Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pumpkin and Chocolate Swirl Brownies

Pumpkin Brownies 
It's great when you take a chance on a recipe and it turns out amazing! These are by far the best pumpkin brownies I have ever made. I came across this recipe by doing a search for leftover pumpkin. You get a nice, thick brownie with great pumpkin texture and the chocolate part with the chocolate chips. Perfect in every bite. This is what you need to make when you have leftover pumpkin kicking around! Thanks to Blog Chef

¾ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter (melted)
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup walnuts (chopped)
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 inch baking dish with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Step 2: In a separate bowl mix together melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs (one at a time). Add in the flour mixture, a little at a time and stir until the batter is evenly moistened. Divide the batter in half evenly into 2 separate bowls.
Step 3: In one of the bowls blend in the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. In the second bowl of batter stir in pumpkin puree, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
Step 4: Spread ½ of the chocolate batter mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Pour ½ of the pumpkin batter mixture over that. Repeat the layers, ending with a pumpkin layer. Drag a kitchen knife or spatula through the layers in a swirling motion creating a marble appearance.  
Step 5: Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
I ended my evening with making some muffins for breakfast tomorrow. It's always nice having something prepared and pairing it up with a strong coffee. Instead of oil I used some applesauce and I did a cup of whole wheat flour and a half a cup of white. The smell from all the spices really fills up the kitchen!

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
  2. Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Strawberry Bread

Strawberry Bread
Strawberry season is winding down in these parts. I think it was an overall great year for our family strawberry patch since having such a rainy Spring. I decided to go on the hunt for a good strawberry dessert that had all the ingredients on hand in my kitchen. I seem to be running low on some of the important things like white flour, icing sugar, chocolate chips, and applesauce. I found this recipe for Strawberry Bread. I tweaked it a little by using only whole wheat flour, whole frozen strawberries, and I did a cup of olive oil and a 1/4 cup of applesauce with no nuts. I would have preferred to have just used applesauce but it was running low. It made 2 loaves which was great and it was moist with a nice kick of cinnamon to it. It went great with some coffee, ice cream, and fresh strawberries!

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Slice strawberries, and place in medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside while preparing bread mixture.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl: mix well. Blend oil and eggs into strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in pecans. Divide batter into pans.
  4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaves out, and cool completely.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chocolate Marshmallow Graham

Chocolate Marshmallow Graham 
There is nothing like turning something that might end up going to waste and making it into something delicious! We had some leftover chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows from a S'mores kit from our vacation last week and I searched for a recipe that would incorporate all the ingredients that I had. I found this recipe for Chocolate Marshmallow Graham on All Recipes. I only had about half of a milk chocolate bar left so I needed to add some semi-sweet chocolate chips to make up for the 2 cups worth. I also didn't have the mini marshmallows so I just cut them up into smaller pieces. These bars are a great mix of peanut butter and chocolate with a crunchy texture from the graham crackers and the chewiness from the marshmallows. Such a treat! What do you have hanging around in your pantry that you could turn into something yummy? 

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) package miniature marshmallows


  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes; stir until well blended. Stir in vanilla. Add cracker crumbs and marshmallows; stir until coated. Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. pan. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Cut into bars.

Hashbrown Chicken Bake

Hashbrown Chicken Bake
This is a family classic in our home. It's easy, delicious, and is great at any time of the day. This is a type of bake that you can really play around with. Tonight I wanted to use up my chicken that I had leftover from a whole roasted chicken we had enjoyed. To make this hashbrown chicken bake, I used a pie dish and added enough frozen hashbrowns to fill it up. Then I added one can of cream of chicken to the hashbrowns and some milk (about half a cup). Then I also added some frozen corn (or you can used canned), my leftover chicken, and then some seasonings: Italian, onion powder, pepper, and parsley. Once it's all combined add some grated cheese and parsley. Bake this in the oven for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

You can get creative as you want with this and you will also need a bigger baking dish and maybe a couple more bags of hashbrown and soup if you are feeding a bigger crowd. For the breakfast variation you could add cooked bacon, sausage , or ham to this and it would be perfect. You can change up the cream of 'blank' soup to change the flavor. You can add different veggies and seasonings too! Have some fun with this bake and make it your own.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Turkey Sausage w/ Roasted Mini Potatoes

Turkey Sausage w/ Roasted Mini Potatoes
I am a huge fan of sausages! They're great on a bun with mustard, on their own, in a soup, in a pasta dish, on pizza... the options are endless and so are the flavors. When I came across the sausage section in the grocery store, I noticed turkey sausages. I grabbed a package to try them out because each one is only 3 grams of fat compared to a regular pork sausage which is about 26 grams of fat... yikes!

As a side I did up some roasted mini red potatoes. Just boiled them up in a pot until they were cooked through and soft, then drained the water and threw them on a cooking sheet with some olive oil and seasonings. The seasoning part is where you can get creative. You can make them spicy by adding some taco or chili seasonings, or Parmesan cheese, or garlic and herbs, or just good ole salt and pepper. All kinds of options! I baked them in oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes.

The turkey sausages had tons of flavor and I will definitely buy these again.