Pumpkin Crisp

My family loves this fall favorite! I received the recipe from my mother-in-law.

Pumpkin Crisp

2 - 15 ounce cans of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 large can of evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 box yellow or white cake mix
2 sticks butter (melted)
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the top. Sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the cake mix. Spoon the melted butter over the nuts.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Check at 45 minutes to make sure the nuts are not getting too brown. If they are, cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue baking.
Crisp is done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Delicious served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

You can also make this in 2 separate 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pans and share one!

Cranberry Relish #1

Here is one version of Cranberry Relish that we like with our Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.

Cranberry Relish (#1)

1 pound fresh, raw cranberries
2 large firm apples
1 whole navel orange
1 medium can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts.

Place cranberries, apples and orange into food processor or Vitamix and lightly chop. Add pineapple, sugar and nuts. Mix well and refrigerate overnight before serving. This will keep for several days in the refrigerator and gets better with age. It is also good on toast for breakfast!

Southern Sweet Potato Surprise

Here's one that I tried in 1997 for our Thanksgiving meal - I've made it every year since. It puts a nice, fresh spin on the standard sweet potato casserole!

Sweet Potato Surprise

1- 15.5 ounce can sweet potatoes - drained and cut in half
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 Tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
1-16 ounce can apricot halves, drained - reserve 1 cup of juice (you can use dried apricots and re-hydrate them by using orange juice)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup pecan halves and/or raisins
Marshmallows for topping if desired

Place sweet potatoes in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Combine sugar, corn starch, salt, cinnamon and orange zest in a saucepan. Stir in apricot juice and cook over medium heat until boiling. Add apricots, butter and nuts/raisins. Pour mixture over sweet potatoes and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

If desired, add marshmallows for topping and brown until lightly melted.

Lemon Squares

Once in awhile I have a craving for something other than chocolate. Not often, mind you, but on occasion! Here's one that the whole family enjoys. I like this particular recipe, because the tartness of the lemon seems just right to me.

Lemon Squares

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional - I omit this if using salted butter)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel or lemon zest

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together 1 cup flour, butter and powdered sugar. Press into an ungreased 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square pan, building up the sides about 1/2 inch. Bake for 20 minutes - the crust should be light brown when done.

While the crust is baking, beat the remaining ingredients together until light and fluffy. Pour over crust while it is still hot. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until no indentation remains when lightly touched in the center. Cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into squares.


Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Okay, these are so easy and the recipe has been around so long that I'm sure most of you probably already have it! These are a favorite for my girls and are quick and easy to make when you are short on time!

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups quick cook oats

In a large glass bowl, microwave the sugar, milk and butter for 3-5 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. Remove carefully from microwave and quickly add the peanut butter, cocoa and vanilla. Stir until well blended. Stir in the oats and drop by Tablespoon fulls onto waxed paper. Allow to set until firm.

Easy as pie and you can't eat just one!

Peanut Butter Balls

This is a family favorite from my childhood. I can remember my mom making these when I was growing up - I love to make these during the holidays to include in any gifts from my kitchen.

Peanut Butter Balls

1 pound powdered sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla in
1 cup melted butter
1 - 6 ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 block of paraffin

Mix the first 7 ingredients. Shape into balls. Melt the chocolate chips and paraffin in a double-boiler over boiling water. Dip the balls into the melted chocolate. Place on waxed paper to set.

These may be made ahead of time and frozen - allow to thaw before serving