Spiced Peaches

I am sure you all have a family favorite that your mom, dad. grandmother or other family member made every Thanksgiving Day.  Spiced Peaches is the one side dish what I remember on Thanksgiving.  Surprising, Spiced Peaches my husband also remembers his mom making every Thanksgiving when he was growing up.  Interesting since they lived on opposite coasts and entirely different regions of the country. However, they were the same generation and that might be the clue as to why Spiced Peaches were so popular when we were growing up.  Anyway, I have always made Spiced Peaches on Thanksgiving carrying on my mom’s tradition and now my family requests them each year.  This is the recipe that my mom always used for her Spiced Peaches. So easy to prepare in advance and great to serve along side your Thanksgiving favorites.  I can guarantee you they will be on our dinner table this Thanksgiving!

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Spiced Peaches

Ingredients

  • 2 -29 oz. cans peach halves in syrup
  • 3-6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Heat to boiling, simmer for five minutes..  Remove of heat.  Let cool in the spiced syrup.  Refrigerate until serving.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

It’s November and one week before Thanksgiving; time to pull out those pumpkin recipes.  This recipe is one of our favorites.  The best thing about muffins is they are easy to prepare, quick to bake and a great treat on a cool fall day.  These muffins are perfect to serve on Thanksgiving morning while watching the Thanksgiving Day parades.  

 

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Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup assorted chopped dried fruit (you can use one dried fruit or a combination of raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries, and/or dried apples
  • Streusel Topping
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoon finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line 12 muffins cups with liners.

    In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  In another medium bowl combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, brown sugar, butter and dried fruit.  Mix well.  Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture and mix just until all of the dry mixture is incorporated. Divide mixture evenly between 12 muffin cups. Combine streusel ingredients - sugar, nuts and cinnamon, sprinkle over muffins.  Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Remove to a wire rack, cool slightly. Serve warm, makes 12 muffins

Apple Empanadas

Looking for an easy dessert for your next tailgate or wine picnic?  Empanadas are easy to make and a great make and take treat. I was thinking of making fried apple pies but I really would prefer to bake than fry.  I had a few empanada wrappers left over from making my lamb stew empanadas and decided to make apple empanadas.   These are so easy to make when you use prepared wrappers.  I received a tip from a dear friend of mine about La Salenta empanada wrappers for baking (read the wrapper, some are for frying and some for baking).  They are flaky and delicious and made for convenience.  This brand is under the General Mills umbrella of products and should be easy to find in most locations.  I purchased mine at the local mart specializing in international foods.   These would be equally delicious with any filling you select, I must admit the apple filling is one of my favorites.

                                        

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Apple Empanadas

Ingredients

  • 10 empanadas wrappers
  • 2 apples, small diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • milk, to brush on tops
  • sugar, to sprinkle on tops

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, lemon juice and salt.   Cook 20 - 25 minutes or until the apples are soft and the sauce has reduced.  Stir frequently. Stir in cranberries.  Cool filling.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take each empanada wrapper and brush sides with beaten egg.  Place approx. 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each wrapper.  Fold in half and pinch to seal.  Crimp edges with a fork. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat until you have filled all of the wrappers.  Make two small slices in the top of each empanada.  Brush the top of each with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Mexican Corn Soup

Typically, recipes for Mexican style soups use prepared taco seasoning mixes.   This recipe is based on a corn based broth and easy to find ingredients that make this soup, in my opinion, one of the tastiest soups you can make in very little time.  The fresh chips are so good you will want to make them as a snack, even when you are not making the soup.  If you have leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken, you can simplify this recipe by simply shredding the chicken and adding that to the broth.

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Mexican Corn Soup

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
  • 4 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 - 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • canola oil for frying
  • salt and pepper
  • condiments salsa, sour cream, diced avocado

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree corn in chicken broth.  In a large dutch oven, melt butter, add corn puree and cook over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes.  Add milk, cumin, tomatoes, green chilies, Tabasco sauce, and a 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.  Bring mixture to a boil,  add chicken breasts, reduce heat to medium low and cover.  Cook 25 minutes, stirring frequently  Remove chicken breasts, shred chicken and return to soup.  Simmer an additional 25 minutes.  

    Stack tortillas and cut into 8 wedges.  Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy skillet and fry tortillas until golden.  Remove to a paper towel lined baking sheet and sprinke with salt.  Serve soup with desired condiments and top with tortilla chips.

Maple Popcorn

Since my childhood I always associate Halloween with popcorn, apple cider and powdered sugar donuts.  I think the reason might be one of our neighbor’s when I was growing up always made the neighborhood children popcorn balls for Halloween.   Apple cider and donuts is an easy one, my elementary school always had a Harvest Festival and always served apple cider and powdered sugar donuts.  Isn’t it always fascinating how we associate certain foods with holidays and traditions.  To stick with my memories, I wanted to share this favorite recipe for popcorn.  It is a bit different from typical caramel popcorn since the identifying ingredient is maple syrup.  After this popcorn bakes, it is like eating maple sugar coated popcorn.  Always a hit no matter where I take it.  

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Maple Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 3 bags `microwave popcorn/plain, with added sea salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Pop corn as directed on package, pour into extra large bowl or roasting pan.  Combine butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla and immediately pour over popcorn.  Stir quickly, mixture will be extremely hot.  Stir until all of the popcorn is coated or almost coated. Pour onto foil lined baking sheets and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stir every 15 minutes.  Cool and serve

Sticky Shrimp

I am always playing around with new recipes and this time I had a pound of shrimp and I wanted to make a quick to prepare dinner.  I mixed together a honey soy bourbon marinade.  This is the perfect under 30 minute dish and absolutely sensational.  I served this along side vegetable fried rice.  Keep this recipe handy when time is short and you are hungry!

5 from 1 vote
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Sticky Shrimp

Servings 3

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • green onions, minced
  • 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined, I left the tails on

Instructions

  1. Combine the honey, soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice, bourbon and red pepper flakes.  Mix well and pour 1/2 of the marinade over the shrimp, marinate for 20 minutes.  Reserve the remaining sauce.   In a large skillet, melt butter.  Drain shrimp and add to the melted butter.  Pour over the remaining 1/2 of marinade.  Cook over medium high heat stirring frequently until the shrimp have turned pink.  Remove shrimp from the skillet, turn heat to high and reduce the sauce until thick.  Pour over cooked shrimp, serve.

Pumpkin Cranberry Pecan Biscotti

I think I could write a cookbook just on biscotti.  This is my fifth post featuring various biscotti recipes.  I think biscotti are the perfect cookie, great for breakfast with a cup of coffee, afternoon with a cup of tea, or a delightful dessert or late evening treat with a cup of coffee or glass of wine.   Make an assortment and package as gifts, sure to be a hit with all on your list. 

 

 

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Pumpkin Pecan Cranberry Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, mix well.  In a large mixing bowl, combine puree, egg, vanilla, and butter.  Mix at medium speed until combined, slowly add dry mixture, combine until all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated.  Stir in pecans and cranberries.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface knead slighty, divide into two pieces.  Form each piece into a log approx. 12 inches by 2 inches.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake logs for 25 minutes, remove and let cool for 15 minutes.  Slice the logs diagonally in 1/2 inch slices and return to baking sheet cut side up.  Return to oven and bake at 325 an additional 15 minutes - flip pieces after 7 minutes.  Cool

Incredible Lamb Stew

I wanted to make a lamb stew and just kept adding ingredients to a recipe from my recipe box.  Make this on a day when you have time at home and can enjoy the wonderful aroma.  Great for a day home watching football.  With the small amount of leftovers I had, I made empanadas (look for my post next week on how to make easy empanadas!).  It was great to get two totally different meals out of this one simple dish.

 

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Incredible Lamb Stew

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds cubed lamb
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, amount depends on hot much heat you want
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Instructions

  1. In a dutch oven, heat oil, add onion, carrot and celery.  Cook over medium heat for 8 - 10 minutes or until onion is transparent.  Remove mixture, add lamb cubes and brown on all sides.  Return onion mixture to the pan.  Combine turmeric, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Sprinkle over meat and vegetables, toss to combine.  Add chicken broth, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for 1 hour.  After one hour, add chickpeas and cook uncovered for an addition 1 1/2 hours, stir occasionally.  Add tomato paste, lime juice, vinegar and brown sugar.  Cook until thickened approx. 30 - 40 minutes.  Stir  occasionally.  Serve with rice.

Sweet Potato Rolls/Interesting Find – Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter

I had a large sweet potato sitting in my vegetable basket and thought today would be the perfect day to make Sweet Potato Rolls.  The leaves are turning and I am thinking fall foods.  This recipe makes thirty-six rolls so a definite recipe to try if you are having company over the fall holidays.  The first batch I made dinner roll size and then decided to give a creative twist and make pumpkin shaped rolls – easy to do – take your round dinner rolls, before baking flatten sightly, cut eight small cuts around the edges.  Poke the middle with the end of a wooden spoon, insert a sliver of pecan and bake.  

I came across Georgia Grinders at a Farmers Market in Atlanta.  I am a true fan of peanut butter and thought I would pick up a jar of their pecan butter.  When these rolls were baking, I thought the pecan butter would be a wonderful accompaniment and I sure was on target.  A wonderful combination of flavors. 

 

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Sweet Potato Rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 - 4 cups white flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 large sweet potato, cooked and pulp scooped out, approx. 1 cup

Instructions

  1. To bake sweet potato, scrub and poke with a fork several times.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  Remove, slice in half to cool, scoop out pulp.

    In a stand mixer with a dough hook : combine water, yeast and brown sugar, let stand for 5 minutes.  Slowly add remaining ingredients (add 3 cups of white flour), once all combined, knead at medium speed for 4 minutes. (Dough will be sticky.  If the dough does not pull away from the side of the bowl, add additional white flour 1/4 cup at a time.) Turn dough into a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour or until double.  After 1 hour, punch dough down.  Divide dough into 3 portions, one at a time put each portion of dough on a well floured board.  Divide each third into 12 portions, shape into balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Cover with a clean towel and let rise for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake each tray of rolls for 15 - 17 minutes.  Remove and cool on a wire rack.

    To make pumpkin shaped rolls:  After the rolls have risen for 20 minutes, gently pat down the roll, cut 8 slits around the edge of each roll.  Insert the end of a wooden spoon in the center, place a pecan sliver in each.  Let rest 15 minutes, bake as directed above.

 

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-whah”) is a seed that has more protein than any other grain or seed.  It has a nutty flavor that is perfect to add to many types of salads.  This salad is easy to prepare and delicious tossed with a quick lemon vinaigrette.  It would also be a great salad to stir in chicken, steak, salmon, or shrimp. For those of you looking for a lunch-to-go or picnic salad, Quinoa Salad is perfect.   

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Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large seedless cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, minced

Instructions

  1. Combine quinoa, salt and 1 1/4 up water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, let stand for five minutes.  Fluff with a fork, let cool.

    Combine lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil , whisk to combine, season with salt and pepper.  When quinoa has cooled, combine with 1/4 cup of dressing, mix well, refrigerate.  At this point you can refrigerate overnight.  When ready to serve, combine with remaining ingredients, drizzle remaining dressing over.