Shhh… You Don’t See The Word Pumpkin In This Post

Please tell me that, like me, you don’t feel that pumpkin recipes should only be posted in the 2 weeks preceding Halloween and only up until Thanksgiving and then they should be put away until the next year? Because if you don’t feel the same, there is a good chance that I will cry uncontrollably and will have no choice but to rethink our relationship.

I DO use pumpkin more when Autumn first arrives but then I seem to get into the pumpkin groove and don’t stop using it until…well, I just don’t stop using it. It’s a year round thing for me. I kinda like pumpkin.

So I figured that my Pumpkin Butterscotch Scones and my
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread needed company here in the blog.

Now normally when I make pumpkin bread, I make the pumpkin cranberry one. It is my favorite quick bread; very moist and flavorful. But for the longest time, I have had a printed out recipe for pumpkin bread that was just plain pumpkin bread. Literally had this for years and have never tried it. So I figured it was time. This comes from food.com and while I don’t think it will take the place in my heart stomach filled by many slices of pumpkin cranberry bread, it was very good for a simple quick bread. It was moist and had good flavor albeit a milder one than I usually make. When I make it again, and I will, I will use more spices in it (I already doubled it so that’s saying something). I changed it a bit from the original but not much. So here you go. If you like pumpkin bread and like making things that twist up old standbys a little, try this one. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I made this in 9 inch loaf pans but I think 8 would be better because the loaves were a little thin for my preferences. But when you make this, if you use 8 inch pans, you will probably have to cover it with foil near the end to prevent over browning since the cook time will be longer.

Secret Ingredient Pumpkin Bread

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 (4 serving size) package of instant gingerbread pudding mix (this is seasonal from Jello. I found it at Super Wal Mart. Also, the original called for butterscotch)
  • 1 (4 serving size) package of instant cheesecake flavored pudding mix (the original called for lemon but somehow lemon & pumpkin didn’t sound right to me)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree (I used canned)
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or just use cooking spray) 2 8 or 9 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (including the pudding mixes) .
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs well (BAD EGGS BAD EGGS! Erhmmm… sorry.)
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the eggs and mix well.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the flour and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into greased pans.
  7. Bake at 350 for about 70 minutes (longer if using 8 inch pans) or until wooden skewer inserted in middle comes out clean or with crumbs on it, no loose batter. Cover with foil if it starts to brown too much.
  8. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Dum Dum Suckers!? Awwww, mannnn!

ย 

This is an entry from my old non foodie journal. Just thought I’d share. Yes, still me, still insanely silly ๐Ÿ˜€

My son Zach went trick or treating last year. He was a werewolf…again. He has a fascination with them. I haven’t decided if I simply need to hide the cats during a full moon, wonder if he is Lon Chaney reincarnated or just get him therapy. Zach constantly bemoans the fact that he hasn’t yet grown enough body hair to make a Spyhnx Cat happy much less a werewolf.

I still remember when I found him and his older brother Jordan in the bathroom cutting each others hair and trying to super glue it to their faces. After I stopped laughing and wiped my eyes, I had to figure out a way to get the hair and the glue off their faces. I was tempted to just leave it there and let them go to school looking like the bastard love children of Tiny Tim and The Bearded Lady but the mental image of myself trying to explain to the Child Protection Services why my sons were covered in glued on hair made me think better of it.

Moving on. My father, who died in April of ’06, loved Halloween. Ok, so he was a diabetic who loved any excuse to eat candy but he did adore Halloween. Every year we went through the same routine. I would take him shopping and he would buy six or seven of the HUGE bags of candy. You know the kind; the ones with enough in them to feed either a small third world country or Nicole Ritchie on a binge. Most would be the mini chocolate bars with one or two bags of Smarties and Sweet-tarts. I would nag him about not needing so much because we lived in a rural area where we are lucky (or blessed depending on your viewpoint) to get ten kids coming to the door. He would say that what didn’t get eaten he could give to my kids *snorts… uh huh*.

Come Halloween, an hour after trick or treating would start, I would invariably find him sitting in his lawn chair, candy wrappers around him as he dozed in the blissful dreams of a mini diabetic coma and dreamt of Kim Novak hand feeding him Nestles Crunch bars. He would be surrounded by neighborhood cats and dogs sniffing through the wrappers trying to find some crumbs of forbidden chocolate heaven. I am fairly sure he alone was responsible for quite a few animals dying a sugar induced death. The children loved him though. Where else could they go and grab handfuls of candy without the watchful eyes of an (awake) adult telling them to not take more than one or two?

Every year, the day after Halloween, he & I would go through the kids bags. Ostensibly it was to sift through it and get rid of anything iffy. In reality though it was to take all the good stuff and then when the kids asked where it went to, to point the sticky finger at each other. Last year, the popular item seemed to be Dum Dum Suckers. Lots and lots of Dum Dum suckers. I tried for months to figure out what to do with all. There are only so many times one can serve Dum Dum Roast for dinner with a side of Mashed Dum Dums before the family refuses to eat. Now I just sneak them in like most mothers do Spinach. “Here you go honey… eat your Dum Dums first then I’ll get you some nice chicken… c’mon it looks sooo good doesn’t it? You used to love the Cream Soda flavor”.

I had to laugh when Zach got home with his goodies. He dumped the bag out, got the most disappointed look on his face, turned to me and said “dum dum suckers?! Awww man”!!! My father was surely laughing himself silly as Kim fed him Snickers bars and Three Musketeers.

Dum Dum Au Gratin anyone???? I’ll share.
Ahhh dad, Halloween just isn’t the same without you this year.

In honor of Halloween, I have made a Pumpkin Souffle. I couldn’t resist making a delicious Maple/Brown Sugar Whipped Cream to go with it because…well, because I’m me ๐Ÿ˜›

This is sooooo good! And contrary to popular belief, not hard at all. Yes, your souffle will fall. It’s supposed to. You have to be quick to serve them but even if they collapse before you get them to your family or guests, they will NOT care. I promise. They will be too busy moaning in ecstasy. So try this. because I said. And because it’s something a little different in the pumpkin arena. And because it’s insanely good.

Pumpkin Pie Souffle With Maple Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

  1. Maple Whipped Cream-
  2. 1 cup heavy cream
  3. 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (not Mrs. Butterworths… as good as she may be)
  4. 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  5. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. Pumpkin Pie Souffle-
  7. 6 egg whites, room temp
  8. 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (do NOT omit. It helps stabilize the egg whites)
  9. 6 egg yolks, room temp
  10. 1/2 cup sugar plus extra for coating souffle dishes
  11. 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)
  12. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  13. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (leave Maryann, Gilligan and The Professor alone)
  14. 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  15. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Make your Maple Whipped Cream-
  • Add the maple syrup and brown sugar to the cup of heavy cream in a large bowl. Beat until the cream is stiff. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Coat 4 8 ounce lightly greased souffle dishes with sugar . I only had mini and extra large dishes so I used 2 ten ounce ones and 2 six ounce ones. Works out the same.
  • Set them into a 13×9 baking dish.
  • While preparing the souffles, heat up 2 cups of water in the microwave. Leave until ready to use.
  • Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large GLASS bowl until foamy. Gradually add in the 1/2 cup sugar. Continue beating until the egg whites are glossy and stand up in soft peaks.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add the 1/2 cup pumpkin and the spices (tip- Have all your stuff measured before you begin making this. It makes the process much easier and you don’t have to worry about your whites deflating while you are scurrying around for spices and sugar and such.).
  • GENTLY fold the egg yolk/pumpkin mixture into the egg whites until no streaks of white remain.
  • Pour mixture into prepared dishes.
  • Put in oven and carefully add the 2 cups of hot water to the baking dish (NOT into the souffle dishes :-P).
  • Bake at 375 until tops are nicely browned and the souffles have risen, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Serve with the maple whipped cream.

Did I mention How Much I Love Pumpkin??

If the rising amount of Pumpkin recipes on my blog and my drooling comments on all of your pumpkin posts hasn’t made it clear, I LOVE PUMPKIN!! Whadda ya mean, you couldn’t hear me!? Ok, I’ll say it again.ย  I LOVE PUMPKIN!!!ย  Yes, yes, I know. I’m very subtle when it comes to displaying my likes and dislikes. I bet that not a one of you knew I loved chocolate, Twinkies or Cheetos did you? Or that I absolutely hate beef liver? Shocking huh? I really need to learn to express myself better don’t I? Oh… by the way.. I LOVE PUMPKIN!!!

Autumn in the blogging world is obviously the time when we see a plethora (dontcha just love when I use big words… like “I want aย  plethora of Twinkies and Cheetos”. Now THERE’S an awesome sentence!) of pumpkin recipes (as well as apple and pear recipes and Thanksgiving style recipes and…and…and.. *drools yet again*). I absolutely love this time of year.ย  Not sure I made that clear before either hehe. Seriously though, I do. I love the weather, the way people seem more chilled out (and not just cause they are cold) and I definitely love the foods. Especially…erhmmm… pumpkin.

One thing I notice though is that there are many more sweet Pumpkin recipes than there are anything else. Mind you, you’ll never see me knocking that (I love love love my Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Recipe ย  as well as the 5000000 pumpkin recipes I’ve printed out in the last few days) but Pumpkin is wonderful in so much more than sweets mmmmmmmmaaaaaan!

The other day I received an email that had a recipe for Pumpkin Hummus. I was all over that one! I love hummus. It’s one of my favorite snacks or light meals. So combine that with my love for Pumpkin and I knew I had to try this. So I did. And it was bland and downright boring which is why I’m not sharing where I got it. I don’t want to show where I got a ick recipe.ย  So we all know me right? No way could I just say “oh well, that’s that. I’m done.” Nope. I had to fix it… cause that’s the kind of a gal I am. Or something.

And fix it I did. I make a curried Pumpkin risotto that I love. I mean, it’s absolutely amazingly good! Yes btw, I will be sharing that recipe here during the Pumpkinish season. So the risotto popped into my mind and I figured “why not?” So I added some curry powder to the pumpkin hummus mix, a bit more salt, a touch of red pepper and oh my gosh, is it good! It has a tang from the lemon mixed with a meld of exotic flavor from the curry and garlic. All topped off of course by the wonderfully fresh UNSWEETENED flavor of pumpkin. If you like Pumpkin and want a light meal, side dish or snack, try this. I served it with onion flatbreads. My husband, peasant that he is, didn’t like it. But that’s ok… more for me ๐Ÿ˜€

Curried Pumpkin Hummus

  1. 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  2. 2 to 3 tablespoons tahini
  3. 2 teaspoonsย  garlic powder
  4. 2 teaspoons onion powder
  5. 2 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  7. 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste. I’m not a big salt person but many of you may need more)
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  9. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  10. 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  11. 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • In a food processor, combine all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  • Taste for seasoning.
  • Spoon into serving bowl and drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with a touch more curry powder.
  • Eat.
  • Feel good about it because this is actually quite good for you.
  • Cheer because I’m so good at figuring out ways to add extra superfluous (another big word… didya see that?) recipe directions because I hate short recipes.

Still Craving Autumn

I don’t like Summer. There. My shameful secret is out. I don’t like tank tops (if you had my body, you wouldn’t either ๐Ÿ˜› ) or shorts, I don’t like laying in the sun (I prefer no wrinkles and no invasive surgeries to cut out skin cancer) dripping sweat to obtain a skin color that isn’t what I was born with. I don’t like mosquitoes and I don’t like opening my back door on a Summer night only to have 3,897 bugs fly in the house and into my hair while I screech like a three year old who has just been shown a clown picture.

I DO however like beaches or pools and I love to grill out. But then I do that in January because I’m weird that way and unfortunately, until I can win the lottery and build a house with a very very large heated pool, I can only swim during those hot months. Darn it all anyway.

I like Autumn. I also like Winter but I KNOW that’s strange so I won’t ruin my rep too much here.ย  I like shorter days and longer nights. I like the smell of a wood burning fireplaces (gas logs are the devil and should be banned from the face of the earth). I like sweaters and cozy blankets to cover up with as I sit with my family in the nice warm house watching TV; preferably Christmas specials like The Grinch or Charlie Brown. I like soups and stews and fresh baked breads. I love anything made with pumpkin or cranberries and anything that smells spicy and…well… Autumnish.

I like this bread. I found the original recipe somewhere on line years back and when I made it, it was dry and heavy and just not a lot of flavor. So I played with it. Because that’s what I do. ๐Ÿ˜› And now it is sweet and moist and bursting with the flavors of Autumn. Pumpkin and cranberry sauce and spices all meld together into a bread that tastes of Fall and football games; fireplaces and steaming cups of hot cocoa shared with those you love. It’s one of my favorite quick breads and it is oh so easy and gives you something that tastes amazing. So give this a try and then close your eyes and imagine that it’s NOT 90 degrees outside. And yes; this really IS the worlds most awesome. I took a poll. ๐Ÿ˜› No, btw, it’s not a typo. There are no eggs in this. Yet it is still incredibly moist.

Worlds Most Awesome Pumpkin Cranberry Quick Bread

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 (16 ounce) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling; just pureed pumpkin)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease two 9 inch loaf pans.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients thoroughly.
  4. In second large bowl combine all wet ingredients; mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients. Mix just until thoroughly combined. Do not over mix as this will cause tough bread with lots of little peek a boo holes all throughout it.
  6. Bake at 350 for approximately 60 minutes or until sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean. If necessary, cover lightly with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent the edges from burning.
  7. Let cool in pans for ten minutes then turn out onto racks to finish cooling.
  8. This is yummy spread with cream cheese or, like I like it, with a ton of butter. But it’s also so good that leftover a couple of days later, at room temp is still pretty awesome.

 

Rhapsody On A Theme

I mentioned on my facebook page earlier that this is one of my favorite pieces of music-

Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini

 

It’s also kind of the way I cook.ย  Well, except when the baby is whining, the teens are ornery and my husband is oblivious. Then… not so rhapsodic. ๐Ÿ˜› But generally speaking, cooking is a sort of rhapsody to me. It’s melodies and lyrics and booming orchestras all wrapped up in my cooking. But the problem is this…. like those horrid people who cover classics and remake them in Pop music *cough Michael Bolton/Mariah Carey* cough*, I am incapable of making something and keeping it as it was originally intended to be. Sometimes, this leads to total disaster and we just aren’t going to talk about that because I’m old and vain and refuse to have you laugh at me when I haven’t meant for that to happen. ๐Ÿ˜€

But other times, it works out quite well and that is when we have “Rhapsody On A Theme”.

Today, the theme was me wishing it were already Autumn and wanting something made with Pumpkin;ย  preferably scones. But could I just make Pumpkin scones and call it done? Nooooooo… not me! As you already know is par for the course, I have to mess with things and make them…well… MINE. So I did. I had just brought up from downstairs a bag of butterscotch candy. You know the ones. The little hard golden yellow ones. So the thought struck me that something about butterscotch and pumpkin and all the spices going with it seemed to go together. So I crushed up some of the butterscotch and mixed it in with the scone dough. Then sprinkled some on top before baking them. Then sprinkled a bit more on after glazing. And when it comes to pumpkiny treats, I have always been of the mind that 99.9% of recipes never have enough spices. I mean, c’mon… 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and other yummy spices!? No way mannnnnnn. I need more! More I say!! So…erhmmm… I added more. If you aren’t as fond of lots of sweet spice, go ahead and use less.

The result was a moist tender scone with a yummy Pumpkin spice flavor and a hint of butterscotch. That came with a spiced glaze and more hints of butterscotch. All in all, I’ll call ths one of my more successful rhapsodies ๐Ÿ˜€ These are quickly put together if you use the food processor. I didn’t use a mixer but I can’t see it taking much longer if you did. I hope you like it. If not, mail them to me. I’ll eat your share. ๐Ÿ˜›

These taste like Autumn and I don’t know about you but I’m ready.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Scones With A Spiced Butterscotch Glaze

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 7 tablespoons cold butter, cut into thin slices
  • 35 butterscotch disc candies, ground in the food processor
  • SPICED GLAZE-
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, 1/2 cup of the ground butterscotch discs (set remaining aside to use to sprinkle on scones before baking and after glazing), salt, sugar and spices in bowl of food processor.
  2. Add the butter to the food processor and pulse until no chunks of butter remain.
  3. Add in the pumpkin, egg and cream. Pulse until the mixture comes together into a soft ball.
  4. Dump the dough out onto a VERY lightly floured board. Pat out into a round about 3/4’s of an inch thick.
  5. Transfer dough to a lightly greased baking pan. Using a sharp knife, score all the way through the dough, cutting into 6 to 8 scones (I did six very large ones cause I know the guys I live with but normal people would want smaller ones lol) but don’t separate the scones. Sprinkle with half of the remaining ground butterscotch discs.
  6. Bake at 425 for 14 to 16 minutes or until they are light golden brown and firm on top.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.
  8. While they cool, whisk together all the glaze ingredients.ย  Spoon the glaze on top of the cooled scones, spreading to cover. Sprinkle with the remaining crushed butterscotch. Let the scones sit for about half an hour so that the glaze can set.
  9. Eat. Wish for a warm cozy fire and a cup of hot cider.