Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
And all in a cookie!
Want a closer look? Look at that texture? Chewy, soft, tender...
It's Day #6 here in Pumpkin Week at the GD kitchen. And I couldn't go a whole week without some sort of cookie, right? Do you know me? I found a few recipes while I was browsing online for some sort of yummy cookie but all of them lacked...something. Solution? Cram everything I love into one poor cookie. That's why it seems that I was a little ADD whilst coming up with this recipe. I was thinking, "oh, poor readers. To have to deal with this ridiculous cookie recipe." But surprisingly, it came out great! All the flavors really blend and add to the overall taste. You have sweetness from the butterscotch, crunch from the pecans, creaminess from the pumpkin and chewiness from the oatmeal. Perfect! Go get started!
Butterscotch Pumpkin Cookies
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin puree, excess water squeezed out (place in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze)
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Preheat your oven to 350*.
Combine oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until smooth.
Beat in egg and vanilla and then stir in pumpkin puree. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until well blended.
Mix in chips and nuts by hand.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Day #5 of Pumpkin Week here in the GD kitchen!
Now, every day, at about 5am, (and I know it's 5am, not by the clock, but by the sound of my husband's electric razor starting up) I roll out of bed and head into the kitchen to make breakfast for my man. I really try to make something different every day but we usually rotate between hard boiled eggs, yogurt with granola, oatmeal, cheese grits, sausages, etc. Some of this can be interesting but mostly he's just interested in protein and carbs to gear up for whatever insane amount of physical training that the Marines are about to partake in, before the sun comes up and they really start their day.
But, I digress...and it's the pumpkin season! So instead of something booooring, I decided to spice things up a bit! I toasted up some fresh cinnamon raisin pint-sized bagels and whipped up this lovely pumpkin spiced cream cheese spread. Add a few bananas for long-lasting energy and he was thrilled when he sat down for breakfast and saw this looking back up at him.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Beat softened cream cheese, sugar and syrup until creamy.
Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Refrigerate for at least an hour and enjoy!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Onto the necessary: pumpkin butter + pumpkin pancakes.
Pancakes are a staple around this GD kitchen. They come in all flavors so it makes sense to me, depending on the season, that pancakes follow accordingly. October = pumpkin and warm spices. (Christmas will be gingerbread!)
Also, I do not just eat them for breakfast - they can definitely be a perfectly delicious dinner!
And so they were, slathered with homemade pumpkin butter all over the top.
Makes about 4 cups.
1 29 ounce can of pumpkin puree (about 3 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
juice of 1/2 lemon
Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices and sugar in a large saucepan.
Bring mixture to a boil - it'll be really thick and puff and pop so watch out for splatterings of hot pumpkin!
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until thick, stirring often. Stir in lemon juice. Serve warm, room temperature or cold!
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons melted butter
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and all spices in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Whisk together buttermilk, egg, pumpkin and melted butter.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Don't overmix or the pancakes will be tough.
Over medium low heat, melt some butter in a skillet. Once skillet is hot, pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake into skillet. When the pancake starts to bubble, carefully flip. Serve golden brown and with pumpkin butter and maple syrup on top!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Onto Day #3! We are going with a classic here. I've been making this recipe for a very long time. October = pumpkin bread. And you can easily make this into bread, by the way. Add a little extra flour (about 1/3 cup) and pour into 2 buttered and floured loaf pans. They are great as gifts! But why ugly loaves? Let's try mini muffins! They are perfect when a bunch of hungry Marines come over for an afternoon meeting. This recipe makes about 48 and for five guys, all but about six were eaten. Luckily, I stole those last six and ate them for a pre-dinner snack! But if you don't have a bunch of Marines around your house, you probably have kids or husbands or tea with your girl friends, right? They are great for breakfast with cream cheese or dessert as mini cupcakes with frosting slathered over the top. Very versatile, these little babies. And chances are, you already have all of these holiday spices in your pantry.
Cinnamon? Nutmeg? Ginger? I thought so.
You might need this...but it's the pumpkin time of year so you probably do!
Okay, go get started!!
Pumpkin Mini Muffins
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 cups pumpkin puree
Ready for how easy this is?
Combine all ingredients. Mix until smooth and thick. Pour into buttered mini muffin tins. Bake at 350* for about 15-17 minutes. Cool and enjoy!
Monday, October 26, 2009
1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
1 diced onion
½ cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ stick unsalted butter
4 cups beef broth
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup bourbon
½ pound cooked ham, diced pretty small
Yogurt and black beans for garnish
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Arborio rice is key to a good risotto. Being from a good Italian family, I’m gonna go ahead and say that you cannot make risotto without Arborio rice. There. I said it. So, go get some!
Arborio is an Italian short-grain rice. It is named after the town of Arborio in the Po Valley, where it is grown. Cooked, the rounded grains are firm, creamy, and chewy, due to the high starch content of this rice variety, thus they have a starchy taste of their own, yet blend well with other flavors. The main feature of a risotto dish is the maintenance of this starch at the end of cooking that binds the grains together as a cream.
Risotto by itself is fantastic. But add some mushrooms? Mmmm.
Once you master how to make risotto, the ingredients are interchangeable! Add peas, red wine instead of white, or artichokes!
3 ½ cups canned low-salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-2 pounds assorted wild mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion or 4 shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup grated Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the broth and keep it warm over very low heat.
Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until almost caramelized, about 7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the onion or shallots and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
Stir in the rice and cook for about 2 minutes until the rice is toasted.
Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add ¾ cup of hot broth; simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Repeat, adding ¾ cup of hot broth 2 more times, stirring often, about 12 minutes longer.
Add the remaining broth and simmer until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes longer. Add the ½ cup of Parmesan. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto into bowls. Sprinkle additional cheese over and serve.