Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pumpkin Praline Cake

This is one of Caleb's favorite desserts...

Pumpkin Praline Cake

1 cup brown sugar, packed 
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup chopped nuts
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin
Whipped Topping:
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Garnish - pumpkin pie spice

Combine first three ingredients in a heavy saucepan over low heat until brown sugar dissolves; stir occasionally. 

 Divide equally between two greased 9" round cake pans (I sometimes use a 9x13 pan).  Sprinkle evenly with pecans; let mixture cool slightly. 

Sift together flour, baking powder, spice, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside.  Blend sugar, oil, and eggs; alternately add pumpkin and reserved dry ingredients.  Spoon batter evenly over pecan mixture in cake pans. 
Place pans on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until centers test clean.  Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes; invert and cool completely on wire rack.  Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla.  Continue beating until stiff peaks form.  To assemble cake, place on layer on a serving plate, praline side up; spread with whipping topping.  Add second layer, praline side up and top with remaining whipped topping.  Garnish with pumpkin pie spice.  This is best served warm. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Three Cookie Day

We made three types of cookies today - Peanut Butter Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Adam's favorites!)  I doubled all three recipes and was able to share with my family :)

Peanut Butter Cookies
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 1/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1.Mix sugars, peanut butter, shortening, butter and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.
2.Heat oven to 375ºF.
3.Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in crisscross pattern with fork dipped into sugar.
4.Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
1.Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
2.Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins
1.Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

2.Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3.Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Here is an awesome pizza recipe...

White Pizza with Chicken & Ricotta Cream Sauce

• 1 package Betty Crocker pizza crust mix (I used an already made pizza dough from Fresh n Easy)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 2 teaspoon dried Italian seasonings
• 1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped into pieces
• 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
• 1 cup mozzarella cheese
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoon butter
• 2 tablespoon flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup milk
• 3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
• salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Prepare pizza crust as directed. Add garlic powder into mix if desired. With floured fingers, evenly press and shape dough onto a nonstick cookie sheet or a pizza pan.
3. In a microwave safe bowl, combine olive oil, minced garlic and 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning and heat for 20 seconds. Drizzle olive oil mixture over the pizza crust.
4. Add the rest in the following order: mozzarella cheese, chopped chicken, chopped tomatoes, chopped spinach, parmesan cheese, the remaining 1 teaspoon dry seasonings.
5. Bake pizza 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
6. Drizzle the sauce (recipe below) over pizza.

Ricotta Cream Sauce
1. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and salt. Whisk and cook for 1 minute over medium heat.
2. Add milk all at once and continue cooking and stirring until thick.

3. Add ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese. Wisk until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

I was dying to make something with pumpkin and decided on this Cranberry Pumpkin Bread recipe I found in a Taste of Home magazine.  Very delicious and worth the trouble to make!!!


3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in cranberries and walnuts.

Spoon into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 70-80 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 slice) equals 197 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 162 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.
Cranberry Pumpkin Bread published in Taste of Home October/November 2006, p33

Monday, January 3, 2011

Best Lasagna Ever

I love Italian food!  Here is a wonderful recipe for lasagna.  The great thing about making lasagna is you can make it ahead and the left overs (if there are any left) are always better than the first go around. 

Best Lasagna Recipe
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/4 cup prepared pesto
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1.In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned.  Drain grease from meat.  Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, pesto sauce and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

2.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

3.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

4.To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

5.Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Trenton's Cowboy Cookies

My nephew Trenton loves to bake cookies and here is one of his favorite cookie recipes.  I will post pictures later of him making these cookies :)
Trenton's  Cowboy Cookies
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups Quaker Oats
12 oz milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix first six ingredients until creamy.  Add flour, salt, and baking soda until blended.  Mix in oats and chips.  Drop onto un-greased cookie sheet by the tablespoon.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  Allow to cool on cookie sheet for one minute before transferring to a cooking rack.  These are awesome drizzled with white chocolate.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Enchilada Soup

Here is a very easy and quite tasty soup recipe.  Laura Berrier submitted it for our school cookbook...thanks Laura!

3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
2 small or 1 large can of cream of chicken soup
2 small or 1 large soup can of milk
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can whole-kernel corn
1 small can red enchilada sauce
Tortilla chips
Shredded cheese

Combine all ingredients (except chips and cheese) in a crock pot.  Cook on low for several hours.  Soup will get spicier as it cooks longer.  Serve with tortilla chips and cheddar cheese.  You can also add cooked potato chunks to the soup.  I also like to garnish my soup with not only tons of cheese but also sour cream and cilantro.