Welcome!

Ciao! My name is Yolanda and I'd like to welcome you to my Blog! I have always had a love for cooking, baking and eating. This blog is mainly a place for me to record and share precious family recipes from those living and deceased as well as delicious recipes that my friends have given me throughout the years.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pumpkin Biscoff Pound Cake

Whenever flying to Italy, one of the snacks given to me on the flight has been these Belgium cookies called Biscoff Cookies. Those of you who have had them before know how amazing these cookies taste and for those who haven't, really need to go out and buy some if you can.  I was so excited when our local Grocery Store (Wegmans) started selling them and I was even more excited when I saw that they sold it in a creamy or crunchy spread form sealed up in a jar!  WARNING! The Biscoff spread dangerously good and one can not help but be tempted to eat many spoonfuls of it in a sitting!

Now that Fall is here I wanted to find ways to incorporate the Biscoff with Pumpkin and so through an Internet search, I found an incredibly fattening, but incredibly delicious recipe for Pumpkin Biscoff Pound Cake! With Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Vanilla, and Biscoff flavors all blended together, it was sure a winning dessert to make and eat on a Fall night!
Please Click Here For Printable Version
Adapted from: fivehearthome.com 
Ingredients for the Cake:
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups of Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 Tsp. of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 15 oz of pureed Pumpkin
  • 1 cup of Sour Cream
  • 1/4 cup of Creamy Biscoff Spread (usually found where the peanut butter is)
  • 3 Cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. of Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of Ground Cinnamon

Ingredients for the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup of Creamy Biscoff Spread
  • 2 TBSP. of Powdered Sugar
  • 2-3 TBSP of Milk as needed

Procedure:
  • Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the butter for about a minute until creamy.
                                   

  • Add Sugar and beat another minute
                                            


  • Add the Eggs, Pumpkin Puree, Vanilla, and Biscoffand mix on Medium High Speed
  • Blend in the Sour Cream
                                                             
  •  Now add in the dry ingredients: Flour, Baking Soda, Salt, and Cinnamon

                                    

  • Once blended together, Pour into a well greased Bundt Pan or Angel Food Cake Pan
                                                                                                      
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

                                


  • After 30 minutes, cover the top with foil and bake for about another 30 minutes.


  • Let the cake cool completely.

  •  When ready to serve, mix the ingredients for the Glaze together and spread over the top of the cake, letting some of it drip down the sides.


~*~Enjoy~*~

Monday, October 6, 2014

Chili Con Carne

My dad did a lot of the cooking when I was a child and one of his signature meals when the weather got cooler was always Chili Con Carne. Back then my dad always had to make a separate chili for me with no beans and no hot spices.  He would make fun of me for it saying that basically what I was eating should not be considered chili haha and I guess he was right.  Now that I'm an adult, I like the beans in it and I love it spicy! Due to medical reasons my dad forgot how to make his chili and never wrote it down, so I have been trying to play with different recipes to come up with one similar.  I haven't been able to make one just like my dad used to make us, but I have perfected a Chili of my own.  
Please Print Here For Printable Version:
Ingredients:
  • 3 lbs of 90% Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 TBSP of Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Cooking Onion, Diced
  • 1 Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 4 TBSP of Worcestershire Sauce 
  • 2 tsp. of Ground Cumin
  • 5 TBSP of Chili Powder
  • 2 TBSP of Mexican Hot Chili Powder (found in the spice isle) )
  • 10 oz can of Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
  • 1 1/2 cups of Beef Stock
  • 12 oz Jar of Medium Chili Sauce (Wegmans Brand)
  • 2 1/2-3 cups of water (I just filled the Chili Jar Bottle twice with water)
  • Salt and Pepper to Season
  • 16 oz can of Bush's Dark Kidney Beans
  • 16 oz can of Bush's Light Kidney Beans
  • *Optional Shredded Monterrey or Cheddar Cheese to sprinkle on top when serving

Procedure:
  • Dice your Bell Pepper and Large Onion and Mince Garlic and set to the side.  


  • In a Large Pot, heat Olive Oil on Medium High Heat.
  • Add Ground Beef and cook until thoroughly cooked, breaking it into crumbles.
  • Season with Salt and Pepper.


  • Add the Diced Pepper and Onion and Minced Garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.


  • Add the Worcestershire Sauce, Cumin, Chili Powder and Mexican Chili Powder and cook for about 5 minutes.


  • Add the Chili Sauce, Water, Beef Stock, and Rotel Tomatoes.


  • Bring Heat to a Simmer and cover the pot leaving it partially opened to let the liquid absorb.
  • Let simmer for 30 minutes.


  • After 30 minutes, Rinse the Kidney Beans in water and add them to the Chili Mixture.


  • Let cook for another hour with the lid partially opened and stir the chili about every 20 minutes. Add more Salt if needed.


  • Serve it up in bowls (My husband and I love ours with Shredded Cheese and homemade biscuits)



~*~Enjoy!~*~

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Since Fall has arrived, it has started to get chilly outside, so I made a huge pot of delicious Beef Chili.  I had the entire day free for once and thought it would be the perfect day to attempt homemade biscuits from scratch, instead of Bisquick biscuits or canned biscuits.  I searched Pinterest for tips on getting your biscuits flaky and light inside and then found the perfect recipe on Youtube.  The result was a buttery flaky on the inside and lightly crispy golden on the outside biscuit.  I never realized how inexpensive and easy homemade biscuits are to make and how obviously the taste is much better then the canned version when made the correct way!

Ingredients: Makes about 14 Biscuits
  • 2 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour (I used Gold Medal Brand)
  • 1 TBSP of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. of Salt
  • 2 TBSP of Shortening, chilled (I used Butter Flavored Crisco)
  • 1 stick of Unsalted Butter, chilled and cut into tiny pieces (It is very important that it is unsalted and that it is very cold butter)
  • 1 1/4 cups of Cold Buttermilk, minus 2 TBSP.
  • 1/3 cup of All Purpose Flour for Dusting the Surface
  • Cooking Spray for Work Surface
  • 1-2 TBSP of Melted Butter for brushing on biscuits

Tools:
  • Large Flat Surface (I used large Wooden board)
  • Rolling Pin
  • Pastry cutter (or your hands)
  • 3 inch Biscuit Cutter 
  • Large Bowl
  • Fork

Procedure:
  • Pre-Heat Oven to 400 Degrees F.
  • Measure out 2 1/2 Cups of Flour and Place in a large mixing bowl
  • Add Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt and whisk together
                                  

  • Add cut up pieces of chilled Shortening and Cut up pieces of Chilled Unsalted Butter
  • Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse pebbles and then stick it in the fridge for about 10 minutes to get the butter cold again.
                      
                            

  • Pour 1 1/4 cups of the Buttermilk into the flour mixture and mix together with a fork.
                                         

  • Add the remaining 1/4 cup of buttermilk and mix together with a fork until there is no more flour in the bowl and making sure not to overwork it.
                                         
  • Spray your flat surface with Cooking Spray and then cover with 1/3 cup of flour
                                         

  • Place biscuit dough on the flat surface and in the shape of a ball.
                                       

  • Roll the dough out in the shape of a rectangle and then fold it in thirds (this is what causes the flaky layers to appear inside).
  • Repeat process again.
                                                                                                                                                                                               
  • Roll until the dough is 1/2 inch thick and cut out your biscuits. 
                                         

  • Place onto an ungreased Baking Sheet (I used parchment paper).
                                         

  • Melt about 1-2 TBSP. of butter and brush the butter on top of the biscuits.
                                         

  • Bake for 14 minutes.
                                                                                                                               

* Tip-  Press an indent into the top of each biscuit with your thumb to make even biscuits.
~Enjoy with Chili or butter with Jam.  The possibilities are endless!~*~

Friday, October 3, 2014

Whole Wheat and Honey Pumpkin Muffins

Lately I have been running late to work, not only because of the many morning meetings I've had so far this year, but because I cant seem to get out the door 10 minutes earlier!  I normally make toast with honey and butter or peanut butter and banana in the morning because I am such a breakfast person, but when I'm in a rush I settle for one of Wegman's Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins and a Vanilla Lattรจ.  Since running late has been a norm for me lately, I decided to try and make my own Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins and found a perfect recipe on Pinterest (of course).  This recipe not only has Whole Wheat and Pureed Pumpkin, but it also has Honey and fall Spices.  I even added a few chocolate chips to half the batter for the husband.  These are the perfect make ahead, running late, kind of breakfast treat.  If you want to be a little healthier about it, you can even replace the oil with apple sauce, although I think the texture comes out better with the oil.  
Please Click Here For Printable Version:
Ingredients: (makes 12 muffin)

  • 3/4 cup of Libby's Canned Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 cup of Vegetable or Canola Oil (you can substitute for apple sauce as a healthier alternative)
  • 1/4 cup of Honey
  • 1/2 Cup of Packed Domino Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 1 tsp. of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 3/4 tsp. of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. of Salt
  • Milk Chocolate Chips (Optional)
Procedure:

  • Pre-Heat the Oven to 350 Degrees F.
  • Line a Muffin Pan with Muffin Liners
  • In a Large Bowl whisk together the Pumpkin Puree, Eggs, Brown Sugar, Oil, and Honey until blended.


  • In a Smaller Bowl, whisk together the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Pumpkin Pie Spice, and Salt.


  • Add the Dry Mixture to the Large Bowl of Wet Ingredients and mix until all the ingredients are blended together.


  • At this point you can toss in some Chocolate Chips if you wish or you can do what I did and made half without Chocolate Chips and Half with them. 


  • Scoop even amounts of the mixture into each Muffin Cup.




  •  Bake for 20 minutes



~*~Enjoy~*~