Friday, November 19, 2010

Sweet Dumpling Squash and Carnival Squash

Carnival Squash (larger) and Sweet Dumpling
Baked Sweet Dumpling Squash
*I was introduced to Sweet Dumpling squash this fall and it has become on of my favorite.  To cook it fast and easy use the microwave.  Keep the squash whole, poke all over with a fork, and microwave at full power approximately 3 to 5 minutes (depending on size).  Serve plain or use a bit of butter with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

This recipe bakes the squash, but the amounts and times I list are adjusted to better reflect our taste.
1 t butter
pinch of nutmeg
sprinkle of cinnamon
few drops of maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half and remove seeds with a spoon. Use a fork to poke several holes in the outside skin of each half of the squash. Place squash in baking pan with hollow side up. Add 1" of water to bottom of pan.  Place butter, nutmeg and cinnamon in the hollow of each squash half. Pour maple syrup on each.  Bake uncovered on middle rack for 30-45 minutes or until the flesh is soft.  Serve hot.  

Number of Servings: 2
Baked Carnival Squash
Carnival Squash recipe
When preparing in an oven, the squash can be cooked whole or cut in half lengthwise from the stem to the bottom. Place the squash with the skin side down in a dish containing 1/2 inch of water. Cover the dish and bake for 1/2 to 3/4 hour at 375 degrees. In a microwave, cook for approximately 20 minutes in a dish with a loose cover of plastic wrap.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Paula Dean’s Yummy Pretzels


  • 1 cup warm water (about 98 degrees F)
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Kosher salt
In a large mixing bowl, combine warm water and yeast. When the yeast dissolves, add half of the flour, the butter, salt, and sugar and mix for about 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Let the dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until it doubles in size, about 45 to 50 minutes. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece of dough into 18-inch long ropes. On a greased cookie sheet, shape each rope into a pretzel shape. Let rise again until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
In a large non-aluminum Dutch oven over high heat, bring 4 cups of water and baking soda to a boil. Using a large spoon, gently lower pretzels into water a few at a time and boil for about 1 minute, or until they float. Return the pretzels to the cookie sheet and brush with melted butter then sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake until browned, about 12 minutes. 

Paula's recipe

Kate original gave me this recipe, but I tweaked it a little to reflect Paula Dean's original recipe.  I've only baked pretzels one other time and this one takes the prize!  We loved them!  I rolled the dough out to about 12-inch long ropes and you can see the pretzels turned out puffy--for a more spread out pretzel, roll to 18-inch long ropes.  I baked them exactly 12 minutes, may I suggest checking them at 9 or 10 minutes.  These are so good!

I made a little cheese sauce by partially melting neufchatel cheese, cheddar cheese, and a little milk for 15 second bursts in the microwave, stirring in between.  Yummy.  I'll definitely be making these again.


From Amy's site

1 cup shortening or butter
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Melt shortening and mix in unsweetened cocoa, set aside. Cream sugar and eggs. Then add melted shortening and vanilla. Add flour, salt and baking powder and mix. Place in greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Stick a toothpick in the center if it comes out clean the brownies are done. When cool, frost with chocolate frosting.  (I used this frosting).

Lemon Pepper Chicken

4-6 boneless chicken breasts
Lemon pepper seasoning

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1/4 cup mayonnaise
½ cup milk
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken in baking dish. Sprinkle chicken breasts generously with lemon pepper seasoning. Bake chicken at 350 for ½ hour or until done. Mix sauce, pour over chicken and cook an additional 20 minutes.

Serve over cooked rice.

*My chicken was mostly frozen, but I cooked as directed adding about 10 minutes on the bake time.  This was a simple, easy, weekday meal.

Drumsticks with sweet potatoes and pineapple

2 medium dark-orange sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced (about 3 cups)
1 can (8 oz) pineapple tidbits in unsweetened juice, undrained
½ c chicken broth
¼ c finely chopped onion
1 t grated gingerroot (if desired) (or 1/2 t ground ginger)
¼ c barbecue sauce
¼ t pepper
2 T honey
½ t dry mustard
8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed (1.5 lbs) (I used 5 drumsticks, probably weighing close to 2 lbs)

1. In a slow cooker, combine sweet potatoes, pineapple with liquid, broth, onion and gingerroot; mix well.

2. In a small bowl, combine barbecue sauce, honey and dry mustard; mix well. Coat chicken drumsticks well with barbecue sauce mixture. Arrange chicken in single layer over potato mixture n slow cooker; overlapping slightly if necessary. Soon any remaining barbeque sauce mixture over chicken.

3. Cover an cook on Low setting for 7 to 10 hours.

*I actually cooked it for 1 1/2 hours on High, then about 4 1/2 hours on Low.  The chicken was very tender.  My 2 year old and I liked the sweet potatoes (I used 1 "yam" and 1 light sweet potato), but I can think of better ways to cook them.  Drumsticks work very well in the crock pot.