Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

I know Thanksgiving is over, the time when we are still using pumpkin.  However some of you may still do pumpkin pies at Christmas or perhaps you are looking for a tasty alternative for dessert.  I opted for this instead of pie this year.  Much easier to make and you can get many more servings from this over one pie!

Same pumpkin-like custard on the bottom with crunchy topping.  I have pecans on top however you don't have to put them if you don't wanna.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake
JennyMac's Lipsmack also on Just a pinch

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow/french vanilla cake mix
1 c. pecans, chopped
2 sticks of butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease a 13X9 cake pan.

2.  Place in a large mixing bowl: pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, spice and salt. Using an electric hand beater, mix well for about 1-2 minutes.

3. Pour pumpkin mixture in greased pan. Top with cake mix. Pat the cake mix down. Sprinkle pecans. Pour all over with melted butter.

4.  Bake in 350 oven for 60 minutes or until set. (Jiggles just ever so slightly)

5. Best served warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy with fresh whipped cream or ice cream. If refrigerated the 'crunch topping' will get very hard (from the butter) so you may want to warm it up a bit in the microwave before serving it 'leftover'


Friday, November 23, 2012

Roast Chicken

Best Chicken Evah!  A-MAY-zing!  I've certainly done a few roasted chicken before but this one is different.  You've seen the Beer Can or Beer in the Butt Chicken recipes?  We went to a craft show and found the Chicken Roaster.  You put in your own 'liquid' and herbs, maybe some veggies in the base.  DINNER!  What I enjoyed most about this is that when I've done the Beer Can chicken it was so wobbly, afraid it would tip over.  Not even an issue with this ceramic roaster.  There is so much liquid involved in this there is no way you can have dry chicken meat.  We ate chicken for 3 days after this roast and with each 'reheat' the chicken was still moist. (we didn't reheat the whole chicken each day.  I cut it up into parts-breast, wing, thigh and leg and reheated the part that was going to be eaten) Give this recipe and roaster dish a'll be eating more chicken for sure!

Orange Thyme Chicken
a JennyMac's Lipsmack creation

3-4 pound (or larger)chicken
1 cup your favorite wine (or 2-3 cups and forgo the broth)
1-2 cup chicken broth
Several sprigs of thyme
1 orange sliced
1 clove garlic, slightly mashed.
olive oil
salt and pepper
onions, carrots, potatoes (or other vegetable to roast of choice)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Pat chicken dry.  Rub the outside of chicken with olive oil and salt, pepper and some thyme leaves remove from their stems.  Put remaining sprigs of thyme in the chicken cavity.  Line the inside of the cavity with the orange slices, reserve one.

3.  Place the one orange slice in the roaster cylinder with the garlic clove.  Pour the wine in the cylinder.  It's okay if it over flows into the bottom of the roaster.

4.  Place the chicken on the cylinder.  Add veggies beneath chicken on bottom of roaster.

5.  Add enough of the broth/wine to the bottom to fill the base by 1/3.  Not putting enough liquid can cause hot spots and break or crack the roaster dish.

6.  Roast chicken until internal temp reaches 170 degrees.  You can follow your packaging directions per pound for time to know when to 'test' your chicken temperature.

I made a little pan gravy with this "just in case"....but it really wasn't needed.  I was just enjoying the gravy with the chicken just because the flavor was awesome.

If you have an artisan festival coming by your town soon look for one of these to purchase.  If you don't have a source, you can order one online from the people who made mine:  Wizard of Clay, mine was $50, because we bought it there at the booth.  Not sure what shipping will cost you to inflate the amount. 

Well worth the purchase....gonna try next time how I can put a turkey breast on this!  Some butcher's twine may be involved!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween Treats

I know, Halloween is long gone.  However many of us had a lot going on.  I was all excited about posting my Halloween Treats and Hurricane Sandy hit.  We did not have school for two days and alas I was not able to make my treats until the actual day of Halloween and 2 days after.  My plan was to have most of it done BEFORE!  As a teacher trying to reschedule all that cooking and to rearrange the other classes.  AND, keeping my plan to decorate my room for the kids, taking it all down and decorating the house for the kids in the neighborhood.  Between making the treats, passing them out, remembering to take pictures, decorating  (....oh did I mention I had hall duty that week that requires me to monitor the hall 20 minutes before I normally come to work so that means I can't do anything in my room?)  So if I only worked 3 days last week, why did it feel like a full 5 days?  Fortunately, we lost no power and maintained no house/tree damage.  The "cat lady" above and her "roadie" are very blessed.  Enough whining....let's get to the treats, shall we?

Charlotte’s Web Cake

Create a spider web on top of a cake!

Start by spreading a round cake with white or orange frosting. Thin some chocolate frosting with milk until it's about the consistency of melted chocolate, and place it in a piping bag with a ¼-inch tip.  Starting in the center, pipe a spiral pattern radiating out until you come within an inch of the edge of the cake. Now, pretending the cake top is the face of a clock, gently drag the tip of a toothpick from the center to 12 o'clock, continuing all the way to the edge of the cake. Drag the toothpick from 1 o'clock back to the center, and then from the center to 2 o'clock. Continue in this fashion until you have completed the circle. You can also do this on a smaller scale with cookies and cupcakes. Decorate your 'web' with plastic spiders (or gummy ones) and bugs!

Used Tampons
from Divine Dinner Party (digusting food section)

20 large marshmallows
1 can sour cherries in juice (not cherry pie filling!)
5, 8-9" lengths of food-safe string

1. String four marshmallows on each of your five strings. I find the easiest way to do this is wrap the string around a wooden skewer, skewer the marshmallows, and pull the skewer out. You can also tie one end of the string around a toothpick.
2. Line the marshmallows up on one end of the string. Knot the bottom of the string.
3. Place marshmallow "tampons" on a serving tray. 5. Pour an undrained can of dark, sour cherries (it's best if you cut up the cherries a bit) over. Or use cranberry juice and dried cranberries.
6. Enjoy!  

Bloody Worm Sandwiches
from Divine Dinner Party (more gross food section)

8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
1/4 C. ketchup Instructions:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
2. Slice each hot dog into long, worm-like strips.
3. Dump hot dog strips into boiling water and cook until they begin to curl a bit. 4. Drain.
5. Return cooked hot dog worms to pan and toss with ketchup until thoroughly mixed.
6. Serve in hot dog buns.

Breadstick Spiderweb

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated breadsticks (8 breadsticks)
 1 egg
 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
Pizza sauce or marinara sauce, heated, and garnished with chopped fresh basil leaves or flat-leaf parsley

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Separate dough into 8 pieces; roll each piece into 12 to 14-inch rope. On cookie sheet, place 4 dough ropes overlapping to look like asterisk; with remaining 4 dough ropes, make concentric circles to create spiderweb.
In small bowl, beat egg and water; brush over dough. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm with sauce for dipping.

Hairy Armpits  
(sorry no picture, what was I thinking? Just imagine some European chick dancing with her arms in the air and you get a quick glance of her unshaved armpits!  lol)

3 large shredded wheat bundles
3 TBSP. honey
1 TBSP. light brown sugar
1 6oz. bag milk chocolate chips
2 TBSP. butter or margarine


Break up shredded wheat bundles into single long strands, so that they have the appearance of armpit hairs. Set aside. Place the honey, brown sugar, chocolate chips, and butter in a medium sized heavy saucepan and heat over low to melt. Gently stir mixture with a rubber spatula. Mixture should be smooth and glossy. Remove the saucepan from burner and place it on a heat safe work surface. Gently fold in shredded wheat. When the shredded wheat is completely coated, scoop it onto wax paper in nine equal portions. Use a fork to gently rake "hairs" into one direction. To set Chocolate Armpit Hairs, place them in refrigerator for about thirty minutes. If there are any hairy bundles left over, keep them stored in the refrigerator.

Froot Poops My school site has a photo gallery of these plus many others...

1 and 1/2 pkg (12 oz) chocolate chips
1- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
Dash salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups chopped, dried mixed fruit

1. Line the bottom of a 9 inch square pan with waxed paper.
2. Pour chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and salt into large glass bowl and melt in microwave. Stir constantly to determine when melted.
3. Pour in vanilla and dried fruit. Stir into chocolate mixture.
4. Pour chocolate mixture into lined pan and spread it evenly with your rubber scraper. Place pan in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours.
5. When thoroughly chilled, invert chocolate mixture onto cutting board. Cut into 1 inch squares.
6. Create loads of uniquely shaped diarrhea dumps by rolling each square between the palms or your clean, dry hands. Make some flat, round disks, some short, thick poops, and some long skinny ones!

Really Gross: Make sure you present your diarrhea delight on toilet paper wads!

Please print these out for next year.  Again I am sorry for these GREAT recipes being poor timed....but stuff happens.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of New York City, Staten Island, Long Island and New Jersey Shorelines.  Of all the people of our Wonderful US of A.  I feel the folks of NY and NJ have the stuff that make them strong survivors.  They survived 911 and this too shall pass.  If you can make a donation to the Hurricane Sandy Fund, even the smallest bit can help.