Sunday, October 30, 2011

Loaded baked Potato Chowder - Oven free!

Chowder is one of those dishes that makes me want to cuddle up in a large fluffy blanket and listen to the wind howl out side while I enjoy my piping hot potato chowder!
And this one does not disappoint! I love all cream based soups yum! can't get enough! especially now the weather is getting cooler. I've had some problems though with my oven, it's been a mite finicky. this recipe luckily does not use the oven...but...yes it does use my very nifty "can't life without" microwave (mine is a 1300, if you have a microwave that is under 900 you might have some difficulties with this recipe, mainly with the cook times). as I just mention this soup is made entirely with the microwave and has turned into one of my fav. soups.
Try it out on a colder night when you don't have the energy to clean a but load of dishes (wich is always for me lol) just try this recipe out!
Use God's plentiful provisions well and enjoy!
Loaded baked Potato Soup

Loaded baked Potato Chowder

  • 3 Baking potatoes
  • 3 1/2 cups Milk devided (I used %2)
  • 4oz Cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2-3 Green onions with tops
  • 4oz Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Coarsely ground black pepper
  • Optional topping like Bacon, Broccoli, Sour cream

  1. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise; place in a Deep Covered Baker. Pour 1/2 cup of the milk over potatoes. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 11 minutes. Remove baker from microwave. Move center potatoes to ends of baker and outer potatoes to center. Cover; microwave on HIGH 8-11 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Remove baker from microwave. Coarsely mash potatoes. 
  2. Meanwhile, whisk cream cheese until smooth in a seperate bowl. Slowly add remaining 3 cups ) milk, whisking until smooth. Add cream cheese mixture and butter to baker. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until mixture is hot. Slice green onions. 
  3. Carefully remove baker from microwave. Grate cheddar cheese over chowder; add green onions, salt and black pepper and mix; until cheese is melted. Serve with toppings, if desired. 
  4. Serves 6 (8cups)
Adapted from The pampered chef

Monday, October 24, 2011

Warm Apple-nut Cinnamon Bread

Warm apple cinnamon bread is the best!

The smell of fresh apple bread is one of the most comforting to me..especially since I have been going through quite a hard spell. Thank God for apple bread...actually thank God for everything really without Him I would not exist or be who I am today, I can't imagine having to go through the trials of this world without would be so empty! there are tons of great quotes on hardships out there but this one stuck with me :

Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles. 
~Maltbie D. Babcock 

well as I was saying I decided to make this wonderful really easy bread today to lift my spirits. The smell is so amazing and really does make you feel at home and cozy ;-) I must warn you though that the bread itself is utterly addicting and it is very hard to stop nibbling on it! But please try it...this recipe practically screams out fall  and fits wonderfully with the colder weather we have been having. Serve it slightly warm with a nice cup of steaming apple cider and voila instant calm  ;-)

 Apple Cinnamon bread:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup veg. oil *
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups diced peeled apples (I used 1 gala and 1 granny smith)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Mix the first 5 ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs together then gradually add the sugar and oil until smooth
  3. Add the vanilla to the egg mixture, gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. mix well. (the batter will be very thick and sticky, don't worry that is normal)
  4. Add the diced apples and mix well
  5. Mix the walnuts in 1 tsp of flour and add to batter
  6. Divide batter into 2 greased loaf pans, top with cinnamon sugar (optional) 
  7. Bake at 350F for one hour (make sure you check the bread after 40 and 50 min just to check progress, every oven is different)
* (yes that is not a typo it really needs 1 cup of oil but maybe try using apple sauce instead for a healthier version, you would need to add slightly more applesauce to get the consistency right but go ahead and try!)

 Again the smell is addicting and so is the taste so beware lol but above all enjoy and remember to thank your Heavenly Father for all He has done!


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Sunday, October 23, 2011

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte's

 Pumpkin spice latte's is one of the the first signs that fall is right around the corner!...well at least for me ;-) Starbucks puts up that sign and I'm ready with my furry hoodie and fall boots to buy my first cup!
It's a milestone for me, but an expensive one at that, paying $4-$5 per cup of this awesome sustenance is just too much for me! (some of you it's not and that's fine). I told myself to get off of my soft tushy and do something about it...and giving up pumpkin latte's was just not happening! it's my joy, my comfort (said in a rather gollumish way) addicted you say? right!)
So what do I do when I am in a fix? I call upon my handy dandy...notebook (lol yes...but the computer kind) and Google away! I found that a lot of people blogging had the same problem I had...overpriced pumpkin spiced latte's! and to my delight they gave me the cure...a recipe...*sigh* everything is going to be alright (*sigh* again) The recipe I chose was fairly easy to follow and the latte came out really good and a lot cheaper than the original version. I'm pretty sure they would taste a lot better if I actually had some espresso but sadly I don't, strongly brewed coffee works just as well. if you are as "addicted" as I am to these lovely fall specialties give this a try! the simple syrup the recipe makes lasts quite awhile. although you do need to experiment a little bit to find your perfect amounts...everyone has a different taste!

I hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks 
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 3 tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved.  
  • Toss in the cinnamon sticks and whisk in the remaining spices and the pumpkin puree.  Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, without letting the mixture come to a boil.  
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.  Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and store in your container of choice.   
  • Store in the refrigerator.
To make a pumpkin spice latte, combine 2 ounces of hot coffee or 1 shot of hot espresso (about 1-1½ ounces) with 5-6 ounces of steamed low-fat milk.  Stir in 1½-2 tablespoons of the pumpkin spice syrup.  Taste and adjust amounts accordingly.  Top as desired with freshly whipped cream, ground cinnamon and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Source: syrup from Cook Like a Champion and originally from Sugar Crafter, latte formula from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall and pie go together like me and chocolate ;-)

What are things that make you think of fall? crisp autumn air, colorful leaves falling to the ground and the crunching sound they make when you skip over them with your warm fall boots (that you have been dying to get out of your closet for a month now lol), the smell of apple cider and the taste of pumpkin pie. the cozy feeling of a warm blanket wrapped around your shoulders while sipping a nice cup of home made pumpkin spice latte ;-). there are a ton of things that i think of when the words "fall" and "autumn" are brought up. I love fall (especially early fall) God's handiwork and art is just spectacular! He is so amazing! all the colors are astounding! seasons are here for a reason and I love finding out what God has provided for us in this season; there's the apples, pears, figs,pomegranates, grapes, pumpkin, squash, mushrooms, cauliflower, parsnips, sweet potato and Swiss chard...WOW all these are so flavorful and match the deep colors of fall. can't wait to try out new recipes with all these ingredients ;-) God gives to us in abundance and to see all of his beautiful creations is truly amazing ;-) thanksgiving is coming up soon and I've already started my list on what I might make (depending on where we go for thanksgiving this year) I have to admit that there is one recipe that gives me the hardest time...pie simple, easy pie...yes it's true! I have the hardest time with it. I also found out that my oven is somewhat to blame and that lessens the blow a little. but I just can't get it right. this recipe is an amazing recipe and the taste is amazing but my pies are either to gooey, runny or undercooked (that part is my oven's fault! the top heating coil doesn't work) Please try this recipe though it really is good even though my pictures are not the best. PS: I used left over peaches that needed to be used but this recipe would go great with apples as well! or make your own blend ;-) enjoy!

Old Fashioned Peach pie


  • 1 (15 ounce) package pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie or (follow recipe below)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 cups sliced peeled peaches
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate with one of the pie crusts. Brush with some of the beaten egg to keep the dough from becoming soggy later.
  3. Place the sliced peaches in a large bowl, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour over the peaches, and mix gently. Pour into the pie crust, and dot with butter. Cover with the other pie crust, and fold the edges under. Flute the edges to seal or press the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in egg. Brush the remaining egg over the top crust. Cut several slits in the top crust to vent steam.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is brown and the juice begins to bubble through the vents. If the edges brown to fast, cover them with strips of aluminum foil about halfway through baking. Cool before serving. This tastes better warm than hot.  

Homemade Pie Crust


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Roll out dough on a floured counter. Don't over work it. Use as directed in pie recipe. 
  3. If necessary, use a little less water than called for in recipe. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Campbell's Tomato Soup Spice Cupcakes with a Cream Cheese Glaze

The first response my husband gave when I mentioned the tomato soup was a face of utter disgust, and I must admit I was a little apprehensive of it at first. But my curiosity got the better of me and I told myself that I must try them! 
If you are equally freaked out about the thought of tomato soup in a cake or cupcake don't worry! you really don't taste it after the cakes are baked (ask my husband he actually really likes them) and just remind yourself they are healthier (at least without the cream cheese frosting). The tomato soup makes the cupcakes extremely moist (but also slightly sticky if you use the cheat version)
the soup has a full helping of veggies in it so what better way to make a healthier cupcake? 
Try them you really might find that you like them ;-)
I have added my original recipe as well as the "I-don't-have-time-to-measure-ingredients" version. the cream cheese glaze is amazing and you really don't need to pile on the frosting with these little gems. the slight tartness of the cream cheese frosting goes incredibly well with the cake. 
Hope you enjoy!

Campbell's Tomato Soup Spice Cupcakes (from scratch)

  • 1 (10¾ oz.) can condensed tomato soup, preferably low sodium
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 6 tbsp (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) (3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Homemade cream cheese frosting (recipe below)

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°. Line your cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sprinkle the baking soda over the tomato soup and stir well. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt and baking powder.
  4. Beat butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy, three to four minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for a few seconds. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with tomato soup, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl again, and mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
  5. Fill the prepared cupcake pan about three-quarters full. Bake the cupcakes 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.
  7. Frost with the cream cheese frosting
Adapted from Bourbonatrix bakes

Campbell's Tomato Soup Spice Cupcakes (cheat version ;-)...)

  • 1 (10¾ oz.) can condensed tomato soup, preferably low sodium
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • Store-bought or homemade cream cheese frosting

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.  Place liners into cupcake pan.
  2. Combine the cake mix, soup, water and eggs in a large bowl and mix according to the package directions. Spoon the batter into the muffin-pan cups.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  4. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely.
  5. Frost with the cream cheese frosting.
Adapted from campbell's recipes

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.