Monday, October 5, 2009

Pumpkin Dessert Squares, Coconut-Pecan Sweet Potatoes and Cranberry-Glazed Pork Roast

This last Friday we had a good-bye and good luck potluck for a co-worker who is on to greener pastures and will be sorely missed. Luckily someone reminded me the day before so I had ample time to whip up a contribution to the meal. I'd been wanting to try the Crunchy Pumpkin Dessert Squares and they were not only really easy to put together but also very yummy with Cool Whip on top! Cool Whip makes everything taste better, in my opinion (not to say that this dessert needed it). I also threw Coconut-Pecan Sweet Potatoes in the crockpot and let that cook at work until lunch time (turned out it needed a little bit more time than planned due to a few lid-lifters- you know who you are!!!). :) Finally, I wanted to share the Cranberry-Glazed Pork Roast recipe because it's delicious (the sauce is fabulous) and goes wonderfully with the Coconut-Pecan Sweet Potatoes. I made them both for dinner last week and everyone heralded it a success.

Crunchy Pumpkin Dessert Squares
  • 1 can (30 ounces) pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup reduced-fat butter, melted
  • 1-1/4 cups fat-free whipped topping
In a large bowl, combine the pie filling, milk and eggs; beat on medium speed until smooth. Pour into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with cake mix and pecans; drizzle with butter.
Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Garnish with whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 20 servings.

Coconut-Pecan Sweet Potatoes (Slow-Cooker)
  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (I've used both sweet potatoes and yams- they're both tasty, just depends on your personal preference)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat butter, melted (Yeah, I just use regular butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place sweet potatoes in a 5-qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Combine the pecans, coconut, sugar, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and salt; sprinkle over potatoes.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until potatoes are tender. Stir in extracts. Yield: 12 servings.

Cranberry-Glazed Pork Roast
  • 1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce (Our family is a big fan of Cattleman's)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 boneless rolled pork loin roast (4 pounds) **(I used two smaller pork loin roasts- one about 2.5 lbs., one about 1.5 lbs. and cooked them together for about an hour and a half total time, including glazing)
In a small saucepan, combine the cranberry sauce, apple juice, barbecue sauce and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into cranberry mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside 1 cup sauce.
Place roast in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1-3/4 hours. Spoon a third of the remaining glaze over pork. Bake 30 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 160°, basting twice. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved sauce. Yield: 16 servings.

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