Friday, November 17, 2017

Pecan Pie Bars

You’ll find these on my Thanksgiving buffet every year. I go with Pumpkin Pie instead of Pecan so these fit nicely with my menu. They are really quite good. The honey, orange and lemon zest in the recipe make them a little different than most and people will tell you they are delicious as soon as they take their first bite of one.  Try them and see for yourself!

Pecan Pie Bars

1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


1 pound unsalted butter
1 cup good honey
3 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 pounds pecans, coarsely chopped

For the crust, beat the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 18 by 12 by 1-inch baking sheet, making an edge around the outside. It will be very sticky; sprinkle the dough and your hands lightly with flour. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is set but not browned. Allow to cool.

For the topping, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, and zests in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until the butter is melted, using a wooden spoon to stir. Raise the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and pecans. Pour over the crust, trying not to get the filling between the crust and the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Cut into bars and serve.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
Print Friendly and PDF

Brussels Sprouts With Country Ham and Honey

I love my Brussels Sprouts.  A holiday meal just wouldn't be complete without them.  Even though you can buy fresh sprouts all year round, they are best at their peak season from October through February. That's when you can find the best to choose from.  You want to always make sure they are bright green and the smaller the better.  The bigger the sprout, the more bitter they are, so look for the smallest you can find for a sweeter taste.

Brussels Sprouts With Country Ham and Honey

3 lbs. Brussels sprouts, washed and cleaned
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups country-ham, torn or shredded
1/2 cup finely diced sweet onion
1/2 cup honey
salt and pepper to taste 

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Do not cover pot. Once water is boiling, add a half teaspoon of salt per quart of water.  Add Brussels Sprouts and cook for 5-10 minutes until knife inserted in stem or center comes out easily.  Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter and the olive oil.  Saut√© the onion and garlic until just tender.  Add the Brussels sprouts and ham, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the honey and cook until the sprouts are coated. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sweet Potato Casserole

I can't remember a Thanksgiving or Christmas that this dish was not front and center on our table.  My Mom used to say it was a "southern thing!" Everyone loves it and it goes fast. Creamy, sweet, and smooth sweet potatoes with a crunchy pecan crusted topping. This is my kind of holiday casserole!

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (3 pounds of yams)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter

Heat oven to 400 degrees.   Line a baking sheet with foil and bake the potatoes for about an hour or until soft and tender.  Let cool before peeling.  Turn oven down to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, add sweet potatoes sugar, eggs, vanilla and milk. With an electric mixer, beat until smooth.  Add in butter and beat again until well blended. Pour in a buttered 9 x 13 casserole dish and smooth out the top with a rubber spatula.  Set aside.

Pecan Topping

2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix together brown sugar and flour.  Add melted butter and pecans and mix with until crumbly.   Sprinkle topping all over the top of the sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until browned and hot and bubbly around the sides. 

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

I love these little moist pumpkin cakes with a creamy cheesecake filling. I made them over the weekend and packed them up to freeze for Thanksgiving...not without having a few first!  You'll love these!

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

1 (8 oz. package) cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese, egg, flour and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Set aside.


1 cup Libby's Pumpkin Puree
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

To make the cakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line small muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda and blend well. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. Fill each muffin tin about 2/3 full (about a tablespoon or so) with batter and then add about a teaspoon or so of cheesecake filling on top.

For the topping

1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Sprinkle each cake with with topping and bake at 350 degrees for about 12-14 minutes. Very addicting!

Photography is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home
Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Chicken Soup with Penne Pasta and Kale



I made this great chicken soup recipe yesterday to pack up and store in the freezer just in case I need it this winter if I get sick.... didn't make it to the freezer my friends. I am having it now and it is so good! It's just perfect ...for the sniffles on a cold and rainy winter day.

Chicken Soup with Pasta and Kale

1 chicken, about 3 1/2 lb., quartered
1 lb. Ditalini Pasta (or any tubular pasta)
2 yellow onions, quartered
4 celery stalks, quartered
4 carrots, quartered
6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt


1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook Pasta as directed on package. Drain and set aside for later.



Put the chicken in a large stockpot or Dutch oven and add water to cover by 1 1/2 inches. Cook over medium-high heat and skim any foam from the surface. Add the onions, celery, carrots, parsley, thyme, pepper and salt. Return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let cool slightly. Remove the meat from the bones and set aside to chop or tear into bite sized pieces to equal about 2 cups. You can freeze or refrigerate any left over chicken.

Once meat has been removed, return the skin and bones to the pot and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Next, pour the contents of the pot through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl, pressing down on the vegetables and other solids to extract the flavor. Then discard what is left in the strainer. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 6 cups of the stock you just made with the kale and cook for 10 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, celery, carrots, and pasta and heat through, about 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately. 

Photograph is copyrighted and the property of ©Welcome Home.
Print Friendly and PDF