Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, all!  Aren't these little owl cupcakes cute? 

Have a safe evening out there!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pumpkin Dumplings

Last Saturday, we visited this farm. They have all the lovely Fall-type activities including a big pumpkin patch, gigantic corn maze, apple orchard, and a petting zoo (for the child inside all of us). Bonus you get a stunning view of snow-capped Mount Baker towering in the horizon. So this is one of my new favorite places to visit seasonally in the state of Washington. We came away from the crisp autumn afternoon warmed with fresh hot apple cider, happily hugging our stash of fresh picked apples and pumpkins that will probably feed us until next year.

I have a love affair with pumpkins. I know I've shared some favorite pumpkin recipes before, but now I have a new one to add to the list, pumpkin dumplings! (By the way, the secret reason for all this experimentation is to get my husband to eat pumpkin in various forms, so I can continue to cook it. He hates pumpkin pie with a passion. I know, he's crazy right?) 

So, pumpkin we go! If you're a fan of pretty much anything mixed with pasta sauce, you'll love this.  This sort of looks and tastes like gnocchi, except it tastes a bit like pumpkin too. Making it is as easy as can be.

Pumpkin Dumplings

This portion serves 8, which makes about the equivalent of cooking up an entire box of pasta.

You will need:

2 eggs
2 cups pure pumpkin (pureed with a little water if its too firm)
3 1/4 cups flour
pinch of nutmeg

Mix everything together in a large bowl until well incorporated. I like my large spatula and wooden spoon for this. The dough will be sticky, that's okay. Bring a big pot of water to a boil, add salt when boiling, and drop the dumplings one teaspoon at a time into the boiling water. Let them rise to the surface and cook another minute like that. Should take about 2-3 minutes total. Scoop out with a slotted spoon when done. When all dumplings are cooked, you're all set. But, when you're ready to eat them, sautĂ© them up with a teensy bit of olive oil and butter, mix with any kind of green leafy veggies that you like, top with plenty of freshly cracked black pepper, freshly grated parmesan, and serve hot. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Portobello Mushrooms, Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Kale

Portobello mushrooms. Those things that are as meaty and delicious as steak, without actually being steak. We love Portobello mushrooms but at our place they must be reserved as special treats since they cost a pretty penny. Their size makes them a perfect little appetizer, first course, or light dinner. This method is fancy looking, yet easy to make.

With all that said, these should not be cooked any old way either. They must be fussed over and treated like the kings and queens they are.  (Do not stomp them into a casserole, that’s what plain ole button mushrooms are for!) We like keeping it simple. For dinner last night, we stuffed these beauties with a little goat cheese, chopped up kale (fresh from the garden out back), plenty of freshly cracked black pepper, an assortment of herbs, and one egg to bind it all together.

Portobello Mushrooms, Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Kale

Pile the mixture high into the mushrooms, lay on a foil lined cookie sheet, and bake at 400 F for about 15 minutes, or until the kale starts to crisp up and turn golden-brown. Done. My husband called it “wow”.  (And he never says wow.) Enjoy!