Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin-Praline Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin-Praline Baked Oatmeal
This morning was SO cool and crisp and the sun was shining brightly!  It was so hard to dig myself out of my comfy covers, that's for sure. 
The cool morning sparked a craving for anything pumpkin, so I mixed this up before getting in the shower.  It was ready to come out of the oven after I was freshly showered, hair straightened and dressed for work.  How perfect was that!  I cannot convey to you how wonderful this smelled! 
I love anything pumpkin! I decided to put a praline topping on my pumpkin baked oatmeal, similar to the praline topping you sometimes put on sweet potato casserole and it was scrumptious.  I know that your family is going to love this! It is also special enough for company or taking to a goody day at work.  The spicy pumpkin and sweet and crunchy pecans make for a perfect October breakfast!
Here's how I made Pumpkin-Praline Baked Oatmeal AT HOME MY WAY:
  • 3 cups quick or old fashioned oats (I use a combination) 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs (slightly beaten) (just whites works fine or egg beaters)
  • ½ cup melted margarine/butter or oil (I used olive oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 can pumpkin 
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. In separate dish, mix together milk, egg(s), oil ,pumpkin, and and vanilla. Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Pour into a sprayed 9 x 13 pan or large casserole dish.
Praline Topping:
4 Tablespoons margarine/butter
6 heaping Tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 to 1 cup of chopped pecans
Blend together with a fork and sprinkle over the unbaked oatmeal.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until browning at the edges. 
Serve warm. Also terrific leftover.

NOTE:  You could simply stir pecans into the pumpkin oatmeal and that would be delicious and not make the praline topping.

Another note:  I only made half of this recipe for me this morning (pictured in the round cake pan) since I'm the only one at home who eats breakfast.  I also halved the topping recipe.


I had to take a close up picture!  This is so yummy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cake

We haven't had many snacks in our house since both of our girls are never there.  It seems like when I have something, it lasts forever so the assortment of things to eat at my house are limited.  Sunday I wanted to make something sweet.  I had apples but was too lazy to make a crust or peel apples.  Pitiful, I know.  I also didn't want to buy any ingredients. 

I remembered I had a delicious recipe for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cake in a little cookbook called Comfort Foods - Beta Sigma Phi.  It has wonderful recipes in it!  And a book called "Comfort Foods" would be MY kind of cookbook, that's for sure.

This cake is heavy - more like a zucchini cake or carrot cake.  It's also moist and lightly chocolatey.  I love it!  You all know how much I love Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal and this cake has similar flavors but with more of a dessert feel to it.  Its also something you can make with ingredients from your pantry. 

You certainly don't taste the oatmeal.  The oatmeal just gives it a dense, moist texture that I love!  And a little oatmeal is never a bad thing, right?

Here's how I made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake AT HOME MY WAY:

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cake
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened margarine/butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa
  • 3/4 cup nuts (optional)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
Pour boiling water over oats in a large bowl.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Stir a little. Add to the oats/water, the white sugar, margarine, brown sugar and eggs.  Mix well.  Add in flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa and mix well.  Add nuts and half the chocolate chips.  Mix well.  Pour into greased/floured or sprayed 10 x 15 inch cake pan.  sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.  Bake at 350 degrees (preheated) for 30-40 minutes or until cake tests done.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Perfect Pancakes -Sunday cooking

Sunday mornings usually start with something special for breakfast at our house.  It was cool and crisp Sunday morning and I managed to drag myself out of bed BEFORE my husband so I actually had the kitchen to myself ha-ha.  I started some bacon knowing that would probably bring him stumbling into the kitchen pretty quickly.

I also discovered I didn't have any flour, so that meant no biscuits, pancakes, muffins...  Hmmm... we couldn't have just bacon and bread...  no way! 

BUT then..... I remembered that I had made some homemade pancake mix the last time I made pancakes. Boing!  Boy, was I glad I did that!  (I had just mixed up the dry ingredients and added them to a canning jar. I wrote the additional wet ingredients I needed for the recipe on a piece of paper and stuck it with some tape on the jar.)  Hurray, we were having pancakes after all! 

Making homemade pancake mix saved lots of steps.  It saved me having to FIND the recipe, which sometimes can be a huge endeavor if our internet service is slow and I don't want to dig through my ever growing recipe file.  It saved me having to measure the dry ingredients (as well as those dishes), and it saved ME - when I THOUGHT I was out of flour.  And you don't have to make a bunch of batches.  Just make one extra batch when you're mixing up some pancakes.  There ya go... now you have yourself some homemade pancake mix.

I made these pancakes with farm fresh eggs which I bought at the farmer's market.  They give pancakes a beautiful golden color.  I've discovered that I actually prefer mine slathered in butter, with just a side of a little peanut butter and no syrup.  But Doug had his with maple syrup that we got for Christmas last year. 

I have posted this recipe before, but it is SO WORTH posting again.  Especially if you want to mix up the dry ingredients, place that in a jar, and have your very own delicious pancake mix!  (Super gift idea also!)  Frugal and lots better for you because you know exactly what's in there.

Here's how I made PERFECT PANCAKES on Sunday AT HOME MY WAY:

• 1 1/4 cup milk
• 1 large egg
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 1/2 cups flour

Get out a medium sized bowl. Measure in the milk, egg, oil and sugar. Beat well with a fork or wire whisk. Add the salt, baking powder and flour. Stir again, mixing until the batter is smooth.  (I usually mix my dry ingredients separately so that I can mix up some homemade pancake mix.)

Cook on a hot, well oiled griddle (I use margarine or butter on my griddle) or skillet. I use about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake.   Flip when there's lots of little bubbling action going on.  Just like your old home economics teacher instructed!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Our office has been super crazy these days.  Crazy busy and super understaffed.  Who says the economy isn't booming??  At least in my neck of the woods.
Since we have all been working so hard and yet staying "nice" to each other LOL, I decided to treat everyone with a couple of pans of homemade cinnamon rolls.  This picture is the little pan I made for us at home.  Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the finished big pans!
They're yummy and not nearly as much work as these directions appear.  I usually make the dough in the bread machine so the only "work" is rolling them out, cutting them, and putting them in the pan.
Here's how I make Homemade Cinnamon Rolls AT HOME MY WAY:
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
(Bread Machine instructions for making the dough)
1 1/3 cup very warm water (hot but no hurt)
1 packet of yeast (or 2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 egg (slightly beaten before adding to the other ingredients)

Instructions: Measure the water in a 2- cup measuring cup, add the sugar and yeast.  Stir very gently and set a timer for 10 minutes. Let this get all foamy for 10 minutes.  Then, add 1/4 cup of oil (vegetable, canola or olive) and the slightly beaten egg to this mixture. Dump into your bread machine pan (liquids go first).

Next add 4 cups all purpose flour to your bread machine pan
1 teaspoon salt.

Set your bread machine to the dough setting. (Mine takes 2 hours.)
When the dough setting is complete, proceed as below by forming rolls, etc.

1 1/3 cup very warm water (hot but no hurt)
2 teaspoons yeast (or 1 packet)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 slightly beaten egg (slightly beaten before adding to the other ingredients)
Measure the water in a 2- cup measuring cup, add the sugar and yeast. Stir very gently and set a timer for 10 minutes. Let this get all foamy for 10 minutes. Then, add 1/4 cup of oil (vegetable, canola or olive) and the slightly beaten egg to this mixture.

Mix well but gently.

In a large bowl, measure your flour. Add 1 teaspoon salt and mix very well.

Dump the liquids (proofed yeast/water/sugar, oil & egg) on top of the flour/salt in the bowl. Stir well (I use a wooden spoon). When its too stiff to stir, start kneading in the bowl, twisting and pushing until the dough forms a ball.  You may have to keep dusting your hands with flour to the dough doesn't stick to you too much.

You need to knead it for 7 minutes (set a timer).  The dough will become noticably more "smooth."

After 7 minutes, you can put the dough in a sprayed bowl, spray the dough with cooking spray and let rise for about an hour.  (Sometimes I skip this rise and you can't tell a bit of difference!) 
Instructions for forming into cinnamon rolls:
Additional ingredients:
1/2 stick butter/margarine (melted)
brown sugar
Roll the dough into a large rectangle - a little more than 1/4 inch thick (thicker than a pie crust would be). 
Spread with melted butter/margarine (nothing exact here but brush on - but not all the way to the edge of the dough.  Leave about 1/2 inch without these toppings.
Sprinkle and then spread a light layer of brown sugar - not all the way to the edge.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Roll up making a long roll.
I cut my rolls thick - like just under two inches thick.  Place in sprayed pan(s) - not touching.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Let rise approximately 30-45 minutes while the oven is preheating.
Bake in preheated 350 oven 25-30 minutes.
Let cool 10-15 minutes before drizzling with icing.
Glaza/Icing/Frosting Recipe for cinnamon rolls
2 Tablespoons room temp margarine/butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 Tablespoons milk (or a little more if too thick).
Stir until smooth.  You can add a little more powdered sugar or milk to get the right drizzling consistency.
Drizzle on rolls.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Remaking Leftovers into Something Wonderful! - Barbequed Ham

Barbequed Ham
"Monday, Monday..." (singing)!

I would have to say that it was a crazy Monday yesterday.  I don't think it was just me though.  Maybe that full harvest moon is still affecting us all!  I knew the day was full of unexpected surprises when I dropped my phone as I got out of my car in our work parking lot first thing Monday morning.  The pieces went all underneath my car.  I thought about backing up my car to retrieve the pieces but the pieces were placed so that I was afraid I would turn and back over some of them... So, even though I was all dressed up for the office, I had to crawl UNDER my car with my whole body like a mechanic but on my stomach to get the pieces to my phone.  AND.. as I was crawling out, OF COURSE, a lady pulled into the spot behind me and witnessed all the Monday fun!  She was nice.. just said, "Its Monday already, isn't it?"  The only good thing was that I had on mostly black yesterday ha-ha.

I put a ham in my crockpot on Friday.  I love to cook bone-in hams in my crockpot.  It's a great way to have something to eat over the weekend.  We eat it the first time as regular ham, or as ham sandwiches with soup.  Then, we usually eat some for breakfast like we did this past weekend when we had fried ham and Perfect Pancakes.  Monday we still had some ham leftovers so I made one of our favorite meals.  Outside of it being a way to use Leftovers to Make Something Wonderful, Barbequed Ham is one of my favorite things to make for supper.  Some people think this sounds like a weird combination but its really so delicious!  The ham and BBQ sauce get all carmelized and the ham slices become super tender.  I usually serve it with mac and cheese or a potato of some sort.  We used to get tired of ham before we ran out of ham leftovers, but this is a new taste for ham and turns it into a whole different supper.  We have discovered that by making barbequed ham, we rarely have any leftovers after making it into this meal.  I love to make this in my iron skillet.  The picture truly doesn't do it justice.  I hope you'll give it a try!

Here's how I make Barbequed Ham AT HOME MY WAY:

Barbequed Ham

  • Leftover ham slices or a ham steak cut into small pork chop sized portions
  • 3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce - we like sweet BBQ sauce like hickory -brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water (this is a relative measurement - after it cooks down, I sometimes add more to juice it up a bit)
Instructions:  Place ham slices/pieces in a skillet.  Turn the burner on med/high until the ham starts to sizzle.  Add 1/2 cup water and the BBQ sauce.  Stir and flip the meat, blending the water/BBQ sauce some.  Cook/simmer on medium low until the BBQ sauce starts to cook down and caramelize, occasionally flipping each piece of ham.  If the BBQ cooks completely down, you can add a little more water, like 1/4 cup, to juice it up a bit.  Cook a few more minutes and serve.


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