tops begin to turn golden.  Cool on a wire rack.