Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Quinoa Chili and Halloween Treats

When we got home from Florida, Fall was definitely here with cooler temps. Temperatures for a big bowl of steaming Chili were here. I had seen a recipe for Pumpkin Quinoa Chili before I left, and I knew that I would be making it soon. Of course I changed the recipe a bit.  I had frozen baked pumpkin leftover in the freezer from making  Beef Stew in a Pumpkin, a couple of weeks ago, so I would use that in the chili.. Adding pumpkin, either baked or puree from a can,  to  chili would be a good way to re-purpose your Halloween pumpkin, if it hasn't spoiled. If your pumpkin isn't spoiled, place the pumpkin brushed with cooking oil, with top on in a shallow baking pan in a 325 oven for 1-2 hours. Remove from oven and cool.  When pumpkin is cool, peel rind off of pumpkin, and cut in chunks.  If your pumpkin is too large for your oven or spoiled, just use canned pumpkin puree. This would be an easy, good for you recipe, to make today for your trick-or-treaters, before they consume all that candy.

 I do not like beans  so I  added canned tomatoes, sauteed onions, garlic, and zucchini, spices, Mexican chocolate, and uncooked quinoa.  I just made a small batch, because Scott makes his Atomic Chili, aka Scott's Turkey Chili with Five Beans   that is way too hot, and too many beans for me.You can make this chili vegetarian or not.  Browned ground turkey can also be added to the chili, if you like.  This chili is so good, with chunks of pumpkin, tomato, and zucchini with spicy, not too hot, sauce.

Pumpkin Quinoa Chili Adapted from
Makes: 4 servings
  • 1  tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 med onion diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable  stock
  • 1 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced, and quartered.
  •  1 cup of cooked pumpkin, cut in chunks, or 1 cup pumpkin puree  
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 tsp  oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 small piece Mexican chocolate
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
  • Optional garnishes: thinly sliced green onions, sour cream, and/or grated cheese
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and zucchini..  Sauté for 5-7 minutes until tender.
  2. Add the chicken  or vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, pumpkin,, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon,  paprika, oregano,  cayenne pepper, optional.  Stir the ingredients to combine, heat to boiling, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the quinoa, return to boiling, and cook for 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.
  4. Ladle into bowls and serve. Garnish with sliced green onion, sour cream or cheese.

Here are a few more Halloween treats for your family:


I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #41
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Food and Wine Festival.

We took a little trip last week, and this is where we went.  Any guesses??  If you guessed Disney World, you would be correct.  My husband, Scott, had never been to Disney World before, so he got to cross off another item on his bucket list. We spent most of our time in Epcot, which was having their annual Food and Wine Tasting Festival  How perfect for two Foodies like us!

In Epcot, all of the countries had samples of their food, and drink, a la small plates, on an international level.  Just walking around all of the countries, and smelling all of the wonderful foods cooking, was a treat for the senses. There were also Culinary demonstrations dinners, and samplings with various chefs by reservation only.

 From Ireland, we shared a   Lobster and Fisherman's Pie, which had pieces of  lobster and fish in a creamy sauce, topped with real mashed potatoes and Irish Kerry gold cheese, and Guiness.  The pie was so good, and rich.  The pie was $6, not a bad price for a small 4" plastic ramekin. Sorry, I didn't get a picture.  We ate it before I could snap a picture.  My inner foodie was on vacation, too.

From Ireland went to France, where we shared this Coq au vin Sur de Macaroni, Red Wine Braised Chicken, Mushrooms, Pearl Onions, and Macaroni Gratin   We got a generous portion of this wonderful dish for only $6, also.

For dessert we had a Chocolate Covered Cannoli, Yum.  Sorry there isn't a picture of this either.  There were a lot of people at Epcot that Day, because the Festival is a popular event, and it was hard to take food pictures.

We only spent one day at Epcot, because were going to visit friends In St. Augustine, luckily before Hurrricane Sandy appeared. While we were in St. Augustine, we toured the small town, the oldest US city and the Fort.  Lots of history, and beautiful beaches.

We spent the rest of the time at the resort, where we were staying in Kissimmee. This is a view from our balcony. We were fortunate the Hurricane Sandy didn't come inland in Florida.  We are hoping that everyone in the Northeast stays safe!

 Now we are home and back to "reality."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cranberries, Dark Chocolate, and Walnuts for Breast Cancer Awareness

I made these cookies that are full of antioxidants, which are in the dried cranberries, dark chocolate, and walnuts to help make a healthy body. There is also a Greek Yogurt topping to ramp up the protein and health benefits of these wonderful cookies  The cookies, with all  of these health benefits, are to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research, and October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  I have several friends that are breast cancer survivors, and I have also lost  a dear friend to breast cancer.  I am a Team Leader for the Relay For Life for the American Cancer Society, to do my part to raise awareness and raise money for cancer research. 

When I found out that some of my family friends had been diagnosed with various cancers, I felt so helpless. That is when I became a team leader for The Relay for Life to do my part to help them fight.  So this October, bake something and share it with your family and friends to spread the message and raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research.  You will be glad that you did.
Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cranberries, Dark Chocolate, and Walnuts with Yogurt Topping

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 c dried cranberries
2/3 c dark chocolate chunks or chips
1/2 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries, Dark Chocolate chunks, and walnuts.
Refrigerate dough for a minimum of 2 hours.

Use a cookie scoop, or drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
Top with yogurt topping, when completely cooled.  Refrigerate until serving time.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
Yogurt Topping

1/2 cup raspberry yogurt
1/4 powdered sugar

Combine yogurt and powdered sugar, and stir well.  Refrigerate until thickened, about 30 min.  Spoon a dollop over each cookie and refrigerate.

 I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #40
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Squares

I love anything pumpkin this time of year, pumpkincake, pumpkin bread, pumkin soup, pumpkin, muffins, and on and on... But have you ever seen Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows before?  I found these cute little Pumpkin -shaped Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows. Aren't they cute?

There are many things to make with these cute little marshmallows, but immediately I thought of Rice Krispie Squares. Creamy, gooey, marshmallow squares with pumpkin spice would be perfect.  Then to add a little contrast, I used candy corn to decorate these squares.  You get two favorite Fall flavors in one bit, pumpkin spice and candycorn.  These squares would be good for any Fall or Halloween party. These bars have light  pumpkin spice flavor, not overpowering at all. Kids of all ages would love these, even the "big kids".

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Squares

1/4 c melted butter
1 bag, 10.5 oz Pumpkin Spice Marshamllows
6 c crispy rice cereal
1/4 c candy corn or mallow pumpkins for decoration.


  1.  Melt butter in microwaveable bowl, until creamy and melted. 
  2. Stir in crispy rice cereal, until well combined.
  3. With a spatula drayed with cooking spray, spread crispy rice -mallow mixture in13x9 pan srarayed with cooking spray.  Smooth out with spatula.
  4. Let crispy rice ereal cool, before cutting into squares.  Decorate with candy corn, or as desired.
  5. You could also cut out shapes with cookie cutters.  This is a great activity for kids or grandkids, with supervision.

    I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #40
    Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Green Slime Filled Cupcakes

Let's be honest here, I don't do scary, creepy, or zombie on Halloween.  I like cute; pumpkins and scarecrows, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.  I don't like scary movies or haunted houses. I do like these Green Slime filled cupcakes however. I saw them on Taste of Home.  I can handle these Green Slime cupcakes, but that's as far as I go. No monsters for me.

When I was a kid I did love to go trick or treating.  It was a different time back then, and me and my friends would go for several days before Halloween, and then on Halloween, too. I grew up in a small college town, so when I was in Jr. High, no middle school, We would  go to all the houses around the university. We would get so much candy, but it was sure fun. (Now, these are secrets that I never even told my kids.)  When they were little, I didn't want them to have all of that sugar. I would let them have a few pieces, and then I put the candy in the freezer, and made other treats like cookies, Rice Krispie bars, etc with them over the course of the Fall.

I had made extra Portillos Chocolate cupcakes , when I made the "Pi" cake for Cherise for this project. Now this "slime" on top of the cupcake is just green glaze, drizzled over the Chocolate Butter Cream frosting. The filling for these yummy cupcakes is cream cheese frosting tinted a slime green. Now mind you,  I have never been "slimed", but I will eat one of these "slimy" cupcakes for sure. What are some of your Halloween Traditions?

To make these cupcakes, you can use any chocolate cupcake recipe Portillos or  my go to recipe from Chockylit, from scratch.  After cupcakes are frosted, you fill them with the Green Slime filling, and drizzle with the Green Slime Glaze.

Green Slime Cupcakes Inspired by Taste of Home

Devils Food Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes/350 degree oven

2c. flour
2c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter (1 stick room temp)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 c mini chocolate chip morsels (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Measure all ingredients  except eggs and chocolate morsels in mixing bowl.
2. Mix on low speed just until incorporated.
3. Beat on high for 2 minutes.
4. Add eggs, beat on high again  for 2 minutes.
5. Stir in chocolate morsels. until mixed.

Measure out into cupcake pan with liners, using a 2" ice cream scoop for filling.  Bake for about 15-20 min. until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pan slightly and then transfer to a rack to cool completely before

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting.
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cocoa
4 c. confectioner's sugar
1/4 c. milk, more or less

1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
2. Add cocoa and 1c. sugar to butter mixture and beat until incorporated
3. Add half of the milk and remainder of sugar and beat until incorporated.
4. Continue to add milk until you get desired consistency
Green Slime Filling
1/4 c butter
3 T cream cheese
2 c powdered sugar
2 T milk
6-8 drops of green food coloring

Cream butter and cream cheese. Add in powdered sugar and milk until well combined, and desired consistency. Add food coloring, until desired color. Fill Cupcakes with slime.

Green Slime Glaze
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 T milk
6 drops green food coloring.

Combine all ingredients and and drizzle over frosted  and filled cupcakes.

Assemble the Cupcakes:
Use a paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece (about 1/2 inch deep) from the center of each cupcake and throw away the pieces, eat them, or use a cupcake corer.  I used the cupcake corer. Spoon l filling into the cupcake.  Frost with Butter Cream and drizzle with Green Slime Glaze.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #39
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

M &M Chocolate Chip Cookies for Emma

I made these cookies for  Miss Emma by request for her Eighth birthday, a couple of weeks ago. There's nothing better that chocolate chip cookies, but when you add M&M's, they are oh, so much better  I used the milk chocolate ones for Emma's cookies, two kinds of chocolate in one cookie.. I love M & M's, and they are my favorite candy, too. You just can't eat just one M &M, maybe a bagful  or a handful.

 I am still perfecting my chocolate chip cookie baking technique. I refrigerated the dough for about three hours, and baked them on parchment.paper. They turned out almost perfectly round, which was much better than having them spread out all over the cookie sheet.  I know that Emma like's her Grandma Carolyn's chocolate chip cookies which are round, and crisp. Emma, and her Sister Anna loved these cookies, too.  I added the M & M's to the batter, and garnished the tops of the cookies with a few M&M's, when they came out of the oven. Yum!

Anna & Emma

M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips,
1 1/2 cups of M&M’s reserve 1/2 cup

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread parchment paper on baking sheets
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 chocolate chips and 1 cup of M&M's.  Refrigerate dough for two to three hours, or overnight. Drop by cookie scoop or tablespoon  onto parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.. Press a few of the reserved M&M's on warm cookies to garnish.

 I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #39
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon in a Pumpkin!

Every Fall, we make some sort of stew in  a pumpkin.  It has become a rite of passage for us and and our friends. Last year we made French Chicken Stew in the pumpkin.  This year my husband wanted to make Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon again.  We had made it several years back, but that was BNC, before new camera, so I redid the pics and and post. Ever since he got Julia's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, he will only make Julia's recipe for beef stew.

First, you cook your stew recipe on the stove or in the oven, and then place the stew in a cleaned out pumpkin, rubbed with oil.  Be sure that the pumpkin that you buy, will fit in your oven.  You bake the pumpkin and the stew, just until the pumpkin is soft inside, so when you scoop out the stew, you get a spoonful of baked pumpkin, about two hours.  Do not over bake!  The bottom of the pumpkin gets done sooner than the sides. The stew just stays warm in the pumpkin. Yum!  This is the best way to eat stew in the Fall, is a wonderful presentation, and gets rave reviews.

If you are making Julia's recipe, be aware that it is a lengthy process, but well worth it.  The depth of flavors is remarkable, and you will savor every bite!  Scott did the sub-recipes for the Brown-Braised Onions and one for the  Mushrooms Sauteed in Butter the night before. He used Angus trimmed Beef Stew meat for the stew. Cooking these two vegrtables separately, gives the juices a deep brown color, which is enhanced with red wine. The meat is browned separately in the bacon drippings , then combined with sauce ingredients and baked for 2-3 hours in the oven. then the mushrooms and onions are added to the stew We added more carrots to the recipe, because we like carrots.  That is the only change we made to Julia's recipe.  We served boiled, Baby Red Potatoes with Parsley on the side. on the side.  Bon Appetit.

Now if you don't have the time to make Julia's recipe, or you don't want to,  here is the original recipe that we started making several years ago, Pumpkin Stew from Taste of Home.  This recipe adds potatoes and diced tomatoes, a basic stew recipe, but very good none the less, and less time consuming.  You're the cook,so you can decide which version of stew you like, and you won't be disappointed with either one. You could also make chili in the pumpkin, mmm maybe next year, chili!

I linked up this recipe to Steph's Bite By Bite, All Things Pumpkin Link Up

 I also linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #39
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Caramel Apple Crisp

I know, I have another recipe with caramel,  I just can't help myself.  I still have a small jar of caramel, and short of eating it out of the jar, I need to use it up. I always make Apple Crisp for my son Todd. birthday this week, and this year was no exception. I almost put  a Caramel drizzle on his Apple Crisp this year, but it's a good thing that I didn't.  Now he doesn't like caramel.  Have you ever heard of anybody that doesn't like caramel or chocolate???

While I was making Todd's Apple Crisp, I made a little less than one and half recipes of the Apple Crisp, so  I could make these cute little Mini Caramel Apple Crisps. I've been dreaming about Caramel Apple Crisp for awhile now. I added a little Caramel Sauce to the apples in the ramekins before baking and added a caramel drizzle to the top. when they came out of the oven.  Good thing that they are mini size, or I would end up eating the whole pan. The Caramel  Apple Crisp is way too dangerous to be made in the big pie pan. You have the crispy topping, the sweet apples, and the outrageous caramel, all melty and sweet, in one bite.

 Here is the ramekin with the added caramel sauce, before baking. I only made two of these babies, but feel to make more, if you dare. I imagine that if you sprinkled chopped nuts on top of the melted caramel on top, you would almost have an Affy Tapple. Mmm, I might have to try that one.

To make an Apple Crisp in the pie pan  the recipe is below.  To make the Mini Caramel Apple Crisps, just   halve the recipe, and add about 1T of melted caramel to each ramekin before baking and stir.  Then, after baking, drizzle another tablespoon, more or less over the baked crisps. The recipe for the caramel is here, Enjoy

Apple Crisp- enough for a shallow 10" pie plate or 9X9 square pan- 375 degree oven

  You can use a food processor,  or a pastry blender to make the topping.  If you don't have a pastry blender, you can cut in the butter with two knives.

3/4 c. brown sugar

1 c. flour
1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 Tbsp butter
6 Jonagold apples
More cinnamon to taste.

1. Combine first 4 ingredients and cut in butter until crumbly, like small peas, and refrigerate until the apples are peeled, sliced and cored. .

2.Peel, slice and core apples. I use an apple slicer, which makes this step much easier. Sprinkle  more cinnamon over the apples, if desired.

3. Spray 10" pie plate, and pile apples into pan. Take topping out of fridge, and spread the topping over the apples.  Bake in 375 degree oven 35-40 min., until apples are tender and topping is golden. Then, turn oven up to 400 degrees for five min. to "crisp" topping. Cool on rack. Serve Warm-Enjoy Fall! 

I I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #39
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Pi" Cake with Portillos Chocolate Cake for Cherise

What is a "Pi" Cake you might ask?  "Pi" is the mathematical constant for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, the ratio itself: 3.141592+.  It has been represented by the Greek letter "π".   I made this "Pi" cake for Cherise, my daughter-in-law, who was an engineering major in college, and loves all things "Pi". When I was looking on the web for all things, "Pi, I saw that someone had made a "Pi" shaped cake, so I had to make this for her. I didn't  have time to take a picture before we left for Chicago on Saturday,

She loved her "Pi" cake, and was so surprised.  I used a knock off recipe for Portillos  chocolate cake. I needed  a firm cake to cut out the design, and  Portillos chocolate cake recipe is firm.  I knew that because I used to work at Portillos in the Catering Dept.and have eaten a lot of Portillos Chocolate cake over the years.  I baked two 9x9 cake layers, doubling the knock off recipe, and put chocolate frosting between the layers., Then, Scott cut out the design free hand, without a template, that's his "artist's eye". Unbelievable!!! He did a wonderful job!!. I couldn't have made the cake without his help.  That's why we make such a great team. After the design was cut out, I frosted the cake with Vanilla Butter Cream frosting, so the design would stand out. I made Todd his ususal Apple Crisp, because he doesn't like chocolate.  I didn't  have time to take  pictures before we left for Chicago on Saturday, so these pics were taken at night, inside.

We were going to Chicago Saturday to celebrate Cherise and Todd's birthday's,  plus see my son, Chris, run his first marathon in the Chicago Marathon on Sunday. We had a busy weekend. It was so much fun, and my Granddaughter and her boyfriend came for the weekend, too. Chris and his wife stayed at a hotel downtown, and we stayed at Todd's in Wrigleyville. We got to see Chris at the 8 mile mark in Lakeview, and after the race. 38,000 people finished the race. 

My son Chris is just to left of the policeman, in the white hat, orange shirt, bkack shorts 
 and white socks, looking for us. There were so many people cheering the runners on, it was hard to find your runner.

These pictures are at the reunion center, where the runners reunited with their families in Grant Park. After the race they, give the runners mylar warming blankets and they wrap them around themselves, like capes. The weather was perfect for runners, high 30's to start the race and in the 50's by noon.

My Son, Chris and Daughter-in-Law  Emily
Proud Uncle Chris, and Niece, Aria
Cheise and Todd

Portillos Chocolate Cake
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Butter Recipe Cake Mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • 1 cup Hellman’s Mayonaise
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and  Spray and flour desired pans.  I used two 9X9 pans, so I doubled the recipe, and had leftovers for cupcakes
  2. Combine cake mix, eggs, water, and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes until fluffy.
  3. Pour into prepared pans
  4. Follow baking instructions on box for your choice of pan.
  5.  Test for doneness
  6. Cool in pans 10 min.  remove to rack to cool

Cook's Note:

I used two recipes of the Portillos Chocolate Cake to make the "Pi" Cake. Because I didn't know how much batter it would take to fill a 9X 9 pan, I made each box, one at a time.  I filled one 9 x9 pan, and then used the remaining batter for cupcakes, then I repeated the process for the second 9X9 pan.

Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting


1/2 c butter, room temperature
2c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c more or less milk, or half and half I used almond milk

Cream butter with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy.  Gradually add in powdered sugar and vanilla, and mix well, Add milk until desired consistency. Pipe or frost cupcakes

I I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #39
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

#figlove Crostini with Figs, Caramelized Onions, and Apples on Goat Cheese

Time again for Love Bloghop and the theme this month is #figlove.  Join in on the #figlove fun linking up any fig recipe from the month of October 2012.  Don't forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #figlove event.  The twitter hashtag is#fighlove:) and the Pinterest ID is #figlove.

I must admit that I have eaten very few figs in my lifetime and know very little about them.  Does eating Fig Newtons count?  Living here in the Midwest, ripe figs aren't plentiful, and if they are in the grocery store, they are pricey, and not in good condition.  I was able to find dried figs however.  Like dried rasins, figs, can be re-hydrated by placing them in a pan, with water or juice, bringing to boil, and simmering for 2 minutes.  Pour off liquid, and allow plumped figs to cool.  Here is a picture of dried figs on the right of the plate, and plumped figs on the left of the plate.

The figs do plump up nicely, and get soft and sweet. I used the the plumped figs to make Crostini with Figs, Caramelized Onions and  Apples on Goat Cheese for #figlove, which is sweet and savory at the same time. Oh, I also used dried cranberries, too, for a little color. I know that this is a long title, but this Crostini is so good, with creamy Goat Cheese, savory caramelized onions, and sweet apples, and figs. Oh, I also used dried cranberries, too, for a little color. We had company over the weekend, and made these crostini, which  were a definite hit.  You could also use the caramelized onion mixture with fruit over baked Brie.  Now I am a fan of figs.  I like the re-hydrated figs, better than the Fig Newtons. 

If you have any made any type of Crostini, you know how easy they are to make. First you cut a French Bread baguette, or any other type of bread, into 1/4" kitchen sliced. Drizzle a little olive oil over the bread befor baking. then you saute sliced onions and apple slices in frying pan  until soft and carmelized. Then add brown sugar, balasamic vinegar, figs,and dried cranberries.  Simmer until sauce is thickened.  Spread toasted Crostinis with softened Goat Cheese. Top with caramelized onion mixture, and serve.

I I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #39
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Crostini with Figs, Caramelized Onions, and Apples on Goat Cheese for #figlove
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  •  1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 apples, such as Gala or Granny Smith, unpeeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup plumped figs
  • 1 French baguette thinly sliced into 26 (1/4 to 1/2-inch thick) slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 3 ounces creamy Goat cheese. softened slightly
In a high-sided skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, apple slices, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions and apple slices begin to soften, about 10 minutes,. stirring often.. Stir in dried cranberries and plumped figs, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar, stirring frequently until mixture is thickened and caramelized, about 5 minutes.

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with oil and bake until lightly golden, 5-7 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spread with Goat cheese. Spoon the caramelized Fig mixture on top of the cheese, and serve. 
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