Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

It's the most wonderful time of the year... right? O wait, that's Christmas. But, it is the most wonderful baking time of the year with pumpkin breads, pies, cookies... yum!! And then comes Thanksgiving with the casseroles, turkey, and pies. So, to start things off, here is a new recipe for me of pumpkin bread from I hope you enjoy!
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 16 oz. canned pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 2/3 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour 2 9x5 loaf pans, or line 24 muffin tins with liners.
  3. Stir together sugar and oil.
  4. Stir in eggs and pumpkin.
  5. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.
  6. Blend dry ingredients and water into wet mixture, alternating.
  7. Divide batter between two loaf pans.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes for loaf pans or 20-25 minutes for muffins, until cake tester comes out clean.
  9. For loaf pans, let stand 10 minutes then remove from pans to let cool.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stuffed French Toast

Who doesn't like French toast? I'm glad I tried this recipe because it's definitely something I'm not familiar with baking, and now that I've done it I know what to do better. I would reduce the milk to two cups and increase the baking time a little bit to make it a little less moist. Also, the loaf of bread I used didn't have 24 slices, so I should've added some more bread which would've also made it less moist. Have fun with it; I hope you enjoy!

Makes: 12 servings.
Kitchen tools needed: 13x9 baking dish, food processor, blender, or mixer
  • 24 (1-ounce) slices cinnamon-raisin bread
  • 3 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 cups egg substitute, divided
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 8-oz packages 1/2-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • cinnamon-sugar (optional)

Trim crusts from bread. Arrange half of the bread in a 13x19 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine milk, 1 1/2 cups egg substitute, half-and-half, and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour half of milk mixture over bread in dish.

Combine 1/2 cup egg substitute, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and cheeses in food processor (or blender or use a mixer); process until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture over moist bread in dish. Top with remaining bread; pour remaining milk mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for 55 minutes (or more if needed). Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar, if desired.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Easy Mexican Casserole

Yum! This is a variant of a recipe I found on food network (for recipe click here). It was really tasty and super easy to make. I hope you enjoy!
  • 1 1/2 cups red onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1/2 can black beans, drained (optional)
  • 3 cups ground turkey (or leftover chicken or ground beef)
  • 1 (16-oz) jar salsa
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Brown meat if needed, or use leftover shredded chicken or ground beef. Add taco seasoning and water and allow to simmer. Add onions, and cook until soft. Add green chiles, diced tomatoes and green chiles, black beans, and salsa. Mix well.
  3. Spray small casserole dish with cooking spray.
  4. Pour meat/tomato mixture into casserole dish. Top with tortilla wedges. Finally, top with cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven; serve with sour cream if desired.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sweet Week.. Update

Had a great time at my cousin's baby shower. Here are the pictures of the two cookies I made for baby Jack's baby shower

The cute, book-themed table!

They turned out really, really cute! Once again, I've found the key to making perfect sugar cookies is chilling the pre-cut cookies for about 15 minutes in the fridge before baking.

I got the cake ball idea from, my new favorite sweet website. (Click here to see the recipe) It is purely amazing. Sarah and I had a great time assembling the cake balls.

However, we quickly learned that they need to be frozen in order to get firm enough to withstand the chocolate coating. Because my freezer is from like the 1970's, it isn't big enough to hold all the cake balls. So... until next week! Here's the one cake ball we attempted to make. I definitely think they'll work much better when they are firmer. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Basic Brownies

Well, it's baking week here at my apartment. In preparation for my cousin, Natalie's baby shower, I've got some baking to do. Some favorites which are already on my blog including white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, and sugar cookies (picture to come later), as well as some new recipes for the fall, such as decorative cake balls! But tonight, when the sweet tooth calls, you should answer it. I can't believe this brownie recipe isn't already on my blog because it's a go-to, never-go-wrong recipe for brownies that satisfies your chocolaty craving. Hungry yet? Or you can just eat the batter without baking them (ask my friend, Natalie). Sorry no picture, we ate the batter, and then I gave the few that I did bake away.

Stay tuned for the sweets tomorrow!

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (off-brand just doesn't cut it; stick to Hershey's)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • nuts (optional)
  • chocolate chips or peanut butter chips (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9x9 square pan or line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  3. Mix softened butter with sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt, scraping sides of bowl.
  5. Pour batter into square pan or cupcake pan.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes for square pan or 20-25 mintues for cupcakes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Cool slightly before cutting.

Cutting tip: Use a plastic knife for smooth even cuts through brownies every time!