Recipe

Stuffed Pumpkin

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I loved making this Stuffed Pumpkin. It was fun, it turned out nicely and it tasted good as well. Wow dont you love it when everything goes so well.The hardest part was cleaning out the pumpkin.

The 3-lb pumpkins are small and I found mine at CVS pharmacy for .99 cents each. At Safeway they were $2.99 each so check out your local CVS. I was inspired by Pinterest with this recipe and I followed it pretty much exactly and only changed a few things that I just had on hand. For the cheese I had some leftover Apricot & White Cheddar, Cranberry and Swiss. What a nice blend that was, but so would almost any cheese. I used dried thyme and about 1/8 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice just for the heck of it.

Now since I have made this once I can see how you can change this recipe up in SO many ways with a varity of ingredients. Different meats, spices, fruits etc. I am defiantly making this for Thanksgiving and just probably use the stuffing that my Dad makes. The pumpkin makes a awesome cooking vessel. It looks really cool when you take it out of the oven.Slicing it is easy if you let it cool a bit and set up. I have never eaten fresh pumpkin like that and I loved it.

I hope you enjoy this Stuffed Pumpkin as much as I did. I found that even the kids could help you with cleaning out the pumpkin and stuffing it. This pumpkin will be a hit at your Thanksgiving Dinner this year!

  • 1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2–4 garlic cloves (to taste), split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped
  • About 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme (my addition)
  • About 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • You need to really salt the inside of the Pumpkin before you stuff it

preparation

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment, or find a Dutch oven with a diameter that’s just a tiny bit larger than your pumpkin. If you bake the pumpkin in a casserole, it will keep its shape, but it might stick to the casserole, so you’ll have to serve it from the pot—which is an appealingly homey way to serve it. If you bake it on a baking sheet, you can present it freestanding, but maneuvering a heavy stuffed pumpkin with a softened shell isn’t so easy. However, since I love the way the unencumbered pumpkin looks in the center of the table, I’ve always taken my chances with the baked-on-a-sheet method, and so far, I’ve been lucky.

Using a very sturdy knife—and caution—cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (think Halloween Jack-o-Lantern). It’s easiest to work your knife around the top of the pumpkin at a 45-degree angle. You want to cut off enough of the top to make it easy for you to work inside the pumpkin. Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot.

Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper—you probably have enough salt from the bacon and cheese, but taste to be sure—and pack the mix into the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be well filled—you might have a little too much filling, or you might need to add to it. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Again, you might have too much or too little—you don’t want the ingredients to swim in cream, but you do want them nicely moistened. (It’s hard to go wrong here.)

Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours—check after 90 minutes—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Because the pumpkin will have exuded liquid, I like to remove the cap during the last 20 minutes or so, so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing can brown a little.

When the pumpkin is ready, carefully, very carefully—it’s heavy, hot, and wobbly—bring it to the table or transfer it to a platter that you’ll bring to the table.

Serving
You have a choice—you can either spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get a generous amount of pumpkin into the spoonful, or you can dig into the pumpkin with a big spoon, pull the pumpkin meat into the filling, and then mix everything up. I’m a fan of the pull-and-mix option. Served in hearty portions followed by a salad, the pumpkin is a perfect cold-weather main course; served in generous spoonfuls, it’s just right alongside the Thanksgiving turkey.

Storing
It’s really best to eat this as soon as it’s ready. However, if you’ve got leftovers, you can scoop them out of the pumpkin, mix them up, cover, and chill them; reheat them the next day.

Don’t forget to roast your pumpkin seeds 🙂

Recipe

Banana Bites

Going light and healthy this week with these little snacks. They are easy to make, very flavorful and something the whole family will enjoy. They are moist, chewy and naturally sweet.
During the week it’s all about running out the door, no time for me at a sit down breakfast so these are easy to grab on the go.
Here is the Basic Banana Bite recipe then I’ll list add ins that I have tried that we like also.

Banana bites
Heat oven to 350
3 ripe bananas mashed
1/3 cup applesauce ( I use one of those single serving containers of applesauce so it could be a little more or a little less)
1/4 cup almond or coconut milk (could use regular milk also)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups old fashioned oats
Mix all ingredients together, it will be very moist. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I use my mini meatball scooper to dollop out bite size morsels.

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Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Makes approx. 27 bites. I store them in a airtight container on the counter then after a couple days I move them to the refrigerator because they start getting a little soggy.

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Let bites cool for a few minutes before you move them from cookie sheet to cooling rack. They will be spongy little bites packed with flavor and nutrition. Great with coffee or tall glass of milk.

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Pack them in your kids lunch,pop a couple before heading to the gym or enjoy as a late night snack.
Chop up any other dried fruit to replace the raisins, (dried cranberries,crazins,prunes or apricots.
I have added Chia seeds for even more fiber,(a fiber rich diet aids in digestion which can support weight -loss efforts, lower blood cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes)
Try cutting down the cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon and add 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie spice for a that time of year treat.
What’ would you add in to make it yours?

Recipe

Mac n’ cheese soup

Soup

I have a party coming up and I want to make a comfort food soup. Something pretty easy that everyone would like. It is a all girl party so I was thinking something kinda light and healthy.

Part of my plan came thru with the comfort, but the light and healthy went out the back door. Made this, loved it, so we are having it with Buffalo Chicken Strips. Figure if we are gonna get comfty lets go all the way.

Mac n’ cheese soup

  • 1 1/2 c. dry elbow macaroni 6 oz.
  • 1/2 c. minced onion
  • 1/4 c. minced celery
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp.cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar( I bought a good brand pre-shredded) 4 cups is a lot to grate 🙂
  •  1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Cook macaroni in a pot of salted water according to package direction, drain and set aside.

Sweat onion and celery in butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Stir In flour to coat and cook 1 minute. Deglaze with wine and simmer until nearly evaporated. Stir in broth, mustard, nutmeg and cayenne. Simmer until slightly thickened, 5 minutes, then whisk in milk and warm through. Do not let boil or base may become grainy.

Add cheddar, 1 cup at a time, allowing it to melt completly before adding the next cup. Stir in macaroni, lemon juice, and salt, remove from heat.

This is where I put the soup into a crock pot on warm for 2 hours because I was not ready to serve it. When ready to serve I had to thin down a little with some chicken broth. You could also use some milk or just left it thicker for a not so soupy Mac n Cheese side dish.

There are a lot of choices for add in’s to this soup to make it your own with veggies or meats ( ham, bacon,pulled pork). Sprinkle with your favorite herbs (thyme,parsley,cilantro,chives).A few pickled jalopeno’s on top makes me happy.

♥ So I can make this ahead of time and stick in the crock pot. Buy some of those frozen Buffalo Chicken Strips and we will be set for dinner during our Bunco mania.

Herbs, Recipe

Corn Salad

Corn season is among us, but time will be running out soon to get that fresh from the crop Corn. Last week I saw it “10 for $1.00” That’s almost FREE. So brings me back to this awesome Corn Salad. I discovered it this year and it’s now in my FAVS. If you make anything this weekend make this

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Ingredients:

2 TBS butter

3 cups corn (about 4 ears), cut from the cob

3 TBS Mayo

1 clove garlic, grated

2 green onion, sliced

1 handful cilantro,chopped

1 lime,juice

2 TBSP cotija cheese, crumbled (this stuff is the best)

Directions:

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, toss and let it sit cooking until charred, mix it up ad let it char aging, about 6-10 minutes ( mine took about 15- 20 minutes. Pour the corn into a bowl and mix all other ingredients, serve warm or at room temperature.

OPTIONS: Add fresh diced jalapeno to the charring process to add some heat, add chile powder or cayenne pepper to taste. Diced avocados would be amazing they say, I haven’t tried that one yet but I will.

This salad was easy to make, delicious and was liked by all. I served it with pulled pork sammies, and the next day we topped our Taco’s with it. Add it to your Salsa or fresh salad, quesadilla or throw into your soups. When I went to use the salad the next day I zapped it in the micro-wave for a minute to loosen it up and get the chill off.

Hope your family enjoys this salad as much as we did.

Recipe

“Be My Valentine” Shake

Here are the ingredients I used for the shake:

Valentine Shake

♥Cherry 7-up

♥Maraschino Cherries

♥Vanilla Ice-Cream

♥Whip Cream

Assemble as you would for a milkshake,pour a little Maraschino cherry juice down the sides. Whip it and top with a cherry. I used the red straws and tall spoon.

I bought the Red Vines to use as straws for when my little one’s come over.

Hope you and your sweetie’s enjoy a little shake.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart.  ~Author Unknown

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Uncategorized

Halloween Treats

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These are this year’s Halloween Treats. They were easy, different and I think really fun.
The first one is a S’more Treat- Plastic bag filled with one graham cracker, mini chocolate bar and a ghost peep. Instant S’mores. Love It !
The second treat is a Scary Hand- Plastic Dr. Glove ( you can buy boxes of them anywhere these days Wal-mart etc) filled the fingers with Mini Whopper treats or you could use Smartee’s. Stuffed the rest with fun size candy, tied with a ribbon and put the spider ring on its ring finger. I love these even more.

Hope your Halloween is filled with goodies, goblins and more.

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Super Hero Smoothie

Continue reading “Super Hero Smoothie”

Things to do in Havasu

DIY Beach Hair Spray

This is REALLY good spray and it REALLY works. I think most of us love that wavy, tousled hair we get at a day on the beach. I do and I can kind of get that look with hair spray (lot of it) and crunching my hair as I blow dry. But it never stays for all day and I have to curl a few sections that didn’t turn out right. I found this spray in a magazine and it really works. I purchased all ingredients at the grocery store. I bought Organic Coconut Oil which was a little pricy, but I wanted to make it that day and figured it would be good for my hair anyway, but probably can find cheaper if not Organic.

Here is what you need to make your Spray and how to:

1 cup hot water

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

2 Tbsp Alcohol (rubbing or drinking like Vodka)

2 Tbsp Sea Salt

1 Tbsp any brand Hair Gel

1 Spray Bottle

Pour hot water into your spray bottle followed by Coconut Oil, shake well and add all the following ingredients. Shake well again and let set for a short while so ingredients can all melt together.

TIPS: Make sure the water is warm-hot so the coconut oil melts.

Coconut oil smells awesome and keeps your hair healthy. If your hair is super dry, just use 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil!(this was my first time trying this spray and I think next time I will add 2 tbsp of oil)

You can also use drinking alcohol like Vodka. It lets the spray last longer and helps to break down your hairs oil build-up.

If your hair is more oily you can add more sea salt. But please make sure to use sea salt. Do not use table salt

A few spritzes of hair gel gives your hair a better hold and texture.

Make sure to shake it all up and always do before each use.

I washed hair as usually and let air dry to damp, then sprayed my entire hair with the spray ( you may want to go outside or back into the shower because the spray does leave a residue on the floors, counter etc.) Dry hair with the blow dryer crunching it as you go.

TA DA Beach Hair, I had to be my own Model because I was the only one home 🙂 This was my first try at it and my second time came out even better, so practice makes perfect.

Have fun Ciao! Maybe turn on some Beach Boy’s

Uncategorized

The Office Eggs

I saw this in a magazine and thought this would be great to fix at work since in my office all I have is a microwave.It  really works and taste good. I think I will teach this to my Grandkids.

What You Need

2
EGGS
2
Tbsp. milk
2
Tbsp. shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Here’s How

  1. COAT 12-oz. microwave-safe coffee mug with cooking spray. ADD eggs and milk; beat until blended.
  2. MICROWAVE on HIGH 45 seconds; stir. MICROWAVE until eggs are almost set, 30 to 45 seconds longer.
  3. TOP with cheese; season with salt and pepper.

Ciao!
Things to do in Havasu

Your next favorite Superbowl Snack

Fly away Hot Wings and run along little Doggies, Texas Bites are riding in: The Best Man in my wedding brought this recipe from his home town and made them for us and we have been in love ever since. I have often thought of renaming them “Havasu Bites” since I have made them for so long but it just does not seem right and “Texas Bites” just sounds BETTER. Try these for your Superbowl Menu and see how people respond, they are AWESOME and you will be to if you make these.

Texas Bites

TEXAS BITES: (makes approx. 16 bites)

1 lb. favorite bacon (thick sliced seems to work better)

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size chunks

1 onion cut into big chunks

1 2.0 oz package Ranch dressing & seasoning mix

1 jar pickled jalapeno’s

Get all your ingredients together and start an assembly line

Texas Bites
Texas Bites

Cut your bacon slices in half, place down a chunk of onion, cut chicken into bite size pieces and dredge in dry Ranch mix. Place chicken onto onion piece, top with jalapeno ( or leave jalapeno off if you are wimpy) and roll up tight, stretching bacon a little bit to keep ingredients inside. Place the bite onto skewer making sure it goes thru chicken, onion and jalapeno so nothing falls out while on grill.

Texas Bites

Grill turning occasionaly maybe 15 minutes. We like them with Ranch dip and some Franks Hot Sauce. Enjoy and may the best team win the “SuperBowl”.

Ciao!