Showing posts with label pumpkin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pumpkin. Show all posts

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Make this Now: Pumpkin Chili and Cheddar-Corn Spoon Bread

Happy Saturday! I'm sitting in my PJs drinking coffee and getting ready to tackle my massive kitchen reorganization project (only massive because I am two weeks behind)!

Last night I decided to try (never home)maker's Smoked Pumpkin Chili.

Holy moly. We loved this and will be adding it in heavy rotation to our winter meal plan. The addition of the pumpkin puree made it so thick and creamy! I didn't have smoked paprika, so I used regular and added a few drops of liquid smoke. Awesome!

I also decided to try my hand at spoon bread using this recipe from Martha Stewart's Fresh Flavor Fast cookbook (I love this cookbook!).

It was weird, but delicious. It is very similar in consistency to a souffle.  I guess technically it is a souffle since you whip the egg whites, mix them with the base, and bake!

Hey, check me out, I made a souffle on a Friday night!

Martha's recipe included sharp cheddar cheese and corn, so it was a really nice complement to the chili. It was a cold and rainy evening, so all in all, this was the perfect meal!

 I'll be hard at work this weekend on a few projects and some grading. Tonight we have tickets to the Quakes' first MLS playoff game against the New York Red Bulls. I hope it doesn't rain!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kitchen Envy

Lately, I have been lamenting the fact that I don't have a double oven. I know this is a luxury for most people, but my parents have always had a double oven and I would give anything for one! When I think about my meal plan for the week, I always find myself thinking, "No, I can't make the roasted cauliflower with the pork tenderloin in the oven at the same time, I need a side dish I can cook on the stove top!" Does this happen to anyone else?


For some reason, I get really inspired to cook on Tuesdays. The Monday slump is over and I just feel much more willing to spend a little extra time on my feet (I am on my feet all day long, after all!) on Tuesdays.

I came home today ready to cook, but I wanted to make chicken and cornbread and a dessert bar - all in the oven! I knew that if I wanted to get it all done, I should just get started right away instead of sitting around on the couch reading blogs for an hour. :)

I started by making Emily's Jalapeno Cornbread. I subbed AP flour and dairy milk and made them in a baking dish instead of as muffins (because I hate cleaning my muffin tin and I always forget to buy liners!).

 Then, I decided to treat my husband (OK, and myself!) and make a batch of Pumpkin & White Chocolate Bars that I have been eying for a few days.

Finally, I bookmarked this recipe for Honey Mustard Chicken in Food & Wine months ago and decided to try it this week.

All three get the Ellis Seal of Approval, but the Pumpkin & White Chocolate Bars are crazy good. B says, "They taste like the holidays!" And they do. Go make them now. I've exhausted myself from all this cooking.

Friday, September 24, 2010

More Fall Flavors

Lately, I've been eating a lot of overnight oats, even though I haven't posted about it. I've been trying to perfect a recipe that I am actually excited to enjoy in the morning, since I'm kind of sensitive to textures and there's just something about bloated, slimy, cold oats that doesn't really appeal to me unless it tastes awesome (I know, I'm really selling you on the overnight oats idea with that description!).

Well, I think I've found a combination that works for me. It actually happened by accident, when I realized that we were out of milk one night. I fretted for a few minutes since I had already mixed the oats and yogurt, but then saw a jar of applesauce in the back of the fridge. Jackpot! This has been my overnight oats recipe for the last week or so:

Basic Overnight Oats


  • 1/3c oats
  • 1/3c plain yogurt
  • 1/3c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1-2t almond or peanut butter
  • handful of raisins
  • sprinkle of cinnamon


  1. Mix and refrigerate overnight.

Until last night, when I had a huge can of Libby's open as a result of my Pumpkin Blueberry Muffin baking adventure. Now, I made pumpkin overnight oats this summer and DID NOT like them. I think I had two bites and threw the rest away. I'm not sure if it was the maple syrup or just that it was still so dang hot out that I wasn't feeling the fall flavors yet, but they just did not sit well with me. I was willing to give them another go though and I had a feeling that the addition of applesauce might be the key here...

Apple-Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats


  • 1/3c oats
  • 1/3c pumpkin puree
  • 1/3c unsweetened applesauce
  • handful of raisins
  • sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice

  1. Mix and refrigerate overnight.

These oats were incredible! So incredible, in fact, that I put them in an empty PB jar and savored them all the way into 3rd period today, when my students asked, horrified, if I was eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (like that would be so horrible!).

While we're on the topic of things I'm eating from my desk today, I also just finished this yummy salad:

Mixed greens, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, chickpeas, BBB dressing, goat cheese.

Two more hours of student testing, then I am outta here!

Pumpkin Blueberry Muffins!

Last night I managed to peel myself off the couch (I have been so tired since school started, which is really bizarre - I have usually gotten past this by now) to make a messy egg scramble for dinner and then whip up some pumpkin-blueberry muffins.

I apologize for the poor picture quality. I snapped this at 6:30 this morning before I hit the road for work because I was afraid they would all be gone by the time I came home this afternoon. 

I let these cool for a bit last night before I broke one in half and took it to B as he was working on a lesson plan in the office. He peered at the blueberries then gave me a funny look and said, "It's a blueberry muffin? I thought you were making pump-" *takes a bite* "They're pumpkin-blueberry muffins!"

So yes, they're awesome. I took a dozen out of the oven at 8:30 last night and there were 6 remaining when I left for work this morning. I'm not sure when half of them disappeared, but I have a pretty good idea who is responsible! Fortunately, I did not use all of my can of pumpkin OR all of my frozen blueberries, so you can bet I'll whip up another batch this weekend (or maybe pumpkin-blueberry bread? I hate cleaning out my muffin tins...). 

Basically, these pretty much scream "fall" to me, even though it's supposed to be almost 90 degrees today... 

Global warming, what?

I made quite a few modifications to the original recipe, so here's my take on the perfect fall muffin:

Pumpkin-Blueberry Muffins
adapted from

1/2 cup all-purpose flour*
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour*
3/4 cup oats
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg*
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2T butter, melted
2T unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen and didn't even bother to thaw them)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
  2. Mix the flours, oats, sugars, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a mixing bowl until evenly blended. In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin, milk, egg, butter, and applesauce. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, just until all ingredients are moistened. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling to the top.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.

Cooking Notes:
*Next time, I might swap the proportions of white to whole-wheat flour (that is, use 1/2 cup WW and 1/4 cup white). The batter is SUPER moist with the pumpkin and butter and applesauce, it might hold up to a larger amount of WW flour without becoming too dense.
*I also might increase the spices slightly - maybe closer to 2/3t each of cinnamon and nutmeg?

In other news...

B and I are running the Moonlight 10K tonight! The moon has been so bright this week - it's going to be a beautiful full moon for the run! I am excited and a little nervous - I have been pretty lazy about working out in general and haven't run much in the last week or so because of my knee. I'm not looking to place or set a PR or anything, but I'd like to have a good run (since most of my races end up being bad runs!) and not aggravate my knee any more. 

What are your weekend plans?
After our race tonight, B and I are going to Cake Moda's Cupcake Wars at Crush Barrel Wine Market in SF on Saturday night with our friends Lindy and Ryan as part of B's 29th birthday celebration! I think we will take the DSLR and hopefully get some great pictures (and drink some great wine while sampling cupcakes)! It's basically a foodie's dream come true.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sweet Saturday Morning

I love Saturday mornings. I sleep in but am still usually up before Brian. While he sleeps, I make coffee, read the paper, and usually play around in the kitchen. This morning I woke up with one thing on my mind - PUMPKIN!

Although I still haven't found any canned pumpkin (but only because I've been too busy this week to look), I remembered that I had about 1 cup of pumpkin puree in the freezer from last fall! I busted it out and defrosted it post-haste with visions of scones dancing in my head!

I took Angela's pumpkin scone recipe, but made some switches with the original recipe so they were sweeter and not vegan, but still healthier. 

They were a hit! Possibly my most successful baked good to date (this is a big deal, I'm a horrible baker)!

Meg's Hybrid Pumpkin Scones
inspired by Oh She Glows and

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat  flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • Turbinado sugar, to garnish
Spiced Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick mat.
  2. In a large bowl mix the first 9 ingredients.
  3. Take the cold butter and cut butter into dry ingredients until crumbly (I use my food processor).
  4. In a medium sized bowl, mix the pumpkin, egg, vanilla, and milk.
  5. Add wet to dry and mix until a ball forms.
  6. Place the ball of dough on a floured surface. Flour your hands lightly and knead a few times..
  7. Shape the dough into a circle and then cut into 8 triangles (a pizza wheel works really well for this step!).
  8. Beat the egg slightly and, with a pastry brush or a spoon, brush onto each scone.
  9. Sprinkle generously with sugar and bake for 12 minutes. Rotate halfway through.
  10. While cooling, make the spiced glaze by beating 1 cup powdered sugar with milk and spice until smooth.
  11. When scones are cool ice and enjoy! I piped the icing using a ziplock bag, but you could drizzle it with a whisk or just cover the whole scone.

While cooking up a storm, I decided to try some of the Creme Brulee coffee that Caftea sent me this week!

I will be honest, I was a little apprehensive. I don't like flavored coffee very much and this smelled very sweet when I opened the bag. However, once I brewed it up (french press, hooray!) the sweetness was very subtle and the taste was really smooth! 

I was worried that the vanilla and brown sugar flavors, but they were very mellow and really complimented the coffee. I had 2 cups! You can pick up a bag in my OpenSky shop.

We have a FUN weekend planned, so be sure to check back later for all the details!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hello, Fall



 I don't want to admit that I even scoured Amazon to find you. And still... nothing! What's a girl gotta do to get some pumpkin puree up in here?!

Although, it's good to know you can get a different brand (Farmer's Market Foods ORGANIC pumpkin puree) in a 12-pack for $28.32. Not gonna lie... I'm a little tempted.