Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Dip I


I love pumpkin as I’ve said many times before.  The sad part is, The Boy, is not a fan.  So I have to find other places & occasions to make pumpkin goodies.  I had a family reunion to attend the day after returning from a 7 day vacation in California.  Needless to say I wanted something EASY to make for it.  I had seen some pumpkin dip recipes, and I found two versions, one that involved marshmallow fluff, and one that didn’t.  I decided I’d try the both.  So far, I’ve made the non-fluff version.  I had seen a great recipe on Annie’s Eats, but ended doing something in between hers, and this one, to use more pumpkin & less sugar.  I served it with ginger snaps, apple slices, graham cracker sticks & apple chips.  Here it is, and let me tell you, I got asked about about the recipe multiple times.

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Pumpkin Dip

adapted from Annie's Eats and Veggie Venture

Ingredients:

16 ounces canned pumpkin
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

With hand mixer, mix the pumpkin, cream cheese and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Add sugar to taste until desired sweetness is reached. Serve with graham crackers, gingersnaps, & apple slices

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Fudge


I llllllllove pumpkin. Love it. Love all things pumpkin. The boy, not so much. 😛 That kind of limits my pumpkin eating at times. Sometime last year I stumbled upon this recipe for pumpkin fudge. It sounded decadently delicious. I think I didn’t see it until after Thanksgiving so I told myself I’d make it the next year. This year rolls around and I see this recipe on Annie’s Eats. I thought, “Hmm.. that sounds familiar. Then I noticed where Annie linked that she first saw this recipe, it was the same blog I had seen it last year! If anything, thanks for jogging my memory!

I made this fudge, surprisingly without a candy thermometer. I was SO nervous that I would screw it up. I have many memories of my sister’s homemade fudge, that sometimes ended up as syrup. Luckily it turned out pretty darn good! I brought it in to work, to celebrate my brand new spacious edit bay. I never put it out on the “free spot”, but I just emailed & told people to come and eat some. It was rather well received I must say! If you like pumpkin pie, and you like fudge, MAKE THIS!

 

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Pumpkin Pie Fudge

originally from Southern Living, as seen on Foodie Bride & Annie's Eats

Ingredients:

3 cups sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tbsp. corn syrup
2 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
9 oz. white chocolate, chopped
7 oz. jar marshmallow crème
1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted (I used pecans)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Stir together first six ingredients in a 3 ½ - quart saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 234° (soft-ball stage).

Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour into a greased aluminum foil-lined 8-inch square pan. Let stand 2 hours or until completely cool; cut fudge into squares.



Friday, October 17, 2008

Patience is a Virtue



There are a lot of things in life that require patience.  One of those things is vacationing with my parents.  It’s been about 5 or so years since I have went on a vacation with them.  My dad emailed me back in August asking if I’d drive them & another couple we’re related to, to the airport because they were going to San Francisco, Napa Valley, Yosemite, down the Pacific Coast Highway, and all these wonderful places.  I was immediately jealous, but told him I’d take them to the airport.  About an hour or so later he called me, and suggested I just tag along and go with them!  I wouldn’t have to pay for hotels or the rental car, just my airfare & meals.  HECK YEAH!

So, fast forward to October 3rd, we headed out west!  Overall it was a good trip because I had only seen Southern California, and not the northern area.  BUT, this trip required a lot of patience!  We had lines to wait in, like when we went to Alcatraz. (click any of the pictures to see the gorgeous full size photo.)

It took a LONG time it seemed to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge & back.

It took a while to get to Monteray.

We had a hike to get down to see the General Sherman, world’s tallest tree, a sequoia.

It took HOURS to get into Yosemite.

While the views were gorgeous, it took HOURS to drive down the curvy Pacific Coast Highway.

We drove for miles and miles and miles to get to Point Reeyes lighthouse to watch our last sunset over the ocean. (Only to get out there, and realize we then had to walk to see the lighthouse, which we weren’t sure if we’d have time to do before the sun set!)


I will admit, the patience & the waiting paid off at every gorgeous site we saw.  Just look at these beautiful sights.
Another thing that requires patience is this recipe.  Apple chips!  I actually found this recipe while reading my google reader on my iPhone while out in California!  It is a recipe from Gourmet magazine, posted on thekitchn’s website.  I think I would of went crazy if I didn’t have my iPhone to keep me occupied when I got really bored.  For this recipe I followed thekitchn’s suggestion of using cinnamon instead of cumin for a sweeter snack!  I definitely recommend you try this out, but just be prepared, it takes a lot of patience to wait for these to slowly cook!  I’ve made these twice, once with a granny smith, and once with a red delicious.  I think I prefer the granny smith version the best, but any apple would probably taste great!

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Apple Chips

adapted from Gourmet

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 medium Granny Smith apple

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200°F and line a large baking sheet with baking pad or parchment.

Sift together confectioners sugar and cumin twice to evenly incorporate. Sift half of cumin sugar evenly onto baking sheet.

Cut apple crosswise into very thin round slices (about 1/16 inch thick) with slicer. Arrange 20 of largest slices nearly touching each other on baking sheet, then evenly sift remaining cumin sugar over apples. (Reserve remaining apple slices for another use.)

Bake slices in middle of oven until pale golden and beginning to crisp, about 1 1/2 hours. Immediately peel chips off pad and cool on a rack.

(note, mine took more like 3 or so hours to cook until they were crisp, but that's just my oven probably)



Saturday, October 11, 2008

Roasted Okra & Sweet Potatoes


After getting okra AGAIN in my CSA, I did yet another google search on ways to cook it. I found a SUPER simple recipe that turned out great. I can’t believe I never tried roasting it before! All I did was cube up some sweet potato, wash & dry the okra. I didn’t chop off the heads or tails of okra, I just tossed them all in a bowl, drizzled on some EVOO (I hate that I sound like Rachel Ray, but it’s just easier than typing it all out), sprinkled on salt, pepper, & Toronto seasoning. I decided to use the Toronto seasoning because The Boy LOOOOOVES it, and I knew I had to make the okra appeal to him, since it’s definitely not his favorite. When it came time to eat it I just picked it up by the head of the pod & bit into it. I might get it eaten in one bite, or it might make two. I didn’t eat the head. The small & medium ones tasted great, but the larger ones probably should of roasted longer. I am DEFINITELY doing it again next time I get okra, whether it’s this season or next!

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Roasted Okra and Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

okra
sweet potatoes
extra virgin olive oil
salt
pepper
any other seasonings you want

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375.

Wash and chop the sweet potato into cubes. Wash okra. Combine in bowl & drizzle with enough EVOO to coat. Season. Spread onto a cookie sheet lined with foil & sprayed with non-stick spray. Roast until vegetables are soft. I think around 20 minutes more or less.

I served it with chicken cooked on the George Foreman that had been seasoned in the same seasoning. Oh, and the little white things are turnips. I received one in the share, so I just threw it in there, but I didn't like it so much.