Friday, September 28, 2012

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Everyone loved these cookies from the website including me. They may have set a record in disappearing at Discovery Creative. I did a little switching up with the flour and used 1 1/2 cups of all purpose, but snuck in 1 cup of whole wheat pastry without any detriment to the recipe. My cookies were light and fluffy. The author made 24 cookies with this recipe; I made 44. My cookies were 3 to 4 bites each and plenty big enough in my opinion. They came in at 68 calories each and I think with a little work on the butter and sugar that could be reduced  more.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Black Bean & Roasted Pumpkin Salad

I loved this salad from the website I'm not sure who is behind this website, if the recipes are tested or where they even came from, but it's easy to use and some, like this one, are great. It claims to have "possibly the best collection of free recipes for pumpkin on the internet." Hmmm I beg to differ about that.

I take a salad similar to this every day for lunch so this was perfect for me. It's contains a bean with lots of protein, is heavy on other flavorful veggies, doesn't require a calorie-laden dressing and contains pumpkin - what more could a person ask for?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Maple-Nut-Pumpkin Candies

This recipe is found in the October 2012 Family Circle magazine. I can't link it to their webpage without giving them a lot of information I don't feel like doing. There is a mistake in the recipe. It says simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until it reaches 238 degrees. This is wrong, it needs to reach 238 degrees regardless of how long it takes. It won't set up if you don't. I know this from experience as my candy is frozen for the pictures. At room temperature, it's a gooey mess. 

Maple-Nut-Pumpkin Candies

1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup solid-pack pumpkin
½ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Line an 8x8-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper. Spray paper with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium pot, combine sugars, maple syrup, butter, pumpkin, cream, pumpkin pie spice and salt over medium heat. Stir until butter is melted and all ingredients are combined. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until temperature reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer. Stir in walnuts.

Pour mixture into lined baking pan. Cool 1 hour on the counter, then refrigerate an additional 1 hour.

Slice into 36 squares.

92 calories per piece

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pumpkin and Lentil Stew

This heavy stew came from the October 2012 Family Circle magazine. It contains carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes, lentils and pumpkin seasoned with chili powder, cumin and, in my case, I add some smoked paprika. I wasn't expecting much, but both the Hub and I enjoyed this. It makes a large pot that we ate for two plus nights.

Squash and Lentil Stew
3 tbsp olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
1 medium onion, diced
5 1/2 cups diced pumpkin or butternut squash
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika, optional
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups small brown or French green lentils, picked through
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Heat oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion and cook 5 minutes. Add squash and seasonings. Cook 1 minute.
Stir in broth, tomatoes, 1/2 cup water and lentils. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and stir in salt. Simmer, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Howl-oween Hairball Helpers

I found this recipe in the October 2012 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray, which says: Don't let your cat be haunted by hairballs. The fiber-rich pumpkin in these treats works magic for digestion; the catnip makes them as tasty as candy! Well, who knew?

I don't have a cat to try them out on so I won't be making them, but the uses for pumpkin are never ending. The photo is from the magazine's website.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shrimp Stuffed Pumpkin Blossoms

With this recipe I was trying to replicate a dish I had in a fabulous restaurant in Maillane, France. I was drawn to it because the blossoms were pan fried instead of deep fried as is the usual method of cooking in the states. These blossoms came from my local farmers market and could quite possibly be zucchini, but I'm ignoring that fact.

After studying several recipes on the internet, I stuffed these with approximately 7 large chopped cooked shrimp; 6 oz cream cheese; 1 tablespoon Gorgonzola; 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives; and salt & pepper. I pan fried them in a little hot olive oil for about 5 minutes. One bite and I was back in Provence on that lovely terrace with special friends on a warm May evening. It doesn't get any better.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pumpkin & Carrot Souffle

This recipe from the website Bijouxs, sounds very deceptive. I'm thinking light and fluffy, totally healthy sidedish. But no - besides the carrots and pumpkin (or butternut squash) it also contains 1/2 pound of butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup and is topped with cornflakes, pecans, and more butter and brown sugar. It does, as you would expect, taste heavenly. The Hub doesn't like sweet vegetables and ate his for dessert with whipping cream. I could eat something like this anytime. It can be made in advance, and should probably be reserved for a special occasion.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kabocha Pumpkin Crostini

This recipe came from the What's Cooking section of the October 2012 Family Circle magazine, which my 25-year-old son, who lives in Dublin, Ireland, gets at our house for some reason none of know. He doesn't want me to forward them, so I read them.

I did fiddle with the recipe a little. I replaced the ricotta mixture with some crazy feta dip (sorry but that's its name) my daughter made while she was visiting and pan sauted the pumpkin. The sage leaves are delicious, but tricky to make. The recipe calls for frying them eight at a time in 1/2 cup of olive oil, but they only cook for 20 seconds so I could only handle one maybe two tops at one time. I also only put two tablespoons of oil in the pan and didn't use all of that. At 20 seconds each you can still make 24 in less than 10 minutes doing them one at a time. All of the steps can be made ahead of time and assembled at the last minute. I used Rolands pomegranite balsamic glaze. These were a great snack for me. I told the Hub he wouldn't like them, mostly because I didn't want to share.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pumpkin & Cauliflower Casserole

Hello, I'm back. I took the month of August off. But even now as it approaches the second year anniversary of doing this, it seems people just can't get enough pumpkin. I know I know, it's pumpkin season in the states, but my farmers market had few edible pumpkins this Saturday, so it might be a little early.

This recipe for a pumpkin and cauliflower side dish is from Country Living magazine. I found slicing the cauliflower and pumpkin into 1/4 inch slices difficult. The pumpkin was just hard work and the cauliflower shredded. Might just dice them next time. I replaced the pumpkin seeds with sunflower seeds because I didn't have any and loved the topping. It was the best part of the whole dish. I didn't use all of it and froze the rest to use on something else. I think next time I would replace the 1/2 & 1/2 with evaporated milk to reduce the calories, too.

I have a new camera and my pictures seem to be hit or miss. Some are fabulous, some not so much.