Cranberry-Pear Crisp

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It’s been a long time since I have had a Saturday with¬†nothing planned.¬†Cheer season is over, basketball hasn’t yet started….and my house is a mess. After spending the day FINALLY cleaning my house, a salami, cheese, mustard, and pickles plate was in order for dinner. Following that, well it only made sense for a delicious, homemade, baked dessert. This Cranberry-Pear Crisp was way too easy for how tasty it is. And the crisp part..well, I will definitely keep it for use on top of other fruit crisps I make, it was superb.

YOU’LL NEED:

1 pound cranberries (thawed if frozen)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 firm pears (such as Bosc), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground allspice
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the fresh and dried cranberries in a large bowl.

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Add 1 cup sugar, water and vanilla – tossing to coat. Lightly smash with a potato masher or fork.

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Add the pears, cinnamon, allspice and flour – toss to coat. Transfer to a 3qt baking dish.

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Make the topping: mix flour, pecans, oats, remaining sugar and salt in a medium bowl, then stir in the melted butter. Pinch the topping into small clumps and sprinkle over the fruit.

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Bake for 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Recipe courtesy of: foodnetwork.com

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Simply Delish Beef Pot Roast

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picture courtesy of whenthedinnerbellrings.blogspot.com

There’s just something about a slow-cooked meal on a cold, fall day. I love my slow-cooker. So far, almost everything I’ve used it for has turned out delicious…except for that one time (we’ll save that story for another day!). The Simply Delish Beef Pot Roast is no exception. I started the pot roast at 9am before we went out for breakfast, and by 630pm, a rich, meat and potatoes meal was waiting for us. Have I mentioned that a meal is perfect in my husband’s eyes as long as it contains meat and potatoes? Another reason we love this dish!

YOU’LL NEED:
Small to medium size rump roast
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 envelope brown gravy mix
2 individual size serving apple sauce
2 cups water
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium to large size potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced

Sear all sides of the roast in the frying pan in a little bit of oil.
Put roast in the crock pot, top with vegetables.
Mix envelope mixes with water and applesauce, then pour over roast and vegetables.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours (I cooked for 9.5 hours).
Best served with warm rolls.
Makes about six servings.

potroast

Recipe adapted from whenthedinnerbellrings.blogspot.com

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Minis

My latest food obsession has been Whoopie Pies. The first batch I made was chocolate cookies with a peanut butter filling. They were good, but each pie was about the size of my palm and could be shared among 2-3 people. They were way too big for one person to enjoy. Solution: Whoopie Pie Minis. And since we’re right in the midst of a brisk fall, I figured what could be better than pumpkin Whoopie Pies with a light and fluffy cream cheese filling.

COOKIES:

Dry Ingredients: 2 c. all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Combine all your dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
1 stick (1/2 c.) of softened butter, 1 1/4 c. sugar
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed in large mixer bowl on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Lightly beat two room temperature eggs. Add eggs, one at time to the mixer, beating well after each addition.

1 c. pumpkin, 1 tsp vanilla
Add pumpkin and vanilla extract to mixer, beating well until smooth.
Stir in flour mixture until combined.
Grease baking pan. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto pan.

Bake for 10-13 minutes (I did 12) in a 350 degree oven. They are done when springy to the touch.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING:

Beat room temperature cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy.
Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
Assembling the cookies is a fun part that kids will enjoy helping with. My daughter assembled all of our cookies. Once they are cool add a dollop of icing to one cookie, topping with a second cookie. 
Yum!

YOU’LL NEED:
COOKIES:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

COOKIES:
Combine all your dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed in a large mixer bowl for about 2 minutes.
Lightly beat 2 room temperature eggs.
Add eggs one at a time to the mixer, beating well after each addition.
Add pumpkin and vanilla extract to mixer, beating until smooth.
Stir in flour mixture until combined.
Drop dough by heaping measuring teaspoons onto greased pans.
Bake for 10-13 minutes in 350 degree oven. They are done when springy to the touch.
Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then move to wire racks to cool completely.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING:
Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium speed until fluffy.
Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.

When the cookies are nice and cool, put a dollop of icing on a cookie, and top with the second cookie.

Adapted from: VeryBestBaking.com

Spicy Chicken and Broccoli with Asian Noodles

As promised, here it is – a recipe containing my fave – Sriracha. This is not a recipe from the Sriracha cookbook, I haven’t had the time to even think about trying out one of those recipes. This dish however, was sooo good, it will definitely be added to our rotation.

fresh ginger, garlic

Start by grating out 2 tbsp. of fresh ginger and mincing 4 cloves of garlic. If you’re not a huge fan of garlic, cut it back by half and it shouldn’t be too overpowering.

Chop 4 chicken breasts up into small, bite sized cubes.

1 tbsp sesame oil on medium high heat – add garlic and ginger
Heat up 1 tbsp of sesame oil on medium high heat. I always double check the temperature by throwing a little bit of water on the pan. If it’s hot enough for your veggies, it will sizzle. Saute your garlic and ginger for about 1-2 minutes.
Chopped chicken breast
           Add your chicken breasts and continue to saute until chicken is cooked and no longer pink. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm on a plate.
Next, make your sauce (this is where the Sriracha comes into play!)
1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar, 1/3 c. hoisin sauce and a few squirts of Sriracha!
Reduce the heat to med and combine all sauce ingredients.
Since I was feeding the family and not everyone loves spice as much as I do, I only used about 1 tbsp of Srircha. Of course, I added it in to my own dish later!
Once all your sauce ingredients have been combined, add the chicken back to the pan. I steamed some broccoli and added to the pan at this point as well.
Now for some extra flavor!
On your left is cilantro – add this right to your sauce (about 1/3 cup). On the left is green onions. I topped each plate with a bunch of chopped green onions.

For some added crunch and flavor, throw about 1/2 c of peanuts into your sauce.
1/2 cup of dry roasted peanuts
Top pasta, rice noodles or rice with your spicy chicken and broccoli!

CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI WITH SPICY ASIAN NOODLES
You’ll Need:
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp sesame oil
4 chicken breasts, chopped
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/3 c. hoisin sauce
1 tbsp (or more if you like heat) Sriracha
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
4 green onions chopped
3-4 cups broccoli
1/2 c dry roasted. peanuts
Angel hair pasta, rice noodles or rice.

Saute ginger and garlic for 1-2 minutes on medium-high heat.
Add chopped chicken and cook thoroughly, until no longer pink.
Start steaming broccoli.
Remove cooked chicken from pan with slotted spoon and keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium.
Combine soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, hoisin sauce, and Sriracha sauce in pan.
Add chicken back to pan and stir in chopped cilantro, steamed broccoli and dry roasted peanuts.
Top your pasta or rice with chicken and garnish with green onions.

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Whipped Apple Cider Martini

I am certainly no mixoligist but I am definitely proud of the tasty concoction I threw together tonight. I’m sure with the next round of drinks it could be more pretty…well maybe not..HA!

3 shots apple cider
2 shots whipped cream vodka
rim the glass with caramel and dip in salt

The perfect Autumn cocktail. Add an apple garnish for a finished look.

It may taste better if you listen to this song while you make your drink.

Sriracha!

I have neglected my new blog for the past week as I’ve been doing the “work” part of the WorkMomCook life. I traveled to hospitable Greensboro, NC for a photo shoot where I had the best fried Catfish at Hampton’s – the restaurant in the lobby of the Inn where I stay.

While I was away, I received my Sriracha cookbook in the mail!! I’m soo excited to dive into this book as anyone who knows me knows I put Sriracha on pretty much anything I can. It’s as much, if not more than, a condiment in our home as ketchup.

Don’t be surprised if you see some recipes coming up in the next few weeks with lots of Sriracha sauce infusions. This book has options for every course, and yes, that includes dessert!

And I promise to share at least one recipe this weekend. For now, TGIF! Enjoy the weekend.

Slow Cooked Pork Tenderloin with Apples & Honey

Sunday is the perfect day for a slow-cooked meal. Our family tradition is to start with a late breakfast on Sunday, skip lunch and sit down to an early Sunday dinner. I like to pull out my slow-cooker for these meals as I have the extra time to prep in the afternoon, and by dinner there is an amazing meal waiting for us.

This is the season for picking apples, so this Sunday I’ve incorporated them into our slow cooked meal. A side of roasted cauliflower is the perfect accompaniment to this dish!

1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 c. chicken broth, 1/2 c. honey, 2 apples, 1 onion, 1 1.5 lb pork tenderloin (not shown) and 1 c. apple cider (not shown), salt
Peel the apple and chop along with the onion.
Place the pork tenderloin in the crockpot.
Put the onions and apples on top of the pork tenderloin.
Add 1/2 c. honey, 1/2 c. chicken broth, 1/2 c. apple cider, 1/2 tsp. apple cinnamon and a little bit of salt to the top
This is going to make the house smell amazing!
Set your slow cooker to low heat and walk away for 8-10 hours. My slow cooker usually cooks food very quickly, so I’ll be checking it in about 6-7 hours.
8 hours later…dinner is ready! Served on a bed of homemade cheddar-garlic red-skinned mashed potatoes with a side of vegetables. Sooooo good!
It was so nice to come home to a delicious meal after my daughter’s cheer competition today. Her team placed 3rd!
I have to say one of my favorite parts of the competition day is when all the cheerleaders converge onto the floor at the end of all the routines to dance and cheer….

SLOW COOKED PORK RECIPE
You’ll Need:
1.5-2lb pork tenderloin
2 apples, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. apple cider
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
a few dashes of salt

Place your pork tenderloin in slow cooker.
Put the diced apples and onion on top of the pork.
Pour the 1/2 c. chicken broth, 1/2 c. honey, 1/2 c. apple cider on top.
Put the 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a few dashes of salt on top.
Set the slow cooker on low heat and walk away for 8-10 hours.