Thursday, October 25, 2012

Herbed Spaghetti Squash

This is a wonderful, healthy dish from Emeril. There's something almost magical about scraping the sides of a spaghetti squash and seeing the little strands break away. It truly does look like angel hair pasta! I went out into the garden and just snipped a little bit of each herb I had growing and tossed them in.

1 small spaghetti squash, about 2 1/4 pounds
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed soft herbs, such as basil, chives, chervil, parsley and sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife. Turn squash over and cover with foil again and continue to cook another 15 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel and place the squash strands into a mixing bowl.

Heat a skillet. Add the butter, spaghetti squash, herbs, salt and pepper and toss thoroughly but gently to heat and combine. Serve immediately or cover and keep warm until ready to serve.


Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Once a year my "Nye-sista" Sharon and hubby Chaz come to stay with us for a weekend. Usually we pick apples, but this year all the orchards lost most of the crop to an early frost. Anyways, in honor of their long-anticipated arrival, I made these pumpkin cinnamon rolls for breakfast. WOWSA. I think they will come back next year...


Cinnamon Roll Dough
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
15 oz can OR 1 3/4 cups pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup warm (not hot) water
1 packet of yeast (1 tablespoon)
5 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional but will enhance pumpkin flavor)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter - softened
1 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple extract/maple syrup
pinch of salt (optional)


Combine butter and milk in a sauce pan and heat on low until butter has melted. Once butter has melted, add sugar and stir well to combine, cooking on low heat.

Add yeast to 1/4 cup of warm water (make sure it's not too hot, just warm to the touch). Let the yeast dissolve into the water.

While yeast is dissolving, pull butter, milk and sugar mixture off stove and let cool.

Once butter, milk and sugar has cooled down to warm (not hot), combine it with the yeast and water mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add in pumpkin puree, flour, pumpkin pie spice (optional) and salt. Stir to combine, you may need to work the ingredients together with your hands to fully incorporate flour.

Once combined, set bowl, covered, in a warm draft free spot for 1-2 hours to rise.

After dough has risen (it should double in size), punch it down and prepare to roll it out. Cover your work surface in flour and set dough on surface. Knead dough six to seven times. Roll out with a rolling pin into a large rectangle. If dough is sticky, add a bit of flour to it, as well as your rolling pin.

Once dough is rolled out, brush softened butter over dough. Sprinkle on cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice followed by brown (or white) sugar.

Tightly roll dough up, starting from edge furthest from you. Continue to roll until you've reached the end. Slice cinnamon rolls (I made 12 big ones but you could make 24 small ones in two pans if you want). Set cinnamon rolls in buttered pan (one 9x13 pan per dozen).

At this point you can bake your rolls, or cover and place in the fridge for up to twenty four hours.

Preheat your oven to 375. While oven preheats, let cinnamon rolls sit at room temperature (approx 20 minutes). If cinnamon rolls have been in the fridge and are cold, it's best to give them 30-40 minutes at room temperature prior to baking.

Bake the cinnamon rolls for 18-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown and centers look firm. Remove from oven and let cool for approx five minutes.

While cinnamon rolls are cooling, mix up glaze, combining milk, powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, maple extract and pinch of salt in a large bowl and mixing well. The glaze should be pourable. If it's too thick, add additional milk, one tablespoon at a time.

Pour glaze over cinnamon rolls. Serve immediately or allow to sit. Store covered. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Debdoozie's Blue Ribbon Chili

This is the best bean chili recipe, in my opinion! Found on

2 pounds ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 (8 ounce) jar salsa
4 tablespoons chili seasoning mix
1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans
1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground beef and the onion and saute for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease, if desired.
2. Add the ground black pepper, garlic salt, tomato sauce, salsa, chili seasoning mix and kidney beans. Mix well, reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.

Serves: 6

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Homemade Thin Wheat Crackers

These look and taste a LOT like those famous crackers that are thin and made with wheat. ;) I love em! I bake them closer to 10 minutes to make sure they are browned. If not, they aren't as crispy as I would like. Try these - they really aren't too hard! I found this on Two Peas and their Pod, and they found it from KAF.

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for topping
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup water (you might need to add a little more)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  *** LOVE the silpat!!!

Set aside.

2. Add the flour, sugar, salt and paprika to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl.  Using a pastry blender, mix the butter into the dry ingredients thoroughly.  Combine the water and vanilla in a small measuring cup or bowl.  Add to the butter/flour mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms. If the dough is still dry, add a little more water. *** I've always had to add more water at this stage. Also, I made this dough in the food processor and it worked very well!

3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.  Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered with a towel so they don't dry out.  Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle.  Lift the dough and turn it as you roll to ensure it's not sticking.  You want to roll the dough as thin as possible, try to make sure it's 1/16-inch thick at most.  If you want all of your crackers to be perfect, trim the edges of the dough so you have a rectangle with even sides.  Use a pizza cutter to cut the rectangle into squares about 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide.

4. Transfer the dough squares to the prepared baking sheets. You can place them close together because they will not spread.  Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt.  Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining 3 pieces of dough.  Save all of your scraps under the towel to keep the dough from drying out; reroll them all at once to create a final batch of crackers.

5. Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and browned, about 5-10 minutes.  Check the crackers at 5 minutes, and if some of the thinner ones are browning too quickly, remove them from the oven.  The crackers can burn quickly so you want to keep a close eye on them.  Remove crackers from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Store the crackers in an airtight container.

Recipe from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Cookbook

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine
Prep Time:
50 min
Inactive Prep Time:
2 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
20 min
12 doughnuts


  • 2 red apples, such as Cortland or McIntosh
  • 2 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 3 1/2 cups all-pourpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Core and coarsely chop the apples (do not peel). Combine with 1 1/2 cups cider in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the apples are tender and the cider is almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth. Measure the sauce; you should have 1 cup. (Boil to reduce further, if necessary.) Let cool slightly.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
Beat 2/3 cup granulated sugar and the shortening in another bowl with a mixer on medium speed until sandy. Beat in the egg and yolk, then gradually mix in the applesauce, scraping the bowl. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix to make a sticky dough; do not overmix.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper and pat into a 7-by-11-inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: Simmer the remaining 1 cup cider in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar until smooth and glossy, then set aside. Mix the remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a shallow bowl; set aside for the topping.
Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until a deep-frythermometer registers 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Cut the chilled dough into 12 rounds, using a floured 2 1/2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter, then cut out the middles with a 1-inch cutter (or use a doughnut cutter). Slip 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.
Dip one side of each doughnut in the cider glaze, letting the excess drip off; dip just the glazed side in the cinnamon-sugar or roll all over in cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Serve warm.