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Fall is my favorite season. Correction: fall in the midwest is my favorite season. In California, winter is my favorite season. Why? Because the first week in October, we had “fall” temperatures topping 100 degrees. Just makes you want to turn the oven on to bake some pumpkin muffins and turn on the stovetop to simmer some pumpkin soup, right? Seriously, though, I couldn’t wait any longer for the temperatures to drop. Regardless of the temperature outside, this happened. This:

got smashed into this:

Pumpkin guts

which then got scooped out and baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour, peeled and blended into this:

Pumpkin puree

Ten cups of that, to be exact. Yes, I magically turned a $7 jack o’lantern pumpkin into $10 worth of pumpkin puree. (Tip: don’t be like me. Buy the more flavorful, less watery sugar or pie pumpkin instead of the jack o’lantern pumpkin meant for carving. The puree will taste better and certainly be more suitable if you plan to bake a pumpkin pie.) I also turned this (plus two tablespoons of butter and some salt):

Raw pumpkin seeds

into one cup of yummy

Roasted pumpkin seeds

after just 40 minutes on 300 degrees F (toss/stir after 20 minutes).

With the pumpkin puree, I made this amazing pumpkin curry soup from According to Kelly and these dessert-like whole wheat pumpkin muffins from Shut Up and Run. Both were a hit with my family. Only the four-year-old didn’t eat the pumpkin curry soup “because it was too ficy [spicy].” The 7- and 10-year-olds ate their entire bowls and thanked me for making it, so you know it’s a good recipe! In fact I foresee making more soup and muffins ASAP with the seven remaining cups of pumpkin puree I now have waiting for me in the freezer.

What’s your favorite fall recipe? Feel free to leave a link in the comments.

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