Fall decorations are everywhere you turn now. In the little town near where I live there are festively painted round hay bales on every corner, scarecrows, cornstalks, and pumpkins! The first day of fall was almost a month ago, and stores and coffee shops have had their pumpkin flavored goodies available for weeks. I thought it was high time that I share a pumpkin recipe with you. There is something about fall that brings out a craving for all things spicy and pumpkin scones are high on that list of cravings for me.
These scones have the perfect amount of sweetness, spice, and pumpkin. They are delicious for breakfast with a cup of coffee or as an afternoon snack. They are best the day they are baked so surprise a neighbor or coworker with a few of these tasty treats. They will be a million times better than anything you’ll find at the coffee shop and cheaper too!
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- ⅓ c. packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp. ground cloves
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 stick unsalted butter, frozen, and grated with a cheese grater
- ½ c. pumpkin puree
- ½ c. whipping cream
- 1 lg. egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. confectioners' sugar
- ¼ c. whipping cream
- Spiced Glaze:
- 1 c. confectioners' sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- Pinch nutmeg
- 3 tbsp. whipping cream
- For the scones:
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the butter in the freezer for about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from freezer and shred, using a cheese grater. Return the shredded butter to the freezer until you are ready to use.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, whipping cream, egg, and vanilla.
- Add the frozen shredded butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers to coat with flour.
- Stir in the pumpkin mixture just to combine. Transfer dough to a well-floured board and dust top with additional flour. Working quickly, knead the dough a few times. Flatten, using your fingers, and roughly shape into a 9-inch x 4-inch rectangle.
- Cut crosswise in the middle, then again in the middle of each piece. Cut each piece diagonally into two triangles. Place on prepared pan.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
- In the meantime mix up the glaze mixtures. Brush the first "plain" glaze onto each scone using a pastry brush. Cool for a few minutes.
- Spoon spiced glaze into a ziptop bag. Snip off a small section of the corner of the bag. Pipe the spiced glaze on top of the glazed scones.
- Allow glaze to air dry at room temperature then serve.
A couple of weeks ago I had chicken out for dinner, but with no definite plans. It was a yard day for me, which is an all-day affair since I cut 10 acres of grass. After I had showered off the dirt that covered me from head to toe, the last thing I wanted to do was to cook dinner. It would have been a pizza delivery night, had we lived near enough a pizza place to make that happen. While procrastinating, I scanned through Facebook and came across this recipe that a friend had shared. It looked easy enough, and I happen to have all of the ingredients. It was such a pleasant surprise…it was unbelievable! I remember reading the serving suggestion to serve the chicken with the pan drippings. Honestly, I thought that sounded so disgusting. Wow, was I wrong! I hate to admit it, but those fatty drippings were fabulous! I have made this chicken twice already! This dish would be terrific served with rice or mashed potatoes.
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cut up whole chicken or 8 pieces (at least 4 pieces dark meat)
- 1 medium onion, cut into wedges and layers separated
- 2 Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 6 to 10 cloves garlic, leave half of them whole and mince the rest
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces, if desired
- Preheat oven to 500°F.
- Drizzle 1 tbsp. olive oil on the bottom of a very large pan (I use a 12 x 15 metal pan with sides). Do not use glass or ceramic). Place chicken, skin side up, on the pan without overlapping or overcrowding. Place tomato wedges, onion pieces, garlic, and carrots, if using, around and in between chicken. Squeeze lemon over chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper. Bake 20 to 30 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165°F. Serve with pan drippings, if desired.
Sometimes the only thing that will satisfy the stomach and the soul is comfort food. There’s just something about creamy mac and cheese, delicious chicken and dumplings, melty chocolate chip cookies, or this ultimate homemade tomato soup with over-the-top grilled cheese sandwiches. This combination has always been a favorite of mine. It’s like a warm hug and especially good when the weather turns cool.
I start my tomato soup as I do marinara sauce, with onions, garlic, carrots and celery. After adding tomatoes and simmering for a while, I then blend it until smooth and add a can of diced tomatoes so that I will have a small chunks of tomato scattered throughout the soup. The name of this grilled cheese could not be more fitting. It is over-the-top good! However, you can change it up to your liking. I usually start with good bread then I add a creamy cheese, like Monterey Jack or Brie, a sharp cheese, like Cheddar, and a few crumbles of goat cheese. Then as if that isn’t enough I add sliced onion and tomato, and a few leaves of arugula, basil, or spinach. Grilled to perfection in a skillet or Panini press its divine when dipped into a delicious bowl of tomato soup!
Ultimate Tomato Soup
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14.5-oz.) can chicken broth
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic and cook about 10 minutes over medium heat, until onions are translucent. Add celery, carrot, salt, and pepper and cook until soft. Add bay leaf, crushed tomatoes, 28-oz. can diced tomatoes and bring to a boil, uncovered. Lower temperature and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour.
- Remove bay leaf and puree in a blender, in batches. Pour the pureed tomato soup into the Dutch oven and add the 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer until heated through.
Over-the-Top Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Good bread
- Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
- Sharp Cheddar cheese, sliced
- Goat cheese, crumbled
- Arugula leaves
- Onion, thinly sliced
- Roma Tomato, thinly sliced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the Monterey Jack cheese on one side of the bread. Add arugula leaves, onion, tomato, salt and pepper. Crumble goat cheese over top and then add Cheddar cheese. Top with second slice of bread and grill in a buttered skillet or a Panini press until the cheese has melted and the bread is lightly browned.
I have a feeling that I know what most of you are thinking right now. “Why Rice Krispie treats?” I mean, we all know the recipe is right there on the box, right? Yes, it is. However, this recipe is slightly different. This recipe is a Pioneer Woman recipe and my very favorite. Such simple changes, but I love how the pinch of salt wakes up the flavors, and I like adding just a few miniature marshmallows at the end. The original recipe calls for one bag of miniature marshmallows, but that is too many in my opinion, I usually throw in about 2 cups. Add the amount that makes you happy!
I used molds that I have had since my children were small to make the bats and pumpkins. Wes and Savannah stood on chairs beside me in the kitchen making dozens of these through the years. We made them for school parties, subdivision parties, and friends. They are still adorable and making these, alone in my kitchen, while the kids are off in college, brought back sweet memories.
Rice Krispie Treats
- 4 tbsp. butter, plus more for greasing pan (if using molds spray with nonstick cooking spray
- 1 (10-oz.) bag marshmallows
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 6 c. Rice Krispies cereal
- ½ bag miniature marshmallows
- Sprinkles, to decorate, if desired
- Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with butter.
- In a large pot, melt the butter. Stir in the regular marshmallows until they are melted. Stir in the salt. Remove from the heat and add the cereal, folding gently until well combined. Add the miniature marshmallows and gently fold in. Turn into the buttered pan and press flat. Immediately top with sprinkles.
- Cool completely and cut into squares.
If using molds, spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray. Grab a handful of the mixture and gently press into the molds. Turn out onto wax paper immediately. Let air dry.
I have not posted a lot over the past two weeks. You may think I’ve had a fall break but far from it. I have been working on a project for the newspaper for two weeks. I have fifteen new holiday recipes with photos ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This meant that even more than fifteen were tested. Some needed up in the garbage and some are my new favorite holiday recipes! I have new appetizers, main dishes, sides, and desserts that I can’t wait to share with you. Because we all know the holidays will be here before we know it!
Today I have a yummy pizza stuffed french bread recipe. This is cooked on the grill and has a delicious smoky flavor that you will not get in your oven. This is a recipe from Traeger, which happens to be the grill I use. It’s a really easy recipe that your kids will love helping you with. Although the recipe does not suggest cooking on a baking sheet, I did. I would suggest that you cook only the amount that you think your crowd will eat at one time. This is not very good left-over, so you may need adjust accordingly.
Pizza Stuffed French Bread
- French loaf
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- 1 pkg. sliced pepperoni
- 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 c. mozzarella
- Heat grill to high heat.
- Make X cuts ¾ of an inch down into the bread, leaving space between the X's so that your bread stays intact.
- Stuff the cuts with marinara and pepperoni.
- Sprinkle top of bread with cheese, pushing some of the cheese down into cuts.
- Place loaf on the grill and grill 15 to 25 minutes, depending on temperature of grill.