Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pumpkin Bread and Orange Cranberry Loaf

I pulled out some fun baking pans and made a batch of pumpkin bread batter. I made heart-shaped muffins, a Razorback loaf and regular loaf + white chocolate chips. Then I made one loaf of orange-cranberry bread to use up some fresh cranberries I had. Both these recipes came from so you can read other cooks' reviews for ideas on modifications. For the pumpkin, I supstituted applesauce for half the oil. I didn't modify anything on the orange-cranberry. These make great breakfasts, snacks and dessert, yum!

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread

Orange Cranberry Loaf

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

White Bean Chili, Pumpkin Roll and Vanilla-Maple Steamer

White Bean Chili

Here's what you'll need.

Rich is not a fan of anything soup-like so he ate his with a fork to avoid the broth and onion.

I cooked the chili in my enameled cast iron dutch oven (aka french oven) and some cornbread in my newly resurfaced and reseasoned cast iron skillet.

Pumpkin Roll

Here's what you'll need.

You turn the cooked portion out onto a powdered sugar coated dish towel (clean and dry of course).

Then you roll it all up together.

After it cools, you unroll and frost, then later re-roll, chill and slice. Next time I'll use a larger jelly roll pan and a thinner dish towel to get a tighter roll, although this did turn out pretty well.

Vanilla-Almond Steamer

I didn't have almond extract so I used maple, and it was delicious. A nice nonalcoholic, decaffeinated alternative to something like a Bailey's and coffee.

Some new gadgets and scalloped potatoes

When we were in Arkansas over Thanksgiving, I was able to go visit my dear friend Kendra. We have been friends for about 17 years if I'm doing my math right. She had a little goodie bag for me for my 30th birthday. How cute is this stuff?? We used the mouse cheese grater and monkey veggie peeler when cooking the scalloped potatoes. I used the gorgeous reusable grocery bag at the store this morning. Thanks again Kendra!

Out of this World Scalloped Potatoes- these turned out great!
Very cheesy and yummy, a good comfort food to go with a meat and green veggie. It was supposed to contain green onions but after chopping them up, I forgot to actually add them. Oh well, it was great without them.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wooo I finally cooked again!

It has been a long time since I've cooked. Being pregnant just zapped the energy and desire to prepare food right out of me. I got a new cookbook as an early Christmas present and some fun new kitchen gadgets for my birthday (pics to come) so I had some motivation to get back in the kitchen. I didn't want to let the whole fall/winter food season pass me by without using some of my favorite ingredients for this time of year like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash and cranberries.

This is my new cookbook and it's going to be the source of my December recipes. I flipped thru it and it has a ton of great looking recipes.

This morning I made Orange-Cranberry-Glazed Pork Tenderloin and it was wonderful. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture but it turned out great. I only had jellied cranberry sauce, not whole-berry sauce, and it turned out fine. Quick, easy and delish!

I also made Belgian Wassail, a nonalcoholic warm holiday punch. I halved the recipe but accidentally forgot to halve the sugar so it wound up being extra sweet. I had a big mug before work and am looking forward to another one when I get home from work tonight.

While the above 2 recipes turned out wonderfully, the 3rd was a huge fail. I won't even bother giving you a link to the recipe. It was for a peanut butter cookie, rolled in powdered sugar....sounds great but turned out very floury and dry and I wound up tossing the whole batch in the trash. Oh well, 2/3 isn't bad!

I'm excited to have some actual home cooked food leftover for dinner tonight. I brought some of the pork loin and a baked sweet potato. Unfortunately I ran out of time before I had to leave for work so poor Richard is going to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes and a dishwasher full of clean dishes needing to be put away....bets on whether it'll still be there when I get home a few hours later?:)