Showing posts with label pumpkin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pumpkin. Show all posts

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

I haven't done much with pumpkin this year on my blog but I did see an article about making toasted pumpkin seeds for a snack in Parade Magazine. Since I happened to still have my Halloween pumpkin sitting on my kitchen table I thought "hmm, maybe I'll make some toasted pumpkin seeds!"  I have never tried doing this before so it would be a new and interesting idea.  I also thought it would be fun to share it with all of you.  So, I proceeded to cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds (kind of yucky) then I picked off the membranes and washed them off in the kitchen sink.  The next step is to spread the cleaned seeds into an oiled baking sheet; dry them in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Take out and toss with 2 Tbsp melted butter and seasonings (for sweet:  1-1/2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg; for savory: 1/2 teaspoon course salt, 1-1/2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of black pepper).  Roast at 375 degrees for 7 minutes and you're done!

These pumpkin seeds are easy to make, quick and yummy to eat.


The Creative Cook

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thanksgiving - Pumpkin Pie

I know, I know, pumpkin month is over but Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I am having Thanksgiving at my house this year so I'm thinking about pie. Of course, you say?! Why are you thinking about pie? You have a whole dinner to worry about. Well, my family is very helpful.

My sister is making the turkey. She is very particular about how the turkey is cooked, so she is bringing it. That's fine with me. Whatever works.

My mother is bringing sweet potatoes and artichokes and maybe if I beg her she'll bring her famous string bean salad. That leaves very little for me to make. We'll most definitely buy an apple pie and maybe some other type of pie but I really like to cook as you already know. That leaves me with the chore of figuring out what I can make. I usually make stuffing because no one else in this family really eats and/or likes stuffing but the husbands. My husband and son love cranberry sauce but not the home made kind. They always prefer the store bought "jellied" kind. Since I don't eat cranberry sauce, I figure they can have whatever kind they want. So sue me!

I'm thinking about making a savory pumpkin soup. The recipe I posted last month with the pumpkin Parmesan soup sounded pretty good to me. So there you have it, I am having around 16 people for Thanksgiving dinner and all I am making is soup, stuffing, a dessert of some sort and mashed potatoes. Why am I making mashed potatoes, because I really like them. That's why! Maybe I'll go crazy and even make some dinner rolls.

I should make November "Pie" month. I'm going to start off with a traditional pumpkin pie recipe for you. This recipe is from the Martha Stewart Living website. Enjoy!

Fluted Traditional Pumpkin Pie

Serves 12


• All-purpose flour, for surface
• Pate Brisee for Traditional Pumpkin Pie (pie dough)
• 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
• 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
• 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 3 large eggs
• 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
• Ground cloves
• Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll pate brisee disk 1/8 inch thick, then cut into a 16-inch circle. Fit circle into a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold edges under.

2. Shape large, loose half circles at edge of dough, then fold into a wavelike pattern to create a fluted edge. Prick bottom of dough all over with a fork. Freeze for 15 minutes.

3. Cut a circle of parchment, at least 16 inches wide, and fit into pie shell. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges of crust begin to turn gold, about 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.

4. Meanwhile, whisk pumpkin, sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, eggs, milk, and a pinch of cloves in a large bowl.

5. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into cooled crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 50 to 55 minutes. (If crust browns too quickly, tent edges with a strip of foil folded in half lengthwise.) Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).

Serve chilled with whipped cream, if desired.

Pate Brisee (Pie Dough)

Pate brisee is the French version of classic pie or tart pastry. Pressing the dough into a disc rather than shaping it into a ball allows it to chill faster. This will also make the dough easier to roll out, and if you freeze it, it will thaw more quickly.

Makes 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9- to 10-inch pies.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

The Creative Cook

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Sour Cream Pumpkin Bundt Cake

This recipe looks like a winner for a Halloween party or a Thanksgiving dinner. I found this recipe on but it was originally from Libby's website. They are the ones that make the canned pumpkin puree.

Printed from COOKS.COM

A surprise filling of brown sugar streusel makes this pumpkin-flavored cake a special treat. Save a bit of icing for drizzling over each serving of this wonderful cake!

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons butter

COMBINE brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice in small bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 container (8 oz.) sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan.

COMBINE flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat granulated sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

TO ASSEMBLE: SPOON half of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle Streusel over batter, not allowing Streusel to touch sides of pan. Top with remaining batter. Make sure batter layer touches edges of pan.

BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes in pan on wire rack. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with Glaze.

COMBINE 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice or milk in small bowl; stir until smooth.

Estimated Times: Preparation - 12 minutes; Cooking - 55 minutes.
Yields 12 to 16 servings.


The Creative Cook

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

This recipe is from Streaming Gourmet -- The Blog. These cookies look so yummy. I think they would work for Thanksgiving as well as Halloween. I'm also thinking that the Heavenly Pumpkin Brownies could be a great Thanksgiving dessert for those who don't care for pumpkin pie. I'm going to explore some different kinds of pumpkin pie recipes next month because I am not a big fan of pumpkin pie.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Makes about 36 cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 brown sugar
3/4 granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
pinch mace
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add pumpkin and beat well. Then add eggs and beat well. Finally add vanilla and beat well.

3. Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, about 1/3 at a time and mix well after each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula.

4. Spoon batter onto cookie sheets that have been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or lightly buttered. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let sit for one minute after removing from oven. Then cool on wire racks.


The Creative Cook

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Month -- Heavenly Pumpkin Brownies

Heavenly Pumpkin Brownies

4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a large mixing bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs well, add in the sugar and butter and mix well. Add the pumpkin and vanilla and mix. Add the flour and spices and mix well. Spread in a 9 X 13-inch greased pan.

2. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

3. To make frosting: In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar until just mixed, careful not to over mix.
When the brownies are cool, frost. (I only needed to use about 1/2 of the frosting.) You can sprinkle chopped nuts on top of the brownies, if desired. Cut into squares and serve. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Brownies
Makes about 20 brownies


For the chocolate batter:
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz Ghirardelli 70% cacao baking chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the pumpkin batter:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves


1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9″ x 11″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Using a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate together. I don’t have a double boiler, so I just put a metal mixing bowl on top of a saucepan with simmering water. Stir constantly while they are both melting. Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature while you prepare the other parts of the batters.

3. In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients for the chocolate batter (i.e. the flour, baking powder and salt) and set aside.

4. In another medium bowl, at the other end of the counter, mix the dry ingredients for the pumpkin batter (i.e. the flour, baking powder and salt in slightly different proportions).

5. In a standing mixer, with the paddle attachment in place, beat together the 2 eggs and 3/4 cup of sugar for the pumpkin batter. Mix them for 3-5 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and pumpkin and mix thoroughly. Add the melted butter and spices and blend well.

6. Back to the chocolate batter. Add the brown sugar and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture and blend well. Beat in the eggs and combine well.

7. Now you are ready to mix dry ingredients with wet. For the chocolate batter, fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture, stirring as little as possible to get it blended completely. For the pumpkin batter, pour the dry ingredients into the wet and use the stand up mixer to combine thoroughly, again without overmixing.

8. Pour half of the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Layer half of the pumpkin batter on top of the chocolate. Repeat with the reaming two layers. Using a spatula, swirl the two batters together by inserting the tip all the way to the bottom of the pan and moving it through the batters in an S shape. Try to swirl the bottom layer up toward the top while continuing with the swirly, s-shaped motions.

7. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan.

These sound yummy~ Enjoy!

The Creative Cook

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes


• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3 tablespoons brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 1 cup pumpkin puree
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons vinegar

1. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.


The Creative Cook

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Pumpkin Waffles

Pumpkin Waffles
Gourmet | November 2000
Cafe 222, San Diego, CA
yield: Makes 12 (4-inch) waffles
active time: 35 min
total time: 35 min

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
• 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 4 large eggs
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
• 1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
• 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
• Vegetable oil for brushing waffle iron
• Accompaniment: warm pure maple syrup
• Special equipment: a waffle iron (preferably nonstick)

Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron.
Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended, then whisk in milk, buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until smooth.
Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter (about 2 cups for four 4-inch Belgian waffles) into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.


The Creative Cook

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Pumpkin Gnocchi

Pumpkin Gnocchi
Serves 4

Chef Jeffery Jake shared this divine, melt-in-your mouth pasta dish with us during a Chef Walk at Earthbound Organic Farm Stand. You can substitute canned pumpkin purée if you don't have a fresh pumpkin. Be sure to use a cooking variety, like Sugar Pie, rather than an ornamental pumpkin for the best flavor and texture.

1-1/2 pounds fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
(or 1-1/2 cups purée)
2 tablespoons butter
1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Shaved parmesan cheese, as garnish

Place the pumpkin cubes in a medium-size saucepan and cover with boiling water. Cook over medium-high heat until the pumpkin is soft and tender. Drain and discard the cooking water.

Set a sieve over a bowl and press the pumpkin through the sieve. Return the purée to the pan and add the 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the pumpkin has thickened and dried, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour, egg yolk, salt, and pepper, beating just until combined. The mixture should be in the form of a soft dough.

To form the gnocchi, roll about a tablespoon of dough in the palm of your hand to form an oblong disk. Press the tines of a fork lightly against one side of the disk to make an indentation. Place the formed gnocchi on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment. If you're not going to cook them immediately, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the gnocchi for up to 4 hours.

When you're ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining the butter and thyme in a small skillet. Place over low heat and simmer until the butter turns golden.

Cook the gnocchi a few at a time in the boiling water until they rise to the surface of the water. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to a warm platter. To serve, drizzle the gnocchi with the butter sauce, and top with ribbons of parmesan and a few grinds of fresh pepper.

Pumpkin Gnocchi With Sage Butter
From: Italian Food Forever

Be careful not to overwork or overknead the dough; you simply want to incorporate the flour into the pumpkin puree

• 1 (15 oz.) Can Pumpkin Puree (drain excess water)
• Salt & Pepper
• Dash Of Nutmeg
• 2 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
• 1/3 Cup Melted Butter
• 6-7 Finely Chopped Sage Leaves
• 1 Large Clove Garlic, Minced
• Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1. Mix together the flour, pumpkin and seasonings to make a soft dough.

2. Add additional flour if the dough is sticky or does not hold together.

3. Divide the dough into 6 parts, and on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a rope about 1 inch in diameter.

4. Cut the rope into 1 inch pieces and roll each lightly along the floured surface.

5. Continue using up all the dough in this fashion. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet. You can refrigerate the gnocchi until you are ready to cook them.

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a slow boil.
2. Place the butter in a small saucepan and heat.
3. Add the garlic and sage.
4. Cook the gnocchi in lightly salted boiling water for until the gnocchi rise to the surface and float.
5. Remove from the water, mix with the butter sage sauce, and serve topped with the
freshly grated cheese.


The Creative Cook

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Spiced Pumpkin Butter

I have never really thought about making pumpkin butter before. In fact, I only just tried apple butter for the first time about a month ago. I guess I’m really behind the curve on this fruit butter stuff. I actually had to do some research about what to use pumpkin butter on. The serving suggestions for pumpkin butter that I have read say it is a great all-purpose spread. You can spice up your breakfast by spreading it on toast, pancakes or muffins. For a quick appetizer, spread it on toasted bread with slices of your favorite cheese.

Prep: 15 min.
Cook: 25 min.

4 cups Pumpkin Puree or two 15-oz cans pumpkin
1-1/4 cups pure maple syrup
½ cup apple juice
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
Chopped hazelnuts (optional)

1. In 5-quart Dutch oven combine all ingredients except nuts. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, 25 minutes or until thick. (If mixture spatters, reduce heat to medium-low). Remove from heat; cool.

2. Ladle into jars or freezer containers, leaving ½-inch headspace. Cover; store in refrigerator up to 1 week or freezer up to 6 months.

3. To serve, top with chopped nuts.

Makes 4-1/2 cups


The Creative Cook

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Parmigiano Pumpkin Soup with Frizzled Prosciutto

If your idea of pumpkin is sweet, if you think it should be seasoned only with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and sugar, then get ready to change your mind. This savory, creamy, pungently cheesy pumpkin soup is seasoned with garlic and Parmesan, and with the frizzled threads of crisped prosciutto. Serve it as a first course before a roast (it makes an inspired appetizer for Thanksgiving), or for lunch with someone you’re dying to impress.


2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 ozs. Thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
1 large onion, cut into 1/8 inch dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (about 28 ozs.) 100% pure pumpkin
2 quarts vegetable or chicken broth
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground white pepper
½ cup cream (at least 10% fat)
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tbs. chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley


1. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto, and sauté until crisp and frizzled. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.

2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion to the skillet, and sauté until tender (do not brown). Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds, until aromatic. Stir in the pumpkin, broth, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Transfer to a 5-to 6- quart slow cooker, cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours on high, or 6 to 8 hours on low.

3. Stir in the cream and Parmesan, and heat through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Ladle into bowls, garnish with frizzled prosciutto and serve.


Even though the length of cooking time for this soup would make it possible to use fresh pumpkin instead of canned, I advise you not to. Libby’s canned pumpkin (the most commonly available brand) is made from a specially cultivated strain of pumpkin designed for cooking. It is richer, creamer and tastier than any fresh pumpkin you can purchase.

If you don’t have prosciutto, you can substitute 3 slices bacon, cut into thin strips.

Feel free to alter the type of cheese to fit your taste or what you have on hand. Any smoked cheese would be delicious in this soup, and other grating cheeses, like Asiago or Romano, are easily substituted.

American Lifestyle Magazine
October 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Month - "Pumpkin" Stew

This recipe was given to me by my friend "C". She says, "It really is quite simple and tasty. A great way to fill up those little ghoul and goblin tummies with some 'good food' before they hit the streets for trick or treating."

Pumpkin Stew

You use a small to medium pumpkin and cut it so that 2/3 is the bottom and 1/3 the top; this is so the pumpkin will serve as a serving bowl for the stew. Peel and cube the cut-off, top portion of the pumpkin, discarding the stem. Using your favorite beef stew recipe, omit 1/3 of the potatoes and add in the pumpkin cubes. After stew is cooked, serve from the hollowed out pumpkin shell.


The Creative Cook

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Pumpkin Rice Pudding

Another yummy looking pumpkin recipe:

PREP: 25 min.
BAKE: 1 HR. 5 min.
COOK: 15 min.
STAND: 15 min.
OVEN: 325 degrees F

2/3 cup water
1/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
2/3 cup Pumpkin Puree or canned pumpkin
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup dried cranberries or raisins
1 medium red apple and/or green pear, cored and thinly sliced (1 cup)
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp. honey

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In small saucepan combine water and rice. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring once.

2. In medium bowl combine eggs, milk, Pumpkin Puree, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and salt. Stir in rice and ½ cup of the cranberries. Pour mixture into 1-1/2 quart straight sided deep baking dish. Place dish in baking pan on oven rack. Pour boiling water into baking pan until water comes halfway up sides of baking dish.

3. Bake 30 minutes; stir. Bake 35 minutes more or until outside edge appears set. Remove dish from oven. Cool slightly on wire rack.

4. Meanwhile, in bowl combine remaining ¼ cup cranberries and boiling water to cover. Let stand 15 minutes; drain. Just before serving, toss together apple, walnuts, honey and cranberries. Spoon over pudding. Serve warm.

5. To store, cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Roasted Pumpkins with Bacon & Brown Sugar

Today is such a dreary day that I chose this recipe to lift our spirits and nourish our souls. Well, if that doesn't work there is always the bacon. It is said to make almost everything taste better, or so I've heard. This is the perfect weather for staying home and making something yummy!

This recipe says that pie pumpkins are small, sweet pumpkins grown for eating. Look for even coloring and no soft spots. Sounds like good advice!

Prep: 15 min.
Roast: 20 min.
Oven: 400 degrees F

6 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and drained, drippings reserved
2 2-to-4 pound pie pumpkins
1 tsp.salt
¼ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. fennel seed, crushed
2 to 3 green onions, diagonally sliced

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut off top ¼ of pumpkins. Remove seeds and strings; reserve 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds.

2. Place pumpkins, cut side up, in foil-lined baking pan. Brush insides with some of the bacon drippings and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Replace lids. Roast pumpkins in oven 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in skillet stir together pumpkin seeds, fennel seed, green onions, and remaining bacon drippings. Add skillet to oven during last 10 minutes of roasting.

4. Remove pumpkins and seed mixture from oven. Sprinkle inside of pumpkins with seed mixture and crumbled bacon. To serve, use a large spoon to scoop out insides or use knife to cut into wedges.
Serves 8 to 10.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pumpkin Month -- Pumpkin Black Bean Bake

First things, first. Do you use canned pumpkin when you make a pumpkin dish? I have never seen a "pie" pumpkin in a grocery store but I haven't really looked that hard.
This recipe looks yummy!

Serves 6

Prep: 30 min.
Bake: 20 min.
Oven: 400 degrees F

1 lb ground beef
2 cups ½ inch pieces peeled pie pumpkin or winter squash
1 medium onion , coarsely chopped
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 4-oz can diced green chilies
½ tsp. salt
½ cup lower-sodium beef broth
1 3-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 8-1/2 –oz pkg. corn muffin mix
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup Pumpkin Puree, recipe below or canned pumpkin
Jalapeno-Olive Relish (optional), recipe below

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large skillet cook ground beef, pumpkin, and onion over medium heat until meat is browned and onion tender, breaking up ground beef with spoon; drain fat. Stir in black beans, corn, chilies, and salt. Heat through. Stir in broth and cream cheese until blended. Transfer mixture to 2-1/2 quart baking dish.

2. In medium bowl stir together corn muffin mix, egg, milk, and Pumpkin Puree until just combined. Spoon over beef mixture.

3. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into topper comes out clean. Serve with Jalapeno-Olive Relish.

JALAPENO-OLIVE RELISH: In a small bowl combine ¼ cup halved pitted green olives; 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers,* sliced; 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered; and 1 to 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro. SERVES 6

*Hot chile peppers contain oils that can burn skin and eyes. When working with them, wear plastic or rubber gloves.

Makes 5 Cups Puree

PREP: 15-min
COOK: 1 hour
OVEN: 375 degrees F

2 3-1/2 lb. pie pumpkins

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut pumpkins in 5 x 5 inch pieces. Remove seeds and strings. Arrange pieces in single layer, skin side up, in a foil-lined baking pan.

2. Bake, covered, 1 hour or until tender. When cool enough to handle, scoop pulp from rind. Place pulp in blender or food processor.

3. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Transfer to freezer bags. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days or freeze up to 6 months. Thaw in refrigerator to use.

All recipes are from Better Homes & Gardens, October 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Pumpkin Cheesecake II

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap-Pecan Crust
And maple sour cream topping
Makes one 9” cheesecake

For the Crust –

24 small gingersnap cookies (to make 1 cup crumbs)
4 graham crackers (to make ½ cup crumbs)
½ cup pecan halves, toasted
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbs. sugar
Pinch of Salt

For the Filling –
3 pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature (8 oz each)
1 cup sugar
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz.)
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
Juice of ½ a lemon

For the Topping –
1-1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees; coat a 9” springform pan with nonstick spray.

Process gingersnaps for the crust in a food processor until fine (remove any big chunks); transfer to a bowl. Process crackers until fine and add to cookie crumbs. Pulse nuts until chopped and add to crumb mixture. Stir in butter, 2 Tbs. sugar, and salt until sandy, then press into the bottom and 1” up the sides of prepared pan. Place pan on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove and cool slightly.

Beat cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar for the filling in a bowl with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, spices, and lemon juice; beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically.

Pour filling over crust and bake 50-55 minutes, or until sides are set but center is still slightly jiggly. Remove cheesecake from oven (leave oven on).
Whisk sour cream and syrup for the topping together in a small bowl. Carefully spread topping over cheesecake, return it to the oven, and bake 15 minutes more, or until set. Turn oven off, crack the door, and leave cheesecake inside for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool to room temperature, then cover loosely with plastic and chill overnight. To serve, remove sides from the pan, then slice with a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry before each cut.

Total Time: 1 hours 30 minutes, plus cooling

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Pumpkin Muffins


1 15 oz can of pure pumpkin
(about 2 cups)*
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350.

In large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Beat until well mixed.

In separate bowl, combined the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and ground cloves.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, beating until smooth.

Bake 30-35 minutes. Makes between 3 ½ to 4 dozens.

*Sometimes I add an individual size (4 oz) applesauce to the muffins.

Taste great with cool whip on top.

You can also make it in a bread pan – just bake it longer.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pumpkin Month - Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake

My favorite month of the year is October. My favorite season is fall. Why, you ask? Well, it is my birthday month, my son's birthday month, my husband's birthday month and just about everyone I know is born in October. No, not really. But sometimes it feels that way. We do know lots of Libras and October babies.

Fall is my favorite season because of the crisp, clear weather! I also love the apple cider, especially hot apple cider. I also love to see the Halloween decorations, pumpkins and scarecrows come out for the season. Every year I try to take my son to a corn maze. He may be getting too old for it but we are going this year anyway. His school had a fundraiser at a local corn maze which is always a good cause. He and his buddies want to do the "night maze" this year to make it a little more age appropriate for them. I don't mind. I'll get some hot apple cider or some hot cocoa and maybe an apple fritter and I'll be set!

In keeping with the fall season, my sister sent me a bunch of pumpkin recipes. She doesn't eat pumpkin in any way shape or form but I guess it sounded good to her so she sent them over to me. I also got a pumpkin muffin recipe from a friend and I'm expecting a pumpkin bread recipe from another friend. I think it is going to have to be pumpkin month at my blog with maybe some apples thrown in for good measure. The pumpkin recipes I have even include a casserole that sounds pretty good. I'm going to start pumpkin month with a pumpkin cheesecake recipe that I have been holding onto for a long time. I think it is time to try this cheesecake. It would be super appropriate for any Halloween party, don't you think? You could use low fat cream cheese but why bother!

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake
12 Servings

3 Tbs. unsalted Butter
1 cup gingersnap crumbs, about 20 cookies
2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 tsp. lemon juice
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 Tbs. dark-brown sugar
2 Tbs. molasses
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9” springform pan and wrap the pan with a piece of heavy-duty foil.

Melt the 3 Tbs. butter and combine with the crumbs. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and chill. With an electric mixer set at medium-low speed, beat the cream cheese, the granulated sugar and 2 Tbs. of the cornstarch until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, the vanilla and salt. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove 3-1/2 cups of this batter, stir in lemon juice and set aside.

Combine the remaining batter with the pumpkin, brown sugar, molasses, the remaining 1 Tbs. cornstarch and the spices. Set aside 1 cup of the pumpkin batter. Spread half of the remaining pumpkin batter in the prepared pan.

Gently spoon half of the plain batter over the pumpkin batter. Spoon the other half of pumpkin batter over this and then the remaining plain batter over the pumpkin. Dot with spoonfuls of the reserved cup of pumpkin batter. With a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon, gently swirl the batters.

Put the cheesecake in a large roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with water halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake until the center of the cheesecake jiggles only slightly when the pan it tapped. About 1 hour 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the cake. Let the cake cool 10 minutes in the water bath. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Chill thoroughly before serving. Decorate with candied walnuts if desired.

Work Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes