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Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

In the last year I have discovered baked oatmeal.  It has become a favorite in our house ever since.  It is more filling and satisfying in a whole new way.  When I found The Oatmeal Artist: Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal, it sounded right up our alley.  We love pumpkin anything and why not add it to oatmeal.

Personally this recipe was not sweet enough for my taste or the kids.  This could easily be increased by switching out half the syrup for brown sugar.  Sweetness is always a to taste thing, so try it with the original recipe and add a bit of sprinkled sugar on top if needed.  The texture is spot on combining soft oatmeal without being gooey with a bit of spice and flavor.

I find making baked oatmeal for breakfast or a take a dish brunch works well.  Most people won’t bring the same dish, no toppings are needed when you do a baked oatmeal, and if it cools down it is ok.  My favorite baked oatmeal is my Berry Baked Oatmeal.

Pumpkin Pie Baked OatmealPumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Tbs maple syrup or brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients until smooth.  Add in the dry mixture.

Spread into a lightly greased 9 x 9″ baking dish.

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

You can sprinkle or stir in any of the following:

chocolate chips, coconut, dried fruit, nuts, or pumpkin seeds.

Bake 22-25 minutes or until set.

Enjoy!


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Gobble-Up Strata

Flipping through some cooking magazines at grandma’s house this recipe for gobble-up strata struck my attention.  It is an article on ways to use up leftovers after Thanksgiving.  Well it is no are we close to Thanksgiving and my Grandma and me wants to know who has leftover stuffing or dressing?  It is always the first thing to disappear at our meal and we usually make double dishes.

I figures I could make this whenever and it sounded pretty good.  Mr.Picky is not a huge fan of strata but I served it when company was around so I knew he would eat it no matter what.  Knowing that I would never have leftover stuffing I prepared some with the purpose of this recipe alone.  I also used some rotisserie chicken that I had pulled apart and frozen previously.  The peppers and onions give it great color, it reminds me of Christmas.

The strata turned out great and was very filling.  Mr.Picky said it would be even better with a bit of turkey gravy over the top, I must agree that it would make it even better.

Gobble Up StrataGobble-Up Strata:

  • 3-4 cups leftover stuffing or dressing
  • 2 cups cubed and cooked chicken or turkey
  • 4 green onions,chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

 

Lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish.

Layer stuffing, then chicken, followed by the green onions and peppers.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, and mayonnaise and pour evenly over the top of the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for 60-65 minutes.  Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Gobble-Up Strata

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Sweet Potato Spice Bread

I had a rather large bag of sweet potatoes to use up.  Usually we eat them rather quickly but I guess I had no motivation.   I planned on making some mashed sweet potatoes to go along dinner.  With the leftover sweet potatoes in the fridge the plan was to eat them up.

My Grandmother passed me some Taste of Home magazines she was through with.  I found a recipe for Sweet Potato Bread that I needed to try, as I am sucker for quick breads.  Grandma always has quick bread at her house.  She often served little quick bread sandwiches to us for snack.  Filling the quick bread with peanut butter or cream cheese was so exciting as a kids.  As it turns out my kids love these little sandwiches also.

Sweet potato spice bread turned out great, very similar to a pumpkin bread.  Unlike the original recipe I reduced the sugar and fat by substituting the oil out.  This bread has just a bit of spice and is filled with raisins, and nuts would be great but Mr.Picky will not tolerate them.  The only think I would do differently is whip or blend my sweet potato instead of mashing it.  Mr.Picky questioned the chunks and I lied and said it was pumpkin.

Sweet Potato Spice BreadSweet Potato Spice Bread:

Yields: 2 (9×5″) loaves

  • 3 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cup mashed or whipped sweet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 Tbs flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour,baking soda,salt, baking powder, cinnamon,ginger, and cloves.

In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, sugar,applesauce, flax-seed, milk, and sweet potatoes.

Add in the dry mixture until just combined.

Fold in raisins and nuts until all are combined.

Grease 2 (9×5″) loaf pans.  Split the batter evenly between the pans.

Sweet Potato Spice Bread

Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.  Cool in pans about 15 minutes before turning out.

 


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Honey Oat Bread

This Soft Honey Oat Bread – Bakingdom looked great.  I was looking for a homemade bread recipe to go along side dinner.  Honey Oat bread was the perfect pairing with a hot bowl of soup.  Not to mention the next morning it made the best toast ever.

My mother-in-law is so intimidated by yeast breads don’t be scared of yeast it is fun.  I love baking with yeast and watching my creation grow the kids love this part as well.  This method was new to me because I usually proof my yeast with the warm water and whatever sugar is in the bread.  This usually assures me that the yeast is active and ready.

This honey oat bread recipe turned out to be a light bread with a good chew.  The sweetness of the honey shows through but without becoming a sweet bread.  Great recipe to mix up the same old bread.

Honey Oat BreadHoney Oat Bread:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup oats (old fashion or instant)
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water, warm
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup honey

bread topping:

  • 1 1/2 Tbs honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbs oats

In a mixing bowl combine flour, oats, yeast and salt.

Warm milk and add butter to it until it melts.  Add in the water and honey to this mixture.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture.  Use a dough hook or spoon until a dough forms.

Knead the dough ball by hand or with a dough hook for about 10 minutes, the dough will be stretchy.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and allow to rise 1/2-1 hour until doubled in size.

Once doubled flatten to a 9×12″ rectangle.  Tightly roll and tuck ends underneath.

Prepare a 9×5″ loaf pan by greasing lightly.  Place roll into the loaf pan.  Cover with a towel and rise another 1/2-1 hour.Honey Oat Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brush the loaf with warm honey and sprinkle with oat topping.

Honey Oat Bread

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.

Honey Oat Bread

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Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Once again I needed a dessert to bring to a dinner, Thibeault’s Table: Blueberry Upside Down Cake was the recipe of choice that day.  Two reasons it was on my list of recipes to try and I had all the ingredients on hand.  I selected the right dessert because this turned out great.

This cake could pass as a coffee cake and I would probably serve for brunch.  The berries were a great combo with the somewhat cinnamon flavored cake.  The cake was not to sweet and not dry.  When I left the event I took the first few slices home and left the remaining.  I received a call to say my tray was clean and every bit of dessert was gone.

All those berries I so diligently picked and froze all summer are finally paying off.  I have made some great desserts lately with frozen berries.  I am so glad to enjoy a bit of summer in the dead of winter.  Berries just make me happy!

Blueberry Upside Down CakeBlueberry Upside Down Cake:

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

In a 9″ square cake pan prepare by lightly greasing or spraying with baking spray.

Combine melted butter and brown sugar.  Spread evenly on the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle the sugar layer with the berries and sprinkle those with the lemon juice.

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Meanwhile for the cake:

Cream butter and sugar until light.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.

Sift together the salt, cinnamon, flour, and baking powder.

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the butter mixture.  Mix until smooth.

Spread the cake batter over the blueberries evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Blueberry Upside Down Cake

Let cool completely and turn out onto a platter or plate.

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Vanilla Magic Cake

Vanilla Magic CakeI was so intrigued over Magic Cake | Kitchen Nostalgia, I mean three layers one batter?  This recipe has been on my list of desserts for a while.  After tasting it I am sure it will be made more often.  I was headed to a planned dinner and was asked to bring a dessert at the last-minute.  Magic cake contained ingredients on hand and seemed easy enough.

Bringing dessert is always my dream because my list of things to try goes on and on.  How many desserts can one family eat?  I rarely make dessert unless we are attending an event or having company so the recipes to try add up quickly.

Magic cake was easily assembled and placed in the oven.  The longest point is allowing it to cool fully.  I was so nervous because I hadn’t made it before and was taking it some where.  Usually I know if something will turn out, to be honest I didn’t have confidence in the three layers turning out.

After the cake filling the pan to the brim and watching it puff up as if it was a souffle, I wasn’t sure what I got myself into.  Of course as I took it out of the oven it deflated and started the long cooling process.  I only had two hours when the recipe required three hours.  After the two hours the cake came out nicely on a plate and I allowed it to cool the last hour during the drive and dinner.  At this point I still had no idea if this cake was going to turn out.  It looked great and smelled great, then it came the time to slice and serve.  With the first slice much to my surprise it had three layers and yelled out with joy.

I served the cake and my family had the first bites.  They loved it, almost as much as I did when I finally got a  chance to have a piece.  It tasted almost like custard but with some cake like texture to it.  It was a wonderful and light dessert.  Next time I will serve it with fresh berries or a berry sauce.  Alone it was great as well.  I can’t wait to try different flavors of magic cake!

Magic Cake:Vanilla Magic Cake

  • 4 eggs, separated at room temperature
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk, lukewarm
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkle of powdered sugar, if desired

Beat egg whites until stiff peak forms, set aside.

In another bowl mix egg yolks and sugar until combined.  Stir in water and vanilla until light in color.

Add the melted butter to the yolk mixture and beat another minute or so, last but not least add the milk and beat until combined.

Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture about a third at a time until combined.  A few small bits of egg white is fine just no large clumps.

Pour into a lightly greased 8×8″ round cake pan.  It is fill it to the very brim, do  not worry.

Vanilla Magic Cake

Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for about 60 minutes.  It will puff and should have the slightest shake in the center when done.  It will deflate when cooling and this is also ok.

Vanilla Magic Cake

Cool 2-3 hours in pan, turn out onto a plate.

Vanilla Magic Cake

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired or serve with berries.

Vanilla Magic Cake


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Tuna Green Bean Casserole

My neighbor mentioned tuna noodle casserole and it occurred to me I hadn’t made that in forever.  My heart was torn because I had just purchased a giant bag of French’s Fried Onions and a bag of petite fresh green beans.  I really wanted to make green bean casserole.  So I combined the two and came up with a simple and tasty dinner.

The whole family enjoyed this meal.  Who doesn’t love a comforting casserole?  Mr.Picky heated it up even the next morning for breakfast.  Next time I will update the recipe by removing the canned mushroom soup and making it from scratch.  This is because Mr.Picky dried a ton of wild mushrooms and for health reasons.  It was late and I was hungry so I reached for the extra cans in the cupboard.  I really enjoyed the green beans and would probably double the amount next time.  This depends on if your family likes green beans of course.

Tuna Green Bean Casserole

Tuna Green Bean Casserole:

  • 2 cup dry egg noodles, cooked until al dente according to package
  • 2 (10 3/4 oz.) cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 2 (7 oz. or smaller) cans tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup fresh petite green beans, cut to bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup fried onions, divided

Tuna Green Bean Casserole

While cooking noodles, throw the green beans into the water the last-minute or two of boiling to start the cooking process.

Meanwhile in a large bowl combine mushroom soup, milk, pepper, onion,tuna, 1/2 cup fried onions, and shredded cheese.

Drain noodles and beans and add to the bowl.

Combine the mixture and pour into a lightly grease 9×13″ glass baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly.  The last 5 minutes of cooking sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup fried onions and cook until golden brown.
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Cauliflower Pepper Jack Cheese Soup

Growing up Christmas dinner was usually Cauliflower Cheese soup.  My mothers secret was pepper jack cheese which gave the soup the perfect amount of spice.  My sister came across Cauliflower-Cheese Soup Recipe – Allrecipes.com which is an exact recipe.  It adds carrot, celery, and potato which my mom never did.  I gave it a try but added a bit of the secret ingredient and blended it a bit like my mom did.

My two-year old ate two bowls and asked again for more the next day.  I loved the added carrot and celery.  The added potato allowed a bit less thickener.  The best part you don’t need must seasoning but salt and pepper.

Cauliflower Pepper Jack Cheese SoupCauliflower Pepper Jack Cheese Soup:

  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 stalks celery,chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut in florets
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 4 Tbs flour
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups milk or half and half
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

In a medium pot combine water with celery, carrots, onions, potatoes, and cauliflower.  Bring water to a boil, cover with a lid and simmer for about 15 minutes until vegetables start to become tender.

Cauliflower Pepper Jack Cheese Soup

In a large pot or dutch oven melt butter.  Add in flour and cook about 2 minutes  on medium heat.

Cauliflower Pepper Jack Cheese Soup

Stir in milk until smooth and mixture begins to thicken.

Add in the water and vegetables.  Continue to cook until all vegetables are tender, season with salt and pepper.

It you prefer a smoother soup, use an immersion blender at this time to blend to desired consistency.

Stir in cheese and taste again for any seasoning needed.

Enjoy piping hot with a good loaf of bread.

Pumpkin Pancakes

It is pumpkin time and this week I made three pumpkin items with a large can of pumpkin.  Pumpkin pancakes are the kids favorite pancakes especially just cold plain.  They almost taste like you are eating a muffin or cookie but less messy because they are in pancakes form.

My sister showed up one day last fall with a plate of pumpkin pancakes.  She told me I could find the recipe Pumpkin Pancakes-Allrecipe.com.  I have been making them since.

These pancakes are not overwhelming in flavor but have just the perfect amount of spice.  They are a denser pancake but I have add a bit extra baking soda to fluff them up a little more.  I found the original recipe to not cook all the way through sometimes.  I hope your family enjoys this fall treat!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes:

  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 2 Tbs vinegar
  • 3 Tbs brown sugar
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine milk, pumpkin, egg, oil, vinegar, and sugar in a large bowl.  Whisk until smooth.

Sift together the dry ingredients and combine into the pumpkin mixture.  Again whisking until smooth.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Heat a griddle to about 350 degrees or a frying pan to medium high heat.  Scooping about 1/4 cup of batter at a time flipping pancakes once brown on each side.  About 2 minutes on each side.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Enjoy plain or with warm maple syrup.

Corn and Zucchini Fritters

Corn and Zucchini FrittersSummer time is fritter time as far as I am concerned.  Both corn and zucchini are ripening by the minute.  You have to use them before you lose them to fall.

I had fritters on my dinner menu for the week but paired with BBQ shrimp.  Well that flew out the window the other night when I tried to make gnocchi and the ricotta cheese was spoiled.  Since I already cracked the eggs and grated the zucchini we had fritters instead.  Turns out it is a new favorite of my children, my daughter especially loved them.  Even Mr.Picky is a big fan of corn and zucchini fritters.

As a child I remember getting so excited when I saw my mom making fritter sauce.  Corn was a favorite vegetable growing up and she made plain corn fritters which were eaten with in minutes.  The flavors are a memory and comfort of growing up to me.  I prefer to cook mine in a well seasoned cast iron pan like my mom did.  Don’t worry a non stick skillet will work.  I try to add as little butter as I can to the pan, just enough to help with sticking.

The fritter sauce is similar to thousand island (which I don’t care for) but much better.  Maybe it is because it is homemade.  The sauce completes these guys and they just don’t taste the same without it.  No one would want to eat a dry pancake, although the fritters are moister than pancakes.  Give it a try while you have zucchini out your ears.

Corn and Zucchini Fritters:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup corn (about 2 ears)
  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Add in milk and egg until smooth.

Fold in corn and zucchini until combined.Corn and Zucchini Fritters

Prepare a skillet over medium temperature, prepare fritters similar to pancakes.  A touch of butter in the pan and a 1/4 cup scoop of batter.  Cook about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown.

corn and zucchini fritters

Serve with fritter sauce to experience the whole flavor scale.

Fritter Sauce:Fritter Sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 3 Tbs ketchup
  • 2 Tbs sweet relish
  • dash of tabasco
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 Tbs onion, grated directly over bowl

Mix all together until combined.  Use to top your fritters!

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