Friday, November 28, 2014

Garlic Knots

Are you exhausted from making Thanksgiving dinner? Or were you a guest at someone's place? Maybe you went to a restaurant? I think its been over ten years since I didn't make a Thanksgiving dinner. If you happen to be recovered and want to make something easy, I have posted a quick recipe. If I was feeling more ambitious, I would have made the dough but sometimes easy is the way to go. My children loved this recipe. They even helped with making the knots. Each knot was unique.I served these knots with lasagna soup. Yum!
Garlic Knots
1 package of pizza dough
2 Tbsp salted butter, melted
2 Tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasonings
1 tsp parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  3. Allow the pizza dough to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the butter, olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and parsley.
  5. Divide the dough into 14 pieces. 
  6. Roll the dough into long strips. 
  7. Tie the dough into a knot.
  8. Dip the dough into the seasoned butter. 
  9. Place the garlic knots onto the baking sheet.
  10. Bake the knots for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
  11. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Jen of Sweet Morris. 

Two years ago............................I made Honey Crostini.
Three years ago..........................I made Rotel Dip.
Did you already know................
-November and March begin on the same day of the week.
-November and September end on the same day of the week.
-On the Roman calendar, November was the ninth month of the year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pumpkin Custard

Since I had another can of pumpkin, I decided to try this recipe. If you need an easy last minute Thanksgiving dessert, then you should make this recipe. It taste a lot like the filling of a pumpkin pie. My husband said this recipe was awesome. Awesome! He really loved it. The recipe is cooked and then it chills in the refrigerator which makes it really nice to make for Thanksgiving. The original recipe had a cranberry topping but I topped mine with whip cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Pumpkin Custard
1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin purre
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup half & half cream
2 large eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spray 6 (2.5 inch) ramekins with nonstick baking spray. (A 9 inch pie pan can be used instead). Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, half & half, and eggs. Whisk to combine.
  4. Evenly distribute the batter between the 6 small ramekins.
  5. Bake the custard for 10 minutes.
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  7. Bake the custard for another 25 minutes or until the center doesn't jiggle.
  8. Allow the custard to cool for 15 minutes.
  9. Place the custards into the refrigerator and serve once chilled.
Recipe adapted from NY1 news

One year ago..................................I made Homemade Herb Butter.
Two years ago................................I made Smothered Pork Chops.
Three years ago.............................I made Cheesy Potato Gratin.
Did you already know....................
-Pumpkins belong to the cucurbits family. 
-In America, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California produce the most pumpkins. 
-In Colonial America, pumpkin was used in the crust and not as a filling. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Squash Casserole

When I lived in Colorado, I would eat at the Black-Eyed Peas Restaurant. My Dad came to visit me once and I tried to get him to eat there. After the third time, he reluctantly went with me. He really liked it there. One of the dishes we would order was their squash casserole. I just loved it. I wanted to try to make a copy cat recipe of their squash casserole. Since it has been many (many) years, I could not tell you if this recipe taste like their recipe. This casserole is very good. It is savory dish. My husband told me he will try it but hasn't yet. We will see. I will someday get him to eat more vegetables even if it isn't today.
Squash Casserole
2 large butternut squash
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
4 oz. unsalted butter
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp onions
dash white pepper

  1. Spray a baking dish with nonstick baking spray. Set aside. 
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Peel, seed, and chop the squash into cube pieces.
  4. In a large pot, add water and boil the squash for 5 minutes or until tender.
  5. Drain the water and add the squash back into the pot.
  6. Mash the squash. 
  7. Add the butter, 1 cup breadcrumbs, salt, sugar, and pepper. Stir into incorporated.
  8. Grate the onion and stir into the squash mixture. 
  9. Add the squash mixture into the baking dish. 
  10. Top the squash with the remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs.
  11. Cover and bake the squash casserole for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove the cover and bake for 5 minutes or until the bread crumbs on top are lightly brown.
Recipe adapted from

One year ago..............................I made Homemade Stove top Stuffing.
Two years ago............................I made Pot Pie.
Three years ago..........................I made Poultry Seasoning.
Did you already know..........................
-In 1975, Black-eyed Pea restaurants were formed by Gene Street featuring Southern cuisine.
-The restaurants are located in Texas, Tennessee, and Colorado.
-In 2008, all of the Colorado locations were purchased by three men which two of the men were former corporate employees.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pumpkin Cake

Alright, I am not a big pumpkin pie fan. I do love other pumpkin baked goods like pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin donuts, etc. I gave my sister and husband some suggestions. This dessert was the winner. I served the frosting on the side for guest to decide if they want a lot, a little, more, or no frosting at all. This cake was soft and crumbly. It had a nice spice flavor which wasn't overbearing. My family told me they thought the dessert was great.
Pumpkin Cake
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, melted. 
2 eggs
1  1/2 cups sugar
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree

  1. With nonstick baking spray, spray a round cake pan. Lightly dust with flour. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves. 
  3. Add the butter and mix until smooth. 
  4. Add the eggs, sugar, and pumpkin. Stir until smooth. 
  5. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. 
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes. 
Maple Frosting
1 stick butter, softened
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup

  1. In a large bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and maple syrup. 
  2. Blend until smooth.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

One year ago.............................I made PB Toffee Cake.
Two years ago...........................I made Pumpkin Scones.
Three years ago.........................I made Pancakes.
Did you already know...........
-Pumpkins can be orange, white, red, green, and yellow.
-Average pumpkins weigh around 13 lbs.
-According to the Guinness World Records, the largest pumpkin weighed 2,323.70 lbs.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cheddar Cloverleaf Rolls

When my sister came to visit, she requested homemade macaroni and cheese. I decided I would make some rolls too. I was allowing the yeast to proof while I was assembling the macaroni and cheese I accidentally dropped a little bit of cheddar into the cup of yeast. I figured it would be a good addition to the batch of rolls. I liked the addition a lot. These were very popular. There were no rolls left for later. I even made a lot. Good thing I took some photos before serving them for dinner.
Cheddar Cloverleaf Rolls
3 Tbsp warm water (100 degrees F) 
1 Tbsp sugar
1 (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup milk
2 cups bread flour
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg with 2 tsp warm water

  1. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and the package of dry yeast. 
  3. Allow the yeast to sit for 5 minutes to proof.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the slightly cooled, melted butter with the milk.Stir and allow to sit for 1 minute. 
  5. Add the bread flour, salt, and the yeast mixture. Mix well.
  6. Add 1/2 cup of all purpose flour at a time and mix into the bread flour mixture. Stir well.
  7. Continuing to add 1/2 cup of all purpose flour until the dough is slightly sticky.
  8. Knead the bread for 10 minutes. 
  9. Add the dough into a bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  10. Flip the dough and cover with plastic wrap.
  11. Allow to rise for 1 hour. 
  12. Punch down the dough. Form small balls.
  13. Add 3 balls into each muffin tin section. 
  14. Allow to rise for 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap.
  15. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  16. Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash.
  17. Bake the rolls for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

Two years ago............................I made Chicken broth.
Three years ago..........................I made Chocolate PB Whoopie Pies.
Did you already know............................
-Yeast are unicellular fungi.
-Wild yeast spores are found in the air.
-The Egyptians made yeast bread.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Creamed Pearl Onions

I tend to make the same Thanksgiving dishes but I wanted to add some new ones. I asked for some suggestions and creamed onions were recommended. I never thought to make creamed onions. My husband thought it was a great suggestion. They were good. Next time, I'm adding white pepper instead of black pepper just for appearance. This dish will be added to our Thanksgiving feast.
Creamed Pearl Onions
1 bag of fresh pearl onions
1 Tbsp salted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
white pepper and salt to taste

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil.
  2. Add the onions and boil for 1 minute.
  3. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  4. Peel the outer layer of the onion paper off of the onion. 
  5. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. 
  6. Add the butter and allow to melt. 
  7. Add the pearl onions and saute until golden brown 
  8. Add the heavy cream and allow to reduce for 5 minutes. 
  9. Season with white pepper and salt to taste.
  10. Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence.

One year ago...................................I made Roasted Squash.
Two years ago.................................I made Green Beans with Bacon.
Three years ago...............................I made Honey Yeast Rolls.
Did you already know........................
-Pearl onions are regular onions just smaller.
-Pearl onions are eaten whole instead of chopped. 
-Pearl onions are grown close together to stunt their growth.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Spicy Macaroni and Cheese Soup

My family is obsessed with macaroni and cheese. Since my homemade macaroni and cheese takes awhile to make, I like to try quicker versions. When I saw this recipe, I figured this was something my family would like. My husband had to bowls then he put the leftovers away. He also informed everyone that he was claiming the rest for later. My daughter told me that it wasn't what she expected since I hadn't warned her that I made it a little spicy. If you don't want it spicy, then sharp cheddar cheese should be used. I like a little kick. I added more milk to make it more like a soup.
Spicy Macaroni and Cheese Soup
2 tsp olive oil
3 shallots, minced
2 carrots, chopped small
2 stalks of celery, chopped small
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups elbow macaroni pasta
4 oz. pepper jack cheese
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
2 1/2 cups milk
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the shallots, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir.
  4. Whisk in the chicken broth. Stir until no lumps of flour show.
  5. Add the macaroni pasta and cook for 8 minutes or until al dente.
  6. Stir in the pepper jack cheese and the cheddar cheese. Allow to melt for 30 seconds.
  7. Stir in the milk. Remove from heat. 
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe adapted from Food Network Kitchen.

Two years ago..........................I made Steak Fajita.
Three years ago........................I made Butternut Squash Risotto.
Did you already know..............
-In the 13th century, the Pope set pasta standards.
-Al dente means to the tooth since it should give a little resistance when bitten.
-Americans consume about 20 lbs. of pasta a year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Caramelized Butternut Squash

From my farm share, I received so much squash that I've been trying new recipes. Yes, I will be making some kind of dish with squash for Thanksgiving this year. Also, I'm going to bake a lot of it up and freeze it so I can use it later. I normally bake squash and make it more savory. My grandmother use to boil it and then mash it like mash potatoes. When I saw this recipe on Food Network, I thought hey why not bake it sweet. Oh, this is a dessert. It is sweet and a little sticky. The kids liked it. My husband even tried a piece (I think it was more of a crumble) and he said he thought it was sweet, sweet.
Caramelized Butternut Squash
2 medium butternut squash
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel the squash, discard the seeds, and chop into 1/4 inch cubes.
  3. Onto a baking sheet, place the squash and toss with the melted butter.
  4. Sprinkle the brown sugar and salt. Toss to distribute.
  5. Spread the squash into a single layer.
  6. Roast the squash for 45 minutes until the squash is tender and caramelized. Toss the squash several times while roasting.
Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa.
One year ago.....................................I made crab cakes.
Two years ago...................................I made minestrone soup.
Three years ago.................................I made Parker House Rolls.
Did you already know.......................
-Squash belongs to the gourd family.
-Butternut squash originated from South America.
-For over 10,000 years, humans have been eating squash.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Honey Peanut Butter Cookies

We have the majority of the boxes unpacked. So, the first cookies I decided to make were peanut butter cookies. This batch makes about two dozen cookies All the cookie were gone by the next day. I think the majority of the cookies were eaten by my daughter. These cookies were very popular. It could have been because I haven't baked for awhile but I have a feeling it was the recipe. These cookies are delicious. I did dip my fork into flour before attempting to make some crisscross patterns. I think sometimes my patterns are just a couple of crazy lines but I'm just glad no one judges my pattern top.
Honey Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/2  cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp honey

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking soda. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add the egg and mix until incorporated.
  6. Add the vanilla, peanut butter, and honey. Mix until incorporated.
  7. Slowly, add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  8. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of batter onto the cookie sheet.
  9. Lightly flatten and firmly press a fork into the dough to make a crisscross pattern.
  10. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Rotate and continue baking for ten minutes or until lightly browned.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to rest on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart professional bake-ware recipe.

Two years ago................................I made Lasagna Soup.
Three years ago..............................I made Noah's Kickin Chicken Bake.
Did you already know.....................
-Crisscross is when a pattern is formed when lines cross over each other. 
-Scrabble was originally called crisscross words.
-It is unknown why peanut butter cookies have the crisscross patterns on the top but several theories are to help the cookies to cook evenly, to distinguish the cookies from others, for peanut allergies, or religious reasons.

Monday, November 3, 2014


When I moved down here, I packed a few essential kitchen items so I could cook. I was able to cook before the household goods arrived. Now, we have boxes everywhere. I think packing is so much easier than unpacking. We have spices lining the counters which we haven't decided where to put them yet. The cabinets are half lined with contact paper. I have to purchase more since I ran out. It really is crazy here. I would have to guess that half of our boxes are for the kitchen. My goal is to have the majority of the kitchen organized by this weekend. Please be patient for my unorganized kitchen. I miss cooking.