Today I tried two separate recipes out of Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible. The first was Streusel Pumpkin bread.
For the most part, I followed the recipe exactly. The streusel didn’t work out exactly as it should have – when mixed together, the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour are supposed to have a crumb-like consistency, but mine turned into a thick paste. I think I must have used a tad more butter than I should have. I was able to mostly fix it by adding more brown sugar and flour, as you can see in the picture above. The recipe also calls for raisins, but my husband nixed that idea. I happened to have dried cherries in the pantry, so I used those instead. They worked out perfectly!
I traditionally make pumpkin bread at the first sign of fall, and I have used the recipe out of Silver Ravenwolf’s Halloween for years. Paula Deen’s recipe tasted quite different, but I think overall I prefer it over Silver Ravenwolf’s.
Next up was Cheese Grits. This recipe was a hit, but it was a bit time-consuming. Twenty minutes to cook the grits, then another 45 minutes of baking. I’m pretty sure I’ve made a cheese grits recipe that didn’t take quite as long. Still, this is a good, Southern dish to have in my repertoire.
I love pumpkin, but I’m not a fan of traditional pumpkin pie. So, I was a little wary of this next recipe from the Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook. It starts with what I assume is close to a pretty basic pumpkin pie recipe (pumpkin, eggs, sugar, evaporated milk) – I’ve only made one or two pumpkin pies, and those were more than 10 years ago, when I decided I don’t like them enough to make them. You pour this into a 9×13 baking dish and top it with yellow cake mix. As this is a Betty Crocker cookbook, it specifies the Super Moist Golden Vanilla cake mix (the one with pudding in the mix), but I think any moist yellow cake mix would work fine. In fact, I bet it would be fun to experiment with other flavors as well. The cake mix is topped with pecans, and then the whole thing is topped with melted butter.
The recipe was really easy, and it smelled great while it was baking. Both kids tasted theirs before I did and gave it their seal of approval. I was pleasantly surprised, too! The main thing I don’t like about pumpkin pie is the consistency, and the cake mix added just enough bulk to the recipe to make it more palatable to me. My daughter commented that she really liked the consistency.
Overall, I think this will be a nice substitute for traditional pumpkin pie, and I will add it to my pumpkin rotation. Another keeper!