Tag Archives: recipe

Apple Dumplings

This has been my new favorite dessert recipe since I found it a few months ago.  Growing up, one of the girls at my church used to bring this to different things that we had.  And everyone always went crazy over it!  Well, I found the recipe on (surprise, surprise) The Pioneer Woman, and decided to make it for Danna and Jonathan one night before we moved.  We all LOVED it!

Well, on Monday we had an appreciation lunch for all of the office volunteers.  All of the office staff brought different things, and I brought green beans (the kind that we’ve been addicted to for months!) and Apple Dumplings.  The Apple Dumplings were a HUGE hit!  I didn’t make up the recipe, so I feel like I can share this:  even older ladies wanted the recipe!  I was in shock.  I mean, grannies can cook…  So if they think it’s good, it’s good.

I’m glad I thought to take pictures, because now I can share the recipe with you.  Enjoy!

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Apple Dumplings (by Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman)

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Ingredients

  • 2 whole Granny Smith Apples (I actually use Honey Crisp Apples now — they’re the greatest apples ever, in my opinion — and they work great!)
  • 2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • Cinnamon, To Taste
  • 1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda

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Directions

  • Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll.

  • Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.

  • Melt butter,

  • then add sugar and barely stir.

  • Add vanilla, stir,

  • and pour entire mixture over apples.

  • Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan.

  • Sprinkle with cinnamon

  • and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

  • Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.
  • WARNING: Prepare this dish at your own risk. It is beyond imaginable.

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She’s right.  It’s definitely beyond imaginable!  YUM.  Try it this weekend.  It’s super easy, and SO delicious!

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What is one of your favorite dessert recipes?

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–Staci

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The Great Pumpkin Seed Bake-Off

I thought that title sounded a little catchier than “I spent a whole day making 4 different kinds of pumpkin seeds just because I wanted to.”

But the second is probably closer to the truth.

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Our youth carved pumpkins a week ago, and I asked them to save the seeds for me.  I’d tried baking pumpkin seeds last year, but they weren’t exactly what I was hoping for.  This year, I found 3 recipes to try and then decided to come up with my own as well.

I’ll post them in the order that I made them, and then I’ll tell you the “winner” at the end.

By the way, we had about a million pumpkin seeds (around 9 cups to be exact).  This is what it looked like after I took the ones for the first batch out:

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The first recipe was one I found on Tasty Kitchen (shock, huh?).  In fact, all of the ones but the one I made up are from Tasty Kitchen.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (by Charity – Nutty Cook)

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Pumpkin Seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter (real)
  • Salt (coarse Is Best)

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Instructions

  • Wash pumpkin seeds getting most of the pumpkin off.
  • Melt butter in a small bowl.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce to the butter and stir.
  • Add butter mixture to the seeds and stir well.
  • Spread seeds onto a LARGE cookie sheet (the cookie sheet needs to have sides or this won’t work).

  • Sprinkle well with salt. I like to use the coarse salt, but table salt works, too.
  • Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours or until crunchy.

OH MY.  These were yummy!  They were super salty, and they were nice and crisp.  Michael even loved them!

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Seasoned Squash/Pumpkin Seeds (by Keren)

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups Squash Seeds
  • 4 cups Warm Or Hot Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Salt
  • ½ cups Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • ½ teaspoons Dried Dill
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Pepper
  • ½ teaspoons Salt

Intructions

  • Clean the squash meat off of the seeds, then soak the seeds in the water, salt and vinegar for a couple of hours. (NOTE: I did this while the other batch was in the oven and the timing was perfect.)

  • Drain and then dry the seeds with a dish towel. Then coat with the melted butter, dill, pepper and salt.

  • Spread on a greased 11×15 pan. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour. Stir occasionally to ensure even browning. Enjoy!

(Sorry — I must have forgotten to take a “finished product” pic.)

These were good, but they didn’t turn out as crispy, and the flavor wasn’t as strong.

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The last ones I tried from Tasty Kitchen were actually cooked out of the shells.  I was excited about this one since I didn’t like the shells from the ones I made last year.  Since I had actual pumpkin seeds, I had to crack open the shells to get the “meat” out.  This wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  It took me over an hour to get a 1/2 cup (the recipe calls for 1 cup), and I gave up there.  It also made my fingernails sore for a couple of days.  So if you want to make these, I recommend going to the store and getting the inside seeds like the recipe calls for.

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Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds) (by holderman1325)

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds Out Of The Shell
  • 4 cloves Crushed Garlic
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 slice Lime

Instructions

  • Heat a small heavy frying pan, add the pumpkin seeds and dry-fry for a few minutes, stirring constantly as they swell. If you don’t stir them, they will burn!
  • When most seeds have swollen, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes, stirring constantly. (What would be worse than burnt pumpkin seeds? Burnt garlic!)
  • Add the salt and the crushed red pepper and stir to mix. Turn off the heat, but keep the pan on the burner.
  • Sprinkle sugar on the seeds and shake the pan to ensure that they are all coated.
  • Squeeze some lime juice (I use it out of a green plastic lime, it’s okay!) and stir in the pan to cook some of it off and distribute the flavor.
  • Transfer to a bowl and voila – delish!
  • The seeds are kinda sticky from the juice, but still so tasty. Don’t want to get your fingers messy? Use a spoon! I usually double the recipe, but beware – that means you’ll eat twice as much!
  • Also, I buy these seeds in bulk at a food store. You can’t just pull the seeds out of a carving pumpkin and get these. Look at the picture – way different!

These were pretty good, but my cloves of garlic must have been bigger than hers.  It was even too garlic-y for me — and I love garlic!  It was so garlic-y that it almost had a hot flavor (if you’ve every overdone it on the garlic, you know what I’m talking about).  So if I make them again, I’ll buy out of the shell seeds and use less garlic.

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This last recipe is one that I made up.  I’d made sweet pumpkin seeds last year and they were ok, but not the greatest.  So this year I took parts from the other recipes (like amt of butter and temp and things) and created my own sweet version.

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Sweet Pumpkin Seeds (by Staci)

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Pumpkin Seeds
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter (real)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Cinnamon and Sugar

Instructions

  • Wash pumpkin seeds getting most of the pumpkin off.
  • Melt butter in a small bowl.
  • Add sugar and cinnamon to the butter and stir.
  • Add seeds to the butter mixture and stir well.
  • Spread seeds onto a cookie sheet with sides
  • Sprinkle with more sugar and cinnamon.
  • Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours or until crunchy.

These actually turned out really good.  I loved the sweet flavor.  They could have used a little less butter (probably 3 to 3.5 Tbs instead).  I’d also suggest playing around with other sweet ingredients (like nutmeg if you like that).

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The Outcome:

  1. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (with Worcestershire Sauce and Salt) was by far our favorite.
  2. My Sweet Pumpkin Seeds were next in line (even though they had a completely different flavor…so it’s hard to compare the two).
  3. Seasoned Squash/Pumpkin Seeds (with the dill weed and black pepper) was third.  It was good, but it didn’t have the edge the other two had.
  4. Pepitas (without the shell) were our least favorite.  They were just too weird and garlic-y.  And they definitely weren’t worth the hour of peeling and hurt fingernails.

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So there’s my Great Pumpkin Seed Bake-Off recipes and results!  Any I should try next time?

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–Staci

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Boxes and Paper Plates

Our guest room now looks like this:

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And I cooked dessert on a paper plate a few nights ago because all of our dishes and most of our baking dishes are already packed.

In case you’re ever moving, have no baking dishes, and are running low on groceries, I’ll go ahead and share this super easy dessert I put together.

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Apples a la Microwave

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large apple (Granny Smith apples work well)
  • Cinnamon (you choose the amount)
  • 1 Tbs Brown Sugar (approximately)
  • 1 Tbs Sugar (approximately)
  • 1-2 Tbs Butter (I used Braum’s salted sweet cream butter)

 

Directions:

  • Peel and slice the apple.
  • Place in microwave safe bowl (or doubled paper plates).
  • Top with cinnamon, brown sugar, sugar, and sliced butter.

  • Microwave for 1 minute.  Stir.  Microwave another minute.  Stir.
  • Repeat until apples are desired softness (I think I probably microwaved them for 2-2.5 minutes total).
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

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How easy is that?!  It was really good too.  Michael said that he liked it almost as much as apple pie.  And it couldn’t be easier or quicker to make.

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I am looking forward to the day when I can get my dishes back, though.

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–Staci

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A Chinese Kick

I must be on a Chinese food kick.  It’s just so yummy!  Last night, I made Crab Rangoons.  I found them on the Tasty Kitchen website as well.  It says that it only takes 15 minutes for prep and 3 minutes to cook, but it took me close to an hour.  I guess I’m not a Crab Rangoon Whiz yet…

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Crab Rangoons (by mainedish)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 whole Scallions
  • 8 ounces, weight Imitation Crab Meat
  • 1 whole Sweet Red Bell Pepper
  • 12 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 8 ounces, weight Feta Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon White Wine
  • 1 package (12 Oz. Package) Wonton Wrappers

(By the way, I made a half recipe, and it made enough for 18 rangoons, with enough left-over filling for at least 10 more.  I also used a little less red pepper than she called for and left out the scallion.  And I forgot to put the white cooking wine in this picture…)

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Instructions:

  • Chop the scallions, crab meat and the red bell pepper. Add to a mixing bowl along with the cream cheese, feta, mustard and white wine.

  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. At this point you can refrigerate the mixture overnight if you like.

  • To wrap, lay a wonton wrapper on your work surface and place a tablespoon of the mixture in the center.

  • Fold the wonton to form a triangle, wetting the edges with a bit of water to seal. Then, fold the sides towards the center, overlapping and wetting with a dab of water to secure.

  • Deep fry in hot oil (350 degrees) until golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning to make sure it is evenly browned.

I placed them on a paper towel to soak up the extra grease.

Oh–and the little black parts are from where previous rangoons were a little too full and they leaked in the oil.  But it didn’t affect the way they tasted at all.

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I also decided to get creative with some of the won-ton wrappers (I had to buy them in OKC since Ada isn’t the greatest for finding anything out of the ordinary at the grocery stores).  I wanted to make little dessert won-tons, so I mixed cream cheese, feta cheese, and sugar together.  They were good, but next time I’ll use less feta (if I use any at all) and add cinnamon and apples.  I have a feeling those will be delicious!!

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The finished product:

They were REALLY yummy!  I knew that it was good when Michael took a bite and said, “OH MY GOSH.”  And they were a ton of fun to make!  This sounds silly, but I felt professional when I made them.  I’ll definitely be making them again!

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Thanks, Ree, for making the Tasty Kitchen site!

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–Staci

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A New Favorite Meal

I love cooking.  I always have.  Some of my earliest memories are sitting on the counter and helping my mom make Rice Krispie Treats or Jell-O.  When I was ten, I made my first meal all by myself.

I love making up different recipes/just throwing a bunch of seasonings together with chicken or sauces or dessert.  While this is what I do most of the time, I also love to find recipes (with normal ingredients) and try them out every once in a while.

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I found this recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken on the Tasty Kitchen Website.  By the way, if you’re looking for some good recipes, this site or the regular Poineer Woman cooking section are both amazing.  (By the way, I made the full recipe the first time because I was cooking for 4 people, but this last time, I only made somewhere around a 1/3 of the recipe for the two of us.  Both times, we had left-overs, and they were still fantastic!)

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Sweet and Sour Chicken (by Melanie)

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Ingredients:

  • 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1 cup Cornstarch
  • 2 whole Eggs, Lightly Beaten
  • ¼ cups Canola Oil
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • ¾ cups Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • ½ cups Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt

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Instructions:

  • Cut chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg (yes, this will be messy but it will be worth it, I promise!). Fry in a little oil until browned on all sides but not cooked through.

  • Place in a single layer in a baking dish.  (Again, this is with one chicken breast instead of 3.)

  • Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken.

  • Bake for one hour at 325 degrees F. Turn chicken every 15 minutes. If you like extra sauce, make another batch of sauce and bring it to a boil on the stovetop. Stir constantly and let cook over medium heat until thickened and reduced, about 6 to 8 minutes.

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Oh my goodness, this stuff is SOOO yummy!  For sides, I made some white Minute Rice and Fresh Green Beans.

I found the Green Beans in the organic veggies section.   The instructions said to steam them, but I wanted them to taste like the ones at Chinese Restaurant Buffets, so I sauteed them in a little olive oil and soy sauce.  I stirred them every once in a while and took them off when they were soft enough to eat but still a little crisp.

The last time we ate it, Pineapples were still in season so I cut up a fresh pineapple into 8 sections (after I took out the core and cut the outside off).  Then I put them in a baking dish and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top.  I cooked them until they were somewhat soft, and then served them with the chicken.  They complimented each other perfectly!

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If you want to try this recipe, give yourself at least an hour and a half (it has to cook for an hour) before you want to serve dinner.  But I guarantee you’ll love it!

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–Staci

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Q for You:  What is your new favorite recipe?  If you found it online, you can leave the link in the comments section!

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