Recent Recipes

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Comments (0) | Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm not even sure exactly where I got this recipe. I've been making it for the last 10 years. All I know is that I altered it to make it my own and the results are amazing. My secret is to wait until someone has eaten at least one piece to tell them it has no oil and less sugar than regular pumpkin bread. The flavors compliment each other so well. The tart cranberries with the sweet pumpkin... heavenly. It's one of my sister's all-time favorites and she began asking for the recipe after I made it for her one year. But it never failed that each year she would somehow "lose" the recipe and need me to transcribe it for her once again.... repeatedly... every... year. So one year I thought I'd write it up nicely on a personalized recipe card... surely she'd never misplace that! Alas, I was mistaken. Another year or two went by with me sending her yet another copy of this treasured recipe. So when I bought my cranberries this year in anticipation of my bread making, I also anticipated typing up the recipe... it had become a tradition. Then lo and behold, she posted on my facebook page that although she, too, had thought she'd have to beg for the recipe again, she somehow found it! So proud of you big sister :) although secretly I never minded you asking.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
(makes 2 loaves)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin
4 large eggs
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9x5 inch loaf pans.

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, applesauce and juice in a large mixer bowl; beat unitl just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir until just moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove to racks to cool completely.

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Double Cheese Meatloaf

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Double Cheese Meatloaf

(*I substitute 1/2 lb lean ground beef and 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey for the beef/pork/veal combo called for in the recipe)

Let's face it, meatloaf is not an attractive dinner no matter how you slice it. Delicious? Yes. Beautiful? No. I would have snapped a photo of my plate had I not devoured my serving before thinking to post the recipe. There's really nothing like having a husband who walks through the door, puts down his briefcase and, with childlike excitement, says "you made meatloaf?!" Along with my children who both cleaned their plates, he reminds me of the very reasons I love to be in the kitchen.

Now meatloaf is a widely diverse recipe I know. And most people either love it or hate it (and some are indifferent.) But I beg you to try this recipe as it is unlike any other meatloaf and is truly worthy of falling back on time and again. Serve with whatever you like but there's nothing like a good baked potato and steamed veggies to accompany an all-time classic.

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Salted Caramel Brownies

Comments (0) | Tuesday, November 15, 2011

For those of you who I've been raving about this recipe to... in this case the picture does do it justice!

I have to admit that the first time I ever heard the term "salted caramel" was a couple years ago when Starbucks came out with their salted caramel hot chocolate. In my mind I thought "caramel hot chocolate topped with salt?? ew..." I had no idea that the "salt" and "caramel" went together. And then I started to think "salty and caramelly sweet?? yum!" So every recipe that put the two ingredients together (especially with chocolate) immediately caught my eye. I made homemade salted chocolate covered caramels for Valentine's Day for Joe, tore out this recipe and another for cupcakes... the beginning of what may be a new obsession.

*Note: as many of the reviews state on Cooking Light's website for this recipe, the caramel was difficult to spread and didn't spread entirely to the edges, leaving a small border without caramel along the perimeter... next time I think I'll try baking in an 8x8 pan instead of 9x9 to see if this helps... make no mistake, I WILL be making these again!*

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Quick Pastitsio

Comments (0) | Thursday, November 10, 2011

Penne pasta, ground beef, creamy tomato sauce and browned melted cheese. So quick and easy and yummy too. (I'm posting a slightly altered version from the one in Cooking Light.)

Quick Pastitsio

8 ounces uncooked penne (tube-shaped pasta)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free milk
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
7 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat broiler.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; saute 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove beef from pan; drain. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; saute 4 minutes. Add garlic; saute 1 minute stirring constantly. Add beef; sprinkle with salt. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. In a medium bowl mix cream cheese with milk until smooth. Add milk mixture and tomatoes to pan. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pasta.

Spoon mixture into a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over top. Broil 4 minutes or until golden.

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Provencal Flank Steak (freezer meal)

Comments (0) | Tuesday, November 8, 2011

So this freezer meal takes a little more effort upon actually preparing it for dinner but to be able to pull meat out that tastes like this? Totally worth the work. Essentially it's just a marinade that you freeze the steak in. However, by freezing the flavor in, you end up with a juicy, tender, wonderfully tasting steak that makes mouths water. Even my kids cleaned their plates and there's a lot to be said for that! I served it with steamed green beans and an alfredo pasta but mashed potatoes would have accompanied it nicely too. Something to soak up some of the outstanding sauce that goes over the meat.

Provencal Flank Steak

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup honey
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 pounds flank steak

Place steak in resealable freezer bag (labeled and dated.) Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and pour into freezer bag with steak. Marinate overnight or freeze for up to 3 months.

To cook: If frozen, thaw completely. Prepare broiler or hot grill. Remove steak from marinade and sear on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Meanwhile, pour marinade into a saucepan and boil over high heat for 5 minutes. Slice steak into thin slices across the grain. Drizzle marinade over steak and serve. *recipe courtesy of Dream Dinners*

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