I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Banana Pumpkin Bread

I love all the things that I can make with pumpkin.   This is so moist and wonderful.   The mixture of banana, pumpkin & spices make this bread awesome.   I like to make this bread into muffins or mini loafs.  Great with a mug of hot apple cider.

(makes 1 loaf or 24 muffins)

*3 very ripe bananas, mashed
*2 large eggs, room temperature
*1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
*1 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
*1/2 cup honey
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
*3/4 cup dried cranberries
*1/4 cup chocolate chips
*1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

~Preheat over to 350 degrees.
~Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan, muffin tins or mini loaf pans with a cooking spray.
~In a large mixing bowl, mix bananas, eggs, applesauce, pumpkin puree, honey & sugar.
~In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & cloves together.
~Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
~Fold in cranberries, chocolate chips & walnuts.
~Pour mixture into prepared pans.
~Bake the large loaf pan for 40-45 minutes.  Bake the mini loaf pans for 25-30 minutes.  Bake the muffins for 18-22 minutes.  Toothpick should come out clean when inserted into bread.
~If using the large loaf pan, cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.  If using a mini loaf pan, let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.  If using muffin pan, remove after sitting for 2-3 minutes (I usually will use paper liners & spray them for the muffin pans.   Those you can remove immediately after removing from the oven).

`substitute dried cranberries with raisins.
`substitute dried cranberries with dried blueberries.
`substitute chocolate chips with butterscotch chips.
`omit dried cranberries, nuts or chocolate chips or all if you want.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Snicker-doodles with Maple Cream Frosting

This cookie recipe screams "Fall Time" to me.   With the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & maple in the cookies, how can you not help but think fall.   I think this goes wonderful with a hot cup of apple cider or hot tea.

(makes 4 dozen)

Cookie Ingredients:
*3 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
*1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
*1 cup butter, room temperature
*1 cup granulated sugar
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*3/4 cup pumpkin puree
*1 large egg, room temperature
*2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Frosting Ingredients:
*1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
*1 stick butter, room temperature
*1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
*2 cups confectioners sugar

Cookie Directions:
~In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger.
~In a large mixing bowl, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar & butter together until mixture is light & fluffy.
~Mix in the pumpkin puree, egg & vanilla until well mixed.
~Mix in the dry ingredients.
~Cover & chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (I leave mine over night).
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray cookie sheet with a cooking spray.
~In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar & 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon.
~Set cinnamon sugar aside.
~Scoop cookie dough and roll into balls.
~Roll the cookie dough ball into the cinnamon sugar and put onto the prepared cookie sheet.
~Flatten the cookie dough with the back of a spoon or the bottom of a glass.
~Bake for 10-12 minutes.
~Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes.
~Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Maple Cream Frosting Directions:
~In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese & 1/2 cup butter together until smooth.
~Add maple flavoring, and mix through.
~Add powdered sugar, and continue beating until mixed well & smooth.
~Spread on cooled cookies.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte

So easy to make and much cheaper than Starbucks.  If you really like the pumpkin flavoring, pour in the full 2 ounces of syrup.  You can make the coffee as strong as you like it, or just use a couple shots of expresso.  I do not like coffee, but everyone I made it for seemed to love it.   I'm thinking this is about 50 cents to make (if you already have the spices).


Pumpkin Syrup Ingredients:
*1 1/2 cups water
*1 1/2 cups sugar, sifted
*4 cinnamon sticks
*1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*3 tablespoons pumpkin puree

Directions for Pumpkin Syrup:
~Sift sugar 4 or 5 times.
~In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water & sugar.
~Cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring often.
~Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
~Simmer for 10 minutes (Do Not Boil).
~Remove from heat.
~Put a small mesh strainer over a small/medium bowl.
~Place a piece of cheesecloth in the strainer.
~Pour pumpkin syrup into the mesh and let it drain into the bowl (let it drain on it's own, without pushing it through).
~Allow syrup to cool, and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Ingredients to make the latte:
*1/2 -1 cup very strong brewed coffee
*1 cup milk (whole is best, but 2% is better for you)
*1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
*1-2 ounces pumpkin syrup
*dash of pumpkin pie spice
*whip cream (I use homemade)

Directions for making the latte (per cup):
~Brew 1 cup of very strong coffee.
~In a small saucepan, mix milk, 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice & pumpkin syrup.
~Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is hot but not scalding.
~Pour hot mixture into blender.
~Mix at highest setting for 30 seconds, until frothy.
~Pour hot mixture into coffee cup.
~Pour in coffee.
~Top with whip cream.
~Sprinkle a dash of pumpkin pie spice & enjoy.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pull Apart Pumpkin Bread with a Maple Glaze

Fall time to me means pumpkin recipes.  This is a great bread to make for Thanksgiving breakfast.   It is a gooey, sweet, fluffy amazing bread of wonderful fall tastes.

(serves 8)

Bread Ingredients:
*2 tablespoons butter
*1/2 cup whole milk
*1 (envelope) active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
*3/4 cup pumpkin puree
*1/4 cup granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon salt
*2 1/2 cups bread flour, sifted
*1 cup granulated sugar
*2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Maple Glaze Ingredients: 
*2 1/2 tablespoons butter
*1/4 cup brown sugar
*1 cup powdered sugar
*1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
Bread Directions:
~In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, brown 2 tablespoons butter.
~Allow the butter to bubble up and turn a golden brown, but be careful not to burn it.
~Remove from heat and add milk.
~Return to the burner and heat through.
~Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.
~Allow hot mixture to cool down to warm (about 110 degrees).
~Add yeast & 1/4 cup granulated sugar and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
~Add pumpkin puree, salt & 1 cup flour.
~Mix, add rest of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing between each addition.
~Knead dough, until dough is smooth & elastic and a little sticky.
~Place dough into greased large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.
~Allow to rise is a warm, draft free, area for 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
~In a medium saucepan, brown 2 tablespoon butter, careful not to let it burn.

~Remove from stove.
~Add 1 cup granulated sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg and mix, set aside.
~Grease & lightly flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
~Once dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
~Knead for 2 minutes.
~Allow dough to rest for 5 minutes.
~Roll dough into a 20x12 inch rectangle.
~Sprinkle dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture and press gently into dough.
~Cut into 6 strips.
~Lay the strips on top on each other
~Cut stacked strips into 6 even squares.
~Stack dough strips vertically into prepared loaf pan.
~Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a dark golden brown.
~Use a butter knife to loosen all the sides of the bread.
~Gently turn it onto a plate.
~Place another plate on top of the bread and flip it right side up.

Maple Glaze Directions:
~In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, mix butter, milk & brown sugar.
~Bring to a boil and remove from stove.
~Stir in maple flavoring & powdered sugar.
~Whisk until it's smooth.
~Drizzle over top of bread.
~Serve warm.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chipotle Nacho Cheese

I love homemade nacho cheese.  It is a great base for homemade nacho supreme.  You will want to prep all your ingredients before making it.   Very quick to make.   You will also want to keep it warm while you are dipping your tortillas.  It will set when it gets cold.  You can make this as spicy as you like.   My recipe is fairly mild.  Just make sure you taste as you add more hot sauce and add only a little at a time.


*1 1/2 tablespoons butter
*1 tablespoon corn starch
*2/3 cup whole milk
*1/4 cup cream cheese, cubed small
*1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
*3/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
*1/2-1 tablespoon hot sauce
*1 teaspoon chili powder
*1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper

~Melt butter in a medium, sturdy, saucepan, over medium-low heat.
~Whisk in corn starch.
~Add milk & cream cheese, stir until cream cheese is melted, smooth & slightly thickened.
~Add the cheddar & monterey jack cheese, stir until melted.
~Stir in chili powder & chipotle chile pepper.
~Stir in hot sauce until mixed & serve with or over tacos or tortilla chips.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chicken Roll-Ups

This can be mild or spicy, depending on how hot you like your salsa.  It's an easy meal to make and tastes wonderful.  I love that this is baked and not fried.  I like to serve this with sour cream.

(makes 6)

*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1 small yellow onion, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 cups salsa (I make my own)
*3 tablespoons water
*1/8 cup chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked & shredded
*1 cup refried beans
*1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
*6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
*2 tablespoon olive oil
*Chipotle Sauce (optional)

~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~Spray a baking dish with a cooking spray.
~In a large saucepan, over medium heat 2 tablespoons olive oil.
~Saute onion & garlic, until onion is translucent.
~Stir in salsa, water, chili powder, cumin & cinnamon.
~Blend mixture in a blender or with a immersion blender, until smooth.
~Return to saucepan, stir in chicken and cook until heated.
~Divide refried beans evenly down the center of each tortilla.
~Divide the  chicken/salsa mixture over the refried beans.
~Sprinkle cheese evenly over the chicken/salsa mixture.
~Fold tortillas & secure with toothpicks.
~Place seam-side down into prepared baking dish.
~Brush 2 tablespoon olive oil over tortillas.
~Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes until golden brown.
~Dip in Chipotle Sauce (optional)

**If you want to freeze them, but have them taste fresh.
    `before you bake them, roll them up in aluminum foil.
    `when you are ready to eat them, put in oven frozen & still wrapped and bake for
     40 minutes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thai Chicken Wraps

A wonderful, filling, easy to make, healthy meal.  I really like the mixture of tastes in this recipe & the hint of heat.  Before you ask the broccoli slaw is a package mix that you can buy in the grocery store or you can make your own.  Only 285 calories.

(serves 4)

*1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast strips
*1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*4 cups broccoli slaw
*1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
*3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
*2 tablespoons water
*1 tablespoon soy sauce
*1 garlic clove, minced
*2-4 teaspoon hot sauce (depending on how hot you like)
*4 (10 inch) whole wheat tortillas, warmed or low carb wraps

~Sprinkle chicken strips with garlic salt & pepper.
~Spray a large frying pan with a cooking spray.
~Cook chicken over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink.
~Remove from pan, wrap with aluminum foil to keep warm.
~Add broccoli slaw & ground ginger to pan.
~Cook for 3 minutes.
~In a small saucepan, over low heat mix  peanut butter, water, soy sauce, minced garlic, & hot sauce.
~Cook until smooth, whisking continually.
~Spread tortillas with peanut sauce.
~Divide chicken evenly over the wraps.
~Divide the broccoli slaw evenly over chicken.
~Roll each tortilla.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

This is so simple and quick to put together.   It's very good.  To make it even easier, buy your own marinara sauce.  Another plus side is this one is healthier than my other recipe, because you don't fry the chicken first.

(serves 6)

*2 tablespoons olive oil
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
*6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
*2 cups marinara sauce (I make my own)
*2 teaspoon dried basil
*1 teaspoon dried oregano
*2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded & divided
*1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated & divided
*1 (5 ounce) package of garlic or garlic croutons

~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Spay a 9x13 inch baking dish with a cooking spay.
~Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the baking dish.
~Add minced garlic along the bottom of the baking dish, stir a little in the olive oil
~Sprinkle red pepper flakes evenly over olive oil & garlic.
~Place chicken breasts in dish.
~Pour marinara sauce evenly over chicken, making sure it covers chicken well.
~Sprinkle dried basil & dried oregano evenly over top of marinara sauce.
~Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese over sauce.
~Sprinkle 1/2 cup parmesan cheese over mozzarella cheese.
~Spread croutons over cheese.
~Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella & parmesan cheese over croutons.
~Bake for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mixed Berry Syrup

I could eat this syrup by the spoonfuls.  In fact I think I have.   This is good, over pancakes, waffles,  healthy waffles, french toast and ice cream.

(makes 1 pint)

*1/2 cup water
*2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
*1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
*1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries or raspberries
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
*1 teaspoon grated lemon peel.
*1 teaspoon cornstarch
*1/8 cup cold water

~Blend 1/2 cup water, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, sugar, lemon juice & lemon peel ingredients in a blender.
~Pour mixture into a medium size saucepan.
~Cook over medium heat, stirring often until a light boil.
~Remove from heat.
~Pour mixture through a sieve and into a clean saucepan to remove seeds (I do this twice).
~Bring mixture back up to a light boil, stirring often.
~In a small bowl, whisk 1/8 cup water and corn starch together until smooth.
~Pour cornstarch mixture into berry mixture.
~Whisk and continue cooking until syrup thickens slightly.
~Remove from heat, serve warm or cold.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini-Chicken Boats

A very tasty low-calorie meal.   Great for lunch or dinner.  They are only around 190 calories each.


*2 garlic cloves, minced
*2 cups tomato sauce
*1/2 teaspoon chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon cumin
*2/3 cup chicken stock
*1 teaspoon sea salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
*4 medium zucchini
*1 teaspoon vegetable oil
*1/2 cup green onions, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
*1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
*1 teaspoon dried cilantro
*2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
*1 teaspoon cumin
*1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*1/2 teaspoon chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
*1/4 cup chicken stock
*1 tablespoon tomato paste
*1 teaspoon sea salt
*1/4 teaspoon black pepper
*1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

~Spray a medium saucepan with pam & sauté 2 gloves of minced garlic.
~Add chicken stock, tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper & cayenne pepper.
~Bring to a boil.
~Reduce heat to low & simmer for 15-20 minutes.
~Remove from heat & set aside.
~Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
~Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
~Cut zucchini's in half lengthwise.
~Scoop out pulp from inside of cucumber, leaving around 1/4" thick.
~Chop up pulp & set aside.
~Carefully put cucumber boats into boiling water.  Boil for 2 minutes, remove & set aside.
~In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil.
~Sauté green onions, red & green bell peppers & 2 minced garlic cloves for about 2 minutes.
~Mix in pulp from cucumber.
~Add dried cilantro, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper, water & tomato paste and cook for 6 minutes.
~Add cooked chicken and cook for 4 more minutes.
~Spread 1/4 cup of tomato sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
~Place zucchini boats scooped out side up.
~Fill each zucchini with chicken mixture, pressing mixing down into zucchini.
~Top with tomato sauce mixture.
~Sprinkle cheese over top.
~Bake for 35 minutes, uncovered.

`top with chopped green onions.
`top with chopped black olives
`top with a dollop of sour cream.