Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This is so super easy, so delicious, and it's sort of different- a nice change from pumpkin pie. I wish I could remember where I got the recipe so I could give credit.

15 oz can pumpkin (not pie mix)

12 oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t ginger
1 cup sugar
dash of salt

Mix and pour into 9x13 pan.

1 box yellow cake mix with pudding
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 sticks of melted butter

Sprnkle cake mix over pumpkin, then pecans, then pour butter over.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.


THAT's the original recipe (for that unnamed source which I can not recall). Ok here are the changes I made:

I used real pumpkin that I had in the freezer. It made the batter a little thinner, but it still set, and it was great. I always swear I can tell the difference between canned pumpkin and real. In truth, who knows.....?

I reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup, and I used raw sugar instead of refined white sugar. I use raw sugar or turbinado sugar whenever I can, and in a pumpkin recipe it was a no-brainer. Those two tastes are fabulously rich together.

I used walnuts instead of pecans. I like them better with pumpkin. Personal preference.

I reduced the amount of the butter to ONE HALF of a stick. It was PLENTY.

Enjoy, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! I'm thankful for this blog.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Savory muffins

I got this book for my birthday and have not used it until recently, I know shame on me.


Scallion & Goat Cheese Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
2 large eggs, room temp
1 cup buttermilk, room temp***
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 bunch scallions, sliced thin
5.5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Sea salt, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line with paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper into mixer bowl.

Lightly beat eggs and add to mixer bowl. Add buttermilk**, melted butter, scallions, and goat cheese. Mix on medium speed until just combined - do not overmix.

**If you don't have buttermilk  add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to just under a cup of low fat milk and stir together.

Scoop the batter into the muffin pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 20 minutes, until well-risen, golden brown, and firm to the touch.

Let muffins cool 5 minutes in the pan before removing. Serve warm or cool completely and store covered for 3 days.

Yields: 12 muffins

I also used gorgonzola once and I seemed to like it better............chefs choice I say.


If you like cranberries……..

This is a great buffet dessert or even after the turkey or prime rib Thank Full meal that's just around the corner.

Cranberry Nut Tart
  • 3 cups (12 oz bag) rinsed cranberries
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans 
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 2 large eggs slightly beaten
  • 2 tbls orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar  ***
  • 1 cup all purpose flour


 Butter and lightly flour a deep 10 inch pie plate or a 10 x 2 quiche dish.

Place cranberries in the bottom of the pan, sprinkle with the pecan pieces, then sprinkle the ½ cup sugar.

Now in a bowl combine the melted butter, eggs, juice and the 1 cup of sugar. Add the flour and whisk till smooth. Pour mixture over the cranberries.

***If I have any oranges on hand I sometimes grate maybe a tsp of the orange rind into the wet ingredients. 
Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Insert the old toothpick in the center to check for doneness.

Let cool…………………add a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream or not.




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cornish Hens with Apricot Glaze

This recipe is easy as can be, but so delicious that no one will know how little time it actually takes to prepare.

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Cornish game hens
2 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon grated onion
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the salt and cayenne pepper. Rub a third of the mixture inside the hends. Brush the hens with 1 tablespoon of the butter and sprinkle with the remaining seasoning mix. Place hens on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

In a saucepan, combine the preserves, honey, onion, nutmeg and remaining butter. Cook and stir until preserves are melted (I'm lazy; I melted everything together in the microwave). Brush over hens. Bake another 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees. Cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


A Paula Deen favorite - I should have known when I saw how much butter to use! I don't know how I lived to nearly 40 y/o without ever tasting this but SIL introduced it to me a couple years ago. I was planning on making this for a surprise dessert tonight and thought I had all the ingredients, but unfortunately, I'm missing the cream cheese. Well, there's always tomorrow...One of these days I'm going to try the chocolate/peanut butter variation.



  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
*Reviews of this recipe said that it's very sweet and the sugar can be reduced to 3/4 or 1/2 the amount included here.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Variations: For a Pineapple Gooey Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

For a Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

For a Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

Fabulous Fall Meal!

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
  • Romano or Parmigiano, for grating
  • Pumpernickel or whole grain bread, as an accompaniment


Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion, as an accompaniment, recipe follows

Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

Serve pumpkin sausage pasta with pumpernickel or whole grain bread and Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion.

Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion:

  • 1 pound triple-washed spinach, de-stemmed
  • 1 small Golden Delicious apple, quartered, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (a couple of splashes) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon (a good drizzle) honey
  • Coarse salt and black pepper

Place spinach, apple, and onion in a salad bowl. Place oil, vinegar, mustard and honey in a small plastic container and fit lid on container. Shake dressing to combine, 1 minute. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Philadelphia Cherry Danish Dessert

2 8-oz. cans refrigerated crescent rolls, divided

2 8-oz. tubs cream cheese spread

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided

1 egg white

1 tsp. vanilla

1 21-oz. can cherry pie filling

3 tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 13x9 inch baking pan. Unroll one can of crescent dough. Place in baking pan; press into bottom of pan to form crust, firmly pressing seams togther to seal.

Beat cream cheese spread, 3/4 cup of the powdered sugar, the egg white, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Spread onto crust; cover with pie filling. Unroll the remaining can of crescent dough onto a large sheet of wax paper. Pat out dough to form a 13x9 inch rectangle, pressing seams together to seal. Invert over pie filling to form top crust; discard wax paper.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool at least 20 minutes. Gradually add milk to remaining powdered sugar, beating well until blended and thick. Drizzle over warm dessert. Cut into 24 rectangles to serve. Store leftover dessert in fridge.

(Makes 24 servings)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Blonde is good

Maple Coconut Blondies

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and the egg and whisk until smooth. Add in flour and salt and stir just until no streaks of flour remain. Add in coconut and stir to distribute evenly. Pour into prepared baking dish.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until blondies are set and lightly browned.

Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Family is quite fond on ooooey goooey brownies but these are almost as good with a cold glass of milk.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

pb & chocolate pie

This pie took me five minutes to make. Honest. Aaaaand, it tastes just like a Reesies Cup. Here's a picture of it from the Kraft Food site. It's in the Holiday 2009 Food & Family magazine.
My drizzling technique has not been perfected like on the pie above, but I have no doubt it will taste just as good. :- ) I'm countin' on it.

1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 Tblsp. creamy peanut butter (divided)
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg. vanilla flavor instant pudding (3.4 oz size)
2 1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip, divided
1 Oreo pie crust, 6 oz.
3 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet chocolate

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup peanut butter until well blended. Add milk and dry pudding mix; beat 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup Cool Whip. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate.

Microwave remaining Cool Whip and chocolate in microwaveable bowl on high 2 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended, stiring after each minute. Cool.

Spread chocolate mixture over pudding layer in crust. Microwave remaining peanut butter in small microwaveable measuring cup 30 seconds; stir. Drizzle over pie.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.

Then make a big pot of coffee and enjoy. Mmm.