Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

I've been in a pumpkin baking mood of late (okay, ever since those Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes happened about a month ago). I've saved several things to try and this was the first of those new recipes, it's sort of delicious.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes one 13x9 inch pan

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
8.5 oz pumpkin puree
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
10-12oz Semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 5 oz chunks and 6 oz mini chips)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a 13x9 inch pan.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar in a stand mixer.
  3. Add in egg , vanilla, and pumpkin then beat til combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes and allow to cool before cutting.
These make a delicious breakfast treat with a cup of know, if you're into that type of thing ;-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Apple Muffins (or Apple Breakfast Cake)

So, I have become mildly obsessed with Pinterest. I had previously signed up and cancelled the account (at least twice) because I couldn't figure out how to make the website work for me. Then one afternoon it hit me, or more accurately the random piles of magazine clippings got to be a little insane in my "Mama Bag" (do you have one of these? A bag filled with Mama's Stuff... magazines, iPod, books, Bible, journal, Sudoku puzzles....okay, maybe just me...) I'm not really one to troll the Internet in search of ideas. I have GoogleReader that I use to save blog posts I want to keep around, I use my email drafts to keep track of recipes I wanted to try...then it dawned on me, "I could use Pinterest as a replacement for my magazine clippings!" One thing has led to another and I'm a Pinterest sell-out. I'm still not huge on trolling the incestual pool (there's a chance I made that word up...Megan will tell me if that is so I'm sure) of Pinterest pins, but I have loved having a place to store ideas from all over the place virtual and otherwise.

Anyway, back to my point...Apple Muffins. I searched for apple muffins recently and a picture on Pinterest (yes, during the trolling I just said that I don't really do...) caught my eye. These muffins had to be made, NOW! The recipe ended up being perfect for 12 muffins and one 8 1/2" loaf pan...and the results were delicious.

(And this is my photo which is not near as good as the one that sparked my interest =P)

Apple Muffins (or Apple Breakfast Cake)
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything -->Consequently could also be my name =P
Makes 12 muffins and one loaf-pan

3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 cups peeled, diced apples
Light brown sugar, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare muffin and loaf pans (I used parchment paper on the long sides of the loaf pan so I could remove the baked cake easily).
  2. Cream together sugars, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla.
  3. Add in the dry ingredients slowly until combined.
  4. Gently fold in the apples.
  5. Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full and pour the remaining batter into the loaf pan (I have come to do this with muffins, or make mini-muffins as well, since I only have one muffin pan and I'm impatient so I like to have everything in the oven as soon as possible...probably also comes from the fact that baking while the toddler is napping is baking on borrowed time =P)
  6. Sprinkle the tops of both the muffins and the loaf with brown sugar (don't be stingy!)
  7. Bake the muffins for 20-24 minutes and the loaf pan for 45-50 minutes.
I'd imagine these would be good with a caramel drizzle...but I haven't tried it...yet ;-) The bread was a hit at my women's Bible study this morning and Hubby took the muffins into work so I'd say we had a good success on our hands!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

African Peanut Soup

Peanut butter in soup broth?!

Yes, please!!

This is one of mine and Megan's fall (or anytime really) favorites =)

African Chicken-Peanut Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves about a zillion (I have no idea, it's a lot though!)

3 cups cubed peeled sweet potato
1 cup chopped onion
1 large red bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeƱo peppers, seeded and minced
4 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
16 oz jar of salsa
1 tsp ground cumin
3 boxes chicken broth
2 cups brown rice, cooked
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  1. In a larger soup pot or dutch oven cook the sweet potato, onion, peppers, and garlic in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the chicken, salsa, cumin, broth, rice, and beans and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk in the peanut butter and cook for a few more minutes and it's ready!
This soup is super easy and will keep nicely on the stove, as with most soups, it just gets better! It also freezes well which is good since this recipe makes a ton of soup. Find a friend and share, that's my best advice!