Tag Archives: simple

Five-Minute Pumpkin Mousse

If you only try one new pumpkin recipe this fall, let it be my Five-Minute Pumpkin Mousse.

Don’t let the word “mousse” intimidate you because this is as easy as it gets: it takes five minutes and has five ingredients. You simply whisk together sweetened condensed milk, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and whipped topping. Then serve it with gingersnap cookies for dipping (although the velvety mousse is delicious on its own).

I’ve created a variety of pumpkin mousse recipes over the years, but this is my best.

I gave my 3-year-old – who is hesitant to try new things – a bite and asked if she wanted another bite. She said: “I want the whole thing,” and promptly took it from my hands. She licked the bowl clean.

My husband said he could bathe in this; my mom said it was better than pumpkin pie. The rave reviews have ensued every time I make it (and I am sure you’ll get the same response).

This recipe will be a winner this holiday season. It’s even better after a few hours of refrigeration, but can be served immediately, too.

This mousse would be great at your Halloween party. Simply carve out a small pie pumpkin and fill it with mousse and serve it with Gingersnap cookies.

Five-Minute Pumpkin Mousse

Makes 20 (2-ounce) servings

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 (8-ounce) tub of whipped topping, defrosted

Mini Gingersnap cookies to garnish

Beat or stir together sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and whipped topping, until combined.

Pour mixture into 2-ounce glasses and top with a gingersnap cookie. Serve immediately.

Other serving options: If you have a smaller crowd and want to serve larger portions, you can serve pumpkin mousse in wine glasses with or without a cookie. You can also crumble cookies and put them on top.

.DSC_0563 (2)

Advertisements

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

I met a family once who planned their annual reunion around apple butter.

I spent the weekend with this clan – about 40 strong- who peeled hundreds of apples on Friday, and then Saturday slowly cooked the apples down over a huge, antique copper pot. They took turns stirring the apples with a wooden spoon that looked like a paddle.

It was a crisp fall day and I sat at watched steam rise from the pot and the aroma of a campfire, apples, cinnamon and cloves fill the air (I was writing a story about their unique tradition).  When the apples had melted into a thick butter-like consistency, they canned the mixture into the night. When that was done, they made a mega batch of biscuits and used the warm biscuits to scrape up the last of the apple butter that still glazed the inside of the pot.

I can’t eat an apple butter stuffed biscuit without thinking of them. I had to stop this photo shoot to gobble up a biscuit.

apple butter biscuit

I love apple season and autumn means the apples are ripe from the orchards to the farmers markets and the grocery stores.  Now, as much as I enjoy apple butter, I don’t have time to make it from scratch so I whip up a slow cooker version.

You have to peel about 10-12 apples, but if you have an apple peeler, then it’s quick.  I use a mix of Granny Smith and red apples for this.

You can make a variation on this recipe by adding ½ teaspoon or ¼ teaspoon of extract once the mixture has been cooked. For example, split the batch in half or thirds and add vanilla extract, or maple or rum (those are my favorites). It’s just a slight twist on the same recipe. I always start with ¼ teaspoon and then double it if I don’t think it’s changed the flavor enough.

apple butter close

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Makes about 1 1/2 pints

7 cups of peeled and sliced Granny Smith apples

1 ½ cups peeled and sliced red apples (about 2 red apples)

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (use less or omit if you don’t like cloves because you can taste it)

1/3 cup apple juice

Place apple juice in the bottom of a slow cooker.

Core, peel and slice all the apples and place on top of apple juice. Stir together your sugar and spices until well combined and sprinkle over the apples. Cover and cook for 10 hours, undisturbed. When done, allow to rest at the warm temperature setting for 1-2 hours. Then turn off and remove the lid and let the mixture stand for 30 minutes to cool.

Place in a food processor and blend until smooth (don’t use all the liquid in the slow cooker or it may be too thin). Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 10 days.

Try this Fabulous Chicken, Bacon, Gorgonzola Flatbread

Divine. Heavenly. That’s how I’d describe my Chicken, Bacon, Gorgonzola Flatbread, which is bubbly, creamy, bacon goodness.

Every day this week, I am showcasing a new flatbread creation and this is my favorite so far. Now, I am not done creating yet, but I’m in the home stretch.

This wonderful flatbread is topped with bits of tart apple that provide a nice contrast in terms of texture and flavor.

This pairs beautifully with red wine. The funny thing is I don’t usually like blue cheese, but Gorgonzola is much lighter than many other varieties and this doesn’t even taste like blue cheese. So if you think you don’t like blue cheese, it’s still worth trying this.

I can’t wait to eat it again.

Chicken, Bacon, Gorgonzola Flatbread

Makes 2 flatbreads

1 (8.8 ounce) package (which contains 2 flatbreads) of Stonefire Tandoori Baked Original Naan

5 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup real bacon pieces or chopped bacon, plus 1 teaspoon (do not use bacon bits)

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ cup Gorgonzola crumbles

1 ¼ cups chopped rotisserie chicken

2/3 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 Granny Smith apple

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir together cream cheese, bacon, heavy whipping cream, garlic powder and Gorgonzola. Set aside.

Remove the breasts from the rotisserie chicken and chop those. Finely mince the Granny Smith apple and set aside.

When oven is preheated, spread half the cream cheese mixture on each flatbread. Sprinkle half the chicken on each flatbread and top with Mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 9 minutes. Then sprinkle with the apple and serve.

flatbread.blue4

Hot Wing Flatbread

I declare this flatbread week! Every day this week I am posting a delicious flatbread, most of them will use rotisserie chicken and be incredibly easy recipes.

This is my Hot Wing Flatbread, which was inspired by hot wings. I loved wings in college, but I can’t touch them now. If I did, I’d be up all night with heartburn. So I decided to take the flavors behind the wing and transform it into a flatbread and the results were FABULOUS.

I spread Ranch dressing on a prebaked crust, topped it with rotisserie chicken that was tossed in hot wing sauce, added celery and blue cheese crumbles. It’s delightful and didn’t give me any heartburn.

This is actually served cool, so it’s excellent on a hot summer day.

I made my own crust. My recipe is simple- it contains flour, salt, yeast and water—but it needs six hours to rise so it’s not something that can be prepared at the last minute.

If you want to simplify this recipe, just use Stonefire Tandoori Baked Original Naan which makes the perfect crust. When you bake it, it’s crisp on the outside but still slightly chewy on the inside.

I started crafting flatbreads this weekend and my inspiration was endless, so I decided to post one recipe a day here.

I hope you enjoy flatbread week.

Hot Wing Flatbread

Makes 1 flatbread

1 precooked flatbread

1/3 cup Ranch dressing

2/3 cup chopped rotisserie chicken

2 -3 tablespoons Ott’s Wing Sauce or your favorite hot wing sauce

2 small stalks of celery, minced

3 tablespoons crumbled Gorgonzola

I recommend using the breast meat for this recipe. Pull off the chicken breast and finely chop it. Then toss it in the wing sauce and stir to coat the chicken.

Mince two small celery stalks.

Next, spread Ranch dressing on a precooked flatbread. Top with the chicken. Sprinkle with celery and Gorgonzola and serve.

flatbread.buf

Juliana’s Simple Flatbread Crust

1 1/2 cups bread flour, more for dusting

1 1/2 teaspoons active yeast

1 teaspoon salt

¾ to 1 cup lukewarm water

Cornmeal

Olive oil

Stir together flour, yeast and salt. Then add warm water, stir, and then use your hand to gather dough into a ball. Drizzle olive oil over the dough, cover the bowl with a clean towel and place on the oven to rise for 6 hours. Turn the oven on to 200 degrees to help it rise.

When it’s time to cook, preheat oven to 450 and place a baking sheet in the oven to heat.

Split the dough in half. Coat your hands with flour and work the dough into a ball (you may need more flour). Start working the dough in your hands, pinching it to spread it out in your hands. Sprinkle corn meal and flour on a flat surface. Then put the dough down and continue to stretch it until you have a piece of flatbread.

When oven is preheated, remove the baking sheet, sprinkle it with cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking, and bake the flatbread for 10-13 minutes.

Chicken, Corn, Avocado, Black Bean Salad in Chipotle Dressing

It’s going to be a scorcher today, so cool off with this delicious, filling salad.

Southwest flavors come together beautifully in this simple meal.  For the dressing, you mix chipotle salsa, mayonnaise and fresh lime juice. Then top romaine lettuce with chopped chicken, fresh corn, black beans, avocado and tomato. Serve it with tortilla chips; shredded cheese and cilantro are optional but add a lot to this salad.

Bell peppers would be a nice addition, too.

It’s that easy. Enjoy

DSC_0328 (2)

Chicken, Corn, Avocado, Black Bean Salad in Chipotle Dressing

Serves 2

1 head of Romaine lettuce

1 ear of corn

1 ¼ cups chopped rotisserie chicken breast

1/3 cup black beans, drained

1 avocado

2 campari tomatoes

1/3 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup Pace Southwest Chipotle Salsa

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Tortilla chips

Shredded cheese to garnish (optional)

Cilantro (optional)

Place corn in its husk in the microwave and cook for 3 ½ minutes. Remove and when it’s cool enough to handle, shuck it and slice corn off the cob. Set aside.

Tear romaine into pieces and divide between two bowls.

Pull chicken breast off chicken and discard skin. Chop and sprinkle over salad.

Drain your black beans and divide between the salads.

Slice avocado in half and cut each half into slices and place half an avocado on each salad.

Chop tomatoes and divide between the salads. Sprinkle corn over salads.

For the dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, salsa and lime juice.  Drizzle over salads. Garnish each plate or bowl with tortilla chips. If desired, sprinkle with cheese and fresh cilantro. Serve.

DSC_0305 (2)

Two EASY Quesadillas: Goat cheese and grilled peppers; Chicken and Bacon. The choice is yours

I get on kicks. My latest is quesadillas.

A month ago, I made a wonderful black bean, Ranch, rotisserie chicken quesadilla, then a Mediterranean inspired quesadilla and I have several more in the works.

L1060906 (2)

The charm of the quesadilla is it’s quick, easy, versatile and delicious.

It’s portable so you can eat it on the go as a snack, but also filling enough to enjoy it for dinner.

If you’re watching your carb intake, you can substitute a high protein, low carb wrap for the tortilla shell.

A classic quesadilla is common street fare all over in Mexico. You can fill it with any variety of cheeses, meats, vegetables and use corn, black corn, white or wheat flour tortillas.  There are tremendous possibilities.

It’s a great way to use leftover barbecue meats, too. I nestle shredded barbecue pork in a tortilla, top it with cheese, cilantro, chopped red onion, and grill it. Then I serve it with barbecue sauce and sour cream. It’s delightful.

And you don’t have to know much about cooking to create a delicious quesadilla.

My biggest tip is when making a quesadilla that is stuffed with other ingredients, cook it cheese side down first so it has a chance to melt and the cheese doesn’t fall out when you flip it.

Use a nonstick pan or a skillet to make quesadillas. If you’re feeding a crowd, a pancake griddle works beautifully to cook several at the same time (if you have a family, a griddle is a great choice).

Here are two AMAZING and easy recipes:

The goat cheese quesadilla is tossed with green salsa and cuddles up to bell peppers and chicken. It’s L1070005 (2) one of my favorites as the creamy, tangy goat cheese contrast beautifully with a trio of bell peppers. Goat cheese is also less fattening and I like the fact that my recipe includes veggies. This is a single serving recipe, so perfect for a snack or someone who lives solo.

My bacon and chicken is about as easy as it gets and takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish. This is basic qubaconqesadilla with rotisserie chicken, bacon pieces, cheese and a dash of cumin. I grill it and serve it with salsa and guacamole.

I hope you enjoy these.

Goat Cheese, Chicken and Tri-Pepper Quesadilla

Serves 1

1 medium size tortilla

Cooking spray

1/3 cup of assorted sliced bell peppers, red, green and yellow or orange

¼ cup of soft goat cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons green salsa

Dash of ground cumin

1/3 cup sliced or chopped rotisserie chicken breast

Guacamole or green salsa for serving

First, slice assorted bell peppers and heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bell peppers and cook 3-5 minutes until they reach desired tenderness. Salt the peppers and remove from heat.

In a bowl, stir together the goat cheese and green salsa until combined. Then spread the mixture over half of a tortilla. Top with chicken and bell peppers. Then sprinkle a dash of ground cumin on the other side of the tortilla and fold over to make a half moon.

Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat it over medium heat. Add the folded tortilla and cook about 2-3 minutes per side, until slightly crisp. Slice and serve with green salsa or guacamole.

goat cheese quesadilla

Chicken and Bacon Quesadilla

Makes 2 snacks or 1 meal size

2 medium size flour tortillas

1 chicken breast

½ cup shredded Mexican style cheese

2 heaping teaspoons real bacon pieces

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin or cumin seed

Cooking spray

Guacamole for serving

Salsa for serving

Cilantro to garnish

Cut the chicken breast off the rotisserie chicken, discard and skin and slice the breast. Then divide those pieces in half.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat.

Place half the cheese on half of each tortilla. Top with chicken, bacon and cumin. Fold the other half of the tortilla over to make a half moon. Then place in skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side.

Serve with salsa and guacamole.

L1060984 (2)

Awesome, Chicken and Artichoke Sandwich

Awesome Chicken, Artichoke Sandwich

This chicken sandwich is crusty on the outside, gooey on the inside and packed with flavor. If you love artichoke dip at parties, you will LOVE this.

This recipe can easily be doubled and you will want to once you taste it. It’s one of my favorites.

2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken breast

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoon your favorite olive tapenade (I like green olive for this)

1 cup chopped artichoke hearts

1 cup shredded, fresh parmesan cheese

1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Half a loaf of French or Italian bread (not baguette)

Preheat oven to 375.

Stir together chicken, cream cheese, mayonnaise, olive tapenade, artichoke hearts, Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Set aside.

DSC_0176 (2)

Cut the bread in half and then cut it horizontally. Fill the bread with chicken mixture. If desired, add a tiny sprinkle of more Italian seasoning.

Wrap the loaf in aluminum foil and pop in the oven for 18-20 minutes. When it’s done, cut into four servings.

Yes, it’s THAT EASY!!

DSC_0178 (2)

Serve with a salad.