Friday, November 9, 2018

Baked Steel Cut Oats

This recipe is great because you prepare it overnight and let it sit in the fridge.  Then, the next morning, you just bake it.  It's hearty and healthy.  I love another baked oatmeal recipe, and that one used a lot of butter.  It's good, but I feel better about eating this one. 

When you make this, it won't be pretty.  Lol.  It's because of the blueberries (I just used a whole bag of frozen blueberries, I think it was 12 oz.)  But, it will taste and smell great!
Baked Steel Cut Oats
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1 cup steel cut oats
3/4 cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups almond milk (or cow's milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (or brown sugar)
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter, melted
1 – 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (can use a bit more if you want)

1.  In a medium bowl mix the oats, almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together.

2.  In another bowl or in a liquid measuring cup, whisk the milk, vanilla, egg, maple syrup or brown sugar and coconut oil (or butter) together until smooth. It’s ok that the coconut oil/butter will solidify and form small clumps.  Pour the wet ingredients over the oatmeal mixture and stir to combine.

3.  Lightly grease a 9X9-inch baking dish (can use a similar sized baking dish of any shape – 9X9-inch or larger but smaller than a 9X13-inch).

4.  Toss the blueberries over the bottom of the dish. Give the oatmeal mixture a final stir and pour over the top of the blueberries (if using frozen blueberries, the oatmeal will definitely take on more of a blue-ish hue than if using fresh). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (8-12 hours).

5.  In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, uncover the baking dish and bake for 55-60 minutes until the mixture is set and oats are tender but still slightly chewy. Stir to combine, if desired, or just scoop out in portions as is. Serve with additional milk (to stir into the oatmeal), if desired.

**This post and photos are property of**

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween 2018!!

Yesterday school was cancelled here because of bad weather.  I finally got a chance to make these Halloween treats with the kids- we never have time to do stuff like this anymore.  It was fun and we had a great day.  We made ghost pretzels and white chocolate Reeses's chocolate PB cookies. 

White Chocolate Ghost Pretzels
adapted from Dessert now Dinner Later

30 (or so) pretzels
10 oz. bag white chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe's)
1 tsp coconut oil or shortening, for thinning the chocolate
1 (.88oz/25g) pkg Wilton Candy Eyeballs

1.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper, parchment paper, or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

2.  Melt the white chocolate and coconut oil (or shortening) in a glass bowl in the microwave, for short 10-20 second bursts, until melted.  You can also use a double boiler.  I always do this for white chocolate because it seizes so easily.

3.  Immediately dip pretzels, one at a time, in the bowl, using a fork to turn the pretzel over. Shake off excess chocolate from the pretzel with the fork. Be sure to shake the chocolate out of the bottom hole, so it looks like an open mouth -- screaming. Place chocolate dipped pretzels on the prepared baking sheet.

4.  Immediately press two eyeballs into the top two holes for eyes -- add a little extra chocolate if needed.
Repeat with remaining pretzels. Work quickly. Heating the chocolate again only once, if needed.
Allow pretzels to rest and harden. Place in freezer for 10 minutes to speed up the process. Peel pretzels off the baking sheet and enjoy!

White Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
adapted from Allrecipes via here 

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup chocolate creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
40 miniature white chocolate Reeses's peanut butter cups, unwrapped and stuck in freezer for 30 min.
sprinkles for decoration, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.

2. Cream together the butter, sugar, chocolate peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 40 balls (I just used my smallest cookie scoop- it's probably about 1 teaspoon) and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.

3. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini white peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan. 
**This post and photos are property of **

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Halloween Spider Cupcakes

 We made these cute Halloween cupcakes for a party this weekend.  I got the idea from some cookies on Allrecipes.  You're supposed to use Lindt truffles cut in half, but I couldn't find any, so I used some German chocolates that were, funnily enough, wrapped up to look like spiders.  So I had my son unwrap all the spider chocolates to then use to decorate as spiders on these cupcakes.  Lol. 

You just place the chocolates on top of frosted cupcakes (before the frosting sets).  Then use a bit of frosting to stick the candy eyes on, and use chocolate frosting to form the legs.  Pipe it from a sandwich bag with a tiny corner cut off.
Halloween Spider Cupcakes
idea from Allrecipes

orange frosting
Round chocolates (or Lindt balls truffles cut in half)
candy eyeballs
chocolate frosting (a small amount; or use Nutella)

1.  Frost the cupcakes orange.  Place a chocolate in the middle of each one.  Use a dab of frosting to secure two candy eyeballs to each chocolate.  Use chocolate frosting to make legs.  To pipe legs, spoon a small amount of chocolate frosting (or Nutella) into a ziploc sandwich bag and snip off one small corner.  Pipe 4 legs on each side. 

**This post and photos are property of **

Monday, October 29, 2018

Pumpkin Risotto

We had Pumpkin Risotto at a local pumpkin festival recently and I really wanted to make it at home.  I found a NY Times recipe that was simple and good.  At the festival, the risotto was topped with sauteed Pioppini mushrooms, so I cooked some and served them on the side. 

Pumpkin Risotto 
adapted from NY Times

4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock/broth
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 cup arborio or vialone nano rice
½ cup dry white wine (can omit or use more chicken broth, but it adds great flavor)
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, optional
1 cup solid-pack canned pumpkin puree (can use homemade)
6 tablespoons coarsely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
⅛ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pioppini mushrooms, optional, plus some olive oil and butter*

1.  Heat the stock to a simmer, and continue simmering it while preparing the recipe.

2.  Heat a nonstick soup pot until it is very hot. Reduce heat to medium high, and add oil.  Saute onion and garlic until onion begins to soften.  Stir in rice to coat well; add wine, and cook until wine has evaporated.

3.  Add 1 cup of the stock with the nutmeg to the rice; reduce heat so that mixture simmers. Stir often, cooking until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Repeat with another cup of stock, and continue stirring, adding stock until the rice is almost tender but still has some bite to it.  If you need more liquid, just use hot water.  You can add salt if needed later.  

4.  Stir in the pumpkin, cheese, salt and pepper, and stir until mixture is hot. Taste and add more salt if needed.  
*If using the mushrooms, prepare them while the risotto is cooking.  Cut off the bottom part of the mushrooms (where they are joined together; this is were most of the dirt is.)  Don't chop the stems off.  Heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a nonstick skillet.  Add the mushrooms and cook and stir until done to your liking.
**This post and photos are property of **

Friday, October 26, 2018

Butterscotch & Peanut Butter Hot Fudge (2 recipes)

These hot fudge sauces are SO good!!  They come from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  She has 3 recipes posted there for hot fudge and I've already made and posted the original flavor, here.  All 3 recipes are stellar.  So delicious, quick and easy, and use mostly pantry ingredients.  (I always keep some Euro shelf-stable boxed cream on hand at my house, so for me, it does use pantry ingredients.)

The first 3 pics are of the Butterscotch flavor; the rest of the pics are of the Peanut Butter flavor.

Butterscotch Hot Fudge Sauce
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

4 ounces (about 2/3 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
4 ounces (about 2/3 cup) milk chocolate chips
4 ounces  (about 2/3 cup) butterscotch chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon natural unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.  In a medium saucepan, stir together the chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips), butterscotch chips, heavy cream, butter, corn syrup, and cocoa powder. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, 3-5 minutes. Don’t let the mixture overheat or scorch! Add additional milk or heavy cream, if needed, for a thinner consistency. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sauce
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

8 ounces milk chocolate chips chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened or Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.  In a medium saucepan, stir together the chocolate chips, heavy cream, butter, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and peanut butter. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, 3-5 minutes. Don’t let the mixture overheat or scorch! Add additional milk or heavy cream, if needed, for a thinner consistency.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
**This post and photos are property of **

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Pumpkin Buttermilk Pancakes II

I already have a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes on here.  It's similar but not exactly the same.  I wanted to try this new one and was very happy with it.  The family enjoyed these too.  (Except my then 5-year old is now 14, and still didn't want to try them!!  Dork!! Lol).  I used my own pumpkin puree for this but feel free to use canned.  Whatever you prefer or have on hand.
Pumpkin Buttermilk Pancakes
adapted from Cooking Classy

2 cups (282g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup (55g) packed light brown sugar
1 cup (245g) pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups (350ml) buttermilk
3 Tbsp (1.5 oz) butter, melted, plus more cold butter for griddle
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Preheat a non-stick electric griddle to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Make a large well in center of mixture and set aside.

2.  In a medium mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, buttermilk, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Pour into well in dry mixture and whisk just until combined (batter should be slightly lumpy, don't over-mix). Let batter rest 3 minutes.

3.  Spray griddle with non-stick spray.  Pour about 1/3 cup of batter at a time onto griddle. Spread out a little if needed.  Cook until golden brown on bottom, then flip and cook opposite side until golden. Repeat process until all of the batter has been used. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.
**This post and photos are property of **

Monday, October 22, 2018

White Chicken Enchiladas

These totally gringo enchiladas are very tasty and easy to make.  I made them twice recently.  You can use rotisserie chicken in this.  I just cooked a few frozen chicken breasts in chicken broth with some spices (in the crockpot for a few hours until done).  Then, shredded the chicken and strained the broth and used that to make the sauce.  The recipe calls for Monterey Jack cheese.  Next time, I'd use Pepper Jack to add some more flavor.  As written, the recipe is tasty but could use a bit more flavor. 

White Chicken Enchiladas 
adapted from Joyful Momma's Kitchen

10 large flour tortillas
2-3 cups cooked, shredded chicken *see notes*
2-3 taco seasoning or spices of choice
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (can try Pepper Jack)
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 can (4oz) diced green chilies

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×14 pan.

2.  Mix shredded chicken and 1 cup of cheese in a bowl. Roll up the chicken into the 10 tortillas and place seam down in the prepared pan.

3.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and stir while cooking for 2 minutes.  Add in the broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly. This will take anywhere from 2-10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream and green chilies and stir well. Pour sauce over the enchiladas in the pan.  Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cup cheese.

4.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.
**To make shredded chicken, use about 3 chicken breasts (frozen is fine) and sprinkle with 2-3 tsp taco seasoning, or whatever spices you want, plus 2 cups chicken broth and cook on low in the slow cooker all day.  When chicken is done and you are ready to make these, strain and reserve the broth for making the sauce.  Shred the chicken and proceed with the recipe **
**This post and photos are property of **