Rack of Lamb with Dijon Bread Crumbs

Photo Dec 03, 7 33 11 PM RACK OF LAMB

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone, 

I hope all is well and your holiday plans are coming together. I still can’t believe that it is December and Christmas is right around the corner.

Last night, I posted on my private Facebook page a photo of my dinner that consisted of rack of lamb, glazed carrots and creamed spinach and I was shocked to receive over 392 comments.

So many people want to make this meal for their holiday celebration that I decided to post all the recipes on the blog as a guide. I made the lamb and carrots from scratch but I have to say, I cheated because of time and used Boursin cheese to help me make the creamed spinach.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

I used the rack of lamb recipe from one of my recent cookbook purchases. 

The recipe in the book is slightly different from the Williams Sonoma website recipe printed below. I listed all the differences in the “Cooks Notes” below.

Williams Sonoma- Steak and Chop.

Photo Dec 04, 11 56 54 AM cookbook

Roast Rack of Lamb with Dijon Bread Crumbs 

Rack of lamb is elegant yet easy to prepare, making it a perfect dish to prepare for a special dinner party. Ask your butcher to French the bones—that is, scrape off any meat and fat from the top 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) of each bone—for the prettiest presentation, then carve the racks into chops at the table in front of your guests.

Ingredients:

  • 2 racks of lamb, each 1 1/2 to 2 lb. (750 g to 1 kg), Frenched
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 3 cups (6 oz./180 g) fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large bunch radishes, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives

Directions:

Season the racks of lamb generously with salt and pepper. Spread the mustard evenly over the meaty sides of the racks. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

In a bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, garlic and rosemary. Using your hands, press the bread crumb mixture into the mustard, covering the meat in an even layer and pressing the crumbs firmly so that they adhere. Place the racks of lamb, with the bread crumbs facing up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Scatter the radishes in the pan, around and underneath the racks of lamb. Roast until the crust is well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, registers 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, about 25 minutes, or until done to your liking.


Transfer the racks of lamb to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the chives on top of the lamb, then carve the racks into double chops and serve immediately with the radishes alongside. Serves 8.

Cooks Note: I seared the racks first in a frying pan with olive oil to brown on all sides and set aside to cool before adding the mustard.

Cooks Note: I added a little olive oil and 2 tsp. of garlic powder to the bread crumb mixture.

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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Carrots Glazed with Mustard and Brown Sugar

Brown sugar caramelized with butter and Dijon mustard creates a sweet-hot glaze for carrots. A sprinkling of fresh chives adds a colorful finish.

Ingredients:

  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the
     diagonal
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf
     parsley

Directions:

Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water, add the carrots and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Return the carrots to the pan and set over medium heat. Add the butter, mustard and brown sugar, season with salt and pepper, and stir gently to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the carrots are evenly glazed. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and sprinkle with the chives. Serve hot.

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Creamy Boursin Spinach Recipe

Total:15 mins

Prep:5 mins

Cook:10 mins

Yield:4 Servings

Boursin cheese makes a quick and easy sauce for fresh spinach. Make this dish for a weekend meal or special holiday dinner, and garnish with a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 ounces baby spinach(rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 container (4.4 ounces) light Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated nutmeg
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish: shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in butter over medium heat. When onion is softened, add the rinsed spinach. Cook, stirring until spinach has wilted.
  2. Stir in the Boursin cheese, nutmeg, and pepper until cheese is melted.
  3. Serve garnished with a little shredded Parmesan.

 

Happy Hanukkah…

Hi Everyone, 

As we go into this holiday season, I want to wish you many blessings and good wishes from our house to yours.

I wanted to share our first Christmas card when Bob and I got married 30 years ago. It says it all.

Let there be peace among us all.

Enjoy the Festival of Lights to our members who celebrate!

15726209_10211339217662017_2334547375323242981_n HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Happy 90th Birthday Mickey Mouse!

(Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size).

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Hi Everyone, 

Well, we all know him…

We all love him…

We all have a fond memory of him…

And now we can all wish him, “Happy 90th Birthday” 

Yes, it’s Mickey Mouse…

images HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY MICKEY MICKEY 90TH - 4

Hard to believe that Mickey Mouse has been entertaining young and old for the past 90 years since November 18, 1928.

I saw Mickey’s 90th Birthday Oreo cookie promotion – “three 90th birthday designs on the top of the cookie and a birthday cake flavored filling” and it started me thinking, I should honor Mickey Mouse myself.

After all, he brought so much happiness to my son during our Disney World visits.

The first thing I thought of was Mickey Mouse cookies.

I know, every mother has made this cookie either for their child’s birthday or a cake sale at their elementary school, but it was easy and minimal ingredients so I had to make them.

The ingredients are regular sized Oreo cookies (I just had to use the limited edition 90th Birthday cookies), mini Oreo cookies, a tube of white icing, red candy melts and white sprinkles. What can be easier than that?

Photo Nov 17, 1 54 29 AM INGREDIENTS 2

I started to open and remove the filling off of the mini Oreo cookies with a butter knife.

Next step, stick the mini Oreo inside the top of the regular sized Oreo as Mickey’s ears with a little white frosting as glue. Let it set up for a minute.

I melted the red candy melts as per package directions and dipped half of the cookie in the melted red candy, a little shake to get excess candy off the cookie and place on wax paper lined cookie sheets.

Before the candy melts set, add two round white sprinkles as buttons and you are done.  Let the candy melts harden and set up completely.

Ta-da, that is all there is to it.

Photo Nov 17, 11 50 20 PM MICKEY COOKIES

This cookie is great with a glass of milk, and I have the perfect drinking glass.

It’s my Mickey Mouse drinking glasses, that I bought back in the day at a Disney World souvenir shop.

(I really wanted to buy the large turkey platter that looked like Mickey’s white gloves were holding the platter but it was too large to take on the plane).

Anyway, my son made good use of these glasses.

Photo Nov 17, 3 51 50 PM MICKEY GLASS

Now for more of an adult dessert, served in Mickey Mouse ramekins.

I received these ramekins as a gift and there is a long story behind this. (that we can’t share right now). It started out as a joke for food prep and turned out that,

I loved them. 

Photo Nov 17, 1 50 26 AM RAMEKINS

I have used the ramekins for mac & cheese and today, it was a toss up between apple cobbler or creme brulee. Apple cobbler was easy but creme brulee looks more elegant for a celebration.

I had one problem, I didn’t have a kitchen torch to get the top of the creme brulee nice and caramelized. I know that you can use a hot spoon that you don’t want to keep anymore, so that wouldn’t work for me.

So I searched for a recipe without a torch and I was lucky enough to find one (and it is fabulous)!

 I purchased all the ingredients and started the creme brulee process.

I think they turned out well.

Photo Nov 17, 11 44 01 PM CREME BRULEE

(recipe at the end of the post)

My Mickey tribute was not complete without a Mickey Mouse birthday candle. I  found one in Michael’s Arts and Crafts.

Photo Nov 17, 1 00 19 AM CANDLE

And finally, a guest appearance from Mickey Mouse himself.

I purchased the 90th Birthday limited edition plush of Mickey Mouse just to have as a keepsake of this celebration.

It took me back 25 years when my son was small & all our Disney World trips.

Photo Nov 17, 12 57 48 AM MICKEY 90TH

Now my tribute is complete.

I hope you enjoyed this post. 

Enjoy your day and Mickey’s birthday!

Photo Nov 17, 11 52 39 PM MICKEY TABLE 2

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog. Ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

*************************************

Recipe…

Creme Brulee

HOW TO MAKE CRÈME BRÛLÉE WITHOUT A TORCH

Recipe courtesy of Craftsy.com

(for photos go directly to website. Here is the link…

https://www.craftsy.com/baking/article/how-to-make-creme-brulee-without-a-torch/)

Makes 4 (8-ounce) ramekin servings

FOR THE CUSTARD:

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Pinch of salt 

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used turbinado sugar -sugar in the raw)

STEP 1:

Position a rack in the middle position of your oven. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Have your ramekins and a large casserole pan off to the side, at the ready.

STEP 2:

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk vigorously until the mixture becomes creamy, cohesive and lemony in color. Add the cream, vanilla and salt. Whisk until smooth and combined. 

STEP 3:

Carefully divide the mixture between your four ramekins. It should fill them about 2/3 to 3/4 full. If your ramekins have bubbles on the sides, try your best to pop them with the side of a spoon.

STEP 4:

Pour about 1/3 inch of water in your baking pan. Place the ramekins in the water, so that the sides are submerged. The water should come about halfway up the ramekins. If the water level is too low, gently pour more water in the side of the pan, avoiding sloshing water into the ramekins. 

STEP 5:

Place the baking pan with the ramekins in the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking every 5 minutes after the 40-minute mark. The cook time can vary depending on the thickness of your ramekins. You’re looking for the custard to be mostly “set” with a little jiggle in the middle. Remove the pan from the oven, and gently remove the ramekins from the hot water by lifting with a spatula. Set on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool for about an hour. You want the custard to be completely set before moving forward.

STEP 6:

Near the end of your cooling time, set the oven to the broil setting. Place the ramekins back on a baking dish (no need for a water both this time). Make sure that the tops of your custards are free of condensation (their naturally moist texture is fine, but you don’t want any beads of moisture). If needed, gently blot the tops with a clean paper towel. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the tops of the custards.

STEP 7:

Place the baking pan in under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, monitoring closely, or until the sugar has melted into a satisfyingly crispy, browned crust. 

Enjoy your perfect crème brûlée!

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Until next time!

611125E5-0675-4BD1-A842-A7618B1DAA3B-990x556 mickey mouse 2 - BYE

Happy Halloween 2018

 

Photo Oct 31, 10 06 50 AM INTRO

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone, 

Well, it’s that time of year again, hard to believe that Halloween is here!

I feel as if I just packed all the Halloween boxes for storage in the attic and now they are downstairs once again in my living room for me to browse through and see if I can make a different tablescape than last year.

From this point on, my holidays become a blur. The day after Halloween, I start to write my Thanksgiving menu and then I “stress eat” the leftover Halloween candy until the menu is complete.

(I am trying to save a few Almond Joys for this very occasion).

I still decorate outside for Halloween, to entertain the little trick or treaters, but I have limited my decorating inside, except for my tablescape.

I always have to have a tablescape to put me in the mood for Halloween.

The big challenge is to make it look different from year to year. 

This year the tablescape is all about the “haunted house”. I was in Pier 1 (my home away from home) and there was the cutest haunted house cookie jar.

I don’t know why I now have an attraction to cookie jars. First the vintage red truck and now this haunted house.

I bought the cookie jar with the intention of leaving it out on my kitchen counter for decoration and then the more I looked at it, a tablescape in my head was born.

So, let’s start a tablescape…

The tablecloth is orange with black bats, spider webs and of course spiders. I love the pattern but the material is a little hard to work with. It is rayon and tends not to stay in place. It gets stuck on everything and always bunches up. Keep that in mind if you ever buy this material.

Photo Oct 30, 5 59 20 PM HALLOWEEN TABLECLOTH

The placemats this year are one of my favorites. Black woven placemats with an orange, black and white braided border. They bring out the best of any Halloween plate.

Since the border is so pretty, there is no need for a charger plate.

Photo Oct 30, 6 01 34 PM PLACEMAT

 Solid orange ceramic dinner plates along with a paper Halloween dinner plate on top.

If I use a paper plate for anything other than cake or a sandwich I like to have some support from another sturdy dish underneath to hold my food and prevent the weight of the food from going through the paper plate.

This particular paper dinner plate was a perfect design, since it featured the haunted house.

Photo Oct 30, 6 02 44 PM PLATES

Napkins are the standard black cloth and I chose to roll the napkins this time and not use a napkin ring. I just placed the dinner fork on top and added a decorative plastic spider climbing on the fork.

Thinking about it now, that spider on a fork isn’t very appetizing.

Photo Oct 30, 5 59 43 PM NAPKIN

Flatware is black matte.

Very simple and perfect for this tablescape and Halloween in general.

Photo Oct 30, 6 00 40 PM FLATWARE

Now, the glasses. I have six different designs of Halloween glasses with witches and ghosts and candy corn and somehow I always come back to this glass. I guess you could say it is my favorite Halloween glass.

It has it all the designs I want on one glass, the witches, ghosts, candy corn, pumpkins and the added bonus of a haunted house to carry out my theme this year. I added a black & orange paper straw for some fun.

Photo Oct 31, 10 09 21 AM GLASSES

The centerpiece. As much as I love the haunted house cookie jar, I felt it needed a little boost as a centerpiece so I used a cake stand to give it some height. I continued to shop the boxes of decorations for anything else I could use to enhance the centerpiece and there it was…

In one of the boxes, I found a metallic Halloween wreath. Solid black jingle bells alongside orange pumpkin jingle bells- perfect.

Photo Oct 30, 6 09 24 PM hALLOWEEN JINGLE BELLS

I used this wreath to circle the cookie jar and now I was happy.

Photo Oct 31, 11 25 29 AM CENTERPIECE APART

A little Halloween paper shred to hide the white cake stand and the centerpiece was complete.

Photo Oct 30, 6 09 04 PM CENTERPIECE

Completed Centerpiece…

Photo Oct 30, 6 13 18 PM EXTRA

The top of the cookie jar has a black crow perched on the roof so I wanted to add more crows to the table and used two black glitter pumpkins with crows perched on top to anchor the centerpiece.

(You probably remember these crows from last year).

Photo Oct 30, 6 07 57 PM BLACK CROW RIGHT

Photo Oct 30, 6 08 23 PM BLACK CROW LEFT

I wasn’t done yet. Bob and I went to a local craft fair and I bought two galvanized haunted houses, so I added them to the corners of the table.  

Photo Oct 30, 6 11 11 PM GALVANIZED HOUSE 2

Photo Oct 30, 6 11 36 PM GALVANIZED HOUSE 1

I found one more haunted house in my box of decorations. This is a tealight holder, and I thought we could have it lit during dinner with the lights dimmed since I didn’t use any candles on the table this year.

Photo Oct 30, 6 05 52 PM TEA LIGHT HOUSE

Of course, I had to add my favorite table accent and that is a salt and pepper shaker. A ghost and pumpkin and a black cat and pumpkin.

Photo Oct 30, 6 07 22 PM SP SHAKERS

And if you have been following DishingwithDiane for the past few years then you know of my love for my ceramic Frankenstein mug or as we call him “Frankie”.

Frankie held a floral arrangement back in the day, that was a very thoughtful gift and since that time he has always been highlighted on all of my Halloween tablescapes.

Instead of flowers, Frankie now holds pretzel rods with witches fingers every year. If you look at any of my past Halloween postings, you will find Frankie somewhere on the table.

Photo Oct 30, 6 10 21 PM frankie

I have two traditional food items for my Halloween tablescape every year.

First, I use my metal spider cupcake holders and add a Halloween cupcake with google eyes as a treat, besides all the candy.

I think this just reminds me of when my son was small and how he got the biggest kick out of these cupcakes and holders. So this is for my son.

Photo Oct 31, 10 21 40 AM CUPCAKES

If you recall the story, when my son was small, after trick or treating I would have some of his friends and their parents in for Halloween dinner.

It was always a Halloween punch and pizza for the kids and turkey and three bean chili with sour cream cornbread for the adults.

Well, this tradition never stopped and Bob and I have this for dinner every year on Halloween.

Photo Oct 30, 9 00 05 PM CHILI AND CORNBREAD

(Recipes to follow).

Place setting

Photo Oct 31, 10 10 05 AM PLACE SETTING

So that is my tablescape for Halloween 2018.

I hope you and your friends, family and children have a wonderful and safe Halloween.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog and please spread the word and ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

**********************

Recipes

Turkey and Three Bean Chili

Ingredients

1 onion diced (1 cup)

1 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves- minced

1 ½ red or green bell peppers-diced

3 carrots- diced

2 pkgs. of ground turkey (ground beef can be substituted)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cayenne

2 teaspoons garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and fresh ground pepper

1 capful of “Revenge. Pit Bull hot sauce”

4 teaspoons green chili’s (fire roasted in a can)

2 cups water

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5 oz) can pink beans (or pinto beans), drained and rinsed

½ cup green scallions….

 

  • Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper and carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes
  • Add the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute
  • Add the ground turkey, raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink
  • Stir in the tomatoes, water, green chili’s, hot sauce and scallions.
  • Cook partially covered, stirring from time to time for 30 minutes
  • Stir in the beans and continue cooking, partially covered, 20 minutes longer. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper
  • (Additional peppers ie: adobo sauce and hot peppers can be added or jalapeno or red hot pepper)

 Garnish with shredded Hot Jalapeno cheese and sour cream, plus corn bread

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SOUR CREAM CORNBREAD

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup all purpose flour

¾ cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup sugar 

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp baking soda                                                             

½ tsp salt

1-cup sour cream

¼ cup milk

1 egg (beaten)

2 TBSP melted butter

Directions:

 Preheat oven to 425 degrees

 In a bowl, mix 1-cup all-purpose flour, ¾ cup yellow corn meal. ¼ cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder and ½ tsp each baking soda and salt. Stir in 1 cup sour cream, ¼ cup milk, 1 beaten egg and 2 TBSP melted butter.

 Pour into a greased, 8-in square pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until a pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cut in 16 squares. Best served warm.

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin & Apple Picking Time…

 

Photo Oct 21, 12 25 58 PM APPLE FEATURE

Click on the photo to enlarge, and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone,

Well, I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that it’s Fall and the time of year for pumpkin and apple picking.

Two things I normally enjoy unless it’s 56 degrees and there are 100 people around me with the same idea. That is what happened to me.

This weekend was the weekend that everyone in the tri-state area decided to get a pumpkin and some apples. The farms near me where packed! Even the small farms that I thought were a hideaway and no one knew about, I found out they did… I was kidding myself thinking this was going to be a quiet leisurely day.

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It is a Fall tradition that every year in October (hopefully before Halloween) that everyone has a pumpkin or two or three displayed on their front steps or walkways with some Mums or other fall decorations, so off we went as hunters and gatherers out past the corn maze and hay rides to find the perfect pumpkin.

I won’t even start listing all the pumpkin items on the market (lattes, ice cream, cereal) and now the farm-stands are going pumpkin crazy with pumpkin everything as well. I’ll move on, I can’t take it.

I like a good pumpkin pie and some pumpkin muffins, but I can’t have pumpkin every day. (No offense to all the members that are pumpkin lovers).

The line at the farm was so crazy for a homemade pumpkin pie that we skipped that idea and went straight to the fields to look around and find the pumpkin we wanted. And there it was, clustered with other pumpkins but looking as if it would look so much better back home on my front steps.

Goal number one completed, we had our pumpkin.

Photo Oct 21, 11 31 45 AM APPLE PLAQUE

Now on to the apples … 

I think I can eat apples in many forms every day and be a happy girl.

Although, here is a little bit of info about me… I love apple pie, baked apples and apple strudel but not apple crisp. There is no specific reason why, I have always been like this. If someone has an excellent apple crisp recipe, send it my way and maybe you can change my mind.

My first stop before I head out to pick even one apple, is the line for apple cider donuts.

For this I have a lot of patience while I take in the apple donut aroma. I have to say that the line was moving pretty quickly. The servers had an assembly line moving and before you knew it, I had a warm bag of donuts in my hand covered in cinnamon and sugar.

Another deep breath to take in the aroma before Bob and I went outside with the donuts and some coffee and sat on a bale of hay to enjoy our snack. I took one bite and had my first taste of Fall– pure sugary caloric heaven.

The apple cider donut put me in the mood for apple cider, so I went back inside the farm stand to buy some fresh apple cider, and I noticed they were putting out candy apples and caramel apples. Caramel apples were another favorite of mine as a child, but now I am afraid I would lose a tooth so I passed them by.

I went back outside and Bob was finishing his coffee and donuts and we were ready to pick apples.

We put the apple cider and the rest of the donuts in the car and we were ready for the apple orchard with our bushel.

I have to say that I am the last person who knows what varieties of apples are good for what, except that grandma always used Granny Smith apples for apple pie, so we just got an assortment and then we were on our way home.

In the car, we couldn’t stop talking about the apple cider donuts since we could still smell them. I told Bob about the caramel and candy apples, and caramel apples were one of his favorites too.

Right then and there on the ride home, I decided I was going to try to find some new apple recipes and one of course, had to be apple cider donuts. I have a donut pan just sitting in my pantry that I never used. So it was off to Pinterest for ideas.

Since I am not the baker, below is my attempt at baking.

All recipes are at the end of the post!

I started my baking with the apple cider donuts. Not bad for a first try. I found the secret to a moist apple cider donut is to boil the apple cider down to almost a syrup and of course the more sugar and cinnamon, the better.

Photo Oct 21, 11 31 55 AM APPLE CIDER DONUTS

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I didn’t want to make caramel apples, but I wanted the flavor so I searched Pinterest again and found a recipe for caramel apple cupcakes. Now this I could do. The taste of the caramel apple on a stick and I would still have all my teeth.

This was a very easy recipe and I had to buy the Popsicle sticks for the effect of a real caramel apple .

Photo Oct 21, 12 37 24 PM CARAMEL CUPCAKES 2

Now we needed some mulled apple cider and we were all set, so I found a recipe for that too. We enjoyed the cider with our dessert.

Photo Oct 21, 1 07 00 PM CIDER AND CUPCAKE

Now that Bob and I have had all our apple favorites, I can finally adjust to Fall but just not the cooler temperatures rolling in so fast in the northeast. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for that….

I hope you try these recipes and enjoy every bite.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to join Dishing with Diane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post. 

Sign up via the homepage or Facebook.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

*******************************************************

  Recipes...

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Apple Cider Donuts

Courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice*
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Reduce the apple cider: Stirring occasionally, simmer the apple cider in a small saucepan over low heat until you’re left with about 1/2 cup. Start checking at 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, etc until you have 1/2 cup. Mine takes about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

 

  1. Make the donuts: Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together. Pour into the dry ingredients, add the reduced apple cider, and whisk everything together until smooth and combined. Batter will be slightly thick.
  3. Spoon the batter into the donut cavities—for ease, I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling about halfway.
  4. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until the edges and tops are lightly browned. To test, poke your finger into the top of the donut. If the donuts bounces back, they’re done. Cool donuts for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Re-grease the pan and bake the remaining donut batter.

 

  1. Coat the donuts: Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and apple pie spice together in a medium bowl. Once cool enough to handle, dunk both sides of each donut in the melted butter, then generously in the apple spice topping.
  2. Donuts are best served immediately. Leftovers keep well covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Make ahead tip: You can freeze the donuts, coated or not coated in the toppings, for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up to your liking in the microwave. I usually just zap ’em for a couple seconds.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Note on the apple spice: Do you have apple pie spice where you live? It’s pretty standard here in the US. If you don’t have access to store-bought apple pie spice, you can make your own with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. – SEE BELOW
  2. I usually use buttermilk, but I’ve found that any milk (dairy or nondairy) works pretty well. For a denser crumb, you can use 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream instead.
  3. Don’t have a donut pan? Make donut muffins in your standard 12-cup muffin pan. Grease your pan or use muffin liners, fill each 3/4 full, then bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes about 10-12 apple cider donut muffins.
  4. Want to make mini donuts or mini donut holes in a mini muffin pan? Grease your pan, add the batter to the pan only about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for about 8-9 minutes.

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I found a recipe for apple pie spice…

Apple Pie Spice
  1. 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon.
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg.
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
  4. 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom.

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Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Courtesy of Momontimeout.com

Prep Time – 10 mins    Cook Time- 25 mins     Total Time 35 mins

There is no better way to usher in fall than with these delicious Caramel Apple Cupcakes. Moist cupcakes loaded with apples and applesauce for double the apple flavor. A decadent caramel frosting top them off beautifully. 

Course: Dessert  Servings: 12 cupcakes  Calories: 244 kcal   Author: Trish – Mom On Timeout

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce OR vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded apple Rome, Granny Smith, or other baking apple or combination of two varieties

Caramel Frosting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a muffin tin with parchment baking liners and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth.
  4. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  6. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture until combined.
  7. Stir in the shredded apples.
  8. Evenly divide the batter between the 12 cups.
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Caramel Frosting

  1. Unwrap caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Stir in heavy cream.
  3. Microwave at 50% power for 1 minutes. Stir. Repeat int 30 second intervals until caramels are melted and smooth.
  4. Spoon frosting onto the top of cooled cupcakes and spread. You want a nice thick layer. If the caramel starts to thicken, microwave for another 30 seconds at 50% power, stir, and spread on cupcakes.
  5. Popsicle sticks are optional 🙂

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Hot Mulled Apple Cider

Courtesy of Tonkcats at Genius Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine brown sugar, allspice, 1 teaspoon cloves, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and apple cider in large saucepan.
  2. Bring to boiling.
  3. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain to remove spices.
  5. Serve in mugs with clove-studded orange wedges.

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Note from Diane….

Hi Everyone, 

I received a few comments from members that just the slideshow posted from yesterdays post and not the other pictures, it just read “image”.

So here are the pictures of the Baked Squash Mac & Cheese.

Sorry for this problem. I will contact wordpress to see what caused this error.

Stay well, 

Diane

Ingredients

Photo Oct 06, 2 35 14 PM INGREDIENTS ONE

The finished product…

Photo Oct 06, 5 08 36 PM BAKED SQUASH MAC AND CHEESE

Written recipe and step by step slideshow on yesterday’s post.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Baked Squash Mac & Cheese…

Photo Oct 06, 5 08 36 PM BAKED SQUASH MAC AND CHEESE

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone,

Well, I hope your Fall is off to a good start. For me, I am slowly adjusting to the season and the cooler weather.

I can’t say that I am at the pumpkin latte, apple cider donuts and big sweater level yet, but I am working on it. 

The cooler weather and the month of October always brings my mind to comfort foods. Soups, stews and mac & cheese. Mac & cheese being my favorite. 

I am always on a quest for new recipes and then I tweak them to my liking. The other day while searching for fall recipes, I found a great recipe that caught my eye on the website HalfBakedHarvest.com.

It is “Baked Squash Mac & Cheese”. Two things I like rolled into one entree- not bad.

The mac & cheese is served in a mini squash (or pumpkin) for a great presentation and can either be a lovely weeknight meal or a seasonal lunch for company, served with a salad.

I bought all the ingredients, tried the recipe, loved it and wanted to share it with all of you. So here we go…

A slideshow preparing this recipe will be posted after the written recipe.

I had one big problem, everywhere I went I couldn’t find really small squash and I didn’t want to use a small pumpkin so the squash I bought would be considered a medium size. 

I still think that this would look cuter with small individual squash, but the taste was great.

Ingredients…

Photo Oct 06, 2 35 14 PM INGREDIENTS ONE

Baked Squash Mac & Cheese

courtesy of HalfBakedHarvest.com

Photo Oct 06, 5 07 14 PM BAKED SQUASH CLOSE

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-6 small acorn squash or pie pumpkins
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt + pepper
  • 4 slices thin prosciutto
  • 4 slices sourdough bread pulsed into fine crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-pound short cut pasta
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste

COOKS NOTE:  I added shallots to my onions…

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove the tops of the squash and scoop out the seeds. Rub the insides of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet. Lay the prosciutto flat on the baking sheet next to the squashes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp. Remove the prosciutto from the pan and continue baking the squash another 10-20 minutes or just until tender to touch but not falling in.
  3. Add the crisp prosciutto and bread to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the crumbs and cook until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sage and cook another 30 seconds. Spoon the crumbs out onto a plate. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain.
  5. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in the same pot used for the crumbs. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook/bubble for 1 minute, stirring once or twice to avoid burning. Gradually whisk in the milk, whisking until combined. Raise the heat up to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in all of the cheese, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is fully melted (if needed, return the pot to the heat to fully melt the cheese). Stir in the pasta. Spoon the mac and cheese into the roasted squash bowls, you may have leftover mac and cheese depending on the size of your squash. Sprinkle on the bread crumbs over and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven…dig in!!

STEP BY STEP SLIDESHOW…

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Enjoy the recipe and let me know what you think.

Stay well, 

Diane

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