Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fresh Pumpkin Treats

Mother in Law of Food brought two pie pumpkins by for Halloween.  The girls wanted to carve them, but we all also wanted to cook them for pie and cookies.  Let me tell you this.  You can cook a pumpkin or you can carve a pumpkin, you really don't want to do both.  The good thing is that they are really easy to carve after cooking for an hour and a half, the bad thing is that they are not so structurally sound.  

Cooked Pumpkins do yield terrific mashed pumpkin for pies, cookies, and muffins.  We know because made them all!  We made all that and yummy roasted pumpkin seeds for snacking.  The pie was OK, but could have used a little more sugar, the muffins went fast and were solid, the pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips were fantastic.  

Here is the pumpkin pie recipe, straight from a sticker on the pumpkins:

Cooking the pumpkin
Cut Pumpkin in half w/o stem.
Scoop out seeds and Strings (set seeds aside for roasting later).
Place cut down on foil lined baking sheets.  Cover with foil.
Bake at 350 ° F 'til tender - 1&1/2 hours.   
Cool.  Scoop out flesh and mash with potato masher or food processor until smooth.
Drain if too watery.  

Beat together just until smooth: 1 1/3 Cup smooth pumpkin, 1 1/3 Cup Sweet Condensed Milk, 1 Egg, 1 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, 1/2 tsp Ginger, 1/4 tsp Cloves, 1 Cup hot Water.  Pour into 9" pie shell.  
Bake at  375 ° F 55 to 65 minutes
(Center will move slightly.)  Cool and enjoy.
(Mashed Pumpkin will hold 5 days in refrigerator.)

Here is the Pumpkin Muffin Recipe adapted and adjusted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (Better Homes &; Gardens Plaid), mine is the 1981 edition and the original recipe can be found on page 87:

1 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 beaten Egg
1/2 Cup Fresh Cooked Pumpkin (see above)
3/4 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Cooking Oil
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 ° F

In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Make a well in the center.  Combine egg, pumpkin, milk, and oil.  Add all at once to flour mixture.  Stir till just moistened; batter should be lumpy.  Grease muffin cup pan or line with paper baking cups.  Fill each cup with mixture until 2/3 full.  Bake at 400 ° F for 20-25 minutes or until golden.  Remove from pan and serve warm.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
We used this recipe from Joy the Baker, and apparently originally from Big Fat Cookies
using fresh cooked pumpkin instead of canned and using mini chocolate chips.
Joy, this is a fantastic recipe.  I am quoting it here for my use in the future because I really want to make these again and I will not have it if you ever take your link down.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or corn oil
1 cup canned pumpkin (or fresh see above)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips, or any chip you like

Position a rack in the middle of the oven . Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.
Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. Mix in the chips.

Using an ice cream scoop with a 1/4-cup capacity, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart. You could also simply use a 1/4-cup measuring cup if you don’t have a scoop. Use a thin metal spatula to smooth and flatten the rounds.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 16 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool cimpletely.
Dust the cooled cookies lightly with powdered sugar. The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Roasted Pumpkin Seed recipe coming up next.  I have to trick or treat now.  Hope you enjoyed these treats.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chex Mix

This one is for Husband of Food, who is on the other side of the world.  Just when my daughter begged to make the recipe which she saw on the back of her cereal box, you are far away.

Home made Chex Mix, it's one of HoF's favorites.  Don't worry honey, we'll save you some.

And for the rest of you, here is a link to the official Chex Mix Recipe.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jim and his Pancakes

More sharing today!

Jim is a Dad and a real pancake genius. He started making pancakes for his daughter, but has elevated it to an art form. I was wowed by his skill with the griddle and the charm of his daughter.

Here are a few of my favorite pancakes.  All pictures are Jim's.

Please check out Jim's Blog.
Jim's Pancakes

I will also put  a permanent link in the Food as Art section of our blog because this is just so cool.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two Princesses

Two Princess Bentos for my Two Princesses.  Featuring:
Almond Butter and Strawberry Preserve on Wheat Dresses,
decorated with Cheddar Cheese and Apple Slice sashes, Apple Shoulders, and Parsnip Sleeves.
Apple Shoes.
Homemade Muffin Faces with Chocolate Chip Eyes, Apple Smiles, Cheddar Cheese Hair.
All on a bed of sliced Green Grapes.

The Muffin Recipe can be found on the blog at this link here, but for this bento, I didn't add the chips until after the muffins were cooked.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mandi Cakes Link

As a belated birthday present to Mandi, I am going to point you to The MandiCrocker Blog.

Check it out!

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