Oct 16, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies/Muffins/Bread

There is nothing that says autumn like pumpkin. These cookies - or you can make them into muffins or bread - are moist, but not too moist like a lot of recipes I have tried. This weekend my sister-in-law and I made them in Wilton's Halloween muffin tins and then frosted the outline of the design on the top - pumpkins, leaves, spiders, webs. They were SOO cute!

2 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup shortening
2 eggs, well beaten
1 large can (30oz I think) Libby's Pumpkin PIE mix (not just pumpkin)
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 cups flour
2 TBS baking powder
1 12oz bag chocolate chips
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt

Heat oven to 375

Cream shortening and sugar together with a mixer. Add eggs; mix until combined. Mix pumpkin until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, soda, powder, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients slowly to wet mixture. Mix until incorporated. Add vanilla, mix. Add chocolate chips, and mix with a spoon or slowly in a mixer.

On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop 1-ish TBS size balls of dough, leaving space for expansion. Bake 10-12 minutes, checking to make sure they are done. You don't want to under cook these.

MUFFINS: Grease muffin tin. Fill 3/4 full with filling. Baking time will increase, but I am not sure how long exactly. Try 15-20 minutes, checking to make sure they are done. Go longer if necessary.

BREAD: Grease bread pan. Pour batter into pan and bake for about an hour (would be my guess). Check for doneness with toothpick.

You could also admit the chocolate chips and have a very yummy pumpkin mixture to which the possibilities are endless (think cream cheese frosting - YUM)

Oct 15, 2008

Mexican Lasagna - NOT a taco in a pan

I don't generally care for lasagna that goes below the border, however, this one is pretty tasty. I have added some additions noted below in bold that I haven't tried yet, but I think would be yummy. Give it a try and let me know.

1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14oz) can dice crushed tomatoes
1 (16oz) can refried beans
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 clove finely minced garlic
1 (4oz) can chopped green chilies
2 cup corn, canned or frozen
2 scallions, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
8 corn tortillas
1 1/2 - 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 - 1 cup cheddar cheese
sour cream, optional

options to mix it up - Enchilada Sauce and shredded chicken

Oven 400

In a large bowl, mix together beans, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, chilies, corn, scallions, cumin and oregano.

Spray with non-stick cooking spray a square 2 quart baking dish. Place two tortillas down (or however many will fit to cover the bottom). Spread with a thin layer of refried beans. Spread 1/3 of the bean mixture over tortillas. Sprinkle with 1/3 of Monterey Jack cheese. Repeat layering twice more - it helps to put the refried beans on the tortillas before you put them on the casserole. For the last layer, put tortillas to top, sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Option to mix things up - add in shredded chicken to bean mixture and cover prepared casserole in enchilada sauce - probably only 1/2 a 15 oz can.

Bake 30-40 minutes until hot through-out.

Product Review: Great Value Brand Premium, All Natural Ice Cream

So I had a hankering for Cookies and Cream ice cream lately. After finding only lite - no thank you - locally, I ventured to Walmart to see what they had. The only brand that carried Cookies and Cream was Walmart brand. I am not a fan of their cheap-cheap ice cream, but they had a new brand of Premium, all natural ice creams out. So we tried it and the results are in: 5 Stars. Very yummy - did not taste like imitation flavoring like their cheaper variety, and although a little bit more expensive, still cheaper than name brand. Very good Walmart.