Y’all Hungry? Pumpkin Party Menu!!

 Zesty Black Bean Chili 

On a brisk fall day nothing is easier to cook than a pot of slow-cooker chili! This is a simple zesty recipe that I have semi-created from mixing and matching other recipes over the last year.  It is delicious & was the main course at our pumpkin party!!!

Ingredients:

3 cans zesty diced tomatoes

3 cans black beans

1 can corn

2 lbs steak chunks (stew meat)

1 green bell pepper

1 sweet onion

Salt and pepper

1 package chili mix ( I used Carroll Shelby’s original with or w/out the cayenne pepper packet included depending on your enjoyable heat level)

Cajun spice to taste

Directions:

Brown your steak meat until brown on both sides (I browned until almost brown all the way… fear of red meat)season with salt and pepper – lightly grease your slow cooker and place the steak meat on the bottom top with all cans – juice and all.  Then dice your onion and bell pepper, add to pot. Stir all together, add the chili mix   stir again. Then put on low for 8 hours – test at 6 hours or later and spice it up to taste.

We topped it with cheese and avocado and I served it with corn bread! The best thing about this recipe is that it makes a TON so it is practically like I am making days worth of meals!!

Best Pumpkin Cookies (clever name I know!)

I made these as a help yourself dessert for the pumpkin party and they turned out delicious!!! I found this recipe on Pinterest aka my current obsession and they did not disappoint.  Moist, sweet, slightly fall spicy and the cream cheese frosting, delish!  Another bonus… this recipe makes about 6 dozen cookies!!!! Frosting to match if you don’t overload, but seriously it is crazy good!!! Mom sent me Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin coffee and it is pretty much the best dipping combination since a café au lait and beignet. 

Combine:
1 Cup Shortening
3 Cups Sugar
Add:
2 eggs

Mix in:
1 large can pumpkin (30 ounces)

Now add:
1 tsp. vanilla
5 cups flour

And then add:
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Directions- Now, bake @ 350 for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool & then ice using the following Cream Cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing:

Combine:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened

Gradually mix in:

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend until smooth. Store in the refrigerator after use. Frost the cookies and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg, I combined the two, I know, overachiever.

Recipe from House of Hepworths

Baked Apples

 Get ready to write this down and save it! EASY! Delicious and you feel healthy because really, you are just eating an apple! Yes, I consider this a healthy dessert! Ignore the other ingredients right?  The saying after all is an apple a day keeps the Dr. away and really if the Doctor meant an apple minus yummy brown sugar, maple syrup, and pats of butter he should have been more specific!

Ingredients

1/4 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch ground nutmeg

6 Gala apples  rinsed

1/2 cup apple cider

3 tablespoons butter, cut into pats

1/2 cup maple syrup

 Directions

In a large bowl, mix together cherries, sugar, pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg. Put aside.

With a melon scooper, core apples to hollow out the middle. Do not go all the way through. Fill each apple core with dry cherry mixture. Pour apple cider into a casserole dish and place apples right side up. Place a pat of butter on apple hole filled with mixture. Drizzle maple syrup on top of all the apples. Bake for 50 minutes

Recipe from The Neely’s, Food Network

Herb Butter…Drooling yet?!

WHY have I never “made” butter before? This is easy to do and it adds so much flavor to anything  you decide to use it on.  The way we went through it the other night I am pretty sure it was being used on everything in sight!  I didn’t really measure the ingredients so this is a typical me recipe which means a pinch or dash and to taste kind of instructional!

Ingredients:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 regular spoon full (like real full) of minced garlic

Small handful of fresh basil, finely minced
1big serving spoon full of dill- I used a tube of fresh dill, but really fresh would be good too
Small handful of fresh thyme, finely minced

3-4 shakes of dried oregano
Dash of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, just a few turns

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Use a beater to mix until fluffy- small cracker w/butter taste test needed to be sure it is delish…. Then add as needed.  Short on time I simply put the butter in a bowl, then Justin claimed to have whipped it up all day… otherwise to make a pretty presentation I have read that you can  place the butter mixture onto plastic wrap, form into a log, wrap tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Allow to come to room temperature before serving so it is spreadable.

 So good!

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