Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday Fun Baking With My Besties


ONE of my favorite holiday activities is baking holiday cookies....
This was an annual tradition with my Mother, just as it is with many others this time of year.  After my mother passed and my son became past that age of wanting to help with the annual baking (it has been so long since he helped I can't remember when he stopped:(..)  I have scaled back only baking a small amount for gift giving and to have a few on hand during the season. Some years I purchased a large tray of homemade cookies from a family member who bakes a large assortment.  In recent years my best friend and I have joined together to bake.  We each pick two of our favorite cookies for that year,  pick a date and meet up at my home for a fun day of baking.  We each mix up a double batch of each recipe before the baking date, so the day of we're all ready to bake.  After all the cookies have been baked, we divide them up between us. 

This year we'll be baking two kinds of chocolate chip, sand tarts, pecan tassies and peanut butter blossoms.  
I made a big pot of chili to snack on while we bake and I have three bottles of wine on hand:))

This year another good friend will be joining us....
By the end of the day we'll be on a sugar high from all the sampling and wine, and puckered out from all the silliness and laughing.  It's a good thing we all know our way around the kitchen and know how to bake, I would be a bit scared of the baking outcome..:0)

If I remember to take pictures, I will post some of our labor of love for Christmas Cookies...

Have a fun and safe weekend!
K




Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins




I started my Saturday by making some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.  I have become a big fan of using boxed cake mixes for some yummy sweets and treats.  Growing up, all things "sweet" were made by scratch.  My Mother only used a boxed mix for one Cake Recipe, which is a Devil's Food Cake Mix with Chocolate Ice Cream added to it.  It was/is the Bomb!  She finished the cake off with a cooked Icing....it was a family favorite cake and frequently requested by many when we had dinners and gatherings.  


Today's Recipe is simple and easy...









One Yellow Cake Mix
One Large Can of Pumpkin or 2 Cups of Fresh Pumpkin
1/4 Cup Of Canola Oil
3/4 Bag Of Chocolate Chips

Mix Pumpkin and Cake Mix together
Add the Canola Oil
Fold in Chocolate Chips

Spray a muffin pan and fill pan 3/4 full 
Bake at 350 for 20 mins 

My fresh pumpkin was frozen and thawed, to which I did not drain my pumpkin before mixing it into the cake mix. By not draining the pumpkin, the natural juices gave the right amount of moisture needed for a good texture for a muffin batter.  *I no longer cook/steam my fresh pumpkin for my favorite recipes.  I bake it.  I have found baking the pumpkin keeps the pumpkin true to taste and not bland, more firm in texture and there is no loss of the natural juices.  Simply place a clean pumpkin on a cookie sheet, bake at 300 degrees until the pumpkin is soft when inserting a butter knife.  Remove and cut down the middle of the pumpkin and peal the skin away.  Be careful, the pumpkin will be very hot, but its easier to peel the skin away and seal in the juices while the pumpkin is still hot.  Place pumpkin into a glass bowl until cool and divide into containers for freezing or store in an air tight container up to 3 days in the refrigerator. 


I was able to get 6 Jumbo Muffins with this mix...

Notice the plate only has 5 muffins on it :)) 
And the coffee, was my second cup...

The coffee mug is my FAVORITE! I purchased this mug several years ago during one of my many trips to Florida while we were out and about near Port St Johns.  We happened to stumble onto some quaint shops where I found this awesome mug..!  As you can see, its been with me for a long while and I plan on having my coffee from it for many years to come.....


Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend, my friends!

K




 


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Sweets


If your making Thanksgiving dinner for your family and friends this year and your anything like I am when it comes to preparing a Holiday Meal,  your scanning all dessert recipes trying to decide which one you want to try for this years festivities....

I'll be having 7 or 8 for dinner this Thanksgiving, and even though my dessert is covered by one who is joining us for dinner, I may make "one" dessert also.  Here is a recipe from Paula Deen I thought would be a nice addition to the dessert table.


Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Picture of Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes Recipe


Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.
Serve with fresh whipped cream.
Variations: For a Pineapple Gooey Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.
For a Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.
For a Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.
Recipe By Paula Deen

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fudgy Chocolate Cream Pie



I'm always looking for a good and easy chocolate cream pie recipe...

Here is a recipe from "Oh So ShSabby" that looks like it meets the requirements.


Fudgy Chocolate Cream Pie

Ingredients
1 9 inch)pie crust, baked
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
4 egg yolks

2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate

1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. In a medium bowl, beat milk and egg yolks until smooth. Gradually stir into sugar mixture. Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil. Boil and stir for one minute.
Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, butter and vanilla.
Stir until melted. Pour into pie shell. Place plastic wrap over filling to prevent skin from forming and chill for several hours.
Top with meringue or whipped cream and chocolate curls if so desired




My Grandmother always made a large bowl of homemade Chocolate Pudding for Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners.  She had a mile high of Fresh Whipped Cream on top.  Every year for both dinners, all 6 of us Grandchildren would try to sit beside Grandpa, because he was the one who decided when we attacked the desserts and he had the first helping of the chocolate pudding...so to sit beside him meant only one thing, you had the second helping of the insanely good chocolate pudding.  My cousin and I often reminiscence about Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners on the Farm and how we all waited for Grandpa to have that first helping of chocolate pudding as we anticipated our serving....
I'm not sure why I prefer the Pie over a large bowl of pudding...maybe because my Grandmother was the best darn pie maker...ever!  And it brings me back to my childhood and all those wonderful memories made sitting at my Grandparents large oak table. 




Monday, November 5, 2012

Chocolate Cake Brownies

Cake Brownies


Ingredients:

•Brownie Ingredients:
•1 cup butter, softened
•1 cup granulated sugar
•4 large eggs
•1 tablespoon vanilla extract
•1 cup all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking powder
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
•1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
•.
•Chocolate Frosting:
•4 ounces butter
•4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
•1 pound (about 3 1/2 cups) confectioners' sugar
•1/2 teaspoon vanilla
•5 to 6 tablespoons evaporated milk or half-and-half, heated

Preparation:

Grease and flour a 9x13x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350°.
In a mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Add dry mixture to the first mixture, stirring until blended. Fold in nuts. Spread in prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on rack.

Frosting:
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat; stir in cocoa until smooth. Sift confectioners' sugar; add to the cocoa mixture along with vanilla and enough hot milk or half-and-half to make the mixture soft and spreadable. Spoon evenly over brownies and spread to cover thoroughly.



Hello Friends....

I have to share my Goodies I received from my dear friend, Tricia at Hillcrest Home Prims...

Tricia and I met through blogging to which we became good friends...





Tricia shared she purchased a second Santa for herself, so we have one of the same:)
The candle I am hoping will fit in my Date Candle Holder.  This candle lights with batteries, love it!
The  Christmas Stockings will be placed on my Northern Pine Tree I purchased last year and has grown well over a foot from last December...I received several mini ornaments this past year for every holiday season.  I am thinking I will make the Northern Pine an "All Season" Tree and place all the ornaments on and keep them on all year round.  I do need to transplant the tree into a larger pot, very soon!

Thank You, Tricia!  What a sweet and loving Friend..!!

Hoping you all are doing well and remembering our friends who have been effected by Hurricane Sandy..
Continue prayers and give support any way you can...

Hugs my Friends...
K







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