Savor the Seasons

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread


Happy November! November is pumpkin season  and what better way to celebrate  than by making peanut butter pumpkin bread from the Savor the Seasons cookbook. I made it for our “Friendsgiving” and it was a hit at the party. It is easy to make and tastes delicious! It is also a good alternative to pumpkin pie if you still want to serve something sweet at Thanksgiving.

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 10oz package peanut butter chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a medium bowl. Combine the pumpkin, water, oil and eggs in a mixing bowl and beat until blended. Add the flour mixture gradually, beating constantly until blended. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Pour into three greased and floured 5 by 9 inch loaf pans or seven greased and floured miniature loaf pans. Bake 55 to 70 minutes for the standard loaf pans or 45 to 65 for the miniature loaf pans. You will know they are done when you can insert a tooth pick and the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes.

Yield: 3 large loaves or 7 miniature loaves

Savor the Seasons

Melon Manchego Wraps


Melon Manchego Wraps

Do you need a quick appetizer that is both delicious and impressive? Melon and prosciutto is a classic Italian treat, but add in some Manchego and its even more delicious.

This recipe is easy and there’s no cooking involved! Simply cut the fruit and cheese to size and wrap with the prosciutto.  A couple tips, however: I found that the Manchego cut to ½” slices was still overpowering the melon, so I’d suggest thinner slices if your knife skills can handle it.  Additionally, I’d suggest wrapping just the middle of the melon/cheese with prosciutto, which means you need a skinny piece of ham.  I used larger pieces, which covered the whole melon slice, and it would look much prettier if the other layers are visible.  Personally, I don’t enjoy dates, so I left the dates out of some of my wraps and they were especially delicious with just the ham, melon and cheese.

This recipe is a great option if you need a quick appetizer- and it would travel well! It would also be ok to assemble ahead and leave at room temperature for a couple hours.  Try them and enjoy!

The recipe:

 

Melon Manchego Wraps

Savor the Seasons, page 32

 

“This refreshing summer treat brings together savory prosciutto and manchego cheese with sweet melons. Substitute the melon with sliced dates and apples or other seasonal fruits of your choosing.”

 

8 dried pitted dates

3oz Manchego cheese, cut into 16 ½” inch thick slices

16 cantaloupe slices

8 slices prosciutto, cut into halves lengthwise

 

Cut the dates into haves lengthwise. Place a date half and a slice of Manchego cheese on each cantaloupe slice.  Wrap with a slice of prosciutto, securing with wooden picks.  You may substitute 2 Granny Smith apples for the cantaloupe, if desired.  Slice the apples into 16 wedges and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.

Yield: 16 servings

Savor the Seasons · Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread


Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread
This recipe was a hit at a friends baby shower recently! It has just the right amount of sugar and pumpkin to leave you wanting another bite! I love the miniature loaves for sharing with family and friends! This versatile recipe can be served at breakfast or dessert.

What you’ll need:
3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 10oz package peanut butter chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a medium bowl. Combine the pumpkin, water, oil and eggs in a mixing bowl and beat until blended. Add the flour mixture gradually, beating constantly until blended. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Pour into three greased and floured 5 by 9 inch loaf pans or seven greased and floured miniature loaf pans. Bake 55 to 70 minutes for the standard loaf pans or 45 to 65 for the miniature loaf pans. You will know they are done when you can insert a tooth pick and the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes.

Yield: 3 large loaves or 7 miniature loaves

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Savor the Seasons · Uncategorized

Brownie Mint Squares


Tis the Season! These brownie mint squares are the perfect dessert to bring to any holiday party or cookie exchange.  The prep is a bit more than your average brownie mix but the result are SO WORTH IT. People will be talking about these treats for many Christmas’ to come! The mint layer on top is what really sets these above the rest. Of course following the cookbook recipe for this layer is the way to go, however for those events that you just don’t seem to have the time I do have a little shortcut in mind ☺

What you’ll need:

For the brownies:

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I recommend Bakers brand chocolate bars)

4 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

For the mint layer:

½ cup (1 stick) butter softened

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1.4 cup crème de menthe

¼ cup (1/2 stick butter)- Yes that’s 3. 5 sticks of butter total!

1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips

3 tablespoons water

For the brownies; heat 1 cup butter and the unsweetened chocolate in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter and chocolate are melted, stirring frequently.

Let stand until cool. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the chocolate mixture with the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan and bake for 30 minutes.

For the mint layer:

Mix ½ cup butter, the confectioners’ sugar, crème de menth and half-and-half in a bowl. Spread over the brownie layer. Refrigerate until completely chilled. Heat ¼ cup butter, the chocolate chips, and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter and chocolate are melted, stirring frequently. Pour over the mint layer. Refrigerate until chilled. Cut into small squares to served! (I sprinkled peppermint flakes on top to add a little extra holiday cheer☺ )

Shortcut:

If you’re short of time it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these tasty treats, skip the instructions for the mint layer and use andes mint chips instead, just pour on warm brownies immediately after taking them out of the oven. Spread melted chocolate evenly on the brownies. Refrigerate until a hard layer forms then cut and serve!

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Savor the Seasons · Uncategorized

Best Ever Ginger Snaps


Best-Ever Ginger Snaps  (pg 116, Savor the Seasons).  The ingredients are fairly simple and include the following-

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the Best-Ever Ginger Snaps, you preheat the oven to 350 degrees and combine all
Ingredients except the butter and molasses; the butter is ‘cut into’ the flour mixture and then molasses are added.  This forms a dough, which is then rolled into 3/4-1 inch balls and those are covered in sugar.  The dough balls are then baked for 12-15 minutes or until brown.  These are delicious and not too sweet; they’re perfect for holiday parties (can be used for Thanksgiving and Christmas) as well as fun cookie exchanges during the holidays!

Junior League of Tampa · Recipes · Savor the Seasons · soup

It’s not fall until you’ve tried Curried Pumpkin Bisque!


Fall is here! If you are looking for an impressive dish for a dinner party or an interesting starter for Thanksgiving dinner, try the Curried Pumpkin Bisque from The Junior League’s Savor the Seasons cookbook (page 50).  Start to finish, it only took 30 minutes, so it would work great during the week, too.  The combination of flavors was great and the rich, creamy taste would be wonderful on a cool fall night (although we enjoyed it on a warm fall night, it is Florida after all).

All of the ingredients are easily found, especially the pumpkin puree during this season.  I purchased lump crab rather than jumbo lump crab, as it saved about $4 per container.  The crab is a little pricy, but well worth it!  The directions were clear and accurate.  I noticed the soup thickened nicely from the cornstarch base.  Once assembled, it would probably hold well if left on low heat with occasional stirring.  I followed the recipe as written, but would probably use half and half or whole milk instead of heavy cream next time, just to make it a bit less rich.  We didn’t have cognac, so I used a bit of sherry instead and finished it with chives on top for a bit of oniony taste.  I imagine the cognac would be wonderful.

I wanted to keep things festive so I served it in a gourd, as was suggested in the cookbook.  It is really easy (I promise!) and looks quite fancy.  If you choose to serve the soup in a gourd, there are a ton of colorful and interesting choices available in stores right now- all types and colors of pumpkins, as well as squash of different colors and shapes, so get creative!  You basically just need something with enough space to hold a couple ladles of soup and the ability to flatten the bottom so it sits evenly.  I went with the standard acorn squash, which is generally available all year.  I thought the green skin was a nice contrast to the orange soup.

After scooping out the seeds, I thought the “bowl” should be a bit larger, so I used a pairing knife to carve out a larger and more symmetrical space.  The uncooked squash provides tons of carving possibilities.  If you are more creative and crafty, you could even carve out a shape (this was not in my skill set)!  And don’t forget some crusty bread for dipping!  We had a side salad with blueberries and almonds for some additional greens.  It was husband approved!

Curried Pumpkin Bisque

1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 tsp ground ginger or 2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger  (I used ground)
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, melted
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin puree
4 c chicken broth
2 c heavy cream
2 c fresh lump back fin crab meat, flaked
salt and pepper to taste
Cognac (optional)
fresh or dried parsley (I used fresh chives)

Cook the onion, garlic, curry powder, ginger, nutmeg and Tabasco sauce in the butter in a stockpot until the onion is tender, stirring frequently.  Stir in the cornstarch and cook until thickened.  Add the pumpkin and broth and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the cream and crab meat.  Cook until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.  Season with salt and pepper.  Ladle into soup bowls.  Pour a splash of cognac over each serving and sprinkle with parsley.  Yields 8-10 servings.

“Out of your gourd”
For a gourmet presentation at your autumn dinner or Thanksgiving feast, serve Curried Pumpkin Crab Bisque in colorful gourds, such as acorn squash.  Slice a bit of the rounded base of the gourd to help it lay flat, and line the inside bottom with foil to ensure the soup doesn’t leak.  Garnish with small pieces of crab, a dash of cognac and fresh parsley.

butter, onions, spices

presentation

Appetizer · Bacon · Savor the Seasons

Bacon and Swiss Tarts…. did someone say BACON?


Jane, from our cookbook committee, tried a new appetizer from our Culinary Collection!

I chose a simple recipe from Savor the Seasons to try for the first time. Bacon and Swiss Tarts sounded like the perfect savory treat for us. There are few ingredients and it isn’t the kind of recipe that keeps you in the kitchen forever.

I gathered all of my ingredients, chopped my tomatoes and mixed up the filling for my tarts. After that, I greased my mini muffin pan and started placing the biscuit dough in each hole. The recipe was perfect to fit into all of the 36 of the muffin spaces on my baking pan. Because the biscuits will rise when baking, be careful not to overfill your tarts. I had a few that were over filled and they turned out a little lopsided. The baking time of the recipe was spot on with my oven and, as you can see in the pictures, they are colorful on the plate to serve. They would make a great brunch recipe, as well as, a starter for your meal.

My husband and I really enjoyed these. I am a southern girl, so I love anything with biscuit dough! If you want to try these at home here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Bacon and Swiss Tarts

1 (10-count) can flaky biscuits

8 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled

1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped

½ small onion, chopped

3 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded

½ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon basil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut each biscuit into thirds and press into greased miniature muffin cups. Combine the bacon, tomatoes, onion, Swiss cheese, mayonnaise and basil in a bowl and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin cups. Do not overfill. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

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Savor the Seasons · The Life of the Party

Flavor Without the Fuss


December, the month when weeks and weekends are filled with back-to-back gatherings where friends, families and colleagues get together to make special memories before the start of a new year. I can never have enough quick and easy recipes handy during this busy time of year. Recipes that require few, simple ingredients, minimal preparation and can be prepared ahead of time will make it easy for you to enjoy the festivities without spending too much time in the grocery store and kitchen. Try out a few of these recipes for your next get together, that all meet my criteria for delivering flavor without the fuss.

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Black Bean and Jasmine Rice Salad

Life of the Party, page 54

2 cups cooked black beans

2 cups cooked jasmine rice

1 cup olive oil

¼ cup Key lime juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

½ to 1 head romaine

½ cup chopped scallions (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Combine the beans and rice in a large bowl. Whisk the olive oil into the lime juice in a small bowl. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over the beans and rice, tossing to coat well. Stir in the scallions and cilantro. Chill, covered, until serving time. Cut or tear the romaine into bite-size pieces. Fold into the salad immediately before serving.You may substitute 2 (15-ounce) cans of black beans for cooked black beans. Rinse and drain the canned beans before preparing the salad. For extra flavor, reduce some balsamic vinegar until it is of a syrupy consistency. Let it cool and drizzle over the salad before serving.

Asparagus Pecan Stack

Life of the Party, page 64

1 ½ pounds fresh asparagus

¾ cup finely chopped pecans

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

¼ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup sugar

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Steam the asparagus in 1 to 2 inches of boiling water for 6 to 7 minutes or until bright green. Rinse under cold water and drain. Layer the asparagus and pecans in an oblong serving dish. Whisk the oil, cider vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl until well blended. Pour evenly over the asparagus. Season with pepper. Marinate, in the refrigerator, for 2 to 3 hours. May be prepared a couple days in advance.

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Sweet Potato Soufflé with Pecan Streusel

Savor the Seasons, page 57

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 stick butter

3 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes

1 cup half-and-half

1/3 stick butter, melted

2 eggs

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine 1 cup brown sugar, the flour and pecans in a small bowl and mix well. Cut in 1/3 stick butter until crumbly. Combine the sweet potatoes, half-and-half, 1/3 stick melted butter, the eggs, ¾ cup brown sugar, the vanilla and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Spoon into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with the pecan topping. Bake for 1 hour.

Dip · Savor the Seasons

Savor the Seasons: Pumpkin Dip


This dip has been a big hit this fall! I realize that the time for pumpkin may be over for some, but I could enjoy this dip paired with gingersnaps and apple slices throughout the remaining holidays! Savor the Seasons also includes a gingersnap recipe, but I did not have a chance to make those yet. Speaking of pairings… I attended a party recently and the host served another variation of pumpkin dip with pretzels and it was surprisingly another good option for salt lovers! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Dip

Pumpkin Dip

Savor the Seasons, page 117

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl and beat until blended and smooth. Chill, covered for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Note: If you’re making this for a small get together you may consider cutting the recipe in half as this makes 8 cups.

Pumpkin Dip

Cookies · Dessert · Savor the Seasons

Holiday Raspberry Cookies


By Juno Paramadevan

I opened up the invite for my friends’ Annual Girls’ Holiday Cookie Exchange and nervously thought about what kind of cookie to make this year. My girlfriends are all great bakers and the cookies keep getting more impressive every year we do this exchange so I knew I needed to make something extra special.

Usually I look up various recipes online and pick the most interesting one (hoping for the best!) but this year since I had purchased all the cookbooks in The Junior League of Tampa’s collection I decided to pour through them to find the perfect recipe. I knew it would be a safer bet than searching online since they have all been well-tested and I have never had a Junior League dessert I didn’t like!

I finally found one that looked really delicious yet easy to make in Savor the Seasons, which of course is the best in the collection for holiday recipes! Holiday Raspberry Cookies seemed like a classic recipe that I had all the ingredients for in my kitchen except for the raspberry preserves. They came out wonderfully and tasted fantastic! The best part was that I experimented with some different fillings including Nutella and peanut butter and they still tasted great! I would highly recommend trying some of your favorite spreads or any variety of preserves like strawberry or apricot. Happy Baking!

Holiday Raspberry Cookies (Savor the Seasons, p. 116)

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) margarine, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Raspberry preserves
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the margarine in a mixing bowl. Beat in the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla and beat until blended. Sift the flour into the mixture and mix well. Roll or pat the dough on a floured work surface. Cut with a cookie cutter and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread preserves over half the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Yield: 4 dozen cookies