Winter Weather Favorites – 10 Tips for Enjoying a Snow Day

image Snow Day!!! A winter storm is brewing outside and I’m cooking up a storm inside. Winter weather, while not much of a big deal in many parts of the US, is a near disaster in the state of Arkansas. Overhead power lines and trees in desperate need of trimming nearly guarantee wide spread power outages any time snow or ice accumulates. But alas, a propane heater and a generator keeps us toasty, warm and in the lights come winter weather and so far…we still have electric energy. image Now I understand why my 6 year-old nephew is so thankful! So, when winter weather hits there are a few things that I love to do.

  1. Sleep late.
  2. Make cookies. I use a traditional Tollhouse Chocolate Chip cookie recipe with two exceptions. First, I add 1 tsp. of Baking POWDER to the recipe. This gives you a nice fluffy cookie that stays just the right amount of chewy. Second, we often use a mix of chip flavors. Today we have dark chocolate and peanut butter. YUM! image
  3. Turn on the Christmas lights and music! (You’re stuck inside so cozy up and enjoy!)
  4. Make a big breakfast. We’re having Petit Jean Bacon and pancakes this morning. (We would be having french toast but the store was out of bread!)
  5. Watch movies. We’ve got a collection of old favorites and if the internet connection persists we have Amazon Video.
  6. Read a book. I am currently reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.
  7. Get crafty. Next week is paper ornament week in my high school Art 2 class. This is a favorite yearly tradition of this class and is requested each year. We break out beautiful scrapbook papers and spend the week making a number of gorgeous paper star ornaments. I’ll be working on some samples today. Check out my paper ornament tutorial!
  8. “Cuddle!” And if you need some help in this department you may want to check out my friend Heather Davis’s new book TMI Mom: Getting Lucky (After Kids). This is one of the funniest and most entertaining books I have ever read!
  9. Eat comfort food. I have my favorite pork roast simmering away in the crock pot. It is so simple to make too! Lay 4-5 piece of smokey Petit Jean bacon on the bottom of the crockpot. Place a large pork butt, fat side up, onto the bacon. Cut little slits in the fat and insert 8-10 cloves of garlic. Sprinkle generously with salt. Now set the crock pot on the lowest setting and let this baby simmer for up to 16 hours! (Yes you read that correctly.) Don’t add any liquid to the pot! Once it’s done it will be falling-apart-tender and oh-so-good! I use the drippings to make a nice pan gravy and I serve it with some roasted potatoes, a green veggie, and some Parker House rolls. The leftover meat makes amazing tacos and is perfect for BBQ sandwiches. Honestly it’s the perfect menu for a winter weather weekend!
  10. Play games. We will be breaking out the chess board, the cards and scrabble before too long.

What are your winter weather favorites? I’d love for you to leave a comment! Stay safe, stay warm and have a fun snow day!

P.S. None of the links in this post are affiliate links. I share because I love the products. However, Petit Jean Meats does send me free Bacon on occasion because they are cool like that!

Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese {Find it, Make it}

Hi. I’m Julie’s sister and I love to search out new recipes and try new things. As I find them in magazines, on blogs, and various other places, I will make them and let you know how they turn out. I will also give you any tips to make it easier or offer suggestions on how I changed the recipe to better suit me and my family. Check back frequently for new recipe ideas.  Take a look at the other recipes in the {Find it, Make it} series or enjoy the other posts on Julie’s blog. – Amanda

Its been almost 2 weeks of being on crutches with a fractured foot. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who has been helping me out around the house and treating me to some delicious meals as he has taken over cooking for the family. So, this time around I didn’t have to “search” very far for a good recipe. This past week for lunch he has been throwing together this recipe and it is so simple and delicious!! As a plus, you can roast the beets ahead of time and use them as you please until they are gone. Here’s what you need.

Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese

A big bunch of beets

Goat cheese

salt and pepper

additional toppings if you like (bacon, thyme etc.) but I like my plain

Apologies for the horrible picture. They really look a lot prettier than this.

Set your oven to 375 degrees. If the beets are really large cut them in half. Coat the beets with a little olive oil. Create a foil packet for your beets. Place the beets on a pan lined with foil.  Roast until done, about  60-90 minutes depending on size until you can easily pierce with a fork. After they cool a bit you should be able to easily peel the skin off with your hands and slice to desired thickness. Using the amount of slices you want, place them back on the sheet pan. Top them with some goat cheese (and bacon/thyme etc. if you like). Put under the broiler for 5 min.

Any remaining beets you can place in a bowl and cover and keep in the fridge.

As a side note you can also use the roasted beets in this yummy recipe for a Penne Pasta with Roasted Beet Sauce. Sorry, I don’t have a picture but I have made it twice and it’s excellent.

A special thanks to my husband, Josh, for keeping the house together while I hobble around on crutches.

From my searches to your dishes. Enjoy!

 ~Amanda

Open Sesame! {Find it, Make it}

Hi. I love to search out new recipes and try new things. As I find them in magazines, on blogs, and various other places, I will make them and let you know how they turn out. I will also give you any tips to make it easier or offer suggestions on how I changed the recipe to better suit me and my family. Check back frequently for new recipe ideas.  Take a look at the other recipes in the {Find it, Make it} series or enjoy the other posts on Julie’s blog. – Amanda

Open Sesame! {Find it, Make it}

Although I associate this term as a memory from my younger years, I recently learned that it is from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves as a magical phrase used to open the mouth of a cave. I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed that I am just learning this fact at 32 yrs old or because I really thought that when I uttered that while standing in front of the automatic doors at the library when I was 5 it caused them to magically open. Regardless, this post will indulge your inner sesame with 3, yes 3, recipes in one post all containing the magic little seed in all its glory.

Asian Grilled Chicken Strips

My first recipe is my own creation and I don’t really have measurements. I call it Asian Grilled Chicken strips. I just made that up. Basically I take chicken tenderloins and marinade them in the following:

  • soy sauce
  • fresh grated ginger
  • a crushed garlic clove or 2
  • SESAME oil
  • honey or brown sugar
  • chopped scallions
  • siracha sauce.

After a few hours at least I just throw the tenderloins on the grill. They smell and taste so good.

The last time I made the chicken I threw together this simple slaw I found on skinnytaste.com. It was so easy and the black sesame seeds against the yellow mango looked amazing. The blog writer, Gina, has some great stuff and has won awards and been featured in some big name publications. Check out her blog when you get a chance.

Asian Cabbage Mango Slaw

Skinnytaste.com (Visit her page to see a beautiful photo of the finished dish.)
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/2 cup • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 62.9 • Fat: 2.7 g • Protein: 1.1 g • Carb: 10.1 g • Fiber: 1.9 g • Sugar: 6.3
Sodium: 114.8 mg

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 mango, not fully ripe
3 medium scallions, chopped
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp black and white sesame seeds

Directions:

Julienne the mango (cut into strips). Combine with the cabbage, carrots, scallions and toss together in a large bowl.

Prepare the dressing by whisking together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, and lime juice; slowly whisk in the oil.

Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Let it sit at least 15-20 minutes to let the dressing soak in.

Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Well, I had to have dessert and you might be thinking sesame and dessert do not go well together. But what you also didn’t know is this dessert has soy sauce in it too!!! What a great way to whip up a sweet ending to this meal using ingredients I already have lying about! They may sound a little unconventional but you have to try it. My whole family loved them and they didn’t last long. This one comes from Joy the Baker at joythebaker.com. I’m sure you have heard of her.

Salty Sesame and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Joythebaker.com (View her page for step-by-step instructions with photos!)
makes 20 to 24 cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 to 1 teaspoon soy sauce (don’t be scared)
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
1 cup dark chocolate chips
about 1/4 cup black sesame seeds for rolling and coarse sea salt for topping

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside and we’ll preheat the oven after we chill the dough.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the butter mixture with a spatula. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat on medium speed until mixture is fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and soy sauce. Stop the mixer and add the dry ingredients, all at once to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined. Stop the mixer, add the sesame seeds and chocolate chunks, and fold together with a spatula until well combined. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 45 minutes.

Just before you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place about 1/4 cup black sesame seeds in a small bowl.

Scoop cookie dough by the heaping tablespoonful into your hand. Roll into a ball, and toss around in the black sesame seeds. The dough balls don’t need to be completely covered in seeds, just coated well. Place on prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven, allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container. Cookies will last for a day or two. The oils on the seeds can tend to go rancid. These cookies are best eaten within a few days. That shouldn’t be much trouble!

“OPEN SESAME”!!!! Your mouth will thank you!
From my searches to your dishes. Enjoy!

To read more of my recipe reviews just click the logo below!

 

” I want the chocolatiest, chocolatiest, chocolate, chocolate cake you can make!” {Find it, Make it}

Hi. I love to search out new recipes and try new things. As I find them in magazines, on blogs, and various other places, I will make them and let you know how they turn out. I will also give you any tips to make it easier or offer suggestions on how I changed the recipe to better suit me and my family. Check back frequently for new recipe ideas.  Take a look at the other recipes in the {Find it, Make it} series or enjoy the other posts on Julie’s blog. – Amanda

” I want the chocolatiest, chocolatiest, chocolate, chocolate cake you can make!”

That was a quote from my soon to be 5 yr old, Silas, when asked what he wanted for a birthday cake. So my mission was to create this ultimate chocolate cake and fit it into a Ghostbuster’s themed party. I had recently seen a recipe on one of my favorite food blogs kevinandamanda.com

Their recipe for Brownie Batter Fudge Cupcakes with Outrageously Rich Chocolate Indulgence Frosting seemed perfect and the photos are to die for.

Warning: This recipe is NOT for the health conscious!!!! But who cares, its a party!!!!

Here is the recipe but you should definitely check out the site for some nice step by step photos and to see some of their other creations.

BROWNIE BATTER

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup milk
1 (18.25 oz) box devil’s food cake mix

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 mins until well combined. Using a small scoop (about 1.5 tbsp) drop batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze overnight.

CUPCAKES

1 (18.25 oz) box devil’s food cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) pkg Jello instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and line with cupcake liners. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips into a very large bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 mins until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a large scoop (about 3 tbsp) drop batter into the cupcake liners, filling about 2/3rds full. Remove brownie batter from freezer and press into the cupcake batter. Bake for 22-28 mins. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

FROSTING

5 sticks butter, softened
8 oz powdered sugar
1.5 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
a pinch of table salt
1.5 cups light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
16 oz milk chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring well every 30 seconds. Allow to cool for 5-10 mins. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a food processor and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl as needed. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, about 5-10 seconds. Scrape the bowl again, then add the melted chocolate and pulse until smooth and creamy, about 10-15 seconds. You can use a mixer for this too, if you don’t have a food processor, just don’t whip the butter too much! :) Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.

Makes & frosts 36 cupcakes.

 

I added some green slime colored gel icing and a ghostbuster’s logo made from fondant and it was a huge hit!

From my searches to your dishes, Enjoy!

Pappardelle with Leeks, Sugar Snap Peas, and Lemon {Find it, Make it}

Hi. I love to search out new recipes and try new things. As I find them in magazines, on blogs, and various other places, I will make them and let you know how they turn out. I will also give you any tips to make it easier or offer suggestions on how I changed the recipe to better suit me and my family. Check back frequently for new recipe ideas.  Take a look at the other recipes in the {Find it, Make it} series or enjoy the other posts on Julie’s blog. – Amanda

In Martha Stewart’s March issue she has some great easy pasta dishes that have creamy sauces made from the starchy pasta water. Since March was so unseasonably warm here in norther Illinois I was craving something fresh and with spring flavors. This was a cinch to make and really tasty. I cut down on the butter a bit and used a part skim ricotta to decrease the overall fat. Here is the recipe and you can also link to it here.

Pappardelle with Leeks, Sugar Snap Peas, and Lemon

Course Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 med leeks (white and pale green parts) cut into thin half moons and rinsed well
2 lemons
1/2 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
3/4 lb dried pappardelle or other flat egg noodles
1/2 C fresh ricotta
2 oz Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (3/4 C)

Directions

1. While bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and a pinch of salt; cook until leeks begin to soften and are bright in color, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 5 more minutes. Turn off heat. Finely grate zest of lemons directly into skillet, and season generously with pepper.

2. When water boils, add sugar snap peas to boiling water, and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes. Transfer peas to a plate using a strainer.

3. Add pasta to boiling water, and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes (do not drain water). Transfer pasta to skillet using the strainer. Add sugar snap peas. Gradually stir in 1 cup pasta water, about 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with ricotta and half the Pecorino and tossing until pasta is coated and sauce is creamy.

4. Divide among 4 bowls, and top with remaining grated cheese.

Martha also recommended using other veggies that were crisp and in season like asparagus or green beans.

From my searches to your dishes. Enjoy!

A Taste of Vermont in Illinois – Vermont Cheddar Ale Soup {Find it, Make it}

Hi. I love to search out new recipes and try new things. As I find them in magazines, on blogs, and various other places, I will make them and let you know how they turn out. I will also give you any tips to make it easier or offer suggestions on how I changed the recipe to better suit me and my family. Check back frequently for new recipe ideas.  Take a look at the other recipes in the {Find it, Make it} series or enjoy the other posts on Julie’s blog. – Amanda

I was in the mood for Vermont. The smells, the tastes….don’t get me started. I grew up in Vermont but haven’t been back in about 7 years. I have a trip planned on the horizon, but until then I needed a little fix. I started searching for a good soup recipe and came across the recipe for Vermont Cheddar Ale Soup from the Grafton Inn in Vermont. You can find it on a few sites, but I stumbled upon this recipe on the website Your Mileage May Vary.

This recipe takes a bit of time to come together and there are a few steps you can do ahead of time:

1. Get your garlic bulb roasted (about 30 min)
2. Caramelize your onion (20-30 min)
3. Grate your cheese while the above 2 are working.

For the cheese I used 2 blocks of Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar and 2 blocks of Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar. I could not find the Grafton cheese, but Cabot cheese is also made in Vermont and available at most grocery stores.

I also could not find the McNeills Ale. I substituted with New Belgium’s Fat Tire Amber Ale.

Then I followed the recipe exactly. I especially enjoyed using the new immersion blender I received from Julie for Christmas. It was so easy and there was just one little piece to clean. No need to move everything over to the blender.

  • 1 garlic bulb, roasted
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped & caramelized
  • 1 red pepper, diced 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 shallots thinly chopped
  • 2 qt vegetable stock (64oz)
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 pounds Grafton Cheddar, shredded (see above note)
  • 22 oz McNeill’s Firehouse Ale (see above note)
  • 3 large Yukon gold potatoes, diced 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  1. Saute shallots, peppers, and carrots until soft in 2 T olive oil and 1 T butter.
  2. Add bottle of beer and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Add caramelized onions, potatoes, stock and remaining butter.
  4. Simmer until potatoes are tender, then turn off flame.
  5. Add cream, roasted garlic and cheddar slowly with whisk.
  6. Puree in blender.
  7. Add salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh chives and croutons.

Yields 1 gallon.

To go with this I cubed up some pumpernickel bread, sprayed with my new olive oil sprayer, and sprinkled a little salt. After about 10-15 min at 400 degrees I had some yummy croutons to top it.

This recipe makes a lot and I think it would be easy to make half the recipe. However, my family all loves it and we can have it a few nights in a row.

I definitely got my Vermont fix and it made the house smell really yummy. Thanks to Neil and Shaula for posting this recipe that I stumbled on.

From my searches to your dishes…Enjoy!!

Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders (my way) {Find it, Make it}

Hi. I love to search out new recipes and try new things. As I find them in magazines, on blogs, and various other places, I will make them and let you know how they turn out. I will also give you any tips to make it easier or offer suggestions on how I changed the recipe to better suit me and my family. Check back frequently for new recipe ideas.  Take a look at the other recipes in the {Find it, Make it} series or enjoy the other posts on Julie’s blog. – Amanda


I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman’s blog under the ‘cooking” tab. You can view the step by step process here http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/12/spicy-whiskey-bbq-sliders/. It is also listed on her Tasty Kitchen site.

I altered this recipe to make it a bit more figure friendly…we’ve got to stick to those New Year’s resolutions right?

I used ground, 99% fat free turkey breast instead of beef and I made this as a loose meat sandwich like Sloppy Joe’s instead of as sliders.

I only used one pound of meat, but I kept the same measurements for the sauce and it just coated the meat and wasn’t too saucy.

Here is the recipe with my adjustment.  You can see P Dubs recipe with all the step-by-step photos here.

Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders (My Way)

1 pound Ground 99% Fat Free Turkey Breast
Salt And Pepper
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Large Onion, Diced
1/2 cup Whiskey
1 cup Barbecue Sauce
1/4 cup Jarred Jalapeno Slices (more To Taste)
Buns

Brown the meat in a skillet until cooked through.  Remove and set aside.  Add butter to the same pan and saute onions until golden and tender.  De-glaze the pan with the Whiskey being sure to stir in all the little brown bits on the pan.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook through until warm.  Return the browned meat to the pan, toss with the sauce and bring to temperature.  Serve on your favorite buns.

It was delicious!!! And I didn’t miss the beef. It was a little spicy so you might want to go easy on the peppers and add more to your taste at the end.

We made homemade baked potato chips to go along side. I had two new gadgets I got for Christmas that I wanted to use…a mandolin slicer and a olive oil sprayer. We cut a russet potato thin with the slicer, coated the tops with olive oil and placed them in the microwave on parchment (also sprayed with oil) for about 7-8 minutes until you just start to see them browning..watch closely!! Sprinkle with salt.

Good luck to you all in the New Year and I hope you have some fun in the kitchen along the way. For example, I cooked this dinner without pants on as I dumped jalapeno juice all over mine while trying to open the jar. My kids got a kick out of that!!

From my searches to your dishes. Enjoy!

White Chicken Chili with Aged Cheddar {Find it, Make it}

Hi. I love to search out new recipes and try new things. As I find them in magazines, on blogs, and various other places, I will make them and let you know how they turn out. I will also give you any tips to make it easier or offer suggestions on how I changed the recipe to better suit me and my family. Check back frequently for new recipe ideas and enjoy the other posts on Julie’s blog. – Amanda

 

 

The other night was the perfect fall evening for White Chicken Chili with Aged Cheddar! I found this off an advertisement for Kerrygold cheddar in a magazine. You should look more closely at some of those ads as they sometimes have very good recipes on them.

 

This was relatively easy to make. There was minimum chopping and all ingredients were easy to find. I used a rotisserie chicken from the deli. I think this is essential. (However, in light of Thanksgiving being just days away, this could be great made with leftover turkey!)   If you can not find Kerrygold cheese, just use a good aged white cheddar. I used 4oz. of green chilies instead of 7oz. Everything goes in one pot which I love for easy clean-up. We had some hot crusty bread to go along side. My kids did not have any, but I think they would have like it. It is not too spicy and of course you can control the heat.

 

The next day I added some more milk to make it more like a soup and my husband and I really loved the leftovers this way. I think I even preferred it! This was a delicious, easy recipe to fight off the fall chill. Yummy, warming, and filling.

 

White Chicken Chile with Aged Cheddar
{Originally found on Kerrygoldusa.com}
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion (about 8 oz), peeled and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (8 oz), stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeño chile
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 can (15 oz) cream-style corn
  • 1 can (7 oz) diced mild green chiles
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 can (15 oz) navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Kerrygold Aged Cheddar Cheese (3 to 4 1/2 oz)

 

In a large pan, combine oil, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño chile. Stir often over high heat until onion is limp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add cumin, corn, green chiles, milk, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 10 minutes. Stir in chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the Aged Cheddar Cheese and serve immediately.

 

Additional Ideas:
For the shredded chicken, use leftover roast chicken, or rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. Or season two chicken breast halves with salt and microwave, covered, until juices are clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. Do not overcook.
Accompany chili with warm, buttered corn tortillas and a crisp green salad. Provide additional toppings such as chopped cilantro and sliced green onion, if desired. For a warming snack after an ice skating party or other outdoor activity, serve chili in mugs with spoons. Set out a basket of crackers and a crock of Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter.
Makes 4 servings.

 

From my searches to your dishes. Enjoy!
~ Amanda

Find it, Make it – Simple Pumpkin Pie Custard

Find it, Make it - Adventures in New Recipes by Amanda
This is a great fall dessert that will satisfy your craving for pumpkin pie in a hurry. No crust involved!! I found this on Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen site posted by member bloggingoverthyme.
Here is the link to Simple Pumpkin Pie Custard. http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/holidays/simple-pumpkin-pie-custard/ You can also check out Bloggingoverthyme’s blog for lots of other foodie goodness.

I made this to follow up the pasta dish from my previous post which you can link to here: Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Bacon.

I made only one small adjustment to this recipe. It called for 3 servings but I separated it into 4 ramekins so everyone in my family could have one. I also made some whipped cream with heavy cream, a little white sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon to top it.

This dessert was a big hit. It was so easy. I already had every ingredient in my kitchen and it presented like I had slaved over it. My kids loved it and thought they were pretty special with their own little individual dish to dig in to. Also, since it’s made with skim milk and no crust, you don’t feel so guilty about it!

Simple Pumpkin Pie Custard

{by Bloggingovertime on Tasty Kitchen}

  • 3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1-½ whole Egg Whites
  • 2-½ Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • ½ cups Pureed Canned Pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ½ cups Skim Milk

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Pour 1 tablespoon of maple syrup into each ramekin, swirl to cover the bottom.
Whisk together egg, egg whites, and sugar. Add pumpkin, vanilla, salt and spices. Gently whisk in milk. Pour equally into ramekins.
Place ramekins into a baking dish and fill with boiling hot water until 1/4 of the side of the ramekins is covered.
Bake for 60-70 minutes. They are done when the middle of the custard is set and does not wiggle when lightly tapped. Let cool completely, cover and store in the refrigerator.
These taste delicious cold or heated slightly in the microwave!

Enjoy!

Click here for more recipes in the Find it, Make it series.

Find It, Make It – Recipes with Amanda

I would like to introduce a new feature here on the blog, Find It, Make It. My sister Amanda loves to cook and try new recipes. She is always telling me about the new stuff she is making. My husband is pretty picky, although he would NEVER admit it, and her husband loves to try new stuff so she gets to make new recipes a lot more often than I do. Additionally, she has two young boys. Once a month or so, Amanda will be sharing posts about the recipe tries along with the reactions of her family. I hope you enjoy this new feature. I am so excited that my sister will be collaborating with me on my blog!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi. I am Julie’s sister, Amanda. She has asked me to contribute a recipe post for her blog. I love to cook and love to try new recipes so as I try them out I will share my experience.

This week I made a Martha Stewart recipe, Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Bacon.

Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a picture of my finished product this time around…but I promise to in the future. Anyway, this recipe was AMAZING!! Going into it I thought I might think it was okay, but really made it because I thought it would be something more for my husband. But I ended up loving it and it definitely found its place in our rotation.

Overall, this recipe was pretty easy to make but it did involve a little chopping and grating. It was average on cost as orecchiette is more than the average macaroni and I splurge on cheese and HIGHLY recommend using good quality parmigiano reggiano. My kids (age 3 and 4) both liked it. It was filling, but light and satisfied that good fall recipe need I get this time of year. I served it alone, but some crusty bread is always great. I made a dessert to go with it and you can get the recipe for the Simple Pumpkin Pie Custard here.

Enjoy!

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Bacon
{Recipe from Martha Stewart}

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces bacon, preferably slab, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed into 1 1/2-inch florets (about 2 1/2 cups)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces orecchiette
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces), plus more, shaved, for garnish
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Reserve drippings.

Toss sweet potato, onion, and cauliflower with reserved drippings. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until tender and caramelized, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot with cooking water, and toss with grated cheese and vegetables. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle bacon over top. Garnish with shaved cheese.

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