Friday, October 21, 2011

Carrot Cake Waffles

I absolutely love carrot cake! I love any baked goods with carrots, too. So it goes without saying that I LOVED these waffles, too! All the yumminess of carrot cake, including a delicious cream cheese "frosting". YUM!

Carrot Cake Waffles
Recipe from Willow Bird Baking

Waffle Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 3/4 cups buttermilk* or 1 1/2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cup finely grated carrots
Cooking spray for waffle iron

Maple Nut Cream Cheese Spread Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 cup chopped walnuts

1. Bloom the spices in butter**: Heat 4 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly, until butter is light brown and has faint nutty aroma, 2 to 4 minutes. Add spices and continue to cook, stirring constantly, 15 seconds. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

2. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda.

3. Mix together the buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute) and the egg yolks. Stir in the spiced butter and vanilla. Spray the waffle iron well and preheat it. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients.

4. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a whisk or electric mixer (make sure bowl and mixer are spotlessly clean) until they hold soft peaks. Stir them gently into the batter. Add carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Stir gently to combine.

5. Spread a ladleful or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Spray iron with cooking spray between waffles as needed.

6. To make Maple Cream Cheese spread, simply combine nuts, syrup, and cream cheese and mix well. Serve waffles immediately with a schmear of Maple Cream Cheese spread (which will get lovely and melty), or keep them warm for a few minutes in a low oven.***

* The buttermilk can be substituted with 1 1/4 cups of milk at room temperature, mixed with two tablespoons white vinegar, left to clabber for 10 minutes.
**If you prefer a quicker breakfast, you can melt and cool the butter plain instead of browning it and blooming the spices in it — but doing so does add flavor. If you do skip the spice blooming, simply add the spices to the dry ingredients in step 2. Add your plain melted, cooled butter instead of the spiced butter in step 3.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Pumpkin, cream cheese, muffins... What's not to like? Enjoy!!!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen


4 eggs
1 1/2 cups ugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375°F.

 In a large bowl mix eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Add  dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

In mixer bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and egg until combined.

Place paper liners in a muffin tin. Fill halfway with pumpkin batter, add a spoonful of cheesecake, then fill to the top with pumpkin. Add a dollop of cheesecake on top and swirl with a knife.

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

  • Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Penne with Gruyere and Bacon

    We are moving in two weeks and I am trying to use up the food we have on hand so we have less to take with us. I came up with this meal to use up what I had in the fridge and pantry. The best part is that it was DELICIOUS! You can think of it as grown up mac & cheese if you want but the kids will gobble it up, too!


    Penne with Gruyere and Bacon

    1 (16 oz) box penne
    1 lb bacon
    2 TBSP bacon grease
    2 TBSP flour
    2 cups milk
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    2 cups Gruyere, shredded
    1 cup panko bread crumbs
    2 TBSP butter, melted

    Cook penne according to package directions; drain and set aside.

    Cook bacon until crisp; crumble and set aside. Drain all but 2 TBSP of grease.

    Add flour to grease and whisk to combine. Add salt, pepper, and milk. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened. Stir in cheese and mix until melted. Pour cheese mixture over penne and mix well.

    Pour noodles into greased 9x13 dish. Mix panko and butter; sprinkle over noodles.

    Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Sweet and Sour Chicken

    I love making my own take-out. It is so easy and so delicious! This meal was no different. My family gobbled it up pretty quickly. YUM!

    Sweet and Sour Chicken
    Recipe from Live Love Pasta

    3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    Salt and pepper
    1 cup cornstarch
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/4 cup canola oil

    1 ½ cup sugar
    8 tablespoons ketchup
    ½ cup cider vinegar
    2 Tablespoon soy sauce
    2 Tablespoons garlic powder

    water chestnuts
    baby corn
    canola oil

    You can use any combination of vegetables you would like. You will want about 6 cups of vegetables.

    Cut boneless chicken breasts into bite sized pieces; season with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in egg and then in cornstarch. Fry in a little oil until brown. The chicken does not need to be cooked through at this point. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Mix sauce ingredients together and pour ½ over chicken. Bake for about 45 minutes at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes so it is evenly coated with the sauce. While the chicken is cooking begin sautéing the vegetables with a little oil. Depending on what kind of vegetables you use it will take about 10 minutes. Bring the remaining sauce to a simmer in a small pot and let thicken about 8 minutes. Pour the sauce over the vegetables. You can then mix the vegetables with the chicken or serve them separately.

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

    I originally saw this recipe on Pinterest (which I am addicted to, BTW! hahaha). The orignal recipe calls for the cookie dough to be wrapped around a caramel. Now, don't get me wrong, that sounds FABULOUS. But that requires chilling time and a lot of prep to get the cookies ready for the oven. If I had planned ahead, that would've been doable. But I didn't start these cookies until about a half hour before dinner and needed to get them done quickly. What is a girl to do? Well, I got creative. Instead of the caramel cubes I used two bags of Kraft caramel bits and mixed them straight into the dough like you would chocolate chips.

    It produced a delicious, caramely cookie that I would definitely make again! Below is the recipe as I made it. You can find the original recipe here.

    Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

    1 cup softened butter
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix -not sugar free- all 10 packets
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 cups all purpose flour
    2 bags Kraft Caramel Bits  (11 oz each)

    Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

    In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

    Cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.

    Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in caramel bits.

    Scoop cookie dough onto prepared sheet and bake 12 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet until set. Move to cooling rack and cool completely.

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Pumpkin Baked With Apples & Cranberries

    This was such a quick dessert to throw together. You just cut up the apples, mix with fresh cranberries, brown sugar, and cinnamon, throw it all in a pumpkin and bake. It doesn't get much easier than that! I love fresh baked pumpkin and the addition of sweet brown sugar and tart cranberries was amazing! I served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it was delicious! It doesn't get much more Fall than this!


    Pumpkin Baked with Apples & Cranberries
    Recipe from Eat at Home

  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • 2 small apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or 1 cup whole, fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. butter

  • Cut the top off the pumpkin. Once the top is off, scrape out the seeds and stringy stuff.

    Stir the apples, cranberries, brown sugar and cinnamon together. Fill the pumpkin with this delicious-smelling mixture. Dot with butter.

    Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for an hour to 1 1/2 hours, until the pumpkin inside is tender when you poke it with a fork.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies

    When I made the Pumpkin Kiss Blossoms a week or so ago I had a friend ask me if I thought they would ship well to Afghanistan (where her husband is currently deployed). They are such a soft cookie that I knew they wouldn't hold up well. She thought her husband would really enjoy them so I told her that I would create a cookie recipe that used the pumpkin kisses that she could ship. This is what I came up with and we love them! I hope they find their way to Afghanistan! :)


    Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies

    2 cups flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 egg
    1 egg yolk
    1 cup pumpkin spice kisses

    Preheat oven to 325. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside. Cream butter and sugars; beat in vanilla and eggs. Mix in dry ingredients. Stir in pumpkin kisses. Drop by 1/4 cups on parchment lined cookie sheet at least 3" apart. Bake 15-17 minutes or until edges are lightly toasted.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Bloomin' Pizza Bread

    This is a quick, easy dinner for those busy weeknights that we all have. Pepperoni and cheese are stuffed inside a loaf of sourdough and baked until melty and delicious. So good and so simple!!!

    Bloomin' Pizza Bread
    Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

    1 unsliced round loaf sourdough bread 12-16 ounces mozzarella or Provolone cheese, thinly sliced
    1 (3.5 ounce) package pepperoni, halved
    3 Tablespoons butter, melted
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
    2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
    pizza/marinara sauce for dipping

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise without cutting through the bottom crust. This can be a little tricky going the second way but the bread is very forgiving.

    Place bread on a foil-lined baking sheet and insert cheese slices and pepperoni between cuts. Combine butter, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings. Drizzle or brush over bread with a pastry brush. Sprinkle bread with Parmesan cheese.

    Wrap bread completely in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap the bread and bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and pepperoni is a little crispy.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    TWD: Buttermilk Biscuits

    You can't go wrong with a fluffy buttermilk biscuit and these didn't disappoint! Super fluffy and super delicious!

    Thanks to Jennifer of Cooking for Comfort for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog.

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Nutella Pretzel Bars

    My favorite way to eat Nutella is to grab a jar, a bag of pretzels, and just dip away! :) That's why when I saw this recipe from Nutella Pretzel Bars I knew it was a no-brainer... I would definitely be making these! They were so yummy!!!!

    Nutella Pretzel Bars
    Recipe from Dula Notes

    8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
    1/2 C. packed brown sugar
    1/4 C. granulated sugar
    1/2 C. Nutella (or other hazelnut spread)
    1 large egg
    1/2 t. vanilla
    1 c. flour (spooned and leveled)
    1 t. kosher salt
    1 C. crushed pretzels (break into smallish pieces, but not too small)

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8×8 baking pan with butter, line with a sheet of parchment leaving a 2″ overhang on both edges. Butter parchment.

    2. In a large bowl, whisk butter, sugars and Nutella until smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix just until moistened (do not overmix). Fold in 1/2 C. of crushed pretzels. Transfer batter to prepared pan and spread in an even layer with a spatula. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 C. of crushed pretzels.

    3. Bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-30 min. Set pan on a wire rack and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift bars from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Pumpkin Donuts with Buttermilk Glaze

    These definitely aren't an every day breakfast and they are in no way good for you. I will say they are worth every little guilty thought though! These are old fashioned fried donuts and are AMAZING! I've made baked donuts before and they are great, too, but go all out for these. You will not be disappointed!!!!


    Pumpkin Donuts with Buttermilk Glaze
    Recipe from Babble


    3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    1 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1 cup pumpkin puree
    Canola oil for frying

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spice and sugar. Whisk together all of the remaining ingredients (except for the canola oil) in a second, medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir them around the bowl until the mixture is well combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, rolling the donut dough to approximately1/4-1/2″ thick. (I know this will seem quite thin, but the donuts puff up immensley while frying). Cut with a donut cutter.

    Heat 2 inches of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, gently slide the donuts into the oil, frying on the first side until the edges of the donut are lightly browned, flip carefully and allow to cook on the other side until lightly browned. Remove and dunk immediately into buttermilk glaze. Allow to air dry on a cooling rack before serving.

    Buttermilk Glaze

    3 cups powdered sugar
    1/2 cup buttermilk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    Whisk together in a small bowl until smooth.

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Pumpkin Chili & Pumpkin Cornbread

    While I prefer to use pumpkin in sweet recipes, savory pumpkin dishes are also fantastic! I made this pumpkin chili and pumpkin cornbread the other night and it was an amazing dinner! The chili was easy since I cooked it in the crockpot and while the pumpkin was subtle the overall flavor was yummy! The cornbread was sweet and pumpkiny and SOOOOOO good! It was a great fall meal!


    Pumpkin Chili
    Recipe from In Erika's Kitchen

    3 lbs ground beef
    1 large onion, diced
    2 red bell peppers, diced
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 cups pumpkin puree
    1 6-ounce can tomato paste
    3 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    4 Tbsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp ground chipotle powder (optional)
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    2 tsp salt, or to taste

    In a large skillet, brown the ground beef until no pink remains, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Add the onion and bell peppers and saute another 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir briefly.

    Put the beef mixture into the slow cooker along with the pumpkin puree, tomato paste, beans, spices and salt; stir to combine. Cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.

    Pumpkin Cornbread
    Recipe from Sugar Cooking

    1 cup flour
    1 Tbsp baking powder
    1 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 cup cornmeal
    2 eggs
    1 cup pumpkin purée
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1/4 cup milk
    1 Tbsp honey

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8×8″ baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, brown sugar, and cornmeal.

    In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs, and then stir in the pumpkin, oil, milk and honey.

    Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined, and then pour the batter into the pan, smoothing out the top as much as possible.

    Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

    The original title for this recipe was Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Brownies but a lot of comments said it was more cake-like than brownie-like. So, I decided to bake them in a smaller pan to make the bar a little thicker and what I ended up with was a delicous pumpkin snack cake. YUM!

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Snack Cake
    Recipe adapted (size & baking time) from Pennies on a Platter

    1/2 cup pumpkin puree
    1 whole egg
    2 egg whites
    1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
    1 cup flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground allspice
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/4 tsp salt
    2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Grease an 8x8 pan.

    In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs and oil until smooth. Set aside.

    In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and brown sugar. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.

    Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until passes toothpick test. Cool completely before cutting.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Pumpkin Kiss Blossoms

    I have never had the pumpkin kisses before but they are now one of my favorites!!!! Just the kiss alone tastes like pumpkin pie but then added on top of a delicious pumpkin cookie puts it over the edge. This is a cookie I will make again and again. Good thing I bought 4 bags of the kisses! :)


    Pumpkin Kiss Blossoms
    Recipe from Life is a Banquet

    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
    1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Turbinado sugar
    Bag of Hershey pumpkin spice kisses

    Preheat oven to 350.
    Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
    Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks and stick a pumpkin kiss in the middle.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    TWD: Apple Muffin Cake

    This is the perfect fall breakfast cake. Made with apple cider, chopped apples, raisins... it is fantastic! We served it for breakfast but it could also be served as dessert. My good friend, Michelle, of Flourchild, served hers with caramel sauce and ice cream. :) YUM! No matter what time of day you serve this cake it is sure to be a winner!

    Thanks to Katrina of Baking and Boys for hosting this week. The recipe can be found at her blog!

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Pumpkin Bran Muffins

    I love a good bran muffin. In fact, bran muffins are probably one of my favorite muffins... as long as it is baked right. Nothing is worse than a dry bran muffin! :) These bran muffins have the wonderful addition of pumpkin, craisins, and mini chocolate chips. They were moist and so delicious!

    Pumpkin Bran Muffins
    Recipe from All Day I Dream About Food

    1 1/4 cups buttermilk
    1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
    1 cup pumpkin puree
    1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
    1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1 large egg
    4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
    2 tbsp light molasses
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 cups whole wheat flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 tsp ground cloves
    1/2 tsp salt

    Preheat the oven to 375F and generously grease 24 mini-muffin tins and 6 regular muffin tins. Or use just the 12 larger muffin tins.

    In a large bowl, stir buttermilk and bran together and let sit for 5-10 minutes. If you are using buttermilk powder, simply add 5 tbsp to the bran and then stir in 1 1/4 cups of water. Whisk in pumpkin, raisins, chocolate chips, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, molasses and vanilla.

    In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Gently fold flour mixture into the bran mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined.

    Spoon batter into prepared tins, to just the top of each tin. Bake until tops are set and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 14-18 minutes for mini-muffins, and 20-24 minutes for larger muffins.

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Pumpkin-Gingerbread Waffles

    We are getting ready to head out to the pumpkin patch this morning and this was a perfect pre-patch breakfast! I have used the pumpkin-gingerbread combo a few times before (HERE and HERE) and LOVE the flavor combination. These waffles were no exception. They were amazing! And the buttermilk syrup???? TO DIE FOR! I was skeptical about it when I started making it because the buttermilk threw me off. There was no need for worry... it was amazing!

    I served the waffles with a dollop of cinnamon-sugar butter, whipped cream, and the buttermilk syrup. Holy smokes... it's Fall on a plate!


    Pumpkin-Gingerbread Waffles
    Recipe from The Farm Girl


    2 c. flour
    ¼ c. sugar
    1 t. baking powder
    1 t. baking soda
    ¾ t. salt
    1½ t. ground cinnamon
    1 t. ground ginger
    ¼ t. grated nutmeg
    ¼ t. ground cloves
    4 large eggs
    6 T. butter, melted and cooled
    1 c. milk
    ½ c. sour cream
    3 T. unsulfured molasses
    1/2 c. pureed pumpkin

    Buttermilk Syrup:

    1/2 c. butter
    1 c. buttermilk
    2 c. sugar
    2 T. corn syrup
    2 t. baking soda
    2 t. vanilla

    1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to blend. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, butter, milk, sour cream, molasses, and pumpkin and whisk to blend well. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and whisk to combine until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

    2. Preheat a waffle iron. Fill waffle wells and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Cook until crisp and golden. Serve immediately with buttermilk syrup and whipping cream.

    3. While waffles are cooking, make buttermilk syrup. In LARGE (very important) saucepan combine butter, buttermilk, sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Stir as fast as you can--it will foam A LOT. Pour over pancakes and enjoy

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