Friday, October 31, 2014

Candy Corn and Peanut Cookies

These cookies are amazing!  You will want to make them. 

· 2 cups sugar
· 1 stick butter
· ½ cup milk
· 1 cup peanut butter
· 1 tablespoon vanilla
· 3 cups oatmeal, quick cooking
· 1 cup candy corn
· 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
· 1 cup white chocolate chips

1. In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, bring sugar, butter and milk to a boil. Boil for 1 minute then turn heat to low.
2. Stir in peanut butter until smooth; add vanilla and oatmeal. Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Stir in candy corn, peanuts and chocolate chips.
3. Drop by tablespoons-full on to wax paper to finish cooling. After cooling, store in an airtight container. 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Candy Corn and M&M Rice Krispie Treats

· ¼ cup butter
· 6 cups miniature marshmallows
· 12 drops yellow food coloring
· 4 drops red food coloring
· 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
· 1 cup candy corn
· 1 cup Halloween M&Ms

1. Microwave butter in a large microwaveable bowl on High for 45 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows and toss to coat.
2. Microwave 1 ½ minutes or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring in food colorings after 45 seconds.
3. Add cereal and candy corn; mix well. Using wax paper , press mixture into a 9x13-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray.
4. Cool completely before cutting into 12 bars. Cut each bar diagonally in half.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Great Pumpkin Cheeseball

·         1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
·         1 (10 ounce) container cheddar cheese spread
·         ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese
·         ¼ teaspoon onion salt
·         ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
·         1 teaspoon paprika
·         Stem of pumpkin or broccoli stem for garnish
  1. Blend together the cheeses until smooth.  Stir in the salt.  Shape into a ball and set on a serving plate, cover and chill 2 to 3 hours or until firm.
  2. Score cheese ball with vertical lines to resemble a pumpkin.   Toss walnuts with paprika, press into surface of cheese ball.
  3. Insert stem in top of “pumpkin” cheese ball.
Serve with crackers.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin Blondies

· 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
· 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
· 1 cup dark brown sugar
· ½ cup white sugar
· 1 egg
· 1 tablespoon vanilla
· 1 (15 ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
· 1 cup butterscotch chips
· 1 cup white chocolate chips
· 1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8-inch, 9x9-inch or 9x13-inch, depending on preference of thickness of bars. Line the pan with parchment paper with an overhang on both sides. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
3. In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugars with an electric mixer until no lumps remain. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the pumpkin and mix to combine.
4. Slowly add the flour mixture until incorporated.
5. Fold in the butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips and chopped pecans with a spatula.
6. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Set the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely. To remove, lift the bars out with the parchment paper and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Column in The Gainesville Times

Yesterday's column in The Times was all about my Halloween memories and a recipe for a really great cookie.    I was pleasantly surprised when it got some major front page attention.  Check it out!  By the way, the recipe for the Candy Corn and Peanut Cookies will run here next Friday but if you can't wait, check out Wednesday's paper or go here.

Layered Mexican Cornbread

I guess it comes as no surprise that I love cornbread.  So when I saw a recipe for layered cornbread, I knew I had to try it.  Of course, I had to make it my own with a pinch of sugar (if sugar in cornbread is against your religion, feel free to leave it out) and onion.  I've made this cornbread with and without the jalapenos and it's good both ways.  The photo below was jalapeno-less.  The cheese in the middle is just delicious.   This one is a winner!

· 1 cup all-purpose cornmeal
· ½ cup all-purpose flour
· 2 tablespoons baking powder
· 2/3 cup milk
· 2 eggs 

-Pinch of sugar, optional 
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 1/3 cup vegetable oil
· ½ cup chopped onion
· 1 (14 ounce) can creamed corn
· 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
· ½ cup chopped jalapeno peppers

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x9-inch square pan or can use an iron skillet.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, milk, eggs, salt and oil stir in onion and creamed corn. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Top with cheese and peppers. Spread remaining batter on top of cheese and peppers.
3. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
4. Let cool slightly before cutting into squares. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Italian Meatball Soup

· 2 (32 ounce) cartons chicken broth
· 2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
· 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
· 1 (16 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
· 1 (16 ounce) package small frozen meatballs, beef or turkey
· 2 cups elbow macaroni noodles


1. Combine broth, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, Italian seasoning, vegetables and meatballs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. Turn the heat down to medium and add pasta. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked and meatballs are heated through.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mexican Chicken Chili

This week is all about Soup, Stew and a little bit of pumpkin, too!  I thought we would start with a great Chicken Chili recipe.  
I wanted to show you the soup that I used, Cream of Mushroom and Chicken.  Am I the last one to see this?  I didn't even know this existed but I sure am excited about all of the possibilities for it! 
This is a perfect recipe for a cool fall evening!  Enjoy!

· 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
· 1 (15 ounce) can Great Northern beans, drained
· 1 can Rotel tomatoes
· 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn
· 1 (15 ounce) can white or yellow hominy
· 1 can cream of mushroom soup
· 1 package taco seasoning
· 2 cups chicken broth
· Garnish: tortilla or corn chips, cheese, sour cream

1. In a large slow cooker, layer all of the ingredients with the exception of the garnishes. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours. O
2. When ready to serve, remove the lid and shred the chicken with forks (inside the slow cooker). Stir chili thoroughly. Top with desired garnishes. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Apple Dolly Bars

· 1 box yellow cake mix
· ½ cup vegetable oil
· 2 eggs
· 1 cup grated apple (recommended Granny Smith apples)
· 1 tablespoon cinnamon
· 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
· ½ cup chopped pecans
· 1 cup toffee pieces
· 1 cup butterscotch chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cake mix, oil and eggs with an electric mixer. Slowly add the apple and cinnamon just until combined. Spread batter in bottom of the prepared pan.
3. Drizzle the condensed milk over the top of the batter. Sprinkle with pecans, toffee and butterscotch chips.
4. Bake about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before slicing. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apple Butterscotch Cake

· 1 box yellow cake mix
· 2 small boxes instant butterscotch pudding
· ½ cup vegetable oil
· 1 ¼ cups water
· 4 eggs
· 1 cup grated apple (recommend Granny Smith Apples)
· 1 cup butterscotch chips
· 1 can vanilla frosting
· 1 ½ cups praline pecans (store bought in bag)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cake mix, puddings, oil, water and eggs with electric mixer. Stir in apple and butterscotch chips. Pour into prepared cake pan.
3. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then invert cake onto serving plate to finish cooling.
4. Chop 1 cup praline pecans and stir into vanilla frosting. Frost cooled cake and top with remaining ½ cup of pecans.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spiced Pork Chops with Apple Chutney

Ingredients for Apple Chutney:
· 1 tablespoons butter
· 5 cups cubed apples, peeled and cored
· ¼ cup dried cranberries
· 3 tablespoons brown sugar
· 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
· 2 teaspoons fresh or jarred ginger
· ¼ teaspoon salt
· ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
· 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients for Pork Chops:
· 1 teaspoon chili powder
· Salt and pepper to taste
· ½ teaspoon garlic powder
· 4 boneless center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed

1. To prepare chutney, melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and sauté about 4 minute or until the apples are lightly browned. Add cranberries, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, salt, mustard and cinnamon. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until apples are tender. Stir occasionally.
2. To prepare pork chops, heat a grill pan or iron skillet over medium heat. Combine chili powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder and sprinkle over chops. Coat grill pan with cooking spray. Add chops to pan and cook about 4 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with Apple Chutney.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Slow Cooker Applesauce

·         10 apples peeled and sliced (recommend Granny Smith apples)
·         ½ cup water
·         ½ cup sugar
·         Sprinkle of cinnamon
1.        Put all ingredients in the slow cooker for 4 hours on High.

2.       May use an emersion blender/ handheld mixer to make smooth or can leave chunky.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Peanut Butter Haystacks

· 1 cup butterscotch chips
· ½ cup peanut butter
· ½ cup salted peanuts
· 2 cups chow mien noodles

1. Melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter in the microwave. Stir together.
2. Stir peanuts and noodles gently into the melted peanut butter mixture.
3. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Cool until set.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumpkin Sausage Pasta Bake

· 8 ounces pasta (rigatoni, ziti or farfalle work well)
Ingredients for Filling:
· 1 pound Italian sausage
· 1 cup pumpkin puree
· 1 cup ricotta cheese
· 1 egg, slightly beaten
· ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
· ½ teaspoon nutmeg
· ½ teaspoon salt
· ½ teaspoon pepper
· 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Sauce for Sauce:
· 1 cup whole milk
· 1 cup chicken broth
· 1/3 cup unsalted butter
· 1 tablespoon sage
· 3 tablespoons flour
· Salt and pepper to taste
· ¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
· 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.
3. Cook Italian sausage through and drain well.
4. To make filling: In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin puree, ricotta, egg, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, pepper and parsley. Add sausage, mix well and set aside.
5. To make sauce: In a small pan, heat milk and broth. In another saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and add the sage. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the hot stock/milk mixture in thirds, whisking each time. Add salt, pepper and mustard. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
6. In a medium casserole dish, layer the ingredients as follows: ¼ sauce, 1/3 pasta, 1/3 pumpkin filling and ¼ of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers 2 more times. Add one last layer of the sauce and top with remaining mozzarella.
7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden and dish is heated through and bubbly.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

· ¼ cup olive oil
· 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
· 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
· 1 teaspoon kosher salt
· Pepper, to taste
· ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
· 12 ounces rotini noodles (or favorite pasta)
· Zest of one lemon
· 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced in half
· ½ cup grape tomatoes cut in half
· 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
· ½ cup chopped red onion
· 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained, stems left on and quartered
· 1 cup feta cheese

1. In a medium pan over low heat add oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook slowly for about 8 minutes or until the garlic just begins to brown. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions but just until slightly under cooked. Remove to colander but don’t rinse.
3. Place hot pasta in a large bowl and add the oil mixture. Stir and let cool to room temperature.
4. Add lemon zest, olives, tomatoes, basil, onion and artichoke hearts. Refrigerate until chilled then stir in feta cheese.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Low Fat Baked Ziti with Spinach

· 12 ounces ziti pasta
· 1 teaspoon olive oil
· 3 tablespoons minced garlic
· 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
· 1 teaspoon oregano
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
· 8 ounces fat free ricotta cheese
· ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
· 2 cups shredded park-skin mozzarella

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
3. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, add olive oil and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add spinach, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Season with oregano and basil. Add mixture to pasta and combine. Add ricotta, parmesan cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Mix well and transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned. Let cool about 5 minutes and cut to serve.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Creamy Cajun Pasta

So this week is PASTA WEEK! Whew, we love us some pasta at the Wiley house. I made this recipe a few weeks ago and I thought we were all going to explode. We couldn't stop eating it. It is that good!

· 8 ounces linguine noodles
· ½ cup olive oil
· 1 tablespoon minced garlic
· 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
· 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon flour
· 1 ½ cups heavy cream
· 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
· 1 pound cooked chicken strips or 2 chicken breasts
· 1 jar diced sun-dried tomatoes, drained

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain excess water and run cold water through pasta to prevent sticking. Do not return pasta to pot.
2. Use the large pasta pot and heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic and red pepper flakes in oil until garlic is browned and fragrant. Do not overcook and burn the garlic. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
3. Gradually whisk in heavy cream, stirring constantly until mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in shredded cheese until melted and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, then Cajun seasoning.

4. Pour sauce over pasta and stir to evenly distribute sauce. Gently stir in chicken and sun dried tomatoes. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Training Table Brownies

Ingredients for Brownies:
· 2 sticks plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
· 4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
· 2 cups white sugar
· 1 cup light brown sugar
· 7 eggs
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 2 teaspoons vanilla
· 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
· ¾ cup cocoa powder
· ½ teaspoon baking powder

Ingredients for Frosting:
· 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
· 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
· 4-6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· Pinch of salt
· 1 (12-ounce) bag of semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. To make the brownies: melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add the baking chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the sugars and stir until incorporated into the butter and chocolate. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.
3. While the chocolate and sugar mixture is cooling, crack the eggs into a medium-sized bowl. Beat with a fork until the yolks and whites are mixed. Add the salt and vanilla to the eggs and mix. Pour the eggs into the cooled chocolate and sugar mixture and stir together.
4. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a large bowl. Pour the flour mixture into the chocolate and egg mixture and stir until a thick batter forms.
5. Grease an 18x13-inch sheet pan with butter. Line the bottom of the sheet pan with parchment paper and grease the top of the parchment paper with butter. Lightly flour. Pour the batter onto the sheet pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes.
6. To make the frosting: place the butter in a stand mixer. Add the confectioners’ sugar, 4 tablespoons whipping cream, vanilla and salt. Turn the mixer to low until the sugar is incorporated, then mix on medium until a thick frosting forms. Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler. With the mixer running on low, pour the warm melted chocolate into the frosting. Mix until all the chocolate is incorporated into the frosting. Increase the speed to medium. Beat until frosting is fluffy, adding 1-2 tablespoons whipping cream if needed.
7. Immediately frost the brownies. Let the frosting set on the brownies for an hour before wrapping in plastic wrap. Cut into squares.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blueberry Muffins with Blackberry Butter

Ingredients for Muffins:
· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· ¾ cup sugar
· 2 tablespoons plain white cornmeal
· 1 tablespoon baking powder
· ½ teaspoon salt
· 1 cup blueberries
· 1 ¼ cups whole milk
· 2 large eggs, beaten
· 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Ingredients for Blackberry Butter:
· 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
· 6 tablespoons seedless blackberry jam
· ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
· 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
· Pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Mix together until evenly distributed. Add the blueberries and toss.
3. In a medium size bowl, add the milk, eggs, butter, vanilla and almond extract. Stir together until evenly incorporated. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Lightly stir together until just blended and a batter forms.
4. Spoon the batter into a nonstick muffin pan lined with paper muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The muffins are done when a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven, cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and let cool completely. Store in a sealable container overnight.
5. To make the blackberry butter: add together the butter, jam, lemon zest, cloves and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the butter and jam are well blended. Remove from the processor and place in a serving container, such as a sealable glass bowl or ramekin. Refrigerate overnight before using.