Monday, October 22, 2012


Hey y'all!  Mr. T and I are currently sailing around the Bahamas on a much needed vacation.  I ran out of time to get a good blog update going so here's some of my favorites dishes to enjoy while I'm gone!

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

BBQ Red Bean Burgers

Coconut Macaroons

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pecan Praline Cookies

I've been in a fall frame of mind and I needed to make some cookies for a friend's birthday so I combined everything and pulled this recipe out of my "need to try" box.  I'm glad I did because they were delicious!

I think that I might go ahead and add these to my Christmas Cookie Exchange list.  I love the icing on top of these; it makes a lovely difference of texture on the cookie.

Pecan Praline Cookies:
(My Own Sweet Thyme)

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely chopped pecans
Brown Sugar Frosting (see below)
Pecan halves for garnish

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer. Gradually add sugars, mixing well. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, soda and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, stirring after each addition. Stir in the chopped pecans and chill dough for 30 minutes.

When chilled, remove from the refrigerator. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place the balls of dough on ungreased cookie sheets or sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

After the cookies cool spread the brown sugar frosting over the tops of the cookies and top each cookie with half of a pecan.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Brown Sugar Frosting:

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup half & half
1 Tablespoon butter
1½ cups sifted powdered sugar (plus a little more if needed)

Combine brown sugar and half & half in a saucepan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 4 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in butter. Add 1½ cups powdered sugar. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add a little more powdered sugar, if needed, to achieve a desired spreading consistency.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Rolls

Since it's October and I'm obsessed with Fall and pumpkin stuff I decided to finally get around to making some pumpkin pecan cinnamon rolls.  I've only been talking about this for a couple of years.

I will admit that I am no expert in yeast breads or cinnamon roll dough but I ended up using WAY more flour than this recipe called for.  My dough was really sticky and I had a horrible time getting it to a workable point.  I didn't use bread flour like the original recipe did so that could be it... or it could be user error.

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Rolls:
(adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything)

1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour *you can use all white flour, but I had both so I used both

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 tablespoons brown sugar

In small saucepan, heat the milk and 2 tablespoons butter just until warm and the butter is almost melted. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the pumpkin, sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, ground ginger, and salt. Add the milk mixture and beat with a mixer until everything is well mixed. Beat in the egg and yeast.

Add half of the flours to the pumpkin mixture and beat on low for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of bowl. Add the remaining flour and mix thoroughly.  This is a very soft dough.

Turn the dough out into lightly greased bowl, cover and let it rise in warm place until doubled, for about 1 hour. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto floured surface. Knead it for  about a minute or until it forms a smooth dough.

Roll the dough into 12x10 inch rectangle and brush the surface of the dough with melted butter.

In small bowl combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the dough with the brown sugar mixture followed by the chopped pecans.

Beginning with long side of the dough, roll the dough up like a jellyroll. Pinch the seam to seal it up. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into twelve 1- inch slices.

In a small saucepan melt the butter and then add the pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, and pecans and stir well.  Pour the sugar mixture into the bottom of a well greased 11x17-inch baking pan. 

Place the rolls, cut side up, in the pan, on top of the sugar mixture. Cover and let the dough rise until it has nearly doubled, for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until golden. Let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes and turn the rolls out to allow the gooey sugar mixture to run down the sides of the cinnamon rolls.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spinach Turkey Pasta Bake

Baked pasta dishes are a real comfort meal for me.  I love how versatile they can be and how easy it is to throw some veggies in there and pretend it's healthy.

This pasta bake is something I made the other night using stuff that I almost always have in the house.  It made a huge casserole dish full and now I have lunches for tomorrow and frozen sections for dinner later.

Spinach Turkey Pasta Bake:

1 box ziti, baked al dente
1 package ground turkey
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 container reduced fat ricotta cheese
2 cups reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 - 3/4 jar pasta sauce (or homemade)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt (if you like saltier things add more salt, I tend to under salt)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and heat a skillet over medium high heat.

Heat the olive oil in the skillet and add the ground turkey, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Brown the turkey and add the diced onion and garlic.  Once the onion starts to get soft add the spinach.

In a medium bowl add the cooked pasta, browned turkey mixture, pasta sauce, ricotta cheese, and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese.

Pour the pasta mixture into a casserole dish and top with the remaining shredded cheese.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese on top is nice and melted.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

I've been looking at a picture of these cookies for a couple of months.   I love the fact that these cookies only have a few ingredients and are a great gluten and dairy free option for people that need those options.  For the people that just like chocolate cookies... these are great for that too.

Flourless Chocolate Cookies:
(King Arthur Flour)

2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but good
1 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process (European-style) preferred*
3 large egg whites
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets. Or line with parchment, and grease the parchment.

Stir together all of the ingredients till smooth. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and stir again till smooth.

Drop the soft, batter-like dough onto the prepared baking sheets in 1 1/2" circles; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

Bake the cookies for 8 minutes; they should spread, become somewhat shiny, and develop faintly crackly tops.

Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool right on the pan.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I had some left over cabbage in the refrigerator a couple of days ago and decided to make some coleslaw to go with my BBQ Chicken. 


1 head cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips or shredded
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Take the shredded cabbage and carrots and put them in a bowl.  Add the mayonnaise and ranch dressing and stir to combine.  If it looks a little dry add some more.  

In a small bowl mix together the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Stir together until the sugar and spices are dissolved.

Pour the vinegar mixture on top of the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.  Let sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or over night. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Spiced Fig Cake

I made fig jam this weekend and had some left over figs.  Figs are sweet and since I didn't have any bacon or prosciutto around I decided on a fig cake.

As I've said before chemistry is not my forte so I went looking for a basic cake recipe to use with my figs.  I came across this one on All Recipes and went nuts making to work for me.

I used Brown Turkey Figs for this cake (I used up all my Black Mission Figs in the jam I made earlier that day).  I don't honestly know what the difference is between them;  Publix didn't have a good explanation on the picture.

Spiced Fig Cake:
(adapted from

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped fresh figs

3 figs, finely chopped
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fig jam (optional, but it's super good)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with vegetable oil spray.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add flour mixture alternately with the two milks. Fold in vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped figs.

Divide into two prepared 8 inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.  Let the cake cool before trying to frost.

To make the frosting:

Using a mixer mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and jam (if using) together in a small bowl.  Fold in the finely chopped figs and the fig jam.  If you want the frosting to be thicker add more sugar.  If it's too thick add a couple teaspoons of water or cream, but be careful not to add too much.

This isn't going to be a frosting that comes out beautifully in a piping bag but it'll make a really pretty, homey looking cake (and it's delicious... so who the crap cares?!).