Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Remember when I did the lobotomy to the jack-o-lanterns a few weeks ago?  Well I put up all the pumpkin in canning jars and have had it refrigerated waiting for just the perfect night for soup. Yes, soup.

It is stupid easy to work with your own or store bought pumpkin.  I prefer my own as I can control the salt better, but its still all good.

Adding in the ginger and cayenne build in a different layer of flavor and heat than just plain curry powder alone.  Worth the extra kick as far as I am concerned.

Pumpkin Curry Soup

  • 4 cups (32 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • olive oil

In large sauce pot add enough oil to lightly coat bottom of pot.  Over medium heat add carrot and onion until the onion is translucent.  Add garlic and stir one minute to cook out the raw taste.  Pour mixture into blender with the broth and puree.  Return to pan, add pumpkin and heat through.  Simmer about 15 minutes to let flavors blend.  Test for seasoning and add salt as needed.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving: its about sharing more than food

Thanksgiving this year was a first for me.  I didn't actually cook it all, but it was all my usual dishes for the day.  Why not cook you may ask?  Its because this year I coached my newly married daughter on how to cook up the Thanksgiving Feast and she did alright.  She's ready to solo next year.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Best darn Bread Pudding I ever made...

The recipe isn't mine.  Its in this months Bon Appetit magazine.  It is Pecan, Bourbon and Butterscotch Bread Pudding. Allow me to hurl a few is the absolute best tasting, richest bread pudding I have ever had in my ENTIRE life.

My version I omitted the nuts and added them to those that like nuts when I served as a garnish.  Pesky people that are so picky make me batty.  Next time around this will be a made with pecan version for a dinner party.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Braciole, or Beef and Cheese sounds better in Italian

I've seen it done a dozen times over the years and never got around to trying it myself until last night.  Why?  I thought was a bit fussy for dinner on the fast and I was only partially correct.  It is a bit labor intensive with the prep of ingredients but once done it goes pretty fast.  The braise to completely tenderize the meat takes about an hour, but that is all hands free so its really not an issue...unless you need dinner on the table in 30 minutes.

This recipe is a blend of many from several sources.  I took meticulous notes of what I used to save you the guess work.  The end result is quite tasty with all but one in my house actually enjoying the final product which makes it a win in my book.  The lone dissenter is one who isn't a fan of cheese to start with.


  • 1 lb, about 4 thin cut round steaks
  • 1/2 lb Fontina cheese - shredded.
  • 1/2 c Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1 small bunch parsley - chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic- minced
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 T parsley - chopped
  • 1 T basil -chopped

Combine Parmesan, panko, parsley and garlic, toss to combine.  Take a piece of meat and season with salt and pepper.  Add 1/4 of the bread crumb parsley mixture and spread evenly over the meat. Top with 1/4 of the shredded Fontina.  Roll up from widest end jelly roll style,  Secure with toothpicks.  Repeat with remaining slices of meat.

In large skillet add some olive oil and over medium high heat sear all sides of the beef rolls.  When seared remove meat from pan and set aside.  Stir in your beef broth to deglaze pan, then add in tomato puree and tomato sauce.  Return meat to pan.  Cover and put in a 325F oven for 1 hour.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

10 second garlic peel works!

Ok,a similar video went pretty viral on facebook with my friends and I decided to test it.  Yes, it works and it saves you from stinky hands.  File this under noisy kitchen tricks and use it as it is really a fast way to cleanly peel garlic.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A little jack-o-lantern lobotomy fun

 I have this silly tradition of each year using up the pumpkin from the jack-o-lanterns in the kitchen.  Some I'll steam and puree up for soup, pies and such later on.  Others get used fresh grated in Pumpkin Bread.  This version is from an old stand by for zucchini bread adapted to fit the needs of pumpkin.  Not much adaptation was needed as both are similar in texture and water content that its a pretty easy swap out.

Pumpkin Cranberry Nut Bread

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 c oil
  • 2 1/2 c grated pumpkin
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 3 C all purpose flower
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 c dried cranberry (I use craisin brand)

Heat oven to 350F.  Grease 2 loaf pans.

Beat eggs 3-4 minutes until light.  Add sugar and cream well.  Beat in oil.  Reduce speed and fold in grated pumpkin.  Sift together flower, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.  Fold into egg mixture until well blended.  Fold in nuts and cranberry.  Divide batter between the two loaf pans and bake 1 hour until tester comes out clean.