Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spicy Pumpkin Bars

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I always look forward to the leaves changing colors, the crispness of the air and the smell of fall. Also I always have to get my Spicy Pumpkin Bar fix. My mind always craves these every Fall. So I will share this decades old recipe with you so you too may get your pumpkin fix. Happy Fall to you.

Spicy Pumpkin Bars

  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
You will need 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 1/8 inch a jelly roll pan for this recipe. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a electric mixer blend sugars and Crisco together well, then add the eggs. Sift together dry ingredients then slowly add to sugar and Crisco mixture, blend well. Add pumpkin and mix until all is blended. Grease the jelly roll pan and spread the stiff batter evenly into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Cream Cheese Icing
  • 4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
With a electric mixer cream together cream cheese and butter, then add vanilla extract and slowly add powdered sugar. Once sugar has been mixed in well blend well at a high speed. Frost cake once it has cooled completely. Refrigerate until serving time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Norma's Brownies

When I was a little girl living in Oklahoma City my Mom made these brownies for me and they bring back such great childhood memories. I have never tasted a better recipe than this one. A light thin crispy layer on top hides away the dense fudgy center. With the kids back in school this is a perfect time to bake some brownies for their lunchbox or after school snack. Hey who says there has to be kids around, adults love them too. I remember thinking I did not like the idea of Crisco in the recipe so I tried it with margarine and butter, but it does not work. This brownie recipe will blow away any box mix. Enjoy a little bite of heaven.

Norma's Brownie's
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 10 Tbsp. powdered Hershey's cocoa
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Crisco
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup nuts (optional) pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a electric mixer cream Crisco, sugar and eggs together. Then add vanilla, flour, salt and cocoa. Mix well until well blended. Spray a 13' x 9" x 2" Pyrex dish with Pam Spray, evenly spread the batter into dish and bake for 30 minutes or until pick in center come out clean.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Asian Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Your taste buds are in for a pleasant surprise when you taste these delicious noodles. Don't be a wimpy cry baby about the spice, it really is not that spicy. The creaminess of the peanut butter smooths out the heat of the pepper for just the right amount of heat. One thing for sure about this recipe is that it will keep calling you back to the refrigerator for leftovers, That is if you manage to have some. Enjoy!!!

Asian Noodles w/ Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 2 (8 oz.) pkg. of Wide Lo Mein noodles or Fettucini Style brown rice pasta (14 oz.)
  • 2/3 cup Smucker's natural creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger root
  • ¼ - ½  tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. sugar or Splenda
  • 6 green onions sliced thin (green tops too) about 1 ¼ cup
  • ¾- 1  cup grated carrot

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile whisk the next 8 ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside. 

Clean onions and trim root ends off and slice thin, grate carrot. When noodles are finished cooking add to peanut butter mixture with onion and carrot, toss to coat well. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator and serve cold. I love to serve this with the Teriyaki Chicken or Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin. Enjoy!

I use ½ tsp. cayenne, I like it spicy. You will be surprised, the peanut butter helps cool down the spice, it is just the right amount. After noodles have been chilled they will stick together and not look as smooth and creamy, do not be fooled they are still delicious.

Before serving chilled noodles let them sit on counter for 15 - 30 minutes to let peanut butter soften. I buy my noodles in the ethnic section of the grocery store. They are much cheaper in an Asian market. This recipe has been made with natural peanut butter, do not use processed. I like Smucker's (natural) brand peanut butter. Ginger root is easier to grate when frozen. For my gluten free fans use the brown rice pasta. Enjoy!