Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer!!

19 Comments

So are you one of those people that CANNOT wait till fall hits so you can get your
Pumpkin Spice Latte on!! 😛

IMG_3347

As you know most of the coffee shops only have this Pumpkin Spice Syrup during the fall and maybe into the winter???

I don’t know because I am not one of those people 😛

But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to get on the “Band Wagon” and make my own…LOL!!

So many recipes have been flying around the internet, so I decided I would give it a try…

And let me tell you it turned out DELICIOUS!!!!!!!

I kind of shock myself…LOL 😛

So of course I dug into my spices to find the hidden Pumpkin Pie Spice in the back from the fall before LOL and finally can open one of the two large can of pumpkin pure, again from the fall before 😦

Okay so what else…I found some sweetened condensed milk and now I just needed cream, but I didn’t want to use cream, so I settled for half n half.

Okay I think I am ready to go and this is how it all went.

Ingredients

IMG_3315

in a saucepan, pumpkin, milk and spice

IMG_3317

stir that up, then stir in the half n half

IMG_3319

cook on med-high
okay I will confess, I had in on med-high, but I was trying to do other things as well, and I may not have been stirring it the whole time…hence it started to burn on the bottom, when I went back to it, and started whisking like a mad women, black bits started to surface.  I may have cursed that this time, but I turned it down to low and kept on whisking until it thickened a little, then I let it cool for 5 minutes

Once I tried it was AWESOME!! It tasted like Toasted Pumpkin Marshmallow 🙂
I thought Holy Crap I just added another flavor dimension…WOOO HOOOO!!!!! LOL 🙂

IMG_3322

It does get a little darker as it thickens

IMG_3321

now you have strain this through a fine mesh strainer,
and take the back of a spatula and force the mixture through the
strainer by moving the spatula back and forth

IMG_3323

IMG_3324

IMG_3325

this is what you will have left in the strainer

IMG_3326

after I let the mixture cool in the fridge,
I poured it into 2 little mason jars

IMG_3335

IMG_3336

This will keep in your fridge up to 2 weeks
if it last that long 🙂 LOL

IMG_3337

My Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino

IMG_3338

I added to my mug, about 2 Tbsp. pumpkin mixture
2 Tbsp. creamer and stir it up

IMG_3339

Then I frothed that

IMG_3340

IMG_3342

Then I add my espresso

IMG_3344

IMG_3345

and to finish it off I sprinkle a little
Pumpkin Pie Spice on top…it was just Yumm!!!

IMG_3346

Now you can just mix it into your regular coffee,
as I did at the office this morning 🙂

IMG_3349

IMG_3351

IMG_3352

As I talk to some of the ladies this morning, I started coming up
all kinds ideas to do with this mixture besides to put in your
coffee…oh a can wait to get back in the kitchen…stay tune!!!

IMG_3347

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup half n’ half, or cream or whole milk

Whisk everything together in a saucepan, cook over med-high, whisk until mixture thickens
and darkens a little.  Like I said above, let it burn a little and it will give it a toasted flavored, I felt
like that added such good flavor.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer, take a spatula and force mixture through the strainer by going back and forth.  Pour mixture into a jar or container and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks if it last that long…LOL  Mind didn’t 😛

Add as much or as little to your coffee or tea and sit back and enjoy!!

 

Advertisements

Eggplant Parmesan…my way!!

20 Comments

IMG_3144

As I have mentioned in a recent post my Dad has a garden and so another vegetable that has been a plenty is Eggplants.
Most of the summer, I would grill them or just roast them in the oven, and a couple of times I made Eggplant Parmesan.  I would post my pictures on facebook and of course my friends say tell me the recipe.

So this last time I tried to remember as making it to take pictures of the process and what I do 🙂

First I used my homemade tomato sauce that I made out of the tomatoes from my Dad’s garden and I love using Fresh Mozzarella 🙂

So enjoy!!

First I peeled, sliced then sprinkled slices with salt in a colander
for 30-40 minutes, then pat each slice dry with paper towel. 
(LOL of course the first picture of that I forgot to take)
Then place them on a baking sheet 

IMG_3177

I took panko bread crumbs and fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

IMG_3174

Mixed in some Sandwich Sprinkle from Penzeys
(coarse salt, garlic, black pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram)
you can add Italian seasonings as well

IMG_3176

Put about 2 Tbsp. on mixture on top of each slice

IMG_3178

with your hand press down crumb mixture

IMG_3179

Then I sprayed each piece with PAM – Olive oil spray
of course you could drizzle with olive oil if you wish too.

IMG_3180

IMG_3182

Then bake in a 385 degree oven until tops are brown

IMG_3185

Sauce you can use any you like, so pick your favorite
I used my homemade sauce and I added
some of the Sandwich Sprinkle to the sauce

IMG_3183

I have some Fresh Sliced Mozzarella

IMG_3184

In a sprayed baking dish, place a eggplant down
and top with sauce

IMG_3186

Then top with a slice of mozzarella

IMG_3187

Place another piece of eggplant and repeat
with sauce and cheese

IMG_3188

I topped the final piece of cheese with the rest of the sauce

IMG_3189

I had crumb mixture leftover

IMG_3190

and I sprinkled some over top the entire dish
And bake at 385 degrees until brown 

IMG_3191

and cheese is melted and brown

IMG_3194

IMG_3195

IMG_3196

This was so good, most of the time I don’t measure anything so when
I cook unless I write it down it really just turns out to what I have 
in my pantry and such.  So when I am experimenting and it turns out good, I have to remember what I did so I can share in a blog, and then most the time I don’t take picture either 😛 LOL
The last time I made this (pictures below), I did the same except I didn’t have
any crumb mixture left, so I sprinkle the final layer with a little parmesan chesse

They both turned out delicious 😛 so as you make yours just make to what you like and
it will be just as Delicious!!

IMG_3148

IMG_3151

IMG_3150

Eggplant Parmesan

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 medium size eggplant, peeled, sliced a 1/2- 3/4 inch thick (6 slices from each)
3 cups of tomato sauce
3 Tbsp. Penzeys Sandwich Sprinkle or Italian seasonings, divided
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh Mozzarella sliced, 2 slices for each stack
(used 1 1/2 logs for 8 stacks, so 2 logs would work for 12 stacks)
PAM Olive Oil spray

Sprinkle each slice of eggplant both sides lightly with salt, place slice in colander in the sink,
let set for 30-40 mins.  Then pat each piece with a paper towel, doing this helps draw out the bitterness that some eggplants tend to have.

In a bowl add panko, Parmesan and 2 Tbsp. seasonings; mix together.  Place slices on a baking sheet and put about 1- 1 1/2 Tbsp. of mixture on top, press mixture down with hand then spray with olive oil spray.
Crumb mixture does fly around a little that is why I press down the mixture, you can drizzle tops with olive oil if you wish.  Bake at 385 degrees until tops are brown about 25 minutes or so. 

Meanwhile get your tomato sauce ready, mix in 1 Tbsp. seasoning, have mozzarella slices ready.
Spray a baking dish that will hold the amount you are making.

Once eggplant tops have browned, place half the slice in the baking dish, top with 1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp. sauce,
then a slice of cheese, repeat again, eggplant, sauce and cheese.
At this point you can top each stack with leftover sauce and sprinkle with any left over crumb mixture, or just sprinkle some a little Parmesan cheese over top.  Bake at 385 degrees until light brown and cheese is bubbly.  

You can really make this your own, you like more sauce use more sauce, or cheese even, if you want to stack 3 high then stack 3 high.  These a great meal served with a simple salad on the side.

Enjoy!!!

 

You Say Tomato I Say Tomahto!!

25 Comments

Tomatoes, who has tomatoes…I DO!!!!!!!!
IMG_3098

My Dad’s garden is producing a plenty, his plants are 8 feet tall and going wild!!!

I have a few pictures here from the beginning stages, they are about 5 to almost 6 foot at this point,
my Dad here is growing, leaf lettuce, kale, peppers, cucumbers, onions, green beans, eggplants and of course Tomatoes!!!
There maybe be more he grows but I can remember, I do know he has another patch that asparagus is in and the green house that things grow too…

11666054_10153314920656438_2145071700432593791_n 11665606_10153314920601438_1139968286137009740_n 11391469_10153314920561438_153863238068122867_n 11180320_10153314920521438_125284806512604321_n 1978911_10153314920481438_8295813812636403610_n

 

but I just decided to write this blog about tomatoes last night, so I don’t have recent pictures of it 🙂 these picture were about the 2nd week of June

So I have been eating a lot of tomatoes lately, but they have really only been from my Dad’s, I don’t buy them usually, but I do love when I get them from him and his garden.

As anyone knows they just taste better than you can get in the store and it’s really the only eat time I do eat them.
My Mom and Dad will freeze them, stew them, roast them, sauce them, slice them for BLT (which I think they east daily during the summer) and chop them for salads.  Plus whatever else they do with them 🙂

I on the other hand I tend to eat them a little differently 🙂

First I blanch them and remove the skins, I have issues with the skins, that’s all I will say 🙂

Here are a few pictures of ways that I have enjoyed using my Dad’s fresh tomatoes from his garden.

I hope you will enjoy too!!!

Making sauce, in my Vitamix are tomatoes, roasted garlic, some Italian herbs, red pepper flakes and salt.
The Vitamix will also cook it too you let it run about 5-7 minutes and you have hot soup or sauce 🙂

IMG_2800

Mixing it all up

IMG_2802

 

Freezing some for winter 🙂

IMG_2804 11800462_10153387039611438_2787259125193853462_n

Cooking some down too

1263798_10151879504951438_2015140527_o

This is the cherry tomatoes, sauteed with garlic, onions and spinach
tossed with the pasta, then fold in some fresh mozzarella pearls
then a drizzle of some balsamic glaze…Delish!!!!

481565_10151629364236438_111827949_n

My all time favorite thing in the world is
Polenta with fresh tomatoes and a poached egg!!!
This is heaven for me!!!

1003899_10151774555011438_1600804182_n

 

another day again…YUMMY!!!

IMG_2759

This is my FBT…Fake bacon and tomato 😛

IMG_3103

Ran out of the cornmeal to make polenta
So I made couscous instead…Delish too!!!

IMG_3105

This was last night’s dinner
tomatoes, roasted garlic tossed with pasta and some fresh mozzarella cubes
I was talking about making this a work…so ladies this is what I made…simple and quick 🙂

IMG_3122 IMG_3120

Oh and here is the kale and I made some kale chips…very good with a
sprinkle of kosher salt and garlic powder 🙂

IMG_2795 IMG_2796

IMG_2798 IMG_2797

 

Here are couple of links of 2 more of my blogs that I used tomatoes in the past
First up is my Tomato Cobbler – this turned out really really good so if you
want something a little different try this recipe.

 Second is Orzo Salad with Basil, Tomato & Feta – I made this at one
of my outdoor cooking classes last year.

Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone!!!

What’s next here hopefully sooner than later
my trip to Bourbon Country 🙂
IMG_2927

Summer Cooking Class Series!!

16 Comments

Yes I know I have been a little “MIA” lately!!!

But this summer has been busy and I can’t believe its JULY!!!! 
I have my hand in so many different little things that I am just so busy and it’s been hard to find the time to blog.  Plus I have not been cooking anything really good for myself, so hence no blogs.

But I did finish a couple weeks ago a cooking class series that I did in 3 of our stores 🙂

They all turned out great, a lot of grilling and a few out of the box recipes, beer sampling with one too!!

Here are a few pictures of the dishes and the crowds, it was a great time and I had a LOT of help from some of GREAT co-workers.

I hope you enjoy!!!

Grilled Fruit Pizza – naan bread, Camembert cheese, blackberries, strawberries, basil and balsamic glaze

FullSizeRender (0000000D) FullSizeRender (00000008) FullSizeRender (00000004)

Grilled Asian Corn with peanuts

FullSizeRender (0000000E)

Grilled Watermelon with arugula, feta and balsamic glaze

FullSizeRender (00000012)

Crowd pic

FullSizeRender (00000003)

FullSizeRender (00000002)

FullSizeRender (00000005)

Veggie Pizza – Garlic naan bread, red pepper hummus, grilled veggies topped with goat cheese

FullSizeRender (0000000B) FullSizeRender (00000007)

Grilled pound cake and pineapple

FullSizeRender (0000000A)

Grilled German Potato Salad

IMG_2585

Grilled veggies with garlic couscous topped with basil

IMG_2586

crowd pics

FullSizeRender (00000009) FullSizeRender (00000016)

Zucchini & tomato salad with ricotta, Parmesan and pesto

IMG_2581

Hawaiian Rice – cooked in coconut milk, golden raisin, macadamia nuts and green onions

FullSizeRender (0000000C) FullSizeRender (00000019)

Mango & pineapple salsa

FullSizeRender (00000013)

Crowd Pics

IMG_2588

IMG_2576

Grilled romaine with mango vinaigrette, shredded jicama, pineapple, red pepper and black sesame seeds

FullSizeRender (00000010)

Me – having fun with the microphone….I love being on the Microphone 😛 

Chef Amy

Red Velvet Cheesecake!!! “Fiesta Friday #63”

25 Comments

“Red Velvet, Red Velvet, send “Cheesecake” right over” LOL

Anyone remember playing “Red Rover, Red Rover” as a kid 😉 if not just google it LOL 😛

Anyway I was trying to start my blog out in a silly kind of way, but there is no silliness when “Red Velvet” is involved 😉

Of course Red Velvet everything starts to come out around Valentine’s Day, and this is around that time I made this delicious cheesecake.

Of course I did share with several friends and I must say I had “zero” complaints 🙂 LOL

So I thought this would be perfect for this week’s “Fiesta Friday #63”, of course our host is Angie@The Novice Gardener her new blog for Fiesta Friday’s is here and her co-host this week are Julianna@Food On Board and Hilda@Along The Grapevine.

So I’d like to thank them for letting me share this recipe 🙂

So without further ado here you go!!

FullSizeRender (2)

 

Ingredients

IMG_1873

Crust –

place biscuits in food processor

 

IMG_1875

 

Pulse until it becomes fine crumbs

IMG_1876

this is the 1 1/2 cup of the tea biscuits

IMG_1877

 

Add melted butter and crumbs together

 

IMG_1879

 

butter & crumb mixture

 

IMG_1881

 

spray your spring-form pan

IMG_1882

Pour crumb mixture into pan

IMG_1883

with your fingers firmly press crumb mixture into pan
and up the sides about 1 inch

IMG_1884

Filling – cream cheese softened

IMG_1885

 

blend the cream cheese until smooth

IMG_1886

 

add eggs one at a time, blending well after each one

IMG_1887

IMG_1889

 

add the sugar

IMG_1891

 

add sour cream

IMG_1892

 

add salt & cornstarch

 

IMG_1893

add vanilla

IMG_1894

scrap your bowl

IMG_1896

put about 2 1/2 cup of the filling in another bowl

IMG_1897

add red food coloring and cocoa

IMG_1898

 

whisk together

IMG_1899

Pour red mixture on top of cream mixture
and give it a swirl and bake

IMG_1901

 

once its done turn oven off, crack the oven door open
and let cake sit inside for 1 hour

IMG_1951

 

remove from oven and let cool for 3 hours

IMG_1973

 

Chill overnight or for at least 3 hours before
cutting and serving

IMG_1979

IMG_1980

FullSizeRender

 

Its came out just delicious!!!

FullSizeRender (8)

Enjoy!!

Red Velvet Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crust:
2 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (graham or flavored)
(I used 1 1/2 cups Cappuccino tea biscuits and 1 cup graham cracker crumbs)
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Mix all together in a bowl, in a 9 inch spring-form pan press mixture down on the bottom and up the sides about 1 inch, set aside.

Filling:

2 8oz. bricks cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
3 eggs, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. red food coloring
1/4 cup cocoa powder

In a large bowl with a stand mixer or hand mixer, mix the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, add one egg at a time, making sure each is mixed in before adding the next.  Then add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla, salt and then cornstarch, scraping the bowl as needed.

Take 2 1/2 cups of the mixture and add it to a small bowl then mix in food coloring  and cocoa until fully combined.

Pour white mixture into the pan and spread around, then add red mixture and just swirl the 2 mixtures together.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, edges will be puffed up and slightly brown, turn off oven, leave the door cracked with cheesecake inside for 1 hour.  Then cool at room temp. for about 3 hours, place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2-3 before serving.

FullSizeRender (6)

fiesta-friday-badge-button-i-party

Papa K’s Meatloaf!!

15 Comments

So last year my friend Paul and I went to Pittsburgh to visit his family, we had a great time with his Dad as I call him “Papa Kovac”.

The first night when we got there Papa K made us dinner his famous Meatloaf, Haluski and Asparagus 🙂

The meal was so Delicious!!! Loved it all but I got his Meatloaf recipe and I made it myself 🙂

IMG_1299

 

Here are Papa Kovac and Paul during dinner

1240420_10152253402201438_1326818998_n

 

The Delicious meal!!!

1979498_10152253400651438_745707727_n

 

Me and Paul being silly with some graphics

1231705_10152253555546438_990486713_n

 

 

As this posts I am back in Pittsburgh with Paul and we are visiting with his Dad, this time we are going to do some cooking and of course go on some adventures around town 🙂
I will blog about my trip in the coming weeks 🙂 In the meantime enjoy Papa K’s Meatloaf!!

Ingredients

IMG_1274

 

the chopped onion, red pepper, celery and garlic
saute this up

IMG_1275

 

add to a big bowl with the meats, oats, egg & milk

IMG_1278

 

Mix it up with your hands 🙂

IMG_1285

 

Now I always take a piece and fry up in a Skillet
I like to taste just to make sure I have the
seasonings right…does anyone else do this?

IMG_1279

 

Cooked up

 

IMG_1282

 

taste good, seasonings are good

IMG_1283

 

free form it on a lined baking sheet

IMG_1288

 

Bake it up

IMG_1292

 

yummy

IMG_1297

IMG_1294

 

Okay now I love the flavor on its own
BUT!!!! i just can’t eat meatloaf without
Ketchup!!! and not any ketchup…
HEINZ KETCHUP!!!! it is a MUST!!

yes I am a Ketchup snob 😛

IMG_1304

 

Yummy!!

IMG_1306

Papa K's Meatloaf

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 red pepper, diced
1 large or 2 small onions, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 egg
3/4 cup quick oats
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup milk

Saute in a large skillet the onions, celery, red pepper and garlic until softened.
In a large bowl add sauteed mixture, meats, oats, egg, salt, pepper and milk mix together with your hands.  If you want to check for seasonings take a little of the mixture and make a patty and fry is up, taste it for seasonings if you like the taste…done…if not add to your taste.

Free form the mixture into a loaf on a lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes to 90 minutes.

Let set for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Add Ketchup…Heinz Ketchup if you want!!! 🙂 LOL!!

Irish Beer Cheese Soup!!

12 Comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2015!!!

So in honor of today I have my Beer Cheese Soup recipe for you today 🙂

beercheesesoup

I made this soup a couple of years ago when I did a St. Patrick’s Day Cooking Class, I also served Guinness Mac & Cheese, Guinness Black Lager Irish Stew and Guinness Stout Cake Pops 🙂

We all had a great time and everyone loved the food and of course the beer 😉

So before we get to the recipe for the soup, here is what a few of the people over here at the office look like today dressed in their St. Patty’s Day garb 🙂

First let’s start with the man that was named
after this day… Sir Patrick!!

IMG_2152

Here is Connie with her Irish scarf

IMG_2153

Janet and Jennifer have their green on 🙂

IMG_2159

And Kathie and Heather have their head bobs on 🙂

IMG_2151

Kathy in her green

IMG_2157

There are the “Meat” guys in green too 🙂

IMG_2154

Ann has a head bob too

IMG_2149

 

Margie being silly 🙂

 

IMG_2155

Here is the advertising girls pretty as ever

IMG_2160

And I think Tina wins the prize
as she is all decked out!!!
Her tie lights up too and her head
bob thing does too just can’t tell

IMG_2158

 

And this is one of ladies that Demo’s
for us in one of our stores, she Dressed
up for the day too 🙂

w

 

So what ever you do today enjoy it and have fun and make some soup!! 🙂

Irish Beer Cheese Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup onions, grated or finely minced
½ cup celery, grated or finely minced
½ cup flour
1 stick butter
1 bottle Harp Beer
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
16 oz. Sharp cheddar, shredded (Tillamook is what I used)
8 oz. extra sharp cheddar, shredded (Cabot Vintage Choice)
2 cups cream
Cooked bacon for garnish
Green onions (tops only), thinly sliced

In a stock pot over medium heat add butter, onions and celery sauté until softened.  Add flour, whisk and cook for about 3 minutes, whisking often.  Whisk in beer slowly and same with the chicken broth, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 – 20 minutes.  Then add dry mustard and Worcestershire then add cream while whisking and then cheese a good handful at time until all added keep whisking until smooth and cheese has melted.  Cook for about 10 minutes more. Taste, season with salt and pepper etc., if too thick add more broth, beer or cream, too thin add more cheese.  But nothing extra was needed; garnish each bowl with bacon and green onions.

Let me say the bacon really put this soup over the top, serve with my Harp Beer Bread recipe and you are good to go…Enjoy!!! Cheers!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

Here are my Guinness Stout Cake Pops…yummmy!!!

Irish cake pops