Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Butter

Finally the nights are getting chilly and it's ALMOST time to light a fire and snuggle on the couch with some hot cocoa. But, until then, I'll happily welcome all of the other makings of fall. That means, of course, anything and everything PUMPKIN! Pumpkin butter, contrary to popular belief, is NOT a butter. It is like peanut butter or, the Godly, cookie butter; you can put it on just about anything you'd put peanut butter on. You can bake it in a jar in a water bath, but that's just far too complicated. The beauty of this recipe is that you can toss all of the ingredients in a slow cooker, go to bed, and wake up with your kitchen smelling like Thanksgiving and something yummy to smother on your toast! As you can see, I've jarred mine for optimum freshness (as of right now, I'm not too sure how long this will last, but if you like pumpkin as much as we do, it won't be around too long anyways). Put it on top of toast, a bagel, or even some pancakes or french toast! WOW ok I'm hungry now! BYE!

What you'll need:
2 cans organic pumpkin
4 tbs. pumpkin pie spice
1 tbs. kosher salt
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey

1. Put everything in a crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours.
2. After 8 hours, turn crock pot off and remove the top half way (to let the steam out and let it thicken). Let sit for an hour.

enjoy :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Roasted Almonds

Is it possible to buy stock in Pinterest? If so, I need to do so ASAP because it is just the ultimate for foodies like me. I'm honestly addicted. I've already planned my entire Thanksgiving dinner, fictitious wedding, and next 10 birthday parties which each include fantastic finger foods. I found this amazing recipe for Pumpkin Pie Almonds from Knead to Cook and I tried to make it last week but nobody would let me. Now that I'm home alone with the dogs and have nobody to get in my way, you better believe this was the first thing I did when I woke up (besides run to 100 markets). The house now smells delightfully like Thanksgiving and, if I must say, these almonds are AMAZING. They're great little snacks and will be an even better appetizer for the big show! What I did differently was a little extra vanilla extract (I can't help it, I love it!), and I used Fleur de Sel (a French Sea Salt) rather than kosher or regular sea salt. Now be gone with you, go make these!

What you'll need:
2 cups raw almonds
3 tsp. of ground cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice seasoning (you can find it ANYWHERE right now)
3-4 tbs. organic agave nectar
1 tbs. of vanilla extract
Fleur de Sel (French sea salt)

1. Preheat your oven to 325*. In a large bowl, mix the almonds, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, agave, and vanilla. Make sure every almond is evenly coated with the agave and spices.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (if you can, try to avoid foil for this. The almonds WILL stick to the foil) and lay out the almonds in one single layer. 
3. Dust the sea salt over the almonds and bake for 18-20 minutes.
4. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving!

enjoy :)

Matzo Balls

When it comes to matzo balls and matzo ball soup, Jerry's Deli is my usual go-to. But now that fall is coming and my wallet is getting lighter and lighter by the day (being a grown up stink!) I can't go out and buy every meal. But I am happy to say that this is a fabulous (and if I do say so myself, big competition to restaurants!) recipe for matzo balls. Everyone's mom and grandma have their secrets and tricks and recipes to make, what they say are, the best matzo balls. This recipe is simple, light, and yummy. That's all you really need in a matzo ball! You'll definitely impress your guests this fall, and save it for the spring when Passover comes around to impress them again! All you need is a little patience (the longer you let the mixture sit in the fridge to firm up, the better!).

What you'll need:
1/2 cup matzo meal
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbs. vegetable oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbs. chicken stock
1 tbs. fresh dill, chopped
1 tbs. flat leaf parsley, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced

1. Mince and chop your garlic, parsley, dill, and shallot. In a VERY large bowl, mix together the matzo meal, eggs, salt, pepper, oil, and chicken stock.
2. Gently fold in the herbs and garlic and shallots.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls the size of golf balls (they WILL DOUBLE IN SIZE!!!! so don't worry). Drop into a pot of 2-3 quarts of boiling chicken stock.
4. Cook matzo balls for 30 minutes. At the last 10 minutes, toss in an extra tbs. or two of fresh chopped dill. Serve immediately!

enjoy :)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

So this is pretty much just a giant chocolate chip cookie. And really what is better than that? Not much :) Like I've told you in my past few posts, I'm on a very strict health regime so I did not taste this but the consesus from my family was that it was absolutely divine. The only problem was that I cut the pieces too big. It is a cookie, after all, so be prepared for a whole lot of sweetness. I topped it with some fresh, homemade whipped cream (which you can skip, of course) and it made for a very rustic, classic dessert that any of your friends will be impressed with! It's great to make for a large group a few hours before guests arrive, and let it sit out to cool until ready to serve!

What you'll need (makes 12 LARGE cookie bars):
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
12 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, plus one egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat your oven to 325*. In a large bowl, mix together the sugars and the melted butter. Slowly add in the eggs and the vanilla extract. 
2. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add to the sugar and egg mixture until just combined (by this I mean DON'T over mix it!).
3. Toss the chocolate chips in 1/8 cup flour (this will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cookies). Fold in to the batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes (if they look gooey, THAT'S OK!!!! Let them be!).
4. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

enjoy :)