Twice-Baked Butternut Squash December 3, 2015
Hi friends! It’s been a while…again. I apologize for the time between each post! It’s just life right now. I’ve been making some fun things in my kitchen lately like this delicious Parmesan Herb Crusted Salmon and these Toffee Pumpkin Muffins, which I hope to make again soon! I brought this Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash dish to a dinner party and made these Peanut Butter Bars for some friends who recently had babies. Yum, all those recipes turned out great. And just this week I made this Twice Baked Butternut Squash which I got the recipe right from the Aldi site. It turned out great and is a delicious meat-free dish (for those who don’t mind eating a meal without meat :)
If you get to try any of these recipes, I would love to hear what you think of them!
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and just in case this is the last post until the new year….Merry Christmas! :)
Twice-Baked Butternut Squash
1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
5 oz Honey Goat Cheese Log, crumbled, divided
¼ C Half & Half (I used almond milk)
2 T Unsalted Butter, melted
5 oz Dried Mixed Berries (I used craisens)
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
½ C Chopped Pecans
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- In a large baking dish, place butternut squash cut side up. Add 2 cups hot water, cover with foil. Bake until tender, approx 45 min to 1 hr. Remove from oven, discard water, cool. Scoop out tender parts of squash leaving skin intact.
- In a medium bowl, combine squash, 3 oz goat cheese, half & half, melted butter, mixed berries, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper. Stir together. Scoop mixture back into squash skin, top with remaining goat cheese and chopped pecans. Bake until mixture is slightly firm, approximately 10-12 minutes.
- Change oven setting to broil.
- Broil until cheese is browned, approximately 5-8 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adopted from Chef Morgan, ALDI Test Kitchen
Honey Pear Bread September 11, 2015
Hi! I’m not sure if I should welcome you back or myself back. It’s been a long 7 months! Since my last post our family has welcomed a new little pumpkin to the family. She is a month now and I’m ready to get my baking hat back on! Honestly, I think it’s been 2 months since I’ve baked anything! (and I can’t blame the Summer heat, the 90 degree days usually don’t turn me away from starting up my oven :) I’m ready to get back to it. I can’t promise how much I’ll be posting but I’m happy to be getting this one on my blog!
Pear bread. Never even thought of making this until my neighbor, who has a pear tree in their yard, delivered a bag full of pears. Too many pears to eat, although they are delicious fresh! So I went on a quick search for some pear recipes and came across this one. It turned out fantastic. The spices together with the sweet chunks of pear went well together. Besides a cut in my hand and forgetting to set the oven timer, the bread was a success!
My house smelled wonderful as the loaves baked in my oven. Like Fall. Mmmm. Enjoy!
Honey Pear Bread
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
2 splashes milk (about 1/8 cup)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 T vanilla extract
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 TB ground flax meal (dry)
4 cups of very firm pears, chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 3 medium loaf, 1 large loaf pans or muffin tins.
In a bowl, combine brown sugar, coconut oil, applesauce and honey. Stir together. Stir in the eggs and vanilla to incorporate.
In another bowl, combine salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, all-purpose and wheat flours, and flax meal. Mix dry ingredients well.
Gently fold honey mixture into dry ingredients, just until completely moistened. Gently fold in pears.
Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and bake 40-50 minutes for medium loaves, 60 for large or 18-23 for muffins (please check as needed with a toothpick)
Recipe adopted from Chew Out Loud
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting February 27, 2015
Not sure how to introduce these cupcakes, the title and picture does a pretty good job of that. To say it simply, it is pretty much chocolate cake, pecan pie and some awesome frosting to finish it off. It is good. I had one for breakfast the morning after I made them…really, what’s the difference between a doughnut and a cupcake (besides that the cupcake is a bit boozy but thankfully all signs of that is baked out of it). I usually don’t enjoy my baked good I make till the next day. Not saying I don’t try it but it always tastes better the next day.
The original recipe calls for 1 cup bourbon, I used 1 cup bourbon…after baking, it still had an extremely strong bourbon flavor (it does seem to mellow after a couple days :), although when you put the components together (filling & frosting) the cupcake is delicious. When I make them again I will use 1/2 bourbon 1/2 coffee, which was a suggestion in the original recipe – just to tone it down a bit.
You may be overwhelmed by this recipe, this is not your basic whip together some cupcakes and spread on some frosting cupcakes. These do take time. If you want to make them I suggest making the the three components to them over at least 2 if not 3 days, it’ll make it easier on you.
The frosting only is delicious, so go ahead and skip the filling and the cupcakes will still be great!
Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting
1/2 cup bourbon*
1/2 cup coffee
1 cup canola oil
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs
2/3 cup greek yogurt
**The original recipe calls for 1 cup bourbon. I used the one cup and it was an extremely strong bourbon smell/flavor after baking. The recipe also said 1/2 cup coffee could be substituted for half the bourbon, which is how I posted the recipe, this is how I would make them for now on – you can decide depending on how strong of the bourbon flavor you want to come out. If you don’t want any bourbon flavor, I would suggest using 1 cup coffee.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 18 liners.
In a stand-mixer bowl mix together the bourbon, coffee, canola oil and cocoa powder until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and greek yogurt and mix until silky smooth. Beat in sugar. Add the salt, baking soda and flour, mix just until incorporated.
Fill baking cups 3/4 full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling.
Pecan Pie Filling
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
While the cupcakes are baking, make the pecan pie filling. Combine 1/4 cup cold water with 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a saucepan, whisk until smooth. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, salt to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over med-high heat, whisking consistently. Continue whisking consistently and let boil for about 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the pecans, bourbon and vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool a few minutes and then transfer to the fridge for at least one hour or until completely cooled and thickened.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup finely chopped raw pecans
In a medium sauce pan, melt together 1/4 cup butter, cream, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl in the freezer until cool. (30 min-1 hr)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray.
In a bowl whisk together the bourbon, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon. Add pecans and stir to coat evenly. Transfer nuts to prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasted. Remove and toss the pecans in a bowl with 1 tablespoon butter. Allow to cool 10 minutes, set aside.
Grab the cooled butter mixture from the freezer and add the remaining 1/2 cup room temperature butter, vanilla and powdered sugar to the bowl and beat together until combined, smooth and creamy. Mix in about 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans.
To assemble the cupcakes: Use a small paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece from the center of each cupcake. Fill the hole with the cooled pecan pie filling. (optional: cover the filling with leftover chocolate cupcake top that was cut out) Spread with a thick layer of frosting. Sprinkle each cupcake with the remaining pecans.
Recipe adopted from Half Baked Harvest
Focaccia February 9, 2015
Focaccia is something that has been on a list in my mind to make for a long time. Not sure why I didn’t make it sooner, it is super easy and the recipe I used turned out really really good! The texture was great, the seasoning was great, dipped in a bit of oil or eating it by itself, it was delicious!
This recipe came from a neat recipe book I received for Christmas called Three Sisters Bake by the Reith Sisters who opened up a bakery of their own in Scotland.
Sea Salt and Oregano Focaccia
7 1/2 cups (2 lbs) white bread flour
2 tsp salt
1 oz instant yeast
2 1/2 fl oz olive oil
3 tsp sea salt
Grease a 9×13 roasting pan with olive oil.
With a dough hook, mix flour, salt and yeast. Add 2 cups (1 pint) tepid water and the 2 1/2 fl oz olive oil. Knead for 10 minutes adding a bit of additional flour if needed to form a smooth and glossy ball of dough.
Place dough in roasting tin and press into rough rectangle. Cover with oiled suran wrap and let double in size in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350.
Remove the suran wrap. Pull the dough from middle to corners of tin. Sprinkle with oregano and sea salt (or seasoning of choice and press your fingers into dough to create the focaccia dimples. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 16-18 minutes.
Serve hot or cold, with extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar for dipping.
Recipe from Three Sisters Bake
Honey Garlic Chicken & Naked Pizza with Basil and Garlic January 16, 2015
This chicken is delicious! The flavors of all the ingredients combined together is wonderful. The flavor reminded my husband and I of the flavors you get at P.F. Changs. I loved this chicken and served it over rice. Leftovers were also great! Check out Kelly’s blog at Just a Taste for some mouth-watering pictures.
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
3 large bone-in, skinless chicken breasts (2 1/2 to 3 lbs total)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup blackberry jam
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
Sliced scallions, for garnish
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker so that they are not overlapping.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, blackberry jam, hoisin, olive oil, garlic, onion and crushed red pepper flakes. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cover the slow cooker and cook the chicken on LOW for 4 to 5 hours until the chicken is fully cooked.
Using tongs, remove the chicken from the slow cooker (reserving the liquids) and place it on a cutting board. Remove the bones then use two forks to shred the chicken into smaller pieces. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl and cover with tin foil.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 3 T of cold water to make a slurry.
Strain the liquids from the slow cooker into a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the slurry. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook it until it reduces and has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour enough sauce over the chicken to cover nicely, tossing to combine. Serve the chicken topped with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.
Recipe from Just A Taste
This dough takes a couple days, but is really worth it and comes together very quickly, as far as hands-on time. You have to let it set for 18 hours after you combine the ingredients for the dough so start the day before you want to make the pizza. The dough was soft and chewy. I used the recipe on Baking Steel with the basil & garlic topping, which was great, but I look forward to trying other dry herb mixtures and also normal pizza toppings.
Lahey Pizza Dough (makes 3 pizzas)
1 lb flour
2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups water
Whisk flour, salt and yeast in a medium bowl. While stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually add 1 1/2 cups water; stir until well incorporated. Mix dough gently with your hands to form a rough ball. Transfer to a large clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature until surface is covered with tiny bubbles and dough has more than doubled in size, about 18 hours, give or take.
Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Gently shape into a rough rectangle. Divide into 3 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Dust dough with flour; set aside on work surface or a floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining portions.
Let dough rest, covered with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, until soft and pliable, about 1 hour. Wrap each dough ball separately in plastic wrap and chill or use immediately. See below for the topping and cooking instructions I used.
Naked Pizza with Basil & Garlic
1 round pizza dough (Lahey Dough recipe below)
2 small cloves garlic
1 cup of loosely packed basil leaves
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano
sea salt for finishing
Place a metal pizza pan in the oven and preheat your oven to 425.
About 20 to 30 minutes before baking, remove pizza dough from fridge and place on a piece of parchment dusted with flour.
Make the basil-garlic sauce: mince garlic with a pinch of salt. Stack basil leaves, roll them into a coil, and cut into thin slices. Then mince the basil slices with the garlic. Transfer mixture to a small bowl. Season with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil (or enough so that the basil is just submerged) and the cheese. Stir.
Gently stretch your pizza round into a circle, roughly 11 inches in diameter. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Take your hot pan out of the oven and pull the parchment carefully onto the pan. Bake until dough is blistered and lightly golden, about 8-12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Brush with basil-garlic mixture. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cut and serve immediately.
Recipe from Baking Steel Blog
Shredded Wheat Snack Mix December 30, 2014
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoys their New Year.
This snack mix is a salty one, really easy to put together and I love the flavor of it. Enjoy!
Shredded Wheat Snack Mix
4 cups shredded wheat cereal (spoon size – I got mine from aldi so not sure if it’s the right sz or not.)
2 cups popped popcorn
1 cup small pretzels
1 cup mixed nuts
1 envelope Italian salad dressing/recipe mix
1/4 cup butter/margarine, melted
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Preheat oven to 300. In a medium-large bowl toss cereal with popcorn, pretzels and nuts. Sprinkle evenly with salad dressing mix.
Mix butter, Worcestershire sauce & garlic powder. Drizzle evenly over cereal and toss to coat. Place on a 10x15x1 inch baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly toasted. Stir after 15 minutes.
Recipe from Kat’s Kitchen Binder (unsure of where original came from)