Thursday, September 29, 2011

Giveaway Winner

The winner of the coffee cup and Starbucks coffee is:

comment 11-Renea McDowell!! Congratulations Renea. Please send your shipping information to:
meagansfirstkitchen@gmail.com


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies


It's officially fall and I couldn't be happier!  What's better than a chilly day, curling up on the couch in your favorite team's sweatshirt and sipping a hot cup of coffee or apple cider? Did your favorite team win this weekend? Mine didn't-UK's football team has never been good but this year we are just embarrassing and I didn't even watch Florida annihilate us. Nonetheless, I got up Sunday morning and made these pumpkin whoopies for you.
Aren't these just the cutest little things you've ever eaten? I bet you can't eat just one! Actually, I can't eat just three, haha. These little pies are the perfect three-bite treat and the sweet cream-cheese maple filling compliments the pumpkin flavor perfectly!  When I first made this recipe I was hoping they would be good because I love all things pumpkin (pie, cookies, butter, cake, cheesecake, latte, etc) I had NO idea how amazing/addictive these would be. 
 
I take these to work and my co-workers go crazy over them! Seriously, I bet they would rather have these little delights vs. a raise.  Okay, maybe that's a little exaggerated but they are pretty darn good.


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies 
Printable Recipe
Original Source:Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: About 4 dozen whoopie pies

Ingredients:


For the Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar (dark preferred)
1 cup canola oil
1 can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Maple-Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or using a silicone baking mat.


In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

In another bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer), whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until combined.

Using a small cookie scoop or a large spoon drop a heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool on wire rack.


For the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat 2 minutes or until smooth.


Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Assemble the whoopie pie by turning half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.

Keep in air-tight container for up to 5 days in refrigerator.  

Happy Baking!  Don't forget to enter my giveaway, it ends Wednesday evening.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Spicy Roast

When a coworker first told me about "Spicy Roast" I knew I had to try it out.  However, when she told me the 3 ingredients I was doubtful.  How can a dish with only 3 ingredients be good? Much to my surprise, this roast was just what I needed.  It was SUPER-DUPER easy-your crock pot does all the work and it was so tasty.  

If you don't have a crock pot, you may want to invest in one.  You don't have to get an expensive one; in fact around the holidays they go on clearance at a lot of stores.  I work at a large chain pharmacy and last year ours went on sale for $5.00!!!! I was going to buy one to have an extra but a customer bought all 7 we had in stock.  I received my crock pot as a shower gift when I was getting married and it's definitely one of the best gifts we got.  I always felt like using a crock pot wasn't really cooking and it was just for the lazy person.  That was until I was working full time, had a very high energy, demanding dog, and a husband to feed.  Your crock pot is your best friend!  Not to mention, it makes tasty roasts, ribs, chili, soup, etc. 


these 4 things are all you need for a yummy dinner
 Spicy Roast


Ingredients:

Pot Roast, 3-5 lbs.
1 package Auju sauce
1 jar pepperoncini peppers 

Directions:

Place all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours
Do not make the Auju sauce, simply sprinkle the powder over roast, do not add any water and do not drain peppers.





Cooking the roast in the crock pot all day makes it tender and moist and the sweetness of the peppers was lovely.  This dish is full of flavor and re-heats well for a nice leftover lunch, add a bun and have yourself a nice sandwich :)

Do you have a favorite crock pot meal? Don't forget to enter my fall giveaway.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Let's start fall off with a giveaway!

Fall is almost here and in Ky it's been pretty cool the last few days and I'm LOVING IT!  There is nothing I like more than sitting out on my back porch Saturday morning with a nice warm cup of coffee.  Actually, that's not possible right now because my back porch is in demolition-my husband is tearing out our old nasty concrete porch and making a new pretty patio! I am so excited! 


Anyway, let's get to the giveaway.  I told you before in this post that I really enjoy these travel mugs.  I have a few of them and they are great for taking to work using outside, or even inside since they're so cute.  And if you don't like coffee, they are great for tea as well.  Here's what you'll get:
1 coffee travel mug (aqua color)
1 12 oz. bag Starbucks (whole bean) coffee, Breakfast blend

Here is a better picture of the mug, you can see the color a little better:


Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by me :) This giveaway is only open to US and Canadian readers. 

Rules: 

To enter just leave a comment below telling me what your favorite fall activity is.

For extra entries (make sure to leave SEPARATE comments for each extra entry or it will not be counted):

1. Become a follower of Meagan's First Kitchen by clicking on the "Join this site" tab, located on the left sidebar.  


2. Like my facebook page (there is a link on the left sidebar) or you can find it on facebook by searching: Meagan's First Kitchen


3. Post this giveaway on your blog or facebook page, please include link :)

Giveaway will end Wednesday, September 28th at 10:00 PM eastern time.  I will choose the winner by using random.org  and will post the winner on Thursday, September 29th.  Good LUCK! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Banana Bread

Since today is my good friend, Brittany's Birthday I thought I would share one of her recipes.  Besides, is there any better way to use those overly-ripe bananas but to make a quick bread?  I think not.  If you think you can't cook or bake, you're wrong.  For those of you reading this that feel it takes some sort of supernatural talent to bake or you want to boost your kitchen confidence...make this bread!  I'm telling you it's the easiest thing and it never fails! 

This is my friend, Brittany's recipe for banana bread but I added cinnamon to mine-which is why it's a little darker than normal banana bread.  The bread is great without cinnamon but since I love it so much, I add it to just about everything I bake.  :) You can also add walnuts to this recipe but I really prefer it without, but that's just me. 

Banana bread is something I like for breakfast, with my lunch, or for dessert :) It's very versatile in my opinion.  My favorite is to barely warm it in the microwave and spread some cream cheese on top...YUMMY!


Banana Bread   
Printable Recipe

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients:

3 or 4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon(optional)
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour (all purpose)

Directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Prepare loaf pan by spray with non-stick spray.  I also line the bottom of mine with parchment paper.

Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon*, adding flour last.

Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Allow bread to cool completely before inverting pan onto a plate then sprinkle a little sugar on top for some extra sweetness.  

*I'm not sure if using a wooden spoon really matters because I've never tried it without :) It's just one of things where I know the wooden spoon always works so why take a chance.  Next to my iron skillet, a wooden spoon is probably my next invaluable kitchen tool.  If for some crazy reason you don't have one, go get one!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Project Patio

This has nothing to do with food, but I hope you won't mind a post about home projects from time to time.  I really just want to document this experience so I will always appreciate the hard work my husband has done for me.  He works for a landscaping company and one of the perks is that he is extremely handy with yard work and knows how to operate heavy machinery.  Steve works long, hard hours at his job and all week has come home to work 2-4 hours more at our house so I can have a beautiful new patio.

We used to have a little covered patio on the back of our home.  It was nice but didn't do much visually so we decided to build a new patio. When I say we I really mean Steve, he does all the work around here.  I am very excited and so thankful for all he does for me and our home.  He's working all day (SATURDAY) and I just wanted to document the process so I can remember how much of a mess my yard was at one time :)

So, here are some photos of the process thus far (with some pictures of Greta, naturally)
patio after the roof was taken off.  I forgot to take a picture before..oops








pup



the first removal of the nasty concrete


the hubs





Greta LOVES her Frisbee










got it

missed it

got it

missed it










confused










Greta does not like this machine














Steve is growing a beard, hehe











As you can see, I'm taking lots of pictures of this process.  My yard is going to be a mess for a while and my kitchen floor will be too from all he mud they (Steve and Greta) are tracking in.  I'm trying to stay calm and remind myself that it will be worth it in the end :) 

I wish you all a blessed weekend! Oh.....GOOOOOOO CATS!!!! We are playing Louisville in football today!

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