Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Bars

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups canned pumpkin
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Spray a jelly roll pan (10x15 inch) with nonstick spray. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs and pumpkin.Combine all dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pecans. Add dry ingredients to the other mix. With wooden spoon, stir to mix completely. Pour batter into a pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350 fro 25 minutes or until they test done. Remove from oven and cool.

1 8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 TBS milk

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tsp milk, until completely smooth. Add more milk if necessary to bring to a spreading consistency.

I sprinkle miniature chocolate chips on the frosting.

My S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d Meat Loaf

My S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d Meat Loaf
From the kitchen of Silvia Winert

I got this recipe from a Good Morning America Cooking segment and I like it a lot.

2 large eggs
1/2 cup tomato juice or tomato-vegetable juice, such as V8
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup packaged or homemade dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oats
6 cloves fresh garlic, or 2 tablespoons bottled minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, or 2 tablespoons dried parsley (optional)
1 medium-size carrot
2 ribs celery
1/2 medium-size green bell pepper
1 large onion
1 pound lean ground beef (see Note), defrosted if frozen
Cooking oil spray
Mustard-Brown Sugar Topping or Ketchup Topping (recipes follow)


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the tomato juice, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper. Stir well. Stir in the bread crumbs and oats. Set aside.

3. Peel the garlic cloves, if using fresh. Turn on a food processor and drop the garlic cloves, one at a time, through the feed tube. Process until finely minced. Then drop the fresh parsley leaves (if using) through the feed tube and finely mince.

4. Peel the carrot and cut it into roughly two-inch pieces. Cut the celery into roughly two-inch pieces. Core and seed the bell pepper half and cut it into roughly two-inch pieces. Add the carrot, celery, and bell pepper pieces to the processor bowl and pulse until the vegetables are cut into very small pieces (but not soupy). Transfer the vegetable mixture to the mixing bowl, along with the bottled minced garlic and dried parsley (if using).

5. Peel and quarter the onion and place the quarters in the processor bowl. Pulse until the onion is cut into very small pieces (but not soupy). Add the onions to the mixing bowl and stir to mix well.

6. Add the beef to the bowl and, using your hands, thoroughly combine the meat with the vegetable mixture.

7. Spray a large loaf pan (about 10 x 6 x 3 inches) with cooking oil spray. Spread the meat mixture evenly in the pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread the topping of choice evenly over the meat. Bake, uncovered, until cooked through, about one hour and 10 minutes. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves: 8
Prep time: 15 minutes

Note: Because the fat is not drained off in this recipe, we suggest using ground beef that is at least 85 percent lean.

Mustard-Brown Sugar Topping

2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup prepared mustard
Stir the brown sugar and mustard together in a small bowl until smooth.

Ketchup Topping

½ cup Ketchup

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp dry mustard

Red Beans and Rice


From the kitchen of Silvia Winert

The secret to making a great pot of beans is to avoid stirring them as much as possible to keep them from getting mushy. If you like the beans thicker, remove the cover during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Or, when beans are cooked, remove 1/2 cup, mash them and return them to the pot; stir gently to mix.

1 lb. red beans
2 medium size onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 large bell pepper, chopped
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 rounded tsp. each thyme and oregano
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 lb. Smoked sausage cut into 1/2 inch slices
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped green onions (including green tops) for garnish
6 servings hot, cooked rice

Overnight: Wash beans under cold running water. Place in heavy 5 quart pot. Cover with water and soak beans overnight.

For a quick soaking method: cover beans with water and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and boil 2 minutes. Turn off heat and let it sit 1 hour Do not drain off water.

After the overnight soaking or quick method: Two hours before serving, add onion, celery, and bell peppers to beans. With a spoon gently push vegetables below waterline. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Mix salt, thyme, oregano, garlic powder and cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of beans. Add bay leaves. Add sausage to pot and very gently stir spices and sausage into beans. Do not stir more than necessary. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, or until beans are completely soft. Serve over hot rice and top with cheese and green onions if desired.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
from Barefoot Contessa
(Aubrey loves to cook too!)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I used light vanilla)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra-large eggs
3 tsp grated grapefruit zest (approximately one large grapefruit or 2 small)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bread pan. Line the bottom with wax paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, grapefruit zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. Poke lots of tiny holes in it with a toothpick. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and grapefruit juice glaze and pour over the cake.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009