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Posts tagged ‘cooking’

Passionate about Pumpkin

I love pumpkin.  When Thanksgiving gets close, the grocery stores stock up on canned pumkin.  They don’t carry much of it the rest of the year, so I go nuts and buy a couple of cans every time I shop.  It doesn’t go bad, right?  So I end up with LOTS of cans of pumkin over-running my pantry.  I’ve been experimenting with different ways to use it up.

What’s wrong with experimental cooking?

As long as nobody gets hurt, right?  My husband is a champ.  He will try everything I invent, even if he doesn’t like all of it.  He doesn’t care much for pumpkin, but he’s learned to trust me.  I disclosed up front that yesterday’s oatmeal had pumpkin in it, and he at it, anyway.  His philosophy is that if you put enough brown sugar in a dish, it will be all right.

Pumpkin Oatmeal & Barley Hot Cereal

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup rolled barleypumpkinoatmeal
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 2 tsp kosher flake salt or 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mace (gives that nice pumpkin pie flavor but not as sharp as nutmeg, and hubby hates nutmeg)
  • 1 cup Libby’s pumpkin puree
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup nuts (pecan or walnuts), coarsely chopped, optional
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1 cup eggnog

Bring the water to a boil in a 3-5 quart saucepan.  Add the oatmeal and spices.  Stir, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).  Stir in the pumpkin, apple, nuts and sugar.  Simmer another 10 minutes until the apple is soft.  Stir in the eggnog and serve hot.

Pumpkin Curry Eggnog Soup

Yes, I created a holiday soup.  Actually, I got a little heavy-handed with the spices and needed a way to cool it down.  Plus, I had more eggnog in the ‘fridge than I could drink, because Hubby doesn’t like it.  Problem solved.  Did you know that pumpkin and eggnog go together really nicely?

  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 can Libby’s pumkin puree (NOT pie filling!!)
  • 1 T Madras yellow curry powder (if you can, visit an Asian market and get a Thai curry)
  • pumpkinsoup1 t Paprika
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • salt to taste
  • Eggnog.

Add all ingredients to a saucepan and simmer for 30 minute

s.  Taste it, and adjust the seasonings to suit.  It should be very spicy, but don’t panic.  This is where the eggnog comes in.   Stir eggnog into each serving to:  cool the soup to a perfect temperature for sipping; drop that spiciness; cream up the soup;  and, add the perfect complimentary sweetness to all that pumpkiny flavor.  I tossed in a handful of my sister’s crunchy cheese straws and had the perfect winter warmer.

Pumpkin Chocolate Bars

No all-pumpkin feast would be complete without dessert, right?  Reprised from an earlier post, here are the pumpkin chocolate bars.

pumpkin chocolate bars


It’s easy being Green

I made Green Soup yesterday.

It was really easy.  I’d had a wonderful pea and mint gazpacho at a Washington, DC restaurant the other day and set myself to find out how to make it at home.    The Internet is a wonderful source of information.  I found a close enough recipe, tweaked it abit to suit my dietary needs and the ingredients on hand, and the results were astonishingly delicious.  Even Chad liked it enough to eat some (but not enough to finish his bowl).    I did have to endure a few rounds of “Waiter, my soup is COLD!”

Pea, Spinach and Mint Gazpacho

  • 6 cups vegetable stock (or use water and 3 cubes of Knorr vegetable bouillon)
  • Salt to taste if you don’t use bouillon
  • 2 cups frozen English peas
  • ½ a bag of fresh baby spinach (about 4 cups loosely packed)
  • 2 stalks of dark green celery, de-ribbed and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 tsp Penzey’s Mural of Flavor (or herbs to your taste)
  • 15 mint leaves

  • 2 cups half n half
  • Sour cream or yogurt for garnish (optional)

 Bring the stock to a boil.  Add the vegetables and seasonings, bring back to a full boil and cook for 5 minutes, or until the peas are tender but not mushy.  Turn off the heat and puree with an immersion blender.   Transfer to a glass bowl or other shallow container to transfer heat better.  Add a quart bag of ice cubes to the bowl to chill the soup quickly and absolutely stop it from cooking any more.  If you plan on serving it within the hour, keep changing out the ice bag to speed the cooling.

To serve, check to make sure no solids are in the soup, and puree again or strain if needed.  Stir in the half n half.  Garnish with mint leaves and a dollop of sour cream.

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