Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Two Pumpkin Pies from Scratch: Maple & Dulce de Leche

I went to Goebbert's Pumpkin Patch with my sister and we picked out pumpkins for each of us. I got some fun shots of us there!

While I was there, I grabbed a sugar pumpkin! I've never made pumpkin puree from scratch, so why not be adventurous!?

Here is my beautiful sugar pumpkin:

I started by taking a butter knife and prying the stem off.

I then cut the pumpkin in half.

I scooped out the seeds and fibrous pumpkin strings.

I then quartered the pumpkin and laid them on a foil lined baking sheet with a lip.

I poured about a cup of water in the pan and then covered the pumpkin with aluminum foil.

I threw the pumpkin into a 400 degree oven for 35-45 minutes, depending on the size. When you pierce the meat with a fork and it goes through smoothly -- that's when you know its done.

The skin should basically peel itself.

I put the sugar pumpkin meat into my food processor and let it rip!

Beautiful! It's ready to go for all your pumpkin recipe's!

Prepping the Pie Shells:
I started with a frozen deep-dish 9 in pie shell and lined it with foil (if you have dried beans or ceramic baking beans, go ahead and fill up the pie shell with them). I then baked my pie shells in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.

I then reduced the heat to 350 degrees and got started on the fillings.

Maple Pumpkin Pie Recipe:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup half & half
  • 6 tbs pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 6 tbs packed brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 tsp flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, add half & half, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  • In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, brown sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  • Add egg mix to pumpkin mix and whisk until blended.
  • Bake 1 hr 5 min, or until the filling is puffed around the edges and the center moves slightly when shaken.

Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Pie Recipe:
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp allspice or nutmeg
  • In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and spices. 
  • Whisk in eggs to the mix
  • Bake for about 55 min or until filling is puffed up.

They were so yummy in their own ways! The maple pumpkin pie was more traditional and the dulce de leche pumpkin pie almost had a flan taste to it. Definitely making them again!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme

I'm so excited to share this how-to because I LOVE Crunchwrap Supremes. And making them at home guarantees freshness and quality!

Here's my assembly line:

  • Taco meat -- cook down ground beef, drain fat, add taco seasoning packet & water (follow directions on the packet)
  • Nacho cheese sauce
  • Shredded mexican cheese blend
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tostadas
  • Burrito sized tortillas
  • Salsa (optional)
  • 9 in flour tortillas (optional)
  • Re-fried beans (optional)
I started with a layer of ground beef -- the same size as one tostada. Go ahead and grab a tostada and place it on the meat to guarantee you have the right amount of meat.

If I was using re-fried beans, I would spread a thin layer on the tortilla and then put the meat on top of it.

I drizzled on that luscious nacho cheese sauce. Super healthy ;)

I couldn't forget the shredded cheese!

I laid one tostada on top...

... and spread a thin layer of sour cream on top.

I placed the lettuce right on the sour cream.

Last but not least -- the tomatoes! (Optional, of course)

When I wrapped the tortilla around the filling, there was a substantial opening, and I happened to have 9 in tortillas -- so I cut one into fours...

... and placed it right on top! If you don't have a 9 in tortilla laying around, go ahead and slice the burrito size tortilla.

I wrapped the edges around the filling -- just as I would if I were making a galette.

My tomatoes made mine a little bigger, but my husband's turned out perfect!

I pre-heated a non-stick skillet and placed the crunchwrap supreme top side down and let the tortilla get warm and crunchy!

I flipped my masterpiece over and let the other side go for a bit.

Our condiments: Taco Bell Hot Sauce and Green Pepper Tabasco.

These were a hit! It's the perfect family dinner night idea because you can customize each one.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Prosciutto & Smoked Mozzarella Crescent Rolls

I can't help it -- I have an addiction to crescent rolls. For these flavorful appetizers, you just need 3 ingredients: Big & Buttery Crescent rolls, smoked mozzarella (or your favorite cheese), and sliced prosciutto.

Will helped me open the crescent roll container and I prepared the rolls two at a time. 
It's so simple, I just layered 1/2 to one slice of prosciutto on each triangle and 2 sticks of cheese.

Then, I just rolled them up...

... and placed them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper -- which makes for an easy clean-up!

After hanging out in a 350 degree oven for 13 minutes, they were ready!

I'm telling you, these were so good -- definitely making them again!

Friday, October 18, 2013

DIY: Burlap Table Runner

My long table was looking drab for this beautiful Fall season so I decided to spruce it up!

I bought 12 in x 15 ft brown burlap, 5 1/2 in x 15 ft red burlap, and a beautiful chevron brown & red burlap ribbon. 

I ran the burlap across the table and cut the brown and red ribbon so they were the same length. The overhang was about 8-12 inches. I then cinched and tied a bow at each end.

Love it!

If you make your own table runner, share your before & after pics!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Peanut Sesame Noodles w/ Chicken & Veggies

Before I even begin, can we just take 1 second to admire the beautiful bell pepper pictured below? Okay, good. Let's move on!

I julienned 2 bell peppers and sliced 4 baby portobello mushrooms. (Feel free to use any veggies you have on hand!)

I then took one chicken breasts and cut it into small strips about the same size as the peppers.

I heated some vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet and threw in the chicken.

While my poultry was cooking, I worked on putting the sauce together.

All of the sauce ingredients will need to go in a food processor or blender,

It starts with 1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter.

1/4 cup of soy sauce.

1/3 cup of warm water.

3/4 tbsp of ginger.

1 chopped medium garlic clove.

2 tbsp of red wine vinegar.

1 1/2 tbsp Asian sesame oil.

2 tsp of honey.

1 tsp of dried hot red pepper flakes.

Time up mix it up!

Perfect! Let the sauce hang out while you finish cooking the chicken and veggies.

Once the chicken is all cooked...

... push it to one side of the skillet and cook the veggies. I added a little more vegetable oil before adding the peppers and mushrooms.

One they're cooked, I added on the peanut sauce.

I then grabbed my stir-fry noodles and used both packages.

I mixed the noodles in with the chicken, veggies, and sauce until it was hot.

I topped off this masterpiece with some chow mien noodles!