Saturday, October 31, 2009


We're having a bit of a "Halloween" meal this evening and I thought I'd share the menu & recipes with you!

Mac O'Lantern
Spooky Eyeball Eggs
Veggie sticks & dip
Apple slices & caramel dip
Pumpkin cupcakes & ice cream
Apple cider & donut holes (storebought)

Mac O'Lantern (from my favorite recipe site,
  • 1 (8 ounce) can pizza sauce, divided

  • (7 1/4 ounce) package macaroni and cheese mix
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef, cooked, drained, and divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Remove and set aside 1/4 cup pizza sauce. Combine prepared macaroni, half the ground beef, remaining pizza sauce, garlic powder, egg, and basil. Spoon evenly into a 9 inch pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese. Combine remaining meat with the reserved pizza sauce. Use to create a jack-o'-lantern face on top of the casserole. Bake 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Spooky Eyeball Eggs
  • 12 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 jar green pimento stuffed olives
  • red food coloring
Make your favorite deviled eggs recipe with the hard boiled eggs. Slice the olives in half short ways. Place one slice on each deviled egg yolk. Using a toothpick dipped in red food coloring, draw squiggles from the olive to the outer portion of the egg yolk filling.

Caramel Dip
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
Remove the label from the can of milk and put it in a 3 quart pot. Add water, enough to cover the can as much as possible. Bring to a boil, cover and continue to boil for 3 hours, adding water every now and then to keep the can covered. Remove from heat and let can cool in the pan overnight. Open to reveal the milk has now turned to caramel dip!

Pumpkin Cupcakes (in the top picture)
In large bowl, sift and whisk flour,sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set a side. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, blend in pumpkin, buttermilk and oil. Pour over dry ingredients stir until just moistened. Spoon into large paper-lined or well greased muffins cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake at 375 oven 18-22 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool on rack.

You can frost with cream cheese frosting. We chose to cover ours with orange marshmallow fondant and add little green stems, vines and leaves (pictured at the top).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mmmmmm, Muffins!!!!

The BEST Blueberry Muffins
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. melted margarine
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries, rolled in 1/4 c. flour
Mix dry ingredients together. Stir in milk and margarine. Mix well. Fold in blueberries and the flour they're in. Fill muffin cups 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 22 to 25 minutes.

Banana Muffins
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1/4 c. nuts or 1/2 c. raisins, optional
Cream sugar, margarine and eggs. Add rest of ingredients. Fill greased muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Apple Spice Muffins
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. applesauce
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
Cream sugar, oil and egg. Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, baking soda and applesauce and stir well. Stir in flour until smooth. Fold in apple. Fill well greased muffin cups. Bake at 325 degrees 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from pan and cool slightly.

Orange Muffins
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. orange juice
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. grated orange peel
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Add egg, orange juice, sour cream, vegetable oil, orange peel and vanilla. Stir until just mixed. Fill paper-lined or greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 minutes for 23 to 25 minutes.

Peach Muffins
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 15 oz. can sliced peaches, drained and finely chopped
Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir until moistened. Batter will be thick. Stir in peaches. Fill paper lined or greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.

Strawberry Muffins
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. sour milk or buttermilk
  • 1/3 c. melted margarine or butter
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir well until all ingredients are well-blended. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, eggs and vanilla. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture and the strawberries. Stir until ingredients are moistened. Spoon evenely into 12 paper lined muffin cups. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar on each muffin. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Pumpkin Oat Bran Muffins
  • 1 1/2 c. oat bran
  • 1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup mashed pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Combine pumpkin with rest of ingredients; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Spoon into muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Basic building block in my kitchen

I use this recipe for so many things: sausage gravy, chicken or beef gravy (not clear gravy), white sauce base for tuna, eggs or chipped meats, cream soup base, even used it instead of a can of cream of mushroom soup for tuna casserole tonight. It's VERY inexpensive and versatile!

Medium white sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup milk or chicken broth or beef broth

Melt margarine over medium heat, quickly stir in flour and spices. Stir and cook for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth (this is also known as a roux). Here's the key: GRADUALLY stir in milk or broth a bit at a time, whisking briskly until smooth after each addition to avoid lumps & clumps. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking or burning on the bottom. It's ready to use!