Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dinner in a Pumpkin

This has been a tradition in our home since we were little girls...A favorite for Halloween! I have posted pictures of our last two years...You can be creative with how you'd like to serve your festive dinner...In a carved Jack-O-Lantern, with the front cut out of a pumpkin or just with the lid cut off, the pumpkin cleaned out and used like a bowl...

This is so fun for Halloween.

Dinner In a Pumpkin
(clean out a pumpkin to cook the dinner in...)

1 Tbsp minced onion
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1-8 oz can sliced water chestnuts (optional)
2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1-4 oz can sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups cooked rice

In a large frying pan, saute onion until tender. Add meat and brown. Drain. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms and soup. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked rice and water chestnuts. Pour mixture into pumpkin and bake at 350 for one hour. (Place pumpkin on a cookie sheet when cooking....)

(The pumpkin is yummy squash! Fun to serve with "mummy fingers" (pigs in a blanket) or other spooky side dishes...)
(Note: If you don't have time to bake it in the pumpkin, you can bake at 350 for 15 minutes in a casserole dish and then scoop it into the pumpkin to serve.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kandi's Stew

This healthy and hearty meal has few ingredients, is quick to put together and because it cooks all day in the crockpot...Your house smells fabulous and dinner is ready when you are with little effort!

In high school, my brother's friends would head straight to our house every Friday afternoon after school for "Stew Crew," their energy meal prior to that night's football game. So, it's a favorite among teenage athletes and the whole family! {The LHS football team barely lost in the state championship game that year...They were full of talent and if I'm being honest...played as well as they did all because of the stew!}

Brown stew meat in 1/3 cup margarine. Layer:

Potatoes (I use 4-6 potatoes for my family of 5)
Carrots (I bag baby carrots)
Onion (1, sliced)

Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to top of crockpot. Leave juice in pan. Add 1 cup water and 1 Tbsp. flour. Cook until thick like gravy. Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp parsley, and 1 tsp thyme (optional.) Pour gravy on top. Cook on low 8-9 hours or on low for 4 hours.

Serve with some yummy rolls for a delicious meal!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Winning Banana Bread

I am sorry that I have been isn't just this blog, but my personal one as well. Life got a little crazy and some things got neglected. Baking was not one of those things. As it gets colder, yummy breads are always at the top of my list of favorite things.

I know there are a MILLION banana bread recipes out there, but this is so moist and yummy. Even if you have a recipe you like, give this one a try and see if you don't love it! This recipe is awesome!

Banana Bread
1 cup shortening or butter
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
6 ripe bananas, mashed (the riper, the better)
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional, but you would be crazy to not add them!)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional...we are nut free at our house, so i haven't tried the bread with the nuts))

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease (with shortening or butter) two 9x5 loaf pans and then coat pan with light sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar.
2. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until fluffy and light. Stir in the eggs in one at a time, beating well with each addition. Stir in mayonnaise and bananas. In a seperate bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix dry ingredients into banana mixture...stir just enough to evenly combine. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean (depending on the over, between 50 and 75 minutes.) Cool for 20 minutes in the pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

**This recipe works just as good cut in half if you only have 3 ripe bananas.**