Tag Archives: pecan

Apple Pear Pecan Salad

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It’s always fun trying out different ways to make salads–it makes salad-eating a little more interesting! In the summer months, I like adding strawberries and blueberries to my salads. So I thought I’d try making a more “wintry” salad with apples and pears, inspired by this recipe. There’s also creamy crumbles of feta cheese mixed in, along with some healthy pecans that give this salad a nice flavor and crunch! I learned recently that pecans are rich in antioxidants and contain heart-healthy mono and ployunsaturated fats. They’re also rich in fiber–a handful of pecans contain the same amount of fiber as a medium-sized apple! I had received a complimentary sample of Bergeron Pecans through the National Pecan Shellers Association, and they were a perfect addition to this salad!

APPLE PEAR PECAN SALAD by NancyCreative, adapted from Kraft Foods

Makes 6-8 servings

  • 8 cups of packaged salad mix (about a 5.5-ounce package) or coarsely chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries, divided
  • 1 medium or large apple, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium or large pear, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • 1 cup pecan halves or coarsely chopped pecans, toasted or untoasted, divided (I used Bergeron Pecans)
  • 1 bottle of your favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (regular or lite)

In a large salad bowl, toss together the lettuce, half of the dried cranberries (1/3 cup), and all of the chopped apple and pear. Then add in half of the crumbled feta cheese and half of the pecans (1/2 cup) and toss all ingredients together. Sprinkle the remaining dried cranberries, pecans, and feta cheese on top. Serve on individual plates and drizzle each serving with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.

Toasting Pecans: For more crunchiness and flavor, you can toast your pecans in the oven by spreading in a single layer in a shallow baking pan; bake at 350˚ for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. To toast pecans on the stove top, place them in an ungreased skillet and cook on medium heat until golden brown, stirring frequently. To toast pecans in the microwave, place up to 1 cup pecans in a microwaveable shallow dish; microwave on high until crisp, stirring every 30 seconds.

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This salad is great with a meal–a larger serving of it can even be a meal in itself! What types of recipes do you like to use pecans in?

Linked to Tidy Mom–I’m Loving It.

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Butterscotch Pecan Banana Bread with Butterscotch Drizzle

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I haven’t made banana bread for some time, so I decided to try making an autumny type of banana bread with butterscotch chips and pecans–for some reason, I tend to make more butterscotch-flavored things in the fall! I chopped up the butterscotch chips so they would be lighter and more evenly distributed in the batter, and I really liked the way this Butterscotch Pecan Banana Bread turned out! It’s dense and moist with a nice blend of banana-butterscotch flavor. I also made a butterscotch drizzle to go on top, because a little drizzle of extra sweetness never hurts, does it? It’s kind of like a “hard-shell” drizzle and will break off a little as you cut the loaf, but it gives the top of the loaf just the right amount of butterscotch sweetness!

BUTTERSCOTCH PECAN BANANA BREAD WITH BUTTERSCOTCH DRIZZLE by NancyCreative, adapted from Food.com

Makes one 9 x 5″ loaf

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup butterscotch chips, coarsely chopped–measure out the 3/4 cup before you chop them (Note: chill them in your fridge before you chop them; that makes them easier to chop!)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (measure them out after you’ve chopped the nuts)

Butterscotch Drizzle

  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a 9 x 5″ loaf pan; set aside (if your pan is not non-stick, you may want to dust it with flour, too).

In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg. and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, combine mashed bananas, sugar, eggs, and melted butter, blending well. Add in the greek yogurt and blend everything well.

Add the flour mixture, half the amount at a time, to the banana mixture and mix just until everything is blended together. Fold in the coarsely chopped butterscotch chips and finely chopped pecans. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350˚F for 50 to 53 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing, then cool completely on wire rack. When loaf has cooled, top with Butterscotch Drizzle.

To make the Butterscotch Drizzle, place butterscotch chips in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Stir, then heat for another 30 seconds and stir again, until melted chips are smooth and creamy. If the chips aren’t quite melted enough, heat another 15 to 30 seconds and stir. Add in the coconut oil and blend well. Immediately drizzle over cooled loaf, then sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Let glaze set about 15 to 20 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.

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I didn’t realize butterscotch and bananas made such a great combination! Have you made anything with these two ingredients before?

Pumpkin-Pecan Cookies with Whipping Cream Glaze

I like cookies of all kinds…crispy, crunchy, chewy, gooey…you name it! These cookies happen to be soft and puffy, with a cake-like texture. And they are yummy! I adapted these Pumpkin Pecan Cookies from a recipe I found at VeryBestBaking.com. I added a little ground ginger to the batter and topped the cookies with an extra-rich, thick, creamy glaze and a pecan half. You can also add some finely chopped pecans to the cookie batter if you want.

The original recipe says it makes 36 cookies, but I ended up with 31–I must have made mine a little too big! So, you should get at least 31 cookies from this recipe, and maybe a little more. I found that the cookie batter was easier to work with if it was refrigerated a little after mixing. I refrigerated mine for 15 minutes, but I think a half hour would be even better. It will make it easier to scoop out your Tablespoonfuls of cookie dough.

These cookies are easy to make and great for this time of year, as we get closer to Thanksgiving…you may even want to make some for Thanksgiving weekend!

PUMPKIN-PECAN COOKIES by NancyCreative, adapted from VeryBestBaking.com

Makes 31 to 36 cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
  • Whipping Cream Glaze (see recipe below)
  • 31 to 36 Pecan halves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease baking sheets.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in medium bowl; set aside.

In large bowl, beat sugar and butter until well blended. Add in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Fold in finely chopped pecans, if using. Gradually beat the flour mixture into this pumpkin mixture, and mix until well-blended. If you have time, refrigerate the cookie dough for 15 minutes to a half hour, for easier scooping.

Drop cookie dough by rounded Tablespoons onto your greased baking sheets. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until edges are firm (be careful not to over bake, or the cookies will be too dry). Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes (if you leave the cookies on the sheets any longer, they may stick, even if your pan is non-stick), then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

When cookies are completely cooled, spoon the Whipping Cream Glaze on each cookie and top with a pecan half.

WHIPPING CREAM GLAZE

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 to 6 1/2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and blend until smooth. Use a spoon to dollop the glaze onto each cookie, then top with a pecan half (this is a thick glaze–if you’d like it thinner or even thicker, you can adjust the amounts of powdered sugar and whipping cream). You can use a little glaze or a lot…it’s up to you! If you put it on any heavier than I did (see above photo), you may need to make a little more glaze.

Hope you enjoy these cookies! What kinds of cookies do you like to bake in the fall?

Linked to Cookie Plan Monday.

Over The Top German Chocolate Brownies

over the top german choc brownies @ nancycWhen I was on vacation almost a month ago, I went to a bakery that had lots of delicious-looking cakes, cookies, pies, homemade breads, and more. It was really hard to decide what to buy. I bought a few things, but decided not to buy the German Chocolate Continue reading

Cranberry-Pecan Oatmeal

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I’m making a New Year’s Resolution to eat more oatmeal and get my cholesterol down! So I’m trying to make plain old oatmeal a little more exciting…and I came up with this Cranberry-Pecan Oatmeal recipe. I used old-fashioned oats, but you could use quick oats or instant oatmeal…whatever you like making best (just adjust the cooking time for the quick or instant oats, which will be less). This recipe is for one serving, so you’ll need to increase the amounts for the number of servings you want. I’m including directions for both stove top and microwave cooking.

CRANBERRY-PECAN OATMEAL by NancyCreative

Makes 1 serving

  • 3/4 cup oats (I used Quaker Oats® Old Fashioned Oats)
  • 1 1/2 cups water or milk
  • Dash of salt (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries, plus an additional 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon coarsely chopped pecans, plus an additional 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon for garnish (you could also substitute walnuts for the pecans)
  • 1/2-1 Tablespoon honey (to drizzle over oatmeal)
  • additional milk to serve with oatmeal, if desired

STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS: Put water or milk in a pot, add a dash of salt, and bring to a boil. Stir in oats and cook about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally (I used old-fashioned oats, so if you’re using quick or instant oats, see directions on your container or package of oats). Remove pot from heat and stir 2 Tablespoons of dried cranberries into the hot oatmeal–they’ll plump as you stir them in–and then stir in 1 Tablespoon of chopped pecans. Spoon oatmeal into a serving bowl and add a little milk if desired. Sprinkle 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon each of dried cranberries and chopped pecans over oatmeal for garnish, and drizzle 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon honey over everything as a finishing touch!

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS: Combine water or milk, salt, and oats in a medium-size microwave bowl; microwave on High for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes for old-fashioned oats; see package directions for quick or instant oatmeal. Stir 2 Tablespoons of dried cranberries into the hot oatmeal–they’ll plump as you stir them in–and then stir in 1 Tablespoon of chopped pecans. Spoon oatmeal into a serving bowl and add a little milk if desired. Sprinkle 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon each of dried cranberries and chopped pecans for garnish, and drizzle 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon honey over your oatmeal.

Now you’re ready to enjoy this healthy, yummy breakfast! 🙂

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