Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pumpkin Filled Fall

Saturday, I sprained my ankle.  Saturday afternoon I stuffed my washing machine too full and broke it. Today, I'm home sick. It's been a good week : ) Add in the fact that I haven't been in the mood to cook lately.  And when I have cooked, it's been quick and not blogging worthy, taking lots of shortcuts.  Last night I tried to make Pearly Barley Risotto and lets just say it was an epic disaster. 
So lets turn to some recipes that I'm actually proud of, shall we?

Fall is over and winter has begun in Boston.  Maybe not officially but Sunday night, Dave and I finally switched over to our winter coats.  And just in the nick of time because as we were walking from the parking lot to the Boston Opera House to see The Nutcracker it was below 30 degrees! My father had bought Nutcracker tickets and unfortunately got the flu so offered the tickets to us.  They were 7th row, front center.  The show was really nice.  The Nutcracker isn't something I would normally pay money to see, but I was glad we went.  And I definitely recommend it if you've never been! I would do a recap of the show, but no photos are allowed so instead I want to talk about my favorite fall ingredient: Pumpkin. There's been no shortage of Pumpkin filled meals on the blog over the last two years, so let's highlight what I've made!
A Pumpkin Filled Fall
Pumpkin Breakfasts
 Pumpkin Pancakes
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 tablespoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 cup of skim milk
1 cup of canned pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon of dark brown sugar
In a large bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients (whole wheat flour through pumpkin pie spice). In a separate bowl, whisk together the last six ingredients (milk through brown sugar). Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and blend together with a wooden spoon until just combined. If batter seems too thick to pour, you can gently stir in a little more milk. Drop pancakes by ladleful onto a medium-hot griddle. Pancakes are ready to turn when the edges start to look a little dry and you can see small bubbles forming on the surface.
Baked Banana-Pumpkin Oatmeal
Combine the dry ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
Combine the wet ingredients:
1 egg, beat
1 mashed banana
3/4 cup Canned Pumpkin
1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk or other milk you have on hand
1 tsp vanilla
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix well. Spray some cooking spray in a 8X8 pan then add the mixture and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Cut into squares.
Pumpkin Muffins with Simple Glaze
2 cups of flour

2 T of baking powder

1/4 t of salt

1 T of pumpkin pie spice
1 stick of softened butter

1/4 cup of brown sugar

2 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 t of vanilla
3/4 cup of unsweetened pumpkin puree

1/8 cup of skim milk

1/8 cup of cream

coconut, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips

Beat butter at medium speed until soft, add both the sugars and beat until light and smooth. Then one by one, add in the eggs then add the vanilla. Then lower the speed and mix in pumpkin and milk/cream, then add in the dry ingredients in a steady stream until it is mixed well. Add in coconut, and the chips then fill muffin pan with paper liners and back at 375 for 20-25 minutes. The Glaze was made with 1/2 cup powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and cream.
Main Dishes
Pumpkin Chicken Tacos
Leftover cooked veggies (red pepper, green pepper, red onion, asparagus) 
1 t chili powder
1 lb. chicken breas cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can pureed pumpkin, 15 oz.
1 jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
6 flour tortillas
1/2 C Mexican blend cheese, shredded
1 tomato, chopped
Couple handfuls arugula
Cook the veggies in a hot skillet (or microwave your leftover veggies from the night before). Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces and saute in hot skillet until browned on all sides.  Then add in the jalapeno.  Mine packed a lot of heat.. and I love heat, but wow... maybe I should take some seeds out.  Next up, add the pumpkin.  Then the corn cut directly off the cob and cook with chicken.  Once chicken is cooked through, make the tacos!  Start with a warmed flour tortilla, add veggies, then pumpkin chicken, tomatoes, cheese and arugula. It's difficult to eat, but roll it up and eat it up! 
Pumpkin Chili in Pumpkin Bowls
First cut the top off your sugar pumpkins
I needed help opening up the Pumpkins so Dave cut the tops off.  Then I used my Ice Cream scooper to scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh.  The ice cream scoop worked wonders. 
Once I had three scooped pumpkins, I added olive oil, salt and pepper and baked them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
I started with a base of onions, green peppers and 1/2 a spicy poblano pepper.  Then I added 97% lean Ground Turkey and cooked that through.  Then 2 cans of diced tomatoes.  One fire-roasted tomatoes and 1 Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles.  Told ya I like it spicy.  Then I added in the Canned Pumpkin and the seasonings- chili powder, salt, pepper and cumin.

Next I added two cans of beans (black and red kidney) and added the roasted squash.  You don't have to roast the squash but I love that roasted flavor. I then added about a cup or so of chicken broth. After the Pumpkins were roasted, it was time to stuff them with the chili mixture.
I stuffed them and cooked them for 45 minutes.  You want to make sure the edges are tender but that the bottom isn't overly cooked that it leaks.
About 5 minutes before I took the pumpkins out, I added some shredded cheddar cheese and baked until melted.  Then it was time to serve.  Mmmmm....
Pumpkin Pesto Chicken Pizza
Store Bought Pizza Dough
1 Cup of Pumpkin Chilpotle Pesto, (1/2 cup used in marinade, half cup used as the "sauce")
1 pound of chicken, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of canned pumpkin
salt and pepper
2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled, chopped and roasted
1 cup Kale, Mushroom, Chickpea mixture from above
1 cup of cheddar cheese
1 ounce of mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400. Roast sweet potato in the oven until soft. Marinate chicken with pumpkin and pesto, then saute until cooked through. Roll out pizza and spread pumpkin pesto on top.  Add sweet potato, chicken and kale mixture.  Then add cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Creamy Pumpkin Squash Puree and Brussel Sprouts
1/2 lb Roasted Butternut Squash + 1/2lb of Sugar Pumpkin, Roasted
1/2 cup of Pumpkin Cream Cheese (Trader Joe's, thanks Salad)
1 tablespoon of diced poblanos
1/2 cup of chicken broth to smooth out sauce
Seasonings- Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes
2lbs of pork Tenderloin
1 cup of Orange Juice
Some honey
Seasonings- Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Cup of Chicken Broth
2 cups of Brussel Sprouts, chopped, sauteed in leftover sauce from pork and then roasted
Puree the Squash and Sugar Pumpkin in a food processor with the ingredients listed.  Add more broth to your desired consistency.  Use as base on plate.  Sear the pork tenderloin in a saute pain with cooking spray, orange juice, honey, garlic and seasonings and chicken broth.  Once seared on both sides, transfer to a baking sheet until cooked to 150degrees.  (I like my pork PINK). Add brussel sprouts to saute pan with pork juices.  Saute and then transfer to the baking sheet until browned. Serve over pork.

  Pumpkin Sausage Pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
6 links of chicken sausage, any flavor
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound whole wheat penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Handful of Arugula
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating
Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender. Add wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce. Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and Arugula.
Worlds Easiest Pumpkin Spice Cupcake
1 Can of Canned Pumpkin
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 container of Duncan Hines Vanilla Frosting
Mix together ingredients until well incorparated. Put cupcake holders in your cupcake mold then add mix about 3/4 full.  Bake for 18 minutes.  Cool, then frost.  Enjoy!
Pumpkin Blondies This was another recipe inspired by Annie Eats.
Pumpkin Blondies
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup cups granulated sugar

1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup chocolate chips 1 cup butterscotch chips ½ cup coconut
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with foil. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree. With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate and butterscotch chips and coconut with a rubber spatula. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.
 Pumpkin Cheesecake 
6 ounces, Storebought Gingersnaps 
6 ounces, Graham Crackers 
6 Tablespoons Butter, Melted 
1 dash Salt 
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 
1 package of pumpkin cream cheese 
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin 
3 large eggs, at room temperature for 30 minutes 
1/4 cup pure grade B maple syrup 
1 tablespoon of Pumpkin Pie spice 
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Maple Pecan Glaze: 
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 dark amber maple syrup
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. For the cheesecake: Finely crush the graham crackers and gingersnaps in a plastic bag with a food processor. Add in melted butter and firmly press into the bottom of 9-inch springform pan.In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or if you aren’t lucky to have one like me use a hand held mixer and mix the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually mix in the sweetened condensed milk until smooth. With the mixer on medium, add the pumpkin, eggs, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix well and pour into the spring form pan.  MAKE SURE YOU PUT THE PAN ON A BAKING SHEET!!!!!Bake until the center appears nearly set, but jiggles a little when shaken, 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool for 1 hour. Cover and chill overnight, or for at least 4 hours. For the glaze: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the whipping cream and pure maple syrup and bring it to a boil. Boil until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chopped pecans. Cover and chill until time to serve. Stir before serving.
To serve: Spoon the Maple Pecan Glaze over the cheesecake
Pumpkin Bread Pudding.
I used day old Crusty bread.  And cut it up.
Then I mixed 1 cup of 1% Milk, 1/2 cup of cream, 1 Cup of Pumpkin, teaspoon of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice, 2 eggs, 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar. 
Then I added that mixture on top of the bread and baked it for 35 minutes at 350. Then I added walnuts and heated Dulce de Leche.
Top this sucker with Pumpkin Ice Cream.  Oh yeah, pumpkin ice cream.  I tried this free sample out at Trader Joe's and I was persuaded to buy a gallon of it.  Wow, this stuff is addicting.
Enjoy the pumpkin, I sure have! 
What's your favorite seasonal ingredient to cook with?
Oh and Check me out on Boston Sports Woman!


  1. You inspire me with your inner chef and baker :) I just might try one of those recipes as I have a lot of opened pumpkin needing to be used! Congrats on bsw! I just got on too

  2. Oh my gosh, that pizza looks delicious!

    Umm, you sprained your ankle? Yikes! Is it a bad one?

  3. I still have two cans of pumpkin in the cabinet...and now I have the best inspiration! Thank you!

  4. I unofficially decided my pumpkin season was over... now I'm kind of wishing I hadn't. Everything on here looks/sounds so good!

    I hope your week gets better!

  5. Wow that is a lot of pumpkin!! :) Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has been obsessively eating it this fall. I add it to everything and can't get enough! You have some amazing looking recipes listed here.

    Sorry your week is off to a rough start, but I hope things start getting better soon! And I hope your ankle heals quickly.

  6. Can you please move to Dallas... I want to hire you as my personal chef!

  7. Yum, yum, yum. I love pumpkin too. But it would be better if you cooked for me haha.

    Sorry about your ankle. Is it feeling any better?

  8. The pasta sounds delicious!
    I haven't been to The Nutcracker since I was a little girl. I want to go again!

  9. Love the ode to pumpkin!! And my food lately has been boring to say the least!!

  10. Great there is now drool all over my keyboard. I sent the baked pumpkin oat ones to make for Gabby when she finishes the quinoa muffins. And the pizza.
    If only I didn't have to work...and could just continue to eat all day...I could make it through all the recipes I wanted to try.