Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pumpkin Bars

Who doesn't have a stray can of pumpkin puree lying around in the cupboard, right? Well, mine had been there for a while and I want a clean slate so to speak so I am using up the old forgotten items. I googled pumpkin puree recipes and up popped an epicurious tag for a Paula Deen Pumpkin Bar. I love Paula Deen for her crazy personality and her free use of all things sugar and butter.

These bars (or "muffins" which I also made which the extra batter) are delicious and really moist. Super easy to do as well. I can guarantee they are easy as I made them while holding the baby (she was put down away from the stove though before I put them in - no children harmed during the making of these muffins/bars!).

Here's what you have to do...

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin (that’s about 444ml for the Canadians reading - I had to check)
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened (1 standard size package of Philly)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.
To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.
Enjoy with a cup of tea!

Slowcooker Vegetarian Chili - the easy method

Wow - I just realized how long it has been since I have written a post. I can assure you we have been eating as much as always but the time to take pictures and write about our meals has somehow dwindled down next to nothing.

I have been on a chili kick lately (and a homemade soup kick too - more on that next time). It's got to be just about the easiest and cheapest thing to make while still be healthy and filling. Here is the recipe for my vegetarian chili made in a crock pot.

Ingredients and Instructions:

Can of black beans
Can of white kidney beans
Can of red kidney beans
Can of sliced mushrooms or fresh if you have them
Can of whole tomatoes
Can of mini diced tomatoes ( you know the kind, the meal starters???)
4-5 tablespoons of EVOO (I add the olive oil as it gives it some richness that is missing without it)
4-5 tablespoons chili powder or to taste
2-3 tablespoons of cumin
3 bay leaves (remove before eating)
Salt to taste

Make sure to rinse the beans before using them. Use the juices from both cans of tomatoes. Toss it all in the crock pot and set the time for when you want to eat it! Serve with yummy crusty bread.