Monday, November 30, 2009

Mom's Muffins ~ Twisted!

My mom used to make these muffins on Saturday mornings... and it was a miracle if any of them were left by lunchtime! This is her exact recipe, but with my new twist... white whole wheat flour! I never use regular white flour anymore. In everything but bread, white whole wheat flour is a perfect substitute, it is healthier and has more fiber, but doesn't change the taste or texture!

Mom's Twisted Muffins
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (almond is also very good in these. Play around with flavor!)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix all wet ingredients in one bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Pour into lined muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes at 350.
Makes 12 - 15 regular sized muffins

The Verdict
Josh ate 3 of them and still wanted more. I guess he likes them just as much as I did when I was a kid! These freeze beautifully. I like them best fresh from the oven with a tiny bit of butter and grape jelly :)

Living Thankfully ~ Mom's famous Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday at home. I loved helping my mom in the kitchen. Now, with my own children under my feet, I enjoy bringing those same traditions to our table. This year we spent Thanksgiving with my sister and her two boys as well as my dad and stepmom. I made these for us all to share.

Corn Pudding
1 stick butter
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole niblets corn, drained
1 package corn muffin mix
1 egg
1 8 oz. container of sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt butter, then mix with all other ingredients.
3. Pour into a 2.5 quart casserole dish.
4. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serves 6-8

This is so bad for you... and so delicious. It can be made the day ahead and reheated, or frozen up to a month ahead.

Bourbon Sweet Potatoes
4 large cans sweet potatoes, drained
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Jim Beam bourbon
2 cups mini marshmallows

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mash together sweet potatoes, butter, sugars, and bourbon.
3. Place in large casserole dish. Top with mini marshmallows
4. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 or until marshmallows are golden brown.
Makes 10-12 servings

This is my personal favorite. I eat this for breakfast for days following Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I think I'm going to do it...

For the next month, Puttanesca's kitchen will chronicle the "getting ready for Christmas" process in my house! That means...

Yes, I'm going to share my prized cookie recipes from my Mom and grandma. Yes, I'm going to share my recipes for my candies and sweets and goodies that I give to my friends.

I hope you all enjoy the new direction this blog will take for the season!

Monday, November 16, 2009

$0.59 per serving ~ Ham and Mashed Potato Casserole with Cheesy Veggies

Josh requested mashed potatoes on Monday... I wound up with way too much left over. This was based on one of my grandma's old recipes with a few changes.

Ham and Mashed Potato Casserole ~ $2.70 total cost, $0.34 per serving
3 cups hot mashed potatoes (free!)
2 eggs, separated ($0.20)
1 cup evaporated milk ($0.50)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
white pepper
garlic powder
1 cup diced deli ham ($1.00)
2 tbsp butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($1.00)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix lemon juice into evaporated milk and let stand 5 minutes.
2. Blend together mashed potatoes, egg yolks, milk, and spices.
3. Fold ham into potatoes.
4. Separately beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into potatoes.
5. Butter a large casserole dish. Place potatoes into dish, and dot top with remaining butter.
6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
7. Top with cheese and bake 10 more minutes.
Makes 8 servings

The Verdict
This was a HUGE success. Josh ate 3 servings, Julia 2, and Jim 2, plus Josh wants it for breakfast in the morning! I served it with frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in a light butter sauce ($1.00, $0.25 per serving.) I know what I am doing with leftover potatoes from now on!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

$1.44 per serving ~ Pumpkin Apple Soup and Crispy Cheese Sandwiches

I've been really sick with asthmatic bronchitis. I know when I get sick all I want is soup and comfort food... so I decided to use what I had in the house to make some "upscale" sick food.

Pumpkin Apple Soup ~ $4.20 total cost, $0.70 per serving
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped fine ($1.25)
1 large onion, chopped ($0.25)
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree ($1.00)
1 large apple, chopped unpeeled ($0.25)
2 cups apple cider ($0.25)
1 cup water
4 chicken boullion cubes ($0.10)
1/4 cup brown sugar ($0.10)
salt to taste
dash liquid smoke
3 tsp. white pepper
2 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup heavy cream ($1.00)

1. Lightly saute onion and bacon in a large soup pot.
2. Add pumpkin, apple, cider, water, boullion cubes, brown sugar, salt, liquid smoke, white pepper, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir well to combine. Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
3. Use immersion blender to puree in pot, or remove to food processor and process till smooth.
4. Over very low heat, add in cream and stir until well combined. Serve immediately
Makes 6 small servings.

Crispy Cheese Sandwiches ~ $2.75 total coast, $0.64 per serving)
8 slices bread (from breadmaker, loaf cost $0.75 to make)
4 slices each provolone and muenster cheeses ($2.00)
grated cheese.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Butter 4 slices of bread and sprinkle with grated cheese. Place face down in pyrex dish. Top with 1 slice of each cheese. Butter the other slices of bread and top the sandwiches, butter side up.
3. Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of sandwiches, flip, and bake 10 more minutes.
Makes 4 servings.

The Verdict
I made the mistake of scooping out very big bowls of this soup... it is such a rich soup, with such complex flavors, that only a little felt like a lot of food! WOW! It was so delicious. Jim loved it, his mom adored it, Josh liked it but didn't eat very much, and Julia wore most of hers. Josh did LOVE the cheese sandwich, and between him and Julia they demolished 2 whole sandwiches!