Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Crisp

Perfect Pairing:  Whipped Cream


You know it is the fall season when all of the cooking blogs forget about heirloom tomatoes and focus all of their attention on pumpkin, apples, and soup.  Food people get really excited about the fall season.  The first crisp breeze in the air makes everyone stock up on canned pumpkin.  Oh man, remember when there was a shortage a few years ago?  Food blogger fall nightmare is what that was.

I had that familiar urge to bake something pumpkin-y right on time.  One of my favorite fall desserts is a pumpkin crunch cake that uses a yellow cake mix and lots of butter.  It is so crazy good.  I wanted to do something like that but maybe a bit healthier, so I came up with this Pumpkin Crisp.  I didn’t remember ever seeing anything like it but thought why wouldn’t that work??  The base is basically a pumpkin pie without the crust, and the topping is very similar to what I use on apple crisps. 

I was so pleased with the result!  It was delicious, the perfect fall dessert.  I am not claiming this is health food, but nutritionally it could be a lot worse.  

I par baked the base so that the yummy topping didn’t sink.  I used pecans in the crumble topping but walnuts would be great as well.

You have to top something like this with a little whipped cream.  I didn’t want to make homemade whipped cream (NOT health food) so I went the convenient route. 


First I had good ol’ Cool Whip in the cart.  Then I looked at the ingredient list and just couldn’t do it.  The first ingredient was water, but that was followed by hydrogenated vegetable oil, high fructose corn syrup, and then regular corn syrup.  I decided to go with the slightly better (still not healthy) Reddi Wip since I was just more comfortable with the ingredient list. 


One year ago on Perfecting the Pairing - Candy Corn Mix

Two years ago on Perfecting the Pairing - Halloween Candy Bark

Click "Read more" for the recipe....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grilled Sugar Snaps

Perfect Pairing:  Stringless variety


Sugar snap peas are one of my favorite vegetables.  I eat them raw with hummus, or just on their own.  I realized I never cooked with them and started experimenting.  I found that I love them in stir fries, but my favorite method is simply grilling them. 

This is hardly a recipe, but I tossed the sugar snaps with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.  Use whatever seasonings you have on hand.   Then just grill them using a grill basket.  You can’t screw them up. 

By the way, if you don’t have a grilling basket you are missing out.  I use mine all the time.  I think I bought it at Bed, Bath & Beyond for under $10.  A great deal.  I may need to get another one soon because I always leave it outside to cool and inevitably forget about it out there.  I am surprised I haven’t “lost” it yet.


I would recommend buying the stringless variety of sugar snap peas.  I have made the mistake of not doing that before and regretted it.  They are certainly edible, but annoying.  You could take the time to de-string all of them but that is about as annoying.  Just let someone else do the work for you.

One year ago on Perfecting the Pairing - World's Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Two years ago on Perfecting the Pairing - Apple Crisp

Click "Read more" for the recipe....

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Un-Recipe Files - Adorable Donut Acorns


I can’t take credit for any part of this adorable Donut Acorn.   My mom made them for a bunko party and I asked her to take some pictures so I could share them here.  They are too cute and perfect for fall.  I think she first saw them on pinterest. 

My parents live on a lake called Oak Run.  It is named after the many beautiful oak trees around the lake.  Even the church they go to was named after the sturdy oak tree.  So it just made sense to make these acorns for her first Oak Run bunko party.  It sounds like the ladies all had a great time.


The “un-recipe” has just a few ingredients, donut holes, chocolate frosting, heath bits, and pretzels.  Half of the donut hole is dipped in the frosting.  Mom said spreading it on the donut was a lot easier if you froze the donut first, and warmed the frosting in the microwave a bit (may need to thin it with a small amount of milk).  Then roll the chocolate coated donut in Heath bits.  You will probably need to chop them up a bit, a slap chop works well for this.  You could also use sprinkles or chopped nuts.  Then just stick in a pretzel stem!

Thanks mom! 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Spicy Mexican Chicken Lime Soup

Perfect Pairing:  Tortilla chips, cilantro, onion, and avocado


I am obsessed with this soup.  Not only is it delicious and full of flavor, but it is also really quite healthy.  My version was actually very spicy because I threw in some extra adobo sauce from the canned chipotles.  That stuff has a kick!!  Since it is so spicy you rarely need an entire can.  I wrote a little bit on how to store the extras in the freezer on this Chilaquiles recipe


Anyway, if you want to tone down the spice just use less sauce in the soup. This recipe came together really quickly.  You can save yourself some time by using rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  Speaking of chicken, be sure to add the chicken at the very end because the acid in the fresh lime juice can mess with the texture of the chicken.

The soup is great on its own but it is next level fantastic when you add some garnishes to the top.  Top off your soup with crunched up tortilla chips (the thick kind are the best here), cilantro, raw onion, and avocado.


One year ago on Perfecting the Pairing - Overnight French Toast
Two years ago on Perfecting the Pairing - Healthy Pizza

Click "Read more" for the recipe....

Monday, October 7, 2013

Coconut Curry Hummus

Perfect Pairing:  Coconut milk recipes


One of my favorite memories this summer was an afternoon spent at my friend’s boat in a Lake Michigan harbor.  It was perfection.  We didn’t take the boat out, we just sat in a float chatting, eating, and sipping on champagne.  Oh, and admiring the city skyline.  I can’t believe I have lived in this city for almost 9 years and have never been in the harbor.  Of course, the champagne fit the nautical theme.


To snack on, I brought Pioneer Woman’s Restaurant Style Salsa, which is incredibly easy and delicious, and this Coconut Curry Hummus.  Coconut and curry is one of my favorite flavor combinations, but it is not overpowering in this recipe.  The hummus was great with fresh veggies, pita chips, and crackers.  I think it would be great as a spread on a chicken sandwich as well.


The coconut flavor in the hummus comes from the thick coconut cream found at the top of a can of coconut milk before you stir or shake it.  I have no idea if that is what it is actually called, FYI.  Since you are only using two tablespoons you still have a full can of coconut goodness to use.  Might as well use it in another recipe.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Shrimp and Arugula Pesto Grilled Pizza


Thai Chicken Noodle Soup


Tropical Rice


Coconut Curry Grilled Pineapple


Coconut Curry Fish


One year ago on Perfecting the Pairing - Turkey Enchiladas

Two years ago on Perfecting the Pairing - Light Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Click "Read more" for the recipe....

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Huli Huli Chicken

Perfect Pairing:  Pineapple


Huli Huli Chicken was the official recipe of summer for my family.  We made it a lot.  I first had it when my sweet cousin, Julie, made it for a family BBQ.  Then my mom and I made it at least five other times this summer.  According to the google, huli huli, “is Hawaiian for rotisserie or 'end-over-end' and is also the name for a marinade made and sold in the Hawaiian Islands. It is composed of mostly ginger and shoyu (soy sauce).” We didn’t rotisserie this chicken, just used a good old grill. 

The original recipe comes from Taste of Home, which is a great source for solid recipes.  I followed this recipe without many changes.  I used sherry instead of chicken broth.  They seem very different to me, and I like the flavor of the cooking sherry.  Also, we used chicken breasts instead of thighs.  Try cutting the chicken into smaller pieces before you marinate it.  That way the marinade gets on more surface area and the chicken will grill up faster, which helps keep it from drying out.

After you make the marinade reserve some for pineapple.  We used canned pineapple rings, drained off the juice and marinated them in the same sauce and grilled them alongside the chicken.  They are the perfect complement.


I served the chicken and pineapple alongside this Crunchy Asian Noodle Salad.  Everything worked really well together!  You will love this chicken recipe. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...