Bacon & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

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I know Christmas decor has been up in stores for awhile and some radio stations already have 24/7 Christmas music but I just felt the excitement of all of the upcoming holidays this week.

It’s like the excitement you feel when you’re looking forward to that girls’ trip you’ve had planned with your besties or a special anniversary trip with your sweetie. Planning and dreaming about it is just as much part of the experience as taking the trip. The anticipation is half the fun.

For me, that buzzing of holiday excitement doesn’t happen just because I see Christmas decor in the stores. It happens when I realize how close they are — next week! Thanksgiving is kicking off the holiday season and I, for one, am stoked for some family time and PIE. :)

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These mushrooms were a spur of the moment idea and a Saturday night experiment with my hubby. After a little tweaking, I really loved how they turned out! Bits of bacon are stuffed inside (always a nice surprise for your tastebuds ;)) and then topped with a garlicky, spinach filling and covered with allll the cheese. Mmm, I think I need to go make some more…

Bacon & Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms; Recipe or Not

  • Servings: approx 12 mushrooms
  • Time: Prep: 20 minutes; Cook: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 10 oz. mushrooms with stems (I used baby Portobellas)
  • 1 handful spinach leaves
  • 1-2 slices cooked bacon or turkey bacon*
  • 1 c. shredded fontina cheese (you could also use mozzarella or Parmesan)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 t. dried thyme
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 T. olive oil, divided

Preheat oven to 400º. Clean the mushrooms well, removing any dirt that may be on them. Carefully remove the stems by twisting gently at the base. Set the stems aside. In a food processor or blender, combine the mushroom stems, spinach leaves, garlic cloves, dried thyme, salt, and 1 T. olive oil. Pulse until there are no longer any large pieces of mushroom or garlic and the consistency is fairly smooth. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil, drizzle on 1 T. olive oil and spread around with clean hands. Place the mushrooms on the baking sheet, tops down. Tear or chop the bacon into really small pieces and place in the cavity of the mushroom. Next, cover the bacon with the mushroom/spinach mixture. Gently press & stuff to get as much as you can in the mushrooms. Top with the fontina cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.

*If you’re going to prepare a whole package of bacon, I recommend baking it. Then you can continue working on the mushrooms and filling while it bakes instead of having to keep an eye on it.

Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potato & Corn

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One thing I love about food is the emotional connection we have with it.

That may sound hokey but doesn’t it seem like any time you eat chicken pot pie (or chicken noodle soup) you feel just a little more at peace and that all is right with the world? Anything you’ve been worried about fades to the background… at least for a moment. But sometimes a moment is all you need to see things in a new light.

Just some veggies, chicken, broth, flour, and butter… it’s remarkable to me that a simple dish has the power to affect us that way.

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The sweet potato & corn lend a slight sweetness to this savory dish. There’s only one pie crust giving just enough richness to keep that comfort food status but isn’t overly rich. I’ve written chicken in the recipe but you could sub in leftover Thanksgiving turkey if you need to use it up.

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Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potato & Corn; Recipe or Not

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 60mins including cooking time
  • Print

  • 1 pie crust (If you want to make your own, I used this recipe.)
  • 1 sweet potato, diced (about 1-1.5 cups)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (small = about the size of a tennis ball)
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 lb. cooked & shredded chicken
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 t. dried parsley
  • 1/4 t. ground sage
  • 1 c. chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 c. milk (can use non-diary milk)
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2-3 T. olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

If you’re making the pie crust yourself, do that first and store the crust in the fridge for later. Heat the olive oil in a medium-large pot over medium heat. (If you have cookware that is stovetop & oven safe, use that.) Once the oil is heated, throw in the sweet potato, onion, celery, and a pinch of salt & pepper. Let this cook for 4-5 minutes until the onions become translucent. Next, preheat the oven to 375° and add the chicken, corn, parsley, sage, and another pinch of salt & pepper. Cook for a few minutes to let the corn thaw.

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with a few tablespoons of the chicken broth or milk making sure there are no clumps. Add the cornstarch mixture, chicken broth, and milk to the pot; cook for a few minutes. Give the filling a quick taste and add more salt & pepper if needed. If you’re not using oven-proof cookware, carefully transfer the pot pie filling to a 9″ pie pan or baking dish. Get the pie crust out and roll it into a circle that will cover the pan. Carefully cover the baking dish with the crust and trim up the edges. Put the baking dish on a larger sheet pan in case the pot pie bubbles over in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is flaky and brown.

Tip: To make transferring the pie crust easier, fold it in half on a vertical into a half circle. Fold the half circle in half so the dough is folded over on itself and is a triangular shape like a large piece of pie. Put the folded over, pointed edge in the center of the pan then carefully unfold the crust to cover the whole pan.

Autumn Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

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I have lots to share today so be sure to read all the way through!

Sometimes my favorite recipes are born out of necessity.

We indulged in some really good food the first two weeks here in Wisconsin. It was so fun trying new restaurants and there were so many great meals to choose from. I had all this inspiration to create the ultimate mac and cheese because, you know, that’s what you do when you move to America’s Dairyland.

However, I have yet to create the ultimate mac and cheese because after all that great food, I was definitely craving something much much lighter. (I promise to still create the ultimate mac and cheese though. :))

So that’s where this salad came in and I loved it from the first time making it (trust me, that doesn’t always happen). It’s super simple, fresh, and the dressing is my favorite part. It’s a slightly sweet, light vinaigrette that really ties in well with the apples and walnuts.

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Ok, first announcement — printable recipes! I’m very excited about this and hope this is helpful for you to print out recipes.

And second announcement — Join me this Saturday, November 1st at 1pm CDT as I talk Thanksgiving dinner with Offers.com. I’ll be doing a live Google Hangout chat about helpful appliances and tips. I’m really honored to have this opportunity and would love for you to join! Click here to check it out. You can also check back here on Recipe or Not on Nov. 1st at 1pm CDT to watch the live chat. 

Autumn Salad with Maple Vinaigrette; Recipe or Not

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15 mins
  • Print

For the salad:

  • 2 handfuls of mixed greens
  • 1 cup of cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 apple, diced
  • handful of walnuts, chopped
  • pinch of shredded Parmesan

For the dressing:

  • 2 T. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 T. maple syrup
  • 1/2 t. dijon mustard
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a container with a lid and shake for 10-15 seconds until everything is completely blended together. Toss the greens, chicken, apple, walnuts, and Parmesan with the dressing.

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Fall Recipe Roundup

Hey! Hope your week is going well!

While I’m still adjusting to my new home, I thought it would be fun to go through my site and find some of my best fall recipes to put together in one post. There are a lot of good recipes that get further and further in the archives. It’s time to bring them back to the spotlight!

Baked Maple Doughnuts

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Spiced Oatmeal Cookies — my most viewed recipe of all time!

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Roasted Poblano & Corn Chowder

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Baked Pumpkin French Toast with Pecan Streusel Topping

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Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage & Goat Cheese

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Pumpkin Bars with Gingersnap Crust

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Chai Spiced Muffins & Surprise! I moved to Wisconsin!

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Surprise! I now live in Wisconsin. I didn’t mention anything on here about moving because it has been a WHIRLWIND of a thing. Like pack up in two weeks and BOOM, hubs and I apartment hunting in Wisconsin for his new job. Yay! I’m very excited for him.

My hubby is a graphic designer and he got a job in a town just north of Milwaukee. We’ve both lived in Oklahoma our whole lives and while we will always love Oklahoma, we were ready to experience life in another part of the country. So we took it! Quit our jobs, packed up, and made the long drive up North… which means I need to order snow boots. STAT. It’s been crazy at times but so far a fun adventure. :)

I was really, really going to try and post these last week but it turns out when you uproot your life and you’re in the middle of figuring out your new life, your brain doesn’t have enough bandwidth to write even a sentence. Or at least mine didn’t. And it felt insignificant to try and just write about chai spiced muffins when SO MUCH was happening in my life. It feels good to finally share it with you.

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Now we can sit down to these chai spiced muffins. :)

In general, I like to keep my breakfast healthy but I cannot resist adding a little indulgence in the fall. These muffins are delightful on their own with the cozy chai spices but adding a little glaze sends them over the top.

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Chai Spiced Muffins; Recipe or Not

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 30mins
  • Print
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 T. ground flax, optional
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • scant 3 T. chai spiced tea (6 individual size tea bags), ground in a coffee or spice grinder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. milk
  • 3 T. butter, melted

For the glaze:

  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 T. milk
  • pinch of salt
  • sprinkle of cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 400º. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Evenly distribute in a greased or lined muffin pan, bake for 18-20 minutes until the muffins are starting to brown a little and a toothpick entered in the center comes out clean.

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Savory Pumpkin Soup

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I know pumpkin is already here and in everything we could possibly pumpkin-spice-ify. (<– Can that be a new word?)

But still — PUMPKIN!!! Yay! First pumpkin recipe of the season!

I took the savory route though and it is deeeelish. It’s like fall in a bowl.

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I think soup is best made by taste, especially when it comes to seasonings. In order to share the recipe with you, I did measure and record how much I put in it but I want to encourage you to taste the soup along the cooking process. Salt, specifically, will need to be done by taste. Put those tastebuds to good use!

Savory Pumpkin Soup; Recipe or Not

serves 2-4

  • 1 can pumpkin puree (make sure it’s pure pumpkin with no spices added)
  • 1 1/2 c. low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/2 small onion, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 – 1 t. ground sage
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • small pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. cream or milk
  • pepita seeds & crumbled bacon for topping
  • 1-2 T. olive oil

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once heated, sauté the onions for a few minutes with a pinch of salt. Add in the sage, garlic powder, and black pepper, cook for a minute. Then add the pumpkin puree and vegetable stock, stir or whisk until combined and the consistency is smooth. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. OPTIONAL: for a totally smooth soup, puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender (I did not do this step). After the soup has simmered, stir in the cream or milk. Top with pepita seeds and crumbled bacon. Enjoy!

 ***Like this recipe? Share it with a friend and if you want free weekly recipes, click ‘Get recipes!’ on the top of the sidebar and enter your email address.