Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Cake

Fall is my favorite time of year, and I am ready for pumpkin delights!  I made this pumpkin cake and took it to work, and it earned rave reviews!    I'll make it again for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Cake
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 10 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits (optional) - I left out
  1. Preheat oven to 350'
  2. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray
  3. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, eggs and pumpkin pie spice.  Stir well.
  4. Pour into prepared 9x13 pan
  5. Sprinkle entire box of cake mix on top, followed by crushed graham crackers (and toffee bits if desired)
  6. Pour melted butter evenly on top
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until center is set and edges are lightly browned.
  8. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

I needed something yummy for our work pot luck, a main dish that most everyone would like on a cool fall day.  This is an easy recipe, and Weight Watchers to boot!

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeds removed
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cans black beans, drained
  • 2 cans corn, drained
  • 2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes with spices or chilis
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chilpolte chili powder (or regular chili powder)
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • Fresh cilantro - optional 
Combine all ingredients.  Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours in crockpot.  Top with chopped cilantro, and serve with sour cream or low fat cheese if desired.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, & Caramel Rice Krispies Treats

Let's call these "Adult" Rice Krispies treats because of the layers of chocolate, caramel and peanut butter on top!   They are simply, divine!   Pass the milk!
  • ·         3 Tablespoons butter
  • ·         1 10 oz. bag marshmallows or mini-marshmallows
  • ·         1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • ·         7 cups Rice Krispies
  • ·         1 bag of caramel pieces (similar to chocolate chips)
  • ·         2 Tablespoons water
  • ·         1 ½ cup peanut butter – divided
  • ·         12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Spray or butter a 13x9 pan.  

Place 3 tablespoons butter in large microwave bowl.   Microwave until melted, about 30-45 seconds.  Add marshmallows, stir until well coated.  Return to microwave for 1 minute.  Stir, microwave another 30-45 seconds until marshmallows are melted.   Stir in vanilla.   Add rice krispies, stir until well coated.  Pour into buttered 13x9 pan.  With buttered or wet hands, pat mixture firmly.   Place in refrigerator to chill.

Microwave caramel chips and water until melted, about 45-60 seconds.  Stir.  Add 1 cup peanut butter to the caramel, and stir until completely blended.  Pour onto the rice krispies mixture and spread to the edges.   Place back in the refrigerator to chill.

Microwave chocolate chips until melted, about 45-60 seconds.  Stir.  Add ½ cup peanut butter , stirring until smooth.  Pour the chocolate mixture over the caramel mixture, spreading to the edges in an even layer.  Place dessert in the refrigerator and allow to set up for about 1 hour or until chocolate is firm to the touch.  Cut into squares or rectangles when firm.

Bars are easiest to cut when cold but are best eaten at room temperature or only slightly chilled.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Front Porch

I love fall...the leaves changing color, the cooler temperatures and anything pumpkin and spice!   I worked on my front porch for fall this weekend, and even used some of the pumpkins from Ironman's garden.   Sweet!

Here's my fall porch, pumpkins resting in our grand kids rockers and lining the steps with a few of the summer plants that are still hanging on.

My DIY Red Wreath Project 
One grapevine wreath, spray painted red, and wrapped in a garland of fall leaves.  
It may get nailed to the tree with ribbon, or I might hang it from the fence.  I love it!