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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sage Advice: Try Pumpkin Grits!

Cinnamon Roasted Chicken with Pumpkin Sage Grits
Grits.  They are the ultimate comfort food for Southerners.  Their mild flavor is perfect for add-ins such as cheese, peppers, shrimp and most any savory flavor.  I found an intriguing recipe online that features cinnamon roasted chicken and pumpkin (you knew it) grits and decided it must be next up for a try out in CindysCozyKitchen!  The pumpkin flavor is mild, but delectable, and serves as a delicious backdrop to the cinnamon-coated chicken.

Cinnamon Coated Chicken Ready to Roast
 Cinnamon Roasted Chicken with Pumpkin Sage Grits
adapted from a recipe on

6-8 skinless, boneless chicken breast tenderloins
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 t salt divided
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cups instant grits
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
24 leaves fresh sage
1 t butter
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (can be omitted to reduce calorie count)

Stir and Crisp in Butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange chicken in baking dish. Drizzle chicken with oil and sprinkle with 1 t of the salt, cinnamon and black pepper on both sides.  Roast in oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Heat butter in small frying pan until melted, add 16-18 leaves of sage.  Cook and stir over medium-high heat until sage becomes crisp and browns.  Crumble.

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Stir in grits until combined.  Stir in pumpkin, a tablespoon of the crumbled sage and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat, stir in cheese.

To serve, spoon grits onto dinner plates.  Crumble additional crisped sage over chicken.  Garnish grits with fresh sage leaves.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tricked Out Ogre Treats

Li'l Ogre Cupcakes

Still on the pumpkin kick, I found that I had bits and pieces to make something for Halloween.  Since tomorrow is the day when the spooks come out to haunt, there was no time to waste!  I started with a pumpkin cupcake, naturally, added a nice buttercream frosting, but the real fun began with multi-colored sprinkles, some pumpkin pie flavored candy corn, edible googly eyes and bones!  The result was an ogre cupcake that is as much fun to ogle as it is to eat!

Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe
2 1/4 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
2 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, pumpkin pie spice in a bowl.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs; add pumpkin, mix.  Alternate adding dry ingredients with milk and blend until smooth after each addition.  Spoon batter into well greased and floured or paper lined muffin tins.  Bake at 375 about 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in middle of cupcake comes out clean.  *This recipe makes some slight changes to the pumpkin cupcake recipe posted previously, with a little less sugar and using pumpkin pie spice.  

 Buttercream Frosting Recipe
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 t salt
1 t almond extract
4 T milk or heavy cream

Cream butter in mixer.  Sift powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl.  Mix all together on low speed until the sugar and cocoa are incorporated.  Increase speed to medium and add almond extract and milk or cream.  Beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth.  Add more milk/cream if frosting is too thick.  This frosting works well to spread or use in a pastry bag to pipe.   

All Treats, No Tricks!