Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

It’s sliced, help yourself!

I made this pumpkin bread because I found this beautiful pumpkin loaf pan and thought it would taste better in a pumpkin pan. Well, my pan did not disappoint. I think this is the tastiest pumpkin bread I have tasted. Not a heavy pumpkin spice flavor and I think the pumpkin taste is lightened up by the addition of cream cheese. This recipe is made by hand, please whisk and stir, no mixer required. Be gentle on the gluten!

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:

1 cup of pumpkin purée

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 room temperature eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Cream Cheese filling:

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (save the leftover 2 ounces for a bagel)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg, room temperature

Sprinkle on cinnamon sugar mixture after it comes out of the pan if your design is on the bottom. If not, sprinkle it on top of your batter as it bakes. This is optional but it adds a great flavor element to the bread.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk dry ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.

Whisk wet ingredients together and set aside.

Whisk cream cheese, sugar and egg together. Set aside.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine. Do not over mix. Pour cream cheese mixture into your pumpkin batter. swirl but again, do not over mix. Yes your batter will be beautiful but it won’t look like that after you bake it. I added the cream cheese for moisture and lighten up the pumpkin. This pumpkin bread is amazingly moist and flavorful. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Enjoy!

Orange Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberry sauce and every year Publix sells their Orange Cranberry Relish. I have duplicated as closely as I could. I think I came very close. I enjoy cranberry sauce with turkey, chicken and on my sandwiches.

Ingredients:

2 12 ounce bags of fresh cranberries

2 cups of orange juice

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 cinnamon stick

The zest of 2 oranges

1/8 teaspoon of salt

Rinse, drain and pick through cranberries. Look for stems, bruised or over ripe cranberries and pull those aside. Add the ingredients to a pot and stir well. In my photo you will see 2 cinnamon sticks in my pot, one is just fine.

Cook cranberries over medium heat and stir frequently. You want to simmer/boil the cranberries for at least 10 minutes until most of the berries pop, not all of them will. Remove from heat and cool in pan for 30 minutes. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate. The cranberry sauce will keep for many days in the fridge. Enjoy!

Worlds Best Hot Chocolate

I love a good mug of hot chocolate. Once you try this recipe, you won’t be using packets where you add hot water. This hot chocolate is made with milk and half and half and a good chocolate candy bar.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole milk

1 1/2 cups half and half

2 ounces chocolate candy bar, I used Lindt Milk Chocolate (you chose your favorite)

1 Tablespoon sugar, optional

Whip cream, optional

Chocolate curls optional

In a saucepan, heat milk, heavy cream and sugar if you are using it over medium heat. Add chocolate, I broke my candy bar into pieces. Stir frequently. Once chocolate is melted and it’s heated enough to your desire (do not boil), pour into mug. Top with whip cream and chocolate curls if you wish. You will not believe the difference between homemade hot chocolate and dry package mix hot chocolate, there is no comparison. Enjoy!

Cheers!

Hawaiian Zucchini Bread

I love baking quick breads. This recipe comes together quickly with ingredients you probably have in your pantry.

Adding wet to dry
Freshly grated zucchini
Don’t skimp on the zucchini
Pineapple makes this bread
Ready for the oven

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 medium size zucchini, you will want 1 cup grated

1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained well

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

Hot from the oven
Watch out! It vanishes before your eyes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk together dry ingredients. Beat eggs and vanilla and add them to flour mixture. Add grated zucchini (I used a box grater but good processor will do). Incorporate pineapple, raisins and pecans. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pan about 15 minutes and place on a plate/tray. Slice and serve.

It’s absolutely delicious warm from the oven, just as tasty cool. Enjoy! This recipe can easily be doubled. Make this recipe and put one loaf in the freezer for later.

Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Parfait

I was buying these breakfast parfaits at Publix and decided to make my own. This recipe is for a 6 ounce serving size of yogurt but I am not opposed to buying a larger container and making a large container of pumpkin spice yogurt. It’s delicious and so easy to make.

Cast of Characters

Ingredients:

1 6 ounce container of vanilla yogurt (I used fat free but feel free to use Greek, just use vanilla flavor

1 heaping Tablespoon of puréed pumpkin (canned packed pumpkin)

1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin spice (feel free to add more if you wish)

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 small apple, diced in bite size pieces

3 small ginger snaps or cinnamon graham cookies, or granola (Publix uses cinnamon cookies), crushed

Pumpkin Spice Yogurt
The cookies add a great crunch to this breakfast parfait.
I used these cookies and store brand ginger snap cookies on top of my parfaits, both are delicious.

Open yogurt and add pumpkin, pumpkin spice and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Put in your favorite bowl. Top with apples and crushed cookies or granola. The yogurt alone is delicious on its own. Adding the apples and cinnamon takes it over the top. Enjoy!

Dig in!

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Hot right out of the oven.

I have been thinking about making this recipe for two years. I finally did it! It starts out with a variation of my Buffalo Chicken recipe, a thick creamy dreamy cheese sauce, macaroni and more cheese. Sinfully delicious and so comforting.

Ingredients for Buffalo Chicken:

1 Rotisserie Chicken, shredded or cut into bite size pieces

1 8 oz. block of cream cheese softened

1 1/2 cups Buffalo Wing sauce, I always use Sweet Baby Ray’s

3 stalks of celery, diced fine

3 scallions, cut small

Melt cream cheese and Buffalo wing sauce in a pan over medium heat. Once the cream cheese is melted, you add the chicken, celery and scallions. Set this aside while you make the cheese sauce. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Just rehear before you add the cooked pasta.

Melting cream cheese into the a Buffalo Sauce.

Instructions for macaroni:

8 oz. dry elbow macaroni, 2 cups

Boil water and don’t forget to liberally salt the water. Boil for 8 minutes. You can boil noodles while making cheese sauce.

Check out this creamy, cheesy sauce.

Ingredients for Cheese Sauce:

1/2 stick of butter, 1/4 cup

1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

2 cups milk

2 cups cheese, I used mozzarella

More cheese for the top of casserole

Just wait until you dive into this yumminess.

Melt butter in a saucepan, medium to low heat. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Stir continuously until mixture is smooth and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Slowly pour in your milk and whisk to combine. Add 2 cups of cheese.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan (mine was 8 x12”) with nonstick cooking spray.

Without the cheese topping.
With the cheese topping before it lands in the oven.
Bon Appetite!

Once buffalo chicken is made, you can add the cooked macaroni and cheese sauce together. Pour into casserole dish. I topped my Buffalo Macaroni and Cheese with a combination of mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Bleu cheese crumbles would also be delicious but I forgot to buy them. Bake in the oven until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Corona Cheese and Green Chile Beer Bread

Corona Cheese and Green Chile Bread hot out of the oven.

I love beer bread. It’s been many years since I made any. The easy thing about beer bread, no proofing yeast, no kneading, just stir and bake. I think of this bread as a Mexican Beer Bread. There is nothing more delicious than warm buttery bread out of the oven.

Ingredients:

2 2/3 cups self rising flour

1/4 cup sugar (this does not make the bread sweet)

1 bottle (12 oz.) Corona Beer, room temperature

1 4 oz. can mild green chiles, drained well

1 1/2 cups Mexican blend grated cheese

4 Tablespoons butter, melted and divided

Make sure Green chiles are drained and squeezed dry of liquid from the can. *
When beer is added, it will become foamy. Beer activates the flour.
One can never add too much cheese! 😉
Butter makes a moist and flavorful bread.
Ready for the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your loaf pan with non-stick spray or butter it.

In a mixing bowl, add flour and sugar. Whisk together. Add green chiles and beer. Stir to combine. Once combined, stir in cheese. Add 2 Tablespoons of the melted butter. Blend well and pour into loaf pan.

Right after the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter was added I would bake a little more if you did not add cheese topping.
Cheese topping added.

Bake for 60 minutes and brush the remaining melted butter over the top and pour the leftover butter down the sides of the bread. At this point in time, you can bake until golden brown for a few minutes or top with cheese as I did and bake about 7 more minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely before slicing. If you are like me, that is pure torture. You can enjoy it warm/hot but it may crumble some if it’s hot. I know this because I could not wait. This is a delicious savory bread that’s great with salads, soups, stews, chowders and delicious on its own. Enjoy!

*I used several paper towels and squeezed it to get the excess liquid removed from the green chiles.

Everything But The Bagel BLT

It’s no secret that BLT’s are one of my favorite sandwiches. I really love adding avocado and pickled onions to my sandwich too. I recently saw Katie Lee from Food Network make this sandwich and all the credit for the bacon goes to her.

Ingredients:

Bacon (do not buy thick slice) pork, turkey or chicken bacon works

Ketchup

Everything But The Bagel Seasoning*

Bread, toast it if desired

Mayonnaise

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Pickled onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a pan with foil if you want easy cleanup. Place a baking rack in your baking pan, I used a cooling rack (like what I cool cookies on). Lay bacon on the rack. Lightly brush bacon with ketchup (this makes the seasoning stick and it adds a tomato flavor to the bacon). Sprinkle Everything But The Bagel Seasoning on the bacon. My jar had a shaker top but I applied the seasoning using my fingers so I would not waste it. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. I like my bacon crispy do I baked mine 20 minutes. Thick bacon takes a long time to crisp up in the oven so that is why I suggested to use regular sliced bacon. Let rest 5 minutes and assemble your delicious sandwich. Enjoy!

*Everything But The Bagel Seasoning can be purchased at Trader Joe’s, Amazon and my grocery store also sells it.

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Easy Pickled Onions

Pickling Time One Week

I love pickled onions. This is my second attempt in making them. I made them last year and tossed them. I believe I have it down pat now. Trust me when I say this, no canning skills are necessary. (I have none!)

Ingredients:

1 large purple onion, sliced thin

4 cups boiling water

I/2 cup white distilled vinegar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

9 Tablespoons of sugar, heaping

8 peppercorns

10 Second Water Bath

Boil water, when it’s a rapid boil, remove from heat and place onions in the pan. Count to 10 and drain in a colander. Place onions in small canning jars or any glass jar with a lid. This process softens the onions. In a bowl or large measuring cup with a spout, combine vinegars, salt, sugar and peppercorns. Stir until salt and sugar is combined. Pour liquid over onions and seal with lid. Leave on the counter until the jars are room temperature. Refrigerate once they become room temperature.

Soften Onions
Vinegar Added To Onions

I love pickled onions on salads, tacos, burgers, sandwiches and anything I put onions on. A new recipe coming is your way using this pickled onion recipe. These will keep in refrigerator two to three weeks easily. Enjoy!

Red, White And Blueberry Cupcakes

Red, White And Blueberry Cupcakes
Everyone in the pool!
Baking to perfection.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups a flour

1 cup sugar

11/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 egg

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

2-3 Tablespoons cornstarch to toss blueberries in

Maraschino cherries for garnish

Blueberries for garnish

Willow’s best friend Maggie. ❤️❤️❤️
My babygirl Willow ❤️

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Add dry ingredients to your mixing bowl and whisk. Set aside.

Add milk, oil, vanilla and egg in a medium size bowl. Blend together. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Toss blueberries with cornstarch. Stir blueberries into cupcake batter. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full. Bake 15-17 minutes or until done. Remove cupcakes from oven. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from cupcake pan and cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 stick of butter, softened*

1/2 cup of Crisco shortening

4 cups of powdered sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla

2-3 teaspoons milk

Blend butter and shortening together. *If you are using salted butter, you do not need to add anymore salt. If you are using unsalted butter, add up to a teaspoon to the butter shortening mixture. Slowly add powdered sugar to the butter/shortening mixture. Blend to combine. Add vanilla and milk according to the desired consistency for piping on cupcakes. As always, I used a Wilton 1M tip to decorate my cupcakes. Garnish with a stemmed maraschino cherry and blueberry. Enjoy!

Sign of a delicious cupcake. That’s a wrap!