Turkey & Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Gluten-free turkey and sweet potato enchiladas.

This Friday is just like any other out here in the New Mexico hinterland. There were big-eared rabbits eating breakfast (nibbling spare tufts of grass). A chickadee or two in the junipers. Pink light on the distant mesas. And as far as I know, no scary crush of shoppers at the Espanola Walmart. At least I haven't heard any sirens off in the distance. Truth be told I haven't budged from my casita (and I have no plans to). Nope. It's just another day here, call it what you want. Black Friday is quiet as an empty nest. So I thought I'd share a recipe for leftover turkey and sweet potatoes- a surprisingly tasty combo.

As always, make it as mild or as spicy as your little heart desires.

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Finally, fall

It's is finally feeling like fall around here. As I type, it is 48 degrees outside and the high is expected to only reach 55!!! This is what I love....bring on the sweaters, jackets and boots! To go with our fall-like weather, we have some fall cookies! I made two versions of acorns and leaves...dotty and with GOLD sparkling sugar. I was in desperate need to update my acorns. You can see here...years ago, the first and only time I made them (with apples)...blah. I think my cookies turn out better if I try not to be so literal with them. Know what I mean? The dots make them fun...to me at least. Here's more info on applying dots. This gold sparkling sugar is so pretty. I found it online at sugarcraft.com. It comes in silver, too. I bought it for Christmas cookies, but couldn't wait to dig into it. I think these would be pretty with a monogram on the leaves for a fall wedding.Our dining room table was half covered in cookies (I have a hard time making one batch of cookies). A box went to our contest winner, a box to my nephew, 4 boxes with my husband for customers and one to the volunteers at the food pantry where my son & I work every Thursday. Someday, I'd like to do this. Lydia at The Perfect Pantry is the woman behind this wonderful idea!

Happy fall, everyone! I'm off to enjoy this weather while it lasts!

And the cookies go to....

.....KaseysKrazyMommy! Yay! Congrats...cookies are on the way! Thank you to everyone who entered!

And how is this for cool? Fellow Texan, Mandy, at Home with Mandy, had a giveaway on her blog celebrating her 100th post. I discovered last night that I won!!! Yee-haw! Take a look at these gorgeous martini glasses! Check out her blog, too...oh my, it's filled with delicious recipes and great step-by-step instructions. Thank you, Mandy...I can't wait to break them in! ;)

Are you ready for a GIVEAWAY?

Wednesday is Bake at 350's 1 year blogiversary! Woo-hoo! :) In celebration, I thought we'd have a little giveaway.

Leave a comment on this post....with either a link to your blog or an email address so I can contact you...and a winner will be chosen at random on November 19th. The prize is...a box of cookies! :) (US address only.)

I'll leave you with the cookies we're taking to the end-of-season baseball party this afternoon. (No, these are not the giveaway cookies!) Nothing fancy, but my son really wanted them to have the team name on them. The more I wrote "giants" last night, the stranger it looked. I had to come out of the kitchen and ask my husband..."is giants spelled G-I-ANTS?" It still looks weird!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chai Bread with Cranberries

A vegan pumpkin chai bread recipe.

Thank you, Dear Readers for all your pre-Thanksgiving comment love. I'm paying attention. I am. In fact, I've had so many requests for a gluten-free pumpkin bread recipe that I'm sharing another baking success this week. Yup. Two goodies in one week. I usually balance my baking (sweet) and cooking (savory) posts a tad more fifty-fifty- especially when I am trying to lose those last five (stubborn!) pounds and all- but I couldn't ignore your requests for a Thanksgiving pumpkin bread, now could I?

See how I sacrifice for you, my Darlings? Developing, baking and taste testing Cinnamon Apple Muffins, Vegan Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pecan Cookies, Pumpkin Raisin Cake, Pumpkin Waffles... Oy, the sacrifice. The pressure!

The 2008 Winter Holiday Frenzy has begun. Maybe for the sake of my sanity (now don't laugh about my alleged sanity, please) I'll put off trying to lose these last five pounds till 2009.

It'll be here before you know it.

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Happy Veterans Day...Baking GALS, part 2

Happy Veterans Day to the soldiers (past & present) in our life...Dad, Bob, Jane, Nana :) and Mike. Thank you all for your service and sacrifice! These cookies are for Jason, our soldier through Operation Baking Gals. Coconut Snowballs from Everyday Food.... the recipe is posted on Martha's website, here.
If you like coconut, you'll love these. They remind me a little bit of Mexican Wedding Cookies. I think they would be a perfect addition to a cookie tray for the holidays!
I had to send a little chocolate! :) These are Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies. I was a little frustrated by the recipe, but they came out really yummy! They are topped with sparkling sugar, although it's hard to see in the picture, so they are pretty and sparkly! :)

Crisp Chocolate Chip Shortbread
(adapted from holiday cookies by Land O' Lakes)

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
3 tablespoons sparkling or large grain sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and almond extract in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour, cornstarch and salt. Beat until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pat dough into an ungreased 15 x 10 x 1" cookie sheet. (This is where I had a problem. There was NO way I could get the dough to cover the entire sheet. Next time I make these, I will press the dough onto the bottom of a 13 x 9" pan and see if that works better.) Sprinkle with sparkling sugar and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Immediately cut into squares or triangles (I used a bench scraper). Remove from pan when cool.

Gluten-Free Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Cinnamon apple goodness- gluten-free.

A classic fall favorite- the pairing of apples and cinnamon. Stir them together in a muffin batter and you have a sweet and cozy breakfast treat that is not only heart warming and soul satisfying but super easy to wrap and freeze. That is, if you don't eat every single morsel first. These little gems would be a fabulous side nosh for Thanksgiving brunch- or a casual supper of Curried Butternut Soup.

It's a gray flannel sky kind of day here in the high desert. Chilly and damp. Steve is watching The Great Escape as I nibble on a warm apple muffin. It's been a historic week. I am still re-viewing on-line videos of our President-Elect with gratitude and awe, thankful that hope, grace and smarts prevailed despite the ugly drumbeat of fear, fueled by prejudice and the age old tactic of scapegoating and button-pushing, appealing, of course, to the lower instincts of our reptilian past. The old and rusty paradigm is giving birth to the new on a collective level. And I feel it in my bones and in the air that I breathe.

I am grateful. Hopeful. And eager to greet change.

It's all good.

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We interrupt the scheduled blog post to bring you...cheesecake!

I'll post part 2 of our cookie shipment later, but I had to post this cheesecake we had last night first. It is SO good!
This is a recipe form Martha Stewart Living magazine...No-Bake Spiderweb Cheesecake. I never got around to making it before Halloween, so I added squiggles on top instead of a spiderweb. Ganache has a different consistency than the royal icing I'm used to...you can see where my hand got a little shaky piping. (I think that means I have to make it again? Just for practice!) :) After trying it, my son declared that it should be called "dream cake." It's really that good...and rich...and not fat free! :) I'll be making this the next time we have company.

Operations Baking GALS, cookies on the way

Cookies are on the way to our soldier....a Marine stationed on the USS Essex. Our baking team, Dani's Delightful Darlings (through Operation Baking Gals), has 18 members. It's really exciting to think about how many soldiers on that ship will have some love from home in a week or two. (There are over 20 teams total, with 6 to 26 members each...that's a lot of baking!)

My son & I spent most of yesterday baking. Here's part 1 of our shipment:

Gingerbread Biscotti...
I tried to pick cookies that would ship well and hopefully taste fresh when they arrived. This recipe is from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook. If you don't own this book, I highly recommend it. It doesn't have a lot of pictures, but very detailed instructions and illustrations.

The recipe is actually on the King Arthur website. It seems daunting with 2 baking times, but really takes less time than rolling dough and decorating cookies. :)

My kitchen...house, actually...smelled like Christmas while these were baking. Absolute heaven!
Of course, taste testing is essential! ;) These were perfect with a cup of chai tea! See those vanilla beans in there? I used vanilla bean paste in place of the vanilla extract.
I've posted this recipe before for 1-2-3-4 Peanut Butter Cookies. They are delicious and from the same cookbook.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our shipment. Godspeed to our soldier...and we are thankful to all our service men and women and their families for their enormous sacrifice!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pecan Cookies Recipe

 Pumpkin cookies- gluten-free.

I'm glad I baked cookies. Your intrepid gluten-free goddess, you see, is a tad under the weather. Well. In all honesty, maybe more than a tad. I blame the shopping cart I gripped and steered in Espanola searching for a butch new spatula-spoon that might actually survive gluten-free batter instead of snapping in half. I've got a nasty bug.

My defenses may have been a little vulnerable from all the pre-election anxiety coursing through my hyper-vigilant little body. Stress equals not-so-good, so they tell me. But now I can exhale. The epic campaign is over. America chose hope and changed the paradigm of its racial roots forever. So, Sweetcakes. Smile.

Have a cookie to celebrate.

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Gluten-Free Beef and Mushroom Rice Casserole

Gluten free rice casserole with beef and cranberries and olives Mediterranean style
Tasty beef and rice casserole with cranberries, mushrooms and olives.

Here's a cozy autumn casserole recipe with crumbled beef (or turkey), mushrooms, black olives and tart cranberries. Vegetarians can change out the meat with cooked black beans or white kidney beans.

The recipe is an improv, so the measurements are close approximations, but most of you readers are creative cooks who do your own thing and toss together your own improvisations, anyway, right? You're my kind of people. 

You can handle it.

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Baseball (?) season

Yes, it's still baseball season here in Texas. Our family was scheduled to bring snacks to my son's game yesterday. When I sold cookies, baseball cookies were probably the cookies I made the most. Texas is not just football country!
I realized Halloween night as I was getting ready to ice these, that I was out of disposable icing bags....my own personal Halloween horror!!! Rather than run out, dodging trick-or-treaters, I used gallon freezer baggies. In a pinch, they worked, although they were not as easy to use as the icing bags. My advice...baggies are for emergency icing situations only! :)
To make the baseball mitts:
  • Using a #3 tip, outline around the edge of a baseball mitt cookie in dark brown icing....you'll make the "fingers" later. (AmeriColor Chocolate Brown)
  • Thin medium brown icing with water to a syrup-y consistency and cover with a damp towel. Let sit several minutes. (AmeriColor Chocolate Brown)
  • Run a rubber spatula gently through the icing to pop any bubbles that have formed on top. Pour into a squeeze bottle.
  • Fill in the cookie with the flood icing. Let dry 1 hour or more.
  • Again with the dark brown icing and #3 tip, pipe the details including the fingers on the mitt.
  • In red icing, with a #3 tip, pipe the remaining details. (AmeriColor Super Red)

Sparky Picks 5 Winners

Sparky has chosen! But first- my heartfelt thanks. Big appreciation with warm and fuzzy gratitude to everyone who commented on the Whole Foods Budget Recipe Challenge and helped pick the winning recipe- my Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas. Muchas gracias to all my readers, too- your ongoing support, feedback and encouragement is invaluable to me. Without you? I'd be cooking in the dark. And talking to myself.

Here are the five winners- chosen at random- of a Whole Foods $25 Gift Card:

Vidalia P
Laura (eatcraftlive)
Courtney (blogger profile 02368500891285543351)
~m (Michelle)

Congratulations to the five winners! Please e-mail me for instructions on receiving your Whole Foods Gift Card (note- you will receive an automated Karina's Kitchen response first; a personal e-mail from me will follow). Thank you!

Happy November 1st- and for those of you on Daylight Savings, don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight!