Pumpkin Carrot Walnut Cake


Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com  shares her recipes with Shinddigz

Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com shares her recipes with Shindigz

I am going to apologize up front for the next few months.

See, fall brings out the baker in me. Flavors like pumpkin, squash, walnuts, apples, caramel, cranberries and the like play prominent roles in almost everything I will make from here on out.

I will try my best to add stuff like chocolate and bacon once or 20 times if I have to, just to make you happy.

Not this time however. I woke up with the insatiable appetite for pumpkin anything.

And the fact I had 10 pounds of carrots in the fridge added to that fire.

If there is anything I have learned it is that carrot cake can ONLY be made better with the addition of pumpkin.

Pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin!!

I excite easily.

Plus we’ve got Halloween coming up, followed by Thanksgiving, all excellent excuses for serving pumpkin anything!

Pumpkin Carrot Walnut Cakes

Pumpkin Carrot Walnut Cakes

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups carrots, shredded and drained.
  • 1 cup walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and all the spices.

In the bowl of your mixer cream the eggs and sugar together. Add the oil, pumpkin and vanilla and mix till well combined.

Add the flour mixture and stir in until absorbed. Fold in the carrots and the walnuts.

Pour evenly into the prepared pans.

Bake for 45-50 minutes (less for cupcakes) in the preheated oven, until cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. When completely cooled, dust with powder sugar or frost however you like.

Recipe by Heather Jurczyk, the sassy half of the duo that make up the cooking team of He Cooks She Cooks. They have a weakness for feel good, down to earth, amazingly tasty eats that almost always include the addition of beer.

From growing their own tomatoes to brewing their own beer, they like to cook from scratch as much as possible. They know what’s important. Love. Food. Beer. Visit He Cooks She Cooks for more recipes.

Amazing Elephant Ears (Fried Dough)


Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com  shares her recipes with Shinddigz

Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com shares her recipes with Shindigz

I’ll admit I am kind of jealous on the amount of theme parties that exist in todays world.

When growing up my mom did one heck of a job creating kids theme parties out of our loved toys and stuff with what she had. This mostly consisted of using our toys as cake props. My Star Wars figures always had blue feet from the “space”colored frosting. She should have gone into business way back when.

Now if it exists as a tv show or comic book or cartoon or video game or toy  or anything at all, you can get some AMAZING props to go along with it.

Take the Safari theme for instance. Cute props, great tableware, and you can use all those silly plastic animals your child has in his or her toybox.

Then the only thing you need to do is make some amazing food.

Like elephant ears!

This is one of my favs. I however know them as fried dough, and even Navajo fry bread (if you want to make tacos out of them.) They are delicious and easy to make and nothing says safari party like elephants!

Elephant Ears (Makes 10-12)

Elephant Ears (Fried Dough)

Can you believe these are Elephant Ears!!??

  • 2 cups AP flour plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, warm
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar*
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the warm milk, yeast and sugar in the bowl of your mixer and let stand until the yeast begins to bubble, about 5-10 minutes.

Mix in about half the flour, the baking powder and the butter, and knead with the dough hook until combined. Add the rest of the flour slowly knead until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Remove dough from hook and form into a small ball. Place dough in greased bowl and spin to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot for about 3 hours.

Gently push down the dough and tear off pieces about the size of a golf ball. Punch out with your hands or roll out with a rolling pin to about 1/8″ thick and 5″-6″ wide.

Heat 1″ of oil in a heavy bottomed pan to 375ºF.

Get your toppings ready. Chocolate sauce or powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar and melted butter.

Gently place the dough into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on each side, about 1 minute per side.

Remove to paper towel lined plate or rack and blot dry.

If using the cinnamon sugar brush with butter and dip into the cinnamon sugar mix. If using chocolate or powdered sugar allow to cool slightly then dust or drizzle with your topping.

Enjoy!

* If you want to make a savory version of these to use as mini pizza crusts or taco shells just omit the sugar.

Recipe by Heather Jurczyk, the sassy half of the duo that make up the cooking team of He Cooks She Cooks. They have a weakness for feel good, down to earth, amazingly tasty eats that almost always include the addition of beer.

From growing their own tomatoes to brewing their own beer, they like to cook from scratch as much as possible. They know what’s important. Love. Food. Beer. Visit He Cooks She Cooks for more recipes.

Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms


Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com  shares her recipes with Shinddigz

Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com shares her recipes with Shindigz

Summer slowly coming to a close can only mean one thing.

Well it means a lot of things but this is my favorite.

Football.

We love to grill out and have friends over and watch games as much as possible and this is one of our fav snacks. Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms.

The great thing about these is you can cook them on the grill or in your oven. Grill is better by far which makes them easy for any cookout, home or away. (We have taken these camping!)

The key is to make sure your minces are actual minces. You want your onion and stems and sausage to be broken up and as small as possible. This way it really comes together. A mini italian sausage meatball on a mushroom cap if you think about it.

Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms

Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms

Mouthwatering Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms!

Ingredients:
  • 16-20 large white mushrooms (caps and stems separated, stems minced)
  • butter
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 medium white onion minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • hand full of fresh parsley minced
  • heavy pinch of fresh thyme minced
  • heavy pinch crushed red peppers
  • Salt and pepper

Take the mushroom and pop off the stem.

Set the caps aside and finely dice the stems up (you can also cheat and throw them in a food processor).

In a pan with butter brown the sausage and remove.

Add in the onion and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add in the mushroom stems, lower the heat, and cook until the stem pieces are soft (about 10 minutes).

Add in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Kill the heat to the skillet and add the sausage back in, plus the parmesan cheese, cream cheese, parsley, bread crumbs, crushed red pepper, and thyme into the skillet.

Mix thoroughly, you want everything well combined.

Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let it cool thoroughly (good 30 minutes in the fridge helps).

Grab a cap and a small handful of the mixture and pack the mixture into the cap.

Once everything is done throw on a grill set to medium or a 375° oven until heated through (about 20-30 minutes)

Tailgating or watching the game at home, order your Football Party Supplies from Shindigz!

Recipe by Heather Jurczyk, the sassy half of the duo that make up the cooking team of He Cooks She Cooks. They have a weakness for feel good, down to earth, amazingly tasty eats that almost always include the addition of beer.

From growing their own tomatoes to brewing their own beer, they like to cook from scratch as much as possible. They know what’s important. Love. Food. Beer. Visit He Cooks She Cooks for more recipes.

Frenched Sweet Onions on the Grill


Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com  shares her recipes with Shinddigz

Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com shares her recipes with Shindigz

By far one of my favorite summer-time treats is grilled onions. There are so many varieties and they make everything taste better (in my humble opinion). Ever try grilled scallions? They are AMAZING! I want them now just talking about them.

This recipe is not scallion based sadly, but it does include one of my favorite summer-time onions. The sweet Vidalia. If you have never had one stop reading and go out and buy one this instant. They are so very good. Once you try them you won’t stop eating them. Trust me.

And if you’re planning a Western Style Party, these will fit right in.

Frenched Sweet Onions on the Grill
(Serves as many people as you have onions.)

Frenched Sweet Onions on the Grill

Ingredients

  • Vidalia onions
  • Butter
  • Beef Bouillon
  • Garlic, minced

This couldn’t be easier.

Take a vidalia  sweet onion and remove the top and the bottom and peel it.

Place it in the middle of a sheet of foil, big enough to wrap the onion completely.

On the top with a spoon, hollow out a hole about an inch around by an inch deep.

Slice the onion in quarters but stop an inch from the bottom. Gently separate the layers of the onion.

On top of the hole place:

1 teaspoon beef bouillon
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Wrap in two layers of foil and throw on coal or top of a grill grate (400 degree oven works fine too). Coals will take about 20 minutes and grill/oven will be closer to an hour. This is all dependant upon size of the onion. To test for doneness just squeeze the foil and if the onion gives you are good and if it is still firm wait another 5-10 minutes before trying again.

Open up the foil and eat.

Protip: after removing it, open the foil, throw some croutons on top of the onion, slice of swiss cheese, and put it back on your heat source with the foil open until the cheese has melted.

 

Visit Shindigz.com for Western Party Supplies.

Recipe by Heather Jurczyk, the sassy half of the duo that make up the cooking team of He Cooks She Cooks. They have a weakness for feel good, down to earth, amazingly tasty eats that almost always include the addition of beer.

From growing their own tomatoes to brewing their own beer, they like to cook from scratch as much as possible. They know what’s important. Love. Food. Beer. Visit He Cooks She Cooks for more recipes.

Chipotle Guacamole


Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com  shares her recipes with Shinddigz

Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com shares her recipes with Shindigz

Every so often our friends bring us some, well, interesting gifts.

We have received an old freezer, a beer bandolier, a 50# bag of rice, a machete, a cot and a bag of spoons. Don’t even try to put two and two together with these gifts. We still can’t figure most of them out. But we certainly appreciate them!

Just recently a random bag of avocados showed up. At least we knew what to do with them! Whip up a batch of our favorite snack. Cool and creamy and spicy chipotle guacamole.

It is so easy to make and pretty much everyone loves it! Plus avocado is good for you. So double bonus!

So for your next taco party or western ho-down or Tex-Mex fiesta, whip up a batch of this creamy deliciousness.

Chipotle Guacamole
Serves 6-10

Chipotle Guacamole

Heather’s Chipotle Guacamole

  • 3 avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 small can of chipotle in adobo, minced
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 1/2 cup diced and seeded tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro

Mash up two of the avocados and cube up the third. Set the third aside.

Add the lime juice, cumin, cayenne, salt garlic and chipotle and adobo. Mix well.

Fold in the onion, tomato, the third avocado and the cilantro.

Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature and then serve.

Visit Shindigz Western Party Store, with hundreds of items available for party decorations, including games, tableware and personalized western and cowboy gear.

Recipe by Heather Jurczyk, the sassy half of the duo that make up the cooking team of He Cooks She Cooks. They have a weakness for feel good, down to earth, amazingly tasty eats that almost always include the addition of beer.

From growing their own tomatoes to brewing their own beer, they like to cook from scratch as much as possible. They know what’s important. Love. Food. Beer. Visit He Cooks She Cooks for more recipes.

Cowboy Chili for a Crowd


Candace Schuler is a foodie, professional writer and now food blogger for Shindigz Party Recipes.

Candace Schuler is a foodie, professional writer and now food blogger for Shindigz Party Recipes.

Call it a Western Party, a Cowboy Party, or just an excuse to cook up a pot of chili, at Shindigz we have everything you need at our Western Party Store and Candace shares her recipe.

When I lived in Texas, the common wisdom was that real, authentic chili—called a “bowl of red”—did not contain any beans. The only ingredients allowed were meat (beef or pork) and chili peppers stewed together with spices. Usually, Texas chili is hot enough to make steam come out of your ears!

But I grew up in California and learned to make my chili with beans and tomatoes—and red wine. I think the added ingredients provide flavor and texture, not to mention nutrition.

Chili makes a great party dish.  You can make it well ahead of time—in fact, chili is better reheated because it gives the flavors a chance to meld. I like to serve it in a crockpot set on warm and surround it with dishes of what my grandma used to call “go-withs” set out buffet-style so guests can help themselves. Good go-withs for chili are sour cream, chopped raw onions, grated cheese, corn chips, sliced jalapenos, and cilantro.

Cowboy Chili from Candace

Cowboy Chili from Candace

Cowboy Chili for a Crowd Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 – 3 lbs. ripe, juicy tomatoes, chopped (or equivalent in canned tomatoes; five to six, 8 ounce cans)
  • 1 can tomato paste (12 – 15 ounce)
  • 1 – 2 cup beef broth (homemade, if possible)
  • 1 cup red wine (optional)
  • 4 – 6 tablespoons chili powder (depending on your tolerance for heat)
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 -2 teaspoons pepper, depending on taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • Two cans kidney beans (19 ounce each), rinsed and drained

Coat the bottom of a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan with olive oil, heat to medium-high and cook ground beef, garlic, and onion, stirring until beef is well-browned, about ten minutes. Drain well. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup of the beef broth, wine (if using), and all of the spices. Stir to blend and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about an hour, adding more beef broth if the liquid gets too low. Add kidney beans and salt, stir to blend, and cook 15 minutes longer. Remove from heat and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, reheat chili in a crockpot and surround it with the go-withs.

Serves 12 – 16.

Visit Shindigz Western Party Store to find everything you need to set the stage for your Cowboy Party!

Candace Schuler comes from a long line of foodies.Her grandmother taught her about planting, preserving, and cooking whole foods. Her father was a professional chef who taught her all about the importance of presentation and how to cook for big crowds. Her brothers have spent years in the restaurant business, and she and her sister constantly trade recipes via email for everything from fermented fruit kimchee to the perfect cheesecake.

Candace is also a professional writer, which, she says, makes writing about party-worthy recipes for Shindigz the perfect gig. Contact her at www.CandaceSchuler.com

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls


Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com  shares her recipes with Shinddigz

Heather Jurczyk from HeCooksSheCooks.com shares her recipes with Shindigz

Today is National Peanut Butter Cookie day. And where it might be too late (and hopefully too darn hot) for baking, these no bake cookies are sure to be the hit of any event. From Father’s Day (my dad LOVES his peanut butter) to 4th of July BBQ’s to just your everyday peanut butter celebration day, they are easy to make (your kids can help, or your cats if you don’t have kids) can probably be made with what you have already in your pantry, and disappear quickly.

These are low sugar but the sugar can easily be increased to up to 2x to appease the sweet tooths out there. And sugar substitutes are sure to work as well.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls
(Makes 24)

No-Bake Peanut Butter & Pretzel Balls

Just as good as Cookies, Heather’s No-Bake Peanut Butter & Pretzel Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal like Rice Crispies or Chex.
  • 1 cup crushed pretzel sticks

In a large bowl mix the peanut butter and powdered sugar together till well combined. Add the chocolate chips and crispy rice cereal and also mix till well combined.

Roll the peanut butter mixture into 1″ balls and then roll in the crushed pretzels to coat.

Chill for 1 hour.

Recipe by Heather Jurczyk, the sassy half of the duo that make up the cooking team of He Cooks She Cooks. They have a weakness for feel good, down to earth, amazingly tasty eats that almost always include the addition of beer.

From growing their own tomatoes to brewing their own beer, they like to cook from scratch as much as possible. They know what’s important. Love. Food. Beer. Visit He Cooks She Cooks for more recipes.