Banana Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 12

1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. mashed bananas
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. oil (or applesauce)
1 egg

1 3/4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. chopped nuts or oats
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix wet ingredients, mix dry ingredients, combine them until just moistened. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Top each with 1 tablespoon of topping mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Carrot Pineapple Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

1 3. sugar
2/3 c. applesauce
2 lg. eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 c. grated carrots
1 c. crushed pineapple

Mix together in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together:
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder

Mix both the wet and dry ingredients together just until moistened. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Corn Chowder

by Denise Robison

2 c. chopped potatoes
1/2 c. grated carrots
1/4 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. onion
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 c. water
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. corn
(2 c. diced cooked ham-optional)
10 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Cook first 7 ingredients together in a large saucepan. In a separate pan melt butter, add flour and mix, then add milk slowly. Stir until thickened and mix with the cooked vegetables. Add corn. Top with shredded cheese just before serving.

(My family likes me to add diced cooked ham)

Homemade Applesauce

(This is super yummy on some fresh, hot pancakes!)

3 lbs. Granny Smith apples
3 lbs. sweet red apples (McIntosh, Gala, Macoun or Winesap)
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
1/4 lb. butter
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. allspice
Pinch of salt

Peel, core & quarter the apples and toss them in a baking dish or in a large pot if you want to cook them on the stove. Add ingredients, and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours or until apples are soft. If cooking on the stove, stir on medium-high heat until apples are cooked and soft. Mash the apples and mix everything together until it's smooth.

Cranberry Harvest Muffins

Makes 18 lg. muffins

(This batter can be made a day ahead, and scooped and baked before breakfast.)

3 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 T. ground cinnamon
2 t. ground ginger
1 1/4 c. whole milk
2 extra-large eggs
1/2 lb. butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 c. medium-diced figs
3/4 c. coarsely chopped hazelnuts, toasted & skinned (walnuts would work, too)
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
3/4 c. granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Grease the top of the muffin pan with butter or shortening to make it easier to take muffins out.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Stir quickly JUST TO COMBINE.

Add cranberries, figs, hazelnuts, and both sugars and stir just to distribute everything throughout the batter.

Spoon batter into paper liners, filling each one to the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned on the top and a toothpick comes out clean.


Coconut Macaroons

by Ina Garten of the Barefoot Contessa

14 oz. sweetened, shredded coconut
14 oz. sweetened, condensed milk
1 t. vanilla
2 extra-large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper (or sprayed with cooking spray), using an ice cream scoop or two teaspoons. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool and serve.

Ginger Pumpkin Bread

For Bread:
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
2 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. salt
1 c. sugar
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (1 3/4 c.)
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, pumpkin, melted butter, and eggs; add flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean - about 50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; invert pans and transfer loaves to a wire wrack or plate to cool completely.

Glaze if desired.

Sugar Glaze:
In a small bowl, mix 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar with 2-3 T. canned milk until mixture is smooth but thick. (If your bread is cooling on a wire rack, place waxed paper underneath for easy cleanup.) Drizzle glaze over loaves. Let dry 15 minutes before serving.

Roasted Winter Squash and Apple Soup

from MarthaStewart.com
Serves 4.

1 large winter squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), such as butternut or kabocha, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt
Chili powder, for seasoning (optional)
4 cups chicken stock or Andy's Vegetable Stock
Cilantro Walnut Pesto, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large roasting pan, toss squash, onions, garlic, and apples with oil to coat. Season well with salt and chile powder. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until vegetables are fork-tender and lightly browned, about 40 minutes.

Transfer half the vegetables and 2 cups stock to a food processor; puree until smooth. Repeat with remaining vegetables and broth. Return pureed mixture to pot, thinning soup with stock, if necessary. Season with salt and chile powder; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Serve immediately, garnished with Cilantro Walnut Pesto, if desired.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

1 1/3 c. Flour
½ c. Packed brown sugar
¼ c. + ½ c. Granulated sugar, divided
1 ½ sticks cold butter or margarine
1 c. Oats, uncooked
½ c. Chopped pecans
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream cheese, softened
1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin
1 T. Pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 9x13” baking pan with foil, leaving 3” extending over short sides to form handles; grease foil lining.

Mix flour, brown sugar and ¼ c. granulated sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats and pecans. Reserve 1 c. of the oat mixture; press remaining mixture onto bottom of pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Beat cream cheese, remaining ½ sugar, eggs, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl until well blended. Pour over crust, sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake 25 minutes. Lift from pan using foil handles; cool completely. Cut into 24 bars.

Twice Baked Butternut Squash

Serves 4

2 butternut squash
1 t. salt, plus more to taste
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 c. sour cream
2 T. butter, softened
3/4 t. paprika
6 fresh chives, cut into 1/8-inch pieces (optional)
2 T. fresh breadcrumbs, lightly toasted and/or Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 450 degrees with the rack in center. Halve squash lengthwise, and remove seeds and fibers. Sprinkle squash halves with salt and pepper. Fill a roasting pan or 9 x 13 baking pan with 1/4 inch water. Place squash in pan. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer squash to a cool surface, and let cool enough to handle.

Use a spoon to scoop baked flesh out of each half into a large bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the halves so they will keep their shape. To the bowl, add sour cream, butter, paprika, chives, and remaining teaspoon salt and teaspoon pepper. Stir until smooth and well combined. Taste it to see if it needs more salt. Fill each squash shell with mixture (or fill two halves and discard remaining two). Sprinkle tops with toasted breadcrumbs and/or Parmesan cheese. Bake until golden brown and warm throughout, 15-20 minutes. Serve.

Really Good Corn Bread

by Abby Welker

3 Beaten eggs
1 ½ c. Milk
1 ½ cubes melted butter
(Mix together)

3 c. Bisquick
¾ c. Cornmeal
½ c. Sugar
¾ t. Salt
(Mix together)

1 c. shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 325°. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, along with cheese, and mix just until moistened. Pour into a 9x13” baking pan, bake for 30 minutes.

For extra flavor, add diced bell pepper or chopped green chili to the mixture before baking.

Quick & Easy Chicken Tacos

-by Abby Welker

Cooked, shredded chicken, approximately 2-4 cups
14 oz. Can diced tomatoes
½ t. Taco sauce
1 T. Canola oil
1 clove Garlic
½ t. Dried oregano
¼ t. Cumin
Juice of ½ lime
Cheese for garnish
Salt to taste
Corn tortillas

Mix oil, garlic, oregano and cumin in a medium pot and cook about 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in the chicken, tomatoes, taco sauce and lime juice. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste, spoon into a warm tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and enjoy!

For the corn tortillas: simply warm them in the microwave or on a hot griddle.

Toffee Pie Bars

14 graham crackers
1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a jellyroll pan. Arrange graham crackers side by side on the entire bottom of the jellyroll pan. In a small saucepan, cook the butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and simmer for one minute. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and pour the entire mixture evenly over the graham crackers. Sprinkle the pecans all over. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. After removing cookies from the oven, sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Let stand until completely cool before cutting into bars. For best results, try to cut along the perforations of the graham crackers.

"These cookies taste like a cross between toffee and peanut brittle - very rich"
Recipe found at allrecipes.com

Italian Lentil and Pasta Soup

1/4 cup olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery rib, diced
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 T. dried Italian seasoning or 1 tsp each of dried oregano, thyme and basil
2 c. dried green or brown lentils
8 c. chicken or vegetable broth (I always need more)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 c. cooked small pasta such as ditalini, elbows, or shells
1/4 c. shredded or grated Romano, Parmesan or mozzarella cheese

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and saute the carrot, celery, and onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add garlic, seasoning and lentils. Stir, cook 30 seconds. Add broth, salt and pepper. Cover, simmer for 30-40 minutes on low heat until lentils are tender. Add cooked pasta to lentils, stir to combine and serve with grated cheese on top.


1 C. Shortening
2 1/2 C. Flour
1 1/2 C. Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Baking soda
2 tsp. Cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Mix in dry ingredients. Roll in balls and dip in sugar mixture of 2 T. Sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Bake at 325 for 7-10 min.
TIP: I always fork them down like peanut butter cookies, they seem to cook better in the middle.

Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

by Abby Welker

You'll need:

A flat cast-iron griddle, if possible. They make a flat, circular griddle and if you invest in one of these babies, you'll use it for everything!!! Once it gets all seasoned up with your cooking, pancakes could not taste better on these griddles.

2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. sugar (optional but good)
1 stick softened butter
warm water (about 3 cups)
(makes about 15 regular sized tortillas)

Heat your griddle on medium high.

Then whisk together your dry ingredients. Cut in the butter using your hands or a pastry blender until the butter is all incorporated. Pour in the warm water - about 2 cups at first and maybe an entire 3 cups, if not more. Without over-stirring, mix in the water with a fork and blend until mixture resembles bread dough. You should be able to handle the dough without it sticking to your hands. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

Flour your surface & rolling pin. Pinch off a golf ball-sized piece of dough. Roll flat on the counters, flipping, rotating, and flouring your surface as necessary. You should only have to roll the dough about 10 times - until it's thin but easy to lift off and place on the griddle. Cook tortilla on both sides for approximately 20 seconds each side.

IMPORTANT: If your griddle is hot enough, the tortilla will immediately start to brown and make bubbles from underneath and rise up a little. If your griddle is not hot enough, your tortilla will sit there flat and will cook slowly - you don't want that. If your griddle is too hot, the tortilla will burn quickly, leaving black spots and will possibly stick to the pan. Let it cool off and try some more.

THEN: Keep the tortillas moist. Let them rest on a plate, covered with plastic wrap or inside a tortilla warmer. As you get more tortillas on your stack, they soften each other with the steam.

Homemade Granola

4 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
1 c. chopped nuts
1 T. sesame seeds
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. good honey (spray measuring cup with Pam spray first)
8 T. melted butter sprinkle of salt
1/2 c. raisins (optional)
1/2 c. sweetened, shredded coconut (toast it at 350 degrees before mixing it in if you like it that way)

Heat oven to 300. Line baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. (if you've doubled the recipe, you'll need two lined baking sheets)

In a large bowl, combine oats, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, nuts, sesame seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and just a teeny, tiny sprinkle of salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine honey & melted butter, pour over the mixture. Stir well; spread on the sheets and bake until golden, about 25 minutes.

Remove it from the oven, let it cool for a bit. Break up the granola, add coconut and raisins. Store in an airtight container. Makes approx. 6 1/2 cups.

White Bean Chili

by Abby Welker

1 lb. Dried navy beans
5 c. Chicken stock (or 5 bullion cubes & 5 c. water)
½ Stick of butter
1 T. Minced garlic
¾ c. Diced onion
1 ½ c. Chopped green chilies (fresh or canned)
1 lb. Boneless, skinless chicken, finely chopped (uncooked)
1 T. Cumin
1 T. Oregano
1-2 t. Black pepper Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
½ Bunch Cilantro leaves, chopped

Rinse beans well, cover with cool water and soak for 2 hours. Drain.

Place beans in large pot with chicken stock, bring to a boil over high heat. In a saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and chilies – sauté for 5 minutes. (it’ll smell SO good!) Add chili mixture to pot with beans. Add chicken and all other seasonings.

Lower heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1 ½ hours.

NOTE: This dish freezes very well in quart-sized freezer bags.

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Abby Welker

You'll need:
1 1/4 c. room temperature butter (the real stuff, not margarine)
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/8 or 1/4 t. nutmeg (your preference)
1 t. baking soda
3 c. oats
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugars, egg and vanilla on low speed. Don't overmix - but make sure it's all blended well. Add the rest of the ingredients until mixed well.

Spoon medium-sized cookies onto cookie sheet and bake for approximately 9 minutes. Cookies should be a little gooey and slightly browned around the edges. Let cool for a couple of minutes before trying to take them off of the pan.

Homemade Marshmallows

3 pkgs. unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
1/4 t. salt
1 T. vanilla
Confectioner's sugar for dusting

Combine gelatin and 1/2 c. cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer and allow to sit while you make the syrup.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 c. water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.

Witih mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.

With a metal, mesh strainer, generously dust an 8 x 12 inch nonmetal baking dish with confectioner's sugar. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth the top, and dust with more confectioner's sugar. Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a board and cut them into squares. Dust them with more confectioner's sugar.

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls - Abby Welker

1/4 oz. pkg yeast
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. scalded milk
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. melted butter
1 t. salt
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 c. flour

1/2 c. melted butter
3/4 c. sugar, plus more for pan
2 T. ground cinnamon
1 c. chopped walnuts, pecans, or raisins if you like them

4 T. melted butter
2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla canned milk

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 c. flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle (not too much flour, though). Knead on lightly floured surface for 5-10 minutes (or in your mixer). Place in well-greased bowl; cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When dough is doubled in size, punch down dough. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out on a well floured surface into a 15 x 9 inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with nuts. Roll up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into slices.

Coat bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until doubled - about 30-45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes until nicely browned.

Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, vanilla. Add canned milk a little at a time until glaze is smooth, a little thick. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.