Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding

The Hub loves tapioca pudding. For the past forty years, he's been making up a huge bowl of it several times a year to give himself a tapioca hit. He's the only one who eats it so after he finishes up the bowl, he's good for a while. I knew he would love this pumpkin tapioca recipe from the PBS food website, but after searching all my neighborhood stores, I couldn't find regular pearl tapioca. So my final product is a combination of this recipe and the one on the box of minute tapioca. I steamed the pumpkin and added the cubes whole instead of mashing them. The box recipe calls for 2 3/4 cups of milk which I divided between the coconut milk and skim milk. The Hub declared it a winner. Another great way to get fresh pumpkin into your diet.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells

This recipe from the blog Cook au Vin looks much better on her blog than on mine. The pumpkin sauce on hers is bright yellow-orange and on mine, sort of pale yellow velvetta looking stuff because I used white cheddar cheese. The recipe has been adapted from a recipe from Every Day with Rachel Ray. I put this together in the morning and the Hub cooked it in the evening for dinner. It makes 20 shells stuffed with a hamburger and spinach mixture covered with a pumpkin and cheddar cheese sauce. What's not to like? Our pan went much faster than I thought it would because everyone like it.  

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Caramel and White Wine Glazed Pumpkin Chunks

This is a perfect recipe for serving pumpkin as a side dish vegetable. It's easy and contains interesting ingredients to spice up the bland, but nutritious, pumpkin. I couldn't get mine to brown as much as the recipe author's, but it could be the pan or the water in the pumpkin. I was the lone tester on this and had no complaints except for the rosemary, which sort of felt like I was eating little sticks with the pumpkin.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pumpkin Granola

This is the second time I have made a pumpkin granola, but the first one only contained pumpkin seeds. This recipe from the website Buried Carrots contains a can of pumpkin. I made a half recipe but added three cups of rolled oats instead of 2 1/4, cut the maple syrup to 1/4 cup and replaced the cranberries with dried sour cherries. It's the kind of recipe that just begs to be customized. I was really pleased with the results. It's crispy and not too sweet. Mine came out to 200 calories per 1/2 cup (darn those nuts), but nutritionally, they're pretty healthy calories.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower Pumpkin Swirl Dip

Everyone liked this savory dip from the vegan blog Happy Healthy Life when I served it to my sister, brother-in-law, the Hub and I. It's kind of a complicated recipe, which has you roasting an onion and head of cauliflower, running that through the food processor for the first part. Then running pumpkin puree, garbanzo beans and maple syrup with some spices and flavoring for the second part. Swirling the two parts together and then baking. Still it was good and if a person's diet was limited to vegetables, certainly a creative way to get three included in one dish. My sister made it for a potluck the next week and everyone there liked it, too.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles

I couldn't believe what a hit these pumpkin cream cheese truffles from the website The Galley Gourmet were when I took them to work. The center is pumpkin, gingersnap crumbs, cream cheese and white chocolate with a white chocolate coating. I had made the balls and kept them in the freezer over the weekend and then coated them in the morning before bringing them to work. I did not add the vegetable shortening which would probably have thinned my chocolate down. It was pretty thick. I saved a couple for the Hub, but never actually ate one myself after adding the chocolate. The Hub was mildly enthusiastic, but at work they were declared the best pumpkin recipe ever and disappeared in a flash.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Langoustine Stew

This recipe from the website Inspiring the Everyday started with a conversation between the Hub and I that went something like this: We can't make this, we don't have any baby lobsters. Yes we do. Where did they come from? Costco. No, I was there, there were no baby lobsters purchased at Costco. What are these then? Shrimp!

That was the last bit of involvment by the Hub in this recipe. He was having none of it, which was fine with me. It was simple to make and I loved the flavor. I even made (for the first time) shrimp stock with some real shrimp I had in the freezer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Twice Baked Pumpkin Potatoes

I made these potatoes for the Hub's birthday dinner. We all enjoyed them, but did find them kind of bland. Both potatoes and pumpkin need something to spice them up. The vinegar onions are good and the bacon a nice touch, but it's hard to get all the flavors in one bite. And once you've eaten all the goodies off the top, you're left with mashed potatoes mixed with pumpkin and a little salt, pepper and butter. If I made these again, I think I would try to incorporate everything into the potato/pumpkin part, spice it up and return it to the potato shell.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Baked Pumpkin Spice Tortilla Chips

The Hub and I spent one Saturday night (I know, real exciting life) making batch after batch of these trying to find what the Food Network saw in them. The recipe was actually invented by a real chef with her own real cooking television show. We cut our tortillas into sixths rather than fourths, but even that wouldn't account for the fact that the first batch burned to a crisp in 10 minutes. The recipe calls for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. The second batch was pulled after five minutes so it didn't burn, but still didn't taste very good either. Cooked pumpkin pie spice is kinda bitter. I added sugar to the pumpkin pie spice in the last batch in order to salvage something but still, it was a case of too little too late. They all got pitched in the trash. This is a really bad recipe.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Frozen Pumpkin Mudslides

The Hub and I are not particularly big drinkers. He has a beer once in a while, me almost never. Ironically we have a very well stocked liquor cabinet - mostly from one off recipes and adult kids. We decided to make a pitcher of these frozen pumpkin mudslides from the website Cupcake Project on Superbowl Sunday since we had all the ingredients except the chocolate syrup. To replace the chocolate syrup the Hub threw in some chocolate kisses. The recipe only makes two (and it's a good thing), which we polished off in no time and both decided it just might be the best thing we've ever eaten. I gave him a big one and me a small one so I was done first and immediately headed out to the kitchen to lick the blender. Later I caught him trying to scrape out the blender, too. And by the way, kisses are a little hard on the blender and we found big chunks, still you could taste the chocolate.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

I made this pumpkin tortilla soup from the website The Kitchn in the morning for a weeknight meal. The Hub's job was to make the tortilla strip garnish when he came home from work. He took his chore seriously and we all thought it was the best part of the soup. Not that the rest tasted bad, it didn't. We've just eaten a lot of pumpkin soup in this house, so no one was getting too excited about another bowl of it. The recipe can be tailored as to the desired chili hotness. I was not familiar with chili pequins (although now I see them in the Pensey's catalog) so I used a few shakes of dried red pepper flakes. Andrew likes to burn his taste buds off with heat, but the Hub and I only like a mild warmth. The recipe calls for pumpkin puree, but I just dumped in roasted pumpkin without pureeing it because I thought it would add to the rustic flavor of the soup.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas

These pumpkin spice roasted chickpeas look exactly like the picture of them on the website The Purple Carrot. But I'm not exactly sure what they are supposed to taste like. Some of mine were crispy and some were chewy and neither version was all that good. I know that chickpeas are healthy, but they do have calories and I plowed through a can of them in less than a day. The Hub turned up his nose. I don't think I would make these again.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pumpkin Fondue

For our late December anniversary, the Hub, the boys and I went to a fondue restaurant. It was so much fun. Because we had made a reservation and the restaurant wasn't too crowded that evening, we were seated at a table that had two cooking units (probably usually saved for larger groups). This allowed us to sample two different fondues or cooking broths at the same time. We took advantage of this and tried all kinds of the things; we could barely drag ourselves out when the meal was over and have nothing but great thoughts about fondue.

This pumpkin fondue recipe from the blog Eating Rules is really good. It starts with hard apple cider (many of the cheese fondues we tried started with beer) and adds pumpkin puree, both sweet and savory spices, and three types of cheese. I served it with warm rolls, apple slices and slightly steamed vegetables plus salami slices for the Hub. We both really enjoyed it and I plan on making it again.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pumpkin Burgers

There are several pumpkin burger recipes out there and this one from Taste of Home is more like a sloppy joe than a meat patty. It combines hamburger with onion, tomato-based sauces, pumpkin and seasonings and simmers them for an hour. Andrew, the Hub and I were the tasters on this and we all liked it. No pumpkin flavor can be detected, but it's a great way to get more pumpkin in your diet without even noticing it. I plan on trying some of the other pumpkin burger recipes including a southwestern one that actually makes a patty with pumpkin and other vegetables.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thai Pumpkin Custard

I don't know what I was thinking when I made this exotic recipe for Thai pumpkin custard from the website Rachel Cooks Thai. My steamer wouldn't hold the pumpkin - it was the smallest I could find, it is January after all - so I made a steamer in my largest soup pan. Everything was perfect until 45 minutes of steaming was up. This is the point at which I was supposed to take it off the heat. But I kept thinking it wasn't done that the size of my pumpkin would take more cooking because it was larger. So I let it cook...and cook...and cook until I looked in and the whole thing had collapsed around the little inverted metal bowls that I used to hold it out of the water.

So no gorgeous photo here. You'll have to check out Rachel's. I do believe it probably tasted just as good. The Hub ate it the first night, still warm and heavy on the custard part. I finished the rest of it up during the week as a snack.