Monday, October 31, 2016

Bacon, Chicken and Wild Rice Soup #secretrecipeclub

I had one of those days last weekend.  It was cold and windy and I wanted something warm. It was the perfect time to make a delicious soup.  I used the opportunity to find a new recipe for the special reveal of Secret Recipe Club for Fall recipes.  After a pretty quick but difficult search of soups on Heather's blog, Join Us, Pull Up A Chair, I settled on Chicken, Bacon and Wild Rice soup.  Heather has over 30 soups and several chili recipes.  I bookmarked her Slow Cooker Southwestern Corn and and Potato Chowder and the Slow Cooker Italian Chicken soup

Heather and I both grew up in the kitchen, enjoying cooking and love sharing that experience with our children. Of course, Olivia isn't the most helpful just yet but she loves to sample. 

This soup came together really easily.  Heather noted the longer the soup simmered the more the flavors came together.  We didn't have the time before the baby needed to eat and ate a bowl as soon as the cooking time ended.  No matter, it still tasted amazing.  The best part was the leftovers for lunch on Monday. 

Chicken, Bacon and Wild Rice Soup

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour to 2 hours
Keywords: saute soup/stew bacon chicken rice
Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
  • dash of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups chicken breast, cubed
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy and then crumbled
In a large saucepan, combine the chicken stock and water. Add the wild rice, carrots and scallions, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until the rice is tender. There will be liquid remaining, do not drain.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add in the flour, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook for one minute until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Slowly add in the half and half, stirring continuously until the mixture has thickened.

Add the thickened cream mixture to the rice and mix in the cubed chicken and bacon. Cook on low for at least a half an hour. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors combine and the soup thickens.

Serve hot with fresh bread or crackers.
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Friday, October 28, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

I am embracing Fall full on right now. That means, Ugg boots, hoodie sweatshirts and lots of pumpkin goodies.  Last weekend I wanted a big, warm and sweet breakfast. Temperatures had turned cold overnight and the wind picked up. 

It was the perfect morning to enjoy this Baked Pumpkin French Toast casserole.  I made it the night before so all we had to do in the morning is pop it in the oven and watch the leave blow down from the trees. 

Forty some minutes later and the house smell so good of sweet cinnamon.  We munched on this leisurely as Olivia kept asking for "More, more."  We couldn't resist the maple syrup but the dish is pretty sweet all on its own.  I am thinking this would be a great way start Thanksgiving morning.  

Baked Pumpkin French Toast

by Emily Morris, From Two Peas and Their Pod
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast pumpkin
Ingredients (serves 16)
  • 1 loaf French Bread
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Streusel Topping:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Tear French bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly place in the pan.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour evenly over bread. Cover pan with saran wrap and store in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add butter pieces and cut into the dry mixture using a fork or your hands. Combine until the mixture resembles sand with a few pea sized chunks. Cover and store mixture in the refrigerator.

When you’re ready to bake the French toast, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove French toast from refrigerator and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the French toast is set and golden brown.

Serve warm with maple syrup.
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Friday, October 21, 2016

Baked Double Chocolate Doughnuts with Coffee Glaze #Choctoberfest


Thank you to Caveman Coffee for sponsoring this post. 

It's Friday and this has been a long week.  As a treat for myself and a treat for you I made doughnuts.  These aren't just any doughnuts.  These are double chocolate with a smooth coffee glaze.

I spent much of the week in Ohio and when I got home had a backlog of work to get through.  The double dose of chocolate and a strong cup of coffee was just what I needed to power through one more day till the weekend.  

Caveman Coffee graciously sent me a bag of their Blacklist coffee.  This dark roast is a signature, post-roast blend of Single Origin beans. It's bold with a full body and low acidity. I brewed a strong pot.  I had a nice big mug full and used a bit of the extra to enhance these donuts with a coffee glaze. 

I cannot wait to try their cold brew variety. 

If you need an extra boost of energy or really just want some chocolate doughnuts whip up a batch of these baked double chocolate ones.  You won't regret it. 

Baked Double Chocolate Doughnuts with Coffee Glaze

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast dessert chocolate coffee
Ingredients (6 doughnuts)
    For the Chocolate Cake Doughnuts:
    • Cooking spray, for doughnut pan
    • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3 ounces dark chocolate chips (or chopped)
    • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    For the Coffee Glaze & Sprinkles:
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 to 5 tablespoons coffee
    • 3 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles
    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray your doughnut pan with cooking spray and set aside.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

    In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, add the butter. When melted, add the chocolate chips and espresso powder. Allow to stand and melt for a minute or two and then mix with a spatula until smooth. Turn the heat off and then stir in the sugar and egg yolk. Lastly, whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla extract.

    In one batch, add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until you no longer see any speckles of flour.

    Fill the doughnut pan half way. Transfer the doughnuts to the oven to bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the doughnut pan for a minute or two and then run a butter knife along the outside, lifting them out of the pan with your fingers. Transfer them to a cooling rack while you make the frosting.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of coffee. Add more coffee, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches a thick yet liquid consistency.

    Dip the doughnuts, one at a time, into the frosting and place back on the cooling rack. Top with a liberal amount of sprinkles. Doughnuts will stay delicious for up to 3 days when kept in an airtight container.
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    Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    Fudge Brownies #Choctoberfest

    #Choctoberfest continues with these fudge brownies. I am a cookie girl at heart but sometimes a girl needs a brownie.  As I was thinking about what kind of chocolate recipes I wanted to share with you, brownies kept coming to mind. 

    These brownies are super dense and fudge like.  If I am going to have a brownie it better be fudgy and decadent.  

    Trying to be a bit health conscience I swapped out the butter with coconut oil.  This oil from Barlean's is flavored like butter so you cannot tell that these brownies were made with anything different.  You get all of the benefits of using coconut oil and the great taste of butter.

    Barlean's has all sorts of healthful products to amp up your nutrients by incorporating them in your everyday eats. Even Mr. J was using some to "butter" his toast. 

    Now I am just dreaming about taking one of these brownies and adding some of that hot fudge sauce from yesterday. 

    Fudge Brownies

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Keywords: bake dessert chocolate brownies
    Ingredients (24 brownies)
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup Barlean's Butter Flavored Coconut Oil
    • 2 1/4 cups sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
    • 2 cups chocolate chips
    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.

    Crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them at medium speed with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla for about 4 minutes.

    As the egg mixture is mixing melt the coconut oil. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl melt the coconut oil until it becomes liquid, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Continue to heat (or microwave) briefly, just until the mixture is hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not boiling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. (Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will help produce a shiny top crust on your brownies.)

    Add the hot coconut oil/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth.

    Add the flour and chips, stirring until smooth. Again, adding the chips helps produce a shiny top crust.

    Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan.

    Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked.

    Remove them from the oven and cool thoroughly on a rack before cutting and serving.
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    Monday, October 17, 2016

    Hot Fudge Sauce #Choctoberfest


    It has been way to long since I posted. And here we are in the midst of #Choctoberfest.  I blame colds and hurricanes.  Regardless I am back this week with a slew of chocolate posts. 

    Let's just say this past weekend was super sweet.  First up is this amazing hot fudge sauce.  I had this go to recipe for hot fudge from the microwave.  It was my constant until now. This recipe is just four ingredient and one pot on the stove top. Five minutes later and you have this amazingly rich and thick hot fudge sauce.  It is so good you don't even need ice cream. Just grab a spoon. 

    I used Imperial Sugar for my granulated sugar ingredient. I love that it is not chunky and pours smooth. This is key for nice and smooth hot fudge.  No one wants lumpy hot fudge sauce.  The recipe makes about 3 cups, quite a bit of hot fudge but it stores well in the fridge in an air tight container.  

    Hot Fudge Sauce
    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes
    Keywords: saute dessert chocolate
    Ingredients (makes 3 cups)
    • 1 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
    • 1 cup Imperial Sugar
    • 1 cup Heavy Cream
    • 1 stick Salted Butter, Cut Into Pieces
    In a medium saucepan, gently whisk together the cocoa powder and sugar.

    Whisk in the cream, then turn the heat to medium and whisk it as it warms up.

    When the mixture starts to heat up, add the butter and stir it in to melt. Then when the mixture is nice hot stir it to combine. Sauce will thicken.

    Let the sauce cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a jar. Store it in the fridge (it will become solid as it cools).

    To serve, scoop out the amount you need and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat it for 20 seconds, then stir and heat for another 10 or until the sauce is warm.
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    Thank you to Imperial Sugar for sponsoring this post.

    Monday, October 10, 2016

    #Choctoberfest this week!


    Today is one of my favorite days of the year... because it is the first day of #Choctoberfest 2016! #Choctoberfest is a virtual event put together by The PinterTest Kitchen. Bloggers from around the world will be posting their favorite chocolate recipes, and you’ll get a chance to win some awesome prizes. What’s not to love? Thank you to the sponsors who make #Choctoberfest possible! This year, Imperial Sugar is back as our Gold Sponsor. They have been a trusted name in kitchens since 1843, and their website is home to thousands of sweet recipes tested in the Imperial Sugar Kitchen. You can find Imperial Sugar on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube, or join their Sweet Community so you can share your own recipes, save recipes to a virtual inbox, print Imperial Sugar coupons, and connect with other sugar lovers. Imperial Sugar and our silver sponsors have banded together to offer a huge #Choctoberfest prize pack, which you can enter to win below! One lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive the following:
    • From our Gold Sponsor Imperial Sugar: 1 case of granulated sugar (40 pounds), 1 case of brown sugar (24 pounds), 1 case of dark brown sugar (24 pounds), 1 case of powdered sugar (24 pounds bags), and an Imperial Sugar red ruffle apron
    • From our Silver Sponsor Nature Nate's: 32 oz. Raw & Unfiltered Honey bottle, Honey Syrup, Honey Packets, a Nature Nate’s T-shirt, various kitchen supplies, and $50 Amazon gift card
    • From our Silver Sponsor Barlean's:16 oz Barlean’s Butter-Flavored Coconut Oil, 9.52 oz canister of Chocolate Silk Greens, and 8oz bottle of Essential Women Omega-Swirl Chocolate Mint

  • From our Silver Sponsor Caveman Coffee: 1 Bag of Coffee (you choice of blacklisted or sabertooth), 1 coconut MCT oil, and 1 Cacao Butter
  • From #Choctoberfest blog hosts The PinterTest Kitchen: 1 specialty chocolate gift pack (your choice of dark or milk chocolate), 1 tin (14 ounces) drinking chocolate, and Divine's Fair Trade Gift Set
  • Enter now to win our #Choctoberfest 2016 prize pack! We'll be picking a winner at random winner on Saturday, Oct. 15, so enter by Friday to make sure your name is in the drawing: a Rafflecopter giveaway Here's a list of all of the bloggers participating in #Choctoberfest 2016. Visit any of their blogs to get delicious chocolate recipes throughout the week: The PinterTest Kitchen2 Cookin’ MamasA Kitchen Hoor's Adventuresaddicted 2 recipesAmy’s Cooking AdventuresAn Affair From The HeartBalancing MotherhoodBody RebootedBottom Left of the MittenBy the PoundsCanning and Cooking at HomeCoconut & LimeCook with 5 KidsCook's HideoutCookaholic WifeCooking with CarleeCopyKat RecipesCricket's ConfectionsCrumbs in my MustachioElisabeth JeanFairyburgerFaith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered AccompliceFamily Around the TableFantastical Sharing of RecipesFeed Your Soul TooFeeding BigFrankly EntertainingFull Belly SistersGet the Good StuffGrumpy’s HoneybunchHezzi-D's Books and CooksHostess At HeartInk and SugarJane’s Adventures in DinnerJoin Us, Pull Up a ChairKaren's Kitchen AdventuresKate's Recipe BoxKudos Kitchen by ReneeKylee CooksLetz EatLife CurrentsLife on Food Making MiraclesMonica's TableMoore or Less Cooking Food BlogMy Catholic KitchenMy Gluten Free MiamiOur Good LifePalatable PastimeRestless ChipotleSeduction in The KitchenSew You Think You Can CookSimple Food 365Southern With A TwistSumptuous SpoonfulsTake Two TapasTampa Cake GirlTeaspoon of GoodnessThat RecipeThe Crumby CupcakeThe FlavouristaThe Food Hunter's Guide To CuisineThe Freshman CookThe Pajama ChefThe Redhead BakerThe Spiffy CookieTramplingroseWildflour's Cottage KitchenZesty South Indian Kitchen I'm looking forward to seeing all of the yummy recipes posted on these blogs. Check them out throughout the week and don't forget to follow our sponsors and bloggers using the Rafflecopter giveaway widget above for your chance to win our sweet prize pack.

    Monday, October 3, 2016

    Cheese and Zatar Sticks #secretrecipeclub

    We have been super busy the last few weekends with guests.  And work is crazy with each of us being out of the house every few days. We get by but have little energy left over.  It's times like this that extra bills come in and random house things come up to really put us over the edge.  I am looking forward to this upcoming week when we are both home all week and a weekend free of activities. 

    As an extra treat for the week I whipped up these cheese and Zatar sticks from Chef in Disguise.  This is the blog I was assigned for the October Secret Recipe Club post.

    Sawsan, the author behind Chef in Disguise is Palestinian, but was raised in Jordan. I lived, studied and worked in Amman up until June 2014  when her and her husband moved to United Arab Emirates. Her blog is full of delicious Middle Eastern foods as well as pictures from her travels and where she lives. Having never been to this area of the world I am always amazed at the vibrant colors and different architectural designs. I had so much fun exploring this blog. 

    There were so many interesting recipes to pick from I had a list a mile long but had trouble sourcing some of the ingredients.  We don't have many Middle Eastern grocery stores around me.  A shame too because don't these recipes sound delicious, Cheesy Flatbread and Harissa Cake.

    Sawsan has so many bread or yeast recipes that I was immediately drawn to too. I really liked this meat galette but then these Cheese and Zatar Sticks showed up in my search.  I just got Zatar to try out and I was itching to open it.  I couldn't not make these sticks. 

    The dough came together easily and quickly. My little one helped do the twisting before we popped the trays into the oven. These were a great snack to have on hand but I will definitely be saving this recipe for the holidays. They would make a great appetizer for sharing.  

    It was such fun seeing all these new recipes and Middle Eastern spice combinations through Chef in Disguise. 

    Cheese and Zatar Sticks

    by Emily Morris
    Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus rise time
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Keywords: bake bread
    Ingredients (Makes 24 plus sticks)
    • 2 ¼ cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/3 cup olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons yeast
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 130 grams Nabulsi cheese grated
    • 150 ml warm milk
    • 1 tablespoon vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons Zatar
    Proof the yeast by mixing it with the sugar and warm milk, set aside for 10 minutes.

    In a bowl place the flour and salt, add the olive oil and rub it into the flour with your finger tips.

    Add the Zatar and grated cheese, toss to combine.

    Add the yeast/ milk mixture and the vinegar and knead , until the dough comes together into a smooth ball.

    Cover and leave in a warm place till it doubles.

    Roll out the dough and then cut it into strips using a pizza cutter.

    Then you can shape the strips by rolling them into sticks, coiling them or twisting in two opposite directions to give them a twisty look.

    Bake in a 400 degree oven on the middle rack till the bottoms are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

    Cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container.
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