Friday, November 23, 2012

Pumpkin Fudge

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving filled with family, food, and much needed relaxing.  We had one family dinner yesterday and I am hosting another one at my house tomorrow.  I even managed to do a little Christmas shopping in between.  One of the best parts of the Thanksgiving holiday is the food, of course.  I made scalloped corn and pumpkin fudge for yesterday's dinner.  I'll post the corn recipe at a later time.  Today I want to share the pumpkin fudge recipe.  This is a recipe I just stumbled across a couple of years ago while browsing at Every Creative Endeavor.  I LOVE this fudge!  I'm a huge pumpkin fan and can hardly make myself stop eating this!  It's not an overpowering pumpkin flavor - just enough that you know what it is.  It's pretty simple to make and I do not change the recipe one bit.

Pumpkin Fudge

1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
2 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 12 oz package vanilla baking chips
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla  

Line an 8x8 inch pan with foil, with the foil longer than the pan, spray the foil with non stick spray. In a heavy pan, combine the sugar, pumpkin, salt, milk, butter, and pumpkin pie spice.  Stirring constantly over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for 12 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla, marshmallows, and vanilla chips, until smooth. Pour into the foil lined pan. Cover and refrigerate until set. Dump set up candy onto cutting board. Lift foil off, and cut and enjoy!!
I didn't take any pictures of the fudge. :(  However, the picture on the website is pretty much what mine looks like, too (maybe not cut quite as perfect!).  If you love fudge and pumpkin, then this is definitely a recipe you want to try!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!
~Dawn
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

I am always on the look out for easy to make desserts that taste delicious.  Seriously, isn't everyone though?  I rarely bake from scratch (because I just stink at it!) so when I saw this recipe for a 2 ingredient cake, I thought "I can do that!"  :)  This is definitley one of the easiest desserts I've made and it tastes delicious!  I got the original recipe here.

Two-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

Ingredients:

For Cake -
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15oz) can pumpkin

For Glaze -
1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons apple cider
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Directions:
Empty the contents of the boxed cake mix and pumpkin into a large bowl.  Using a hand-mixer or stand mixer beat until well incorporated.  The batter will be very thick, but will come together nicely.
Pour batter into a greased  7 x 11 X 2 pan.  
Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Do not overbake. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan, then flip onto a platter.
Make the glaze while you're waiting.
Combine powdered sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice.  Glaze should be thick but pourable.  Add more sugar or cider if needed.  Pour over the cake while still warm.  Reserve some to pour over each slice when served.
Serve warm or room temperature.
That's it!  Now I know this cake isn't low cal, but at least it's not using the extra eggs and oil that it usually would.  After I baked the cake, I didn't really want to put it on a platter just for us (why dirty another dish???) so I just left it in the pan.  I poked a few holes on top with a meat fork so the glaze would soak in a little.  The recipe recommends reserving some of the glaze to pour over each serving, but I just dumped it all on the cake.  It worked out fine that way, but I think I actually would've liked it better if I had some of the glaze to pour on my piece. Next time, I'll do it that way. 
Speaking of the glaze, it seems like a waste to buy an entire container of cider just for 3 tablespoons.  It's ok if you like apple cider, and I do, but I'm the only one in my house who drinks it.  So now I have this large container of cider and I can't drink it all.  I think next time I'll just use milk instead of cider to make the glaze.  I don't think the cider changed the taste that much.  Most of the glaze taste came from the pumpkin pie spice.  Using milk will make the glaze more white than brown, but that's ok.  I think it will be good either way!
It's not the prettiest dessert, but it tastes good!  And what could be easier????

 
It tastes good with vanilla ice cream or I'm sure with Cool Whip as well.  It's wonderfully easy fall dessert that I'm sure I will make again!
 
 
~Dawn
 



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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Crazy Squirrels!

I know I've mentioned my backyard squirrels many times.  So many in fact, that I feel I'm running the risk of being labeled the "Crazy Squirrel Lady."  I can't help it though.  They're fun to watch... until they start chewing on my $200 patio cushions.  Then it's time to consider squirrel meat for dinner!  Last year they chewed up an old cushion I had on my yard swing, which I really didn't care much about anyway.  Then I caught them trying to chew my expensive cushions so I had to put those away in the garage.  I know they're just looking for things to stuff their nest with for winter, but seriously, find something cheaper to chew on!  This year, I was prepared.  I put an old, cheap cushion out by a tree the squirrels frequent.  Sure enough, I caught one out there chewing a hole in it and pulling out piles of stuffing to take back to his (or her!) nest.  You gotta see this!



 
 
The little sucker just kept packing in more and more stuffing until his mouth was so full he couldn't add anymore.  I think he finally saw me because I was laughing so hard I couldn't keep quiet.  I've decided that next year, I'm just going to put a tomato cage at the base of that tree and buy a bag of cotton fiber fill to put in it.  Then the squirrels can have all the stuffing they need for their nest and keep toasty warm in the winter. They really do live the good life in my backyard!
 
I also took a couple of neat pictures of the moon not too long after the squirrel shenanigans and thought I'd post them, too.  The second one is pretty good for a basic zoom lens and no tripod. 


 
Happy Fall!
 
~Dawn
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Bacon Tater Bake

So you've been looking for an easy side dish to go with your pork chops (or any meat for that matter)?  Bacon Tater Bake certainly fits that description.  It is so easy to make and tastes pretty darn good, too!  I cut this recipe out of a magazine a few years ago.  I have no idea which one (maybe Taste of Home), but Nita Cinquina of Surprise, Arizona, if you're reading this, this is your recipe!

Bacon Tater Bake

Ingredients:

2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 package (32 oz.) frozen tater tots

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine soup, sour cream and onion.  Add the bacon and tater tots.  Stir until combined. 
Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  Uncover and bake 8-10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

That's it!  It couldn't be any easier.  I make it as directed except I used frozen, chopped onion and add a couple of handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese. 


That's a lot of creamy, cheesy, goodness right there!


It's not the best picture, but I still think they look pretty tasty!  I served these with grilled pork chops smothered in BBQ sauce and green beans.  The leftovers are just as good the next day, too!

Enjoy!

~Dawn Pin It
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