Sunday, October 31, 2010

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

First off... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!! Did you do anything for for Halloween? This year, the hubs and I were pretty lame when it came to halloween, but we can blame it on the house. Daniel and his Dad worked their butts off on our house this weekend. They did a great job and got a lot done. I am so thankful for so many of our family members who have helped us SO MUCH with this house. :) Anyways...tonight we are very excited to be giving out candy to adorable ghosts and goblins for the first time ever. Yes, the first time ever as "grown-ups." It's the little things in life...

Tonight we're going to drink some pumpkin beer, eat pumpkin pasta (if it's a hit, will post recipe soon) and enjoy a nice evening at home giving out candy.

Anywho on Friday I made this fabulous coffee cake for the weekend. I had a craving for an apple coffee cake and this hit the spot. My Mom found the recipe in the Richmond Times Dispatch...I modified it a is my version:


1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter, cold, cut into small pieces
2 t. cinnamon
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans


3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. baking soda
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 T. flax seed
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
2 cups non-fat vanilla yogurt (18 oz.)
3 medium apples, Granny Smith, diced


-Preheat oven to 350. Generously grease and flour a bundt pan.

-Streusel: In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, 3/4 cup flour, the cold butter pieces and cinnamon. Mix w/fork until crumbly and butter is blended in well. Stir in chopped pecans. Set aside.

-Cake: In a bowl, combine 3 1/4 cups flour, baking powder and baking soda. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract and vanilla yogurt. Add flax seed. Beating on low speed of mixer, beat in flour mixture just until blended.

-Spoon about 3 cups of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the streusel mixture and the apples, then 1/2 cup of the streusel mixture. Spoon remaining batter over streusel apple layer. Top with remaining streusel. Press streusel down into batter lightly.

-Bake cake for 55-60 minutes or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Hold a baking sheet over top of cake and carefully invert. Remove pan; cool completely. Move to a serving plate if desired.

*This recipe is a little tedious, but totally worth it. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Firecracker Prawns

My wonderful father in law is here this weekend helping with some house work. When he arrived last night we had a nice dinner of firecracker prawns over brown rice, broccoli and pineapple. It was great and something I'll def. make again. Very easy, too.


1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1 jalapeño peppers
1/4 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems chopped, plus 1-2 tablespoons chopped for garnish
1 bunch green onion, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs prawns, peeled and devined


-Mix the hoisin sauce, orange juice, chile, cilantro, onion, and oil in a large 8x8x2 inch baking dish. Add the prawns and toss to coat.
-Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to marinade. If the shrimp are frozen, refrigerate overnight to thaw shrimp.
-Preheat oven to 375°F.
-Bake for 20 minutes until shrimp is cooked through.
-Garnish with more cilantro and green onion, if desired.

-Serve over brown rice.

Serves 8.
Make ahead: Cook the cooked shrimp and cover. Reheat in a 350°F oven for five minutes and serve.
**You can also make this as an appetizer...this is actually how I initially had this recipe and I loved it, but thought it would make a good meal over brown rice. I was right, but like I's just as yummy as an appetizer.

Well...the men are working away...maybe I should go help? ;)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

This Pumpkin Bread is the best...the best ever. It is a family recipe from my Mom's side of the family. Mom always makes it in the Fall and it's a tradition to have it with our Thanksgiving meal. I love this pumpkin bread any time of day. My favorite thing is to make a pumpkin bread and peanut butter sandwich for lunch...I so look forward to these lunches! It will also make your house smell delicious while baking...mmmmm...


1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup oil (I use half oil and half applesauce)

2 eggs

1 c. pumpkin

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cloves

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup raisins - optional

1/2 cup chopped nuts - optional


1. Beat together sugar, oil and eggs.

2. Stir in pumpkin

3. Sift dry ingredients together and add.

4. Add water and raisins.

5. Pour in to greased loaf pan.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes.

A Thanksgiving tradition! Enjoy

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spaghetti Squash w/Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti squash....butternut squash...acorn name it, I LOVE me some SQUASH! :) Here in the Hoffman household we have had many a squash lately (well, also lots pumpkin foods too). Yum, yum, yum. Below is the recipe for what was for dinner tonight. It was different, yet delish. The recipe used spaghetti squash as the "pasta" of the dish...I have heard this done many times, yet have not tried it...well until tonight. I have to say, great idea! The meal has all the fun and flavor of a traditional spaghetti and meatballs, but without the carbs and high calories. I have to be honest and note that I just used Trader Joe's turkey meatballs...I did not make my own tonight, so had to work w/the recipe differently. Nevertheless, everything still turned out great. Happy cooking!

Spahetti Sqush w/Turkey Meatballs
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4


1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs.) halved lengthwise
1 T. plus 1 t. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 t. chopped fresh oregano
1/2 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 T.)
1 T. dried breadcrumbs
8 ounces lean ground turkey
8 ounces mushrooms (about 3 cups)
1 cup low-sodium, fat free chicken stock
4 ounces spinach (about 5 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Spoon out seeds, season cut sides of squash with 1/4 t. salt. Bake, cut sides down, on a baking sheet until tender, about 45 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Scrape flesh into strands using a fork. Let drain, covered to keep warm, in a colander set ove a bowl.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 t. oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring, until soft but not brown, 8-10 minutes. Add oregano; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Divide mixutre between 2 bowls.

3. Stir 1 t. plus 1 1/2 t. cheese into 1 bowl of onion-garlic mixture. Mix in breadcrumbs, turkey, 1/2 t. salt, and 1/4 t. pepper using your hands. Form mixture into 12 balls.

4. Heat 2 t. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown meatballs, turning, 4-6 minutes; transfer to plate. Add remaining teaspoon oil to skillet. Cook mushrooms, 1/4 t. salt, and 1/8 t. pepper, adding a few tablespoons water if skillet browns too quickly, until soft and beginning to brown, 6-8 minutes. Add remaining bowl of onion-garlic mixture, meatballs, and stock; bring to gentle simmer. Cook, partially covered, until meatballs are cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Add spinach; cook until just wilted, about 1 minute.

5. Divide squash and meatball mixture into 4 servings. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Per Serving: 277 calories, 2 G. Sat. Fat, 21 G. Protein, 2 G. Fiber

*On the side we had Trader Joe's spring rolls and edamame :) Oh, and if you're wondering, I got this recipe from the Martha Stuart magazine October issue.

P.S.- HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET ELISE!!!! We are sorry that we can't make the big bash on Saturday, but we will surely be there on Sunday! Love you :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkin Chili

Perfect recipe for a rainy, chilly Fall day. Check it out here.. For once and for all, I made zero changes to this recipe! It turned out great...just a little hint of pumpkin...yum, yum, yum! We also had baked cubed butternut squash and homemade pumpkin bread on the side. Twas a delicious meal.


1 lb ground beef
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 clove garlic, minced
Two 14½oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 cup pure pumpkin pureé
1 Tbs ground chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin seed
½ tsp ground black pepper
dash of salt
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup sour cream

1. Brown ground beef in large sauté pan with onion, green pepper and garlic. Spoon off grease.
2. Return to heat and add tomatoes, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, pepper and salt. Mix well. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
3. Serve topped with cheese and sour cream.

Servings: 4

Cooking Tips
*Lighten this up by using lean ground beef, low fat cheddar and light sour cream.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pumpkin Blondies

If you don't like pumpkin, stay away from my blog for the next few weeks. I'm OBSESSED with all things pumpkin and looove this time of year when it's all around. This time every year I ask myself..."Why don't I just make pumpkin things all year??" For some odd reason, it just doesn't seem to happen. Anywho, today I made these Pumpkin Blondies. They are to die for and so easy! I have a few other pumpkin recipes on my list to make in the coming weeks such as Pumpkin Chili, Pumpkin Curry, be on the lookout (unless they are bad and not "blog worthy.")

Disclaimer: This is not my's from the blog where I got the recipe from.

Pumpkin Blondies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup white chocolate chips (I used regular chocolate chips b/c I had them on hand and they were great)
1 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional...I didn't use these as I don't like nuts in my sweets)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree. With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate and butterscotch chips (and pecans, if using) with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.

To serve, lift the cake from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off the foil and using a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares.

ENJOY! Happy Fall!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Onions and Golden Raisins

O.M.G. Best Pork Tenderloin recipe I have made. Probably ever. And, it was sooo easy...and you didn't even have to soak the pork in the marinade overnight, or for that matter---not even 5 minutes. This is the BEST pork tenderloin recipe. Very easy, and so yummy. I made this for the hubs and I Sunday night and we had leftovers tonight that we JUST as moist, flavorful and delish. Big yum in our book.

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 45 min.
This is a great way to enjoy pork tenderloin without the grill.


• 2 small sweet onion, sliced
• 1/2 cup(s) golden raisins
• 4 tbsp brown sugar
• 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin


1. Cook all ingredients (except pork) in a skillet over med-high heat until onions are soft and browned.

2. Place tenderloin in pan coated with cooking spray. Pour onion mixture over meat.

3. Cook in oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees (or until done).

Calories 292; Fat 12g; Saturated Fat 6g; Cholesterol 94mg; Sodium 68mg; Carbohydrates 22g; Fiber 1g; Sugar 19g; Protein 24g more info

*Suggested Side: Tossed Salad with pears, craisins, walnuts and gorgonzola. We also enjoyed this with corn on the cob and a delish couscous that I made along as I went. In the couscous I toasted pistachios and added those in there, I also added raisin's and cooked the couscous in fat-free, low-sodium chicken was to die for and the perfect side to the pork tenderloin.

Fabulous Fall meal for a crisp fall day! Plan to make this ASAP!

P.S.- The super cute napkins came from my festive Mom. They crack Daniel and I up everytime we use them..."boo ya'll."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Baked Chicken Parm...

And a couple glasses of red wine make for a wonderful Friday evening meal.

Baked Chicken Parm

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 20 min. Cook Time: 20 min.
Less mess, less fat, great flavor - what more could you ask for?


• 1 package(s) whole wheat pasta
• 1/2 cup(s) flour
• 3 egg(s), separated
• 1 cup(s) Italian bread crumbs
• 1/4 cup(s) parmesan cheese, grated
• 1/2 tsp oregano
• 2 lb chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
• 1 cup(s) mozzarella cheese (part skim), shredded
• 1 cup(s) pasta sauce (marinara)

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

3. Place the flour on a plate or piece of waxed paper. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg whites. On another plate or piece of waxed paper, mix the bread crumbs with the oregano and parmesan. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

4. Lightly dredge the cutlets in the flour, then dip in the egg whites (shaking off any excess egg), then dredge in the bread crumb mixture. Coat both sides of each cutlet with nonstick cooking spray and place on the prepared baking sheet.

5. Bake the chicken until the cutlets are golden, 8 minutes.

6. Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the cutlet with the mozzarella. Place under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese is golden (watch so the cheese doesn't burn).

7. Transfer the chicken to the plate and serve with pasta. Spoon sauce over chicken and pasta.