Monday, December 3, 2012

Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Cake Pops

This kit is sold by Williams-Sonoma. It comes with a two-part pan to make mini pumpkins that are put on sticks to make cake pops. We had them on our pumpkin dessert buffet. The cake pops themselves are not too sweet. In order to get the cake pop to stay on the stick (especially after the addition of the glaze) you melt white chocolate and dip the end of the stick it it before sticking it into the cake. To glaze the pops, the directions have you drizzle the glaze on with a wisk, which seemed odd so we used a spoon and then color with sprinkles. They are a little labor intensive, but we thought ours came out cute and tasted good, too.

It took a while to get the correct amount of batter to make perfect little pumpkins

We used teamwork, one drizzling the glaze and one putting on the sprinkles and yet another finding a place to put them while they dried.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin with Herbs and Garlic

This recipe came from an interesting article in the November 2012 issue of Food and Wine. The article is about Thanksgiving dinner at a fabulous sounding farm in Northern California. I want to live there! The only changes I made to the recipe was to cut it down to serve 3 or 4 from the original 10 to 12.
Here's what they had to say about it: "With patches of man-size pumpkins and green gourds hanging from trellises at Hudson Ranch and Vineyards, some kind of squash dish is a requirement at Thanksgiving dinner. This simple gratin features cubes of melt-in-your-mouth winter squash flavored with thyme and sage."
They are absolutely right about the melt-in-your-mouth part. I've eaten a lot of roasted pumpkin, but this simple recipe is really good.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pumpkin Pecan Polvorones

These delicious little takes on Mexican wedding cookies from the website Cookie and Kate didn't last long when I took them to work one morning. And for good reason, they're really good. They are messy though, the powdered sugar leaving trails on the carpet all around the office. I used regular butter and replaced one cup of the whole wheat pastry flour with one cup of regular all-purpose flour. The Hub is a big fan of regular wedding cookies so he was all over these too.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Pecans

This recipe is from the website It uses agave for the sweetner and a heavy dose of spices. I took these nuts to Philadelphia to put on Andrew's birthday cake, which called for a sprinkling of toasted pecans. They complemented the pumpkin poke cake perfectly. We munched on the rest as a snack.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pineapple-Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe was featured in the magazine Eating Well in an ad for Pompeian olive oil. We enjoyed the combination of pineapple and pumpkin in the muffins. They use whole wheat pastry flour, low-fat buttermilk and egg substitute to lower the calories and fat content. It would be easy to undercook them, and I would make sure the pineapple was diced small.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pumpkin Latkes

This recipe came from the vast collection at the blog Everything Pumpkin. There are plenty of pumpkin latkes recipes out there, some use pumpkin and potatoes and some use canned pumpkin. I liked this one because of its simplicity and use of fresh pumpkin as the main ingredient. As you can see from the fryer, we used way more oil than necessary, but we were using it for another recipe and decided to just go with it rather than pour the extra hot oil out. These turned out really good with the outsides crispy and the insides tender. I use a food processor to grate, which makes short order of grating just about anything, including pumpkin. The seasonings were perfect and all they needed was a little sour cream and a sprinkling of chives.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Seared Scallops with Pumpkin Soup

This recipe for a quick and easy dinner is from the website Here's a picture of my friend Kasia cooking as we went through pumpkin recipes one right after the other. This was her favorite of the five we made so I'm including her picture with it. While the scallops are searing, you make a soup of pumpkin puree, chicken broth, honey and butter. Then combine the two and top with toasted hazelnuts and chives. So easy and so good.    

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

High Protein Pumpkin Pancakes

As pretty much vegetarians, the Hub and I are always looking for easy ways to get protein into our diets. I thought this recipe might be a way to do that. The author admits the batter is thick and you have to thin it down with a "touch" of milk or water. Mine needed way more than that. And even then some of these were gooey in the middle. The recipe is easy and they tasted good, but the confusion over the really thick batter could cause some anxiety for beginning cooks. Mine needed at least 1/4 cup more liquid to pour, spread and cook easily. They tasted good though.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pretty Pumpkin Wontons

This recipe from Taste of Home was the first we made in our pumpkin tasting dinner the other night with friends. Everyone like it. The filling is pumpkin, ricotta cheese and salt. I substituted cottage cheese for the ricotta to lower the fat. The sauce, which was too sweet for me but the others liked, is sour cream, powered sugar and apricot preserves. The wontons were easy to make, look impressive and taste good. I don't like to make and rarely eat fried foods so it was a real treat and worth the calories. I ate the leftover filling, which I liked by itself, with a pita.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Play Dough

A guest blog from my daughter:

I am throwing a Halloween party for my 4-year old and was on the Pinterest search for an inexpensive yet cute party favor. Guess what I found? Pumpkin Pie Play Dough! I used the recipe and decorative packaging found here.

The recipe worked just as it was supposed to and we are both thrilled with the results! It smells like heaven!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Saute with Sage and Tart Cider Sauce

This recipe from the Seattle Times surprised all four us us who were tasting it. It was remarkably good; we all like it. We were sampling it a night when we were making five recipes and tasting them as we went along. I had all the ingredients lined up and someone (it was me) grabbed a cup of premeasured chicken broth instead of the cider vinegar/apple cider for this recipe. Hmmm what to do? We ended up adding the cider vinegar/apple cider too and cooking without the lid to get rid of as much liquid as possible. The end result was probably a little wetter than it should have been, but the flavors weren't diminished at all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Soup by Sophie

Grandparents are generous creatures, always thinking of new ways to surprise the little people in their lives. In our case, one of these generous grandparents is Grandma Jo (also known as the pumpkin headmaster here on the 'ole blog). As you might imagine, her surprises often involve pumpkin :D Recently she sent us a copy of the book Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper. Our job? Make Pumpkin Soup, of course! So on a rainy, blustery day my littlest one and I set to doing just that. We used the Pumpkin Soup recipe that is included in the book (although, ours didn’t have it - maybe because it was paperback??) found here.

Pumpkin Soup~ with modifications
2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

**I also added celery and a turnip, just because I had 'em!
1 tablespoon canola oil

**I used olive oil, and probably a bit more than a tablespoon, but I was sauteing more veggies
15-ounce can pumpkin puree

14-ounce can light unsweetened coconut milk

**I used regular (not light) because that is what I had
14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

**added ½ can more
1 tablespoon brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

**I added pepper, too
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

In a large saucepan, cook carrots and onions in oil over medium heat until soft (about 5 minutes). Add chicken broth, cover and cook until carrots are soft (about 5 minutes more).
Carefully transfer vegetables and broth into a blender. Add pumpkin, brown sugar, salt and ginger, and blend until smooth. **I skipped this step, I like my soup more chunky.
Transfer mixture back to saucepan and heat for another 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and cook until heated through. Milk or water can be added to thin the soup if necessary.
**Here is where my modifications reaaaalllly took a turn. My helper had been tasting bites all along and really enjoying it, but I was finding it a bit sweet for my taste. Soooo, I added Sriacha Sauce, which definitely kicked it up a notch. However, I may have gotten a little heavy handed with it, as our soup was now a touch spicy. Oops! Sophie still ate it up, but next time I might wait to add the Sriacha to the individual bowls so that everyone can really enjoy!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Walnut Biscotti

This recipe came from the website The Kitchn with some ideas for edible gifts. The recipe is remarkably easy - the dough came together quickly, the loaf was easy to cut into perfect slices and the end product is attractive and tasty enough to give as a gift. The Hub and I did have problems with two things. We couldn't get our chocolate melted properly enough to drizzle and ended up spreading a thin layer and because of the humidity associated with an impending hurricane (Sandy), we couldn't get them to stay crisp. Also I toasted the walnuts before using them. These will be great to nibble for breakfast when the power is out during that same hurricane.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Smothered Cajun-Spiced Pumpkin

I found this recipe in the Vegetarian Times issue on regional cooking. It says "Smothering is a Southern cooking technique that calls for dousing a dish in brown gravy made with onion and other vegetables. Here, Cajun-seasoned pumpkin is smothered in a gravy made from a base that New Orleans chefs call the holy trinity: a combination of onions, celery and green peppers." Both the Hub and I enjoyed this dish. The Cajun seasoning made it warm but not hot. I ended up with a lot more gravy than pumpkin and thought about roasting some more to use it up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Curry Empanadas

This recipe from the October 2012 Sunset magazine confused the Hub. He couldn't figure out if they were supposed to be sweet or savory. I caused that confusion by adding a tablespoon of maple syrup to the filling. It needed a little sweetness to counteract all those spices. I cheated and used all ready prepared empanada pastries, which is why they are bigger than the recipe calls for and perfectly rounded. I liked these a lot, but me and pie go way back. Right behind cookies on my all-time favorite food list. I ate them with salsa, which seemed appropriate.

According to Wikipedia, empanadas trace their origins to Galacia and Portugal, but they've been embraced by Central and South American cultures, too. They are made by folding dough or bread around stuffing, which usually consists of a variety of meat, cheese, vegetables or fruits, among others.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Caramel-Drizzled Pumpkin Poke Cake

Caramel-Drizzled Pumpkin Poke Cake

I made this cake for Andrew's birthday, which we celebrated up in Philadelphia in early October. Unfortunately we forgot to take any pictures, but our cake looked like this one from the Pillsbury webpage. The recipe calls for a regular cake mix with a can of pumpkin added and after baking, poke holes, drizzle a can of sweetened condensed milk and two jars of hot fudge sauce, spread with a can of frosting, then add nuts and a jar of caramel sauce. Could it possible taste bad with all that?

I did make a few changes as suggested by others who rated and reviewed the cake. I used only one jar of fudge sauce, it is a pumpkin cake after all. I also questioned the wisdom (as did others) of adding the sweetened condensed milk - it just seemed to make the cake soggy. And while we all enjoyed this cake as a change from our usual purple poke cake family birthday cakes, as Kevin said "it's not going to replace it."


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pecan Pumpkin Butter

I put this pecan pumpkin butter, which the author claims is a homemade version of the gourmet kitchen store favorite,

against the Hub's idea of gourmet.

Needless to say, his won with him and mine won with me. I, at least, could pronounce the names of everything I was eating. Although mine was not perfect. It had too much citrus. The recipe calls for the zest of half a lemon and half an orange and I ended up putting in too much, but it's hard to measure. If you're a fan of that gourmet/kitchen store's pecan pumpkin butter give this recipe a try. It's much much cheaper.