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Two Peas and Their Pod: October 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Cinnamon Sugar Caramel Popcorn

Is everyone ready for Halloween? I hope you have your costumes and candy ready. If you want to make a special treat this weekend try my Cinnamon Sugar Caramel Popcorn and/or Gaby's Gingersnap Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches! Both are sure to be a hit! I know I am making both:)

I love making caramel corn every fall, but this year I spiced it up a little bit. I added cinnamon and sugar to the mix. I used my basic
caramel corn recipe, but went a little light on the caramel. I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar over the popcorn and mixed it well. I drizzled some of it with white chocolate, it was good, but I liked it better plain. This popcorn is a great snack to have around while you pass out candy, carve pumpkins, or watch a scary movie.

It is a low key year for us since we have been working on our basement, but it is 99% done:) We just have to put the furniture back and organize. Josh did an amazing job. He is such a stud:) So no costumes or parties for us, but we will carve pumpkins and pass out treats to the little ghosts and gobblins in our neighborhood. I also plan on
roasting pumpkin seeds-the best part about carving pumpkins:)

Have a safe and fun Halloween everyone! Don't forget to visit
What's Gaby Cooking for another tasty Halloween treat!

Cinnamon Sugar Caramel Popcorn

(Printable Recipe)

1 stick butter
1/4 cup corn syrup
Air popped popcorn-I used 1/4 cup kernels
1 cup brown sugar
1 /2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon and Sugar mix and white chocolate if you want it

Preheat oven to 250F.

Pop popcorn using your air popper! Spread popcorn out onto two large baking sheets. Make sure it is evenly spread between the two pans.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in sugar, corn syrup and salt; stir until well combined. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture comes to a rapid boil, let it boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Stir in the vanilla.

Gradually pour the caramel mixture over the popped corn, mixing well on the pans. You can do this in a bowl but why dirty more dishes? I do it right on the pans.
Sprinkle popcorn with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, make sure you stir it often. Maybe every ten minutes or so.
Remove from pan and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon and sugar. You can drizzle white chocolate over the popcorn if you wish!

If you like my cinnamon sugar caramel popcorn, you might also like:
Sweet and Salty Butterscotch Candied Popcorn from Picky Palate
Festive Popcorn from Big Red Kitchen
Herbed Buttermilk Popcorn from 101 Cookbooks

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I hope you are not sick of pumpkin recipes, because I have another one for you today:) I love pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. They are a MUST bake every fall. This year I did some playing around and came up with a fabulous Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie.

Halloween is the kick off to the holiday eating season. I decided to create a healthier cookie to balance out the rest of the sugary treats. I cut the butter in half and used applesauce and pumpkin instead. I also used half whole wheat flour and added in oatmeal-yea for added fiber! I did add chocolate chips because I love pumpkin and chocolate together, but raisins or dried cranberries would be good too!

I loved these cookies. They are plump, cakey cookies that don't disappoint. I put some in the freezer and I liked them better frozen:) Mmmmm!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

(Printable Recipe)

4 T unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ c. brown sugar

1/3 c. white sugar

1/4 c. applesauce

¾ c. pumpkin

1 egg

1 ½ tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. all spice

¾ c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1 1/4 c. oats

1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cream the butter with the sugars until soft and creamy, using a mixer.

3. Add in applesauce, pumpkin, egg and vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl combine the salt, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and flour. Whisk the ingredients together.

5. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, with the mixer on low. Mix until blended.

6. Add the oats and briefly mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.

7. Scoop tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet that has a Silpat or parchment paper. 8. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes! Let cool on a rack.

If you like my pumpkin cookies, you might also like:
Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Frosting from Baking Addiction
Spicy Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Andrea Meyers
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars from Whipped
Spiced Pumpkin Cookie Cakes from Pink Stripes
Pumpkin Cupcakes from Two Peas and Their Pod

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark

We have been busy with our basement remodel project so we really haven't thought about Halloween this year. I don't even know if we will dress up. Josh wanted to be an Orka whale, but he couldn't find a costume. Darn:) He is known for his crazy costumes, so I am sure he will come up with something. We do have pumpkins and I made Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark over the weekend.

My neighborhood friend, Anna, came over on Saturday and helped me with the chocolate bark. We used a recipe from A Field Guide to Candy, by Anita Chu. I've been a huge fan of Anita's blog, Dessert First, for years. I was finally able to meet her at the Blogher conference and she is just as sweet as her desserts:) I just love her. I was so excited to try a recipe from her new candy book.

The bark was really easy to make. We used white chocolate as the base and added in crushed Oreos, Butterfinger pieces, and M & M's. We drizzled the Butterfinger section with milk chocolate too.

Once the bark hardened up, we broke it into chunks. I loved how fun and festive it looked. If you are looking for an easy treat for Halloween, give this bark a try. The monsters and gobblins will love it:)

Don't forget to check out Anita's book, A Field Guide to Candy. There are over 100 candy recipes that will surely send you into sugar heaven. I can't wait to try them all!

Halloween Chocolate Candy Bark
Adapted from A Field Guide to Candy by Anita Chu

14 ounces white chocolate
Crushed up Oreos
Crushed up Butterfinger Bars
Mini M & M's
Milk Chocolate-for drizzling

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place the white chocolate in a metal bowl. Put the metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate frequently with a rubber spatula. When the chocolate is smooth and fully melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Wipe off the bowl if there is any condensation.
3. Let the white chocolate cool for a minute or two. Stir to make sure it doesn't harden. Pour the chocolate onto the baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread it with a spatula until it is about 3/8 inch thick.
4. Sprinkle Oreos, Butterfinger pieces, M & M's over the white chocolate. I did this in sections.
5. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave and drizzle over the Butterfinger portion.
6. Let the chocolate cool and harden. I put the pan in the refrigerator. It was ready in about 30-45 minutes.
7. Once the chocolate is set and hard, break bark into pieces.

If you like my Halloween Bark, you might also like:
Vanilla Bean Chocolates from Dessert First
Tootsie Roll Fudge from Food Blogga
Candy Corn Cookies from The Cooking Photographer
Peanut Butter Cups from Vanilla Sugar
Pumpkin Blondies from Two Peas and Their Pod

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Rosemary

It's Friday! My favorite day of the week. Not only because I have the day off, but because I get to team up with Gaby, from What's Gaby Cooking!

Today for Fall Friday, we are sharing a pizza and pasta recipe. I made Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Fresh Rosemary. Gaby created a festive squid ink pasta dish with tomatoes, I can't wait to try it.

When I told Josh my pizza idea, he turned up his nose. He thought butternut squash pizza sounded weird and not too tasty. I know it is not your traditional pizza, but I still wanted to try it, so I pressed forward. Josh wasn't thrilled, but still helped out. He made
whole wheat pizza crust while I worked on the toppings.

I diced up a butternut squash and roasted it in the oven. I also caramelized red onion slices. I love the little tricks you can do in the kitchen to maximize flavor. Roasting and caramelizing made the squash and onions so flavorful. I didn't use a sauce, I just drizzled the crust with olive oil. I also topped the pizza with garlic, fresh rosemary, feta, and mozzarella cheese.

When the pizza was cooking, I knew it was going to be a winner. Our house was filled with the most amazing aroma. We didn't let it cool for long, I was too excited to wait. Josh was still skeptical, but after the first bite, he said no more. He loved it and so did I. We splashed on a little balsamic vinegar and it was the perfect finishing touch. All of the flavors worked so well together. This is the perfect fall pizza.

If you think this pizza combination sounds weird, I still urge you to try it. It really is amazing! And don't forget to check out
Gaby's pasta! Have a great weekend friends.

Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Fresh Rosemary

(Printable Recipe)

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (or use your favorite crust)
Roasted Butternut Squash
Caramelized Red Onion Slices
Olive oil
Garlic, minced
Feta cheese
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Fresh rosemary, chopped
Balsamic vinegar

1. To roast the butternut squash, place peeled, diced squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40-50 minutes, at 400 degrees. Stir occasionally.
2. Caramelize the onions. See this
post from Simply Recipes for directions.
3. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, or as hot as it will go, with a pizza stone inside.
4. Make your pizza dough. We used our favorite whole wheat crust. You can use store bought crust if you wish.
5. Roll out your pizza crust. We sprinkle our pizza peel with corn meal and make the pizza on the peel. Drizzle the crust with a little bit of olive oil and spread it around the crust.
6. Add the garlic, butternut squash, onions, cheese, and rosemary.
7. Slide the pizza onto the stone that is in the hot oven.
8. Cook the pizza for about 12-15 minutes. Just watch it. You want the cheese to be melted and the crust to be golden brown.
9. Cool and slice. Sprinkle balsamic vinegar on slices of pizza if you wish.

If you like this pizza, you might also like:

Pizza with Potatoes, Thyme, and Rosemary from Baking and Books
Jim Lahey's Pizza Bianca from Smitten Kitchen
Buffalo Sweet Potato & Blue Cheese Pizza from BitchinCamero
Pizza Roll Up from Two Peas and Their Pod

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Soup with Cilantro and Lime

I am so happy soup season is here! Soup is the perfect comfort food on a chilly fall day. I always make a big pot so we can have leftovers and freeze some for later. This weekend I made Black Bean and Sweet Corn Soup with Cilantro and Green Chiles.

In the summer, we froze some sweet corn when it was at it's peak. I took some out of the freezer and added it to my black bean soup. I also stirred in cilantro, green chiles, diced tomatoes, spices, and fresh lime juice. This soup is great on it's own, but even better with toppings. I cut up corn tortillas and baked them in the oven. They are crisp and so much better for you than fried tortillas:) I also set out Pepper Jack cheese, cilantro, lime wedges, and avocado slices.

Josh has been working very hard on our basement remodel project. We dug out window wells, added new big windows for extra light, and now Josh is busy sheet rocking, dry walling, painting, etc. It is a disaster downstairs, so I stay upstairs in the kitchen and cook/bake for my handsome, handy husband. It is my contribution:)

Josh doesn't like to take breaks, he is a hard worker, but he did stop to eat a big bowl of my black bean soup. I had all of the fixings ready for him to pile on. He said the soup hit the spot! I am glad he approved.

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Soup with Cilantro and Lime

(Printable Recipe)

1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cups sweet corn (ours was frozen, no need to thaw)
1 small jalepeno, minced
1 can diced green chiles
4 cans diced tomatoes (I use low sodium)
4 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (I use low sodium)
3 cans vegetable broth (I use low sodium)
2 T chile powder
1 1/2 T cumin
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice from 1 lime

Tortilla strips
Pepper Jack cheese
Avocado slices
Lime wedges

1. In a large soup pot heat olive oil. Add in onion and cook until tender.
2. Add in garlic. Cook for 2 minutes and add in green pepper.
3. Stir in sweet corn, jalepeno, green chiles. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in tomatoes and black beans. Next, add the vegetable broth. Stir in the spices, cilantro, and salt/pepper. Squirt in the fresh lime juice.
5. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
6. Taste, you might need to add more seasoning. I always end up adding a few extra dashes of chile powder and cumin.
7. Serve hot. If you want to add toppings, go for it. It makes the soup even better!

If you like this soup, you might also like:

Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Black Bean and Quinoa Chili from Closet Cooking
Black Bean Chipotle Soup from A Good Appetite
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup from Two Peas and Their Pod

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Sorry if I scared any of you with my mention of the pumpkin shortage. I went grocery shopping this weekend and it looks like pumpkin is back in full force. So stock up and try this pumpkin chocolate chip bundt cake.

I like bundt cakes. They are pretty and usually don't require frosting. I am not a frosting fan, I usually scrape it off:) If you are a frosting fan, don't worry, you won't miss it with this cake.

I chopped up E. Guittard milk chocolate bars and stirred them into the pumpkin spice cake. The chocolate chunks were the perfect addition. I just love pumpkin and chocolate together.

I dusted the cake with powdered sugar and served it to our friends that came over to visit. They really enjoyed it. If you want, you could finish the cake with a glaze or chocolate ganache, but it is superb on it's own.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 1/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Pinch of fresh nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (I used Libby's, not pumpkin pie filling)

3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

Chocolate chunks or chocolate chips ( I used E. Guittard milk chocolate bars and chopped them)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10 inch bundt pan, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, fresh nutmeg, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin,buttermilk, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add in eggs one at a time, while mixing on low.On low, add flour and pumpkin mixtures in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until combined, don't overmix. By hand, stir in the chocolate chunks.

Spoon cake batter into pan, smoothing top. Pound the pan on the counter to settle the batter. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean in the center of cake, about 45- 50 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan, on a rack, for 15 minutes. Invert rack over cake and reinvert cake onto rack. Cool completely before serving. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

If you like this pumpkin cake, you might also like:
Pumpkin Cake Pops from Recipe Girl
Apple Pumpkin Cake from Zoe Bakes
Pumpkin Cake Roll from Two Peas and Their Pod

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Pumpkin Blondies with Cinnamon and White Chocolate Chips

I met Gaby, from What's Gaby Cooking?, at the Blogher Food Conference in San Francisco. We follow each other's blogs, we are friends on Facebook and Twitter, and we email, so it was nice to finally meet in person. We have a lot in common-sometimes we post the same or similar recipes without even knowing it:)

We wish we could cook and bake together, but she lives in California and I am in Utah. So every Friday we are teaming up from afar and posting similar recipes. For the next couple of weeks we will be focusing on our favorite fall recipes. Today is Pumpkin Treats-I made pumpkin blondies and Gaby made pumpkin cheesecakes. We hope you enjoy our joint posts.

It's not fall without pumpkin treats, but there is a pumpkin shortage going on. Aggh! I had to go to 4 stores to find 3 cans of pumpkin. I bought them all. I will have to be very selective on what I bake with pumpkin this fall until the shortage is over.

I started out with pumpkin blondies. Of course, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lots of vanilla were involved. I also threw in cinnamon chips and white chocolate. The blondies were more cakey than a normal cookie blondie, the pumpkin kept them very moist. I loved the cinnamon and white chocolate together too. I highly recommend you try that combination.

We took the pumpkin blondies to our neighborhood party and they were gone in minutes-no joke. Everyone was asking for the recipe. So here you have it! Good luck finding pumpkin-if I see you at the store, I will tackle you for it:)

Don't forget to check out Gaby's pumpkin swirl cheesecake! It looks super duper delicious!

Pumpkin Blondies with Cinnamon and White Chocolate Chips

Adapted from Martha Stewart

(Printable Recipe)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup cinnamon chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.Spray with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and both sugars until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended. Add the pumpkin puree. Reduce speed to low, and mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Don't overmix. Stir in the white and cinnamon chips by hand.

Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. The sides will pull away from the pan and brown a bit. Do the toothpick test, if it comes out clean. They are done. Cool completely in pan. Lift the blondies from the pan, using the foil. from pan. Peel off the foil and cut into squares.

If you like these pumpkin blondies you might also like:

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars from Megan’s Cookin

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies from Cookie Madness

Pumpkin Bars from Real Mom Kitchen

Pumpkin White Chocolate Scones from Two Peas and Their Pod

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