Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Best Pumpkin Bread

This pumpkin bread is moist and full of
spicy goodness. It's wonderful still warm
from the oven.
The next day it's wonderful all over again warmed 
in  the microwave or toasted in the toaster and
served with a little butter.
Great with your morning cuppa Joe.
Here's how easy it is to make.
Combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, sugar, salt,
 spices, and vanilla. Whisk to mix well.
I like my pumpkin bread loaded with spices.
 Add flour, soda, powder, and chopped nuts.
I also like it loaded with chopped pecans.
 Pour into a greased loaf pan.
 Bake for about 45-50 minutes. 
This recipe will give you 2 loaves. One for you
 and one for the freezer or a friend. It can easily
 be cut in half. You'll be left with ½ can (1 C) of
 pumpkin to use in another recipe.

1 can, 15 oz pumpkin
4 eggs
1 C oil
⅔ C water
2 ½ C sugar
½ t salt
2 t cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg
1 t ground ginger
1 t ground cloves
1 t ground allspice
1 t vanilla
3 C flour
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 C chopped nuts
Combine pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, sugar, salt, 
spices and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk to blend.
Add flour, soda, powder, and chopped nuts.
Whisk to combine. Pour into 2 greased 9x5 loaf 
pans. Bake @350º for 50-55  minutes or until
 a skewer comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes then
 turn out onto a platter.


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Between Naps On The Porch

Friday, November 13, 2015

Everyday Lasagna

Everyone loves Lasagna but it always seems
 like a big production, but if you break it
down into 3 steps it's really quite easy.
If you have a favorite recipe and by all means
 please tweak this one to your liking. I find these
 proportions to be just the right consistency. 
The steps are easy and if you have a small
 family, you'll be lucky with the leftovers. 
 Sear the ground beef on both sides for about 2
minutes in the hot oil, then break up and saute
adding the garlic until beef is browned.
Use 2 large fresh garlic cloves, minced to
make at least 2 T.
Add the remaining sauce ingredients and
simmer for at least 20 minutes. While the sauce
simmers boil the noodles and have your cheeses
ready for assembly.  I like to boil the noodles in
a large fryer pan. The water boils faster and
the noodles fit in better. They take about 15
minutes. Drain off he water.
*A word here about the cottage cheese thing. 
Many would scoff at the thought, but if
that's what you have in the house, use it!
You're here making a homemade lasagna
dinner for your family. That's what matters.
I've used both. 
 Butter a large 9x13 pan and layer half the
noodles, overlapping to fit.
Add half the cottage and mozzarella cheese.
 Add half the sauce. Sprinkle with half the parmesan.
 Add the remaining noodles.
 Add the remaining cottage and mozzarella cheese.
Add the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the top
with the remaining parmesan cheese.
I always make this in the afternoon then cover and 
refrigerate until I want to bake it. Remove from
 the fridge 30 minutes before baking if you
 remember, if not add about 10 minutes to
the cooking time. 
Make sure it's hot and bubbly 
and the parmesan cheese is golden on top. 
Let rest 10 minutes to set up before cutting.
I make the whole thing for just the 2 of us. I can
have another meal later in the week or freeze half. 
See, if you think of it that way, it's very little
effort for 2 dinners.
First: Make the meat sauce and while 
that simmers, cook the 8 lasagna noodles in
boiling salted water about 15 minutes, then drain. 

Second: Have the cheeses set out and butter
 or spray a 9x13 casserole.

Third: Assemble the casserole layers like this:
4 noodles
1/2 of the ricotta or cottage cheese
1/2 of the mozzarella
1/2 of the meat sauce (about 3 C)
1/2 of the Parmesan cheese (1/4 C)
remaining 4 noodles
remaining ricotta or cottage cheese
remaining mozzarella
remaining meat sauce
remaining (1/4 C) Parmesan cheese

Easy and DONE!
Cover it to bake later or bake now.
Bake @350º for 30 minutes.

Meat Sauce:
1-2  T olive oil
1 lb ground beef
2 large garlic cloves, minced
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
14.5 oz can tomato sauce 
1-1/2 t salt
1 t Italian sesoning
(or 1/2 t oregano and 1/2 t basil)
1/4 t pepper
Sear the ground beef on both sides for about 2
minutes in the hot oil, then break up and saute
adding the garlic until beef is browned. Add the
 remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. 
Other Ingredients: 
8 oz lasagna noodles, (8-9) cooked
1/2 lb mozzarella (or Monterey jack or Swiss) 
sliced or shredded
1 lb ricotta (or cottage cheese)
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pumpkin Cobbler ~ That Other Pumpkin Dessert

This may just replace your regular pumpkin pie
at your next holiday dinner. 
It's not a pie and it's not a cake.
It's the other pumpkin dessert.
 Pumpkin cobbler...or crunch when topped
 with chopped pecans or walnuts. 

It's warm and comforting.
 It uses regular pumpkin pie ingredients, with
 the addition of yellow cake mix and melted butter
for the streusel topping. It's easier than pie 
and will serve more people. 
 In a large bowl whisk the eggs.
 Whisk in the pumpkin, milk, sugar, and spices.
 Use the butter wrapper to grease a 9x13 dish.
 Melt the butter in the microwave for 1 minute. 
Stir in the cake mix and mix until crumbly.
 Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top.
Bake in a 350º oven for 1 hour until golden.
You can also sprinkle on 1 C chopped pecans on
top for a nice crunch. Sprinkle the nuts on just
half of it and see which way you like it better.
I like it both ways. 
 Let cool about 15 minutes.
 Cut into squares to serve.
Use a small spatula. 
I like my slice plain and still warm
with a cup of coffee.
 Larry likes his topped with ice cream.
It's a  nice holiday dessert that will 
serve 16-24 at your next party.
Pumpkin Cobbler
1 can - 15 oz pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
3 XL eggs
¾  C sugar
2 t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
¼  t ginger
¼ t allspice
¼ t salt
1 t maple or vanilla vanilla
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
(1 C chopped pecans-optional)
Grease a 9x13 dish with the butter wrapper. 
Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. 
Whisk in the pumpkin, milk, sugar, and 
spices. Pour into the casserole.
Combine the cake mix and melter butter.
 Mix until crumbly and sprinkle evenly over 
the top. Bake @350 for 1 hour. Let cool 
15 minutes. Cut into squares and serve using 
a metal spatula. Top with whipped cream 
or vanilla ice cream. Serves 16-24
tip: *You can use 4t pumpkin pie spice
 in place of the 4 other spices.
*You can also sprinkle on
 1 C chopped pecans to the topping.
Or just do nuts on half the cobbler.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pumpkin Spice French Toast

Just add a little pumpkin spice mix to your 
French Toast batter for a 
"welcome to fall" breakfast. 
Mix the batter in a pie dish.
Don't have pumpkin spice mix? 
Make your own. You'll be using it a
lot this fall, 
Pumpkin Spice Mix
2T cinnamon
2 t ground ginger
2 t nutmeg
2 t ground cloves.
Combine all ingredients and stir well.
Store in a saved spice jar. 
 Dip in your bread making sure to let it soak up
 the batter on each side. Brown in a sprayed pan.

Pumpkin Spice French Toast
2 eggs
1/2 C milk
2 t sugar
1 t pumpkin spice
1/4 t vanilla
6-8 slices of bread
Whisk the ingredients in a 
pie plate; then dip in the bread slices
in for at least 15-30 per side to 
saturate. Cook in a sprayed pan
on MH until golden. Serve on heated
plates sprinkle on powdered sugar.
Add a pat of butter and a drizzle 
of maple syrup if desired.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Eggs in a Cloud

These are the prettiest little eggs you'll ever eat. 
They are all fluffy with the perfect oosy yolks, 
that are good for swirling each tasty bite. 
Simple to make too! Make 2, make 4, make a dozen
for an impressive brunch. 
 You'll need: eggs, some minced chives or 
green onions, some cheese, Parmesan, cheddar, 
or whatever, Crumbles cooked bacon is 
good too. Salt & Pepper. No exact amounts.
Separate the eggs and whisk the egg
whites with a whisk or hand mixer until
fluffy. Mix in  parmesan cheese,
chives, and bacon (if using). Place in mounds
on a parchment lined baking sheet. Make a
depression in the middle with the back of
a spoon. Bake at 450º for 3 minutes.
Remove from the oven and  place
 the reserved egg yolks in each depression.
Return to oven and bake another 3 minutes. 
 Season with salt and pepper as desired. 
 The yolks are oozy-good. 
Swirl every bite of the cloud in the yolks.

Eggs in a Cloud
2 eggs, separated
2 T shredded cheese
1 T minced chives
1-2 strips bacon, 
cooked and crumbled
Beat the egg whites and mix
in cheese, chives and bacon.
Mound onto parchment lined pan.
Make a depression in the middle. 
Bake for 3 minutes @450º.
Add the egg yolks to the depression
and bake another 3 minutes.