Pumpkin Spiced Muffins – cajun rub fried turkey

I share this recipe last year but it was so good that I thought it was worth repeating. Plus I am sitting on a beach drinking tasty adult beverages and haven’t made anything sweet and delicious to share and maybe you have a can or two of pumpkins lying around. It may last till next year’s Thanksgiving but why chance it.

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I do hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This year I did things a little different. I made mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes first thing in the morning and put each in my slow cookers to keep warm. I buy 2 smaller birds versus one enormous one, I find I have better luck having juicy meat instead of dry. This year I was on the fence on how to cook them. literally the morning of Thanksgiving I held a meeting with all in the kitchen on how to cook my two 10 pound birds. consensus was fry one and spatchcock the other. I knew that the fried one needed A LOT of spices and I needed to get going so it had time to soak in. I took the other and started to spatchcock also know as removed the backbone.  FYI it was much harder to remove than when I remove it from a roaster chicken.
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Both birds turned out great, but the cajun spice rub I put on the fried bird was amazing!

Rub
1/4 cup chili pepper
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground black pepper
2 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper

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spatchcock

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cajun rubbed fried

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Pumpkin Spiced Batter – preheat oven to 350’F


1 package yellow cake mix
1 package vanilla pudding mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup oil
½ cup water
3 eggs
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and with an electric mixer on low speed beat just till moistened. Move up to medium for a couple of minutes. Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups. Fill each cup about ⅔ full

Bake for about 20 minutes. Frost cooled cupcakes with the spiced cream cheese frosting.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package (8oz) cream cheese – softened
¼ cup butter – softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp ground cloves

Add to bowl and beat until light and fluffy, gradually add 1 (16oz) box of confectioners sugar.

 

 


Recipe by : McCormick & Co

Easiest Chicken Stock

With only a few weeks left in the year 2017 I can’t be the only person trying to fit in extra shopping, 3 holidays, a few birthday’s a couple of holiday parties and try to remain sane. I think I mentioned having a pretty significant birthday coming up. While you are reading this I should be sitting on a beach hopefully enjoying the sunshine on my face, a book in one hand and a tasty adult beverage in the other. * I meant to  post this one next week – oops! I will be on a beach this time next week! While my husband and I love going on vacations together; it does take it’s toll trying to fit one in this time of year, but I didn’t choose my birth month nor did my husband; his is a month from mine. Oh and let’s throw in our wedding anniversary too.
IMG_5533Sounds like I am complaining but I really am very fortunate to be able to get a break from reality once in awhile. Life gets very hectic around here at times; especially this time of year.
IMG_5532This is probably too simple to blog about but it is SO worth mentioning and I know many people that have never made their own stock and I don’t know about you but I can never have enough chicken stock on hand. I use it for not only soups, stews and gravy; it is a great addition any night of the week. After pan searing chicken breast; it’s a great way to deglaze the pan. You can also flavor pasta and rice by using your homemade stock instead of plain water to boil them in.

This is a great thing to do today so you have some stock on hand that you can use on Thanksgiving!

Simple Chicken Stock
Chicken carcass or bones
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
1-2 onions
Season with salt and pepper to taste

After removing all the meat from your chicken; whether you made it or bought one of those roasters your local grocery makes and sells. Place the carcass in your slow cooker.  Cover with water and add a few stalks of celery; the leaves have flavor too. A couple of carrots roughly chopped and an onion.  Turn it on low before you go to bed and in the morning you have stock.
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Throw away the carcass and veggies and let the stock sit. I cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge so the fat will congeal on the top, I remove the fat and then put the “liquid gold” in containers and place in the freezer.

 

 

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Spareribs

We are getting very close to the end of March and we still have a ridiculous amount of snow on the ground. It is actually snowing as I sit here writing this blog.  Us up here in the North East are itching to get outside, I have already started planning what I want to grow in my garden this year. I also have a Beef Tri Tip steak that I REALLY want to cook out on the grill.  Unfortunately the weather is NOT cooperating at all and even though I have done it before cooking outside in the “winter” is not fun.
IMG_5016It’s funny how people including myself have certain meals they eat at certain times during the years. Colder months people want soups and stews, warmer months they want burgers and pastas. I do use my grill quite a bit in the summer. Some people put their slow cookers aka crockpots away in the summer. I do not, I will use it whenever I need a little break from the stove/oven/grill. It makes great pulled pork anytime and in the dog days of summer it is a great way to have a nice dinner ready for you when you get home. Bonus you don’t have to overheat the house because you don’t need to turn on the stove or oven.

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I pulled out an old recipe that my sister shared with me before I had kids, maybe even before I was married and had my own home.  Yeah it’s that old but it is pretty darn delicious and super easy. You might even have most everything on hand.  It comes together in less than 10 minutes. Cooks all day while you are at work, or out enjoying the day and voila dinner is served.
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Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Spareribs

1 large can of crushed pineapple
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup Vinegar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Boneless spare ribs or whatever your favorite ones are
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Place the ribs in the bottom of your slow cooker, in a small bowl combine all the other ingredients and then pour over the ribs. Cook on low all day. When you get home you can make some mashed potatoes, egg noodles or polenta.
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Have to share that I spent 10 minutes or less making the ribs and then decided to make polenta for the first time in my life, which took me a good 30+ minute to make.  I even laughed at myself while I was doing it.

Crockpot Chicken Chili

The holiday season is upon us; which is quite apparent if you have ventured into pretty much ANY store. Just this last weekend there was Christmas music playing at my local craft store while I was picking up stuff for my Thanksgiving table centerpiece. Let the games begin!
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And just because you have a huge list of things to get done on the weekends doesn’t mean you can’t take a few simple ingredients; that you might already have on hand; throw it all in your slow cooker and have a warm satisfying meal at the end of the day. And probably a lunch during the week.

img_4700The last few weekends I have been spending a few hours in the kitchen preparing meals for the coming weeks lunch and or dinner. Make a roast for Sunday dinner and then a soup/stew for the following week. It’s like a win win. You are already chopping veggies, making a mess; or at least that is in my case. I swear I use pretty much every pot, pan and cutting board I own when I get going.
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Ingredients
Boneless skinless chicken breast
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic
2 cans of beans – great northern, navy pea beans, black beans Or any combination
1 can hominy
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can chopped green chilis
1 can Rotel
1 can cream of chicken soup
Chicken broth

Directions
Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker
saute onions and garlic till they are soft
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Top with beans
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In a medium bowl combine taco seasoning, chilis, Rotel, soup and broth. Pour over beans
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Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours
Before serving shred chicken to your liking.
Top with shredded cheese, sour cream and chives or green onions.