Archive for December 30, 2014

Serenity

Since tomorrow’s New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d share my recipe for a delicious cocktail that I came up with some time ago. If you’d prefer not to have alcohol, just substitute sparkling apple juice (or sparkling grape juice) in place of the banana liqueur and vanilla rum and add a splash of vanilla extract. Either way it’s yummy!!!

And, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 🙂

~Renee

This cocktail would SUPER served tomorrow on New Year's Eve! It's actually great for any time!

This cocktail would SUPER served tomorrow on New Year’s Eve! It’s actually great for any time!

Serenity

For 1 Serving:

4 oz Pineapple Juice

2 oz Orange Juice

1 1/2 oz Banana Liqueur

1/2 oz Vanilla Rum

For about 4 Servings:

2 Cups Pineapple Juice

1 Cup Orange Juice

3/4 Cup (6 oz) Banana Liqueur

2 oz Vanilla Rum

For a pitcher:

4 Cups Pineapple Juice

2 Cups Orange Juice

1 1/2 Cups Banana Liqueur

4 oz Vanilla Rum

Optional for each serving, a splash of grenadine syrup and/or a splash of Sprite.

Also optional: To garnish, strawberries and small pineapple wedges

Mix the fruit juices with the banana liqueur and rum. To each serving, add a splash of the grenadine syrup and/or Sprite, if desired. ENJOY!!!

*NOTE: Either chill ingredients beforehand or you can serve over ice.

**RECIPE AND PHOTO BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2014

All rights reserved.

Out-of This-World Pecan Pie

I never used to care that much about pecan pie. I mean, they were pretty good but I never liked them enough to make many….This pie changed my mind! Now I sometimes CRAVE it…it’s JUST THAT GOOD! I hope you like it just as much as my family and I do! (My oldest daughter Jenny always requests this pie!)

I made my own crust, which I hadn’t done in a loooong time (lazy maybe??) so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Thankfully, it turned out really well and I think that made this pie even better (if that’s possible) than before. I’ll share the pie crust recipe with you soon so be on the look out!

This is all you need...besides the pie crust, that is!

This is all you need…besides the pie crust, that is!

Melt the butter. Add the sugar, vanilla and eggs. Whisk them together.

Melt the butter. Add the sugar, vanilla and eggs. Whisk them together.

Pour in those yummy pecans and mix til they're well combined.

Pour in those yummy pecans and mix til they’re well combined.

Pour the batter into your (regular sized) pie crust. Then, bake about 40 minutes at 350°F.

Pour the batter into your (regular sized) pie crust. Then, bake about 40 minutes at 350°F.

It didn't turn out very "pretty" but MAN, did it taste out-of-this-world good!!! :D

It didn’t turn out very “pretty” but MAN, did it taste out-of-this-world good!!! 😀

Out-of-This-World Pecan Pie

1 Regular pie crust (not deep dish)

1 Stick Butter, melted

1 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

2 tsp Vanilla

1 Cup Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add the pecans and mix well. Pour into the regular pie crust. Bake for about 40 minutes or til the middle is about set. Allow to cool completely and enjoy!

*NOTE: I often double (or even triple!) this recipe to make more pies.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris All rights reserved

 

 

Cinna-Mini Breakfast Rolls

I’m calling these “breakfast” rolls but they’d be so delicious as a snack, brunch item, any time really! Also, they’re easy because you use ready-made refrigerated crescent rolls. I used the reduced-fat ones…I gotta make myself feel a lil better SOMEHOW, don’t I? (Don’t judge! LOL)

There seems to be a cinnamon pattern here lately too…last time I posted Cinnamon Chip Scones…and now Cinna-Mini Breakfast Rolls. Oh well…

Take the crescent rolls out of the can in 4 rectangles. Press the seam together on each one, like I did here.

Take the crescent rolls out of the can in 4 rectangles. Press the perforation together on each one to seal, like I did here.

Spread 1/2 tablespoon of softened butter on each rectangle.

Spread 1/2 tablespoon of softened butter on each rectangle.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over each one. (You'd also sprinkle the chopped nuts here, if desired.)

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over each one. (You’d also sprinkle the chopped nuts here, if desired.)

Roll each rectangle up, stating with the short side, and pinch to seal.

Roll each rectangle up, starting with the short side, and pinch to seal.

Then slice each roll into 5 pieces. (A serrated knife works best, using a back-and-forth "sawing" motion.)

Then slice each roll into 5 pieces. (A serrated knife works best, using a back-and-forth “sawing” motion.)

Place the rolls in an ungreased 8 or 9 inch pan (without crowding them together) and bake.

Place the rolls in an ungreased 8 or 9 inch pan (without crowding them together) and bake.

Whisk together the icing ingredients...

Whisk together the icing ingredients…

...and drizzle it over the cinnamon rolls after they've cooled slightly.

…and drizzle it over the cinnamon rolls after they’ve cooled slightly.

And, enjoy their YUMMY, buttery goodness!!!

And, enjoy their YUMMY, buttery goodness!!!

Cinna-Mini Breakfast Rolls

1 Can Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls*

2 Tbls Butter, softened

3 tsp Sugar

2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 Cup Pecans, finely chopped (optional)

For Icing:

1/2 Cup (heaping) Powdered Sugar

2-3 tsp Apple Juice or Milk

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Open the can of crescent rolls and separate them into 4 rectangles. Press the perforation on each one to seal then spread 1/2 tablespoon softened butter evenly over each, leaving about 1/4 inch at the top. 

3. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over each rectangle. Sprinkle on pecans, if using.

4. Starting at a short end of each rectangle, roll the dough up jelly roll style. Pinch the seam. With a serrated knife, cut each of the dough rolls into 5 pieces. Place the pieces into an 8 or 9 inch pan, being careful not to crowd them together. 

5. Bake 18-22 minutes, or til they’re a nice golden brown. Allow rolls to cool about 5 minutes.

6. In the meantime, whisk together the icing ingredients til they’re the consistency you like and drizzle it over the rolls. 

They’re best served warm but are good any time!

*Regular crescent rolls can be used also.

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris 2014 

All rights reserved 

Cinnamon Chip Scones

For some reason, I’ve really been craving scones with cinnamon chips lately. I don’t really question the “why”…I’m just gonna go with it! 🙂

These scones are delicious for any time…breakfast, snack, whenever the mood (or craving in my case) strikes! The icing is optional but OH so good!!!

Enjoy…

Taking the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt...

Taking the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt…

...and ,using my pastry blender, I cut in the cold butter til the mixture looked like crumbs.

…and ,using my pastry blender, I cut in the cold butter til the mixture looked like crumbs.

Adding those yummy cinnamon chips.

Adding those yummy cinnamon chips.

Here, I'm lightly kneading the dough.

Here, I’m lightly kneading the dough.

Patting the dough into a rectangle that's about a half inch thick.

Patting the dough into a rectangle that’s about a half inch thick.

Using a sharp knife, I cut the dough into triangles. If you want mini scones, just cut those triangles in half.

Using a sharp knife, I cut the dough into triangles. If you want mini scones, just cut those triangles in half.

In this pic, I'm brushing the beaten egg onto the scones.

In this pic, I’m brushing the beaten egg onto the scones…this makes them slightly crunchy on the outside, light and soft on the inside. 😉

They're all baked...now for the cinnamon icing! This is optional but SOOO GOOD!

They’re all baked…now for the cinnamon icing! This is optional but SOOO GOOD!

Now, drizzling the icing on...I can't wait to eat one...okay, maybe more than one...

Now, drizzling the icing on…I can’t wait to eat one…okay, maybe more than one…

Cinnamon Chip Scones

1/3 Cup Cold Butter

1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

3 Tbls Sugar (Sometimes I sneak in a lil more…shhh!)

2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1 Egg, beaten

1/2 Cup Cinnamon Chips

4 Tbls Half & Half (give or take)

1 Egg, beaten (to glaze tops)

For Icing:

1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar

1/4 to 1/2 tsp Cinnamon (depending on your preference)

2-3 Tbls Milk

Heat oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (If you don’t have parchment paper, just leave the pan ungreased.)

In a bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt. With a pastry blender, or two knives, cut in the cold butter til mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in 1 beaten egg, the cinnamon chips and enough half & half so the dough leave the sides of the bowl.

On a floured surface, lightly knead the dough 10 times. Pat the dough into a rectangle that’s approximately 1/2-inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut dough into triangles. (It helps to dip the knife in flour too.) 

Place the scones onto the cookie sheet and brush with the other beaten egg. Bake 10-12 minutes or til light, golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet and allow scones to cool on a wire rack. 

For Icing:

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cinnamon. Whisk in enough milk to get your desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled scones. (And try not to drool too much!)

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris All rights reserved

 

Easy Peasy Pumpkin Pie

I hope everyone had a safe, happy Thanksgiving! We certainly did! I ate too much…as usual on Thanksgiving, with so many good things to choose from…but we had a great family time. I’m thankful all the time for my wonderful family and the closeness we share!

Speaking of sharing…I need to get to the recipe I have to share with you! This is the best pumpkin pie recipe that I’ve ever tried, not to mention that it’s easy as 1-2-3! It’s a great pie for the holidays or ANY time!

Gathering my ingredients. I used pumpkin from the ones we grew this year.

Gathering my ingredients. I used pumpkin from the ones we grew this year.

I just put everything (except the crust, of course!) into the bowl...

I just put everything (except the crust, of course!) into the bowl…

...and mix it together with my mixer til everything's well incorporated.

…and mix it together with my mixer til everything’s well incorporated.

Then I pour it into my deep-dish crust. (Sometimes...depending on the consistency of the pumpkin...I end up with a little left over. I use that in pancakes or something.)

Then I pour it into my deep-dish crust. (Sometimes…depending on the consistency of the pumpkin…I end up with a little left over. I use that in pancakes or something.)

Then, I slip the pie into the oven...and cover the crust with my handy (homemade) crust protector and wait for the yummy goodness!

Then, I slip the pie into the oven…and cover the crust with my handy (homemade) crust protector and wait for the yummy goodness!

Behold the yummy goodness! As Mr Food used to always say, "Oooo, it's so good!" ;)

Behold the yummy goodness! As Mr Food used to always say, “Oooo, it’s so good!” 😉

Easy Peasy Pumpkin Pie

1 Deep-Dish Pie Crust*

1 (16oz) Can Pumpkin or 2 Cups Fresh Cooked Pumpkin

1 (14oz) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)

2 Eggs

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground Ginger

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, with a mixer, combine all ingredients except the pie crust til they’re well combined. Pour into unbaked pie crust. (If you have a lil too much filling, you can use it in pancakes or another recipe.) Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F; continue baking 35-40 minutes more, or til a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Cool completely. When serving, garnish with whipped cream or as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

*Can use 2 regular pie crusts instead of 1 deep-dish crust. 

*Note: I always cover my crusts with a crust protector to keep it from browning too much. If you don’t have any, just cover the crust loosely with aluminum foil. (Or do like my hubby did for me…cut a couple out of those “disposable” oven liners…they work perfect and can be reused!)

**RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY RENEE’S GOURMETS**

©Renee Norris All rights reserved.