Tag Archives: pumpkin

black friday fuel

25 Nov

Or lay-on-the-couch-and-watch-TV-all-day fuel. Or Tofurky-coma-hangover-need-energy-to-tolerate-family-I-only-see-this-time-of-year fuel. Whatevs. It works in any scenario.

While you worry about the food for today, let me worry about the food for tomorrow. Use some of the leftover elements of Thanksgiving that will be lurking in your fridge, destined to mold (ah, we all have such good intentions, don’t we?), and turn them into a hearty, delicious post-Thanksgiving breakfast. Creamy yet chewy steel cut oats join forces with that last little scrap of pumpkin puree, some spices and maple syrup to make an ultimate breakfast. And with leftover cranberries on top? Ooh yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

T-Day Oats

Serves 2

2 cups water
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1/4- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (depending on taste)
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/8 teas. pumpkin pie spice
1/8 teas cinnamon
cranberry sauce (optional)

In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the oats and lower the temperature to a simmer. Let cook until oats absorb most of the water, about 15 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup and spices and mix well. Let cook until oatmeal is bubbly and cooked to desired consistency.

Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and some cranberry sauce, if using.

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pumpkin overload? never!

3 Nov

First off, I want to plug a super cool new feature that WordPress is offering: FoodPress! It’s an easy way to sift and sort through the tons of food blogs hosted by WordPress and to see some cool features that might not otherwise cross your screen. Like you need another distraction.

I would love to know the fiscal impact of lost worker productivity due to Vegan MoFo. ๐Ÿ™‚

Is it possible to eat too much pumpkin goodness this time of year? Never! One of the most popular recipes from 100 Best is, of course, one of the recipes with a typo in it. D’oh! Here it is, in all its corrected glory, for your autumn nomming pleasure.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Always a favorite during the colder months, these cookies are very light and airy. The pumpkin adds a unique hue and a boost of beta carotene to each bite. Thatโ€™s enough nutrition to convince me to have seconds!

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon. baking powder
1 teaspoon. baking soda
1 teaspoon. cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon. salt
1 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup regular sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, packed
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 teas. milk of choice
1 teaspoon. vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt ingredients. In a large bowl, beat cream sugar, brown sugars and margarine until creamed. Add pumpkin, milk and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet in two batches and mix until just mixed, then stir in chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart on a baking sheet 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to-12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned on the edges. If you are baking more than one sheet at a time, switch their shelves halfway through. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, then remove from cookie sheet and cool on transfer cookies to cooling rack. Store cooled cookies in a container with a loose fitting lid, as they are very moist, at room temperature.

Yields: 3 dozen cookies

it’s the great pumpkin… harry potter!

26 Oct

I have discovered a new-to-me baking blog, and I’m having a bit of a love affair with it. Joy the Baker is charming and funny, very creative and dabbles in vegan baking from time to time.

As a whole, I rarely use other people’s recipes for baking, but while cruising on her site last weekend, I decided to make her vegan pumpkin bread. And can you believe, I didn’t put walnuts in! Me, avoiding quick bread debris! It wasn’t for lack of trying, alas I was out of walnuts. Plus, I decided to make muffins and add a streusel topping with pumpkin seeds, which trumps walnuts any day. The only other modifications I made was lowering the sugar a bit (to 2 cups sweetener, total) and lowered the oil to 2/3 cup, substituting hemp milk for the other 1/3. The muffins I normally make are lower fat and sugar than these, and they tend to taste like it, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not that it’s a bad thing, I love my muffins, but these were decadent, borderline-cupcake muffins and quite lovely in their own right.

Josie acted as my muffin packaging supervisor. Jumbo muffins, FTW!

This time of year, my love of pumpkin runs wild. I want to bake everything with it, just seeing its brilliant orange color when I open the can (yes, I’m too lazy to make my own pumpkin puree) makes me giddy. With all of my pumpkin baking lately, I had a lone bit sitting in the fridge, waiting to be used… but in what?

I hadn’t planned to make Pumpkin Pasties as part of my Harry Potter food adventure, as it’s already been done, but alas, I read The Sorcerer’s Stone on Sunday and was inspired by Harry’s first trip to Hogwarts.

In addition, I received a frog chocolate mold for Christmas last year, so last night I hopped aboard the Hogwarts Express and got to it!

But wait, what’s a pasty? While not entirely uncommon in the States, this treat is definitely not a household name. Before wardrobe malfunctions, microwaves and Jim Gaffigan, there were pasties, the British/UK ancestor to the Hot Pocket. I say that in jest, of course, because pasties are delicious and Hot Pockets are not only not vegan, but can also cause some unpleasant side effects. Pasties can be sweet or savory and are basically handheld meals or dessert, encased in a flaky pastry crust. They are usually a half circle, but I made mine smaller and circular because I thought it would look cute. For Jim’s sake, I added a bit of glaze, as well.

*Note the chocolate frog in the background! Filled with peanut butter, of course!

1/2 recipe pie crust
3 tbsp. dark sugar
1/2 teas. cornstarch
1/2 teas. cinnamon
1/4 teas. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup pumpkin
1/2 recipe pie crust

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add the spices and mix then add the pumpkin and combine until well incorporated. Roll out the pie crust and cut into 12 rounds, using a biscuit cutter or the mouth of a drinking glass. Scoop the pumpkin filling into the center of 6 of the rounds (I used a cookie scoop and it worked perfectly). Then top with the top crust and seal edges, using water if needed. Cut a tiny hole to vent and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until edges are golden.

Let pasties cool and eat plain or if you or a loved one has a glaze addiction, whip up a little with some maple extract, if you have it, and top each pasty.

gobble, gobble

18 Nov

I love Thanksgiving food. Cranberries and stuffing? Yes, please. Some more sweet potatoes? Pile on some bread sticks or biscuits and gravy and call it a day. Who could miss turkey? Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes anyway.

Except for dessert. Dessert is an equally important part of Thanksgiving. Naturally, one’s mind wanders to pumpkin pie. I’m not a huge pumpkin pie fan myself, it’s just never quite been my thing. But I do love me some pumpkin. If you don’t already have your heart set on your T-Day menu, you may want to consider this decadent dessert.

The Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake (from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes)
Prep time: 35 minutes
Difficulty level: 4 whisks (rated from 1-5 in terms of difficulty, but it’s not so difficult as it is detailed)

I love pumpkin. The only thing I love more than pumpkin is cheesecake. The combination: a Thanksgiving masterpiece. This is a moist, dense cheesecake, mixed with the spiced pumpkin swirls and intense cinnamon ribbons laced through it, you’ll want to save room for this one. You don’t have to bake this cake in a water bath, but you certainly can for slightly creamier results and without the top cracking (like the pictures, which were from a non-water bathed cake).

Crust:
3/4 cup flour
1 teas. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine, softened
1 teas. molasses
1 tbsp. milk

Filling:
2 8 oz. containers of soy cream cheese
1 aseptic container firm tofu- Mori Nu brand is what I use
1 cup of sugar, divided
3 tbsp. cornstarch
2 teas. vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 teas. pumpkin pie spice
1 teas. milk
1 tbsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan.

First, make the crust. In a small bowl mix together the flour, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and sugar. Add the margarine, molasses and milk and combine until crumbly. Press into the bottom of the prepared springform and bake for 12 minutes.

While crust is baking, combine cream cheese, tofu, 1/2 cup of the sugar, 2 tbsp of the cornstarch and vanilla in a food processor or blender. Blend well until all is incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Pour 1 1/2 cups of mixture into a bowl and set aside. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon of corn starch, pumpkin pie puree and pumpkin pie spice. Process until well blended.

From reserved, vanilla cheesecake mixture reserve 3 tablespoons in a small bowl. Add milk and 1 tablespoon cinnamon to the reserved 3 tablespoons. Mix well to incorporate.

In the springform pan, alternate 1/2 cups of the vanilla and pumpkin cheesecake mixtures on top of the crust. Drizzle the cinnamon mixture on top of the vanilla and pumpkin in thick stripes. Lightly wiggle the pan to help the contents settle. Draw a knife though the batter several times to marble the batter.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, (in a water bath, if using) until center is still slightly jiggily but set. Let cool completely then let set in fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. Best if made the night before so the spices have time to meld. Store leftover cake covered, in fridge.

Yields: 12 slices

One thing that makes this cake priceless for holiday meal planning is that it actually tastes better if you make it the night before so the flavors can come together, so then it’s one less thing to worry about on Thanksgiving Day. And trust me, this cheesecake is something to be thankful for!

pump up the jam

27 Oct

After my canning frenzy this summer I took a break, but now I’m back in the swing of it with a fall line up of fruit butters in tow. First up, pumpkin butter.

Sadly, the USDA does not recommend home canning of pumpkin butter. This is because pumpkin is low in acidity and has unpredictable water content, neither of which was optimal when canning. I did can my butter, to sterilize and seal it, but am keeping it in the fridge.

pumpkins1

I started with four medium sugar pie pumpkins. Halved and seeded, I placed them cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment and baked them at 350 for a little over an hour.

pumpkin2

After roasting them in the oven the flesh shrank, making the skin easy to peel.

pumpkin3

So colorful and juicy looking! Once peeled, I chopped the flesh into chunks and put it in my pot. I chose to cook it down a little more before just pureeing it, because some spots were harder than others. In went 2 cups of dark brown sugar, 3 tbsp of molasses, the juice of one lemon, 2 tbsp of pumpkin pie spice and one tbsp of cinnamon.

pumpkin4

Once all of the flesh was uniformly soft, I pureed the batch in my Vita-Mix then poured it back in the pot and adjusted sweetness/spices to taste. My goal was to get pumpkin pie filling flavor, but because the spices will really bloom as the butter sits, I didn’t want to go overboard and end up with spreadable potpourri.

Once the butter was ready, I laddled it into jars and processed it in the hot water bath for 10 minutes. This made 4 pints of pumpkin butter.

pumpkin5

It’s so delicious- spiced, creamy and rich. I love the taste of fall.