Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 31

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days


Today is the last day of my 31 Days of Pumpkin series!   I want to end this challenge by sharing something fun and something serious.


First of all, something fun -- here is a really cool gift idea for you from stephanielynn.com -- pumpkin spice sugar scrub!  This would make great hostess gifts to have on hand during the holiday season.  If you click on her link, she even has free printable labels, so your jars will look as professional as the one she has pictured below.  I think I would add some cute fall fabric as a jar topper and tie a piece of ribbon or some jute around it to make it look even more adorable!










This is really easy to make.  Here is the recipe:


Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub{use as a hand scrub or body scrub}
2 Cups of Brown Sugar
1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Cup + 1 Tablespoon of Sunflower, Safflower, or Vegetable Oil


I made this using coconut oil, because I don't even want vegetable oil on my skin, while coconut oil has many beneficial and healing properties for internal and external use.


Here's a funny story -- Luke saw my bowl of pumpkin spice sugar scrub on the counter, and hoping it was something yummy to eat, asked what it was.  When I told him that it was a sugar scrub used to rub on your hands or body to make your skin softer, he laughed loudly and said, "Do you think I'm that stupid??  I'm not falling for that one, Mom!"  :)  

Well, it's true!  I googled "Why use a sugar scrub?" and learned this --  "Sometimes just using a soap to cleanse skin is not enough to remove all the excess oil and dead skin cells – that’s where a sugar scrub can be extremely useful. Using a sugar scrub can help clean skin’s surface and unclogged pores which helps with cell turnover. By using a sugar scrub weekly, you will see a huge difference in the way your skin looks and feels." 

I tried it out myself in the shower, and it did make my skin feel very soft and smooth!  So, my last recipe for 31 Days of Pumpkin is totally calorie free and designed to make your skin smoother and softer, but not plumper!!!  ;)  Enjoy!







Now for something serious.


Although I love pumpkins for decorating, for cooking and baking, and for creating a fall atmosphere, I want you to know why none of my pumpkins will be carved into jack-o-lanterns . . . . 

Although modern jack-o-lanterns are usually carved out of pumpkins, did you know that the original jack-o-lanterns were potatoes or turnips carved and illuminated by Irish children and used to light Halloween gatherings as well as to ward off evil spirits? They commemorated Jack, an Irish villain so wicked that neither heaven nor hell wanted him. Rejected by both God and Satan, his spirit wandered the world endlessly looking for a place to rest.  Because he couldn't see in the utter darkness, folklore says that Satan tossed him a burning ember from hell that would never burn out to light his vegetable lantern, so he could find his way as he wandered the earth.    

Because of its pagan origins, and even more because of its present day association with the occult, witchcraft and demonism, our family has chosen not to observe, promote, or celebrate Halloween.

Of course, some people will find this to be extreme or fanatical.  However, God gives clear warnings about involvement in the occult in His Word.  In Exodus 22:18, the Mosaic law stated that a witch should not be permitted to live.  Then, in Deuteronomy 18:9-12, God commanded:

"When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD . . ."  --  NKJV version


God created us as both physical and spiritual beings.  Every person on earth eventually struggles with the same questions about how we got here and what happens to us after we die.  Satan knows that if he can deceive us here on earth and keep us from seeing and accepting the truth (that God is our Creator and our Eternal Judge and that Jesus is the only way to God), that he will have our souls for eternity. 


To this end, Satan has created a maze of alternate religions to keep as many people deceived and confused as possible.  Since time began, Satan has been in the business of deceiving men and women, by appealing to our fleshly lusts, our pride, and our desire to be like God.  These deceptive traps are the basis of many of the world’s false religions.  Satan is also the author of the lie that, “All roads lead to God”.   All roads do Not lead to God.  In John 14:6, Jesus clearly proclaimed, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."


Allowing our kids to participate in the "fun, harmless" activities of Halloween communicates to them a number of false ideas:
  1. The devil is a harmless, fictitious character.
  2. Dabbling in the occult is an exciting pursuit free from any real danger.
  3. Observing or joining in the deeds of darkness is acceptable for a Christian.
  4. Life is more about not missing out on the fun, than engaging in spiritual battle.
Think about it -- Halloween is all about Darkness -- both physical and spiritual darkness.  Christians are commanded in 2 Corinthians 6:14 and Ephesians 5:11 to have no fellowship with the darkness, but rather to reprove and expose those deeds done in darkness.  This is done by bringing them to the light!


This time of year, when we are surrounded by images of witches, demons, and other bone-chilling creatures, it is an excellent time to remind ourselves and our children that we are living in the midst of an ever-raging battle between good and evil, between light and darkness, a battle in which we cannot remain neutral.  If we haven't chosen to align ourselves with the forces of light, we are already (unknowingly) in the battle and on the side of darkness. 


"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." -- Ephesians 6:12

If you'd like to further explore this issue, you might want to read my article on A Biblical View of Halloween, which was published in October 2008.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 30

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days


Can you believe my 31 Days of Pumpkin series is almost over?  It has been lots of fun!!  When I started, I wasn't sure I could really blog about pumpkin for 31 days in a row!  But I'm almost to the finish line -- just one day left -- and I'm happy to report that my family's skin has not turned orange!  ;)

So, I'm curious -- have you tried any of my featured recipes?  If so, which one was your favorite??  

I've experienced both success and failure during this challenge, endured some duds and discovered some delicious new favorites!  I think my Top 5 Fav New Discoveries are:

Day 25 -- Pumpkin Stew
Day 24 -- Pumpkin Chocolate Cake with a Caramel Glaze
Day 21 -- Pecan Pumpkin Bread
Day 15 -- Paula Deen's Pumpkin Crunch
Day 12 -- Belgian Pumpkin Waffles



Today's featured recipe is a Praline Pumpkin Torte from Taste of Home.   




photo from Taste of Home




Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

  • CAKE:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • TOPPING:
  • 1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional chopped pecans

Directions

  • In a heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour into two well-greased 9-in. round baking pans. Sprinkle with pecans; cool.
  • For cake, in a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and oil. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, pie spice, baking soda and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture just until blended.
  • Carefully spoon batter over brown sugar mixture. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For topping, in a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Place one cake layer praline side up on a serving plate. Spread with two-thirds of the whipped cream mixture over cake. Top with second cake layer and remaining whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional pecans if desired. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 14 servings.



This cake was very rich and delicious!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 29

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days


One thing I aspired to do during this 31 Day Challenge was to learn how to make my own pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkin.  But, it just always loomed before me as too time-consuming and too daunting of a task.  I have a pretty busy household, you know, and after all, I'm no pioneer woman!   ;)

However, if you are interested in trying this yourself, I discovered a wonderful tutorial from the Pioneer Woman herself!!!  ;)  She makes it look doable -- and even makes me wish I had fit it in . . .  maybe next year!

Here is the link, which is not only informative but beautiful:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/10/make-your-own-pumpkin-puree/


Even though I neglected to make my own pumpkin puree, I did attempt one thing that I've always wanted to try -- I roasted my own pumpkin seeds!!  (My sister should be proud of me!)

I used the seeds that I removed from my pumpkin when making that delicious pumpkin stew.







I followed these instructions from the Kitchen Stewardship blog.  Evidently, soaking the seeds before roasting them increases their nutritional value.

If you don't want to soak your seeds first, here are some very simple instructions from allrecipes.com.

These were easy to prepare and they make a very nutritious and delicious snack, so I definitely recommend you give them a try!!   I will make them again!

Friday, October 28, 2011

31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 28

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days


Ready to try something really different with your stash of pumpkin?  What about something yummy and pumpkiny to serve for breakfast?

We started off the morning with these pumpkin smoothies.  They were creamy and delicious!  My children were a bit skeptical at first, but two double-batches later, I declare them a success!  ;)




Pumpkin Pie Smoothies

Combine all ingredients in blender, blending well:

1/2 banana (frozen is best)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup Greek yogurt (preferably full fat)
3/4 to 1 cup whole milk (or almond milk or *coconut milk*)
few shakes of pumpkin pie spice
few shakes of cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 packet Stevia
4-5 ice cubes



Are pumpkin smoothies a little out of your comfort zone??  What about pumpkin granola??


I made two batches of pumpkin granola today, trying out two different recipes.  Having pumpkin granola baking for a couple hours made my house smell heavenly!  The first recipe came from this blog and the second recipe came from allrecipes.com, and you can find it here.   Or, of course, you can keep reading and find both of these recipes, along with my adaptations, below.




Pumpkin Granola

Ingredients:
5 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup (I was out of maple syrup, so doubled the applesauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas (optional)

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine oats, spices, and salt.  Mix well.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract.  Whisk until smooth.  
  • Pour wet ingredients into oat mixture and stir until the oats are evenly coated.  They will be moist.  
  • Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove pan from the oven and stir.  Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the granola is golden and crisp.  
  • Remove from the oven and stir in dried cranberries and pepitas (see Note).
  • Let cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.
  • Note:  You can use almonds, walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds in place of the pepitas.


This was pretty good, but I think the second recipe was even better!!




Crunchy Pumpkin Pie Granola

Ingredients:
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
6 to 7 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced (or chopped) almonds
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup honey
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins (totally optional!)
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Coat two baking sheets with non-stick spray.
  • Combine brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, rolled oats, almonds and pecans in a large bowl.
  • Mix the applesauce, honey and vanilla in another bowl.
  • Stir one mixture into the other, mixing thoroughly.  Granola will clump together in clusters.
  • Spoon granola evenly onto prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake in preheated oven for at least one hour, stirring every 20 minutes.  Bake until lightly browned and crispy.  (I baked mine for about an hour and a half.)
  • Remove from oven and cool to room temperature, then stir in raisins (nope!) and dried cranberries (yep!).  Store in airtight container.

This was Delicious!!!  It would be great to make up and have on hand for delicious breakfasts all through the autumn!  It would also be perfect for giving as hostess gifts or teacher gifts, if you divide it up into some cute little jars and adorn with a ribbon and tag.  I think I may give that a try!

So, are you adventurous enough to try a pumpkin smoothie or some pumpkin granola???  Let me know if you give these recipes a try!!   

Thursday, October 27, 2011

31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 27

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days


When you cook with the same ingredient for 31 days, at some point you have to start getting rather adventurous!   I think I'm at that point!  My family thinks this recipe, which came from the Taste of Home Magazine (November 2011), is most unusual!  Not necessarily in a bad way, according to Tiffany.  Not necessarily in a good way, according to the others!  ;)

It is different, but it is very soothing, fragrant, creamy and delicious.  I just don't think it proved substantial enough for a main dish for my family.  It would be an amazing appetizer though!   And it does look pretty in the bowl!  What do you think?  Would you try this recipe??








Pumpkin Bisque with Smoked Gouda

Ingredients:
4 bacon strips, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken broth
1 extra large can (29 oz.) pumpkin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tes pepper
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
2 TBSP fresh parsley

Directions:
  • In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; draining, reserving 1 TBSP drippings.  Saute onions in drippings until tender.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  • Stir in the broth, pumpkin, salt, nutmeg and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered, for 10 minutes. Cool slightly.
  • In a blender; process soup in batches until smooth.  Return all to pan.  Stir in cream; heat through.  Add cheese, stir until melted.  Sprinkle each serving with parsley, bacon, and additional cheese, if desired.
Yield:  9 servings (2 1/4 quarts)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 26

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days



My friend, Kristi C., sent me this recipe around the first of October, and I finally tackled it, much to the delight of my family!!  I've never made scones before, and they were very yummy, but took a bit more effort than many of the recipes I've featured here.




Pumpkin Scones

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 Tablespoons half-and-half
1 large egg
6 Tablespoons cold butter

Plain Glaze:
1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons whole milk

Spiced Icing:
1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground cloves

Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a large bowl.
  • In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together pumpkin, half-and-half and eggs.
  • Cut butter into cubes then add to dry ingredients.  Use a pastry knife or fork to combine butter with dry ingredients.  Continue mixing until no chunks of butter are visible.  You can also use a food processor -- Pulse butter into dry ingredients until it is the texture of cornmeal or coarse sand.  (If you have a food processor, this is the easiest method!)
  • Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then form the dough into a ball.  Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle that is about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide.  Use a large knife or a pizza wheel to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions.  Cut those three slices diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough.
  • Bake for 14 to 16 minutes on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper.  Scones should begin to turn light brown.
  • While scones cool, prepare plain glaze by combining ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed.  Mix until smooth.
  • When scones are cool, use a brush to paint a coating of the glaze over the top of each scone.
  • As that white glaze firms up, prepare spiced icing by combining ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed.  Drizzle this thicker icing over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (at least 1 hour).  A squirt bottle works great for this, or you can drizzle with a whisk.  
  • Makes 6 scones.
Notes:
1.  I inadvertently rolled out my dough a bit larger and I ended up cutting each of the three sections into three triangles, for a total of 9 scones.  They were still a good size, so I would do that again.  
2.  I'm not sure I see the necessity of two glazes.  I think I might skip the first glaze next time and just use the final glaze, which was Delicious!
 
Would I make these again??  YES!  If I wasn't feeling lazy!  ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 25

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days


I can't wait to share my latest pumpkin recipe with you!  I've been wanting to try this ever since my aunt sent me the recipe after discovering that I was going to blog for 31 days about Pumpkin!!  It took me this long to get up the courage to try it!!  I don't know why -- it wasn't that hard to make, and it is totally Delicious and Fun, and I highly recommend it!!!





Pumpkin Stew

Ingredients

2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1” cubes
3 TBSP olive oil or butter
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped or sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Bay leaf
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 pumpkin (10-12 pounds)


Directions:
  • In a dutch oven, brown meat in 2 TBSP olive oil or butter.  Add beef broth, celery, onion and garlic.  Add salt, pepper and bay leaf.  Simmer for an hour or so.  Add potatoes, carrots, and diced tomatoes and simmer for 1-2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, wash pumpkin.  Cut out a 6-8” circle around the top stem.  Remove top and set aside.  Remove seeds and loose fibers (otherwise known as the "pumpkin guts!").  Place pumpkin in shallow baking pan.
  • Spoon stew into pumpkin and replace the top.  Brush outside of pumpkin with oil or butter.   Bake at 325 F for 2 hours or until tender.  (Do not overbake!)
  • Serve stew from pumpkin, scooping out some pumpkin from bottom or sides with each serving.

Yield:  8 -10 servings




The recipe suggested baking the pumpkin empty for about 30 minutes before filling it to be sure it was soft enough to scoop out when serving.  I followed that tip, but don't recommend it, because during the initial baking time my pumpkin cracked down one side.  :(  So, as you will see from the above picture, my stew was a bit dry, because most of the liquid seeped out of the crack and was in the bottom of my baking pan.  :( 

Fortunately, I still had some stew in a pot on the stove, because with my family size I doubled the recipe, but did not double the pumpkins!  So, after serving a few bowls from the pumpkin, I finally ended up scooping out the remaining stew along with the soft pumpkin and then poured off the delicious broth from the bottom of my pan and stirred it all back into the pot on the stove.  I really didn't want to lose a drop, because it was just that delicious!


I hope you'll give this a try!  It is really worth the little extra effort!

I feel like this will be a new fall tradition for our family!  I hope to make this pumpkin stew every October from now on!  It would be so much fun to invite another family over and make a huge batch of pumpkin stew!  The only problem is, I'll need a whole pumpkin patch of pumpkins to fit all the stew!!  ;)  



Let me know if you give this a try, OK??

Monday, October 24, 2011

What Makes a Mom's Heart Happy

Seeing this when your son is headed back to college after a weekend at home . . .



31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 24

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days


Sunday afternoon I found a new pumpkin cake I wanted to try on allrecipes.com.  So, I quickly mixed up my cake and put it in the oven to bake.  Unfortunately, it wasn't quite done when I had to leave for church . . . so I left instructions for getting it out when the timer rang, testing it with a toothpick, and putting it on the cooling rack, along with a stern admonition for the guys NOT to eat it until I could get home and make the glaze to pour over top. 


So . . .  you'll never believe what I saw when I walked in the door from church!!!!  


This is Taylor's friend, Tyler!



And his friend, Ethan!

Apparently, they grew tired of waiting on me to come home and finish the cake, and decided to take matters into their own hands!!!!!  ;)








There's nothing quite like seeing three macho dudes in girly aprons!   ;)


These dudes did a great job with the glaze!!  (Not so much with the kitchen!)   ;)



The funny part is Ethan doesn't even like pumpkin -- so he prayed that God would transform his taste buds and then served himself a piece!!  He took a cautious first bite -- and actually liked it!!  :)  I think the cocoa covered up a lot of the pumpkiny taste!  

So, I declare the cake and the glaze an Epic Success!  :) 

(Now, if I can just figure out what to do with this mess in the kitchen!!!!!)



Pumpkin Chocolate Cake with a Caramel Glaze

Ingredients:

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup applesauce
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup confectioner's sugar

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9-inch Bundt pan.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and baking soda.  
  • In a large bowl, beat together 3/4 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, applesauce, and eggs.  Mix in 1/2 cup heavy cream and pumpkin.
  • Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until well blended. 
  • Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
  • Bake 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Invert cake onto a serving plate.
  • For glaze:  place the 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter and 1/3 cup heavy cream in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil while stirring with a wire whisk.  Cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth.  Remove from heat and whisk in the confectioner's sugar.  Immediately, drizzle over the cake.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 23

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days


Pumpkin is a perfect medium for blessing others:





Have you shared any fall blessings with your friends or neighbors??



Saturday, October 22, 2011

31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 22

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days


Are you ready for something a little different??  I can't wait to share this nutritious and delicious recipe with you!  It is perfect for a cool fall day and uses pumpkin in a most extraordinary way . . .   

Introducing . . . . Pumpkin Chili!!



I must tell you that this was delicious!   My family all enjoyed it!  My husband ate three bowls and remarked that it was the best chili I had made in a quite a while.  I figured that was the right time to tell him that it had pumpkin in it!!!   ;)   Unbelievably, he still liked it and ate it again the next night!  :)

So, I hope you will give this unorthodox recipe a try!

Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh or canned pumpkin puree
3 pounds ground beef
3 cans red kidney beans
3 cans diced tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
  1. Brown ground beef and drain.
  2. Put ground beef into a large dutch oven.
  3. Add beans, tomatoes, onion, and spices.
  4. Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Simmer on low for two hours or more.
  5. Serve with cornbread.

Now, I'm going to share with you the world's best cornbread recipe!!  This recipe comes from my friend, Heidi, and is everything she claims it to be -- "After trying numerous recipes, and deciding that nothing came close to Jiffy corn muffin mix, I have finally unearthed a recipe that is (drumroll, please) even better than Jiffy!"


The Best Cornbread  

Ingredients:

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg
2-4 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
cooking spray
2 Tablespoons butter

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine the first five ingredients in large bowl.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk together the next four ingredients.
  4. Spray an 8 or 9 inch baking pan or iron skillet with coking spray.  Put the butter in it and place it in the oven until the butter is totally melted and the pan or skillet is hot.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and quickly stir together, just until combined.  
  6. Scrape batter into the buttered pan or skillet and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  7. Serve warm, with plenty of butter! 



Friday, October 21, 2011

31 Days of Pumpkin: Day 21

Yes They're All Ours:31 Days


Although pumpkin bread has been a favorite fall treat for our family, for as many years as I've been married, I now have a new favorite pumpkin bread recipe!!  My husband actually noticed this recipe in a recent issue of Southern Living magazine and mentioned a couple times how good it sounded, so I eventually took the hint and put it to the test!  It quickly went to the head of the class!  ;)




Pecan-Pumpkin Muffins or Bread

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
1 cup melted butter or coconut oil
4 large eggs
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Stir together flour, sugar, soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
Make a well in center of mixture.
Whisk together pumpkin, coconut oil, eggs, and water.  Pour into well of dry ingredients.
Stir just until moistened.
Stir in chopped pecans.

For Bread:
Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 9x5 inch loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F for one hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans to wire rack and cool completely.  Chill and serve the next day for optimal flavor.

For Muffins:
Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans, filling 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.  Invert immediately to remove pans and arrange muffins right side up on wire rack to cool.


I highly recommend this recipe!  In fact, I'm off to make another batch!  My husband wants me to make some for him to take to the office!
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