Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cinnamon Toasted Pumpkin Pie Tarts

Love the PickyPalate. That girl has the best ideas!!

Cinnamon Toasted Pumpkin Pie Tarts

1 Cup canned pumpkin
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/4 Cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
4 sheets (2 boxes) of puff pastry, thawed -- or refrigerated biscuit dough
3 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Melted chocolate for drizzling (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl mix the pumpkin, sugar, heavy cream, egg, cinnamon and nutmeg until creamy and well combined.

2. Place puff pastry onto a lightly floured countertop and cut out 4 pumpkins per sheet of pastry. My girls want to do this on their own and haven't yet mastered puff. They're using refrigerated biscuit dough. Place pumpkin cut outs onto silpat or parchment lined baking sheets. Brush each pumpkin lightly with butter then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of pumpkin pie filling around center of pumpkins leaving 1/4 inch border around edges.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown on the edges and pumpkin pie is cooked through. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to cooling rack. Serve room temperature or chilled. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired before serving.

16 pumpkin pie tarts

Homemade Pizza Pops

Great for on-the-go school lunches!!

Homemade Pizza Pops -- ingredient options are endless

* 1/2 cup chopped wham
* 1/2 cup chopped vegetarian pepperoni
* 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
* 1/4 cup sliced black olives
* 1 cup grated cheese
* 1/2 cup pizza sauce
* 1 (14 oz) package pizza dough


Mix together wham, pepperoni, pepper, olives, cheese and pizza sauce in a large bowl until well combined. Set aside.

Roll pizza dough into a 10x20 inch rectangle. Cut the dough in half lengthwise creating two long strips 5x20 inches. Cut each strip into 4 creating a total of 8 (5 inch) squares.

Divide filling among squares. Brush 2 adjacent edges of squares with water, bring opposites side across filling to seal into a triangle shape (make sure it is sealed well so that no filling will escape). Using your hands, maneuver the filling in the sealed triangles to spread evenly throughout the pocket.

Place pizza pops on a parchment lined baking tray. With a sharp knife, poke three holes in the top of each pop to allow the steam to escape (this will keep the sides from bursting). Bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes or until golden brown and filling is bubbling through holes.

Cool to room temperature before transferring to resealable plastic bags and storing in the freezer.

Makes: 8 pizza pops

Cheesecake Cookies

Cheesecake Cookies

* 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
* 3 ounces cream cheese (I use 1/3 less fat)
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
* Toppings of choice: Chocolate Cookie Crumbs, Mini Chocolate Chips, Sprinkles, Cinnamon Sugar (the possibilities are endless)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Mix in vanilla extract. Stir in the flour until well combined.

Refrigerate (or freeze) dough for 10 to 15 minutes so that it is easier to handle.

In small bowls, place several topping options. We used chocolate cookie crumbs, cinnamon sugar, mini chocolate chips, and sprinkles.
Note:For another option you can place a chocolate chunk in the interior of the cookies before rolling. You'll have an extra surprise when biting into your cookie. I'm putting peanut butter chips in mine :)

Cheesy Chicken, Bacon and Rice Soup

Cheesy Chicken, Bacon and Rice Soup

* 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
* 3 large carrots, finely chopped
* 1 1/2 Cups zucchini, diced
* 2 Tablespoons fresh minced garlic
* 2 Cups cooked and shredded substitute chicken
* 2 Cups steamed white rice
* 4 Tablespoons butter
* 1/4 Cup all purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
* 1 3/4 Cups chicken broth
* 1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
* 1 Cup bacon, cooked and crumbled plus 1/2 Cup to garnish bowls


Heat oil into a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion, celery, carrots and zucchini for 10 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute then add chicken and rice. Reduce heat to low.

Melt butter into a large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in chicken broth until thick and creamy, nearly to a boil. Stir in shredded cheddar until melted then pour into chicken and vegetable mixture. Add 1 Cup crumbled bacon, stir then season according to taste then simmer on low until ready to serve. Garnish each bowl with a few pinches of additional crumbled bacon.

8 servings

BBQ Tofu Pizza

Found this one over at the vegan menu. Sounds great!

BBQ Sauce (version 2)

1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. ketchup
2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 cup fire-roasted whole tomatoes
1/2 cup bourbon (
1/3 cup agave
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat oil and saute onion and garlic until translucent.

Add salt, pepper, smoked paprika, mustard, ketchup and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes (we like to crush them with a potato masher) and the remaining ingredients. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on low for 25-30 minutes until starting to thicken.

Remove from heat and add to the vita-mix (or blender) and puree until smooth. Use immediately, or store in refrigerator.

Mud Soup

Quick and easy and DD1's first ever concoction when she was about 5 yrs old :) Deliciously warm and inviting on a nippy fall afternoon.

Mud Soup


2 cans black beans, rinsed & drained
2 cups vegetarian chicken broth
1 cup "gourmet" style salsa

Heat all ingredients in large pot on stove until heated through.
Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender to puree into a "creamy" black bean soup. Add cumin and garlic to taste. Or use less broth and turn it into a favorite dip for chips.
Garnish with fresh cilantro or other herbs.

Number of Servings: 6

Greek Burgers w Tzatziki

In the absence of vegetarian pastitsio (I haven't given up yet!), we've had Greek Meatloaf, Greek double baked lemon potatoes, lemon scallops, and Greek rice pudding straight from Papui. Why not add one more :) I LOVE Greek food!!

Greek Turkey Burgers With Tzatziki Sauce
Start to Finish: 20 min

Tzatziki Sauce:

1 container (6 oz) plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill weed or 1 teaspoon dried dill
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


1 lb your favorite turkey substitute. I'm trying MSF California Turkey Burgers this time, but I'm looking ahead to using leftover Thanksgiving Tofurkey. So Good!!!
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 oz)
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 whole wheat burger buns, split
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

1. In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup yogurt and remaining sauce ingredients; refrigerate until serving.

2. Heat gas or charcoal grill. In medium bowl, mix all burger ingredients and remaining yogurt. Shape mixture into 4 patties, about 1/2 inch thick.

3. Place patties on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 8 to 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes, until thermometer inserted in center of patties reads 160°F. Place burgers in buns with tomato slices and sauce.

How-To Broil patties with tops about 6 inches from heat 4 minutes; turn patties. Cook 6 to 8 minutes longer or until meat thermometer inserted in center of patties reads 160°F.

Substitution Finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese can be substituted for the feta cheese.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chicken Tinga

I made this impromptu to take to a friend's house. RAVE REVIEWS. I didn't follow a recipe, and because it was impromptu, I had to improvise on the ingredients. Sad to say, tomatillos aren't one of the usual staples in my pantry :) The options for tinga are endless. Sandwiches, pizza topping, rice, pasta, etc. It can go anywhere. Let's see if I can tell you what I did. It was delicious!! Spicy, but delish!

This is how it's supposed to be done. Saute, puree', etc.

• 3 tablespoons of safflower or corn oil
• 1/2 white onion, slivered (about 1/4 pound)
• 2 chopped garlic cloves
• 8 roma tomatoes, rinsed (about 2 pounds)
• 2 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed (about 1/4 pound)
• 1/2 teaspoon of crumbled dried oregano
• 1/4 teaspoon of dried marjoram
• 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
• 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of sea or kosher salt, more or less to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, freshly ground
• 2 tablespoons of sauce from chipotle chiles in adobo. Add whole chiles if more heat desired.
• 5 cups of shredded chicken

This is what actually happened:

Saute' chopped sweet onion and fresh garlic in veg oil for 5-6 minutes, til translucent and fragrant. Add about 8 chopped and finely diced Roma tomatoes (If you're in a pinch, you can use 2 cans of the tomatoes w green chiles). Add a touch of lime juice, oregano, salt, pepper and maybe a 1/2 cup or so of salsa verde. The verde will replace your tomatillos and add in some of your missing seasonings. Stir it well, then add in 2 Tbs of adobo sauce and one well-minced chipotle pepper. There's your heat. If you don't want the heat, go without the pepper. Add just the adobo. Simmer 10-12 minutes. The color will deepen and the flavors marry the longer it sits. Next, toss in your chicken. I used 2 boxes of the MSF Chicken Grillers, nicely shredded. Simmer another 5 minutes or so, until the chicken has absorbed some of the juice. It's ready when it turns saucy instead of soupy :) We served this on top of haystacks, and it was a huge hit. Unexpected flavor, really easy inexpensive recipe, tastes like it took all day. BINGO. I'm going to refine the ingredient list and go ahead and add it to the Bistro book. Those of you who already have a copy, I'll just print it off and drop it off next time I see you :) Enjoy! :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Special K Roast

1 can of Worthington Diced Chick
2 cups of cottage cheese (a normal sized container)
2 eggs
1 cup finely chopped pecans (or pecan meal)
1/4 cup of milk
2 1/2 cups of Special K

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

This recipe is actually a half batch. I knew that I’d eat whatever I made in a very short time, so I cut it in half. I’d say it would be about enough to feed 4 to 6 at one meal. It lasted me about that many meals. (I won’t lie, I had it for breakfast one day…)

Mix it all up and then put into a 9″x13″ pan. Bake for 1 hour.

2nd option w NO chix :)

6 c Special K
1 ½ lb cottage cheese
2 tsp McKays
1 onion chopped
½ c milk
1 stick butter, melted
4-5 eggs
½ c pecans

Bake at 350 for 1 hr covered, then ½ hr uncovered
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