Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

Every week our church puts on a mid-week fellowship meal before Awana and youth group. This was the cake that we served. It is perfect for fall. I have to tell you, by the response of all the people last night, this cake is killer! It is wonderful! My friend Kym found the recipe via Pinterest.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
1/3 cup water
1 can pureed pumpkin (15 oz)
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl mix together the water, pumpkin, eggs, 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. Add the dry cake mix and baking soda and mix until just combined. Grease a 9 x13 in. pan with butter and pour the batter into the pan. In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, walnuts and melted butter. Use fingers to sprinkle over the top of the cake. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. While the cake is baking, make the glaze. Combine the other 1/2 cup of brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and the heavy cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Once the the cake has finished baking, remove from the oven and poke holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick or a knife. Pour glaze over the cake, making sure to cover the entire surface. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Popcorn Balls

I was looking through my mom's cookbook that she had pulled together years ago. It was like walking through the history of my family. She had uncovered recipes from many generations of our family and put them in one book. In a smaller way, it was a quick spin through  the years that I was able to spend with her. She wrote her love on my life in so many ways. Now as a mom myself, I can see even more of the love that she gave unselfishly to my brother, sister and I. It showed in so many little ways. I have a memory of her making popcorn balls for one of our school Halloween parties when we were young. I am going to make these this week for my boys, remembering how loved I felt when my mom made them for me, and praying that my boys will feel the love I have for them.

Popcorn Balls

8 cups popped corn
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Food coloring, if desired
Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and salt and bring to a boil. Cook to soft ball stage * and then add butter, vanilla, and if desired, food coloring. Pour over corn, stirring with two forks. Butter hands and make into balls. Place on waxed paper.

*Soft-Ball Stage occurs at 235-245 degrees. This stage can be determined by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into a bowl of very cold water. In the water, use your fingers to gather the cooled syrup into a ball. If it has reached soft-ball stage, the syrup easily forms a ball while in the cold water, but flattens once removed from the water.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Green Chili Beef Burritos in the Crock Pot

Double yum. That is what these burritos are. They are also easy and they make lots of leftovers! I am starting to look for recipes with bigger quantities because my teen and my pre-teen boys are eating anything that is not tied down! You can reduce the jalapeno or eliminate it if you choose- it is still super flavorful.

Green Chili Beef Burritos
2 boneless beef top sirloin roasts (I aim for 4-5 lbs. of meat)
4 cans diced green chilies
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium jalapeno peppers, chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. Lawry's season salt
1 cup beef broth
24 flour tortillas
Sliced tomatoes, lettuce and shredded cheddar cheese

Trim fat from roasts, and cut meat into large chunks. Place in slow cooker. Top with chilies, onion, jalapenos, garlic, cumin, chili powder and season salt. Pour broth over all. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Remove beef and shred with two forks. Cool cooking liquid slightly and skim fat. In blender, process cooking liquid until smooth. Return to slow cooker with beef and heat through. Place 1/3 cup on each tortilla and top with desired toppings and fold up.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Yummiest Granola Bars!!

In my quest to fill my boys up, I try to have snacks that are easy to put together, fairly cheap, and most of all, tasty. These granola bars, shared by my friend Rhonda Teaford, are the best granola bars that I have ever had. We love them!! I know you will as well!
Granola Bars
2 1/2 cups Rice Crispies
2 cups old fashioned oats
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional

In a large bowl, combine rice crispies and oats. Grease 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Mix brown sugar, honey and peanut butter in small saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Pour over cereal mixture. Mix well. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips. Press into prepared pan, and let then harden a little bit before serving.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies

One of the things that I love about Fall, is the use of pumpkin in recipes. Pumpkin pies, breads, cakes, and these tasty cookies! Several years ago, one of my Grandma's neighbors brought over these cookies. I have been loving these ever since! Maybe you should take some time this week and make these little gems and bring some to your neighbor, I promise you won't regret that you did!

Pumpkin Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
Cream together butter, sugar and pumpkin. Add egg. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly stir into moist ingredients. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookies sheet. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes.
Frost when cool.

3 Tbsp. butter
4 tsp. milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla
Mix well and frost cookies when they are cool.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crockpot Potato Chowder

Today I have a recipe that is for the crock pot, and is my very favorite potato soup recipe. It really could not be any easier than this recipe. Simply delish.

Crock pot Potato Chowder
1 bag frozen cubed hash brown potatoes- or 8 cups fresh diced potatoes
3 cans chicken broth
1 can cream of onion soup
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1/2 package bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
Chives- diced

Combine potatoes, broth and onion soup in crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until potatoes are tender. Stir in cream cheese. Mash with potato masher for chowdery consistency. I don't know if that is even a real term of speech, but that is how I think about the consistency of the soup after I mash it for a bit! Stir in bacon. Top with chives before serving, or you can just stir them in with bacon., that is what we do!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Green Tortilla Chili

Today I want to share with you a recipe that I found on It is a recipe that was on Rachel Ray's TV show. I usually like her recipes. They always have lots of flavor and are easy to make rather quickly. This soup/chili is not an exception. It is really good. We love it because it is spicy, but you can tame the flame, so to speak by using a milder Salsa Verde, or by eliminating the jalapeno. Just don't tell me about it- we love, love, love the spice!

Green Tortilla Chili
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 (16 oz) jar of Salsa Verde
1 bottle of beer
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped
2 limes, juiced

Heat oil over medium- high heat. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno and cook until soft. Toss in chili powder and cumin and cook and stir for one minute. Stir in Salsa Verde, chicken stock and beer. Bring to bubbling, then add chicken. Simmer for 10- 15 minutes. Stir in the crushed tortilla chips and cilantro and cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and more tortilla chips.