Monday, November 14, 2011

Pumpkin Pudding Cake

I just cannot get enough pumpkin this Fall. I found a recipe that was for pumpkin bars, but I didn't have everything needed so I modified it to create a cake. I will say it is the moistest (if that's a word) cake I have ever made. It doesn't have a ton of pumpkin flavor though. It is still very tastey though. Enjoy!

Rating: Me (8)
Recipe: Pumpkin Pudding Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (I used sugar free because I've been eating alot of sweets lately)
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 3.4 oz. box vanilla instant pudding
1/2 cup sour cream
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
2-4 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place cake mix, eggs, oil, milk, pudding, sour cream and pumpkin into a stand or electric mixer, beating until well combined, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Pour into a greased 9" by 13" baking dish, spreading evenly.

Place butter into a microwave safe bowl and melt, about 30 to 40 seconds.  Add brown sugar and cinnamon to bowl, mixing until combined.  Drizzle mixture evenly over cake then take a knife and run it through to swirl.

Bake cake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until cooked through and remove. Knife will not come out completely clean.

Place powdered sugar and remaining milk into a large bowl and mix until creamy and smooth.  Drizzle over warm cake then let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into squares.  Enjoy!  Yields about 20 squares.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Creamy Green Chili Enchiladas

Rating: Me, (7.5)
Recipe: Creamy Green Chili Enchiladas

1.5 lb. ground elk meat (or any ground meat of your choice)
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 package taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
4 fresh large green chilies, chopped (you can use canned green chilies)
1 can black beans, drained
12-16 corn tortillas, taco sized
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can green enchilada sauce (large can)
1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheese
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, destemmed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Over medium heat brown meat with chopped onions. Add taco seasoning and water, cook for an additional 3 min.

Add green chilies and beans to meat mixture, cook for 2 minutes or until ingredients are heated through.

Mix green enchilada sauce and cream of mushroom soup. DO NOT ADD WATER.

Pour 1/2 cup sauce into bottom of 9"x13" baking dish.

Place approximately 1/2 cup meat mixture into a tortilla in your hand. Sprinkle meat mixture with cheese. Roll tortilla and place in baking dish. Repeat for all tortillas. Line rolled tortillas in baking dish. You may have leftover meat mixture.

Top rolled tortillas with remaining sauce mixture. If you have remaining meat mixture, sprinkle over sauce. Sprinkle top with remaining shredded cheese.

Cover dish with foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and let cool 3-5 minutes.

Top each serving with cilantro leaves and diced tomatoes. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies

This recipe was adapted from Betty Crocker.

Rating: Me (7.5), Stuart (8), Scale 1-10
Recipe: Chocolate Chip Mint Cookies

1 pouch (1lb 1.5 oz.) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp mint extract
6 drops green food coloring
1 egg
1 cup chocolate Chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add all ingredients together minus the chips until it forms a smooth dough.

Mix in the chocolate chips.

Place 2 Tbsp cookie mix, 2 in apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 min. Remove from oven and allow to cool 3 min. Remove from sheet and place on wire rack.

Makes 2 dozen.

Homemade Raspberry Poptarts

Last night I went out with the ladies and awoke to 4 in of snow on the ground. The first snow of the season for the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It's chilly outside, I slept in, I feel like cooking. Today I think I'll be cooking a few things. I think first I'll try Homemade Raspberry Poptarts. (These can easily be Vegan, just do not add the cream cheese or use a vegan cream cheese.) This recipe was adapted from Will Cook For Friends, posted on

Rating: Me (8)
Recipe: Homemade Raspberry Poptarts

1 pie crust (homemade or store bought refrigerated crust)
1/4 cup raspberry jam ( I use my mother delicious homemade jam, thanks Mom!)
1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cup powder sugar
1 Tbsp water
Lemon juice (optional)

Mix Raspberry jam and cream cheese, set aside.

Roll out pie crust slightly thinner than you would for a pie and into a rectangle shape. Cut crust into 12 equal sized rectangles.

Spoon 1-2 Tbsp. of the Raspberry mixture onto the middle of a rectangle. Cover with another rectangle. Press edges together. Use fork to seal edges of the rectangle.

Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Repeat for the following rectangles. Makes 6 small poptarts.

Once frozen, approximately 4-6 hrs, they can be cooked. Preheat over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Unwrap poptarts and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool.

While poptarts cook, prepare the glaze. Mix powdered sugar and water. Add enough water to reach a thick glaze. (One option is to use a drop or two of lemon juice to the glaze mix to add a little flavor to your glaze.)

Once poptarts are cooled, drizzle or spread glaze on them. Now they are ready. Enjoy!

Easy Sourdough Bread

So I am new to baking breads, at least the type that requires yeast. I am pretty decent when it comes to Banana Bread. As for sourddough . . . this was my first shot at it. I think it turned out not too bad. It was an easy recipe and it actually raised like it was supposed to, yeah!

This is not a traditional sourdough and thus the recipe is easy and not completely time consuming. Enjoy!

Rating: Me (7)
Recipe: Easy Sourdough Bread

Ingredients from

2 cups plain yogurt (I've never tried Greek yogurt in this recipe. If you do, you will likely have to add more water or reduce the amount of flour you use.)
1 T yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 T honey
2 tsp salt
1 T oil
4 - 5 cups flour, divided

Heat yogurt just to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in yogurt, honey, salt, oil and 2 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Gradually remaining flour just to make a smooth dough.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. (If using a heavy duty mixer, let dough knead for 7 minutes.)

Place dough in a greased bowl; turn once and leave greased side up. Cover and let rise until double, about 1.5 hours. Punch down. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions or form one large round loaf on a greased baking sheet. Let rise, covered, for 30 minutes. (If using a cast iron pot to cook your loaf, place dough to rise on a greased sheet of parchment paper set in a pie pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 450 with cast iron pan inside.)

For non-cast iron method: Heat oven to 375. Brush loaf (or loaves) with cold water and bake until it sounds hollow when tapped, about 30-35 minutes for small loaves or 45-50 minutes for one large loaf. Brush or mist with water every 10 minutes to get a crisp crust. Cool on a wire rack.

For cast iron method: Once cast iron pot has heated for 40 minutes in the hot oven and the loaf has risen, carefully remove the pot from the oven (using pot holders!) and gently place the dough inside using the parchment paper as a sling. Cover the pot and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and let the loaf cook another 10-15 minutes or until browned. Remove pot from oven, carefully removed bread and allow it to cool on a wire rack.

I made the non cast iron version and while the dough was not cooked I ground sea salt on the top of it. It added a nice salt bite when finished.

Vegetable Wellington

So during my snow day I made a few things and this was dinner; Vegetable Wellington. Think of your typical beef wellington and minus the beef and add veggies. It's a minimal ingredient dish and easy to make.

I used to fear puff pastry because I thought it was the same as phyllo dough, which I still fear. But fear not cooks, it's very simple to work with if this is your first time.

This recipe has been adapted from

Rating: Me (8),
Recipe: Vegetable Wellington

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp butter
3 gloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced red onion
2 cups cubed portobella mushroom
1/4-1/2 cup sliced Brie
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg white

Preheat over to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cube butternut squash and heat in oil and honey over medium heat. Stir squash every 1 minute until golden brown with caramelized outside.

Melt butter in medium pan over medium heat. Add garlic.

Slice red onion and add to garlic butter mix. Cube portobella mushroom and add to onion, garlic mix. Heat over medium heat until mushrooms are cooked through.

Roll out puff pastry on greased cookie sheet. Place layer of squash down the middle, topped with mushroom and onion mix. Place a layer of sliced Brie on top of the veggies.

Fold the short sides over onto the filling. Fold the long side over, one at a time to create a log shape. Transfer log into a greased baking dish.

Brush the top with egg white.

Place on middle rack and bake for 12-17 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes. Serve. Makes 3-4 servings. Serve with salad and you have a healthy meal!