Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pumpkin Nutella Bread

Since fall has officially started I decided to combine two of my favorites pumpkin and nutella.

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 can pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • nutella
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar.
  3. Whisk together oil, water, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla
  4. Combine flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and stir till all combined.
  5. Pour batter in bread pan, spoon nutella in a few spoonfuls at a time and swirl with a knife, add more nutella if needed.
  6. Bake about 60 minutes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tuscan Sausage Soup

Was inspired by this cooler weather we've been having.

  • 2 lbs sausage
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (including juice)
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 8 oz spinach leaves
  • grated parmesan for top before serving
  • box small shells

  1. Remove sausage from casing and brown in dutch oven on stovetop. Crumble as you brown sausage.
  2. Add carrots and garlic, saute till tender and start to turn golden.
  3. Add chicken broth, wine, tomatoes and basil. Bring to boil over med/high heat and reduce to medium/low and simmer about 20 minutes.
  4. Add pasta and cook till pasta becomes tender, add spinach leaves in and serve.
  5. Sprinkle parmesan on top and enjoy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

German Dumplings

My grandma was an amazing cook and baker and I got my love of cooking and baking from her. I wish I had some of her recipes, saw this one while browsing online at and it reminded me of the dumplings my grandma made. My grandpa was German and my grandma was Irish so when they got married my grandma learned a bunch of german recipes to make. These were always my favorites.

  • 1 1/2 lbs potatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices sourdough or white bread (from the bakery)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  1. Trim crust off bread and slice into 1/2 inch cubes and fry in butter and vegetable oil till brown on both sides. When done transfer to paper towels to dry
  2. Cook unpeeled potatoes in salted boiling water for about 45 minutes, till tender.
  3. Drain, cool slightly and peel. Cut potatoes into large chunks and put in bowl in fridge for about 30 minutes to cool.
  4. Mash potatoes with fork or ricer.Add salt, nutmeg, flour and cornstarch. Combine with your hands. Mix in egg.
  5. Form into balls, about 1/4 cup each. Insert bread cube in center of each ball, making sure bread cube is completely covered.
  6. Cook in batches so they don't stick together. Cook about 10 minutes, till dumplings float to the top
  7. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel to keep from sticking while you make remaining dumplings.
I served this with egg noodles and my favorite mushroom gravy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe will make you 2 dozen cupcakes. Got the inspiration for this from Brown Eyed Baker

For the Cupcakes:
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  •  1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

For the Frosting:
  • 1 cup room temp butter
  • 8 oz cream temp at room temp
  • 1/2 cup caramel
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tins with your favorite liners
  2. In small bowl combine cocoa powder and hot water, stir until smooth and combined and keep to the side.
  3. In your mixer combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until completely mixed.
  4. Combine butter and sugar in a medium pan over medium heat. Cook while stirring occasionally. Cook till butter is completely melted and mixture is combined. Let cool for about 2 minutes and transfer into mixer. Stir to combine in mixer with flour.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla
  6. Stir in cocoa powder mixture and beat till smooth. Add sour cream and mix till everything is combined.
  7. Pour batter into cupcake liners and bake 18-20 minutes.
  8. Let cool before icing
  9. To make frosting beat butter and cream cheese till combined.
  10. Pour in caramel and beat till combined.
  11. Slowly add in powdered sugar, while mixer is going on low. Once all is added, increase mixer speed and beat till combined.
  12. Pipe on each cupcake and add sprinkles or decos of your choice.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lasagna Bolognese

I got this recipe from the september issue of Rachael Ray magazine. Was great for dinner and even better for leftovers the following day.

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz pancetta, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 grated parmesan
  • lasagna noodles
  • sliced mozzarella
  • ricotta
  1. Cook pancetta over medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil until browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Cook about 5 minutes till veggies soften. Push to side of pan.
  3. Add 1 tbsp olive oil in center of pan and crumble ground beef into center of pan. Cook till meat is browned and stir occasionally.
  4. Add the tomatoes and paste and 2 cups water to skillet. Simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool.
  6. In medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat and add flour. Whisking constantly for about a minute. Slowly add in milk while stirring. Simmer about 2 minutes, remove from heat, stir in 1 cup parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Let cool, but make sure to stir occasionally so skin doesn't form.
  7. Cook your lasagna noodles.
  8. Preheat oven to 400. Grease baking dish and add 3/4 cup meat sauce to coat. Add layer of noodles letting them overlap a little. Top with 1 cup of meat sauce, another layer of noodles and 1 cup of bechamel sauce, spread to coat.
  9. Repeat the layers (I added sliced mozzarella and ricotta between the layers and over the top)
  10. Cover with greased parchment, then wrap with foil. Bake 1 hour, uncover and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake 15 minutes more. Let stand about 30 minutes before serving.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mushroom Sauce for Pasta

This was a great sauce to go over pasta and was quick and easy to make. I made this with some pork cutlets and it was a great dinner.

  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves (I used my microplane for these)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2cup cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  1. Heat up pan and saute mushrooms, olive oil and garlic, cook till mushrooms start to get golden
  2. Add chicken stock, cream and dill.
  3. Simmer about 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add to your favorite cooked pasta and serve.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

This has been on my must try recipe list for awhile. So when I saw it posted on the 52 adventures kitchen blog I had to try it. I used peanut butter chocolate chips instead of plain chocolate chips. This is a great recipe because it makes a ton of cookies and definitely adding it to my christmas cookie list. The dough has to be chilled for 2 days before being made.

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cup bread flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup + 2tbsp sugar
  • 2 lg eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 10 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 10 oz chocolate chips (any kind you have on hand, I used choc peanut butter, you can use semisweet, mini, etc)

  1. Combine both types of flour with baking soda and baking powder and salt, set aside.
  2. Cream butter with both types of sugar in your mixer
  3. Add eggs, stir till combined, add vanilla.
  4. Slowly add in flour mixture and stir just till combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate
  6. Place dough in bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap (have wrap touch top of cookie dough)
  7. Refrigerate for 2 days
  8. When ready to make cookies preheat oven to 350.
  9. Prepare baking sheets and roll dough into balls (I made mine about the size of a golf ball)
  10. Depending on the size of the balls you can get up to 5 dozen with this recipe.
  11. Depending on your oven bake 10-14 minutes (check after 10 minutes)
  12. Cool on wire racks

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cucumber Salad

Found this recipe on pinterest, it's from Martha Stewart, got some great cucumbers at the farmers market so decided to try it out. Very easy and tasted great.

  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 2-3 cucumbers, depending on size (I cut mine up in mandoline, but you can slice them with a knife)

  1. In a medium bowl combine yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice and dill. Stir till combined and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add cucumbers, toss till combined.
  3. Serve or put in refrigerator till ready to serve.