Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

My Mom gave me a pumpkin a couple of weeks ago and I wanted find a recipe to use it up. I had to make the snack for preschool today so I googled this recipe and voila, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. These are really good, Brad loved them, Ben wanted to eat them for dessert and the teacher at preschool said the kids loved them too.

If you have never cooked a pumpkin before I used this site. (Because I had never cooked a pumpkin before! It is surprisingly easy...exactly like cooking a squash (duh!)) You cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, cut in smaller pieces, put in a covered dish with a little water, and cook in the microwave or oven. (The site gives more step by step instructions, just click on the pdf link). Easy-peasy. And it tastes so much better than canned!

I used milk chocolate chips for recipe. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins:
Original Recipe Yield
12 small muffins


  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
  2. Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tortellini Soup

  • 1 lb Italian Sausage (my mom gets the stuff that's packaged like ground beef, but I could only find the actual sausages. So I just took off the sausage wrappings and broke it into pieces)
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced OR 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large can (~795ml) chopped/diced tomatoes, blended
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1½ cups sliced zucchini
  • small package of tortellini
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • grated Parmesan cheese

1. Brown sausage in frying pan. Once it's cooked, place it in a large pot (sans drippings).
2. In frying pan; sauté onions and garlic in drippings - then add to pot.
3. In pot: add beef broth, 1 cup water, blended tomatoes, tomato sauce, chopped carrots, basil and oregano.
4. cut green pepper in half, remove seeds, and add both halves whole (this is just for the flavoring. If you want to keep the green pepper IN the soup, just chop it and obviously don't remove it at the end).
5. bring to boil and simmer for 30 mins.
6. Cook tortellini separately while soup is simmering.
7. During the last 15 mins: add zuccini and parsley.
8. When soup is done simmering, remove both halves of green pepper (unless you chopped it) and add cooked tortellini - sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.

SO YUMMY!!! This recipe makes a nice BIG pot of soup. Lots of leftovers! Best part: it tastes even BETTER the next day.. and the day after that, too! Enjoy!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Beef Enchiladas

These are the yummiest enchiladas out there. They are a good make-ahead meal. I usually double it and throw one pan in the freezer.

1 can tomato soup
1 tbsp chili powder
dash of garlic salt
1/2 can water
1 tsp cumin
6 large tortillas
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 onion
salt, pepper, garlic
cheddar cheese, grated

1. Fry beef with onion, salt, pepper, and garlic (or garlic powder). Drain and set aside in another bowl.
2. In same pan fry tortillas in a little oil for about 3 seconds on each side. Drain on paper towels.
3. Mix first five ingredients together (I just use the same pan) and beat together with a whisk, heating until just boiling. Remove from heat.
4. Dip each tortilla in sauce and then fill with a spoonful of meet and a handful of cheese. Roll up.
5. Put each filled tortilla in a greased 9 by 13 pan. Pour remaining sauce over top. Sprinkle with cheese.
6. Cover with foil and cook for 15-20 minutes at 350.

Serve with rice. Sometimes I put cooked rice in with the meat and cheese.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oven Steak Fries

We had these tonight for dinner with BBQ steak and a big salad. They were sooooo good! I tried the original recipe. The crumpled foil trick is awesome because you don't have to flip the fries and they cook evenly! Brad loved them.

From: Our Best Bites.
Oven Steak Fries

4 medium Russet potatoes, washed
2 Tbsp. olive oil

For Orignal Recipe Fries (just call yourself The Colonel), you’ll also need…

1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For Garlic Pepper Fries, you’ll need, in addition to the olive oil and potatoes…

1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
2 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. parsley

Preheat oven to 400. Mix desired spices in a medium bowl. Add olive oil and combine well.

Cut potatoes into 8 wedges each.

Add potato wedges to seasonings and toss to coat.

Lightly crumple some aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and then arrange potato wedges on foil. This makes cleanup easy because your potatoes won’t stick and it will also ensures they’re cooked evenly.

Bake at 400 for about 40 minutes. Serve with ketchup, fry sauce, Ranch dressing, honey mustard…the sky’s the limit here!

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Debbie told me about this recipe and it is really tasty!! I love the lime taste in the filling and the crunch of the baked shell.

A few notes: neither Debbie nor I could find "green salsa" and just used regular salsa in the recipe. Also, make sure you fill the taquitos full enough...because I didn't when I made these!!! I tried to use the filling so that it would use up all my 10 small shells (like the recipe says), but I found there wasn't enough filling for 10 taquitos in this recipe, I say maybe 8 or so. This is a great recipe to use leftover chicken.

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Recipe by

1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C green salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t granulated garlic
3 T chopped cilantro
2 T sliced green onions

2 C shredded cooked chicken
1 C grated pepperjack cheese

small corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.

Then roll it up as tight as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

Dip 'em in salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or this dressing.