Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Bites

This may be the last post for a couple of weeks because I am going on vacation tomorrow. I have the recipes ready, but we'll see if I'm tech savvy enough to post from France.

The Hub made these gluten-free pumpkin pie bites from the blog Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. The crust is made with rolled oats and sorghum flour. I recommend using the quick oats because the whole ones are too chewy and distracting. Although as the author mentions in her blog, they soften up over time. The filling is a can of pumpkin, tofu, a little sugar and some spices. The topping is chopped crystallized ginger, rolled oats, brown sugar and walnuts. The Hub forgot the walnuts, but we didn't really miss them. This recipe makes a big pan, which when cut into 48 pieces come in at 68 calories each (probably less for us without the nuts). Both the Hub and I like these as snacks although it will take us a while to finish the pan.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Winner - Pumpkin Ravioli

I'm passing on (literally passing on) this recipe that won a million dollars in this year's Pillsbury Bake-Off. A million bucks is a lot of money for a recipe. I made a half hearted attempt to find the crescent recipe creations dough sheets necessary to make the recipe and couldn't find any in my local stores. The reason I was dragging my feet is that this recipe is soooo unhealthy. I just kept wondering who would eat it if I did make it (should I do that to my co-workers?) and if I would be able to resist eating it (probably not and neither would the Hub). There is barely a thing in it that's good for you except the pumpkin and there is only 1/2 cup in a recipe that serves 6. It's not like I haven't made, eaten and written about less than nutritional recipes before, there are plenty of cakes, candies, donuts, cookies and other sugar laden recipes on this blog, but this one's fat content is just over the top for the nutritional payoff. But for anyone who would like to try it, here it is. Let me know how it tastes, although no doubt, it's fabulous, it is a million dollar recipe after all.

Picture from the Pillsbury website.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Espresso Pumpkin Spiced Walnuts

Andrew and I made these spiced nuts from the website Elle's New England Kitchen when he was home for Mother's Day weekend. They were amazingly easy to make, taking less than a half an hour. I'm not a fan of coffee flavor, but even I liked these. Andrew took the rest of them with him to a get together with his friends where they disappeared in no time even if the Caps did lose.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pumpkin Chili Mexicana

Both the Hub and I like this main dish from the Libby's website. I substituted Boca Crumbles for the ground turkey and bulked up the vegetables, otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The pumpkin doesn't add any flavor at all, so it would be a good way to sneak pumpkin into those who don't like it. It makes a large pan of chili, and we ate it for several days.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day in the United States; I know it's not universal because I've been in Ireland in March, when they celebrate their mums. I am again this year feeling very blessed as a mother. I have a great mom myself, three wonderful children, two adorable grandchildren, one fun son-in-law and and one sweet soon-to-be daughter-in-law. Last year I also had a beautiful clematis to show you, but this year it's in the trash because of an aphid infestation and damage from the hot, cold, hot again, cold again winter we had in the Washington DC area. I'm hoping it will grow back.

I got this super cute pumpkin garden art from Karen and Andrew for Mother's Day. I'm calling him Jack.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Impossible Pumpkin Pie

This recipe also came from the blog The Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. The Hub was so excited that we were actually going to have a real pumpkin pie (sort of), he volunteered to make this recipe. Our desserts have been slim around here since we started the family biggest loser contest in January. I would have cut back on the sugar, but he followed the directions exactly, except for using 1/4 cup of egg beaters for the egg replacer. This pie is nice; it's also nice to be able to eat an 1/8th of a 9-in pie for 153 calories that also contains 1/4 cup of pumpkin.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin Orange Quinoa

This recipe comes from the website veggie num num by way of the Meatless Monday website. I'm all for meatless every day, but this recipe is awful. And I think it's all tied back to the oranges. Roasted oranges taste terrible. I'm looking at the original recipe picture and she didn't peel her oranges, nor does the recipe call for it. But the recipe on Meatless Monday clearly says to peel the oranges. So apparently something got lost in the translation here. But really, why would you want to roast oranges anyway. It would have tasted better with bites of fresh orange along with the roasted pumpkin, chick peas and shallots. I hate wasting ingredients, but this stuff was inedible. No num numing here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pumpkin Sage Pate

This recipe is courtesy of Chef Peter Berley, author of The Flexitarian Table: Inspired, Flexible Meals for Vegetarians, Meat Lovers and Everyone in Between. It was posted on the website The Daily Green and repeated on many many other websites. And there is a good reason for that. You can tell that this recipe was authored by a professional chef. It's really really good. I used fresh pumpkin, cut the walnuts to a half a cup and did not use the olive oil at all. After all, isn't that what nonstick pans are for? The result was a fabulous pate good enough for holidays and special occasions.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Quinoa Pumpkin Muffins

This unassuming little recipe from the Bob's Red Mill website is the best thing I've made in quite some time. Neither the Hub nor I could believe how good these muffins taste. I froze some and took them to Florida where we met Andrew and Karen for the weekend. They both liked them, too. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup and the oil to 2 tablespoons. I also used 60% chocolate chips. I'm going to keep cutting on that sugar in the next batch. I think it's an important step to toss the quinoa with the flour and use your fingers to make sure there aren't any clumps of quinoa. My muffins came in at 150 calories each, which is great, too.

There's a picture of Andrew, Karen & the Hub at The Hurricane in St. Pete's Beach. While we ate a tropical storm blew through and we were really glad to be inside. By the way, the grouper there is fantastic.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pumpkin Poblano Corn Pudding

This pumpkin poblano corn pudding recipe came from the Whole Foods website. Mine didn't come out very pudding like, more like corn bread. The only change I made was to replace the ricotta cheese with cottage cheese. Also since poblano peppers come in all degrees of heat, I reduced the chilies from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup, just in case they were hot. The Hub was sort of ho hum about this dish, but I liked it and found it made a great snack during the day. I always zapped it and ate it warm (for a very long time). This makes a big pan.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Birds and Flowers in my Backyard

Some things I like more than pumpkin are birds and flowers so I thought I'd show you some of the flowers in my backyard before our dog River eats them all. He's a feral kind of guy and nothing makes him happier than munching flowers and sometimes the whole plant right down to the ground. The last pictures are me trying to build a fort around the clematis and irises, but he's way too smart to let a couple of chairs stop him. He's been on "escort only" punishment in the backyard, but he still gets them either by waiting you out or pretending he's a kamakaze pilot making quick trips around the yard and then going in for the kill so fast you haven't got a chance of stopping him.

The birds are back, too. There are five goldfinches in the picture, but we've had as many as eleven at one time on the feeder. This year some silly wrens made a nest in the "decorative" Virginia Tech birdhouse next to the finch feeder, so I'm going to have to move the feeder. Wrens are notoriously crabby birds and these are house wrens, not the adorable Carolina wrens. We also have nesting robins, chickadees and sparrows.