Tag Archives: featured

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread and Mini Loaves

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I’ve been wanting to make pumpkin bread with chocolate chips in it for quite some time and I thought while I was at it, I’d make some mini-loaves too. Mini-loaves make great food gifts for the holidays, and just about everyone I know loves pumpkin bread and chocolate chips. So you can’t go wrong when you put them together! This Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is so good and moist, with lots of chocolate chips in every bite, so if you’re a chocolate lover you won’t be disappointed! Be sure to use the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips–they work really well in this recipe. It makes either one large 9 x 5″ loaf or three 5 x 3″ mini loaves–or you can double the recipe and make both sizes–that way you can keep one for your family and give the rest as gifts–a win-win for everyone! 🙂 Use an extra-large bowl for mixing if you do decide to make a double batch!

CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN BREAD AND MINI LOAVES by NancyC

Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf or three (5 x 3″) mini loaves

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour one 9 x 5″ loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans; set aside.

In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and granulated sugar, blending well; then add the spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, blending everything well.

In medium bowl, blend the pumpkin puree and softened butter, and then the eggs, mixing well. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in large bowl, blending well. Fold in mini chocolate chips, stirring until evenly distributed in batter.

Spoon batter into prepared 9 x 5″ loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans.

For 9 x 5″ loaf: Bake at 350˚F for 52 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

For 3 mini loaves: Bake at 350˚F for 32 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in pan or pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.

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If you’re giving these loaves as gifts, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and add a ribbon around them tied in a knot or bow to make them look extra special–just like little mini-gifts! I always seem to have ribbon on hand and I also save pretty fabric ribbons from gifts I’ve received–these usually are the perfect size for tying around homemade loaves!

Do you make food gifts for the holidays? What do you like to make?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy and Inspiration Monday at Your Homebased Mom.

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10 Sweet Potato Recipes

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Sweet potatoes recipes are perfect not only for Thanksgiving, but all holiday season long–and actually, some are great year-round! This Thanksgiving, I had made Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie, which was really good, and I thought I’d share a roundup of some other yummy Sweet Potato recipes I’ve made with you!

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These Sweet Potato Biscuits are just the thing for breakfast, with eggs, and they’re also great for lunch or dinner with your main dish and sides!

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Same for these Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins–good any time of day!

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Sweet Potato Bread is nice for breakfast, too, or later in the day as a snack.

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For a delicious side dish, these Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes are wonderful!

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Another side, Baked Sweet Potato Fries, are really tasty, and there are a variety of ways you can make them!

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I really like these Roasted Italian Potatoes, which are made with both sweet and regular potatoes.

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This Sausage Potato Bake, a yummy dish for lunch or dinner, is also a two-potato recipe, made with both sweet potatoes and red new potatoes.

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When you’re ready for dessert, you need to try this decadent Sweet Potato Cinnamon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

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And this Sweet Potato Pound Cake is pretty amazing, too!

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Last but not least, here’s the Never Fail Sweet Potato Pie I made this past Thanksgiving–a very easy recipe and so good!

Hope you enjoy trying these sweet potato recipes out!

Linked to I’m Lovin’ It at Tidy Mom, Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener, and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Teatoxy Detox Tea

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Some of you are devoted coffee drinkers, while some of you prefer tea. And then there are some who love both, which is the category I fall into. I’ve been drinking a little more tea lately, though, since coffee tends to keep me up at night!

Recently I received a package of three Teatoxy Detox Teas to try. These teas are created in Thailand from organic ingredients that have detox benefits. As you can see from the photos, they’re really pretty teas–almost as pretty as potpourri!

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The Morning Blend, designed to boost metabolism and increase alertness, is a blend of lemongrass, rose hips, peppermint, apples, rooibos, blackberry leaves, hibiscus, and marigolds. The soft peppermint flavor is refreshing–a nice way to start the day.

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The Energize Blend is an organic blue detox tea blend created with lemongrass, Pandan leaves, Moroccan Rose Petals, Bluechai, and Lavender, which is designed to increase energy, fat burning, and suppress your appetite. It has a nice mild flavor and a pretty blue color which turns purple if you add some lemon juice.

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The Calm Me Blend includes organic hops, hibiscus, peppermint, cornflower, marigold, goji berries, and dried lemon slices. It’s supposed to help promote better sleep and is rich in antioxidants. I liked the light lemony flavor of this tea–it’s very soothing. I think this blend was my favorite!

If you like tea, you may want to try these out. They would also make a great gift for any tea drinkers you know!

So which category do you fall into…coffee drinker, tea drinker, or both?

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)

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

ncChsyGrBnCass2nm We all know and love that Green Bean Casserole, don’t we? It’s so good, I’m not sure why I only make it at the holidays–there’s no reason why you couldn’t make it any time of the year, right? But it’s especially nice at times like Thanksgiving and Christmas, when it’s cold outside and everyone is wanting to include warm and comforting side dishes in their holiday feast. There are many variations of this recipe, and when I make mine, I always add cheese, sour cream, and Half & Half (light cream) to make it extra cheesy and creamy. I love this casserole with cheese added in, and if you’re a cheese-lover, I think you will too! So here’s my version of this classic side dish and I hope you enjoy it!

CHEESY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE by NancyC, adapted from French’s Makes a 9 x 13″ pan

  • 2 (10 3/4-oz.) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half (light cream) or milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (regular or light)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (or substitute garlic powder)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 (14.5-ounce) cans green beans (or substitute 7 1/2 cups cooked cut fresh green beans or frozen and thawed green beans)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 2/3 cups (or 2 2.8-oz. cans) French Fried Onions, divided

Preheat oven to 350˚F. In large bowl mix soup, Half & Half (or milk), sour cream, black pepper, onion powder, and soy sauce. Stir in green beans, mushrooms (if using), cheese, and 1 1/3 cups (or 1 2.8-oz. can) French Fried Onions (save the other can for sprinkling on top after baking). Spoon mixture into a 9 x 13″ pan or 3-qt. baking dish. Bake at 350˚F for 27 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling at edges. Remove from oven, lightly stir the mixture in the pan or baking dish, then top with remaining 1 1/3 cups onions (or the second 2.8-oz. can). Bake an additional 5 minutes until onions are golden.

ncChsyGrBnCass1nm Do you make Green Bean Casserole for your holiday meals? With or without cheese? And what other side dishes do you like to serve?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener,  I’m Lovin’ It at Tidy Mom, and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.