Pumpkin Praline Dessert Recipe

I stumbled upon this recipe online several years ago at the Betty Crocker website and realized at the time that I had all the ingredients in my pantry … no trip to the grocery store needed.  So I made it that night … and everybody loved it!  This was back in the good old days before all our family’s food allergies.  I think I’m the only one who could actually eat it now.  So sad.  But more for me.  ;-)

Click here: Praline Pumpkin Dessert

It’s not a pie … but the bottom layer is essentially pumpkin pie filling.  It’s not a cake … but it uses a box of cake mix.  It has a crust on top that’s almost like a cobbler crust with nuts added … but it’s not a cobbler either.

No wonder they simply call it a “dessert” … it defies description.  ;-)

Anyway, this recipe is almost too easy.  I had to read the instructions several times to make sure I wasn’t skipping a step or something important.  It’s also one of those things that you can buy the various ingredients when they’re on sale to keep on your pantry shelf for a spur-of-the-moment, relatively inexpensive dessert.  Great potluck material, too.

~Debi

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Super Simple Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (12-ounce) frozen apple juice concentrate
  • 1 bag fresh cranberries

Instructions:

Heat apple juice in a medium saucepan until boiling (don’t add water, just use the frozen juice straight from the can).  Sort out any bad cranberries, then add the entire bag to the boiling apple juice.  Stir.  Reduce heat to Medium.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries “pop” and their innards burst out into the juice.  Turn off heat.  Press any unpopped cranberries against side of saucepan to squeeze out their insides.  Stir thoroughly.  Place in refrigerator for several hours.  The sauce will thicken as it cools.  It’s best to make this the day before to make sure it has plenty of time to cool and thicken.

Easy peasy.  And so yummy!  (And healthy, too!)

~Debi

Spice Nut Cake

by Debi

Special recipe request from a former college classmate.  (Hope this is what you had in mind, Deb S.!)  :-)

Spice Nut Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Instructions:

Sift together first seven (7) ingredients.  Add shortening, brown sugar, and buttermilk.  Mix till all flour is moistened.  Beat two (2) minutes at medium speed on electric mixer.  Add eggs; beat two minutes more.  Stir in nuts.  Bake in 2 greased and floured 9-inch round baking pans at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or till done.  Cool ten minutes; remove from pans.  Cool completely.  Fill and frost with cream cheese frosting, if desired.

Mix-and-Match Soup

by Debi

Ever spent so much time involved with a project that you forget to think about what you’re going to have for dinner? Oops.  Sadly, this isn’t exactly a rare occurrence in my house.  ;-)

But I have a back-up plan for those nights when I forget to think about dinner.  Basically I can clear out my cupboards and fridge and make homemade soup.  Yep.  Mix-and-Match Soup, you’re my hero!  I’m reposting this recipe because people are always requesting it.

This is a seriously simple way to make a meal out of whatever’s hiding in the back recesses of your cupboards or freezer.  It’s the answer to the age old question, “What do we eat when there’s nothing to eat?”

It’s sort of like the classic children’s story, Stone Soup — only without the stone!  :-)  I’d probably break a tooth.

(Excerpted and adapted with permission from my book Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month)

Mix-and-Match Soup (8 generous servings)

Broth (choose one)

  • Tomato: One 12-ounce can of tomato paste plus two 16-ounce cans of tomatoes with juice (chopped) plus water to equal 10 cups total
  • Chicken/Turkey: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water
  • Beef: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water

Protein (choose one — 1 pound or 2 cups, cooked)

  • Ground beef, browned
  • Leftover meatballs or meatloaf, chopped
  • Cooked chicken or turkey (cut up)
  • Ham (cut up)
  • Lentils
  • Frankfurters, sliced (or any sausage or Kielbasa)
  • Pepperoni, sliced
  • Beans, cooked or canned (pintos, kidney, Great Northern, etc.)

Grain (choose 1 or 2 for a total of 2 cups)

  • Rice, cooked (any variety)
  • Barley, cooked
  • Pasta, raw
  • Corn
  • Dumplings (add near end of cooking time)

Vegetables (raw, cooked or canned, choose 2 or more for a total of 1 to 2 cups)

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips
  • Broccoli
  • Peas or pea pods
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell pepper
  • Zucchini (add raw)

Seasonings (choose 2 to 4 spices, 1 to 2 teaspoons each)

  • Basil
  • Cayenne (dash)
  • Chives
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Marjoram
  • Onion powder
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Oregano

To Prepare Soup:

  • Bring the broth to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add all of the ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer one hour.

Slow Cooker Prep:

  • Pour the boiling stock and other ingredients into a slow cooker and simmer for 8 to 12 hours or overnight on LOW setting.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah Taylor-Hough is a freelance writer and author of Frugal Living for Dummies® and the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series.  Visit Debi online at: www.Simplemom.com


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Free Kindle Reading App for Computers

Did you know there’s a free Kindle reading app for your computer?!  I love this and personally use it all the time.

I’m always surprised how often I hear from people who don’t realize you can download a free Kindle app for your computer which allows even non-Kindle owners to be able to read all the free Kindle books that are regularly offered on Amazon.

If you need to download it, here’s the link to the download on Amazon:

Free Kindle Reading App