Four Pepper Mini Meatloaves

WIN_20150720_203526Meatloaf doesn’t have to be boring, and this recipe definitely is not! Today we’re combining garden fresh banana peppers with three other pepper products to flavor zippy, zesty mini meatloaves. These muffin-sized meatloaves freeze well, and make hearty quick lunches. Enjoy!

WIN_20150719_191040Ingredients (Makes 12 mini meatloaves)

3 pounds lean ground beef

1 egg

3 large banana peppers, diced fine

1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika, such as Paprika Hot Smoked 2 Oz By Zamouri Spices

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

For the glaze:

1 teaspoon chili paste such as nam prik pao

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

WIN_20150720_194704Directions

Step 1) Combine ground beef, egg, diced banana peppers, paprika, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well.

Step 2) Shape mixture into twelve round loaves and place inside of muffin tin cups.

Step 3) Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet with sides and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Step 4) Combine chili paste, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Set aside.

Step 5) Remove from oven. Using a fork, remove the loaves from the muffin tins and set upside down on a serving plate. Using a pastry brush, coat meatloaves with chili glaze. Serve immediately or freeze when cool.

BBQ Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

WIN_20150902_181152When you carve Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns, don’t throw those seeds away! Pumpkin seeds are high in protein, iron, Vitamin E,  and a wide variety of minerals. This year we’re doing something a bit different with our pumpkin seeds, and roasting them in a medley of spices designed to impart the flavors of a barbeque dry rub. Delicious!

Ingredients (Makes about 4 cups)

Seeds from 2 large pumpkins, washed well

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or use olive oil)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

1/4 teaspoon ground thyme

1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Zing Spices Ultimate Starter Spice Gift Set, Multi-spice Packs, Must Have for Every Kitchen, 32 varieties.

WIN_20150902_172912Directions

Step 1) Coat a large baking sheet (the kind with shallow sides) with oil, and sprinkle pumpkin seeds evenly onto the pan. If possible, pumpkin seeds should be in a single layer.

Step 2) Combine spices in a small bowl and mix well. Sprinkle spice mixture over pumpkin seeds.

Step 3) Roast pumpkin seeds in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, turning pumpkin seeds over with a spatula after 10 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before snacking; the insides of pumpkin seeds can be HOT! Roasted pumpkin seeds store well in airtight lunch bags, and can also be frozen.

Pumpkin Curry Bisque

WIN_20150906_115905Serve with crusty bread for a simple supper, or serve as an accompaniment to an autumn pot roast as part of an extravagant dinner. Either way, Pumpkin Curry Bisque is just the thing to keep you warm all the way to your toes as winter approaches!

WIN_20150906_113145Ingredients (Makes about 2 quarts)

3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 small white onion, peeled and cut into WIN_20150906_115412quarters

4 cups good quality pork stock

2 cups pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon sweet curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional

Directions

Bring stock, potatoes, carrot, and onion to a boil in a large pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes and carrots are soft (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Add pumpkin, coconut milk, curry powder, and salt. Puree again with an immersion blender. Sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds before serving.

 Hamilton Beach 59770 Turbo-Twister 2-Speed Hand Blender

Peanut Butter and Jelly Tarts

WIN_20150831_184305Last month we shared a quick and easy recipe for Apple Pecan Tarts, and readers loved them. So did Half Pint! While snacking on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Half Pint declared, “I have a great idea! How about if we make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but pies instead?”

OK. Here we go. Let me know what you think!

WIN_20150827_093203Ingredients (Makes 32 mini tarts)

1 package of roll-out refrigerated pie crust

1/2 cup of crushed peanuts

1 cup of creamy peanut butter

1 cup of grape jelly

 WIN_20150827_093602Directions

Step 1) Open the package of roll-out refrigerated pie crusts (there are two crusts per package). Instead of rolling them out, squish each crust into a big ball of dough. How fun!

WIN_20150827_093857Step 2) Place a small ball of pie crust dough, about the size of a golf ball, in each well of a mini muffin pan. Push the dough down in the center so that it flattens on the bottom and up the sides of the well. You can use a tart press (shown), a medicine cup, or just your fingers for this.

The Pampered Chef Mini Tart Shaper 1590

Wilton Recipe Right 24 Cup Mini Muffin Pan

Step 3) Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of crushed peanuts inside of each tart crust. Gently spoon peanut butter and jelly into each tart crust, leaving 1/4 inch of empty space at the top of each tart.

WIN_20150831_181239Step 4) Bake tarts in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Step 5) Using a butter knife and/or a teaspoon (not your fingers!), remove the tarts from the mini muffin pan while they are still warm. Cool on a wire rack. These tarts freeze well for packing in school lunches!

Zucchini Chèvre Appetizers

WIN_20150831_185801Put the bread pans away, and let’s do something a little different with that last zucchini of the season, shall we? These savory, garlic infused zucchini rounds are topped with just enough flaky pastry to make the textures and flavors POP! Using roll-out, refrigerated pie crust keeps things simple enough to manage on the evening of your next cocktail party, or simply as a midnight snack on your next movie night!

WIN_20150831_174117Ingredients (Makes approximately 16 appetizers)

1 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/2 inch rings

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon preserved lemon (or substitute 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon)

4 cloves garlic

4 ounces Chèvre cheese

1 roll-out refrigerated pie crust

WIN_20150831_183310Directions

Step 1) Grease a large baking sheet and arrange zucchini slices (it’s OK if they’re touching each other).

Step 2) Combine olive oil, preserved lemon, and garlic in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Use a pastry brush to generously coat the tops of each zucchini slice.

Step 3) Place 1 heaping teaspoon of Chèvre cheese on top of each zucchini slice, slightly off center.

Step 4) Roll out the refrigerated pie crust and cut 16 small (1 – 2 inch diameter) shapes using cookie cutters. Place one shape on each zucchini slice, so that the pastry slightly overlaps the Chèvre.

Cosmos ® Mini Cookie Cutter Set 12 Multi Shapes with Cosmos Fastening Strap

Step 5) Brush the tops of the pastry shapes with any remaining garlic/lemon/oil mixture.

Step 6) Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12 – 15 minutes, watching carefully. The pastry should be golden brown, but don’t let the edges burn!

Serve while warm.

Apple Gingerbread

WIN_20150901_172011What tastes like autumn and makes your kitchen smell amazing? Apple Gingerbread! Imagine warm, fragrant gingerbread combined with baked apples… what’s not to love? This dish is equally fabulous for Sunday brunch or a weeknight dessert.

WIN_20150901_154959Ingredients (Fills a 9 inch pie dish)

1 large apple, diced

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/3 cup all-natural applesauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/3 cup molasses

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons milk

WIN_20150901_160228

Step 1) Grease a 9 inch pie dish. Sprinkle chopped apple evenly on bottom of the pie dish.

Good Cook 9 Inch Ceramic Pie Plate, Red

Step 2) Combine all remaining ingredients in a medium size bowl and blend well. Spread batter evenly over chopped apple.

Step 3) Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Corn Fritters

WIN_20150831_185450The season for sweet corn comes and goes in the blink of an eye, but Oh how fabulous that season is while it lasts! Here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, we try to shuck and process 2 dozen ears of sweet corn every day until the local farm stand closes. Today’s creation was a big platter of Corn Fritters, which were divine with maple syrup. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

WIN_20150831_183618Ingredients (Makes 16 fritters, approximately 3 inches in diameter)

2 cups corn kernels (frozen and thawed is fine)

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 cup flour

WIN_20150831_184010Directions

Step 1) Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and mix well.

Step 2) Drop by heaping tablespoonsful onto a well greased griddle or frying pan. Fry over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Enjoy while hot!

Lodge L9OG3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Round Griddle, 10.5-inch