Tiny Bites

Pumpkin Soup

November 10, 2011

Pumpkin Soup

Not sure what to do with those Halloween pumpkins? Make pumpkin soup! It is a nice change of pace and goes well on a crisp fall day.

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Pumpkin

1 Large Onion

1 Large Potato

1 Large Carrot

1 Celery Stalk

3 Cups Vegetable Stock

1 Vegetable Stock Cube

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 Cup Cream

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2 Tablespoons Chopped Chives or Italian Parsley To Garnish

Cut open the pumpkin(s) and remove the seeds. Cut out the meat of the pumpkin making sure not to use the skin. Chop up the pumpkin into chunks. Peel and chop the onion, potato and carrot. Remove any strings from the celery and then chop into pieces. Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and add all of the vegetables (including the pumpkin). Cook gently over a medium low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and don’t allow the vegetables to brown. Pour in the vegetable stock and add the vegetable stock cube. Stir. Simmer for 25 minutes over a low heat until the vegetables are just cooked. Turn off the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Pour the soup into a food processor and pulse until the soup is a purée. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a blender. Return the puréed vegetables to the saucepan and add both the salt & pepper. Add the cream and gently heat the soup for 10 minutes over a low heat. Add more vegetable stock if you would like to thin the soup out a bit. Remove from the heat and ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with chopped chives or Italian parsley. Serves 4

Sweet Potato Biscuits

November 5, 2011

Sweet Potato Biscuits

INGREDIENTS

2 Medium Sweet Potatoes

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

½ Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar

5 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

10 Tablespoons Butter

½ Cup Milk

Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 2 inch chunks. In a medium saucepan, heat the sweet potato chunks and enough water to cover to a boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain. Place cooked potatoes into a medium bowl and mash well. Set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 425° F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, light brown sugar, baking powder and salt. With a pastry blender cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk and cooled mashed sweet potatoes. Mix just until combined. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat into an 8 inch square. Cut the dough in half. Cut each half into 10 equal pieces. Gently place the biscuits 1 inch apart on two large cookie sheets that are lined with parchment paper. Place the cookie sheet on 2 separate oven racks and bake the biscuits for 14 minutes until golden brown. Make sure not to over bake. Serve warm. Makes 20 biscuits.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

November 2, 2011

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

These cookies are a chocolate lover’s dream.

INGREDIENTS

12 Ounces Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (Divided)

¾ Cup Flour

2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Ancho Chili Pepper

½ Teaspoon Baking Powder

¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Cup Softened Butter

½ Cup Sugar

¼ Cup Packed Brown Sugar

2 Lightly Beaten Eggs

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Melt 8 ounces of the chocolate. It is a good idea to use a double boiler, but you can also melt it in the microwave. After melting the chocolate set aside. Coarsely chop the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate. Mix the flour, cinnamon, ancho chili pepper, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In a medium bowl beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add the melted chocolate and beat until well blended. Gradually beat in the flour mixture on a low speed until well mixed. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons 1 ½ inch apart on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 375° F oven for 10 minutes. You want the cookies set and slightly cracked on top. Transfer the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely. Makes 3 ½ dozen cookies.

Holiday Popcorn Balls

October 28, 2011

Holiday Popcorn Balls

Growing up we made popcorn balls every Halloween and Christmas. We usually made them various colors according to the holiday and sometimes would put candy in them. Sticky and gooey, but oh so good. Here is a good basic popcorn ball recipe. You can make them plain or dress them up. You decide!

INGREDIENTS

¼ Cup Corn Oil

½ Cup Popcorn

½ Cup Dark Corn Syrup

½ Cup Sugar

½ Teaspoon Salt

Heat the corn oil in a large pan over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the popcorn and cover leaving the cover slightly ajar. The popcorn will start to pop. Shake frequently until the popping stops. Mix together the corn syrup, sugar and salt. Add the corn syrup mixture to the popped corn while it is still in the pan. Stir and toss constantly over a medium heat for 4 minutes until sugar is dissolved and the popcorn is evenly coated with the mixture. Remove from the heat and gently form into balls using buttered hands. To make colored popcorn balls just use a drop of food coloring in the corn syrup mixture. If you want to add candies then add the candy of your choice into the corn syrup mixture as well. Makes 12 popcorn balls

Homemade Granola

October 21, 2011

Homemade Granola

If you would rather use different nuts feel free. If you would rather use raisins then be my guest.

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Old-Fashioned Oats

¼ Cup Almonds

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil

1 Tablespoon Honey

¼ Tablespoon Maple Syrup

¼ Cup Dried Cranberries

2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat the oven to 250° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Stir in the sesame oil, honey and maple syrup. Mix thoroughly. Put the mixture on the baking sheet and bake for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and let cool. Add the dried cranberries and place in an airtight container. Serves 4

Pork Satay With Peanut Sauce

October 9, 2011

Pork Satay With Peanut Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Pork Tenderloin

¼ Cup Coconut Milk

1 Tablespoon Red Curry Paste

¾ Cup Coarsely Ground Peanuts

¼ Cup Coconut Milk

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice

1 Tablespoon Red Curry Paste

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

8 Bamboo Skewers

(Soaked)

Cut the port tenderloin crosswise into 16 slices. Put each slice between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound to ¼ inch thickness using a meat mallet. In a large bowl combine ¼ cup of the coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of the red curry paste. Make sure that you do not use the low fat coconut milk for this recipe. Add the pork to the bowl, toss and refrigerate covered for 1 ½ hours. For the peanut sauce combine ¼ cup of the coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice and 1 tablespoon of the red curry paste. Preheat the grill to medium high. Remove the pork from the bowl and throw away the marinade. Thread the pork evenly onto 8 skewers that have been soaked in water and sprinkle with the salt. Grill for 3 minutes on each side and serve with the peanut sauce. Serves 8

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