Mexican Seasoning Blend

Mexican Seasoning Blend 2

We recently moved Savannah home again. She will be doing an internship in January, and it was impossible to find a six-month lease near the college. So, for six-months, she will make the daily drive to college.

I questioned how living together would be after she has been on her own for so long. I’m trying really hard to remember she’s not a child any longer. It is coming with some benefits also. She has become very independent…she doesn’t want me doing her laundry, and she has become an excellent cook!

Fajitas is a specialty of hers, and I am using every excuse I can think of to have her cook them often. Her secret is this awesome seasoning blend that she makes. I even seasoned a roast with it, and it was delicious.

Savannah does not have an exact measurement for the meat and veggies. To feed two people, she typically uses one to two boneless, skinless chicken breast, two green bell peppers, one large onion, and two to three Roma tomatoes.

Savannah seasons her meat with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Then saute’s it in a little oil until done. She then removes the meat from the skillet to saute green bell peppers and onions. Once the veggies are tender, add chopped Roma tomatoes and a heaping tablespoon of the fabulous seasoning, plus the juice of half a lime. Add the meat back to the skillet, stirring to combine and serve.

Try this tasty Mexican seasoning blend on burgers or grilled meats for extra wonderful flavor!

 

Mexican Seasoning Blend
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Store in a small jar.

 

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Frothy Vanilla Milk

 

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One of my favorite parts of Christmas was always helping the kids get ready for Santa’s visit.  We baked cookies and sat up a special table near the tree.  They would write him notes and leave a snack for Rudolph too.  I’m not sure who had more fun, the kids or me.

How about a special treat for Santa this year?  Instead of just leaving him a boring glass of milk, leave him this belly warming Frothy Vanilla Milk.  So delicious that you will be making it for yourself too!  A delicious change from regular old chocolate milk.

Frothy Vanilla Milk
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 c. whole milk
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1½ whole vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise
  • Whipped Cream, for garnish, optional
  • Ground nutmeg, for dusting, optional
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk and both sugars. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the middle of the beans into the saucepan and also add the split beans. Bring the milk to a simmer; cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 30 minutes to allow the vanilla to flavor the milk.
  2. Discard the vanilla beans and rewarm the milk over moderate heat, whisking vigorously, until frothy and warm. Serve in mugs with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

 

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Gingerbread Loaf

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gingerbread-loaf-1

 

Christmastime for most of us is filled with traditions. Traditions are a big part of what makes the season so special to me. Many of those traditions revolving around food. When the kids were small, we always baked cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. They are older now but I still bake cookies on Christmas Eve. Christmas candy is something my mama always made, and I have continued that tradition at my house.

My kids decorated a gingerbread house every year when they were younger. Wes stopped doing helping with that in his early teens, but Savannah continued, and we had a gingerbread house in the center of the table every year. That is, until last year. With Savannah’s busy schedule she just could not find the time to decorate one last year. I’m not going to lie. The table looked a little lonely and sad.

This year I have decided to change up the tradition a bit. We will have gingerbread at the house but in a different form. I will be making this delicious gingerbread loaf to snack on during our time together. This loaf fills the house with a wonderful aroma as it bakes. It’s perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee or as a snack, or even for dessert. It also makes a great gift for neighbors and coworkers.

In testing this recipe I used 1/2 cup molasses and 1/4 cup sorghum syrup. Sorghum is not quite as strong as molasses, and therefore a better choice for my family.

Gingerbread Loaf
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ c. molasses
  • 2 lg. eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Glaze:
  • 1 c. confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tbsp. milk (more if needed)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice,and cloves.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together melted butter, molasses, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly combined. (Mixture may look curdled.)
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.
  6. For glaze: Whisk together the milk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled loaf.
  7. If desired decorate the top with chopped nuts, dried cranberries, or whole fresh cranberries.
Notes
In testing this recipe, I used ½ c. molasses plus ¼ c. sorghum syrup.

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Spiced Applesauce Pound Cake

applesauce-cake

I have always been more of a pound cake baker than a layer cake baker.  I’m not sure exactly why.  Maybe it’s because they are just so darn easy and they tend to get better with time.  My favorite pound cake recipes seem to get moister the longer they sit.

Here’s a wonderfully moist cake that I love making this time of the year.  I prefer to use my homemade applesauce but any applesauce will work.  It is not only delicious but it is lovely when sprinkled with powdered sugar and would be beautiful on a holiday dessert table!

Spiced Applesauce Pound Cake
 
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Ingredients
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2¾ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 c. no-sugar applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-cup bundt pan well and place it on a large baking pan, set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Place the baking pan/bundt pan onto middle rack in preheated oven. Bake 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
  5. Cool completely before inverting on a cake plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

 

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Pecan Pie Truffles

 

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If you make chocolate, they will come! Yes, it’s true, for me anyway. I will go for anything chocolate on the dessert table above anything else, any time of the day, any day of the year.

These fabulous little nuggets of heaven taste amazing, and they are super easy to make. Aren’t they pretty on this beautiful serving tray too?

If you are looking for something just a little bit different for this year’s dessert table, give these delicious truffles a try. Then grab a cup of coffee and devour away!

Pecan Pie Truffles
 
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Ingredients
  • 2½ c. pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ¼ c. light corn syrup
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pkg. Candiquik candy coating, white chocolate or chocolate or combination
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl combine the pecans, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and salt.
  2. Add maple syrup, corn syrup, and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Refrigerate mixture for 15 minutes.
  4. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Remove pecan mixture from the refrigerator and roll into 1-inch balls. (I use a scoop to get all of the truffles the same size.) Place on the wax paper and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Melt Candiquik according to package directions.
  6. Coat truffles with chocolate and return to the wax paper. Return to the refrigerator to allow the coating to harden.

 

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