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Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Frosting

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from the archives; originally posted October 6, 2011. That being said, please excuse the awful photographs! ;)  

It might be a little early for some to start considering the pumpkin flavor, but with all the talk of Pumpkin Spice Lattes- maybe not! I dug this post out from my first few months of blogging- still a recipe I love!

Last week I was really craving some pumpkin scones. I didn’t have a recipe and planned on consulting Google with the matter. However, I opened up one of my favorite blogs the other day and she had posted a recipe for them and said she loved it!

So I decided to go for it on Saturday- with a few modifications of course.

Here is the original source of the recipe- I believe credit is deserved for these babies!

Mix the pumpkin, half-and-half, and egg together.

Then, add remaining ingredients for scones into a large bowl. I used my hand mixer to cut the butter into the flour mixture.

Blend the two mixes together until all of the dry ingredients are moistened. I also used the mixer for this step.

Roll out onto a flourered surface.

 {I have no idea why this pic is upside down.
It is not upside down on my computer file, and I can’t figure out how to fix it! Oh, well.}
Cut the scones into triangles.

Then put ‘em on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
When they come out of the oven, ice them {the best part!} and wait an hour for the icing to harden. {yeah, right!}

Spiced Frosting Pumpkin Scones

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Pumpkin Scones
Author: 
 

Ingredients
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour {I used one cup all-purpose, one cup whole wheat}
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar {healthier option: ⅛ cup white sugar, ⅛ cup Stevia, and 3 Tbs. brown sugar}
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 fps ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • For the Spiced Powdered Sugar Glaze:
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flours, sugars, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
  3. Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture.
  4. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg.
  6. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball.
  7. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 4 inches by 12 inches.
  8. Use a large knife to slice the dough making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
  10. While the scones are cooling, make the powdered sugar glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. Add in spices. Drizzle over scones and allow to firm.

 

Houston, We Have a Pollo!

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What do you get when get several local food bloggers together to try foods from a coming-soon-to-Houston restaurant? You get a bunch of people who take lots of pictures, chat a lot about blogging, and roll out of their lunchtime ridiculously full. I’ve been following roughly a 1500-calorie diet, and I think that day I ate more than that in one sitting! And it was worth every delicious bite.

El Pollo Loco will be opening their first restaurant in the Houston area this fall, in Sugarland. I can hardly wait- I’m hoping they’ll add one even closer to me. They were so kind to get together several bloggers from the area to try out their menu- and they put on an amazing event.

I have to be honest- I was wondering how yet another Mexican food restaurant was going to impress me since Houston is inundated with them. But El Pollo Loco is completely fresh and new! I was truly not prepared for how delicious their food would be! From their 24-hour-marinated grilled chicken to their scrumptious desserts (more on that later!), there is certainly plenty of room in Houston for them!

El Pollo Loco menu

Right away, I came in and checked out the menu. Remember that 1500 calorie diet I’m on? I was excited to see that El Pollo Loco has an under-500 calorie menu. One of those options was on our tasting menu and I quickly decided that’s what I would order.

But oh, no. We were able to try every single thing on our tasting menu! Most of them were full-sized portions, too! Chips with 4 different kinds of dips, FIVE entrees, and two of those desserts I mentioned earlier. It was a food-lover’s dream!

First up, they brought out the chips and guacamole, queso, pico de gallo, and avocado salsa. Now, I’ve grown up in Texas and have had countless versions of queso. This one is one of the best I’ve ever had. Deliciously creamy, a tiny hit of spiciness, oooh it’s making me hungry again! The pico and guac were fabulous too- they both tasted incredibly fresh. (That’s my friend Paula’s hand :) )

chips and dips

Then started the entrees- we tried bone-in chicken that was cooked perfectly. This chicken is the basis of many of other menu items. We also had rice, beans, and broccoli during this course. The rice was also some of the best Mexican rice I’ve had. And the broccoli initially had me puzzled- I’ve never seen it on the menu at a Mexican restaurant. But oh, it was so yummy. Salty and cooked just right- and I love that El Pollo Loco offers a low-cal side order option!

el pollo loco collage #houstonwehaveapollo

From left: Tostada, Pobano Avocado Burrito, Bone-in Chicken, Cheesecake Chimichangas

Then we tried a poblano avocado burrito. These babies weigh in at a pound each. The bloggers “only” ate half each- we still had 3 more entrees to go! This burrito was really good- lots of yummy flavors going on. The next entree was hands-down my favorite- the tostada. This is what us Texans would call a Taco Salad. The shell of it was incredible- so yummy and crispy and just good! We were also able to try the Pollo Bowl (a mix of chicken, beans, rice, onions, cilantro and pic) and the Under 500 Grande Taco. This was my initial choice and I had room for literally one bite by the end of the meal! I can’t wait to go back and eat this again when El Pollo Loco opens! I love that I can go enjoy Mexican food with my family and still have something healthier.

chef

We got to watch the chefs prepare much of the food right in front of our eyes!

Then the desserts. I just knew I had NO more room to squeeze in another bite.

Then they brought in these delightful lilte concoctions called Cheesecake Chimichangas. Oh, my. They were so good. The outside was warm and crispy and the inside (the cheesecake part) was creamy and cool. Truly a phenomenal dessert.

I saw the churros lying there and decided just to try one so I could give an honest opinion. OH MY! I loved them even more than the chimichangas! I’d never had a “real” churro and it was perfect. Warm and soft, with lots of cinnamon and sugar dusted on top.

churros

Well if you’re not hungry now, I don’t know what will entice you! Houstonians, get ready for El Pollo Loco! And in the meantime, check out their site and get ready to chow down! (Please get a churro for me when you go, mmmkay?)

How To Clean Small Appliances

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This discussion is sponsored by Viva Vantage, but all opinions are my own.

 

I have a dirty little secret. I mean, it’s not that bad, but it’s not something I normally share with the world. Until now. I use my small appliances in the kitchen (stand mixer, hand mixer, food processor, etc.) A LOT. And of course I always clean the bowl, blades, beaters, and accessories. But the appliance itself? Nah. Most of them get shoved in a cabinet after use any ways, so I figure why spend the time?

A few days ago, however, my stand mixer was in dire need of a good scrubbing. Not even shoving it under the counter was going to let me get away with it any longer.

cleaning small appliances with viva vantage

When I was at Wal-Mart getting a few school supplies for the kids (word to the wise: don’t shop for school supplies 4 days before school starts. Trust me.) I picked up some Viva Vantage paper towels. My favorite thing about them? I can choose what size I want. Some jobs need just 1/2 a sheet and others, well, they need more!

allie viva

Allie followed me into the kitchen as usual, but left quickly when she figured out I was cleaning instead of cooking. ;)

Also, these babies are strong! I ended up using 3 half-sheets for my cleaning project and they held up incredibly well. I just used my counter-top spray and a little elbow grease and went to town. There was probably months worth of cream cheese frosting, cake batter, and who knows what else dried on there!

before and after viva

I’m not going to lie and say I loved cleaning this mixer, but I do LOVE that it is clean. They say that breaking up is hard to do, but breaking up with my old paper towels is a no-brainer! Find out more about Viva Vantage here.

(Also, my other small appliances are next on the list!)

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

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julie and julia bffIt’s time for this month’s #BlogFilmFood! It’s where some of my blogger friends and I get together virtually, watch a movie, and cook something delicious based on the movie. I actually got to see several of these bloggers in person yesterday at a blogging event- I’ll be sharing more on that next week!

This slow cooker beef bourguignon is a delicious company-worthy dish that simmers all day and makes your whole house smell delicious!

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My Grandma’s Lips

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Today would have been my grandma’s 80th birthday. Instead of planning a huge celebration for her like we did for my Papa several years ago, we’ve gone 14 months without her in our lives. Memory is such a powerful concept, and I’m so glad to have wonderful memories of my grandparents.

Papa & Grandma laughing

fave.

When all of the family members were respectfully combing through all their worldly possessions (which, I might add, was almost as emotional as the funerals were for me), I took two tubes of my grandma’s lipstick. She had about six tubes of it, all in exactly the same shade. That was such a testament to my grandma. Predictable in a good way, steady, no surprises. It was a very pale, unassuming color, which also belied my grandma’s personality. Never one to seek attention, always working in the background.’

Last night, I applied some of the lipstick. It made me think of the lips it used to touch, only a little over a year ago. And I decided I wanted my lips to bring forth the same words my grandma did.

papa grandma wedding

Papa and grandma with us at our wedding.

So encouraging. When Ben and I moved to Houston (taking away two of her great-grandbabies), she told us that she didn’t really understand but that she loved us, was proud of us, and was happy we were following God.

Do I encourage the people around me?

So loving. She always, always told us that she loved us. On the phone, in person, in birthday cards.

She never let her love be doubted, and I don’t want my love to be questioned, ever.

Singing. One of my last memories of her was of her holding Papa’s hand in his last days, singing to him.

I don’t sing enough.

Speaking of the Lord, his word, and his promises.

How much do I speak naturally of God and his work in my life?

My grandma wasn’t perfect, but she was pretty darn close. She taught me to be a better lady with her humble spirit and loving words. I know that her wish would be for us to not grieve over her, but live in a way that would honor her life and legacy.

PS I don’t think I’ve ever cried this much writing a post. Love and miss you, Papa and Grandma.

Rice Noodles and Veggies with Spicy Peanut Sauce

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Every once in a while, I get an unmistakeable craving for Asian food. It’s usually Thai or Vietnamese I want. And when I want it, I want it now! Even though Asian restaurant food is usually super cheap (we LOVE $2.50 Vietnamese sandwiches!), it’s sometimes easier to just whip up something at home.

Yesterday I was thinking about what to fix for lunch, and I had in mind a jar of the homemade peanut butter I made a while back. Suddenly it hit me: Must. Have. Peanut. Sauce. If you’ve never had spicy peanut sauce, for me it’s the perfect combination of salty + sweet + spicy + nutty + goooood. Seriously love it. I’d never made it before but browsed a few recipes and came up with my own.

Rice noodles + veggies with spicy peanut sauce. Delish!

This meal comes together so easily; it was done in 15 minutes. And that, my friends, is a win/win!

peanut sauce noodles

 First, steam your noodles. This is super easy. I just boil water and pour them over the noodles in the bowl. In about 10 minutes, they are soft and ready to go. While they’re steaming, start stir-frying your veggies. I used a pre-chopped mix from Aldi. Then, make your peanut sauce. There are as many variations of this as there are people who make it, but I used a combo of peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, mint, and sriacha.

Put the sauce in a bowl, then add the noodles after you drain them. Toss noodles in the sauce, then add the veggies and toss more. Enjoy!

4.0 from 1 reviews

Rice Noodles and Veggies with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Author: 
Cuisine: asian
 

Ingredients
  • ½ 14 oz. package rice stick noodles
  • 1 pound chopped veggies
  • ⅔ cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1-2 tsp. Sriacha (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 5-6 mint leaves

Instructions
  1. Steam your noodles by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Allow to steam for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, begin stir-frying your veggies with cooking spray. Cook until crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Make peanut sauce by combining the rest of the ingredients in a small food chopper. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pour sauce into a large bowl. Top with noodles and toss lightly. Add veggies and toss again. Serve with additional Sriacha if desired.

Delicious rice noodles with peanut sauce and veggies. A simple meal you can have on the table in 15 minutes!

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