Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread


  • 1  8-ounce  package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2  cup  canned pumpkin
  • 1/4  cup  sugar
  • 3/4  teaspoon  pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla


Beat all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. 

Pumpkin-Shrimp Bruschetta


  • 20    fresh or frozen peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp in shells
  • 1  cup  canned pumpkin
  • 1/2  cup  crumbled goat cheese, at room temperature (2 ounces)
  • 1  tablespoon  lemon juice
  • 1  tablespoon  honey
  • 1  cup  arugula
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2  cup  toasted pumpkin seeds*
  • 1/4  cup  bottled Italian vinaigrette salad dressing
  • 20  3/4-inch-thick slices  baguette-style French bread
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 2  ounces  Parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)


1. Peel and devein shrimp, if desired, leaving tails intact. Rinse shrimp. In a large skillet, cook shrimp in a large amount of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Drain well.
2. Preheat broiler. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, goat cheese, lemon juice, and honey; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine shrimp, arugula, onion, pumpkin seeds, and salad dressing; set aside.
4. Brush both sides of baguette slices lightly with olive oil. Arrange on a large baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat about 2 minutes or until toasted, turning bread over once.
5. Spread pumpkin mixture on one side of toasted baguette slices. Top each with a shrimp and some of the arugula mixture. If desired, top each with shaved Parmesan cheese. Makes 20 appetizers.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

5 Minute Chocolate mug Cake

4 Tablespoons flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons oil
3 Tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (microsafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug & mix well. Add the egg & mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk & oil & mix well.
Put your mug in the microwave & cook for 3 minutes (high)@1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little & tip it out onto a plate, if desired.
When cooled, top with whipped topping or sprinkle powered sugar over the top.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Linguine with Fried Zucchini and Ricotta

2 lbs small zucchini
1/2 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lb linguine
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
8 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
1 – Scrub zucchini and blot dry with paper towel. Trim both ends and cut into 2-inch lenghts. Slice again lengthwise into 1/2-inch widths. Layer zucchini slices on a platter with paper towels between layers to absorb moisture.
2 – In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until haze forms. Add garlic and saute, stirring constantly, until very lightly golden. With a spoon, remove garlic and reserve. Fry zucchini in two or three batches until golden on both sides. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towel. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat and let oil cool a little; return garlic to pan. Set aside.
3 – Cook pasta in 6 quarts boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt until al dente. Drain pasta in colander and transfer to a bowl; very quickly toss with oil-garlic mixture. Toss pasta again with half of the fried zucchini and romano cheese. Place individual servings of pasta in bowls and place 3 or 4 slices of fried zucchini on top of each. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of ricotta on top of zucchini. Serve with remaining ricotta and additional grated Romano cheese.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grilled stuffed pork chops

1/2 cup kosher salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 quarts water

4 (2-inch thick) pork chops, bone-in rib loin chops, split to bone

2 slices bacon, chopped

2 stalks celery, minced

1 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon freshly chopped sage leaves

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves

2 1/2 cups crumbled cornbread

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chicken broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Whisk salt and sugars in 2-quarts of cold water. Add pork chops and cover. 
Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove the pork chops from the brine and dry well.

In a large heavy bottomed saute pan, begin to fry bacon. Add celery, onion and garlic 
to pan and allow to saute with the crispy bacon. Add rosemary, sage and parsley 
after bacon has cooked for 8 to 10 minutes. Saute until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl add cornbread, dried cranberries and chicken stock. 
Stir in the cooked vegetable mixture. Mix well.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Stuff the chop with about 1/2 cup of stuffing. 
Use toothpicks to help seal the chops. Grill the chops for 5 to 7 minutes per side. Internal 
temperature should be 145 degrees F. Allow chop to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Protein Cookies


3/4 cup SPLENDA® Granular

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup soy flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 teaspoons water

2 egg whites

1 teaspoon molasses

1 tablespoon flax seeds (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, whisk together Splenda®, oats, wheat flour, soy flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in pumpkin, canola oil, water, egg whites, and molasses. Stir in flax seeds, if desired. Roll into 14 large balls, and flatten on a baking sheet.

Bake for 5 minutes in preheated oven. DO NOTOVERBAKE: the cookies will come out really dry if overbaked.

Monday, September 27, 2010

World's Best Lasagna


  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic 
over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, 
tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, 
basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, 
and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 
1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. 
Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. 
Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, 
combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 
9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over 
meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. 
Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups 
meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup 
Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining 
mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent 
sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the 
foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake 
an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Bacon and Thyme


2 C. Bisquick baking mix
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 heaping teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
1 T. brown sugar
all purpose flour for dusting counter

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust a  counter top lightly with flour.
2. In a medium bowl, combine baking mix, bacon, and chopped thyme. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sweet potato, milk, and brown sugar.
3. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until just combined.
4. Dump mixture out onto a floured counter and knead a few times just to finish mixing the dough.
5. Pat out into a circle about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut biscuits and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes until just lightly browned on top.
7. Enjoy warm with a little butter.
Yield: 8-10 small biscuits

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Very tasty Shrimp Gumbo


1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/2 c. green pepper, chopped
1/4 c. water
1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced (or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. water
1 (6 1/2 oz.) pkgs. quick cooking long grain wild rice
1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen peeled & deveined shrimp
Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce


In large saucepan, combine frozen onion, green pepper 
and 1/4 cup water. Bring mixture to boiling, then reduce heat. 
Cover and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are 
tender.While onion and pepper are cooking, cut up tomatoes. 
Add undrained tomatoes to onion mixture 
along with garlic, rosemary, paprika and pepper. 
Stir in 1 1/2 cups water and both packets from rice mixture. 
Bring mixture to boiling. Add frozen shrimp. Return to boiling, 
then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 4 to 5 minutes, 
or until rice is tender and shrimp turns pink. 
To serve, ladle gumbo into individual bowls. Pass hot pepper sauce.

This is very tasty Pumpkin Spice Cake

1/2 cup vegetable oil
½ cup applesauce
3 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


6 oz. cream cheese

3 tablespoons butter, soften
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 10 inch bundt or tube pan.
2. In a large bowl cream oil, applesauce, beaten eggs, pumpkin and vanilla together.
3. Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ginger powder and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined, stir in chopped nuts.
4. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6. Let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto a plate
7. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and the grated rinds smooth. Gradually confectioners’ sugar, and mix well. Add orange juice until frosting reaches desired spreading consistency. Drizzle over bundt cake.