Monday, September 26, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Cookie Clouds...

I've been ichin' to do some fall baking.

Since I can't find canned pumpkin right now on island, I figure apples are the next best thing. Besides that, I love baking with apples. The aroma that fills the house is wonderful.

Apples just scream homemade goodness. There's so much you can do with them.

Fritters, streusel, cobbler, pie, candy apples... take your pick.

I figured I would try and make scones with them, but after pulling these lovelies out of the oven, they resembled more of a poofy, airy cookie. Very similar to the pumpkin cookies I would like to share with you...... if only I could get my hands on some canned pumpkin!!!

Anyway, baking these cookies really helped me get over my canned pumpkin frustrations... somewhat.

So, as I anxiously await the days leading up to Thanksgiving and hound inquire about the import of canned pumpkin at my local grocery store, I want you to buy some apples and make these cookies.

I mean, not only do they act as an air freshener, they also taste great!

Apple Cinnamon Cookie Clouds

  • 2  Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice, To Keep Apples From Browning
  • 3 Cups Bisquick
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Half & Half
  • 1 Whole Egg
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel and chop the apples into small pieces. Place them in a small bowl and drizzle with the lemon juice; set aside. In a large bowl, mix the Bisquick, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon together; set aside. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk the egg into the half and half. Pour into the Bisquick mixture and whisk to combine. Finally, fold in the chopped apples. Using a medium sized ice cream scoop, drop dollops of the apple batter onto pre-sprayed cookie sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Makes 24-26 cookies. Store covered. 


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chicken and Cannellini Bean Stew...

Well, this past week I have been trying to eat right and drink a lot of cran-water. Yes, cran-water. I know you are curious, so let me explain.

I decided to try and cut out all processed sugars, starches, dairy, and caffeine. Oh, and salt and pepper.

Crazy, I know.

Anyway, after getting past the first few days with an annoying headache... I'm guessing a sugar/caffeine withdrawal... it went pretty well. I decided to add in some beans for more protein, straying from the meal plan I was following... and just a little bit of cheese.    

I also added the salt and pepper back, because I really can't have my food lacking in salt and pepper. I'm just using less of it.

I'm pretty much eating lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, some fish and taking my vitamins.

The cran-water?

Well, this is supposed to cleanse my liver or kidneys or something. I really can't remember. Plus, get rid of cellulite. Cranberry juice and water are both good for you, so when combined... I'm pretty much expecting awesomeness.

I promise I'm not giving up baking. That would be insane, as I find it very therapeutic. I already have a few fall inspired sweets planned for the next few posts.

You're probably wondering if I ate some of that scrumptious bread in the picture... and yeah, I did. I had to. It was calling my name.

So, I'm feeling pretty good, not having my usual late night cravings. Next week I'm planning on walking, for some exercise. I'll let you know how that goes.

While I try to whip myself into shape, here is a great stew that not only tastes good, but is pretty healthy, too!

P.S. I better add that I'm absolutely, positively no doctor or dietician and recommend you speak with your physician before starting your own weight loss program.

Chicken and Cannellini Bean Stew

  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, Divided
  • 4 Whole Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Teaspoon of Kosher Salt, Or To Taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Pepper, Or To Taste
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Stalks of Celery, Chopped
  • 1 Can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes (14.5 Oz.)
  • 2 Cans Cannellini Beans (15.5 Oz.), Drained and Rinsed
  • 2 Cans Low Sodium Chicken Broth (14.5 Oz.)
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Bay Leaf
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot or Dutch oven on medium heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Once the oil is heated, add the chicken and brown on each side. When your chicken has browned, remove to a plate and set aside. Add another teaspoon of oil, if needed, then add the onion, garlic, and celery. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Next, add the diced tomatoes, beans, chicken broth, parsley, oregano, and bay leaf. Return the chicken to the pot, along with the drippings to finish cooking. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to low, and let simmer for 1 hour. Remove the chicken and shred, then return to the pot to simmer an additional 15 minutes; adjust seasonings. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Serve with french bread and butter. Makes 10 servings. 


I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It Friday'sSeasonal Inspiration and Fusion Fridays.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Potato Cheese Soup...


Fall is upon us... well, maybe not me so much. I wish it was, though. As I've mentioned before, I live where it is warm, pretty much year round. The trees do not turn vibrant colors of red, orange, and yellow. No Autumn breezes or trips to go apple picking.

Those are some of the things that I miss from when we lived on the east coast.

While I may not have the fall weather to enjoy, I still have some great fall recipes I like to make. One of them being my mother-in-laws potato cheese soup recipe.

Everything about this soup says comfort. It is the most requested soup recipe in my household. My girls absolutely love it.

Yeah, I'm bustin' out my fall recipes... and I don't care that it's 85 and sunny.

Potato Cheese Soup

  • 8 Whole New or White Potatoes, Peeled and Cubed
  • 2 Cups Reserved Potato Water, From Cooking Potatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 3 Cups 2% Milk, Divided
  • 1 Bag Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese (16 oz.), Divided
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Salt, Or To Taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper, Or To Taste
Begin by placing the peeled and cubed potatoes in a large soup pot. Cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. 

While the potatoes cook, melt the butter in a medium saucepan on medium/low heat. Whisk in the flour until combined. Whisk in 1 cup of milk until combined with the four mixture. Turn the heat up to medium high and mix in 2 cups of the cheese. Continue whisking in 1 cup of milk to 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Turn the heat to low and whisk the sauce until it begins to thicken slightly. When you are able to coat a spoon without much sauce dripping off, remove the sauce from the heat.

Once the potatoes are cooked through, drain them, reserving 2 cups of the potato water. Return the potatoes to the pot and add the cheese sauce and the potato water. Place over low heat to stir and warm through. Add the salt and pepper and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with french bread and butter. Makes 8 servings. 


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