Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Muffins Vanilla Glaze

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Sometimes you feel like a doughnut, and sometimes you don't. Sometimes you want a muffin, but one that is little bit healthier.  This doughnut muffin is the best of both worlds and a little healthier than a fried doughnut.  It has has the same  dense, moist, texture of the cakey doughnuts, that I like so much.  Everytime I drive past Country Doughnuts, especially in the Fall, and see the sign for Pumpkin Spice doughnuts.  It's all I can do to keep my car from turning in to get one of the warm, fried Pumpkin Doughnuts. My hips are thanking me,  because the doughnut muffin is baked, not fried, and has Greek yogurt and coconut oil in the batter. The Vanilla Glaze has Almond milk in it.

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Your house will smell so good, as these Pumpkin Spice doughnuts are baking with all of the sweet spices and pumpkin flavor. These muffins bake up big and tall, with craggy tops, just begging for the sweet, Vanilla Glaze.  I ate one warm  out of the oven, dipped it in the glaze,  and it was so good, with the gooey glazr dripping down the side of the doughnut muffin.   Of course you can eat the dughnut muffins cold, but I like mine warm.


Do your self and your family a favor next time they want doughnuts.  Bake up a batch of these Pumpkin Spice Doughnut muffins, and you'll be eating them before you could go through the drive-thu.  Also, you will save time, gas, calories. and money!  Enjoy!
In
    Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Muffins 
Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, (I used Coconut oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
FOR THE GLAZE
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree and Greek yogurt. Set aside

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in oil and vanilla until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients and pumpkin mixture alternately in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated.

Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin tray. Place into oven and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. 

To make the glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk as needed.

When the muffins are done, cool for 10 minutes and dip the muffin crown into the glaze.

Allow glaze to set before serving.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Slow Cooker Five Bean Casserole


We are going tailgating this weekend. It is Homecoming at my Alma Mater, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL, Go Huskies!  We haven't been tailgating in a few years.  My college friend is coming from Pennsylvania, and I'm excited.



There is something about tailgating in the Fall, in the crisp air with changing leaves, and lots of yummy food, and football.  It is so invigorating, and the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  Our menu is pretty simple,  starting with Scott's Chili, using the 5 Bean Casserole.  We made the Slow Cooker 5 bean Casserole for Scott's 75th Birthday party, and froze the leftovers.  We had doubled the recipe, and lots of lefovers. The casserole is always a hit.  We are also having leftovers from the Crock Pot BBQ Beer Chicken, from Scott's Party, as well, Hummus, and Pita Chips, Chips and Salsa, Brownies, Peanut Butter Oatmeal MM Cookies, and Hot cider.  I can't wait!!


Slow Cooker dishes work well for tailgating, or when you are cooking for a crowd, because they not only can hold a large recipe, but they can keep the dish warm for a long time, even if not plugged in. This Five Bean Casserole turns out so well made in a slow cooker, and could go tailgating as well. Even the leftovers can be added to Scott's Chili recipe, and make it even better.  Happy Tailgating! Go Huskies!


Slow Cooker Five Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

·         1 medium onion, chopped
·         1 green pepper, chopped
·         2 Tbsp olive oil
·         2C. BBQ sauce used Sweet Baby Ray’s
·         1/2 bottle  beer
·         1 (15 ounce) can butter beans drained and rinsed
·         1 (15 ounce) can black drained and rinsed
·         1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
·         1 (15 ounce) can pinto, drained and rinsed
·         1 (28 ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed

Directions:

1.      Saute onion and green pepper in olive oil until soft.

2.      In a slow cooker combine the onion-green pepper mix and all of the beans.  Stir in beer and BBQ sauce, until well combined.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or 4-6 on high.

Cooks Tip: Because we are on a low sodium, low fat diet, I try to buy the low sodium, vegetarian beans, whenever possible.  To lower the sodium of this dish, I drain and rinse all of the beans. 

I linked up my recipe to Brandie's The Weekend Potluck #139




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf with Mushrooms


Last week had to be the week from Hell for me.  What a week!  Had to get a new compressor tank for our pump for our well, something  went wrong with our phone lines, and my 3 yr old HP 5510 Photosmart printer, out, of warranty, is not printing black GRRR!.  When things go wrong, life suddenly becomes very stressful. The older I get, the harder time I have dealing with stress.  When I am stressed, I want comfort food!



 Besides oatmeal, meatloaf is my favorite comfort food.  Since it is Fall my favorite squash is Acorn Squash, and nothing pairs better with meatloaf than Acorn squash.  Don't give me any of those mashed potatoes with my meatloaf, give me Acorn Squash,  sweet, luscious, golden squash. I'm in heaven now!  I switched things up a bit this time with the meatloaf.   I added a couple of tablespoons of BBQ sauce to give the meatloaf a little zip. Then I  stuffed the meatloaf with sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms, and grated cheddar cheese.  And I topped the meatloaf with more grated cheese the last few minutes of baking, Cheesy Meatloaf heaven.  



I usually bake chopped apples with Acorn Squah, but I forgot theis time.  I love the cinnamon apples with the squash.  I will definitly be adding the apples to my next Acorn Squash. By the way the drama of last week has eased, and things are somewhat "normal" again.  We got our compression tank replaced the same day, and the short in our phone wire has been fixed.  The only thing that still isn't working is my printer.  I can print in color, just not black.   "My glass is now half full." Enjoy!


Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf with Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground turkey, I used 93/7
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  •  6 oz low sodium tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp of your favorite BBQ Sauce, I used Sweet Baby Ray’s
  • 1/2-1 cup oatmeal, uncooked  I used rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup grated cheese, divided in half (I used 2% milk cheese)
  • 1Tbsp, fresh basil, chopped or 1 tsp, dried
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped or 1 tsp dried


Directions:
1. Combine ground turkey and egg in large bowl, and 1 tbsp of basil and oregano, and  mix until well combined. 
2. Add 6 oz tomato sauce amd BBQ sauce until well mixed
3. Stir in oatmeal until desired consistency.
4. Pat half of meatloaf mixture into a 9 x 5 baking pan**, sprayed with cooking spray.
5. Add the layer chopped mushrooms to meatloaf in pan.
6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup grated cheese over the mushrooms
7. Pat remaining meatloaf mix over the mushrooms and cheese
8. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour-1 hr 15 min, 165 degrees on the meat thermometer or until juices are clear. Sprnkle remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese over top of meatloaf, and bake 2 ninutes longer, until cheese is melted.

9. Cool on rack for 10 min, before serving, Enjoy!

I linked up my recipe to Brandie's The Weekend Potluck #139




Thursday, October 2, 2014

Slow Cooker Apple Spice Cake


Fall is finally getting here.  I still have a lot more apples, and that means more apple recipes, Yay! I love apples in baking, oatmeal, salads, main dishes, and desserts, and more.  When I saw Carla Hall's Slow Cooker Apple Spice Cake on "The Chew", I knew that I would be making it soon. The cake is made from scratch.  You could also use a boxed spice cake mix to make this dessert even easier. I had never made cake in a slow cooker. let alone a spice cake. The cake is a cross between bread pudding and pudding cake, very moist and rich with all of the spice flavors, topped with cinnamony apples, which mix into appley cake.  Your kitchen will smell so good. Just scoop it out  when done, put it in a bowl, and enjoy!  I do have several things to watch on making the slow cooker cake, however.


The first one is to thoroughly grease with butter and dust the inside of the slow cooker with flour.  Be sure to shake out the excess flour. Do not skip this step. Also, I didn't have any molasses, so I used half honey and half maple syrup.  The spices in the cake are strong, so you can adjust the spices and strength to your family preferences.  I used part Gala and Zestar apples, for the topping, which cooks on top of the cake batter, making for an easy all in one cake, no mixer needed.


After preparing the slow cooker with butter and flour, you make the apple topping and set aside.  then you mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Next, the the dry ingredients are whisked in a separate bowl. Combine the  dry ingredients into the wet, and mix well, with a smooth batter.  Pour batter into prepared slow cooker, and top with apple topping. Cover cooker and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, or until middle of cake is set. Be sure to watch the cake, and don't let the edges get too brown.  Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!  

SLOW COOKER APPLE SPICE CAKE  Adapted from Carla Hall

  Cake                  
Butter (for greasing)
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Molasses ( I used part  Maple syrup, part honey)
1 cup Vegetable Oil
2 large Eggs
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 cups AP Flour (plus extra)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
2 teaspoons Allspice
1 Lemon (zest)
1 Pinch Salt

Apple Topping
3 Granny Smith Apples (peeled, diced)  I used part Gala, and part Zestar )
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons AP Flour
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Lemon (juice)
2 tablespoons Butter (cut into cubes)
1/2 cup Heavy Cream (chilled) optional

 Prepare inside of slow cooker by greasing with Butter and dusting with Flour. Shake out   excess Flour.

Prepare the Apple Topping in a large bowl. Combine Apples, Brown Sugar, Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Lemon Juice. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together Sugar, Oil, Molasses, Eggs, and Vanilla until well combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together Flour, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Allspice, Nutmeg, Lemon Zest and Salt until well combined and there are no lumps. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk until well combined and a smooth batter has formed. Pour directly into prepared slow cooker. Pour prepared Apple Topping on top of the cake batter. Top with cubes of Butter.

Cover and and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, until the middle has set. (When a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, it is done.)

Serve warm and drizzle with a little cold cream over the top. Or, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

I linked up my recipe to Brandie's The Weekend Potluck #138  
 
    
 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oatmeal Apple Cookies with Dried Cranberries and Cider Glaze



 I can finally get to some Fall Baking, now that Scott's Party is over, and I have more time to bake I have appples and cider calling my name. I love making cookies with rolled oats, which amp up the nutrtion and chew factor.  Add in chopped apples and dried cranberries  dressed up with a Cider Glaze, and you have a a soft, chewy cookie that screams and tastes of Fall. These cookies are good by themselves,  even if you don't want to put a glaze on them, You can make these to fill up your cookie jar, and your cookie monsters will thank you.


 These cookies keep in covered container for awhile, if you have any left.  I have always had trouble with my oatmeal cookies spreading too much, until I started refrigerating the dough for several hours, or even overnight,  Also, lining your baking sheets with parchment paper, and using a cookie scoop, helps as well. Now, I don't get alien shaped cookies, but cookies that are somewhat round.  Do you refrigerate your cookie dough before baking?  These are just a few of my cookie baking tips.  No matter how your cookies are shaped, they will taste soo good.  Enjoy!



Oatmeal Apple Cookies with Dried Cranberries and Apple Cider Glaze

 Adapted from Quaker Oats

Ingredients:
·        1/2 C (1 stick) butter, plus 6 Tbsp
·        1 C firmly Packed Brown Sugar
·        1/2 C Granulated Sugar
·        2 Eggs
·        1 tsp Vanilla
·        1 1/2 C All-Purpose Flour
·        1 Tsp Baking Soda
·        1 Tsp Cinnamon
·        1/2 Tsp Salt (optional)
·        3 C Quaker Oats (Quick or Old Fashioned, uncooked)
·        1 C Dried Cranberries
·        1 C finely chopped apples- I used Zestar apples

Directions:
1.                 Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.                 Beat together butter and sugars until creamy.
3.                 Add eggs, and vanilla; beat well.
4.                 Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
5.                 Stir in oats and chopped apples, dried cranberries mix well.
6.                 Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
7.                 Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
8.                 Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire ra
9.                 Glaze cookies with Apple Cider glaze when completely cool.

Apple Cider Glaze
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp apple cider, or more

Combine powdered sugar and apple cider, until desired consistency

I linked up my recipe to Brandie's The Weekend Potluck #138  
 
    
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd Filling for Scott's 75th Birthday


Hello!  I know that I have been MIA for awhile, but I was busy planning Scott's 75th Birthday Party, which was last week. ( I am not good at multi-tasking)  Whew!  What a job!  I've been planning the party for two months.  I wanted to do as much as I could ahead of time. There were still so many last minute details, and I was making all of the food, except for the appetizers that some of my friends brought, a daunting task for sure!  We were planning between 30-40 people, and outside would be perfect on our large patio and yard.  I apologize for lack of pics.  I was too busy to take pics, so my son was supposed to take pics, but I haven't gotten them from him yet. He didn't take that many.


 Here in the Midwest you can't count on the weather for sure, and in the Fall the bees go crazy, attacking people.   As it turned out showers were forecasted for the 20th, so we had an inside party.  After the showers stopped the sun came out, and then some people ventured outside.  All in all. it was a wonderful party with bountiful food and Cake, lots of Cake, including the Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd Filling.  I had ordered a Costco half a sheet cake with Vanilla Mousse Cake. For those of you who go to Costco, you know all about the decorated cakes for $17.99, Amazing!  the birthday boy also wanted a Lemon cake, his fav, too.  I apologize for lack of pics.  I was too busy to take pics, so my son was supposed to take pics, but I haven't gotten them from him yet. He didn't take that many.  Luckily I got pics of the Lemon Cake.


This Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd Filling was amazing, and the Birthday Boy was elated. The cake is bursting with lemon flavor from the sour cream batter and Lemon Curd Filling to the Lemon Frosting.  The  lemony cake is moist and dense.  This cake is a must for any Lemon Lover.
My neighbor watns me to bring the cake to our annual neighborhood Hallowwen party, will do. We also had Chocolate Cupcakes, Peanut Butter Filling and Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting with Peanut Butter Cups for my DIL, Cherise's birthday, which was 9/18, the day after Scott's. We also had mini bar cookies, that Cherise's Grandma made, so good. Lots of cake and cookies. Don't worry besides the cake we had, a full menu.

We had appetizers and drinks first.  Then the buffet had  BBQ Beer Pulled Chicken, Scott's 5 Bean Casserole in Crockpot, Red Potato Salad,  Mediterranean Pasta Salad, Creamy Cole Slaw, Broccoli Salad, and Fruit Salad, in addition to the  desserts. A good time was had by all.

 Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Curd Filling  Adapted from A Baker’s House
Adapted from Cooking Light recipe
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon curd (store bought or homemade) for the batter and 1/4 cup lemon curd for the filling
1/4 cup lemon juice plus 1 TB lemon juice for glaze
8 ounces sour cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray Bundt pan with baking spray and dust with flour.

Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a fork or whisk.
Using a mixer (hand held or stand mixer) beat the butter for 2-3 minutes, until it lightens in color and texture. Slowly add the sugar, then the eggs, Next add the lemon zest, lemon curd and lemon juice. Blend well.

Add the flour mixture and the sour cream in stages, alternating and mixing at low speed as you go. 

The batter will be thick. Put half of the batter into the pan and spread it around with a spatula. You can spoon the lemon curd filling around the batter but I like putting it in a ziploc bag, cutting the corner off and piping the filling around in the center of the batter. Avoid the edges so that the curd stays within the cake.

Bake for 1 hour, add an extra ten minutes if necessary.
Cool for ten minutes in the pan then invert the pan and remove the cake. Once the cake is cooled.

Lemon Butter Cream Frosting
2 C sifted powder sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
1/4 C fresh lemon juice and lemon zest

Beat butter with mixer until light and fluffy.  Gradually add sugar, and lemon juice and beat until desired consistency.   
Garnish with Lemon zest on top of frosted cake, if desired.

I linked up my recipe to Brandie's The Weekend Potluck #137  
 
    
 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal with Rice Chex Cookies


 Late August and early September signals the time for your kiddos to go back to school.  Here in Illinois, most schools have been in session for a week or two. Now Mothers and Fathers are now scrambling to fill their kiddos lunchboxes with healthy options. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal with Rice Chex Cookies will certainly be a healthier option than Oreos, for example. I wish that I had this recipe, when my kiddos were growing up.



Whew! I know that Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal with Rice Chex Cookies is a long title, but these cookies are so good and deserve each ingredient in them.  They are sturdy, with healthy ingredients like peanut butter, oatmeal, and Rice Chex with dark chocolate.  These are the perfect cookies for your kiddos lunchbox and are great for dunking in milk.  Even adults like them, as my neighbor Tom, says that these are now his favorite cookie.  Thanks, Tom for the endorsement! And of course my "Cookie Monster", a.k.a. Scott loves these, too.  I'll chime in too, because there are more gluten free ingredients in the cookies, than the flour, and I could eat the whole batch.  I always try to give some of the  baked goods away, much to the dismay of my Cookie Monster.



What kinds of treats do you put in your kiddos lunchbox?  Cookies, granola bars, fruit?  This recipe is is very adaptable, and you can swap out various ingredients according to your family preferences or needs.  Various nut butters, or even Sunflower butter may be swapped out for the peanut, butter, and if your family doesn't like Dark Chocolate, use milk or semi sweet chips. Different types of cereal can be switched for the Rice Che cereal as well.  Whatever ingredients you add, these cookies are amazing, and you and your kiddos, or your neighbors won't be disappointed.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal with Rice Chex Cookies
Inspired by  Will Cook for Smiles
Yield: 24
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup of  dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup rice, wheat, or corn Chex
Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with Beat butter and dark brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. It will probably take a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the peanut butter and beat on lower speed until all incorporated.
  3. Add the eggs, one at the time, beating until combined. Beat in the vanilla extract as well.
  4. On low speed, sift in the flour, baking soda and salt, mix until all incorporated.
  5. Add the old fashioned oats and mix it on low speed as well, until just combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips and rice chex
  7. Scoop the cookies onto a cookie sheet, shape the cookies and bake for 9 minutes.
  8. Let rest on cookies sheet for several minutes.  Remove to rack to cool.
I linked up my recipe to Brandie's The Weekend Potluck #134  
 
    
 

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