Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

I love pumpkin, and am quite surprised I haven’t posted more pumpkin recipes on this blog. In fact, I’ve only posted one recipe including pumpkin, and that was way back in October! I must be going insane for not sharing more pumpkin items!

This morning, I had a huge craving for pumpkin bread. I pulled out my chocolate chip pumpkin bread recipe and excitedly found out I had all the ingredients I needed. I started measuring and mixing, and before I knew it, my bread was in the oven giving off a wondering pumpkin and nutmeg aroma. After what seemed like days, the bread came out of the oven delicious, and begging to be eaten.

I’d write more about my love of pumpkin, but lucky for you, my bread is calling my name! I need to go cut another slice and enjoy this lovely bread.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

3 c. sugar

1- 15 oz can pumpkin puree

1 c. vegetable oil

2/3 c. water

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

3/1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1-2 tsp ground nutmeg (depending on how much of the nutmeg flavor you like)

2 tsp baking soda

1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9 x 5 loaf pans. In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda. Fold in chocolate chips.

Divide batter equally between pans, and bake for 1 hour, or until knife comes out clean. Cool on a rack before removing from pans.

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Bars

Looking for a treat that will bring you into peanut butter coma? Look no further! These Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie bars will do the trick. They are loaded with 3 layers of peanut butter and rice krispies goodness, AND include peanut butter cups in the middle. Also a key aspect not to forget is the 4th layer of peanut butter ganache on the top.  Are you drooling yet? Feeling like you need to find your “buffet pants” and start baking?

I’m quite surprised I liked them as much as I did. I’m not a huge peanut butter fan, and I’ll tell you why.  My family took a trip to Disney World back when I was in elementary school. Little did I know how thrifty/stingy my father was going to be. First of all, he packed the toaster in his suitcase. You heard right…THE TOASTER! Who does that?! Second, almost every night, we had to eat at Burger King because they were having a 99 cent Whopper special. According to my dad then, who can beat that price? Lastly, and the reason why I’m telling this story, instead of getting to eat at some of the restaurants within Disney World, we had to pack lunches everyday. Those lunches were…peanut butter sandwiches. Every. Day. Of. The. Vacation.  Needless to say, I got sick of peanut butter sandwiches very fast, and to this day, don’t eat them, and don’t eat a ton of food with peanut butter in the ingredients.

Here’s a little gem from our Disney World vacation. For those of you who know me well, please be impressed that I’m standing next to Minnie Mouse and am not crying or turning my back! (I have a bit of a mascot phobia for those of you wondering what the heck I’m talking about!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

These bars got rave reviews, and my mouth waters just thinking about them. If you’re up for this peanut buttery challenge, good luck! 🙂

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Bars

Recipe from Your Cup of Cake

Ingredients:

1st Layer: Cereal

3 c. Rice Krispies cereal

1/2 of a 10 oz bag of marshmallows

2 tbsp butter, softened

1/3 c. peanut butter

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2nd Layer: Peanut Butter Fudge

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. smooth peanut butter

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 1/4 c. mini peanut butter cups (can also use Reese’s Pieces)

3rd Layer: Cereal

3 c. Rice Krispies cereal

1/2 of a 10 oz bag of marshmallows

2 tbsp butter, softened

1/3 c. peanut butter (optional- use if wanting more peanut butter goodness)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4th Layer: Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache

1 c. + 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter

2 c. chocolate chips

Directions:

Prep a 9 x 13 pan by greasing the bottom and sides with butter or a butter spray.

1st layer: Measure out your 3 c. rice cereal and set aside. In a large microwave safe bowl, put in your 3/4 c. marshmallows, butter, peanut butter, and vanilla. Melt in the microwave for around 45 seconds, take out, stir, and put back in for a few more seconds. You’ll want to do this until your mixture is smooth. Stir in the rice cereal and pour into the pan. Spread it out evenly and press firmly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PB fudge layer: Measure out the powdered sugar and set aside. On the stove top or microwave, melt butter and peanut butter until smooth. Remove from heat, add powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth. Pour over 1st layer of cereal and spread evenly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprinkle your peanut butter cups evenly and gently press into fudge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let the fudge set for around 5-10 minutes before you add the next layer of cereal. (Best option is to put in freezer. I put my pan in for about 4 minutes, and my peanut butter cups melted with the next step, so make sure to let it set a little longer than I did!)

3rd layer: Prepare this layer as you did the first layer.  Only add the peanut butter if you want a peanut butter overload. Pour the cereal mixture over the fudge, spread evenly, and press firmly. Make sure you try to cover up all the peanut butter cups, so that the next layer doesn’t hit the fudge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4th layer: On the stove top, melt peanut butter and chocolate chips until smooth. Stir constantly to avoid the chocolate from burning. Let cool for a few minutes, then pour evenly over the cereal layer and gently shake pan to evenly distribute chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carefully cover with plastic wrap or pan cover and place in the freezer or fridge to firm. Cut into bars and enjoy your peanut butter coma 🙂

Chicken and Mushrooms in a Garlic White Wine Sauce

This past weekend was girls weekend for myself and 6 of my friends. We’ve gotten together for the last 3 years in various places to catch up, hang out, and just enjoy our time together. We all don’t see each other too much, even though a few of us are in the same city! It’s crazy how fast time goes! Here’s a picture of us ladies from the weekend…

 

 

 

 

 

 

While figuring out what to do for dinner on Saturday as one of my friends is gluten intolerant, another friend suggested we try this chicken and mushroom recipe she had seen on a food blog. She had all the ingredients, and we could modify so there was no gluten, so we decided to give it a go. While a picture doesn’t do it justice, I really thought this was a great meal! Then again, almost anything with mushrooms I love! 🙂 The recipe below was also modified to make a lower fat meal, but we ended up using a bit more butter and oil for our chicken, so not quite sure how low-fat it ended up being for us!

To adapt for gluten-free, we really only had to change the chicken breading from flour to cornstarch. You can also use rice flour if you have that on hand. How easy is that adaptation?!

Chicken and Mushrooms in a Garlic White Wine Sauce

Recipe from Skinny Taste

8 chicken tenderloins, 16 oz total, (or chicken breasts)

2 tsp butter

2 tsp olive oil

1/4 c. all-purpose flour (use cornstarch or rice flour if gluten-free)

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

12 oz. sliced mushrooms

1/4 c. white wine

1/3 c. fat-free chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge in flour/ cornstarch.

Heat a skillet on medium heat; when hot, add 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil.  Add chicken to the skillet and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is no longer pink. *Side note on this- we ended up baking the chicken for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees after frying the chicken for about 10 minutes due to wanting them to cook even, and stay warm.*  If not baking, once fried, set aside in warm oven.

Add additional oil and butter to the skillet, then garlic and cook a few seconds; add mushrooms, salt and pepper stirring occasionally until golden, about 5 minutes.

Add wine, chicken broth, and parsley; stir the pan with a wooden spoon breaking up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook a few more minutes or until the liquid reduces by half (If wanting a thicker sauce, add some cornstarch. Top the chicken with the mushroom sauce and serve. We served it with white rice, but I bet it’d be tasty with pasta or brown rice as well.