Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sweet Honey Pork Tenderloin

Here is another pork tenderloin recipe! If you buy them at Costco, you get two in a pack so I made this recipe tonight to use the other one. This is my favorite tenderloin recipe, it's sweet and a little spicy, so good!

Sweet Honey Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin
1/2 c. Catalina Dressing, divided
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 Tbs. honey

Brush 4 Tbs. dressing over the pork. Combine next five ingredients, pat over pork, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours (can go as long as overnight). Preheat grill to low heat. Place pork on grill, grill 12 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, combine remaining dressing and honey.
After cooking 12 minutes on each side, brush each side with honey mixture and grill an additional 5 minutes on each side.
Remove from grill and cover with aluminum foil, let sit for 5-10 minutes. Slice and serve!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pumpkin Pancakes w/Toasted Walnuts & Maple Syrup

Happy Fall Everyone! This is my favorite time of the year, if I didn't live in Arizona, it would be beautiful outside now, but I do, and it isn't. :)
I had some leftover pumpkin puree that I wanted to use up so I decided to experiment and alter my buttermilk pancake recipe into pumpkin pancakes. I thought they turned out really good and my family loved them. There are all sorts of fun ways to serve these, I wanted to do a cinnamon cream on top, but my cream got pushed to the back of the refrigerator and froze! So I toasted some walnuts (pecans would be good too) and stirred in some pure Maple syrup (I like grade B). If I were my mom, I would have made these into little pumpkin shaped pancakes (I have one of the cutest moms ever!). Anyway, I'm sure you can think of a topping that you will love too.

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
4 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (found in the spice aisle)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c. buttermilk
1 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 c. pumkin puree (from can)

Combine flour through cinnamon. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Make a well in the center and set aside.
Combine buttermilk through pumpkin in separate bowl, whisk to combine. Pour into well of dry ingredients. Stir gently until smooth.
Place large frying pan/skillet on stove top over medium low heat. Let warm up and then grease pan with butter (I like cooking my pancakes in butter instead of cooking spray). Drop batter by 1/4 cups onto skillet. Cook until edges look done and then flip. Makes nine 4 inch pancakes.

In a medium skillet over medium heat I poured in 1/2 c. walnuts. Toast for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add in maple syrup, stir immediately and keep stirring until no longer bubbly, pour over pancakes and serve!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Desserts!

If you're looking for a pumpkin dessert for Thanksgiving, but are tired of the traditional pumpkin pie, try one of these recipes! I normally don't post recipes without pictures, but I wanted to get these recipes out there before Thanksgiving. I'll come back after the holiday and add the picture in. The cheesecake is absolutely to die for! It is so good. The Pumpkin Marble Cake is also really good and a lot less time consuming than the cheesecake!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Walnut Crust
(needs to be made the night before)

6 Tbs. butter, softened
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
3/4 c. flour
1/4 c. finely ground walnuts
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

16 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 c. canned pumpkin puree
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 c. sour cream
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly butter bottom of a 10 inch springform pan.
Beat butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and blend. Add flour, walnuts, and cinnamon and mix until just combined. Do not over mix!
Lightly flour fingertips and press the mixture onto the bottom of a cheesecake pan. Place in the oven and bake 15-20 minutes; set aside to cool. Lower oven temp to 275.
For filling, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and egg yolk and beat well. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and cloves and beat until smooth. Pour into the cooled crust and bake for 1 1/2 hours (90 mins).
Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes at room temp while you make the topping.
Increase the oven temp to 350.
For topping combine the sour cream, brown sugar, and vanilla in a bowl and spread evenly over the top of the warm cheesecake. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes more until topping seems set. Cool completely. Cover and chill overnight!

Pumpkin Marble Cake
Thank you Becky for this Recipe! You're awesome!

1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 boxed yellow cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. vegetable oil

Optional Glaze:
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs. milk
2 Tbs. cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour a bundt pan; set aside.
Combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream, sugar, water, and vegetable oil, beat for two minutes. Spoon 2 1/4 c. of batter into separate bowl and add pumpkin filling to this bowl, stir until combined. Alternately spoon two different batters into the bundt pan, beginning and ending with pumpkin batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake! (I would check it at 35 minutes just to be safe!) Let cool for 20 minutes and then invert onto serving plate. Let cool completely. Combine all glaze ingredients, it should be thick, but still runny enough to "fall" over cake, correct consistency with more powdered sugar or milk if needed.

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

This is a fun variation from the traditional cheese ball and crackers! Every time I make this, I always get requests for the recipe. I love bringing it to parties. It tastes like cookie dough, and then you use Nilla wafer crackers and chocolate or honey graham cracker sticks to dip with, Yum!

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

8 oz. cream cheese, must be softened!
1/2 c. butter, must be softened!
1/2 tsp vanilla (if using real vanilla I would only use 1/4 tsp)
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1 bag mini chocolate chips (must be the mini size, regular do not work for this)
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans
Cookies or sweet crackers to dip with

In medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually add sugars; beat just until combined. Stir in 3/4 c. chocolate chips and 1/2 c. chopped nuts. Place on large piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball, wrap up and refrigerate for at least two hours so it can harden up a little bit. Just before serving, roll cheese ball in the remaining mini chocolate chips.

Baby Shower Goodies!

This is my good friend Ann, she is pregnant with Triplets! Doesn't she look great? She is only 24 weeks along! I made these treats for her baby shower and everyone loved them! It would be so fun to be a baby shower caterer! The chocolate cupcake recipe I posted in August, and the sugar cookie recipe was last month. I'll post the Chocolate Chip Cheeseball next....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

I love Chicken Parmesan! This is a pretty easy dish to make, the only bad thing about it is the clean-up time! For this dish you can either pound out 4 chicken breasts to make them thin, or for an easier solution (and cheaper!) you can just slice 2 chicken breasts in half. If you use a really sharp knife it is super easy.

Chicken Parmesan

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
or 2 chicken breasts, sliced in half
3/4 c. breadcrumbs
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 c. flour
3 egg whites
1/2 c. vegetable oil
4 slices mozzarella cheese

Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, Italian seasoning, and black pepper in shallow pan, set aside. Place flour in another shallow pan, and egg white in another shallow pan.
I placed my oil in my largest saucepan over medium heat, that temp seemed to work well. Let oil heat up.
Preheat oven to 400.
Dredge chicken breasts through egg white, and then flour, egg white again, and finally Parmesan coating. Place in oil and cook for approximately three minutes on each side.
Place chicken on baking sheet and cover with mozzarella slices. Bake for approximately five minutes until cheese is melted. I like to serve over spaghetti.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Minestrone Soup

Can you tell I love soups? :) This minestrone soup has tons of veggies in it! You put in a lot, and then you let them cook and remove half of them with a slotted spoon, puree, and then add back into the soup. This is great because it makes the consistency more "chunky" like chili, and you can sneak in lots of veggies for the kids without them knowing it! (and me too, since I don't like a lot of veggies, sad, but true) I fed it to my 4 year old tonight and told him it was vegetable Macaroni and Cheese and he gobbled it up and even said, "This is good Mom!"

Minestrone Soup

4 Tbs. butter
3/4 c. chopped onion
32 oz. chicken broth (about 3 1/2 c.)
30 oz. frozen or canned mixed veggies
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 14.5oz. can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried) + 2 Tbs. for garnish
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbs. chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried)
1 c. uncooked small shell pasta
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Place butter in large stock pot over medium heat, let melt, and then add onion. Saute for approximately 5 minutes, until onion is soft, stirring occasionally.
Add next five ingredients. Let come to a boil, and then turn heat down and cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove half (or more) of veggies with slotted spoon to a blender, puree, and then return to stock pot.
Add garlic powder, parsley, salt, pepper, and basil, let come to boil and then turn heat down again and simmer for 15 minutes. Add pasta and let cook 8-10 minutes or until pasta is done. Garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.