Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

My favorite pumpkin pie recipe is the one on the can of Libby's canned pumpkin puree.  It is so simple and always turns out great.  Here is their recipe.  The only change I make is I use pumpkin pie spice blend instead of the individual spices listed.  Custard style pies, like pumpkin pie, are also very easy to make sugar free and it doesn't affect the texture or taste.  Just substitute the sugar with an equal amount of Splenda.  I thought I would share this tip because you may have a diabetic out there you are cooking for this Thanksgiving.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie

3/4 c sugar or Splenda
1 t pumpkin pie spice blend
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz ) canned pumpkin puree
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell

Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spice blend. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.  POUR into pie shell.  BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Homemade Pudding

This is my mom's recipe that she uses when making banana pudding.  I'm definitely a fan of banana pudding with homemade pudding and a meringue topping.  You can also make this with Splenda and it turns out great.

Homemade Pudding

2c sugar or Splenda
4T cornstarch
4c milk
4 egg yolks
2T butter
2t vanilla

Blend sugar & cornstarch.  Beat in egg yolks then gradually add milk.  Microwave 2 mins at a time, stirring in between until mixture becomes thick.  This takes about 10 mins total cook time.  Add butter and vanilla.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Texas Red Chili

I have been wanting to make real Texas chili for a long time.   Texas chili is a no beans, cubed beef style chili.  I decided on a great looking recipe I found in my mom's Martha Stewarrt magazine.  A little intimidating because you don't use chili powder but rather dried chiles that you toast and then soak to make a chile paste.  But once I didn't it I was suprised how easy it was.  Not as easy as opening a packet but worth the flavor difference for sure!  A little cheese and sour cream on top, some fritos, and Auburn football on tv....nice!  Hope you'll give it a try.

By the way, sorry for the picture.  I forgot to take a picture of my pretty little bowl of chili before I devoured it!  So you got a picture of the pot halfway cleaned out instead!

Texas Red Chili

8 whole dried ancho chiles (I found mine in the produce section of Wal-Mart)
3T oil
3lbs chuck trimmed and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
2 onions chopped
5T minced garlic (that's alot I know!)
2 jalepenos minced (remove seeds and white membrane for less heat)
2 1/2 t cumin
1 1/2 t oregano
28oz can whole tomatoes
4 c water

Toast dried chiles in skillet or under the broiler for about 2 mins on each side.  Remove stems and seeds and cover the chiles with hot water for about 30 mins until soft.  While chiles are soaking, heat oil over med-high heat in a large dutch oven and season meat with salt and pepper.  Brown meat in batches and set aside.  Add additional oil, if needed, and saute onions, garlic, and jalepenos until soft.  Meanwhile, place soaked chiles and about 1/2 c of soaking liquid into blender.  Puree until smooth.  To the pot, add cumin and oregano and cook about 1 min.  Add beef and chile puree to pot.  Blend tomatoes in blender and add to pot along with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently with the lid partially covering the pot for 2-3 hrs.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice (and soup out of the leftovers!)

My family loves red beans and rice.  I've never made it from scratch with dried beans so I can't really compare this to the real thing.  I'm sure there is a purest out there somewhere that would just gasp at the thought of using packaged red beans and rice but I'm not one of them!  I really like the Zatarain's products and I get the low sodium variety whenever available.  I use one box with 1/2 a package of smoked sausage sliced up and we usually like ours with some sort of greens and garlic bread.

Now for the leftovers.........

If you only use 1/2 your sausage and save about 1/3 of your greens (we had kale this time) you can have a great soup the next night.  When I get my greens I get the Glory brand in the produce section.  They are already cleaned and chopped.  If you haven't tried kale, it's similar to collards but a little curly. 

Sausage and Kale soup

1/2 package of smoked sausage, sliced in bite sized half circles
1 1/2 c kale (collards or turnip greens would work too), sauteed with a little diced onion
1 can cannelinni beans
2 cans chicken broth

Saute your sausage till a little browned.  Add everything else plus about 1 c water.  Simmer for about 30 mins.