BWD: Pumpkin Muffins

I was very excited about this recipe as I love all things pumpkin, and as expected, these muffins did not disappoint!  They were a breeze to put together and, after 25 minutes in the oven, I had delicious muffins that pair perfectly with a cup of coffee on a chilly fall morning.  In my hurry to get these in the oven, I forgot to put the sunflower seeds on top, but I actually think I wouldn’t have liked them as much with the sunflower seeds.  I can say that this is my favorite recipe thus far from Dorie, and I can guarntee I’ll make these again.

Elizabeth from Gluten-Free Baking chose today’s recipe, and you can find the gluten-free version of these  muffins on her blog.  You can find the original recipe on Chaya’s blog, My Sweet and Savory, or on page 13 of Dorie’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.  To see how the other bakers did, check out the Baking with Dorie blogroll.  Up next, My Favorite Pecan Pie!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

We had a very rare night out last night and went to a Halloween party hosted by one of the husband’s good friends.  When I asked if I could bring anything, they suggested a dessert.  I wanted to do something a bit different that had the flavors of fall, and that was easy to eat with your hands.  Pumpkin, cookies and chocolate, can you really go wrong there?  The answer – no you cannot.  These cookies were delicious!  They are very soft and cakelike, my favorite cookie combination.  And you don’t need to just take my word for it…there were a ton of desserts at the party, and my cookies were gone within 30 minutes of arriving!  The other desserts were barely touched.  Just saying…

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

Add vanilla and chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

Source:  Allrecipes


Back in 2003, the husband and I made the decision to bust out of our small, small town and move to Washington, D.C.  When we made this move, I had no idea how to cook.  Thankfully, the husband’s grandma sent us down with his favorite chili recipe, along with all of the spices we’d need to make it.  I’ve made this dozens of times since she gave us the recipe, and it gets better and better every time.  I have heavily adapted it over the years to fit our tastes, and after this batch, I think I’m done tweaking it.  Delicious!!  Depending on how much time I have, I either make this on the stovetop in my cast iron Dutch oven, or in the crockpot.


2.5 lbs ground beef
1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
3 cups water
4 Tbsp dried minced onions
2 Tbsp good quality chili powder (I use Penzeys)
1 Tbsp Chili 3000 Seasoning (from Penzeys)
1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Brown ground beef; drain and add back to pot.  Add tomato sauce, water, minced onions, chili powder, Chili 3000, and beans to the ground beef.  Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 3 hours to let the flavors blend.  If making in the crockpot, combine drained ground beef with all other ingredients and cook on low 6-8 hours.

Source:  Heavily adpated from Grandma GeeGee’s original recipe 🙂

Japanese-Style Crispy Pork

I think I’ve mentioned multiple times that I have a bit of an addiction to cookbooks.  Well, on top of that, I also have a bit of an addiction to magazine subscriptions, and most of those are food related.  I saw this recipe for Japanese-Style Crispy Pork in Food Network Magazine, and knew I had to give it a try.  This is a great weeknight dinner!  It’s a rare occasion when all three of us eat all of our dinner, and this one made all of us happy.  The toddler loved dipping his pork chops in the tonkatsu sauce (which was delicious!!), and he even ate quite a few cucumber spears.  The husband and I gobbled this down as well.  We had no leftovers.

Japanese-Style Crispy Pork

1 pound thin-cut boneless pork chops or cutlets, trimmed
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine, sake or sherry
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 medium cucumbers
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 large eggs
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3/4 cup cornstarch
Olive oil, for frying
1/4 cup tonkatsu sauce (a sweet-spicy Japanese dipping sauce, sold near the soy sauce; or make your own by mixing 2 tablespoons each ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and sugar with 1 tablespoon water.)

Season the pork with salt. Mix the rice wine and 1 teaspoon ginger and spread on the pork.  Stack the pork and set aside.

Peel, quarter and seed the cucumbers; cut into 4-inch spears.  Toss with the sugar and vinegar.  Toast the pepper flakes with 1 tablespoon salt in a skillet over medium heat, about 4 minutes; set aside.

Beat the eggs with 1/2 cup water in a shallow bowl.  Put the panko and cornstarch in 2 separate shallow bowls.  Dredge each piece of pork in cornstarch, dip in egg, then coat with the panko.  Heat 1/4 inch of peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Fry the pork in batches until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.

Sprinkle the cucumbers with some of the spiced salt.  Mix the tonkatsu sauce and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ginger in a bowl.  Serve the pork with the cucumbers and sauce.

Source:  Adapted from Food Network Magazine

CEiMB: Apple Brown Betty

This week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe was chosen by Jessica over at Learning to Love Vegetables.  You can find the recipe for this fabulous dessert over on Food Network’s website, or on page 241 of Ellie Krieger’s So Easy

 I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical of this recipe…I just didn’t see how whole wheat bread crumbs would make a good topping for this dessert.  Boy, was I wrong!  We all really enjoyed this, and I see this being made in our house quite frequently.  You can’t beat a great tasting and HEALTHY dessert!  The only change I made was using sliced almonds instead of walnuts, because that is what I had on hand.  The only thing missing…some vanilla ice cream!  I will be running to the store tomorrow to pick some up so that we can enjoy it with the leftovers.  Thanks Jessica for a fabulous pick!!  To see how the other CEiMB members did this week, check out the blogroll.

BWD: Kids’ Thumbprints

This week’s Baking with Dorie recipe for Kids’ Thumbprints was chosen by Grapefruit over at Needful Things.  You can find this recipe on her fabulous blog, or on page 163 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.

First, I apologize for the very late post!  I actually baked these on Monday, but burnt the heck out of the first batch.  I’m actually glad that I had a second shot at these cookies as the toddler and I baked together for the first time.  He came in the kitchen and asked if he could help…how could I turn him down?  These cookies were fantastic!  I think us adults enjoyed them just as much as the toddler.  They definitely taste like a very delicious PB&J sandwich.  Thanks, Grapefruit, for picking such a great recipe!

To see how the other BWD bakers did with these cookies, check out the blogroll.  Up next, Pumpkin Muffins!  I have a feeling these are going to be fabulous!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I LOVE fall.  Seriously love it.  I love the cool weather, the changing leaves, sweaters, and SOUP!  I just cannot eat soup in the summer when it’s 90+ degrees, but it is one of my favorite foods.  This chicken tortilla soup is so easy to throw together, and it cooks in the crockpot all day while you’re busy at work, raking up those fall leaves, shoveling your driveway, or just feeling too lazy to do much cooking.  This makes a lot of soup…we had enough for dinner for the husband, a friend, and myself the first night, and enough for one bowl each the second night.  You must give this a try!

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Points+:  6 (6 servings)

1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
1 (15 ounce) can petitie diced tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (32 ounce carton) chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in black beans and corn. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.

Source:  Adapted from Allrecipes