Foodie Blog Roll 2

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

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I know I have been posting a lot of recipes with pumpkin in them lately, but that's just because it's so darn good. :) This granola is great! I love the sweetness of the dried cranberries and the pumpkin really does give it a wonderful flavor. I think I had one bowl of this with milk.....the rest of it we ate straight out of the container as a snack!

Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

Pumpkin Cranberry Granola
2 1/2 C old fashion rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1/2 C canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling
1/2 C 100 % real maple syrup
1/2 C golden raisins
1 C dried cranberries
3/4 C chopped walnuts
1 T canola oil
2 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until the wet ingredients are evenly mixed. Spread out mix onto a baking sheet. Bake about 30 minutes, stir and spread mixture in an even layer again. Continue baking about 15 minutes more. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Feel free to try pecans instead of walnuts or different dried fruits. Fruit and nuts may also be omitted. Add granola to plain yogurt to kick it up a notch. Whatev. :)  

click to print

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

I love breakfast and eat it every morning. I know no one has a lot of time in the morning before work to make a gourmet meal, so I have also made a quick "weekday" version of this recipe along with the original one; you're welcome! :)
I am really excited to share these recipes with you and I really hope you will try them out.Canned pumpkin is such an easy way to get great flavor in a recipe, not to mention all the health benefits of in it. Make sure that you get plain, canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. There is a big difference.

Weekend Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Bake

1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats, not quick cooking
1 Tbs ground flax seeds (optional)
2 1/2 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp butter, softened
3/4 c pumpkin puree (not Pumpkin Pie filling, just plain pumpkin)
3/4 c unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
1/4 c pecans, chopped
1 tsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 4 ramekins with non-stick spray and set aside. 
Combine the first 6 ingredients together in a bowl and stir. In another bowl combine the vanilla, butter, pumpkin and milk and whisk together. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the oats and stir to combine.
Divide the mixture into the ramekins evenly and place them on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. 
Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the topping. After the oatmeal has baked for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and top with topping mixture. Bake for an additional 7 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
*You may choose to leave out the butter and brown sugar from the topping if you are cutting calories, and just top the oatmeal with the pecans. 

In a word, heaven! :) Ok, now here is the quicker version:

Weekday Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
1 individual packet of oatmeal
1/3 c pumpkin puree (not Pumpkin Pie filling, just plain pumpkin)
1 tsp sugar, brown sugar or sweetener (optional*)
1 Tbs chopped pecans

Prepare the packet of oatmeal per the instructions. Add the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and mix well.
Add the pecans to the top. 
*Note, I use the Quaker Oatmeal, Maple & Brown Sugar pack and I find that I do not need to add any sugar or sweetener to this recipe. If you choose to use plain oatmeal, you may want to add some.

The quick version is good, but the baked version is delicious! I paired it with my carrot cake coffee and seriously felt like I was in a little café somewhere. Ahhhhhhhh, bliss.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

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Today is the first day of Autumn! YEA!!!! Fall is my favorite time of year! Although, the first day of fall in the Hann home was actually a few weeks ago, just ask Hunter Hann!! :)

I have been wearing my cute house shoe boots for at least a few weeks, my NEW pumpkin candles are almost gone and I have already eaten my body weight in candy corn this month! (No, that is NOT a joke!) Yes, it is supposed to get up to 94 degrees in Birmingham today, but I just cannot help it; I just feel so fall-y!
I am so excited to share this easy recipe with you-don't worry, there's no cooking involved in this one. It is Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice. I made this about a week and a half ago and I have already used it in 3 recipes. It is such a great blend of spices and goes well in SO many things. Let me just tell you about a few:
This goes great in drinks. Turn a boring cup of coffee in to something wonderful with a few shakes of spice, or spice up a cup of hot chocolate. Use it in batters for pancakes or french toast or mixes of sweet breads or muffins. Use Pumpkin Pie Spice on some baked apples with a pack of sweetener for a healthy dessert. Last but not least, try it in savory dishes like sweet potato fries or hash. The possibilities are endless with this delicious spice so get creative. Feel free to alter my recipe to your taste.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 t cinnamon
2 t ground ginger
2 t nutmeg
1 t ground cloves
1 t Allspice

Mix spices together in a bowl. Pour spices into a clean, dry spice jar for storage.

Some Pumpkin Pie spice recipes only call for either cloves or Allspice. Some people think that Allspice has the spice cloves in it, but it does not. It actually is not mix of spices at all, it is it's own spice from the dried fruit of the Pimenta dioica plant. (Thank you, Wikipedia!) For this reason, I like to use a combination of both.
So try it out and let me know what you think. Oh, and give me some ideas too! Keep checking out the blog for the upcoming recipes with this little "magic spice" in it; you won't wanna miss them!

Here's to a great fall! ~Steph

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Southwestern Egg Rolls with Jalapeño Ranch

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, we had some friends over last weekend to watch football and pig out hang out. I decided to make these little babies and they were delicious. I have made Asian inspired egg rolls several times but I have to say, I now prefer these! They are good by themselves or dipped in ranch. Give 'em a try!

  Southwestern Egg Rolls with Jalapeño Ranch

Southwestern Egg Rolls with Jalapeño Ranch
   makes 24 egg rolls
1 ½ lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp canola oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
2 4oz cans of green chilies
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded Colby jack cheese
½ roasted red pepper, seeds and skin removed
1 package egg roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten (optional, water is fine)
Canola oil for frying
1-2 cups of ranch
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped very fine
1 T jalapeños juice from jar

Add 3 Tbs of oil to a large skillet and heat on medium to high heat. Add chicken and cook until cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and let it rest on a plate. To the same pan, add the garlic, black beans, corn, green chilies, red peppers, cumin, salt and pepper and cook on medium to low heat until everything is well mixed and heated through. Remove the mixture from the stove and place in a large bowl to cool. Meanwhile, chop the chicken breasts into very small pieces. Place the chopped chicken in the large bowl, stir to mix, and now add the cheese.  

Heat a pot, or deep skillet, of oil on the stove to medium high heat.

Beat the egg in a small bowl to use as your “glue” when sealing the egg roll wrappers. You may also use warm water if you do not have an egg. Lay out one egg roll wrapper at a time on a clean dry surface; I like to use a cutting board. Make sure that one of the points of the wrapper is facing you. Add about 2 Tbsp of the mixture about an inch from the bottom of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner up, covering the mixture and tucking it in. Get your finger wet with your “glue” and rub it on the edges of the top and sides. Fold over both sides, tighten the mixture, and roll it up. :) Repeat this until the mix is gone. This made 24 egg rolls. 

Add a few egg rolls at a time to the hot oil (I did 4 at a time) and cook until they are golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove with tongs and let them drain on a paper towel covered plate. Repeat until all the egg rolls are cooked.
Let egg rolls cool for a few minutes. If you are serving a big crowd like I was, cut them in half on a diagonal for better dipping. If it is a sit down meal, it is fine to leave them whole. 

Tip: One way to know when the oil is ready is to slice a small section off of one of the egg roll wrappers. If it takes a long time or fries up really quickly, adjust the temperature of your stove. Better than messing up an egg roll! 

For the ranch: Seed and very finely chop 2 small jalapeños and mix with 1-2 cups of ranch. Add 1 Tbps of jalapeño juice from a jar of jalapeños to the ranch and stir. Taste the mixture. If it is too hot for your taste, add a bit more ranch.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to make Roasted Red Peppers

Several recipes, or at least the ones I have been looking at, call for roasted peppers. They have such a different, wonderful taste once they have been roasted and it is so simple to do.

Homemade Roasted Red Peppers

Thoroughly wash the pepper, remove the stem and seeds, and cut into big slices. Place on a baking sheet, skin side up, turn oven on broil and place the pan on the top rack. Make sure to watch the oven closely because this will only take a few minutes.

Once the peppers are done, remove them from the pan and place them in a paper bag and roll down the top of the bag to close. This will make it easier for the skins to be removed. You could also place them in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Once the peppers have cooled for 10 minutes or so, peel off the skin and be careful to not remove the flesh of the pepper.

Ta da! All done! Now you can slice them, puree them or leave them how they are. Also, you can roast several peppers at a time and freeze the extras in a freezer bag for easy future use.

Chris' Mexi Sliders

We had a group of friends over last weekend for a cook out and some football. There was quite a spread of goodies but the star of the show was definitely Chris' mexi sliders. The difference between the way he cooks and the way I cook is that I follow at least a basic recipe and he just wings it. How does he do that? Maybe HE should be doing this blog! :) I sat down with him on Sunday and wrote everything down to put on here. I think we have a pretty good estimate on measurements, but feel free to adjust it to your taste. For these particular sliders we used ground venison but beef would work great also. We are trying to eat up the venison we have left before hunting season starts again! Ok, here goes.

Chris' Mexi Sliders
This made 30 sliders! 

8 Lb ground venison
1/2 c hot sauce (we use Louisiana Hot Sauce) 
1/2 c soy sauce (low sodium)
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1 package taco seasoning
1 T Cajun seasoning
1 package taco seasoning (for grilling only)*

2 1/2 onions, thinly sliced
2 1/2 red peppers, thinly sliced
1 package fajita seasoning
1 T olive oil

30 small packages rolls 
About 8 slices of sharp chedder
About 8 slices of pepper jack

Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a bowl. Make sure everything is well combined. Form 30 patties and wash hands thoroughly.  Turn the grill on medium heat, about 300 degrees. 

Meanwhile, start to make the topping by adding the olive oil to a skillet on medium heat. If you have a large skillet, add all the onion, peppers and seasoning to the pan at once. If not, you will have to do this in two batches. Cook the veggies for about 10 minutes or until the onions are caramelized. Pour into a big bowl and take to the grill.

Chris grilled the patties in batches of 6 so they would be hot when he brought them inside. Place the patties on grill and cook for about 4 minutes on the first side. Grill patties about 4 minutes on each side. Flip patties and lightly sprinkle with *taco seasoning to give them a bit of a crust. When the patties have about 1 minute left to cook, place the cheese on the top of the patties so it can melt. Each slice of cheese will cover two sliders. Place the rolls on the grill, flat side down for a few seconds so they get warm. 
Take the patties off the grill and top each with a small pile of veggies, and voilà! Mexi sliders!
Just a side note, I don't really like regular hamburger or hot dog buns and I usually don't eat them. These rolls really added something to the burgers. They were so soft and chewy; much better than the regular ones!
This recipe can easily be cut in half. Also, these would be great as big burgers. Anyways, Chris did a great job! Bobby Flay would be proud! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mom's Summer Squash Casserole

This is my mommy's recipe, passed down from her dad's mom. :) FUN! I love that recipes are something we "pass down" through generations. I had actually forgotten about this recipe until a few weekends ago. We went to Indiana with a couple and stayed with his parents house and had a great dinner with them. When I tried his mom's squash casserole I was immediately reminded of my mom's recipe. :) So crazy how a taste can bring back a memory (sappy, I know!). I called my mom the next day and had her send me the recipe and now I'm sharing it with you. I have only made a few changes.

Summer Squash Casserole

2 lbs yellow summer squash, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup 
1 c fat free sour cream
1 c shredded carrots
1 8oz package herb-seasoned stuffing mix
No calorie butter spray

In a sauce pan, cook the sliced squash and onion in boiling water for 7 minutes, then drain. In a bowl, combine cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Stir in shredded carrots, then fold in squash. 
Spray a 12 X 71/2 baking dish with non stick spray. Spread half of the stuffing mix on the bottom of the dish. Spoon in the vegetable mixture then top with remaining stuffing. Spray the top of the casserole with butter spray so it will brown better. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. 
*You may prefer to add pepper to the breadcrumbs, but I find that with the can of soup, no extra salt needs to be added. 
Eat up!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fig Fun

This was my first time buying, eating or "cooking with" figs. I was surprised how much I liked them. I read somewhere that fresh figs taste like a cross between peaches and strawberries; yes please! So when I saw them at my grocery store, I had to try them. I don't think I had ever seen them before, or maybe I had just not paid attention, but they came in the same plastic containers that strawberries come in. For this particular recipe I used Brown Turkey figs. They are slightly chewy, a little sweet, and wonderfully delicious!

Figgy Peach Salad

Figgy Peach Salad with Avocado and Goat Cheese 
2 handfuls of mixed greens or spinach
½ of a peach, cut into slices
3 figs, cut into quarters
¼ of an avocado, cut into slices
1 Tbsp crumbled goat cheese
Dressing of choice

Slice produce and place it on top of the greens. Top with goat cheese and dressing.

You can use any variety of fruits that you like. This would also be good with pecans or walnuts on it. Just use your imagination. :) Isn't it pretty?!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Howdy 'yall! This is my first post on my new blog. I recently moved from here and I am really excited about it! Sorry if this is confusing to anyone, but I just felt like since I was really only blogging about FOOD that I should make an actual cooking blog. :) Not sure if there is a way to move some of the previous recipes over to here or not, but don't worry, I will be making lots of great NEW stuff for you to try and since I am leaving the other blog up, you can always go back over there.
I am getting really excited for the fall and I have several yummy recipes to try. Visit me often and I will try to always have creative new things for you to drool over! ha
Until next time!
~Steph, A.K.A. Cookin' Cowgirl

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