Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Most AMAZING Pumpkin Bar Recipe. . .

This is the most delicious recipe for pumpkin bars.  I can't stop making them.  But, then I have to give them away so I don't eat them all. :)  I used real pumpkin from my garden (take a look at my previous post, although you may use canned pumpkin).   

Pumpkin Bars
Heat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 15 x 10 pan.

2 cups sugar                                    2 cups flour
2 cups pumpkin                           2 tsp. baking powder
4 beaten eggs                                   1 tsp. soda
¾ cup melted butter                      ½ tsp. cinnamon

Pour combined ingredients in pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, cool completely and frost.

3 cups powdered sugar                             1 Tbsp. milk
3 oz. cream cheese                                    1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. soft butter

And here is a piece of the finished product.  I made these yesterday, and yes, they are gone. . .BUT, I did give most of them away. . . :)

I am apologizing in advance for your waistline...
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Friday, November 18, 2011

What to do with that pumpkin...

Many of you might have leftover pumpkins from Halloween, or your garden.  Well, this is what I did with mine...

I had a few smaller pumpkins, so I found it easiest to cut them in smaller pieces and then clean them out with a knife and spoon.  If anyone knows an easier way to clean out a pumpkin...please share! :)

And, here's my pan full of pumpkin...I put a little bit of water in the pan to prevent the pumpkin from sticking and burning.

We have chickens, so I took all of the seeds out to soak in salt water and then fed the rest to the chickens.  They love it. 

I baked the pumpkin for about 40 minutes on 350.  If your pumpkin is larger, you will need to cook it longer.  You can check it with a fork to make sure it is soft.

Next, I scraped out the inside of the pumpkin and put it in my blender:  I added just enough water to help it blend.

And here's the nice smooth pumpkin...

Now, I have an amazing recipe for pumpkin bars (that will be my next post) that uses 2 cups of pumpkin, so I measured out 2 cups of pumpkin and put it in a Ziploc bag to put in the freezer.  This way when I want to make them, I can just take the bag out, thaw the pumpkin and use it in my recipe.  

I haven't baked my seeds yet, they are still soaking on my counter.  When I do, I will put them on a baking sheet sprayed with oil and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes--just until they are slightly browned. Then turn my oven off and let them sit in there while it cools.  They are absolutely delicious!!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Potato Latkes

Each month I put together a dry pack canning project for my ward at church.  We usually can items like wheat, beans, flour, oats, etc. that the LDS Cannery offers. This month, I decided to try something different and we canned potato shreds and potato slices (dehydrated) from Winco.  It was a huge success.  We canned almost 300 cans (the big #10 ones).

Since lots of people have them now, I decided to post a yummy recipe using the potato shreds.  I made these tonight for dinner and even my SUPER picky eater thought they were pretty good.  

Here's my can (I had bought this awhile ago, it's not one we just canned)

Here's the recipe:

 (I always forget how to pronounce them. . . )

Boil 4 cups of water (it doesn't have to be exact)
Add 1 1/2 cups dehydrated potato shreds (turn stove off0
1/4 c dehydrated onions (or you can use fresh and add in with other ingredients)
Let sit for 10-15 minutes
Drain water out 

Pour potatoes/onion into a medium sized bowl and add the following:
2 eggs (I used real, but I might try powdered next time to make it a great food storage meal)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Mix ingredients together
Scoop 1/4 cup of mixture into a frying pan with hot oil and flatten a little
Brown for a few minutes on each side
Top with sour cream and applesauce-- or I just like ketchup

Here are my re-hydrated and drained potatoes:

Here's my mixture (my daughter loves to help):

Here they are frying on the first side:

And after I flipped them:  

Place them on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

I used an electric skillet to cook mine and I had the temperature set to 300 degrees.
And there you go!  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather

After canning 124 quarts of applesauce, I still had some apples leftover.   I got a GREAT deal on them at $.13/lb at my local orchard.  So, I decided to make apple cinnamon fruit leather.  My blender was having issues, so I used my food processor to chop the apples up.  It was a little chunkier than when blended, but it still turned out fine.  All I did was wash, quarter and cut the seeds out of the apples and then put them in the food processor.  I added in some cinnamon (sorry, I don't measure a lot) and kept mixing. Then I spread it out on my trays and stuck in my dehydrator. 

Here it is out of the dryer. 

And the final product all rolled up in plastic wrap.  It is delicious!

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Q & A

I love getting comments on my blog. . . it really motivates and inspires me to do more, so thank you for your comments.  There was a question about what to do with leftover Halloween candy.  I have a few recommendations:

First, much of your hard candy (i.e. Jolly Ranchers, suckers, anything hard) you can actually dry pack can into #10 cans, if you have that available to you.  In my ward at church, we dry pack can each month, and you can bring your own food to can.   We put an oxygen absorber in the can, then fill it with the food, put the lid on and seal it with a #10 can sealer.

Second, you can vacuum seal it with a Food Saver, or other brand sealer.  I have a post here where I have vacuum sealed granola and wheat nuts.  You can totally vacuum seal candy--even chocolate!  Although, if it is for long term storage, I would put it in a box labeled "Broccoli" or something like that. :)  If you want to seal up something in smaller packages like mini candy bars, or packages of M&M's, then take a straight pin and poke a couple holes in the packaging so that the oxygen can be sucked out of the inside of the wrapper.  I love vacuum sealing, because you can preserve food that would otherwise go rancid quickly, like brown sugar, brown rice, and nuts.

Last, if you don't have either of those methods available, you can simply store it in a glass jar.  Plastic is okay, if it is PETE plastic, but glass if preferable.  You may put in an oxygen absorber if you really want to.  But, hard candy would probably be fine for a long time just in a jar.

Now, I am not an expert on the best way to store candy, but this is what I would do (and probably should because we have WAY too much candy around here right now!).

Thank you, Christina, for your question!