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Mini Pecan Pies

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Friday, November 14, 2014

Mini Pecan Pies

Mini Pecan Pies

Pies are a highly anticipated finale of the Thanksgiving Day feast. And while pumpkin pie is certain to be on the menu, it’s always fun to sample other pies too.

By using two mini pie plates like these Anchor Hocking Mini Pie Plates instead of one conventional nine-inch pie plate, it’s easy to offer guests a sampling or two of their favorite pies. And if you’re going to someone’s house for dinner, you can leave a mini pie or two at home and bring the rest to share.

The pastry dough is easy to make and the pecan filling can be whipped up in a hurry. A dollop of whipped cream adds the final flourish.

Here are a couple more Thanksgiving pie recipes that make good use of mini pie plates. And here are some easy Thanksgiving recipes. Enjoy!

MINI PECAN PIES

Pastry for two 6-inch single-crust pies (see below)
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or pecan halves
Freshly whipped cream (optional)
Prepare pastry for 2 6-inch pie crusts as directed. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 6-inch pie plates with pastry crust. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla. Stir in pecans; divide into 2 crusts. Bake until filling is puffed, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool pies completely on a wire rack. Top each pie with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired. Makes 8 miniature servings.

PASTRY FOR TWO 6-INCH SINGLE-CRUST PIES

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
5 to 6 tablespoons ice water
In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over the flour mixture; toss with a fork. Push moistened flour mixture to the side of the bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon of the remaining water at a time, until all of the flour mixture is moist. Gather pastry into a ball. Divide into 2 portions; shape each portion into a disk. Cover each disk with plastic wrap; refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.

Flour rolling surface and rolling pin lightly. Roll each pastry disk into circles about 8-inches in diameter. Trim to about 7 1/2 -inches. Carefully remove trimmed dough. Fold dough into quarters. Unfold and press into 2 6-inch pie plates. Transfer desired fillings into pie crusts, flute or crimp edges as desired. Bake as directed. Makes 2 miniature pies.

Thanks to Anchor Hocking for providing photography and bakeware

Wagon Wheel Pasta Dinner

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife Wagon Wheel Pasta Dinner

Wagon Wheel Pasta Dinner

Wagon Wheel Pasta Dinner

Finding recipes that appeal to children and adults can sometimes be challenging. Equally important to time-crunched cooks is preparing tasty recipes that don’t require a lot of steps or a lot of ingredients.

Ideal for folks-on-the-go, this family-pleasing recipe makes it easy to get out of the kitchen quick. A hearty one-skillet meal, it can be prepared in a snap. And it makes delicious use of fun-shaped wagon wheel pasta. Of course, you can use any similar sized pasta in place of wagon wheel, if desired.

Serve on attractive white plates like these Chef’s Table Soft Square Salad Plates from Oneida along with a tossed salad and fresh rolls, and savor a meal everyone will enjoy. Saving time in the kitchen couldn’t be easier.

WAGON WHEEL PASTA DINNER

1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups regular or reduced sodium chicken broth
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
8 ounces dried wagon wheel pasta
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded regular or reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
In a 12-inch skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat until beef is thoroughly cooked, 4 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain fat. Stir in chicken broth, tomato sauce, and onion powder. Bring to a boil. Stir in wagon wheel pasta. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until macaroni is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in cheese. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand five minutes before serving; season with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie Hearts

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Friday, February 14, 2014

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie Hearts

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie Hearts

If your busy schedule has left you little time for planning a special treat for your sweetheart, you still can make a decadent dessert your valentine will love. Perfect for those who are short on time, these homemade confections will go straight to your loved one’s heart.

By embellishing packaged brownie mix with cream cheese, red food color, and a few pantry staples, it’s easy to whip up a moist and colorful chocolate treat swirled with the yummy taste of cheesecake. To make them extra special, set on decorative doilies and arrange on pretty platters like these Anchor Hocking Isabella Platters.

So go ahead and give it a whirl. After all, rich confections made fresh from your kitchen will guarantee you a sweet place in your valentine’s heart forever. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love chocolate? Here are a few more recipes with the decadent taste of chocolate: Molten Chocolate Cakes, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Hot Cocoa, and Mini Brownie Trifles

RED VELVET CHEESECAKE BROWNIE HEARTS

1 (18- to -21 ounce) package fudge brownie mix
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup brewed coffee
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon red food color
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 eggs
1 (8-ounce) package regular or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (3-ounce) package regular or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 egg white
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, letting ends extend beyond edges on 2 sides. Coat foil with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, cocoa powder, vegetable oil, coffee, 1 1/2 tablespoons food color, vinegar, and eggs. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixed; spread in prepared pan.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheeses, egg white, and confectioners’ sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Remove 1/2 of the batter to a small bowl; stir the remaining 1 teaspoon food color into this batter. Drop plain batter by tablespoons randomly onto brownie batter. Drop red batter in the same manner. Using a butter knife, swirl through the batters to create a marbled effect. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove brownies by lifting foil ends; place on a cutting board. Remove foil; use a cookie cutter to cut heart shapes. Makes 16 large heart-shaped brownies.

This recipe and a recipe for Filet Mignon with Mushroom Sauce can be found here.

Thanks to Anchor Hocking for providing serveware

Corn Chowder

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Friday, January 17, 2014

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

Make the most of a blustery day by savoring a steaming bowl of homemade chowder. A delicious way to chase off the chills, old-fashioned chowder will warm you up in no time.

Thick and rich with flavor, this family-pleasing recipe makes good use of pantry staples. You can add extra flavor and make it even heartier by adding a few slices of cooked and crumbled bacon, if desired. Stylish dinnerware like this Anchor Hocking Annapolis glass dinnerware is a great way to highlight the color of the food, and the pieces can go in the dishwasher too.

Whether you enhance with bacon or enjoy as it is, a bowl of hearty chowder is the ultimate in cozy goodness.

CORN CHOWDER

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups regular or reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups regular or fat-free half-and-half
1 1/2 cups fresh corn (from about 3 ears), or frozen corn
1 medium scallion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and potatoes. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in chicken broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 cup half-and-half, corn, and scallion. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, stir together flour and the remaining 1/4 cup half-and-half. Stir into chowder. Bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in parsley; season with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Mixed Greens and Apple Salad with Cherries, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 The Harried Housewife Mixed Greens Salad

Mixed Greens and Apple Salad with Cherries, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts

Mixed Greens and Apple Salad with Cherries, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts

If one of your New Year resolutions is getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet, then this savory salad is for you.

A refreshing mix of salad greens along with fresh apples, dried cherries, crumbled blue cheese, and toasted walnuts drizzled with tangy vinaigrette is a good way to stick with this year’s resolution.

And if you would like to make it a main-dish salad, just add cooked chicken or your choice of protein. Serve on square salad plates like these from Oneida for both practicality and sophistication.

One thing is certain: With a colorful plate of appetizing ingredients, sticking to your New Year’s resolution will be a cinch.

MIXED GREENS AND APPLE SALAD WITH CHERRIES, BLUE CHEESE, AND WALNUTS

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 small apples, cored and thinly sliced
12 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts

For vinaigrette, in small bowl, combine vinegar, salt, honey, mustard, onion powder, and pepper. Whisk in vegetable oil. In a large bowl, combine apples, mixed greens, and cherries. Drizzle with desired amount of vinaigrette; toss to combine. Arrange on a large platter or 6 plates; sprinkle with blue cheese and walnuts. Makes 6 servings.

Thanks to Oneida for providing dinnerware

Easy Snickerdoodles

Featured on WKTV NEWSChannel 2

Easy Snickerdoodles

Easy Snickerdoodles

Love the taste of Snickerdoodles but don’t have a lot of time to prepare them? Then put a package of yellow cake mix to good use by combining it with a few pantry staples for a shortcut version of a classic cookie recipe.

A terrific way to spend a snowy afternoon, making Christmas cookies is a fun family activity that will create fond memories to last a lifetime. And this recipe is perfect for little hands as they enjoy shaping the dough and then rolling it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

After the cookies are baked and cooled, arrange them on decorative platters like these Anchor Hocking Isabella Platters for a fun display of fresh-baked cookies that everyone will enjoy.

Whether you make them for Santa or share with friends who come to call, homemade Snickerdoodles will bring comfort and joy to those near and dear.

Here are more Easy Christmas Recipes from The Harried Housewife’s RECIPE BOX.

EASY SNICKERDOODLES

3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 (16.5 ounce) package plain yellow cake mix
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, flour, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon until mixed. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until centers are almost set, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Thanks to Anchor Hocking for providing serveware

Easy Christmas Recipes from The Harried Housewife’s RECIPE BOX:

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Pumpkin Pancakes

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Friday, October 17, 2014

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Savor a taste of autumn with a plate of mouthwatering pumpkin pancakes. Slightly spiced and dripping with flavor, these pancakes are perfect for leisurely fall weekends with family and friends.

Decorate the table with whimsical fall items, serve pancakes on attractive yet practical plates like these from Oneida that go right into the dishwasher, and enjoy a brunch or breakfast filled with the yummy goodness of autumn.

When it comes to making the most of the fall season, a stack of pumpkin pancakes is a great way to start.

PUMPKIN PANCAKES

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 1/4 cups milk
2 eggs
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted
1 cup 100% pure pumpkin
Vegetable oil, for griddle (optional)
Chopped pecans (optional)
Pure maple syrup
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and ginger. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, butter, and pumpkin. Add to flour mixture; whisk just until combined.

Heat griddle to 375 degrees or set a heavy skillet over medium heat. Lightly brush griddle or skillet with vegetable oil, if necessary. Working in batches, ladle 1/4 cup batter onto griddle. Cook pancakes until tops are covered with bubbles and edges are slightly dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn pancakes over; cook until bottoms are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with pecans, if desired. Serve with maple syrup. Makes 8 servings.

Thanks to Oneida for providing dinnerware

Here are more pumpkin favorites:

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