Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. oil
1/3 c. water
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. raisins (optional)
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs together.  In another bowl, mix sugar, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Combine the two mixtures.  Stir in raisins and pecans, if desired.  Pour into 2 loaf pans or an 8x8 baking dish.  Bake for ~45 minutes. 

*Best if served warm!  I like to serve this with honey butter.

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili (or Skyline Chili) is a favored dish in Ohio.  This recipe came from a lady in the church that my husband grew up in.  I first ate this while visiting with his parents and became a fan of this unique creation right away!  Don't let the ingredients overwhelm you.  This may start off as an expensive dish, but once you have the spices, it takes several dishes before you have to restock them.  I hope you will enjoy this dish as much as we do!  

3-4 c. Water
2 lbs. ground beef
1 T. unsweetened chocolate
2 T. vinegar 
1 medium onion, finely chopped 
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 1/2 tsp. salt 
16 oz.tomato sauce 
1 tsp. cinnamon 
1/2 tsp.ground cumin
4 T. Chili powder 
5 whole Allspice                  
5 whole cloves
1 large bay leaf

Boil ground beef in water in a 4 qt. pot.  Stir until fine texture.  Boil slowly for 30 minutes.  Drain water off beef, add 3-4 c. fresh water along with the next 11 ingredients.  Stir.  Place Allspice, cloves, and bay leaf in a cheesecloth or tea ball before adding to chili.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 3 hrs.  Pot may be covered the last hour if desired consistency is reached.  Serve over cooked angel hair pasta.  Top with cheese and chopped onions, if desired. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Five Minute Chocolate Cake (Coffee Mug Cake)

On Monday afternoons, the kids and I are a part of a local home school co-op.  For the past several weeks, they have been learning about Africa, manners and etiquette, and practicing cooking skills.  Today, we combined the three skills and had an "African dish" lunch!  Late last evening, I found this South African dessert dish which was quick, easy, and delicious!  Because of it's simplicity and taste, I thought you all would enjoy it as much as we did!

Five Minute Chocolate Cake  (Coffee Mug Cake)

 4 T. all purpose flour
 4 T. sugar 
 2 T. cocoa
 pinch of salt
 1 egg
 3 T. milk
 3 T. oil
 3 T. chocolate  (chocolate chips or grated chocolate candy bar) - optional
 splash of vanilla
 1 large coffee mug, soup mug, or 2 souffle cups sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

 Place the dry ingredients in the mug and mix well.
 Add the egg and mix thoroughly. 
 Pour in the milk and oil and again, mix well.
 Add the chocolate (if using) and the vanilla, then mix again.
 Put the mug in the microwave and cook for 2 minutes on high.  Allow to cool for a few minutes and then tip onto a plate.  Enjoy!

 Variations:  Use dark chocolate or drizzle with chocolate syrup & powder sugar.