Archives for December 2010

Pumpin’ up the Pumpkin!



Hey guys and gals,
Once again my sincerest apologies for my absence as a food blogger…I can be such a slacker sometimes! Then again, I have been super busy with holiday celebrations, etc. etc. and haven’t had much time to catch my breath. I also have so many new and exciting things that I am looking forward to for the new year…announcements will come shortly. Anyways…the year is coming to an end and boy has it been a whirlwind…well, at least for me! I have graduated from college (woo-hoo), gotten a taste of real world work (bitter-sweet), and have become the maid of honor in my bff’s wedding (definitely exciting stuff)! With the closing of the year, I thought I would share another pumpkin recipe with ya’ll. Now, you all know how I have an affection for apple butter, but this pumpkin butter recipe really, and I mean really takes the cake…I might even put it on cake…no, really, I’m serious! Anyways, this recipe is very simple to make and it tastes as though you slaved 10 hours in the kitchen cooking it! I would serve it with some toast, or on homemade biscuits (or Pillsbury biscuits…whatever you like). Sometimes, I spread it on my toasted Eggo waffle with a packet of plain laughing cow cheese for a quick snack when I am on the go! Anyhow, this recipe will knock your socks off and probably make you do a fist pump!

Pumpkin Butter:

Ingredients:
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
3/4 c. water
2 Tbs. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. Mexican vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in a small pot on the stove and mix well.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

MANGIA!!!

A recipe for Sand Tarts…I think








Hello all!
I have been very busy these past weeks, what with graduation, work, and of course, those daily shopping trips. I swear…I have been to the mall every day this past week…but it’s okay I have got this Christmas gift thing under control…almost finished! How about y’all? What do you all give for gifts around Christmas? Or do you even give at all? My favorite is to give homemade gifts, especially gifts from the kitchen. If you are like me, then this recipe is definitely for you. I believe that the first time I had these cookies was at my grandmother’s house…go figure, right? Anyways, my grandmother calls them “sand tarts,” but some people might call them Mexican wedding cookies, or Italian wedding cookies or just plain old cookies, but whatever the name…these things are seriously scrump-dilly-umptious! Not only are they super simple to put together, the aroma that these cookies give off once they are in the oven is enough to make Santa Claus drool. These cookies are also special because many a Christmas memory has been made sitting around the table and making them with my loved ones. My sister and I have started to do this each year…usually the cookies don’t really make it into the cookie jar. Once you roll them in the powdered sugar as they emerge piping hot from the oven you will understand what I mean. My fingers get coated with the crispy exterior of the cookie blended with the powdered sugar…truly mouthwatering! So, I really encourage you to give these little yummies a try and better yet, wrap them in cute little Christmas bags or cookie boxes for guests and hosts of your next Christmas party. I swear you won’t be disappointed, and the cookie tins will be empty!

Ingredients:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 c. cake flour, sifted
1 tsp. Mexican vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 300 F.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. Using an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar, and salt until well blended.
4. Sift the cake flour and add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix until fully incorporated.
5. Add the vanilla and pecans to the mixture and blend until fully incorporated into a large ball.
6. Using a cookie scooper (I used a melon ball scooper), scoop individual round cookie balls onto the cookie sheet, spacing evenly. (You can also use your hands to form the cookie dough into small round balls).
7. Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the cookies are a light brown.
8. Remove the cookies from the oven and roll them in the powdered sugar.
9. Place the cookies on a cooling rack and allow to cool.
10. Roll the cookies in the powdered sugar once more before serving.

MANGIA!!!

“Baby, it’s Cold Outside”

Ingredients:

2 c. whole spelt flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. coconut oil, plus more for brushing
1/3 c. agave nectar, plus more for brushing
1 Tbs. vanilla extract (I used Mexican vanilla)
1/4 c. hot water
1 c. fresh rasberries
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Add the oil, agave nectar, and vanilla and stir together until a thick, slightly dry batter is formed.
4. Pour the hot water into the batter and mix.
5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the raspberries just until they are marbled throughout the batter.
6. For each scone, scoop 1/3 c. batter onto the prepared baking sheet.
7. Space the scoops one inch apart to allow them to spread.
8. Lightly brush the tops with the coconut oil.
9. Bake the scones on the center rack for 14 minutes, rotating the sheet 180 degrees after 7 minutes. The finished scones will be golden and slightly firm.
10. Remove from the oven and brush with the agave nectar.
11. Let the scones stand on the sheet for 15 minutes, then carefully slide a spatula under each and transfer it to a wire rack and cool completely.

Mamaw’s Cabbage Soup





Hey ya’ll,
Sorry I have been so unreliable lately, neglecting my blog and such. I have just been really giving my food blog some thought. After looking at other food blogs over the past couple of weeks, I have begun to notice a trend for the holidays…every one is doing Christmas-themed blogs. I even found this foodie who is doing a “12 days of cookbooks,” as a spin on the 12 days of Christmas. I know, i know, how adorable, right? Anyways, I decided I ought to jump on this Christmas train and put my own spin on things. However, I will just have to save my own “12 days” for next Christmas seeing as I leave for Houston tomorrow and don’t exactly have all of my appliances to cook. But…because I love you all, I plan to share as many of my holiday dishes with you that I can. I mean, what would the holiday’s be like if we didn’t get to enjoy once-a-year desserts that we pine over, or comfort dishes that warm us up from the inside out? Speaking of comfort dishes, I would like to share a recipe that is truly near and dear to my heart. Now, this recipe isn’t necessarily a Christmas recipe, in fact, I can get it year round. However, I can tell you right now that my Mamaw’s cabbage soup recipe is definitely a keeper for those cold, blustery winter days where all you want to do is curl up on the couch in your robe and house slippers and watch classic Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. The history behind this cabbage soup is simple. When I was younger I was at my grandmother’s house, and of course, she was trying to feed me anything and everything she could find in her pantry and refrigerator. Let me tell you, the woman never disappoints, and can whip up anything in a matter of seconds. As I sat at the kitchen table watching my grandmother browsing the refrigerator for my next meal, I spotted a container of soup. All I had to do was say presto, and my grandmother, being the culinary genius that she is, had re-heated a heaping bowl of the good stuff for me and I was chowing down. A little tip: you must eat this soup with parmesan cheese. No, not that fancy grated stuff, but I’m talking the Kraft good-ness out of the plastic tub. It is delightful! Now, I have put a little spin on my grandmother’s recipe, however, it will go unnoticed. It’s still the same great flavor but with a richer color. This soup is “soup-er” simple and it will leave you wanting to stay indoors all day long! BEWARE!

Ingredients:
1 head cabbage, roughly chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 28.2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 2 oz. bottle tomato puree
5 c. water
Dash of red pepper flakes (WARNING: these flakes have a high heat index, you just need a little bit for a kick!)
Dash of salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Put all of the soup ingredients into a large soup/stock pot.
2. Heat the soup to a boil over med-high heat on the stove.
3. Allow the soup to boil for 10 minutes.
4. Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for 1 hour.
5. Take the soup off of the stove, ladle yourself a bowl, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese!

MANGIA!