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Monday, November 28, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

These pancakes are so good! Put on some butter and maple syrup and you are in heaven!

These make a really big batch, so are good for bigger families. You can also cook them all and refrigerate for reheating and eating later.

You will need a griddle or large skillet for cooking the pancakes.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree( approximately 1/2 of a 15 oz. can)
1 egg
2 Tablespoons vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil of your preference
2 cups flour
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
In another big bowl, mix the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil, and vinegar.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir.
Don't overmix. Just mix until everything is blended and than stop.
Heat a skillet or griddle. Lightly coat with butter.
Ladle pancake batter onto hot griddle.  Use about 1/4 cup for each pancake
Cook until the top starts to bubble all over and the edges look dry. Probably 2-3 minutes.
Flip over.
Cook the other side for couple of minutes or until it is well browned on the bottom.
Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Time to eat!

This recipe will make enough for 20-22 good size pancakes.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cake Donuts

Cake donuts are flavorful whether you have them plain or coated with sugar. They are pretty quick to make too. You can make a batch of these in under an hour.
Unlike raised donuts, which are best eaten within a few hours of making, these will keep a few days.
My mother used to make these a lot when I was growing up.


You will need: either a deep fryer filled with cooking oil or a wide pan with 2"-3" of cooking oil heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will also need a donut cutter. If you don't have one and don't want to buy one, you can use a a 15 oz can that has been washed out and has both ends cut off. For the donut holes, use a plastic bottle cap- about the size of a soda pop cap.

Ingredients:

3-1/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter or shortening
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs

In a mixing bowl, put 1-1/2 cups of the flour along with the butter, eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
Beat well and scrape the sides of the bowl.
Mix for another couple of minutes.
Add the rest of the flour.
Start to preheat your oil.
Flour a counter or board really well.
Dump the dough out onto the counter and flour the dough.
If the dough is really sticky and soft, work in some flour. Maybe a 1/2 cup or less.
Pat or roll the dough out to about 3/8" thick.
Dip your donut cutter into flour and cut out donuts. Reroll as needed to use up the dough.
Carefully slide the donuts into the oil.
Do the same thing with the donut holes.
Cook the donuts 1-1/2 minutes per side.
The donut holes tend to float up and flip over so they won't need turned.
The donuts float up, but do need turned.
You can do about 3 or 4 donuts at a time.
You can do 6-8 donut holes at a time.
More than that will lower the temperature of the cooking oil.
Drain the donuts and holes on a paper towel.

After you have let them drain and cool slightly, you can eat them or coat with powdered sugar, sugar, or cinnamon sugar.
To coat, put the coating in a container with lid and add a few donuts.
Cover and shake.
Remove and repeat with the rest of the donuts and holes.
Enjoy.
You will get 16-18 donuts. And, that many holes of course.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Roast Turkey

                                             Roasting a turkey is simple and delicious.

If you have a fresh turkey, you are set. If you start with frozen, let it thaw in the fridge.
You will need to let it sit in the refrigerator 24 hours for every five pounds of bird.
Put a pan under the thawing turkey in case of leaking.

You will need a large roasting pan with a lid.
If no lid, use aluminum foil.
You will also need some cooking twine or a long piece of cheesecloth for tying the legs.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ingredients:

Turkey
4 Tablespoons softened butter

Put your turkey in the sink and remove the bag of giblets.
Rinse the turkey and pat dry.
Lift the turkey into the roasting pan.
If you are stuffing the turkey, do that now.
One at a time, twist and tuck the wings underneath the front of the bird. 
Take the cooking twine or cheesecloth and tie the drumsticks together.
Rub the turkey with the softened butter.
Cover the turkey with lid or foil.
You will need to roast it for 20 minutes per pound, adding an additional 45 minutes if you have stuffed it.
After roasting it for half the time, uncover the turkey.
With a turkey baster, pastry brush, or spoon,  baste the turkey every 20-30 minutes.

If the turkey comes with a pop-up timer, it is done when it pops up.
If it doesn't, to test for doneness, try to wiggle a drumstick. If it moves around a lot, it is done.

Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Sage Stuffing

I love stuffing. I could eat it and eat it. I don't reserve stuffing for just Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This stuffing recipe is what I use for stuffing my turkey, cooking alongside chicken, or for stuffing thick pork chops.

It is fragrant with sage and it is great for anything you feel like adding to it.
One year, my brussel sprouts were still growing so I picked some and added about a cup of those.

If you are looking to stuff a turkey, this will make enough for about a 12 pound turkey.
If you are using it for pork chops, cut the recipe in half to stuff 4 chops.

You will need a small saucepan.
You will also need a large bowl for mixing.

Ingredients:

1 loaf of homemade or from the bakery bread, cubed
1 stick of butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
Dash pepper
1 teaspoon salt ( I use kosher, but table salt works good too)
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1-1/2 teaspoon ground or rubbed sage
3/4 to 1 cup water or chicken broth

Cube your bread. You will end up with about 9 cups. If the bread is dry, good. If not, put into a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 15-20 minutes. Stir often so they don't get dark or burnt. You just want to dry the bread out.
Put the cubes into the large bowl. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
Add the onion and let cook over medium/low for a few minutes.
Add the pepper, thyme, and sage and mix that in well.
Simmer a few minutes.
Sprinkle the salt over the bread cubes. Stir to mix well.
Pour the onion/butter/sage mixture over the bread cubes and with a spoon, gently mix.
Add 3/4 cup of water or broth and  stir.
You want to just moisten everything.
If it still seems too dry add an extra 1/4 cup liquid.

Now, you can use to to stuff your turkey, pork chops, or bake in a casserole dish.

To stuff the turkey, just push the stuff into the cavity of a turkey. Pack it well. Not super tightly, but if you pack it really loosely, you won't get much stuffing in it.
You can also stuff the neck cavity with stuffing. Make sure to pull the skin down over it so the stuffing won't all come out.
When you stuff a turkey, add 45 minutes to the cooking time.

To stuff pork chops, cut a slit in the side of a thick cut pork chop. Make it deep, don't go all the way to the edge of the bone or meat.
Taking handfuls, stuff the chops.
Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes or until juices run clear.

To bake as a side, or when there is extra from stuffing the turkey, butter a baking dish.
Put in the stuffing and cover. Bake in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes to an hour.

For a change, replace half the bread cubes with corn bread.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cheesy Brat Stew

This is a great meal made in your crockpot. It is super yummy and is great comfort food on a cool day.
If you don't eat pork for health or religious reasons, use turkey or beef brats. Maybe even chicken, if they are available where you are.

You will need a 4-5 quart crockpot.
It will cook in approximately 6 hours on low.

Ingredients:

5-6 Bratwurst links
4-5 small/medium potatoes
1 small onion( about 1/4 cup chopped)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
15-16 oz can of green beans
2 cups cheddar cheese
1( 10.75 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
2/3 cup water

In a skillet brown the bratwurst links, let cool, and slice them in about 1/4" slices.
Put in the crockpot.
Peel and cube the potatoes. Seed and chop the pepper, and chop the onion.
Add to the crockpot.
Drain the beans and add that to the crockpot.
Add the cheese, water, and can of soup.
Stir well.
Put cover on and turn it on to low.
Cook for 6 hours or until potatoes are tender.

Serves 5-6.

If you have leftovers, they warm up well.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato fries are a nice change of place from plain french fries. This version is baked so it is low on fat, but big on flavor.
I have to say, I find these fries pretty addicting. They have the sweetness of the potato and a salty/spicy coating that tastes great together.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want them crispier move it up to 500 degrees.
You will also need one pretty large baking sheet or a couple medium size.
A large bowl is also needed.

Ingredients:

1-2 large sweet potatoes.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Kosher salt or up to 1 Tablespoon table salt
1 Tablespoon Creole seasoning.

Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into fries.
Put the sliced potatoes into the large bowl.
Add the olive oil and toss to coat the potatoes well.
Add the salt, sugar, and Creole seasoning and mix well with your hands to coat all the potato slices well.
Immediately, lay out on the baking sheet(s) in a single layer.


Put in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Take out of the oven and turn each piece over.
Return to oven and bake another 10-15 minutes or until the fries are browned a bit. The outsides will be slightly crisp.

This will serve up to 4-6 people.
Total baking time: 25-30 minutes


Serve plain or with your favorite condiment.

It is important that you don't let the fries with oil/spices sit in the bowl. If you do, some of the oil tends to come off before you get the fries on the pan.