Friday, October 25, 2013

Vegetable Tian

from Martha Stewart's Cooking School

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Garlic Bulb
Olive Oil
1 large Yellow Squash or two small ones, sliced across
1 large Japanese Eggplant or two small ones, sliced across
1 medium Zucchini, sliced across
4 Plum or Roma Tomatoes (ooops, I only bought one), sliced across
1 med Red Onion, sliced across
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
Fresh Sprigs of Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano or Marjoram

I'm roasting mine in my 10" skillet.  Take a garlic clove and rub it on the inside of the skillet or pan.

Take the sliced vegetables

Place vegetables in the skillet in line, in any kind of order.  Throw in the garlic, skin on (they will cook and carmelize - trust me on this)

Sprinkle on the salt and pepper along with the fresh herb.  Place a couple of springs on top.  Drizzle on the olive oil.  Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes, stirring half way through.

Remove from oven

and enjoy with your favorite main entree.

I watched Martha Stewart make this on her cooking show yesterday and it's exactly what I've been looking for.  I have doctors order to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and I'm trying my best to comply.  The aroma from these vegetables cooking in the oven was incredible!  I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into a plateful of vegies . . . , which is what I did.  My doctor would be proud :)

It's the weekend, savor every moment!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsps. baking soda
1 1/2 tsps. salt
1 can (15 oz.) 100% pumpkin puree
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F degree.
Spray three standard size loaf pans with cooking spray, set aside.
Before we start here is a picture of my ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg that I got with a giftcard from my grandchildren.  These spices are amazing and so Autumn-ish.  I had to grind the nutmeg myself. mmmmmmm

In a large bowl, combine those spices with the flour, baking soda and salt (until the color is uniform, no white streaks of flour, no brown spicy patches).  Set aside.

 In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, blend in the pumpkin, sugar, oil, water, eggs and vanilla (those black splotches in the bowl is real vanilla I extracted from a vanilla bean, I had so many I needed to use up).  Mix completely.

Slowly pour in the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl.  Mix thoroughly.

Gently fold in the chocolate chips (if you're wondering why they look white and powdery, it's because I mixed them with a tbsp. of flour.  According to Ina Garten in Barefoot Contessa, it's supposed to stop the chips from falling to the bottom of the pan when baking).

Divide evenly into the three pans.  Bake for 70 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle of a loaf comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let sit on a cooling rack for 15 minutes BEFORE removing from pan.  Gently insert a knife against the inside edges to pull away from the pan, turn upside down and remove loaves.  Set them on the wire rack again to cool completely.

and now. . . . . , DIG IN!!

Seems this time of year I am constantly making this recipe.  Especially when we have some special friends visiting us from Florida.  My friends hubby (who is originally from the country of India) absolutely loves this bread and requests it every time they come.  I am more than glad to make him some, it is my pleasure :)

It's Homecoming at Liberty University and I have to admit that it's one of my most favorite times of the year.  I LOVE getting together with alumni friends.  I AM SO BLESSED!!!!

Have a great weekend and remember to savor every moment!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Roasted Chicken with Vegies

1/3 soft stick of butter
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dry thyme
Combine all of the above ingredients and set aside

1 3-5 lb. Roaster Chicken
1 Butternut  squash, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 Onion, split in half and then quarters
1 Fennel bulb, cut in thick slices
6 medium carrots cut in medium size pieces
1 lemon cut in quarters
Zest and juice from 1 large orange, cut in eighths.  Set aside.
Olive or Canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine squash, onions, carrot and fennel.  Add oil, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

In a large casserole dish, stuff the cavity of the chicken with two onion quarters, two orange quarters, one lemon half, one fennel slice.  Take the rest of the vegetables and place all around the chicken as well as the orange juice and zest.

Take the butter and rub under the skin of the chicken, and rub the rest outside the rest of the chicken.  Make sure to cover every nook and cranny.  Roast for 2 hours or according to package directions.

Remove from oven, let sit for 10 minutes.  As the chicken sit, I made another side of vegetables, some fresh green beans.

Serve the chicken warm with the vegies and enjoy!

What a perfect meal to serve on a chilly Autumn day.  The house was filled with savory aromas and my men (hubby and son) were salivating and getting impatient.  The chicken was tender and full of all kind of savory flavors, the fennel and squash were finger lickin' good and complimented each other well.  A perfect meal as we watched football.

 Baby girl enjoyed it too.

Her brother not so much so he had Chicken Nuggets.

What a wonderful weekend with family.  I am indeed blessed.  Savoring every moment!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or one vanilla bean pod)
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsps. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips
2 tbsps. flax seed

Preheat oven to 375F degrees

In a mixing bowl combine the butter and sugars.  Beat until creamy

Occasionally throughout the process, scrape down the sides.

Add the egg and the pumpkin puree

At this point you add the vanilla.  I chose instead to use a vanilla bean.  In the image above I sliced open the bean pod..

...and with a spoon, scraped out the seeds and threw them in the mix.  Combine well after adding the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices)

Using a measuring cup, add the dry ingredients a cup at a time

Fold in the chocolate chips and the flax seeds...

...just until well combined

Because I wanted BIG cookies, I used an ice cream scoop

Bake in preheated oven for 13 minutes or until edges are brown.  Cool on wire rack.

Soft yummy cookies.  My whole house smelled like pumpkin and spices.  I am making these for hubby to take with him as he travels with the Flames football team to the beach this weekend.  I told him to make sure to share them . . . .

I made giant cookies on purpose

I have company this weekend so I need to make sure hubby doesn't take the whole batch meaning I will need to hide my portion.

The weekend is almost here, great weather too, savor every moment!
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