Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Okay you probable have had pumpkin overload by now but the holidays are just starting. So here is another one.
This bread pudding is so delicious and then the Carmel sauce puts it over the top. So I thought why not throw it right over the edge and put a pecan crumb topping on it! OK I'll stop.

2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 15 oz pure pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
10 cups cubed stale bread
1/2 golden raisins (optional)

 Whisk milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs,
 pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla
 in large bowl to blend.

 Fold in bread cubes. Stir in golden raisins. Transfer mixture to 11x7-inch glass baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake pumpkin until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare caramel sauce:
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup cream
Whisk brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pork Roast

OK, so if you look back in my archives you will find on Oct 21 I did "Leftover Makeover". Well here is the Pork Roast that happened three days earlier.
 The story begins with me sending my husband to the market to get a pork roast and he came home with a huge one 7 3/4 lbs. if I recall. So I plotted on and cooked the monster, only to realize we where going to be eating pork for 3 days in a row! That's how "Leftover Make Over" came about, a delicious enchilada dish I made thanks to some tips from my Daughter on the sauce.

I started with the monster, bone in or boneless shoulder or boston butt roast (but this can be done with any size)
1 head of garlic, 3 tbl. Kosher salt, 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tbl. black peppercorns,olive oil.
in a spice grinder (it's a coffee grinder I use JUST for spices)
add salt rosemary and peppercorns
grind fine (I like to pick it up and shake it wile grinding)
it should look like this


pour olive oil over and rub on

then rub spice blend all over, top, bottom and sides

pour more oil in the bottom of a large stock pot or roasting pan
with a tight fitting lid. Place roast in and about a 1/2 cup of water.
bake covered, in a slow oven, 320 for 3-4 hours remember my roast was 7 3/4 lbs I
went 4 hrs. if your roast is smaller you could go 3 but you can not over cook this, just under cook, so the longer the better.
the meat will fall off the bone when done
when I tried to slice the meat it just fell apart. But that's a very good thing.
If yours does not do this put it back in the over for another 45 min to an hour.

If you have any leftovers you have to try the enchiladas (Oct 21 )

Monday, October 25, 2010

you know I try to shop healthy...

I go and buy all these carrots and nobody eats them so, Carrot Cake it is!! That's one way to get bata carotene in them! This recipe is so easy its only 3 steps

In your "wet" bowl
place 4 eggs,
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil,
1 Tbl. vanilla,
3 cups shredded carrots.

In your "dry" bowl put
2 cups flour
2cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

combine the dry bowl into the wet bowl
and mix with a spatula
just till blended

into a greased and floured tube pan
and bake 350 for 55-60 min till toothpick
comes out clean

Its not a high cake,
but super moist and flavorful.At this point you can slice and like a quick bread and smear it with cream cheese or apple butter or you can frost it.

 cream cheese frosting

1/2 stick softened butter
1 8oz cream cheese softened
1 box (1 lb.) powdered sugar
1 Tbl. vanilla

Friday, October 22, 2010

Just Because

 I found myself this morning with 2 tubes of refrigerator biscuits and some left over pumpkin butter and thought...Humm what could I make, Monkey Bread! But with a Dinner In A Pinch twist.
 I collect all kinds of things, one thing I found the other day wile moving some things around was a whole bag of mini baking tins. I have been finding them here and there over the years and they always seem to make an appearance around the holidays. I love to make mini food, pumpkin bundt cakes or individual cranberry sauce jello molds

                                                         Pumpkin Monkey Breads

2 tubes biscuits                                                  
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbs. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar                                  
2 Tbs cinnamon
1/2 stick butter
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 water
1/4 pumpkin butter or apple butter

 1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2-3 Tbs. apple cider

in a small bowl mix egg water and vanilla, set aside
in another small bowl mix sugar and cinnamon, set aside
on the stove in a small saucepan mix brown sugar, butter, 1/4 water and pumpkin butter.heat to a simmer and stir until dissolved and syrupy

I used individual baking tins but you could do this in a bundt pan

Cut each biscuit into quarters and float in milk mixture pull out about 10 at a lime and dredge in cinnamon sugar. place about 6 in the small pans or layer all into the bundt pan. continue till all are done.
Take the hot syrup of the stove and drizzle about a Tablespoon over each tin or all over the bundt.

Bake on a cookie sheet till puffed up and bubbly about 18-20 min for individuals for up to 35-45 min for the bundt. You could add pecans to the layering process if you would like I just didn't have any.

 Mix glaze together and pour directly over breads in tins (they're so cute I love to serve in them) or unmold onto a plate wile they are warm and drizzle over.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Leftover Makeover

I sent my husband to the store the other day to grab me a pork shoulder, well as most men would, he got the biggest one he could find. A 7 3/4 pounder! So this is the third night in a row we are eating pork!! I figured I had better come up with something different in taste and looks. Then the phone rang, it was my daughter who said she thinks she found a recipe for enchilada sauce just like the one we had on vacation in the mountains this past summer (a new tradition we started and I love, can't wait for next summer) So I whipped up a batch and I gotta say it's not identical but still very good.
This is what I came up with.

·   2 tablespoons chili powder
·   3 tablespoons flour
·   1 teaspoon cocoa powder
·   1/2 teaspoon garlic 
    1/2 teaspoon salt 
·   1 teaspoon oregano
·   3 cups water
·   1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

In a med sauce pan measure all your dry ingredients

then add enough water to mix into a thin paste, this way you will not get lumps. Add in the rest of the water and heat over med heat

simmer for about 5 min until thickened and then add tomatoes, simmer again for another 5 min. be careful to keep stirring this can stick and burn before you know it.

I added some sauce to the leftover pork that I shredded (I heated the pork slightly on med for 5 min. in the microwave, this just makes it much easier to shred)
Then I dragged the flour shells through the sauce (you can use corn too that's traditional, but flour is what I had) fill and roll

Pour a little sauce in the bottom of your baking dish that way the enchiladas won't stick to the bottom of the pan. Roll and fill all of your shells. my leftover meat made 6. Bake at 350 for 30 min covered. Uncover for the last 5 min. and add your cheese to the top.                           

They will never know it was that pork roast... AGAIN!!

There's a first time for everything


 My Daughter, (who is married and living in Atlanta, (sigh) roasted her first, free range, cruelty free, humanely processed chicken last night! As a cook and a Mom and a true believer in standing up for what you think is right, I could not be prouder at this moment! She and her husband went to the farmers market in their area and found a women that raises these kinds of things. They also found their Thanksgiving turkey there. (that story to follow)
 Well I tried to prepare her for her upcoming adventure in food, and warned her that is was not going to be what she was used to seeing out of the supermarket, and it wasn't! Apparently when unwrapping the pampered little bird she found the neck was still attached! and she flipped out a little bit.But she pushed through and prepared a delicious meal for her and her husband.
 The important thing to learn here is that there are alternative food sources out there we just need to take the time to find them and then when we do support them with our business. The big food companies stopped caring about us and our health a long time ago. For them it's all about the bottom line. Lets face it these little artisan food producers, whether it be chickens, cheese (something I have always wanted to do, and still may when we retiere to the mountains) breads, honey or syrup, are not going to get rich doing what they do, they do it because they care and they love what they are doing.
 So baby steps, you may not be ready to dive right into the whole chicken scene, but the next time your out for a drive on the weekend, stop if you see a market, get out and talk to the people. You will be astounded at the pride and love they put into every bite of food they sell.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I wish you could smell my house

I was testing Mac and Cheese recipes for an upcoming class, and I think I fell on to something awesome. It's my usual recipe with the addition of a fresh clove of garlic! that's it! nothing fancy no truffles no fancy oils, just a clove of garlic.Who knew cooking could be so easy.
here's how it came together.

Boil according to package directions, 10oz of your favoite "tubed" pasta I use Dreamfields Penne Rigate (my husband who is diabetic can eat this pasta and it does not cause a spike in his blood sugar)

In your electric blender dump,
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 stick butter
1 clove garlic (sliced)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 tbl. flour
1 egg
1 lb. cubed cheese (I used a variety colby, sharp,munster)

Pulse until well blended but still with some texture.

Butter an 8" square baking dish, and put cooked past in it, pour cheese sauce over and stir a bit to coat.
Cover with foil and bake 30 min. at 350. Then uncover and sprinkle 1/2 sleeve whole wheat crackers (crushed) over the top bake anothr 12 min, till crusty brown and yummy.
Wait till you smell your house!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spice it up!

I was playing around with some warm spices the other day and came up with a great idea for a fun frosting. Chocolate with cayenne pepper!! It is amazing, so I decided to try it out on my church congregation last night. I used one of our church ladies "famous" cake recipes and kicked up the frosting with cayenne pepper it was a huge success. There were some red faces and some teary eyes but for the most part they all loved it. The frosting gives you that sweet chocolaty flavor on the front of your tongue and the pepper comes in on the back of your tongue with a nice warming effect. Not to overwhelming pretty tame for a mixed crowd.
Here's the recipe. Oh and I made mini cupcakes just enough to get a taste, they become a little hotter with each one.
Use your favorite chocolate cake recipe, this is mine because it's a fool proof dump recipe

In your mixer bowl put,
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine salt

In a 2 cup measuring cup put 1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
mix until blended and dump into dry ingredients, mix on medium for 2 minuets.
Wile that's mixing boil 1 Cup water, pour into mixer and mix till blended. Batter will be thin
Scoop with a small ice cream scoop (about a Tbs.) into mini cupcake papers. bake at 350 for about 11- 14 min.
This recipe for me, made 72 minis. so you could half it if you would like

The frosting goes like this...

1 stick butter, 2/3 cup cocoa, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/3 cup milk, 1 tsp vanilla

melt butter and add cocoa


pour the sugar and cayenne pepper into mixer bowl

pour in chocolate and butter mixture, and blend a bit

with mixer on med. slowly drizzle in up to 1/3 cup milk. depending on the weather it may not take all the milk to make a smooth spreadable consistency. After blended add in vanilla.

frost your mini cupcakes. For me the cupcake is just a vehicle for the frosting

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm Published!!

One of my recipes has been posted on...

I'm so proud of all we are doing here at Dinner In A pinch
Thanks for all your support and keep checking in!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Let The Holidays begin!

I love October the air begins to cool down. ( here in FL that means 85) and the stores begin there holiday push. I love to wander through Target and see all the Halloween decorations. You just start to get that homey feeling, the anticipation of all the good food just around the corner. The cooler air makes me want to bake or put a big pot of all day stew in the oven. I guess its our way of getting ready for the long winter hibernation.
maybe one reason we laughed so hard
Vampire Kiss Martini
Our first "Girls Night Out" here at Dinner In A Pinch was a huge hit last night, we ate and drank and laughed so hard.
and maybe the second reason
Cotton Candy Martini

Oreo Truffle Lollipops

Tiramisu Bites

But seriously, we had an awesome time, ate some great food and made some new friends. Isn't that what life is all about