My favorite family recipes

Candied Orange Sweet Potatoes November 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 10:40 pm


2 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick (I cubed my sweet potatoes instead)

1 orange, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbs. orange juice

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. finely grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Layer potatoes in a 2-quart baking dish. Top with the orange slices. In a small saucepan melt butter and sugar together over medium-low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in orange juice and vanilla. Pour over potatoes and orange slices. Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and browned, spooning juices over potatoes halfway through the uncovered baking time. Grate nutmeg over the top and serve warm.


Caramel Cream Pumpkin Pie

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 9:54 pm
Tags: , , ,

We had a birthday party to go to today!  Our nephew, Aeris, turned 4!!  I love getting together with Ryan’s family; they are crazy and a lot of fun to be around.  I also like making new dessert recipes to have them try out.  They are my guinea pigs 😉

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law made a pumpkin spice cake and we all loooved it.  Since they all enjoyed a pumpkin cake so much, I figured that I would try making a new recipe for pumpkin pie.  I saw this recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  Even though I don’t like pumpkin pie, I thought that I would give this pie a shot (who can say no to caramel???)

I read through the recipe and felt a little intimidated by the fact that I would have to make my own caramel… you always see chef’s burning their caramel on the Food Networks awesome show ‘Chopped’.  I decided it was worth a shot – if I couldn’t get past this stage of the recipe, I would just make a traditional pumpkin pie.  So, I went to the store and got all of the groceries that I would need to make the pie (I cheated and bought a frozen pie crust).  I also made sure to buy a whole bag of sugar, just in case it took a few tries to get the caramel to turn out right.  This pie was actually a lot of fun to make… I’m not sure if that’s just because I was very excited that I got the caramel to turn out right on my first try or if it was because I got to use my new candy thermometer.  Everyone loved the end product and requested that I make it again for Thanksgiving.  Even my picky-eater nephew, Tyson, had a slice of the pie (see, no one can say no to caramel!)  I made a few minor adjustments to the recipe from my magazine, so here is my version of Caramel Cream Pumpkin Pie…


1 deep frozen pie crust


1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup water

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 cups half-and-half

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

8 egg yolks (keep the egg whites for the topping)

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

2/3 cup water

1 cup pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin (room temperature) (I add about 1/4 cup extra for more of a pumpkin flavor)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup whipping cream

Meringue topping:

8 egg whites

1 2/3 cups sugar

Pinch of salt


Make the caramel:

-Combine the 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup water, and 1 tsp lemon juice in a large saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar has completely melted.  Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until the sugar syrup turns a medium amber color (slightly lighter than a penny), about 10 minutes.

-Take the caramel from the heat and immediately pour in half-and-half; the mixture will bubble vigorously but will calm down quickly.  Return to low heat and stir until the caramel dissolves into the cream.

-Just as you’ve finished the stirring the caramel and cream, combine the dark brown sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment.  Whisk together until well combined.  With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly pour the warm half-and-half/caramel mixture into the bowl and continue whisking until well combined. (You can do this with a large mixing bowl and a whisk; just make sure you keep whisking as you add in the caramel mixture).

-Transfer the mixture to the large saucepan and whisk over medium heat until the mixture thickens to the consistency of mayonnaise, about 8 minutes (mixture will start to foam but settle down as you cook).

-Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and cover the top of the cream completely to keep it from forming a skin.  Refrigerate until cook, about 2 hours.

To assemble:

-Cook your pie crust according to the instructions it came with.

-When the crust has cooked, spread ½ of the caramel cream mixture in an even layer into the pie crust.

-In a medium microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2/3 cup water; let stand several minutes.  Microcook on 50% power (medium), for 1 ½ to 2 minutes or until gelatin is dissolved, swirling mixture every 30 seconds.  Gradually stir the 1 cup pumpkin puree into the gelatin mixture.  Whisk the pumpkin mixture and spices into the remaining half of caramel cream.

-In a small bowl, beat the whipping cream until you achieve stiff peaks and gently fold the cream into the pumpkin/caramel cream mixture. Spread the pumpkin cream over the caramel cream in the pie crust into an even layer.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Meringue Topping:

-In a very large glass bowl, combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt.  Place the bowl over a bain-marie (a large saucepan or Dutch oven, ½ filled with simmering water).  Beat with a hand-held electric mixture until the egg whites are very warm to the touch.  Place a candy thermometer into the mixture to make sure the egg whites have exceeded 160 degrees F, the temperature at which the eggs will be ‘cooked’ and will kill any bacteria, about 15 minutes.  Make sure to beat constantly, otherwise you’ll get sweetened scrambled eggs!

-Remove from heat and, if necessary, continue to beat until stiff shiny peaks form.  Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a star tip.

-Pipe meringue over the entire top of the pie.  If desire, you can add a touch of browning with a kitchen torch.  Serve at once or cover and chill overnight before serving.


Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread October 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 10:52 am

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour

1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Buttered Rum Glaze
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp rum or 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown 2 tablespoons of butter, letting it bubble up and turn a dark golden brown but being careful not to allow it burn (turn black).
  • Once browned, remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the milk (room temperature), return to stove and heat through.
  • Pour the milk and butter into the bowl of standing mixer (fitted with a dough hook) and allow to cool so it is no longer hot but also not cool (about 100-110 degrees F).
  • Once it has reached a warm but not hot temperature add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar and allow to proof (this can take up to 8 minutes, the top will look foamy and the liquid cloudy).
  • Then add the pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Stir until combined then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and knead for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and just slightly sticky. If the dough is too moist, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • While dough is rising, brown another 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.  Making sure sugar evenly absorbs the butter. Set aside.
  • Next, grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.
  • When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip out onto a clean floured surface and knead with hands for 1-2 minutes.
  • Roll dough into a 20×12 inch rectangle.
  • Evenly sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar mixture and press into dough with palms of the hand.
  • Cut the rectangle into 6 strips. Lay strips on top of each other and cut each strip into 6 even squares (cut in half then each half into thirds).
  • Stack strips vertically into the loaf pan.
  • Cover the pan with a clean towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes (I couldn’t wait that long to bake it so I only let it rise for 15 minutes).
  • In the meantime preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
  • After rising in the pan bake for 30-40 minutes or until top is a very deep golden brown.
  • To prepare the glaze, heat the butter, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil then immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum and powdered sugar.



Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole October 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 9:47 am

I may never make regular mashed potatoes ever again! Try this recipe and you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

5 1/2 cups mashed potatoes (around 6-7 large baking potatoes)
1/2 cup milk
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon crispy cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Peel, quarter, and boil potatoes for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Drain potatoes and and beat with a mixer until smooth. Add milk, cream cheese, sour cream, parsley, garlic salt, and nutmeg. Beat at a medium-high speed until nice and creamy. Add salt to taste keeping in mind that the cheese and bacon will add a little salt later.

Spoon into a 9×13 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Top with cheddar cheese and bacon. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese melts.


Pineapple Cooler September 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 2:25 pm


  • 1 large (about 4 pounds) fresh pineapple
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 11 sprig(s) fresh lavender, rosemary, or lemon verbena
  • 1/4 cup(s) fresh lemon juice


  1. Cut the peel from the pineapple, remove the core, and cut the fruit into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Place the fruit in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until the pineapple is crushed but not pureed. Transfer to a large nonreactive pot, add the sugar, 4 cups water, and 3 herb sprigs.
  3. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
  4. Gently press the solids to extract the juice. Cool and stir in the lemon juice. Serve over ice garnished with the remaining herb sprigs.

Grasshopper Mint Pie September 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 10:53 am

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

3 drops green food coloring

1 T. creme de menthe flavoring

1 tub Cool Whip

1 cup chopped mint cookies

1 chocolate or Oreo cookie prepared pie crust


Blend cream cheese and sugar until mixed well.

Add food coloring and creme de menthe flavoring, mix well.

Fold in Cool Whip and chopped mint cookies.

Pour into pie crust.

Cool in refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight.



Butternut Squash Soup September 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cablefamilycooks @ 3:26 pm

Ryan and I went to the farmers market today.  They had all kinds of great vegetables there!  We bought a butternut squash and I knew right away what I was going to do with it… I was going to make butternut squash soup!  I’ve always wanted to make it, so I figured today (a cold, fall day) would be the perfect day to try it.  I took a few different recipes and combined them to make this delicious soup.


Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium sized butternut squash

3 T. butter

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

5 1/2 cups (or 45 ounces) chicken broth

1 medium carrot, chopped

2 medium potatoes, cubed

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup milk

2 oz. cream cheese


-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

-Cut the squash in half.  Drizzle olive oil over the squash.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over it.

-Place squash face-down on a baking sheet.  Bake for 50 minutes or until tender enough to poke with a toothpick.

-Meanwhile, melt butter in a large pot.

-Add onion and garlic.  Saute until tender.

-Pour the chicken broth into the pot.  Add potatoes and carrots.  Bring to a boil.

-Cook for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

-Add squash and mash with the potatoes until the chunks are small.

-Use an immersible hand blender to puree the soup, or transfer to a blender or food processor in batches, and puree until smooth. Return to the pot.

-Season soup with the allspice, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

-Stir in the milk and cream cheese.

-Heat through but do not boil.

-Ladle into bowl and enjoy!