Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pumpkin Oat Bars


It's fall! Although it feels much like summer today in Minnesota, it is technically fall according to the calendar, so it is technically time to cook and bake with pumpkin!!!

These bars are really delicious - especially for folks who (unlike me) don't love pumpkin overload. There's a nice balance of sweet, oatey crust, creamy pumpkin filling and crunchy pecan topping. I took the whole pan to my bible study group and there were no leftovers! So that's a great endorsement.

To make the crust, combine the cake mix and the oats in a large bowl.


Stir to combine, then take out 1 cup of this mixture and place in a small bowl and set aside. This will be for the topping.


To the remaining cake mix and oats in the big bowl, add honey,


melted butter,


and water. Stir well to form the crust, then pat it into a greased 9x13 pan.


For the filling, in a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, cream cheese, brown sugar,


milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, allspice and cloves and beat with a mixer until blended. Add the eggs


and beat on low speed just until combined. Pour the filling over the crust. For the topping, add the chopped pecans (you could also use walnuts if you prefer) to the reserved cake mix and oats in the small bowl.


Pour the melted butter over


and mix with a fork until the crumbs are moistened. Sprinkle the topping over the filling.


Bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack.


Welcome, fall!

One year ago: Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
Two years ago: Green Beans with Pine Nuts
Three years ago: Beef with Broccoli


Get more ideas at Full Plate Thursday, Something Swanky, Recipe Box, Thursday's Treasures, Tastetastic Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Food, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday (#2).

Pumpkin Oat Bars

1 package golden butter cake mix (or yellow)
2 1/2 cups oats
7 Tbsp. butter, divided
3 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. water
1 - 15 oz. can pumpkin
4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and oats; set aside 1 cup for topping. Melt 5 Tbsp. of butter, and add it along with the honey and water to the remaining cake mixture. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking pan.

For filling, in a large bowl, beat the pumpkin, cream cheese, milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, allspice and cloves until blended. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust. In a small bowl, combine the pecans, 2 Tbsp. of melted butter and reserved cake mixture; sprinkle over filling.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator. Makes 24-30 bars.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

English Muffin Bread


I love English muffins. My mom usually has english muffin bread on hand when I visit, and I have found that I love that, too. What's not to love? Lots of crinkly pockets to soak up peanut butter or jam, a nice crunchy texture that is still a little soft on the inside, did I mention the melty peanut butter? I saw this recipe a while back, and knew I would want to try it.

When I had a lazy Sunday afternoon, I jumped at the opportunity. And I'm so glad I did. I scarfed down a couple pieces soon after it was out of the oven, and then looked forward to breakfast! I think I might have even had dreams about this bread. It's that good.

This makes two loaves; you can put one in the freezer if you can't eat it right away. The loaf will stay good on the counter for a couple days, but it probably won't last that long!

In addition to making outrageously good toast, this bread is super fantastic for grilled cheese! Make some!

Start by proofing the yeast. In a large measuring cup, measure out 1 cup warm water, then add the yeast


and the sugar. Give this a quick stir, then let it sit for about 10 minutes or until nice and foamy, like this:


(A note on yeast: if you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step. Just combine the yeast, all the water, sugar, salt and half the flour in a large bowl. I use active yeast because I can buy it at Costco in bulk for about 1/100 of the price of instant in the grocery store!)

Meanwhile, measure out 3 cups of flour and combine in it in a large mixing bowl with the salt.


Once the yeast is foamy, add it to the flour mixture.


Add the remaining water, then stir or mix with the mixer. Add the remaining flour and mix again. The dough will be very sticky. Cover with a dishtowel and allow the dough to rise til about doubled in size. Then stir down with a wooden spoon.


Grease up your hands liberally, then divide the dough and put it into two greased loaf pans.


Cover the pans with the dishtowel and let rise again.


Bake for about 30 minutes or until the bread is golden.


Remove the bread from the pans immediately cover the tops with butter.


Let cool, then toast, grill, or enjoy this bread plain. It's delicious no matter the preparation!

One year ago: Peach Coffeecake
Two years ago: Poppyseed Bread
Three years ago: Roasted Cauliflower

Find more great recipes at Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesdays, Tuesday Talent Show, Hearth & Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesday.

English Muffin Bread

2 3/4 cups very warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
5 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. butter

In a 4-cup measuring cup, combine the yeast, 1 cup of the water and the sugar. Stir briefly then let sit for 10 minutes or so until it gets foamy. (This is called "proofing" the yeast. If you're using instant yeast, you don't need to do this step. Just combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.)

In a large bowl, combine the remaining water, 3 cups of the flour and salt. Mix. Add the remaining flour and mix again. The dough will be very, very sticky. Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and let the dough rise until doubled. Stir down the dough with a wooden spoon.

Divide the dough between two well greased loaf pans. Cover the loaves with the dishtowel and let the bread rise until doubled in size.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and turn the bread out onto a cooling rack. Spread the butter on the tops of the loaves while they are still warm.

Store the bread in a ziploc bag on the counter for several days, or wrap in plastic wrap and place in a ziploc freezer bag to freeze and enjoy later. Makes 2 loaves.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Peach Cobbler Bars


I feel kind of sad about summer coming to an end - maybe because I feel like I haven't taken enough advantage of summer fruits! I'm not ready to let go of peaches and berries! I'm sort of Jekyl and Hyde-ish about it all - I still want peaches, but I want pumpkins and apples too... Oh well, fall will be in its glory soon enough - here's one last recipe to take advantage of peaches.

This delightful dessert allows you to eat peach cobbler without a fork. Although it's delicious on its own, I would recommend still eating it with ice cream. (So I guess you'll need a utensil of some kind for that!)

Start by preparing the peaches. Place them in a bowl, and top with the lemon juice.


(I know, I know, I'm using bottled lemon juice. I didn't have a lemon. It'll be ok.)

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon,


and nutmeg. Stir to combine then pour over the peaches.


Stir gently and set aside. For the crust and topping, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and whisk gently. Add the butter


and cut it in using your fingers or a pastry blender until the dough is crumbly. Stir in the egg.


Pat half of the batter into a greased 8 inch baking dish. Top with the peach mixture.


Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the peaches.


Bake for 45 minutes until the topping is golden.


Celebrate summer why you still can!


One year ago: Pumpkin-Seed Crusted Tilapia
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Three years ago: Caramel Banana Sundaes

Find more great stuff at Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Whatcha Whipped up Wednesday, Ingredient Spotlight.

Peach Cobbler Bars

Crust and topping:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup cold butter, diced
1 egg

Filling:
3 cups peeled and diced peaches (about 5 medium peaches)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Place the diced (or sliced) peaches in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over the peaches and mix gently. Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter, and then mix in the egg. Pat half of the dough into a greased 8 or 9 inch baking dish. Spread the peach mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the peach layer.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until the top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 16 bars.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mango Ice Cream


Today is Reveal Day for Secret Recipe Club. This month I was assigned to Simply.Food. Nayna's blog is vegetarian and there are a lot of great recipes to choose from - because I can't quite give up on summer (especially since it was still in the 80s this weekend!) I chose Mango Ice Cream. I love mangoes - and I had a bag of frozen mango chunks in the freezer so this was the perfect recipe to use them in.

This is a very easy recipe to make, and very tasty to eat! I think it would be especially good as a closing course for a Thai or Indian meal. Next time I make this, I may also substitute coconut milk for the half and half. Coconut and mango - yum! I used my ice cream maker for this, but there are directions in the original recipe for making this ice cream without an ice cream maker.

Start by combining the sweetened condensed milk, mango chunks (thaw them if they're frozen)


and half and half


in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Then add to the ice cream maker,


and churn according to your maker's directions, likely about 15 minutes. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container, and freeze for another 4 hours or so until it's your desired consistency.

Enjoy!


One year ago: Cherry Bread
Two years ago: Blackberry Cake
Three years ago: Apple Pie Muffins

There is more deliciousness at Mangia Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, This Week's Cravings, Mop it Up Monday, Seasonal Inspiration, Mix it up Monday, On the Menu Monday, Melt in your mouth Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tuesday at the Table, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesdays.

Mango Ice Cream

4 cups mango chunks (fresh or frozen, thaw if frozen)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups half and half

In a blender or food processor, combine mango, milk and half and half. Puree until smooth. Pour into the canister of an ice cream maker and churn until the ice cream is soft serve consistency. Transfer to a freezer safe container and allow to ripen in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Makes 1 quart.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Donuts


This combination has to be one of the best ever - peanut butter, banana, chocolate...all together in a BAKED donut that uses whole wheat flour. So delicious and at least more nutritious than the standard donut variety. These donuts will make any breakfast, brunch or after school snack super special.

Start by combining the dry ingredients: flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.


Stir the dry ingredients then add the peanut butter, milk


eggs and banana. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients. (You can do this by hand - you don't even need a mixer!) Now grease your donut pan and then fill each indentation with batter.


Bake for 9-12 minutes or until donuts are golden and spring back when touched lightly. Remove the pan to a cooling rack.


Let the donuts cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then carefully remove and let the donuts cool completely on the rack.

For the glaze, combine the chocolate chips, corn syrup (or honey) and butter in a medium bowl that is safe to put in the microwave.


Microwave on medium power for 30 seconds, then stir and microwave for another 30 seconds if needed. Stir until smooth


then add the vanilla and stir again. Dip each donut into the glaze


and carefully turn to keep the glaze on top of the donut.


Return the glazed donuts to the rack to set.


If you want to put sprinkles on them, now is the time, before the glaze dries!


Sprinkles or no, these are amazingly delicious donuts. And they have fruit. So there you go.


One year ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bars
Two years ago: Chicken Alfredo Pizza
Three years ago: Asian Grilled Green Beans

For more great ideas, visit Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Whatcha Whipped up Wednesday, One month of Fun, Full Plate Thursday, Something Swanky, Recipe Box, Thursday's Treasures, Tastetastic Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Food, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday (#2), Ingredient Spotlight.

Peanut Butter and Banana Donuts
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Glaze:
1 cup chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Add in the egg, milk, banana, and peanut butter. Whisk until well-combined.

Spoon batter into a greased donut pan.

Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes or until donuts start to turn a light golden brown.
Remove donut pan to cooling rack. Let donuts cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then remove to cool completely on the wire rack. Re-grease the pan and repeat with another batch.

For glaze, in a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips, honey, and butter over low heat. Stir constantly. (Or microwave for 30-second intervals on medium heat, stirring between each heating.) Once melted, stir in vanilla until shiny.

Dip the tops of the donuts into glaze and top with sprinkles, if you like. Allow glaze to harden before serving.

Makes 12 donuts.

Recipe Source: Adapted from A Kitchen Addiction

Monday, September 10, 2012

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Vegetables and Feta


I love roasted vegetables. And when you combine them with toasted Israeli cousous, toss it lightly with garlicky dressing and top it with feta, well then it's absolutely perfection.

You can use your favorite vegetables in this - zucchini would be great, if you're looking for some ideas of how to use some up! - but any combination will be wonderful.

Chop up the veggies then combine them in a large bowl. I used broccoli, red onion,


mushrooms, snow peas,


and red pepper.


Drizzle the vegetables with 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil


then stir them well to coat all the veggies. Spread them out on a large baking sheet.


Roast the veggies for 25-35 minutes or until they are nice and tender and start to carmelize.


While the vegetables roast, prepare the couscous. Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour the couscous in


and cook, stirring constantly, until the couscous is lightly browned. Cover with boiling water


and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover; simmer for 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed. When the couscous is done, you can see why it is sometimes called "pearl" couscous!


Pour the couscous into a large serving bowl,


and top with the vegetables.


Drizzle with the vinaigrette, then toss well to coat. Sprinkle feta over the mixture,


then stir again. Doesn't this look delicious???


It's a wonderful meal on its own or as an accompaniment to grilled or roasted meat.

One year ago: Banana Scones
Two years ago: Frozen Tiramisu
Three years ago: Pineapple Zucchini Bread

Get more great ideas at Mangia Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, This Week's Cravings, My Meatless Monday, Mop it up Monday, Seasonal Inspiration, Mix it up Monday, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Recipe Sharing Monday, On the Menu Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Whole Foods Wednesday, Hearth and Soul, Recipe Box, Meatless Monday.

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Vegetables and Feta

2 cups broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup snow peas
2 cups mushrooms, quartered
1/2 red onion, quartered and sliced
1 cup large diced red pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
8 oz. Israeli Couscous
1 3/4 cup boiling water
1/3 cup garlic vinaigrette
1/2 cup feta cheese

Combine the vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle 2 Tbsp. oil over them. Stir well to coat all the vegetables then spread them out on a large baking sheet. Roast at 400 for 25-35 minutes or until vegetables are tender and slightly carmelized. Stir the veggies a few times during roasting.

Meanwhile, coat a medium saucepan with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the couscous and toast, stirring constantly, until the couscous is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Slowly add the boiling water, and then bring the couscous to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 12 minutes until the couscous has absorbed all the liquid.

Pour the finished couscous into a large bowl and add the roasted vegetables. Pour in the vinaigrette and stir well. Top with feta. Serves 4-6 as a main course and 6-8 as a side dish.

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