Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Recipes Week - Day 4

2 Different Pumpkin Pie Harvest Dips

These dips are sooo yummy.  You know the kind that once you start you cannot stop...move away from the buffet table kind...Yes! this is it...It is an easy recipe to whip up to bring somewhere, and can be made ahead.  I couldn't decide which one so I listed both. Try them back and let me know which one you like.

1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, soft
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup of canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. vanilla extract
red and green apple slices, ginger snaps, vanilla wafers or shortbread, celery sticks

Beat together cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.  Stir in sour cream and pumpkin puree and spices.  Refrigerate for a few hours to incorporate flavors before serving.  Serve with fruit, cookies or celery.  Delicious!!


1 can pumpkin puree
2 jars marshmallow cream
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
grated orange zest from 1 orange
Serve with gingersnaps or plain sugar cookies

Pumpkin Recipes-Day 3

Pumpkin - Pecorino Gratin    a.k.a.  savory pumpkin cheese casserole

This recipe is delicious and one of "Martha's".  It has become a favorite at our house.  Savory.  Different.  And just plain good!

  • 2 slices white sandwich bread
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 cups Sugar-Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor, combine bread and cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and pulse until large crumbs form.
  2. Season sugar-pumpkin puree with salt and pepper; spoon into a 1-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with crumb mixture, and dot with butter. Bake until crumbs are browned, 15 to 20 minut
  3. NOTE-you can use any pumpkin puree for the listed ingredient

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Recipes Week-Day 2

Pumpkin-Maple Cream Trifle

**Maple Walnuts (or Pecans)
1 box (14.4oz) whole graham crackers (5"x2")
1/2 cup plus 3 T. pure maple syrup, (do not use maple flavored pancake syrup)
1 pkg. (3.4oz) cheesecake or vanilla instant pudding
1/2 cup milk
1 can (15oz) solid pack pumpkin
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie spice (Pampered Chef's Cinnamon Plus)
1 (12oz) container frozen whipped topping, divided or 12 oz. of whipping cream-whipped

Prepare Maple walnuts, if desired.  Coarsely break graham crackers into large mixing bowl  Place 1/2 cup of the maple syrup in a small bowl and microwave for 60-90 seconds, pour hot syrup over crackers, toss to coat and set aside.

Fro pumpkin filling, combine pudding mix and milk in separate mixing bowl; whisk until mixture becomes thick.  Add pumpkin, and spice blend to pudding.  Fold 2 cups of the whipped topping into pudding mixture and set aside.

For maple cream, combine remaining 3 T. maple syrup and remaining whipped topping in separate mixing bowl and fold gently.  Fill zip bag with 2/3 cup of the maple cream and set aside in refrigerator for garnish.

To assemble trifle, place one-third of the graham mixture over bottom of trifle bowl or large-sided glass bowl/dish.  Top with half of the pumpkin filling, spreading to edges.  Top with another third of the graham cracker mixture.  Top with remaining maple cream, spreading to edges.  Top with remaining graham cracker mixture and pumpkin filling.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Garnish with Maple Walnuts.  If desired, use zip bag and pipe puffs of maple cream around top and garnish with walnuts over cream.  Sprinkle additional spice lightly over top.

**Maple Walnuts (I used pecans I had on hand)
Combine 2 T. butter and 3 T. pure maple syrup in saute' pan.  Stir over medium heat until butter is melted.  Add 1 cup walnut halves and cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes or until walnuts are evenly browned.  Spread walnuts in a single layer on wax paper to cool completely.

Enjoy this is so yummy, so comforting, and a great dish to bring to a fall gathering.
**recipe courtesy of The Pampered Chef, Ltd.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Recipes Week-Day 1

Paula Deen's Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake

If you haven't had a piece of gooey butter cake in any variety, this is the first variety you should try.  I can only say...oh my gosh...It is so easy to make and even uses a cake mix to help you get started.

photo courtesy: Food TV
  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.
Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Variations: For a Pineapple Gooey Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.
For a Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.
For a Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

Menu Plan Monday

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Oh wow- it's been two weeks,  We have been out of town and then upon returning, event after event.  I miss our round{square}-table discussions with my family, and look forward to our evening meal tonight.

The Maynard family will be enjoying the following menu's this week-
  • Pork Roast w/ Spicy Pineapple Rum Sauce/ Roasted Vegetables/Ceasar Salad **birthday dinner for hubs and his mother (same day).
  • Baked Ham Sandwiches on Haiwaiian Bread/Fresh Fruit/Chips (Game Night)
  • Chicken Cutlets-Marsala Style/Mashed Potatoes/Sliced Peaches
  • Crustless Spinach/Feta Quiche-Pie/Fresh Fruit
  • Grilled Beef Filets/Green Beans/Field Green Salad with Blue Cheese
Enjoy your week- check back for Pumpkin Week!  Our first recipe is a FAVORITE!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bedner's Fresh Farm, West Boynton-South, FL

Bedner's Farm & Fresh Market is located 2 miles south of Boynton Beach Blvd. on State Road 7/441.  Just a quick ride west from 1-95, Jog or the FL Turnpike. 

You won't want to miss stopping here before Halloween next week.  They have lot's of fun family activities all weekend long-including: long tractor rides in a covered tram, pumpkin patch picking, live music, fresh BBQ, homemade ice cream, food vendors, face painting, historic story-tellers, pet adoption, balloon artists, a fresh indoor market to shop for most anything including local breads, honey, gourmet products, Watkins brand products, farm fresh produce, juices, and more.  Next weekend (10-30/31), they will be hosting an array of contests from pumpkin painting to custume contest from the wee ones to adults.  Don't be a ghoul-check it'll love it and wonder why you waited to long to visit.  This is exactly what Palm Beach county needed to bring the city folk back to reality.  A great learning experience for everyone!

Be sure to check their web site for complete details.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Recipe: Candy Corn Cookie Bark

Oooooo- can you imagine two great tastes together.  This could be another great gift idea for holiday party host, or a cookie exchange.  Easy.  Delicious.  What are we waiting for.....

I found this recipe in a dated issue of Bon Appetit from December 2009.  It is called Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies-I went Fall on the recipe and added candy corn and fall M&Ms.  I also saw on the web for a recipe for a pretzel-Oreo-candy corn crunch somewhere (there are several recipes if you Google).  I thought, my boys love candy corn, my boys love cookies.  I have a few events I can bring something this week-so I made up a batch and combined the two recipes. This is what I came up with....

I was not impressed with the candy crunch with pretzels-I may try it again in the future, but I absolutely fell in L-O-V-E with the cookie based bark.  It was so easy. 

Creating a cookie base went fast in my mixer-

 I missed the photo op for pressing the dough out in my bar pan (jelly roll baking sheet with sides), baking, and spreading a big handful of semi sweet chocolate chips over the top when finished cooking.  They melt within two minutes so that you can spread it across the top, and add all the goodies.... I used Autumn Mix candy corn (I like love the chocolate bottom ones), Fall colored M&M's (plain), and Fall colored non-perils.  I turned it upside down on my cutting board and used a BIG knife to help cut in random pieces for the platters.


Just a fun fall recipe....try it for yourself, give it as a gift, or make with your kiddos...

Candy Corn Cookie Bark

nonstick spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
6 oz. bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, chopped
candy corn, other candy

Preheat over 350. Spray a 13x9 metal baking sheet with nonstick spray.  Line with parchment paper leaving ends long to remove cookie, (I did not do this, I just popped cookie out onto a cutting board that was flat again the pan).  Using electric mixer, beat butter until creamy, gradually add sugar until mixture is light and fluffy.  Add vanilla, egg yolk to mixture.  Gradually add flour and salt to butter and sugar mixture. Beat on low just until blended.

Drop by tablespoons onto prepared pan, spacing evenly.  Using moistened fingertips, press dough to form even layer over bottom of pan.  Pierce dough all over with fork.  Bake cookie based until light golden brown and slightly puffed and edges come away from the sides of pan, about 30 minutes.  Place pan on rack; immediately sprinkle chocolate over.  Let stand until chocolate softens, about 3 minutes.  Using an offset spatula, spread chocolate over top of cookie in a thin even layer.  Immediately sprinkle candies and light press into chocolate.  Top with candy sprinkle (non-perils).  Refrigerate to harden chocolate before breaking/cutting in pieces.  Cut in random pieces and stack up on your favorite platter or cake server.
Can be made 1 week ahead, store in refrigerator in tight container.



Monday, October 11, 2010

My New Ladies Chair

Isn't this adorable?  Definitely "girlly" if you have been to my house. A World Thrift find - just $19.  It has this cute slip cover on it, not so cute under covering.  Dated on a tag from the 1920's, it even had some vintage postage stamps attached to the label from New York City.  I have been looking for a petite sitting chair for my bedroom for some time, but I came across this one first-the fabric is adorable and matches my colors perfectly in my living area.  I have come to love this chair in the last month.  I love to curl up with a book in this chair, enjoy an iced tea and catch up on my DVR-shows in it, and finally just an extra seat in my home.  Hubs -not so crazy about it, but have I mentioned... I LOVE it! C-man sits in it, and Griffin just love throwing the cushions off and standing in it...the perfect ladies chair in a masculine home!

DIY-Message Board

When I saw this project I just had to make one myself.  I totally see these as Christmas gifts this year for family and friends that I exchange with. {smile}  I know if someone gave me one, awwww- I would love it, so I am hoping...they would love one too.

Starting out as this beautiful [in it's day] gold/linen wood frame with this painted canvas inside-it was all about to change.  First, I sanded it down with a small sanding block to remove any dirt, dust, or chipping paint.  I removed the canvas and got right to work with my spray painting.  My first layer I used a primitive red semi gloss spray paint that I had on hand.  I gave it a good spray down, and allowed it to dry.  Then I hit it with a black, high gloss spray paint.  After it was dry for 24 hours.  I sanded it down here and there so I would get spots that had the distressed look. Then came the chicken/poultry wire found at the Home Depot in the fencing supply area.  I used about a third of it.  I stapled the measured piece of chicken wire across the back of the frame using a staple gun.

Lastly, I attached the wire across the back.  My finished project I will reveal later this week with a few pictures, and some decorative clothes pins.  I am thrilled with the outcome.  I salvaged an old frame, and repurposed it to something new.  What do you think?

Menu Plan Monday

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Monday's roll around so fast don't they.  Especially when you have had a busy weekend filled with fall crisp air (well sort of...).  We ate al fresco last night, the cooler evenings with just a little breeze a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean gives it that fall feeling.  Have you been sharing meals outside lately? Those of us in the south are still firing up our grills.  I love that!  This is why we call this paradise, right?

Here are the dinners my family will look forward to this week.  No particular order-just five meals that are planned and shopped for already.  Leftover Buffet always makes it mark one of our nights or for lunches, just depending on when the fridge starts getting stuffed with plastic containers-

  • Grilled Pizza Flatbreads (make your own-we have vegetables, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sweet sausage, fresh basil, feta cheese), Roasted Vegetables and Apples

  • Grilled Beer Brats, Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Pumpkin (pre-made when roasted vegetables), Fresh Fruit

  • Taco Salad or Hardshells, Yellow Rice, Cut Peaches

  • Chicken Cutlets-Parmesan Syle, Wagon Wheel Pasta with Garlic and Fresh Basil, Fresh Fruit

  • Ham Steak, Granny Smith Applesauce, roasted carrots

This week's menu doesn't have any specific recipes.  Except I am going to explain my process of roasting vegetables.

Roasted Vegetables- this is my favorite way to get them in my diet, and cook up large batches for the week for lunch or dinner recipes.

I start out with a generous size baking sheet {like a jelly roll, or small lipped cookie sheet}, I personally like to cook on clay stoneware, we can talk more on that later. 

Any seasonal vegetables:
i.e. - Fall: squashes (acorn, pumpkin, zucchini {remember I live south}), large sweet onion or red, fresh garlic (whole pieces or halve the bulb), sweet potatoes, Yukon Gold {my favorite variety) potaoes, asparagus, (you can even add a few apples-as I did this week for my menu).

+ADD+ your favorite seasoning - {we're still going with fall for the example}, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, chopped garlic, fresh rosemary, a few sprinkles of cinnamon, cloves, ginger or apple/pumpkin pie spice-

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Give a swirl of olive oil or any light flavor oil on your baking sheet.  Chop the vegetables in big pieces {they shrink}(except potatoes- you can cut them a medium cube).  Toss with favorite spices and flavors for your complimenting recipes.  Add a little more oil to the top of the vegetables, and bake for about 20-30 minutes or depending on what your vegetables are - potaotes take a little longer.  Check that they are fork tender.  You can always remove the softer ones before or add to pan later.

Serve hot or at room temperature.  Save for pizza toppings, pasta recipes, crusty vegetable sandwich, or other recipes for your week.  I try to make a large batch at a time so I can continue to use all week.  *Side note- you can also follow the instructions, but roast on your outdoor grill in a grilling basket.

Seasoning Ideas according to meals:

Italian Cooking: Toss with fresh garlic, rosemary sprigs, orgeano, parsley, basil, olive oil, Italian salad dressing, Balsalmic vinegar, sea salt, ground pepper-top with parmesan when they come out.

Greek Cooking: Toss with fresh lemon halves/quarters, oregano, chopped garlic, sea salt, ground pepper, parsley, olive oil, top with a little feta.

Southwestern:  Toss with chili powder, cumin (go easy), sea salt, ground pepper, onion powder, parsley, olive, oil, top with fresh cilantro when they come out.

Latin Flavor:  Toss with fresh limes quartered, sour oranges, fresh garlic, coriander, mojo marinade, olive oil, cumin (go easy), top with queso blanco (latin white crumbling cheese).

What do you like to FLAVOR your vegetables with, maybe just plain salt and pepper?  Try something new - Let everyone know!

My favorite by far is the fall flavors-a little cinnamon, and all the others mentioned above in the fall example.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Decluttering Challenge

This week I have taken on some decluttering from my home {beaming}.  As I was anxious to get my fall bins from storage, I surely didn't want to add decor to more decor or things that have been hanging around too long to hit the charity bins or consigning.  I decided to tackle my wall unit since I have been wanting to redo the shelves with some new decor- I am tired of what I see as it has been a few years since rearranging some of my stuff collections.  I rided a few wedding gifts that didn't work anymore for us, a few books, some old videos/games, and a whole lot more - So this week I can say I got some work done....

Here is what left my house:
  • two bags of outgrown or stained kids clothing
  • a plastic pitcher
  • crystal candle sticks
  • 3 video games
  • 6 kids videos
  • 2 cookbooks
  • 2 crystal serving pieces
  • chip n dip bowl
  • several framed pictures
  • computer mouse
  • a bag of ladies too- big- for- me- now- clothes
  • infant toys, rattles, etc. (about 10 things)
  • threw out 11 old catalogs/donated several magazines to my clubhouse
  • old watering can
  • returned a MOPS apron
I FEEL LIBERATED!!! Wha hoo!  My personal organizer Selene @ (Bella Gia Services) would be so proud of me.

Now, I love looking at my fall decorations and having more space in some of my cabinets. 
What are you giving away this fall?  Making room for holiday gifts?  Please commet below...I want to know!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

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This week's menu consists of some conveinence foods.  We order from Omaha Steaks and have beef/chicken on hand which makes things easy.  I usually defrost the night before so I am ready to go.  I also love marinating different flavors on my chicken breast/pork chops/shrimp/fish when I come home from the market-pop into a freezer zip bag and lay flat in freezer.  Then you are all ready to go, flavors already fused into the meat-and dinner becomes a little easier.  Just take out the night before-leave in refriegerator to defrost over night and add a side dish and your all set.  I am also using my slow-cooker to make Sloppy Joes.  The recipe is enough for two meals for our family, so I will freeze half of it for another quick night.

Steakburgers on the grill, roasted vegetables, green salad

Chicken Picatta with Pasta

Marinated Skirt Steak over Ceasar Salad

Marinated Cilantro/Lime Grilled Shrimp over Linguine

Sloppy Joes over cornbread, green beans

Leftover Buffet - Spaghetti/Meatballs and clean out the freezer of a few small items

Until we eat again...

Friday, October 1, 2010


What a terrific week of some delicious recipes that include apples.  The final recipe is one of our family's favorites in the fall and holiday season.  You can serve it as the recipe calls, or you can leave the cookie topping off and it makes an incredible side dish to any roast turkey or pork.  you won't be disappointed with this EASY recipe!


4 granny smiths, sliced with or without the skins
1 (16 oz.) can whole berry cranberry sauce
3/4 cup of packed brown sugar
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 package Refrigerated sugar cookie dough
Preheat oven to 375° F.

Peel, core, slice apples. Add to large mixing bowl.  Combine cranberry sauce, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Pour over apples and toss. Add to a deep dish pie plate or baking dish.  Slice frozen dough into ¼ inch slices. Arrange evenly over apple mixture.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until apples are tender and top is golden brown.

Please comment below on your favorite recipes that include apples.  I would love to have a guest post!

Stay tuned for Pumpkin Recipe Week mid-October!  Send your favorites in - I would love to include a link or add your recipe.