Monday, October 29, 2012

Crockpot Pizza Casserole

A friend of my mom's had made something like this for her a few weeks ago, and she gave me some to try. I liked it, so I looked online for a recipe, and I found a few different ones that seemed similar. Most of the ones I found didn't have enough water in the recipe, or were cooked too long, and people who reviewed them said they turned out very dry. So, taking the basics from those recipes, I increased the water, reduced the cook time, and added a few tweaks of my own, and what I came up with turned out great.

Crockpot Pizza Casserole
1 box Rotini Pasta, uncooked 
1 pound Italian sausage or lean ground beef ( I used sausage) 
1 onion, chopped 
1 tsp. garlic powder 
1 tsp. Italian seasoning 
1 green bell pepper, chopped 
1 cup sliced pepperoni 
1 ( 32 oz.) jar pasta sauce 
4 cups water 
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions : Spray Crock Pot with non-stick spray. In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef or sausage with the onion, garlic, green bell pepper, Italian seasoning, and pepperoni. Drain excess fat. In the meantime, pour the jar of pasta sauce and the water into the Crockpot. Stir in the uncooked pasta.  Once the meat is browned, dump meat mixture into Crockpot and stir well.  Cover and cook on low for 2.5 hours. Fifteen minutes before serving, top with the mozzarella cheese. Once cheese is melted, it’s ready to serve.

Note: At first, it will seem really soupy, but all of the water will be absorbed by the time the pasta cooks and expands, and it will be thick and casserole like in texture.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

4 cups flour
2 cups oats
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can pumpkin (15 oz.)
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, oats, soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and
vanilla; mix well.
Alternate addition of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each
addition. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hot Spiced Apple Cider

Hot Spiced Apple Cider

2 quarts apple cider
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
16 whole cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger

In a stockpot, combine all ingredients and stir. Bring to a boil, then turn to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve hot, or store in refrigerator and reheat by individual serving in mug or teacup later.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Simple Pumpkin Cake

I found this simple cake recipe online, and then adapted the recipe by coming up with my own icing. It can be a fairly light recipe as it has no oil or eggs in it, and I used light Cool Whip and light cream cheese in the icing as well. I liked it, and my husband ate two pieces as soon as it was ready, so I am going to say it passed the test. :)
Simple Pumpkin Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
½ block (4 oz.) cream cheese
1 container Cool Whip
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 7 x 11 baking pan with cooking spray. Mix together cake mix and pumpkin with mixer until well blended. Spread into 7 x 11 pan and bake for 25 min. Let cake cool, then mix together cream cheese, Cool Whip, and cinnamon with mixer. Spread over cake and serve.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cinnamon Baked Apples

I know it's been forever since I posted a recipe. The nature of my job is that mid August through November are much busier than the rest of the year. I've been coming home tired and stressed and although I still cooked, I haven't been able to put the energy into trying new things, taking pictures, etc. for my blog. But, with the arrival of fall, there are so many wonderful foods to go along with this time of year I had to make some time. This recipe is one that my grandma used to make. I never actually had the recipe, so I did some experimenting and have figured it out. It's perfect for a fall side dish or even dessert.

Cinnamon Baked Apples

4 large apples
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cinnamon red hot candies
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. Peel apples, cut in half, and remove cores. Place core side up in the baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Spoon the brown sugar mixture into the center of each apple half. Top each apple with red hots. Bake for 35-40 minutes. 

The toppings will melt a little forming a delicious syrup that will run over the sides of the apple a bit.