Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Few Fall Recipes Worth Sharing

We are right in the middle of Fall now.  Cooler nights and an itch to have some autumn flavors-from tailgating favorites to comfort food.  What's different on your menu these days?  Have you tried to incorporate some of the flavors of fall?  **Post a comment below this week regarding your fall cooking/baking or decorating, and be placed in a drawing for a surprise {blog candy}. Add yourself as a "follower" on the right side, and get an additional chance to win. Be sure to leave your email

Maple-Glazed Chicken Breasts

Oh my goodness was this delicious...I made it last week for the babe and myself for lunch to try it out for last weeks menu.  I found the recipe on fellow blogger-Liz who inturn credited Racheal Ray for the easy, quick recipe. I put my chicken over field greens, for something different and added some candied pecans and chopped apple, and dried cranberries.  I used a blue cheese yogurt salad dressing {light and delish}. What an explosion of flavors in my mouth.

1 lb. chicken tenderloins/breasts, trimmed
2 tsp. Montreal Steak seasoning or nice garlic/pepper rub
flour to dredge
2 T. butter
1/4 cup REAL maple syrup

Lightly coat chicken with seasoning and flour and saute' in butter in a stainless saute' pan (if you have one).  Cook approoximately 6-10 minutes or until done.  Remove breasts and keep warm.  Add syrup to pan, and deglaze bits of seasoning and chicken with your cooking tool.  Cook syrup on medium/low for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add chicken back to pan to reheat and spoon maple sauce over chicken.  Serve chicken with mashed potatoes/ mashed sweet potatoes, or perhaps the lower carb way like me - over field greens. I think next time, I may add a little taste of dijon mustard to the maple in the pan, to get a maple mustard flavor going....
photo courtesy of Vermont Maple Syrup.  These men are "tree-tapping".

I also tried this recipe, CRUNCHY MAPLE CRUSTED CHICKEN, with a crusty flavor of maple...hard toss up, BOTH were GREAT recipes...I liked the crispy recipe a little better, because if I was splurging on the maple syrup, I rather splurge on the crispy coasting from pan fying....YUMMY!!!

Pumpkin Bread
Everyone has their favorite pumpkin bread recipe.  I think the one I use, I have seen a few places or another.  I do substitute half of the oil with one single cup of unsweetened applesauce as a sidenote to the recipe as shown.  I also add melted white chocolate drizzled across and some sweet cinnamon sprinkle {cinnamon flavored cane sugar}
I just love the deep pumpkin spicey flavor, it is always a favorite and always gone in no time.

1 (15oz.) can solid pumpkin
1 cup canola oil (may substitute 1/2 cup with applesauce)
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3 cups + 2 T. flour

Cream together first four (4) ingredients.  Add spices, stir well.  Add baking soda, powder, and salt.  Add one cup at a time of the flour, without over-mixing.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cake tester comes clean.  Makes 2 large loaves or 6 mini loaves.  Allow to cool on wire rack out of pans for one hour.  When cooled drizzle melted while chocolate and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar sprinkle. **chocolate chips are fabulous added to the batter-toss with a T. of flour so they don't sink to the bottom. So yummy!

One of my all time favorite recipes that seems to make it's way out of my recipe collection at this time of year is my mother's recipe for Southern Pecan Tassies.  They are so yummy, and easy to tote somewhere for a get-together.  These days it seems everyone is looking for an easy way out when it comes to baked goods, but these are tried and true, reminds me of the past.  There are a few different versions out there, but I really think this one is terrific, first of all because it is the one my mama makes, but secondly, the crust is so good, and only takes a minute and homemade is nothing compared to using a pre-made pie crust! It's a soft neutral-flavored crust that is complimented by the sweet, nutty, and chewy inside. Its just a taste of happiness without all the calories of a slice of southern pecan pie [unless you eat a half of dozen].  The dough can be made ahead or used right away as I do.

Makes 4 dozen

1 recipe cream cheese pastry (recipe follows)

2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
powdered sugar

Divide dough using a small scoop and roll each into a ball and place into mini-muffin tins. Mold the dough into each hole, pressing it up the sides. Chill while preparing the filling.
Heat the oven to 325F. Place the eggs, brown sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk together until smooth. Add pecans.  Then with a teaspoon, fill each cup with a bit of the filling, careful not to cover the tops of the edge as it will be hard to remove without breaking, the whole pastry when cooled.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown around the edges.  Let stand 5 minutes. using the tip of a paring knife, run the blade carefully around the edges of the muffin cups to loosen the tassies. When the tassies are cool enough to handle, remove them from the pan and set on cooling racks. Sprinkle with powder sugar.

Cream Cheese Pastry

The original recipe suggests you do everything by hand but that's not so fun for me so I modified that and did it in my stand mixer.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1/4 tsp salt

Using a stand mixer and the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and thoroughly blended.  Mix in 1 cup of the flour and the salt, working until almost incorporated. Mix in another 1/2 cup flour, working until the flour is almost incorporated. Complete the process by kneading in another 1/2 cup flour. Do not overwork the dough.
Chill for a few hours or up to 3 days.

Are you entertaining a little more these days, attending events where you bring something?  Here are a few favorites to bring to a gathering, share on your buffet or just eat!

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