Archive for November, 2010


Pumpkin Butter Pie

November 17, 2010

I’m cheating today.

The pictures in this post are not mine.  I know that you can figure that out all by yourself, but I feel that I have to at least admit it.  I do have that pie plate, though.  Next week when I make the pie, I’ll be sure to share a picture.

I’m cheating because I wanted to share this awesome recipe with you in advance.  That way if you want to impress your guests this Thanksgiving, you have enough time to get the ingredients.  I pick up the pumpkin butter at Trader Joe’s.  You can make it yourself, if you’re so inclined.

Pumpkin butter is so tasty.  Really.  If you like pumpkin, you’re going to love pumpkin butter.  My husband loves this pie and he’s not a fan of pumpkin pie.

This is the best tasting pie I’ve ever made or eaten.  It’s the butter.  There aren’t too many ingredients for the pie, so it’s the butter.  The cream takes it to another level.  Make it and it will make you so happy.  Trust me.  Serve it to guest and tell them it’s an old family recipe.

Pumpkin Butter Pie

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1-10 oz jar of Pumpkin Butter
  • 1 C Pureed Pumpkin
  • 2 C Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Piecrust
  • 1 C Brown Sugar, Packed
  • ¼ C Light Corn Syrup
  • 4 T Butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ t Kosher Salt
  • 1-½ C Heavy Cream, Divided Use
  • 1 T Bourbon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Place a cookie sheet in the oven while it preheats and place the pie on the cookie sheet while it cooks.  This will insure that the bottom of the pie crust browns.

For the pie:

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.  Add the pumpkin butter, pumpkin, evaporated milk and whisk until well combined.   You can add a dash of ginger and nutmeg to the mix but it’s not necessary.  Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake until the center of the pie is set, about 1-1 1/2 hours.  While baking, check the crust after 30 minutes.  If the edges begin to brown too quickly, cover them with foil.  Once the pie is done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least 2 hours before serving.

Butterscotch cream:

In a heavy saucepan, heat the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts to bubble, about 5 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon during the first 2 minutes but do not stir after that point. Remove the pan from the heat and very carefully add 1/2 cup of the cream. Stir in the bourbon.  Let the sauce cool to room temperature. In a bowl combine the remaining cream (1 Cup) and 1/3 Cup of the butterscotch sauce. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes.  Top on the pie.   Reserve the rest of the sauce to enjoy on any treat you like such as ice cream.


You can also blind bake the crust for 20 minutes, using beans to weigh it down before filling it and following the recipe.

This is my pie!


I Love Lemoncello Cookies

November 15, 2010

Remember how I made lemoncello this summer?

This is the cookie what drove me to it.  I made them for Meeshie’s communion party.  I’ve made them since.  They are like eating sunshine.  Or rainbows.  Or lemons.  Mostly just lemons.  But lemons amped up to eleven.

Lemoncello Cookies

  • 1/2 C Butter, softened
  • ½ C Granulated Sugar
  • 1 t Lemoncello (or Vanilla)
  • ¼ t Sea Salt (fine)
  • 1  Egg
  • 4 T Lemon Zest
  • 1-¼ C All-purpose Flour
  • 1-½ C Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 5 T Limoncello
  • 1 T Lemon Juice

Zest two lemons and set aside.

Beat the butter, granulated sugar, lemoncello, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.

Beat in egg and 1/2 T of the lemon zest. Reserve the rest of the zest for decoration. A little at a time, add the flour. Mix until blended and dough is sticky enough to be formed.

Place dough on plastic wrap. With your hands form the dough into a 12″ to 14″ log.

Wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Unwrap the cookie dough and slice into thick 1/2 inch slices. Put the slices onto your baking sheet, place in oven and bake for 13 – 15 minutes or until edges just start to be golden.

Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool. Make sure they are completely cool before frosting them.

For the icing: In a medium bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, lemoncello, and lemon juice. Stir until smooth and creamy.

Place additional parchment paper under wire rack.

Once cookies are completely cooled, submerge cookie in icing top side down. Lift up and drain for a few seconds. Flip cookie over and set on wire rack

Top each cookie with lemon zest after submerging it into the icing and wait 30 or so minutes to allow the icing to set.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

This is the original.  Love that she is a fan of Lyle Lovett.


H is for…Hummus

November 13, 2010

For those of you that aren’t aware of it, I used to be a vegetarian.  Not a hard-core one.  I ate fish.  I just didn’t eat chicken, red meat or pork. 

I didn’t eat meat for a really long time.  It’s hard for me to pinpoint when it started.  I know that after highschool I eliminated red meat and pork.  Eventually I stopped eating chicken.  I was heavy and wanted to be healthier.   I didn’t eat meat for years.  All through college and the first few years of marriage.  I guess if you made me tell you how long it was I would guess that it was almost 15 years. 

Why did I start to eat meat again?  During my pregnancy I had gestational diabetes and I needed to add a lot more protein to my diet.  Being married to a diabetic that really freaked me out and I started to eat meat again.  I never went back.

But while I was meat free, I discovered hummus.

I love hummus.  It was one of the easiest and yummiest dish out there.

I stopped making it for a while because I thought it was a dish that wasn’t too manly.  I don’t know why I thought that, but I did.  It’s not true.

My  husband likes hummus.

I love it on sandwiches and as a dip.

I especially love it with pita chips.  Pita chips are better than crackers. 


  • 1-15 oz can Chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 C Lemon Juice
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1/2 t Ground Cumin
  • 4 cloves Garlic, skin still on
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Place the garlic in a preheated saute pan and heat through.  Set aside and remove the skin.  Place the rinsed chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, cumin and salt and pepper in a food processor.  Slowly add the lemon juice, tasting as you go.  (You may not use all of the juice.)  Blend to your liking.  Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve with pita chips. 

Make pita chips by cutting a  whole pita into eighths and then splitting it them half.  Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes until the edges just start to brown.   Store in an air tight container.


Another Awesome Side Dish-Roasted Broccoli

November 11, 2010

I’m always looking for new ways to serve veggies.  It’s the mom in me, I guess. 

I have my favorites and my favorite ways to prepare them but I’m always looking for something different.

This broccoli dish is so simple to make.  I love that.  It’s also very tasty.  I love that too.  Of course I love that Meeshie also loves to eat this dish too.

Finally I really love it because it gives me yet another reason to use truffle salt.

The original post is from Jenna’s Everything Blog.  She’s not kidding.  She’s got everything going on there.  Too cute.

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic

  • 2 whole Large Broccoli Crowns
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 4 T Olive Oil
  • ½ t Sugar
  • ½ t Truffle Salt
  • ¼ t Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, with a large metal baking sheet inside. Prepare the rack so that the sheet is closer to the element than not. Heating the baking sheet fully is 100% essential in getting the best flavor out of the broccoli.  

Cut the broccoli into segments. You want them to be on the large side, about the length of the palm of your hand, otherwise they won’t roast properly—instead, they’ll steam and become floppy. Also, cut them so that there is a flat side on most pieces–just slice right through that broccoli crown (instead of separating off individual florets). You want flat sides for the caramelization to happen.  Mince the garlic, then mix the broccoli, garlic, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper together in a bowl with your hands. Make sure all the broccoli pieces are coated as evenly as possible.  

When the oven is fully preheated, take out the hot sheet pan. Working quickly, arrange the broccoli on the pan. Make sure there is some space between the pieces, and always lay each piece with its flat side down.   Roast for 10-12 minutes. Remove, place them back in the bowl you used to coat and toss with the parmesan and serve.



Indian Pudding

November 9, 2010

Have you ever had Indian pudding?

It’s a traditional New England dessert.  I visited New England once as a girl on a family vacation and I know I never had it when we went. 

I saw this on an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate once.  My husband requested that I make it and I’m glad he did.

Indian pudding is more like a flan than a pudding.  At least I think so.  This dish reminds me of fall.  The smell and the flavor makes me think of cool nights.  Now with the time change and Thanksgiving around the corner, I want Indian Pudding.

You can serve this pudding with simple cool whip or the butterscotch cream.   It’s the same cream that I use for pumpkin pie.  I’ll be sharing that awesome recipe with you later.  The cream compliments the pudding as well as pumpkin pie.

If you’re really feeling daring serve it with some ice cream or a drizzle of Bailey’s Irish Cream.

However you serve it, it’s heavenly.

Indian Pudding

  • 2-½ T Butter, Divided Use
  • 4 C Half-and-half (divided Use)
  • 5 T Yellow Cornmeal
  • ⅓ C Molasses
  • ⅓ C Maple Syrup
  • ¼ t Salt
  • ¼ t Cinnamon
  • ½ t Nutmeg
  • 1/2 t Ground Ginger
  • 1 whole Egg Beaten
  • 1 C Brown Sugar, Packed
  • ¼ C Light Corn Syrup
  • 4 T Butter, cut into pieces
  • ¼ t Kosher Salt
  • 1-½ C Heavy Cream, Divided Use

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Grease a 1 1/2 quart souffle mold or pie plate with 1 Tablespoon of butter, set aside. Heat 3 cups of half and half in a saucepan until it is close to a boil. Add the cornmeal and reduce the heat to low. Stir until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter, molasses, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and egg.

Pour into the prepared dish. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pour the remaining cup of cold half and half over the pudding and return to the oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours to 1 3/4 hours until the top is brown and crisp. Serve warm with whipped cream or the following butterscotch cream.

Butterscotch cream:

In a heavy saucepan, heat the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts to bubble, about 5 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon during the first 2 minutes but do not stir after that point. Remove the pan from the heat and very carefully add 1/2 Cup of the cream. Let the sauce cool to room temperature. In a bowl combine the remaining cream (1 Cup) and 1/3 Cup of the butterscotch sauce. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes. Reserve the rest of the sauce to enjoy on any treat you like such as ice cream. And top your pudding with the beaten cream/butterscotch topping. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Roll

November 7, 2010

Okay, the flu is going through our house.

Thursday Meeshie had it and while I was home with her I thought I would get a jump start on my Thanksgiving menu.  I’m glad I did.  I had to cancel all my plans for Saturday as the flu took me out of commission for the day.

I made my pumpkin roll while I was home.

I love this dessert.  It makes plenty to serve and share.  I always bring one over to my neighbor’s house.  I like to make it in advance and wrap it really well and stick it in the freezer.  It’s easier to cut up that way too.  Take it out of the freezer, cut it and by the time you’re done setting it out it’s defrosted.

Pumpkin Roll

  • Powdered Sugar
  • 3/4 C Flour
  • 1/2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1/2 t Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Cloves
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 C Granulated Sugar
  • 2/3 C Pumpkin
  • 1 C Chopped Pecans (optional)
  • 1-8 oz Package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 C Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 6 T Butter, softened
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 1/2 t Nutmeg
  • Additional Powdered Sugar for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 15×10 inch jelly roll pan and line it with parchment paper.  Grease the parchment paper.  Prepare a large tea towel with powdered sugar.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a small bowl.  Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until thick.  Beat in the pumpkin.  Stir in the flour mixture and spread it evenly into a prepared pan.  Sprinkle with the nuts, if desired.  Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when touched.  Once removed from the oven, immediately loosen and turn the cake onto the prepared towel.  Carefull peel off the paper. Let cool.

Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and nutmeg in a small mixer bowl until smooth.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cake.  Starting with the narrow end, roll up the cake.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

I like to cut the roll in half before wrapping it in plastic wrap.  One 15 oz can of pumpkin makes two batches of the pumpkin roll or four rolls.


Pecan Chicken Strips

November 4, 2010

We love chicken at my house.  Meeshie especially loves it.

I came across this recipe and was intrigued.  Shawn’s Plate is a great blog with lots of good eats.

I loved the idea of the pecans with the chicken.  I thought the flavor would be great together.  I was right.  This chicken dish was so good that Meeshie ate it as is.  No dipping.

This recipe is so easy and tasty.  I made a few variations to the original recipe and I’m so happy with the results.

Pecan Chicken

  • 2 whole Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • ½ C Milk
  • 1/4 C All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 C Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 C Italian Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 t Truffle Salt
  • ½ t Black Pepper
  • 1/4 t Shallot Salt
  • 2 T Cooking Oil
  • 2 T Unsalted Butter

 Cut chicken into strips, about 8-10 pieces per breast. Place in a bowl, and add the milk.  Set aside and soak the chicken in the milk for at least a half an hour.  

In a shallow dish, mix flour, pecans, breadcrumbs, salts (if you don’t have truffle and shallot salt you can substitute season salt), and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. In a heavy skillet, heat oil and butter until sizzling. Place chicken pieces in the skillet and allow to brown lightly.  If there is not enough room in the skillet for all the pieces, cook them in batches turning each piece over and placing them on a plate until each piece is browned.  Put all the pieces back in the skillet and place the skillet in  a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake for 15  minutes.

Serve with your favorite vegetable and enjoy.  I made it with some broccoli that I’ll be sharing later.

This makes 4 generous servings of chicken.

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