Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Harvest Pumpkin Apple Bread

We all loved this bread recipe from Libby's last week when the entire gang was here. It isn't that much different than other recipes, but the addition of chopped apple and apple juice helps keep it moist and adds some interest. I made six small loaves and kept them in the freezer, taking one out as needed. I carefully measured the batter to make sure each pan had the same amount and they rose and baked exactly the same.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cinnamon-Swirl Pumpkin Rolls

I was really disappointed in this recipe from the King Arthur Flour website. The recipe seems to be put together to use as many of their products as possible. They didn't rise as much as I would have liked and I think this is because of the addition of whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour). Come on - what's the point of that! To make them healthy? No one eats cinnamon rolls for the nutritional aspect of them. They are a lot of work to make and a lot of calories to eat - so they have to be a once-in-a-great-while treat. And to be this special treat, they need to be light and fluffy, which these rolls are not. Maddie looks like she's having a great time eating hers, but actually she's just having a great time eating the frosting. I trust her judgement on these - cinnamon rolls are her favorite food.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Krusteaz Pumpkin Pie Bar mix

This seasonal mix from Krusteaz made an 8 x 8-inch pan. It has a gingerbread crust with a really nice pumpkin filling. Here's a picture of youngest son Kevin, home for Thanksgiving from Dublin, Ireland, with the bars and Mac.The small pan didn't last more than a couple of hours. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cassoulet with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Garlic

This recipe fromWilliams-Sonoma makes a large pot of beans and pumpkin. It has a nice flavor, but I felt it needed more liquid and less cooking time. Pumpkin cut into 1/2 inch cubes doesn't take an hour to cook. My beans were split and way overdone by then and all of the liquid absorbed. I also wonder if you shouldn't turn the heat down after roasting the garlic to say 350 or 325.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Brownies

A friend of my daughter passed on this recipe. These brownies are decadent and my picture does not do them justice. There should be four layers - two pumpkin mixed with spices and nuts and two chocolate with chocolate chips - swirled together. I did have a little trouble with the recipe, most of which was my fault. To begin with I don't have an 8 x 8 inch pan, only a 9 x 9, which I thought might produce flat brownies, so I went with a smaller pan and couldn't fit all the batter in. Also the recipe calls for making four layers, but my chocolate batter was way too thick to be able to spread twice, so I only have two layers. Now that I'm looking at the picture on the website with the recipe, it has a thinner, two-layer brownie picture, so I might not be the only one with these issues. None of this hurt the results though. They are truly great and I have every intention of making them again. I might double the recipe and use a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Deviled Short Ribs with Pumpkin, Chickpeas and Kale

It's recipes like this from The New York Times that are causing the Hub to declare himself a sweet pumpkin recipe taster only. And these recipes have no one to blame but themselves. Three hours & 45 minutes and 18 ingredients later, we had dinner. It was ok. Nothing special and certainly nothing I ever make again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

This cake recipe from Libby's combines pumpkin pie mix, a cake mix and eggs for the cake part and then cuts in butter, chopped nuts, coconut and and part of the cake mix for the crunch on top. I saw many variations of this recipe when I was looking online and none of them looked as good as this one. And none were as easy either. I feel Libby's works hard to highlight their products with uncomplicated, great-tasting recipes and this is another example. And believe me, they aren't paying me to say this.

Everyone liked this, at the house and at work. I was suspicious of the cake part because it has no oil, but it made a deliciously moist, but not heavy cake. The crunch part was only crunchy for the first day - such is the nature of pumpkin, but still tasted good. In my family, coconut is an acquired taste that most of us don't have, but in this recipe the coconut complements without overpowering the pumpkin.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pumpkin Omelet

This recipe for a pumpkin omelet comes from the blog Jul's Kitchen. It is her grandmother's recipe. I diced the pumpkin instead of slicing it - feeling that it would work better for an omelet. I beat the eggs (in this case, five eggs) with an electric beater for quite a while to get a fluffy omelet. I also pulled the omelet away from the sides of the pan to let it run underneath and used a plate on top to turn it over. I really liked this but wanted some warm salsa or other tomato-based sauce over the top of it since both eggs and pumpkin are kind of bland. It packed very well for lunch the next day too.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Pumpkin Brunch

Karen and Andrew are getting married in 2012, so last weekend, the Hub and I went to Philadelphia to meet Karen's family and check out the venue for the wedding. When we got there on Saturday morning, they had a pumpkin brunch waiting for us. How fun! I contributed this pumpkin streusel coffeecake by King Arthur Flour. It was OK, but didn't rise nearly as high as the picture on the box using a regular bundt pan.

Here's picture with the adorable Stella, Karen's niece. If you look out the window, you'll see it is just starting to snow. Yep snow in October.

We also had this pumpkin pie liqueur, which was added to coffee. I'm not a fan of coffee, but the Hub said it was great.

The table was really festive with "everything great stuffed in a pumpkin," sausage and fruit salad.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Southwestern Style Pumpkin

This recipe from The New York Times is a great side dish. The pumpkin is cubed and then cooked on top of the stove until tender. When I went back to the paper to find out how much caloric damage a cup of heavy cream was going to do, I found that this recipe was from an article on cooking with pumpkin published in 1987. Apparently some people and newspapers have been pushing pumpkin for quite a while.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Peppa and the Peacock

Here's a picture of granddaughters Peppa Pig (Sophie) and the peacock (Maddie) with their friends Thomas the train and baby ladybug. For all you Americans, Peppa Pig is a British cartoon character that Sophie has fallen in love with. The Hub picked up her costume in Ireland a few weeks ago.

Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Loaf Bread
The Hub needed a snack to take to an office Halloween party, and we decided on this pumpkin bread recipe from Libby's. I don't know why this is called "old fashioned," seems like regular pumpkin bread to me. They've probably just run out of different names to call pumpkin bread. I made smaller loaves, but it still took the entire cook time. The Hub said it was gone so fast at the office, he didn't even get a piece himself.