Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cranberry Pear Pie

I have a pear tree in my yard and to this day I have never used my pears... I didn't realize pears don't ripen on the tree! I think of the past years I threw my pears away and feel way sad. But this year I figured out how to pick them and let them ripen. So of course when I found this recipe in my Food Network magazine I had to give it a try. It's amazing!! I did tweak it just a bit and I used a prepared refrigerated crust. For some reason I just can't seem to make a very good pie crust and it's quicker to use the prepared ones and they are good if you ask me. I added a few more pears and less cranberries than the original recipe too. It was awesome served warm with vanilla bean ice cream . Enjoy!

Cranberry Pear Pie
recipe adapted from Food Network magazine
For the filling:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 ripe but firm medium Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled and diced (about 8 cups)
1 (12 -ounce) bag fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
Grated zest of 1 orange (about 2 teaspoons) (I had dried orange peel and used that and it was good)
Prepared pie crust dough (enough for a double crust pie)
1 egg, slightly beaten

Make the filling: 
Heat a medium skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke lightly. Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and toss in the pears and cranberries. Return to high heat and cook until the fruit is slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup,  ground cloves, lemon juice and orange zest. Mix to blend and cook over high heat until the syrup thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and scoop into a bowl; refrigerate until cool. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Assemble the pie: Place your bottom crust into a deep dish pie plate. Pour the filling into the crust. Brush the edge of the crust with the beaten egg; cover with the top crust. Pinch around the edge to seal the top and bottom crusts together, removing the excess dough with a paring knife. Use a paring knife to cut an X opening, 1 1/2 to 2 inches across, in the center of the crust; fold back the dough. Put the pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the top of the pie with more of the beaten egg or a little milk. Sprinkle the top with sugar.

Bake the pie, 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and continue baking until the crust is light golden brown, 30 more minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. 
Serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Jamaican Red Beans and Rice

I wasn't sure what to make for dinner one day after work, so I typed in something different with chicken into the search engine on google and this recipe popped up. I tweaked it a bit to what I had on hand and it was delicious!! I love recipes like this. Just plan ahead so you have enough time to let the chicken marinade, at least an hour ! The longer it marinades the more flavor it gets. I also like to stab my chicken breasts all over with a fork, lets the marinade seep into the meat. The recipe below for the Jamaican rice was amazing! I like it a bit better than the copy cat recipe for Rumbi rice. It has more flavor with the thyme and green onion added. Enjoy!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Serves 4

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 Tablespoon allspice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground sage
  • 1/4 (heaping) teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 (heaping) teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  1. Combine the first 8 ingredients (the seasonings) into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, soy sauce, and lime juice.
  1. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth. Mix in onions, and garlic cloves, then add the chicken breasts into the bowl, turning over to cover completely in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to overnight.
  1. Grill or broil chicken for 4-5 minutes a side, brushing the marinade over while grilling. When no longer pink in the middle, remove to a plate, and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with your favorite BBQ or hot sauce. I like to make the rice and slice the chicken and put on top of the rice with a drizzle of BBQ sauce then a drizzle of Frank's hot sauce.  See pic above. Enjoy!

Jamaican Red Beans and Rice
Serves 4

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add garlic, green onion, and thyme, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  1. Add beans, water, and coconut milk to the pan, then stir and bring to a boil. Add in rice and salt, then place a lid on top, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the liquid as been absorbed, and rice is tender.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I'm not a really big fan of cinnamon rolls, my hubby is though. I do like them warm from the oven but the leftover ones are not my favorite. One of my favorite things to do is lay in bed on Sat. mornings with my hubby and watch cooking shows (yes we are old, not in that honeymoon stage anymore) that's how I decide what I'm cooking for the weekend! This recipe was featured on the Pioneer woman and it looked soooooo good I had to try it out. The original recipe makes 24 rolls and there was no way we could ever eat them all so I cut the recipe in half which I will post here. But if you want to make the full recipe go the the Pionneer woman's recipe here. These cinnamon rolls were absolutely Yummo! They practically melt in your mouth! I recommend making these for a Saturday or Sunday brunch when you can simple sit down with one and enjoy the deliciousness of them in peace and quiet! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

  • Dough:
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use Grapeseed oil)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1- 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring, sprinkling and rolling
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Melted butter, for buttering pans

  • Filling:
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

  • Frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cups to 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • Dash of salt

For the dough: In a large saucepan, combine the milk, vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Heat until hot but not boiling, then remove the pan from the stove and allow it to cool until the mixture is warm to the touch but not too hot. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the liquid and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree until combined.

Combine 4 cups of the flour with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Sprinkle it into the saucepan and stir until it just comes together. Cover the saucepan with a dish towel and set in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, the mixture should be very puffy and at least doubled in size. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining 1/2 cup flour until totally combined.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Drizzle butter into 3 pie pans (or a larger baking dish) and smear it all over the bottom of the pans.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and press it into a rectangular shape. If it is overly sticky, sprinkle generously with flour until easier to handle. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle about 18 inches by 24 inches.

For the filling: Drizzle the melted butter over the dough and smear it all over the surface with your fingers. Mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Sprinkle this mixture all over the surface of the dough, covering all the melted butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chopped pecans.

Starting at the top, roll the dough toward you into a large log, moving back and forth down the line of dough (in a "typewriter" motion) and always rolling toward you. Roll it tightly as you go so the rolls with be nice and neat. When it's all rolled, pinch the seam closed and turn the roll over so that the seam is facing down. Slice into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices and place the slices in the buttered pan(s). Allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Bake until the rolls are nice and golden brown around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting: While the rolls are baking, make the frosting by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, butter and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until fluffy, adding more milk if you'd like a thinner frosting.

Frost the rolls the second they come out of the oven. Sprinkle the extra pecans over the frosting, then allow them to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Read more at:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Strawberry-Coconut Freezer Jam

One of my favorite memories of my childhood is my mother's homemade bread -warm from the oven topped with lots of butter and lots of homemade jam. I loved it. I still do, just don't eat as much bread now as I did back when I was a child. It tends to stick to my hips more now.  But if you want a Yummy jam to go on homemade rolls for Thanksgiving this year this is a recipe you need to try. I ran across it on one of my favorite food blogs. That's where I got the idea for Coconut with Strawberry but I followed the strawberry freezer jam recipe in the CERTO Premium Liquid Fruit pectin box because I wanted it to turn out and just added the coconut and coconut extract.  This was delicious and yes, I made home made bread to try it out on...can you just hear Barbara Streisand breaking out in her song "Memories" about now?? I think between me and my hubby we pretty much ate a whole loaf. Enjoy!

Strawberry-Coconut Freezer Jam
2 cups crushed strawberries, (fresh or thawed and drained frozen work)
1/3 cup flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened work (i used sweetened)
4 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 pouch Certo Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin

First wash and rinse your containers with tight fitting lids. Let dry. Set aside. ( I like to use 1 cup containers, that way it doesn't get old in the refrigerator)
I put my berries and the 1/3 cup coconut in my food processor and pulsed a few times (about 5 or 6) to chop my coconut a bit and mix more into the berries. Place your berry and coconut mixture into a large bowl and add your sugar. Mix well. Let this stand for 10 minutes stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar a bit.

Add the lemon juice and coconut extract (I added about 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract--I like a bit more coconut flavor)to the strawberry mixture and stir to combine.
Stir pectin into prepared fruit. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about 3 minutes. (a few sugar crystals may remain and that's okay)

Pour or ladle jam into prepared containers, leaving about 1/2-inch space at the top. Place lids on containers and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set.  Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or store in freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator.

Corn Dip

  I made this recipe on the 4th of July, I got the original from the Pioneer woman but tweaked it a bit. I cut the recipe in half, added Wal...