Saturday, October 15, 2011

What's On The Menu?

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I didn't have my usual recipe notebook available this week for making out my menu. After admitting that it wasn't, perhaps, entirely necessary and that life would go on ...

... I harnessed the power of the internet to decide on my family's meals for the week! I don't know if you know about Pinterest, but I love it! When I find recipes I want to try, I "pin" them to my "What's Cookin'?" board (just like a thumbtack on a bulletin board!). The picture is a direct link to the recipe. I also have boards for my geeky stuff, and crafty stuff, and amazing ideas for my house that will never actually be done, etc. Anyway, most of my recipes for this week came from various sources around cyberspace and were pinned to my board to try out "someday".

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread - Like monkey bread with maple icing, I am very excited to try this one out!

Potato Gnocchi - I've shared a link to this before, but I won't here because I had to tweak it a lot to get it to work. I'll be posting my version soon.

Broccoli Brown Rice Quiche - I love quiche and this one looks SO good. I never eat the crust on quiche, so I'm very intrigued at the thought of the rice making the crust. I'm really looking forward to this one.

Slow Cooker Lasagna - This one is for my college people Sunday night. The noodles go in uncooked, and it looks like a snap to put together. (You should explore the rest of that site, too! It's a great encouragement to Christian women.)

Butterbeer - Sunday is our Oldest Girl's 11th birthday! We've planned for some number of years to give her the first Harry Potter book on her birthday, and we are beyond excited. As part of the birthday festivities I'll be making this special beverage that is featured in the series. I always though of it as a rich, butterscotch-y version of cream soda, and this recipe seems a perfect match!

I also have a couple of family favorites on the list to make, plus rolls to round out meals, but these are essentially the new recipes I'll be making.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Recipes For Cookbook Signing

Today's the day! Our downtown Fall Block Party is this evening from 5 to 7. I'll be signing copies of my cookbook and I'm making treats to share! I wanted to use recipes that are actually in the cookbook, and are perfect for autumn. I ended up deciding on Jeni's Pumpkin Bread, Snickerdoodles, and Spiced Apple Cider.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday Night Review 10/9

On Thursday as I was making out my grocery list for the week, I knew Chicken Pot Pie would make it into the rotation. I've been craving it, and it's a sure winner at our house. When I saw that chicken was on sale, I decided to go ahead and make it for our Sunday night crowd. I made two 9 x 13 pans of it and though we had a small crowd they polished off all of one and half of the other! For veggies in them I used potatoes, corn, carrots, and green beans. I had asked one of the young ladies in the class (a newlywed whose husband is our assistant teacher) to bring dessert. She made Peanut Butter Pie and a Chocolate Mocha Pie, both of which were a big hit! Thanks, Hopie!

Friday, October 7, 2011


Just a quick post to say that Honeycrisp apples are my absolute favorite! I'm so glad they're in season and available again! Handsome prefers Gala, and the kiddos like Red Delicious, and I do like Granny Smith second best ... but Honeycrisps are perfect. They're sweet and crunchy just as their name advertises.

Try one today. You can thank me later.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cookbook Signing!

While walking downtown one day, I stopped into an eclectic little shop called HR Magoo's that sells handmade soaps, lotions, lip balm, art, and lots of other stuff! I chatted with the owners and asked if they'd be interested in hosting a cookbook signing with me. They happily agreed and we set a date, so ...

October 13 will be my first cookbook signing!

It will be in downtown Commerce at HR Magoo's - near Jay's - at 1700 South Broad. It's the pretty red and yellow building! I'll have a table set up with complimentary treats and apple cider, made using recipes from my cookbook. Even if you already have a book, be sure to stop by to say, "Hi!"

Commerce's downtown is having a Fall Block Party, so all the businesses will be open from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Some will have be having sales, complimentary snacks, and a bluegrass band will be playing ... it's sure to be a lot of fun!

I'll be at HR Magoo's from 5 to 7, and I hope to see y'all there! If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me using the "E-Mail Me" button over there to your right, or call HR Magoo's at 770-231-1808

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Butternut Squash Rolls

One easy way to round out a meal is to serve bread. With picky kids I can't always be sure that they'll eat the main course, or even the sides, so it's nice to know that at least they'll have bread and milk! I make all kinds of breads at different times, but I prefer the bread to have some nutritional value if possible. The recipe I'm sharing today makes incredibly delicious yeast rolls, and it's truly not complicated. I used to be scared of yeast rolls, thinking it was too much trouble, but now that I've made them so many times I'm not sure why I was hesitant to get started!

Butternut Squash Rolls

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°) (or buttermilk)
1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup brown sugar or honey
1 cup mashed cooked butternut squash
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in milk and water. Add the butter, salt, sugar, squash, wheat flour, and 1 cup all-purpose flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Form into rolls; place in two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 2 dozen.

Honey Butter - combine equal amounts honey and softened butter. (You can also add a dash of cinnamon!)

(Especially when I made baby food, I would always have cooked squash in the freezer. Nowadays I just buy the frozen cooked, mashed squash or bake an acorn squash to use for this recipe.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday Night Review 10/2

Last night the menu was BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Twice-Baked Potato Casserole, and Strawberry-Limeade Punch. The chicken was just a mix of light and dark meat mixed with Spicy Honey barbecue sauce and cooked in the slow cooker for several hours.

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole 

5 lb russet potatoes 
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 
1 cup sour cream
1 green onion, chopped
1-1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Peel potatoes, and cut into chunks. Place in a large saucepan, and add enough cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender and easily pierced with a paring knife, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain; return to pan.

Mash the potatoes in pan until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese, butter, and sour cream, and stir until combined and smooth. Add the green onion, 1 cup cheddar cheese, half the bacon, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.

Transfer to a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Bake until top is slightly golden and potatoes are heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven; garnish with remaining bacon. Serve immediately.