Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin muffins are tasty at any time, but are especially good during the fall months.  This recipe incorporates another favorite fall flavor: maple.

Makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour (substitute up to 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour or 1 cup oat flour, if desired)

½ to 2/3 cups (depending on personal preference for sweetness) dark brown sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, beaten

1 cup milk (any variety)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon maple flavoring (optional)

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a standard-sized 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.  Don’t use paper liners.

Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center of this mixture and then set aside.

In another bowl combine the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, maple flavoring, and pumpkin.  Add this mixture to dry mixture.

Stir the batter until everything is just mixed.  The batter may have lumps, which is fine.

Spoon or pour batter into the prepared muffin cups.  Each cup will be full to the top.  The finished muffins will be large.

Bake for about 30 minutes.  Insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin near the middle of the pan to check for doneness.  If toothpick is clean when removed, then the muffins are done.  If not, bake another 5 minutes and then check again for doneness.

Place muffin pan on a rack to cool for a few minutes, and then remove the muffins from the pan to finish cooling on the rack.  The muffins can be served warm with butter or cream cheese.  Leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container for one to two days.  Reheat the leftover muffins in the microwave or oven if desired.

Delicious crockpot meat stew recipe

If you want a great meal with the minimum of fuss and preparation, crockpot venison stew is for you. Though it can be made with other meat, the result is almost always the same; a family who are grateful and who devour it as if it was a meal for royalty. Best of all, even though it tastes fantastic, it is also a very healthy meal.

Ingredients (serves 4 hearty appetites):

2 pounds cubed lean venison (beef or buffalo can also be used)
3 potatoes, washed and cut in one inch cubes, peels left on *
3 carrots, cut in one-inch segments, peels left on *
2 medium or 1 large onion, cut in eighths
2 stalks of celery cut in one-inch segments
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 whole bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

* Leaving the peels on the potatoes and carrots can help increase the amount of vitamins and minerals in the finished product. In both cases, it is recommended that the vegetables be scrubbed well prior to cutting. Thin-skinned potatoes work especially well. As for the carrots, if the diameter is large, they can also be cut lengthwise, top to bottom.

Combine all ingredients in the crockpot and add enough water to cover. Put the lid on the pot and cook at low. Add water as needed to maintain the level and after about six to eight hours, the meal should be done.

Note:

For a meal in less time, cook at medium, but watch the water level more closely to prevent it from drying out.

Serving suggestions:

Try serving this dish with homemade corn bread or blueberry muffins, served hot with real butter. A salad can be nice with this meal, but it is so filling that it really isn’t necessary.

If a thicker stew is desired, instant potatoes can be added and stirred in, just before serving.

Variations:

For a slight change, try adding sweet bell peppers, cut into one inch cubes. Zucchini squash, peeled and in cubes, is also a nice touch. For something a bit spicier, diced jalapenos can be cooked with the other vegetables, too.

Fresh sage or oregano can be added just before dishing up, to change the flavor a little, as well.

Though perhaps not the quickest, if you want an especially easy crockpot recipe that will capture the attention and taste buds of your family and convince them that you are a miracle master chef, this is the one!

Vegetable Pizza Ideas your Family will Love

If you can’t get your children to eat vegetables, try one of these delicious vegetable pizza ideas. All with family pleasing pizza, pizzazz!

Don’t fret about making crusts, there are many a frozen and refrigerated doughs from which to choose. These ready-made doughs can help you create delicious, fresh foods for your family.

The sauce got you worried? There are many famous brands of canned marinara sauces doing double duty used as pizza sauce. Bottled pizza sauces available, but these are more costly than the canned marinara sauces and are very limited as to variety.

-Stuffed Crust Vegetable Pizza (Children love it!)

2-13 oz. cans refrigerated pizza crust dough
8 pieces string cheese (cut 4 cheeses in half)
1 cup marinara sauce or pizza sauce, more if your family likes lots of sauce
2 cups shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup diced tomatoes
1 purple onion, diced small
1 green pepper, sliced into thin rings
1/2+ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1-2 tbsp. olive oil

Heat over to 425oF.

Brush a 12 inch pizza pan with olive oil.

Combine 2 cans of pizza crust into a ball and press on a slightly floured board into a 14 inch circle. Place dough on the prepared 12 inch pizza pan.

Position the cut string cheese on pizza dough along the outside edge. Turn extra 2″ edge of dough over cheese and seal.

Spread marinara sauce over pizza up to the rolled edge. Spread shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over sauce. Arrange vegetables evenly over the cheese.

Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese, top off with Parmesan cheese. Brush cheese filled crust with oil.

Bake pizza in hot oven until it is bubbly and topping cheese is beginning to brown. Around 18-20 minutes.

Remove from oven, let the pizza sit 2 minutes before slicing.

This is a family-style pizza parlor type of pizza, a sure hit with kids!

Pizza doesn’t have to be made Italian style, try this southwestern jazzy pizza for a change of pace!

-Southwestern Vegetable Pizza

1 loaf thawed, frozen white or whole wheat bread dough, such as Rhodes
olive oil
2 tbsp. granulated garlic powder
scant 1/4 corn meal

Brush olive oil on a 12 inch pizza pan, sprinkle with garlic powder and corn meal.

Completely thaw one loaf of bread dough. Form into a ball, roll out to a 14 inch circle, to allow for shrinkage. Fit to prepared pizza pan, bringing fully to the edges of the pan.

Pre-heat oven to 425oF.

Toppings:

1-12 oz. jar Pace Picante sauce
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese or sharp Cheddar, plus additional 1/4 cup for pizza top
1 can frijoles negroes, drained(black beans)
1 small can diced green chili’s
1 cup fresh corn kernels or thawed frozen corn
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes, seeded
1/2 cup sliced black olives
Sour cream
Chopped lettuce

Pour the jar of picante sauce over the crust, spread with a spatula. Add cheese, black beans, green chilies, corn and tomatoes, in this order. Spread toppings evenly, don’t forget the edges! Leave a one inch edge crust. Top with the remaining cheese and olives.

Bake in hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until pizza is bubbly and cheeses are melted. Let sit 2-3 minutes before slicing. Top with sour cream and chopped lettuce as desired.

Ole!

This next pizza is baked on Italian bread halves. Use a favorite pesto recipe or try this brand on for size! This is a great date night pizza!

-Italian Style Pesto Pizza

Make a double recipe of your favorite pesto or
2-8 oz. jars La Bella Angiolina basil pesto sauce
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
large loaf of Italian bread, split
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 cup artichoke hearts, drained halved

Set oven temperature to 425oF.

Slice bread in half, spread each with pesto.

Combine ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, stir well. Spread mixture on pesto topped bread. Add tomatoes, green peppers and artichoke hearts. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Romano cheeses.

Bake 8-10 minutes, until cheese is browned and melted.

After removing from oven, cut into sections and serve with a crisp green salad on the side!

These recipes are only a few of the great ways to prepare a healthful, fresh vegetable pizza at home. Each one is sure to please family and friends!

Recipes for Students on a Tight Budget

Here’s a good recipe for some scrambled eggs. There isn’t much to them but it’s cheap and easy.

Things you will need:
1. Eggs (4)
2. Mozzarella cheese
3. Milk
4. Vegetables
5. Egg beater
6. Sauce pan
7. Medium sized bowl
8. Toast (optional)

Right, so you take your eggs and crack them into a medium sized bowl. Then add just a splash of milk. Now take your egg beater and beat the eggs and milk against the side of the bowl in a circular motion until all is liquid. Pour into a medium sized saucepan.

Now chop up your vegetables. I like to you use either green peppers, red peppers, onions or celery or a combination but it’s up to you.

Now slice the mozzarella up in to very small pieces. Once you have chopped the vegetables to your liking slide them and the mozzarella into the pot with your egg/milk mix. I add a little salt and a lot of pepper here but that’s up to you, they taste a bit bland without at least one.

Turn the heat on to medium and continuously stir the mixture. It should start to form little chunks. Keep stirring until it’s the way you like it. I like my scrambled eggs to be nice and firm, to the point that they sort of bounce around the pot when you stir and resemble cheese curds. I sometimes like to serve on/with some toast.

Recipes Black Forest Cake

Black forest cake was created for the true and devoted lover of chocolate and cherries. It is a decadent and beautiful dessert typically created by layering chocolate cake, whipped cream, and cherries. The topping is decorated with maraschino cherries and chocolate shavings atop a thick bed of whipped cream. Rum is one of the ingredients in this recipe that make the cake as moist as it is rich. Its amazing taste is unforgettable!

Black Forest Cake

*Ingredients

1 package of your favorite chocolate cake mix

21 oz. can cherry pie filling

2 tsp. rum

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tub cool whip

*Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 10 or 12 inch tube pan with cooking spray and lightly flour.
Combine cake mix, vanilla, rum, and eggs. Stir until well mixed. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30 – 40 minutes. Remove to rack and cool 15 minutes before turning cake out of baking pan. Carefully cut cake into 3 pieces and layer in the cherries and cool whip/whipped cream. Frost decoratively and indulge!

Recipes Hodgkin

HODGKIN RECIPE

Known in Germany as Rumtopf, and made with rum, this version is made in Kent, UK with brandy.

Start in June when the first strawberries appear.

Place any seasonal fruit and sugar mixture into a jar and cover it to a depth of half an inch with brandy. It is important that the fruit remains submerged at all times, and this can be done by placing a saucer on top of the fruits. Cover and store in a cool place. When the next fruit is available, carry out the same procedure, except that from now on it is only necessary to use half as much sugar by weight as fruit. Build the fruit up in layers, and do not stir. Each time fruit is added it may be necessary to add more brandy. Continue to add fruits throughout the summer until your jar is full. Suitable fruits to use include apricots, cherries, grapes, peaches, plums, strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants and loganberries.

Finish your Hodgkin in September, when it can be covered securely and left until Christmas. Use the fruit in pies and over ice-cream and drink the liquid as a liqueur

Jazz up your turkey breast this holiday season

The holidays are in full swing, and usually this season is fully steeped in tradition. Traditional recipes being passed down are commonplace in this festive time of eating and family gathering. Here is a fun way to add flavorful pizzazz to the holiday turkey.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. of boneless, skinless turkey breast cutlets
  • 1 large vidalia onion
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. sea salt flakes
  • 1 tbsp. course ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. coriander
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 stalks of fresh chives, chopped 
  • Special equipment: You will need to use a grill or grill pan to get the grill marks.

Instructions

  1. Rinse turkey cutlets with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Slice each cutlet in half, longways, and slice again, shortways down the center, to make 4 pieces from each cutlet.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper.
  4. Dredge each turkey piece in the flour mixture, and set floured pieces aside, on a single layer on a plate.
  5. Slice onion in 1-inch sections, keeping the rings intact. Set aside. 
  6. Heat canola oil in a shallow 12-inch skillet.
  7. Carefully place each turkey piece in hot oil, working in batches if necessary.
  8. On medium heat, fry 6-7 minutes per side, or until medium brown.
  9. Remove turkey pieces from oil and set on a paper towel lined plate.
  10. Heat a greased grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Place onions on the grill.
  11. Grill onions for 3-4 minutes on each side, slightly cascading the rings and remove.
  12. Place fried turkey breast pieces on a platter, and top each piece with grilled onion rings. 
  13. Drizzle olive oil evenly over onion rings.
  14. Sprinkle chopped chives evenly over the top as garnish.

Savory and delicious, this turkey breast will delight this holiday season. Bon appetit!

French Toast Made the way you like it

French toast is a simple dish.  You take a half-dozen (6) thick slices of bread and a few other ingredients, and now you have a breakfast dish that the whole family will love.  Here are a few ways to vary this already exciting dish to make everyone  want more.  The cook knows the needs of his or her family or guests.  Therefore, some may need to consider the nutrition count before going further.  Whatever a person comes up with—most people love French toast for breakfast or brunch.  First we’ll look at the original, perhaps plain by comparison, French toast recipe:

Nellie’s French Toast

6 slices Texas Toast or French bread

3 eggs

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

Cinnamon for topping

Butter and syrup for topping

Heat grill to medium-high heat while mixing the above ingredients.  Set bread aside until mixing other ingredients.  Combine eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar and flour.  Whisk until mixed thoroughly in a shallow bowl.  Use tongs to dip bread slices into the egg and milk concoction.

Spray hot grill with non-stick cooking spray.  Place one slice bread on the grill and leave two minutes or until the bottom is golden brown. 

You can add more slices if your grill is large enough.  Flip this slice and cook the other side.  Sprinkle the cooked side with cinnamon.  After another two minutes, you may remove the cooked slice to a holding plate.  Spread butter on the toast while it is hot.  Cook the remainder of the bread as described above.  It is best not to discard any leftover egg and milk blend until you see if you need to make more French toast.  Also, you can create more of the mixture if needed. 

Place the plate of prepared French toast on the table, and everyone can help themselves.

Variations:

Dust plain Frenchtoast with powdered sugar and omit the syrup.

Add sliced fruit (such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) before adding the syrup to create extra nourishment.

Vary the spices or add others to the cinnamon sprinkle (example:  nutmeg, lemon).

Sprinkle with nuts (try sliced almonds or chopped pecans or walnuts).

Try raisin bread or another favorite (stay with coarse textures for optimal success).  Go with Pumpkin bread for a great Thanksgiving Day brunch.

Use two pieces of French toast per person.  Put two tablespoons cream cheese and strawberry preserves (or some other applicable combination) on one slice.  Put the other slice on top and you have a delicious sandwich.  If you want extra sweetening add some strawberry syrup on the sandwich and eat with a fork.

Family wilted leaf salad

One salad recipe that has been a favorite of friends and family also happens to be one of the easiest to create. It can be varied easily, and can be made any season of the year, yet it seems to work with most meals. Though incredibly simple, it is fantastic to eat, and it can quickly become a favorite for the whole family.

It is even better if the vegetables are home grown and ripe right out of the garden.

What you need:

1/4 pound sliced bacon
1 large bunch leaf lettuce (chopped)
1/2 cup wine or cider vinegar *
Olive oil

Note: Use good quality vinegar when possible. The better the vinegar is, the better the finished product is likely to be. Cider vinegar is mentioned, however the flavor usually tends to be best when wine vinegar or rice vinegar is used.

Cook the bacon over low heat in a fry pan until it is done as desired. This will normally be almost crisp unless you don’t like crisp bacon. Remove bacon from the pan and chop it into small pieces.

In the pan of bacon grease, add the vinegar. Add olive oil to taste (approximately 1 part grease and oil to 3 parts vinegar). While it is heating over low heat, place the lettuce in a bowl, preferably glass or stainless. When the vinegar bacon grease mixture is just beginning to boil, remove from heat and pour it over the lettuce. Add the sliced cooked bacon. Toss the lettuce and serve.

Optional additions:

Grated carrots
Nasturtium leaves (these give a water cress like flavor)
diced cucumber
diced cheese
diced tomatoes
grated radishes
diced bell pepper

This salad makes a great salad for a side dish, however if the quantities are increased, it can actually become a main dish for the whole family. The optional ingredients also change the flavor and add a very nice touch, making each salad a little different than the last.

Sliced hard-boiled eggs are also a good addition and they add yet more color to the salad. Other common flowerbed flowers can even add additional color. For instance, pansy and violet blooms are edible and add that extra splash of tinting that can make the salad even more appealing than it already is.

This salad is especially good when served with a red meat or seafood meal, as it is complementary to both. As another idea, try it with your next backyard barbecue. The taste is great, it helps to stretch out the food and yet it also goes well with grilled chicken, burgers and even brats.

Though this is a very quick and simple salad to make, the flavor will have people coming back for more. This is definitely a salad worth trying, especially if you are a salad lover.

Recipes Croque Monsieur

Croque-Monsieur

A croque-monsieur is a hot ham and cheese grilled or broiled sandwich. This is an affordable Parisian classic which originated in France as a fast-food snack served in cafs and bars. More elaborate versions come coated in a Mornay or Bchamel sauce. This is one of the more elaborated recipes which calls for a bchamel sauce.

The ingredients used in this recipe:

– 4 slices bread, from a rustic round loaf
– 1/4 pound ham or chicken, sliced thin
– 1/4 pound Gruyre or Beaufort cheese, thinly sliced
– 1/2 cup grated Gruyre or Beaufort cheese
– 1/8 cup Dijon mustard
– butter for spreading
For the bchamel sauce:
– 1 Tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1 Tablespoons flour
– 1 cups whole milk
– salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper to taste
or use a pre-made bchamel sauce mix.

The Method of Preparation:
To make the bchamel sauce:
1. Melt butter in small saucepan just until it just starts to bubble. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until smooth, but not brown.

2. Whisking constantly, add the milk, continuing to cook until thick.

3. Remove from heat and add the seasonings. Transfer to a bowl and cover by placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the sauce.

Preheat the broiler and have a griddle or skillet ready.
5. Spread the mustard on one side of the bread. Top with ham or chicken and cheese and cover with remaining bread.

6. Generously butter both sides of the bread. Place sandwiches on hot griddle or skillet and cook about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides.

7. Transfer the sandwiches to a broiler pan or baking sheet. Spread some of the bchamel on top of each sandwich and then top with the grated cheese. Broil about 2 minutes or until the top is golden and the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.