pumpkin

Cinnamon & Honey Roasted Pepitas

Got a great deal on my Halloween pumpkins this year at Aldi- $2.99 each. Don’t even get me started on Aldi. We have a special love.

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Once we got them hollowed out & carved, it’s time for some roasted pumpkin seeds. Inspired by the chestnuts I recently roasted, I decided to give my pepitas a little twist. Here’s how:

Cinnamon & Honey Roasted Pepitas

Ingredients:

  • pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Put all your pumpkin seeds in a colander and rinse with cool water, making sure any pumpkin guts are removed. Let them dry as you prepare the butter mixture.
  4. In the microwave, heat about 4 tbsp of unsalted butter until melted.
  5. Add the cinnamon & 1 tbsp of the honey. Stir to create a syrupy consistency.
  6. Spread the seeds on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  7. Drizzle the butter mixture over the seeds as evenly as possible.
  8. Sprinkle with Kosher salt to taste.
  9. Bake 30-40 mins or until golden, moving the seeds around 2-3 times during baking for even cooking.
  10. Enjoy while warm, and put any cooled leftovers into airtight containers for later noshing.

Pumpkin Spice Kombucha

I know, I know… it’s pumpkin-spice-everything time! But there’s a reason everyone goes loco for all things pumpkin & spice at this time of year… BECAUSE IT’S DELICIOUS! And not to toot my own horn or anything, but this is the tastiest flavored kombucha I’ve made to date. Real talk. Usually, what I do when I’m flavoring kombucha is do all the brewing & fermenting, then after the booch is filtered I will add some frozen fruit & let it sit on my counter in the jar with the lid loosened for another 24 hours. Usually I will end up with some secondary fermentation & a little fizziness. Some of my favorite flavors are peach & basil, black cherry, and mixed berry (cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries).

This kombucha contains actual pumpkin, which is great for your eyesight, reducing “bad” cholesterol, and keeping your skin wrinkle-free! And it’s tasty too!

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I totally agree Charlie!

Pumpkin Spice Kombucha

makes 2 qts

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp pureed pumpkin (use canned or make your own)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmug
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 qts kombucha

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices.
  2. Pour kombucha into a large pitcher.
  3. Add pumpkin mixture to kombucha & stir well to combine.

    I used this type of whisk.

    I used this type of whisk.

  4. Pour mixture into two 1-quart jars. Screw lids on loosely. Let jars sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours.
  5. Before drinking you will need to shake your kombucha, as the pumpkin mixture will sink to the bottom.
  6. An alternative method is to place half the pumpkin mixture directly into two 1-quart jars of kombucha, put on the lids tightly & shake well. Then, loosen the lids and allow kombucha to sit at room temp for at least 8 hours before drinking.

Gratuitous Fall Cooking Blog

It’s that magical time of year, so here’s pumpkins, apples, and all things fall!

Originally posted October 2014.

Yesterday I went apple picking and picked out some pumpkins. Yes, I was THAT GIRL, walking around the orchard in a scarf and a chambray shirt, picking apples. Today I have more apples than you can shake a stick at. Hence, today’s Gratuitous Fall Cooking Blog: apples, pumpkins, and warm spices. Put on your riding boots and let’s embrace autumn!

Slow-Roasted Pork Loin with Apples, Carrots, and Onions

Ingredients:
4-5 apples, skins on, chopped
1/2 a red onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
Pork Loin, about 3 lbs
Salt & pepper, to taste
Wine, enough to cover

1) In a crockpot or slow-cooker spread a layer of apples, onions, and carrots.

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The apples we picked were golden delicious and another one that was “like a Jonathan”. I used a little of both, and threw in a couple of carrots since I had them laying around.

2) Lay the pork loin over the apples, onions, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper.

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My 3-pound pork loin actually ended up being 2 smaller ones packed together. I’m cool with that, leftover pork loin makes awesome sandwiches and can even be chopped and used as an omlette filling!

3) Pour wine over everything until mostly covered. I used Briolette Apple wine (shout out to my new gig) but you could use a Riesling or even beer in it’s place.

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The wine pictured is Briolette Cut, a seasonal Apple wine from my new gig at Weston Wine Company!

4) Slow cook at 200F 8-10 hours or until tender, serve over noodles, or with roasted potatoes.

Roasted Pumpkin Purée
Make your own puréed pumpkin and never buy canned again! The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients:
2 pumpkins, I used one regular pie pumpkin and one Amish pie pumpkin

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On the left is the regular pie pumpkin, on the right is the Amish. Pie pumpkins are in general better for making pies because there is way more flesh inside. I decided to try both to see what the difference was.1) Preheat oven to 350F

2) Cut the pumpkins into quarters and remove the stems. The stem on the Amish pumpkin popped off much more easily than the stem on the regular pumpkin.

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Here’s the inside of the Amish pumpkin. The seeds are quite a bit smaller than a traditional pie pumpkin. No extra charge for dramatic lighting. 🙂

The inside of the traditional pie pumpkin. See how thick the flesh is? Imagine trying to make a jack o' lantern out of this baby.

The inside of the traditional pie pumpkin. See how thick the flesh is? Imagine trying to make a jack o’ lantern out of this baby.

3) Scoop out the seeds and gooey stuff and set aside. Toasted pumpkin seeds are yummy!

4) Place skin-side-down on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 45 mins.
5) Remove from oven and allow pumpkins to cool at least 10 mins until able to handle easily.

Freshly-roasted pumpkin!

Freshly-roasted pumpkin!

6) When cooled, remove flesh from skins and place in blender. Blend flesh until smooth. I added about 1/4 C of water to help it blend more smoothly.

Pumpkin in my blender getting puréed.

Pumpkin in my blender getting puréed.

7) Allow to cool at least 30 mins. Maybe be frozen or used immediately in place of canned pumpkin, such as in pumpkin pie. This recipe made enough pumpkin purée for 2 9-inch deep-dish pies. The equivalent of about 2 cans.