Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hearty Pumpkin Muffins

My friend brought me one of these muffins on Monday, fresh out of the oven and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I couldn't stop thinking about it so I harassed her via texts until she finally gave me the recipe because they were THAT good. I made them this morning and they are even better than I remember, if that's possible. They are not dense and heavy, like typical pumpkin goodies can be. They are light and fluffy, yet still hearty enough to keep your tummy happy. I am so happy to share this recipe with the world wide web.

Hearty Pumpkin Muffins

Yield: About 36 muffins  Prep Time: 10 minutes  Bake Time: 20-25 minutes

1 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
5 eggs
2 (4-serving) boxes instant coconut cream pudding
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup walnuts (optional)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners or spray with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl or mixing stand, combine vegetable oil, sugar, pumpkin, eggs and pudding. Mix until well blended. Add the small bowl of dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix until the flour is fully incorporated. Fold in oats, walnuts and chocolate chips. Scoop mixture into muffin tins (about 2/3 full) and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes, then you can devour them ravenously, like I did.

Mmmmmm.... it's finally starting to feel like Fall around here!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Actually Easy Crock Pot Mexi-Chicken

The picture is not much to look at, but I only thought of photographing this delicious dish after I'd eaten some. For Father's Day, I'd totally planned on steaks but forgot to actually go to the store to buy them. So, yesterday morning, I frantically searched for a frozen chicken-in-the-crock pot recipe that had ingredients that were already in my pantry/fridge. It took a while but I finally found this awesome recipe. I just had to tweak it a little to account for the ingredients I didn't have. So I'm going to give you the recipe I actually used as opposed to the one that was actually required. It turned out great and was actually easy, not The Food Network easy.

4-5 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 can black beans

1 can Mexicorn

1/2 jar salsa

6-8 oz cream cheese

Put frozen chicken, drained black beans, drained mexicorn, and salsa in the crock pot.

Cook in the crock pot on low for 8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours. Until chicken is tender.

Add cream cheese (set on top) and let it sit 1/2 before serving.

I mixed it together before I served it.

All I know is you can't beat throwing frozen chicken, beans, corn and salsa in the crock pot before church. It's pretty much the recipe I've been searching for my entire life.

Try it. You'll love it.

P.S. For the actual recipe, you use a regular can of corn and full jar of salsa. That's it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

(Picture courtesy of Cooking Light)

I've been going through my magazines and picking out recipes that I'd like to try. I knew my parents were coming for dinner and my mom loves coconut, so I thought these would be a great dessert. They were enjoyed by all! Definitely use dark chocolate as suggested (I used a Lindt bar) because the sweetness of the coconut (and the brown sugar) makes them plenty sweet. Also, it doesn't make a ton (maybe 15?), which is probably good, since they're addictive!

1 cup flaked, sweetened coconut
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1/2 tea baking powder
1/4 tea baking soda
1/8 tea salt
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tea vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Arrange coconut in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 3.5 minutes. Stir coconut and cook for an additional 3.5 minutes and then set aside to cool.
4. Weigh or lightly sppon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk until blended.
5. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.
6. Beat in vanilla and egg.
7. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until combined.
8. Stir in toasted coconut and chocolate.
9. Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
10. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until bottoms of cookies just begin to brown.
11. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire racks.

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

If you normally shy away from cherries, I'd try these anyway. I gave these to two people who said they normally don't like cherries but they both really enjoyed them! I got this recipe from the Cooking Light Magazine, so it'd actually relatively healthy...if you can keep yourself from eating the whole batch all by yourself. ;)

1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)
1.5 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tea baking soda
1/2 tea salt
6 T. unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup dried cherries
1 tea vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk.
3. Melt butter in a small bowl on low in microwave (or on the stove, if you prefer).
4. Add brown sugar to butter and stir until smooth.
5. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture and beat with a mixer on medium speed until well blended.
6. Add cherries, vanilla, and egg: beat until combined.
7. Fold in chocolate.
8. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (until edges brown).
10. Cool on pans 3 minutes or until almost firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Healthy Cookies

1 stick butter
3/4 cup apple sauce
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 salt
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups oat bran
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seed grain
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Add 1/4 cup white choc. chips and or semi sweet/ dark choc. chunks
1/2 cup dried cranberries mix both dry and wet ingredients together with chips/berries.
I do it with hands because it's easier- shape into golf ball size and bake at 350 for 12-15 min.

Pork Tenderloins with Onions & Apples

I had this first at my moms, and was suprised at how much I liked it. It's super simple and inexpensive.

Pork Tenderloins with Onion & Apples

Sherry Base:
1 c whipping cream
1/3 c. cream sherry
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. prepared horseradish
1 tsp salt
Combine in Bowl.

4 pork tenderloin
2 Tbsp. butter
Seasoned salt
2 large onions
2 large apples (Golden Delicious are suggested- but I have used others)

Paint tenderloins with Sherry Baste and season tenderloins with seasoning salt and pepper. Preheat oven at 425. Roast tenderloins until done, about 35 minutes (take out when meat thermometer reaches 150)

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and apples and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft. Add sherry baste and bring to a boil. (This can be done ahead of time and reheated).

Slice meat on the diagonal and serve with apple & onion sauce.
Serve with potatoes or rice.