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October 15, 2013  | Everyday Recipes
Hundreds of easy and delicious TNT recipes from our recipe family.  Recipes are made with ingredients found in most pantries.  

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October 15,  2013  |  Messages and Recipes

All abut Pumpkins
All about Pumpkins

Pumpkins are versatile. You can bake a pumpkin, steam a pumpkin, sauté a pumpkin, make puree out of a pumpkin, and more. But where a pumpkin really comes into its own is in the baker's kitchen. Pumpkins make favorite pies, moist cakes, interesting breads, and delightful cookies. The flavor is mild, maybe a little earthy. Typically, pumpkin is the canvas for an array of spices. When we think of pumpkin, we think of mixtures of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves found in pumpkin pie.

There are two types of pumpkins—the decorative pumpkins intended for jack-o-lanterns and sweet, pie, or eating pumpkins. The larger decorative pumpkins used for jack-o-lanterns tend to be watery and stringy and are not very good for baking. Pie pumpkins are much better—meatier, smoother, and sweeter.

When choosing pumpkins, select those that are firm and heavy for their size. Avoid those with soft spots or any signs of decay. Inspect carefully any areas that may be soiled with dirt from the field. The rind should be hard. Choose one that is small enough to use at one time since cut pumpkins will not keep as well.

In the right conditions, your pumpkins will keep for two or three months. Store them in a cool, dry location. Space them so that the air can circulate around them. Ideal temperatures are 50-55 degrees.

Once you cut into a pumpkin, it should be refrigerated. Chunks can be kept in your crisper where the atmosphere is moist or in perforated plastic bags for a week or more.
For longer storage, cook your pumpkin, puree it, and freeze the puree. Properly frozen, your puree will keep in the freezer for six months.

Raw pumpkin can also be frozen. Clean and peel the pumpkin. Cut the flesh into one-inch cubes. Place the cubes in freezer-type bags and freeze. Measure out what you need for your favorite recipes. Use within two months.
Dennis, the Prepared Pantry
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Have you ever had one of those bad hair days. Yesterday I not only had a bad hair day but forgot it was Monday. I would like a good excuse, but I don't on why the newsletter was not sent out yesterday. After I got home from a Ollie class (continuing education class) at Tech last night, not once did I remember it was Monday and a newsletter needed to be sent out.

Here is Monday's newsletter (even if it is Tuesday.)
Nancy Rogers

This is a great alternative to a beef, pork or chicken sandwich. Combine these with a soup or salad for a complete meal, or you can serve with corn chips and your favorite dips. You can also use the filling in taco shells or tortillas.
Robbie IN

Shrimp Tostados recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen raw shrimp, thawed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chunky salsa
4 Tostada Shells
1 cup Guacamole
1 cup shredded Muenster cheese or your favorite cheese
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender, about 6-7 minutes. Add shrimp; cook and stir until shrimp are almost cooked. Add black beans and salsa; cook until shrimp are cooked and mixture is hot.

Heat or fry. Tostada Shells. Top with hot shrimp mixture, then with Guacamole and remaining ingredients as desired.
Robbie IN
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This is a favorite sweet potato dish at our house.

Sweet Potato Cranberry Bake recipe

4 large sweet potatoes
2 cups fresh, or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. cold butter

Boil sweet potatoes with water to cover, until tender, about 50 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place half of the potato slices in a greased 2-1/2 quart baking dish. Top with half the cranberries, brown sugar and butter. Repeat layers. Pour orange juice over the top.

Cover and bake at 30 minutes at 350. In small bowl combine the nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon; cut cold butter in with pastry blender. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture, and bake, uncovered for 10 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
Judy (in Alaska)
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This is a great Halloween treat. I like to have it on hand to snack on. Warning! It is hard to stop eating it!

Cracker Jack Popcorn recipe

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
5 quarts popped corn

In saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup and stir until mixture comes to a boil; let boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and soda and pour over popped corn. Stir to coat evenly. Bake in large roaster pan for 1 hour at 225, stirring about every 15 minutes. Let cool, breaking apart, if necessary. Store in a airtight container.

NOTE: You can add a handful of peanuts to syrup before pouring over popcorn.
Judy (in Alaska)
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Pumpkin Chips recipe

Once upon a time, I was working in Raleigh, North Carolina, and living in Minnesota. (Tough commute, by the way.) I found this neat little grocery store that had gourmet jams, great seafood, fresh peanut butter, and pumpkin chips. Those pumpkin chips were really good. Since then, I’ve found that you can make your own and fresher is better. Here’s how:

Pumpkin Chips

1. Preheat your deep-frying oil to 375 degrees.
2. Peel a pie pumpkin. Using a food processor, mandolin slicer, or rotary slicer, slice the pumpkin into thin slices—not more than 1/8-inch thick.
3. Fry the chips a few at a time. Drain on paper towels. Salt to taste.
Dennis, the Prepared Pantry
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Hello Miz Nancy and Felines:

Both of these recipes are from the Recipe Goldmine website. I do not know if they will allow you to use them or not. We have enjoyed them several times, along with the Crockette Rice Pudding recipe on your site.
Julia in PA

Crockette Jiffy Shrimp or Lobster Newberg

1 can cream of shrimp soup
3/4 cup evaporated milk or cream
2 egg yolks, beaten
6 oz. frozen small cooked shrimp, thawed OR 6 oz. frozen cooked lobster meat
4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 Tblsp. dry sherry

Combine all ingredients in a lightly greased crockette. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, stirring once or twice.

Serve over rice, chow mein noodles or in puff pastry shells.
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Crockette Nippy Beans N Franks

45 oz. (about) pork and beans, excess liquid drained
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup barbeque sauce
1/3 cup bourbon
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash cayenne
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 to 1/3 cup real bacon bits
1 pack hot dogs or cocktail franks

Combine all ingredients except hot dogs in a lightly greased crockette or crock. Slice hotdogs into 1/2 inch pieces (cut cocktail franks in half if using) and stir into bean mixture with the bacon bits.

Cover and cook on low for 2 to 6 hours; remove lid and cook another 1 to 2 hours.
Serve with slaw.
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How to Puree Fresh Pumpkin

Can you use fresh pumpkin instead of canned? Yes. We prefer fresh but we suspect that we’re biased. Quite frankly, in many recipes, we have a hard time telling the difference. And we often use commercially canned pumpkin for the convenience.

Cut a sugar or pie pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds.
Place the halves in a baking pan, flesh side down with 3/4-inch of water in the pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees or until the flesh is tender. (For small quantities, you can cook the pumpkin in the microwave.)

Let the pumpkin cool until you can handle it without burning. Scoop the flesh out of the pumpkin and place it in a blender, mill or food processor. Process until smooth.
Often, especially from smaller or immature pumpkins, the puree will not be thick enough—a spoon should stand upright in the puree. To thicken, place the puree in a saucepan and cook, stirring often, until the puree becomes thicker.
Use as you would canned pumpkin. Extra puree freezes well.
Dennis, the Prepared Pantry
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How to Make Your Very Best Pumpkin Pie (PDF)

These bars are so delicious and just perfect for this time of the year.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars recipe


1 pkg. pound cake mix
3 eggs, divided
2 tbsp. butter, melted
4 tsp.pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


In large bowl for an electric mixer, combine cake mix, 1 egg, butter and 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and mix on low speed until crumbly. Press into the bottom of a greased 15x10 inch baking pan. In same bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in milk, the remaining 2 eggs, pumpkin, remaining 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix well. Pour over crust in pan. Sprinkle nuts over top, if using (I didn't). Bake 30 to 35 minutes at 350. Cool on wire rack and chill in the refrigerator. Cut into bars to serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Makes 48 bars.
Judy (in Alaska)
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I want to let Betty in M know that today I made the Blueberry-Orange Nut Bread she posted in a July newsletter, and it was absolutely delicious! I didn't add the nuts to it, as some in our family don't care for them, and they were going to be at our house today. Thank you so much for that recipe, as it is definitely a "keeper".
Judy (in Alaska)

The Search Box is Back
The past several days have been spent trying to speed up the loading of this page.  Many have asked for the search box to return to the page. 
Nancy Rogers



Halloween Recipes 

Jiffy Cake Cornbread recipe

1 box (8.5 oz) Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
1 box (9 oz) Jiffy Golden Yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup water

[Note: Mine was done before 2 hours and a different size pan may cook shorter or longer, just watch closely. ]
Slow Cooker Directions
Grease and flour the sides and bottom of your slow cooker, just like you would for a cake. In a large bowl combine all ingredients with a whisk. Pour into Slow Cooker. Cook on high for about 2 hours, or until firm in the middle. Cut into slices, and serve with honey butter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8x8" pan. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients with a whisk. Pour into pan. Bake for about 40 minutes, until set, and browned. Cut into slices, and serve with honey butter.
The Magical Slow Cooker
Denise in the Villages, FL
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Minute Microwave Cheesecake Mug recipe
1 Serving

2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 egg
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp vanilla
2-4 Tbsp Sugar/sugar
replacement (taste as you go)

Note: The next time I will stir at 45 seconds and after that, probably not at all. Make sure it is well beaten and smooth.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high heat for 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds incorporating all ingredients. Refrigerate until serving.

Optional: Top with fresh fruit, whipped cream and nut meal.
Denise in the Villages, FL
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I'm going to try a cheesecake mug in a little while.

One Pan Skillet Unstuffed Bell Peppers recipe
4-6 Servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 Bell Peppers, any color
1/2 medium onion
1 lb extra-lean ground beef
1-14.5 can whole tomatoes
1-14 oz can chicken broth
1-8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt and pepper,To Taste
1 tsp soy sauce
1 cup uncooked Extra Long Grain rice
1 cup shredded jack cheese
green onions for garnish

Note: I did not do the garnish. I used 1 red pepper and 1 green pepper. The next time I will use 3 peppers. I also used chicken bouillion

Start by dicing two cloves of garlic, 1/2 of a medium onion, and two bell peppers. Reserve some of the diced bell peppers to sprinkle on top. Saute peppers, onions and garlic in two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once the peppers and onions have started to soften, increase heat to medium high and add one pound of extra lean ground beef to the pan. Season with one teaspoon of kosher salt and several turns of fresh pepper. Once the ground beef is cooked, add chicken broth, the can of whole tomatoes (chopped), tomato sauce, and soy sauce. Bring the tomato mixture up to a simmer, then stir in one cup of uncooked extra long grain rice. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat down to low. Let mixture cook 20-30 minutes, or until rice is tender. At the 20 minute mark, start stirring the pan occasionally so the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Once rice is tender, sprinkle the cheese on top. Cover the pan with the lid to let the cheese melt. Garnish with fresh diced bell peppers and green onions.
No 2 Pencil
Denise in the Villages, FL
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Pineapple Coconut Bars recipe
yield 2 dozen

1/2 cup butter
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 pkgs 8oz cream cheese softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 cups crushed pineapple (drained well)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups coconut
2 TBSP melted butter

Mix butter, flour, sugar and press into 9x13 pan. Bake 15 minutes. Cream the
cream cheese, sugar, and milk. Add drained pineapple to creamed mixture and pour over crust. Mix the coconut and 2 TBSP melted butter. Sprinkle over mixture. Bake at 350*
for 15-20 minutes.
Judy in Montana
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5 Minute Microwave Self-Saucing Banana Butterscotch Pudding recipe

1/4 cup SRF (self raising flour)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 Tbsp full cream milk
1/2 ripe banana (small) or 1/4 big, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla/butterscotch essence
2 tbsp white chocolate chunks/nuts/caramel chips

1 Tbsp golden syrup
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup hot water

Note: *That's right, SELF SAUCING in 5 minutes! Not just a cake, SELF SAUCING! I used milk chocolate chips, nuts and honey as I didn't have Lyle's golden syrup. I also sprayed the mug.

Mix together brown sugar, SRF and cinnamon (whisk out all lumps or sift) in a large soup mug. In a small bowl, mix together melted butter, milk, banana and essence. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients until just combined, making sure to get all pockets of flour from the corner of the mug. Stir through the chunks if using.

For sauce: Mix together all ingredients till saucy, slightly thinnish consistency. Pour over the back of a spoon over cake batter in mug Microwave for 1 minute and then 10 extra seconds on HIGH. Serve with ice cream, cream and additional sauce and devour.
An original Choc Chip Uru recipe
Denise in the Villages, FL
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Nancy Rogers
5540 2nd St.
Lubbock, Texas 79416

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