Pumpkin Spice Latte

blogrecipe-pumpkinspicelatte

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso

 

Directions:

  1. Whisk 1/2 cup milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup milk.
  2. Pour milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove pulp. Return milk mixture to saucepan and simmer, whisking, 2 minutes. Add espresso and whisk until foamy, 1 minute.
  3. Enjoy!

 

Recipe from allrecipes.com

Tacos in a Bag from the Merchants Family Cookbook

BlogRecipe-TacosInABag

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 lb. shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • onions, chopped
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • lettuce, shredded
  • sour cream
  • avocado dip (optional)
  • taco sauce
  • 8-10 individual bags of chips — Fritos or Doritos work well!

 

Directions:

Brown ground beef and drain off excess fat. Add taco seasoning mix and prepare according to directions on package. Crush chips in the bag and cut off the top of the bag. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of ground beef mixture, all or any combination of the “toppings” and stir. Top with sour cream and taco sauce. Great for camping!

Peach Cobbler from the Merchants Family Cookbook

 

BlogRecipe-PeachCobblerIngredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 can (16 oz) sliced peaches, save liquid
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp banking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

 

Directions:

Pour butter into a shallow 2 quart baking dish; set aside. Drain peaches, reserving 1/4 cup juice. In a saucepan, bring the peaches and juice just to a boil. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, flour, milk, baking powder and salt; mix well. Pour over butter in baking dish. Spoon hot peaches over batter. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until cake tests done. Serve warm.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

 

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Bailey’s Irish Cream

MarchBlogRecipeEmployeeFav

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup light cream
  • 14 oz. can Eagle sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 2/3 cup Irish whiskey
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • 2 Tbsp. Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender set on high speed for 30 seconds. Bottle in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate. The liqueur will keep for at least 2 months if kept cool. Be sure to shake well before serving. Makes 4 cups.

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake

BlogRecipe-PumpkinCheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 3 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • whipped cream

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Make the crust by combining the gram cracker crumbs with the melted butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well enough to coat all of the crumbs with the butter, but not so much as to turn the mixture into paste. Keep it crumbly. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and about 2/3 of the way up the sides of a spring form pan. You don’t want the crust to form all of the way up the back of each slice of cheesecake. Bake the crust for 5 minutes, then set it aside until you are ready to fill it.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.

Pour the filling into the pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes. Top will turn a bit darker at this point. Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool.

When the cheesecake has come to room temperature, put it into the refrigerator. When the cheesecake has chilled, remove the pan sides and cut the cake into 8 equal pieces. Use dental floss to make a clean cut. Serve with a generous portion of whipped cream on top. Serves 8.

 

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Apple Snacks and Crafts

Blog-Apples

In many regions across the country, September marks the start of apple season. From Granny Smith to Red Delicious, there’s usually a wide variety of apples to be found at your local farm or grocery store. Celebrate autumn by enjoying this fruit with the entire family – whether you’re looking for a snack or some fall-themed arts and crafts, apples come in handy.

Thanks to new twists on classic recipes, caramel apples are a favorite seasonal treat that never gets old. For kids, making them is half the fun. The U.S. Apple Association provides a recipe that will please everyone’s taste buds: Instead of popsicle sticks, use licorice or cinnamon sticks, and top the caramel layer off with granola. Not only do these caramel apples taste wonderful, but they make one-of-a-kind rustic centerpieces as well. Find the complete recipe and other delicious apple ideas at usapple.org.

Both young children and teens will love painting with apples. All you need are some apples, acrylic paint, popsicle sticks and paper. Slice an apple so that the inside surface is flat and even. Push a popsicle stick into the outside layer of the fruit for leverage, dip the flat side of the slice into your paint then go ahead and make a masterpiece. You can even experiment by cutting out shapes like stars, on the inside part of the fruit to make cool patterns and stamps. Adults will have to do all the cutting for younger kids, although you can use plastic knives for shape cutting. Check out websites like Make and Takes for more crafty food projects.

With help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the New Jersey Team Nutrition Project offers some great recipes for apple lovers. If you enjoy entertaining or need to bring hors d’oeuvres to a dinner party, try getting creative with dips. Coat your apple wedges with strawberry cream cheese dip or blended peanut butter and orange juice. Check out other state resources, including more dip recipes from the New Jersey Team Nutrition Project, through the USDA at http://www.usda.gov and http://www.nal.usda.gov.

Packed with nutrients and flavor, apples are a healthy choice, whether enjoyed on their own or as an entrée ingredient. Have fun experimenting with new recipes and crafts all year long, or get into the autumn spirit with a whole month of apple-related projects. Learn more about this tasty fruit at http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov.

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The Potato Recipe

BlogRecipeEmployeeFav-PotatoRecipe

Chief Financial Officer Sue Savat shares one of her favorite recipes from the Merchants Family Cookbook. “I really like this recipe for three reasons – it is really easy to make, really delicious to eat and really easy to clean up!  All very important factors in my cooking!”

Ingredients:

  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs. potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In large plastic bag or bowl, add all ingredients. Shake or stir potatoes until completely coated. Empty potatoes into shallow baking or roasting pan. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes or until tender and golden brown.

 

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.