Monday, October 31, 2011

From our kitchen to yours: Fall Soup

mMm I love fall ! But our all here in NC is feeling more like winter, man, it's cold !!! One of my favorite, easy fall meals is soup and grilled cheese :) mMm that makes me hungry just thinking of it now ! Any kind of soup will do... tomato, chicken noodle, vegetable, beef, etc.  In our house we normally make a dump soup and man is it delicious.  Basically, open up the pantry, start with one pre-made can of soup i.e. Chili or vegetable beef stew and then add cans/frozen veggies/broth and spices until you think you've made the perfect concoction.  Seriously, ours is different everytime!  Top hot soup with croutons, crackers, cheese, and enjoy with a grilled cheese or toasted turkey sandwich... YUM !

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good Finds: Happy One Year Blogoversary to me :)

Hey ya'll ! Today is October 26,2011 ... My one year blog birthday !!! It's also my 80th post ... haha okay I know  I know, 365 days in a year and only 80 post, give me a break, it was my first year :)   Anyways, I'm glad you're here to celebrate with me! God is so good and I'm so thankful for silly technology that allows me to capture my thoughts and memories for years to come.  
The blog has been seriously fun so far! I really enjoy talking to friends/family that tell me they read it.  I really only do it for fun/for me, it's any easy way to keep memories and information about recipes, crafts and other random things.  I am addicted to facebook, I probably give that more attention, but this has also been fun!  Anyways, that's really all I have to say. Thanks for frequenting my blog ... I hope you continue! Who knows what fun this year will bring in the Barrett household :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

From our kitchen to yours: Pumpkin Cheesecake

mMm ... I love fall !!! I especially love getting to use pumpkin and apples and cinnamon in recipes. It makes me really happy ! haha Sooo I really like cheesecake and I wanted to try a pumpkin cheesecake. My initial recipe was from this site but I changed a couple things :) Surprisingly, it's very easy to make and not that rich, it's a delightful fall treat, enjoy !

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup gingersnap cookies
6 tablespoons melted butter

Place cookies in a bag and cover with a dish towel

Use a rubber or metal mallet to beat it to a fine dust

Mix melted butter and crumbs into a bowl. Press firmly into a lightly greased 10in cake pan and chill for 30 mins.

3-8 ounce pkgs cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie seasoning
1-1/4 cup pumpkin puree
5 large eggs
1/2 cup Great Value Creme Brulle Coffee Creamer

Whip room temp cream cheese to a nice fluffiness

Add in sugar, spices, pumpkin, eggs and creamer.

Scrape down the bowl well and hand mix for a bit.

Crust: Lightly butter a 10x2 inch round cake pan. Combine gingersnap crumbs, nut, and butter in a bowl, and mix well. Press mixture firmly into prepared pan, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Filling: In a bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugars and spices, beat until light in texture. Add pumpkin puree and mix until just blended. Stir in eggs one at a time, scraping sides of bowl after each addition. Stir in cream. . Pour batter into crust, and put cake pan in a roasting pan. Add hot water to roasting pan halfway up sides of cake pan. Bake in center of oven until cheesecake is firm to touch and slightly puffed, about 50 minutes. Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack for about 45 minutes. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. When cheesecake is completely chilled, lower pan into a hotwater bath for 2-3 min. to loosen the crust. Invert a large, flat plate on top of cheesecake; invert pan, and remove. Put a second
plate on bottom of cheesecake, and turn it right side up.
Hot water bath ! ( 12 in pan and a 10 in pan)

Mine actually made enough for a 10in and a 6 in that I shared with a friend who just had a baby :)

Came right out of the pan! A little tip, take a paring knife and go around the outside of the pan before attempting to remove.

Perfect lil cheesecake !

When you're ready to eat, slice a generous piece and add a dollup of whipped cream and drizzle with store bought caramel topping.

mMm soooo good !

Another great tip if you aren't going to eat your cheesecake within 4-5 days.  Cheesecake will keep for 4-5 days in refrigerator and 2 weeks in the freezer.

Freezing Cheesecakes To freeze cheesecakes remove from baking pan when chilled. Do not add any toppings or garnishings before freezing. You will just be freezing the cheesecake. Transfer to a cardboard cake circle or small round flatpan or freezer safe plate. Place in freeze until the cheesecake has frozen firm. Remove from freezer and wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of heavy-duty foil. Be sure to seal completely. For the best quality do not freeze longer than 4-6 weeks. Lable and date your wrapped cheesecake. To thaw, place the wrapped cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve add toppings, whipped cream and or any garnishes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

From our kitchen to yours : Devils Food Cookies

Hello blog friends :)

I know I haven't posted in a while ... my bad. haha but this easy/yummy treat will make up for it!  Enjoy !

Devils Food Cake Mix Cookies
1 box devils food cake mix
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 375

Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl, you can do this with a spoon. Make sure you incorporate alllllll the dry mix.

Scoop dough out onto a cookie pan 2 in appart

Roll and flatten dough balls

Bake at 375 for 8-10 mins and let cool on pan

Ice with cream cheese or chocolate frosting (I liked cream cheese better)

To jazz it up a bit you could add choc chips, nuts, coconut, etc. A really easy and yummy treat that goes great with a cold glass of milk :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

From our kitchen to yours : Breakfast Casserole

mMm I love breakfast ... LOVE IT ! Seriously, biscuits (bacon,egg,cheese,sausage, etc), cinnamon rolls, grits, french toast, muffins, bagels, cereal ... I LOVE IT ALL ! Sadly, working and working 45 mins from home means my breakfast normally consists of a bag of dry Bran Flakes and a glass of water on my commute :( Sad, I know.  Soooooo I heard this little ditty this weekend and Charles and I are going to try to adjust our eating habits, " Breakfast like a King, lunch like a queen and dinner like a pauper". Yeah okay so in simple terms, big ole yummy breakfast to kick start your day, medium but substantial lunch, and tiny dinner.  This is what we normally did Kim- Little breakfast, little lunch, BIG dinner.  Charles- little breakfast, medium lunch, BIG dinner.  This is hard for most working folks because dinner time is when you have time to cook/eat/fellowship, not during breakfast.  And packing lunch is no fun, I mean it's always nice to have left overs from dinner, but it's normally a 1/2 sandwich, fruit, and pretzels for me...blah. 

Okay, okay, so tackling my breakfast fit for a king ... last night I made my super yummy Breakfast Casserole and we are eating on it all week, or as long as it lasts :)

Roll of sausage - shhhh don't tell Charles ours is turkey sausage, what he doesn't know won't hurt him.
Shredded cheddar cheese
Skim milk
12 eggs
reduce fat cresent rolls - 2 tubes

Brown sausage

Drain out all the excess fat/liquid

All other ingredients

Line a 9x13 pan, with non stick spray and cresent rolls, make sure there are no holes in the seams. And, make sure you cover the bottom and the sides of the pan with dough.

Fill pan with cooked sausage and cheese

In a separate bowl, crack 12 eggs, add a splash of milk and a bit of salt and pepper.  Mix throughly.

Pour egg mixture over sausage and cheese.

If you love cheese, like me, sprinkle a little bit more on top before baking :)

Bake a 350 for 35 minute or until it passes the "jiggle test". Yes, shake pan while still in the oven, make sure you use an oven mit, to ensure all contents are cooked. If it's still jiggles, let it cook a little more.

Oh my YUM ! Eat fresh or let cool, refridgerate, and eat later!  Cut into squares, or big ole rectangles and microwave for about 30-40 seconds, serve with a glass of milk and some fresh fruit and there you've got it... Breakfast for a King :)