Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Bites!

It is getting to be that time of the year that I love~Autumn! I love the cooler weather, the leaves falling, and the smell in the air. Of course, I have to leave home to find it. Fall in the desert is often fleeting. It seems like it takes forever for the cool temps to get here, and when they do, it's only a few weeks before the wind starts howling and it is downright chilly! But, it's still my favorite time of the year, and today I am celebrating with Pumpkin Bites. I have made these so many times, I can't count them all. They were a staple when I was a caterer at a hotel and we fed the visiting college football teams. Regardless of who won the games, these little cookies were always a winner!
Pumpkin Bites!
(adapted from Stephanie @ allrecipes)
1 cup Canned Pumpkin
1 cup White Sugar
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Milk
1 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sugar,
vegetable oil, egg and vanilla.
In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, 
cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda.
Stir the pumpkin mix into the dry mix.
Add the milk.
Stir in the chocolate chips. 
Use a teaspoon or a small scoop and place on 
a cookie sheet.  I am crazy for parchment paper, so I use it
always, but it is not necessary.
Bake 8-10 minutes.
These pumpkin bites are good warm 
and at room temperature. 
They are total perfection when served with cold milk!

Thanks for joining me today!

Stop by tomorrow, and participate in a Pinterest Blog Carnival!
Add your Pinterest inspired recipes to the hop, and see what
everyone else has made too!
The carnival will include craft bloggers, frugal bloggers,
and special needs bloggers too!
Something for everyone!
Should be fun!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mini Apple Pies!

I love anything apple, so I was excited to see that apple pie was the challenge part of this months Crazy Cooking Challenge I made Mini Apple Pies and they are so cute!
(I think if it's cute, there are no calories!) These are great to make for parties and get togethers.
Mini Apple Pies
(makes 7)
  • 3 medium Granny Smith Apples
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Flour
  • splash Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Crust
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2/3 cup Shortening
  • 2 teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 tablespoon Water
Begin with making your crust. I used a food processor,
but you can also use a fork to mix everything together.
Add all the ingredients, except for the water. Add the water
a tablespoon at a time as needed to obtain a smooth dough.
Roll your dough out on a floured surface.
Roll to approx. 1/4" thick.
Use whatever you have that is about 2 1/2" in diameter.
Cut out the pie bottom pieces. You will need seven.
Place your circle of dough into a muffin tin that has been
sprayed with pan spray. 
Adjust your dough to fit the tin bottom and come
up the sides.
Use a 2" diameter cutter or a pattern to cut 7 tops
for your pie. Set aside while you make your filling.
Peel your 3 apples, and cut away the core.
Slice your apples.
Place your apples in a bowl. Add the sugar, flour, 
lemon juice and cinnamon. Mix well.
This is where I realized that I should have chopped the 
apples. The slices are too big to fit in the shells.
So I went back and sliced the apples in to chunks.
Fill each pie shell with your apple filling mix.
Cover the top of each pie.
Vent each pie by putting a few knife holes in the top
of each one. Melt your butter, and spread some over
each pie. Sprinkle each one with sugar.
Fill any empty muffin cavities with water.
This will help with even baking.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Let sit for 5 minutes, then cool on a baking rack,
or enjoy warm from the oven.
Enjoy!
Thanks for joining me!

We are showing off our stuff at these parties:
Church Supper

Let's see what everyone else made:




Friday, October 5, 2012

Fire Roasted Pulled Chicken Sandwiches and a Giveaway!

Every Halloween, it has been a tradition in our house to have sloppy joes or pulled pork bbq for dinner before trick or treating. I love this tradition, and even though my son is now away at college, my husband and I continue it. This year, however, I am adding something a little different to our pre trick or treat meal.  I received a sample of some of the new Recipe Starters Cooking Sauces from Progresso. I couldn't wait to make the Pulled Chicken Sandwiches, which start with the Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce. OMG, how delish!!!! So quick to make after a long day at work, or just a busy day in general. This meal came together in no time!
 Here is how quick it was to make the
Pulled Chicken Sandwiches 
w/ Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can Progresso Recipe Starters Fire Roasted Tomato cooking sauce
  • 1/4 cup Yellow Mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 4 cups Shredded Chicken
  • 8 Soft Buns
Grill some chicken breast, or
use a deli rotisserie chicken also!
While your chicken is grilling, mix together the 
Progresso Fire Roasted Tomato Cooking Sauce,
mustard, worcestershire sauce, sugar and chili powder.
Heat to simmering over medium high heat.
Pull your chicken apart after it cools a bit. 
Stir it in to the sauce.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer 20 minutes.
Stir occasionally.
 Yum!  Doesn't that look great!?
Serve on a roll with cole slaw and oven fries!

Wasn't that fast! 
Progresso has created 80 different recipes using their new line of sauces.

The new Progresso Recipe Starters Cooking Sauces are inspired by the five "mother" sauces that form the basis for french cooking. They are available in Fire Roasted Tomato, Creamy Parmesan Basil, Creamy Roasted Garlic w/ Chicken Stock, Creamy Portabello Mushroom, and Creamy Three Cheese.

 Check out their web page for all the recipes and some money saving coupons!

How about a Progresso Recipe Starters Gift Pack for yourself?
Here is what you get:
  • 2 cans Progresso Recipe Starters
  • $10 Gift Card to purchase your recipe ingredients
  • Progresso Recipe Starters Recipe Book
  • Baking Dish
  • Measuring Cups
  • Sauce Scraper 
 How do you win this fabulous gift pack?
Then come back here and leave me a comment that you liked it. 
This is a mandatory entry. For additional entries:
  • Like The Freshman Cook on facebook!
  • Follow The Freshman Cook blog!
Each of these is an additional entry. Leave me a comment
on this page that you are following, liking, or both.

This giveaway will run through next Friday, and will 
end on Friday, October 12 at midnight PST.
Good Luck!!
You are on your way to easy, quick, home cooked meals!

Thanks for joining me!
"Disclosure: The information, products and Progresso Recipe Starters
gift packs were provided by Progresso through MyBlogSpark."






Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Apple Crisp Jars!

It's beginning to feel a lot like fall! Well, that's what I hear when I read other blogs. But here in the desert, it is still very hot (98 degrees), and not feeling anything like fall! So, I am pretending, and to pretend I have to make something with apple. Apple Crisp is my all time favorite fall recipe, and this recipe was one I made when I worked in a restaurant in Utah. We served this crisp in a small cast iron skillet. It was so cute, and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it was a delight for the eyes and the taste buds. I decided to change it up a bit, and I cooked these in small mason jars. They can be refrigerated, heated up in the jar, topped with a scoop of vanilla, and before you know it you are enjoying a taste of fall!
Apple Crisp Jars!
(Serves 4)
2 Granny Smith Apples
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Water
1/3 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup Rolled Oats
3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
4 tablespoon cold chopped Butter
4 8oz Mason Jars
Vegetable Pan Spray
Vanilla Ice Cream 
Cinnamon for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Peel and core your apples.
Slice your apples, then cut them into small chunks.
Place apple bites into a bowl, add lemon and water 
and mix, coating apples.
Set aside for just a few minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, oats,
cinnamon and butter. 
Make sure the butter is cut into small, tiny pieces.
You could grate it, or just chop it. Mix thoroughly
with a spoon until combined and crumbly.
I used 4-8 oz  mason jars. 
Spray with vegetable pan spray, 
then wipe out the excess.
Distribute apples evenly between the 4 jars.
Sprinkle the topping crumble on top of the
apples. Distribute evenly just as we did the apples.
Make sure there is butter on top of each jar.
It cooks better with the butter on top of each jar.
See the jar on the bottom right?
I had to add butter because I didn't notice there
was none on the top. If that happens, it is not
a problem. Just add a few small pieces so it browns 
when it bakes.

Place the jars on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
sprinkled with a taste of cinnamon.

Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today!

Here's where we are:
Iron Chef Mom
Full Plate Thursday 



Monday, October 1, 2012

Apples w/ Creamy Caramel Dip~A Tribute to Daniel

This post is a special tribute to a fellow food blogger, Daniel Saraga, who was the author of the wonderful blog, The Haggis and The Herring.  Daniel  passed away recently and he will be missed  by many, including the Secret Recipe Club and the food blogging community. In his honor, I made this recipe from Daniels blog. This is definitely my type of autumn recipe with apples and caramel and pure yumminess! Thank you, Daniel!
Apples with Creamy Caramel Dip
1- 8oz Cream Cheese (softened)
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
2/3 cup crushed Heath Bars
Granny Smith Apples
Lemon Juice (for drizzle)
Caramel Sauce
25 squares Caramel
1/3 cup Whipping Cream

Blend soft cream cheese and brown sugar together.
Place mixture in a small dish or platter.
Make caramel sauce by combining the caramels 
and the whipping cream.
Mix together over low heat, until smooth. 
Sprinkle 1/2 of the Heath candy pieces over the 
cream cheese mixture.
Spread some of the caramel over the top 
of the Heath pieces.
 Sprinkle the remainder of the Heath bar pieces over 
the caramel, and then top the candy pieces with 
more caramel.
Cut your apple into small bite size pieces.
Sprinkle with the lemon to keep the apples
from turning brown.
Enjoy with family and friends!

I changed a few thing in Daniel's recipe. 
Check out his original recipe.

Read Daniel's wife's eulogy to her husband.
It is a touching and heart warming tribute.