Tag Archives: cinnamon

Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie

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This time of year is sweet potato pie time! I’ve never made my own homemade sweet potato pie, so I decided this would be the year to do it. When I received some vouchers for complimentary products from the Sager Creek Vegetable Company recently, I decided to try a sweet potato pie recipe from their website. They call this recipe Our Best Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie. That sounded like the perfect recipe for me, since I’m not a very experienced pie-maker! This recipe makes three, yes three, sweet potato pies, so it’s perfect if you’re needing to make lots of pies for the holidays. I used the Sager Creek Vegetable Company’s Princella cut sweet potatoes for the filling and they worked out great! And you can use unbaked frozen pie shells, which also saves time (you need to thaw them before using). I just happened to have three of those in my freezer. So I guess making this recipe was meant to be! 🙂

I changed the recipe slightly by adding some additional spices–in addition to ground cinnamon, I also added nutmeg and ginger. The sweet potato filling has a really great flavor with the combination of these spices. It’s really yummy and a great recipe to keep in mind when you want to make a batch of pies! The pie crust edges do brown quite a bit, but you can keep them lighter by covering the edges with foil when baking.

NEVER FAIL SWEET POTATO PIE by NancyC, adapted from SagerCreekVeggies.com

Makes three 9″ pies

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 (40-ounce) can Princella sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 15 ounces evaporated milk (I used three 5-ounce cans)
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (9-inch) deep dish unbaked pie shells (I used frozen pie shells, thawed–I actually used two deep dish and one regular size because that’s what I had on hand)

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add beaten eggs and stir. Then add mashed sweet potatoes and blend everything well.

Next, stir in ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cornstarch; then add in evaporated milk, vanilla, and salt, making sure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Pour mixture into the three pie shells and bake at 400˚F for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350˚F and continue baking for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the tip of a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

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Of course some whipped cream on top of your pie is always a good idea, too!

Hope you and your family and friends enjoy a wonderful meal and time together this Thanksgiving! And may this holiday remind us of the many blessings we have to be thankful for!

Come before Him with thankful hearts. Let us sing Him psalms of praise. PSALM 95:2 Living Bible (TLB)

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Apple-Zucchini Bread

apple zucchini bread @ nancycApple-Zucchini Bread just seems so perfect for this time of year—early fall is when I’m inspired to bake apple-flavored things! This recipe not only has apples, but zucchini too, which is great—you can never have enough good zucchini recipes for all that zucchini from the garden, can you? Or in my case, from the farmer’s market!

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Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake

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I think the term “dump cake” is a little misleading–it just doesn’t sound very appetizing! It’s true that you do kind of “dump” most of the ingredients into a large bowl, stir them together, and pour in a pan…and then just sprinkle on the toppings–in this case, dry cake mix, pecans, and toffee bits. With melted butter drizzled over everything. And it turns out so yummy!

There are all kinds of dump cakes you can make, and this Pumpkin Pie Dump Cake is a great one to try out this time of year. The pumpkin, spices, and toffee bits all give this cake a great fall flavor. It’s really more like a pie without the crust than a cake, with a crunchy, nutty topping and pie-like pumpkin filling. If you’re a pumpkin-lover, you will enjoy this recipe. Even people who aren’t crazy about pumpkin pie seem to like this.

PUMPKIN PIE DUMP CAKE by NancyC, adapted from AllRecipes

Makes a 9 x 13″ pan

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) package yellow cake mix (or use spice cake mix)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup toffee bits
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350˚F degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13″ pan.

In large bowl, mix pumpkin, light brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and salt, blending well. Stir in the evaporated milk, then beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared pan.

Sprinkle all of the dry yellow cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture, then sprinkle the chopped pecans and then the toffee bits evenly over top of cake mix. Drizzle melted butter evenly over everything.

Bake at 350˚F for 60 minutes, until edges are lightly browned (it may be a little soft in the center, but will set as it cools; also, the cake may sink slightly as it cools). Cool for 30 minutes before cutting and serving. You can serve just as it is or with a scoop of ice cream or dollop of whipped cream. And maybe even a drizzle of salted caramel sauce on top if you really want to make it decadent! 🙂 Refrigerate any leftovers.

As I mentioned, this is really more like a pie than a cake, and very easy to make, as all dump cakes are. Have you made a dump cake before? What kinds of ingredients do you like to use in yours?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Berry Walnut Granola

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I am a big fan of granola, and I prefer homemade–I think it tastes so much better! I’ve posted several recipes for granola bars, like Crunchy Honey Almond Granola BarsDark Chocolate Granola Bars, and chewier Granola Bars. I’ve also made an unsweetened Cranberry Raisin Nut Toasted Oat Cereal. So I thought it was about time I posted a granola cereal recipe that I like making. It’s sweetened with honey, shredded coconut, and a mix of dried berries. You can serve it with milk or Greek yogurt in the morning and it’s great as a snack, too! This recipe makes A LOT of granola, so you can halve it if you want to make a smaller batch.

BERRY WALNUT GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes 16-18 servings 

  • 6 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (or substitute pecans)
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes (shredded coconut)
  • 1 1/2 cups raw sunflower kernels (or use roasted kernels but add them to the mixture after baking)
  • 2/3 cup non-GMO canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups dried mixed berries (I used a mix of dried cranberries, cherries, and blueberries)
  • parchment paper for lining pan

Adjust oven rack to middle of oven. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a 13 x 18″ rimmed baking pan with parchment paper; set aside (or use two rimmed 10 x 15″ cookie sheets).

In a very large bowl, stir together the oats, nuts, wheat germ, coconut flakes, and sunflower kernels.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, stir together the oil, honey, and cinnamon; heat in microwave for 30 to 40 seconds, then stir until well-blended.

Pour honey mixture over oat mixture in large bowl, stirring to coat evenly. Spread mixture in an even layer on the lined 13 x 18″ pan.

Bake at 325˚F for 20 minutes; remove from oven, stir mixture (so it will bake evenly), then return to oven for another 20 minutes–for a total baking time of 40 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in the dried mixed berries. Let granola stand until cooled, then stir again to break any large clumps. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Are you a granola fan too and do you make homemade granola?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Cinnamon Apple Chips

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It’s always nice when you can make yummy snacks that are good for you, too! I found this recipe in a review copy I received of Keep Your Brain Young: A Health & Diet Program for kybycoversmallYour Brain, Including 150 Recipes. The book gives helpful tips and a simple action plan on how you can help prevent or delay neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The book explains how the brain works and what causes these diseases, and then provides a 12-Step Healthy Brain Diet Program along with menu plans and recipes to keep your brain healthy. There are a variety of recipes, from snacks to soups, main dishes, and desserts.

One thing I found interesting in the book was that “The brain is the hungriest kind of tissue in the body. Eat an energy-rich, low-glycemic-index diet that fuels the brain steadily without spikes in blood sugar levels. Spiking blood sugar damages neurons moment by moment (p. 124).” So this book helps you think in terms of feeding your brain properly so it can function at its best.

I decided to try the Cinnamon Apple Chips recipe out because it’s always nice to have healthy snack options and apples are so good for you. You have to be careful not to slice your apples too thick or too thin–if they’re too thick they won’t crisp up as nice and if they’re too thin they may get a little burnt when they’re baking. So try to keep your slices as close as you can to 1/8″. Actually, my slices never really did get “crispy,” they were more the texture of dried apples, only a little moister, and I did bake them for 40 minutes, so maybe I should have baked them a little longer. The edges curled up and got a little crispy but the centers of the slices stayed soft–they do dry up a little more as they cool off on a wire rack, but mine never got to a “crispy” stage. But I really liked them. These chips taste like a slice of a baked apple, so if you like that flavor, you’ll like these!

CINNAMON APPLE CHIPS from Keep Your Brain Young

  • 4 large tart-sweet apples (such as Braeburn, Gala, or Pippin), halved and cored
  • 4 teaspoons  (20 mL) stevia powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground cinnamon
  • Nonstick cooking spray (preferably olive oil)

Preheat oven to 325˚F (160˚C). Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a very sharp knife or a mandoline, cut apples into 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick slices.

In small bowl, combine stevia and cinnamon.

Arrange apple slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with stevia mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until edges are browned and slices are dry and crispy. Transfer chips to a wire rack and let cool completely (do this while the chips are still warm, or they will stick; they will crisp more as they cool). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Health Tip: Recent studies indicate that eating as little as 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of ground cinnamon per day and boost cognitive function and memory.

Nutrients: Calories 59; Fat 0g; Carbohydrate 16g; Protein 0g; Vitamin C 5 mg; Vitamin D 0 IU;Vitamin E 0 mg; Niacin 0mg; Folate 3 mcg; Vitamin B6 0.1 mg; Vitamin b12 0.0 mcg; Zinc 0.1 mg; Selenium 0 mcg

Courtesy of Keep Your Brain Young: A Health & Diet Program for Your Brain Including 150 Recipes by Dr. Fraser Smith & Ellie Aghdassi, 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

I was thinking that next time I try these I may cut the apple slices in halves or fourths and maybe that would help make them more crispy.

Have you baked apple slices before or do you have a favorite healthy fruit or veggie snack you like to make?

Linked to Wow Us Wednesdays.