Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Roasted pumpkin seeds

A traditional favorite, and great low-sugar Halloween snack

  1. Scoop the seeds and pulp out of a pumpkin.
  2. Separate the seeds from the pulp.
  3. Rinse out the seeds at least twice.
  4. Put the seeds in a large bowl and add enough water to make the seeds float.
  5. Add 2-3 tablespoons of salt.
  6. Let soak overnight or longer.
  7. Drain the water from the seeds.
  8. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  9. Pour the drained seeds on the baking sheet.
  10. Thoroughly sprinkle with salt.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees, checking every 10 minutes for doneness.
  12. Seeds are done when they just start to turn golden brown and are crisp when you bite into them.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Halloween! Popcorn Balls with a twist

Best popcorn balls I've had

12 cups popped popcorn
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O Brand Gelatin, any flavor
1 1/2 cups PLANTERS COCKTAIL Peanuts, coarsely chopped

  1. Place popcorn in large bowl.
  2. Mix syrup and sugar in saucepan; bring to boil.
  3. Remove from heat. Add gelatin; stir until dissolved.
  4. Add peanuts.
  5. Pour over popcorn; mix well.
  6. Cool about 5 minutes.
  7. Shape into 18 balls, each about 3 inches in diameter.

Happy Halloween! Witches Hats

This is my girls' favorite treat for school parties this time of year.

Witches Hat

Self-sealing plastic bag
1 can chocolate frosting
20 chocolate ice cream cones
Candy corn or assorted small candies
20 2- to 3-inch chocolate cookies

  1. Fill plastic bag with some chocolate frosting. Seal bag and cut a very small end off one corner of the bag and set aside.
  2. For each hat, invert one ice cream cone and fill with about 2 tablespoons candy corn or small candies.
  3. Pipe some frosting from bag along bottom edge of cone.
  4. Press a cookie against frosting. Carefully invert right side up onto waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Decorate outside of cone with small candies, using additional frosting as necessary.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sad sad recipe

I have a fridge full of fresh, home-grown peppers, spinach, and lettuce. I have a shelf full of fresh, home-grown tomatoes.

And tonight we're eating frozen pizza and breadsticks.

Next week will be better.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cherry ham and butternut squash

That whole menu thing? Totally out the window this week. I'm trying to make due with ingredients in our house and avoid going to the grocery store. So, tonight's supper is cherry ham and butternut squash.

For the cherry ham, just pour a can of cherry pie filling on top of a 1-2 pound cured ham. Bake at 325 until ham reaches 140 degrees, about an hour for a 2 pound ham, 90 minutes for a 3-4 pound ham.

For the butternut squash, wash the outside of the squash and cut it in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and fibers from the middle of the squash. Place the halves, cut sides up, in a baking dish. Salt and pepper, if desired. Dot with margarine or butter; I use about 3 tablespoons for each half. Pour 1/4 inch of water into the baking dish. Cover and bake for about 45 minutes at 325 degrees.

So, if I manage to get the squash in the oven 45 minutes after the ham goes in, it should all be ready at about the same time. Here's hoping!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Taco Soup, improvised and improved

There are thousands of variations of taco soup out there, but the one we made tonight was fantabulous. It's a thicker soup, with a chili consistency but without the spice.

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
2 cups (or 1 can) cooked beans (We used a combination of pinto and black beans. Kidney beans would work too.)
1 can kernel corn, UNdrained
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 bell peppers, diced
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 packet Taco Bell taco seasoning
2 tomatoes, diced

sour cream
cheddar cheese, shredded
tortilla chips

Cook the ground beef in a large skillet or saucepan. Drain. Add corn, canned tomatoes, peppers, dressing mix, taco seasoning, and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low to medium-low (4 on a scale to 9). Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

That was GREAT!

I think I underestimated the yumminess of tonight's menu.

Acorn squash

Bacon-spinach quiche, made with our own eggs, bacon, and spinach

Fresh spinach salad with boiled egg, cheese, and bacon bits


What to cook...

I've been so busy keeping my head above water that I haven't had a chance to sit down and post anything. It's been difficult enough just to make and keep the weekly menu with our family, much less take the 5 minutes to share it with cyberspace.

I was proud last night. Wendy's called with a vengeance, but instead I made mashed potatoes, corn, and chicken nuggets at home.

Tonight I think I'm going to make a bacon-spinach quiche, with fresh spinach from our garden and bacon from my in-laws. Jay also picked up an acorn squash from Wednesday's market, so I'm going to make that. I found an easy Paula Deen recipe and since she and I share a passion for butter, her recipes always suit our family.

Friday breakfast, banana muffins or breakfast burrito
Friday lunch, hopefully leftovers from Thursday's supper
Friday night, I'm going to reheat a pizza roll from the freezer. After working all day, I doubt I'll have the gumption or desire to cook.

Saturday morning, oatmeal. That will warm us up before we head out to watch my nephew's football game.
Saturday lunch, tomato-basil soup and homemade french bread.
Saturday night, bruschetta and something else. I've never made bruschetta, so I'm on a recipe hunt between now and then.

Sunday morning, waffles
Sunday lunch, leftovers or chili.

and Sunday morning, reset the menu for the coming week.

If you're out there listening and know any good bruschetta recipes, please post them!