Friday, October 18, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Pumpkin Addicts Anonymous... Day #3.

For roughly 5 Dozen Cookies:
In a mixer:
4 eggs
1 ¼  Cup Brown Sugar
1 ¼ Cup White Sugar
1 TBSP (or more) Vanilla
¾ C (actually 1 ¾ Sticks) Softened Butter
1 C Pumpkin Puree
½ C Applesauce
1 tbsp Cinnamon

Once the above is mixed well, add:
¾ tsp Cream of Tartar
2 tsp Baking Soda
4 tsp Baking Powder
3 Cups flour
4-5 Cups Oatmeal (Watch consistency)

Then add:
1 bag of white chocolate chips
1.5- 2 cups dried Cranberries (Mine were strawberry flavored)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Using Medium Scoop, prepare 2 cookie sheets at a time with dough 1-2” apart.

Place cookie sheets on top and bottom rack.  Switch sheet positions at exactly 7 minutes and remove both immediately at 14 mins.  
Let cool on rack.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Gnocci

OK.  I get it.... My pumpkin fetish is in FULL TILT!

I've been wanting to make Homemade Gnocchi for quite some time....... (Call me Italian) and I'm also on a mission to make/use pumpkin as much as possible right now!  See yesterday's post here.  So... I googled the basic idea of making Gnocchi and developed this recipe for a quick and easy treat!

First, you need about 1.5 Cups of Pumpkin (Perfect... the other half of the can that I used to make pancakes).

Put that in a mixer with 1 egg yolk and 1/4 tsp of salt.

Mix well, then add between 2.5- 4 cups of flour and let knead (with a dough hook) until the consistency is not sticky as all get out!
* My dough was WAY sticky so I actually had to knead about 1 1/2 cups MORE flour into it (So a total of about 4 cups).

Totally annoying.

I don't suggest doing this.
Next take your dough ball and cut into 4-6 equal portions.
One portion at a time, roll into a rope.

Sprinkle top of rope with flour and then cut in 1" x 1/2" pieces.
Using a fork, and 'pinching' the sides of the pieces- so you don't smash them, press the fork down on the top to create crevasses.

Boil the Gnocchi for 2-3 minutes or until they float.

Drain on paper towels.

Pan-fry boiled Gnocchi on med high heat in butter, crushed garlic & sage.

Top with Parmesan Cheese.

I will probably try this with zucchini soon too!!!

Maybe a cinnamon sugar pumpkin Gnocchi would be good!  Or..... I bet I could create a 'pumpkin' crust for pumpkin pie easily.... oh dear...... NOW my hamster wheel is spinning!  Stay tuned ;)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin Pancakes

I've seriously lost my mind.... I want pumpkin everything.  I decided that over the next several weeks I am going to make pumpkin scones, muffins, bread, snicker doodles, ice cream, cheesecake, danishes, chocolate chip cookies, pull apart bread, homemade puree, frappes.... oh just about anything I can throw pumpkin in....

On Sunday mornings we ALWAYS have real breakfast.  I wanted to surprise the family with something super tasty and pumpkin pancakes were the winner!

This is easy, and from scratch!

You'll need:
3 Eggs
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Applesauce
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
(Mix until it starts to get foamy)

1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Cloves
1 1/2 C pumpkin
1 Cup Milk of your choice
2 Cups Flour of your choice
4 tsp Baking Powder

Grease your griddle with cooking spray.
Preheat at a med to low flame.

Using about 1/4 Cup of batter for each pancake, spread thinly on griddle.  These are POOFY and thick, so you want to cook a bit lower and slower to get cooked all the way through.

Flip to other side when you can see the edges are getting dried out.

Serve with butter and syrup or nothing at all.

These are so awesome, I actually gave up my Bacon so I could justify seconds of the pancakes.


P.S.  If there are ANY leftovers.... Freeze them!

Round #TWO:
I got overambitious and this is how many pancakes I got to freeze for later :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Crockpot/ Freezer Meal -Sticky Asian PPP (Pineapple Pomegranate Pork)

A few weeks ago, I purchased a 'case' of pomegranates from Bountiful Baskets.  It seemed like a great idea at the time to get 24 pounds of them for $20.50.... however.... now I have a drawer full of pomegranates!

I decided that a sweet and sticky Asian style crocked meat dish would be totally enhanced by pomegranates, so I threw this together last night:

When I was putting it in the Crock this morning, I received a raised eyebrow comment:  "Did you just make that up just now or something?" -My hubs
"Why, YES.  Yes I did." -Me

In a bag (If you are freezer cooking)
or....In a container (if prepping)
or....Straight up IN the Crock.....

1 Pork loin
1/2 Can (drained) Crushed Pineapple
1 Can (drained) Mandarin Oranges
Arils from 2 Med Pomegranates
3 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/3-1/2 Cup Honey

Crock on 'Keep Warm' all day- Check temperature of Pork before serving.

Add Cornstarch to thicken sauce if you'd like.

Serve over Sticky Rice.

I'm expecting a tangy version of a Teriyaki taste.....
We shall see if it's Poison or Perfection....... soon.

I got home to this:

I removed a lot of the liquid, added more honey, then shredded.

I was very concerned this was going to be ridiculously sweet, however it turned out incredibly balanced!

I'm very pleased with my concoction and will definitely make again!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Freezer Meal: Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes are one of those things that always sounds like a great idea, yet I NEVER have the time to actually make them!  We went to Costco last weekend and since I've been really into having Baked Potatoes with or for dinner, I decided to grab the gigantic bag.  Well..... I don't know if it's just me, or what the deal is, but I can NOT seem to 'keep' potatoes!  I'll go to make them and there are eyes everywhere! Ack...

I was determined to not allow these 50 pounds of taters to go bad.  I washed, speared and wrapped in foil about 20 of them.  Baked at 400 degrees for about 1.5 hours (Yes, they were that big).  Ate a few with dinner that evening and then let the remaining cool off completely.

Next day:
Unwrap all your already baked potatoes.
(Longways) Slice the top off each & discard top.

Carefully remove most of the innards from each potato with a fork- place into mixer.

Next, using a spoon, remove remaining potato 'meat' and discard.

Add to potatoes in mixer:
Precooked Bacon
Sour Cream
Ranch Dressing
Cottage Cheese
Cheddar Cheese (lots)
Green Onions or Chives
Crushed Garlic or Garlic Powder
Milk to help mix
Salt & Pepper

Using Spatula or whatever you feel comfortable with, fill/stuff each shell with the mixture.
Top with more Cheese.

Wrap individually with saran wrap and place in freezer bags.

Write on bags:
"Twice Baked Potatoes"
350 degrees for 30-45 mins


October 2013 Meal Planning

Oct 1st, TU: Mustgo
Oct 2nd, WE: Chicken Soba Stirfry & Eggrolls
Oct 3rd, TH: Ham Fried Rice & Pico
Oct 4th, FR: Freezer Pizza
Oct 5th, SA: Out 
Oct 6th, SU: Dinner @ Friends
Oct 7th, MO: Wonton Soup
Oct 8th, TU: Chili, Chips & Cheese, Bean Burritos & ChocChip Cookies
Oct 9th, WE: Sticky Asian PPP, & Rice
Oct 10th, TH: BIG Salad
Oct 11th, FR: Trunk or Treat- Little Caesars
Oct 12th, SA: Chicken & Dumplings  Pico 
Oct 13th, SU: Pumpkin Pancakes & Leftovers
Oct 14th, MO: Tacos
Oct 15th, TU: Pumpkin Gnocci & Green Beans
Oct 16th, WE: Spaghetti & Meatballs, Garlic Bread 
Oct 18th, FR:  Family Date Night- Movies!
Oct 19th, SA: Pumpkin Patch- 
Oct 20th, SU: Tofu Pumpkin Curry
Oct 21st, MO: Tortellini Skillet Meal
Oct 22nd, TU: Breakfast
Oct 23rd, WE: Crocked Sausage & Potatoes 
Oct 24th, TH: MustGo
Oct 25th, FR: Out
Oct 26th, SA: In AK
Oct 27th, SU: In AK 
Oct 28th, MO: In AK
Oct 29th, TU: In AK
Oct 30th, WE: In AK
Oct 31st, TH: Halloween- Buffet