Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins with Crumble Topping

Nick and I are going to France for 2 weeks on the 26th to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary. We're so excited and SO ready for a vacation. I will take lots of pictures and hopefully I'll also get some new food inspiration while we are over there. But back to the post-pumpkin muffins. I had to use up some canned pumpkin before we leave, so when I saw this recipe in my mom's Taste of Home magazine, I knew I had a winner. And I was right! These are delicious and are guaranteed to make your house smell amazing. It's like fall in a cute little cupcake liner!

Pumpkin Muffins with Crumble Topping
*From Taste of Home magazine

1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup shortening

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.

In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla.

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened.

Coat muffin cups with cooking spray or use paper liners; fill 3/4 full with batter.

For the topping, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, pie spice, and cinnamon. Cut in shortening until crumbly.

Sprinkle over batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Enjoy!

Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

I am a huge fan of a meal I can get on the table in a half hour or less. Not including cooking the chicken, which took about 50 minutes, this one was in the saucepan and then the stove and out in about 30 minutes. No cream of chicken soup here (although I do very much appreciate the ease and convenience of the cream of soups). This one is all homemade and the roux with the garlic and butter is delicious. The chicken mixture itself is full of yummy flavor and the stuffing on top with sage, parsley, and thyme is the perfect accompaniment. This one is a permanent file recipe. Next time I hope I have enough time to make mashed potatoes to go with it!

Chicken and Stuffing Casserole
*From Telly's Tasty Tidbits

1 pound shredded cooked chicken (3-4 chicken breasts)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup warm chicken broth
1/2 cup warm milk
8 ounces sour cream
1-2 cups frozen vegetables of your choice, thawed
1/2 cup shredded cheese (Swiss or cheddar work well)
2 cups stale breadcrumbs (I used seasoned stuffing breadcrumbs)
2 teaspoons desired herbs, such as parsley, sage, and thyme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in flour and cook until slightly golden brown.

Slowly whisk in warm milk and 1/2 cup of warm broth. Simmer until it reaches a light boil and begins to thicken a bit.

Stir in sour cream, chicken, vegetables, and cheese. Add mixture to prepared casserole dish.

In a separate bowl, add breadcrumbs, remaining 1/2 cup broth, and herbs.

Pour breadcrumb mixture over casserole mixture.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Garlic Balsamic Steak and Roasted Red Potatoes

We eat a lot of chicken around here, so I try to give Nick a break and feed him some manly red meat every once in a while. This recipe is one that I've made and posted about previously, but I'm updating it (and the crockpot chicken and dumplings recipe) because those recipes didn't include any photos. It's interesting how my knowledge of cooking has changed just in the last few months! It makes me so proud! Anyway, back to the recipe. The garlic is earthy and the balsamic is a little sweet, which makes a perfectly cooked steak taste delicious. Serve with the red potatoes recipe I included and have a wonderful day. You're welcome!

Roasted Red Potatoes

1/2 pound red potatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Seasonings to taste:
Garlic powder
Onion powder

Cut up potatoes to a uniform thickness. Add to a ziploc bag with olive oil and seasonings. Let potatoes marinate in the bag on the counter for at least an hour. Cook on a foil-lined pan in a 350 degree oven until tender (when a fork goes in with little give).

Place under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp them up and serve with garlic balsamic steak.

Garlic Balsamic Steak

1 flat iron chuck steak
2 tablespoons of oil (we used extra virgin olive oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Season the steak on both sides with salt and pepper and then add to the hot pan.

Sear 2-3 minutes on each side and then transfer to an oven-safe dish.

Add the garlic to the pan with the oil. Stir to remove the bits of steak from the bottom of the pan. Let the garlic cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add in the balsamic vinegar. Let it bubble up and cook for a few minutes to reduce.

Pour the mixture on top of the steak. Add extra balsamic to the dish if it looks dry. Finish cooking it in the oven until the internal temperature of the steak is between 135-140 degrees (between 5-10 minutes). Let it rest for no less than 5 minutes and cut it on a bias to serve.

Enjoy with roasted red potatoes!

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

This was so easy and so, so good! I seasoned the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika, but any combination of seasonings would be good, depending on your taste. This is a great recipe to play around with and it's easy to fit it into an 8-hour work day, since it can be cooked on low for 7-8 hours, especially if you used frozen chicken breasts. At the end of the day your house will smell amazing and your hubby will be grinning like crazy. This was the first meal I cooked in days because of my little bout with the flu, so I felt like it was the best thing I had ever tasted after days of soup and juice. Overall, this is a great slow cooker meal!

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

3 or 4 thawed or frozen chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 to 2 cups frozen mixed veggies (I used a corn, pea, green bean, and carrot mix with extra corn thrown in)
1 16-oz. tube refrigerated biscuits

Place the chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.

Pour both cans of cream of chicken on top and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour in enough water to cover (about a cup and a half or so).

Add in your frozen veggies and cook on high for 4 hours.

Remove and shred the chicken with two forks. Put the shredded chicken back in the slow cooker while working with the biscuits.

Meanwhile, tear each biscuit into 6 pieces and add to the slow cooker. Stir and cook for another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve alone or over rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Baked Chicken Almond

I will eat just about anything with almonds in it. Seriously. And when I buy rocky road ice cream and the evil people have put walnuts in it, I just about have a fit. That's just wrong. But I digress. This chicken, while covered in almonds, just didn't do it for me. It tasted fine, it just didn't quite taste the way I expected it to. Maybe I was thinking about the almond chicken at the Chinese restaurant in Pullman (although this recipe is about as far from Chinese as you can get), which was a weekly staple for me while I was at WSU. Maybe it was just that the almonds didn't add as much flavor as I wanted, but whatever it was, this dish was just okay for me. Hubby liked it a lot more, but he's less critical than I am! Overall, it was solid but not great.

Baked Chicken Almond
*Adapted from the 6 Ingredients or Less cookbook

4 chicken breasts
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup chicken broth (or white wine-I used broth)
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine soups, cheese, and broth until blended.

Arrange chicken in large baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour soup mixture over chicken. Make sure the chicken is coated on all sides with the soup mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and sprinkle the almonds on top of the chicken.

Bake 30 minutes longer. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Scones

I love pumpkin anything. Seriously. You could put pumpkin in just about anything and I will eat it. Maybe I should try putting pumpkin into my peas . . . But I digress (and, yeah right, peas are still going to be gross). These pumpkin scones were from Tasty Kitchen and they did not disappoint. I've never made scones before, so I was really pleased with how easy it was and how delicious my first attempt turned out to be. These little guys had great pumpkin flavor and were warm with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. It was like Thanksgiving and Christmas in a scone. Plus, it goes really well with a pumpkin spice latté from Starbucks. Can't go wrong there!

Pumpkin Spice Scones
*From Tasty Kitchen

2 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest, optional
1 stick unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the icing (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons real maple syrup (or corn syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heavy cream (enough to let icing reach consistency of honey)
1/2 cups toasted chopped walnuts, optional

Mix the first 8 ingredients with a fork.

Add frozen butter by grating it over the flour mixture with a cheese grater. Work quickly and hold the butter in its wrapper and a paper towel to keep it from melting. Mix butter curls into the flour with a fork.

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup heavy cream and pumpkin.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour and butter mixture. Fold with a wooden spoon until the mixture is just moistened then turn it out on a floured surface and gently knead over a couple of times.

Pat the batter into a circle about 1 inch thick.

Cut the circle into 8 pie-shaped pieces and place them on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Place scones in freezer for 30 minutes or make ahead and refrigerate overnight.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes until just firm and golden around the edges. Let them cool completely.

Mix the first five icing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Add heavy cream in small amounts, stirring frequently, until the icing reaches the consistency of honey.

Spoon the icing over the cooled scones.

Let the icing for a little while and then enjoy!