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Last week the weather here was unusually warm, which meant I pushed my thoughts of pumpkin recipes from my mind. Alas, along with the start of a new work week it has gotten cold and I believe it is here to stay now. So, I grabbed a recipe that was at the top of my list and whipped up a batch of these yesterday morning. I usually don’t share a recipe that I try right out of the gate, but these are pretty tasty and easy to make. Well, I will admit that I totally botched one step, but I blame that on the cold that is going through my house right now! In just 20 minutes, we had a tasty morning snack that was hearty from the pumpkin, yet deliciously sweet.

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Sugar & Spice Pumpkin Mini-Muffins

Ingredients

For the Muffins:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup canned plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the Coating:

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 24-cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients, up to ground cloves. In a large bowl, whisk oil and then remaining 5 ingredients until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Divide batter evenly into mini muffin cups. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, melt butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Remove the muffins from the oven and all to cool for 2 minutes. After the muffins have cooled, remove from the tin and dip each muffin into the butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar until coated.

As seen on two peas & their pod , originally from The Craving Chronicles

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Our freezer died on us last week. It caught me by complete surprise as it’s only four years old and I thought we were good friends. I was always filling it with tasty goodness. I had never had a separate freezer before and now I’m afraid I can barely live without. Thankfully, we saved all of the meat, but we lost all of my fruits from the summer, frozen doughs, etc. Everything was moved to regular freezer and it all fit, barely. Naturally, I had just frozen a ton of chicken so for the next couple of weeks we’re having lots and lots of chicken!

One of my favorite things to do when I purchase chicken is to a cook up a bunch and shred it and store it in 2 or 3 cup servings. Then, on busy nights I already have my prep work done. It makes an easy recipe like these enchiladas even easier! Don’t be fooled by other recipes that claim they can be ready in 20 minutes either, these truly can be made in that time, including the prep work. Love it! We’ve already had these twice since the freezer died and they never fail to disappoint. I will typically make these and freeze half, but we know that is out of the question so instead we just have leftovers! So, four nights in 8 days of enchiladas should show you that these are very tasty!

20-Minute Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pre-chopped onion
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted tomato sauce
  • 3 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (about 15 ounces)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 ounces pre-shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream

Pre-heat broiler.

In a medium saucepan, combine the first 9 ingredients with a whisk. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups sauce mixture. Add chicken and beans to saucepan and cook 2 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated.

Stack tortillas and wrap in damp paper towels and microwave at HIGH for 25 seconds. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture in center of each tortilla; roll up. Arrange tortillas, seam sides down, in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with reserved sauce and cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and sauce is bubbly. Top with tomato and cilantro. Serve with sour cream.

Serves 6 (2 enchiladas and 1 tablespoon of sour cream)

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 374 Calories, 13.2g Fat, 31.2g Protein, 35.2 Carbohydrates, 6.2g Fiber, 100mg Cholesterol, 569mg Sodium

Source: Cooking Light July 2013

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Last week was on of those weeks that couldn’t end fast enough. Nothing horrible gone wrong, just in desperate need of the weekend. An easy way to cruise into the weekend with a happy note is cookies! I saw these a few weeks ago and knew that my husband would love them. He’s been on a salted caramel kick for about a year. I prepared the dough while my daughter was at pre-school, baked them while she was taking a nap, and we enjoyed them before and after dinner!

These cookies were delicious! I loved the chunkiness of the dough and will probably experiment a bit with this dough as a base in the future. The caramel took the chocolate chips up a notch but I will say they are best when warm or dunked in warm tea or hot cocoa. the caramel gets a bit chewy when it has cooled while can be a little difficult for some to eat. These definitely were a nice treat for the fall though and something different that definitely put us in a happier mode to start our weekend.

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Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup caramel bits
  • Flaked sea salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together. Add vanilla and egg and mix. Add the rest of the ingredients, up to chocolate chips and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and caramel bits by hand. Place dough in refrigerate and chill for 2 to 4 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.

Using a medium scoop, scoop the dough and place on baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Take care that the caramel bits are not on the bottom of the cookies as they will caramelize. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned at the edges. Sprinkle sea salt on top of cookies while still warm.

Cool cookies on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove the cookies and finish cooling on the wire rack. If you’ve got a steady hand you can carefully transfer the silpat or parchment paper to the wire rack and cool that way.

Store cookies in an airtight container.

Makes about 21 cookies.

Source: Baked by Rachel

Basil Compound Butter

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I’ve been trying to use up all of my herbs since I don’t have the window space to keep them all winter long. There are so many great ways to use or save your herbs after harvesting, but making compound butters is always one of my favorites. Everyone loves butter, right? This is so easy to do and really brings a nice change to your bread at dinner or you can use it melted over pasta, seafood, etc.

Basil Compound Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, combine butter, basil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to parchment or wax paper and roll into a log. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Will keep in the refrigerate for 1 week.

Source: Martha Stewart