Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Waffles

I found this recipe about 3 or 4 years ago at Williams-Sonoma Online. It is a wonderful recipe, but I have always wanted mine to look like the pictures! Unfortunately, they don't. Not sure if it is my waffle maker, or their recipe but either way, in order to get a little more "crunch" to my waffles this year I decided to whip my egg whites and fold them in. I also put in 1 full teaspoon of soda, as opposed to 1/2. (Of course I omitted the rum, don't usually have it on hand!) I like the adjustments I made and decided two things. . .

ONE: The batter is the most delicious batter I have ever tasted and

TWO: I had forgotten how good these are and will make them at least 3 more times before the holidays are over!

Pumpkin Pie Waffles


5 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 cup pumpkin puree (you can use canned puree)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger (I use fresh or 1/2 tsp. ground)
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. double-acting baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs (separated)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Vanilla ice cream and/or maple syrup for serving or a BIG dollop of whip cream. Wish I woulda had that today!


Preheat a waffle iron. If you want to hold the finished waffles until serving time, preheat an oven to 200°F.Melt the butter; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, brown and granulated sugars, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Using a rubber spatula or handheld electric mixer, mix together well. Stir in the flour, baking powder and baking soda. The mixture will be thick and a little lumpy. Don't try to smooth it out; just mix until the ingredients are incorporated. In a separate bowl, whip your egg whites into stiff peaks. In another bowl, beat together the milk, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined. Fold in the melted butter and egg whites.
Whether or not your irons grids are well seasoned or made of a nonstick material, it is best to lightly butter or spray the grids for these waffles because the batter is quite sticky. Brush or spray the grids again only if subsequent waffles stick.For a Belgian waffle iron, spoon out 2/3 to 3/4 cup of batter (or the amount recommended by the manufacturers instructions) onto the hot iron. Use a metal spatula or wooden spoon to spread the batter evenly over the grids. Close the lid and bake until golden. If the waffle is hard to remove from the iron, peel it off gently and carefully.
Serve immediately or keep the waffles, in a single layer, on a rack in the preheated oven while you make the rest.Serving: Serve these warm and golden, one to a diner, topped with vanilla ice cream and/or maple syrup. Makes about six 4 1/2-inch square Belgian waffles.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


1 store bought pizza dough (not the kind you by in a tube...the kind in a bag in the refrigerated food section)
2/3 c ricotta cheese (divided)
1 c fresh grated mozzarella (divided)
1/4 c Parmesan (divided)

Any of the following toppings:

broccoli (steamed)
fresh basil
steak and cheddar

(mine was chicken and broccoli)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees
Sprinkle some corn meal on a pizza stone or cookie sheet. I let my pizza stone heat up in the oven while it preheated...right Lindz??
Cut pizza dough in half and roll out each half into approx 10" circle. Your dough should be quite thin. First spread 1/3 c ricotta cheese on HALF of the circle. Top with desired toppings and then 1/2 c grated mozzarella and 2 T parm.
Do not over stuff! you should be able to close it over easily. Then wet the edges with your finger and begin folding dough over in a crimping technique (don't look to close at my picture because I was going as fast as I could since my kids were all starving!!) Basically you push down on the seam with your left pointer finger and pull the edge over so it's covering your left finger and and press...repeat around all unfinished edge. (Yours will be lots prettier than mine)
Make sure to vent your calzone with a few knife slits and brush olive oil over the top and edge. Put on a pizza stone or cookie sheet and bake at 500 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Serve with marinara on top or on the side as a dip. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yummy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

(photo courtesy of Taste of Home)
I made a batch of these this weekend...they were absolutely heavenly!! This will have to be a new October tradition for sure!

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
2 eggs
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup canned pumpkin...I did a heaping 1/2 cup
1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 t all spice
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the eggs, shortening, pumpkin, milk, sugars, pudding mix, salt and 4 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

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. Roll into a 12-in. x 8-in. rectangle; brush with butter. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough to within 1/2 in. of edges.
Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal. Cut each into 12 slices. Place cut side down in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans or 2 9 inch rounds. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350° for 22-28 minutes or until golden brown. In a small bowl, combine the water, butter and cinnamon. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread over buns. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

Family Style Vegetable Beef Soup

This soup was simple, with few ingredients and no fuss. It is also so comforting and makes you feel all warm and cozy. Sometimes it's tough to get my kids to eat soups, but they loved all the simple and familiar ingredients in this soup. My family gobbled it up!

1 T olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil garlic and oregano, with liquid
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
1 package (16 oz)frozen mixed vegetables(mine had green beans, carrot, corn and peas)
1 bay leaf
1 package dry Italian dressing mix
1 c uncooked macaroni

First brown your beef in the tablespoon of olive oil. Season beef with salt and pepper. After pouring off the excess fat, add all diced tomatoes, beef broth, mixed veggies, bay leaf, and Italian seasoning mix. Fill tomato cans with water and add 2-3 cans worth of water to the pot. (Depends on how hearty you want it...but it will thicken up with the addition of the pasta later on.) Give it a good stir and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and cover the pot and let the flavors blend about 20 minutes. Stir in uncooked pasta and cover again for 8-10 minutes until pasta is al dente. Ladle into serving bowls and enjoy.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

French Bread

I know I have sighted Mel's Kitchen Cafe before on this blog. I am loving her bread recipes and find them easy and delicious! I have been using her french bread recipe for a while now. Perfect with spaghetti and makes amazing french toast the next day, of course!

2 1/4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
5 1/2-6 cups flour stirred before measured

Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof. Add salt, oil and 3 ups of flour and beat well. Add in 2 1/2-3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky, but be careful not to add too much flour. Knead for a few minutes.

Leave dough in mixer to rest for 10 minutes. Stir down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat a total of 5 times.

Remove dough from mixer and form into french loaves. Slice top of loaf across the top. Cover lightly and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash. Bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Lighter Beef Tacos

I found this recipe on I was looking for a taco recipe because I didn't have a packet and I needed to know what seasonings to use. I have never bought another seasoning packet again. Mainly because they are packed with MSG. Which we all know is horrible for you. So, use this recipe from now on!

1 large onion
2 bell peppers
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Course ground salt and pepper
3/4 lb. ground beef

Saute onions and bell peppers and cook until crisp-tender. 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste chili powder and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Add beef. Cook breaking up meat with a MIX AND CHOP! Until no longer pink. About 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and let simmer, mixing all the ingredients and allowing a sauce to form. Serve warm over tacos, burritos, or taco salad!
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