Archive for November, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Maple Icing

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Maple

Does your pumpkin pie recipe need an update? Try making these instead – they pack all the flavor of pie in a bar.

I’m all for a few shortcuts on making these so I use a boxed spice cake mix to make the crust and I don’t need to add much extra spice, it’s already in there. To make a smooth, spreadable filling I lightened the pumpkin puree with softened cream cheese. Streusel topping? I included that, too, to add crunchiness. The final touch is a drizzle of maple icing.

Pumpkin Pie Bars with bite

Recipe

Servings: 1, 9×13 pan

Prep time: 15-20 minutes plus baking

Ingredients

Crust

1 box spice cake mix (or keep it mild and use a white or butter cake mix)

1/2 cup butter, melted

 

Filling

1, 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

1/8 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

 

Topping

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

2/3 cup flour

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 tsp. salt

 

Icing (opt.)

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tbsp. milk

1/4-1/2 tsp. maple flavoring

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare a 9×13″ baking dish by spraying it and then put down a piece of parchment and spray again.
  3. In a bowl, combine the boxed cake mix and the butter. Stir until the mixture becomes a dough.
  4. Press the dough into the bottom of the casserole dish.
  5. Place the crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients.
  6. In another bowl, use a hand-held mixer to whip the cream cheese and sugar together until fluffy. Add in the pumpkin puree and the egg and mix until combined.
  7. One more bowl – mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until it becomes crumbly.
  8. Take the crust out of the refrigerator and pour the pumpkin mixture on it. Top with the streusel.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes – be careful the bottom can brown quickly.
  10. Allow the bars to cool, cut.
  11. In a small bowl (ok, one more bowl) whisk together the icing ingredients. Drizzle over the slices. Allow time for the icing to set and harden on the slices before serving.

Pumpkin Pie Bars stacked

 

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Green Chile & Spinach Pork

Green chile pork

Tangy tomatillos bursting with tiny seeds blend beautifully as the base for this green chile sauce. Spinach gives the sauce a bright color and a nutritional punch – and your kids won’t even be able to taste it.

 

This green chile sauce is a type of guisado, or Mexican stew. Traditionally, a guisado is served with rice, beans and toasted corn tortillas. You can do the same – place the pork green chile, Mexican rice, and black beans onto each person’s plate. Then in the middle of the dinner table offer a plate of toasted corn tortillas. Your kids can make their own tacos or tear the tortillas into pieces to use as a “fork” to eat the stew.

 

We use these leftovers to make either nachos or quesadillas on day #2. If you don’t like pork, try chicken. Another tip: To make the sauce spicier add the cayenne pepper. Ease up on the heat by nixing the green chiles altogether.

 

Blending green chile sauce

Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups fresh spinach

1 cup fresh cilantro

1 28-ounce can tomatillos (available in the Mexican section of many grocers)

1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles (same section as above)

1/3 cup chopped white onions

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 lime

2 lbs. pork loin chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 1/2  tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. cayenne powder (opt.)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. In a blender place the onions, garlic, green chiles, drained tomatillos, spinach, and the juice from the lime.
  2. In a large skillet bring the olive oil to medium-high heat. Place the pork pieces into the pan and cook until heated through and lightly crisped on the outside. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add cayenne powder, if using.
  3. Turn the heat down in the pan and then gradually add in the green sauce. Heat until it just comes to a simmer and cook for ten minutes.
  4. I sprinkle the green chile pork with queso fresco, if I have it – or in a pinch feta cheese makes a decent substitute.

 

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