Oct 27, 2011

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This bread pudding is up there with bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens and brown paper packages. Seriously, this is one of my favorite dishes. I love it. I made it for the first time a couple of years ago and now make it every single autumn. It is like a rite of passage in my mind and on my taste buds. I cannot fathom harvest time, leaves changing and wind blowing without eating this warm dessert at least once.

This bread pudding isn't super wet. It provides ample moistness for the bread, but it is not sloppy. I like bread pudding that isn't mush. I like it to have texture. As I type this I wish I had a bowl in front of me, instead of fond memories from a few weeks ago.

One of the only words that comes to mind with this sweet, but not-too-sweet, spiced dessert is ideal. If the pictures haven't convinced you yet let me just say that on rainy, windy Sunday (or any day) afternoons this dessert is unparalleled. It is like going home after being away for too long.
Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Chicago Metallic in your blog post.

Oct 25, 2011

Spaghetti Squash with Jalapeno Cream Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Jalapeno Cream Sauce is delicious, creamy and zippy. It tastes like jalapenos without the heat. It sounds different, but the flavors combine perfectly. You are probably thinking this dish is loaded with cheese and fat. But, you would be wrong. This dish is actually pretty light. It doesn't have any cream and I used 1% milk to make the "cream" sauce. 

If you like spaghetti squash try this. If you don't care for spaghetti squash TRY THIS. This dish reminds me of a 'Mexican' flavored Mac 'n Cheese without the white-flour pasta. It was warm and satisfying and makes a delicious and different side dish to any dinner, be it holiday or weekday.

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by OXO.

Oct 24, 2011

Pumpkin Smoothie - Healthy Enough for Breakfast

Pumpkin has been a large part of our diet this month. Pumpkins are loaded with vitamin A, beta-carotene and fiber. They are also low in calories. This pumpkin smoothie is healthy, satisfying and packed with protein. It is great on-the-go and keeps you full for hours. Don't be deceived: it tastes great. Bean loves this and Cale pounds it as if it were a milkshake. If you enjoy pumpkin, you may find yourself wanting to start every morning off with this glorious, nutritious smoothie.

One note before you make this...this isn't a pumpkin milkshake. You won't find tons of sugar and ice cream in this smoothie. It is more breakfast than dessert, but I  wouldn't say no to it for dessert either.

Oct 21, 2011

Green Bean Salad/Side Dish

This dish is a little different. In some cases, such as this recipe, different can be very, very good. The recipe starts out in traditional form by caramelizing the onions and then adding fresh rosemary and garlic while cooking the green beans. It changes from traditional at the end, while finishing the dish you add sliced peaches and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Peaches are hard to come by right now, but if you find a bumper crop somewhere be sure to make this side dish. It was so different and really tasty. The peaches add sweetness and the lime gives the dish a zip. I love sweet/savory dishes and this side dish doesn't disappoint. It also looks gorgeous on the dinner table.

Oct 19, 2011

Applesauce - Made Easy

           We go through tons of applesauce in our house. Bean consumes at least 1 cup per day. He loves it. I don't mind making applesauce, but I've always made it in the oven and I find I don't always have the time to watch it and make sure it doesn't burn. I didn't have the time, until I found this new simple recipe. 

           Now, it takes a couple minutes to prepare the apples; I throw them into a slow-cooker (Crock-Pot) with a couple of cinnamon sticks and I'm set. A couple of hours later... warm, fresh, slightly-cinnamony applesauce emerges with no fussing or watching required.  

Just make sure to use a softer apple ie: Mcintosh, Macoun, Pink Lady, Jonagold and Rome make great applesauce. Don't use apples that hold their shape when baked ie: Granny Smith, Cortland, Honeycrisp, or Red Delicious.

Oct 17, 2011

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

This is especially for you Jamie. 

The temperature outside dropped and Halloween is around the corner. Which puts me in  full pumpkin mode. If you don't like pumpkin, I hope by the end of October something 'pumpkinny' will spark your interest. This recipe is an autumn version of baked oatmeal. 

Baked oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts. The oatmeal bakes up into slightly sweet, 'sliceable' pieces. It takes about an hour to bake, but I prep everything the night before and then combine the wet and dry ingredients in the morning and pop it in the oven. It is usually ready to eat 15 minutes before everyone in the house runs out the door.

My family likes this breakfast three different ways...

Cale enjoys it warm and covered in syrup. 
Bean enjoys it warm with a little whipped cream on the side for dipping.
I really like this with a scoop of plain Greek yogurt sweetened with maple syrup. 

Any way you eat this I'm sure you'll enjoy the healthy fiber-rich breakfast that keeps you full for hours after breakfast. Also, this makes a great breakfast bar. It holds its shape nicely and you can eat it out of hand or in a napkin. Great for munching while walking to the bus stop (poor Cale) or eating on the go.

This fall breakfast is warm and filling. It also re-heats well so feel free to make it one day and eat the remainder during the week.

Oct 14, 2011

Classic Chicken and Rice with Carrots and Peas

            For some reason, I can't photograph main dishes. The pictures never look appetizing. Most likely it is because they are hot, steaming and my family is waiting around for me to "Take the picture already." However, this dish is tasty, economical (read: BUDGET friendly) and the perfect dish to bring to someone. I'm currently on the prowl for tasty and healthy (no canned soup) one-dish meals that I can share with others. 

         This all started when I brought a meal to a family with a newborn. I ended up carrying BEAN and 5 small containers up a bunch of stairs and the dinner still needed to be assembled. That night I swore off typical meals with lots of fixings. Now, I bring all-inclusive type meals plus a salad and dessert. This recipe fits my new criteria. 

         Chicken and rice with carrots and peas was simple to make. It was flavorful, but not spicy or exotic (perfect for kids and non-ethnic foodies (oxymoron?)) and it made enough for my family as well. Feeding two families with one recipe in a small amount of time is my kind of take-to-a-sick-person meal.

         Don't worry this dish isn't heavy. It is finished with fresh lemon zest and juice and fresh parsley to brighten all the flavors of the dish. Try this, I don't think you'll be disappointed for a "classic" tasting meal.

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Le Creuset.

Oct 13, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Warning: These cake-like cookies go down way.too.easily. Seriously, these are "pumpkinny", tender, chocolate-studded, addictive morsels. If you like cakey cookies...you must try these. I made the full batch for a Church function (about 20 people) and the ENTIRE batch, almost 5-6 dozen cookies were consumed in mere minutes. Consider yourself warned.

I had two+ trays of these!

Oct 10, 2011

Cucumber Lime Cooler

       This is not a thickened smoothie, but it is a really, really refreshing drink. I made this the other day before I exercised and it was the perfect drink post workout. It was tart, sweet, fruity and rejuvenating. I made a glass for Cale and one for myself. Cale really loved his. It tastes like a kicked up version of limeade, but not quite as sweet. In fact, I've been craving it every time I exercise. There is something about this drink that made me want more. Hopefully, you'll feel the same way too.

Oct 9, 2011

Butternut Squash Spread with Cheese Toasts

      I brought this appetizer to a get-together recently and it was very good. This appetizer is perfect for fall. It is creamy, warm and satisfying. The ingredients seem like an odd combination of flavors, but they worked together beautifully. The addition of pecans, rosemary and thyme really help this spread taste like autumn. 

      The spread looks really creamy, but it only uses 4 ounces of cream cheese. Please note that the Parmesan/Asiago cheese is actually divided among the cheese toasts and the spread. This is actually a pretty healthy dip for how creamy it tastes.

      I had about 1- 1 1/2 cups of spread leftover, you can toss the leftover spread with pasta for a delicious fall sauce or seal it in wonton wrappers for butternut squash ravioli. Or you can spread it on bread and eat it as open faced sandwiches all week.

Oct 4, 2011

Protein Pancakes

        These pancakes are filled with protein. They have very little flour, a lot of flavor and Bean loves them. Seriously, Bean can eat close to 6 of these pancakes by himself. These pancakes are really thin, but they are soft and flavorful and most people won't believe the entire batch only has 1/2 cup of flour. These pancakes also turn out well using oat flour, my whole grain flour blend, whole wheat flour or you can make these gluten-free using your own favorite flour. No matter the flour blend I'm sure you will like them. 

       They come together really quickly using a blender. It makes me feel like a great mother when I send Bean to school with a protein packed breakfast; instead of a sugar-filled, hungry-within-an-hour bowl of cereal. Which has happened a few times. Plus, Bean likes these pancakes as much or more than Lucky Charms...so its a win-win.

       One last thing, Cale HATES cottage cheese. It is on his 'never eat' list. He can't stand the texture. But, I didn't tell him what was in these pancakes and he liked them. In fact, he ate as many as Bean did, maybe more. So, if you or someone you cook for dislikes cottage cheese still try these. You may find yourself as surprised as I was. 

        I calculated the nutritional facts for a serving and typed them below the recipe.