There’s something so wonderful about fall baking, and it all seems to kick off with pumpkin season! So here are three of my favorite cookies and bars with pumpkin as the star! Whether it’s for your Thanksgiving dessert table or Christmas cookie exchange, these treats will get you in the holiday spirit in the most delightful way!
It’s called Char Siu. (Pronounced “Char Sue”) But we know it as Chinese BBQ Pork, and it’s of the most popular items on a Chinese Restaurant menu. I never thought of making it at home—it seemed complicated and intimidating. But when I finally decided to give it a try, I quickly found it is neither. It’s a fun, simple dish that ends up tasting exactly like the restaurant version! While it seems as though there are a lot of ingredients, it’s mostly inexpensive bottles of things like soy sauce, molasses, honey, rice wine vinegar—all things you can keep in your refrigerator so you can make this dish many times, which, I think you will! As far as the steps, it’s basically whisking the marinade ingredients, pouring it over the pork, refrigerating it overnight and then cooking it up! It’s that simple. The most important step is making sure you buy pork shoulder, as tenderloin is too lean. Char Siu may be your new favorite!
Watch my How To Video for Chinese BBQ Pork here!
Collecting old recipes has connected me to hundreds of towns, churches, schools and civic organizations that have created cookbooks as a favorite method of fund-raising.They are bound and forgotten recipes often tossed in a box and sold for a dime at yard sales. That’s where I rescued the Willowbrook’s Favorite Recipes Cookbook. The book had been compiled by the Cookbook Committee for Willowbrook Estates, a retirement community in Garden City, Idaho. Inside was a tasty recipe for Homemade Baked Beans that couldn’t be more perfect for football watching, tailgating and backyard grilling. It was in the same section as Golumki Casserole which I was tempted to make just because the name made me giggle, but opted for the baked beans recipe because of one particular ingredient—a cup of strong brewed coffee. The rest of the ingredients are fairly common to homemade baked beans; molasses, bbq sauce, mustard and brown sugar. But I was curious to know what the strong brewed coffee brought to the flavor profile. It was delicious! I also used hickory smoked thick style bacon, Dijon mustard and for the hot sauce I opted for a teaspoon of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. This recipe makes up a nice sized batch so it’s perfect for a party, and a fantastic accompaniment to a hotdog, hamburger or grilled steak. I’m no bean counter, but my ten cent investment in the Willowbrook cookbook has paid big dividends just with this recipe alone for Homemade Baked Beans.