One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Secret Recipe Club · Soup

Final Countdown

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Welcome to Group A’s October edition of the Secret Recipe Club!!!  Regardless of how sick/tired/pregnant I’ve been over the past few months, this is the one challenge I keep signing up for because I LOVE all the recipes I’m exposed to.  This month was no different, as I got to explore Baking and Creating with Avril which is stuffed with delicious treats.  Apparently I was having an apple craving when I first checked out her blog as three of the top five recipes featured apples!   This included her Apple Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese, Apple Pie Cheesecake (nom!!!), and her easy applesauce muffins which I plan on making this week to go with some pumpkin chili.  In the end I decided to go savory instead of sweet and also embrace the fall season by making her incredible Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup.  I also enjoyed the reading the history of this recipe, as it originally came from a friend of hers.  I wound up making one change to the recipe and totally blaming it on pregnancy brain.  When I wrote down my shopping list I had one can of pumpkin puree and two cans of black beans.  It wasn’t until later in the week when I went to make the soup that I realized I had transposed the numbers.  While I debated waiting until the following week to make the soup, I wanted to give it a go anyway – figuring if it was a total wreck I could still make it again.  I also adjusted the cooking method for the spice, when using curry powder I prefer to add it at the beginning and “toast” it per a tip I found in an Indian cookbook.  I’m not sure if it does anything, but it’s become a habit!

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In the end, I think it worked best for my family that I only used one can.  While you could still taste the pumpkin it wasn’t PUMPKIN which is a good thing to me.  I do want to make this again the “right” way and since this comes together so quickly this is easily a recipe that can work post-baby!

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Baking · Breakfast · Dessert · Home Cooking · Vegan

Treats you Kind

Pumpkin Streusel Muffin

pumpkin_streusel_muffin

The other weekend I hosted a few friends for a boozy brunch – followed by a Hunger Games Marathon.  I needed something that was quick and easy, just in case the boozy part started before the brunch part.  So I checked out a few of my favorite cookbooks in hopes of a spark, and it worked!  While a coffee cake was out of the question, I decided I could easily adapt the recipe to work for over-sized muffin tins – and that they needed a bit of pumpkin.  This is loosely based on the “quick coffee cake” recipe from Joy of Cooking, just without the egg and smaller amounts of milk plus pumpkin and vegan – so might be more accurate to say this is inspired by that recipe but whatever!

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There were enjoyed with some fake bacon, turkey bacon, buttermilk pancakes, and lots of champagne based fruity drinks.  Most likely will go all out next year when the final movie comes out, and might actually do something “on theme” at that point – but there is something to be said about random carbs and champagne.

Gluten Free · Home Cooking · Italian · Simple and In Season

Want me Baby

Butternut Squash Lasagna

butternut_squash_lasagna

I’m not a fan of fall weather, even more so when it comes to the season after fall, but I am a fan of many of the vegetables that pop up during these chilly months.  From the winter squashes, to the greens, to the delicious root vegetables – the fall is well stocked with delicious vegetables. Today’s treat features a number of those goodies, including some of the last of the produce from the Farmer’s Market at my office.  Butternut Squash is a familiar vegetable in our house and it really seems to go with everything.  In this case I added some swiss chard, baby kale, and some mashed pie pumpkin (thought the variety was called baby boy but that just resulted in lots of baby costumes) that was leftover from making the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

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Lasagna will never be a healthy dinner option, and it’s not always the most budget-friendly option, but it will always be something delicious and hearty and fantastic.  I figured that if I only make it a few times a year it’s not that bad…right???  I’m sending this recipe over to November’s Secret and in Season, which is being hosted by Katie of FeedingBoys and was founded by the awesome Ren.   There are so many delicious fall recipes being linked up over there, I can’t wait to give them a whirl!!!

52Weeks · Baking · Dessert · Home Cooking

Gotta, Gotta

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin_choco_cookie

When I was in college it was my best friend’s “job” to make a batch, or five, of pumpkin cookies after fall.  After college I realized that if I wanted my pumpkin fix I needed to figure out the recipe or accept a life without these delicious treats.  The main trick I have found is to pre-roast the pumpkin and store the mash in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to use.  In a pinch, canned pumpkin can also work but just make to grab mashed pumpkin and not the pre-made pie filling as it tends to be too runny.  As for the chips, I’m a fan of milk chocolate but as long as chocolate is being used there is no wrong option.

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These cookies are so good – your dogs might climb up on to the table cat ninja style and eat the last dozen.  Thankfully milk chocolate is not as toxic for dogs as semi-sweet chocolate and Calli is good to go.  Lesson for the future as now we know that she can jump in to the table, regardless of chair placement.   At least we got to enjoy a few dozen before that happened!

I’m sending these over, slightly last minute, to the /r/52weeksofcooking pumpkin challenge!  I also sent a large number of these to my office, where they were totally and utterly destroyed in a short amount of time.

Gluten Free · Home Cooking · Slow Cooker · Soup · Vegan

These Butterflies

Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili

Fall is officially here, Halloween has past and the clocks have gone back – there is no way to deny that cold weather is here and colder weather is fast approaching.  Yes, winter is coming but this year I’m ready with tons of quick and easy soups.  I’ve always been a big soup person, but I’ve realized I need to branch out beyond the classic butternut squash soup and the easy potato soups and attempt other varieties.  After being surrounded by pumpkins at the grocery stores the past month or so I decided to grab one of the smaller pie pumpkins and see what all I could do with him – that didn’t involve baking a pie.  After debating a pumpkin bisque, I decided to go for broke and attempt a pumpkin chili.  I know from previous experience that sweet potatoes and butternut squash go well with chilies (and beans) so figured that the similarly tasting (to me) pumpkin would also fit well in this equation.  One of those if x=y and b=y than x=b moments – and there we also have proof that on occasion I did occasionally pay attention in math class.

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This recipe is one of the few that I made up on the spot and decided to just go ahead and post – typically something gets tested a few times but I was so impressed with how this all came together I couldn’t resist.  For those seeking a milder chili swap the serrano for a jalapeno – and for extra mild seed the jalapeno first.    As for toppings – chives, cheese, and sour cream are the staples in my house but there is no right or wrong way to top your chili. Another awesome thing about this recipe is it can easily be modified for a slow cooker.  Just pre-cook the onion and peppers (either day or night before) and then toss all ingredients in to the slowcooker.  When using the slow cooker I add the full cup of water and cook on low for 7 hours, easier to thicken it up with flour than trying to rescue a scorched dish .

Baking · Home Cooking

Just a Little

Pumpkin Spice Bread

For the most part I keep to my recipe book when it comes to making bread, changing up recipes only after careful thought and research to make sure I’m not going to burn down the house or poison my spouse.  There have been some great results, Apple Cider Bread and Cream Cheese Bread for example.  However there have also been some failures, and while none of them were of the charred variety they weren’t edible regardless of what my husband told me.   When I saw how much roasted pumpkin I had after making my pumpkin pasta I froze the extra so that I could do something with it once I figured out what that something was.  After a bit of thought I decided to attempt a pumpkin spice bread.  I used my recipe for zucchini bread and molded it with an older recipe for applesauce bread.  The idea was the that the zucchini portion would give me the right idea for spices while the applesauce bread would take in to account the moisture content of the roasted pumpkin mush.  For the settings on the bread machine I went with the standard options – bake regular, medium size, and normal crust.

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This bread was perfection!  Toasted and with the addition of some butter and cinnamon sugar it was the perfect breakfast.  It also made some great French Toast!

52Weeks · Home Cooking · Italian · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Random Recipes · Vegan

and Roll

Pasta with Pumpkin Cream Sauce

 Time for November’s Random Recipe entry!   This month Dom at Belleau Kitchen switched things up this month by having us use our birthday to pick the cookbook, instead of a random number.  For me this meant the 7th book on my shelf was the lucky winner, Vegetables from an Italian Garden.

 I got this book last year and it has quickly become one of my favorites, especially since the first section of it is a planting guide for the vegetables featured in the book.  For the winning recipe, Joe picked page 257 which was a picture of a very large pumpkin.  The opposite page gave a full description of pumpkins, including the pages to flip to for pumpkin recipes (304-315).  I went to the first page of recipes and settled on Crema Alla Zucca – Pumpkin Cream Sauce.  The first time I made this recipe, things went wrong along the way and I had to change up dinner plans.  The second time around I made more than a few changes while keeping the basic integrity of the dish for much better, read: edible, results!

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This time the recipe worked MUCH better!  I’m not sure what changes made it work, since I did make more than a few changes.  Make sure to head over the Bellaeu Kitchen for more amazing Random Recipes!

I’m also sending this recipe over the /52weeks since there isn’t any thing more “Harvest” than pumpkin, especially this time of year.  Plus, this recipe is a great way to use up any extra pumpkin, be it canned or fresh.  Also, for more great recipes join GoodLife Eats for the Surprisingly Nutritious Spaghetti Link-Up sponsored by Barilla pasta