Autumn Spiced Ham

I participated in the What’s Cooking recipe exchange for October/November, and was super excited when I received this recipe!

I don’t know what nestie it’s from, so I’ll give you credit if you let me know!

Autumn Spiced Ham
Source: AllRecipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tbs. butter
  • 1 (2 lb) ham steak (we used 1 lb. since it’s just the two of us)
  • 1 red apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 green apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup maple flavored pancake syrup (we used light syrup)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the ham on both sides in the butter until browned.

I cut up the ham, as shown, to make it fit in the skillet!Lay the sliced apple over the ham. (A neat trick for slicing apples is put them in a bowl with orange juice to prevent browning until ready to use for your recipe. You won’t get orange flavor, I promise!) Pour the syrup over the apples. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally until the apples are cooked through.

Sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve immediately.

 

 


This recipe couldn’t have been easy enough! We were skeptical at first though, because we didn’t want an apple pie ham LOL! However, the taste was subtle and sweet. My fiance mentioned how yummy the apples were especially in the recipe.

 

Serves 4
POINTS*: 4

I ended up making garlic bread with a whole wheat loaf of french bread, brushed on butter, Penzey’s Northwoods seasonings, Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle, granulated garlic and a little bit of parsley! Really tasty!

I also made my fiance’s favorite dish, GBC! (Green Bean Casserole). Our favorite recipe is right here!

All in all, this was a great dinner for a Friday night!! :)

Pumpkin Mousse Pie

I remember finding a recipe for this in my Weight Watchers magazine last year, and when I made it, it was SO yummy. Unfortunately, in my decluttering, I threw out the magazine, and thus, losing the recipe. I resorted to google to find the pie’s recipe, but there were like 4 versions. I took a chance on this one and made it. I will say, this isn’t the same recipe as the magazine. It was more spicy and much less pumpkin flavor than before. It was still good, but not the same. I will find that original recipe though…my family enjoys the trials!

Pumpkin Mousse Pie
Adapted from On Beyond Running

Ingredients:

  • 1 reduced fat graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 1/4 cup cold 2% milk
  • 1 package SF FF instant cheesecake pudding
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tub sugar free cool whip, thawed
  • 1 tbs. pumpkin pie spice OR 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. ground ginger and 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat milk, pudding mix and spices together with a whisk for 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk in pumpkin. Fold in cool whip. Spread in pie crust.
  2. Refridgerate for at least 2 hours for it to set. Keep stored in fridge.

Makes 8 servings
Points*: 4

Pumpkin Bread

I received this mix last Spring from the WC nestie gift exchange, and I held off on making this until the weather started feeling cool again.

The mix is Tastefully Simple Pumpkin Patch bread. It came out super good and was REALLY easy and quick to put together. I can’t wait to make it homemade though. :) I love pumpkin desserts around the holidays!

I sifted the mix to get the walnuts out of it, because half of my family (me included) are not fans of walnuts. So, I rinsed the powder mix off the nuts and sprinkled them on half of the loaf before baking to make the family happy! Thanks jessesgrl again for the great gifts!


I couldn’t wait to cut into it (as you can see!)

Oreo Truffles

I’ll admit it…I rushed myself into making oreo truffles, so they aren’t the prettiest. However, the taste makes up for it BIG TIME!

I found this idea originally in Beantown Baker’s blog, and I love that this is non-perishable!

I can’t wait to make these around the holidays with my new candy dipper set too…

All you need are:

1 package oreos
14 oz. condensed milk (you may need less than this…see directions)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Almond bark or melting chocolate

First, crush the oreos in a ziploc bag or a food processor.

Then, add half of the condensed milk and mix together. Add a little more at a time, until the filling is mold-able by hand, but not too sticky.



Form into small balls and place in the freezer to set for about half an hour. In the meantime, prepare your melting chocolates according to the package instructions in the microwave or double boiler. Then, dip the balls in chocolate (I used toothpicks to hold the balls in the chocolate) and allow to cool on parchment or mini candy cups. :)


If Wilton gave you $30….

…what goodies would you get?

I’ve taken 3 Wilton classes so far, and somewhere in there I got randomly selected to take a survey for a gift certificate for Wilton goodies! Originally, it was $20, which was generous! However, when I got my form in, they gave me $30 to cover shipping/taxes!! SCORE!!

So, I wanted some fun goodies and useful things as well. If I could, I’d get all sprinkles because those are just fun! However, I wanted some useful items I could use in my decorating too. I ended up getting a hybrid of both…check out the stash!


* Bake Even Strips
* Flower Lifter
* Candy Dipping Set
* White Sparkling Sugars
* White Nonpareils

I’m so excited about using the Bake Even Strips, especially, because I’m making my future nephew in law (I guess you can say)…a TIERED birthday cake full of elephants and jungle fun. So, I think these little strips will come in handy, and even though I haven’t taken tiered cakes yet, I have a feeling I can handle stacking two cakes. I have the instructions after all…how hard can it be?

Local Exchange!!

My WC sister (and dear friend!), Sarah, and I decided to do a foodie gift exchange filled with food local to our area. I’m from New Orleans area, and this is what I sent her.

I have to say I am SO excited about the gifts that she sent me…check out the spread here!!

Shoofly Pie Mix, Peanut Caramel Popcorn, Cider mix, apple butter…

Whole Wheat Pretzel mix, Maple candies, Honey filled lemon candies..

Woo!! What an awesome bunch of gifts, Sarah!! I can’t wait to make the shoofly pie. I have honestly never heard of this but the google images made me drool a little yesterday. I will definitely keep y’all updated on how everything goes!!

Sarah and I agreed we should totally do this again. This was so much fun!!!

Smothered Chicken

I’ve been challenging myself to cook more often when I’m at my fiance’s house. Lately, the cooking has been so-so until now. This recipe has been the BEST recipe I’ve made, and it’s Weight Watchers friendly!!! I made this using the non-crockpot method, because we didn’t want the meat too tender. My fiance requested rice with this dish, instead of pasta as well, which was a WONDERFUL combination :).

I was given this recipe from a knottie on my club board. It was a pdf form of Weight Watchers recipes, so I don’t really know the original source, however, I will say this isn’t mine. I did adapt it, though, for more flavor.

Smothered Chicken
adapted from Weight Watchers Crockpot recipe pdf (from a knottie)

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 ounces Mushrooms — fresh
  • 1 can 98% fat-free Cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can 98% fat-free Cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can French Onion Soup
  • 1/2 onion (added)
  • 1 clove garlic (added)

Directions:

  1. Cut chicken breasts into stew size chunks, and sauté while washing and cutting mushrooms in half. Then simply add all other ingredients to chicken and simmer about 1 hour (I did this for half an hour covered and half an hour uncovered). You can also do this in a crock pot and simmer all day ’til dinner. Serve over rice, noodles or potatoes.

This makes 6 servings.


Check out our new funky plates. They match our kitchen perfectly!

Here’s a zoom-in of the yumminess!

Points* (without rice): 7

Since I had 1 cup of brown rice with mine, this dinner was 11 points. Yep, a little on the high side, but this was some SERIOUS comfort food. :) I will be making this again when the fall comes!!

Sugar Cookies: The search continues…

I’ve been searching for the PERFECT sugar cookie. While I like the sugar cookies I’ve made, I’ve been searching for a cookie that my fiance LOVES (and I can roll out into cute shapes). I bought my fiance a cookie bouquet for our anniversary, and he seemed to really like those. So, I searched for a cookie bouquet copycat recipe, and thisis what I found. (you will need to scroll down for the recipe)

Anyways, I decided to bite the bullet, and make them today. I shudder at the thought of crisco in baking, but I didn’t want to substitute anything. So, I made them as is (with a SMALL substitution). See, I made vanilla sugar two weeks ago, and I wanted to actually use it in a recipe. This stuff is amazing and the cute little black specks make me forget about the crisco in the recipe (ok, maybe not)…

Turns out, this makes a REALLY soft cookie that doesn’t spread very much. I didn’t brown these cookies..they came out at JUST the right time. I did make these in two pans, one on parchment on the middle shelf (cookies on the right) and one with baking spray on the top shelf (cookies to the left).

I think these work best on the middle shelf, especially if you want to decorate the cookies. There is little to no cracks when you do it this way :). However, these are a little TOO sticky to roll out into shapes, and aren’t as dense as the cookie bouquet cookies. Don’t get me wrong…these tasted GREAT and the vanilla sugar gave the cookies a wonderful flavor!! Check them out!!


Anyways, enough talk already…here is the recipe!


Cookies by Design Sugar Short Bread Cookies
Source: Cooking Light forum (link above)

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Whip sugar and shortening in a large bowl, add eggs and beat well. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Knead dough into ball, roll out and cut. Place on cookie sheet in oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes.

This makes a ton of dough…I made 24 cookies (about 2-3 inches in diameter when done) and I think that was a little over half of the dough, so I will say this makes 40 cookies.

Do I DARE give you the POINTS on these per serving? It’s actually not that bad..especially considering Weight Watchers’ sugar cookie recipe is the same amount of points per cookie!!

Points*: 3 (this was calculated using eTools so it only gives me points values but 1 point is about 50-60 calories to give you an idea)

Stay tuned…the search continues… :D. I think the next recipe I will try comes from my cookie decorating cookbook that I purchased shortly after the holiday season last year.

Fondant & Gumpaste Flowers

I recently took Wilton’s Fondant & Gumpaste class, and we were shown how to make flowers with gumpaste. I love gumpaste…it can be molded so thin and it’s flexible. It also dries super fast! Here are some pictures of my carnations and fantasy flowers…enjoy!!


Carnation with pearl dust in pink brushed on.

This is the fantasy flower with the same pearl dust brushed on.

Vanilla MADNESS!

Check out my vanilla extract after a little over 2 months later…I made two batches…one for my family’s house and one for my fiance’s house..it looks great and I can’t wait to bake with it!! See the extract before a good 2 month soak here. I’m gonna keep the beans soaking in there for longer, but that rich amber color shows me that it’s already ready!!

My newest project with these fine beans is making some vanilla sugar for gifts around the holidays. Target was charging $1.99 for maybe 3 oz. of vanilla infused sugar, and with so many uses for it, I’m sure it will be a great gift for the coworkers…I love giving homemade items. Last year was truffles and pretzels (which I’ll probably continue anyway)…but I want to add vanilla sugar to the mix with some fun recipe ideas! I followed Culinary Concoctions proportions for the vanilla sugar in her post here.