My husband and I both work full-time, so I don’t often have the opportunity to cook a really nice meal for my family until the weekend. Today, the dinner menu is as follows:
Mediterranean Baked Fish
Crash Hot Potatoes
Roasted Garlic Bread
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
I realize that pumpkin cookies are not exactly in season, but I saw some at the store today and remembered how much my children love them. Plus I had all the ingredients except the spice cake and I saw a box on sale…so why not?
These cookies only take 3 ingredients!
The store was charging $4 for only 8 cookies which is an astonishing price when you consider they only take 3 ingredients. I used one 15 oz can of pumpkin, one box of spice cake mix and one bag of semi-sweet chips. The bag pictured is 32 oz, but you only need the regular sized bag.
Pour the cake mix into a bowl and add the canned pumpkin. Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer. Because the pumpkin is thick, it takes longer to incorporate it into the cake mix. Do not under mix! Next, stir in the chips. Don’t use the mixer or it will destroy the chips.
Use a scoop for a more uniform sized cookie
I used a one ounce scoop rather than a spoon to measure out the batter. This helps the cookies bake evenly and makes a nicer presentation. If you’ve ever had a batch of cookies where some are underdone and others are burned, your varying cookie size was probably to blame.
The cookie batter is somewhere between the consistency of a cake batter and a cookie dough. It is sticky, so be patient as you wait for it to fall out of the scoop. I’ve read suggestions about spraying the scoop with cooking spray, but it didn’t work for me. To test for doneness, do a toothpick test just like you would for a regular cake. If you hit a chocolate chip, scoot your toothpick over a little and try again. My cookies took 15 min to bake.
This simple recipe makes a little more than 3 dozen cookies. Pretty good for a cheap box of cake mix, a can of pumpkin and some chocolate chips! It cost about $4 to make almost 40 cookies as opposed to the 8 cookies for $4 at the store.
Dinner was a success! My oldest son had a friend over, and he said that the squash tasted like “pancakes”. I guess that’s good!
The squash recipe came from Allrecipes.com. I was worried once I had put the dish together – would the cheddar cheese and butter overwhelm the flavor of the squash I had just worked so hard to grow? I had seen other recipes with cream soups, sour cream, etc and I knew they would be too heavy. Luckily the flavor of my squash came through and the dish was delicious.
squash and onions mingling in my fry pan
The recipe called for water in the pan to steam and soften the squash but I was afraid it would make the dish mushy and too wet. Instead, I heated the squash and onion on low in a covered pan. The squash softened but didn’t need to be drained at all. I hope this helped retain more vitamins. I also saw a post suggesting the seeds and soft center of the squash be removed to make a firmer dish. I left it in and am happy that I did. After all, I worked hard to grow every bit of my squash. Why waste it?
Ignore the extra brown part in the bottom of the pan.
Next time I will use a smaller pan and grease the bottom. An oval casserole dish will work well. The mixture wasn’t enough to cover a 9×13 dish so the bottom was overdone a bit. Also, I may take the foil off for the last 5 minutes or so to help crisp up the top.
Ready for the Oven!
The Mediterranean Fish was a big hit. I knew it would be since I made it one other time and the family ate it up. The recipe calls for orange roughy, but I can never find any so I use Tilapia. I didn’t even get a chance to take a photo of the finished product! It was all gone in a matter of minutes.
CRASH HOT POTATOES
Smash those taters!
I originally saw this recipe on Pinterest. Here is the original post. I had too many potatoes for my pan, but I made them fit since the oven was already crowded with squash and fish dishes. Next time I will cook them a bit longer so they are more crispy. The rest of the meal was done so I pulled them out about 7 minutes too soon. They were still delicious and I will use the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow.
As if I need one more reason to eat potatoes…