Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Blondies

I am always looking for good pumpkin recipes in the fall. This did not disappoint - it's a bonus when you have all of the ingredients on hand. I frozen these and plan to serve at a girls night next weekend.

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Pumpkin Blondies
Source: Annie's Eats

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (see note)
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups granulated sugar (or brown sugar)
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
½ cup chopped, toasted nuts (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree. With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate and butterscotch chips (and nuts, if using) with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.

To serve, lift the cake from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off foil and using a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares.

If you don't have pumpkin pie spice on hand - I dug this up as a way to make from spices:
Measure 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon into a small bowl or cup.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger.
Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice or ground cloves.
Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
Stir to blend.
Makes 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Laughing Cow Chicken

I've seen this recipe floating around for a bit. Since I think laughing cow is darn near the perfect snack~ I had to try it! It didn't disappoint. Ben is not a fan of laughing cow cheese.... so, I served this to him without divulging the namesake ingredient. His comment were how moist the chicken was.... cha-ching.... dinner success!

I should be able to get back to taking recipe photos soon... My lovely husband treated me to a new camera for our 1st anniversary!

At any rate, make this & enjoy!

Laughing Cow Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, rinsed & dried
2 Laughing Cow cheese wedges
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup Panko or Italian seasoned bread crumbs - I used a mix of both
Salt & Pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350.

Slit the chicken breast & stuff with the cheese. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.
Season the flour with salt & pepper.
Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour.
Spray the breasts with cooking spray.
Roll in the panko/breadcrumbs.
Cover baking dish with foil.
Bake about 1 hour. Take the foil off for the last 15 minutes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Ben has been asking for stuffing. I found this recipe on the back of the stuffing box. Easy, quick, most ingredients will be things on hand. Husband approved. Try it!

Bruschetta Chicken Bake
Source: Stove Top Box

1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (I might try salsa next time, we like tomatoes to be in the smallest form possible!)
1 package Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Chicken (they do have a whole wheat)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in bite sized pieces (I just pounded the breasts out & cut in smaller pieces ~ about 5 pieces)
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 400. Place tomatoes with their liquid in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, 1/2 cup hot water and the garlic. Stir just until the stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside.

Place the chicken in 13X9 baking dish; sprinkle with basil and cheese. Top with the prepared stuffing.

Bake 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (170).

Serves 4-5.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Garlic Lime Chicken

I found this recipe on Le Petit Pierogi. I've kept it hand for a night just like tonight ~ one of those nights where ~ you have some chicken thawed with no plan for it. And wanted to use only ingredients on hand. It turned out great. I served it with a big salad and some couscous ~ the sauce really spruced up the couscous. It can be baked or pan fried.

Garlic Lime Chicken

3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I used chicken breasts, pounded thin)

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons lime juice (I use the juice of a lime)
2-3 tbsp. chicken stock
2 garlic cloves, minced

In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley. Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of chicken breasts. Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side. In another small bowl, combine lime juice, chicken stock and fresh garlic cloves and pour over cooked chicken breasts. Cook an additional 5 minutes or so, or until sauce has started to thicken. Stir frequently to coat evenly with sauce.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Peanut Butter Frosting

The perfect complement to the Reese's Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake ~ and I am sure so many other things....

Peanut Butter Frosting


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Reese's Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

So, for Ben's birthday ~ I decided I wanted to make a cake. After much searching, I settled on this one. And WOW! was it a good choice! It may be my baking masterpiece to date. Rave reviews from the whole family. Happy Birthday Ben!

Reese's Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Source: Annie's Eats

For the cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional)
For decorating
1 ½ – 2 batches
peanut butter frosting
Miniature Reese’s cups, halved and/or chopped

1. For the cake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 9×2” round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Place the pans on a baking sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly blended into the butter. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients). Mix each addition only until it is blended into the batter. Scrape down the bowl and add the melted chocolate, if using, folding it in with a spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. 4. Bake for 26-30 minutes or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
5. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cardboard circle covered in foil. Spread peanut butter frosting on top of the cake layer. (If desired, sprinkle with chopped Reese’s cups.) Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting. Frost the top and outside of the cake with remaining peanut butter frosting. Decorate with halved and chopped Reese’s cups as desired.

Cheez-It Chicken

Brilliant! Cheez its & chicken!! So easy & really good. Try it! Thanks The Novice Chef for sharing and making Weight Watchers friendly.

Cheez-It Chicken
Source: The Novice Chef

1/2 cup Reduced Fat Cheez-Its, crushed
1/2 cup fat free buttermilk (can use 1 tsp. vinegar and 1/2 cup fat free milk)
3 TBSP. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 lb. chicken breasts (I used chicken tenders)
4 tsp. Canola oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Pour the buttermilk (vinegar/milk mixture) into a large shallow bowl. On a sheet of wax paper combine the Cheez-It crumbs, flour, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk, then dredge in the Cheez-It mixture, coating completely.

Place the chicken on the baking sheets, drizzle with the canola oil.

If you are using chicken breasts cook for 30 minutes, then turn chicken over and bake until cooked through; 15 - 20 minutes.

If you are using chicken tenders, cook for 15 minutes, then turn chicken over and bake until cooked through; 10 - 15 minutes.